Democrats & Liberals Archives

Alito, a Janus Republican

Janus is the mythological God after which January was named. Janus had 2 heads one facing the past, the other facing the future. Bush Republicans also have 2 heads or faces: one when addressing the public, the other when conversing with fellow Republicans. A fellow Janus Republican is Samuel Alito. He has one story when working with Republicans. He presents an entirely different story when facing the public, as he is today in the judicial hearings about his Supreme Court nomination.

Alito is emulating Bush, who is the number one Janus Republican. When Bush is facing the public, as when he is running for office, he talks about jobs; when he gets into office, he tells his fellow Republicans to give tax cuts to the rich. When running for office, Bush speaks of a humble foreign policy; after he is elected, he advances the most arrogant foreign policy that I can remember. He talks a lot about moral values to the public; after election he gives us a Culture of Corruption.

Bush and other Republicans have been tutoring Alito in the fine art of showing a different face to the public from the one he presents to Republicans. Alito is an excellent student. You can see it any time you tune into the hearings.

Here's but one example. Alito in the past has been for the "unitary executive." In a speech to the Federalist Society in 2001, Alito said:

"When I was in OLC [Office of Legal Counsel] . . ., we were strong proponents of the theory of the unitary executive, that all federal executive power is vested by the Constitution in the President. And I thought then, and I still think, that this theory best captures the meaning of the Constitution's text and structure . . . .[T]he case for a unitary executive seems, if anything, stronger today than it was in the 18th Century."

I worry about statements like this. It seems to imply that there is no restraint on the President's power. Senator Specter seems to feel the same way. He asked Alito what he thought of Justice Jackson's opinion in the Youngstown case when he said:

"That military powers of the Commander in Chief were not to supersede representative government of internal affairs seems obvious from the Constitution and from elementary American history."

Alito said it is:

"useful guidance"

He also said he agrees with O'Connor that:

"war is not a blank check."

Republicans know that Alito is for a "unitary executive." The public is led to believe that maybe not.

There are and there will be many more examples. To Republicans he said that he is against Roe v. Wade; to the public he says maybe not. To the Republicans he said he is against affirmative action; to the public he says maybe not.

Alito, like the president that appointed him, presents 2 faces. He tells the public what he thinks it wants to hear but he gives the real scoop about himself to fellow Republicans. He is a Janus Republican, in the mold of George W. Bush.

Posted by Paul Siegel at January 10, 2006 7:09 PM
Comments
Comment #112019

I’m not so sure about the two face thing after Graham of Alabamas questioning of him on FISA courts and the rights of president Bush to overstep the US constitution and/or The Geneva Convention. As right wing as he (Samuel Alito) may be next to Mr. Graham he seems atleast in some respects alot more sensible with alot more jurisprudence than senate republicans have ever shown.

The extremists thought he was going to be a Bushie inside player, they were made fools of today (although being as insipid as most repubs are they were totally oblivious to it).

My personal thoughts are that he is alot more moderate and sensible than the mainstream republican base, that I do appreciate. He will not be Bush’s extremist rightwing errandboy and will think outside the usual republican extremist fare. He said it several times today, “..nobody is above the law.” and said so during the questioning about the FISA courts. To me personally this shows a good hint of moderation and not just to appease democrat sensibilities. That right there is a Bush divide.

Posted by: Novenge at January 10, 2006 7:42 PM
Comment #112021

You speak with forked tongue on your one face looking backwards.

Posted by: RDAVIDC at January 10, 2006 7:49 PM
Comment #112022

Thank you Novenge.

Posted by: RDAVIDC at January 10, 2006 7:52 PM
Comment #112023

Historically, most who has thought they had a Supreme Court nominee pegged were sorely disappointed.

There just seems to be something about the atmospehere of the court that causes judges to think broader, deeper.

This does not mean that some don’t perform true to form… but even then they can surprise some people.

The problem I have with trying to read briefs and figure out whether or not a lawyer believes in what he is writing is that any good lawyer can write a brief to refect the will and the needs of his client that completely counter his own beliefs.

What helps the best, in my opinion, are actual cases where the person as a judge write opinions.

If anyone is interested about his opinions on cases he has heard you can check on some here:
http://news.findlaw.com/newsmakers/samuel.alito.html

Source documentation is always the best.

Posted by: Darren7160 at January 10, 2006 8:03 PM
Comment #112025

This country was founded on the principles in the constitution which the 3 branches of Government mentioned in it are sworn to uphold,but a MINORITY in this nation and a MINORITY in Congress are are trying to uphold the parts that did not make the final cut!

Posted by: RDAVIDC at January 10, 2006 8:06 PM
Comment #112026

History lesson:

In the 1990’s, during the Clinton admonistration, two nominees to the Supreme Court were made. One was Ruth Bader Ginsburg, former counsel for the ACLU, and the other was Steven Breyer, former member of Ted Kennedy’s staff. Both were confirmed by a wide margin involving both Democrats and Republicans. As I remember, there was none of the vitriolic language and constant harassment that we are seeing in the Alito hearing. What makes the difference?

Also, for any of the panel members to attempt to pin Judge Alito down to an opinion on specific issues that could, and probably will, come before the Court, would require him to violate the canon of ethics. At least some of the Judiciary Committee should know that. It’s hardly fair to ask a person to violate the code that the are bound to and then make sweeping public announcements castigating the person for not answering. This is self-serving pig swill.

