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It's unavoidable: this week's debates on the Hill will invite the usual criticism of Democrats.  That we're weak on terror, or obstructionists.  That we cut and run, or enable terrorists, or sympathize with al-Qaeda.

Most ten-year-olds know what bullying is, and they know that it's wrong to call someone names -- sadly, though, many adults in America don't have as much common sense.

So let's clear the air, once and for all.  Why did Democrats in Congress oppose the administration's most recent detainee legislation?

Look, I don't care how many Americans a terrorist wants to kill -- his existence as a human being affords him the opportunity to be put on trial, to hear the evidence against him, to defend himself (however feebly), and to be sentenced to death for his crimes.

But if we put him in jail without charges for a few years, and then try him in a court where he's not allowed to hear the evidence brought against him, we have no right to execute him. Sure, we can still do it, but then we've lost.

Let's be really honest here, Republicans: your fellow Americans who happen to be Democrats do not condone terrorism. We don't want to give terrorists more rights, nor are we interested in defending them. We don't want America to be any less safe, and we don't want to "cut and run," whatever that means.

Democrats believe that American society was founded on principles of law and justice. We herald these traits as the gold standard for government, and for good reason: in just over two hundred years, we have become the envy of the world.

Considering that, we'd sure hate to see a bunch of Islamist militants get their way, and scare us into compromising those values.  If we intend to further the spread of principled democracy in the world, we must continue to follow our own example; to do otherwise would paint us as the architects of a great hypocrisy, destroying our government's global credibility and rendering our influence null and void.

So, before you start slinging lies -- or buying the ones that have already been slung -- I've got a warning for you, Republicans: don't you dare call me a terrorist enabler. Don't even think about letting the word "defeatist" cross your lips. When push comes to shove, you're the ones creating a rift in the fabric of our democracy; and that, more than anything Democrats could even imagine, weakens our nation's ability to confront its enemies.

Yeah, I'm a Democrat -- true blue -- so call me one!  I'm a liberal, even, and -- you know what? -- you can call me that, too.  But I am not so ignorant as to let the party with whom I vote dictate my beliefs -- we'll leave that to the "vales voters", many of whom can't list two of the "values" upon which they vote.  You won't hear the same "talking points" from Democrats, and for good reason: we don't have them.  The things we hold dear make us Democrats, not the other way around.

But more than a Democrat, I am an American, and a patriot -- and I'll defend my country and its Constitution regardless of the nature of the threat, irrespective of the identity of my enemy. I'll fight them there, here, or anywhere else where they think it's acceptable to threaten our freedoms.

But I will not allow a bunch of yellow-bellied, squirming, anti-American, Saudi-worshipping Republican cowards to overlook the very document that makes our nation great, justifying their treasonous actions by sneering into cameras and invoking the very fear that our enemies are so intent to create. It is atrocious; they are criminals.  To be sure, I'm not talking about Republicans as a whole -- just the ones who fit the description.

And that isn't name calling -- that's the truth.  Stranger than fiction, no doubt -- but this is America, after all.

(Originally posted at joshualander.newsvine.com, but I had to put it on DKos, too.)

Originally posted to lander on Sat Sep 30, 2006 at 05:39 AM PDT.

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