The Reason for Constitutional Rights

Executives from BP are threatened by President Obama and then bullied by Democrats in Congress. It is not because they have failed to comply with any laws or done anything malicious, but because there is a national disaster, and someone must be blamed (someone, that is, other than the folks who make or who execute the laws). The story is becoming an old one with the Obama administration. AIG executives receive a lawful bonus, and Democrat leaders in Congress snarl and warn that a special income tax surcharge awaits them if they do not return the bonuses. Businessmen are treated like criminals, even when their actions are wholly legal.

What these Democrats are doing, although they are loath to admit it, grossly violates the constitutional rights of executives at BP or at AIG or some other "fat cats" routinely excoriated by the left. It is useful to recall the very reason for having constitutional rights: Those rights are intended to protect unpopular people. There is no need to have a Constitution which protects popular people, "official" classes of victims, or those whose plight plucks the public's heartstrings. Politicians knock themselves over trying to champion the cause of these sorts. Due process and the other elements of our structure of constitutional rights have meaning only if they protect those who cannot plead a political case.

So where is the ACLU when thugs like Waxman convene a Star Chamber proceeding so that he can publicly -- and oh, so bravely! -- attack BP executives? The whole slew of "constitutional lawyers" at the ACLU seems to be out on lunch break. (Just like they were when congressional Democrats vowed to pass an ex post facto income tax surcharge on AIG executives, who were terrorized by our equivalent of Storm Troopers.) The Washington Show Trials, like their counterparts in Stalinist Russia eight decades ago, proceed with no one much complaining about constitutional rights.

We witnessed the same odious process when government lawsuits, combined with a totalitarian sort of "public interest" advertisements, deemed tobacco executives unworthy of mercy, understanding, or equal rights under the law. They were official exploiters of the people, and like all enemies of the Soviet or the Nazi regimes, they deserved no fair trial, no equal justice, no fate except the limits of what public fury would tolerate. If the Constitution does not protect the unpopular, then it protects no one at all.

This is particularly sinister when the establishment media, whose coverage can easily protect or demonize, is so close politically to the government. The generation of public outrage against the designated scapegoat is then followed by our political "champions" using the powers of government to demand draconian lashes of social justice. All the scapegoats will inevitably be connected by unscrupulous politicians to our pain, and the history of modern totalitarianism suggests that the supply of different types of scapegoats is inexhaustible.  

Pravda or Volkischer Beobachter provides the necessary "concern" -- wreckers or Jews or some other unpopular class is tagged as the source of our problems. Some representatives of the class are forced to publicly confess their crimes and throw themselves on the mercy of the public officials. The "cleansing" is done, with a signal and snarling warning to anyone else who might, in the opinion of the organs of the media or the masters of the state, work against the interests of the people (or of the "masses" or of the "volk"). 

This sort of obscenity has seldom gained traction in America. In our post-traumatic stress after Pearl Harbor, FDR was able to place West Coast Japanese Americans in camps for a while. (Everyone now realizes that Roosevelt was wrong.) The Ku Klux Klan terrorized blacks, Jews, Catholics, and Republicans -- but the overwhelming majority of Americans always loathed the Klan, and its reign was blessedly short.  

What we seem to be seeing today, however, is the institutionalization of bigotry in the administration of government. Congress, not oil companies, had the responsibility of passing the laws which would protect us from the dangers of oil spills. Obama, not oil companies, had the duty to execute those laws fairly and effectively. The White House and Congress failed us -- not BP or AIG or any other corporation which complied with the laws and regulations established by Obama, Reid, Pelosi, and their co-partisans in control of the government. Bullying executive branch officials, kangaroo congressional hearings, jackals in the establishment media calling for lynch mobs -- these have adopted the formula of Hitler and of Stalin. 

Why do we even have a Constitution if it is only to protect the friends of powerful political groups? Why do we have elections if politicians who grossly fail in their jobs can shove accountability onto the shoulders of those who did not violate the law? We have a Constitution only to limit government. That means, particularly, protecting the politically unpopular. 

