Third Party & Independents Archives

Sandra Day O'Conner Speaks Out Against the Dangers of Undermining the Judiciary

In a little covered speech last week former Supreme Court Associate Justice Sandra Day O’Conner opened up on the Republican Right, decrying their proclivity of late for calling the Federal courts on the carpet for doing their constitutional duty. Warning against the dangers of undermining the judicial branch, O’Conner stated that they (right wing Republicans)

challenge the independence of judges and the freedoms of all Americans.

I have long wondered what the Justices of the Supreme Court thought of the ill-informed, ignorant, and salacious attacks perpetrated by the agents of the fundamentalists’ religious right in Congress upon the federal judiciary, the third branch of government. Now I know the thoughts and feeling of at least one of the (former) members, and I share them. It's no secret that the Republican Right has little respect for the independent judiciary and would just assume see it abolished to the determent of all. Bush in his latest State of The Union address deliberately and irresponsibly snubbed the members of the Supreme Court by welcoming the members of the elected branches of government to the occasion! He didn’t even acknowledge the presence of the Supreme Court as the third branch of our federal government, and in so doing give it the respect and dignity the institution deserves.

Of course Bush failed to mention that he is the only freely elected member of the Executive Branch of government, since we do not vote for the Vice President on his or her own ticket. And of course he failed to point out that out of some 4 million plus federal workers, only 435 are directly elected by the populace and that they have a dismal record of late in representing the American people.

The Republican Right's unrelenting attack on the federal judiciary show a fundamental lack of respect and a growing distain for our system of constitutional government, and for the fundamental rights of the American people. O'Conner a moderate Republican pointed this out when she stated,

[T]he nation’s founders wrote repeatedly that without an independent judiciary to protect individual rights from the other branches of government those rights and privileges would amount to nothing. But, as the founding fathers knew statutes and constitutions don’t protect judicial independence, people do.

The court system in this country at all levels, but especially at the federal level, are seen by most (thinking) Americans as the last bulwark against the tyranny of the increasingly Republican Executive and Legislative branches of government, who if left to their own whims, would see the Bill of Rights shredded, and the Constitution (state and federal) replaced by the Holy Bible as the foundation of American governance. Perhaps I exaggerate the case, but perception is increasingly becoming reality within the hall of Congress (and increasingly state legislators) as (Republican) elected representatives in both houses openly attack the courts for doing their jobs.

Of this O'Conner stated:

[C]ourts do have the power to make presidents or the Congress or governors, really, really angry. “But, if we don’t make them mad some of the time we probably aren’t doing our jobs as judges, and our effectiveness, is premised on the notion that we won’t be subject to retaliation for our judicial acts.


I have often been drawn the ire of my readers by even hinting that there might be some similarities between fascists regimes of the past and the current Bush Administration (and it’s Republican Right champions) with its love for secrecy, open distain for the rule of law, rapid militarism, and thinly veiled adoption of religious dogma into the pages of foreign policy. But as Ms. O'Conner pointed out,
[I]t takes a lot of degeneration before a country falls into dictatorship, she said, but we should avoid these ends by avoiding these beginnings.

Like it or no, my fellow Americans the Bush Administration and it Republican Right backers are those beginnings, at least in this writers mind…

Posted by V. Edward Martin at March 18, 2006 9:00 AM
Comments
Comment #134360

The Right wants to undermine the Courts? Why? Because they want justices that will interpret the Constitution instead of rewriting it and making law? Like O’Connor and her Left wing cronnies have been doing for the 50 years.

Posted by: Ron Brown at March 18, 2006 10:21 AM
Comment #134365

V Edward,
Good article as usual. Thanks for bringing it up.

Ron,
Ending slavery was re-writing the constitution. Are you saying that you’d prefer it if we still had slavery? If not, then you must think that changing the constitution is OK.

In case you missed it, Sandra Day O’Connor is a REPUBLICAN. Maybe the fact that you think she’s a liberal tells us more about how extreme YOUR views are than it does about hers.

Posted by: ElliottBay at March 18, 2006 10:42 AM
Comment #134382

Ron,

“The Right wants to undermine the Courts? Why? Because they want justices that will interpret the Constitution instead of rewriting it and making law? Like O’Connor and her Left wing cronnies have been doing for the 50 years.”

Interpet the Constitution?

I thought the Supreme Courts job was to enforce the Constitution.
The way the Republicans would have you belive, the Constitution wasn’t open for interpetation.

It’s ironic.

We don’t complain about the USSC until they pass something that we disagree with, then they become “activists”.

Liberals and conservitives don’t want balance, they want it their way or not at all.

Posted by: Rocky at March 18, 2006 12:17 PM
Comment #134383
It takes a lot of degeneration before a country falls into dictatorship, she said, but we should avoid these ends by avoiding these beginnings. - Sandra Day O’Conner.
A wise statement. VEM, Thanks for posting it. I heard it last week on NPR, and yesterday was trying remember her exact words.
Like it or no, my fellow Americans the Bush Administration and it Republican Right backers are those beginnings, at least in this writers mind…
Yes, No, and No. Yes, we are seeing corruption. No. It is not the beginnings, since it has been growing, steadily, all along. No. It’s not just Republicans. Democrats went along with much of it, or sat back and did nothing to stop it. Where is the outcry? A filabuster? Something?

The funny thing is, based on some polls, the Democrats might gain some seats, but the voters fail to see both parties to blame. The voters just keep letting the two main parties take turns at being irresponsible, while they are all rewarded with re-election.

Hopefully, some day, voters will wake up, and start votin’ out all irresponsible incumbents, always, like that were supposed to all along.

Or, keep learning the hard way (again).

Posted by: d.a.n at March 18, 2006 12:26 PM
Comment #134388

V. Edward- good post. Apparently this happens from time to time here in this great Country. Here is some advice from one of my favorite fore fathers.
” A little patience and we shall see the reign of witches pass over, their spells dissolve, and the people recovering their true sight, restore their government to its true principles. It is true that in the meantime we are suffering deeply in spirit and incurring the horrors of war and long oppressions of enourmous public debt. If the game runs against us at home we must have patience till luck turns and then we shall have an opportunity of winning back the principles we have lost, for this is a game where principles are at stake.” -Thomas Jefferson 1798 (after passage of the sedition act)

Posted by: j2t2 at March 18, 2006 1:26 PM
Comment #134395

Elliott
Article V of the Constitution allows for it to be Changed by Constitutional amendment. But the Constitution doesn’t allow for the courts to change it.
When slavery was outlawed by the 8th Amendment it was done under the provisions of Article V.
The court saying that murdering unborn babies is Constitutional is not changing it Constitutionally.

Posted by: Ron Brown at March 18, 2006 2:01 PM
Comment #134396

Rocky
The Republicans might want you to think that the Constitution isn’t open for interpretation. But then they’rea bunch of Liberals anyway. But the Conservitives know better.
The left, and this includes Democrats, wants you to think that the Constitution is open to be change at the whims of the courts. The conservatives know better also.
It is both open to interpratation and change. But the change has to Constitutional. The only Constitutional way to change it is by amendment.