Posted by: jback814 at January 10, 2006 8:25 PM
Comment #112027

History lesson:

In the 1990’s, during the Clinton admonistration, two nominees to the Supreme Court were made. One was Ruth Bader Ginsburg, former counsel for the ACLU, and the other was Steven Breyer, former member of Ted Kennedy’s staff. Both were confirmed by a wide margin involving both Democrats and Republicans. As I remember, there was none of the vitriolic language and constant harassment that we are seeing in the Alito hearing. What makes the difference?

Also, for any of the panel members to attempt to pin Judge Alito down to an opinion on specific issues that could, and probably will, come before the Court, would require him to violate the canon of ethics. At least some of the Judiciary Committee should know that. It’s hardly fair to ask a person to violate the code that the are bound to and then make sweeping public announcements castigating the person for not answering. This is self-serving pig swill.

Posted by: John Back at January 10, 2006 8:26 PM
Comment #112031

“He said it several times today, ‘..nobody is above the law.’ and said so during the questioning about the FISA courts. To me personally this shows a good hint of moderation and not just to appease democrat sensibilities.”

It all depents on how Alito interprets just what the law is, doesn’t it? His judicial record reflects a disregard for civil rights, womens rights, balance in governmental powers, privacy rights, and workers rights. He has largely interpreted laws in which the obvious spirit was to protect the individual in a way that disefranchised the individual in favor of the state and/or the coporation. There is just too much about his past that he has to make excuses for in order to not seem extreme. The one that takes the cake for me is his taking on cases involving companies he expressely told the senate he would not (conflict of interest). First it is the fault of a computer glitch, then he states that he only meant he wouldn’t take on such cases in the first few years of his appiontment. Tell me why I shouldn’t believe he is lying to congress right now, or that he will “interprete” the law the same way he interpreted his vow to the senate.

Posted by: Jonathan at January 10, 2006 8:33 PM
Comment #112032

If Samuel Alito was really some two-faced mytholigical creature, he has had 15 years of experience as a judge in which to show it. If he was going to drop his Darth Vader mask, don’t you think he’d have done so by now?

The fact is that he has an EXTENSIVE record of rulings and opinions to examine him on. You can agree with him or not on any given matter, but the record is very much out there.

If that record is not being fully examined, however, it’s because of this idiotic confirmation process in which people who for the most part are clearly not qualified to discuss matters of law with him blather on for hour after hour without getting to the heart of anything.

What if instead of Senators questioning Supreme Court nominees, each Senator was permitted to appoint a top legal scholar, lawyer or judge to sit on the panel in their place and ask the questions? Then, perhaps, we’d get some substance.

It’s hardly Alito’s fault that these hearings are what they are—occasions for political grandstanding in which many words spill forth but nothing is said.

But if you want to find a two-faced Janus in these hearings, look at Ted Kennedy.

He of all people has a lot of nerve accusing somebody with a humble working class background of not understanding the struggles of the poor and disadvantaged.

Listening to Kennedy, you’d think that he (Kennedy) pulled himself up by his bootstraps instead of having his entire and very priviliged life handed to him on a silver platter through absolutely no merit of his own. The stench of hypocricy is sickening.


Posted by: sanger at January 10, 2006 8:35 PM
Comment #112037

John:
The difference is that Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Steven Breyer are truly mainstream judges. Neither one had to make excuses for any of their actions. Neither one lied to the senate. Neither one has a history of taking on obvious conflict of interest cases. Neither one made conflicting statements about the reasons for their actions or participation in extremist groups. And most importantly, neither one attempted to assert that their expressed views on anything in any part of their past had changed, or were expressed just to get a job, or because they were a lawyer trying to win a case, or any of the other pathetic excuses, especially for a supreme court nominee, Alito has made for his past. If his views are not extreme, then why does he feel he must make excuses for so much of his past? You can call it “self-serving pig swill.” I call it standing up for the individuals rights and making damn sure we don’t get an extremist cloaked in a moderates clothing on the supreme court.

Posted by: Jonathan at January 10, 2006 8:50 PM
Comment #112045

Jonathan,
You are correct in your assessment of Ginsburg and Breyer’s appearances before the Committe. In fact, Ginsburg told the panel flat out that she would not answer certain questions. And the panel backed off. Would that happen now? Also, I did not refer to the questioning of the committee as “pig swill”. I referred to those members who tried to pin Judge Alito down to a position involving a case that the Supreme Court will probably hear and then making critical remarks when he can’t answer due to the canon of ethics. If you are going to critique me, and I don’t mind if you do, at least read and understand what I have written.

Posted by: John Back at January 10, 2006 9:16 PM
Comment #112053

Listening to Kennedy, you’d think that he (Kennedy) pulled himself up by his bootstraps instead of having his entire and very priviliged life handed to him on a silver platter through absolutely no merit of his own. The stench of hypocricy is sickening.

=======

Im sorry, I thought you were speaking of our president.

Posted by: tree hugger at January 10, 2006 9:58 PM
Comment #112058

Treehugger, if President Bush ever had the unbelievable gall to look a child of poor working class immigrants in the face and tell that person that they lacked sympathy or understanding of the poor, then I’d call Bush on it in a second. In fact, I wouldn’t even HAVE to call him on it because the chorus of righteous indignation from all quarters would be deafening.

Anybody who thinks that Ruth Bader Ginsburg is “truly mainstream” must be living in a far-left cocoon. Ginsburg believes that prostitution and bigamy should be legal and that the age of consent should be lowered to 12.

Whether she’s right about these issues or not from the standpoint of consitutional law, these are views which are VERY far outside the mainstream.


Posted by: sanger at January 10, 2006 10:35 PM
Comment #112060

Isn’t Graham from North or South Carolina?

