The Day After

Wednesday, November 3, AD 2010

In the aftermath of the best electoral night for the Republicans since the age of flappers, I thought I would share a few reflections on some of the common memes that have sprouted up over the past 24 hours.

Evidently at about 4 in the morning CNN was running with a headline on their website that read “Split Decision.”  Even less hopeless cases pondered why the GOP seemingly didn’t do as well in the Senate as it did in the House.  While it’s true that there were some disappointing results in Nevada, Colorado, and West Virginia, the fact of the matter is the Republicans won 25 of the 37 contested Senatorial contests.  Republicans had to defend 19 of their own seats and then win an additional ten in order to gain majority control of the Senate, a rather long-shot proposition to begin with.  As it is the Republicans won two-thirds of all Senate contests, lost none of their own seats and picked up six in the process.  That would be a good night  by any measure.

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10 Responses to The Day After

  • I would have given up 20 House seats to see Reid and Boxer go down. Look at the new political map of the U.S. and the entire country is a sea of red except for a portion of the left and right coasts with a splotch of blue in between here and there.

    Obama’s “can’t we all get along and work together” plea today rings hollow and hypocritical after he relegated the Republicans to the back of the bus for the past 2 years. Now let him sit in the back, or would that be a “racist” remark?

  • “Virginia, Indiana, Ohio, Florida, Pennsylvania, and Michigan”

    Leave Florida off that list for a second. Add in the win in Illinois, and Chris Christie’s New Jersey. What you’ve mapped out is the Rust Belt. That’s the area the loss of which was supposed to point to the GOP’s descent into a regional party. If the Democratic Party controls that strip, the GOP is left to the South and the less-populated states west of the Mississippi. If the Republican Party controls that strip, the Dems have only the NY/Boston corridor and the West Coast.

    Of course, neither party owns that territory. But it’s been home to some of the worst GOP party organizations in the country like Ohio and NJ, teams that I thought could lose anything. The only state in that zone where the GOP lost the three major races – you know, “lost” isn’t strong enough – was NY. The New York Republican Party might be the least effective organization in the country.

  • I found this interesting:
    “I watch three groups especially closely in politics, because they have almost perfect track records in voting for the winner. They delivered once again last night. White Catholics were 19 percent of the electorate, and they voted for winning House candidates by 58 to 40 percent. (In 2006, they voted more for Democratic House candidates). Those with “some college” education were 30 percent of the electorate, and their vote in House races was 53 to 44 percent for Republicans. (In 2006, they voted narrowly for Democratic House candidates.) Independents were 28 percent of the electorate and they also voted disproportionately for Republicans in House races, 55 to 39 percent for Democrats. (In 2006, Independents voted 57 to 39 percent for Democratic House candidates.)”
    http://blog.american.com/?p=21990

  • Nationally, it looks like the generic vote was around +7 for the Republicans which is around where the average of the generic polls put it. Gallup overshot by more than double. However, Republicans picked up more seats than a +7 would suggest, suggesting that Republicans won more toss-ups and badly lost the sure losers. Maybe party funding is becoming more efficient.

    Rasmussen proved to be the most consistently inaccurate poll, giving Republicans 3-4 points more than they actually got.

  • Vox Nova sure is quiet today.

  • “Look at the new political map of the U.S. and the entire country is a sea of red except for a portion of the left and right coasts with a splotch of blue in between here and there.”

    Interestingly enough, these political maps of supposedly deep-blue Illinois, courtesy of CNN, show similar results: a sea of pure red except for Chicago and a couple of splotches of blue:

    http://www.cnn.com/ELECTION/2010/results/county/#ILG00map

    http://www.cnn.com/ELECTION/2010/results/main.results/#H

    http://www.cnn.com/ELECTION/2010/results/county/#ILS01map

    Although at least three, and perhaps four, IL Congressional seats flipped from blue to red the news isn’t all good for the GOP here. The Senate race was won by one of the most “moderate”(i.e. pro-abort)/RINO congressmen ever; and the Democratic incumbent governor still has a 12,000 vote lead, which no amount of absentee ballot counting is likely to erase at this point. In that race, at least, Cook County still had enough votes to cancel out a full-force GOP tsunami in the rest of the state.

    Even so, the Illinois GOP was just a few short years ago a strong contender for the title of most inept GOP organization in the country, but now it looks like they are starting to get their act back together.

  • Even so, the Illinois GOP was just a few short years ago a strong contender for the title of most inept GOP organization in the country, but now it looks like they are starting to get their act back together.

    I’m not sure if my native home state (New York) or my adopted home state (MD) is worse. Actually, the Maryland GOP isn’t so much incompetent as invisible. Unlike New York, there’s never been much of a viable Republican presence in Maryland, so I guess that puts NY over the edge.

  • If territory were coextensive with votes, territory would be significant. Even Republicans would be glad to cede downstate Illinois if they could pull 60% from metropolitan Chicago. All we know right now is that Colorado, Florida, Ohio, Illinois, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and Michigan are competitive. Only a couple of those are surprising in the least. Since New York and California aren’t competitive for the GOP, they need the Dakotas to Texas, Alabama, and Mississippi just to get to parity. The GOP has certainly won a reprieve from regional obscurity. Their problems haven’t evaporated with one election cycle. The Dems have their own issues, starting with neither Pelosi nor Reid being electable in a significant number of held Democratic districts.

  • Red states are going to get 6 extra net electoral college votes starting in 2012. This is a marginal benefit, but it does make the electoral math a bit easier for them (for example, with the new numbers Bush could have lost Ohio in 2004 and still been re-elected). Republicans also managed to win majorities in a lot of state legislatures, which will be an advantage in redistricting. Again, it’s a marginal benefit, but it is a benefit nonetheless.

  • Obama is squandering $200,000,000.00 a day in what-was-called-Bombay doing what? Visiting outsourced jobs?

Robert Byrd, Requiescat In Pace

Monday, June 28, AD 2010

Kristina Peterson of the Dow Jones Newswires writes for the Wall Street Journal this synopsis of Robert Byrd’s life:

Robert Byrd, the 92-year-old West Virginia Democrat who served in the U.S. Senate for 51 years, died Monday.

A spokesman for the family, Jesse Jacobs, said Mr. Byrd died peacefully at about 3 a.m. at Inova Hospital in Fairfax, Va. His health had been failing for several years.

A master of Senate procedures and orator whose Stentorian tones aimed to evoke the roots of the republic (if not Rome), Mr. Byrd served longer, voted more frequently, and probably used the arcane Senate rules to more effect any previous denizen of the nation’s senior legislative house.

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4 Responses to Robert Byrd, Requiescat In Pace

  • Mortuis nil nisi bonum, for today at any rate.

  • I pray that he’s in the company of the angels and the saints rejoicing in the eternal peace of God — the end that I a poor sinner hope to share in as well.

    I’m glad this post is not what I saw on LifeNews (i.e. “Pro-Abortion Senator Robert Byrd Dies”); I couldn’t fathom how there is absolutely no condolences, no mention of prayer or best wishes to his family or loved ones. The entire piece focuses on how pro-abortion he was, how many seats the Democrats now have, and how the Governor of West Virginia doesn’t know yet (the man died this morning, sheesh) who is going to replace Byrd with.

    I’m obviously pro-life, but respect and prayer for the dead should be embraced.

  • Eric,

    I agree.

    Hence why I chose the WSJ article instead of some others.

