(Partial) Vindication!

(Partial) Vindication!

Van
Van

October 26th, 2003, 6:09 am #1

Sirian and FoxNews were wrong. Democrats have never redistricted out of the blue in Texas, nor in any state after the 19th century. If you shorten the Sirian/Fox statements to "the Democrats did it first", then they are correct but you have to go back to 1878-1892 in Ohio.

Live and learn. So I retract that the GOP has created a "new low", and instead have to substitute "have revived an ancient abominable abuse of power." More accurate.

HISTORY:

http://www.network54.com/Hide/Forum/mes ... 1059630874

Van: Redistricting between census years is a drastic step, and shows how little the GOP "plays fair" and how little patience they have. "Oh Texas has changed SO MUCH since 2001, that was SO MANY YEARS AGO, we can't possibly wait for the next census blah blah". It would be difficult in America to make a more blatant power grab. It seems the GOP feels that if they can do something to increase their power, it is their God-given right to do so. Damn the rules, right?

Sirian: This is rich. How much egg do you have on your face now, since the Dems did this first. Of course, if you had tuned in to FOX News, you'd have gotten the WHOLE story on this, including the fact that the Dems did it first and Delay has been waiting years for his chance to turn the tables and give it back to them. What goes around comes around. Delay is the sort who holds grudges, you see. Apparently, he has A LOT MORE PATIENCE than you give Republicans credit for.

[Then, later on:]

Sirian: The Texas legislature did redistricting apart from the 1990 census, after the fact, in the same style in which the Republicans are now attempting to do it, between censuses. I believe that was after the 1992 election, on the same timing the Republicans are now using. If the Dems opened this Pandora's Box, you have plenty of egg on your face.

Van: That sound [sic] like fact so far, but I have yet to see it detailed. I would like to see it.

You believe? "If"? I asked you to show me on FoxNews where they describe the redistricting in the 90's, which you used to say that FN gave the complete (and supposedly accurate) story. I did a search and couldn't find it. I ask you to show me. You fail to do so. So, according to Ken Starr, you have a pattern of deceit, and that's relevant.

Now I freq'ly say "I believe" and "IIRC" myself, but I try not to use my "belief" to tell someone else that they are FOS or whatever. Because my "believe" etc. will sometimes turn out to be wrong-- AND I ADMIT IT when that happens. For instance, so far in this thread, I admitted wrongness about cracking on Fox, because it turned out to be AP. And, when I said I didn't remember this being done before, well except for minority districting... possibly bringing up on my own, what would make me wrong.. so if you are going on "belief" don't hand out that omelette-- your mama made it for you and she loves you.

Sirian: You started this point by claiming that the GoP was pulling a new one over on Texans, accompanied with lots of condemnation and posturing about them being wrong for doing so, specifically impugning them from your high horse on the basis that the Dems would never stoop so low. Well, guess again.

I don't recall you having proved your points. Why does the burden of proof fall on me, in your estimation? You can say anything you please and only retract it if supplied absolute proof to the contrary, while anything I say must be backed by proof? That would appear to be a double standard.

Van: [partial reply] I cannot prove that something didn't happen by the fact there's no history of it, but you CAN solve the whole issue by showing that what you said actually happened, happened.

[end of history section]

BACK TO THE PRESENT:

Well, Sirian could never post proof that the Democrats did it in Texas in the 1990's because it never happened.

My ranting about this was that
. . ReplicanParty EQUALS a-new-low
because they are now putting continual redistricting into play. There is no specific rule against it, but as the quote in the last paragraph of the Post article says, there will be profound political consequences. IMO a significant consequence will be a significant increase in the percentage of time that politicians spend on partisan BS, rather than actual beneficial work. (That percentage is already bad.)

At any rate, the Democrats were RIGHT to use procedural grounds (leaving the state) to avoid legitimizing continual-redistricting. That was my feeling at the beginning of that thread, and I still believe it.

THE ARTICLE

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/ar ... Oct25.html

Wash Post:
Redrawing Districts Raises Questions
No Precedent Seen For GOP Efforts

By Edward Walsh
Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, October 26, 2003; Page A04


By enacting a new congressional redistricting plan this month that replaced a court-ordered plan used in the 2002 elections, the Republican-controlled Texas Legislature did more than demonstrate a willingness to play political hardball against its Democratic opponents. It waded into uncharted legal and constitutional territory, raising a question to which there is no clear answer.

The Texas Republicans redistricted their state even more aggressively than Colorado Republicans did earlier in the year.

According to experts in the field, there is no precedent in modern U.S. politics for what the Texas and Colorado Republicans did: voluntarily redraw congressional district lines a year after lawmakers were elected from districts that had already been redrawn once in this decade.

In both cases, divided state legislatures could not agree on redistricting plans in 2001, after the 2000 Census. Courts stepped in to draw new district lines, the normal procedure in such circumstances. But in 2002, Republicans gained complete control of the legislative process in both states. This year, the GOP has moved aggressively to exploit that advantage, hoping to solidify the party's control of the U.S. House of Representatives through the end of this decade.

The Texas plan could swing as many as seven House seats to the Republicans; the Colorado plan is designed to shore up GOP prospects in two highly competitive congressional districts.

Both plans are under court challenge on numerous grounds, including the contention of Democrats that the plans are unconstitutional. The cases' outcome could determine whether congressional redistricting remains generally a once-a-decade process after the census or becomes what Bernard Grofman, a political scientist at the University of California at Irvine, calls "a carnival every time a legislature changes [party] hands."

The key constitutional issue raised by the cases is whether a state legislature is free to redraw congressional boundaries a second time in a decade after an election has been held using district lines that were legally implemented, either by the legislature or by a court.

"There are no court cases" dealing with that issue, said Tim Storey, the redistricting specialist with the National Conference of State Legislatures. "It's essentially a new question."

There is nothing new about using the redistricting process to hammer political opponents. It has often been an exercise in raw political power by both parties. Some 19th century instances make today's Texas Republicans look restrained by comparison.

According to a paper by Erik Engstrom, an assistant professor of political science at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, in 1878 House Speaker Samuel Randall (D-Pa.) was so concerned about his party's shaky hold on the House that he implored Ohio Democratic leaders to redraw their state's congressional districts to make it easier to elect Democrats. The Ohio Democrats responded by redistricting seven times between 1878 and 1892, Engstrom reported.

But during much of the 20th century, states often did not redraw congressional boundaries even once a decade. The only times they were compelled to redistrict was when, as a result of the decennial census, they gained or lost seats in the House. Washington state did this in the 1950s, creating an "at large" House seat in 1951 and converting it into a traditional district covering only part of the state in 1957.

