April 30, 2009

David Souter is leaving the Supreme Court!

"Two friends of Justice Souter, 69, said Thursday night that he had often spoken privately of his intentions to be the court's first retirement if Mr. Obama won the election last fall. He has told friends that he looked forward to returning to his native New Hampshire while he was still able to enjoy climbing mountains and other outdoor activities."

Let the fun begin. I expect President Obama to put a strong liberal in the seat, and I think there should be a strong liberal on the Court.

143 comments:

Greybeard said...

Reconsider Kelo, please.

Palladian said...

"I expect President Obama to put a strong liberal in the seat, and I think there should be a strong liberal on the Court."

There are already three "strong liberals" on the Court.

So which woman will it be to replace Souter? After all, Obama can't possibly nominate anyone other than a woman to replace one of the "women's seats" on the bench.

Rose said...

Kiss your country goodbye.

Beth said...

Kiss your country goodbye.Why? This is how the country works. It's the design.

Curtiss said...

How can anyone be liberal enough?

Big Mike said...

Palladian beat me to it. If anyone thinks that there aren't already more than enough strong liberals on the court, then I can't begin to imagine where they think the center is.

Peter V. Bella said...

Since he was the key to that disastrous eminent domain decision, I hope all his mountains have star bucks, McDonalds, and other fast food joints every fifty feet. It is deveopment of wasted and dilapidated land. Developers hould be able to crate profit from waste.

Lem said...

..and I think there should be a strong liberal on the Court.

If the democrats weren't poised to further tighten their choke hold on the other two branches I might agree with you.

Curtiss said...

My only hope is that Obama makes an enchanting selection.

rcocean said...

Souter and Rudman can spend the rest of their lives laughing at the stupid conservatives/Republicans who supported his nomination.

Yes, trust us they said in 1992. Souter has no paper trail, but he's really a conservative (wink, wink).

Quayle said...

Yes - another liberal is what we need to help rule on the sick pig case that is likely to come up.

Joe M. said...

To ask for a strong liberal justice is not to ask for a justice strongly liberal. After all, we already have three of those.

Curtiss said...

What vote would a "strong liberal" cast that Souter would not have?

J Riordan said...
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AJ Lynch said...

What are the odds that Obama f's up this appt by failing to do adequate vetting?

peter hoh said...

What's the liberal version of Harriet Miers?

Curtiss said...

Is it time for the first openly gay Supreme Court Justice?

Sofa King said...

Let's reserve judgment until some names are proposed. I do agree with Palladian that it's likely to be a woman.

Curtiss said...

O.K., an openly gay woman.

Rachel Maddow!

AJ Lynch said...

"Reserve Judgment"? There is no fun in that!

Curtiss said...

Not there is anything wrong with that.

Cabbage said...

Well, another Brennan would make life more interesting for law professors.

Michael said...

Not Souter!

Skyler said...

It doesn't really matter who replaces Souter. He was a nonentity. Bland, nothing. Barely noticeable. His reliably liberal vote will be replaced by another reliably liberal vote. Yawn.

J Riordan said...

On VC they mention Elena Kagen a couple of times.

Seems odd considering that she had never argued a case at trial.

Sofa King said...

It's been noted on a couple of other blogs that Specter's defection could actually make it harder for Obama to nominate candidates, because in order to break a filibuster in the Judiciary committee that nominees have to go through, at least one minority member of the committee must consent. Specter is on that committee and as a Republican was the most likely minority member to do so. But now he's not in the minority any more so he can't. The other members are: Orrin Hatch, Chuck Grassley, Jon Kyl, Jeff Sessions, Lindsey Graham, John Cornyn, and Tom Coburn. As I understand it, at least one of them will have to consent to break a filibuster in the committee.

Interesting, if true. It would be an amusing coincidence, that's for sure.

Revenant said...

That's a VERY interesting point, Sofa. Thanks for bringing that to my attention!

XWL said...
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XWL said...

"and I think there should be a strong liberal on the Court"How much can The Honorable Leah Ward Sears bench press?

Dale said...

Let's see, it was liberals on the court who gave us Dred Scott . . .

Dale said...

Yes, Sofa, that is a great point, but either Hatch or Graham will cave, and that right soon. Otherwise, it would make for a highly entertaining summer.

Obama will eventually get his way, but oh the joy of pissed off liberals - Rachel Maddow peeing on the air! - while the minority members of the Senate judiciary Committee sit on their hands for a while. Keith Olbermann will literally cry. Or cuss!

Delicious!

Eric said...

...and I think there should be a strong liberal on the Court.

