Cognitive Dissonance, Anyone?

Rush Limbaugh, just a few days ago, speaking to fawning fans:

We love and revere our founding documents, the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence. [Applause] We believe that the preamble to the Constitution contains an inarguable truth that we are all endowed by our creator with certain inalienable rights, among them life. [Applause] Liberty, Freedom. [Applause] And the pursuit of happiness. [Applause] Those of you watching at home may wonder why this is being applauded. We conservatives think all three are under assault.

I could not agree more. Not, obviously, with Rush’s incorrect attribution of those words to the Preamble. As any of my students could tell you – I make them copy the Preamble when they act like donkeys – those words come from the Declaration of Independence. What I agree with is that the Constitution has been under a serious attack for the last eight years:

In the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks, the Justice Department secretly gave the green light for the U.S. military to attack apartment buildings and office complexes inside the United States, deploy high-tech surveillance against U.S. citizens and potentially suspend First Amendment freedom-of-the-press rights in order to combat the terror threat, according to a memo released Monday.

Many of the actions discussed in the Oct. 23, 2001, memo to then White House counsel Alberto Gonzales and Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld’s chief lawyer, William Haynes, were never actually taken.

But the memo from the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel—along with others made public for the first time Monday—illustrates with new details the extraordinary post-9/11 powers asserted by Bush administration lawyers. Those assertions ultimately led to such controversial policies as allowing the waterboarding of terror suspects and permitting warrantless wiretapping of U.S. citizens—steps that remain the subject of ongoing investigations by Congress and the Justice Department.

I’m glad to hear that Rush has finally recognized all the damage done by the Bush administration to the Constitution. All this time I thought he was a partisan hack. Good to know he really does have some principles.

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