“Listening to Kennedy, you’d think that he (Kennedy) pulled himself up by his bootstraps instead of having his entire and very privileged life handed to him on a silver platter through absolutely no merit of his own. The stench of hypocrisy is sickening.”

Never were truer words spoken.

“The difference is that Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Steven Breyer are truly mainstream judges. Neither one had to make excuses for any of their actions.”

They are flaming liberals.

I say, get over it, Alito will be confirmed. Perhaps his confirmation will cause Ginsburg and Breyer to retire and the president can make some more changes.

What we are hearing is the death throws of the Democratic Party. The last bastion of power, the last chance to force their liberal ideology down the throats of the American people. What they are not able to accomplish through the ballot box, they force in the courts. Good riddance to a dying party.

Perplexed

Posted by: Perplexed at January 10, 2006 10:38 PM
Comment #112061

I’m wondering how far to the left of Ms Ginsburg would a person have to be politically to think she is mainstream? HUH?

Posted by: RDAVIDC at January 10, 2006 10:47 PM
Comment #112063

Am I to assume that you believe this country would be better served by the current ruling mafia, rather than being counterbalanced by a second political party? Don’t you cringe every time some dem accuses repubs of Fascism? Then, why do you talk like a Fascist?

Posted by: Marysdude at January 10, 2006 10:57 PM
Comment #112065

I find it odd that Alito has no memory of participation in a Princeton group that was obviously hell bent on limiting the rights of minorities and women. But then we’ve seen many prominent Republicans develop memory problems. I think it should be called Republimentia.

What I truly found shameful was the tone of Lindsey Graham’s long winded endorsement and the “cat calls” from the arena. That’s the kind of crap you hear among the brits, not us. I thought we were more civilized.

The arrogance never ends. Arrogance does not play a part in a true democracy. Democracy requires that you “serve” those who elected you, not “rule” over them.

KansasDem

Posted by: KansasDem at January 10, 2006 11:04 PM
Comment #112071

KansasDem, if we want to go back 35, 40, and 45 years ago and begin condemning modern public figures for membership in organizations which don’t conform to today’s PC standards, then by all means let’s do so.

But it would be grossly unfair to apply this standard to Alito alone. Ted Kennedy belonged to an exclusive all-white, all-male club at Harvard (that is, before he was expelled from the university for cheating). And that’s just the beginning. Senator Byrd belonged to the KKK. The list goes on and on.

The fact is that that long ago, a very high percentage of people, especially at the elite schools, were involved in exclusive groups and clubs because that’s just how things were back then.

How about membership in the Boy Scouts? How far do we want to take this? They are, after all, anti-gay. How far will contemporary PC thinking lead us?

Alito’s membership in CAP at Princeton was concurrent with that organization’s founding—in response to hostility to ROTC at the university.

Later (after Alito was gone) the organization criticized affirmative action policies at Princeton, (and good for them, from my point of view,) though none of that had anything to do with Alito.

Posted by: sanger at January 10, 2006 11:49 PM
Comment #112075

I’d suggest reading the transcripts from when Alito was confirmed in 1990.

Amazing how different some of the same Senators are now compared to then.

http://news.findlaw.com/hdocs/docs/alito/1990shrg101-651pt5.pdf

Posted by: Lisa Renee at January 11, 2006 12:31 AM
Comment #112076

Sanger,

In answer to your quote, “How far do we want to take this? They are, after all, anti-gay. How far will contemporary PC thinking lead us?”

I want to take it all the way. Supreme Court Justices are “life time” appointments. In spite of some legislators and senators past affiliations they have been reelected by a majority of their constituants. This will not be the case with Alito if he is confirmed.

Life time appointments require the utmost scrutiny. What I find troubling is that he has “no memory” of his association with that group. It’s quite reminiscent of Reagan’s “while I have no memory of” story about Iran - Contra. The BS can only get so deep before the stench becomes undeniable.

Also the anti-gay thing just doesn’t play well. I’ve seen no Democrat go as far as Bush & Co. to limit gay rights. Can you name one Democrat that supported the anti-gay marriage amendment to the United States Constitution?

KansasDem

Posted by: KansasDem at January 11, 2006 12:31 AM
Comment #112078

John:

You are correct. I apologize for my lack of clarity. I did read your entire entry, and my response was focused on your initial question. My main point was to show how Breyer and Ginsburg did not need to make excuses for their past, as it seems Alito is doing repeatedly, and with varying reponses to the same event. As far as the questioning tactics of the senators, I agree that most of it is self-serving, as is most of anything nearly every politician says. However, there is a level of game playing that going on on both sides. They’re not just talking to hear the sound of their own voice (although it may seem like that sometimes!). Of course they know he can’t speak on what he might rule on, but the questioning is worth the possibility he might slip and reveal his hand. The whole game is based on errors; they already know his hand, it’s just getting him to show it in public. And of course it’s the job of all good republicans to act shocked at their oh-so-rude behavior of the nominee, in the hopes of discrediting the democrats during the process. There is no moral high ground here, except that in spite of the corrupted power structure of our government (and yes it included democrats, if not directly in the Abramoff scandal), the democrats lean more toward an honest support of individual rights and protections, they combat race and sex issues, and believe in at least token environmental protections. Many republicans, including Alito, place state and corporate interests above the individual and this is totally unacceptable to me. So, in their self-serving way, the democratic senators, inclucing Kennedy, our standing up for what I believe in. I don’t give a damn if it is rude. For me, any means at their legal disposal to prevent Alito getting nominated is acceptable, including a filibuster.

