Political And Other Miscellany From A Stout Democrat In Dallas Texas.
"Politics is the only game for adults." --from Robert A. Heinlein's Double Star

Saturday, September 03, 2005

ANOTHER ONE BITES THE DUST: A vicious enabler of oppression has passed. Rehnquist was not the worst Chief Justice ever (that would have to be Taney, who wrote the Dred Scott decision and helped bring on the uncivil war), but he was very very bad. He got his start trying to keep poor and minority voters from casting ballots in Arizona, and was rewarded finally by getting the chance to help steal an entire Presidential election. Along the way he did all he could to deny life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness to hundreds of millions of people. Good riddance.

The question now is how this will affect the nomination of The Dread Pirate Roberts. When O'Connor announced her resignation, the Bu'ushistas were all begging for Rehnquist to go too, so that two nominees at once would dilute the opposition to either, and allow them to stuff through at least one ultra-reactionary. His hanging on forced a pick of one whose had a plausible surface of reasonableness.

The long summer vacation has allowed digging to undermine much of that frosting, but Robby the right-wing robo-judge still looked like a possible, though wounded, winner -- as a replacement for just one seat. Now, his cover has been blown, and folks are suddenly reminded that with two seats up total control of the court is in the grasp of the worst President ever, from the point of view of respect for the law and Constitution. This may force a more moderate choice, or just help obstruct one of the two.

George has just shown himself as an incompetent after Katrina, when his polls were already net negative over ability and honesty. He has hurt himself more this week. Now this wounded very lame duck may still grasp greedily and overreach himself. There is one problem. None of that will matter unless Democrats in the Senate have the guts to stand up and shout "No more" and say why. This may be the last battle of our small-"r" republican small-"d" democratic form of government. If our "leaders" fail us, the outward form of the institutions will go on but the internal organs will be dead.

The Roman empire continued to "elect" its old republican officials for generations after the Caesars became the de facto tyrants there. We could do the same, and plenty of people would just ignore that reality and watch the Bread and Circus channels. The window is closing. We need to wedge a brick in the frame to prop it open while we still can. Write and call and urge the Dems to find or fake a backbone, for the sake of the futures of everyone on the planet.


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