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What Else Is In Scott's Head?

The blog site for writer Scott C. Smith. Some observations on the world we live in and life in general. And maybe some politics.

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Who Really Hates America?

First up: I forgot to include a link last week to my latest column at CounterBias. If you'd like to give it a read, you can check it out here. Let me know what you think.

If you follow politics like I do, you know just how nasty the whole business is, especially the efforts by conservatives to demonize liberals and Democrats. Like they did with Terri Schiavo by pitting liberals against conservatives. Conservative pundits and politicians all basically said that liberals wanted Terri Schiavo to die. Conservatives took every single opportunity they could to hammer in this message. They do it for just about any situation that can be put into an absolute black and white point of reference in order to take sides. (Interestingly enough, the conservative pundits who seemed to be on every single cable news show talking about Terri Schiavo have apparently moved on to more important issues, like the Michael Jackson trial. Which, I think, reinforces a theory I have: most conservatives had never heard of Terri Schiavo prior to Tom DeLay and Bill Frist making her case public. I mean, where was the outrage in 2003 when her feeding tube was removed for six days?)

A staple of conservative attacks against liberals is that liberals "hate America" and that liberals are Communists.

I like to counter that whenever I see it, and my response is: it's really conservatives who hate America, because of their apparent endorsement of Fascism. I know, some of you think that's a crazy conclusion, but think about it: how else to explain why so many conservatives are so willing to curtail civil liberties in order to carry out a war against terrorism? What's more dangerous: a protester opposing the Bush administration, or a Congress that allows law enforcement to bypass some of the key provisions of our Bill of Rights?

Buried in the news of Pope John Paul II's death was the story on the Patriot Act and how some of its temporary measures would need to be made permanent by Congress.

The FBI is really itching to expand its powers, wanting the authority to obtain records without a search warrant.

One of the temporary provisions has been called by some the "library provision," which allows law enforcement to use secret warrants in order to obtain books, records, documents and other items from hospitals, businesses and other organizations.

A conversation with your typical right-winger about the Patriot Act will usually end with the right-winger saying that liberals are overacting and asking who has had their rights violated by the Patriot Act.

It's a stupid question. What does it have to do with anything? The issue isn't that any one person has had their rights violated; the issue is that the government has the authority to violate those rights if they choose to.

Hopefully, this time, Congress will spend a little more time in reviewing the Patriot Act and its provisions. Most members of Congress voted for the Patriot Act in 2001 without even knowing the full details of the provisions.

FYI, the provisions up for renewal can be found here.

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