Thursday, May 06, 2010

Stinky Joe and the gang: Time to purge the citizenry!

 Senator Lieberman soaring, soaring, soaring towards freedom!
Since I long ago wrote him off as nothing but a self-promoting, cowardly political hack, I had thought Stinky Joe Lieberman was incapable of offending me.  Shows how much I know...

Because, in the wake of the to-do revolving around the arrest of Faisal Shahzad, a naturalized American citizen alleged to have set a car bomb in Times Square, there was Stinky Joe proposing obnoxious new legislation. Lieberman's idea would be to strip Americans of their citizenship if they are deemed to be affiliated with a terrorist organization.

Mustering as much gravitas as is possible for a man of such --er --"pragmatism," Lieberman moped: “I’m now putting together legislation to amend that to [specify that] any individual American citizen who is found to be involved in a foreign terrorist organization, as defined by the Department of State, would be deprived of their citizenship rights.”  Read more here.

For a wretch like Lieberman to get all holier-than-thou with anyone is revolting to begin with.  But what is most offensive is that he is part of a certain bi-partisan gang in the US Congress which has lately been pretty cavalier in its attitude about who gets to be considered an American citizen.

Take, for example, the remark made the other day by US Representative Duncan Hunter, speaking at one of the tea-bagger rallies.  From the Los Angeles Times:  "Would you support deportation of natural-born American citizens that are the children of illegal aliens," Hunter was asked. "I would have to, yes," Hunter said. "... We simply cannot afford what we're doing right now," he said. "... It takes more than just walking across the border to become an American citizen. It's what's in our souls. ..."  (Read more here.)

And then, of course, there is the recently enacted legislation in Arizona that requires that individuals carry proof of citizenship with them at all times.

So, are you ready for this, Americans?  Joe Lieberman and Duncan Hunter and the Arizona state assembly advocate that we start sorting through American citizens and determining which of us are real Americans and which are fakes.  But not based on all that legal mumbo-jumbo in the US Constitution.  No.  Rather, the authenticity of our citizenship is determined by our associations and by what they deem to be in our souls.  The fakers get stripped of their Constitutional rights and may then be deported or subjected to military tribunal.  A good, old-fashioned purge!  Every tea-bagger's dream!

Lieberman and Hunter may be simply pandering to particulars within their respective constituencies or they may actually believe what they're saying.  Either way, neither man would say things like that if he didn't believe he had a receptive audience.  And tea-bagger ears are fertile ground for this kind of claptrap.  Remember, there is still a significant portion of them that believe President Obama was born in Kenya (and, is therefore presumably not a "real" American).

But if the tea-baggers are really too stupid to see how this kind of thing can quickly get out of hand... well, I don't really know what to say.


Mari Gold said...

SJL should simply use diet as the dividing point between "real" and "fake" Americans, perhaps according to the following:

Menudo = fake American
McDonalds = real American
Lamb = fake American (and possible terrorist)
Pizza (from Pizza Hut) = real American

And so on. Vegans are exempt from this schedule and we are still looking for a country to which they may be deported; no takers so far.

Dan Binmore said...

This was the same tack that Sarah Palin used in the election campaign, that there were real Americans who lived in the Heartland. Which of course means that those not living in the Heartland were not real Americans. Which understandably displeased those in New York City who had been under the impression that they were really American.

To understand how far these positions are from traditional American values you just need to read what is proudly displayed on the Statue of Liberty,

Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
with conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
a mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame,
"Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!" cries she
with silent lips. "Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore,
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"

Stewart King said...

I wouldn't worry. The 14th Amendment says if you are born or naturalized here you are a citizen. It doesn't provide any way for you to be cast out. The only way they can pull your citizenship once you've got it is if you are proven to have lied on one of your applications during the immigration process. If you are a citizen by birth, there is nothing that Senator L. or any number of tea-baggers can do to take it away from you.