Notes on how things seem to me from out here in Hollywood... As seen from Just Above Sunset
OF INTEREST
Click here to go there... Click here to go there...

Here you will find a few things you might want to investigate.

Support the Just Above Sunset websites...

Sponsor:

Click here to go there...

ARCHIVE
« April 2005 »
S M T W T F S
1 2
3 4 5 6 7 8 9
10 11 12 13 14 15 16
17 18 19 20 21 22 23
24 25 26 27 28 29 30
Photos and text, unless otherwise noted, Copyright 2003,2004,2005,2006 - Alan M. Pavlik
Contact the Editor

Consider:

"It is better to be drunk with loss and to beat the ground, than to let the deeper things gradually escape."

- I. Compton-Burnett, letter to Francis King (1969)

"Cynical realism – it is the intelligent man’s best excuse for doing nothing in an intolerable situation."

- Aldous Huxley, "Time Must Have a Stop"







Site Meter
Technorati Profile

Monday, 4 April 2005

Topic: The Law

Words: The Conservatives Get Deadly Serious

Remarks by Senator John Cornyn (Republican-Texas) on the Senate floor today:
I don't know if there is a cause-and-effect connection but we have seen some recent episodes of courthouse violence in this country. Certainly nothing new, but we seem to have run through a spate of courthouse violence recently that's been on the news and I wonder whether there may be some connection between the perception in some quarters on some occasions where judges are making political decisions yet are unaccountable to the public, that it builds up and builds up and builds up to the point where some people engage in - engage in violence.
A comment by at Markos Moulitsas Zuniga Daily Kos -
Violence against judges is nothing short of domestic terrorism. And Cornyn (along with DeLay and their ilk) are nothing more than apologists for such violence.

The GOP's war on the judiciary is now entering dangerous territory.
Zuniga’s roundup of other comment –

The Left Coaster
[I]f Cornyn and DeLay think that there may be a connection between violence against lifetime appointment judges and their allegedly political decisions, does that mean that DeLay and Cornyn would have found it acceptable if millions of Democrats had made direct threats against the GOP majority in the Bush V. Gore case? Would DeLay and Cornyn somehow excuse any subsequent violence that may have ensued against Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas, and the rest of the gang by wondering if there were a connection?
AmericaBLOG
GOP Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) says violence against judges is understandable

We now have Republican Senators making excuses for terrorists. Explaining why terrorism is understandable. Why terrorists have legitimate concerns. Justifying why the victims of terrorism are really to blame for these heinous crimes. Wonder what Senator Cornyn thinks of rape victims?

This is utterly outrageous. Outrageous. The GOP is now embracing domestic terrorists who are trying to undermine our democracy. And they're doing it so they can take down the judges who "killed" Terri Schiavo, and instead impose some Pat Robertson-like theocracy on our country. This is absolutely utterly beyond contempt. Tell Judge Lefkow in Chicago that her mother and husband are dead because she brought it on herself.

And the ultimate irony is that it is people like John Cornyn who now risk inciting violence against judges by giving aid and comfort to these homicidal maniacs. Cornyn should resign immediately.
Michigan congressman John Conyers here -
This apparent effort to rationalize violence against judges is deplorable. On its face, while it contains doubletalk that simultaneously offers a justification for such violence and then claims not to, the fundamental core of the statement seems to be that judges have somehow brought this violence on themselves. This also carries an implicit threat: that if judges do not do what the far right wants them to do (thus becoming the "judicial activists" the far right claims to deplore), the violence may well continue.

If this is what Senator Cornyn meant to say, it is outrageous, irresponsible and unbecoming of our leaders. To be sure, I have disagreed with many, many court rulings. (For example, Bush v. Gore may well be the single greatest example of judicial activism we have seen in our lifetime.) But there is no excuse, no excuse, for a Member of Congress to take our discourse to this ugly and dangerous extreme.