  • Prayer for the dead, yes. Silence in the presence of those who loved him, yes. Respect for a man like Byrd, too much to demand…

Lying to Join The Band of Brothers

Wednesday, May 19, AD 2010

I have never served in combat or been in a warzone for which I thank God.  However, many of my friends are veterans of combat in conflicts stretching from World War II to Iraq.  Such an experience marks them.  They tell me that they have some of their best memories from their time in service, along with some of their worst.  It is a crucible that they have passed through which is hard to completely convey to someone like me who has never gone through it.  Usually they do not speak much of it, although often I have seen a quiet pride when they do speak about it:  a knowledge that they were given a test on their passage through life and made it through, mingled with sadness for their friends who were lost.  They belong to the exclusive club of those called upon to put their lives on the line for the rest of us.  They are entitled to respect for their service, whether they are given that respect by the rest of us or not.

Therefore I take a very dim view of anyone who seeks entry into their ranks under false pretences.  The New York Times has revealed that Richard Blumenthal, Democrat Attorney General of Connecticut and candidate for the Democrat nomination for the US Senate is one such person:

At a ceremony honoring veterans and senior citizens who sent presents to soldiers overseas, Attorney General Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut rose and spoke of an earlier time in his life.

We have learned something important since the days that I served in Vietnam,” Mr. Blumenthal said to the group gathered in Norwalk in March 2008. “And you exemplify it. Whatever we think about the war, whatever we call it — Afghanistan or Iraq — we owe our military men and women unconditional support.”

There was one problem: Mr. Blumenthal, a Democrat now running for the United States Senate, never served in Vietnam. He obtained at least five military deferments from 1965 to 1970 and took repeated steps that enabled him to avoid going to war, according to records.

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22 Responses to Lying to Join The Band of Brothers

  • What’s the difference between a couple of attention-seeking hard lefties like Richard Blumenthal and Jane Fonda?

    Jane Fonda actually went to Vietnam.

  • Lying is dishonorable. As is adultery. Over and over we have evidence that there is one aspect of human frailty both the Left and the Right share in equal measure. Sin.

    I would have more respect for a person who opposed the war on moral or ethical principles and accepted the consequences of that. But American politics is certainly not poverty-stricken for examples of individuals who dodged overseas military service, either legally, financially, or otherwise. The previous two presidents, and three of the last four, certainly.

    I will note that the first President Bush served with honor. The man didn’t need to make a big thing of it in his political life.

  • What? Isn’t Blumenthal sufficiently liberal for the NYT?

    Mr. Blumenstein misspoke. He meant to say, he did not spit on any Vietnam veteran as did Bill and Hillary Clinton, Jimmeh Carter (pardoned draft dodgers), and every VC sympathizer-Obama appointee of that age.

  • The previous two presidents, and three of the last four, certainly.

    About 1.9 million men were posted to Indo-China during the period running from 1965 to 1973. There were some 18 million men born during the years running from 1943 through 1952. Roughly 30% of the military of that era were vocational soldiers (e.g. John McCain). The probability of a randomly selected individual from those age cohorts serving in VietNam as a consequence of conscription or an enlistment for a discrete term was about one-tenth.

    As we speak, about 70% of the Armed Forces are stationed in the United States. That proportion has varied over the years, but at no time since 1945 have the majority of American servicemen been stationed ‘overseas’.

    There is no documentary evidence and there are no disinterested witnesses who can cast apersions on the military service of George W. Bush, which is why Mary Mapes was scamming around with forgeries.

  • I have not a clue why you are casting aspersions on Ronald Reagan’s service either. Except that that’s what you do.

  • Well … Ronald Reagan served stateside. So did my dad. He admitted he was fortunate not to draw overseas duty as his younger brother did. Mr Reagan was not beyond padding his military record in casual conversation. But I have no problem with an actor making military films stateside. He was about my dad’s age, and my father (as he reports it) was considered too old to be a first choice for overseas duty.

    But I see: you objected to my used of the verb, to dodge, because it is used in connection with those who illegally avoided military service.

    Mr Shaw, aside from your need to learn to spell, do you have proof of spitting, or are you just engaging in a blumenthalism here?

  • Ronald Reagan had an older brother; no younger brother. I object to the use of the term ‘dodge’ because you were insinuating a scheme on the part of the two men in question, and there was no scheme. George W. Bush, Patrick J. Buchanan, Hubert Humphrey, Dan Quayle, and Richard Cheney all had the disagreeable experience of being smeared over their service record. Their service records were perfectly in order (if unimpressive) and they availed themselves of no privileges that were not available to tens-of-millions of other similarly situated.

    I do not think you would have to look very far in the press corps to find folk employed therein who were happy to overlook genuinely hinky service records (e.g. B. Clinton’s) or impugn the motives of Mekong Delta veterans fed up with John Kerry. The whole discourse is disgusting.

  • I spent my “combat time” fighting the report shuffle wars and the battle of PowerPoint, or in pulling long watches “just in case” the order was given and the birds of death were to fly.

    I use terms like “served during” not “served in” although technically I “could” say “in” I was never during “active combat operations” in harms’ way. The standing guard on the Southern Watch, a little different. But that, like being in Korea, was a “cease fire” not combat actions.

    Had Mr. Blumenthal been “honest” he too would have used “served during” not “served in.”

    I had a supervisor that was stationed in the Philippines that was not “credited” for serving in Viet Nam, although she spent 3 days out of every 10 there (medical tech on Air Evacuation missions) and was under fire many times.

    She had EVERY RIGHT to say “served in Viet Nam” but didn’t because her base of assignment was NOT in Viet Nam.

    A couple points that the author got correct. We that served, DO CONSIDER IT AN HONOR. As well as many of the real heroes, did not make it home intact, and that is a burden that we carry. What we do, like Pvt. Ryan in the movie “Band of Brothers,” hope we live our remaining lives to bring honor and respect to those we served with.

  • Art, you’re not reading accurately, and I didn’t express myself accurately. My father indeed had a younger brother. Two, in fact; the other served with him stateside during WWII.

    Your point seems biased in your last post. Politicians of both left and right have served with honor, both as combat veterans and otherwise. Some of them, as I said, “dodged” dangerous service either by dodgy means or, as my older brother did, by serving before the Vietnam years.

    It is also true that politicians of both the right and left have attacked the service records of their opponents. Please don’t try to excuse Karl Rove and others of his ilk in the GOP. Republicans have not hesitated to malign the service records of Dems when it suited their purpose.

    I may be a pacifist, but I can respect the prudential judgments made by those who believe military service is honorable. What is less than honorable is to sin against truth by telling as it is not: and I would place my condemnation equally against a person who shares my ideology and those who do not.

    Mr Blumenthal is wrong for giving a false impression. Mr Reagan’s sin struck me as more of a kindly guy making embellishment for the sake of telling a story. His record wasn’t a key point in his political campaigning.

  • Todd,
    I acknowledge that your assertion that Reagan padded his military record may not constitute the sin of detraction since it does seem germane to the discussion. Whether it constitutes the sin of defamation cannot be so easily dismissed. It seems only appropriate that you provide some evidence to back up such an assertion. If you claim that you cannot because such instances occured only in casual conversations, please do explain how you know so much about such casual conversations. Thanks.

  • Let go of my leg. You made use of the term ‘dodge’ to impugn the character of two politicians who did not merit it.

    I made no partisan points, Todd. I remembered the names of several public figures who have been sliced up by their opponents (Humphrey) or by the press (Quayle) or by the combox chatterati (Cheney). If you can think of three additional Democrats who have received this treatment to balance the roster to your satisfaction, that is fine with me.

    Bill Clinton welshed on his ROTC service obligations. If acknowledgement of that bothers you, tough.

    You have repeatedly made a point of chuffering about the military service of Ronald Reagan, who hardly spoke of it.

    Mr. Rove is not responsible for John Kerry’s troubles. Kerry’s detractors are other Navy veterans who served in the Mekong Delta ca. 1970, one of whom has been a public nemesis of Kerry since Karl Rove was an undergraduate. Assessing Kerry’s service record is a more complex task because it involves granular knowledge of naval operations; memories decades after the fact; the degree to which a facially fine service record is blemished by the disdain of one’s peers, manifest tall tales, gamesmanship, and one’s troublesome public career after discharge. It really does not belong in a discussion of these other cases.

