Thursday, April 13, 2006

Politics and its strange bedfellows

You won't find two more polar opposites than U.S. Representative, Bob Barr (R-GA), and Vermont Congressman, Bernie Sanders, the iconoclastic former socialist mayor of Burlington, and registered Independent.

While Barr and Sanders might disagree on a veritable hodge podge of political issues, one area where they've found common ground is their concern about the erosion of civil liberties, under the current administration's utilization of the USA Patriot Act.

Barr, who inhabits the opposite end of the political spectrum, tilting rightward, to Sanders' obvious leftward leanings, has been a vocal critic of USAPA. With its creepy nods to secrecy, the legalization of torture and the building of clandestine prisons, USAPA gives even a hardcore conservative, like Barr, reason for concern and some might even say, cause for alarm.

Meeting in Montpelier, Vermont, an oasis of democracy in a roiling sea of totalitarian power grabs by an administration, which has no respect for the rule of law--at least when it comes to their own indescretions--Barr and Sanders were members on a panel of civil libertarians, discussing concerns pertaining to USAPA and the current administration's flippant disregard for the U.S. Constitution.

In a press conference, the two men stood together, dressed in blue suits and blue shirts, Barr with a red tie; Sanders in a blue one - advocating a change in leadership based on a perceived erosion of civil liberties.

Vermont has been a hotbed of anti-USAPA organizing, at the grass-roots level. For the uninitiated, here is some background on USAPA, from the EPIC website.


weasel said...

The Zulus used to attack their enemies using a formation called the "horns of the buffalo". The right and left "points" of the horns were where the toughest, most unyeilding fighters were stationed in order to confound and pound the enemy.

When right and left come together in the horns of the buffalo its an awe inspiring thing. I've found myself able to forgive Barr a lot for his principled stand on this issue. The trouble is going to come with convincing whoever succeeds the Bush administration, Blue or Red, to roll back the Patriot Act or other trappings of the Imperial presidency. Its so much easier to deplore the use of these tools when you don't get to use them.

Jim said...

Barr is an interesting guy. There's alot I would definitely disagree with him on, obviously, but among conservatives, he's been consistent in his concerns about the "imperial presidency."