The states' casual approach to redistricting ended in 1962 with Baker v. Carr, the landmark Supreme Court decision that laid the foundation for the "one person, one vote" doctrine. From then on, states were to redraw House districts to keep their populations about equal after each once-a-decade census. There have been numerous instances of multiple redistrictings during the same decade, but always under pressure or order from a court to comply with constitutional mandates or laws such as the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Except in those cases, states have regularly redrawn congressional districts only once a decade.

Storey said about a dozen states have constitutional provisions prohibiting multiple redistricting in the same decade, but Texas is not one of them. Nor does the U.S. Constitution or federal court precedents prohibit the practice.

"There is nothing that says you can't do this as often as you want," said Michael McDonald, a political scientist at George Mason University.

But Texas Democrats say the practice is unconstitutional and contrary to the Founding Fathers' intentions. In a lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in Tyler, Tex., they note that the Constitution requires that House seats be reapportioned among the states after each 10-year Census. An "implicit assumption" of that reapportionment mandate, the Democrats argue, is that the redrawing of district lines within states will take place on the same schedule.

They say that changing district lines after an election has been held "cuts the links" between voters and their representative by shifting voters into new territory represented by someone else.

"All we're saying is that implicit in decennial reapportionment is decennial redistricting," said Sam Hirsch, a lawyer for the Texas Democrats. "American constitutional law is full of implicit assumptions. The idea that reapportionment and redistricting are tied together is a small inferential leap. The reason is that reshuffling districts every two years undermines democratic accountability. People should be able to vote for representatives who served them well and against those who have not served them well."

Texas Republicans have not yet replied to the lawsuit, but in an April opinion Attorney General Greg Abbott (R) laid out their likely arguments. He said that when a panel of federal judges imposed the redistricting plan used for the 2002 elections, it did not foreclose the possibility of the legislature enacting its own plan for the rest of the decade.

"No language in the [federal court] plan mandates application of the plan through 2010, and no court order properly could bar a legislature from performing the legislative task of redrawing lines and enacting a constitutionally acceptable plan for future elections," Abbott wrote. "Absent restraints imposed by state law, a state may redraw its congressional districts more often than every 10 years."

Grofman, a widely recognized redistricting expert, said there is no question that the Texas Legislature could have enacted its own redistricting plan in place of the court plan before the 2002 elections. But, he added, "Is it legally relevant that the [court] plan has taken effect for a year and therefore is it going to prohibit the state from further action? The case law just isn't clear."

Whatever the answers, Thomas E. Mann, a senior scholar at the Brookings Institution, said that the Texas and Colorado experiments in multiple redistricting could have profound political consequences.

"If this is sustained, what we will have is a form of arms race where there is no restraint on keeping the game going on throughout a decade," Mann said. "You ask, who wins in this process? This is a process designed not for citizens or voters but for politicians. It will lead politicians to say there are no limits. I think it threatens the legitimacy of democracy."

--------------------------

Van: yes, this has stuck in my craw for a while, and I'm glad to finally know the truth.

BTW, the part of the article that IMO offers the best counter-argument to me reads: "... that when a panel of federal judges imposed the redistricting plan used for the 2002 elections, it did not foreclose the possibility of the legislature enacting its own plan for the rest of the decade."

It may be for this reason that DeLay felt that it was permissible to submit a new plan.

(Of course, maybe we could use similar logic to have had another presidential election in 2002... okay, okay...)

I wonder if maybe some Operations-Research-using consultant-type could devise a nonpartisan, fair method for districting. Supposedly, Iowa (?) uses some kind of algorithm for districting, I wonder how well it has been working.

-V
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Ashock
Ashock

October 26th, 2003, 8:34 am #2

My god, between the two of you, you'll crash the forum in an hour or two of writing, and then all the effort will go to waste. Don't do it.


In any case, even though tonight is the fall back thingie, I feel the the extra hour will not be enough, plus with the subsequent responses and counter-responses, this thread will probably take a good week out of my life. So of course, not to read.




-A



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Van
Van

October 26th, 2003, 2:51 pm #3

new time
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Sirian
Sirian

October 27th, 2003, 12:37 am #4

Sirian and FoxNews were wrong. Democrats have never redistricted out of the blue in Texas, nor in any state after the 19th century. If you shorten the Sirian/Fox statements to "the Democrats did it first", then they are correct but you have to go back to 1878-1892 in Ohio.

Live and learn. So I retract that the GOP has created a "new low", and instead have to substitute "have revived an ancient abominable abuse of power." More accurate.

HISTORY:

http://www.network54.com/Hide/Forum/mes ... 1059630874

Van: Redistricting between census years is a drastic step, and shows how little the GOP "plays fair" and how little patience they have. "Oh Texas has changed SO MUCH since 2001, that was SO MANY YEARS AGO, we can't possibly wait for the next census blah blah". It would be difficult in America to make a more blatant power grab. It seems the GOP feels that if they can do something to increase their power, it is their God-given right to do so. Damn the rules, right?

Sirian: This is rich. How much egg do you have on your face now, since the Dems did this first. Of course, if you had tuned in to FOX News, you'd have gotten the WHOLE story on this, including the fact that the Dems did it first and Delay has been waiting years for his chance to turn the tables and give it back to them. What goes around comes around. Delay is the sort who holds grudges, you see. Apparently, he has A LOT MORE PATIENCE than you give Republicans credit for.

[Then, later on:]

Sirian: The Texas legislature did redistricting apart from the 1990 census, after the fact, in the same style in which the Republicans are now attempting to do it, between censuses. I believe that was after the 1992 election, on the same timing the Republicans are now using. If the Dems opened this Pandora's Box, you have plenty of egg on your face.

Van: That sound [sic] like fact so far, but I have yet to see it detailed. I would like to see it.

You believe? "If"? I asked you to show me on FoxNews where they describe the redistricting in the 90's, which you used to say that FN gave the complete (and supposedly accurate) story. I did a search and couldn't find it. I ask you to show me. You fail to do so. So, according to Ken Starr, you have a pattern of deceit, and that's relevant.

Now I freq'ly say "I believe" and "IIRC" myself, but I try not to use my "belief" to tell someone else that they are FOS or whatever. Because my "believe" etc. will sometimes turn out to be wrong-- AND I ADMIT IT when that happens. For instance, so far in this thread, I admitted wrongness about cracking on Fox, because it turned out to be AP. And, when I said I didn't remember this being done before, well except for minority districting... possibly bringing up on my own, what would make me wrong.. so if you are going on "belief" don't hand out that omelette-- your mama made it for you and she loves you.

Sirian: You started this point by claiming that the GoP was pulling a new one over on Texans, accompanied with lots of condemnation and posturing about them being wrong for doing so, specifically impugning them from your high horse on the basis that the Dems would never stoop so low. Well, guess again.

