EDITOR OF REDSTATE
Morning Briefing for November 18, 2009
the Morning Briefing every morning at no charge.
From Senator Jim DeMint.
A defining moment is coming in this year’s health care debate.
Yesterday, Democrat leaders announced they may soon bring Harry Reid’s new health care bill to the Senate floor in an effort to grant the President’s wish for a government takeover of our nation’s health care by Christmas. This is in spite of the fact that 99 senators have never seen Reid’s new bill that was written in secret. Reid even hinted he may rush to a vote before the bill’s been public for 72 hours, as even Democrats have demanded.
To begin debate on this new version of Obamacare, Reid will play a shell game. He needs 60 senators to “vote to proceed” to an unrelated piece of legislation, and once he clears that hurdle he will strike that bill’s text and insert his new health care bill. But don’t be fooled by senators that will say they oppose a government takeover but just wanted to allow debate on health care, they are not being honest.
The simple fact is this: Any senator that votes to proceed to the Reid-Obama bill is voting for a government takeover of health care.
Why? Because, President Obama and Harry Reid cannot pass a government takeover without clearing 60 vote procedural hurdles in the Senate — but they also know that vulnerable Democrats likely cannot win reelection if they vote for this unpopular bill. So they want all Democrats to stick together on the vote to proceed, then some Democrats will vote against final passage of the bill and claim they tried to stop it.
One of the criticisms leveled by the right when Palin was chosen as McCain’s nominee is that she had not shown she’d done the reading to lead, i.e. read the Hayek, Friedman, Goldwater, Bastiat, to form her thoughts. She admitted she is a gut level conservative, but also said that criticism comes mostly from “shallow people who have not delved into [her] record.”
I did not want to sound like Katie Couric and ask what she’s read, but I broached the subject and she went right into mentioning Thomas Sowell and Jonah Goldberg’s Liberal Fascism. She said she has read some of the foundational stuff, but she sees no need to focus on the old writings. She likes “the modern stuff too.” Her preference is policy and application, focusing on writers who are not just following up on foundational conservative ideas, but applying those ideas too.
Let me be crystal clear: it is precisely because I believe in our system of due process in a civil setting that I do not want Khalid Sheikh Mohammed tried in such a setting. The left ignores this at its peril.
I have full faith in our system of justice. Criminal defendants are given every advantage and resource to ensure they do not get convicted of a crime they did not commit. Khalid Sheikh Mohammed will get most of those advantages and resources. But that is all a distraction from one central fact — Khalid Sheikh Mohammed is not a criminal. He is a soldier in a war captured on a battlefield. That is not something our criminal justice system was designed to handle and should not handle.
I think Eric Holder is flat out lying when he said this past Sunday that Barack Obama had no knowledge whatsoever of the KSM decision until he was headed off to China. But, to be charitable, even were that true, it ignores the fact that Eric Holder, the Attorney General, should not have been the one to make the decision. Khalid Sheikh Mohammed was picked up on a battlefield, not an American street.
Khalid Sheikh Mohammed is not a gang member. Al Qaeda is not a gang. 9/11 was not a drive by shooting or even a gang land massacre. 9/11 was an act of war. Al Qaeda is the enemy. Khalid Sheikh Mohammed is a soldier in a war. Our system of justice is not set up to try soldiers captured on a battlefield.
It is willfully naive and indifferent to civilian American lives and our system of civilian justice to think otherwise.
Here in New York, the Obama Administration’s decision to try Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and other Al Qaeda terrorists in the civilian justice system in downtown Manhattan has garnered plenty of well-earned criticism, including from New York’s leading anti-terrorism experts like Rudy Giuliani, Michael Mukasey (who handled the blind sheikh trial as a district judge before becoming President Bush’s third Attorney General) and Andrew McCarthy (who was one of the prosecutors), and Long Island Congressman Peter King. And not just from the Right; even arch-liberals like Daily News sportswriter Mike Lupica have weighed in against the decision. Now the people are being heard from, and while the polls as usual show some diversity of opinion, the public is deeply skeptical of this enterprise even before it gets underway, let alone after what promises to be many months of grandstanding by the terrorists, gridlock in lower Manhattan, possible setbacks in the prosecution and the hemmhoraging of scarce resources on the trial(s) (as my retired-NYPD dad put it: “there’s going to be plenty of overtime for the cops.”).
The critics’ bases for opposing a trial are numerous, and several of them are reviewed by Erick here. And the polls now show those criticisms are shared by a majority of the nation’s voters and a significant minority even in liberal New York City, with the rest uncertain.
To quickly summarize the case against the trials . . .
Congress could be working on boosting job growth, figuring out where Arizona got 99 additional congressional districts, restoring the F-22 cuts, etc. but Rep. Emanuel Cleaver has a better idea.
He wants a “complaint free Wednesday.”