04 Feb 2010

Yglesias on Conservatives and the "Justice" System

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I actually really like reading Matt Yglesias. Maybe I’m naive, but I think he is pretty sincere. It’s too bad he just has a horrible theory of how the economy works.

Anyway, Yglesias has been on fire lately with the conservative pundits’ horror over letting the courts deal with an (alleged) bad guy. Try this:

[W]hen discussing this whole subject it’s important to note that to the best of my knowledge, the conservative view is that the criminal justice system isn’t the appropriate way to deal with any sort of criminal. Conservatives didn’t like the Miranda ruling or any of the Warren Court’s other famous criminal procedure rulings. And since the Supreme Court became more conservative, right-wing justices have consistently sought to narrow the exclusionary rule, make it more difficult for convicted felons to get hearings for new evidence, etc. For all the “tea party” talk of freedom, and the right’s general blather about “limited government,” unrestricted violence by the agents of the state is a core priority for the right-wing. The view is that ideally you just detain people indefinitely. If forced, they get a military commission. If you have to have a civilian court, the accused shouldn’t have any rights. People should be tortured as a routine investigative technique. Wars should be routinely against foreign countries that haven’t attacked us. It’s a worldview soaked in violence and authoritarianism, and the relatively narrow question of what venue you try terrorism suspects in is just a small part of it.

Sure, he paints with a broad brush, but there are a heck of a lot of people to whom that applies perfectly.

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