All of that is true.
But all of that is meaningless in the grand scheme of things if we can’t use this as a perfect example and reason to shatter and demolish the stupid code of “strict constructionist” that is used to eliminate privacy rights, minority rights, gay marriage rights or impose creationism in the public school system.
The point is a simple one: strict constructionists or those who support strict constructionists can NOT justify giving retroactive immunity to telecom companies for their complicity in breaking the law.
So when any of the lunatic fringe cries and howls like a stuck pig about how the government is overstepping its bounds with respect to the boogyman issue of the day/week/month, remember the FISA fights. Just as the Terri Schiavo legislation, and countless of other times that the republican party has overstepped the bounds of the Constitution. If Congress (or the rest of the Federal government for that matter) has no right to “interpret the Constitution” in a manner that would provide legislation for horrific things like, you know, rights that aren’t “specifically enumerated”, then how does it have a right to enact legislation that flies right in the face of the plain language of the Bill of Rights?
Anyone that wants to argue that strict constructionist doesn’t apply when it comes to striking the entire fourth amendment of the Constitution has absolutely no leg to stand on when it comes to saying that “we must take a literal reading of the Constitution” when it comes to right of privacy, right to make personal private decisions about medical issues, to have your privacy violated as an American citizen, or to have those rights taken away because “the president says so”.
It is time to throw this utter nonsense of an argument that is no more than another thinly veiled attempt to take rights and personal decisions away from “We the People” and put them in the hands of those who have absolutely no business, reason or connection to those who they would otherwise make these decisions for or impose their twisted sense of the world on.
Even though there have been many instances where this meme should have been crushed and exposed for the hypocritical farce that it is, here is one of the best times to do so. Nearly every republican has come out in favor of giving those poor telecom companies who broke the law and frankly don’t even care that much themselves about receiving the retroactive amnesty. And many of these republicans have at one time or another uttered the words “strict constructionist” when it came time to talk the extremist code talk that is really more to impose a “top down” heavy handed “do as I say and give me all of your money” society.
It comes down to one simple question: “if you are such a strict constructionist, where does the Constitution provide for retroactive immunity for anything?”
It undermines the credibility of the argument in and of itself, it exposes the person making such an arguments as even more of a hypocrite, and maybe, just maybe, it can bury the lie forever.
After all, it will rear its ugly head again and again and again until it is finally destroyed once and for all. This is as good of a chance and opportunity as we are going to find to expose this blanket argument for the farce that it is.