I don't recall you having proved your points. Why does the burden of proof fall on me, in your estimation? You can say anything you please and only retract it if supplied absolute proof to the contrary, while anything I say must be backed by proof? That would appear to be a double standard.

Van: [partial reply] I cannot prove that something didn't happen by the fact there's no history of it, but you CAN solve the whole issue by showing that what you said actually happened, happened.

[end of history section]

BACK TO THE PRESENT:

Well, Sirian could never post proof that the Democrats did it in Texas in the 1990's because it never happened.

My ranting about this was that
. . ReplicanParty EQUALS a-new-low
because they are now putting continual redistricting into play. There is no specific rule against it, but as the quote in the last paragraph of the Post article says, there will be profound political consequences. IMO a significant consequence will be a significant increase in the percentage of time that politicians spend on partisan BS, rather than actual beneficial work. (That percentage is already bad.)

At any rate, the Democrats were RIGHT to use procedural grounds (leaving the state) to avoid legitimizing continual-redistricting. That was my feeling at the beginning of that thread, and I still believe it.

THE ARTICLE

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/ar ... Oct25.html

Wash Post:
Redrawing Districts Raises Questions
No Precedent Seen For GOP Efforts

By Edward Walsh
Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, October 26, 2003; Page A04


By enacting a new congressional redistricting plan this month that replaced a court-ordered plan used in the 2002 elections, the Republican-controlled Texas Legislature did more than demonstrate a willingness to play political hardball against its Democratic opponents. It waded into uncharted legal and constitutional territory, raising a question to which there is no clear answer.

The Texas Republicans redistricted their state even more aggressively than Colorado Republicans did earlier in the year.

According to experts in the field, there is no precedent in modern U.S. politics for what the Texas and Colorado Republicans did: voluntarily redraw congressional district lines a year after lawmakers were elected from districts that had already been redrawn once in this decade.

In both cases, divided state legislatures could not agree on redistricting plans in 2001, after the 2000 Census. Courts stepped in to draw new district lines, the normal procedure in such circumstances. But in 2002, Republicans gained complete control of the legislative process in both states. This year, the GOP has moved aggressively to exploit that advantage, hoping to solidify the party's control of the U.S. House of Representatives through the end of this decade.

The Texas plan could swing as many as seven House seats to the Republicans; the Colorado plan is designed to shore up GOP prospects in two highly competitive congressional districts.

Both plans are under court challenge on numerous grounds, including the contention of Democrats that the plans are unconstitutional. The cases' outcome could determine whether congressional redistricting remains generally a once-a-decade process after the census or becomes what Bernard Grofman, a political scientist at the University of California at Irvine, calls "a carnival every time a legislature changes [party] hands."

The key constitutional issue raised by the cases is whether a state legislature is free to redraw congressional boundaries a second time in a decade after an election has been held using district lines that were legally implemented, either by the legislature or by a court.

"There are no court cases" dealing with that issue, said Tim Storey, the redistricting specialist with the National Conference of State Legislatures. "It's essentially a new question."

There is nothing new about using the redistricting process to hammer political opponents. It has often been an exercise in raw political power by both parties. Some 19th century instances make today's Texas Republicans look restrained by comparison.

According to a paper by Erik Engstrom, an assistant professor of political science at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, in 1878 House Speaker Samuel Randall (D-Pa.) was so concerned about his party's shaky hold on the House that he implored Ohio Democratic leaders to redraw their state's congressional districts to make it easier to elect Democrats. The Ohio Democrats responded by redistricting seven times between 1878 and 1892, Engstrom reported.

But during much of the 20th century, states often did not redraw congressional boundaries even once a decade. The only times they were compelled to redistrict was when, as a result of the decennial census, they gained or lost seats in the House. Washington state did this in the 1950s, creating an "at large" House seat in 1951 and converting it into a traditional district covering only part of the state in 1957.

The states' casual approach to redistricting ended in 1962 with Baker v. Carr, the landmark Supreme Court decision that laid the foundation for the "one person, one vote" doctrine. From then on, states were to redraw House districts to keep their populations about equal after each once-a-decade census. There have been numerous instances of multiple redistrictings during the same decade, but always under pressure or order from a court to comply with constitutional mandates or laws such as the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Except in those cases, states have regularly redrawn congressional districts only once a decade.

Storey said about a dozen states have constitutional provisions prohibiting multiple redistricting in the same decade, but Texas is not one of them. Nor does the U.S. Constitution or federal court precedents prohibit the practice.

"There is nothing that says you can't do this as often as you want," said Michael McDonald, a political scientist at George Mason University.

But Texas Democrats say the practice is unconstitutional and contrary to the Founding Fathers' intentions. In a lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in Tyler, Tex., they note that the Constitution requires that House seats be reapportioned among the states after each 10-year Census. An "implicit assumption" of that reapportionment mandate, the Democrats argue, is that the redrawing of district lines within states will take place on the same schedule.

They say that changing district lines after an election has been held "cuts the links" between voters and their representative by shifting voters into new territory represented by someone else.

"All we're saying is that implicit in decennial reapportionment is decennial redistricting," said Sam Hirsch, a lawyer for the Texas Democrats. "American constitutional law is full of implicit assumptions. The idea that reapportionment and redistricting are tied together is a small inferential leap. The reason is that reshuffling districts every two years undermines democratic accountability. People should be able to vote for representatives who served them well and against those who have not served them well."

Texas Republicans have not yet replied to the lawsuit, but in an April opinion Attorney General Greg Abbott (R) laid out their likely arguments. He said that when a panel of federal judges imposed the redistricting plan used for the 2002 elections, it did not foreclose the possibility of the legislature enacting its own plan for the rest of the decade.

"No language in the [federal court] plan mandates application of the plan through 2010, and no court order properly could bar a legislature from performing the legislative task of redrawing lines and enacting a constitutionally acceptable plan for future elections," Abbott wrote. "Absent restraints imposed by state law, a state may redraw its congressional districts more often than every 10 years."

Grofman, a widely recognized redistricting expert, said there is no question that the Texas Legislature could have enacted its own redistricting plan in place of the court plan before the 2002 elections. But, he added, "Is it legally relevant that the [court] plan has taken effect for a year and therefore is it going to prohibit the state from further action? The case law just isn't clear."

Whatever the answers, Thomas E. Mann, a senior scholar at the Brookings Institution, said that the Texas and Colorado experiments in multiple redistricting could have profound political consequences.

"If this is sustained, what we will have is a form of arms race where there is no restraint on keeping the game going on throughout a decade," Mann said. "You ask, who wins in this process? This is a process designed not for citizens or voters but for politicians. It will lead politicians to say there are no limits. I think it threatens the legitimacy of democracy."

