In Defense of The Justice-to-be
Tuesday I learned, as a captive audience to cable news, that some things are not as they seem. For example, Supreme Court nominees are viewed differently, depending on your party.
When a Republican president nominates a Supreme Court justice, the up or down vote is sacrosanct, it is a crass violation of Senate comity to even consider filibustering the nominee, and the majority reserves the right to deploy a "nuclear option" just in case the minority hints towards such procedural rudeness. (And Abe Fortas never happened.)
When a Democratic president nominates a Supreme Court justice, all weapons to block the nominee for the minority are on the table; filibusters are not only acceptable, but necessary, and the right of the minority to obstruct the nomination is a shining example of our system of checks and balances.
A Republican Supreme Court nominee who supports torture, believes that the executive branch has special super powers, rules in favor of the corporate sector every time, and disdains habeas corpus, due process, and the Fourth Amendment is a "moderate."
A Democratic Supreme Court nominee who worked as a prosecutor, who was appointed to her position on a federal court by President George H. W. Bush, and who believes in the Bill of Rights is a "liberal extremist."
The absolute worst quality a judge could possibly possess is "empathy." It's un-American, un-Christian, just a horrible, horrible thing to be. Sociopaths would make much better justices. We should strive to maximize the sociopath presence on our federal courts, just to rub out that dreaded "empathy."
If George W. Bush places far-right reactionaries like John Roberts and Samuel Alito on the Supreme Court, it's because elections have consequences and the president has a right to employ his discretion on the matter.
If President Barack Obama places an apparent liberal like Sonia Sotomayor on the Supreme Court, he's not being bipartisan enough. The cad.
It is very, very important that we get Alberto Gonzales' opinion on Sonia Sotomayor broadcast on a cable news show. A man of such achievement and honor should always be consulted on matters like this.
Sonia Sotomayor, who graduated from Princeton summa cum laude, and who edited the Yale Law Review, had everything given to her by affirmative action. Clarence Thomas, on the other hand, completely pulled himself up by his bootstraps.
Judge Sotomayor cannot possibly be an effective justice because she's a female Hispanic who grew up poor, and that background might seep into her opinions. That would be the worst thing, like, ever.
Rich white guys like John Roberts and Samuel Alito, of course, could never, ever have this problem.
Diabetes was a serious-but-manageable chronic disease until Tuesday. Now, being a diabetic is suddenly incompatible with high-level public service.
And one final blast from the past. Name the person behind the following quote:
"I have followed this man's career for some time, and he has excelled in everything that he has attempted. He is a delightful and warm, intelligent person who has great empathy and a wonderful sense of humor."
The answer is George Herbert Walker Bush, on July 1, 1991. He was speaking about... Clarence Thomas.