Wednesday, January 10, 2007


Providing a sneak preview of what promises to be one of the diplomatic set-pieces of the year, Dick Cheney went to Jamestown, Viriginia today to mark the 400th anniversary of the Jamestown settlement -- the full celebration coming when Lizzie and Phil will join George and Laura there in May. But it was no less bizarre for being predictable to see Cheney trot out the English tradition stuff,

A year before that -- on July 30th, 1619, just a few steps from this sanctuary -- the first representative assembly in the new world was called to order. Indeed, so much of what defines our country -- its language, legal traditions, and institutions -- have roots in the community that rose in this corner of Virginia. English liberty and law, private property, the spirit of free enterprise, and commerce -- all of these are part of the Jamestown legacy

when the Administration of which he is a part has trashed those traditions by ignoring the current representative assembly, dumping habeas corpus, reintroducing detention without trial and torture, not to mention piling up levels of debt that would horrified the prudent settlers. And especially worth noting in the context of Virginia is the case of the state's Anglican parishes, so old that they were founded as part of the Church of England, now deciding that they'd rather be governed by a bishop in Nigeria. 400 years is a long time.

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