Thursday, January 22, 2009

Thermidorian Reaction

During the Reign Of Terror in what we know as the French Revolution. They renamed all the months. In their month of Thermidor Robespierre threatened the entire Committee on Public Safety with their lives if they didn't agree with him on every issue. They'd previously executed one of their own revolutionary leaders, Danton, and something told them if drastic action wasn't taken they'd be next, so they wrote up a death warrant for Robespierre. He was arrested that night and sent to the guillotine before the mob could hear of it. Historians call this the Thermidorian Reaction. When a revolutionary movement get to the apex of its radicalism the pendulum so to speak has risen as high left or right as it can go, then starts swinging the other way, that the moment it's over -- until the pendulum does the same thing on the other side.
The election of 2006 was the thermidorian reaction against Reaganomics and the modern conservative movement. The latest election has continued the swing back to the middle. 
The United States has gone through other wild swings like this, some lasting much longer. The Republicans used the bloody flag of the Civil War to control Congress and the Presidency from 1860 to 1912 ( with only a brief interruption by Grover Cleveland and his two separate presidencies).
When our Constitution is upheld by those so sworn to do so it keeps the politics pretty much in the middle of the pendulum and the swings are relatively mild. So here's to the new President that has to right the ship of state and keep it afloat. Here's my priorities for setting the course into peaceful waters. He's already started the process.
1. Suspend all pending trials on suspected terrorists, and close down Guantanamo. He gets an A+ for sending David Iglesias to clean up the mess.
2. Get Congress to repeal the American Patriot Act. Restore Habeas Corpus, end Bills of Attainder (assassination orders), and once more allow due process of law to work properly. It is these legal protections that make this country what it is than all the flags ever produced and displayed. As Obama is a former law professor it is my hope that will be on top of his agenda as well.
3. Clean house in the Justice Department. It will be a real problem to root out all the moles planted in eight years by Bush's hiring practices. It is imperative to have investigators and prosecutors who work to uphold the Constitution over party politics. The party hacks are intended to be stumbling blocks in restoring credibility to our system of Law.
4. Begin impeachment hearings on Federal Judges who failed to follow legal procedure during the persecutions of various political witch hunts. Starting in Alabama.
5. Prepare a list of candidates for Federal Judgeships that come open, who believe in common law and the constitution instead of civil code and party politics.

That's my wish list for restoring the rule of sanity to our legal profession. If you don't start here nothing else will work or last. 

No comments: