Monday, May 16, 2005

Misplaced Priorities...

While the Republicans in the Senate decide which method to use to undercut our constitutional foundation of checks and balances in order to further placate their domestic base, others are looking to the outside to analyze potential threats to the future role the United States will play in the world.

Despite his cynicism, Pat Robertson is correct in the statement that the role the judiciary plays in affecting the course of our future is enormous. Robertson, however, would like to realign the judiciary away from its traditional role as an independent check on the executive and legislative branches, and toward an ideologically-based and theologically-informed branch that is subservient to the other two branches. This would effectively overturn Marbury v. Madison (1803) which would throw modern jurisprudence into complete a tailspin.

Yet while the vocal minority that is the religious right seeks to enshrine its own doctrinal beliefs into the constitution to protect its own short-term political gains, international events are unfolding that threaten to have a much larger impact on the United States than any social issue could possibly exert.

Over at The American Prospect's blog, Tapped, there is a good article examining the United States' obligations to Taiwan and South Korea and their current activities that may threaten to draw us closer to direct conflict in the Near East. This comes on the heels of growing awareness in mainstream conversations of the increasing weight the Near East will play in the coming century. A perfect example of which is The Atlantic's cover story by David Kaplan in the most recent issue, "How We Would Fight China". The article points out that the Pacific Command retains more troops and equipment than any other U.S. command including Central Command which is handling the current conflicts in both Iraq and Afghanistan.

There are even larger questions regarding the U.S. financial picture and the fact that the central banks of Asia, China included, are absorbing a huge amount of our current debt. The effects of a destabilized Near East could have an enormous impact on not only the U.S. economy, but the resulting destabilizing of the world economy.

These are all issues that need to be addressed now. The Republican leadership is shirking its duties in kowtowing to a minority voice that, while loud, is increasingly out of tune with the global relationships the United States depends upon for its success and stability.

- Murphy

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