Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Dancing with Sotomayor

Another confirmation hearing, another elaborate shooting match. Yesterday was nothing more than speechifying from the blowhards on the judiciary committee, and today begins the ritual waltz of question-and-avoidance. Why do we bother with these hearings again?

-I love the Republicans' attempts to destroy Sotomayor for having the temerity to admit that objectivity and impartiality are impossible (but nonetheless worthy) aspirations for mere mortals.

-I'm also amused by their attacks based on "her" opinion in the Ricci case, which was actually a per curiam opinion from the entire court and which agreed with precedent from several other circuits. The Supreme Court actually decided to change the standards for discrimination claims when they took Ricci, meaning they changed the law. Sotomayor was just unfortunate enough to be on the panel that heard the case before SCOTUS made the change.

-In responding to Russ Feingold's questions about executive power, Sotomayor says she hasn't had enough cases on the Youngstown Steel framework to answer his questions. WHAT?!? Who's supposed to believe that? That's from Con Law I, lady, and it's one of the most significant legal questions raised by the previous President's misbehavior. Really? You really didn't study up on that one for a congressional hearing? Really?

Monday, July 06, 2009

Republican Suicide?

It's been a few days since Palin's decision to retire hit the news, and I am still happy as a kleptomaniac on a commune that she says she wants to run for president. I see four possible outcomes, two of which are good and two of which are great.

First option: Palin might flash for a week or two and then fade away like she should have on November 5. The Republican machine will forgive her her trespasses and appoint her to some party sinecure (like the Democrats would have done with Howard Dean if he'd been incompetent), and she will vanish from the public eye, except for occasional commentator spots on Fox News. Who wins? America, because that ignorant demagogue is gone.

Alternatively, she might manage to keep enough momentum to make it into the Republican primary, which is still a free-for-all and, with luck, will remain so. If this happens, things can go three more ways.

Second option: Palin loses to an old white male (because the Republican Party's base simply will not change) and gracefully bows out to campaign for him. Republican forgiveness, sinecure, disappearing act, America wins.

Third option: The crazy bitch will run as an independent, drawing the critical Michigan militia and beehive hairdo demographics away from the Republican party. The Republican nominee gets Nader'd and we've got a second term for Obama no matter who the Republican nominee is. Winner: Probably the Democrats, depending on what happens in the congressional elections. Woo!

Last option: The Republican Party collectively loses its mind and actually nominates Palin instead of someone more sensible like Bob Dole's mouldering corpse or a stuffed eagle painted like the American flag. The entire nation runs screaming in terror, directly into the arms of the left. Democrats sweep congressional elections, Obama gets a third term, the Republican party disbands, truck nuts are outlawed, and clean, free energy is available to all. Well, maybe not those last few, but it will be a deathblow to the Republicans.

I mean, seriously, what sort of sycophantic morons does Palin have advising her? Anyone with a pulse and at least 75% of their brain can tell that she is over. Admittedly the last election was primarily a battle between a wizened old man and a sprightly newcomer promising change, but there's no denying that Palin as candidate for VP hurt the Republicans badly. Now she wants to run at the top of the ticket? Oh man, I hope she makes it.