Justification through legislation

Making fun of Republicans, their questionable policies, sexual hypocrisy and general evil nature has become so popular recently it’s reached a ubiquity able to challenge confused high-schoolers wearing Che Guevara t-shirts. It’s getting to the point where an entire continent’s political discourse consists of calling President Bush an idiot while quaking in fear at the thought of the Evangelical white men running the most powerful country in the world. Though it would take an incredible poker face to call the Republican reign anything other than a miserable failure, reducing the whole right-wing of American politics to devious chimpanzees is a little absurd. At the very least, they deserve credit for expertly turning a nation’s fears into votes. People might not agree with how they’ve decided to run the country, but the Republicans deserve more credit than they often get. At least they would, if they didn’t constantly insist on proving the lowest of opinions about them completely justified.

The latest damn-near unbelievable development to come out of the Republican party is a recently passed bill on interrogation. With the passing of the bill, Americans are now able to try suspected terrorists in special military tribunals. In addition to this, suspects are denied habeas corpus–the right to complain about being illegally imprisoned–and can be deprived of sleep and given hypothermia. As if this wasn’t enough, evidence against alleged terrorists can now be seized without a warrant.

The provisions of this bill might not seem too out-of-the-ordinary, considering it came from the same administration behind the Patriot Act, but that doesn’t change the fact that it’s completely bat-shit insane. Remember, this is coming out of the United States of America, the bastion of freedom, staunch proponents of the rule of law and lovers of the axiom ‘innocent until proven guilty.’ If bills were capable of expelling bodily fluids, this one would doubtlessly be vomiting all over such supposedly proudly-held ideals. The U.S. might as well just drop the whole ‘innocent until proven guilty’ thing and start calling it ‘guilty until illegally arrested, detained, frozen and judged guilty by military brass who have been trained their whole lives to hate you.”

What makes the whole situation even better–or worse, rather–is the Bush administration’s reasons for insisting suspected terrorists are forbidden habeas corpus. Apparently, the Republicans were getting fed up with lawsuits being filed by detainees at Guantanamo Bay. Republicans argued these lawsuits were disrupting the process of justice and getting in the way of the War on Terror, which is honestly the stupidest argument ever uttered by anyone in the history of time. How individuals who have achieved country-running power could actually believe suspects trying to assure they are justly held and tried are obstructing justice is baffling. It’s like a group of people who claim to hold certain values while doing the exact opposite of what following those values would entail. Oh wait, that’s exactly what it is.

With developments like this bill, it’s gotten to a point where Republicans must either be so contemptuous of the common person they don’t care that they’re widely held as possessing intelligence slightly below the average pre-schooler, or they actually do possess intelligence below the average pre-schooler. If the Republicans continue to show such utter disregard for the basic rights of people­–be they suspected terrorists or Muslims trying to board a plane–they deserve every poorly informed, overly simplistic bit of criticism they get. And if they can stay in power through all of this, they deserve every vote they get, too.

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