  • Here is a good overview of Reagan’s military service.

    http://www.reagan.utexas.edu/archives/reference/military.html

    I find it significant that Reagan held a reserve commission in the Army well before World War II, and apparently obtained it purely on his own initiative after he graduated from college. His eyesight prevented him from serving overseas, and he made films for the Army which was his assigned duty. As far as I know, he never claimed otherwise. Reagan of course clearly understood who the real heroes of the War were:

  • The spitting (and bags of crap) happened all the time.

    And, the anti-war demonstrations were not about pacifism. They were about the communists winning the war in which my buddies were fighting and dying; and about weed and sex.

    I was in the USAF from 1972 to 1976. I served with SAC (B-52’s/nukes) in California and with USAFE in West Germany.

    Re: Kerry. If the USMC (part of the Navy) in Vietnam applied the same three purple heart that Kerry used, no marine would have been in country more than three weeks. In the Army, you never got a purple heart unless you were med-evacked/hospitalized.

  • My apologies. The story that came to mind was that Mr Reagan recounted a movie plot as an actual story of heroism at some veterans’ event in 1983. I do recollect the famous account he gave of losing a football feed as a radio announcer and having to “invent” a game for the audience.

    The point is that fibbing like this is more akin to telling tall tales. Some of us wouldn’t do it. A few of us would. Personally, I don’t think Mr Reagan’s exaggerations are terribly harmful. And it was because of his nearsightedness that he was declined for overseas duty. He worked as an active duty officer making films in Hollywood for much of the period 1942-45.

    I think we’re all in agreement that Mr Blumenthal’s exaggerations are dishonorable. I think we can also agree that a person’s military service or lack of it is often a target, and often unfair. Former Georgia Senator Max Cleland strikes me as a guy who got a raw deal from the GOP. Senator McCain (among other Republicans) thought the dirty politics of Senator Chambliss “worse than disgraceful, it’s reprehensible.”

    As for Mr Kerry, my recollection is that he told his own campaign that Bush’s service record was not going to be part of his political strategy. Officers who did attack the senator during the campaign, if indeed one, as you report, Art, did have more of a personal vendetta against the man, seems to line up as well in the category of dishonor.

    These men were serving in their twenties, for the most part. Young men. Placed in extremely difficult circumstances. With their own flaws and immaturity.

    In judging a person of 40, 50, or older, I’m disinclined to criticize the events of young adulthood. Mature citizens, even the Kerry slowboaters, should be also. Even so, the president should have clamped down on that from the start. Letting out-of-control guys with personal issues get off leash is an indicator of his own lack of leadership. Or his approval.

    The fact is that the Right has no moral high road on this. Today Mr Blumenthal. Tomorrow somebody else.

  • Thanks for the clarification, Todd, but I’m not satisfied. I’ll let others decide whether the episode described below is comparable to “padding his military record” or even “inventing a game”, let alone whether the mysteriously plural “exaggerations” that are “not very harmful” isn’t just rich.

    “One of Reagan’s responsibilities was to give accounts of Chicago Cubs baseball games via telegraph. During one game between the Cubs and their arch rivals the St. Louis Cardinals that was tied 0-0 in the 9th inning, the telegraph went dead: An often repeated tale of Reagan’s radio days recounts how he delivered “play-by-play broadcasts” of Chicago Cubs baseball games he had never seen. His flawless recitations were based solely on telegraph accounts of games in progress. http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/amex/presidents/40_reagan/reagan_early.html

    “Once in 1934, during the ninth inning of a Cubs – St. Louis Cardinals game, the wire went dead. Reagan smoothly improvised a fictional play-by-play (in which hitters on both teams gained a superhuman ability to foul off pitches) until the wire was restored. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ronald_Reagan

    “Reagan says: “There were several other stations broadcasting that game and I knew I’d lose my audience if I told them we’d lost our telegraph connections so I took a chance. I had (Billy) Jurges hit another foul. Then I had him foul one that only missed being a homerun by a foot. I had him foul one back in the stands and took up some time describing the two lads that got in a fight over the ball. I kept on having him foul balls until I was setting a record for a ballplayer hitting successive foul balls and I was getting more than a little scared. Just then my operator started typing. When he passed me the paper I started to giggle – it said: ‘Jurges popped out on the first ball pitched.’” http://www.intellectualconservative.com/article3120.html

  • “My apologies.”

    Of course you’re not satisfied, Mike. Enjoy the day.

  • Polls showing Dodd’s seat just went from a safe Democratic seat to a tossup. And the story is only two days old. Gotta love the NY Times.

  • Former Georgia Senator Max Cleland strikes me as a guy who got a raw deal from the GOP.

    The political mythology machine just runs on and on. Here’s the bloody ad attacking Max Cleland’s Senate votes.

    As for Mr Kerry, my recollection is that he told his own campaign that Bush’s service record was not going to be part of his political strategy.

    1. There was nothing to attack;

    2. His political strategy was expressed in using his boat mates as campaign props.

    Officers who did attack the senator during the campaign, if indeed one, as you report, Art, did have more of a personal vendetta against the man, seems to line up as well in the category of dishonor.

    No, it does not. It is only dishonorable if they self-consciously manufactured a false narrative. It is a matter of record that Kerry had been dining off his military service for more than 30 years; that he was awarded a Purple Heart for an injury to his rear end that left him in the hospital for thirty six hours, a Purple Heart for a superficial injury that required no inpatient care, and a Maj. Frank Burns style Purple Heart for a trivial injury that may have been inadvertantly self-inflicted; that he had made repeated incredible claims to having been sent on intelligence missions to Cambodia; that he also claimed to have been an ear-witness to military operations involving the Khmer Rouges at a time what the Khmer Rouges were a trivial force operating hundreds of miles away from the Mekong Delta; that he claimed to have listened to a mendacious speech by his commander-in-chief concerning American incursions into Cambodia when no such incursion were undertaken until a year after he had been shipped home….

  • Some really good points and words by Art Deco, DRM and T. Shaw.
    For my part, I served twenty years between two services (Navy and Army). While I have ventured into harm’s way no less than four times, to include deployment to Operation Desert Shield/Storm, I cannot say with a straight face that I am a combat veteran. For most of my career in the Army, I was authorized to wear a “combat patch” (wearing on your right shoulder the shoulder insignia of the unit with which you deployed to a combat zone for 30+ days). But even the patch that I wore gave evidence that I was a card-carrying rear-echelon puke.
    I am trying to paint the picture that I had long service and some (very little) fairly risky service. That said, I would never intimate that I am a veteran of close-quarters combat. When anyone asks if I have ever killed an enemy, I say “Praise God, I have never had the opportunity!”

    Mr. Blumenthal sought and received five deferrments, then managed to wrangle an assignment to the USMCR to avoid any remaining risk of deployment to Vietnam. It was his right to do all of these things. Unless further examination of the facts were to indicate that he behaved in similar fashion to Slick Willie Clinton, you can call him a coward if you want to, but cowardice is not illegal.

    But he seems to present a pattern of attempting to associate himself with those who served on active duty during, or even fought, that war. This is not accidental. A lawyer who has risen to the position of a State AG (necessitating proficiency in both the written and spoken word) cannot then claim to be unaware of the effects of his carefully chosen words upon his listeners.

    So let me state, with absolute disgust toward the Con (yes, I think that’s the best way to spell it in this case) AG, that his conduct here and now, not forty years ago, demeans any military service he might have rendered.

    Given then opportunity, I would spit in his face in any airport, anytime.

  • “In judging a person of 40, 50, or older, I’m disinclined to criticize the events of young adulthood.”