Posted by: Ron Brown at March 18, 2006 2:09 PM
Comment #134402

Are there any specific cases and/or decisions by the Courts that can be used to justify the statement “The courts are rewriting the constitution by making the laws instead of ruling upon them”? I have heard that arguement on Roe V. Wade but are there others?

Posted by: j2t2 at March 18, 2006 2:57 PM
Comment #134403

RB

I must admit that you confound me from time to time with you oft radical statements. It is clear from your comments that you lack even a basic understanding of the court’s role in our form of government, or perhaps, like Bush, you believe it is the Executive branch’s job to interpret the Constitution!

The Supreme Court, or any court for that matter does not write the law, Black Letter or other wise; the courts interpret the law juxtaposition against the constitution as it applies to each case it hears. Congress has a responsibility to formulate laws that fall within their constitutional authority; if they fail to do so, they are right to be called to task by the courts; you know the checks and balance thing. Just because you and or some religious zealot doesn’t agree with the ruling doesn’t make it wrong.

And the USSC never changes the wording of the Constitution…

D.A.N.

I agree that the Democrats are duplicitous is their silence; they should call the Republican Right to task for their brazen and foolish attack on the courts, but they fear alienating some fringe factor of the electorate by doing so. They are being cowards and that is a practice I have very little tolerance for.

V. Edward

Posted by: V. Edward Maerin at March 18, 2006 3:03 PM
Comment #134405

J2T2

I would challenge the widely held notion that the Supreme Court rewrote the Constitution in it ruling on Roe v. Wade. The court held that the American people have a right to privacy based on the 4th (The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated) and 14th Amendment to the Constitution.

The Republican Right would have us believe that the President has almost unlimited powered in war-time based on the statement in Article II that he is Commander–in-Chief of the U.S. Armed Forces. Bush and his crooked cronies have taken that to mean that the President can do anything he like just so long as he wraps the action in the cloth of national defense. Where in the constitution does it specifically state that the President can break the law in defense of America just because he wears the mantle of Commander–in-Chief of the U.S. Armed Forces?

Apparently the Executive branch can re-interpret the Constitution at will, but the branch of government charged with thee task, must bend to the will of the other two branches. Sound like check and balances to you?

V. Edward

Posted by: V. Edward Martin at March 18, 2006 3:17 PM
Comment #134411

V. Edward
Checks and Balances? Whats that a cereal or something?
We gave up checks and balances when we voted 1 party into the Executive branch, the House and the Senate and then kept them there when we had the chance to even things out.
Now the Supreme Court appears to have realigned itself to the ruling party.
But now for my question what other decisions have the courts made the would give credence to the claim ‘s of the far right that the courts are reinterpreting the Constitution?

Posted by: j2t2 at March 18, 2006 3:40 PM
Comment #134416

J2T2,

None that I am aware of, unless you count the entire body of ruling by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.

V. Edward

Posted by: V. Edward Martin at March 18, 2006 4:23 PM
Comment #134420

V. Edward:

Great post.

O’Connor has it right. She did her job as she saw it and the Republican Right is attacking her. They are even sending her death threats. This makes them goons.

We go through a long process to appoint Supreme Court justices. It’s not perfect. But it is the best we can do. It’s outrageous for anyone in the executive or legislative branch to say that any justice makes law. Of course, they are all interpreting the law as they see it.

You may not agree with some opinion. This happens to every one of us. But that’s no reason to try to get rid of a justice.

Republicans frothing at the mouth about some justices they do not like, means that they do not believe in our Constitution. They are hypocritical: First they say the Constitution should be interpreted strictly; then they say that those who do not interpret it the way they think is right should be thrown off the bench, a position antagonistic to the Constitution.

Posted by: Paul Siegel at March 18, 2006 5:17 PM
Comment #134433

“Like O’Connor and her Left wing cronnies have been doing for the 50 years.”

O’Connor - left wing?! That’s the most off-base comment I’ve seen you post in quite a while.

You do know who nominated her? You do know that she’s a conservative… right? I know how badly you want to beleive the “activist judge” BS from the right, but it simply isn’t what they say it is.

Please - state a single instance of where the court has written a law… just one.

Posted by: tony at March 18, 2006 9:23 PM
Comment #134436
O’Connor - left wing?! That’s the most off-base comment I’ve seen you [Ron Brown] post in quite a while.

Pssssst… You should ask him, “Who would Jesus execute?” if you want to see some doozies…

Please - state a single instance of where the court has written a law… just one.

Bush v. Gore - 2000

Posted by: Betty Burke at March 18, 2006 9:35 PM
Comment #134452

Are you commenting on Justice Scalia’s remarks on how Judges are not qualified to define morality such as in abortion and gay issues?http://www.guardian.co.uk/worldlatest/story/0,,-5689364,00.html
The biggest problem with roevwade is there were no previous judgments to base their desision on. Nothing noted about previous decisions. They used only their own opinions, something that is improper when we have the rule of law in our country.
Sandra Day believes we can base decisions on other countries laws. This is what conservatives believe is wrong.

Posted by: kruser at March 18, 2006 11:19 PM
Comment #134456

Any sort of rhetorical “undermining” of the judiciary is no different from the “undermining” of the executive or legislative branches that goes on all the time. In other words, it’s consitutionally protected free speech.

But it’s no surprise that some members of the judiciary see themselves as kings who shouldn’t have to endure pesky criticisms by citizens arrogant enough to excercise their rights in a democracy.

An “independent” judiciary does not mean a judiciary that is independent of ever being questioned or even insulted. The courts are ONE BRANCH of a divided government and nothing more.

Yes, the courts aren’t doing their job if they never make governors, congressmen or the president angry. But those governors, congressmen and presidents have every right to use whatever means are in their power to respond. It’s called checks and balances, and the courts are no more immune than anybody else. They have no right to insist on the power to make others angry and not be made angry in return.

O’Connor is acting pretty much like a politician when she whines about how unfair it is to have anybody questioning her actions.

Of course, death threats are a different matter entirely. Anybody making death threats against a judge, a congressman or the president should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.

Posted by: sanger at March 18, 2006 11:38 PM
Comment #134460

And the USSC never changes the wording of the Constitution

It might not change the wording but it sure twists them to make it say what they want it too.
The only thing I agree with Bush on is we need to wipe terrorist off the face of this earth.
Now if he would quit pussyfooting around and get it done.


Posted by: Ron Brown at March 18, 2006 11:55 PM
Comment #134463

tony
If O’Connor was Conservative yaall Liberals would be all over her case like ugly on an ape. Just like yaall are on Thomas’ case.

Posted by: Ron Brown at March 19, 2006 12:01 AM
Comment #134469

Justice O’Connor much like Goldwater before her, is simply warning us of the real threat to this Country. And its not the Islamic Terrorist its the far right extremist of this Country. Yes the evil angels that are determined to have a theocracy instead of a democracy.

