Friday, March 9, 2007
Keep At It: Keep Beseeching
I can't be the only one in America continuously beseeching my elected representatives to do something to turn around the mess the Bushies have created. Michigan is an interesting state. It consists of pockets of polarized individuals which make the mix of potential voters interesting to say the least. The Reagan Democrats emerged as a forceful group during the early 1980's and thus joined the battle in which extremism of any sort seemed more important than working for a consensus of the affairs of humans. This trend (tradition?) has continued to date so it is hardly surprising that Michigan's national representatives consist of persons with a mixture of splintered ideas and actions apparently designed to hold together a coalition of voters so that the office seeker can appeal to as many people as possible for elective purposes. A translation of what I just said is perhaps best characterized by an example: I don't care who or what you are, but as long as you are pro life I will vote for you. It doesn't matter whether you are Democrat or Republican as long as you agree with the single issue that I consider important. If you do so agree, you have my vote. That background now brings us to the point of this rant. For months I have been waging a battle of sorts with Senator Debbie Stabenow, the junior Democratic senator over her pre-election vote for the Military Rights Act of 2006 in which the right of habeas corpus was taken away from prisoners at Guantanamo. The right to a habeas petition is embodied as a fundamental principle of our system of government within the U.S. Constitution. What is means is that a person who is seized by the government has the right to challenge his/her imprisonment before an impartial magistrate. It is as simple as that. Now consider this provision in light of Michigan politics in the pre-November 2006 election time period. Apparently, Senator Stabenow considered it more important to pander to the rabid right (who would never vote for her in any event) or to avoid the appearance of being ant-Iraq war so as not to offend the suburban Reagan Democrats (let's kick some raghead ass, Bubba) by voting as she did. Before her vote I beseeched her to take a stand on principle. After her vote and once she was safely re-elected for her second term in the Senate I beseeched her again. I also asked for my campaign donation back. In my naivete I expect to have politicians I support uphold the law of the land as set forth in the Constitution. Silly me. I finally received a reply, not mentioning the return of my thousand bucks however. She stated: "If we had not passed this bill, our military would not have been able to move forward with trials against suspected terrorists now in U.S. custody." I beseeched her once again on February 27, 2007: "Thank you for your response. I respectfully disagree with your analysis and actions taken. I call upon you as my elected representative to take the lead in reversing the onerous provisions of the 2006 law." I even offered my services to her at no charge to right this grievous wrong. There has been no further response. Once again, I must make clear how important this habeas provision is. It is right there in our Constitution. The effect of the passage of this Act was to effectively suspend the Constitution. There would be a hue and cry if instead of what the Act says, there had been a simple up or down vote to suspend the rights embodied in the law of the land for people whom the President decides require such a draconian measure. Come and beseech along with me. No one is heeding the message.