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November 29, 2006

Oh My God! It's the Zombie Patrick Henry!

zombiepatrickhenry.jpg

Oh, don't look so shocked. You knew this was coming.

Also, the target of Zombie Patrick Henry's ire would in fact be Newt Gingrich, for being yet another schmoe promoting the "terrorists hate our freedoms, and that's why we have to ditch the freedoms" mindset. Note to Gingrich: The expiration date on that particular school of thought was last election day. You've just performed the policy wonk version of wearing white shoes after Labor Day. Good job.

I hadn't heard of the Dennis Praeger thing, actually, before the thread on the last entry, but having read it now, it's so clear that the man is so jam-full of ignorance about the Constitution of the United States that once the Zombie Patrick Henry has finished his beatdown on Newty, he'll shuffle over to Prager's place and chew on his spine as well.

However, in neither circumstance will the Zombie Patrick Henry eat their brains. He may be a zombie, but he has standards.

Posted by john at November 29, 2006 07:22 PM

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Comments

Chang who is nauseous... | November 29, 2006 07:36 PM

ZOMBIE PATRICK HENRY LOVE EAT BRAINS OF FREEEEEDDOOOOMMMMM!!!!!

RRRRRRRRR!!!!!

Adam Rakunas | November 29, 2006 08:07 PM

I'm sorry, but if ZPH plans on feeding on brains, he's gonna starve once he hits the Prager household.

Adam Rakunas | November 29, 2006 08:09 PM

Also, it's tough to be scared of ZPH when he's got those cute puppy eyes. Just makes me want to lean in and say, "A-who's a cute zombie? Who's a cute zombie? You are, yes you arAIIEEE! LEGGO of my FACE!!!"

KevinQ | November 29, 2006 08:14 PM

The Volokh piece is really good, and what I would have like to have written if I were capable of stringing that many words together in a sensible way.

K

Steve Buchheit | November 29, 2006 09:10 PM

Well, taking off my tin-foil hat (home made, not store bought, thank you very much) for a second, the attack on the First Amendment is more insidious. There is an actual movement to change at least the interpretation of the 1st to mean "Freedom of any Christian Religion." In other words, you have the Freedom to choose any flavor of Christianity you wish, but we are a Christian Nation. No other religions need apply. This is why you see so many attacks on the ACLU from the religious hacks. It's because the ACLU's main purpose is to defend all of the Bill of Rights, but they mostly focus on 1st Amendment attacks.

Yeah, I know, John. You don't see the country moving toward a Theocracy, but I see this as the major battle to move in that direction. And that it is the Religious (mostly the wacko leadership) that are attempting to disable the one group that would oppose them before attempting the frontal assault shows, I think, the intention. The chessboard has been populated, now we're seeing the moves.

Gingrich is attempting a flanking maneuver. I'm glad ZPH is on our side.

(Puts tin-foil hat back on, adjusts it to a jaunty angle, and goes back to labeling the stockpiled food).

Steve | November 29, 2006 09:23 PM

Like Adam, I too find ZPH's Bambi eyes quite disarming.

Eddie | November 29, 2006 09:55 PM

No need to wake the illustrious Revolutionary Dead.

If we knew how careful the NSA was being to protect our privacy while they spy on us we would feel a LOT better.

http://www.iht.com/articles/ap/2006/11/27/america/NA_GEN_US_Terror_Privacy.php

May ZPH eat the livers of Lanny Davis and Alan Raul with a bowl of fava beans and a dry chianti.

Steve Buchheit | November 29, 2006 10:38 PM

Mmmm, fava, chianti, and BRAINS!

Ex-Fed | November 29, 2006 10:58 PM

I particularly like how quickly Newt transitioned from musings about how the Great War on Terrah might require rethinking free speech straight to carping about how campaign finance reform violates free speech and the notion of church-state separation violates free expression. He pulled off that segue as smoothly as a sociopath ditching a cancer-ridden wife.