Posted by: j2t2 at March 19, 2006 12:31 AM
Comment #134470

oops did I sat evil angels I meant Evangelicals. S

Posted by: j2t2 at March 19, 2006 12:32 AM
Comment #134491

Television evangelists don’t represent the normal people who have morals in this country.
Extreemists simply try to preserve family and traditions, so shoot them….

Posted by: Kruser at March 19, 2006 3:17 AM
Comment #134511

Sandra Day O’Connor is a REPUBLICAN. What part of that don’t the folks on the wrong wing get? If they think she’s a liberal whiner, that just proves how far to the extreme fringe of the far right their beliefs are. And that puts them just a half a step away from Timothy McVeigh & co.

Posted by: ElliottBay at March 19, 2006 10:02 AM
Comment #134538

Kruser

If judges are not qualified to define morality, neither are legislators. To use your argument that “there were no previous judgments to base their decision (sic) on” then certainly Brown vs. Board of Education was decided wrongly and the doctrine of Separate by Equal set up by Plessey vs. Ferguson should still be the law of the land.

Sanger

Checks and balances is one thing and Congress certain is within its right do enact legislation within the bounties of constitution to limit judicial jurisdiction. But making the case that the judicial branch has overstepped in authority by running contrary to what the religious right would have liked is irresponsible, and as legislators they have a higher duty of care when it comes to free speech.

Member of one branch of government should never stoop so low as to publicly undermine the legitimacy and authority of the other(s), co-equal branches. In the end we all lose.

V. Edward

Posted by: V. Edward Martin at March 19, 2006 11:24 AM
Comment #134621

V. Edward,
What if the message being sent is not getting across? What if the hubris of the offfending brach is such that they couldn’t care less? Where is the transparency of government? Why should the disagreement between branches be kept from the American people?

Didn’t that secrecy about dissention and differences of opinion lead us to a united front to a war? Only now are we starting to hear some of the disagreement that turned out to be right.

I cannot understand this obsession with secrecy in our government as expressed by your comment and the actions of Cheney and his energy policy formulation. Ooooops… that was supposed to be OUR engrgy policy. My bad.

Is this in keeping with the “Don’t argue in front of the kids?” If so, we are not children. We have a need and a right to know if there is serious concerns regarding the over-reaching of one branch of government!!!! OUR government. The American government. Not the Republican government. Or the Democrats government. Ours!!!

I have never been impressed with the “We made a mistake or we are wrong, but to deny it means a loss of credibility.” My God, what could cause more of a loss of credibility than to pretend that something is okay when it isn’t?

To all… each law is supposed to be interpreted by the courts. To say that they shouldn’t shows a shocking lack of knowledge about how our society works! Again I will say it… we don’t have a math and a science problem, we have a problem with people leaving school without even the most basic understanding of law, citizenship, history… the social sciences.

If you look at a court’s opinion, majority or dissenting, you will see where the judges even go back to looking at the speeches made leading up to the passing of the law. Why? To gain insight into the intent of the lawmakers when they constructed the law. These opinions are easy to find online… just read a few opinions and you will see how they interpreted the law, the intent of the law makers and see the arguments pro and con that the judges used. It isn’t just pulling in out of thin air.

It is virtually impossible to write a rule, law or constitution that covers every foreseeable circumstance.

Some of the Constitution describes how the government is to be created, its particular powers and limitations… but no document written over 200 years ago, or 2 years ago is going to cover everything.

It is true the courts are accused of being “activist courts” any time they rule against a person’s opinion. Look to somewhere like CA where a proposition passed by the voters is ruled unconstitutional. “What? But we, the majority, wanted it!” Ah-ha! The constitution protects the rights of the minority from the majority.

Now, that being said… the civil rights movement depended on the courts to interpret the constitution as to end discrimination. Why not just wait for the politicans and legislatures to change the law? There wasn’t an overwhelming call to do so in many states. Should the rights and freedoms enjoyed by American’s such as voting and equal access to a quality education be left to the bigorty and hatred of the local governments?

Should American be denied their rights because some states don’t want to give them to them? Should they have to go “hat in hand” and beg to be treated as Americans?

Democrats would say no! That we need to use every tool available to force the change if need to be give an American his rights.

I am so confused right now about the Republicans. I hear that they are for minimal governmental involvement, yet the President lays out a plan calling for increased involvement in the foreign area. They welcome a foreign war with every justification under the sun, up to and including freeing the Iraqi children from oppression while begrudging Headstart for our own children. They want the courts to rule as strictly interpreted… yet they want to blurr the lines between the church and state with faith based initiatives… they want the government out of their life except when it comes to their bedroom.

The only difference between the wish of the Democrats to use the government for particular ends and the Republican is that the Republicans have made it a cliche about “Big Government” Democrats while pretending that they don’t want to use the government just as much for their own agenda. To me, that is dishonest and hypocritical… but hey… that’s politics folks!

Posted by: Darren7160 at March 19, 2006 6:07 PM
Comment #134625

Two things:

1) As I keep reminding people, it IS the role of the courts to make law. This is known as “case law” or “common law”, as opposed to statutory law (the kind of law made by the legislature.) It is one of the four sources of our laws, which include constitutional law, statutory law, administrative law, and case law.

Don’t take my word for it, look at the website of the Judge Advocate Generals Corp of the US Army:
http://www.jagcnet.army.mil/JAGCNETInternet/Homepages/AC/Legal%20Assistance%20Home%20Page.nsf/0/f5e85b7d74dfabf0852568bc005b5e74?OpenDocument&ExpandSection=4%2C1%2C2#_Section4

2. Our common law system is in fact based off of the system of common law that began in England before this country was founded. It is common practice for our judiciary to base decisions off of british cases decided before our country’s founding, though we do not tend to similarly reference cases in other countries with laws based on british common law UNLESS there are no american rulings relevant and the cases are nearly identical in both the facts and law at issue, and the reasoning is strongly persuasive. This is a dramatic change from how cases were decided immediatley after our nation’s founding, where citing contemporary british rulings was in fact common.

The point I am trying to make with this is that it is not at all improper for the courts to reference foreign cases, and this has historically always been a tool of the judiciary, all the way back to our nation’s founding.

Posted by: Jarandhel at March 19, 2006 6:27 PM
Comment #134628
I am so confused right now about the Republicans. I hear that they are for minimal governmental involvement,…

Me too. That’s why I’m no longer a Republican. But, when I got to looking closely at everything, there was no reason to want to be part of any party. Parties are not really the problem. Irresponsible incumbents are rampant in all parties.

To me, that is dishonest and hypocritical… but hey… that’s politics folks!
Yep. It is. It is tempting to blame politicians for all the problems, but irresponsible incumbents, which is most (if not all) of them, is only half the problem. The other half of the problem is irresponsible voters, that tolerate it, even though it is voters that suffer the most for all of the irresponsibility. Voters have the power (their vote), but they are too easily divided by the clever tactics of irresponsible incumbents.

It could be that the politicians have too many unfair advantages?

