Saturday, April 09, 2005

Crossing the Line

This is getting out of hand. First we had Tom DeLay giving a quasi-threat to the judiciary (which, to be fair, was quickly repudiated by Dick Cheney) saying they would have to "answer for their behavior." Then John Cornyn offered to "explain" the causes behind violent attacks on the judiciary, blaming it on "activist judges." Again, to his "credit," he later backpeddled from what might have been seen as tacit encouragement of violence. Then a group of extremist GOP Senators introduced a bill that would essentially destroy the independent judiciary. A spokesperson for James Sensenbrenner (R-WI) claimed that "There does seem to be this misunderstanding out there that our system was created with a completely independent judiciary" (link: Kos). But nobody has explicitly called for violent assaults against the court system. Until now.

First a little background. The quote I will be showing you in a moment was spoken at a conference entitled Confronting the Judicial War on Faith, organized by The Judeo-Christian Council for Constitutional restoration. I was curious about the "Judeo" aspect of it, so I called the organization (this was before the conference started) and asked how many of the speakers were Jewish. At first, the women I spoke to denied that was relevant, but when I pressed the issue (pointing out that at a Judeo-Christian Conference it should be somewhat pertinent to know who was speaking from a Jewish perspective and who was speaking from a Christian perspective), she admitted she did not know and said she'd try and get someone to call me back. Needless to say, they never did. A glance at their speakers list showed only three people who could be affirmatively identified as Jewish: Rabbis Aryeh Spero and Yehuda Levin, plus Rabbi Daniel Lapin who did not speak but was on the executive committee (the full list of speakers can be found here).

For the most part, the conference appeared to just engage in the gratuitous judge bashing that has defined the extremist right. However, the Washington Post reports lawyer-author Edwin Vieiria saying the following:
"Not to be outdone, lawyer-author Edwin Vieira told the gathering that Kennedy should be impeached because his philosophy, evidenced in his opinion striking down an anti-sodomy statute, "upholds Marxist, Leninist, satanic principles drawn from foreign law."

Ominously, Vieira continued by saying his "bottom line" for dealing with the Supreme Court comes from Joseph Stalin. "He had a slogan, and it worked very well for him, whenever he ran into difficulty: 'no man, no problem,' " Vieira said.

The full Stalin quote, for those who don't recognize it, is "Death solves all problems: no man, no problem.""
[emphasis added]

The Post reporter says that "Presumably, Vieira had in mind something less extreme than Stalin did and was not actually advocating violence." I disagree, and I see no other way to interpret his comments. This man is approvingly quoting Joseph Stalin's theories on personnel management, and suggesting that he holds the same views. That view is that we execute any judge who disagrees with our policies.

Oh, and one more thing:
This was no collection of fringe characters. The two-day program listed two House members; aides to two senators; representatives from the Family Research Council and Concerned Women for America; conservative activists Alan Keyes and Morton C. Blackwell; the lawyer for Terri Schiavo's parents; Alabama's "Ten Commandments" judge, Roy Moore; and [Tom] DeLay, who canceled to attend the pope's funeral.

Tom DeLay. Of course. Who here is surprised to see him affiliating with this group. Just so everybody knows, the Representatives at the Conference were Lamar Smith (R-TX) and Todd Akin (R-MO), and the Senators who had aides present were Tom Coburn (R-OK) and Orrin Hatch (R-UT).

Every Church, every Synagogue, every man of faith, and certainly every elected official (especially those present at the conference) has a moral duty to condemn these comments in the strongest of terms. The radical right's war on America is going too far, and there must be some conservatives of principle willing to speak out against it.

UPDATE: Welcome, Political Animals! While I have you here, I figure we might as well make some noise. Here is the contact info for Rep. Akin, Rep. Smith, Sen. Coburn, and Sen. Hatch.

Other groups present at the conference include
Vision America
Rabbi Yehuda Levin
The Home School Legal Defense Association
Joyce Meyer Ministries
Texas Justice Foundation (talk about a misnomer!)
Culture of Life Foundation
Coalition for a Fair Judiciary
The Judicial Confirmation Network
Christian Legal Society
Conservative Caucus
Alliance Defense Fund
Concerned Women for America
Christian Law association
Institute on the Constitution" (specifically represented by Constitution Party Presidential Candidate Michael Peroutka)
Cardinal Newman Society
Rabbi Aryeh Spero of Caucus for America
King for America
Eagle Forum (Phyllis Schlafly's outfit)
Family Research Council
American Conservative Union
Heritage Foundation
Leadership Institute
and most ominously, The US Catholic Bishop's Conference's pro-life secretariat was in attendance.