My message is not subtle today. It is simple. To my Republican colleagues: you are playing with fire, you are playing with lives, and you must stop.
Atrios
We get so used to hearing this kind of wingnuttery, and while it's wrong when Michael Savage says something like this, it's certainly way beyond any standard of decency for a United States Senator. And, as Josh points out, it's certainly fascinating for Senator Cornyn to find common cause with murderer and accused rapist Brian Nichols...
Kos didn’t mention what else Josh Marshall said –
So the recent murders of judges and their families are blow-back from widespread judicial activism?

Suddenly the folks in robes are like the girl who dresses too provocatively to the fraternity dance.

And who knew Cornyn and crew wanted to embrace Brian Nichols, the accused rapist who murdered Fulton County Superior Court Judge Rowland Barnes and three others last month, as one of their own?
And Marshall later added this –
Apropos of Sen. John Cornyn's suggestion today that judicial activism may be an underlying cause of the rash of murders of judges and their families, perhaps the Democrats need to introduce a sense of the senate resolution condemning those who threaten violence against judges or offer excuses for those who commit violent acts against members of the bench.
And then this –
One of the great weaknesses of blogs, across the political spectrum, is the repeated and convulsive expression of more or less contrived outrage. Of course, some of the folks are just outrage-addicts and so it's not contrived, but more of an addiction. But same difference.

Yet at the risk of committing the sin I've just described or the malady I've just diagnosed, I invite everyone to again look at this statement today from floor of the United States senate in which Sen. Cornyn (R) Texas suggested that a slow build-up of outrage against activist judges may be the root cause of the recent rash of murders and assaults against members of the judiciary around the country.

(Bear in mind that Cornyn is a former District Court judge, a former member of the Supreme Court of Texas and a former Texas Attorney General.)

… Let alone the fact that the statement is ridiculous on its face since violence against judges in this country is almost exclusively the work of disgruntled defendants or homicidal maniacs who manage to wrestle a gun away from a bailiff, what Cornyn is trying to suggest here seems genuinely outrageous.

I'm curious to know whether you agree.
Hey, the senator from Texas didn’t say go out and kill the judges. He just said it is understandable if you do – a perfectly natural reaction.

Marshall adds this -
Late Update: The [Washington] Post has picked up the story. And if anything, the context of the statement some of which they provide, makes the statement even more of a stunner. The passage … was apparently preceded by this: "It causes a lot of people, including me, great distress to see judges use the authority that they have been given to make raw political or ideological decisions. [Sometimes] the Supreme Court has taken on this role as a policymaker rather than an enforcer of political decisions made by elected representatives of the people."
The court’s role is to enforce political decisions? Really?

Some think the court –and specifically the Supreme Court - adjudicates on acts passed through the political system by Congress and President. The Supreme Court's task is to declare whether an act is constitutional or unconstitutional. The Supreme Court cannot initiate a bill or an act - it can only adjudicate. There’s something about that in Article III of the constitution, some thought about keeping the courts independent of political pressure – ‘checks and balances’ and all that.

It’s kind of like this

- Judicial decisions involve the application of law to specific circumstances and they have to be made in accordance with the law as made by the Legislature and they have to be made without reference to political belief.

- Political decisions are made by those who have been elected to do so. As judges have not been elected by the people, they do not make political decisions.

By the way, Article III also clearly states that judges cannot be dismissed or receive unfavorable treatment simply because they make a judgment that does not find political support or favor from the party in power. Marbury v Madison (1803), anyone?

Oh, never mind. It’s a new world.

And if judges don’t act as enforcers of the will of the current politicians, who have the pulse of the public, always, and just plain folks get mad and kill a few of them, well, what did they expect?

I guess this is getting serious.

Posted by Alan at 21:57 PDT | Post Comment | Permalink
home


Topic: For policy wonks...

Liberal Wimps: The Allure of Calm Reasoning With the Powerful Right

A friend from undergraduate days sent me this –

Goodbye to All That
Kevin Mattson, The America Prospect, Web Exclusive: 03.28.05

Synopsis? The spirit of '68 still lives on in some quarters of the left. Too bad -- there are much more effective ways to be an opposition party than by reliving the past.

