Some tiny creature, mad with wrath,

Is coming nearer on the path.

--Edward Gorey

Location: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, U.S. Outlying Islands

Writer, lawyer, cyclist, rock climber, wanderer of dark residential streets, friend.

Friday, May 20, 2005

Hitler Has Left the Building

Could we please, puh-leeeeeeeze, stop it with the Hitler comparisons?

Republican Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania said Democrats have abused the filibuster.

"The audacity of some members to stand up and say 'How dare you break this rule,'" Santorum said on the Senate floor Thursday.

"It's the equivalent of Adolf Hitler in 1942 saying, 'I'm in Paris. How dare you invade me. How dare you bomb my city? It's mine.'"

Democrats are guilty of this too, for the record. And under the circumstances I reserve the right to call American politicians of my choosing "fascists" to the extent they warrant it. But Hitler himself -- it's becoming so gauche, and it's inevitably facile.

In other news, and a propos, on NPR yesterday and this morning I heard probably a half dozen different politicos refer to the "rights" of the President and the "rights" of the Senate. All right, I'm going to say this very carefully, and very slowly, and I'm very serious: ours is a government of enumerated powers, and consequently enumerated powers is precisely, and entirely, what our elected and appointed officials enjoy. Nothing more, nothing less.

How utterly ironic that in a debate everyone wishes to frame as constitutionally imperative such a profound misunderstanding, or misrepresentation, not just of constitutional law but also of constitutional theory should emerge as a rhetorical bludgeon.


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