Posted by: Jonathan at January 11, 2006 12:45 AM
Comment #112079

I can name three Democrats who voted for the Federal Marriage Amendment actually. Senators Byrd, Miller and Nelson.

Senator Byrd’s name keeps coming up, doesn’t it? What do you think of this:

Anti-gay, KKK!!
Senator Byrd,
Go Away!!

This would make a wonderful chant if any left wing whackos wanted to adopt it for one of their weekend love-in Vegan Israel-bashing/ Saddam-loving rallies.

They could burn him in effigy along with President Bush and Tony Blair. Good fun for all!


Posted by: sanger at January 11, 2006 12:58 AM
Comment #112136

Jonathan,

Apology accepted. Though I disagree with some of what you, I respect your right to say it.

I agree that most of what we hear and see in these situations is self-serving garbage, I also believe that it is important for us to see and hear it. Each of us should watch and try to understand what is going on and to decide if our Congressperson is or is not representing us. In my case, I feel that the right has a position more in tune with my thinking that the left. I also feel that it is time to return the Court to it’s Constitutional role of deciding the law as being within the Constitutional framework and not attempting to “interpret” the law in terms of an ephemeral “today”.

Posted by: John Back at January 11, 2006 7:34 AM
Comment #112165

I agree that the confirmation process is absurd and conducted by self-serving career politicians who are doing more to further their own agenda than to truly interview the nominee and explore his or her legal stance on any particular issue.

That said, I and many other lefties agree that Byrd is the Democratic equivalent of Strom Thurmond. His incoherent diatribes on the Senate floor are the stuff of legend. Although I did like his latest book.

However, at my next weekend love-in Vegan Israel-bashing/ Saddam-loving rally, I would much rather serve up some delicious Delay/Cheney/Rummy/Wolfie/Rove flambe’.

But it’s only a matter of taste.

Posted by: macsonix at January 11, 2006 9:59 AM
Comment #112168

And I’ll finish with some nice O’Reilly on a stick.

Posted by: macsonix at January 11, 2006 10:01 AM
Comment #112184

As far as alito is concerned; let us see how many cases he decided for companies and how many were decided for the working man and then judge him. Go all the way to the past 15 years……

Posted by: artjo at January 11, 2006 10:53 AM
Comment #112185

lefty whackos ! You are just hatefull, the next time I am at a Love-in dancing around the fire wearing love beads and daisies you can be sure there will be no bashing of Isreal, nore adoring of Saddam. After all It’s “make Love not war ” right ? the Vegan thing, with Mad Cow and Bird Flu, I’ll take tofu anyday. Anyone with a brain gets the picture. Lefty Whackos , you betcha my friend, Sure beats the hate and anger that you spew. Perhaps one day you can join us on our crazy love fest.
Peace,

Posted by: gypsyirishgirl at January 11, 2006 10:56 AM
Comment #112188

Paul,

A “Janus” Republican?! Come on, he’s doing better than Ginsburg did. They’ve got nothing on this guy; he will be confirmed.


Note to all the Senate Democrats:

Step off Jersey Italians!!! Just step off!

Posted by: rahdigly at January 11, 2006 11:21 AM
Comment #112201

This aritcle is dead on in its description of Alito.
He is nothing more than a Bush lackey who will say anything to appease the american public into believing otherwise. Anyone who for one molment listens to this man talk and takes the small bones of hope he is throwing our way is a fool.
All the discussions about “No one is above the law.” or his continual affirmation that the consitution will guide him are pointless….
BUSH WOULD NOT HAVE NOMINATED HIM IF THE GUY WAS NOT IN BUSH”S BACK POCKET!!!! Who has Bush ever put in any position that defied him???? NO ONE. Everyone he has ever appointed or nominated he owns them. The only exclusion of which is Colin Powell, and how could you not have Colin Powell. How could you ever justify choosing someone over Colin Powell?? The only way to gracefully replace Powell was to make it his (Powell’s)decision.. Which is what Bush did.

Comparing Alito to other justices, nominees or other politicians is irrelevant. It the end all that matters is he was chosen by Bush to serve his(Bush)needs and fool the american public into thinking otherwise.

Posted by: ferniesmistress at January 11, 2006 1:02 PM
Comment #112204

Artjo is correct, Alito is firmly entrenched in the idea that corporate whim holds favor over individual need. However, Sanger is correct that he is going to be confirmed. Sucks for us.

Posted by: macsonix at January 11, 2006 1:20 PM
Comment #112205

PS - Ron Brown, the word is LIBERAL. LIBERAL, LIBERAL, LIBERAL. Why you are adding an extra I is beyond me, but I just can’t take it any more.

Posted by: macsonix at January 11, 2006 1:23 PM
Comment #112211

macsonix:
“Sucks for us.”

Yeah. For at least the next thirty years big business will ride roughshod over the American people and civil liberties will disappear. Sucks Big Time.

Posted by: Adrienne at January 11, 2006 1:39 PM
Comment #112213

To all:

Democrats want the court to remain as it is today, with its current mix of liberal/conservative thought. I wonder how they would feel under a President Kerry…would they want the mix to stay the same, or would they try to bring the court to a more liberal place? I think we know the answer, though of course some in here will try to deny the obvious.

Sam Alito is going through a Constitutional process, which is as it should be. It looks like he will be confirmed. Because voters have decided to elect Bush (giving him the right to appoint SCOTUS nominees) and because voters have decided to vote Republicans into the majority, it gives the Republican viewpoint (ie conservativism) a more likely chance of winning. That’s simply how the Constitution set up the process.

