The War Has Begun in Earnest

As I mentioned earlier, I intended to write more about the article in which Teddy Kennedy swiftly and adeptly rebuked Tom DeLay’s outrageous statement that was issued shortly after Terri Schiavo died. I want to start by clarifying exactly what the GOP’s agenda regarding the judiciary is:
Republicans, many of whom led the charge to focus federal attention on Terri Schiavo, are vowing to hold the judiciary system responsible for rulings in the case that some believe were tantamount to murder.


While Democrats on Thursday lamented Congress' intervention in the ordeal, some Republicans vowed to cure what they considered to be a moral injustice.

"This is almost a declaration of war from conservatives against the judiciary," said Washington Times reporter Bill Sammon.
A declaration of war against the judiciary. That is indeed an apt assessment. Leading the charge are, unsurprisingly, Tom DeLay and Rick Santorum.

Speaking with reporters later in Houston, DeLay said lawmakers "will look at an arrogant and out of control judiciary that thumbs its nose at Congress and the president."
Can someone please sign Tom DeLay up for a remedial social studies course, so he can learn that the judiciary isn’t meant to bow to the will of Congress and the president?

"As you look at the judges who are activists in the manner I've suggested, those judges are not conservative, but liberal and not [following] the law," said Santorum, chairman of the Senate Republican Conference. "To suggest this was unimportant is a judicial creation ... not how the law is intended to be interpreted. President Bush is putting forward judges who don't do that."
That the judges ruling in the Schiavo case were liberal activists is, of course, an outright lie. That a US Senator has no compunction about advancing such a demonstrable falsehood in furtherance of his party’s agenda is not only indicative of their dependence on Americans’ ignorance and apathy, but also borders on quite a remarkable pathology, the contemplation of which makes my brain hurt.
In a later conference call with reporters, Santorum said the courts had practiced nothing less than "judicial tyranny" in this case and took aim at those who say Congress overstepped its bounds.

"[This is] routinely done by the courts — deciding they are now a super-legislature," Santorum said. "I'm not sure if the press realizes how serious this conflict is between the branches of government and how gravely concerned members of Congress are with [the] kinds of judicial tyranny we've seen."
I’m not sure if the press realizes it, either, not to mention the American people, although I’m concerned for entirely different reasons than Santorum.

Social progression in America has always worked like the stock market—you’ve got ups and downs, but the net is always upward over a long period of time. If the GOP has their way, eliminating the filibuster, stacking the courts with conservative ideologues, and rendering the judiciary impotent, we’re looking at the social equivalent of a major market crash.

Historically, we have depended on the judiciary to make decisions about the application of Constitutional guarantees in spite of popular opinion, and many times, they have secured protections for marginalized groups literally decades before the legislature, which more closely tracks public opinion, would have enacted legislation affording the same protections. Recently, I quoted a statistic provided by John Rogers of Kung Fu Monkey that epitomizes that of which I write:
... when the Supreme Court struck down the bans against interracial marriage in 1968 through Virginia vs. Loving, SEVENTY-TWO PERCENT of Americans were against interracial marriage. As a matter of fact, approval of interracial marriage in the US didn't cross the positive threshold until – sweet God – 1991.
Clearly, waiting for the whole of society to be on board with granting equal rights to everyone is not always in our collective best interest. The judiciary is ostensibly blind to the prejudices which would otherwise stem the natural flow of progressive social movements, which is what makes them so very, very important.

We take their essential role in the promotion of equality for granted. The conservatives, on the other hand, have (correctly) identified the judiciary as the last obstacle against free reign to realize their radical agenda, from criminalizing abortion, to codifying discrimination against gays and lesbians into the Constitution, to eradicating protections for individuals against corporate malfeasance. Hence, the war against the judiciary with which we are now confronted.

I’ve never been an alarmist, or I wasn’t, before the Bushies pitched their terrifying tent at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. But this is fucking alarming. If the GOP is successful in this wicked undertaking, we will officially be living in a dictatorship, with little more than kangaroo courts stripped of all power—the last shreds of our system of checks and balances completely decimated. If the courts are in their pocket, forget fair elections. Wave goodbye to equal rights. Bid adieu to the middle class. If they conquer the judiciary, nothing stands between them and ultimate and unlimited control. Don’t expect the feckless, ineffective mess that is the Democratic Party or the fading remnants of an objective media to save us. If the judiciary is effectively subverted, it’s over.

They have been laying the groundwork for this day for thirty years or more, but the war has now begun in earnest. Make no mistake—fighting the losing battle over Terri Schiavo was a strategic move to launch this attack, and the blatant lie associating the judges involved in the case (who had the support of the American people) with the judges who rule against bans on gay marriage (who don’t), by lumping them together under the banner of “activist judges,” is the next step in convincing the electorate that the judiciary is out of control and must be stopped.

There is a part of this government that is out of control and must be stopped, but it isn’t the judiciary. And we must fight tooth and nail to stop them from sabotaging that which stands between the America we know and the America of their diabolical dreams. If you think that’s a fine little bit of dismissible hyperbole, then you tell me: if the judiciary is removed from the equation, what is left to stop them?

They’ve signaled their intentions, and I’m signaling mine. I will keep this issue front and center, and I request that anyone with her or his own blog do the same. Talk to people; inform them. Write to your Democratic Senators and Representatives and let them hear your concerns. And get fucking angry.

Too many of us speak in calm and measured tones when there’s so much at stake. You won’t find that here. I’m not sure why there aren’t more liberal bloggers who aren’t ready to storm the capitol, but I will not respond to a declaration of war against the future of my country with plaintive posts or serene epistles. This blogger, this American, is as mad as hell, and she’s not going to take it anymore.

[On a related note, fearing that we face a whole new level of bullshit about which we will, and should, be visibly angry, and preparing myself thusly, comments and emails composed specifically to tell me to stop using bad language or to start being less aggressive, less hostile, less antagonistic, less bitchy, less arrogant, less belligerent, less vitriolic, less nasty, less acerbic, or less of a poopyhead, are as welcome as any other, but I feel obligated to inform all potential authors of such missives that they are, however, a waste of time.

If I get my facts wrong, let me know. If you don’t like my tone, tough. At this bus stop in the blogosphere, I’m Queen Cunt of Fuck Mountain, and I’m mean for a reason. Once we get our country back on the right track, there will plenty of time for nursery rhymes.]

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