Bobarino | November 29, 2006 11:24 PM

Ol' Newt was put on this earth to remind us that while virtually every American professes a deep love of our freedoms, more than a few of them are willing to chuck said freedoms at the first sign of trouble.

Back in the good old days when I was a boy, we didn't call these people statesmen, or politically incorrect; we called them assholes. I suggest we resume the practice.

mythago | November 29, 2006 11:52 PM

That would be the Revolutionary Undead, Eddie. Or maybe the Founding Shamblers. (I mean, what's his tagline? "Give me liberty and give me undeath"?)

-et- | November 30, 2006 01:27 AM

My wife happened to be in Newt's grammar school class for a couple of years. A few years ago she provided her opinion of him in one sentence, "He was an obnoxious asshole then, and he is an obnoxious asshole now!"

'Nuff said.

With best wishes,
- Tom -

Steve Buchheit | November 30, 2006 07:42 AM

Mythago, "I mean, what's his tagline? "Give me liberty and give me undeath"?"

No, that would be "Give me liberty or give me BRAINS!"

Oh, those zombie jokes. They just don't get old. And I like the Founding Shamblers. Sounds like a rockadelic band wearing zoot suits.

John Scalzi | November 30, 2006 07:45 AM

Steve Buchheit:

"No, that would be 'Give me liberty or give me BRAINS!'"

"I've had liberty, and I've had death. Liberty is better."

Steve Buchheit | November 30, 2006 07:54 AM

Scalzi,

Amen, brother ZPH, amen. :)

Dean | November 30, 2006 08:13 AM

Bobarino:
"Ol' Newt was put on this earth to remind us that while virtually every American professes a deep love of our freedoms, more than a few of them are willing to chuck said freedoms at the first sign of trouble."

The thing is, it isn't their freedoms (or at least not freedoms they value) that they want want given up. Almost invariably, it is those of other people.

I wonder if anyone has ever been sworn into Congress on anything other than a Bible? I have difficulty believing that this would be the case, but after an admittedly brief search I can't find any references.

A.R.Yngve | November 30, 2006 08:13 AM

Have you noticed that New Gingrich and Osama bin Laden have never been seen in the same room at the same time... and both of them hate liberty?

Coincidence?

Eddie | November 30, 2006 08:21 AM

"Revolutionary Undead" ----- Priceless


I thought Newt's political carrer was long over.Now it looks like he's coming back as the Zombie Nixon.

Chang, who gets nothing done without BRAINZ | November 30, 2006 08:58 AM

You can't have liberty without BRAINZ!!!

DJN | November 30, 2006 09:16 AM

What do Vegetarian zombies eat ?

GRAINZZZZ!!!!!

I have nothing more useful than that to contribute.

John H | November 30, 2006 09:47 AM

The only good thing about Newt spewing this nonsense is it hopefully puts the final nail in the coffin for his presidential aspirations. He'll just have to go back to writing trashy romance novels.

If ZPH is after Newt's brain he's going to starve...

Todd Stull | November 30, 2006 09:58 AM

I read the excerpt of Newt's speech on Newt.org, and have a hard time taking him seriously with all the typoes in the damn thing. Can't he get a good copy editor.

Oh, and the fact that he hates my freedoms, that was kind of irritating too.

While I'm complaining, does anyone else find it a delicious irony that his name is Newt? He's named after a small reptile. Hehe.

Steve Buchheit | November 30, 2006 10:00 AM

DJN, so, yesterday, when John was snaking he would have been after DRAINZZ?

And a zombie on the Weather Channel would be after RAINZZ?

John Scalzi | November 30, 2006 10:05 AM

Newts are actually amphibians, Todd. They're squishy and slimy and live in mud!

Chang who love eat brainz! | November 30, 2006 01:33 PM

A British ecentric zombie would be after...

TRAINZ!!!

John H | November 30, 2006 03:58 PM

And a zombie dry cleaner would be after STAINZZ!!