    Todd, really? So explain your back-stab at GWB again…

    “Even so, the president should have clamped down on that from the start.”

    Sorry, but McCain-Feingold created the runaway special purpose group phenomenon. So the mechanism of direct control was simply not there. Bush distanced himself from the swift-boaters, who were not saying their piece on his behalf.
    Oh, and then there’s this almost extinct, clearly arcane Constitutional notion of freedom of political speech.

    “Letting out-of-control guys with personal issues get off leash is an indicator of his own lack of leadership. Or his approval.”

    Personal issues? Try Winter Soldier on for size- that was your boy Kerry’s baby. He testified to it before Congress by way of launching his political career. It was all lies.
    As for approval, do you believe that some level of veracity is to be expected of elected officials? If so, you should approve of flashlights focused on their paths. Shine the light on everything. Let the voters decide what is damning and what is not.

  • AD,
    Thanks for reminding everyone what a masterful job the Dems did at manipulating the public’s memory of that ad. By repeatedly accusing the rather unremarkable ad as questioning Cleland’s patriotism, they managed to manufacture a myth. Truly masterful.

  • Todd,
    Your apology was diminished by your subsequent dissembling. What exactly were the “exaggerations” that you were referring to? Of the two examples you seem to rely on the first seems more a case of harmless confusion and the second was at most a harmless fib; neither was an exaggeration.

Stevens to Retire

Friday, April 9, AD 2010

Get ready for Obama appointment, Round 2.

Supreme Court Justice Stevens announces he will retire in the summer.

Not sure how the timing will work on this, especially as Obama and the Democrats try to avoid being too contentious right before the November elections. That might play in our favor as far as getting a more moderate nominee. It will also be interesting to see if the GOP can or will delay the nominee as they have the 41 votes to filibuster.

The names being thrown around are the same ones being thrown around before; we’ll see where he goes with this pick. Time to start praying again.

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39 Responses to Stevens to Retire

  • Jerry Ford’s gift to liberal Democrats everywhere finally decides to call it quits during a Democrat administation, which shocks me as much the sky being blue and water being wet.

  • I don’t foresee a filibuster. There are only 41 Republicans, and it will just take one R to break a filibuster, and in this case I highly doubt Snowe, or Collins, or even Brown would join in one.

    Anyway thus passes Gerald Ford’s great gift to the country.

  • Heh, Donald beat me to the punch by seconds on the gift remark.

  • Stevens being from Chicago Paul I was in a hurry to give him a proper “the Chicago Way” send-off. 🙂

  • I have to admit, going to 90 to make sure his replacement shares his views is pretty stout.

    I agree that the filibuster seems unlikely, but there is a chance and that might affect the choice of nominee.

  • Pray for what?

    I don’t say that to doubt the efficacy of prayer, or to discourage anyone from praying for the souls of the Supreme Court members. But the way this game is played, 100% of nominees from Democratic presidents are activist pro-choicers, and 50% of Republicans’ nominees are originalist pro-lifers.

    The only way loyal Catholics get someone palatable is if the paperwork gets mixed up in the mail, and Bishop Gomez gets on the Court and some liberal judge takes over the Diocese of LA.

  • Pinky:

    Well, one could always hope the Democrats make their first mistake.

    But if that’s not a hope, then I think we should pray that he picks someone more moderate on the issue rather than the absolute “abortion is a right and ought to be fully funded by the federal government” crowd. There are various shades of being pro-choice, and we can pray that we get a lighter shade than Stevens.

  • I for one am going to start praying that Scalia does not fall over with a Heart attack

  • I for one am going to start praying that Scalia does not fall over with a Heart attack

    Yeah. . . where will we find another judge as dependably pro-torture as he is!

  • Through Obama.

  • “Yeah. . . where will we find another judge as dependably pro-torture as he is!”

    Why the entire liberal wing of the court unless you do not consider partial birth abortion to be torture, in addition to infanticide.

    From the Ginsburg dissent in Carhart, the Supreme Court decision upholding a law against partial birth abortion joined in by Stevens, Souter and Breyer.

    “Today, the Court blurs that line, maintaining that “[t]he Act [legitimately] appl[ies] both previability and postviability because … a fetus is a living organism while within the womb, whether or not it is viable outside the womb.” Ante, at 17. Instead of drawing the line at viability, the Court refers to Congress’ purpose to differentiate “abortion and infanticide” based not on whether a fetus can survive outside the womb, but on where a fetus is anatomically located when a particular medical procedure is performed. See ante, at 28 (quoting Congressional Findings (14)(G), in notes following 18 U. S. C. §1531 (2000 ed., Supp. IV), p. 769).

    One wonders how long a line that saves no fetus from destruction will hold in face of the Court’s “moral concerns.” See supra, at 15; cf. ante, at16 (noting that “[i]n this litigation” the Attorney General “does not dispute that the Act would impose an undue burden if it covered standard D&E”). The Court’s hostility to the right Roe and Casey secured is not concealed. Throughout, the opinion refers to obstetrician-gynecologists and surgeons who perform abortions not by the titles of their medical specialties, but by the pejorative label “abortion doctor.” Ante, at 14, 24, 25, 31, 33. A fetus is described as an “unborn child,” and as a “baby,” ante, at 3, 8; second-trimester, previability abortions are referred to as “late-term,” ante, at 26; and the reasoned medical judgments of highly trained doctors are dismissed as “preferences”motivated by “mere convenience,” ante, at 3, 37. Instead of the heightened scrutiny we have previously applied, the Court determines that a “rational” ground is enough to uphold the Act, ante, at28, 37. And, most troubling, Casey’s principles, confirming the continuing vitality of “the essential holding of Roe,” are merely “assume[d]” for the moment, ante, at15, 31, rather than “retained” or “reaffirmed,” Casey, 505 U. S., at 846”

    http://www.law.cornell.edu/supct/html/05-380.ZD.html

    Scalia’s dissent in the earlier Carhart decision which overturned a law banning partial birth abortion:

    “I am optimistic enough to believe that, one day, Stenberg v. Carhart will be assigned its rightful place in the history of this Court’s jurisprudence beside Korematsu and Dred Scott. The method of killing a human child–one cannot even accurately say an entirely unborn human child–proscribed by this statute is so horrible that the most clinical description of it evokes a shudder of revulsion. And the Court must know (as most state legislatures banning this procedure have concluded) that demanding a “health exception”–which requires the abortionist to assure himself that, in his expert medical judgment, this method is, in the case at hand, marginally safer than others (how can one prove the contrary beyond a reasonable doubt?)–is to give live-birth abortion free rein. The notion that the Constitution of the United States, designed, among other things, “to establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, . . . and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity,” prohibits the States from simply banning this visibly brutal means of eliminating our half-born posterity is quite simply absurd.

    Even so, I had not intended to write separately here until the focus of the other separate writings (including the one I have joined) gave me cause to fear that this case might be taken to stand for an error different from the one that it actually exemplifies. Because of the Court’s practice of publishing dissents in the order of the seniority of their authors, this writing will appear in the reports before those others, but the reader will not comprehend what follows unless he reads them first.

    * * *

    The two lengthy dissents in this case have, appropriately enough, set out to establish that today’s result does not follow from this Court’s most recent pronouncement on the matter of abortion, Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pa. v. Casey, 505 U.S. 833 (1992). It would be unfortunate, however, if those who disagree with the result were induced to regard it as merely a regrettable misapplication of Casey. It is not that, but is Casey’s logical and entirely predictable consequence. To be sure, the Court’s construction of this statute so as to make it include procedures other than live-birth abortion involves not only a disregard of fair meaning, but an abandonment of the principle that even ambiguous statutes should be interpreted in such fashion as to render them valid rather than void. Casey does not permit that jurisprudential novelty–which must be chalked up to the Court’s inclination to bend the rules when any effort to limit abortion, or even to speak in opposition to abortion, is at issue. It is of a piece, in other words, with Hill v. Colorado, ante, p. ___, also decided today.