I guess getting someone who'll read the constitution and use it for the basis of his rulings is out then? Sigh.

rhhardin said...

Somebody from Air America.

Chip Ahoy said...

I expect O. to nominate and the Senate to confirm a complete loon -- one that reinterprets the constitution to suit their own preferences and who looks far afield outside our own legal construct to incorporate foreign conceptualizations of what law should be. I fully expect the nominee to suffer tax-related challenges. Now, what in the world would cause me to hold such bizarre expectations? But all of that is fine. As they said of Rome when Rome got Tiberius and Caligula, and Cla Cla Cla Claudius, and Nero -- Rome gets what Rome deserves.

I always got from Souter the impression that he didn't much care for being justice, maybe it was the crack about feeling lobotomized whenever court was in session, nor, it seemed did he much care for the person who nominated him. He might not miss the court, and that's fine too, but I for one will not be missing him.

The link to NYT doesn't work.

rhhardin said...

Harriet Miers is still available.

John Althouse Cohen said...

"Is it time for the first openly gay Supreme Court Justice?"


Yes.

Eric said...

"Is it time for the first openly gay Supreme Court Justice?"


Yes
.

Is there anyone on deck with the right kinds of qualifications? I assume Perez Hilton will want to stick with his website.

Dale said...
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Dale said...

Blogger is having problems formatting

Dale said...

Reaction was swift to the news of Justice David Souter leaving the Court:.The other 8 Justices: "Who?"

Democrats" "Sweeeeeeet"

President Obama: "Oh, great! Who do I have to please now?"

Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee: "Sweeeeeeet!"

78% of the American Public: "Who?"

- - - - - - - -

Additional Headlines:

Souter, 69, wants to take advantage of what's left of hot dating years.

New Hampshire Passage of Gay Marriage law said to change Souter's Plans.

Souter leaving Court for life in theater: In stage version of "Funny Farm", plays guy who says "Well, then, why don't you just guess your way to Rosebud?"

paul a'barge said...

I think there should be a strong liberal on the CourtBecause there are never enough mutts in the kennel.

paul a'barge said...

Bork time, baby. Bork time.

MadisonMan said...

I appreciate the service Souter has given to the Country. I don't agree with some of his decisions, but I'm not King and not everything can go my way.

I think an interesting nominee for Obama would be Alberto Gonzales. Oh sure, it'll never happen, but wouldn't the confirmation hearings be a hoot?

Jon said...

Now Obama needs to find a liberal, female, Hispanic, openly gay judge (in that order of importance).

Superdad said...

I have this crazy idea: I don't care and I don't think it is relevant if the justice is black, white, hispanic, gay, straight, bu, tranny, man, women, christian, muslim, jew, etc.

I want a person who is qualified and who will interpret the consititution according to a known judicial philosphy that can be vetted before the appointment is confirmed.

Hoosier Daddy said...

want a person who is qualified and who will interpret the consititution according to a known judicial philosphy .

Obama has already stated that he wants justices who will empathize with the less fortunate when rendering thier decisions. Interpreting the Constitution I assume will be optional.

No big deal at this point since all he'll do is replace one flaming liberal with another. It's a wash.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Reconsider Kelo, please..

One can hope. It be strange times we live in when the State can take away an American citizens property for the 'greater good' and turn around and grant Consitutional protections to foreign terrorists whose sole goal is our destruction.

ElcubanitoKC said...
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ElcubanitoKC said...

Beth said...
Kiss your country goodbye.

Why? This is how the country works. It's the design.

10:57 PM
.

I have one word for you, Beth:

V e n e z u e l a

Palladian said...
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Palladian said...

Now Souter can spend all his time writing mash notes to Obama with his quill pen in his unelectrified 18th century house in New Hampshire.

ElcubanitoKC said...

But will the notes ever be delivered? I hear the USPS is cutting back in service.

Joseph Hovsep said...

I think its odd that so many commenters here are sneering at the idea of appointing a woman. I don't think demographics should play much of a role in Supreme Court appointments but there is only one woman on the court. I don't think we need the bench to perfectly reflect the population, but one!? I don't believe that the "most qualified" (whatever that means) people have all been men.

Pogo said...

Yeah, Beth, that's how democracies can vote themselves a President for Life.

Liberals on this blog sneered when I called candidate Obama a socialist. Now that the US owns GM, now that it has been nationalized, what say you?

Nothing.

Kiss our country goodbye?
Hell, we crossed that Rubicon 100 days ago or so.