Therefore, while we’re all culpable, the blame perhaps should be apportioned:


  • voters: 49%

  • irresponsible incumbent politicians: 51%

I think too many voters are under the illusion that most politicians are honest. After all, is it impossible? No. But that’s not the way it is now. Most (if not all) now, are irresponsible, and only a little research of each incumbent can easily prove it.
That is why, these days, no one list 10, 20, 50, 100, or even 268 (half of 535) in Congress that are responsible.
Unless we can come up with at least 268 (half of 535) in Congress that are responsible, what does that tell us. The bar is set so, so, very low.
We here of corruption almost daily, and we say “On well”.
But there is one simple thing that voters could (and should) do to remedy the situation.

Education is needed to understand how the root problem (laziness):
[] works for irresponsible incumbents,
[] but works against voters.

Politicians have Power by virtue of their office. Power coupled with laziness yields Corruption, because Cheaters can simply create more opportunities for self-gain by simply do nothing, or breeding chaos. Cheaters also get paid hand$omely while doing it on the job, giving themselves more unfair advantages, and making their incumbency more secure and cu$hy.

The voters’ laziness works against them, because their lack of motivation to observe and monitor politicians, and go vote out irresponsible incumbents (always) takes time and effort for the voters, and voters don’t get paid for their time or effort. Also, it requires time and effort for the voters to maintain sufficient levels of Education, Transparency, and Accountability.

Therefore, corrupt incumbent politicians have many unfair advantages.

But, if voters want it enough, voters can restore a balance of power between government and the people, by simply doing the one simple thing voters were supposed to be doing all along: vote out (or recall) all irresponsible incumbents, always, repeatedly, every election, until simple, common-sense, no-brainer, responsible reforms are passed to peacefully force government to be Transparent, Accountable, and Responsible too!

At any rate, I understand your frustration.

Posted by: d.a.n at March 19, 2006 6:44 PM
Comment #134643

Jarandhel

Thank you for the lesson in the law. Most American are ignorant—and probably not purposefully—of the extent of the law, and how the courts go about deciding a case. Every case if different from the last and I remember in my first year of law school we discussed a number of cases when the courts referred to foreign cases. This was especially true of cases adjudicated by the nation’s courts in the years following the nations founding.

And most of the courts rulings are based on prior cases, some of them reaching back into the 18th and 19th centuries. Once again thanks for the history lesson.

D.A.N.

If only the voters paid attention! I happen (lucky me) to live in the district represented (and I use the term loosely) by Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert, a man of oblivious limited intellect or leadership skills. He has represented this district since I moved to Chicago in 1995, and no one has yet to seriously challenge him.

I joke with my spouse that I will run against him in 2008, but I am only half joking; I want the man out and the Democratic Party seems reluctant to take him on. A serious problem…

V. Edward

Posted by: V. Edward Martin at March 19, 2006 7:59 PM
Comment #134655

Elliott
Your right, O’Connor is a Republican. That makes her a Liberal. If she was a Conservative she’d have sense enough to avoid a political party.
“McVeigh & Co” are not and never will be true Conservatives. True Conservatives don’t go around blowing up buildings because they disagree with someone or the Government. That’s more the thing Liberals would be dong. SLA/Weathermen style.

Posted by: Ron Brown at March 19, 2006 9:01 PM
Comment #134660

d.a.n
The only Republican that was for limited small Government was Reagen. And he wasn’t that much for it. Just where he wanted it and nowhere else.
The only place he really wanted limited Government was it’s involvement in welfare.


V. Edward
If the voters paid more attention neither Republicans or Democrats would be in office. Both parties would be thrown out on the collective fat asses.
The problem is that, like d.a.n said, the voters are lazy. They won’t dig deep and ask the hard questions, and demand the answers that would bring out what the politicians really think and believe.

Posted by: Ron Brown at March 19, 2006 9:14 PM
Comment #134721

Ron,
While I might agree that blowing up buildings was not within the conservative believers handbook, to say that it was more in line with liberals and then mentioning the SLA and the Weathermen only highlights that those seeking power use the tools at their disposal. I do believe you are being unfair.

One group that you failed to mention was the KKK. Even with the stated fact that there is no discrimination in America, that we are all Americans there are KKK rallys and parades going on all the time. They are not known for their light touch and active participation within the political spectrum (unless you want to talk about David Duke).

Small groups such as the SLA and Weathermen don’t have access to the means available to the more conservative, shall I say, right-wing groups? These right-wing groups do their violence on a larger, sometimes national, more productive scale… oh, financed and supported by the American government.

COLONEL HUGO BANZER, President of Bolivia
FULGENCIO BATISTA, President of Cuba
SIR HASSANAL BOLKIAH, the Sultan of Brunei
P. W. BOTHA, President of South Africa
GENERAL HUMBERTO BRANCO, President of Brazil
VINICIO CEREZO, President of Guatemala
CHIANG KAI-SHEK, President of Taiwan
ROBERTO SUAZO CORDOVA, President of Honduras
ALFREDO CRISTIANI, President of El Salvador
NGO DINH DIEM, President of South Viet Nam
GENERAL SAMUEL DOE, President of Liberia
FRANÇOIS & JEAN CLAUDE DUVALIER, Presidents-for-Life of Haiti
GENERAL FRANCISCO FRANCO, President of Spain
ADOLF HITLER, Chancellor of Germany
HUSSAN II, King of Morocco
FERDINAND MARCOS, President of the Philippines
MAXIMILIANO HERNANDEZ MARTINEZ, General of El Salvador
MOBUTU SESE SEKO, President of Zaire
GENERAL MANUEL NORIEGA, Chief of Defense forces, Panama
TURGUT OZAL, Prime Minister of Turkey
MOHAMMAD REZA PAHLEVI, Shah of Iran, King of Kings
GEORGE PAPADOPOULOS, Prime Minister of Greece
PARK CHUNG HEE, President of South Korea
GENERAL AUGUSTO PINOCHET, President of Chile
GENERAL SITIVENI RABUKA, Commander, Armed Forces of Fiji
GENERAL EFRAIN RIOS MONT, President of Guatemala
ANTONIO DE OLIVEIRA SALAZAR, Prime Minister of Portugal
HALIE SELASSIE, Emperor of Ethiopia
IAN SMITH, Prime Minister of Rhodesia
ANASTASIO SOMOZA, SR. AND JR., Presidents of Nicaragua
ALFREDO STROESSNER, President-for-Life of Paraguay
GENERAL SUHARTO, President of Indonesia
RAFAEL LEONIDAS TRUJILLO, President of the Dominican Republic
GENERAL JORGE RAFAEL VIDELA, President of Argentina
MOHAMMED ZIA UL-HAQ, President of Pakistan
Courtsey of: http://home.iprimus.com.au/korob/fdtcards/AlphaD.html)

When “legitimate” right wing government isn’t able to do the even more dirty work they contract it out… search right wing death squads.

People like to believe that these things happen in a vacuum. That people aren’t acting in response to the lack of representation in the political process… marginalized?

Notice, I said political process because someone would surely point out that it wasn’t because of lack of financial opportunity because Osama and many of the terrorists came from affluent families.

