JimSmith - 9/21/2005 12:10 AM
Botnst - 9/20/2005 10:26 PM
kvining - 9/20/2005 9:46 PM
Bork was a nasty little fascist fuck.
Now there's a perfect example of reasoned debate from a Democrat.
Surpassed only by selective memory of a closet Republican Party advocate. Here was another one of those yes men, willing to do their bosses bidding when other peers in the business resigned instead of carried out immoral orders. Check the history on Watergate, briefly recalled for those who would rather not jar their selective memory below:
"As acting Attorney General, he is known for carrying out U.S. President Richard Nixon's order to fire Watergate Special Prosecutor Archibald Cox following Cox's request for tapes of Oval Office conversations. The firing incident is known as The "Saturday Night Massacre." Nixon's Attorney General Elliot Richardson and Richardson's Deputy Attorney General, William Ruckelshaus, resigned rather than carry out that order. Bork, next in line after Richardson and Ruckelshaus, became acting head of the Justice Department, and Nixon ordered him, too, to fire Cox. Bork considered resigning as well, but was persuaded by Richardson that this would leave the Department in chaos. Bork then complied with Nixon's order and fired Cox. He subsequently resumed his duties as Solicitor General."
Just to refresh memories further, here are a few more short paragraphs recounting the "Borking" of Bork. It is uncanny how similar today's situation is to Bork's:
"In his five days of testimony -- the longest confirmation hearing for any Supreme Court nominee since hearings began in 1939 -- Bork surprised everyone. He modified many of his most controversial views. Whereas in 1971 he had argued that constitutional protection of free speech applied only to that which was political in nature, in 1987 he conceded that First Amendment guarantees applied to news, opinion, literature and more. He had claimed that the "equal protection" clause of the Fourteenth Amendment should apply only to racial and not gender discrimination; during the hearing he stated that equal protection should in fact apply also to women. Bork's approach to the hearing was in keeping with the decision by the White House to avoid an ideological fight and tout the nominee as a moderate. This soft sell did not sit well with Bork's supporters, his detractors, or the undecided senators.
Another week of testimony by a hundred witnesses followed Bork's appearance. Among them was William T. Coleman, a prominent black Republican attorney and a strong supporter of Reagan. But Coleman broke ranks with the president this time, speaking out in opposition to confirmation. "When it has counted," he wrote in a New York Times op-ed piece, "Robert Bork has often stood against the aspirations of blacks to achieve their constitutional rights." Former Texas congresswoman Barbara Jordan and Atlanta mayor Andrew Young also testified against the nominee. When Senators Specter, Heflin and DeConcini joined the anti-Bork contingent of the Judiciary Committee, the White House hinged its hopes on the full Senate's vote. The Democrats had regained control of the Senate by a 54 to 46 margin in the 1986 elections, so Reagan counted on the conservative southern Democrats who had supported his tax and budget cuts -- to save the day for Bork. But polls showed that a majority of southern whites opposed Bork, so the Democratic senators from the south faced no political backlash at home by voting against confirmation.
On October 6, the Judiciary Committee voted 9 to 5 against confirming Bork and most of the judge's supporters, realizing that a full vote in the Senate would also go against their man, expected Bork to withdraw from the process. But Bork announced he would continue the fight, though he was disappointed by waning support from the White House. "A crucial principle is at stake," he said, articulating his view that the selection process should not be corrupted by "campaigns of distortion" like the one being waged against him. On October 23, the Senate voted 58-42 against the nomination.'
Overall, the man was rejected by more than just the advantage the Democrats held in the Senate. Even Republicans found the man to be basically unreliable.
The similarities with today's Roberts situation are remarkable. A past record of being a brilliant legal whore, willing to compromise his personal integrity for a cozy spot a little closer to the anus of the man in power. A plan to distance himself from his past record where his more extreme right wing views, the very views that make him the darling of the more frenzied conservative right wing, sound a little harsh in the bright light of the national media stage and appear more "moderate" for the purpose of being confirmed.
Unfortunately today's Democrats are a mere shadow of those who controlled the Senate in Bork's era. Even Kennedy has become a bit of a caricature of an old political fop. So, it is likely Roberts will succeed where Bork failed. And we can live with the consequence.
By the way, I do not think the liberals on the court were afraid to defend their liberal views in public. Part of the reason for that could be that the appeal of the conservative philosophy, rabid selfishness in control of national political decision making, is only really appealing in back rooms populated by wealthy, selfish people. Liberal policies on the other hand, appeal to those who value personal freedoms and are typically not in a position to abuse the rights and civil liberties of other Americans for profit. In the bright spotlight of the national media, supporting civil rights and personal freedom just sounds like a higher moral ground than restricting them, or supporting abusing American citizen's civil rights for profit. Jim