by Bodwyn Wook
THE Campaign by GOP presidential nominee-apparent Mr Arizona Republican Senator John McCain has been ended, by the candidate.
Mr McCain in effect called it quits earlier this week, when he said that the recent US Supreme Court ruling, in favor of habeas corpus petition-writs by US detainees at Guantanamo Bay, was the “worst” ruling the high court has ever made.
“Oh tell me please for God’s sake that he didn’t say THAT!” exclaimed sometime McCain-supporter Emmett Smith, the well-beloved and widely-heard producer and presenter for the past five years of the hugely successful Squawbunion County History This Month regional history broadcast, here at home on the campus radio station of the state teachers’ college cum “university” in Terre de Bleu City, in southern Calisota on the North Coast of Ioway.
“The manifest ignorance of American history in that kind of brainless statement is what makes the work of all historians, amateur and professional, even more critical,” Smith added.
SYNDICATED Columnist and baseball writer George Will, who enjoys a small but discerning following nationwide, joined in the fray on the side of the regionally popular Smith, his fans and others across the country likeminded. Will this week wrote that throughout American history the Supreme Court has from time-to-time come up with some really Godawful rulings. There was for example the 1857 Dred Scott decision, which inferred a “constitutional” property-right to keep slaves.
Then in 1944 the Court ruled against the plaintiffs in Korematsu v US. Instead, the Court found that the executive branch under Democrat President Franklin D Roosevelt had the “right” in response to public and popular opinion, to order the mass-imprisonment of Japanese-Americans after the sneak attack by the Empire of Japan on Pearl Harbor, on 7 December 1941.
These preposterous gaffes were of course driven by hysterical waves of “responsible” opinion — just as was the 2006 Congress’s passage of the Military Commissions Act.
THIS Last-named badly bungled legislation, in a grotesque ex post facto end-run, tacitly legitimated the existence of the G W Bush-administration ad hoc facility at Guantanamo Bay. This was done by making “legal” the proposal to try longterm detainess there, by courts, or “commissions,” martial. In the wake of this overexcited nonsense, and because of media scrutiny which obliged the Pentagon nonetheless to allow detainees some measure of outside contact, writs of habeas corpus were filed, turned down and then on appeal reinstated by the high court.
Will, widely viewed as actually conservative and not always a kneejerk cheerleader of the so-called NeoCons, was careful to note also that this most-recent ruling simply restored the temporarily wrongly denied right of petition to detainees. However, Will also wrote of the historical significance of the right of habeas corpus, ” the great writ of liberty.”
HABEAS Corpus was brought in with Magna Carta in 1215, when in England King John (another over-reaching ruler triangulated somewhere between Southern Rhodesia’s Robert Mugabe and G W Bush’s handlers, messrs Rove and Cheney, and the last Texas-American President, L B Johnson) was brought up short in his pretensions by his outraged barons. Magna Carta did little for common people. But in time it led down through the great documents of English liberty to the writing of the US Constitution, at the peak historically of the high-modern enlightenment in 1787-9.
The goal of all of these documents altogether in law is the institution of limited government.
Limitations on government above all are needed to abate the terrifying power of the executive to try to get away with imprisoning citizens with unattractive personalities, or those who harbor a foreign-looking appearance (or, very secondarily, “ideas”), because of the wild emotions of often-ill-educated populations with low or only “average” IQs, and their self-styled “leaders” under the stress of transitory episode.
As Smith, a former McCain-supporter, said when his attention was directed to Will’s most recent column:
“WELL Just WHAT do you want me to say? I mean it’s obviouser’n Hell that this final screwup puts the whole GOP circus right smack dab back into the family pisspot rotting away under the bed with Mitt Romney and the rest of the stale turds! Poor old McCain…I’m afraid that he’s just plain screwed the pooch this time. Good Lord, it makes him look ‘just hopelesser’n Hell’ now as we say around here. Kind of a political ‘retard.’ So now what? Well, now he’s gone and turned himself into just ANOTHER run-of-the-mill also-ran ‘hammerhead.’ I mean, sensible folks in our parts anyway just don’t go in much for what they call ‘all these wildeyed sonofabitches all running around loose with their faces all hanging out all over the place’ in the first place — and plus that, in the second place real constitutional conservatives like me, well Hell, WE all think it’s what our folks all would have called ‘just a crock of shit’ too! And in the third place NOBODY I know with even a brain in their heads even falls for a bunch of dumb bastards like this in the first place…!”
[Bodwyn Wook all rights reserved 20 June 2008]