Does anyone know the genisis of Osama’s hatred and decision to declare war on America? The presense of American troops in Saudi Arabia during the first Gulf War. It is irrational in our minds, granted… but it wasn’t just an inherent, all Muslims are by definition terrorists, and it is the Koran that tells them they should do this.

I do know about “infidels” but look at the actual definition of infidels versus the “people of the book” and the traditional historical treatment of Christians and Jews in the Islamic world.

The middle east and its anger towards America isn’t something the radicals read out of the Koran and decided out of the blue to use violence.

Possibly some of them reached a point of being beyond rational because of the people that ruled them and America’s support of the rulers. This lead to the exploitation of these people by others that were willing to use the Koran and Allah (God) to create the terror.

Granted, many of the decisions we made were in relation to the Cold War with the USSR that required a response that wasn’t in the best interest of the people of the region… other decisions were made simply out of greed and a desire to keep leaders in power that we thought we could “work” with.

So, in all fairness, please do not imply that only “liberals” use force for political gain. Just as I will try not to equate the Republican/Conservatives with the Nazis, the KKK or the above listed dictators, I ask that the Democratic party and the liberals of that party not be compared to the people so extreme on the left they can’t see a liberal with binoculars.

Like they say on FOX, let’s try to be “Fair and Balanced.”

Posted by: Darren7160 at March 20, 2006 8:14 AM
Comment #134732

Do you forget that soon buddy, I don’t consider Republicans Right Wing. They’re Liberal trying to wear Conservative clothes.
The KKK isn’t true Conservative either. They’re just like McVeigh & Co., the SLA, And the Weathermen. ALL ARE LOONEYS and don’t deserve ANY political label other than TERRORIST.

Posted by: Ron Brown at March 20, 2006 10:01 AM
Comment #134776

VEM,
Now might be the time to run.
Perhaps there’s enough anti-incumbent sentiment to oust some incumbents?
Some polls are not exactly painting a pretty picture during the last few years.
What ever happens, hopefully, some of the most irresponsible incumbents get replaced…but I won’t get my hopes up too high. Unfortunately, incumbents have far too many unfair advantages..

Yes, you’re right of course. If only the voters paid any attention. That’s why education is needed. It all seems very complicated, but much of the complexity is unnecessary.

Voters don’t need to understand every little, intricate government rule and procedure. They mainly just need to know that government is basically too irresponsible and unaccountable, and it is up to them to change that, or continue to allow it, and let it get worse (which is what Sandra Day O’Connor is implying). Don’t let it take root. Unfortunately, corruption in government has already taken root, and spread considerably for and wide. It could be worse of course, and it will be if allowed to grow.

Posted by: d.a.n at March 20, 2006 3:19 PM
Comment #134788

V. Edward, terrific article.
Unfortunately for me, Paul, Darren and Jarandhel’s replies variously covered most of the points which I might have added to this discussion.
Very well done, you three.
j2t2, liked the TJ quote — timely indeed.

tony:
“You do know who nominated her? You do know that she’s a conservative… right? I know how badly you want to beleive the “activist judge” BS from the right, but it simply isn’t what they say it is.”

tony, after reading Ron’s posts for a long time, I’ve gotten the general impression that he thinks that anything he doesn’t approve of must automatically fall under the classification: Liberal.

Posted by: Adrienne at March 20, 2006 3:58 PM
Comment #134899

Ron Brown,

“McVeigh & Co” are not and never will be true Conservatives.

So you’re the sole arbiter of what makes a Conservative?

Posted by: ElliottBay at March 20, 2006 10:14 PM
Comment #134949

Elliott
No, But I do know the difference between nut cases and Conservatives and Liberals.
Unlike yaall Liberals that think anyone they don’t agree with is Conservative and want to link idiots like McVeigh to Conservatives. I make the distinction.
Would you call the SLA, or Weathermen Liberals?
I wouldn’t, They’re just like McVeigh, And the KKK. There’s only one label for them. Terrorist.

Posted by: Ron Brown at March 21, 2006 12:19 AM
Comment #134962

It is silly to get into a pissing match as to what criminals belong to what idealology.
Really, conservatives believe in individual freedom and a government that defends and maintains order. To avoid mob rule, or a poll led government, we have checks and balances and represenatives.
Government control over businesses,economy and personal lives is what they historically have been against as an Ideal.
Communism, socialism, fascism, monarchy and dictatorships assume a responsibility to take care of the little people. The people exist for the government rather than vice versa.
I observe both partys practicing conservatism in different ways and government control in others. It usually depends on what is popular with their media.
Those who practice terrorism rather than free discourse only belong to the idealism of criminal, those who are too cowardly and lazy to work toward their goals. Murderers, extortions,bank robbers don’t do this because of desperation but lazyness, attacking innocents is a short cut to get what they want without work.

Posted by: Kruser at March 21, 2006 7:49 AM
Comment #134964

Ron…. come on,
I know you can be fair. Please don’t be coy…

You have got to admit that it is not only the liberals that believe those opposing them are conservatives… it is also the conservative that believe that anyone who disagrees is a liberal(as in intellectual elite, liberal MSM, colleges, professors and all that stuff). You say you don’t? Okay. However, the generalization that “Unlike yaall Liberals that think anyone they don’t agree with is Conservative…” Shows a striking similarity to such inclusive statements. Nit picky I know.

What I really really don’t understand is the, “I don’t consider Republicans Right Wing. They’re Liberal trying to wear Conservative clothes.”

The whole Democratic party and its associate liberal members disagree. This isn’t another attempt to say something enough that it takes on the “feeling” of truth?

You want to know what is considered mental abuse by the medical society? A person continually telling another person that what they are experienceing… their sense of reality isn’t real. This is typical of behavior in an abusive relationship. Saying that what the person knows, sees, experiences is not really true.

That is how I feel when I talk to Republicans and Conservatives. Such as when I was describing the faults of the Iraqi war based on my amatuer knowledge and thoughts. I was told my thinking was 20/20, simplisitic and moronic hingsight.

A weel later guess what? General Eadton wrote his article expressing everything I said. Exactly. My point? If I hold onto my sanity and don’t let people tell me that I am “wrong” when I express the truth, then eventually the truth does come out.
http://www.iht.com/articles/2006/03/19/opinion/edeaton.php

Oh… I will help everyone. You can trash him because he recommends a Democrat take over from Rumsfeld. I don’t know if this is because of Gen. Eadton’s personal party affiliation, or his belief that the Republican’s reputation is trashed in the Pentagon. I believe because their reputation is trashed, but you all be the judge.

The Republicans and the Conservatives have been telling us repeatedly that this President can do no wrong… that he is representing their values… now I am reading editorials, pundits and news items where the conservatives are saying that Bush is not what they believe a conservative should be. He is too liberal?

That statement alone, after running roughshod over the Republican party these past few years tells me a couple of things about the Republicans.

1) They have no idea what they believe in other than the need to gain power.
2) Power is attained through strong arm tactics that repress the people in their own party from behaving in accordance with their beliefs and those of the people electing them. (See articles about Rove, DeLay and company and the revolt now going on as Republican legislators are now speaking out… enjoying the freedom to think their own thoughts.)
3) The Republican party is not as cohesive as they want the general public to believe.
4) President Bush has completely trashed the meaning of Conservative and it is leaving a bad taste in the general publics mouth… that is why all the editorials and conservative pundits are now saying that President Bush isn’t a “true” conservative…. they are trying to retain some of their reputation.