In it Mattson comments on the Mark Kurlansky book 1968: The Year that Rocked the World and the allure of those days: “People under twenty-five do not have much influence in the world. But it is amazing what they can do if they are ready to march.” Breaking from the limitations of the sidewalk into the streets now conjures a feeling of exhilaration and radical accomplishment.

Yeah, yeah. And as for 1968 -
Authenticity of the self and actually living in a democratic community with other citizens who hold varying opinions are two very different -- if not, in fact, irreconcilable -- demands. In Chicago, the two ideals clashed, and authenticity won out. Protesters pitted themselves against the inauthentic masses -- the police, those who believed in the Vietnam War, the “pigs.” When this occurred, participatory democracy no longer supplemented representative democracy but replaced it; authenticity displaced the challenge of deliberating with other citizens who might disagree. To be authentic meant to give direct expression to desire rather than to work through a longer process of changing representative institutions. It focused on what George Cotkin, the historian of American existentialism, called “catharsis.”
Dense prose, but you get the idea.

Mattson suggests we go back to 1948 –
Younger thinkers today are going further back than the ’60s to rediscover good ideas. It’s been the Cold War liberalism of the ’40s and ’50s that has garnered the most interest. Books like Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr.’s The Vital Center or Niebuhr’s The Irony of American History or John Kenneth Galbraith’s American Capitalism seem much more interesting than The Making of a Counter Culture. There’s good reason for this, because though we might feel closer to the ’60s chronologically, our own age is much more parallel to the ’40s. Then, as now, liberals faced an international enemy -- Niebuhr’s “children of darkness” -- willing to murder for salvation. Then, as now, liberals confronted conservatives who entertained dangerous ideas of launching preemptive wars abroad while slashing social programs at home. And, if we take the ’48ers up to 1952 and the election of JFK in 1960, then, as now, liberals were often an opposition party.

The ’48ers knew they had to articulate a public philosophy, the way conservatives would later. They sketched out broad principles that transcended liberal interest groups. Those principles grew out of their faith in the American nation as a community of citizens sharing mutual obligations to one another -- the sort that they saw during World War II and that they hoped could live on afterward. The ideas of national greatness and patriotism grounded their political thought. They upheld a public purpose that highlighted the weaknesses of the libertarian right and led them to criticize the “social imbalance” of a society enamored of consumerism and markets, and not America’s civic fabric. Politically, they supported the idea of a “pluralist” government with many voices participating, not just those of business and privilege. They wanted influence on the inside, not protest from the outside. In The Vital Center, Schlesinger wrote, “Our democratic tradition has been at its best an activist tradition. It has found its fulfillment, not in complaint or in escapism, but in responsibility and decision.”

The ’48ers, so far as I know, never marched against American actions abroad. What they did do was construct a framework for a liberal foreign policy, a robust alternative to conservative emphasis on military action and “rolling back” the enemy.
Okay, fine. If there is an opposition it needs to get serious and patriotic. Got it.

So forget 1968.
Instead of embracing those styles from the past, liberals should take their lessons from the right during the 1960s. Liberals will never be as powerful as the right. That’s not just because the right is richer but because the liberal faith is, by definition, weaker. Unlike evangelical Christianity, liberalism can never provide absolute zeal or commitment. We can draw some inspiration from the “fighting faith” of the ’48ers’ liberalism, but we also face challenges that they never faced, especially the infrastructure the right has built over the last few decades. With this said, liberals don’t need to be as weak as they are now. We need not recycle protest and alienation from the past. Liberals have been in the opposition before, and they’ve managed to win back political power. But it took care and precision and some serious thinking about strategy. That’s our charge today.
Is it?

From Saturday, 24 April 2004 see this in these pages - a comment on the Mark Kurlansky book. (And a brief review here from January 25, 2004)

As I said then, I guess this is a book for the old folks, those of us who remember 1968 as a strange year. I was a junior in college in the middle of Ohio. The Vietnam War was raging. Home in Pittsburgh in August I remember I was driving my nutty uncle somewhere or other and on the radio we heard the first reports of the Soviet tanks rolling into Prague. The Prague Spring was over, and he was so angry he was purple - his side of the family was Czech and my father's side Slovak. The elegant, soft-spoken Dubcek was out. The Soviets were back. One minor thing.