--------------------------

Van: yes, this has stuck in my craw for a while, and I'm glad to finally know the truth.

BTW, the part of the article that IMO offers the best counter-argument to me reads: "... that when a panel of federal judges imposed the redistricting plan used for the 2002 elections, it did not foreclose the possibility of the legislature enacting its own plan for the rest of the decade."

It may be for this reason that DeLay felt that it was permissible to submit a new plan.

(Of course, maybe we could use similar logic to have had another presidential election in 2002... okay, okay...)

I wonder if maybe some Operations-Research-using consultant-type could devise a nonpartisan, fair method for districting. Supposedly, Iowa (?) uses some kind of algorithm for districting, I wonder how well it has been working.

-V
Sirian and FoxNews were wrong.

You may be overreaching. It could be that only I was wrong, that I misheard or misunderstood details in the reports I heard.

You've won a battle, but now you may lose the war. I will not allow you to forward a straw man argument by focusing exclusively on one fact you've managed to disprove. Surely you do not mean to imply that my entire position turns on this one fact. So let us return to the larger point and rejoin the argument.


Democrats have never redistricted out of the blue in Texas, nor in any state after the 19th century. If you shorten the Sirian/Fox statements to "the Democrats did it first", then they are correct but you have to go back to 1878-1892 in Ohio.

Nope, you have missed the point. You are arguing the details of the exact nature of the move the Texas GOP is pulling, but you are ignoring the "spirit" of the crisis. I now stipulate the point about the Dems not having moved to redraw in the mid-90's. That turned out to have been the redistricting of 1990 that got dragged out in court for years. That changes nothing about the deeper point of the Dems making moves to use redistricting as a political sledgehammer. That, they did first. I botched some details, but I am right about the essence.


Live and learn. So I retract that the GOP has created a "new low", and instead have to substitute "have revived an ancient abominable abuse of power." More accurate.

Scored a point, but not yet won the debate.


According to experts in the field, there is no precedent in modern U.S. politics for what the Texas and Colorado Republicans did: voluntarily redraw congressional district lines a year after lawmakers were elected from districts that had already been redrawn once in this decade.

In both cases, divided state legislatures could not agree on redistricting plans in 2001, after the 2000 Census. Courts stepped in to draw new district lines, the normal procedure in such circumstances.


The normal procedure? That line slipped glibly off your keyboard, but I do not stipulate it. There is nothing "normal" about our courts any more. This ties into the other thrust I made in my original rebuttal to you, which you have continued to ignore: the Dems are pulling a nasty and unprecedented stunt in the US Senate with the endless filibustering of judicial nominees. Are you keeping tabs on that issue? Let me show you where it ties in to the Texas issue.


In both cases, divided state legislatures could not agree on redistricting plans in 2001, after the 2000 Census. Courts stepped in to draw new district lines, the normal procedure in such circumstances.

Which amounted to what? A de facto victory in Texas for the Democratic Party?

What happens when we combine the patently absurd litmus tests being applied to federal judicial nominees in Washington with the Texas mess? The executive branch is empowered with the authority to appoint judges, yet the legislature is trying to seize executive authority. This strikes right to the core of the checks and balances within our system.

Congress writes the laws. They have the most power, but they are also duly elected, and divided into two houses with different representational apportionment. Populous states are favored in the House, all states are treated equally in the Senate, which puts checks on the ability of large states to dictate to the nation. Judges interpret the laws and the executive branch enforces them. The president must sign laws into being, but has veto power, unless the congress presents a supermajority to override executive veto. Judges can strike down any law as unconstitutional, and courts can issue rulings that compel observance of the laws. Congress can impeach the president or a federal judge. Congress and the President are elected, but the executive branch appoints federal judges for life.

If any of these primary mechanisms of balancing power and providing checks against abuse are undermined, the republic is put at risk.


Activist judges trying to make law from the bench represents a major threat to our form of government. That pertains to both right and left. I will eagerly condemn both. Will you?

Rabid right wingers who want to return to the horrors of illegal abortions done in back alleys with coat hangers and other crude instruments, because they don't want to allow women the power to choose whether or not to carry a pregnancy to term, have given fuel to the liberal fires. Bonfires, even. Have we not learned our lesson about prohibition?

The abortion issue is so volatile, and the country so evenly divided. The hardball nature of this issue with its passions on both sides is fostering incivility in our politicking, which is being carried over in a dangerous way to our judicial appointment process.

Why does this matter? Because if one side or the other can "stack the court" with partisans who will try to enact their ideological agendas from the bench rather than doing their jobs properly, the side with the stacked deck can undermine and defeat our checks and balances, and seize control over the country out of proportion to their actual election results. Because the liberals are so bent on stacking the court themselves, they have become paranoid about conservatives doing the same, or perhaps more accurately, UNdoing the activist gains the liberals have been making. Both sides are already hip deep in escalation, with no signs of how we are going to back out of this crisis as a nation.


See the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, their ruling regarding the California recall election, their ruling on the constitutionality of the pledge of allegiance, and many more. The recall ruling was so egregious, the Ninth court overturned itself rather than be embarrassed by the certainty of the Supreme Court doing so. They are the most overturned court in the history of this country. Some of those judges are out of touch and out of control.

The check against judicial abuse is first the appeals process, and ultimately the power vested in the President, which itself has a check, the "advice and consent" of the Senate. Consent implies a straight up or down vote by the Senate, not a supermajority. If the Senate is controlled by a party other than the President's own party, the people have elected a divided government, where the Senate could vote down judicial nominees. Then the Senate is within its right to "bork" the president's judges. (Where did that term come from, by the by?) Yet there is no constitutional mandate for a minority in the senate to disrupt the nomination process for blatantly partisan reasons.

Conservatives have made their own bed, and it's all about the abortion issue. If there weren't an awful lot of folks in this country sincerely and deeply afraid of the US Supreme Court overturning Roe, there would be an enormous outrage about what is going on in the US Senate right now. At least the GOP is behaving with restraint there, not racing to use parliamentary procedure to bulldoze their way through the crisis. If we examine both the US Congress and the Texas Legislature, three of the four parties are abusing the letter of the law to push for any legally obtainable advantage, regardless of costs to the country or the stability of our government. Those three parties are the Texas GOP, Texas Dems, and the Dems in the US Congress. ONLY the GOP in the US Congress passes the smell test when it comes to showing restraint in escalating these procedural crises.

Van can toss out the lines about putting our democracy at risk, but he has missed my point: both sides are doing it. I called him on the partisan tone of his original post on this topic. All along, I have said both sides are in the wrong, are doing wrong things. I stipulated that the GOP in Texas was crossing a line. He has yet to stipulate where his party is misbehaving, yet he flings around the moral superiority in (pun intended) liberal fashion.