I beleive that from your comment concerning the Republicans not being conservatives, but liberals masking as conservatives you have been reading the same types of things?

Wanna guess how many personal appearances President Bush will be making for Republican running for election? Like President Clinton towards the end… they will beg off pleading “prior engagements.” More likely, the President will pretend to be too busy to help campaign. Right… since when.

Now, as far as the whole Justice O’Commer thing… the system is set up where each branch monitors and corrects the other branches.

If Justice O’Conner believes something enough and her message isn’t getting through, I see nothing wrong with a Supreme Court justice speaking out.

Heck, the other two branches make it a sport to trash the Supreme Court judges when they rule against their beliefs. Like inferring that the judges are “rewriting” the constitution when they are interpreting it…. in a way that the person doesn’t like.

The conservative label is going through a tough time and it will get tougher…

Posted by: Darren7160 at March 21, 2006 8:26 AM
Comment #134966

Kruser,
I agree in what you are saying the Conservative ideal is… however, in practice the minimal interference is very selective.

Religion in government. The government’s Faith Based Initiatives is supposed to be forming a cooperation between religions, charity groups and government. This is in opposition to the stated separation of church and state and it gets the governments fingers all inside of these organiztion (where they don’t belong) and the organizations inside our government.

Education. The No Child Left Behind Act is nothing but 110% federal involvement in education (which by the way is not mandated in the federal Constitution, those are in the State Constitutions)… wresting control from the teachers, the local and state school boards.

Christianity and Religion in Law. The Alabama judge that, I guess, could not do his sworn duty as a judge without the 10 Commandments on his courtroom wall.

We want to show to the world and especially the Iraqi Sunni and Shiites that a government can legitimately and fairly rule without favoring one over the other… yet, the Conservatives beielve that we must have the government put their stamp of approval on our religous beliefs by displaying religous ornaments and mangers in public squares.

Right to choose and Pro-life? Here the consrvatives are involved from conception to birth… after that they return to their not wanting to be involved.

Gay rights. a person’s rights are contingent upon his or her’s sexual orientation? Again, once they get out of a person’s bedroom then they resort back to not wanting government involvement.

Business regulation. Reagan came in with a wonderful belief that governmental regulation was a bad thing… they deregulated the Savings and Loan industy and cost us $billions.

Same with ENRON and deregulation of the power industry. $Billions lost through corruption and greed.

Remember the rolling blackouts in Ca a couple of years ago… ENRON’s fingerprints are all over that.

Equal Opportunity. Conservatives don’t believe this should be an issue because prejudice does not exist… it was a liberal idea that people should have their rights protected regardless of race, religion, sex or age. That separate but equal wasn’t a reality.

Even today people want to pretend that there is equal access to education and opportunity.

Corporate Responsibility to Workers, If the companies out there showed a sliver of real cooperation with their employees so everyone benefited, then possibly conservativism would work.

However, companies making record profits (such as IBM are dropping employee retirement packages not because they cannot afford them… but because they can!

Now, conservatives will say that the government should not be involved… that corporations are not responsbile for their workers “welfare”… then who looks out for the workers in an unfair distubition of power? The labor unions? Ahhhh, but the Conservatives say we don’t need the unions because if the workers will cooperate with with the companies then it will be a “win-win” situation. Hmmmmmmm.

The conservatives are trying to sell us on the need that retirement should not depend on social security but on private retirement accounts and packages available to employees through their employers. The companies saving all that money by eliminating the retirement packages did not distribute that savings on to the workers so they could create these accounts.

Increased income due to dropping benefits is like the increased income from tax breaks… it doesn’t go into capital investment or new jobs… it goes into their bottom line which shows a good quaterly and years profit and they eat it all up in executive bonuses.

Kimberly Clark received $millions in tax breaks 2 years ago because they promised the state that they would be increasing jobs with the additional funds. Nope. 2 years later over 1,000 laid off and they are closing 2 plants within the next year and shipping the jobs somewhere else.

Wanna go back and look at the corporate raiding that went on in the 1980s where companies were bought simply to empty their retirement accounts and then sell off the assets?

Even as a liberal, I believe in minimal governmental involvement… I just believe in their involvement when they do it for different things.

And… what causes me to wake up at night in cold sweats is the conservatives saying that President Bush is too “liberal”! God help us!

Posted by: Darren7160 at March 21, 2006 9:01 AM
Comment #134977

Darren
Can you show me one Republican that truly holds to Conservative values?
Conservatives believe in finical and social conservatism. They aren’t opposed to change, but are opposed to change just for the sake of it. But if something needs to be changed they are all for it.
Conservative believe in that ALL men are equal int the sight of the law and God. Though they may not be equal in other ways due to character, IQ, physical ability or other factors beyond their control.
I haven’t seen one of the Republicans up in DC that believes any of this.
That’s why I keep saying that they’re Liberals. Maybe they aint as liberal as the Democrats but they sure as hell aint conservative.

Posted by: Ron Brown at March 21, 2006 9:49 AM
Comment #135019

Ron,
Possibly you are attributing liberal beliefs to conservatives and that is why the Republicans are not meeting the expectations?

As I mentioned in my “ideals” repsonse above… the ideals are great… but where the rubber meets the road is where it matters. In this, the Republican party and the conservatives have fallen very far short. Attributing their misdeeds and inactions to us, and our accomplishments to them is outrageous!

You believe that by not “classifying” them, they are being seen and treated as “regular” human beings? That, by specifying persons in need of protection from discrimination we are victimizing them? Please. Ever hear of “FOO” on job applications? It was a code used for “Front Office Appearance” which mean good looking and most likely white.

Brown v. Board of Education was an interpretation of the equal rights clause that said separate was inheriently unequal. Even in practice, there was no equal in the schools. Was the legislature going to do something about it?

The battle against discrimination used the interstate commerce laws… why? Because the legislatures weren’t going to make the requist laws to stop that discriminating behavior.

Activism? Maybe? Should they have to? No. But… conservatives don’t like “change”. Too darn bad.

The American’s with Disability Acts and the Civil Rights acts that cover the specific things you mention as being acceptable to conservatives are the very acts the Conservatives fought! Not by pretending that there wasn’t a problem.

The IDEA of 1997… the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act which gives special education students access to education.

Why is that? Because there wasn’t any discrimination? Thus, no need for the laws? If there is a little discrimination, is it up to the government to remedy it? If not them… who?

See, this is what I fear… now the Republicans/Conservatives are taking credit for the ending of racial discrimination? A conservative wouldn’t discriminate? Since when is this?

Liberals discriminate? I am not sure how you mean. I would love some examples… and please, try to make it ones in America and not the Soviet Union. Because we are talking about the American Democratic party…. Just like we are talking about the American Republican party and not the National Socialists of Germany.

