Nothing Brings out the Inner Cowardly Police State Sycophant

…like a terrorist act.  First, McCain and Lindsey Graham wet themselves and demand suspension of the Constitution for an American citizen they have decided to declare an “enemy combatant” on the basis of nothing.  Now the reliably hysterical Glenn Beck endorses vigilante execution by police (“…and the other hopefully being killed right now“). These guys would have been first in line to cheer for the Enabling Act (“until the present crisis is over”) after the Reichstag Fire.

The Rubber Hose Right prides itself on being Realistic, Courageous and Hard-Headed.  In reality, it is chockablock with pantywaist cowards ready to flush liberties their ancestors fought and died for right down the toilet in panic over a couple of murderous jerks.

Here’s reality: Americans have committed acts of domestic violence for our entire history. (Think Guiteau and Czolgosz, who murdered the head of state. Think Haymarket bombs. Think Sacco and Vanzetti. Think of the Rosenbergs and Alger Hiss, miserable Commie traitors. Think Weathermen and SDS and John Hinckley and Timothy McVeigh.) The way we dealt with these criminals was by giving them a fair trial and punishment for the crime.  If the panicmongers on the Rubber Hose right shouting for suspension of due process get their way, they will start defining every crime as an act of “terror” and suspending more and more American liberties in the search for a “speedy” defeat of “terror”. They will end by making this a police state and us a people more subject to fear than we have ever been in our history. They are every inch the anti-American terrorists and enemies of our freedoms they fear others to be.

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  • Michelle

    It’s especially disappointing coming from McCain, whose own history demonstrates him not to be a coward and to know the dangers of totalitarian regimes. Which leads me to fear that his motivation may simply be Machiavellian.

    • Dustin

      Not since at least 2004, when he surgically fused his principles to the Bush administration, has John McCain evinced any kind of political courage or unconventional wisdom. McCain and Graham also have extremely right-wing primary electorates to defend against, and Graham is up for re-election next year. If you have misty, watercolor memories of the straight talk express from 2000, that bus broke down long, long ago, it’s been stripped for parts and there are tumbleweeds growing up through the engine block.

  • B-Rob

    Couldn’t agree more. I simply don’t understand their mindset. Why are people such as McCain afraid to give people due process? I can only imagine because they think the suspect will get out of hot water via a “loophole” such as having the trial dismissed because the suspect didn’t have his rights read to him or something similar.

  • Francis

    What can be said, but well said and ,”let this be a lesson to us all.”

  • George

    I think support for this kind of crap is less Machiavellian and more rooted in human nature. People are tempted by revenge and mistake it for justice. It’s an age old story. The machiavellian types then come in and take advantage of the situation.

  • Martial Artist

    I tend to suspect that societies were much less plagued with this sort of tyrannical mindset when the penalty for crimes took the form of restitution to the victim(s) rather than retributive punishment of the offender.
    Pax et bonum,
    Keith Töpfer

  • Vinny

    “Rubber Hose Right”?! While I might agree with you about McCain-he’s a RINO-I can’t agree with you libeling the rest, ESPECIALLY not Glenn. Can you refute ANYTHING Beck said while on FOX News? (Remember, I am not a GBTV subscriber, so FOX News ONLY.)

    • Mark Shea
      • Benjamin

        Wow! I knew Glenn Beck was ignorant but what he said in that link really takes the cake. Though I suspect if you believe Joseph Smith, known con-man, was a prophet you have to be rather gullible to begin with.

      • Vinny

        Perhaps I wasn’t specific enough. Can you find anything POLITICAL-the SUBJECT of this blog post, so no goal-moving-he said that was incorrect?

        • Andy, Bad Person

          “Can you refute ANYTHING Beck said while on FOX News?”

          *Mark refutes lots of things Beck said while on Fox News.*

          “I mean, something political. You’re goal moving. (He said, un-ironically.)

          • Vinny

            You obviously know, I was talking about MYSELF when I said, “[N]o goal-moving.”

  • Maiki

    Agree with everything here. And on a tangential and much smaller benefit: giving domestic terrorists a trial tends to cut down massively on the “conspiracy theorist” nuttiness. If the perpetrator is dead without trial we can go for years and years and years with people making crazy claims, like with JFK or September 11.

  • Joey Odendahl

    As I stated elsewhere… We should be fair to Glenn in one respect: There were some in the media giving the impression that the guy would not be taken alive. So the choices seemed to be, “He’ll either be shot or escape.” Given those choices, I am ashamed to admit that even I was secretly hoping he’d be shot. Of course the media hysteria turned out to be wrong (imagine that) and the guy WAS taken alive. I was very glad. And I felt very guilty for the fleeting thoughts I’d had earlier, wishing him to be shot. Perhaps Glenn will also be happy he was wrong too? We’ll see.

    Anyway… It does amaze me that so many so-called patriots, who often say we should NEVER give up our rights in favor of security, are now publicly demanding the elimination of due process in this case. Apparently taking someone ELSE’S rights away is okay?

