Tag Archives: Hitler

Scary White People in New Orleans ……(BOO!)

Do “Scary White People” in New Orleans support “the deification of Robert E. Lee” as part and parcel of “the false history of the Lost Cause?”

No? Well, I don’t think so either, but those were some of the more memorably idiotic lines uttered (the first by only one speaker that I heard, but the second two were repeated several times by different speakers) at the twin meetings on Confederate Monuments in New Orleans earlier today, Thursday, 13 August 2015 at City Hall, 1300 Perdido.

The whole day was frustrating and infuriating. I stayed for all of the first meeting but not the procedural votes afterwards, went over to Tulane to do some library work and returned in the evening for the second session.

I finally walked out after an hour and a half of the second meeting that started at 6:00 p.m. (New Orleans Human Relations Committee) when some hopelessly misguided and unintelligent white woman was explaining how she told her second grade son that Robert E. Lee was a traitor. The same woman had just said that she wouldn’t dream of buying a house on Jefferson Davis Parkway and that Lee’s statue had always made her uncomfortable since she moved to the City in 2001.

Many (mostly black) people said that they felt the same way around statues of Beauregard, Davis, and Lee that a Jew might feel around statues of Hitler, Himmler, or Goebbels. These and other statements of those in favor of the removal of the Confederate Heroes’ and Battle of Liberty Place Monuments were so completely asinine as to qualify most of the speakers for the booby hatch.

But what the day was really about was the despicable level of historical IGNORANCE and cultural PREJUDICE, coupled with Political Opportunism, of the American People, or at least those who showed up at City Hall in New Orleans today seeking removal of the monuments to the Old South’s greatest generals and leaders….

First prize for best speech among the “Pro Southern Heritage” side of the argument goes to a beautiful lady with a French Creole name—who claims a 300 year old family lineage going back to some of the greatest names in New Orleans and Louisiana history all the way back to before the founding of the city.  This was exactly the kind of lady my Natchitoches-born grandmother had always hoped I would marry when I went to Tulane, but, alas, it didn’t happen, I went “Greek” instead). But this particular lady was full of fire and passion—and if she wants to run for Mayor I promise her 1000% support…

That was the short version of what I saw. What I felt was that a real race war, or at the very least a new and very hostile period between Stalinist mind control and historical manipulators and traditional Southerners.
 
The Stalinists were about 3/4 black and 1/4 white, while the traditionalists were overwhelmingly white with two or three reasonable black people daring to speak out.
 
I guess that “Stalinists” are predictably a nasty bunch, but these particular Stalinists were much more hateful than I expected—the lady “Latoya” who spoke about “Scary White People” was merely the most preposterous of them all. (The white people in presence were not scary at all—I wish they had shown a little more backbone—much too much apologizing and saying they hated the thought of offending anybody. If any word applies to the white crowd, it was “Scared.”
But Latoya was part of a “Take them all down” poster bearing click that was seated right behind me on the second row center behind the main public speaker’s podium, and they were vocally demonstrative and disruptive throughout, and I felt a great deal of hate from them and all who spoke against the moments.
 
I felt absolutely no hate among the white supporters of “maintaining the monuments,” just varying degrees of frustration for the most part, but I did feel a great fear on the part of the white people—fear of being called Racist or White Supremacist, fear of being called “traitors” perhaps.
 
Only one white person (and I can’t even say it was me), talked about the Stalinist mood of the event…..
As the evening ended, one bright clarion bell of hope sounded: Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal has declared his opposition to taking down New Orleans’ Confederate Monuments—it would be strange indeed for Hindu-American ethnic Bobby Jindal to turn out to be the savior for the monuments repeatedly decried today as monuments to White Supremacy and White Racism….and to the suppression of all black and brown peoples….
So who knows?  Maybe, just maybe, like Dinesh d’Souza, Indians have a better perspective on the cycles of caste, conquest, and colonialism even than do most Americans, black or white….  though that certainly would NOT explain the offensive behavior of Nikki Haley, the Governor of South Carolina, another Hindu-American…….

A Lament for Austria, Austro-Hungarian Empire and the Hapsburg Dynasty, on the Centennial of the Assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand

I cannot say whether my own fondness for the late 19th century/early 20th century results from the fact that I was, in large part, raised by my grandparents who were born and grew up in that last generation before World War I, but whether from personal prejudice or not, I think it is fair to say that the late 19th Century in Europe was the apogee, the Zenith, of Western Civilization, and it’s been straight downhill since 1914 for everything that one might value in the traditions of the West.  This decline actually began a half century earlier in the United States with its own fratricidal “rehearsal” for the 20th century in 1861-65.  But it was Europe’s “Great War” that brought the most beautiful things to an end, and one of the most beautiful things to be destroyed in that War was the Hapsburg Empire of Austria.  

Previous moments of glory for Hapsburg Austria had included (1) the reign of Maria Theresa, mother of Marie Antoinette, and the not entirely unrelated life and career of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, in the late 18th Century, (2) the final defeat of the Ottoman Turks on September 11, 1683 (yes, September 11 has always been a critical day in Christian-Muslim relations, apparently, or at least for over 330 years now), (3) the battle of Lepanto in the Gulf of Patras in the Ionian Sea off the western Greek Peloponnesian Peninsula (Peloponnesos) on October 7, 1571, and last but not least, (4) the first siege of Vienna by Suleiman the Magnificent which ended on October 11-12, 1529 with the retreat of the Ottoman forces, literally, from the Walls of Vienna.  

Hapsburg Austria was instrumental in saving Christendom, and so Austria’s final destruction as a world power in 1918 may be symbolic of the final demise and destruction of Western Europe as a truly Christian continent in the world.

Although everyone knows the title of Adolf Hitler’s Mein KampfI am willing to bet that few have read it closely enough to recognize why Der Fuhrer would hate the title of this essay and have no sympathy with its content.   In brief, Mein Kampf starts off with an indictment of Hitler’s native country, its role in history, and its very existence.  It’s pretty clear to me from his introductory diatribe against the “Eastern Empire” and its 700 year ruling dynasty, the Hapsburgs, that Hitler had only the shallowest comprehension of European history.  This failure to understand history was most notable in Hitler’s ill-fated invasion of Russia, the single “event” which turned his nearly victorious conquest of Europe into an abject failure, but that’s a separate topic for another essay.

On June 28-29, 2014, the Hundredth Year since Gavrilo Princip’s  (pardon my saying so) idiotic act of assassinating the Austrian heir apparent, I cry for the loss of Austria as a world power, for the Austro-Hungarian Empire, and for the Hapsburg Dynasty as among the most valuable and stabilizing elements of European history EVER.  

Though p’raps I may incur your blame, the things are few I would not do to convince you that the demise of Austria as a power in Central Europe is truly much more at the root of the troubles of the rest of the 20th Century (and even today) than is normally given credence or credit.  