When we pushed for the equal rights amendment (that did not make it), the civil rights act, the voter’s rights, the elimination of the Jim Crow laws, the fight against “separate but equal” education? Please tell me a conservative that supported those?

Heck, even today they choke on it and they still try to deny that there is discrimination. So, according to Conservatives…. there wasn’t a need for the civil rights acts because there wasn’t discrimination… and now there isn’t discrimination because…

Yes, there has been improvement, but I would not attribute nearly 1/110th of that to the Republican party or to the conservatives. To do so would be definitely ‘revisionist history.”

Can you show me where a conservative has openly spoke out about the wrongness of discriminating? Not someone like Trent Lott after he got his nuts in a wringer by wishing that Strom Thrumond had won the Presidency and kept America traditional.

No sir… I refuse this form of “historical revisionism. The great and proud conservatives (and way to many Dixiecrats) not only opposed, but violently opposed these. Separted water fountains, segregated seats, special days at zoos and fairs for the “colored folk.”

Medgar Evens. MLK Jr., three civil rights workers, Michael Schwerner, Andrew Goodman, and James Chaney killed in Mississippi just because they wanted people to be able to vote… How many conservatives got their head beat in? The dogs sicked on them? The FBI opening files on them for attempting to help people enjoy their civil rights?

Oh, now a conservative might say… “Let’s take these things slowly. Let’s give them a little bit and see how they do. They will just have to be patient before they can expect us to give them that which they are entitled to as American citizens.”

The Republican party panders to the “simple” people of America and then disavow their violence…

Did you happen to read that article of Justice O’Conner’s speech? It is incredible…

“It gets worse, she said, noting that death threats against judges are increasing. It doesn’t help, she said, when a high-profile senator suggests there may be a connection between violence against judges and decisions that the senator disagrees with. She didn’t name him, but it was Texas senator John Cornyn who made that statement, after a Georgia judge was murdered in the courtroom and the family of a federal judge in Illinois murdered in the judge’s home.”

That is the mindset of the Conservative… demogogary and mindless, emotional appeals to the worse that is in people. Justifying the murder of a judge for any reason should be abhorent.

That sir, is the Conservative viewpoint. Talk about blaming the victim… it reminds me of Pat Roberson and Jerry Farwell saying that 9/11 was our fault for turning away from God.

I know you a bit and I am sure that you are cringing because of that statement by the Senator… however, that is the condition of your party today. Are you sure you wouldn’t rather be a democrat?

It isn’t easy being a conservative republican. You have my sympathy. After President Bush was elected this last time I tried being a Conservative Republican for about a week. I viewed everything as it relates to me only…. “What does it have to do with me. Why should I care if I am not effected directly. What value is ______________________ in dollars.”

I got so tired of being so self-centered. People couldn’t stand to be around me because I denied all thruths they said as irrevelant because it didn’t effect me personally, was a partisan lie against the President, gave aid and comfort to the enemy or was “whining”.

Please, let’s not mix up political beliefs and talk only of the “ideals” when in practice… the daily practice that effects peoples lives… the Republican/Conservaties are nothing like the liberals… no matter how much you try to give them the negative attributes of your party.

If you are upset with the Republican party then please attack them from within… don’t denigrate the ideals and work that has been done by Democrats and Liberals as being “corrupt like the liberals.”

Posted by: Darren7160 at March 21, 2006 1:11 PM
Comment #135208

Darren
I don’t attribute Liberal beliefs to Conservatives. I attribute Liberal beliefs to Liberals.
Just like there are so called Conservatives, there are so called Liberals. Most of these on both sides are so far out on the fringe that they can’t really be called Liberals or Conservatives. They’re just wackos. And this is what most our current crop of politicians are.
The problem is that most of those that call themselves Conservatives or Liberals today wouldn’t know the genuine thing if it bit them in the face. They want to lay blame for the problems that face this nation on the other side. Instead of saying here’s the problem. How do we fix it?
You may not believe this but true Liberals and true Conservatives want the same thing. A better country to live in. They see the same problems and want them solved. Where the disagreement comes in is how to solve them. But both sides are willing to debate the issues and come to a consensus on how to best Solve a problem. In other words both sides compromise.
Try getting that bunch up there in DC to do that today. And good luck to you. It just won’t happen.
It don’t matter what side of the isle they’re on. Their idea of compromise is do it my way or the highway, and I’ll blame you because nothings getting done.

One last thing. I’m NOT a Republican. And haven’t been one sense Nixon was in office.

Posted by: Ron Brown at March 22, 2006 1:31 AM
Comment #135245

Darren

I suggest you read a little more on the civil rights act of 64. Library of congress has some good stuff. Ike passed the first one concerning voting rights in 57. Dems do get credit for the 64 act but it was very difficult because their party was split over it. Kennedy’s death helped get it passed as a tribute to him. After the republicans had their expansion of powers issues addressed, they broke the democrat filibuster in the senate so it could be brought up for a vote. The dem majority leader did alot of work on this and had enough public outcry because of Heroic Colored protests to overcome his own party’s opposition.
Pre 64 to 1933 republicans voted for civil right legislation 96% Dems against 80% of the time.
Again the only concerns of most reps were the expanded role in government in legislation they were against. It had little to do with race.
I think the dems now, because of Bush hatred, have embraced conservative ideals only when he appears liberal. Such as the wiretapping issue. Maybe we should take advantage of it and get the majorly intrusive income tax laws repealed..
Listening in on my conversation with aunt Mirtha is nothing compaired to having audits and the IRS controlling my bank account…What do you say we get that SOB for expanding government by eliminating income tax? It only takes 2/3 for an override….

Posted by: Kruser at March 22, 2006 10:13 AM
Comment #135273

The trouble with the Republican Party is that it couldn’t get this popular without acting somewhat liberal. They do the Earmarks to earn brownie points with the voters. They keep taxes low at the same time for both ideological and electoral reasons. Their schizophrenia on educational issues follows the same logic.

What we are seeing are a thousand small positions collected with no serious organizing principle besides projecting an image to the voters. The image follows a population that is largely moderate, with little real identification with either party.

Polls give the illusion of knowledge about what people think. The answer to those questions can hide a wealth of caveats and qualifier what people believe and what people want. Moreover, it’s encouraged sloppy policy, constructed with little regard for actual results, which are subsequently spun to avoid embarrassment for the Government.

A Juggling act ensues, where the government is continually reacting to the nasty consequences of their decision, while covering them up at the same time. No person, ultimately, can keep all these different stories and consequences straight, and worse yet, the mistakes aren’t getting corrected.

Our problem here in this country is that we are thinking linearly and simply about a complex system where ripple effects are a fact of life. What we need is for society to mature, to realize the folly of the adolescent rivalries of partisanship.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at March 22, 2006 1:13 PM
Comment #135282

Stephen and d.a.n.

