Friday, April 27, 2012

It was obvious all along

The new op-ed by Norm Ornstein and Thomas Mann in the Washington Post is getting a lot of attention, and it's obviously salutary. The GOP should be called out as batshit crazy, and the media should be called out for not reporting that as fact. To have this piece appear in the Post, the Broderist temple of bipartisan orthodoxy, is good.

But the thing is, as Bob Somerby has been saying for 15 years, and as Ornstein and Mann remind us here, this is not a new state of affairs. And it was political malpractice of historically disastrous proportions for the Democratic Party not to have understood and fought against this. I have just finished reading Ron Suskind's Confidence Men, and its judgment on Barack Obama is devastating. He was incapable of doing this job, and is not growing into it. Far from being a quick study, he is rigidly locked into his own severely limiting psychic needs. He is incapable of making a decision. There was never any real-world opportunity for bipartisan agreement with this GOP. The pursuit of it was entirely a function of Obama, not of reality.

And now, the best option we face is to re-elect this guy, because the alternative is madness. It's a deeply depressing state of affairs.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012


This valuable post by Big Tent Democrat argues that the "inactivity" argument -- on which the wingnuts' challenge to the individual mandate rests -- is unprecedented (pun intended), unconstitutional and specious.

If this is correct -- and it seems so to me -- it drives home how extraordinary it is that the current Court seems bent on applying this bullshit to thwart the people's will. What does it say when a majority of our definitive legal body is made up of fools, ideologues and charlatans? And how remarkable is this chapter in our nation's history, when the basic underpinnings of the United States Constitution's separation of powers are dissolving before our eyes? People like Dahlia Lithwick have speculated that Roberts will not want his tenure to go down in legal history as a partisan travesty -- but that assumes the goal is to preserve the Court's power and credibility. Maybe Grover Norquist rules the judiciary, as well as the legislature. Maybe the driving motive all across the Beltway (and in state capitols throughout this great land) is to reduce all branches of government to the size (or to a condition of pathos and contempt) where we can (and want to) drown them in a bathtub.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Head exploding

Mine, that is. And I don't understand why others (like the Times editorial page, the lefty blogosphere -- and the paranoid wingnut blogosphere, for that matter) aren't.

I'm speaking of yesterday's jaw-dropping Supreme Court decision authorizing universal warrantless strip searches. Forget whatever happens with the healthcare decision -- this cements the Roberts court's place in judicial history. I already had as low an opinion of Scalia, Alito and Thomas as I thought it was possible to have -- but this reveals a new sub-basement. I honestly don't know how even they can look themselves in the mirror, much less Roberts himself. These people who purport to be hyper-alert, above all else, to intrusions by the state into our personal freedoms. And what can one conclude about Kennedy, except that he is actually around the bend, that his "interesting" ideas on liberty are infused now with even more fascinating speculations on the humours and phlogiston and personal messages conveyed on food packaging? Go ahead, read what he says in his majority opinion about why it's okay to strip search people for broken tail lights. A police state can't get more, ahem, interesting than that.

The crazy is abroad in the land. The Tea Party tinfoil hatties and dedicated misogynists are on the march, and the perception of that is empowering our faux "originalist" Supremes to throw off the shackles of their strictly constructed robes and let their freak flags fly.