Next step: control of the press, though already 99% accomplished by sheer sycophancy. Will no one rid him of the troublesome Fox? Maybe Anderson Cooper can help, at least when he finishes demonstrating to Obama what teabagging means.

Yes, it's no longer the USA when Gitmo detainees are released into the US and can apply for welfare that I am obliged to fund, but the gummint considers tax protesters potential terrorists.

Screw it. Why bother appointing anyone at all. Just put a little white card on Souter's vacant seat that says: Ask Chomsky.

What an effing waste of time.

Palladian said...

"I don't believe that the "most qualified" (whatever that means) people have all been men."

Your "whatever that means" says all that needs to be said about the validity of your opinion on the matter.

And sneering at women is my hobby. I snore at them sometimes as well.

rdkraus said...

If he uses the criteria he has talked about in the past, we're going to get one lousy Justice.

Hint: His criteria didn't have anything to do with the Constitution.

Hoosier Daddy said...

I think its odd that so many commenters here are sneering at the idea of appointing a woman. .

I think it's odd that I can't find any commenters here sneering at such an idea.

Palladian said...

"Kiss our country goodbye?
Hell, we crossed that Rubicon 100 days ago or so."

As my friend Thomas Stearns said, "not with a bang but a whimper".

Palladian said...

"Hint: His criteria didn't have anything to do with the Constitution."

Huh? Constitution? What's that? Some sort of magazine?

Oh, no, it's a boat, right?

Hoosier Daddy said...

Hell, we crossed that Rubicon 100 days ago or so..

That's kind of insulting. Obama is no Caesar.

knox said...

I know! John Edwards!

rhhardin said...

Mark Levin interviewed on Imus, ``One less hermit on the Supreme Court.''

rhhardin said...

@JH I don't believe that the "most qualified" (whatever that means) people have all been men.

The most qualified chess players have been men; the most qualified mathematicians have been men; the most qualified physicists have been men.

It has to do with what the gender finds is a satisfying complete obsession.

The argument would have to be that constitutional interpretation requires some other skill than the ones that get honing and satisfaction from things like these, if you want to argue something like balance is in fact some kind of balance.

rhhardin said...

Rubicon always seemed like it was a sandwich.

SteveR said...

The only thing interesting will be whether the nominee recieves the typical 90+ votes generally afforded democrat nomineees or will more than just a few some senate republicans play the "its the end of America" card as was done by democrats with Roberts and Alito.

Henry said...

Can't we just give Scalia two votes?

Seriously, whoever Obama picks, I expect a liberal jurist, but hopefully the nominee will be experienced and smart -- it would be nice to continue that pattern at least.

rhhardin said...

What's the theoretical foundation of the idea that you need liberals on the court?

Laura(southernxyl) said...

"Joseph Hovsep said...
I think its odd that so many commenters here are sneering at the idea of appointing a woman. I don't think demographics should play much of a role in Supreme Court appointments but there is only one woman on the court. I don't think we need the bench to perfectly reflect the population, but one!? I don't believe that the "most qualified" (whatever that means) people have all been men."

Thank you, Joseph. However, I get the impression that at heart, Obama is old-school sexist. I will be pleasantly surprised if he picks a woman.

Bart DePalma said...

Souter was not a strong liberal?

The question is whether Mr. Obama will be able to find a strong liberal who pays his or her taxes.

traditionalguy said...

The future will be bright for Con Law discussions as the morphing Constitution complies itself with the hope and change world of The Revolution. Who can oppose such power? The first Obama appointment may be a World Court justice to bring us into the more sophisticated world of rule by international standards.

Simon said...

A few words are required. If the rumors are true this time, as they appear to be, Justice Souter's departure into lower case letters is sad news.

When the court divided, I usually disagreed with Souter's conclusions, and his view of how legal interpretation ought to be done is not mine--hence why we often come to different conclusions. Nevertheless, he gets high marks from me. While I often have an opinion about what the court ought to do, I read the court’s output trying to understand what it has done, why, and where it’s going next; any time Souter wrote, I could rely on him to help me out, because he was one of the most consistently clear and effective writers on the court. Even Justice Scalia has off days (his ultimately correct but atrociously-written opinion in the FCC case this week, for example), but Souter almost invariably turns out opinions clearly and concisely conveying what his view is and why. I was often pleased to be able to agree with him, but either way, there are so many cases - even cases where I think he came out wrong - where it was Souter’s opinion that snapped the issues into focus in my mind (this was usually true of cases written by Kennedy over a Souter dissent--Garcetti, for example).