John From Uconn | November 30, 2006 04:13 PM

Would an underwear gnome zombie be after HANEZ?

Steve Buchheit | November 30, 2006 04:16 PM

Would a zpmbie watcher of large birds be after CRANEZZ?

Or would that be a construction worker zombie?

mythago | November 30, 2006 06:59 PM

California zombies shamble after BRAAAAAN.(Much healthier.)

Steve Buchheit | November 30, 2006 08:59 PM

mythago, hmm, regular zombies then?

Q | December 1, 2006 06:53 AM

BRAAAAAN... For regular zombies, who sometimes aren't.

Steve Buchheit | December 1, 2006 08:01 AM

Do vegetarian's brains have more fiber?

gerrymander | December 1, 2006 12:18 PM

John,

I'm late to the party here, but... I think you've misread Gingrich's comments. To my mind, he's warning that a) unless we consistently start to treat the current times as wartime, we risk facing a devastating loss; and b) if such a loss occurs, our wrath will know no bounds.

Viewed that way, the man has a point. As a nation, we prefer fast, definite solutions; witness the number of times "mission accomplished" has been cited ironically (even here!) as a reason to get out if Iraq. We're the only country to have used nuclear weapons in anger. Do you believe we would never, ever do that again? And if not (speaking directly to the issue at hand), is the world truly a better place if we grant complete liberty to a few thousand now, only to take the lives of many millions later?

John Scalzi | December 1, 2006 12:42 PM

Gerrymander:

"To my mind, he's warning that a) unless we consistently start to treat the current times as wartime, we risk facing a devastating loss; and b) if such a loss occurs, our wrath will know no bounds."

That's all well and fine, but my question is why, when discussing the severity of the situation, his inclination and the inclination of all too many people is to suggest that maybe we ought to dial down our freedoms. I don't think it's at all unfeasible to robustly track, counter and (if necessary) defend against our enemies without reflexively declaring integral portion of our Constitution need to be rethought. The Constitution shouldn't even be on the table as part of the discussion.

If you're talking about "fast, easy solutions" then you're speaking the language of Gingrich and his ilk already because it's faster and easier to dial down my freedoms than it is to leave my freedoms intact and still aggressively pursue our enemies. All that dialing down my freedom accomplishes is giving me fewer freedoms. It doesn't do a damn thing to stop terrorists, who aren't exactly looking to the US Constitution to guide them, anyway.

Basic point here: Anyone who says "well, we'll have to rethink our constitutional rights" as part of a solution has pretty much already lost me. I'll be with the people who say "we'll get these terrorists, and we'll keep our freedoms while we do it." They're working harder and smarter, and from the ideals we profess to believe in.

gerrymander | December 1, 2006 01:59 PM

"If you're talking about 'fast, easy solutions' then you're speaking the language of Gingrich and his ilk already because it's faster and easier to dial down my freedoms than it is to leave my freedoms intact and still aggressively pursue our enemies."

What I'm getting at is that the desire for "fast, easy solutions" is the default for all Americans, you and I included. It's easy to say, "work smarter, and leave my freedoms intact" if you're a white guy in Ohio and not, e.g., a darkly-complected cabdriver in Chicago. No one is going to pull you from your car and beat you if (God forbid) Manhattan gets nuked.

What isn't easy is recognizing exactly what Gingrich is trying to get across: that sometimes the "work smarter" solution is going to come into direct conflict with Constitutionally protected freedoms. We've already seen this, in the form of the NSA overseas phone call monitoring I recall you being none too happy with. What then?

Dave Sanford | December 1, 2006 03:26 PM

http://thinkprogress.org/2006/11/30/koran-bible-prager-ellison/

Apparently there is no swearing in ceremony, maybe someone caught that already.

John Scalzi | December 1, 2006 04:44 PM

Gerrymander:

"We've already seen this, in the form of the NSA overseas phone call monitoring I recall you being none too happy with. What then?"

