April 16, 2007
American Freedom Agenda off to strange start
By Jim Babka
The American Freedom Agenda (AFA) is a ten-point complaint list of the most egregious of anti-Constitutional, anti-civil liberties proposals, passed into law at the behest of the current administration. Bruce Fein, David Keene, Richard Viguerie, Bob Barr, and now, John Whitehead, are movement conservatives with a well-established pedigree. That four of them voted for George W. Bush at least once, gives their criticism special validity. The aforementioned men decided to send a letter to President George W. Bush calling for the resignation of Alberto Gonzales (it's attached to this message in pdf format). It's a bad start. I thought they were going to give us bills -- ways to change the law so that we needn't rely on faith in good nature of the occupants of office. I was eager to sign-on to these efforts. I still am. But I'm disappointed that, after a successful national press conference, this is their next big salvo. "The problem is not the abuse of power, it's the power to abuse," said Michael Cloud Mr. Cloud was (is) right. Alberto Gonzales is but a symbol of the problem. Partisan politics is rife with symbolism. Parties and personalities are mere symbols. "I leave symbols to the symbol-minded," quipped George Carlin. The American Freedom Agenda is noble and honest, if for no other reason than that the last thing in the world the aforementioned participants want to do is break Ronald Reagan's 11th Commandment that they shouldn't speak ill of another Republican. Breaking from their party and pointing out it's flaws is an act of courage. It's laudable behavior. But I was hoping for something more than typical symbolism. Mr. Gonzales does what his boss tells him. His boss does what he can get away with. And before Mr. Gonzales we had Mr. Ashcroft. "Meet the new boss, same as the old boss... we won't get fooled again," sang The Who Oh, but apparently we will. Here's my prediction. If Mr. Gonzales resigns, the only thing that will come from it is the new occupant of that office will have a honeymoon period. And then, we will have a national election campaign that will distract us further. Some will argue that we solved the problem. We might even lose some of the oomph we had to create the changes necessary. "There are a thousand hacking at the branches of evil to one that is striking at the root." -- Henry David Thoreau At best, this call for resignation misses the root of the problem. It wastes bandwidth. It stalls for time. It sucks energy out of our efforts to right these evils. Partisan and personality based symbolism is part of the old DC thinking that got us into the mess of a big, overreaching, Constitution-disrespecting State. Please, AFA, let's see the legislation that will make your pro-liberty agenda a reality! That's what you promised -- what made you so "promising."
Filed under Civil Liberties
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