International House of Dan: Beatin' Of The Week

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Beatin' Of The Week

So I've decided to pay homage to Saturday Night Live's "Good Morning, Brooklyn!" skit by launching my own "Beatin' Of The Week" segment. The host of SNL's ficticious show explains: "A'ight, here's how it goes, Brooklyn. Angelo tells us who needs a beatin' this week, you give him that beatin', you win a awesome prize, alright! Angelo! Come on out, bro!"*

So without further ado, this week's beatin' goes to Representative Spencer Bachus (R-Al) for his statements earlier this week about Bill Maher. The host of HBO's "Real Time" commented on May 13th's episode that "We've done picked all the low-lying Lynndie England fruit, and now we need warm bodies." This in regard to the Army's failure to reach it's recruiting goals by 42%. Rep. Bachus saw a rerun of the show and said he thinks "it borders on treason ... In treason, one definition is to undermine the effort or national security of our country." Mr. Bachus took Maher's words to mean that the troops we have right now are "low-lying fruit" and demanded that the show be taken off the air. I, on the other hand, took them to mean that thanks to questionable recruitment our military picked up some "low-lying fruit" like Lynndie England, and I can't wait for the next season of "Real Time".

Treason is a crime so serious that the Framers of the Constitution decided to define it themselves, probably because they feared that subsequent legislatures made up of men like Mr. Bachus would let the passions of their time dictate the definition. Article III, Section 3(1) of the U.S. Constitution provides that: "Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort." Now, I'm not an expert in Constitutional law, but I don't think Maher's comment quite cuts it for treason under the Constitution, especially after looking at the history of treason in America. It's comforting to know that Tom Delay seems to agree. I'm sure Mr. Bachus could find a dictionary definition of the word to support his accusation (that's the only one I could find), but I'm also quite sure that "" does not make the criminal laws of the United States. As far as calling for censorship as punishment, I'm pretty sure that the Sedition Act of 1918 has been off the books for over 80 years, and the 1798 version was either repealed or allowed to expire by Jefferson.

So Representative Bachus gets the "Beatin' Of The Week" for draping himself in the flag and using the best wartime rhetoric available to draw the spotlight after having watched a rerun of a political satire he found offensive. It's good that somebody is looking out for those who criticize Army recruitment, especially when they have the gall to call Lynndie England-types "low-lying fruit." It's good to be reminded that we're not allowed to criticize the military during the "war on terror", not even the bad apples that provide the material for Al Qaida's recruitment brochures.

Mr. Maher could not be reached for comment, probably because I never tried and wouldn't know how even if I wanted to.

*This "segment" is for entertainment purposes only, I am in no way, shape, or form inciting, suggesting, let alone calling for anyone to use violence against anyone else, especially not a Congressman.


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