(1) Hapsburg Austria was the most stable power on the Continent, with a longer-continuity of rulership (since their Rheinisch Swiss origins in the early 11th Century, taking charge of Austria in 1276, and remaining there until 1918) than any monarchy in all of Europe save that of England, and rendering Austria the most stable institutional configuration in Europe after the Vatican first and England Second.

(2)  Austria—etymologically “Österreich, the Eastern Empire” (or more metaphorically, the Empire of [Christian] Easter)—defined the eastern boundary of Western, Christian Europe for most the same six and a half centuries of Hapsburg domination.   Both before after the fall of Constantinople to the Ottoman Turks, the Armies and Navies of Austria kept the Saracens and other Muslims at bay, doing on the East Side of Europe for nearly three gifts of a millennium what Charlemagne did in 800 by defending the Pyrenees  Mountains on the South from the Islamic Caliphate of Cordoba in Spain.

(3)     Austria was a greater center of music and arts than any other region of the German speaking world during most of that time, but especially after A.D. 1600. Nuremberg in Bavaria was Vienna’s nearest competitor.  Berlin never amounted to much of anything until the later 19th Century.  Frankfurt, Mainz, and Cologne, and Württemberg all pale compared with Vienna, equal at most to Salzburg.  The monastery of Melk knows few if any peers anywhere in the world.  Mozart simply knows no peers anywhere.  Vienna during the 19th Century was a much more stable center of intellectual and scientific development than Paris, albeit quieter.

(4)    The Nineteenth Century, which effectively died on 28 June 1914 at Gavriolo Princip’s hand, was defined by the greatness of Vienna, Paris, and London in nearly equal terms.  But, remarkably, Austria, second oldest of the monarchies, and center in 1815 of the reactionary Congress of Vienna, where Prince Klemens Wenzel von Metternich orchestrated not only the end of the Napoleonic Era set the stage for a very conservative post-revolutionary generation-and-a-half Europe brought to an end by the uprisings of 1848 which followed the publication of Marx’ & Engels’ Communist Manifesto in February of that year.  

Ironically, in light of what followed in Europe, by 1914 Vienna, Austria was clearly the most liberal and most enlightened, free-thinking spot in Europe, even including England.  Just how liberal was Austria?  For the heinous crime of assassinating the Heir Apparent Archduke and his Duchess-Consort, Austria knew in 1914 no  more severe penalty than life imprisonment.  How liberal indeed? At least as amazing as the abolition of Capital Punishment in Austria, it is remarkable that Hitler’s homeland was not only not anti-Semitic, but Vienna had a higher status Jewish middle and professional class than anywhere else in Europe: Sigmund (and his daughter Anna) Freud, Alfred Adler, and Melanie Reises Klein in psychology and psychiatry, Gustav Mahler and Arnold Schönberg in music, among many others.   Some have speculated that “familiarity bred contempt” in the young Hitler who went to private school in Linz side-by-side with the much wealthier future Jewish-born philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein (born, coincidentally, to Austria’s second wealthiest Jewish family, second only to the Austria Rothschild’s only 6 days after Hitler, on April 26, 1889, and thus also celebrating his 125th birthday this year).  The anti-Semitic scandal known as Dreyfus affair was French and Benjamin Disraeli, although the U.K.’s First (and only originally) Jewish Prime Minister, converted to Christianity and died a practicing Anglican.   Alfred Adler and Ludwig Wittgenstein also converted, but until 1938, Vienna was perhaps the most comfortable place in Europe to belong to the continent’s most traditionally detested minority.

(5)   So in short, Austria was far ahead of its time in so many ways: multi-cultural and embracing more “minor” nationalities than any other place, liberal in every social and cultural regard, and yet supremely civilized in the best traditions of Western European Christendom, led by a Kaiser of ancient lineage.  Multi-culturalism as defined in Austria-Hungary somehow did seem “degenerate” as it does today and certainly, not cause the degeneration of European civilization in Vienna, but offered a strong and positive “road not traveled by” (multiculturalism under German Christian leadership) since the collapse of that empire in 1918.

Austria’s natural and architectural beauty survived the brutality of allied bombing during World War II better than the rest of the German Third Reich, and Austria endures until today, little larger than Switzerland where the original castle Hapsburg was located not so far from the Rhein and the Carolingian relic principality of Liechtenstein (where some of my ancestors come from), but it is strange that Prague and Budapest were once respectively the Second and Third Cities of the Austrian Empire, Prague being Mozart’s preferred venue for premiers, and that Trieste was Austria’s harbor from which the great Austrian Navy was launched for roughly 400 years.  But by the truncation of Austria to its very German nub, Europe after Versailles lost the great balancing power of Central Europe, and the greatest historical “defender of the Faith” against Islamic and other Eastern Invasions….  

Of course, once again, in the 1950s through 70s, Vienna was once again at the gate of the terror that was the East (this time defined by Communism)….but it had lost all realistic power and position of leadership to do anything about it—leaving a power vacuum which ultimately was filled, ironically, by the American Empire, about as far to the West as one can imagine…. Had Austria survived, or could we reconstitute the Christian Led nature of Austrian multi-cultural liberalism, the world today would be a much better place.

“Der Anarch”—Asserting our Sovereign Individuality and Sovereign Citizenship as not only “Anarchen” but also “Ubermenschen” is the only path to resist Totalitarianism in the United States and around the World

You see a lot of insults being heaped these days at the core Constitutional concept of “the sovereign citizen” as a political or philosophical movement these days, as if it were conjured up by a bunch of illiterate hillbillies  who just want to hide their moonshine & pot-liquor from “the feds” and the “revenuers.”  Credible reports from all over the United States suggest that local police are everywhere being taught to watch out for the dangerous “sovereign citizens” who assert their constitutional rights “too often or too loudly” as subversive terrorists.  My perspective on such matters is: MAY THE LORD OUR GOD BLESS, KEEP, AND PROTECT ALL SUBVERSIVE TERRORISTS WHO FIGHT FOR THEIR CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS, JUST AS HE KEPT AND PROTECTED PATRICK HENRY, GEORGE WASHINGTON, THOMAS JEFFERSON, JAMES MADISON, BENJAMIN FRANKLIN, and ANDREW JACKSON BEFORE….

And ever since Liza Mundy published my identity as an “Anarchist” (she left out the “Traditional, Jeffersonian, Southern Constitutionalist” modifiers to that label) in the Washington Post on October 6, 2009, I have repeatedly been asked to explain myself—how can I be an “anarchist?”  Doesn’t that mean I just want “chaos?”  Well, up to a point, I will admit that “chaos” to me seems preferable to computer driven and enforced high-tech “order.”  I would rather live in Early Anglo-Saxon or Norse Viking Society or at the edge of the Western Frontier in 18th Century Virginia than in any of Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World, George Orwell’s 1984, or Jerry Brown’s Barbara Boxer’s & Dianne Feinstein’s California 2013.