    But the Court gives a second and independent reason for invalidating this humane (not to say anti-barbarian) law: That it fails to allow an exception for the situation in which the abortionist believes that this live-birth method of destroying the child might be safer for the woman. (As pointed out by Justice Thomas, and elaborated upon by Justice Kennedy, there is no good reason to believe this is ever the case, but–who knows?–it sometime might be.)

    I have joined Justice Thomas’s dissent because I agree that today’s decision is an “unprecedented expansio[n]” of our prior cases, post, at 35, “is not mandated” by Casey’s “undue burden” test, post, at 33, and can even be called (though this pushes me to the limit of my belief) “obviously irreconcilable with Casey’s explication of what its undue-burden standard requires,” post, at 4. But I never put much stock in Casey’s explication of the inexplicable. In the last analysis, my judgment that Casey does not support today’s tragic result can be traced to the fact that what I consider to be an “undue burden” is different from what the majority considers to be an “undue burden”–a conclusion that can not be demonstrated true or false by factual inquiry or legal reasoning. It is a value judgment, dependent upon how much one respects (or believes society ought to respect) the life of a partially delivered fetus, and how much one respects (or believes society ought to respect) the freedom of the woman who gave it life to kill it. Evidently, the five Justices in today’s majority value the former less, or the latter more, (or both), than the four of us in dissent. Case closed. There is no cause for anyone who believes in Casey to feel betrayed by this outcome. It has been arrived at by precisely the process Casey promised–a democratic vote by nine lawyers, not on the question whether the text of the Constitution has anything to say about this subject (it obviously does not); nor even on the question (also appropriate for lawyers) whether the legal traditions of the American people would have sustained such a limitation upon abortion (they obviously would); but upon the pure policy question whether this limitation upon abortion is “undue”–i.e., goes too far.

    In my dissent in Casey, I wrote that the “undue burden” test made law by the joint opinion created a standard that was “as doubtful in application as it is unprincipled in origin,” Casey, 505 U.S., at 985; “hopelessly unworkable in practice,” id., at 986; “ultimately standardless,” id., at 987. Today’s decision is the proof. As long as we are debating this issue of necessity for a health-of-the-mother exception on the basis of Casey, it is really quite impossible for us dissenters to contend that the majority is wrong on the law–any more than it could be said that one is wrong in law to support or oppose the death penalty, or to support or oppose mandatory minimum sentences. The most that we can honestly say is that we disagree with the majority on their policy-judgment-couched-as-law. And those who believe that a 5-to-4 vote on a policy matter by unelected lawyers should not overcome the judgment of 30 state legislatures have a problem, not with the application of Casey, but with its existence. Casey must be overruled.

    While I am in an I-told-you-so mood, I must recall my bemusement, in Casey, at the joint opinion’s expressed belief that Roe v. Wade had “call[ed] the contending sides of a national controversy to end their national division by accepting a common mandate rooted in the Constitution,” Casey, 505 U.S., at 867, and that the decision in Casey would ratify that happy truce. It seemed to me, quite to the contrary, that “Roe fanned into life an issue that has inflamed our national politics in general, and has obscured with its smoke the selection of Justices to this Court in particular, ever since”; and that, “by keeping us in the abortion-umpiring business, it is the perpetuation of that disruption, rather than of any Pax Roeana, that the Court’s new majority decrees.” Id., at 995—996. Today’s decision, that the Constitution of the United States prevents the prohibition of a horrible mode of abortion, will be greeted by a firestorm of criticism–as well it should. I cannot understand why those who acknowledge that, in the opening words of Justice O’Connor’s concurrence, “[t]he issue of abortion is one of the most contentious and controversial in contemporary American society,” ante, at 1, persist in the belief that this Court, armed with neither constitutional text nor accepted tradition, can resolve that contention and controversy rather than be consumed by it. If only for the sake of its own preservation, the Court should return this matter to the people–where the Constitution, by its silence on the subject, left it–and let them decide, State by State, whether this practice should be allowed. Casey must be overruled.”

    http://www.law.cornell.edu/supct/html/99-830.ZD1.html

  • Why the entire liberal wing of the court unless you do not consider partial birth abortion to be torture, in addition to infanticide.

    Wel then, I am confused. . . after all, since torture isn’t wrong, then how can partial birth abortion be. . .

    Unless. . .

    Of course! It makes sense now: abortion means no children. No children means no children’s testicles. And if there are no children’s testicles to crush. . . the terrorists win!

    Ex Conservatatione Quod Libet

  • I am sure phosphorious that you will be able to cite a text where Scalia ever indicated that he was in favor of someone’s testicles being crushed. On the other hand I have just provided you with chapter and verse where the liberal wing of the court views as a constitutional right the ability of an abortionist to stick scissors into the base of an unborn infant’s skull. However, I suppose in your view that since it is abortion it cannot be torture. Res Ipsa Loquitur

  • Don,

    phosphorius is right. Obama prefers murder to torture.

  • Bush’s legal advisors has defended Bush’s right (I don’t know if a “lib” president is invested with a similar “right”) to crush a child’s testicles to extract information from his parent. Scalia is known to have defended Bush’s torture policies in toto.

    Bush ordered torture to be performed. Did Obama ever order an abortion to be performed, partial-birth or otherwise? A distinction a “conservative” should take seriously.

  • phosphorius is right. Obama prefers murder to torture.

    Whereas I can’t think of anything that conservatives prefer to torture. they defend it every chance they get.

  • Actually many conservatives oppose torture. Many liberals (such as Pelosi)supported the CIA interrogation techniques (though she lies about it.) Obama, given his penchant for murder would likely not oppose past interrogation techniques if the right situation arose. Did he order any murders? See discussion on assasinations below.

  • Phosphorious raises some very good points, and I would like to follow up with a post of my own. I would just ask phosporious if he could kindly supply some of the links or other supporting literature that shows that Bush’s legal advisors defended his right to crush a child’s testicles, where Bush so ordered such an action to be taken, and the opinions offered by Scalia demonstrating his approval of such. I look forward with great anticipation the roundup of this information.

  • Google “Yoo testicles” and you will see the defense. As for proof that Bush actually ordered the crushing of testicles, child’s or not, I assume that’s a matter of State security that only a traitor would pry too closely in. If the terrorists knew about it, they would train their children to withstand testicle crushing, after all.

    But Bush did order the torture of prisoners. And Scalia supports it. . . citing I believe “24” as proof that law enforcement needs “lattitude” in the fighting of terrorism.

    But gentlemen, we digress. The point is that abortion is the litmus test, and nothing else.

    On that, conservatives can agree, no?

  • “Did Obama ever order an abortion to be performed, partial-birth or otherwise? A distinction a “conservative” should take seriously.”

    Nah, he merely defends it as a constitutional right and raises campaign funds trumpeting his opposition to laws banning partial birth abortion, what the late pro-abort Senator from New York Daniel Patrick Moynihan referred to as “barely disguised infanticide”.

    http://www.jillstanek.com/partial-birth-abortion/michelle-obamas.html

  • I assume that this interview on 60 minutes is what elicts phosphorious’ attempts to defend Obama on abortion by attacking Scalia on torture:

    Viewing Leslie Stahl attempting to question Scalia is rather like watching Bill Clinton attempting to teach a course on legal ethics. She didn’t have even the foggiest notion of what he was talking about.

  • “The point is that abortion is the litmus test, and nothing else.”

    The point is phosphorious almost a million dead unborn children a year and your desperate attempts on a Catholic blog to supply political cover to a President who is dedicated to this continuing forever.

