A blog by an American expatriate living in the heart of New Europe

"It's a lateral transfer" -- George W. Bush, 43rd President of the United States
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Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Not So Fast

John Ashcroft has resigned.


Word has it there'll be a Supreme Court appointment soon.

Yes. Now I get it.

Watch out. There's political capital to be spent.


Blogger Redneck Texan said...

Well now, here is an example of where your accusations of me being hypocritical at my blog, may be accurate.

I have been debating in my mind all day whether or not to post an article about Arlan Specter. I guess I have talked myself into NOT doing it.

It could turn my threads into a ugly bloody conservative civil war, and I dont want to encourage my guests to fight with each other over such divisive subject matter.

I personally hope Specter sticks to his guns on this. I also think Bush is with Specter on this. But you got to "dance with the one that brought you" to a certain extent.

I am really torn on what kind of Judge I want. I dont want one that wants to legislate his morality on me, but I am just as opposed to an activist liberal that takes it upon himself to legislate liberal philosophy from the bench either.

Do we really need either. The last 4 years has really opened my eyes to how partisan our judiciary is. I guess you just cant find a truly open mind in America anymore. Everybody's got a freakin agenda...dont we?

11/10/2004 02:55:00 AM  

Blogger Gustav said...

Arlen Specter:

It doesn't matter. He's been pretty good generally at toeing the Bush line, and as Josh Marshall says, he's now completely at the mercy of Bush and Co. They'd be smart to keep him there: He's right where they want him. Bush/Frist won't hesitate to remove him if he even looks sideways at one of Bush's nominees.

If they were to engineer his de-pre-throning, then it would just give those more independent Republicans notice that independence will not be tolerated--

No, they'll leave him where he is. They've got this elephant by the balls.

Incidentally, have you seen this site? Pretty brutal. The ugly wing of that ugly party is getting uglier.

"Senator Specter’s words suggest that the mantle of obstructionism may simply have been passed on from Daschle to Specter."

---Lord. They're cannabals; literally eating their own.


I wouldn't mind such a "strict" reading of the constitution. In my mind a "strict" reading supports extending federally recognized rights to all eligible adults, regardless of sexuality. Nor does it support the outlawing of abortion. The right is always talking about "activist judges"-- but "activist" is very subjective. Isn't a judge who works to overturn Roe v Wade when 60 percent (or more?) of the population support it being activist? Is extending rights over an excluded group activist or open-minded? The SCJs must reflect the highest level of justice conceivable to the American society in that time. We will always have predjudices-- the hope is that they will erode over time.

11/10/2004 11:06:00 PM  

Blogger Redneck Texan said...

I dont know man, I could be wrong, but I think maybe you have over-vilified the Republican Party to such an extent that you see evil intent when there aint none.

I think you may be slightly over-estimating the influence the extreme religious right has over your typical Republican's agenda. Its like the Union base of your own party, they get promised a lot of shit during campaigns that can never be delivered. I dont think the Republican Party as a whole really wants to make abortion Illegal again. Thats just an unrealistic goal in this modern society. Stomper might disagree with me on that, but I think overturning Roe vs Wade would be suicide for the Republican Party. Yet they have to pretend to be attempting to achieve that goal to somewhat pacify the base, the same way Democrats pretend to have labor's best interest at heart. The Dem's know that if they enacted everything the unions wanted it would destroy our economy.

In both cases the Party's have to do just enough to keep their base from defecting, but honestly, no matter what happens can you see a Union ever supporting a Republican for President, or the Religious right ever voting for an over it secular liberal. Both parties know they have a somewhat captured base, and will not risk alienating too many swing voters by enacting extreme legislation.

As far as judges go, it seems lately ever activist one that throws a wrench in our war effort was appointed by Clinton when I research who put them in. Man, I whole-heartily agree with you on wanting a strict interpretation of the constitution, but personal ideology always plays a role. I would actually prefer a computer over a human in that role, or more realistically, I would like to see a way to punish judges for abusing their bench power with partisan decisions. But there again who is open-minded enough to judge the judges.