I agree with you both, but as I just posted over in Stephen’s thread in the blue column - the number one issue here, is the way our campaigns are financed. Until we have public funding of elections it will not matter weather we have Republicans, Democrats, Independents, incumbents, or non-incumbents; our government will be sold out period. It is, as d.a.n. points out, unrealistic to expect voters to wake up and turn things around - there are too many unfair advantages - not just for incumbents - but for anyone who sells out to big money special interest. The democrats are just a little better because their big money special interest backers include the unions who do have a proud tradition of fighting for the poor and disenfranchised. We must have real reform of the way that campaigns are financed. Politicians have to sell out in order to get elected - period. They have to. We must have public funding of campaigns.

Posted by: Ray G. at March 22, 2006 2:18 PM
Comment #135283

Stephen
If the majority of our society did mature and quit thinking along partisan lines it would be a major blow for both main parties. They don’t want this and are doing their best to keep it from happening.
But we would get a more responsible Government that is more open and is accountable to the true Owner’s of this country. The citizens, not the corporations that give big campaign donations to both sides in in order to insure ownership for whoever wins.

Posted by: Ron Brown at March 22, 2006 2:29 PM
Comment #135288


Hilarious. “If Republicans are not being conservative, then they must be liberals.” Too cute, Ron, you crack me up. “If you’re not a cat, you must be a dog.”

Three cheers for O’Connor speaking up. I’ve had quite enough of the Executive branch usurping the powers of the Judicial branch.

Squeaky

Posted by: Squeaky at March 22, 2006 2:51 PM
Comment #135341

Yes, the bloated Executive Branch is a large part of the problem too.

There is a dangerous imbalance of power:
_____________________________________________
(1) irresponsible and unaccountable government:
____(1.a) A vast structure of the Executive Branch:
a gang of over two million unaccountable persons that are neither seen nor heard as they irresponsibly throttle our freedoms and prosperity; subtly growing and securing more and more power; one of the first steps toward totalitarianism, is the destruction of the parliamentary/legislative branches of government;

____(1.b) a relatively smaller 535 in Congress:
and their hundreds of thousands employees, mostly a fumbling and stumbling group that is too busy piling on pork-barrel and subsidies to special interests, gathering $millions while trying to get re-elected, secure their incumbency, voting themselves raises & perk$, and busy seducing voters into the perpetual petty partisan bickering and politics.

Both branches lack transparency, which leads to irresponsibility and unaccountability. They have, over time, hidden and over-complicated things to keep the voters from really knowing what is happening.
_____________________________________________
(2) The voters are either seduced to the petty partisan politics, and wallowing in the endless bickering, squabbling, and finger-pointing, OR increasingly apathetic (but concerned), tired of it all, resigned to the futility of their votes having no effect, don’t know what to do about it, and are mostly waiting for history to repeat itself, waiting for it to get worse, so that it may, hopefully, get better.

Posted by: d.a.n at March 22, 2006 6:39 PM
Comment #135402

public election money would be given out by a corrupt commission. Bribes and lobbys would become rampant.
One way to clean up elections is eliminate income tax so there isn’t so much manipulation to minorities and so much loss at stake for corporations. Flat tax for everyone. No IRS or tax cut promises. No noses in my paycheck.
I own a small corp and just little changes can lose thousands. This would go towards better equipment and higher wages for my help. Bigger corps just have more zeros after their balances and donations..
I didn’t hear much bickering about executive powers when we had Clinton in office. This issue has support from the left for its Bush bashing qualities only.

Posted by: Kruser at March 22, 2006 11:43 PM
Comment #135471

Squeaky
Glad I could brighten up your day.

Posted by: Ron Brown at March 23, 2006 11:56 AM
Comment #135623

Kruser,
I am not denying the efforts of people of both parties regarding the civil rights movement.

Parties change evidenced by the southern dixiecrats like George Wallace who ran as a Democrat. I am sure that a lot of young people would have difficulty believing that if they don’t know who he was and just read about his life and his beliefs.

Where the rubber meets the road… is in action. Many people were lost to the Democratic party because of Civil Rights issues.

I don’t know about all this “Liberalization” of the Republican party people are talking about… seems to me a distortion of reality to fit the latest Republican and Coservative spin because their name is getting such a bad reputation….

Why are we hearing it now? Timing leaves much to question. Where was the talk of Conservative values and ideals being changed, ignored or distorted? First I remember hearing about it was from William Safire a couple of months ago on TV.

The Republican party significantly changed when it allowed Jerry Falwell and his “Moral Majority” to come in and set the agenda as the party of God and morality. Add a bit of racist flavor from the southern and northern Democrats with the ones that were already in the party’s rank and file and what do you have?

Again, people disparage the Democrats saying that they are not united…yet there are plenty of instances of late night calls from Tom Delay when a Republican didn’t toe the party line. Talk about being PC.

Can you honestly say that there has been an opportunity for open debate with within the Republican party? Throughout the past years it has been a complete wall built up where a “public face” of agreement was presented to the American people.

Bits and pieces of it are cracking… like with this speech by Justice O’Conner… where the nastiness of the Republican right-wing Christian conservatives are ruining the reputation of the Grand Old Party. Such as the Senator from Texas inferring that more judges and their familes can expect to be killed if they don’t toe the line.

I am speficially using the labels above to denore their difference between Republicans… these are the Republican fringe and they have the party by the balls at the moment.

Posted by: Darren7160 at March 24, 2006 8:21 AM
Comment #135752

Everyone has a system of beliefs. Christians have theirs as do athiests and humanists. These beliefs or world views influence decisions and perspectives.
I don’t apologize for mine. George Bush doesn’t for his.
There aren’t too many that think a party is hijacked by Plato, confucious or marx. Bible based morality is bad only when used as dogma. There are sure alot of self serving people out there and those who unwittingly take stupid shortcuts to accomplish their adgenda. They think the ends justifies the means.
It is the Ideals or principles that are important. Which christian principle or adgenda you disagree with is the real issue. Truth is universal or bears witness in everyone’s heart.
Freedom of religion is the ability to use free discourse while keeping our diverse beliefs intact.

Posted by: Kruser at March 24, 2006 10:45 PM
Comment #136717

Kruser,
I do have to agree… it is man’s distortion of any religous or philosophical belief system that is bad… not the beliefs neceassarirly.

However, I have asked so many people this… the problem with people’s insitance in a Godly or God based society is that we will never get rid of man’s use or misuse… Man will always be in the equation to mess things up.

So, when we want to try to find an historical example of where a country ruled on Christian or any other religous principles and use it as an example… I cannot find one. No one else has either that I asked.

We do not need a Pat Robertson or an Oral Roberts or even a Billy Grahm leading our nation… they are wonderful to give their perspective and interpretation of social issues as they believe them to be… but they should never be give power of enforcement.

Posted by: Darren7160 at March 29, 2006 4:53 PM
Comment #137048

Wow,
I have look and looked to see if someone would post here or create a new blog.

Absolute silence on Scalia’s speech? There is no way any detainees can have any rights.. military, civil or international?

No mention of an active Supreme Court judge (versus a retired one) speaking out in such specifics?

Weren’t we all told through the confirmation hearings that to speak too specifically was not ethical for a judge who might have to listen to a case in his court?

Posted by: Darren7160 at March 31, 2006 5:07 AM
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