Republicans yesterday looked to wrest a political victory from a legal defeat in the Supreme Court, serving notice to Democrats that they must back President Bush on how to try suspects at Guantanamo Bay or risk being branded as weak on terrorism.
In striking down the military commissions Bush sought for trials of suspected members of al-Qaeda and other terrorist groups, the high court Thursday invited Congress to establish new rules and put the issue prominently before the public four months before the midterm elections. As the White House and lawmakers weighed next steps, House GOP leaders signaled they are ready to use this week's turn of events as a political weapon.House Majority Leader John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) criticized House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi's comment Thursday that the court decision "affirms the American ideal that all are entitled to the basic guarantees of our justice system." That statement, Boehner said, amounted to Pelosi's advocating "special privileges for terrorists."
Similar views ricocheted around conservative talk radio -- Rush Limbaugh called Pelosi's comments "deranged" on his show Thursday -- and Republican strategists said they believed that the decision presented Bush a chance to put Democrats on the spot while uniting a Republican coalition that lately has been splintered on immigration, spending and other issues.
As usual, there's so much that's so ridiculous that's it's difficult to know where to begin, but let's start with their own words:
The right to a fair trial as guaranteed in the Constitution, described by the House Majority Leader as "special privileges for terrorists".
Rush Limbaugh calling someone -- anyone besides himself -- "deranged".
You know, it's just beyond even their standard-issue bullshit. The sad thing is that there are actually people -- some in the media -- who will swallow this. Tom Tommorrow's cartoon about the shit sandwich describes this mental deficiency perfectly.
And their supporters, who have been crying for months as the GOP's political futures have swirled the drain, can now latch onto this as a brave stand for America. 'Bold', they will say.
Fascists, I say. Xenophobic to the point of paranoia.
Of course there is some benefit to the nation in this course of action by the Republicans, and that is that they will be marginalized once more as a political party. Removed permanently to the minority, where they belong.
There are already too many of their former majority who refuse to be terrorized by them any longer.