Friday, June 17, 2005

Catching a Draft


I always look forward to my guest shots here at TIA, but, with my lumpy freelance life, sometimes work obtrudes in a big way - no time to even comment very much (and yes, I have been jonesing). So for now, just a quick citation. I have a more substantive post brewing, which I will try to put up later today or Saturday.

For those of you who haven't discovered The Next Hurrah - a group blog which focuses mostly on American politics and culture - I'd recommend taking a look. It's one of my daily reads now. In a particularly good essay the other day about the Lynching Law Apology, DHinMI argues convincingly that:

....lynching was much more than racist terror, it was a flouting of the rule of law. It was an international embarrassment for the United States. And in this era of Abu Ghraib and Gitmo and Alberto Gonzales torture memos, failure to support Mary Landrieu’s resolution apologizing for the Senate’s failure to enact anti-lynching laws should be seen as not just racially insensitive, but a failure to stand up and assert the primacy of law in America.

The whole thing is worth reading, including as it does good argument and a fair amount of historical background.

DHinMI has caught a vital political tension. What used to be euphemized as 'Law and Order' now tends to be done with the words 'justice' and 'liberty' (and 'they get three squares a day!'). Our country has often been somewhat ad hoc in negotiating the tension between rule of law and visceral 'justice'. In a time when we are faced with the irresistible need to revise and clarify that tension, our current leaders are mostly taking the morally weak, EZ way out. Let's hope the wheel is beginning to turn, and we remember and value that calm, inner voice - our true selves - again: a nation of laws, not men.

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