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Monday, July 04, 2005

Who's da' Judge?

David Podvin has a beautiful idea, as well as way with words, on who the Bush nominee to the Supreme Court should be in his piece called Litmus Test:
George W. Bush should nominate Attorney General Alberto Gonzales to replace Sandra Day O’Connor on the Supreme Court. The former Texas governor can do the nation a service by resisting the temptation to appoint a stealth fascist who gains confirmation through subterfuge. Instead, Bush should boldly signal conservative plans for the Constitution by promoting the administration official who authored the memo arguing that the United States government can legally torture people.

It’s not as though Bush would ever choose someone who is rational. For months, the White House has been working with right wing groups to eliminate from consideration any potential nominee who is even remotely civilized. What remains is a group of troglodytes longing to eliminate the separation of church and state, overturn reproductive and civil rights law, invalidate environmental and labor statutes, and erase all restrictions on big business.

Gonzales is thought to be near the bottom of the right wing wish list because Republican activists believe he is too liberal, a gruesome insight that reveals everything one needs to know about conservatives. Since the other potential nominees are even more barbaric than the one who advocates mutilating defenseless human beings – and since anyone Bush nominates is going to lie about his or her intentions – it will be most constructive if Gonzales is chosen.

A showdown over Gonzales will define the official American position on the merits of disemboweling people with nightsticks. It is not an issue that Madison or Jefferson ever envisioned being considered in the senate. However, original intent has been supplanted by conservative intent, so it is necessary to revisit the Dark Ages and debate whether removing someone’s teeth with pliers constitutes ethical behavior.

Republican senators are in the majority, meaning the pro-pliers contingent will have the upper hand. Even so, we should have a national dialogue on this ultimate issue of decency. The battle of ideologies will pit the party of torture versus the party that would oppose torture if doing so didn’t involve being criticized. The world must watch us debate this topic so that the next time Bush conquers a defenseless nation Americans won’t have to endure hearing Old Europe whimper about the United States acting contrary to our stated beliefs. When your societal ethos explicitly validates mutilating women and children, no one can reasonably accuse you of failing to live up to your lofty moral rhetoric.

The Senate debate on Gonzales should be compelling. The Republicans will unanimously support him as they did when he was nominated to be Attorney General. John McCain, who is idolized by many neurotic liberals yearning for a conservative good guy, will again demonstrate that five years of being tortured by the Viet Cong have not soured him on the concept of bludgeoning handcuffed people. Thad Cochran will explain that hooking someone’s testicles to a car battery is exactly what Jesus would do (when He wasn’t busy bombing abortion clinics). Orrin Hatch will explain that opposition to Gonzales is racially and religiously motivated and proves that liberals hate Hispanics and Christians.

The Republicans will do their job, which is to be evil. The Democrats will also do their job, although no one has been able to determine exactly what that might be. Theoretically, it involves standing up for the ideals of the people who elected them. In practice, it usually means something considerably less noble. Twelve Democratic senators recently honed their fighting skills for the upcoming confirmation bout by capitulating on the CAFTA trade agreement that exports the jobs of (primarily Democratic) blue-collar workers.

It will be fascinating to see Hillary Clinton answer the age-old question, “Just exactly how does one strategically position oneself as a moderate on the issue of gang-raping women to extract information?” Dick Durbin will have the chance to prove that he can oppose torture without subsequently dissolving into tears. Barbara Boxer will tell the truth and get blasted for it, whereupon she will tell the truth again, causing analysts on Fox to question her sanity.

He has lot more to say which is worth reading. He finishes with this bit that sums up what ths country needs.
The selection of a torture advocate would provide the ultimate litmus test, not of the judicial nominee’s ideology, but of society’s decency. George W. Bush should nominate the vile Alberto Gonzales to serve on the Supreme Court, and the Democrats should forcefully oppose him on moral grounds. It is time to have a fight for the soul of America.

(Via Smirking Chimp)