In both cases, divided state legislatures could not agree on redistricting plans in 2001, after the 2000 Census. Courts stepped in to draw new district lines, the normal procedure in such circumstances.

Given an impartial court doing its job with integrity, this would suffice. The legislatures fail to agree and the court steps in to enforce compliance with the law.

Yet what if the Dems can (legally, technically) pull the same type of procedural stunt with this issue as they are pulling with the filibusters of judicial nominees? What if the court is stacked? That would mean the Dems no longer NEED the constitutionally mandated majority to get their way. All they would need is enough to block the other party and throw the issue into court. That would let them win any tie. For the GOP to be able to draw the districts, then, they would need to be elected to majorities in both houses in these states. For the Dems to get their way, they would only need one house and a stacked court.

Is the Texas court's districting plan then fully legitimate? Legally, perhaps, but then, legally, the Reps are not prohibited from doing what they are doing, either. So if we are going to examine this on who's following the spirit of the process, neither side has a leg to stand on. The Texas court has a history on this issue, going back to all the cases in the 90's that Van researched for us in trying to win this debate with me. Did the Dems do what I had believed? No, not exactly. Not technically. Van has established that point. Yet the evidence supports my claims anyway, because in spirit they have been doing this. They started the ball rolling in Texas on using districting as a political weapon. Now they are out of power in the Texas legislature and the GOP is firing back just as dirty as they were receiving. I STILL say, and have said all along, that that is a mistake. Taking the high road is the better strategy long term. But to claim the Texas GOP as the initiators of villainy, with the language Van used, was blindly partisan. I got a few facts wrong, and I apologize for that, but look again. He is only parsing words. The essence of what I said holds true.

Did the Texas Democrats then decide to halt the escalation? No. They carried it yet another step forward by scurrying out of the state to prevent a quorum call. In my view, that shows the hollowness of their position. They see their position as inherently right, with any means used to pursue their ends as justified. THAT is the very bulldozer they used to steamroll over the GOP in years past that has led the GOP to decide it's time to dish that medicine back to them. Is that not the very thing they are most up in arms about the GOP doing? Violating the spirit of the law and placing partisan concerns ahead of the interests of the people? Hypocrites.

There are two horses down there, and both wear the same stripe.


There is nothing new about using the redistricting process to hammer political opponents. It has often been an exercise in raw political power by both parties. Some 19th century instances make today's Texas Republicans look restrained by comparison.

And yet there is something new about filibustering federal judicial nominees in the US Senate. That is completely unprecedented. A new low. Not a century-old low regurgitated, but a NEW low. Lower than we've ever gone before, on that issue.

My point prevails. Both parties are down in the muck, as I said all along, and neither can rightly pull the kind of snide remark Van issued about the Texas GOP. He was, and is, wrong to paint his party as morally superior. Give me a break.

Did I overplay some remarks to him in my reply? Yes, I did. He set the tone with his judgemental remarks, but I should not have followed, just as it is not right for the Texas GOP to follow the hardball politics their opponents laid down on them through the 90's, and thereby continue a dangerous escalation of abusing the letter of the law.

Of course, the courts are the check and balance against legislative abuses, which ties this whole thing back to the NASTY hardball politics the Dems are using at all levels of government, but especially in the US Senate, to try to stack the court with liberal activists by attrition, preventing any conservative-minded judges from being appointed, regardless of any other consideration.

Once your opponents start exploiting loopholes in the rules to cheat the system in their favor, the temptation is always to fight back in kind, and overcoming that temptation takes an exertion of will. Both sides in Texas fail the smell test on this point.

When my party is smeared, be it by McFrugal linking some left-wing slash piece comparing us to Nazis, or Van prancing around issuing sanctimonious condemnations that spin the issues, I am going to step forward and have my say.


- Sirian
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Joined: August 2nd, 2001, 4:29 pm

October 27th, 2003, 1:03 am #5

Why take sides? Republicans? Democrats? Two sides of the same coin. Both are like walking into a sex shop... There is only a bunch of pricks to choose from.

I am a Technocrat. Generally, I choose the lesser of two evils and make what ever nudges I can to support the causes I like while not touching the causes I don't.

So far, all I have seen from both sides of the Rep/Demo coin is arguing and bickering, much like this, with people taking it way to personally.

Republicans acting like Nazis? They have in the past. And will most likely do it again. There are a few folks in that party that makes the whole party look bad. Do we blame them as a whole or as individuals? Need I remind folks that it was mostly Republicans who wanted to keep segregation going strong and wanted to keep those God awful Jim Crow laws healthy? The KKK has put more people into Republican offices then I can count. Just mention the SoBaps and I shudder. White makes might, might makes right. Plus there was the whole Patriot Act that has recently been put into effect under Bush's watch. Scary.

Democrats acting like Facists? Seen it. Seen a LOT of it. Been alive just long enough to see a few presidents and a few major shifts of power. Seen a lot of Socialists and Closet Communists in the Democratic party. There has been some real characters put into office by this party. Need I mention the whole Bill Clinton administration? Sheesh... I DETEST what some of the local Democrats are doing to the schools. Argh. Don't need Lesbian Sex Ed and Homo-Erotic Awakenings for Teens. Sure, kick the Bible out cause it's offensive, but it's ok to show hot and heavy pictures of hot sweaty man lovin. Yeah... Right. Yicky icky oo.

I have seen Democrats acting like Republicans and vise versa. And I will probably see a lot more I don't like.

You know, none of it matters. It's all rigged anyway. It's Skull and Bones. Puppet work at it's finest.

So why waste time fighting?
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Jester
Jester

October 27th, 2003, 2:23 am #6

Sirian and FoxNews were wrong.

You may be overreaching. It could be that only I was wrong, that I misheard or misunderstood details in the reports I heard.

You've won a battle, but now you may lose the war. I will not allow you to forward a straw man argument by focusing exclusively on one fact you've managed to disprove. Surely you do not mean to imply that my entire position turns on this one fact. So let us return to the larger point and rejoin the argument.


Democrats have never redistricted out of the blue in Texas, nor in any state after the 19th century. If you shorten the Sirian/Fox statements to "the Democrats did it first", then they are correct but you have to go back to 1878-1892 in Ohio.

Nope, you have missed the point. You are arguing the details of the exact nature of the move the Texas GOP is pulling, but you are ignoring the "spirit" of the crisis. I now stipulate the point about the Dems not having moved to redraw in the mid-90's. That turned out to have been the redistricting of 1990 that got dragged out in court for years. That changes nothing about the deeper point of the Dems making moves to use redistricting as a political sledgehammer. That, they did first. I botched some details, but I am right about the essence.