  • Stevens’ retirement troubles me because, every time a justice retires many people speak in terms of litmus tests related to societal issues such as abortion and freedom religion. In discussing such tests for prospective nominees most individuals focus solely on the subject of abortion.

    The use of abortion as the sole litmus test that nominees must be subjected to is akin to tunnel vision because, most social conservatives fail to realize that the adoption of such a position is tantamount to heresy in many circles and no politician would risk their careers by taking such a position openly and publicly because, it would alienate an extremely large bloc of voters who see overturning Roe v Wade and it descendants as potentially causing even more harm than good because, attempting in their eyes restoring the status quo as it existed before 1973 could engender the return and resurgence of backroom abortionists who are not medically trained.

    I would advocate the development of additional tests. For example, how would the nominee defend the rights of the disabled, minorities and women?

  • “I would advocate the development of additional tests. For example, how would the nominee defend the rights of the disabled, minorities and women?”

    In other words, shut up about the right to life of the unborn. Additionally, what attempts are there on the scale of abortion in reference to unborn children to deny rights to minorities or women? Unborn disabled children are of course often targeted for abortion because of their disability.

  • I assume that this interview on 60 minutes is what elicts phosphorious’ attempts to defend Obama on abortion by attacking Scalia on torture

    I am attacking the smug, self-righteous Catholics who only object to the sins that political liberals commit.

    Which is every poster here, far as I can tell.

  • In other words, shut up about the right to life of the unborn.

    Because, of course, if abortion is not the only issue, then it is no issue at all.

    Heresy is not necessarily the abandoning of Church doctrine. Focusing on one bit of doctrine to the exclusion of all else will do quite nicely.

  • The point is phosphorious almost a million dead unborn children a year and your desperate attempts on a Catholic blog to supply political cover to a President who is dedicated to this continuing forever.

    Obama has dedicated his life. . . and beyond. . . the making sure that mothers kill their children?

    Wow. . . I had no idea. . .

  • What are the penalties for refusing to abort your child?

  • Phosphorious it would be much more concise if you simply said: “I’m a liberal and I don’t give a damn about abortion. Go Obama!” That is, after all, what your position boils down to.

  • The Cajun is right, how much damage does President Obama want to incur in order to nominate another pro-abortion advocate.

    I think he will, he seems to believe he is invincible and 2012 is far away enough to recuperate lost prestige.

    He apparently doesn’t really care about the Dems this election cycle, so why not write this election off. Besides, what’s the worse that can happen? The Democrats will have a small majority in the House and in the Senate he’ll have veto powers that can’t be overcome.

  • At no time did I argue that anyone needed to be silent about the rights or lack thereof accorded to the unborn. I merely assert that a multitude of sociopolitical issues must be considered in addition to when nominating a successor to Justice Stevens.

    As for my assertions regarding the nature of politicians and their desire to maintain their positions at the expense of their morals, such a school of thought has existed in some form or other since, the foundation of the Roman Empire. Indeed both Machiavelli and Gracian discussed this tendency at length.

  • Mr. McClarey, I know very well how many fetuses are subjected to abortion because of their disabilities. I myself am possessed of cerebral palsy characterized by ataxic presentation.

    I merely sought to point out that in my opinion if an individual chooses to focus on the issue of abortion alone, while failing to review the positions taken by a prospective nominee on other sociopolitical issues is possessed of a focus so narrow that it fails to meet the standard set by Saint Basil Saint Thomas Aquinas and Saint Bonaventure, and Saint Aloysius Gonzaga

  • Nathan, I rather think all of the Saints you name would be protesting outside of abortion clinics constantly if they were alive today. Abortion is the human rights issue of our day, and to sit on our hands because of opposition from pro-aborts is not an option.

    I think Cardinal Ratzinger put it well in a letter:

    “2. The Church teaches that abortion or euthanasia is a grave sin. The Encyclical Letter Evangelium vitae, with reference to judicial decisions or civil laws that authorize or promote abortion or euthanasia, states that there is a “grave and clear obligation to oppose them by conscientious objection. […] In the case of an intrinsically unjust law, such as a law permitting abortion or euthanasia, it is therefore never licit to obey it, or to ‘take part in a propaganda campaign in favour of such a law or vote for it’” (no. 73). Christians have a “grave obligation of conscience not to cooperate formally in practices which, even if permitted by civil legislation, are contrary to God’s law. Indeed, from the moral standpoint, it is never licit to cooperate formally in evil. […] This cooperation can never be justified either by invoking respect for the freedom of others or by appealing to the fact that civil law permits it or requires it” (no. 74).

    3. Not all moral issues have the same moral weight as abortion and euthanasia. For example, if a Catholic were to be at odds with the Holy Father on the application of capital punishment or on the decision to wage war, he would not for that reason be considered unworthy to present himself to receive Holy Communion. While the Church exhorts civil authorities to seek peace, not war, and to exercise discretion and mercy in imposing punishment on criminals, it may still be permissible to take up arms to repel an aggressor or to have recourse to capital punishment. There may be a legitimate diversity of opinion even among Catholics about waging war and applying the death penalty, but not however with regard to abortion and euthanasia.”

    http://www.priestsforlife.org/magisterium/bishops/04-07ratzingerommunion.htm

    Catholics and all who cherish innocent human life must be untiring in their battle against the crime of abortion.

    In regard to your disability, my prayers. One of my sons is autistic. I have no doubt that if there were a test to determine autism in utero, many of his autistic peers would not be alive today, just as has occurred with 90% of Down Syndrome children where such a test does exist. This slaughter of the innocents must stop and I will never cease working against abortion until I take my final breath.

  • Phosphorious it would be much more concise if you simply said: “I’m a liberal and I don’t give a damn about abortion. Go Obama!” That is, after all, what your position boils down to.

    As opposed to saying that the mere mention of torture distracts from abortion, which is the only sin.

  • I agree they would be protesting, and they would be examining the positions held by candidates in regards to other issues as well so that could more fully ascertain the candidates in order to have a fuller understanding of their character, so that they could more effectively battle them.

  • Phosphorious your laborious dragging of red herrings through this thread merely demonstrates that my concise version of your position is totally accurate. Such tactics may work at Vox Nova, they are absolutely of no use on this blog.

  • I merely sought to point out that in my opinion if an individual chooses to focus on the issue of abortion alone, while failing to review the positions taken by a prospective nominee on other sociopolitical issues is possessed of a focus so narrow that it fails to meet the standard set by Saint Basil Saint Thomas Aquinas and Saint Bonaventure, and Saint Aloysius Gonzaga

    An aspirant for a seat on an appellate court of last resort who proposes to uphold Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton is in doing so subscribing to a particular conception of judicial review favored by Laurence Tribe. A judge engaging in authentic judicial review declines to apply administrative rules which conflict with statutes and statutes which conflict with constitutions. A judge engaging in Tribean judicial review assumes plenary authority to annul any statute or administrative rule incongruent with the policy preferences of law professors, so long as his shallow and smart-assed clerks can gin up a salable excuse. An adherent to Tribean judicial review is unfit for any office or public trust, period.

    Judge Stevens was one of four members of the federal Supreme Court who contended (in a dissenting opinion issued in 1977) that the federal and state governments were required by constitutional provisions to appropriate public funds to provide abortions on demand. Congress should have stuck a fork in this bastard a long long time ago.

  • In this country, ‘sociopolitical issues’ are the business of legislators, not judges.

  • The reason it appears that Roe v. Wade is all that matters is because, in addition to being about the civil rights issue of our time, it also has become a proxy for two opposing views of constitutional jurisprudence. How a judge is likely to vote on Roe tells me almost all I need to know about that judge.