Let's send a message to these groups that they need to reject violence as a legitimate political tactic.

UPDATE 2x: Is That Legal's Eric Muller joins the chorus.

Roberts on the Hamdan Panel

I've blogged twice before on the Hamdan case. In the most recent post, I linked to an Opinio Juris opinion that claimed the Appeals Court panel seemed--unfortunately--to be leaning against Hamdan's claims. Now, Powerline informs us that one of the judges on said panel is none other than John Roberts, my number two choice amongst the judges on Bush's "short list" for the Supreme Court. His opinion in the Hamdan case will go far in determining whether I keep that view.

Friday, April 08, 2005

Out of the Closet

Andrew Sullivan points to the courageous story of a young man who received a purple heart in Iraq and now wants to stay in the military. The catch? He's gay, and his admission comes as a direct violation to don't ask don't tell.

Conservative groups go insane over these sorts of things, but it is beyond dispute that "don't ask don't tell" is hurting the military badly in the war on terror. Conservative opposition to ending "don't ask don't tell" is frankly unpatriotic, and they should be ashamed to say "you cannot serve your country because we fear you."

As Conservative Godfather Barry Goldwater once put it: "It shouldn't matter whether you're gay or straight. All that matters is whether or not you can shoot straight."

Briefs in Hamdam

Opino Juris gives us links to the briefs in Hamdam v. Rumsfeld. Georgetown Law Professor Neal Katyal wrote the brief for Hamdam, and collected these Amici. Briefs for the government can be found here and here.

Unfortunately, Opinio Juris seems skeptical that Hamdam will prevail. That's too bad, but this case is probably headed for the Supreme Court anyway.

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Hamdan to the D.C. Circuit

Powerline points us to the news that Hamdan v. Rumsfeld (briefly summarized by me here) is being heard by a D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals Panel today (April 7th). Mr. Mirengoff describes the opinion as "a hyper-technical analysis driven by the judge's personal belief that the government's position 'can only weaken the United States' own ability to demand application of the Geneva Conventions to Americans captured in armed conflicts abroad.'" Unsurprisingly, I disagree. He doesn't elaborate on what is "hyper-technical", but I assume Mr. Mirengoff is referring to the the judges constant distinction between prior cases where there was explicit congressional authorization for the President's actions, and this case where there wasn't. Obviously, that is a critical difference. As to the Court's "personal belief" that the government's position will weaken our position to demand reciprocal Geneva Convention guarantees, that isn't just some disembodied statement of preference by the judge. Rather, the Court expressly notes that the position the US now rejects--that non-state actors are bound by Geneva guarantees--we earlier affirmed, indeed demanded, when Somali Warlords captured a US officer in 1993. The judge isn't substituting his own policy preferences, he's merely preventing the US from changing the rules in the middle of the game.

The Hamdam case doesn't deal with when "an al Qaeda member is on trial," as Powerline suggests. It deals with whether "an al Qaeda member is on trial," for without proper judicial procedures, we cannot affirmatively establish that he is the terrorist George W. Bush proclaims he is (If I recall the facts of this case correctly, Hamdan acted as a driver for some al Qaeda leaders, but professed he was but a menial laborer who had no actual ties to the organization either ideologically or structurally). Powerline places far too much stock in President Bush's "finding" that Hamdam is an enemy combatant, for if there is one thing we've learned from the Guantanamo Bay saga, it's that we shouldn't trust those determinations without some judicial oversight to ratify it.

New Column

Guess what everybody? I've landed a column for the brand new Carleton Progressive. I'll mostly be focusing on legal issues, but it can span anything and everything. My first one is up already; it's called "Is Roe a Friend or a Foe to the Pro-Choice Movement?" Check it out y'all, and check out the site.

In theory, the column is slated for every Tuesday, but I'll post a notice on the site when a new one goes up. In the mean time, check out the other contributors as well. It looks like this is going to be really cool.

Gut Shot

Six and a half months ago, I wrote the following on why I was voting for John Kerry:
"The more I think about it, the more I'm voting for Kerry because of all the reasons Bush strategists say I should vote for Bush. I want a President who stand solidly against terror, will aggressively move to target them, knows the importance and utter paramounce of homeland security, and above all, does not subordinate the safety of American people to score quick political points. On all of these fronts, President Bush has objectively been a disaster, and Sen. Kerry appears to have a remedy. That's enough for me."