Justice Souter was a worthy successor to Justice Brennan, but I don't hold that against him. He was an incisive, candid, and useful questioner at oral argument, and I will miss the clarity he brought to the court’s output. If he must go, I regret it, but wish him a long and happy retirement, and hope to see him sitting by designation in the Seventh Circuit from time to time.

Joseph Hovsep said...

Your "whatever that means" says all that needs to be said about the validity of your opinion on the matter.Its simply not possible to say this judge or that judge is the single most qualified person for the post. There are many people who are qualified to serve on the Supreme Court who bring different kinds of qualifications and strengths. Thinking we should treat the Supreme Court appointment process like a civil service exam where the applicant with the most points wins is naive and irrational.

Joseph Hovsep said...

Pogo, you sound like a 9/11 conspiracy theorist.

ElcubanitoKC said...

Welcome back, Simon!

AJ Lynch said...

Yeah Simon. Glad to see you. Don't be such a stranger!

MadisonMan said...

Echo. I appreciate reading your comments on Souter, Simon.

Maguro said...

Do Supreme Court justices have to be US citizens? Maybe he could appoint that Spanish guy that's trying to prosecute Cheney for war crimes.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Hey Simon! I was wondering if you got flooded down there!

Marcia said...

"If he must go, I regret it, but wish him a long and happy retirement, and hope to see him sitting by designation in the Seventh Circuit from time to time."

Does the decision not to hire law clerks suggest that he does not plan to continue hearing cases in retirement?

Invisible Man said...

Bork time, baby. Bork time.That ain't happenning! But that's the consequences of the "Great Moderate Purge" of the Republican party.

Kirk Parker said...

"I think there should be a strong liberal on the Court."

I would greatly prefer it if I could completely ignore what the Justices' politics were (which I could, if they properly understood their role.)

And I'm with Peter V. B. here: Souter is just lucky he still has a home to retire to.

Hoosier Daddy said...

That ain't happenning! But that's the consequences of the "Great Moderate Purge" of the Republican party..

That's funny considering how your own moderate, Lieberman was villified and caricatured in blackface for daring to step off the reservation.

Joseph Hovsep said...

But Lieberman still wanted to be part of the Democratic caucus. The Republicans can't seem to keep their moderates from fleeing.

Trooper York said...

"O.K., an openly gay woman."

Rosie O'Donnell

Hoosier Daddy said...

But Lieberman still wanted to be part of the Democratic caucus. .

Big deal. Maybe his attitude was that the Democratic Party left him rather than the other way around.

The GOP has plenty of moderates. Evidently your idea of moderate is someone who votes 1/3 of the time with the other side. If you have that much difference between your chosen party platform then Independent is the way to go.

Eric said...

Huh? Constitution? What's that? Some sort of magazine?

Oh, no, it's a boat, right
?

You trying to start a fight? It's a ship.

Eric said...

The GOP has plenty of moderates. Evidently your idea of moderate is someone who votes 1/3 of the time with the other side.

Not just 1/3 of the time. The 1/3 of the votes that are the most important, like SCOTUS appointments and the Porkulus. Where you can kick your own party in the face as you preen in front of the press. That's not a moderate. That's an egomaniac.

F15C said...

"I expect President Obama to put a strong liberal in the seat, and I think there should be a strong liberal on the Court."A decade ago I would have agreed as I believe balance on the court is good for the country.

However, liberal has now evolved to become synonymous with leftist in America.

And it is entirely possible, even probable, that Obama will nominate, and the Senate will approve, an activist leftist justice as opposed to a truly liberal justice.

AJ Lynch said...

Is this another job we can credit as having been saved or created by Obama's stimulus plan?

Big Mike said...

@rhhardin, regarding your comment at 8:14.

You must not be a mathematician yourself or you would have heard of Hypatia of Alexandria -- particularly of her murder by a Christian mob -- or Emilie du Chatelete or Sofie Kovalevskaya. If you write code you would have heard of Ada, Countess Lovelace. A significant number of people believe that Einstein was too weak a mathematician to have formulated his Theory of Relativity without a great deal of help from his then wife, Mileva Maric. Considering his difficulty grasping the mathematics behind quantum mechanics, I find this to be plausible.

As recently as the late 1970's women in mathematics or the hard sciences faced exceptional hurdles getting positions in their field, and it's no coincidence that the women I cited above were born into comfortable circumstances and had parents who either supported them or at least left them alone.

Beth said...

EKC, if you are comparing our situation, with a sitting justice retiring, and the elected president proposing a replacement that must be confirmed by the country's elected representatives to Chavez' actions in Venezuala, then you have lost your fucking mind. I have just one word for you: Deeeeee-ranged.

rhhardin said...