January, the International Cultural Congress in Cuba and the beginning of the apotheosis of Che Guevera. Revolution in the air. April 4, 1968 - King was assassinated. May - the student uprising in Paris. June 5th, 1968 - Bobby Kennedy assassinated. Then the Democratic Convention in Chicago with Abbie Hoffman and the Yippies and Mayor Daley and his police. …

Those days are gone.

We need to make ideas resonate?

I doubt that can be done. “Liberals will never be as powerful as the right. That’s not just because the right is richer but because the liberal faith is, by definition, weaker.”

Yep. But maybe a bit of passion might help.

Digby over at Hullabaloo is more blunt here -
I don't know who this group of hippie protester strawmen are in Kevin Mattson's cautionary tale in this months Prospect, but I've not had the pleasure. I don't think there exists a vast number of nostalgic baby boomers and utopian youngsters out there who are planning to launch another Summer of Love, unless he's specifically talking about the anti-Iraq war protests, which of course, he is, but won't admit it. That's because those war protesters weren't trying to hop on a nostalgic magic carpet ride back to the days of Hanoi Jane, they were participating in a worldwide protest about a very specific unjust war being launched by an illegitimate president --- a war which the "fighting liberals" like he and Peter Beinert foolishly endorsed. I suppose the fact that millions of people all over the globe also marched merely means that they too were recreating the alleged glory days of People's Park.
Ah, that’s harsh, but true. There are some new specifics here now, and all that recent anti-war stuff wasn’t nostalgia.

Digby thinks Mattson is clueless -
My instinctive reaction to this entire line of paranoid ramblings about the wild and crazy lefites making a big scene and ruining everything is that if this guy thinks that a bloodless, wonkish liberalism is ever going to compete with the right wing true believers he's got another thing coming. American liberalism grew out of a passionate progressivism and a worldwide union movement, both of which featured plenty of "protest politics" in their day. And if he thinks that the modern GOP's political might hasn't drawn much of its power from pulpits and talk radio demagoguery, then he hasn't been paying attention. Nobody does political theatre better than the right wing.

… The author fails to realize, however, that just as the rabble on the right took to the airwaves, the rabble on the left is taking to cyberspace. This ain't no hippie protest movement, dude. It's as modern as modern can get.

People need to feel things about politics, not just think. It's a grave mistake for political types to insult and marginalize those who have passion and wish to express that publicly. These jittery fellows who are so afraid of "the left's" overheated energy need to remember that their golden post war age was populated by a people who had just been through a crushing economic upheaval and a cataclysmic war. They were willingly docile and conformist for good reason. Don't expect that to be present in other circumstances in a thriving democracy. It isn't natural nor should it be desired. It only lasted a very brief time even then.
Ah, so much for opposing the Bush wars, and all the rest, with dispassionate, patriotic thoughtfulness.

And why dismiss that?
All the wonky goodness in the world doesn't necessarily translate into votes. You've got to resonate on a deeper level with people and while I appreciate the need for an elegant foreign policy argument, I frankly wonder if this public wonkfest isn't just going to reinforce the Republican image of us as a bunch of weenies. In today's political climate nothing spells defeat for Democrats more than the image of a bunch of fey, ivory tower eggheads running the military.
Agreed. And yes, “it's ridiculous to completely place the Republicans as some sort of calm, reasonable suburbanites in contrast to us crazed extremists on the left then or now.”

So, more craziness is called for? Not exactly. Try more passion.

And there’s the history of the thing -
These critics of the unwashed rabble just can't seem to recognize that with great prosperity and political power the time had come for liberalism to act on its long overdue responsibility to fully extend the rights and responsibilities of the American experiment to women and racial minorities --- to use, as Dear Leader would say, its political capital. The social changes that were ratified in the 60's and 70's were arguably more important to the lives of more than 50% of Americans than anything that had happened in the previous century. That's not hyperbole. The women's rights movement alone is one of the greatest progressive leaps forward in human history.

