Dispatches from the Creation Wars

Joe Miller’s Brownshirts

I have been quite remiss in commenting on the appalling situation in Alaska, where tea party lunatic Joe Miller had his bodyguards handcuff and detain a journalist who was asking him questions he didn’t like. Every journalist should be up in arms about this — and whoever the local prosecutor is should damn well be preparing charges for false imprisonment against those guards. By what possibly legal authority could they have done what they did?

And to make things worse, it now turns out that two of those guards were active-duty soldiers in the U.S. military, clearly violating Pentagon regulations. Glenn Greenwald has it exactly right:

That directive exists because it’s dangerous and undemocratic to have active-duty soldiers taking an active role in partisan campaigns; having them handcuff journalists on behalf of candidates is so far over that line that it’s hard to believe it happened. The real issue, though, is Joe Miller: the fact that he did this and then emphatically defended it reveals the deep authoritarianism of many of these “small-government, pro-Constitution” right-wing candidates. Any American of minimal decency should be repelled by this incident.

Heads and nails. And he asks the right question:

If it’s not completely intolerable to have active-duty soldiers handcuffing American journalists on U.S. soil while acting as private “guards” for Senate candidates, what would be?

If you aren’t bothered by what happened, you forfeit any right to talk grandly about how much you love the Constitution.