Bruce Walker is the author of two books: Sinisterism: Secular Religion of the Lie and The Swastika against the Cross: The Nazi War on Christianity.
Executives from BP are threatened by President Obama and then bullied by Democrats in Congress. It is not because they have failed to comply with any laws or done anything malicious, but because there is a national disaster, and someone must be blamed (someone, that is, other than the folks who make or who execute the laws). The story is becoming an old one with the Obama administration. AIG executives receive a lawful bonus, and Democrat leaders in Congress snarl and warn that a special income tax surcharge awaits them if they do not return the bonuses. Businessmen are treated like criminals, even when their actions are wholly legal.

What these Democrats are doing, although they are loath to admit it, grossly violates the constitutional rights of executives at BP or at AIG or some other "fat cats" routinely excoriated by the left. It is useful to recall the very reason for having constitutional rights: Those rights are intended to protect unpopular people. There is no need to have a Constitution which protects popular people, "official" classes of victims, or those whose plight plucks the public's heartstrings. Politicians knock themselves over trying to champion the cause of these sorts. Due process and the other elements of our structure of constitutional rights have meaning only if they protect those who cannot plead a political case.

So where is the ACLU when thugs like Waxman convene a Star Chamber proceeding so that he can publicly -- and oh, so bravely! -- attack BP executives? The whole slew of "constitutional lawyers" at the ACLU seems to be out on lunch break. (Just like they were when congressional Democrats vowed to pass an ex post facto income tax surcharge on AIG executives, who were terrorized by our equivalent of Storm Troopers.) The Washington Show Trials, like their counterparts in Stalinist Russia eight decades ago, proceed with no one much complaining about constitutional rights.

We witnessed the same odious process when government lawsuits, combined with a totalitarian sort of "public interest" advertisements, deemed tobacco executives unworthy of mercy, understanding, or equal rights under the law. They were official exploiters of the people, and like all enemies of the Soviet or the Nazi regimes, they deserved no fair trial, no equal justice, no fate except the limits of what public fury would tolerate. If the Constitution does not protect the unpopular, then it protects no one at all.

This is particularly sinister when the establishment media, whose coverage can easily protect or demonize, is so close politically to the government. The generation of public outrage against the designated scapegoat is then followed by our political "champions" using the powers of government to demand draconian lashes of social justice. All the scapegoats will inevitably be connected by unscrupulous politicians to our pain, and the history of modern totalitarianism suggests that the supply of different types of scapegoats is inexhaustible.  

Pravda or Volkischer Beobachter provides the necessary "concern" -- wreckers or Jews or some other unpopular class is tagged as the source of our problems. Some representatives of the class are forced to publicly confess their crimes and throw themselves on the mercy of the public officials. The "cleansing" is done, with a signal and snarling warning to anyone else who might, in the opinion of the organs of the media or the masters of the state, work against the interests of the people (or of the "masses" or of the "volk"). 

This sort of obscenity has seldom gained traction in America. In our post-traumatic stress after Pearl Harbor, FDR was able to place West Coast Japanese Americans in camps for a while. (Everyone now realizes that Roosevelt was wrong.) The Ku Klux Klan terrorized blacks, Jews, Catholics, and Republicans -- but the overwhelming majority of Americans always loathed the Klan, and its reign was blessedly short.  

What we seem to be seeing today, however, is the institutionalization of bigotry in the administration of government. Congress, not oil companies, had the responsibility of passing the laws which would protect us from the dangers of oil spills. Obama, not oil companies, had the duty to execute those laws fairly and effectively. The White House and Congress failed us -- not BP or AIG or any other corporation which complied with the laws and regulations established by Obama, Reid, Pelosi, and their co-partisans in control of the government. Bullying executive branch officials, kangaroo congressional hearings, jackals in the establishment media calling for lynch mobs -- these have adopted the formula of Hitler and of Stalin. 

Why do we even have a Constitution if it is only to protect the friends of powerful political groups? Why do we have elections if politicians who grossly fail in their jobs can shove accountability onto the shoulders of those who did not violate the law? We have a Constitution only to limit government. That means, particularly, protecting the politically unpopular. 

Bruce Walker is the author of two books: Sinisterism: Secular Religion of the Lie and The Swastika against the Cross: The Nazi War on Christianity.