But it happens that living in a “leaderless” society and accepting no man as an arbiter of YOUR OWN DEFINITION of “good and evil” (or going beyond such things) has a very respectable historical pedigree….  Today I just want to celebrate Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche and Ernst Jünger— http://www.ernst-juenger.org.  

Ernst Jünger was an anti-Nazi German Conservative and Intellectual of the highest calibre and standing.  He lived until the age of 102, from 1895-1998, beating even my grandmother Helen for longevity (she only made it to 101).  

My political philosophy is fundamentally anti-modern and therefore truly “conservative” whereas Naziism, like George H.W. Bush’s & George W. Bush’s Socialist-Corporatism (which includes Obama and the Clintons, by the way), is fundamentally modernist—embracing technology as a means of oppression and control by monitoring.  

No  “Traditional, Jeffersonian, Southern Constitutionalist” could possibly tolerate the Department of Homeland Security, the National Defense Authorization Act, or any of the now thousands of related executive orders.  GHW Bush, GW Bush, WJ Clinton, HR Clinton, and BH Obama are all fundamentally students and followers of Stalin, Mao, and perhaps even Hitler. (1) 

I am much more a student and follower of Ernst Jünger.

Jünger was among the forerunners of magical realism—a very broad topic into which I think you could integrate everything from Joss Whedon’s Buffy-the-Vampire Slayer TV Series to Terrance Malick’s films (include “To the Wonder” and “Tree of Life”).  A friend of mine from the Ukraine recently commented that Jünger’s view of life and the current historical trajectory involves the “re-mythologization of the world,” the protection, preservation, and restoration of individual imagination, instinct, intuition as major factors in world politics and society.  

My supplement to this is that all historical interpretations and political philosophies are essentially mythologies informed by more-or-less gross reorderings of the events of individual, local, regional, national, continental, and global existence.  The mythology of American Constitutional Law depends entirely (these days) on the so-called “Civil War” of 1861-1865, except to the degree that it is supplemented by the post-1945 One World Religion of the Taboo Holocaust and the Credal virtues of the United Nations.

Jünger’s vision in The Glass Bees (1957, German title: Gläserne Bienen), of a future in which an overmechanized world threatens individualism, could be seen as a direct critique of Artificial (robotic) Intelligence and even this “Aryan Traditionalism” you’re looking at (which reminds me so much of “The Santa Fe Plateau and New Age Alchemy” of Yosi Taitz, Daylight Chemical, and similar companies….)

Jünger was an entomologist as well as a soldier and writer, a “manly man” but sensitive poet with training in botany and zoology, as well as a soldier, his works in general are infused with tremendous details of the natural world.

One of Jünger’s most important literary contributions was the metahistoric figure of Der Anarch (“the sovereign person”), which evolved from his earlier conception of the Waldgänger, or “Forest Goer”.  Der anarch is Jünger’s answer to the question of survival of individual freedom in a totalitarian world, and it is ten thousand times more relevant today than it was 57 years ago as he was writing.  It is developed primarily through the character of Martin Venator in his novel Eumeswil.   Der Anarch IS not only the original “Sovereign Citizen”, at least the original “post Hitlerian” sovereign citizen, he is also a Nietzschean Ubermensch, with the capacity to retake his sovereignty from tyrants and maintain it, like the Superman, even in the forest, even in the Mountains, even in the Desert.

I totally believe in the sovereignty of each person and I hate the notion that the sovereign citizen has become the object of such ridicule in our society—a terrorist profile in the target of DHS.  What is clear is that we need to reassert our freedom in more articulate and fluent ways.  Fluency is required and intellectual heritage must be asserted because of the intellectual snobbery bred into us and our by the 20th century.  This snobbery led to such atrocious and fraudulent (incomprehensible) disasters as George W. Bush having degrees from both Harvard and Yale (it’s amazing what money can buy) and Obama attending Columbia, Harvard, and (worst of all) actually teaching at the University of Chicago—teaching constitutional law, no less, at MY alma mater as a successor to Michael W. McConnell—a concept which simply shocks and derails me.

Academic snobbery, which L. Frank Baum once ridiculed as a “Wogglebug Education” even after the Wizard’s dispensation of Brains to the Scarecrow was not a factor in the foundation of America, by men whose minds and mental capacities are simply beyond equal anywhere. No, lack of degrees and academic affiliation quite simply didn’t bother the extremely well-educated under-institutionalized Founding Fathers of the USA such as Patrick Henry and Benjamin Franklin one little bit….and didn’t actually have much of an impact on intellectual or philosophical careers in the 19th century either—consider that Richard Wagner never went to a music conservatory, Charles Darwin dropped out of Medical School and only grudgingly completed a degree in divinity at Cambridge, which he, oddly enough, never really used….and the lack of formal education completed by such legendary U.S. Presidents as Andrew Jackson and Abraham Lincoln is a part of every schoolboy’s and schoolgirl’s learning—or at least it used to be before modern education norms set in.

In this same spirit, Ernst Jünger rejected all the titles and honors offered him by Hitler’s Third-Reich, and when assigned as a cultural attachee during the occupation of Paris, chose to hang out with subversive and degenerate artists…  This is the true legacy of a genuine Anarchist, and the world would do well to remember how important the “leaderless” spirit can be when “Obama’s going to change things….Obama’s going to make it happen” as some of the children’s school songs now go….

(a)  Unlike so many modern critics of 20th-21st century totalitarianism, I cannot automatically group Hitler, Mussolini, and Franco in the same list as Stalin and his Soviet successors, or Roosevelt and his Keynsian modern American Successors. I think Hitler was in fact much more of an ordinary person than any of these others, but at the same time he had higher and more “humane” [i.e. romantic, not necessarily rational or sensible] ideals than either of the Bushes, the Clintons or Obamas, however grotesquely inept he may have been in achieving, implementing, or realizing those ideals.

The Democratic Republican Impulse to Individual Freedom, Liberty, and Responsibility is in our Blood—A Christian Conservative’s Answer to the Question, “Can Fascism be Critiqued from the Right?”

Response to Question: Can Fascism be Critiqued from the Right, published March 29, 2013, on American Renaissance at: http://www.amren.com/features/2013/03/can-fascism-be-critiqued-from-the-right/

I am a lifelong student of Ancient Greek and Roman Civilization and History, as well as a passionate admirer of the music, poetry, and prose philosophical writings of Richard Wagner, as well as a student of Anthropology, Biological and Cultural Evolution.  I have also studied Fascism and its relationship to Communism all my life, and I frankly conclude that there is no such thing as “Fascism”, really, as a political ideology, for the single reason stated above under “Orientations,” to wit: “Fascism did not have a formally elucidated doctrine.”  

In Italy, in Germany, in France, in Spain, and even under the most noble of all Fascist leaders, Oswald Moseley in the United Kingdom, “Fascism” was never more than a poorly formulated reaction to Communism, and yet in all its manifestations, it was too much like, had too much in common with Soviet Communism ever really to succeed as a distinct and successful movement.  The anti-Democratic impulse was fatal to Fascism.  The strength of Fascism arose from pure nostalgic romanticism—only this and nothing more.