@Big Mike, yes, women's history month. If anything it proves my point.

Women are perfectly able to do all those things, but do not choose the sacrifices it takes, particularly of social life, when the choice comes up between those obsessions and a real life.

Guys do that pretty easily.

ElcubanitoKC said...

Beth said...
EKC, if you are comparing our situation, with a sitting justice retiring, and the elected president proposing a replacement that must be confirmed by the country's elected representatives to Chavez' actions in Venezuala, then you have lost your fucking mind. I have just one word for you: Deeeeee-ranged.

12:25 PM
.

Why can't the US be compared to any other country?

Are Latin Americans too inferior to be compared to you?

Is that what you are implying?

And you obviously have no idea about what has happened in Venezuela since 1999. There is a direct correlation there, but apparently you lack the necessary knowledge on foreign affairs to see it.

Rose said...

You can be sure that Obama will not be tempted to try for a middle of the roader, or a strict constitutionalist. He will choose from the activist community - the Ayres side of the coin. the repercussions to electing this man will last for decades.

He is about changing the landscape and has no respect for his own country.

Beth said...

Yes, of course, I look down on Latinos, that must be it.

Chavez has had his political opponents arrested. He's moved to take over his country's press. He is using the mechanisms of democracy as excuses for his despotic ambitions.

Obama has the opportunity to appoint a U.S. Supreme Court Justice. This is normal. Just because your preferred candidate lost the election does not mean the U.S. is now governed by a despot. This is how government works in a country with free and fair elections - sometimes you lose, sometimes you win. The world keeps turning.

You can compare the U.S. to any country you like, but when you make hysterical, bullshit comparisons, prepare to be called on it.

traditionalguy said...

Leah Ward Sears would do a good job. We could do alot worse. Then there would be two Savannah, Ga raised African Americans serving together. She is a smart lady and is not nearly as liberal as the Progressives want to see on the court.

ElcubanitoKC said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
ElcubanitoKC said...

That's right, Beth, because Chávez started arresting those who opposed him right off the bat. No, he first made enemies of those in the media who did not follow his dictum. Funny, he first attacked those who refused to broadcast his tirades, first subtly, then outright.

He then moved on the country's election authorities. And he has his supporters intimidate and manipulate the outcome of elections. And, right, that has not happened here...not during the Texas primaries as documented by J Althouse Cohen and other people...at all...right...

Chavez also changed the supreme court. Everyone in there is a supporter. That could never happen here, right.

And you say:

He is using the mechanisms of democracy as excuses for his despotic ambitions.

What, other than your blind faith, could preven The One from doing the same?

Tell me.

Beth said...

Checks and balances, EKC. A Constitution with robust protection of the rights to assembly and expression. A people who are not disposed to the cult of personality and strongman politics. A 233-year history of freedom from tyranny, despite regular cycles of change in what parties are in power.

Sofa King said...

These are dangerous times.

Face it, the GOP is DEAD politically. Its core constituencies are both shrinking and splintering. The energy is going to end up in third-party movements while the inertia stays with the GOP, which, in our first-past-the-post election system, guarantees electoral victory for the Democrats. They already have total control over all levers of government. There is really nothing but their own commitment to good government to stop them from doing anything they want.

ElcubanitoKC said...

I do hope you are right. But I doubt that will prevent him from trying, and this is a great opportunity for him to do so.

Sofa King said...

A Constitution with robust protection of the rights to assembly and expression.

In a nation with a strong government like ours, those rights are only as strong as the commitment of the judiciary to recognize them and of the executive to enforce them.

A people who are not disposed to the cult of personality and strongman politics.
Of course...there's no cult of personality surrounding Obama...I'm sure all people were just fainting from heat exhaustion.

A 233-year history of freedom from tyranny, despite regular cycles of change in what parties are in power.

Aren't we all supposed to be expecting CHANGE!!!!!!!!1111oneone

Was it all lies?

Plus, aren't you forgetting about the last eight years of tyranny from the King George the McChimpy Bushitler reign of terror? I thought that it proved "it CAN happen here?" Not so much anymore?

MadisonMan said...

ElCubanitoKC, my trusting in your predictive powers is sullied by your poor prediction re: calls about racism in the Obama administration.

Strong-arm tactics were used not too long ago to squelch dissent. Didn't work very well. Won't work in the future either. JMO. For reasons Beth noted very well.

hdhouse said...

Rose said...
"He is about changing the landscape and has no respect for his own country."

