27 November 2014

McCarthy's Ghost: Ted Cruz, Cicero, the Unitary Executive, Justice Sunday and Evangelical Hypocrisy

Ted Cruz sees himself as a Cicero, warning the dying republic of the dangers of Empire. In truth he's a demagogue and a buffoonish one on the order of Joseph McCarthy. And in that sense, quite dangerous. And though he will likely run in 2016, he (as opposed to Obama) was really and truly born outside of the United States.

The threat to the Republic has come in stages and the last great threat was in the days between 11 September 2001 and the Iraq War. It was in those days that some true Cicero's, namely Robert Byrd and Ted Kennedy gave some speeches worthy of note. This is not to suggest that these men were heroes either. It's just that for whorish politicians they for once were willing to stand for something and put themselves at risk.

Cruz is worried about the Executive appropriating too much power. I would imagine he's somewhat ignorant of recent history and the idea of the Imperial Presidency. He's no doubt unaware of the huge shifts in thought that occurred after World War II and the advent of the Nuclear Age. The Imperial Presidency was checked by Watergate but reinstated with Reagan and his secret semi-outsourced foreign policy. Believers in the Unitary Executive (as the Imperial Presidency is called in legalese) sought to frame all issues in terms of warfare, thus empowering the Executive and allowing the morally 'true' leaders to bypass the incompetent and ineffective Congress.

Rumsfeld and Cheney were two of the most vigorous advocates of this school of thought. They formed their ideas during their time in the weak post-Nixon administration of Gerald Ford. By the time of the second Bush Administration they were in full control and their own ideas conveniently overlapped with the aspirations of the Neo-Conservatives.

In the wake of 9/11 the Constitution was all but tossed out. This was done in the name of security and under the auspices of the Unitary Executive. All of society was at war, therefore the Commander in Chief was in effect a dictator.

This would have been taken to the next level had another attack occurred. The whole country would have been in a state of emergency, under Marshall Law... old tricks wielded by dictators and nothing new.

This tendency for the Executive to grasp for power is also nothing new. Lincoln was employing the same idea when he issued the Emancipation Proclamation. Many people don't realize his edict only affected the areas within the war zone, thus only the Confederate states. He was using his power as Commander in Chief of the military. The Slave states that were still part of the Union were not affected and slavery would continue in those states until the passage of the 13th Amendment.

As Commander in Chief, the president is something of a dictator within the war zone, the areas directly controlled by the military or under the zone of operation. The Bush Administration in 2001 and after sought to turn all of American society into a war zone. The nation as we knew it was all but over. The series of events initiated with the Atomic Age and the Cold War had finally borne fruit. Even the exposure by many brave journalists and people like Snowden has not been properly appreciated by most of the public.

It's also been missed that just the other day when the Obama administration sought to roll back some of the NSA's power it was the Republicans more than anyone who opposed this. Sure, there are plenty of Democrats who have supported the warfare state, but it's specifically Republicans that champion the power of the Executive and the military and the move toward a Police (or to use the euphemism, Security) State.

Obama merely wanted the phone companies to store the meta-data and demand the NSA get a warrant to access it. Mind you, they would still be collecting everyone's info, a total violation of the Constitution, but it would just be stored privately rather than in specifically government data banks. No, that wasn't good enough. Too much red tape for the security state.

That was Obama's one weak and pathetic attempt to stand up for something and like everything else... he failed and caved in.

It's also worthy of note that Cruz has advocated the blocking of all appointees as a means to restrict the power of the Obama administration.

Where's the outcry?

In 2005 Evangelical leaders organized Justice Sunday, a sacrilegious simulcast event during Church services across the United States that sought to deliberately politicize the pulpit in order to demand congress give a simple up or down vote on all judicial appointees etc...

They argued that the approval process shouldn't be politicized and that doing so was harming the country. They were upset that Bush's appointees were being blocked.

Why no protest against Cruz's proposition? He's promoting the very notion that they said should be resisted back in 2005. They insisted the whole process should be divorced from partisan politics.

Could it be that the Christian Right is little more than a dangerous gang of heretical ignorant hypocrites?

I certainly have no regard for the leaders of the Left, but I cannot stand the hypocrisy on the part of the Right and the Christian claims made by so many of them. There claims and conduct are revolting and little more than a demonstration of their absolute ignorance of Holy Scripture.