A week after that post, I gave the following pre-debate advice to Senator Kerry, telling him to ask the following questions directly to President Bush at the first opportunity:
"The War on Terror is too important to be subordinated to Politics, Mr President. The American people deserve to know: Why have we held back in Fallujah? Why'd you allow House Republicans to kill a bill to increase Chemical Plant Security? Why are you cutting funding towards securing loose nuclear material, so terrorists can't build a dirty bomb? Why'd you threaten to veto desperately needed Homeland Security spending, right after 9/11? Why'd you oppose the creation of 9/11 commission? Why'd you oppose the creation of the Department of Homeland Security? The security of the American people is worth more than a soundbite, Mr. President. It means having a real plan, that exists in the real world, and the American people deserve real answers to these questions."

The underlying theme behind all this is that Democrats need to show the American people that Bush's anti-terror policies are often all bark and no bite. Republicans simply aren't philosophically suited for the type of battles and actions the war on terror forces us to undertake, ones that undercut the old statecentric models that the Bush administration still desperately clings to. A Democratic attack that emphasizes how Bush's policies fail even on their own terms is much more effective than weak-sounding polemics about the value of multilateralism and the UN.

So, while it is a few months too late, I was pleased to see Kenneth Baer argue that Democrats should oppose the nomination of John Bolton to the UN ambassadorship on precisely those grounds.
"In his current position at State, Bolton's job is to lead the effort to stop WMD proliferation. Yet less weapons-grade nuclear material was secured in the two years after September 11 than in the two years before it. North Korea has gone from having two nuclear bombs to having as many as eight. (As former 9/11 Commission staffer Warren Bass put it, "two bombs is a deterrent; eight is a commodity.") Iran's mullahs have stepped up their efforts to go nuclear, and the United States appears impotent to stop them. And Bolton has been credited with killing the Biological Weapons Convention.

Not only have Bush and Bolton cut funding for the Nunn-Lugar program to halt the spread of nuclear materials and expertise from the former Soviet Union, Bolton also has failed to finalize a Plutonium Disposition Agreement with Russia that could lead to the elimination of 70 tons of weapons-grade plutonium. And Bolton's biggest accomplishment in this area, the Proliferation Security Initiative--an effort to intercept shipments of WMD technology and delivery systems--looks better on paper than in practice because Russia and China are not participating.

To be sure, part of this line of argument is that Bolton and the Bush administration have acted rashly and unilaterally in a way that has made gaining trust and cooperation when it comes to nuclear proliferation and fighting terrorism more difficult. But this point should not be made on its own; it should be made in the context of how Bolton and Bush have faltered in the fight on terror. Rather than saying that Bolton has contempt for the United Nations and doesn't play well with others, Democrats should say that during the last four years, Bolton has failed to do his job of stopping the spread of WMD, making America more vulnerable to a devastating terrorist attack."

The Bush administration has gotten to talk the talk for long enough on terrorism. It's time for Democrats to make them walk the walk as well.

By way of Kevin Drum, we learn that moderate Republican Lincoln Chafee (R-RI), who's looking awfully vulnerable in 2006, is making murmurs about not supporting Bolton. The new liberal-hawk blog Democracy Arsenal gives us a top 10 list on why to oppose Bolton. This is a battle we can win, folks.

UPDATE: Kevin Drum and Steven Clemons add more to it. Looks like another major official, a Republican intelligence appointee, is coming out against Bolton, and hard.

Who You Calling "Seedy"?

House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-TX) blasted as "seedy" media reports that detailed him paying over $500,000 over the past four years to his wife and daughter. Presumably he also believe the Washington Post's report on his lobbyist-funded junket to Russia also is "seedy," though the article doesn't specifically say. I'm inclined to agree with Rep. DeLay: after all, who knows more about acting "seedy" than he does?

The pressure is building. Check out The Daily DeLay for the latest.

UPDATE: Legal Fiction is back after a short retirement, and he's apparently not rusty at all. Two hard-hitting posts on the good Representative coming at you!

Self-Defense and "The Reasonable Racist"

Florida just passed a law which would codify "the right [of a citizen] to stand his or her ground and meet force with force, including deadly force if he or she reasonably believes it is necessary to do so, to prevent death or great bodily harm to himself or herself or another."