Live and learn. So I retract that the GOP has created a "new low", and instead have to substitute "have revived an ancient abominable abuse of power." More accurate.

Scored a point, but not yet won the debate.


According to experts in the field, there is no precedent in modern U.S. politics for what the Texas and Colorado Republicans did: voluntarily redraw congressional district lines a year after lawmakers were elected from districts that had already been redrawn once in this decade.

In both cases, divided state legislatures could not agree on redistricting plans in 2001, after the 2000 Census. Courts stepped in to draw new district lines, the normal procedure in such circumstances.


The normal procedure? That line slipped glibly off your keyboard, but I do not stipulate it. There is nothing "normal" about our courts any more. This ties into the other thrust I made in my original rebuttal to you, which you have continued to ignore: the Dems are pulling a nasty and unprecedented stunt in the US Senate with the endless filibustering of judicial nominees. Are you keeping tabs on that issue? Let me show you where it ties in to the Texas issue.


In both cases, divided state legislatures could not agree on redistricting plans in 2001, after the 2000 Census. Courts stepped in to draw new district lines, the normal procedure in such circumstances.

Which amounted to what? A de facto victory in Texas for the Democratic Party?

What happens when we combine the patently absurd litmus tests being applied to federal judicial nominees in Washington with the Texas mess? The executive branch is empowered with the authority to appoint judges, yet the legislature is trying to seize executive authority. This strikes right to the core of the checks and balances within our system.

Congress writes the laws. They have the most power, but they are also duly elected, and divided into two houses with different representational apportionment. Populous states are favored in the House, all states are treated equally in the Senate, which puts checks on the ability of large states to dictate to the nation. Judges interpret the laws and the executive branch enforces them. The president must sign laws into being, but has veto power, unless the congress presents a supermajority to override executive veto. Judges can strike down any law as unconstitutional, and courts can issue rulings that compel observance of the laws. Congress can impeach the president or a federal judge. Congress and the President are elected, but the executive branch appoints federal judges for life.

If any of these primary mechanisms of balancing power and providing checks against abuse are undermined, the republic is put at risk.


Activist judges trying to make law from the bench represents a major threat to our form of government. That pertains to both right and left. I will eagerly condemn both. Will you?

Rabid right wingers who want to return to the horrors of illegal abortions done in back alleys with coat hangers and other crude instruments, because they don't want to allow women the power to choose whether or not to carry a pregnancy to term, have given fuel to the liberal fires. Bonfires, even. Have we not learned our lesson about prohibition?

The abortion issue is so volatile, and the country so evenly divided. The hardball nature of this issue with its passions on both sides is fostering incivility in our politicking, which is being carried over in a dangerous way to our judicial appointment process.

Why does this matter? Because if one side or the other can "stack the court" with partisans who will try to enact their ideological agendas from the bench rather than doing their jobs properly, the side with the stacked deck can undermine and defeat our checks and balances, and seize control over the country out of proportion to their actual election results. Because the liberals are so bent on stacking the court themselves, they have become paranoid about conservatives doing the same, or perhaps more accurately, UNdoing the activist gains the liberals have been making. Both sides are already hip deep in escalation, with no signs of how we are going to back out of this crisis as a nation.


See the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, their ruling regarding the California recall election, their ruling on the constitutionality of the pledge of allegiance, and many more. The recall ruling was so egregious, the Ninth court overturned itself rather than be embarrassed by the certainty of the Supreme Court doing so. They are the most overturned court in the history of this country. Some of those judges are out of touch and out of control.

The check against judicial abuse is first the appeals process, and ultimately the power vested in the President, which itself has a check, the "advice and consent" of the Senate. Consent implies a straight up or down vote by the Senate, not a supermajority. If the Senate is controlled by a party other than the President's own party, the people have elected a divided government, where the Senate could vote down judicial nominees. Then the Senate is within its right to "bork" the president's judges. (Where did that term come from, by the by?) Yet there is no constitutional mandate for a minority in the senate to disrupt the nomination process for blatantly partisan reasons.

Conservatives have made their own bed, and it's all about the abortion issue. If there weren't an awful lot of folks in this country sincerely and deeply afraid of the US Supreme Court overturning Roe, there would be an enormous outrage about what is going on in the US Senate right now. At least the GOP is behaving with restraint there, not racing to use parliamentary procedure to bulldoze their way through the crisis. If we examine both the US Congress and the Texas Legislature, three of the four parties are abusing the letter of the law to push for any legally obtainable advantage, regardless of costs to the country or the stability of our government. Those three parties are the Texas GOP, Texas Dems, and the Dems in the US Congress. ONLY the GOP in the US Congress passes the smell test when it comes to showing restraint in escalating these procedural crises.

Van can toss out the lines about putting our democracy at risk, but he has missed my point: both sides are doing it. I called him on the partisan tone of his original post on this topic. All along, I have said both sides are in the wrong, are doing wrong things. I stipulated that the GOP in Texas was crossing a line. He has yet to stipulate where his party is misbehaving, yet he flings around the moral superiority in (pun intended) liberal fashion.


In both cases, divided state legislatures could not agree on redistricting plans in 2001, after the 2000 Census. Courts stepped in to draw new district lines, the normal procedure in such circumstances.

Given an impartial court doing its job with integrity, this would suffice. The legislatures fail to agree and the court steps in to enforce compliance with the law.

Yet what if the Dems can (legally, technically) pull the same type of procedural stunt with this issue as they are pulling with the filibusters of judicial nominees? What if the court is stacked? That would mean the Dems no longer NEED the constitutionally mandated majority to get their way. All they would need is enough to block the other party and throw the issue into court. That would let them win any tie. For the GOP to be able to draw the districts, then, they would need to be elected to majorities in both houses in these states. For the Dems to get their way, they would only need one house and a stacked court.

Is the Texas court's districting plan then fully legitimate? Legally, perhaps, but then, legally, the Reps are not prohibited from doing what they are doing, either. So if we are going to examine this on who's following the spirit of the process, neither side has a leg to stand on. The Texas court has a history on this issue, going back to all the cases in the 90's that Van researched for us in trying to win this debate with me. Did the Dems do what I had believed? No, not exactly. Not technically. Van has established that point. Yet the evidence supports my claims anyway, because in spirit they have been doing this. They started the ball rolling in Texas on using districting as a political weapon. Now they are out of power in the Texas legislature and the GOP is firing back just as dirty as they were receiving. I STILL say, and have said all along, that that is a mistake. Taking the high road is the better strategy long term. But to claim the Texas GOP as the initiators of villainy, with the language Van used, was blindly partisan. I got a few facts wrong, and I apologize for that, but look again. He is only parsing words. The essence of what I said holds true.