So lets move on with the process and be satisfied that our country is working in alignment with the Constitution.

Posted by: joebagodonuts at January 11, 2006 1:50 PM
Comment #112214

“So lets move on with the process and be satisfied that our country is working in alignment with the Constitution.”

Nothing about these Neocons is in alignment with the Constitution. Nothing.

Posted by: Adrienne at January 11, 2006 1:55 PM
Comment #112219

jback814 said:

In the 1990’s, during the Clinton admonistration, two nominees to the Supreme Court were made. One was Ruth Bader Ginsburg, former counsel for the ACLU, and the other was Steven Breyer, former member of Ted Kennedy’s staff. Both were confirmed by a wide margin involving both Democrats and Republicans. As I remember, there was none of the vitriolic language and constant harassment that we are seeing in the Alito hearing. What makes the difference?

This is becoming a favorite argument of the right, “someone in the past did it, so we can too.” I don’t know about anyone else, but I was taught very early that two wrongs don’t make a right. Supreme Court Justices are appointed for life. As the name suggests they have the supreme decision on what the government may or may not do. They have the ultimate power to shape the direction of the country. That is a huge power, and EVERY supreme court nominee, no matter if appointed by a left, right or center President, should be held to the highest level of scrutiny. Just because we did something in the past doesn’t make it right and doesn’t mean we should continue to repeat it.

Posted by: JayJay Snowman at January 11, 2006 2:12 PM
Comment #112225

Sanger-
You would know your assessment of Ginsburg’s opinions was flawed if you researched further.

You would find that on prostitution, Ginsburg was making an academic point about recent privacy decisions, an interpreations that Republican Orrin Hatch, no documented fan of prostititution, agreed with.

On the issues of reducing the age of consent, she only spoke of the bill as an example of gender neutral language. The issue of whether twelve year olds should be free to choose sexual partners was not really germane to her argument, and nothing she wrote indicated an opinion there.

She also did not declare that bigamy should be legal, but instead questioned the constitutionality of legislation that would restrict voting and office-holding rights on the grounds of bigamy or cohabitation with more than one person on privacy grounds. She offered no opinion on whether bigamy should be legal.

Conservatives like yourself should not be so intent on grabbing the sexiest arguments that you fail to attend to the details of what you argue. The amount of misinformation that comes from your party’s direction should be embarrassing to those who value honesty over rhetorical expedience.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at January 11, 2006 2:34 PM
Comment #112230

Stephen,


So, with the way you defended Ginsburg on her “prostitution” and “age of consent”, would you do the same for this judge in VT that gave that “self admitted” sex offender 60 days for molesting a girl for 4 years?!


And, back to Ginsburg, regardless of your defense of her, her views were still liberal and the Repubs voted for her anyway. The dems are not doing the same for a conservative judge that’s answering more questions than Ginsburg and Roberts.

Posted by: rahdigly at January 11, 2006 3:02 PM
Comment #112237

Adrienne:

Nothing about these Neocons is in alignment with the Constitution. Nothing.

My statement was in context to the Alito nomination and Senate approval process. Are you suggesting by your statement that you think it is unConstitutional? If not, then pray tell what exactly you are trying to say.

Posted by: joebagodonuts at January 11, 2006 3:43 PM
Comment #112246

Oh don’t be so bloody glib. You know what she means.

Posted by: macsonix at January 11, 2006 4:17 PM
Comment #112249

Sorry to break in with something that might seem a bit off topic… but the old topics realted to ID were archived and I just saw this.

I am placing it here because now a school district in CA is creating an ID philosophy class…

… The course description says it “will discuss the scientific, biological and biblical aspects that suggest why Darwin’s philosophy is not rock solid,” and “evidence will be presented suggesting the earth is thousands of years old.” (My italics)

Critics have sued, saying 1) the course is “designed to advance religious theories” rather than open-minded debate, and 2) it’s taught by a fundamentalist minister’s wife.

http://www.slate.com/id/2133988/

If they keep this up, eventually it might reach the Supreme Court and they will have to deal specifically with ID in a constitutional separation of church and state.

For all the people who believe judges should not be creating law from the bench… that a strict constructionist view is best… should the Supreme Court be deciding high school curriculum?

Please note… the Federal Constitution is mute on education… it is entirely within the rights of the states. That is where you will find the authority to set curriculum. The most the feds can do, as far as what is taught or not taught or at what level, is to control the federal money going to states that comply… or don’t.

So, this will strictly be a constitutional question of separation of Church and State with the consequences of stepping into classroom teaching.

Posted by: Darren7160 at January 11, 2006 4:27 PM
Comment #112256

jbod:
“If not, then pray tell what exactly you are trying to say.”

Joe, why do you ask me such questions when you already know where I stand? Okay, fine, I’ll act like you and I have never spoken before…
You sir, are asking people on the left to be satisfied with the process of putting Alito on the Supreme Court, because then we know that our country is working in alignment with the Constitution.
But there can be no satisfaction over Alito for the majority of people standing on the Left, many in the Middle, and some on the Right. This is due to the fact that he has not been chosen by Bush to work in alignment with the Constitution — because this administration has proven over and over that they are the enemies of our Constitution.
Instead, Alito has been chosen because he is sure to always uphold business interests over the interests of the people. He has been chosen to tear down the wall of separation between church and state so that the agendas of the so-called “religious” right will be fullfilled. He has been chosen to overlook and dismiss discrimination toward minorities, women and gay Americans.
Basically what you are asking us to do is to embrace a bizarre paradox — and I for one cannot and will not do so, in light of the fact that “Liberty and Justice For All” is about to become a thing of the past.