I'm very conflicted about this. On the one hand, it does seem to be somewhat reasonable. Someone firing a gun in self-defense from a criminal assault should not have to fear criminal prosecution. That's just common sense, and it should be codified in law.

On the other hand, I just can't read the bill and get Jody D. Armour's "reasonable racist" hypothesis out of my head ("Race Ipsa Loquitur: Of Reasonable Racists, Intelligent Bayesians, and Involuntary Negrophobes," 46 Stan. L. Rev. 781 (1994)). She tells the following hypothetical:
It is a stormy night in a combined residential and commercial neighborhood in a predominantly white upper-middle-class section of a major city. The time is 10:30 p.m. Although most of the fashionable shops and boutiques in the neighborhood have closed, the neighborhood bank contains an automatic teller. The machine is located in a lobby between two sets of glass doors; the first set opens directly into the bank and is locked at closing each day, while the second leads to the public sidewalk and remains open twenty-four hours.

A middle-aged resident of the neighborhood enters the bank's lobby, inserts her bank card into the machine, and requests $200. As she waits for her transaction to be processed, the woman suddenly notices a figure moving directly toward the lobby from across the street. Focusing her full attention on the approaching figure, she notes that the person is a young man (at most twenty-something); that he is wearing a trench coat with an upturned collar and a tarpaulin hat pulled down even with his eyes (perhaps in deference to the pouring rain); and that he is black.

The trench coat-clad young man glances down the deserted street as he reaches the lobby and then enters, pushing his right shoulder against one of the swinging glass doors. As he pushes the door open, he unbuttons the collar of his trench coat with his right hand and reaches into the coat in the direction of his left armpit. With his eyes focused on the space beneath his coat into which he is reaching, he takes hold of something and begins to withdraw it.

Panic-stricken at the image before her and conscious of the rhythmic clicking of the automatic teller counting out ten fresh clean twenty-dollar bills, the woman pulls a pistol from her purse and levels it at the entering figure. As the young man looks up from his coat, he sees the pistol trained on him and reflexively thrusts his right hand - which now contains a billfold retrieved from his inside breast pocket - out in front of him while shouting at the woman not to shoot. Perceiving what she takes for a handgun thrust in her direction, together with the man's unintelligible loud shouts, the woman shoots and kills the black man.

In claiming self-defense, the woman may argue that the black victim's race is relevant to the reasonableness of her belief that she was about to be attacked. Her claim might be based on any of three distinct arguments. First, she could claim that it was reasonable to consider the victim's race in assessing the danger he posed because most people would do so. She might introduce studies or anecdotes demonstrating the frequency with which Americans make assumptions about an individual's character on the basis of race, and argue that she should not be punished for basing her response on the widely held belief that blacks are more prone than whites to be criminals. Second, she could claim that, independent of typical American beliefs, her consideration of the victim's race was reasonable because blacks commit a disproportionate number of violent crimes and therefore pose a greater statistical threat. In framing this argument, she would show that quantifiable statistical discrepancies exist between the crime rates of blacks and nonblacks, and she would assert that she knew of, and reasonably relied on, these statistical probabilities when deciding to shoot.

Finally, if the woman had previously been violently assaulted by a black individual, she might claim that her overreaction to the victim's race was reasonable in light of her earlier traumatic experience. One recent case accorded legal weight to such "negrophobia" by holding that an ordinary person assaulted by an anonymous black individual might develop a pathological fear of all blacks sufficient to justify an award of disability benefits. Invoking the same psychological proposition, our defendant might claim that her negrophobia is relevant to the reasonableness of her reactions to the supposed assailant.

Incidents such as the "New York Subway Vigilante" case (People v. Goetz, 58 N.Y.2d 96) and the Rodney King verdict suggest that courts--and especially juries--would take such "reasonable racist" arguments very seriously. Even if only on the subconscious level, many people still identify with a deep-seated fear of blacks, especially young black men. Allowing for violent assaults based on the "reasonab[e] belie[f] it is prevent death or great bodily harm" would give "reasonable racist" claims far more weight. One could certainly argue that the women in the hypothetical, if not acting reasonably, was not necessarily acting totally unreasonably either. It was a dark, stormy night, she was frightened, his billfold looked like a gun in the heat of the moment. However, I am very skeptical that a black defendant in a similar case would be granted the same courtesy. In criminal proceedings, black men, whether the victims (such as in the Rodney King or Goetz case) or the accused, are uniformly portrayed as "savages," "vultures," "larger than life," possessing "superhuman strength," or other such descriptions designed to emphasize their danger and threat. One of the officers in the Rodney King case, for example, testified that King was a "monster-like figure akin to a Tasmanian devil." These views are in congruence with deeply ingrained social stereotypes, and thus are extremely difficult to counteract at trial. The net effect is to ratify latent racism in society, and make it more likely that white-on-black crimes will go unpunished. Essentially, I believe that the women in this story would stand a very good chance of acquittal, but if the races were reversed, then the defendant would not. That type of racial disparity disturbs me greatly.