At the root of all Indo-European Civilizations is a strong tendency towards forms of limited Republican Democracy, of Parliamentary Government.  This is obvious in the histories of Athens, the Roman Republic, and in all the Germanic and Celtic tribes, though it may be strongest (ironically enough) among the Germans and Anglo-Saxons, whose whole social organization was based upon the “Thinga” (although this may be just “Indo-European” preserved most perfectly in later history among the Norse and Vikings.

The rejection of the French Revolution (never mind the American Revolution) ignores the cultural imperative towards Freedom and Individual achievement, individual heroism, and individual responsibility apparent and inherent in all Indo-European myths.  If we compare Odysseus, for example, with his Eastern Semitic Epic Counterpart in Gilgamesh (King of Uruk), we see that from the earliest times, the Indo-European people rejected dictatorship and absolute monarchies as ways of governance.

To the ancient Germans, Celts, Greeks, Italians, and even the Ancient Indians, it was what a ruler DID or DID NOT DO that made him a great hero.  Gilgamesh’s status as a King made him important, but it was his “savage” friend Enkidu was much more like an individualist Indo-European Hero—and he was struck down by the Innana-Ishtar, the Semitic Goddess of Love, for failure to worship her and Obey…. Failure of Obedience to Divine Commandments is perhaps a key to understanding the divergence between Indo-European and Semitic Gods—and this is the skin of our teeth, the marrow of our bones—the origin of our Civilization.  Christianity became acceptable to (and definitive of) the Western two thirds of the Indo-European world PRECISELY because Christ preached liberation from law, liberation from obedience, and recognized Individual Freedom of Will and Freedom of Choice, as the paths to Righteousness.

This is our heritage, and it is why the Fascist Experiment Failed.

One thing we learn in anthropological study of cultural evolution and historical political process is that rebellions and revolutions are often Nativistic regenerations of past glory, even to the point of being quests to restore former orders based on lost freedoms and rights, rather than expressions of desire for something never before known (like communism and fascism).

The American Revolution of 1775-1783 was particularly expressly articulated as a demand to restore the ancient rights and Freedoms of Englishment.  It was (from  the perspective of an historical process of longue durée)  postively (and marvelously) atavistic in that it restored the three-part (Dumezilian) foundations of Indo-European Government between the Magical-Juridical Law (the Courts, Georges Dumézil’s First Function), the Physical force of Command (the Executive/Military Enforcers of the law, Dumézil’s Second Function), but empowered above all the Third Archaic Indo-European Segment of Society—the power of the food producers and the people who reproduce the human wealth of each polity (Dumézil’s Fonction Productrice—Fecondité et Abondance).

The French Revolution started with the reassertion of the Three Estates, but was rapidly overtaken by a radical minority who were forerunners of of Communism (led by the horribly ironically and prophetically named “Committee on Public Security”—the direct onomastic and terroristic ancestor of the Department of Homeland Security).

Napoleon essentially restored the religious authority of the Church and the Parliamentary function as adjuncts his military might in the short-lived (because of excessive and premature ambition for world conquest), but otherwise essentially brilliant, Bonapartist Empire.  I would suggest that any fans of Monarchy should look to Napoleon rather than the Bourbons as models of “how to organize and run an Empire.”

I see no point whatsoever in trying to rescue the early 20th Century Fascist movements from their abject failure.

Mussolini romantically (but impractically and perhaps rather ignorantly) looked and reached back to the Glories of Imperial Rome, but he had none of the practical sense that it was the Roman Republic which created the Empire, and the decline of the power of the (originally) Republican Senate, the abdication of parliamentary power to the Emperor’s “imperium”, which foreshadowed (and essentially caused) the fall of that same Empire.

Hitler claimed that to understand the Third Reich, one had to understand the music and philosophy of Richard Wagner.  I have devoted a large part of my life to listening to and reading Richard Wagner’s works, and I have concluded that Hitler’s Reich failed to understand that Love, almost a completely Christian notion of sacrificial love, underlay all of Wagner’s music, poetry, and prose, albeit that Wagner was heavily influenced by Buddhism which, aside from the adoption of the Swastika, hardly influenced the day-to-day policies of the Third Reich at all.

Hitler would have erased all of traditional Germany, it’s architecture and its institutions, in constructing his thousand year Reich.  This was not the Wagnerian way—this was pretty much the same plan as the Communists, except the Communists were much better organized and much more practical.

True Conservative Romanticism for resuscitation of dying or even dead traditions and values requires the democratic process of argument, persuasion, and acceptance.

It is that process on which we, if we are to be the truest conservatives of our time, should focus rather than falling for the false lure of the romanticist failures of Fascism.

God Save the Indo-European People and their Traditions of individual freedom and collective parliamentary debate and decision-making, by through the Gospel and Love of Jesus Christ.  That is what I would advocate.

Fascism Failed because of its Kinship with Communism, and that’s why all the original American fans of Fascism (the Bushes and the Kennedys, for example) ultimately turned to World Communism, disguised as Corporate Socialism….

Senate Bill 1867 has passed, 93-7, so the Constitution has been betrayed and undermined by its most solemnly sworn trustees: the only seven U.S. Senators who even deserve a chance of reelection, EVER, are: Tom Coburn (R-OK); Tom Harkin (D-IA); Mike Lee (R-UT); Merkley (D-OR); Rand Paul (R-KY); Bernard Sanders (I-VT); Ron Wyden (D-OR); 3 Republicans, 3 Democrats, 1 Independent; and Kudos to Oregon for having the only PAIR of Senators who voted for Freedom and against the Military-Industrial Complex

U.S. Senate: Legislation & Records Home > Votes > Roll Call Vote

The extremely, tragically, humiliatingly short short role of honor of those who voted against Senate Bill 1867 includes: Tom Coburn (R-OK); Tom Harkin (D-IA); Mike Lee (R-UT); Jeff Merkley (D-OR); Rand Paul (R-KY); Bernard Sanders (I-VT); Ron Wyden (D-OR); 3 Democrats, 3 Republicans, 1 Independent; and three cheers for Oregon: you are the only state with TWO Senators who stood up against the monstrosity of indefinite detention of any accused person, regardless of citizenship or national origins, in violation of the Constitution.

Senate Bill 1867 represents nothing but Stalinist Communist Dictatorship at its worst.  This is Oriental Despotism installed and housed in America under the Flag of Our Fathers.  Did we fight the Kaiser, Hitler, and the Cold War only to institute such things as this at home?  Did we take in thousands of refugees from Vietnam after 1974-75 because we offered them a worse life than they would have had along the Mekong Delta?  I think not.  I defy and deny the right of any Senator who voted for this bill to call himself an American, much less a Patriot.

