Sunday, October 01, 2006

Fear, an election year staple

In this election cycle I have noticed both sides talking a lot about fear. I hear many on the Left accusing Republicans of using the War on Terror to instill fear in to the populace in order to get them to vote Republican. The Left accuses the Right of claiming that they ar weak on fighting terror and want to cut and run in the War in Iraq in order to garner votes.

On the other hand, the Left itself has started fearmongering among it's base of late. I read this in a friend of a friend's Live Journal the other day and just was speechless-

From here on out, i will post in this journal at least once every seven days, so that if eight days go by and i haven't posted, you will know i've been "disappeared."

This sounds kind of drastic and paranoid even to me, but the law passed by the Senate yesterday allows the Department of Defense to declare anyone, anywhere, to be an "unlawful combatant," US citizen or not, in actual contact with actual terrorists or not, in actual possession of weapons or not. All you have to do is be judged to have given "aid or comfort" to terrorists. According to many right wingers, all you have to do to qualify on this count is to criticize the president. I've done that plenty of times and i'm not going to go back and hide all those journal entries, so i'm just as likely to disappear as anyone.

Now, it's absurd on soooo many levels, not the least of which is, I haven't heard ONE reputable 'rightwinger' say that folks who criticize the President is the same as giving aid or comfort to terrorists. Heck, even I criticize the President, especially on some of his domestic decisions. My brother sent me this article In Case I Disappear, and I bet that's where she got the idea.

I don't know how people can live in such paranoia and fear all of the time, I really don't. Ok, maybe I do. I've seen the same sort of feelings from Republicans who fear Hillary being our next president. But I don't see her even getting the nomination, let alone winning, so I don't have to deal with that fear in my daily life.

Then my friend Mysa posted something yesterday that just got to me. Here's a link-I am ashamed to be an American

I made a snarky comment there, but wanted to comment specifically on a couple of things to Mysa here.

First, have you actually READ the bills in question? Yes, bills, the House passed a similar one recently as well. I ask, because I see the same sort of...hysteria, if you will over this (from the Left in general) that we saw over the whole Net Neutrality fiasco. You remember, the one where one side got folks all riled up over something that WASN'T EVEN COVERED IN THE BILL?!?! All you have is ONE SIDE'S opinion on it. I've been reading the 'other' side's discussions on this, and haven't heard any of the same kind of fearmongering ( and believe me, they'd be discussing the potential for a Liberal President's abuse of this if there was anything substantial here). I suspect the truth is somewhere in the middle. Unless, of course, you believe that ALL Republicans are in on wanting to make any...dissenters 'disappear'.

Second, this is JUST a bill. It has been through the joint comittee, but according to the leaders it won't get to the President unti AFTER the election.(*) Because, you know, they all have to spend the next month campaigning instead of doing what we PAY them to do (but that's another discussion). So, at WORST, it's election year posturing. As I mention above, I'm much more concerned about the Left using this to spread misinformation and fear, but, it's an election year, so what're you gonna do.

I'm hoping that one of my more historically knowledgeable readers (Waarthog?) can respond here to some of the other remarks you had about habeas corpus and how it applies to NON-Americans captured during a war. I'll do some more reading on that as well, after I get copies of the bills and go through them.

UPDATE- Sparks from the Anvil has a great cartoon about the Democrats and their policies on National Security.

(*)I corrected this after having read the bill today. The final 'compromise bill' is what the Seante voted on last week (S. 3930), but it was sent back to the House because the Senate wanted IT'S number on the bill. More on that here. (Personally, I don't think it was pettiness so much as a tactic to keep it off the President's desk until after the election. That's my theory anyway!)

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At October 01, 2006 9:25 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well good grief, lock me up as well. If anyone who doesn't follow lock-step with the administration, no questions asked, is subject to "disappering" then there won't be many Republicans left either.

Lisa K


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