Saturday, January 08, 2005

GOP Threatens the Rule of Law Yet Again

The GOP strikes another blow against democracy in KY. They GOP majority seated Dana Stephenson as state Senator even though they knew she did not meet the constitutional residency requirement. Yet another example of how the GOP is increasingly contemptuous of the rule of law, so long they are enabled to wield ever more power. The GOP is damaging the foundation of our nation's government; the faith that we have a government of laws, not a government of men.

Granted, even some GOP members are disgusted by such naked use of power in the face of legal restrictions (Bob Leeper (R) threatened to resign from the state Senate over the incident, and even though he switched from being a conservative Democrat last year, giving control of the Senate to the GOP, you could write to him and tell him you are proud of him for standing up for the law), but not enough Americans are holding the GOP to account for thier many abuses of power.

Anyone familiar with operant conditioning learning theory will tell you that failing to punish, and even rewarding, bad behavior carries the certainty of inspiring yet more of the same behavior. When Republican voters fail to punish their politicians who abuse, distort, and ignore the law, ethics, and American notions of justice and fair play, they may spur their party to greater power in the short-term, but they are destroying the habits of constititutional democracy that are the foundations of the American way of life in the process.


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