Monday, April 24, 2006

One Dares Call it Sedition

W. Thomas Smith has written an article accusing Carl Bernstein, Ted Rall, and Congressman John Conyers of being close to sedition, if they haven't crossed that line yet. Actually it seems pretty clear that he thinks they have crossed that line, but equally clear that he isn't keen on letting that out.

Sedition is a crime that has been prosecuted in the past. And actually rounding up people for expressing their political opinion, however useful that might be, isn't seen as the most American of actions. So Smith wants to say that what they are doing is like sedition, and if they were good noble Americans they would shut up, without actually suggesting that Conyers, Rall and Bernstein be locked up.

Smith starts out with President Clinton, so you know he's a fair minded man. He mentions how his nephew said that he hated Clinton, but that was wrong, because even if you don't like the President you should treat him with respect. Kind of a pity for Mr. Smith that most of us remember the "respect" his fellow Conservatoids showed President Clinton.

Smith has it in for Conyers in particular.
Then there is Congressman John Conyers and his recent call to investigate and possibly impeach the president. Conyers does so with a laundry list of allegations against Bush including, "encouraging and countenancing torture."

Of course, politicians love to incite and inflame. But what have we devolved into when a U congressman may -- with all of his influence, with impunity and without any substantive proof whatsoever -- suggest that a wartime president is responsible for torturing human beings?
Emphasis mine, incidentally. And I'd like to note that "substantive proof" is, apparently, in the eye of the beholder. I think there's more than enough "substantive proof" to warrant an investigation (if not an impeachment). What we lack is the political will to follow through on the evidence.

Smith also goes the dishonest route of holding up a website that Conyers submitted an article too and providing some of the comments there as if they were Conyer's own ideas.

He concludes by noting that the Terrorists around the world are comforted when they see that Americans disagree with their President. To that, I respond, you can have freedom or you can have safety but you can't generally have both. This is America - when a President fails, as Clinton did in the Lewinsky situation and as Bush has done in Iraq (and a lot of other places), he has to take his lumps. Anything less would be, well, un-American.

Later on, if I run out of other stuff to talk about, we'll look at some of the responses to Mr. Smiths little essay.

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