Sunday, September 04, 2005

The Death of Decency

Perhaps reports of the death of common decency have been greatly unexaggerated but events of the last week now confirm that decency now lies dead in the grave.

First, within hours of Hurricane Katrina making landfall over Louisanna, Mississippi, and Alabama, President Bush's opponents were out in force calling for his head for either causing the hurricane (see Robert F. Kennedy) or for having failed to have instantaneously provided relief for the survivors of the largest natural disaster ever to befall the USA (see Congressional Black Caucus). Rather than lend a hand in this hour of need, these folks instead chose to point fingers for political gain.

Then the City of New Orleans descended into anarchy as the Mayor of New Orleans (after having made arrangements to evacuate his cronies) handed the devastated city over to looters, murderers, rapists, and other subhumans (I am reluctant to call them animals lest the animal kingdom be justifiably offended at being associated with these sickening people).

Now, within hours of the death of Chief Justice Rehnquist, Harvard Law Professor Alan Dershowitz takes to the Fox News airwaves to call Rehnquist nothing more than a "right wing thug" while trashing his legacy and disparaging his character and values.

I would be curious to see if Prof. Dershowitz openly publicized his vitriolic view of Justice Rehnquist before Justice Rehnquist's death. Was Prof. Dershowitz courageous enough to so fiercely attack the Justice during Rehnquist's lifetime, knowing that it could be harmful to his continued advocacy of cases before the Supreme Court?

Or, as I suspect, did Prof. Dershowitz wait until Justice Rehnquist had passed, and could no longer defend himself, to unleash the full torrent of his scurrilous attacks on the deceased Justice's character and values? Simply cowardly.

In any event, for all of his supposed intellect, apparently Prof. Dershowitz lacks even the slightest sense of common decency. Just as it was once understood that criticisms of US foreign policy during war time stopped at the water's edge, it was also understood that common decency prevented politicians from using the death of their political adversaries to make political points (i.e., see John Ashcroft's refusal to campaign or contest the Missouri Senate election results of 2000). No more.

And some wonder why the political divide is so great in this Country. One need only look at the events of the past week to realize that while this divide may be growing smaller (as the Democrats alienate more and more of mainstream America with their outlandish behavior) it is growing more intense as the Democrats desperately attempt to cling to their last redoubts of power.

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