Ahhh Rose. 'change the landscape' by what, appointing a liberal to take his place? Are you kidding?

No respect for his country? how do you come to that conclusion?

Rose, Your Guy LOST. Your party LOST. Our turn. Not your turn.

ElcubanitoKC said...

MadisonMan, we still have more time to go. And Jeanine Garofalo may not be within the administration, but she did pull the race card against the tax protesters. Didn't she?

I hope those checks and balances work, but how effective are they when one political party has all the power? How do they work when then "opinion makers" are on its side?

I would like to know.

MadisonMan said...

I hope those checks and balances work, but how effective are they when one political party has all the power?

Um, were you here during the Bush Administration? The Republic is still standing.

ElcubanitoKC said...

You left out two important facts:

a) career politicians and other government employees were openly against it

and most importantly:

a) the media were openly against it

Sofa King said...

Also,

a) he never had a veto-proof majority.

Sofa King said...

Gah, not veto-proof. Phillibuster-proof.

Beth said...

We're all part of making sure it doesn't happen here, sofa king, no matter who's in office.

Beth said...

I hope those checks and balances work, but how effective are they when one political party has all the power?EKC, once more, you can find 233 of US history to answer your question. This is not the first time there has been one party with majorities in the House and Senate, and a president in the White House. Your rhetorical questions have answers. Why do you have so little confidence in America and its government?

I fully expect the Obama administration will make as much as it can of executive power, just as the Bush administration did. When he does, call him on it. Call the White House. Call your reps. Blog. Vote. Organize. Be part of the representative democracy - it's a wonderful thing, even though it fails to reach its full grasp sometimes. We keep swinging back to equilibrium.

If there's a failure of the two-party system right now, how is that the fault of liberals, or Democrats? A party that can make policies and offer candidates that appeal to the American middle will compete. There's plenty about Democrats to turn off plenty of people - there's a market for a second strong party. Maybe it will continue to be the GOP, maybe not. The Demorats are no less vulnerable than the GOP - right now they're in the majority, but that can change in any election cycle.

Beth said...

Phillibuster - I like that. It sounds like a mascot for a Philly high school baseball team.

Sofa King said...

We're all part of making sure it doesn't happen here, sofa king, no matter who's in office.

Yup. But do really think very many people really believe that? They've never had to take that responsibility, they don't want that responsibility, and they won't take that responsibility.

That's crazy, un-cool right-wing militia kind of thinking, don't you know that?

ElcubanitoKC said...

Beth, show me one moment in this country's history where one political party had so much power as the DNC has right now.

Beth said...

EKC, anytime the GOP held the House, Senate and White House. But, I concede, they didn't have the game-changing opinion of actress/comedian Janeanne Garafolo behind them, so all that power was for naught.

Sofa King said...

This is not the first time there has been one party with majorities in the House and Senate, and a president in the White House. Your rhetorical questions have answers. Why do you have so little confidence in America and its government?

Things are different. Apprehension is not unwarranted. Excluding WWII, The government is bigger than it ever has been. It owns more of the nation's economy than it ever has - and they want to own a lot more. It controls more resources than it ever has before. It employs more people, prosecutes more crimes, prints more money and redistributes more wealth than it ever did during one of those previous periods you speak of.

Don't we know by now that past performance is no guarantee of future results?

Joseph Hovsep said...

show me one moment in this country's history where one political party had so much power as the DNC has right now.

In 1965, Johnson was president and could rely on 68 Democratic Senators in the House to push through his program.

Joseph Hovsep said...

oops... I left out "and "295 Representatives" In other words, much bigger majorities and a much bigger landslide in the 1964 presidential race.

ElcubanitoKC said...

Beth said...
EKC, anytime the GOP held the House, Senate and White House. But, I concede, they didn't have the game-changing opinion of actress/comedian Janeanne Garafolo behind them, so all that power was for naught.

3:30 PM
.

Your sneer is noted, but you cannot deny that they never had filibuster proof power, nor did they have the media so completely enchanted, or feeling tingles up their legs. Did they?

ElcubanitoKC said...

And did the press love LBJ as much as they love Obama?

Joseph Hovsep said...

And if you are afraid of how much power the Democrats have right now, then reform the Republic party so that offers good-faith solutions to the problems people care about (health care, jobs) with articulate spokespeople promoting those solutions.

Joseph Hovsep said...

but you cannot deny that they never had filibuster proof powerActually, I think she can deny that because you are wrong, as I just noted above.

Joe said...