“because voters have decided to vote Republicans into the majority,”

I think believe is a question mark. And it should be for you too, whether you are willing to admit it, or not. No paper trails on voting machines. The company currently facing court cases because they’ve lied about their software. Multiple tests that prove that these programs can be easily hacked by just one person. No, sir. No one can say any longer that Bush definitely won the last election with any real certainty now.

“it gives the Republican viewpoint (ie conservativism) a more likely chance of winning.”

Neocon Republicans are not conservative in any way, shape, or form. Most true conservatives already understand this.

Posted by: Adrienne at January 11, 2006 4:42 PM
Comment #112258

Sorry for the double post. Could somebody delete one of them?

Posted by: Adrienne at January 11, 2006 4:49 PM
Comment #112259

Adrienne:

I read and reread your comments, and the best I can muster up as a rejoinder is, “Wow!!”

Thanks for sharing your viewpoint. :)

Posted by: joebagodonuts at January 11, 2006 4:49 PM
Comment #112287

jbod:
“Wow!!”

Hey, that is exactly what I thought after reading this article: Former Rep. Elizabeth Holtzman, in Article, Calls for Impeachment Proceedings Against Bush
FYI, in 1974, Holtzman was a member on the House Judiciary Committee that voted to impeach Nixon.

“She’s talked before about wanting the Constitution to be followed,”

Yes she has. She much prefers that to the abridging of our rights because of the whimsical justifications of these Neocons for whatever it is they’ve decided to do.

“Apparently that’s no longer good enough.”

No, they aren’t nearly good enough. America deserves better leaders who will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States, and who will preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.

Posted by: Adrienne at January 11, 2006 6:32 PM
Comment #112295

Jay said, “This is becoming a favorite argument of the right, “someone in the past did it, so we can too.” I don’t know about anyone else, but I was taught very early that two wrongs don’t make a right. “

Jay, most accounts the confirmations of Breyer and Ginsburg have been hailed as bi-partsianship at it’s finest. Party differences were put aside to fufill the slots on the bench in accordance with the process. When did these become examples of wrongs. All the poster was asking for was for a similar amount of respect in this confirmation process.

I’m not sure about many things the administration has done, but it doesn’t seem to have miss stepped on this nomination. Alito is more conservative than some might like, but he does appear very qualified for the job.

I know many don’t like the fact that Bush gets to appoint justices, but there is no getting around the fact that the seat has to be filled. O’Connor has given much of her life to the bench and she deserves our thanks and a chance to retire.

Posted by: Rob at January 11, 2006 6:53 PM
Comment #112299

Rob:
“Alito is more conservative than some might like”

The organization Republican Majority for Choice just announced its opposition to Alito’s confirmation today, so it seems that even some on the right think he’s too conservative to sit on the Supreme Court for a lifetime appointment.

Posted by: Adrienne at January 11, 2006 7:12 PM
Comment #112315

Neocon Republicans are not conservative in any way, shape, or form. Most true conservatives already understand this.

Posted by: Adrienne at January 11, 2006 04:42 PM

Gee, first I agreed with Aldous today. Now I’m agreeing with you. Everything inbetween has been weird too.

Posted by: Ron Brown at January 11, 2006 7:48 PM
Comment #112318

Neocon Republicans are not conservative in any way, shape, or form. Most true conservatives already understand this.

Posted by: Adrienne at January 11, 2006 04:48 PM

This has been on weird day. First I agree with Aldous on something this morning. Now I’m agreeing with you. Everything inbetween has been weird too.

Posted by: Ron Brown at January 11, 2006 7:52 PM
Comment #112319

My computer has been drinking the Kool Aid again.
It wouldn’t let me post the first time. So I rewrite it, and it post both. Like I said everything today has been weird.

Posted by: Ron Brown at January 11, 2006 7:54 PM
Comment #112355

Saddam Adoring? vegan? pretty broad stereotypes there. the Israel bashing I can vouch for, it’s a damn tentative policy money pit that doesn’t serve us diplomatically or strategically anymore in that region.

Would be right to say that all right-wingers are a bunch of inbreds or rigid/anal retentive to the point where most people just assume they must be retarded? Or how about the assumption that all right wingers are racists—which I know has very little if any validity.

Quit the characterizations about everyone on the left, it’s sort of inaccurate.

Posted by: Novenge at January 11, 2006 10:14 PM
Comment #112423

Thursday Morning

Over the past 3 days I have watched about 3-4 hours of what is laughingly referred to as the Senate Judiciary Committee question Judge Alito.

What I have witnessed is a mockery of what a confirmation hearing should be. The Republicans fawn over the nominee and the Democrats have been watching too much Perry Mason.

It is embarassing to watch Senator Biden attempt to ask a question. Yesterday I timed him at 8 minutes of disjointed blather before he got to the question, which had been asked and answered several times before. Senator Feinstein asked the same question five times in her turn. Senator Kennedy was beneath contempt in his petulant diatribe.

Of course the Republicans were almost as bad, tossing softball questions.

I would take two quotes from Shakespeare to sum up my opinion of the media circus posing as a serious event: “Full of sound and fury, signifying nothing” and “A pox on both your houses”.

No wonder some of our best and brightest shun the idea of serving in politics. The price is too high.