All 93 Senators who voted for S.B. 1867 should be removed from office (by special recall election if necessary: Barbara Boxer, for instance) and sent to Singapore to be prosecuted and punished as major Drug using narcotics-offenders for whatever kind of crack they’re smoking that makes them think this is all right, because it is not.   Dianne Feinstein tried to make a few meaningless amendments at the last minute (which passed) but she deserves condemnation not praise for trying to “fake” a little amelioration in this bill where there was none.  What happened that even Mark Udall of Colorado voted for the bill after his amendments failed?  To HELL with Florida’s Marco Rubio, Louisiana’s David Vitter, Texas’ John Cornyn, and every other cowardly craven Senator who voted in favor of this bill, including every other Senator who ever pretended to be in favor of freedom or the Constitution.   These are the times that try men’s souls, and the trial of 93 Senators for Treason is way overdue to begin right now.  If I am elected to the United States Senate from California I swear on the graves of my grandparents, my father’s soul and my mother’s heart that I will fight to erase the past twenty years of freedom-suppressing legislation from the United States Statutes at Large and U.S. Code until no trace of them is left, either in those statutes or in the Code of Federal Regulations nor in any guidelines to law-enforcement officials having any force or effect on the construction or interpretation of the law.  To HELL with Lindsey Graham, Joe Lieberman, John McCain and Carl Levin and all the lot of other fakes and phonies.  To HELL with both of California’s Com-Symp Senators who would turn America into one vast prison camp in the name of “Security.”

As Jon Stewart wryly commented on the December 7, 2011, Daily Show, even on a politically sacred cow–a “must pass” bill like the National Defense Reauthorization Bill, you would have expected at least nine or maybe “a baker’s dozen” of senators to have opposed this bill, but there were only 7 (in a vote that took place less than one week before Pearl Harbor Day).  See http://www.thedailyshow.com/watch/wed-december-7-2011/arrested-development  (Looking as always on the bright side of life, Stewart also predicts that Obama will veto the bill because it does not give him absolutely unlimited power and requires him to allow annual reviews of all persons indefinitely detained without trial or, in the alternative, execute a waiver: http://www.thedailyshow.com/watch/wed-december-7-2011/arrested-development—one-way-train-to-gitmo. In other words, Obama, the rank hypocrite whose Presidential Campaign Promises meant Less than Nothing, will not sign this bill because it places minor restraint on his power.)

If you would like to help the fight for “corny old values” like Truth, Justice, and the American Way, for Family, Home, and Freedom, and to add one Senator for the Bill of Rights and against Indefinite Detention, against the PATRIOT ACT, and against the use of United States Troops in this Country against its own citizens, please support Charles Edward Lincoln, III, for U.S. Senator from California.  We are fighting one of the most entrenched establishment seats in Congress—Dianne Feinstein who tried to make cosmetic changes—and we ask you to send your check or money order to Lincoln-for-Senate 2012 to Charles Edward Lincoln, III, 952 Gayley Avenue, #143, Los Angeles, California 90024.  Call 310-773-6023 for more information.

U.S. Senate Roll Call Votes 112th Congress – 1st Session as compiled through Senate LIS by the Senate Bill Clerk under the direction of the Secretary of the Senate

Question: On Passage of the Bill (S. 1867 As Amended )
Vote Number: 218 Vote Date: December 1, 2011, 08:02 PM
Required For Majority: 1/2 Vote Result: Bill Passed
Measure Number: S. 1867 (National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012 )
Measure Title: An original bill to authorize appropriations for fiscal year 2012 for military activities of the Department of Defense, for military construction, and for defense activities of the Department of Energy, to prescribe military personnel strengths for such fiscal year, and for other purposes.
Vote Counts: YEAs 93
NAYs 7
Vote Summary By Senator Name By Vote Position By Home State

Alphabetical by Senator Name

Akaka (D-HI), Yea
Alexander (R-TN), Yea
Ayotte (R-NH), Yea
Barrasso (R-WY), Yea
Baucus (D-MT), Yea
Begich (D-AK), Yea
Bennet (D-CO), Yea
Bingaman (D-NM), Yea
Blumenthal (D-CT), Yea
Blunt (R-MO), Yea
Boozman (R-AR), Yea
Boxer (D-CA), Yea
Brown (D-OH), Yea
Brown (R-MA), Yea
Burr (R-NC), Yea
Cantwell (D-WA), Yea
Cardin (D-MD), Yea
Carper (D-DE), Yea
Casey (D-PA), Yea
Chambliss (R-GA), Yea
Coats (R-IN), Yea
Coburn (R-OK), Nay
Cochran (R-MS), Yea
Collins (R-ME), Yea
Conrad (D-ND), Yea
Coons (D-DE), Yea
Corker (R-TN), Yea
Cornyn (R-TX), Yea
Crapo (R-ID), Yea
DeMint (R-SC), Yea
Durbin (D-IL), Yea
Enzi (R-WY), Yea
Feinstein (D-CA), Yea
Franken (D-MN), Yea
Gillibrand (D-NY), Yea
Graham (R-SC), Yea
Grassley (R-IA), Yea
Hagan (D-NC), Yea
Harkin (D-IA), Nay
Hatch (R-UT), Yea
Heller (R-NV), Yea
Hoeven (R-ND), Yea
Hutchison (R-TX), Yea
Inhofe (R-OK), Yea
Inouye (D-HI), Yea
Isakson (R-GA), Yea
Johanns (R-NE), Yea
Johnson (D-SD), Yea
Johnson (R-WI), Yea
Kerry (D-MA), Yea
Kirk (R-IL), Yea
Klobuchar (D-MN), Yea
Kohl (D-WI), Yea
Kyl (R-AZ), Yea
Landrieu (D-LA), Yea
Lautenberg (D-NJ), Yea
Leahy (D-VT), Yea
Lee (R-UT), Nay
Levin (D-MI), Yea
Lieberman (ID-CT), Yea
Lugar (R-IN), Yea
Manchin (D-WV), Yea
McCain (R-AZ), Yea
McCaskill (D-MO), Yea
McConnell (R-KY), Yea
Menendez (D-NJ), Yea
Merkley (D-OR), Nay
Mikulski (D-MD), Yea
Moran (R-KS), Yea
Murkowski (R-AK), Yea
Murray (D-WA), Yea
Nelson (D-FL), Yea
Nelson (D-NE), Yea
Paul (R-KY), Nay
Portman (R-OH), Yea
Pryor (D-AR), Yea
Reed (D-RI), Yea
Reid (D-NV), Yea
Risch (R-ID), Yea
Roberts (R-KS), Yea
Rockefeller (D-WV), Yea
Rubio (R-FL), Yea
Sanders (I-VT), Nay
Schumer (D-NY), Yea
Sessions (R-AL), Yea
Shaheen (D-NH), Yea
Shelby (R-AL), Yea
Snowe (R-ME), Yea
Stabenow (D-MI), Yea
Tester (D-MT), Yea
Thune (R-SD), Yea
Toomey (R-PA), Yea
Udall (D-CO), Yea
Udall (D-NM), Yea
Vitter (R-LA), Yea
Warner (D-VA), Yea
Webb (D-VA), Yea
Whitehouse (D-RI), Yea
Wicker (R-MS), Yea
Wyden (D-OR), Nay
Vote Summary By Senator Name By Vote Position By Home State

