Structures In Place
By: Mark W Adams

Extraordinary times, I know, but...

It strikes me as surreal that the Village has a profound lack of faith that our system of jurisprudence is capable of addressing what is to be done with the outlaw prison in Gitmo -- yet those same folks panicking at the thought a judge and jury of ordinary citizens deciding the fate of some 250 souls idling away in US occupied Cuba will insist that the bankruptcy courts should determine the fate of 2-5 million workers and their families in the auto industry and related support companies.

It's the same as it ever was -- outcome based decisions on which process to use, legislative or judicial, is nothing new. It's one of the reasons the abortion issue is so contentious. The two usual means of policy change have long since been foreclosed to the pro-life fundamentalists, the courts have ruled and the majority of the public has spoken through their elected legislators, so social conservatives have made a concerted effort to restructure the nature judiciary itself in hopes of changing that one policy through the back door.

Steve Benen points out that it doesn't stop at the bench, but now the Bush administration has also stacked the justice department with an assortment of fools and fundies to carry on their agenda well after the "thumpin'" they received over the last two election cycles.

And yes, I know abortion isn't the only thing they care about, that they have a profound interest in undercutting unions and empowering the executive branch (and guns, gays and god) -- but abortion will always be their litmus test for loyalty. If it weren't, we would be talking about "former" Vice Presidential candidates Lieberman or Tom Ridge and not Sarah Palin.

But isn't it interesting that so many conservatives are untroubled by the thought of Chapter 11 for GM and friends, (and we're talking about bankrupting an entire industry, not just an individual company) knowing that the UAW will have their contract torn up in the process; yet are willing to tear up the Constitution itself rather than hold fair trials for people we've held incommunicado and without charge for half a dozen years.

Contracts, laws, the Constitution, all to be thwarted at will -- the conservative movement is a band of pirates who look at mere words on parchment as guidelines, like their Pirate Code, to be ignored whenever convenient. There really is nothing more dangerous to our society's institutions than anarchists with vast wealth and a propaganda megaphone.