Posted by: John Back at January 12, 2006 7:34 AM
Comment #112445

So, Adrienne, how are you going to deal with the reality that Alito will be confirmed? And that he will be confirmed easily? Meanwhile liberal guiding-lights like Ted the swimmer, and Joe “let me copy that” Biden continue to make bigger fools of themselves by the minute as these hearings drag on. Alito is running circles around these dunces and they look nothing short of mean, petty, and vindictive. Alito will be confirmed. The SCOTUS will necessarily swing to the conservative side, and the brakes will be put on the social re-engineering the gray-headed boomers tried to accomplish and failed. Good riddance to it. Roe vs Wade overturned? Be still my restless heart.

Posted by: Michael at January 12, 2006 10:00 AM
Comment #112488

There is no doubt in my mind that Alito will be confirmed. Not because he is conservitave, republican, or any other label that people want to place on him it will be because he is qualified for the job.
In the “REAL AMERICA” an individual is hired to a job because they are qualified to do it or has the capability to learn the job quikly.
Why people insist on making politics out of anything and everything I don’t know. The most recent, the miners who died in West Virgina, people blamed Bush. People need to to get their head out of their back side.
Now, the only reason I’m going to say what I’m going to is because I saw it happen. Ted Kennedy is about the most IGNORANT individual I think I have ever seen. His rant and rave yesterday made himself, the confirmation comittee and the democratic party look like clowns.
I don’t care if your democrat, republican, or whatever as an American we should demand more of our elected officals than what has been coming out of Washington in the past decade.
Clinton was an embarresment with his “BJ” scandal. He was in the highest office in this nation, he should have conducted himself a lot beeter than he did. The bottom line is this, does Alito have the knowledge and ability that is required to be judge in the highest court in America?
If he goes to church, thinks abortion or homosexuality is wrong/right does not matter, CAN HE DO THE JOB? I hate to tell those of the democratic leaning, the current democratic leadership is making that party look like clowns.

Posted by: Bill at January 12, 2006 12:08 PM
Comment #112499

“So, Adrienne, how are you going to deal with the reality that Alito will be confirmed?”

Oh, I’ll deal with it like I deal with all unpleasant realities. Speak out more. Become more activist where necessary. I’m not exactly the passive type.

“mean, petty, and vindictive.”

Oh sure, kind of like Alito belonging to the “Concerned Alumni of Princeton” which asked for strict quotas limiting the numbers of women and minorities. After touting his membership in that racist, sexist organization in 1985 it’s what got him a promotion at the Reagan Justice Dept. Sheds quite a bit of light on his respect for civil rights, does it not?

“The SCOTUS will necessarily swing to the conservative side,”

No, not conservative (I consider conservatives decent people). It will swing to the fascist side. The Neocon side.
There is nothing moderately conservative about a man who could belong to an organization like CAP. Did you know that both Sen. Bill Bradley (class of sixty-five) and Sen. Bill Frist (class of seventy-something) both felt the need to publicly censure them? They did. But CAP went on to become even more racist and sexist (I know because I grew up in Princeton NJ and attended the University). In 1984 (when I was there), and only a year before Alito used his membership to get a leg up with the Reagan admin., CAP’s magazine had an article about blacks and hispanics that said “People nowadays just don’t seem to know their place.” In short, those who belong to CAP are total scumbags, and not one of them ever DESERVE to sit on our nations highest court — whether Congress decides to give them the pass or not.

“and the brakes will be put on the social re-engineering”

In favor of hitting the gas to demolish the separation between church and state. In other words, birth to Theocracy, death to Freedom in America.

“Roe vs Wade overturned? Be still my restless heart.”

No doubt your ticker will go into cardiac arrest once the issue goes to back to the States. Then all the women in the Red States who want an abortion will be making pilgrimages to the Blue States. Hey! Maybe California should put a heavy tax on the proceedure — might be one way to recoup all the money that Enron stole when they bankrupted our state with the help of Our Dear Leader.

Posted by: Adrienne at January 12, 2006 1:03 PM
Comment #112510

Bill said: “In the “REAL AMERICA” an individual is hired to a job because they are qualified to do it or has the capability to learn the job quikly.”

Ahhh!!! Like Ken Lay of Enron. I get ya!!! Ha, ha!

Posted by: David R. Remer at January 12, 2006 1:23 PM
Comment #112512

Michael–

The SCOTUS will necessarily swing to the conservative side, and the brakes will be put on the social re-engineering the gray-headed boomers tried to accomplish and failed. Good riddance to it.

…and yet the current Court had been composed of seven Republican-appointed justices up until this point (Alito’s appointment will keep that number constant). I don’t know that I would expect giant changes.

Fortunately, giant changes really aren’t needed. I really wish that those who believe the Supreme Court is such a huge issue would look beyond the talking-points and really delve into their decisions throughout those other issues that exist beyond abortion.

You’ll likely find plenty of issues in which you AGREE with the allegedly “left leaning” Justices on. You’ll find issues in which you DISAGREE with the “right leaning” Justices. Hell, you’ll find several issues on which members of both of those blocks agree with each other!

I’ve study a great number of Supreme Court cases. The only recent Justice who I can say that I constantly (though not quite always) disagreed with was Chief Justice Rehnquist.

Posted by: mattLaw at January 12, 2006 1:23 PM
Comment #112516

Bill-

I hate to tell those of the democratic leaning, the current democratic leadership is making that party look like clowns.

…and yet this foolishness exists on both sides. Did you witness Lindsey Graham spend a good deal of his time yesterday defending Republicans in the Abramoff scandal?

Lots of self-serving behavior from both sides, based on what I’ve seen.

Posted by: mattLaw at January 12, 2006 1:25 PM
Comment #112534

Bill said: “In the “REAL AMERICA” an individual is hired to a job because they are qualified to do it or has the capability to learn the job quikly.”