I guess it all boils back down to majority rules, and apparently your party's ideology scares more people now than they ultra-conservatives do. That will inevitably swing back in your favor at some point, but probably not until the Islamic problem has been address to the point security isn't the dominate issue.

I tell you what though, I hope this is the last discussion I have about politics for a long freakin time. I am just sick as hell of having this ideological divide destroy our unity, when there are enemies out there trying to kill us both.

11/11/2004 12:34:00 AM  

Blogger Gustav said...

The Republican Party:

I'm not as worried about the power of the religious right, but you gotta be concerned. Pat Robertson called it before the election and it's been proven: GWB has the hand of God upon him.

I'm much more worried about the iron fist Bush seems to want to rule with. I can't believe they're considering eliminating the filibuster man. They've gotten so powerful they can change the rules and they're doing it. If I were a Republican, I'd be worried that my representatives were thinking for themselves.


The problem is what is a "strict" interpretation?-- The partisan bias starts there. Who is the excluded group I mentioned? Is it homosexuals or unborn children?

I don't know if a computer could do the job. Justices should have an innate "sense" of fairness-- I don't know if that's programmable.

So a "strict" interpretation is a false goal. What was a strict interpretation 200 years ago is not one now-- history has changed the interpretation.

And that's the problem, a "strict" interpretation is still an interpretation; moreover it requires an interpretation of the word "strict!"

I think the position of SCJ requires an understanding of the "spirit" of the text, and a "faith" in democracy and civil rights. Words are easily manipulated. Find the right way to feed them into a computer, and it will spit out what you want.

The inverse is true as well. People are easily manipulated, or say, programmable. Send a human computer to the SC, programmed just the way you like him, and you'll get the desired output, no matter the input.

The Constitution has to adapt. It is not a holy text, as its writers well knew-- and they made it amendable. (the spirit is clear: it protects and guarantees the rights of the American people.) I guess I believe the Justices are there to makes sure it always adapts to protect our rights, rather than limit them.


I agree, but just like I don't believe that Christians are killing our democracy, I don't believe Unions are killing our economy. I think the Unions have done a lot of good things: making sure we're safe at work and have things like lunchbreaks and sick leave.

But the point is moot: Democrats won't listen to the Unions, mostly because the Unions are asking for the wrong things. I think there's a place for a labor movement in our society though.

Democrats won't listen also because the Unions are nowhere near as strong as they used to be.

Times were, a newspaper had several reporters on the labor beat. Now, few even have one. I think that says a lot.

I come from a union town, and most union guys I know (a small majority) vote Republican. As one Bush supporter from Ohio who lost his job said, "I don't blame him for that."

Social issues hit home with a lot of them. "Vote Freedom First" was a popular campaign in Michigan in 2000.

And I do fear labor protections eroding under a second Bush term.

--Just wondering, is the text on WS in the correct place on your computer at home (ie: between the sidebars)? I made some adjustments to the width of the body for aesthetic reasons as well as for the benefit of websurfers like you.

11/11/2004 02:05:00 AM  

Blogger Redneck Texan said...

No its still screwed up on IE running at 800x600. Your Articles dont start at the top of the page, they start below your right content, below the cost of the war applet. And your articles are tight up against the right edge of the screen, with a large unused black area on the left half of the screen. Of course it looks fine from my work computer running at a higher resolution on a larger monitor. My blog is optimized for 800x600, which is why I chose a 2 column template over a 3 column one. But 800x600 visitors are a shrinking minority, but still account for about 25% of my viewers.

I dont know about the whole partisan bullshit Gus. I do know the country has swung back and forth on the political Pendulum many times in the past. I figure when the right starts making enough people uncomfortable it will swing back again. I dont think our Democracy is in any danger from internal sources. But those Checks & Balances that have kept us free from tyrants, makes us easy pickings for our external enemies with a divide & conquer strategy.

I think our 2-party system, which is a direct result of the electoral college, is better than a multi-party coalition type of government. But it ultimately makes for some strange bedfellows, when you try to cram 250 million different ideologies into 2 platforms. Both of which are openly corrupted with special interest legislation buying cash. Lets dont even pretend elections are decided on ideas.

11/11/2004 04:57:00 AM  

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