Cornyn Backpeddles

Senator Cornyn "clarifies" his earlier remarks connecting "judicial activism" to judicial violence. Andrew Sullivan hits it home:
"Good for him. Just ignore the blather about being taken out of context. He wasn't. He contributed to anti-judicial emotionalism; and he has retracted his inflammatory remarks."

Actually, reading Cornyn's latest remarks, I'm struck by how little he's budged. I don't think anybody actually believes Cornyn endorses attacks against the judiciary. The problem, as I saw it, is that his rhetoric is precisely that which stirs up the violence he's talking about. So when he says
"We should all be concerned that the judiciary is losing the respect that it needs to serve the American people well. We should all want judges to interpret the law fairly – not impose their own personal views on the nation. We should all want to fix our broken judicial confirmation process,"
I have to wonder if he really recognizes the problem at all.

When he says "our judiciary must not be politicized," of course, then I just die of an irony overdose.

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

The Pen is Mightier

At this point, the GOP can't decide whether it wants to "explain" or repudiate violent actions against judges. While it makes up its mind, however, a group of GOP senators have decided to do with the pen what might be somewhat unseemly (read: treasonous) if done with the sword.

Richard Shelby (R-AL, and someone who should know better), has introduced the Constitutional Restoration Act of 2005, which, among other things, prohibits courts from enforcing the constitution (tip: The Moderate Voice). Nothing like Orwellian bill titles. The summary of the bill is as follows:
Amends the Federal judicial code to prohibit the U.S. Supreme Court and the Federal district courts from exercising jurisdiction over any matter in which relief is sought against an entity of Federal, State, or local government or an officer or agent of such government concerning that entity's, officer's, or agent's acknowledgment of God as the sovereign source of law, liberty, or government.

Prohibits a court of the United States from relying upon any law, policy, or other action of a foreign state or international organization in interpreting and applying the Constitution, other than English constitutional and common law up to the time of adoption of the U.S. Constitution.

Provides that any Federal court decision relating to an issue removed from Federal jurisdiction by this Act is not binding precedent on State courts.

Provides that any Supreme Court justice or Federal court judge who exceeds the jurisdictional limitations of this Act shall be deemed to have committed an offense for which the justice or judge may be removed, and to have violated the standard of good behavior required of Article III judges by the Constitution.

So basically, the second paragraph forces judges only to look to US law, and the first section requires them to ignore the First Amendment of said US law. How I wish they'd make up their mind.

Co-sponsors of the bill are Sens. Brownback (R-KS), Burr (R-NC), Lott (R-MS), Burns (R-MT), and Craig (R-ID). Rep. Robert Aderholt (R-AL) has introduced identical legislation in the House, with 24 co-sponsors. Meanwhile, Kos reports that Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-TN) is distancing himself from the loony claims of DeLay, Cornyn, et al, saying that "I believe we have a fair and independent judiciary today." It remains to be seen whether that was spoken in praise or as a lament, but Frist's reaction to the Shelby's obscene bill will speak volumes.

Krugman on the Liberal Academia

Now that I am a blogosphere resident expert on liberal biases in academia, I feel compelled to keep abreast of the latest developments.

Paul Krugman puts his thoughts down in today's New York Times. Orin Kerr responds, Mark Kleiman rejoins. Honestly, though, I think the best takedown of Krugman's arguments was done by Stephen Bainbridge (also here in blog post form) to a similar column by Jonathan Chait. But what do I know?

Monday, April 04, 2005

Cornyn on Judicial Violence

First, an apology. I meant to add a caveat about my last post, regarding Tom DeLay's alleged threat to the judiciary. From my reading of the quote, it sounded more as if DeLay was threatening retribution in the more biblical sense of the term, as in the judges will go to hell, rather than a physical threat. Still pretty deplorable, but not rising to the level of rhetoric we've been hearing about it. Upon rereading it, the quote is pretty ambiguous, I can see it being interpreted either way. Anyway, here is the context, in case y'all were wondering. "This loss happened because our legal system did not protect the people who need protection most, and that will change. The time will come for the men responsible for this to answer for their behavior."

