mr. zilla goes to town

Sunday, April 10, 2005

reflux redux

I remember back on the US election day in DC last year feeling so nervous about the possible consequences of the outcome that I couldn't eat all day. It was only after an amber steadier that I managed to eat around the time the polls closed.

Reading some recent posts on atrios this morning I've got that sinking, wrenching feeling that my fears are being realised. If you're a regular reader of the US domestic political news and top tier poliblogs you might find this old news and so skip over, but my guess is a lot of the readership here aren’t.

Atrios (and many others) point to this Dana Milbank article in the Washington Post about a meeting of leading conservatives on the subject of “Remedies to Judicial Tyranny”. That is, about pulling into line the one branch of the US federal government that they don’t control. The ire flowed most strongly towards US Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy:
Phyllis Schlafly, doyenne of American conservatism, said Kennedy's opinion forbidding capital punishment for juveniles "is a good ground of impeachment."

Michael P. Farris, chairman of the Home School Legal Defense Association, said Kennedy "should be the poster boy for impeachment" for citing international norms in his opinions.

Strong words, right? Now get a load of this:
Edwin Vieira told the gathering that Kennedy should be impeached because his philosophy, evidenced in his opinion striking down an anti-sodomy statute, "upholds Marxist, Leninist, satanic principles drawn from foreign law."

Ominously, Vieira continued by saying his "bottom line" for dealing with the Supreme Court comes from Joseph Stalin. "He had a slogan, and it worked very well for him, whenever he ran into difficulty: 'no man, no problem,' " Vieira said.

The full Stalin quote, for those who don't recognize it, is "Death solves all problems: no man, no problem."
Certainly Vieira himself isn’t about to go and load his shotgun but this kind of dog-whistle rhetoric is the first stage in laying the ground for vigilante atrocities to happen. I’m sure there’s more than one Timothy McVeigh in the world, especially with the number of mentally traumatized veterans returning from the current Iraq misadventure.

What's important to note is that these are not fringe players in Washington. Besieged Republican House Majority Leader Tom De Lay has made similar cloaked anti-judicial threats and was going to be attending this meeting but cancelled to go to Rome. Also important to note is that the target of their bile was appointed to the Supreme Court by conservative demigod Ronald Reagan, so it's not like he can be tarred with the brush of Clinton. And Kennedy isn't alone in this situation. A majority of the judges on the Massachusetts Supreme Court who ruled gay marriage consitutional there were also Republican appointees. (Admittedly it was a New England Republican... a species to the left of the endangered Texas Democrat.) It's a pattern that shows you how far off the reservation these nutters have moved since the 1980s. These people are a disgrace, even by the standards of the Reagan era.

Now check out what is going into the West Wing’s slot on NBC this week:
This Wednesday the far right's cutting-edge culture of death gets its biggest foothold to date in the mainstream, when NBC broadcasts its "Left Behind" simulation, "Revelations," an extremely slick prime-time mini-series that was made before our most recent death watches but could have been ripped from their headlines. In the pilot a heretofore nonobservant Christian teenage girl in a "persistent vegetative state" - and in Florida, yet - starts babbling Latin texts from the show's New Testament namesake just as dastardly scientists ("devil's advocates," as they're referred to) and organ-seekers conspire to pull the plug. "All the signs and symbols set forth in the Bible are currently in place for the end of days," says the show's adult heroine…
America, we stand as one? You have got to be fucking kidding me.
Invoking Stalin, Vieira delivered the "no man, no problem" line twice for emphasis. "This is not a structural problem we have; this is a problem of personnel," he said. "We are in this mess because we have the wrong people as judges."
These freaks in power and their rabid associates are really starting to take on the stench of an intolerant, fundamentalist, proto-fascist regime.


  • This sort of tawdry twaddle plays to the lowest common denominator of being American. Mad Alone's power-twat yowl fills me with a powerful urge to defecate.


    By Blogger weezil, at 4:59 am  

  • The 'amusing' thing is that then Rice starts criticising Russia for its lack of concern for judicial independence.

    By Blogger cristy, at 12:38 pm  

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