My 36 year old mother couldn't get a mortgage in her own name in 1955. She had to have her father sign the papers. Birth control was illegal in many parts of the country until 1965. Women were routinely denied slots in education and were openly and without shame discriminated against in employment. African Americans, we all know, could be denied the right to enter even public buildings in many areas of the country until 1964. Their "right" to vote was a joke. I needn't even mention the fact that they were dismissed socially as second class citizens without a moment's thought by very large numbers of Americans until quite recently.

That is the world that the "fighting liberals" were protecting. And that is the world that was changed irrevocably during this allegedly frivolous time of liberal protest politics in 1960's. And it was done though the means that this writer seems to find so distasteful -- while he perfunctorily agrees that the ends were all in all a good thing. I'm sorry if all those changes subsequently made it difficult for policy wonks to make a good national security argument, but you know, tough shit. Sometimes you have to do hard things and there is often a price to pay for it.
How do the words go?
Allons enfants de la Patrie,
Le jour de gloire est arrive !
Contre nous de la tyrannie,
L'etendard sanglant est leve !

Aux armes, citoyens !

Tremblez, tyrans et vous perfides,
L'opprobre de tous les partis,
Tremblez !
Oops! Wrong national anthem, of course.

But Digby has a point about the passions running high in 1968 - some things got changed for the better -
You don't make radical quantum leaps in social equality without there being a reaction. The reverberations of all of that are still being felt in the culture wars of today and it has made things difficult for Democratic party politics. However, the energetic political activism of the 60's resulted in tangible, everyday improvement in the lives of vast numbers of Americans who fought for and won the right to be equal under the law in this country. That betterment of real people's lives is what liberalism is supposed to be about.

The lauded "fighting foreign policy liberals" of the 50's were the dying dinosaurs of an establishment that was rapidly losing its energy in a stable, wealthy, globally dominant America. As the writer acknowledges, it was quite easy for them to ride the back of the liberal consensus because they were the inheritors of it -- a condition that does not exist today. It's harder now. That's the reality that we are facing.
So it’s harder now. Fine.

But as Digby says - We don't do nostalgia. Let's leave that to Pat Buchanan.

And I don’t remember 1968 being a particularly fine year. And that was a long time ago.

Posted by Alan at 20:38 PDT | Post Comment | Permalink
home

Sunday, 3 April 2005

Topic: God and US

Sunday Matters: Things Sometimes Overlooked

Juan Cole, writing in SALON.COM, here tells us of what one tends to forget.

This is interesting -
In February 2002, the president and Laura Bush visited a Shinto shrine in Japan, to which they showed respect with a bow. They were immediately denounced by evangelical organizations for having "worshipped the idol." To listen to the anguished cries of disbelief from Bush's Christian base, you would have thought he had met the same fate as Harrison Ford in "Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom," where Indie was hypnotized by the evil rajah into worshipping the pernicious Hindu idol of the thugees.

The reason for the evangelicals' frenzy is the first two commandments of the Decalogue (the Ten Commandments), said to have been given to Moses on Mount Sinai by God. The first says, "Thou shalt have no other gods before me." The second says, "Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God..." George and Laura's respectful nod to the spirits in the Meiji Shrine violated those precepts in the eyes of true believers.
Most curious.

Some of us, had we paid attention to these dual bows in a Shinto shire, wouldn’t have paid attention at all. The Bush two were being polite, and, oddly enough, diplomatic.

But I guess some were offended. How many? Hard to say.

But are we not the most religious of Western nations? Are not most Americans born-again Christian zealots willing to rip the world apart to hasten the Rapture and usher Jesus back to Iowa or whatever? Cole doesn’t think so -
Both the reelection of George Bush and the Schiavo travesty have heightened the sense that the religious right in the United States is all-powerful. Reading the press, you get the impression that almost all Americans are devout Christians, people who believe in a literal heaven and hell and spend their idle moments devouring the "Left Behind" novels about the end of the world. This isn't true -- and it's getting less true all the time. While evangelical Christians are a significant political force, they are probably only a fifth of the country, and not all of them are politically conservative: Only 14 percent of voters in an exit poll for the presidential elections in 2000 characterized themselves as part of the "Christian right." In fact, polls show that the United States is becoming less religious. Only about 60 percent of Americans say religion is important in their lives. The United States is still a predominantly Christian country, but it is no longer an overwhelmingly Christian one. And more and more Americans are either non-religious, unchurched or subscribe to non-Christian religions.
Really?

