Update: the name of this blog has now been changed to Statesperson in recognition of the fact that we will not only focus on election administration on this blog, but general governmental issues specifically dealing with election offices, state capitols, embassies and the branches of government in D.C.
They're talking about doing what in this ludicrous 112th Congress? Effectively revoking the Posse Comitatus Act -- again -- and enabling the military to arrest American citizens on vague criminal charges, taking them to secret gulags somewhere, and the arrested person having no right to a lawyer or trial, and in fact can be disappeared so that his or her family and friends would not even know of the detained person's fate. So it turns out that the Bill of Rights, enshrined in the Constitution, is something like Santa Claus. Nice and glossy, but not real. Now, with this congressional codification of what's already been a de facto suspension of habeas corpus, they're just flat out telling us there is really no Bill or Rights, or general Constitution for that matter. In essence, this is the battle of ideas in America between the hard pragmatists and the hard idealists. The pragmatists are for whatever is convenient for the here and now, and alledgedly better for security or whatever purpose they deem as worthy, and no supposed legally inviolable laws should get in the way of their higher purposes. The idealists, like us, say that the Constitution should be legally inviolable, since it can be changed by its own amendment process, and that any violation of it, especially by lawmakers, should be regarded as highly suspicious and contempt for the rule of law.
The pragmatist versus idealist battle is not just relegated to politics and it could just as well be a battle within one's own mind as, for instance, some people don't really believe the substantive part of whatever organization they may belong to, or role they may be in, or allegiance they pledge to, but may play the part and go along with the program for whatever rewards they may derive from it, which is the pragmatist option. Idealists are reluctant to get involved with something that they really don't believe in, and generally won't, but most idealists have a pragmatic side, and most pragmatists have an idealistic side. The harder that the idealist or the pragmatist are set in their views, the less of the mitigating other side they have. Pragmatists generally concern themselves about the present and how their beliefs effect circumstances now, whereas idealists generally think of the long term, and what will be the effects on the future. They both look at the past in different ways and generally come up with widely varied conclusions. Idealists make constitutions and democracies; pragmatists make rules and dictatorships. Our party is idealistic and thinks the Levin-McCain bill, indirectly mentioned at the beginning of this essay, is pragmatism on steroids, in other words, outright fascist.
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