Monday, April 25, 2005

About Those Judges

In the span of a month we've endured the Terri Schiavo spectacle, the wall-to-wall coverage of the death of one pope, the selection of the new one, and last night, the fascist right's "Justice Sunday" broadcast, calling for the end of the Senate filibuster, a congressional provision which is, so far as I know, a Constitutionally legal means of ensuring the protection of minority rights, a concept that with Republicans controlling all three branches of government, the majority party and its theocratic colluders believe is incompatible with their agenda.

Just in case there are doubts about why Senate Democrats have been blocking the approval of these judges, Steve from No More Mister Nice Blog gives us a clue:

I've been meaning to write something about the big article on "Constitution in Exile" judges that ran this past Sunday in The New York Times Magazine. You should certainly read it -- these people want to overturn the New Deal, and maybe not stop there, and the Bush administration might well succeed in putting a number of them on the federal courts, including the Supreme Court. We learn a few tidbits about some of the Bush nominees who are currently being held off by the Democrats -- a century ago the Supreme Court first dealt with minimum-wage and maximum-hours laws, finding them unconstitutional, and we're told that Bush nominee Janice Rogers Brown thinks those rulings were just swell (a good point to remember next Sunday, when preachers and Bill Frist are telling us that Democrats hate Bush's appointees because they're so Christian).

The Republican, Fox News approved talking points on the "nuclear option" are that (1) we goofed by calling it the "nuclear option"--our ending of the filibuster is really the "Constitutional" option, and its those Democrats who are calling it the "nuclear option", even though we were the ones that started calling it that; and (2) hey, why can't we just have an up or down vote on these judges?

TP 1 is of course reminiscent of the administration's Social Security bamboolzepalooza tour where it initially referred to its Social Security phase out plan's diversion of payroll taxes as "privatization" until that term was deemed to be unhelpful by the party strategists who recommended changing the term to "personal accounts" and then went on to chastize Democrats and members of the media who insisted on using the old Republican TP term "privatization".

TP 2 basically means that with Republicans in charge those pesky Constitutional provisions preventing majority votes, such as the filibuster, the 2/3 rds vote required for treaties, Constitutional amendments, Senate impeachment convictions, and so forth, are now and should be null and void. Huh?

I watched Friday's C-Span coverage of Joe Biden's Jefferson-Jackson Day speech in Columbia, SC, in which, after talking about COPS and all the good we were doing in Iraq and Afghanistan, did manage to mention the upcoming "Justice Sunday" telecast and weigh in against it, and for a return to a strict-constructivist upholding of the Separation of Church and State. But he didn't say anything about the opposed Bush nominees themselves.

But according to Crooks and Liars, Biden appeared to backtrack on Sunday's This Week and expressed some willingness to comprise on the "nuclear option". I hope he and the party don't. What's more, I hope Reid and the gang will let the media know about the range of Brown's, Owen's and Pickering's positions that we find objectionable, besides their opposition to abortion. It's not about faith, it's about undoing the consumer and worker protections of the New Deal, and the improvements in civil liberties since the 1960's. Conservatives want to undo all that. We don't and don't think most Americans do either.

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