Texas Senator John Cornyn (R), however, requires no such caveat. In a speech on the Senate floor, he said the following:
"It causes a lot of people, including me, great distress to see judges use the authority that they have been given to make raw political or ideological decisions. The Supreme Court has taken on this role as a policymaker rather than an enforcer of political decisions made by elected representatives of the people.

I don't know if there is a cause-and-effect connection, but we have seen some recent episodes of courthouse violence in this country...And I wonder whether there may be some connection between the perception in some quarters, on some occasions, where judges are making political decisions yet are unaccountable to the public, that it builds up and builds up and builds up to the point where some people engage in, engage in violence. Certainly without any justification, but a concern that I have."

Now let's be clear. It is men and women like Cornyn who have been stirring up this sort of anti-republican (small "r"), quasi-revolutionary rhetoric. Cornyn tells more in this quote than he'd like to admit. It is precisely is disdain for checks and balances that ratifies the violent behavior he purports to condemn (or in this case, "explain"). Dozens of Texas militiamen hear his hyperbolic rhetoric about how the republic is collapsing and stand ready to take arms in assault of the judiciary. Of course he doesn't explicitly endorse it. I'm sure he doesn't even privately agree. But his rhetoric acts as a powerful form of encouragement, and his continuance of it even after death threats and bounties on the judge in the Schiavo case, is simply deplorable.

The Nashua Advocate (which appears to be online-only, I can't tell how legitimate it is), calls for Cornyn's resignation. Personally, I think Cornyn's political career should have permanently ended after his role in the Tulia, Texas travesty. For those of you who don't know about that, a rogue cop in Tulia arrested almost half the town's black population on trumped up drug charges. Despite virtually no evidence (the cop had no audio or video evidence, took notes on his arms and legs, and repeatedly misidentified defendants), they were nearly all convicted, with sentences of up to 99 years in jail. Cornyn, then the Attorney General of Texas, gave the office Texas' "lawman of the year" award. After a year in prison, virtually all of the defendants were eventually exonerated. But in Texas, incarcerating innocent black people is grounds for a promotion, not punishment.

Daily Kos has a roundup of links, including The Left Coaster, America Blog, Atrios, and US Representative John Conyers (D-MI).

Other folks weighing in include Talking Points Memo, The Moderate Voice, Kevin Drum, and Brad Plumer.

Voice of Reason

Of all the people...Dick Cheney has been a sober voice in the Schiavo fallout, repudiating Tom DeLay's alleged threat to judges that they will "answer for their behavior" by allowing her to die. The specific quote by Cheney:
"I don't think that's appropriate. I may disagree with decisions made by judges in any one particular case. But I don't think there would be much support for the proposition that because a judge hands down a decision we don't like, that somehow we ought to go out — there's a reason why judges get lifetime appointments."

Maybe support for DeLay in Republican circles is shallower than once thought?

Oh, and Cheney once again denied he had any aspirations to run for president, saying "I'm not a candidate, don't plan to be a candidate. If nominated, I will not run. If elected, I will not serve. Is that the Shermanesque statement? I said on television someplace the other day, not only no, but hell no."

Too bad. It's looking more and more like Cheney is a voice of reason in the modern Republican party (even Europeans concede: he's evil but smart!.

Thanks to The Moderate Voice for the heads-up.

Sunday, April 03, 2005

The "D" stands for "Dictator"

The Houston Chronicle rips into Tom DeLay (who is based in the Houston area), exposing him as the corrupt, power-hungry madman he really is. Here's how it starts:
"Although Tom DeLay portrays a believable Third World dictator, it is time that he stopped trying to transform the United States into his own ideological fiefdom.

And it is time for him to stop sputtering ill-tempered threats, not only at the judiciary but also at the U.S. Constitution, which he repeatedly has sworn an oath to uphold."

Looks like the voters of the 22nd district are inclined to agree too.

Conservatives are circling the wagons around DeLay, which, longterm, I think will hurt them more than it helps them. Bull Moose will be thrilled, The New Republic depressed. For me, anything is a victory as long as we escape from the Grand Rove Party.