jokers to the right
Ever since that day almost exactly a year ago when the hearts of progressives were broken by the election of 2004 we've been waiting for the other shoe to drop. And it has: a giant galosh covered in shit.
Oh sure, we kept our powder dry during the John Roberts confirmation (he seemed like a nice enough guy with a ton of experience), and we watched in delight as the Harriet Miers fiasco flummoxed the Republican Party.
We mourned as the 2000th soldier died in Iraq based on lies, and we cheered as the first Bush administration officials began to be indicted. We quaked with rage as the President botched the rescue during three hurricanes and then finally felt VINDICATED as his approval rating slipped into the 30s.
But that's all over now. An embittered, pissed-off, entitled shrub of a Commander in Chief has now taken his toys and told us to fuck off: the nomination of Samuel Alito is one of the scariest things to happen to the judiciary of this country since the 1920s. Fitting, too, because Alito wouldn't mind taking us back there - this man makes Sandra Day O'Connor look like Abbie Hoffman.
There are plenty of places you can go to find his past rulings - I'm not going to clog up the blog with them. It only takes a second to get a whiff of his cruelty, his pomposity, his desire to legislate law from any bench of his choosing. He is to the right of Scalia, an act of physics I thought impossible.
The worst thing is this: Bush is nominating someone who is virulently anti-choice on abortion, when well over 60% of the country wants to keep abortions safe and legal. With Bush's popularity so low, and a vast majority of the country believing we're going in the wrong direction, you'd think he'd nominate someone who at least shared our interests.
Nope. He's a little bully that's been backed into a corner and decided to lash out in one last desperate act: a small stone in a slingshot that takes out your eye.
Now is the time to truly contemplate American Coastopia, or perhaps another country. I know that sounds like wacky Baldwin Brother bullshit, but I am simply not going to allow my daughter to grow up in a country where she can be strip-searched at the age of 10 even without a warrant. I don't want her to see people fired because they have AIDS. And if she wants an abortion one day, it'll be heartbreaking, but by god, it'll be safe and legal.
If we have to move to Norway for this to happen, then, well, fuck it. I'll buy one of those sunlamps.
Cue comments from conservatives saying I'm wrong, cue others fighting them, cue nobody changing, zzzzzzzzzzzz
Posted by Ian Williams at November 1, 2005 11:19 PM
To be honest and in the interests of full disclosure, let me first say that I do lean to the right. But, I am not a loony-toon. I am not a huge supporter of Alito, but we all saw this coming. Bush, for better or worse, made it 100% clear in his 2 election campaigns that he favors "strict constructionists" in the mold of Scalia and Thomas. Sure, there may be tons of other reasons why he was elected, but one can not say that he pulled the wool over anyone's eyes here. Of course, I doubt many people understood "strict constructionist" when the words fumbled out of his mouth, but the point remains: he did tell us what he was going to do.
Now, as to Alito himself, I do not think he is a total nut-job. When he was nominated by Bush 41, he was overwhelmingly appproved and received the votes of almost every Democratic Senator that remains in office today. Is he very conservative? Yes. Guess what? So is this President. The only beef that people have with him is his ideaology, not whether he is qualified. If nominees were denied only because of ideaology, Bader Ginsberg would have never had a chance, but the Republicans voted overwhelmingly for her (something like 96/100 votes).
I hope no one will now levy personal attacks on me b/c I am not advocatng Alito. I dont have a strong opinion regarding him other that to say that he seems qualified if you remove ideaology from the equation. I know some folks on the Right and the Left can not remove ideaology from the equation, but I am trying to do so.
I hate to say it, but unfortuntely, I don't think this country is ready for a black man (e.g., Obama) to be President.
I am definitely ready for it, and all of the people I call my friends certainly are (though sadly, not everyone in my family), but unfortunately, there is still a % of Americans (and not necessarily a small one) who would not support or vote for a black man, regardless of how qualified and great he is.
That's why I don't think Obama would be a good choice for the Dem. nominee, because he would probably lose based solely on his race.
Similarly, I hope Hillary is not the Dem. candidate either. I don't have a problem with her personally, but I think there are too many good ole boy sexists who couldn't stand the idea of a woman President.
It's sad to say, but in the near future, I just don't see the presidency in the hands of a non-white or female.
"From the reports I have seen, Samuel Alito seems a man of moderate disposition and immoderate talent and intelligence. All credible indications that I have read, including Ian's hysterics above, are that he would be a valuable addition to the Supreme Court."
I have to agree.
