Democracy Has Prevailed.

May 14, 2010

More On Altmire's Constitutional Mistake

Remember when Jason Altmire made nice with Joe Lieberman on citizenship?

The P-G Editorial Board has this to say about it this morning:
In criminal proceedings, citizens of the United States are guaranteed their rights by the Constitution. Any chipping away of this bedrock principle should invite alarm -- and never mind any high-minded excuse offered by the government, even if it involves national security.
And ends with:
In arguing for the change, Sen. Lieberman said, "We're fighting an enemy who doesn't wear the uniform of a conventional army or follow the law of war." True enough, but a murky situation is not helped by disrespecting the rights of citizenship.

Rep. Altmire said, "Individuals who actively support terrorist organizations dedicated to harming our nation do not deserve to enjoy the privileges of American citizenship." And Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, head of the department that would judge Americans according to the overly broad words of this bill, said: "United States citizenship is a privilege -- it is not a right."

Memo to both: A driver's license is a privilege. Citizenship, whether attained by birth or naturalization, is sanctioned by the Constitution, the guarantor of the rights of citizens. That document does not have an asterisk on the people's rights saying, "Not applicable to alleged enemy combatants." This constitutionally dubious legislation promotes fear, not security.
The fact that, according to Talkingpointsmemo, no one is supporting this bill (not even the conservatives) shows how mistaken it was.
It's probably a safe bet that if House Republican Leader John Boehner backs away from a conservative, terrorism-related bill called "TEA," the legislation both goes too far, and isn't going anywhere.
And how much of a mistake it was for Altmire to support it.


Clyde Wynant said...

The question is, when is Altmire going to pull an Arlen and switch parties? His support of this bill was a blatant attempt to "look strong" going into the midterms -- but it shows just how weak he really is....

Ol' Froth said...

After his no vote on HCR, I was going to hold my nose and vote for him. Now, I'm withholding my vote, and hoping I get redistricted into a different congressional district next year. At least I know where MBB stands, even if I can't stand her.

NorthPGH Progressive said...

So you will all just ignore Altmire's votes for equal pay, paper ballots, the jobs bill, the stimulus, the non-discrimination act, stem cell research, CHIP program, and voting with the Democratic Party over 80% of the time and with labor over 90% of the time? If you are really going to claim that Altmire is going to be a Republican, then you better look at his entire record before you base your decision on one vote and one bill introduced. (Stats from, percentages are estimates based on those stats)

We will have Mary Beth Buchanan casting votes against all of these issues and railing against them in the press. This is why Democrats can't get anything done. Even Republicans stood up for Specter in 2004 to continue to have a majority.

The only way the 4th District will stay Democratic is if they can pull in the moderate Republican vote and moderate Democrat vote (that voted for McCain in 08) and Altmire has proven twice that he is the candidate that can do that. So while city Democrats have the ability to be represented by Mike Doyle, the people of the 4th District have to live with a moderate Democrat.

SonnyD said...

Instead of "2 Political Junkies" perhaps "2 Political Morons" is more appropriate. Where did you two study constitutional law? What's that, you didn't.
What Altmire proposed is common sense. And by the way, Altmire will clean Buchanan/Rothfus clock in Nov.

Joshua said...

So, are we talking about stripping of citizenship before or after conviction? Because I was under the impression that any revocation of a naturalized person's citizenship would be after conviction, something that to me doesn't sound too far-fetched. But if the person hasn't even been convicted yet, no less arraigned? Yeah, that's a problem. Which one is Altmire going for?