13 June 2008

Conservatives want to amend the constitution to elminate the Magna Carta?

My comment to Glenn Greenwald's piece on the authoritarian attitude of American conservatives and habeas corpus, posted on Salon.

It's commonplace nowadays (see Paul Krugman today for a for instance) to comment that movement conservatives in the U.S. want to turn back the clock to erase not just the new deal but all the way back to the gilded age, before the Progressive era and Teddy Roosevelt, when, as the odious Grover Norquist put it, "the socialists took over."

Now they seem to be dissatisfied even with that. The even more odious Lindsey Graham wants to turn back the whole 900 years to before King John at Runnymede, to eliminate the requirement that government give those being held in imprisonment the right to challenge the basis for their captivity.

But I almost hope they do try to amend the constitution. It will only show how wretchedly authoritarian and shortsighted they are. Fortunately, it's not that easy to amend the constitution, and I'd give their prospects of success about zero chance.


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