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Highway Rube-ery (Or, The GOP Thinks You Are Stupid)

Sen. Jeff Sessions — and the leadership of the Republican Party — thinks you are stupid enough to swallow their inaccurate, fear-mongering PR-tested swill whole and never bother engaging your brain.  Their floor show in the Senate yesterday serves as a crystal clear example of the GOP Expressway to Rubeville they’ve dragged the entire nation down the last few years. 

Resisting the urge to pelt my television with a copy of the Federalist Papers, I hoped I’d hallucinated this particular idiocy from Jeff Sessions on the floor of the Senate yesterday.  But, lo, Senator Slicker’n Snot On A Glass Doorknob, not so much:  (H/T unAmerican Revolution)

Senator Jeff Sessions of Alabama said in a derogatory tone:

“The civil libertarians among us would rather defend the constitution than protect our nation’s security.”

I am sure he realized how dumb he sounded because he stuttered as he made the statement. He made no apologies for the remark, however, and continued right along with his unique brand of ultra patriotism…. (emphasis mine)

Never mind that the either/or structure of this sentence is flat out false and reads more like a push poll.  Or that America did, in fact, deal with a more enormous threat throughout the Cold War — with real, live nuclear missiles pointed at us — and managed not to hand over the Constitution and the Bill of Rights wholesale from our trembling, surrender monkey supplicant "save me daddy" hands.  

Never mind that the FISA law does not apply to foreigners’ calls — but only to Americans and legal residents here who are expressly covered by the Fourth Amendment and the Constitution.  Or that not one Senator of either party wants to prevent lawful surveillance of potential terrorists — they simply want the Bush Administration to respect the rule of law and get a court-reviewed warrant like every other law enforcement agency in the country.

Never mind that you can simultaneously protect our national security AND uphold the principles of "liberty and justice for all."  Don’t just take it from me — try the Heritage Foundation on for size:  "To frame the fight against terrorism as a choice between safety and freedom offers a false choice. The most effective way to wage a war on terrorism is to adopt policies that secure both safety and freedom equally well." Or that Sen. Sessions and every other lawmaker take an oath of office which reads, in its entirety, like this:

I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter: So help me God.  (emphasis mine)

See any "the laws don’t count if terrorists make you wet your pants" exception there? Nope. See any "if the President tells me to break the law it’s A-OK because he’s a king and I do what he says and don’t ask questions" exception?  No siree.  How about a "threats to the US void any and all adherence to the very principles on which our nation was founded so long as it serves our political fear-mongering PR purposes in an election year" escape clause?  Nada.

In a jury trial, opposing counsel would rip that apart in about two minutes.  As a former USAtty, Sessions knows this, but he’s banking on the American public not bothering to think. 

Jeebus.   I have never needed the mockery of this Kung Fu Monkey post more than I do this morning.  Just go read it.  I mean, honestly, what sort of moh-ron falls for that scare tactic, factually inaccurate bullshit any more without fact checking it?  (Oh, never mind…)

(If you live in Alabama, or if you just think this is the dumbest thing you’ve heard in weeks, feel free to let Sen. Sessions know your thoughts on patriotism versus highway rube-ery.  In fact, Sen. Sessions is up for re-election this year, so please take the time to send in some letters to the editor to your local papers as well.  Your nation thanks you.)

UPDATE:  Cinnamonape brings up a very good point:  for all of Sen. Sessions NRA pals, how do you feel about his disdain for the Bill of Rights — which would include the Second Amendment?  If it makes us more secure, is it a-okay with y’all that the government just rounds up everyone’s guns in the name of national security?  That slippery civil liberties slope ain’t so purty any more, is it?

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Christy Hardin Smith

Christy Hardin Smith

Christy is a "recovering" attorney, who earned her undergraduate degree at Smith College, in American Studies and Government, concentrating in American Foreign Policy. She then went on to graduate studies at the University of Pennsylvania in the field of political science and international relations/security studies, before attending law school at the College of Law at West Virginia University, where she was Associate Editor of the Law Review. Christy was a partner in her own firm for several years, where she practiced in a number of areas including criminal defense, child abuse and neglect representation, domestic law, civil litigation, and she was an attorney for a small municipality, before switching hats to become a state prosecutor. Christy has extensive trial experience, and has worked for years both in and out of the court system to improve the lives of at risk children.

Email: reddhedd AT firedoglake DOT com