Grouped By Vote Position

YEAs —93
Akaka (D-HI)
Alexander (R-TN)
Ayotte (R-NH)
Barrasso (R-WY)
Baucus (D-MT)
Begich (D-AK)
Bennet (D-CO)
Bingaman (D-NM)
Blumenthal (D-CT)
Blunt (R-MO)
Boozman (R-AR)
Boxer (D-CA)
Brown (D-OH)
Brown (R-MA)
Burr (R-NC)
Cantwell (D-WA)
Cardin (D-MD)
Carper (D-DE)
Casey (D-PA)
Chambliss (R-GA)
Coats (R-IN)
Cochran (R-MS)
Collins (R-ME)
Conrad (D-ND)
Coons (D-DE)
Corker (R-TN)
Cornyn (R-TX)
Crapo (R-ID)
DeMint (R-SC)
Durbin (D-IL)
Enzi (R-WY)
Feinstein (D-CA)
Franken (D-MN)
Gillibrand (D-NY)
Graham (R-SC)
Grassley (R-IA)
Hagan (D-NC)
Hatch (R-UT)
Heller (R-NV)
Hoeven (R-ND)
Hutchison (R-TX)
Inhofe (R-OK)
Inouye (D-HI)
Isakson (R-GA)
Johanns (R-NE)
Johnson (D-SD)
Johnson (R-WI)
Kerry (D-MA)
Kirk (R-IL)
Klobuchar (D-MN)
Kohl (D-WI)
Kyl (R-AZ)
Landrieu (D-LA)
Lautenberg (D-NJ)
Leahy (D-VT)
Levin (D-MI)
Lieberman (ID-CT)
Lugar (R-IN)
Manchin (D-WV)
McCain (R-AZ)
McCaskill (D-MO)
McConnell (R-KY)
Menendez (D-NJ)
Mikulski (D-MD)
Moran (R-KS)
Murkowski (R-AK)
Murray (D-WA)
Nelson (D-FL)
Nelson (D-NE)
Portman (R-OH)
Pryor (D-AR)
Reed (D-RI)
Reid (D-NV)
Risch (R-ID)
Roberts (R-KS)
Rockefeller (D-WV)
Rubio (R-FL)
Schumer (D-NY)
Sessions (R-AL)
Shaheen (D-NH)
Shelby (R-AL)
Snowe (R-ME)
Stabenow (D-MI)
Tester (D-MT)
Thune (R-SD)
Toomey (R-PA)
Udall (D-CO)
Udall (D-NM)
Vitter (R-LA)
Warner (D-VA)
Webb (D-VA)
Whitehouse (D-RI)
Wicker (R-MS)
NAYs —7
Coburn (R-OK)
Harkin (D-IA)
Lee (R-UT)
Merkley (D-OR)
Paul (R-KY)
Sanders (I-VT)
Wyden (D-OR)
Vote Summary By Senator Name By Vote Position By Home State

Grouped by Home State

Alabama: Sessions (R-AL), Yea Shelby (R-AL), Yea
Alaska: Begich (D-AK), Yea Murkowski (R-AK), Yea
Arizona: Kyl (R-AZ), Yea McCain (R-AZ), Yea
Arkansas: Boozman (R-AR), Yea Pryor (D-AR), Yea
California: Boxer (D-CA), Yea Feinstein (D-CA), Yea
Colorado: Bennet (D-CO), Yea Udall (D-CO), Yea
Connecticut: Blumenthal (D-CT), Yea Lieberman (ID-CT), Yea
Delaware: Carper (D-DE), Yea Coons (D-DE), Yea
Florida: Nelson (D-FL), Yea Rubio (R-FL), Yea
Georgia: Chambliss (R-GA), Yea Isakson (R-GA), Yea
Hawaii: Akaka (D-HI), Yea Inouye (D-HI), Yea
Idaho: Crapo (R-ID), Yea Risch (R-ID), Yea
Illinois: Durbin (D-IL), Yea Kirk (R-IL), Yea
Indiana: Coats (R-IN), Yea Lugar (R-IN), Yea
Iowa: Grassley (R-IA), Yea Harkin (D-IA), Nay
Kansas: Moran (R-KS), Yea Roberts (R-KS), Yea
Kentucky: McConnell (R-KY), Yea Paul (R-KY), Nay
Louisiana: Landrieu (D-LA), Yea Vitter (R-LA), Yea
Maine: Collins (R-ME), Yea Snowe (R-ME), Yea
Maryland: Cardin (D-MD), Yea Mikulski (D-MD), Yea
Massachusetts: Brown (R-MA), Yea Kerry (D-MA), Yea
Michigan: Levin (D-MI), Yea Stabenow (D-MI), Yea
Minnesota: Franken (D-MN), Yea Klobuchar (D-MN), Yea
Mississippi: Cochran (R-MS), Yea Wicker (R-MS), Yea
Missouri: Blunt (R-MO), Yea McCaskill (D-MO), Yea
Montana: Baucus (D-MT), Yea Tester (D-MT), Yea
Nebraska: Johanns (R-NE), Yea Nelson (D-NE), Yea
Nevada: Heller (R-NV), Yea Reid (D-NV), Yea
New Hampshire: Ayotte (R-NH), Yea Shaheen (D-NH), Yea
New Jersey: Lautenberg (D-NJ), Yea Menendez (D-NJ), Yea
New Mexico: Bingaman (D-NM), Yea Udall (D-NM), Yea
New York: Gillibrand (D-NY), Yea Schumer (D-NY), Yea
North Carolina: Burr (R-NC), Yea Hagan (D-NC), Yea
North Dakota: Conrad (D-ND), Yea Hoeven (R-ND), Yea
Ohio: Brown (D-OH), Yea Portman (R-OH), Yea
Oklahoma: Coburn (R-OK), Nay Inhofe (R-OK), Yea
Oregon: Merkley (D-OR), Nay Wyden (D-OR), Nay
Pennsylvania: Casey (D-PA), Yea Toomey (R-PA), Yea
Rhode Island: Reed (D-RI), Yea Whitehouse (D-RI), Yea
South Carolina: DeMint (R-SC), Yea Graham (R-SC), Yea
South Dakota: Johnson (D-SD), Yea Thune (R-SD), Yea
Tennessee: Alexander (R-TN), Yea Corker (R-TN), Yea
Texas: Cornyn (R-TX), Yea Hutchison (R-TX), Yea
Utah: Hatch (R-UT), Yea Lee (R-UT), Nay
Vermont: Leahy (D-VT), Yea Sanders (I-VT), Nay
Virginia: Warner (D-VA), Yea Webb (D-VA), Yea
Washington: Cantwell (D-WA), Yea Murray (D-WA), Yea
West Virginia: Manchin (D-WV), Yea Rockefeller (D-WV), Yea
Wisconsin: Johnson (R-WI), Yea Kohl (D-WI), Yea
Wyoming: Barrasso (R-WY), Yea Enzi (R-WY), Yea

The King’s Speech—January 17, 2011—Prytania Theatre, New Orleans 70115

The personal tragedy of an individual of marginal importance in history can be quite moving.  King George VI was not one of the mover’s and shakers of the 20th century, although he sat on England’s throne during World War II and was the last to wear the Crown of Emperor of India created for his great-grandmother Victoria a bare 67 years before his reign.  This movie shows Prince Bertie/King George VI: in perhaps the truest light, not only was he not one of the century’s (or even two decades’) movers and shakers, he manifests himself most sympathetically as one who was profoundly moven and shaken by the events of his time, in spite of his high rank and title.

