Monday, April 20, 2009

The New Nattering Nabobs of Negativism Are Out Gunning Again (and Again)

The brilliant drifting glass has inserted the final (I hope) spike into the heart of the rightwing dracula that always returns with more lies to justify the unjustifiable. (I am a dreamer.)

Hayden really is the giggly, bloodless bureaucrat/butcher from Central Casting; alternately boasting that he himself banned that awful, awful technique of waterboarding...and then turning right around and allowed as how waterboarding wasn’t really torture, and may or may not even “shock conscience”, because that all "depended on the circumstances". Of course, being that this was Fox News, the question that never got asked was this:
What has turning America into a torture nation done to our soul, our democracy and the foundational moral authority upon which our global leadership depends?
Because, being Fox News, any questions of “morality” that don’t serve to advance the Republican agenda simply never come up. But what really made me wish a mighty wish for temporary smiting powers, was one minute later, when Hayden was asked about Hugo Chavez and answered thusly and without a hint of irony: "I’d watch for behavior, not rhetoric. The behavior of Chavez over the last few years has been downright reprehensible." Really? Why? What makes Chavez’s behavior “downright reprehensible”? Did he perhaps…torture people? Or did he merely “technique” them? And doesn’t this kooky theory that countries actually pay attention to the behavior of other countries and should respond to each other according to behavior and not just rhetoric completely negate everything you just said about how the United State should expect the rest of the world to react to the fact that the Bush Administration tortured people -- in one case, waterboarding a prisoner 183 times in one month -- and then lied about it?
The rest of the brilliance can be found here. [** DONATIONS NEEDED ** I usually don't mention the economic circumstances surrounding the provision and maintenance of this blog, but I need to ask any interested readers who aren't unemployed or poor themselves to consider making a donation to me in a time of dire need. I won't go into the personal details of what makes me ask this favor at this time, but please know that if it hadn't been for a very few readers making donations in the past two years since I've been writing about our trying economic times, I would not be here trying to shed some light on our current catastrophic predicament and provide a much-needed forum for discussion of it. Thank you so much to the readers who have made donations to me in the past. Most months I am very lucky to receive more than one, but that's not so bad in that it has given me the hope that some day there may be more people who want to read this type of economic analysis and perhaps even add to the store of it in a place that welcomes all opinions. Yes, I am still unemployed although continuing to think positive thoughts as I apply for any job that comes into view. Thank you for being out there, for all your emails and comments and understanding notes (and CD's and love letters, etc., no, seriously). I think my readers are my friends of consciousness and wouldn't know how to live my life today without them. Thank you.] And now back to the regularly scheduled programming . . . . John Dean redirects our focus to the latest campaign from the rightwing as they strive to further pervert the justice system (by refusing to bring any of Obama's nominees out of committee for a vote). You'd think the Dems hadn't approved any Bush nominees wouldn't you?
There is a high-stakes game for the future of the federal judiciary currently underway, albeit, at this time, still quietly being played out behind-the-scenes. Over a month ago, the New York Times revealed the then-imminent selection by the Obama Administration of "a small stream of nominees to the federal appeals courts" throughout the nation. The story even floated a few names of potential nominees. But little has happened since then. Thus far, there has been no stream of nominees; indeed, barely a trickle. No one keeps score better than the Alliance for Justice, which reports three Obama nominees so far: Gerald Lynch for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, Andre Davis for the Fourth Circuit, and David Hamilton for the Seventh Circuit. The reason Obama's judicial nominees have not been streaming forth is that conservatives in the Senate are doing their best to dam that stream, literally and figuratively. To use the phrase coined by former Nixon speechwriter Bill Safire, the Obama Administration is being blocked by what can accurately be described as the new "nattering nabobs of negativism." According to the coiner of the phrase, Safire, nattering is complaining; a nabob – taken from Urdu – is a self-important potentate; and negativism, of course, is habitual skepticism, the tendency to be pessimistic, seeing the world in the worst light possible. This outlook is very much the one possessed by the remarkably pompous contemporary conservative Republican leaders, particularly those in the Senate. Well-known nabobs like John Boehner and Eric Cantor have led House Republicans to vote in-bloc against the stimulus legislation, and the half-dozen Republican nabobs serving as governors announced they would reject all or some of the federal stimulus money – until the citizens of their states turned on them. Not as well-known are the nattering negative nabobs of the Senate, who have laid down a gauntlet to block President Obama's judicial appointees, before they even arrive in the Senate Judiciary Committee. These are Senators who are having trouble adjusting to the fact that there is no longer a Republican in the White House, and in no area is this truth more difficult for them to accept than with the prospective loss of conservative control, as well, of the federal judiciary. These are men like Senators John Cornyn of Texas and Jon Kyl of Arizona – to mention but two of two dozen. These men were part of the effort by all forty-one Republican members of the Senate to warn the new president that if he wanted to avoid a huge fight over the future of the federal judiciary, then he should start by re-nominating a number of Bush nominees who had not been confirmed before the Bush presidency ended. This unprecedented request was chutzpah on stilts. Their letter to President Obama spelled out another demand: "[I]f we are not consulted on, and approve of, a nominee from our state, the Republican Conference will be unable to support moving forward on that nominee" – a thinly-veiled threat of a filibuster on any Obama nominee who fails to meet the GOP standard. In short, if a GOP senator rejects a judicial nominee for a court with jurisdiction in his state, the entire Republican Conference has agreed to join that senator to hold up the nomination. (It takes sixty votes to prevent a filibuster, so if the Republican Conference remains together, it can block any Obama nominee from confirmation.) Clearly, Republicans plan to fight any effort to change the conservative ideological make-up of the federal judiciary.
Read the rest here and don't stop organizing to fight this continuing ideologically driven campaign to revoke the last election. Suzan ______________

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