Politics The Illinois Way

Friday, February 5, AD 2010

Illinois politics has always had a rather corrupt and colorful flavor about it.  Sort of Louisiana with bad winters.  Two examples:

1.    Alexi Giannoulias is the Democrat nominee for Obama’s old senate seat.  As the bare knuckles Republican ad above indicates, Giannoulias has been alleged to have substantial mob ties due to Broadway Bank , a Bank owned by the Giannoulias family and which made substantial loans to Chicago crime figures.  A comprehensive look at Mr. Giannoulias is here.

2.    Scott Lee Cohen, a wealthy Chicago pawnbroker, won the Democrat nomination for  Lieutenant  Governor on Tuesday.  Immediately after he won, it came out that in 2005 he was arrested for allegedly holding a knife to the throat of a former girl-friend, a woman who was once convicted of prostitution.   The woman failed to show up at a subsequent hearing, and the charge was dropped.  One might ask why none of his opponents brought this scandal up prior to the voters going to the polls.  I have no answer.  Governor Quinn, the Democrat nominee for Governor, has stated that Cohen must step down.  Cohen has indicated that he has no intention of stepping down.

Ah, the Land of Lincoln.  We may be the most misgoverned state in the Union, but I do believe we get good entertainment value from our politicians!

Update I: From my co-blogger, and fellow Illinoisan, Elaine:

The Cohen debacle is literally getting worse by the minute.

Not only do we have the domestic battery charge from ‘05 — which he did actually admit to in an interview nearly a YEAR ago — his divorce papers and other documents have been made public, and they allege 1) steroid abuse and ‘roid rages against his wife and kids, 2) attempts to rape his wife, 3) harassing messages written in lipstick on his (now ex) wife’s mirror, 4) failure to pay child support for his four kids while he was spending $2 million or so on running for lite guv, 5) numerous lawsuits against him, including his OWN BROTHER suing him for $200K (haven’t found out what for yet).

On top of all that, his major endorsers and campaign contributors included…. wait for it… Planned Parenthood and Personal PAC (a PAC known for endorsing only the most radical pro-aborts it can find). Even some liberals are shaking their heads at the irony of an allegedly “pro woman” PAC donating to the campaign of a domestic abuser and deadbeat dad!

Illinois politics, better than any novel!

Continue reading...

20 Responses to Politics The Illinois Way

  • The Cohen debacle is literally getting worse by the minute.

    Not only do we have the domestic battery charge from ’05 — which he did actually admit to in an interview nearly a YEAR ago — his divorce papers and other documents have been made public, and they allege 1) steroid abuse and ‘roid rages against his wife and kids, 2) attempts to rape his wife, 3) harassing messages written in lipstick on his (now ex) wife’s mirror, 4) failure to pay child support for his four kids while he was spending $2 million or so on running for lite guv, 5) numerous lawsuits against him, including his OWN BROTHER suing him for $200K (haven’t found out what for yet).

    On top of all that, his major endorsers and campaign contributors included…. wait for it… Planned Parenthood and Personal PAC (a PAC known for endorsing only the most radical pro-aborts it can find). Even some liberals are shaking their heads at the irony of an allegedly “pro woman” PAC donating to the campaign of a domestic abuser and deadbeat dad!

  • “One might ask why none of his opponents brought this scandal up prior to the voters going to the polls.”

    1. They didn’t think he would win — although anyone in the state who wasn’t blind and deaf could see that he had the best funded and organized campaign, the most yard signs, mailers, etc.

    2. Some of the more conspiracy minded Illinois political junkies think it’s all part of a plot by all-powerful House Speaker Mike Madigan to insure that a Republican gets elected governor AND gets saddled with all the blame for the difficult fiscal and other decisions that MUST be made in the next four years, thereby clearing the way for his daughter, AG Lisa Madigan, to run for governor four years from now.

    If that’s the case, methinks that may not be quite going according to “plan” either, since the currently presumptive GOP nominee, Bill Brady, is (mirabile dictu!) an unquestionably conservative downstate legislator, who was almost completly ignored in the Chicago media market, and not expected to win. Most people’s bets were on the more “moderate” Kirk Dillard or cash-loaded Andy McKenna.

    I may be getting way ahead of myself here but (continuing the comparisons to Louisiana) I think if anyone has the potential to be the Bobby Jindal of Illinois, it’s Brady.

  • Elaine, I truly think that people who do not live in the Sucker State have no idea how truly bizarre Illinois politics can get! This may give them an inkling!

  • To borrow Franz Werfel’s famous quote about Lourdes, for a much more profane subject… for those who live in Illinois, no explanation is necessary; for those who don’t, no explanation is possible.

    The only thing more amusing than trying to figure out Illinois politics, is watching national pundits and talking heads try to figure it out. Of course they are seeing everything through (Scott) Brown-colored glasses right now.

    I do have a couple of cosmetic quibbles with the Alexi G. You Tube clip: Chicagoans call it “The Outfit,” not “The Mob”, and the narrator’s accent sounds more Noo Yawk than Chicaguh to me. (SNL made the same mistake in their Blago sketches last year.) But it’s pretty good otherwise.

  • …and the narrator’s accent sounds more Noo Yawk than Chicaguh to me.

    I probably wouldn’t have picked up it without you mentioning it, Elaine, but now I can’t listen to it without thinking how silly it sounds in the context of Chicago.

    As to Chicago politics, it’s not hard for us outsiders to understand just how corrupt it is. Sure, some seemingly innocuous things may actually be loaded with negative implications that only locals would get, but it’s enough for us to just know it exists. After all, it’s not like the politics of my hometown of Detroit isn’t rotten too. My complaint with Chicago is actually with those who came before you. I can’t figure out why the dead always vote for the most corrupt politicians, you’d think they would have a better judge of character!

  • Yes isn’t it interesting and now the GANG is running the country..Where is Elliot Ness when we need hin.as the old saying goes there is a sucker born every minute and several million were taken in by the Pied Piper last Novenber and followed like good little lennings to the cliff..and the spending goes on and on til finaly the presses break and lend lease wwill be back only this time it will be from other counries to bail us out and the GANG will return Chicago fat happy laughing all the way with our momey in their pockets…LOL

  • I don’t know. I think Louisiana, California, New York, New Jersey, Minnesota, and DC can all make good cases for “most bizarre local politics.”

    I’d like to nominate my state of NY. With names like Rudy Giuliani, Vito Fossella, and Joey Bruno you know there’ll be trouble. Forgetting colorful characters like Nelson Rockefeller, just in the last 10 years we had:

    1. The daughter of JFK, who secretly campaigned for appointment to the Senate seat vacated by a carpetbagging former first lady only to be rejected by a blind governor who admitted to having an affair and who only became governor because his predecessor was caught hiring a prostitute.

    2. A mayor who liked to dress in drag, had a messy divorce while in office, then became the Republican frontrunner for president. This mayor was replaced by the 17th richest man in the world, who switched parties while in office, increased his own term limits, and set the record for most spent on an election campaign anywhere, ever!

    3. A police commissioner who withdrew his nomination to head Homeland Security after it was revealed that he hired illegal immigrants. He was then convicted of ethics violations. Now he’s awaiting sentencing for tax fraud.

    4. A conservative Republican US congressman who had a secret second family in Virginia. When he decided not run for reelection, the GOP nominated a guy who’s estranged son decided to run against him. The father died before the election and the seat was won by a Democrat for the first time in 30 years.

    5. A state comptroller who plead guilty to defrauding the government and who spent $800,000 to get an incumbent state assemblyman to step aside for his son.

    6. Two Democratic state senators who switched parties, giving the Republicans a majority. One then redefected leaving 31 Republicans and 31 Democrats. The lieutenant governor then becomes the tie-breaker but because the governor resigned, we had no LG. The president of the senate, a Republican on trial for corruption (he’s since been convicted and is now awaiting sentencing), becomes acting LG when the governor is out of state, so the governor refused to leave the state. Both parties claimed the senate leadership. We literally had two senates in the same room going about business as usual as if the other party didn’t exist. Senators yelling over each other. The governor appointed a new LG but the state AG said that was unconstitutional. The crisis ended when the other defector redefected to the Democrats in exchange for the majority leader seat.