The Duke of York’s personal tragedy was a speech impediment which so moved the people of the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, and all the other English-speaking dominions that it is engraved on the minds of anyone who lived in that era (even Americans) if they were at all aware of England’s role in the world war.  Colin Firth captures the King’s stuttering as a result of childhood abuse and the film encapsulates it rather well for what it was really symbolic of—the hesitant stuttering of the British Empire as it muddled on through its last decade of existence.

Throughout my youth my conservative parents and grandparents (all Americans born in either Louisiana or Texas, but excessively enthusiastic Anglophiles) drilled into my head that Edward VIII had betrayed his heritage and his empire by marrying the heiress Mrs. Wallis Warfield Simpson from Baltimore.  That aspect of the tragedy is covered in this movie which also tacitly concerns how Princess Elizabeth became so popular, and ultimately queen.

For the first time made public (at least to my mind) is that Prince Bertie (George VI) spent years trying to overcome his speech impediment by and through the loyal services of a Harley Street (City of Westminster) Australian-born speech therapist (who actually lacked any formal medical credentials) named Lionel Logue who very sympathetically put up with the King’s (also to me heretofore unknown) arrogant bad temper.   Lionel Logue saw George VI as a friend, which (again reflecting the personal tragedy) apparently no one else did see.

It has been one of the most interesting points of hypothetical speculation about 20th century history to wonder what would have happened if King Edward VIII had aggressively “taken charge” in 1936 and insisted on marrying Wallis Warfield Simpson in the face of the Prime Minister’s opposition.  Would it perhaps have saved the British Empire if the monarch had been stronger and taken a bold modern step?  As one who watched the fairytale marriage of Prince Charles and Princess Diana blossom and then decay into a nasty modern divorce of simply sleazy series of episodes involving reference by HRH Charles of Wales to tampons and Diana ultimately dying in Paris in the company of the son of a slimy Arab purchaser of the quintessentially English Harrod’s Department store probably as a result of reckless driving by a drunken chauffeur—I think England could have benefitted from the much more minor scandal of Prince David (Edward VIII) insisting on marrying whomsoever he pleased, even if she were not royal, was a commoner in fact, from one of the (former) colonies, and twice divorced.  Such a revolt against religious strictures relating to marriage has at least as distinguished an English history as Henry VIII (It could have been said that “VIII is the number for royal marriage revolt—Henry VIII to Edward VIII”). (Or alternatively “VIII is the number for revolting royal marriages…”).

But the simple truth is that Edward VIII eschewed his education and birthright, became Duke of Windsor, flirted with Nazis and Naziism, and generally was an embarrassment to England and the Empire, living in self-imposed exile and (all but social) obscurity until his death in Paris in 1972.

The movie is wonderful “history lite” with one of the worst likenesses I’ve ever seen of Winston Churchill playing the Lord of the Admiralty and World War II PM.  All the characters are charming and unoffensive, even Wallis Warfield Simpson, and the sidebar references to Hitler and the War are as innocuous as those old newsreels of the Fuhrer speaking to the assembled hundreds of thousands in Nuremberg could possibly be.  There is even a cameo appearance of the actual 1937 Coronation itself embedded in the movie.  I think my grandmother and grandfather would have poked lots of holes in the historical fabric just because “they were there” and knew about so much of the historical context, and they would complain bitterly about the action of the movie ending on September 3, 1939, at the beginning of World War II rather than showing the harsher wartime reality of the stuttering King’s reign.

But it was good to be back at the old Prytania Theatre near Jefferson in Uptown New Orleans close to Audubon Park and Tulane, and to feel that history lives on in one form or another.  The really important point here is to preserve the memory of the last decade of the British Empire in all its stuttering, hesitating reality as embodied by its unwilling, stuttering, hesitating King, who loved his daughters and endearingly describes himself to the little princesses Margaret and Elizabeth as a Penguin who transforms into a gigantic Albatross (go figure?) early on in the movie.

Liberal Law Professors who Support Lawless Conservatives? I’m ashamed to say I studied with Cass Sunstein at the University of Chicago Law School….

WHAT CAN I SAY?  Back in Law School I was President of the Environmental Law Society and Cass Sunstein, who taught the basic courses in both Administrative and Environmental Law, never came to our meetings or showed any interest in the year-long seminar we put on about the Exxon-Valdez Oil Spill and its consequences in 1990-1991, wherein we brought in speakers from all sides of the debate and broadened out to discuss the Amoco Cadiz Oil Spill in the Atlantic near France.  Cass Sunstein, a liberal who supported the most authoritarian measures any government could take, was always a bit of an enigma to me.  He published prolifically but his office was literally impossible to enter because there were mounds (not piles but sloping mounds) of disorganized paper in his office.  (I’m known for having piles of paper in every room of my house, but any mounds get “excavated” and stacked up fairly quickly).  Anyhow—it is with great sorrow but no particular Surprise that I see Cass Sunstein, a close ally of hypothetically liberal Obama, defending Bush’s most outrageous infractions of U.S. and International Law, and both Civil and Human Rights.  It hardens my anger at the University of Chicago for embracing Corporate Communist Globalism as the Hegelian “synthesis” that will resolve the “world split” between Communism and Capitalism.  I fear for America no matter who is elected in November—but I suppose I narrowly fear the hypocrisy of “Liberal” Obama—whose recent voting record suggests a willingness to suppress civil and human rights as vigorously as Bush has.  And the thought of Cass Sunstein on the Supreme Court is simply terrifying—he is unpredictable and non-transparent—as any “liberal” who supports repression must by definition be. 
Bruce Fein was another enigma who hung around Chicago—he was a conservative whom I could not understand, but I have come to respect him very highly—his early, 2005, demand for the impeachment of Bush was a “voice crying in the wilderness” which should have been heeded…. I will say that I think that Kenneth Starr’s preposterous hounding of President Clinton over the whole “Monica Lenguinski” (Lengua being tongue in Spanish) non-controversy really discredited the very concept of impeachment proceedings, and everything else connected with prosecutions of public officials for REAL wrongdoing.  And being a conspiracy theorist, I can’t help but wonder: was that the real purpose?  To make it appear that impeachment was so totally and purely a matter of “political manipulation” that it would be a very long-time before anyone could ever take it seriously again?  It’s just sad that by coincidence (or carefully thought out plan), the President to Succeed Clinton in office was destined to be the greatest war criminal (at least) since Adolph Hitler to hold the chief executive office of any major nation in the world.
Glenn Greenwald is one of my favorite writers at Salon.com—and I have several times included his articles here on my blog, but this may be the most important yet:

