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Friday, March 25, 2005

Calling "Bullshit!"

Mike McGlynn has been my favorite newspaper columnist for many, many years. He is smart, funny, and a hell of a lot better writer than you would expect to be writing for what amounts to a small-town newspaper. His column today lambastes the hypocrisy of the Republicans who have put on such a show in the name of Terri Schiavo, yet at the same time are trying to cut $15 billion dollars in federal funding for Medicaid.

The Republicans' masks, and those of their tabnoom* supporters, are starting to slip. Any pretense of being opposed to big government has been reduced to ashes by the grandstanding of the President and his Congressional lapdogs** in the past week, and callers to FOX "News" are demanding that Federal troops be sent in to battle their way through the sheriff's deputies protecting Mrs. Schiavo and kidnap her in the name of George W. Bush. (Governor Jeb Bush is reportedly considering a similar move.)

Nobody's gonna call "Bullshit!" on the President, accusing him of overstepping his authority, of interjecting himself into a conflict he has no business interjecting himself into - well, actually, a lot of people have called "Bullshit!" on him, but he and his supporters are quick to dismiss them, and in the end, what can be done about him? You can't go back and not elect him. And Congress isn't about to impeach him, though they have far more reason than they did with his predecessor. And who is gonna call "Bullshit!" on Congress? Certainly not any members of Congress who want to stand a chance of getting re-elected - you know that the Republican character assassination teams (like the ironically named Swift Boat Veterans For Truth) are already gearing up for this.

No, the Executive and the Legislative branches of government have abandoned the rule of law in favor of the rules of political demagoguery. Which leaves it up to the third branch of government - the Judicial - to call "Bullshit!" And they have.

Again and again, judges at every level - right up to the U.S. Supreme Court - have rejected or refused to hear appeals. The Judicial branch is standing in the way of the other two branches' attempts to steamroller this issue through. Which will be its undoing.

In a few weeks, when the issue of the "Nuclear Option" in judicial nominations comes up, it will almost certainly pass on a wave of Congressional outrage over the death of Terri Schiavo - a death which could have been prevented (the Republicans in Congress will say) if only one judge had had the courage to "do the right thing". And then we will see extremist, activist judges nominated and approved, nominated and approved, until the day that one or more of the superannuated justices on the Supreme Court finally step down, and Bush finally gets to begin packing the court with his people. "Conservative" Republicans will firmly control all three branches of government, and there will be nothing to stand in the way of their agenda, and no one to call "Bullshit!" on any of them.

Except for you and me and folks like Mike McGlynn.

*Tabnoom is a word I'm trying to introduce into the lexicon. It's the same as, and the opposite of, the "conservatives"' favorite epithet for "liberals": Moonbat.

**Lapdogs, in this case, go both ways. Bush is a lame-duck president. He doesn't have another election to worry about, so he can behave as he pleases and not worry too much about popular opinion. But many of the members of Congress whose support he needs to do what he wants to do will eventually be seeking re-election, so he must now expend much energy in convincing them that their support will not adversely affect their chances of re-election; in effect, he's being forced to make them happy to get them to play ball with him. Or, to sum it up more succinctly: Politics.

5 comments:

Super G said...

I hadn't thought of this stunt really being a way to justify taking the nuclear option later. Now there's a good conspiracy.

Super G said...

I hadn't thought of this stunt really being a way to justify taking the nuclear option later. Now there's a good conspiracy.

D.B. Echo said...

"Conspiracy" is such a loaded word, designed to make you automatically question the rationality of the person suggersting the existence of one - almost like a biult-in safety mechanism for the conspirators! I just reread Orwell's 1984, so I have a better understanding of how such linguistic manipulations work.

Maureen Dowd came this close to suggesting the same thing in her Op/Ed piece that you linked to from your site.

I just hope I'm wong about this. I generally hope I'm wrong about a lot of things in politics and business, but generally find out that my worst-case scenarios didn't even come close.

Harold Eugene Johnson said...

Theresa ("Terri") Marie Shindler - Schiavo, of Florida, should have been protected by Article (5) five, and Article (14) fourteen, under the Constitution, plus ADA, but our "out of control" Judicial System failed to do its duty.

All of the extra activity, in the District of Criminals, was simply a move to allow the Shindler family a way to return to the courts, and try to present their case in a different way. Nothing more.

D.B. Echo said...

See Adam Felber's uncharacteristically serious thoughts on this:

http://www.felbers.net/movabletype/mt-tb.cgi/291