  • William

    I couldn’t agree with you more, Mark. Well stated. American citizens are American citizens first and foremost. Their rights to Constitutional protection are sacrosanct. Any deviation from this fundamental principle transforms the Bill of Rights into a parchment of proposals.

  • steve

    …you neglected to mention Ted Kaczynski PhD. Just sayin…

    • Mark Shea


  • Scott

    McCain and Gramnesty have been inside the beltway too long. This is what happens to otherwise decent men who for too long have reaped the benefits of lordship over us servants.

  • kim

    sometimes, I think our fear is in direct proportion to our materialism….

    • Mark Shea

      True dish, that.

  • EMS

    John Adams and the other Founding Fathers are turning in their graves. John Adams defended the British soldiers accused in the Boston Massacre.

    • Benjamin

      John Adams also signed the Alien and Sedition Acts.

      The past was not some Great Golden Age of civil liberties that we’ve somehow fallen away from. In many respects people are freer today than fifty years ago (particularly if you’re not a white male).

      • TMLutas


        People are complicated and sometimes go astray. The better ones realize and steer back towards a better line. But nobody’s suggesting a novena for Glenn Beck. Why is his sin worse than the bombers’?

  • Florentius

    Wait–so guys like McCain who are in favor of homosexual marriage, gun control, federal government expansion, limits on free speech and who hate actual, you know, conservatives are still considered “right wing”? Come on, Mark, be more careful with how you label these guys. Guys like McCain and Graham are establishment Republicans who have more in common with the left than with anyone on the right. As for Glenn Beck, he may be a wacko, but at least he’s an occasionally entertaining wacko. We’ll see what he has to say on Monday….

  • Leslie Fain

    And this does would not reassure me in the least if I lived in Boston…

    You know they had to have all this before the bombing. It’s not like they would have had time to go out and get these vehicles and equipment. So are all cities going to start rolling out this kind of stuff?

    • Tom K.

      Dallas, Miami, and Detroit SWAT all have their own reality TV shows. Drudge seems to have slept in on this one.

  • KM

    A good post. Thank you for this, Mr. Shea.

  • Peggy R

    As this surviving brother is a citizen, he does enjoy the bennies of the constitution. We should be more careful about immigration and naturalization of people. The Times Square bomber had been recently naturalized I believe as well. If non-American influences can be found, ie, Islamic or Chechen nationalist ties/motives, then perhaps he should be tried for treason as well. A military tribunal may be appropriate for that, and they do have lawyers and rights to defense in such trials.

    I think I heard that “enemy combatant” had to with the ability to interrogate prior to the suspect lawyering up so as to learn some intelligence. I hear the guy may never talk as his injuries are near his throat. Grahamnesty is not opposed to a civilian trial. I am no fan of Graham or McCain, for the record.

    • Benjamin

      We should be more careful about immigration and naturalization of people. The Times Square bomber had been recently naturalized I believe as well.

      And Timothy McVeigh, Eric Rudolph, Ted Kaczynski and Bill Ayers were all native-born, whitebread all-American as you can get.

      For the record, even if you’re not a citizen you should get the benefits of the Constitution if you commit a crime on American soil. The Bill of Rights doesn’t say anything about “citizens”, it speaks of “persons”. Citizenship should have nothing to do with natural rights. They’re human rights.

      • Peggy R

        Of course, nature is what it is. Every society has its imperfections and problems. Why add to those problems among ourselves? We need not allow immigration of Muslims or any one else who may have questionable ties and backgrounds. We need to be more circumspect.

        I don’t see why non-citizens are “entitled” to constitutional rights. As a matter of decency and such, we normally do accord such rights to run of the mill criminals. That is fine. These men are enemies of the US, it would appear. The young man’s citizenship is merely fortunate, probably planned explicitly to enjoy such legal protection.

        • Newp Ort

          “Need not allow Muslims” seems a bit broad, that’s a billion people.

          And as for for “fortunate citizenship,” A citizen is a citizen. There’s no Real Citizen vs Second Tier Not-So-Citizen.

    • TMLutas

      Treason is covered in the civilian code 18 U.S.C. § 2381 and since it is, there is no need to shift to the military courts absent some compelling reason to do so. I see none at this juncture.

  • TMLutas

    I find it strange that you seem to be more at ease with praying for the bombers than praying for Glenn Beck or US Senators. Is there a donut hole in your compassion?

    • Mark Shea

      I’m fine with praying for Beck and the rest of our political class. Why would you think otherwise?

      • TMLutas

        I think otherwise mostly because you hurl invective at the political far more often than you call for prayers for them, see the Novena post you put just after this thread.

        In the eastern rite we pray for the political class at every liturgy. Sometimes the prayer is that they stay far away but we’re praying for them nonetheless. And yes, that causes difficulty for some people to have to pray for Bush or Obama for 8 long years each. The West has no monopoly on strong partisanship.

        So consider yourself asked to pray for our leadership, for our political class, for our commentators. You might find that it a worthwhile exercise.