The parade of “shrill, unserious extremists” on display at today’s impeachment hearings

(updated below)
Former Reagan DOJ official, constitutional lawyer, and hard-core conservative Bruce Fein was one of the first prominent Americans to call for George Bush’s impeachment in the wake of the illegal NSA spying scandal. Back in late 2005 and 2006, when even safe-seat Democrats like Chuck Schumer were petrified even of uttering the words “broke the law” when speaking of the Bush administration — let alone taking meaningful action to investigate and putting a stop to the lawbreaking — Fein wrote a column in The Washington Times forcefully and eloquently arguing:

Volumes of war powers nonsense have been assembled to defend Mr. Bush’s defiance of the legislative branch and claim of wartime omnipotence so long as terrorism persists, i.e., in perpetuity. Congress should undertake a national inquest into his conduct and claims to determine whether impeachable usurpations are at hand.

In 2006, Russ Feingold called Fein as one of his witnesses in support of Feingold’s resolution to censure President Bush for his lawbreaking. Today, Fein is one of the witnesses who will testify before the House Judiciary Committee in favor of Dennis Kucinich’s impeachment resolutions (joined by Elizabeth Holtzman, Bob Barr and several others). As KagroX details here, that the House is holding hearings on Kucinich’s resolution is not, in any way, an indication that the Congress is prepared to take those resolutions seriously. Manifestly, they are not.
 
Yesterday, Jane Hamsher spoke with Bruce Fein on BloggingheadsTV about why the Democrats have, in general, failed to hold the Bush administration accountable for their multiple crimes (Slate yesterday detailed some of the many Bush crimes). Here is what Fein — echoing an argument I made a couple of weeks ago — said on that topic:

Jane also asked Fein about Obama adviser Cass Sunstein’s recent statements that Bush officials should not be prosecuted for their illegal detention, interrogation and spying programs. To get a sense for why this matters, National Journal this morning listed Sunstein as one of a small handful of likely Supreme Court appointees in an Obama administration. But — similar to Fein’s point regarding Jay Rockefeller, Jane Harman and comrades — Sunstein has long been one of the most vocal enablers of Bush radicalism and lawlessness, having continuously offered himself up over the last seven years to play the legal version of the TNR role of “even-liberal-Cass-Sunstein-agrees-with-Bush.”
During my Democracy Now debate with him, Sunstein said: “I’d be honored but surprised if the military commissions cite some of my academic articles.” But as Talk Left‘s Armando documented, Sunstein would be an ideal and highly likely “legal scholar” for the Bush administration to cite as part of its military tribunals, as Sunstein was an early and outspoken supporter of the theory that Bush had the authority to order military commissions (a theory which the Supreme Court rejected in Hamdan). Identically, while Sunstein now pretends to disagree with Bush’s theory as to why he had the power to spy on Americans in violation of the law (Sunstein said on Democracy Now: “while I agree with Senator Feingold that the President’s position is wrong”), Sunstein defended those theories as “very reasonable” when he was on right-wing talk radio with Hugh Hewitt in late 2005 during the height of the NSA controversy.
It’s really hard to imagine a worse person on whom Obama could be relying as a legal adviser, let alone a potential Supreme Court nominee, and here is what Fein had to say about Sunstein’s view of things:

The destruction of the CIA interrogation videos in 2005 that Fein referenced there seems particularly malicious — plainly criminal — in light of the new documents obtained yesterday from the CIA by the ACLU. One of those documents — an August 4, 2004 CIA memo (.pdf) — explicitly warns “of possible future judicial review of the Program and of these issues,” meaning the CIA’s interrogation methods and the legality of the Bush administration’s behavior. Destroying evidence relevant to a future criminal proceeding is the very definition of obstruction of justice — a crime for which ordinary people are regularly prosecuted and imprisoned — yet we have the Cass Sunsteins of the world, speaking on behalf of our political and media class, insisting that it would be terribly unfair and disruptive to treat any of this as a criminal matter (and — as is true for many of the episodes of Bush lawbreaking — key Congressional Democrats were briefed on the possible destruction of the interrogation videos as well).
Most revealingly of all, the Kucinich impeachment hearing today is like a parade of those whom the Beltway class mocks as Shrill, Unserious losers and Leftist radicals — people who actually use overly excitable words like “crimes” and “prosecutions” when talking about our leaders or who, like the ACLU, actually object that most of what our Government does occurs in total secrecy. Serious, responsible Beltway establishment leaders know that courtrooms and prosecutions are only for the common people and — for our own good — our leaders cannot, must not and should not be exposed to any of that, and must continue to be able to shield what they do from public scrutiny.
* * * * *
NPR this morning has a story, both radio and print, regarding the left/right Strange Bedfellows citizen coalition and Money Bomb campaign targeting those responsible for the erosion of civil liberties, constitutional protections and the rule of law. The NPR story includes this:

Earlier this month, Congress passed a rewrite of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, known as FISA. Opponents say it gives the president too much power to tap private communications without court oversight. That argument was made none too subtly by a TV ad that ran in the home district of Chris Carney, a Pennsylvania Democrat who supported the new FISA law.
 
“Chris Carney is surrendering to Bush and Cheney the same un-American spying powers they have in Russia and communist China,” the ad says.
Apparently, the ad hit a nerve. A Carney spokeswoman called the ad a “smear campaign” and said NPR should not do a story about it. But the ad was paid for by Carney’s fellow Democrats.
Blue America is a political action committee promoted by Democratic bloggers like Jane Hamsher. She is disappointed with Congress since it went Democratic.
“I’m very upset with my party right now,” Hamsher says. “They were given the majority, and they have a 9 percent approval rating right now for a reason.”

Apparently, NPR isn’t Comcast — at least not in this instance — and it thus ran the story despite Carney’s pleas.

UPDATE: To be clear, it’s far from certain, obviously, that Obama would appoint Cass Sunstein to anything, let alone to the Supreme Court. And as I’ve said before, the precarious 5-4 Supreme Court balance is reason enough, just standing alone, to strongly prefer an Obama administration to a McCain administration. But Sunstein — both due to his relationship to Obama and, independently, to his new marriage — is one of the most inside of Obama insiders. That he has simultaneously been such an unusually vocal defender of some of the worst Bush radicalism is obviously worth noting, and is self-evidently disturbing. Today, Matt Stoller reviews Sunstein’s latest book and several of the odd ideas in it.