Thursday, October 18, 2007

More on Dodd

From an interview with Salon's Glenn Greenwald:

Dodd: Well, it's [the attack on the Constitution] so pervasive. I mean, its domestic. It's foreign. And it is has been so calculated on so many levels. . . .

It saddens me that it even has to be an issue -- the fact that "defending the Constitution" even has to be an issue in the presidential race.

But there is an audience for this. This is really important. This is not a narrow audience. This is a broad audience. This is an audience that will surprise you if articulated well. We can win on this.

A campaign for president allows you to have a megaphone here on a national scale to talk about these things, at a time when this crowd, if it continues, can enable you to stop them, do even more than raise the issues. But secondly, if I don't win this thing, I want everyone else to be talking about these issues.

I think it reaches into a conservative constituency who ought to care about this as much, and does in many ways. So it gives us a chance to do that.

I carry every day, and have for 26 years, a copy of the U.S. Constitution given to me by Robert Byrd [takes Constitution out of his back pocket]. And to me, what could be more fundamental? With all due respect, I care about health care, education, global warming. But if you get this wrong -- what do you got? A trade association. Who wants to be president of a trade association?

And this [holding the Constitution] is the spark, the illumination, it is, if I may so say, the envy of many around the world. We have been a guiding set of principles. What is going on with the rule of law isn't just happening here. . . Other countries are saying, "We can do this, too."

So there has been an erosion in the world with the rule of the law. Having led the world in the rule of law in the post-World War II period, and having nations reluctantly moving in the direction we were moving in, and they now see the U.S. has retreated, and they are making a hasty retreat themselves.

Josh Tucker [of NYU] makes the point about the Soviet Union collapse -- You can make the case that it was military, and that was part of it, but he believes and I believe that it was the rule of law. It was Eastern European countries recognizing that this was a total sham, beginning with the Prague Spring and 1956. The Soviet Union collapsed because it rotted from within, they just rotted without the rule of law. So in addition to the other factors, this has international reverberations, beyond just what happens in our own country.

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