Did the Texas Democrats then decide to halt the escalation? No. They carried it yet another step forward by scurrying out of the state to prevent a quorum call. In my view, that shows the hollowness of their position. They see their position as inherently right, with any means used to pursue their ends as justified. THAT is the very bulldozer they used to steamroll over the GOP in years past that has led the GOP to decide it's time to dish that medicine back to them. Is that not the very thing they are most up in arms about the GOP doing? Violating the spirit of the law and placing partisan concerns ahead of the interests of the people? Hypocrites.

There are two horses down there, and both wear the same stripe.


There is nothing new about using the redistricting process to hammer political opponents. It has often been an exercise in raw political power by both parties. Some 19th century instances make today's Texas Republicans look restrained by comparison.

And yet there is something new about filibustering federal judicial nominees in the US Senate. That is completely unprecedented. A new low. Not a century-old low regurgitated, but a NEW low. Lower than we've ever gone before, on that issue.

My point prevails. Both parties are down in the muck, as I said all along, and neither can rightly pull the kind of snide remark Van issued about the Texas GOP. He was, and is, wrong to paint his party as morally superior. Give me a break.

Did I overplay some remarks to him in my reply? Yes, I did. He set the tone with his judgemental remarks, but I should not have followed, just as it is not right for the Texas GOP to follow the hardball politics their opponents laid down on them through the 90's, and thereby continue a dangerous escalation of abusing the letter of the law.

Of course, the courts are the check and balance against legislative abuses, which ties this whole thing back to the NASTY hardball politics the Dems are using at all levels of government, but especially in the US Senate, to try to stack the court with liberal activists by attrition, preventing any conservative-minded judges from being appointed, regardless of any other consideration.

Once your opponents start exploiting loopholes in the rules to cheat the system in their favor, the temptation is always to fight back in kind, and overcoming that temptation takes an exertion of will. Both sides in Texas fail the smell test on this point.

When my party is smeared, be it by McFrugal linking some left-wing slash piece comparing us to Nazis, or Van prancing around issuing sanctimonious condemnations that spin the issues, I am going to step forward and have my say.


- Sirian
"Of course, the courts are the check and balance against legislative abuses, which ties this whole thing back to the NASTY hardball politics the Dems are using at all levels of government, but especially in the US Senate, to try to stack the court with liberal activists by attrition, preventing any conservative-minded judges from being appointed, regardless of any other consideration."

That would certainly explain all those communists in the supreme court. I always wondered how a pinko like Scalia got in.

Jester
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Occhi
Occhi

October 27th, 2003, 3:50 am #7

He tried to add a number of federal judges to the Courts to increase his Democratic/Liberal percentage. The move was opposed successfully. Politics as usual.

This game has been going on for a long time. It is part of the game, and how the game is played.

Forty years ago, the number of "pinkos" hitting the courts was striking, so the pendulum swung one way. You can thank them for Miranda. No cop thanks them, but I think that worked out OK.

At present, the pendulum appears to be in mid swing, and not sure where it is headed. With Democrats in Congress trying to object to anyone with a Christian beliefs from being eligible for judgeships, on the bogus premise that it prohibits the justice from acting professionally (try over 200 years of justices, both liberal and conservative and all points in between who go to church serving on the bench, what is all judicial precedent now tainted an invalid????) I'd have to say that we are getting to be more like the Italians:

Government as entertainment, not as a functioning entity. You, Jester, can keep your comments about ours to yourself, you have a care of your bloody Canadian judges, no prizes there, thank you very much.

:P How wonderful, Americans getting more European. Pointless governance, more espresso, and soccer on the upswing.

Sorry, I aint impressed, even though I like Espresso now and again and I love soccer. Pretty soon, we to will self neuter our socities, have a negative birth rate, and wonder at where our power went when we have no one to cover our ass for 50 years while we build and occupy our ivory towers.

The deinzens of the "jungle" will simply eat all of our herd animals and we will starve, and the world will become so much more Third World: a shit pot of 178 dictatorships all more pompous than the next.

Marvelous.
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Sirian
Sirian

October 27th, 2003, 5:17 am #8

Why take sides? Republicans? Democrats? Two sides of the same coin. Both are like walking into a sex shop... There is only a bunch of pricks to choose from.

I am a Technocrat. Generally, I choose the lesser of two evils and make what ever nudges I can to support the causes I like while not touching the causes I don't.

So far, all I have seen from both sides of the Rep/Demo coin is arguing and bickering, much like this, with people taking it way to personally.

Republicans acting like Nazis? They have in the past. And will most likely do it again. There are a few folks in that party that makes the whole party look bad. Do we blame them as a whole or as individuals? Need I remind folks that it was mostly Republicans who wanted to keep segregation going strong and wanted to keep those God awful Jim Crow laws healthy? The KKK has put more people into Republican offices then I can count. Just mention the SoBaps and I shudder. White makes might, might makes right. Plus there was the whole Patriot Act that has recently been put into effect under Bush's watch. Scary.

Democrats acting like Facists? Seen it. Seen a LOT of it. Been alive just long enough to see a few presidents and a few major shifts of power. Seen a lot of Socialists and Closet Communists in the Democratic party. There has been some real characters put into office by this party. Need I mention the whole Bill Clinton administration? Sheesh... I DETEST what some of the local Democrats are doing to the schools. Argh. Don't need Lesbian Sex Ed and Homo-Erotic Awakenings for Teens. Sure, kick the Bible out cause it's offensive, but it's ok to show hot and heavy pictures of hot sweaty man lovin. Yeah... Right. Yicky icky oo.

I have seen Democrats acting like Republicans and vise versa. And I will probably see a lot more I don't like.

You know, none of it matters. It's all rigged anyway. It's Skull and Bones. Puppet work at it's finest.

So why waste time fighting?
You know, none of it matters. It's all rigged anyway. It's Skull and Bones. Puppet work at it's finest.

So why waste time fighting?


Because the known alternatives are even worse, and it's something to do until somebody truly clever invents a better way.

Sometimes the system does work. That's more than can be said for most systems of government, by comparison.

Tuning out doesn't help. The cockamamey notion that choosing not to vote, not to participate, is equivalent to "remaining above the fray" is a particularly virulent form of pap spoon fed to the masses by any number of special interests in whose interests it does not lie to bring more voters into the equation, dilluting their own power.

The notion that it's all rigged is itself an attempt at rigging things. There are a lot of power brokers, a lot of folks who try to buy off the government and too many of those who succeed, but at least there are some valid checks and balances against abuses, and a system where there are mechanisms to allow for correcting course, if only leaders are bold enough to use them and voters wise enough to back them.


