Friday, April 22, 2005


Pay Attention!

You may be aware, or you may not be aware, of the phrase "the nuclear option" that's been floating around in the zeitgeist lately. No, it doesn't refer to a terrorist with a nuclear bomb in a suitcase; it refers to the fact that Republicans are trying to change a 200-year-old (!) rule in the senate, which would make it much harder for Democrats to block their judicial nominees.

This sort of thing actually doesn't bother me that much. The worm will turn--the worm always turns--and someday, the very rule changes designed to oppress Democrats today, will oppress Republicans.

Still, consider the wise words Justin Ruben has to say about this:

"It's worth taking a moment to remember why Republican leaders are so intent on seizing power over the courts: the minimum wage, the Clean Water Act, the constitutional right to privacy, and so many other progressive advances are still too popular to for politicians to gut outright! So they're hoping to stack the Supreme Court with justices so far to the right they'll do what Congress can't. It's an extraordinarily devious plan--they're relying on judicial activism to roll back our rights, even as they claim they're trying to curb it--and the lynchpin is next week's vote on the 'nuclear option.' "

This demonstrates, in a nutshell, the two things that are so amazing to me about the Administration radicals who are shepherding the Congressional sheep these days: 1) they're working tirelessly for agendas that go against the will of the American people, and 2) the way they're doing it is to hope that the American people aren't paying attention!

Of course, when the worm does turn (for foreign readers, I should mention that this is just an idiosyncratic expression meaning that things tend to be cyclical), it may be thanks to these very things. Personally, I was never a Democrat until the current crop of Neoconservative radicals took power with the advent of Ronald Reagan in 1980. I was never a Clintonian until the right wing mounted its virulent and unprecendented persecution campaign against him. And I was never an outright anti-Republican until George W. Bush showed his colors in the wake of 9/11. I still wouldn't be a Democrat, except that they're the best hope we have of checking the excesses of the current "Republicans." I'd probably be a harmless Naderite or a Green or a Bright or something.

And I'm paying attention because the conniving extremists in the warrens of the West Wing are hoping that I won't.

The Quotidian Meander

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