Cole reviews what wasn’t covered on the news – how other religions weighed in on the recent arguments before the Supreme Court regarding the display of the Ten Commandments in official, state buildings. And this is curious -
Although American Muslims agree with the precepts enshrined in the Ten Commandments, they are fully aware that the move to post it in public buildings is designed to bolster the Christian right in an exclusivist way, and so they have largely made common cause with American Hindus against it.

The friend-of-the-court brief filed by the Hindus and others notes, "To members of non-Judeo-Christian religions, the Ten Commandments do not merely recite non-controversial ethical maxims; several Commandments (e.g., the first, second and third) address the forms and objects of religious worship." Underlining that there are nearly a million Hindus in the United States, and some 700 Hindu temples, the brief says, "Nor can Hindus accept the First Commandment's prohibition against 'graven images.' The use of murtis (sacred representations of God in any of God's various forms) is central to the practice of the religion for virtually all Hindus." The government-sponsored posting of the Ten Commandments implies a U.S. government preference for a theology that Hindus cannot accept. As for the country's 3 million Buddhists, the brief is even more blunt: "The conception of God, or the notion of worshipping creator gods, is considered an obstacle to the enlightenment sought by Buddhists."
Yeah, but are they real AMERICANS? Given this it seems some would argue they are not.

And Cole then reminds of a treaty often cited, but that bears mention once again.
The founding fathers signed into law a 1797 treaty with Tripoli (now Libya), which declares that "...the government of the United States is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion" and adds that "it has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion or tranquility of Musselmen [Muslims]." The idea of the United States government as religiously neutral was linked in this treaty with the notion of peace among nations. The treaty adds, "it is declared ... that no pretext arising from religious opinion shall ever produce an interruption of the harmony existing between the two countries..."
Yeah, that’s for real.

Cole’s conclusion?
More than 200 years later, all the progress achieved in the realm of religious tolerance by the first generation of Americans is in danger of being wiped out by ignorant fanatics who are not good enough to shine their shoes. That danger arises even as the number of non-Christians has risen to record highs. The irony is that the true iconoclasts throughout Christian history would have recognized Judge Moore's two-ton behemoth for what it is: a graven idol.
Ah well, there’s no satisfying the righteous. In fact, that’s why it’s so hard to deal with the al Qaeda guys, as they are as righteous as any Methodist president from Texas, or that former Orkin exterminator Tom DeLay.

Ah, let the Godly fight it out. The rest of us can go on with our lives, not worried about such things.

Posted by Alan at 17:36 PST | Post Comment | Permalink
home


Topic: Couldn't be so...

The Revolution Continues Apace

In the April 3rd issue of Just Above Sunset Tom Delay is quoted suggesting something has to be done about judges who don’t rule the way they should. "The time will come for the men responsible for this to answer for their behavior." Yes, that’s a threat and discussed here: Holy War - The Tiger-by-the-Tail Problem.

Needless to say, what Delay said is getting a lot of press, or whatever you call commentary in the web logs. Not everyone is pleased – even some Republicans, as the item delineated.

Digby over at Hullabaloo notes a shift in the zeitgeist -
Something happened during the Schiavo circus, I think, and it was something significant. But it wasn't that the nation saw that politicians were all a bunch of craven opportunists. They already knew that. It was that the Republican professional class, the libertarians and some common sense types saw FOX News and talk radio as being full of shit for the first time. I have nothing but a handful of anecdotes to back that up, but I think Schiavo may turn out to be the first big tear in the right wing matrix.