While I disagree with many of Alito's ideological positions, it's hard to find fault with him otherwise.
"... If you don't like the Supreme Court nominee, then win a national election and choose your own nominees. ..."
I'm truly amazed to agree with J.Boogie about something, even if it is one lone point in a long string of trolling.
If we don't want the country to keep becoming more conservative, we have to become more involved, and more united. We have to win. Like it or not, that *is* Democracy.
But -- *how* to win?
I think we lost the White House in 2008, not because because of John Kerry's positions on issues, but because he is such an uninspiring leader. I mean, c'mon -- it's like someone used up a whole can of Charisma-B-Gone on him.
As for America's being ready for a female or Black President, I think we are. Maybe I'm naive, but then again, maybe I'm not.
I *am* cynical enough to realize that We the People don't choose our leaders based on issues and qualifications, but on looks, personality and public relations. So we'd better start picking candidates with "that extra special sumthin'." And sell the lving hell out of them.
Joe Jackson said it really well. He was talking about pop music, but it's equally true for politics: "The public doesn't know what it wants, only that it wants something good."
I'm a semi-occasional commenter, but the tempers that surround the abortion issue are keeping me from signing my name here.
I had an abortion at 18 and was lucky in some circumstances (had the support of my boyfriend and guidance counselor, didn't doubt my decision, transportation to and from the clinic, and a place to stay afterwards) and unlucky in others (would have been kicked out if parents found out, lying and sneaking around to work out the logistics, barely enough money to cover the procedure). I don't regret what I did for one second and never have - I was not equipped to raise a child or even carry it to term to be adopted. If I could not have had the abortion, there's a good chance I would be living on the streets right now, or at best, with someone I did not want to spend the rest of my life with.
My point is this: if my boyfriend (or husband, as in Alito's case) had been an awful person or abusive, I should not need his approval. I don't think there was a clause that stated only "good" husbands needed to be consulted.
At 18, I was capable of making an informed decision that had physical and emotional consequences, but I was/am also capable of dealing with those. I am not a baby killer. I did not have a late-term (or even second trimester) abortion. I was stuck in a bad situation with no other way out. I could go on and on but don't think the rest of my story is applicable here. If any commenters have questions, feel free to ask, but I don't want to be criticized for making the right decision, which was between me and my doctor.
"FYI, we DID win a national election and the supreme court fucked up the proceedings..."
In fact, a recount of Florida ballots by two separate media consortiums (using the Gore standard) showed that even if the Supreme Court hadn't required Florida to follow Florida law and certify the election results, Bush still would have won the 2000 Florida state election and, as a result, the electoral college (Krugman even admits this). Gore and Kerry both lost. Let it go, man. Elections have consequences and one of them is that the president gets to pick Supreme Court nominees. It's ridiculous that anyone would expect Bush to betray the people who voted for him (a majority, this time) by nominating someone preferred by the people who didn't vote for him.
"...have you ever heard of a little item called the equal protection clause??? i don't want to get into con law 101..."
Maybe you should review it yourself, because same-sex marriage is not an equal protection issue. Everybody is treated equally the way the law is now: you can marry whomever you like so long as it's to one person and that person is of the opposite sex. By your standard, persons who want to marry their first cousins have a 14th Amendment complaint. When gay marriage becomes legal in this country it should be through the legislature, not judicial fiat.
"...the real issue is the right to privacy..."
It's no longer private when another life is at stake and the "choice" was made when the parents decided to have sex.
"...if my boyfriend (or husband, as in Alito's case) had been an awful person or abusive, I should not need his approval. I don't think there was a clause that stated only "good" husbands needed to be consulted."
Actually, there were such exceptions in the law that was reviewed in the Casey decision. And no approval was required, only notification to a spouse (not boyfriends). The exceptions were where: (1) [The husband] is not the father of the child; (2) [The husband] cannot be found after diligent effort; (3) The pregnancy is the result of a spousal sexual assault that has been reported to the authorities, or (4) [The woman] has reason to believe that notification is likely to result in the infliction of bodily injury upon her.
This may be bad policy, but the question in the Casey decision was whether or not it was unconstitutional. Frankly, Alito made a fair argument in his dissent.
(OK, now I'm done with the abortion debate.)
"Maybe you should review it yourself, because same-sex marriage is not an equal protection issue. Everybody is treated equally the way the law is now: you can marry whomever you like so long as it's to one person and that person is of the opposite sex. By your standard, persons who want to marry their first cousins have a 14th Amendment complaint. When gay marriage becomes legal in this country it should be through the legislature, not judicial fiat."
