One of the lasting demonstrations of the idiocy that was the VietNam war:
“One of the famous quotes of the Vietnamese 1968 Tet Offensive:
“We Had To Destroy Ben Tre In Order To Save It”
Everywhere the GOP/teavangelists campaign for office, it is certain that someone will claim that the Constitution must be preserved from “liberals who want to eliminate “our freedoms.” This usually centers on the 1st, 2nd, 14th, and 10th amendments of the Bill of Rights.
One of the highlights of our foundation is the separate and equal tri-partite construction of our national government. No branch can over-rule the others to become the center of power. The ability of our courts to assure the constitutionality of laws and other actions by the legislative and executive branches without the courts’ functions being overturned is among our greatest contributions to the “rule of law.”
Gingrich, hoping to keep the teavangelist base, is willing to destroy the tri-partite nature of our government by destroying the intent and reality of our Constitution.
This lust to re-write the document that made us unique at our inception is highly akin to the destruction of Ben Tre. If the ideological crazies are allowed to preserve by destroying we will lose that which we will never be able to recover. As a professed “historian”, Gingrich should be fully aware of this. But Gingrich is a child of the teavangelist south, sucked into the Reagan mythology and unable to see the gaping black hole at the innermost core of teavangelism. Not only is he unable to see it, if he should ever discover it he will find its tenets of segregation, xenophobia, religious intolerance, and protection of only the wealthiest of our citizens at the expense of the poor and middle classes, to dove-tail easily into his lust for power and greed.
Ruth Marcus wrote of the danger posed by Gingrich beliefs in today’s Washington Post.
“As precedent for the supposed mainstream nature of his proposals, Gingrich likes to point to Jefferson’s signing of the 1802 Repeal Act, abolishing a set of judgeships that the rival Federalists had pushed through on the eve of leaving power.
This history lesson is not as dispositive as Gingrich would have you believe. As Ed Whelan and Matthew J. Franck have argued on National Review’s Bench Memos blog, it’s not clear that the Repeal Act was constitutional and, even if it was, “what was done then is not a precedent for what he is considering doing now” — “an unconstitutional end run around the permanent tenure of federal judges,” as Franck put it.
Gingrich acts as if the Repeal Act was uncontroversial in its day. But here is Federalist Alexander Hamilton, inveighing against the measure at an emergency meeting of the New York City Bar: “The independence of the judges, once destroyed, the constitution is gone; it is a dead letter; it is a vapor which the breath of faction in a moment may dissipate.”
In this age of endless faction, Hamilton’s warning is timely — and chilling.
Who am I to argue with Hamilton, at least today!