For instance, a conservative doctor of my acquaintance was stunned by the Schiavo matter. This man watches nothing but Fox news and could not believe the anti-intellectual religiosity of their coverage. This is a matter that he knows intimately and he could see clearly that the coverage wasn't "fair and balanced." Indeed, it wasn't true. It's as if a veil fell from his eyes.

My conservative Rush loving neighbor was heard complaining that his hero didn't know what he was talking about on the Schiavo case. That is a first. This guy is a true believer --- who also has a very sick wife.

My nurse sister-in-law (also a born again Christian and avid FOX watcher) insisted that all the news be turned off in the house because she couldn't stand the exploitation of the patient or the sideshow outside that hospice. She's very depressed about all this.
But that’s all anecdotal. Can you generalize from it?

Try this (my emphases) -
See, the right isn't like us. They think that the so called liberal media is irretrievably biased but believe what they see, read and hear on their own media. We on the left, on the other hand, have no faith in any mainstream media, really, or any alternative media either for that matter. We have developed the habit of culling from various sources and analyzing the information ourselves as best we can. Even then we are very skeptical. Nothing that the media could do would particularly shock or disappoint us. Not so with the other side. A fair number of them are actually hurt and bewildered by what they saw in the Schiavo matter.

I suppose it's possible that this will fade and that nobody will remember the bizarre spectacle of these urbane, cosmopolitan news celebrities on television spouting lines from Elmer Gantry or Rush clumsily sputtering about the culture of life, but once people have been shocked like this they don't fully trust again. I think there may be quite a few Republicans who were surprised by the complete abdication of responsible coverage by their own trusted Wurlitzer.

It's one thing to get behind jingoistic nationalism and shut your eyes and ears to anything that disturbs that vision of your government. Most wingnuts have a bizarre belief that the government must know best when it comes to national security, despite all evidence to the contrary. But, to see your trusted media blow it so hugely on a personal issue about which most of us have very definite opinions and are pretty well informed, must be quite jarring.
No doubt. But one suspects Fox and the rest will be forgiven.

Where is this all heading?
Apparently, we are entering a new phase in the culture war that should be startling to even those who didn't see that partisan witch hunts, bogus impeachments and stolen elections indicated a certain, shall we say, imaginative interpretation of our constitution and a willingness to radically exceed any previous limits on partisan power.

… Now that these nutcases have political power it becomes clear that their beef with the judiciary has actually always been that it operates more or less independently of the political process and that means they cannot completely control it, which is the real problem. When you are running a strongarm operation, ("the time will come for the men responsible for this to answer for their behavior") partisanship or ideology really doesn't matter anymore. It's a pure power game….
Maybe so.

What to do?
I say let the games begin. This has been brewing for quite some time. This undemocratic streak in the GOP waxes and wanes but it has been dramatically on the upswing for the last decade or so. But this time the radical Republicans are piping their revolution straight into homes and cars and offices all over this country and it's starting to freak out the normal people.

I've been shouting myself hoarse about this for more than ten years. These self-proclaimed revolutionaries are exactly what they say they are and they do not respect the spirit of democracy, the rule of law or our constitution. That they are supported by so-called conservatives just makes the irony that much richer.
And we all love irony.

And the widely-read Atrios says this -
… I guess I always sort of believed that the attacks on the judiciary by wingnuttia was simply a ploy to intimidate liberal judges until they could finish stacking the courts with their own. But, lately it seems that either this isn't true or that many of them have forgotten that this was the plan. It seems that they actually want to undermine the judicial branch completely, which I find rather weird.
Well, duh!

Welcome to the real world.

Posted by Alan at 17:34 PST | Post Comment | Permalink
home

Saturday, 2 April 2005

Topic: Photos

No entries today…

The sun is coming up and we’re off to Carlsbad – a few miles north of San Diego on the coast. Three family birthdays and one big party. Back tomorrow - and tomorrow, late in the afternoon, watch for the new issue of Just Above Sunset, the weekly parent site of this web log.



Posted by Alan at 08:06 PST | Post Comment | Permalink
home

Newer | Latest | Older