Sorry, no. Everybody is *not* treated equally. Would a law saying Jews could worship freely, as long as they worshipped as Christians in a Christian church, grant Jews the same religious freedom it grants Christians?
Just because 90% of people are heterosexual and want to marry someone of the opposite sex doesn't negate the rights of the other 10%.
It's a constitutional issue -- not a legislative one -- because one of the principal functions of our constitution is to protect people's rights, *especially* to protect the rights of the minority from the tyranny of the majority.
Would you suggest that the Jews in my example above should lobby their legislators to win their equal rights?
Read section 1. Also note that Congress has the power to enforce -- but not to restrict -- protections ensured by the amendment.
Finally, as a matter of fact, I think first cousins wishing to marry who live in one of the 31 states that forbid it well *might* have a 14th amendment case; the original basis for such laws turned out to be junk science:
“I am simply not going to allow my daughter to grow up in a country where she can be strip-searched at the age of 10 even without a warrant.”
It’s been like that in this country for years for people in the lower class when busted - the people who don’t have money to hire quality lawyers, or bribe judges, or have powerful friends who influence everything from the cops initial conduct to the charges filed to the eventual outcome of the case. C’mon. Everyone reading this blog - especially the many lawyers whose personal interest, by definition (unless they are really radical) is to maintain the system – knows, or should know, that we live in a plutocracy. Or how about a fascist police state? Oligarchy? Military-industrial complex? Government run by a bunch of greedy pig fuckers? Take your pick.
The reason the smart well-off left is now getting so upset is that it’s becoming obvious that not only are things getting worse in general, it’s getting worse for them. The current regime is going to seriously effect progressives and their children and their grandchildren in a very negative way. The swine who are now in power are changing the laws in a way that can no longer be ignored. The fantasy that we live in Jeffersonian democracy is no longer easy to accept. Maybe there is no longer an Easter Bunny. Perhaps there never was.
But try moving somewhere less insane, like Canada or Holland or Norway. As usual, if you’re really rich, or have special skills and are young, or you know the right people, or are extremely desperate, or perhaps just plain crazy, you might be able to pull it off. But most people – the people who can’t even comprehend what I just wrote - are stuck under an increasingly fascistic government, which is turning them into slaves, with the threat of legal prosecution and poverty being the whip.
So much for the American Dream.
This type of shit can only go on for so long before things really, really go to hell.
Which brings us back to Ian’s original statement.
If you don’t want your kids growing up in this madness, where are you going to go, how are you going get there, and will they let you stay?
Everytime the abortion debate rears its' head, I posit two examples of why I believe Roe v. Wade should remain the law of the land. So J. Boogie and Matt, if you think either of these examples are not good reasons for upholding R. v. W., I'd love to hear you defend them
1)A college friend was on a business trip in a Southwestern city in 2001. She and a colleague were celebrating the acquisition of a new client over a drink in their hotel bar. He slipped her a 'roofie' then when she became incapacitated, took her back to her room, raped her, which resulted in a pregnancy. She aborted the fetus a week after discovering she was pregnant from this incident.
2) Your (hypothetical) daughter is home alone and your brother rapes her and in doing so impregnates her.
Does anyone actually feel that in those situations, an abortion isn't justified to a certain degree?
No one throws a party when they get back from the 'clinic', in fact most pro-choice people maintain that they would never get an abortion, but still feel that should be an option available to women.
FR, the problem with your hypothetical is that it violates the 1st Am. Unlike the freedom of religion, which is specifically guaranteed in the Constitution, there have always been restrictions placed on marriage and there will be after gay marriage is legalized (I do think it will eventually happen -- hopefully through the legislature and not the courts). The fact remains that everyone *is* treated equally under current marriage law. That some people don't like the options doesn't make it an equal protection issue.
You say people should be able to marry their first cousins, also on equal protection grounds. Then what about siblings? Plural marriage? Let's hear your argument as to how the EPC guarantees gay marriage and perhaps marriage between first cousins but not between, say, two brothers or six Mormons. Aren't they entitled to protection from the "tyranny of the majority" under your reasoning?
If you answered "yes," well, then you're consistent, but you've carved out a very lonely piece of real estate for yourself.
Ian, I don't disagree with you on the confusion caused by the Palm Beach County butterfly ballot. Blame the designer, who happens to be a Democrat.
FP, I support abortion in both of those situations. (There was no "choice" made.)