Name calling is taking the low road. Partisan attacks aimed at destroying the credibility of the opposition is taking the low road. Crowing over perceived weakness in those with whom you disagree is taking the low road. The option is there, but so are options on the high road, and our choices therein do matter, whether you like it or not.

Attaching oneself to a party is dirty business. So is attaching oneself to ANY group, as individuals will do things with which you disagree. Does that render the very notion of grouping together unworthy? I don't see it that way. You can either be pristinely clean and ineffective, disconnected, powerless, or you can wade into the issues and get your hands dirty. Probably a lot more than that will get dirty, too, but you may have some impact. That is a choice to make. Different strokes for different folks, as they say.

If politics was so useless, why would people invest into it? You KNOW what it is like to be downtrodden, to be stepped on, walked over, kicked (literally), and worse. Politics is the path to fixing that, so that others do not suffer the same injustices. It is hard work, and at times a lost cause, but some of us do not shy away from difficult or even hopeless challenges. I do not always listen to those who tell me, "You can't do that." Sometimes they have been wrong.


- Sirian
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Joined: August 2nd, 2001, 4:29 pm

October 27th, 2003, 6:03 am #9

Politics means "Many Blood Sucking Creatures."

Lots of verbage there Sirian. And putting words in my mouth. Careful. I did not say it was not important to vote... Just not good for fighting among friends. Indeed the illusion of a working vote is what keeps this country together.

I take it you don't know what "Skull and Bones" is. That's ok. Most of our last 16 or so presidents have all been part of or affiliated with Skull and Bones.

Does it suprise you that it was a bunch of dead people who put Kennedy in office? Found that out in the 80s but it was neatly swept under the rug and cleaned up. A LOT of the people who voted for JFK were current residents of graveyards. Right now they are starting to uncover a paper trail that might prove that Nixon actually paid his way into office. For non presidents, do you really think people kept voting for Strom Thurmond all that time? If you do, you are a fool. Maybe worse.

Money runs this country. Plain and simple. If you have enough of it, you get a piece of the pie. Blackmail and bribery is the grease that keeps things going. I know from experience that I can make more of a difference in local politics with blackmail and bribery then I ever could voting. And the same is still true on a large scale. Yes, I know it's wrong. But it is a system. It has rules. It has back doors. And it has loop holes. Once you know how to exploit them, you can make the system work. You can even work to make the system a little better but ONLY if you play by the current rules. You don't get results by voting... You get results by having video of somebody important shagging somebody or some other unsavoury deed. You find somebody's bookkeeper and pay him a huge wad of money to slip you the "undoctored" books. It's capitalism at it's finest, it's what makes America good. Even a lowly peasant can wield AMAZING power. So long as he has the goods.

Ever wondered how a homeless shelter can keep it's site license? Ever wondered how some homeless shelters sitting in prime down town real estate manage to keep from getting blighted and torn down by the city so the city can make money by turning it into a strip mall or something? Not just shelters... Lots of things can fall into this catagory... I was just going with something I know and have experience with. It's pretty easy to have a whole neighborhood voted into a blight and have all properties condemed and torn down so the city can take control and sell them to up and coming developers who can build condos and malls and make the city a fortune on property taxes and jobs and "boost the whole economy." Or, drive out the trash so we can have something better and get better kickbacks, bribes, and incentive packages. Well, there are ways around voting. And it's what keeps some people and places going. **Wink wink, nudge nudge** The system works.
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Sirian
Sirian

October 27th, 2003, 9:07 am #10

"Of course, the courts are the check and balance against legislative abuses, which ties this whole thing back to the NASTY hardball politics the Dems are using at all levels of government, but especially in the US Senate, to try to stack the court with liberal activists by attrition, preventing any conservative-minded judges from being appointed, regardless of any other consideration."

That would certainly explain all those communists in the supreme court. I always wondered how a pinko like Scalia got in.

Jester
That would certainly explain all those communists in the supreme court. I always wondered how a pinko like Scalia got in.

Your sarcasm is wasted with poor aim.

The term "borked", the coining of which defines the current nastiness and marks the beginning of the recent nosedive in behavior by Dems on the Hill, derives from what happened to Reagan nominee, judge Robert Bork. He got railroaded for partisan reasons by a Democratic controlled Senate, so flagrantly, we added a new word to our language because of it.

Scalia got under the wire shortly before that. He may even be partly responsible for so alarming some of the leftists they felt it necessary to prevent "more Scalia's" from making it onto the bench. So you are spinning in vain. Only Thomas arrived after, and he barely survived his borking. The other justices to come after Bork are all liberals or liberal-leaning. Souter was appointed by Bush 41, while the GOP made no effort to bork Ginsburg under Clinton. Just goes to show that the GOP is not pulling the same "stack the deck" approach the other party has made it its business to pursue.

Rehnquist, Scalia, and Thomas are the conservatives. Kennedy, O'Connor, and Souter are the moderates. Stevens, Ginsburg, and Breyer are the liberals. Souter tends to lean left. O'Connor tends to lean right. Kennedy is fairly well unpredictable in his leaning, but he and O'Connor tend to rule thumbs-down on judicial activism of all stripes, which often makes them the deciding votes on volatile 5-4 decisions that come down along partisan lines.

There are no "pinkos" on the US Supreme Court. I find your comment offensive on several levels, kid. Care to try again?

Ginsburg is the only died-in-the-wool liberal activist on the US Supreme Court, and she offers a useful counterpoint to Scalia's minimalist interpretations of the constitution. One cannot object to Ginsburg on intellectual grounds without pulling down Scalia in the same attack, and vice versa. They are two sides to one coin. But that is good. We have diversity on the court. When those two polarities agree on a ruling, we have a stunning proclamation of judicial unity. A unanimous ruling from this court means a lot.

The problem we are now facing is that if the left won't abide ANY conservatives to be considered for court positions, from a hardball strategy of ignoring their constitutional responsibilities and the "we have the White House, it's our turn for appointing judges" reality of our system, in pursuit of a scorched earth "protect Roe at all costs" policy, there is little the right can do but to respond in kind. That would be very BAD for the United States. Instead of Scalia and Ginsburg, we would have only moderates on the bench, or we would have a stacked court should the country elect 60 of one party to the Senate. We may even burn down other parts of our government as a result of this fight. Any way that goes, we lose.

Make no mistake, it is the Dems leading the charge on threatening to cross the line with regard to checks and balances. They see their cause as greater than the forms of our institutions, and that is problematic for us all. Been that way now for going on two decades, as their paranoia about Roe continues to play out. Seeing more of that from Van, I got cocky. I overplayed some remarks and now share in wearing egg, leading to this thread, but I am still holding a lot of cards. Their excesses are slowly costing them, and the finish to this struggle has yet to be written.


- Sirian
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