a tiger eating its own tailSenator John Cornyn, a Republican from Texas, said a fairly remarkable thing on the floor of the United States Senate last week:
Senators launched new salvos in the battle over national security and civil liberties yesterday as recent revelations of domestic spying continued to color the chamber’s stalemate on an extension of the anti-terrorism law known as the Patriot Act.I agree. If American lives are at stake, civil liberties are irrelevant, and the president should take strong leadership without being constrained by the congressional debating society or the namby-pamby judges. So the 400,000 Americans who die every year from diseases related to smoking? The president should take immediate steps to save them, sending public health officials into private homes -- without any of these little chickenshit "warrants" that the left-wing morons can't stop prattling about -- to monitor for tobacco use and confiscate dangerous tobacco products. Lives are at stake, man! This is no time for debate! People are dying -- it's time to tell the civil liberties absolutists to shut up!
"None of your civil liberties matter much after you’re dead," said Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas), a former judge and close ally of the president who sits on the Judiciary Committee.
And then there's traffic accidents, a leading cause of death for Americans. What is the president doing about that? Time to stop pussyfooting around, I say, and start confiscating cars. None of your civil liberties matter much after you’re dead!
And don't get me started on global poverty, which causes malnutrition and is associated with untreated disease. The president needs to stand up, cast aside all of these nonsensical procedural restraints that the ACLU morons can't shut up about, and start redistributing wealth. Lives are at stake! What good is the stupid constitution if people are dying?
I think it's really brave of Republicans like John Cornwyn to abandon all of the principles they've always claimed they stand for. We need more of this kind of bold leadership. And the great thing is that we now have a precedent showing that putative conservatives believe wholeheartedly in an unconstrained exercise of executive power, so they won't have a place to stand when a president operating from the political left starts taking strong action and bypassing the judiciary's Bush appointees and the Republicans in Congress.
Just remember the special code words: If you say that lives are at stake, you can do whatever you want.