Oh, you mean like whatshisname the old FEMA director. Or the current EPA director. Or for that matter, our President himself. Was he even qualified to be Governor? What about the Generals who are forcibly retired because they disagree with troop levels proscribed by the adminstration?

Apparently, in REAL AMERICA, qualifications have little to do with who is hired, my friend.

Posted by: macsonix at January 12, 2006 2:11 PM
Comment #112552

Wow!!!!!!!! I’ve touched a nerve. The venom is spewing.(normal)

{masconix said: Apparently, in REAL AMERICA, qualifications have little to do with who is hired, my friend.}

No my friend, only in democrat America qualifications have little to do with a job.

Posted by: Bill at January 12, 2006 2:35 PM
Comment #112555
No my friend, only in democrat America qualifications have little to do with a job.

What does that even mean?

Posted by: mattLaw at January 12, 2006 2:39 PM
Comment #112579

matt:
“What does that even mean?”

It means nothing.
Never feed the trolls.

Posted by: Adrienne at January 12, 2006 3:54 PM
Comment #112638

Is there any doubt that Alito will be confirmed by the Senate? There’s very little doubt, me thinks.

Once that happens, the Right will have taken the supreme court back. And the sitting court will make decisions that impact people and the country for generations to come.

Truly, the “shroud of the Dark side” will have fallen. Unable to “get” Clinton, a coup took place in this country in 2000, when the SC actually picked our President for us. Then, using 9/11 as a pre-text, Bush & Co. seized on the opportunity to put forth a truly imperial plan, not to mention what’s happened domestically.

And with Alito on the Court, you can rest assured that the SC will, somehow, be given the opportunity to re-decide Roe v. Wade.

Posted by: ra meeks at January 12, 2006 7:07 PM
Comment #112650

Social Engineering

I have been waiting so long for this phrase to surface!! Please, let me do my Snoopy dance and then I will sit back down and type!

Social Engineering. I just love that phrase. It conjurs up images in my mind of great men… great ideas!

I know, I know. It is said with contempt and a sneer, but please…

What could be more of a dramatic social engineering experiment than our own country?

Imagine the gall! The guts! The intellectual energy that went into studying the past… taking the greatest ideas from the writings of the greatest minds of the day!

Imagine the fear and trepidation as our founding fathers decided to try this socical engineering project!!! To cast of the shackles of the royalty, the lords and the King.

To declare this a nation, with a constitution, based on laws and principles! Elected representatives to create the laws. The executive brach to execute the laws. A Supreme Court with the power (no military power at all, but the rightousness of law) to counter both! A military headed by the President and controlled by a civilian government.

By God!!! It was the greatest SOCIAL ENGINEERING attempt ever done!

Thank you so much for bringing this up! You have allowed me the opportunity to give thanks to those great men, their experiment and to provide inspiration that we can find great men in our own times to do just as well!!!!

Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Posted by: Darren7160 at January 12, 2006 7:57 PM
Comment #112654

No my friend, only in democrat America qualifications have little to do with a job.


Posted by: Bill at January 12, 2006 02:35 PM

Not quite, Only in political America qualifacations have little to do with a job.

Posted by: Ron Brown at January 12, 2006 8:04 PM
Comment #112703

Sanger, you got me:

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
I can name three Democrats who voted for the Federal Marriage Amendment actually. Senators Byrd, Miller and Nelson.
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

More importantly while I still feel justified in my criticism of Senator Graham, I’m equally ashamed at the conduct of Kennedy and my man Biden’s statements.

In this case there’s plenty of shameful behavior to spread around.

Just don’t go gloatin’ and thinkin’ I’m on my way to the courthouse to change my affiliation though. I still remain a dedicated Moderate Democrat. I just don’t mind admitting when I’m wrong, or for that matter when those I support are, in my opinion, wrong.

Maybe you could call that putting America ahead of “party loyalty”. Something most Republicans appear incapable of to me.

As far as Alito. He is just what he’s always claimed to be. He will be confirmed. I’m quite sure we can all expect many more Supreme Court decisions to lean more to the right.

Only time will tell what impact that will have on each of us, our children, and grandchildren.

KansasDem

PS: sorry my reply took so long, my modem died

Posted by: KansasDem at January 13, 2006 1:10 AM
Comment #112761

Kansas Democrat,
Please accept my condolences at your loss. How terrible and I cannot even imagine how it must be.

Sanger,
That Democrats would vote in any particular fashion, even the Federal Marriage Amendment, does not surprise me.

Unlike the recent history of the Republican party, we do not demand conformance at the price of someone like Trent Lott knocking at your door.

Some consider the broad umbrella of the Democratic Party to be a liability… but it is the only party available to Americans that allows a person to have choice.

Discussion and dissention within the Democratic party is paraded out by the Republicans as our party not having its ducks in a row.

A better explanation is that we welcome people without a litmus test as to any particular “issue”.

If there had been a bit more freedom of expression in the Republican party (which is now starting to show cracks as their members are finding their voice for the first time in 5 years) then maybe the President could have been told to go back and find better justification for his war in Iraq. Instead… lock stepping was shown as virtue by the Republicans.

I never want to see the Democrats determing the value and worth of a member based on one issue. I believe that the Democratic party values each persons contribution and understands that life is more complicated than can be nailed to a party plank.

Therefore, I do not believe that individual Democrats voting one way or another on any issue as being a sign of weakness.

Posted by: Darren7160 at January 13, 2006 9:41 AM
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