    7. State Assembly members over 65 who collect salaries and pensions at the same time. They “retire” on New Year’s Eve then get sworn in as freshmen the next day.

    8. A lesbian city council speaker and the nation’s only pagan politician.

  • restrainedradical, I must stand up for Illinois! Illinois has had three governors go to prison and one I think who will eventually land there. Unless a state can boast at least three governors in the pen I don’t think it is even in the running.

  • You know what they say:

    Illinois- “Where Our Governors Make Our License Plates”

  • Elaine K.,

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but I believe it was Saint Thomas Aquinas who said the alleged quote from Franz Werfel.

  • I’ll have to look that up Tito. Thanks for the tip.

    If the truth be told, I’m sure bizarre politics exist, or can exist, anywhere, since we live in a fallen world; but the odds of such increase exponentially the more people there are — hence, big city “machines” like Chicago, New York, et al. generate the most spectacular and frequent examples.

    Still, even God’s Chosen People themselves, and Holy Mother Church, have had leaders that were nothing to brag about (Kings Ahaz and Manasseh, the Borgia Popes) and who make Blago, Spitzer, Sanford, et al. look like rank amateurs in the corruption department.

  • Regarding dead people “voting”, G.K. Chesterton once wrote that:

    “Tradition means giving a vote to most obscure of all classes, our ancestors. It is the democracy of the dead. Tradition refuses to submit to the small and arrogant oligarchy of those who merely happen to be walking about. All democrats object to men being disqualified by the accident of birth; tradition objects to their being disqualified by the accident of death. Democracy tells us not to neglect a good man’s opinion, even if he is our groom; tradition asks us not to neglect a good man’s opinion, even if he is our father.”

    Of course, GKC didn’t have Chicago politics in mind when he wrote that 🙂

  • My best friend used to live in Chicago. When he and his wife bought their first house, they went to vote for the first time. The two guys they bought the house from had already voted! In fact, they voted in every election as long as my friends lived there.

    Now my friend is the mayor of our city in Oregon. He’s been to some National League of Cities meetings where he’s met the alderman from the area where he used to live. He told the guy, “Hey, I voted for you!”

  • Ah yes, Chicago politics, where our president learned his craft via the democratic machine. My favorite was counting the number of city alderman who got indicted. Isn’t it over 100?

  • Update II: Cohen is now said to be seeking a “dignified” way out of his situation — according to some reports, he is willing to resign from the Democratic ticket but only under certain conditions which haven’t yet been made public.

    Meanwhile, his ex-girlfriend apparently has hired none other than Gloria Allred (noted celebrity/feminist wacko attorney) as her lawyer, and issued a statement through Allred that Cohen “is not fit to hold any public office.” Allred’s other clients include the family of Nicole Brown Simpson and one of Tiger Woods’ alleged mistresses.

    Well, I think the “dignified” way out is pretty much shot at this point.

  • Update III: As if Gloria Allred didn’t have enough on her plate, she’s also in the news right now for her claims that Tim Tebow’s mother is lying about the circumstances of his birth (because she allegedly would never have been told to have an abortion when abortion is supposed to be illegal in the Phillippines.)

    To top it all off, in 2003, Allred stated in a TV interview concerning the Scott and Laci Peterson murder case that “there are two individuals that are dead there, Laci and Connor (her unborn child).”

    http://www.lifenews.com/nat5943.html

  • Update IV: He quit.

    http://www.chicagobreakingnews.com/2010/02/speaker-madigan-met-with-cohen-urged-him-to-quit.html

    “Scott Lee Cohen, the pawnbroker whose surprise victory in last week’s Democratic lieutenant governor primary was followed by scandalous revelations about him, quit the race tonight at the urging of party leaders.

    “Cohen made the tearful announcement at the Hop Haus tavern on the Far North Side.

    “For the good of the people of the state of Illinois and for the Democratic party, I will resign,” an emotional Cohen told a crowd of supporters and reporters.

    “I hope and I pray, with all my heart, that I didn’t hurt the people that I love so much,” Cohen said, choking up. “All I ever wanted to do was to run for office and to help the people, not to cause chaos,” he said, clutching his 11-year-old son, Jacob.”

    ****

    If he didn’t want to “hurt the people (he) love(s) so much,” he should have thought of that sooner… like about 5 years ago… but I digress.

    The Illinois Democratic Central Committee will choose a replacement candidate sometime in the next month; that person will replace Cohen as Gov. Quinn’s “running mate” for the general election.

  • That was a lot quicker than I thought it would be Elaine. I wonder what type of pressure they put on the pawnbroker. After dropping two million dollars of his own money on the race, I’m surprised he goes so tamely.

  • Well, perhaps all the pressure he needed was Mike Madigan telling him that there was no bleeping way he would ever take office.

    If Cohen had stayed on the ticket, Quinn would probably have done what Adlai Stevenson III did in 1986 when he got saddled with a LaRouchie running mate in a similar primary election debacle: form a “new” political party with slated candidates and try to convince Democrats to vote for that party instead of the actual Democrats. It didn’t work for Stevenson and probably wouldn’t have worked this time either.

    Speaking of Lyndon LaRouche, I assumed he was either dead by now or safely residing in the “Where Are They Now File,” but apparently, he’s still alive and kicking at age 87. He served 5 years in prison for mail fraud and conspiracy in the early 90s. At one point he had televangelist Jim Bakker as his cellmate; Bakker later said of LaRouche that “to describe him as a little paranoid is like saying the Titanic had a little leak.”

  • Jim Bakker and Lyndon LaRouche cellmates! There is a great comedy masterpiece waiting to be made about that.

Biden: Don't You Want To Follow In My Footsteps Son?

Tuesday, January 26, AD 2010

On Sunday Harry Thermal of Delaware Online ran a story that said he had the following conversation with the Veep:

Now, one year later, he is dismayed by what has happened to the Senate, and he is trying to convince a reluctant son to run for his former seat.

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7 Responses to Biden: Don't You Want To Follow In My Footsteps Son?

  • Evidently he was a prosecutor for nine years and his first run for public office was at the age of 37. Perhaps he wants to be a working lawyer, or something proximate to it.

  • I’m sort of astonished at the lack of respect and concern this father shows for his son. But I guess this sort of thing happens in many professions/vocations/trades.

  • Interestingly, Castle is pro-choice (although he voted in favor of Stupak). Kaufman was one of 7 Dem senators to vote for the Stupak language.

  • Maybe Beau Biden took his cue from Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan? The parallels are kind of interesting:

    Lisa Madigan was at one time considered an odds-on favorite to run for Obama’s former Senate seat, and (if I remember correctly) even Obama himself tried to persuade her to run for it; but she said no, she was sticking with the job she had.

    Like Beau, she is married and has two young children, as well as a powerful and well-known father, Ill. House Speaker Mike Madigan. However, Mike Madigan, unlike Joe Biden, rarely says anything foolish because he rarely says anything at all, least of all concerning his daughter’s political future.

    Finally, her decision not to run for the Senate made a Republican, Congressman Mark Kirk, pretty much the frontrunner for that seat. Kirk is a RINO on most issues, but, like all the GOP congressmen, he did vote for Stupak (as Castle did despite being pro-choice).

    It’s deja vu all over again for the Dems!

  • Some years back, Rudolph Giuliani said something to the effect that once you had been involved in producing ‘output’ in an executive position, a seat in a legislature is not so attractive. Consider the possibility that not only does the general public look upon Congress and state legislatures as the dregs, so do other politicians.

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