Friday, April 25, 2008

Guess who's coming to dinner?

Who is the most consistent, war mongering, neo conservative in the United States Senate? This is a man who is such a war advocate that he rushed to hug Bush during his State of the Union ramble. In fact, this Senator is so rabid about war that he deserted his party because it wasn't sufficient militaristic.

Surely that last bit gave it away. Of course the culprit is Joe Lieberman the ex-Democrat Senator for Israel He's supposed to be representing Connecticut but his loyalties lie much farther away. Old Joe is such a war fan that he has wet dreams over George Bush blowing up half the Middle East. Talk about Dr. Strangelove.

What is even stranger is that the conservative Republican Wayne Root is trying to market himself as a libertarian. But what libertarian would contribute $1000 to Lieberman's campaign? Root would. Only a short while ago he was promoting a McCain/Lieberman ticket. But when Republicans attacked gambling he got pissed --- mainly because he earns money from saps who buy his gambling tips. He's a pissed off Republican but that doesn't make him a libertarian and surely $1000 from Root to Lieberman has to count very negatively against him. You can see the documentation that Root gave this money to Lieberman here.

He's also been trying to soft-pedal his non-libertarian positions. Previously he said that gays should not be allowed to marry. Now he says it is a "state's right" position. His campaign site says the war on drugs failed but he doesn't call for ending it just experimenting with legalizing medicinal marijuana but he'd rather leave it up to the states. How does a conservative pretend to be a libertarian -- by avoiding the social issues by claiming only the states should be involved.

How this "state's right" position applies to various federal issues he avoids saying. The federal government taxes income and forbids gay couples from filing joint returns thus penalizing them. Leaving marriage to the states doesn't solve that problem. The federal government forbids gay Americans from bringing a foreign partner to the States, something it doesn't do for heterosexuals. Leaving marriage to the states won't solve that problem. The federal government prevented a man who was legally married to his same-sex partner from changing his name on his passport to reflect his marriage. How would leaving marriage to the states resolve that? It doesn't The "state's right" position is not a position at all, not for Barr and not for Root, it is an attempt to evade a position. Claim that the state's have total jurisdiction and most people stop thinking.

What Root and Barr and other conservatives need to answer us is what they think they states ought to be doing. Does Root think it is wrong for the states to deny gay couples the right to marry or not? Does Root think it is wrong for the states to wage a war on drugs or not?

These "ex" Republicans also evade another issue. When they drone on about state's rights why is it that we never hear them specifiy what limitations on powers the states ought to have. The traditional view of the conservative is that the states can practically do anything they damn well please. They will say the federal government can't establish a state religion but that the states may. They say the federal government ought not run the war on drugs but that the states should.

The Barr/Root/conservative position is saying the states have the rights to violate individual liberty in ways which they would forbid to the feds. But what powers do would they fobid the states from having? They don't tell us because they aren't trying to enlighten us as to their purported federalism. They are trying to smother inquiry into their social positions.

My questions to them are simple. Should any individual state be allowed to conduct a war on drugs? Should the individuals states grant marriage equality to gay couples or not? Should the states have the right to engage in censorship? Should the states have the right to restrict sexual acts between consenting adults? Should the states have the right to promote the Christian religion?

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