Friday, June 16, 2006

But before “it” became a number, “it” was a living, breathing human being


Tony Insert-Snow-Related-Pun-Here, asked if Bush had a reaction to the 2,500th dead service member military personnel in Iraq, replied: “It’s a number”. And Bush doesn’t do fuzzy math, much less bloody math.

The Supreme Court rules that the fruits of a poisonous tree are in fact delicious, refusing to use the exclusionary rule to enforce its own ruling against no-knock warrants. Scalia writes that the “social cost” of enforcing the Fourth Amendment is too high if it means guilty people might not be convicted because the evidence against them was illegally obtained. Why is the exclusionary rule no longer necessary? Scalia says that the police now “take the constitutional rights of citizens seriously.” In other words, in 1961 this remedy was required because the cops didn’t care about civil rights, but they are now so sensitive to them that all that is required is a stern talking-to, whereupon they invariably burst into tears and promise to do better.

This is how the Constitution dies a quick death: the Roberts Court doesn’t have to laboriously overturn rights one at a time if it eliminates at a stroke penalties for violating those rights.

An anonymous Republican strategist explains the thinking behind the Iraq resolution: “It is better when we debate other people instead of debating events.”

Dennis Hastert in that debate: “When our freedom is challenged, Americans do not run.” Let’s all pause to picture Hastert running. “We in this Congress must show the same steely resolve as those men and women on United Flight 93; the same sense of duty as the first responders who headed up the stairs of the Twin Towers.” Let’s all pause to picture Hastert heading up a flight of stairs.

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