Victory means exit strategy, and it's important for the President to explain to us what the exit strategy is.    The Honorable Governor of Texas, George W. Bush

I hate quotations. Tell me what you know.    Ralph Waldo Emerson

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

The Zero Sum of all Wisdom

Whiskey is carried into committee rooms in demijohns and
carried out in demagogues.   
Mark Twain

The "love it or leave it" crowd may not look too kindly on several of my last posts and others in that I criticize the notion of American Exceptionalism, the notion that America and Americans are on the one true path, and as such not to be subjected to limitations on our foreign policy we would expect to impose on other less morally "enlightened" societies.

When I was twelve years old, this made sense.

And so we come to that monumental waste of governmental, media and citizens' time, the Senate confirmation hearings for "X". The ins stroke so sweetly and the outs twist the candidate's words from about eighty years ago and about two weeks from now the vote everybody stashed away about 6 weeks ago will get dusted off and sent down to the podium. We learn nothing new about the candidate, because he is of the extreme inner beltway that all pols ascribe to some day, and as such the convention is that he will not be required to answer to anything if he chooses not to. You or I would get an entirely different treatment from such a committee. You or I would face jail time should we want to avoid embarrassing ourselves or to protect our employment, family or friends from the prying party line invoked queries of the chosen.

Getting back to the point, A Senator "R" started his bit of this circus with a long winded description of how the Court has in recent times made reference to laws in other countries in the formulation of opinion. This seems to have disturbed the Senator greatly, in that such foreign thinking has no place in an American institution intended to interpret American law according to the American founding fathers' American constitution.

And just where does Senator "R" think all them high-falutin' ideas in our constitution came from? Thin air? No, he knows damn well that America doesn't exist in a vacuum, and that our laws have always been somewhat influenced by international thinking. He would be a fool to actually think that we should ignore the wisdom of the greater part of humanity in the formulation of our legal concepts.

But if you're fool enough to believe it―if you'll be impressed by gratuitous American Exceptionalism―Senator "R" isn't above hitchin' up his britches, puffin' up the chest and givin' it his best Foghorn Leghorn crowin' for American law (in Latin) for American folk.

Don't think for a minute that I am anti-American. I love Americans and America, but it would be absurd to think we have all the answers for anything, including the law. Senator "R" knows this, as he didn't become Senator by playing the fool...

He became Senator by playing others for the fool.


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