Republican presidents have nominated moderate and ostensibly conservative justices who fairly quickly swung to the left. Wouldn't it be sweet to see the opposite happen?

Joseph Hovsep said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Joseph Hovsep said...

Republican presidents have nominated moderate and ostensibly conservative justices who fairly quickly swung to the left. Wouldn't it be sweet to see the opposite happen?

JFK's appointment of Justice White might qualify.

That phenomenon actually seems a bit odd to me since there is a general rule of thumb that people get more conservative (or more conservative compared to the world they live in) as they get older. So, I would think justices would be more likely to appear to swing to the right than the left with age.

Sofa King said...

And if you are afraid of how much power the Democrats have right now, then reform the Republic party so that offers good-faith solutions to the problems people care about (health care, jobs) with articulate spokespeople promoting those solutions.

You know full well it wouldn't make a difference. Ridicule, mockery, and lies will defeat a dispassionate policy proposal any day of the week, and twice on the Sunday morning news shows.

"Good-faith." Ha!

Sofa King said...

That phenomenon actually seems a bit odd to me since there is a general rule of thumb that people get more conservative (or more conservative compared to the world they live in) as they get older.

That tendency is overwhelmed by the tendency to become more statist as one acquires more power.

ElcubanitoKC said...

Joseph Hovsep said...
but you cannot deny that they never had filibuster proof powerActually, I think she can deny that because you are wrong, as I just noted above.

3:41 PM
.

I hadn't realized Bush and LBJ were the same person. Interesting. I will make a note of that.


And on the reform issue, what Sofa King said.

Eric said...

Um, were you here during the Bush Administration? The Republic is still standing.

Yes, that's true. But the press wasn't in love with Bush. The whiffle-ball pitching squad we got going in the White House press room is probably the most dangerous element in the current brew.

Well, that and the tendency of liberals/leftists to see the constitution as a "living document", so who knows what it'll mean next year? How do "hate crimes" laws square with the first amendment?

Beth said...

Obama can't count on having a filibuster proof backing. It will depend on the issue; there are a lot of conservative-leaning Dems from the South and the West that don't fall right into his pocket.

As far as "the press loves him," all I can say is, is that all you have?

The GOP failed to hold onto enough seats. They ought to work on figuring out why. Instead, the tactic seems to be raising hysterical fears of tyranny. Maybe that's why your side didn't do well in this election. People are tired of that crap.

They'll be tired of Democrats soon enough, too.

Sofa King said...

Maybe that's why your side didn't do well in this election. People are tired of that crap.

Doubtful, it seemed to work really well for the Democrats.

Beth said...

Sofa King, were you abroad in 2004? It didn't work well at all.

ElcubanitoKC said...

Beth, you obviously don't remember previous threads. My side, didn't have a chance to win elections, that's why I was willing (had I not been too late to become a US citizen) to vote for the GOP ticket. It was, to me, the lesser of two evils.

I recognized how bloated and corrupted the GOP had become. Sadly, that was preferable to having this megalomaniac socialist in the WH.


I remember telling Venezuelan friends in 1998 that they would regret voting for Chavez. I also remember their reaction telling me that it could not happen in their country. They didn't call me hysterical, after all, they had better manners than you. Ten years later, those same friends find themselves as refugees from what they helped create. Now they deny even voting for him the first time around.

To your point of the media bias being all I have, it is a false one. I have already mentioned the other factors. However, one cannot dismiss the importance of having 90% of the media on your side. Otherwise, how could one then explain historical facts like the demise of the Weimar Republic or, again (I won't drop it) Chavez's rise to power. Read the available archives of the now opposition newspaper El Universal from 1998. That should be telling enough.

Beth said...

EKC, yes, I do find your rhetoric hysterical. You're all out of proportion. When I questioned your comparison of our current president's opportunity to appoint a new SC justice to Chavez' actions in Venezuala, you immediately accused me of find Latins "inferior." You'll have to pardon me if I take your comments with a very big grain of salt from now on. You lost a lot of credibility with me when you jumped to that inane conclusion.

I have more faith in the American people, and in the design of our republic, than you do. You can point to a hundred failures of governments over history, and the rise of tyrannies in their place, but that means little. Saying "Germany fell!" doesn't say anything about the U.S. Despite eras that have suffered economic depression, corruption, racism, civil war and war abroad, terrorist attacks on our own soil, and breaches of our civil liberties in response to these types of events,, we have always persisted in a peaceful exchange of power. That hasn't happened by accident. This is what it means to be American at the core.

It's understandable to dislike the results of an election. It's hysterical to start crying tyranny when there is no such thing happening.

