Archive - Oct 2005

October 27th

Time To Build More Prisons

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Memo to the Right Wing Punditocracy, A Wholly Owned Subsidiary Of Liberal Media, Incorporated: YOU ARE GENIUSES.

Actually, you're idiots, but you frequently have genius ideas, and completely fail to recognize them. This is because you're usually bringing your genius ideas up as strawmen you can deride into the ground.

Case in point, the Valerie Plame affair. Dubbed "Traitorgate" by the lefties, and "Oh, Come On" by the right, the outing of an undercover agent to threaten her whistle-blowing husband got a new conceptual reworking by the right over the course of the past week. Criminalizing politics.

"They're criminalizing politics" was the refrain, over and over again, on Fox and its ilk. Now, what's actually happening is that, in the course of politics, crimes may or may not have been committed, and the legal process is going to try and sort that out. But actually criminalizing politics is a fucking brilliant idea, and I think we should implement it post-haste.

Yes, there are a few pesky First Amendment issues to deal with, but bear with me. The First Amendment isn't absolute, and there are exceptions for speech that actually causes demonstrable harm, such as libel, slander, or yelling "Pie" in a crowded bakery.

And what's more harmful than politics? It's taken over every aspect of daily government. It's taken policy, driven it to the bad side of town, shot it in the head, and left it lying in a ditch. It never, ever stops for anything. It ruins more lives than pot, and we've criminalized the fuck out of that.

Come up with a workable definition of "politics", ban it from any public official during all but the six months prior to their next campaign, and then start sending people to jail until their replacements, and their replacements' replacements, get the fucking hint and go back to doing their jobs.

At the very least, we could treat politics no differently than we do mercury. They both seep into the environment, they're both hard to control, and they both cause BRAIN DAMAGE. Maybe we can treat it like sulfur from coal plants. Have scientists develop some kind of "scrubber" that can filter out excessive spin, then round up everyone on Capitol Hill and ram it down their fucking smokestacks.

It'd be a big money and time saver, too. No lengthy investigation into whether Tom Delay broke murky campaign finance laws by shifting money between accounts. It was politics, years before the Senate elections. Throw his ass in the pokey.

If it's not actually illegal to smear a man, endanger the life and livelihood of his family, and act like it's entirely justified, all because he caught you in a fib, maybe it should be for a while.

If it's not actually illegal to royally fuck up, then spend weeks pretending you didn't and trying to convince everyone of the same, all while on the clock as a public servant, then maybe it should be for a while.

If it's not illegal to roam the Senate floor, making threats and bribes to get lawmakers to change their votes from what their conscience dictates, maybe it should be for a while.

So go ahead, criminalize politics. It's an idea whose time has come, and it'd serve the fuckers who made up this sad-ass bit of spin right to have it blow up in their lying faces.