Friends discussing the current administration's assaults on the U.S. Constitution (provoked by the proposed new law to allow takedown of Web sites on mere allegation of copyright infringement), wondering what ever happened to the Constitution. The subject of detainees in Guantanamo arose.
One says of Obama: "This is a professor of constitutional law, now a US President. He knows damn well that Guantanomo is a cesspit of bad prior POTUS behavior, but one rooted in extra-territorial precedent. My altruism says: free them."
Another replies, "Mine too. But my inner soldier says, "...and have a firing squad greet them the second they step through the exit."
This is, indeed, a difficult situation. But two observations:
One: If, as Ron Paul points out, we weren't sticking our military noses in every corner of the world, we'd have fewer of these Constitutional sticky bits to deal with. When you act badly, your good choices become limited. I have a whole rant about this, but never mind for now.
Two: As a Libertarian, I was not interested in which pol won the last presidency, but I hoped that with a liberal Democrat in office, we'd at least get some of the things Dems like to consider themselves good at (and blast the Repubs for being bad at), like: less war; more respect for freedom of speech and other civil liberties. it would almost be worth paying the price in taxes and limits on property rights to back away from our many wars and our many assaults on our liberties.
Instead, we get more of the same. It might as well be Bush II up there.
The ironies abound: When the Bushes were in charge, we got all the taxes, regulations, and gigantic new government agencies the Dems are supposed to do, and none of the restraint on the growth of government the Republicans claim to favor. And of course we got the Republicans' wars. With their predecessor, Clinton, similarly, we got the best Republican president the Democrats have ever had -- lower taxes, reduced regulatory intrusion, plus a Democrat benefit of few/limited military nosiness. We didn't know how good we had it.
So you get foreign-policy adventurism, growth in government power, growth in government spending regardless of ability to pay for it, and continued assaults on our liberties, with a general annoyance at the notion the Constitution might limit any of this -- from whichever major party you vote for. Or stay home and not vote for.
It would sure be a hoot if Ron Paul got nominated and then, even more improbably, elected. The likelihood of that guy, based on his history, voting for more spending, more taxes, more invasions, more civil-liberty assaults, and so on, is very low. It would be fun to watch D.C. turn upsidedown.
But unlikely all around: If he makes much more progress in the polls, they'll have to start mentioning him in every race roundup instead of only occasionally in passing, and when he gets too far up there, they'll go try to find a way to do a Herman Cain on him -- the political press's nuclear option when they want to get rid of somebody but don't want to acknowledge their complicity.
[end rant][God I hate politics]