ElcubanitoKC said...

I find it more fitting to call hysterical those who desperately deny what is obvious to everyone else.

Beth said...

EKC, we're at a standstill. I'm going to go get fitted for my new Mao outfit; or will we all be wearing Chavez red? (Hey, for a racist, at least I'm a multi-culti one.)

And for the record, Venezuela is in deep shit. I don't disagree with anything you've said about Chavez.

ElcubanitoKC said...

I would be careful if I were you, marxist pins tend to stick around for a long time.

Sofa King said...

Despite eras that have suffered economic depression, corruption, racism, civil war and war abroad, terrorist attacks on our own soil, and breaches of our civil liberties in response to these types of events,, we have always persisted in a peaceful exchange of power. That hasn't happened by accident. This is what it means to be American at the core.

I think the argument is a little more subtle than claiming (as many did about Bush) that Obama will simply declare himself emperor and cancel the elections. It's that we may be entering an indefinite period in which the government is greatly expanding in scope and power AND that simultaneously there will be no viable opposition. You don't have to cancel elections if your opposition is disorganized and split between two or more parties, and you have the ability to keep it that way.

And the more disorganized your opposition, the less of a plurality of the vote you need. It's not hard to imagine a scenario wherein the GOP splinters into two parties and the Democrats routinely win elections with far less than a majority of the vote. What's worse, as the government gets larger and larger, it generates more and more dependency on it. Dependency that makes it nearly impossible to for opposition parties to win elections, especially opposition parties that aim to decrease that dependency. At some point a majority of the population finds itself content to economically exploit the minority. Mightn't we be reaching that point? How does the minority have any hope whatsoever of winning an election against its own exploitation?

Cedarford said...

Joseph Hovsep said...
And if you are afraid of how much power the Democrats have right now, then reform the Republic party so that offers good-faith solutions to the problems people care about (health care, jobs) with articulate spokespeople promoting those solutions.
Good point. Republicans got their clocks cleaned as spokesmen of a very small band of intolerant Religious Right zealots, social Darwinists posing as libertarians, free trade globalists that openly despise US workers, a deregulated Wall Street, reckless spending while using foreign debt to lower taxes, and people that demanded other American's kids fight an endless series of wars to "liberate Freedom-lovers".

Along the way, they thought that the proper response to 1/7th going on 1/6th of Americans w/o health insurance, hispanics, Unions, workers losing their jobs to Open Borders, independents & moderate women with the Republicans on 80% of the issues was to:

"screw off." "We don't need you, you pollute the Party of Reagan!" (which of course would come as a big surprise to Reagan)

And even after 2006 and 2008, two of their biggest campaigns are to:

1. Rid the Party of RINOs outside the Old Confederacy.

2. Write out the awful Mormons who are heretics against the idea that all Good Republicans must claim Jesus as their personal savior. Even if that hurts them badly out West.

[People forget it wasn't Reagan that saved Republicans after the Goldwater debacle. It was Nixon and moderates like George Romney, Gov Scranton who built the 1st Silent Majority ...quashing down the Goldwater nuts. Reagan added to the Silent majority his moderate Democratic ethnics, union workers, security Moms, raised taxes when he had to, avoided miserable long wars...and tossed a few bones to the Religious zealots and such while warning them that their cultural wars should never violate his 11th Commandment.

EnigmatiCore said...

There are three strong conservatives on the bench, and three strong liberals (not counting Souter).

Another centrist would be nice, but that isn't what we will get.

Elmer Stoup said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
SaintCroix said...

Specter's defection could actually make it harder for Obama to nominate candidates, because in order to break a filibuster in the Judiciary committee that nominees have to go through, at least one minority member of the committee must consent. Specter is on that committee and as a Republican was the most likely minority member to do so. But now he's not in the minority any more so he can't. The other members are: Orrin Hatch, Chuck Grassley, Jon Kyl, Jeff Sessions, Lindsey Graham, John Cornyn, and Tom Coburn. As I understand it, at least one of them will have to consent to break a filibuster in the committee.All of those Republicans have 100% pro-life voting records and 0% rating from NARAL. If Obama wants to avoid a filibuster, he's going to have to pick a stealth candidate who isn't obviously pro-choice.

An awesome pick for him, in my opinion, would be somebody like Akhil Reed Amar. Not just an awesome pick for him but for the country. What a brilliant mind.

megapotamus said...

A strong liberal? How about a strong Constitutionalist? Oh right, the Constitution is a rightwing pamphlet, hostile to the interests of gay hamsters of color.