That's just it, though: The conflict there was precipitated by an administration didn't want to bother with the already-established process that would have required judicial oversight of the executive branch, via the FISA court. That's a manufactured constitutional issue, and had our administration had anything other than contempt for the other branches of government, this wouldn't have been a problem. The constitutional issue there could have been largely avoided.

"No one is going to pull you from your car and beat you if (God forbid) Manhattan gets nuked."

I'm afraid I'm not following the logic in this paragraph at all, not in the least because if New York is nuked and someone decides to take it out on a swarthy Chicago cabbie, I'm not sure how paring down Constitutional rights is going to stop that in the slightest.

This formulation also misses the point that chopping out the first amendment or any other constitutional freedom isn't going to stop nuke-clad terrorists from communicating and coordinating. If I recall correctly, it's not as if our govenment agencies didn't have more than adequate and constitutionally rigorous information on many of the 19 terrorists who flew planes into their targets on 9/11; the problem was lack of intelligence coordination. I would suggest rather than leaping to futzing with the Constitution we work on these smaller issues first.

mythago | December 3, 2006 02:09 PM

that sometimes the "work smarter" solution is going to come into direct conflict with Constitutionally protected freedoms

This is actually why we have a Bill of Rights. It probably was "working smarter" for the British to be able to kick people's doors in looking for suspected rebels, or to jail them for speaking out against the Governor, but somehow the Framers thought these were not practices the new nation ought to adopt.

The way to resolve problems with Constitutional rights is not to decide the Constitution no longer counts, or that this time, we've just plain run into something the Framers couldn't possibly have imagined, so the Constitution doesn't really apply after all.

I mean, you think ZPH is bad, you really want Zombie Thomas Paine and Zombie Alexander Hamilton shambling around?

Billy Oblivion | December 4, 2006 09:06 PM

The Constitution is *constantly* on the table for revision and editing.

Campaign finance laws are dense to the point of being damn near impossible to understand, and are ON THEIR FACE a restriction on political speech--this is a clear violation of the 1st.

In the state I live one cannot buy a semi-automatic rifle with a pistol grip if it can be made to hold more than 10 rounds. One cannot purchase magazines of more than 10 round capacity, and fully automatic weapons are verboten. All of these are "arms" and should be covered by the Second Amendment.

Abuses to the 4th amendment, from no-knock raids to warrants sworn on the testimony of "anonymous" informants.

And the fifth. Kelo etc.

Sixth--try to contest a parking ticket or a minor traffic violation. (yeah, it's weak, but still).

Seventh--20 dollars? We shouldn't re-evaluate the 20 dollar limit?

and the Ninth and Tenth have been alternatively rode over and ignored more often than a Chicago pot hole.

Newt's a fucking prick, and I say that as a staunch Burkean Conservatike (and Lockean Liberal, it's possible to be both today), but please, we've been ignoring and pissing on the constitution for about 210 years now. Don't whine about it when you don't like the results unless you're going to also whine about it when you do.

John Scalzi | December 4, 2006 09:19 PM

Billy Oblivion:

"Don't whine about it when you don't like the results unless you're going to also whine about it when you do."

Hey Billy, fuck off. You don't get to tell me what I get to whine about. I will whine about whatever I goddamn well please, and there's not a thing you can do to stop me.

Also, you seem confused. The constitution is up for revision and editing if and only if you get both houses of congress and 37 of the States to agree (or, God forbid, manage to call a Constitutional Convention). Short of that, no.

What you're talking about is has nothing to do with the Constitution, it has to do with laws. Laws may or may not conflict with the Constitution; that's why we have a judiciary to sort things out and toss the laws that aren't up to constitutional snuff.

However, the Constitution itself is damn hard to revise, and is intentionally so, and I think rather lowly of anyone whose first inclination in a crisis is to go through it with a thresher, as our good friend Newt seems inclined to do.

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