Thursday, January 12, 2006

Working the ref

Firedoglake closely tracks the way that the GOP has skillfully manipulated the media on the Alito hearings. Face it, they're superlative at what they do. The GOP is not troubled by lying or consistency, and they work like energizer bunnies to cloud any issue that could disturb their lock on power.

No, not energizer bunnies. That's too darn fluffy and endearing. The Republicans work like a hypercaffeinated orc army to ensure that the American public is not widely aware of what their actual policies are. They lie about Iraq and Osama Bin Laden being closely linked, convincing up to 40% of Americans at one point. They lie about Abramoff giving money to Democrats, when there is literally no evidence of this. GOP bill names are specifically designed to be the Orwellian reverse of what their goals are. During the 2004 election, potential Bush voters simply did not agree with Bush on most of his political goals; they mistakenly thought he held the opposite point of view. It's a hideous farce. But you know this.

Journalists, on the other hand, are working within professional guidelines that typically mean that they cannot highlight the truth, falsehood, or even the likelihood of any issue without a source to say it for the reporter. Without a opposition party to throw grenades and hissy fits in appropriate amounts, reporters will frequently let right-wing assertions go unchallenged.

What is worse, they are also boxed in by the knowledge that complaining letters will come streaming in over the transom like ICBM missiles in a war game when a reporter so much as cocks an eyebrow to indicate that perhaps it's less than perfectly ideal that our president is a callous ignoramus who breaks laws and sanctions torture. It is not objectivity at all when "objective" reporting presented only within the rules of a game where the Democrats cannot or will not fully participate, and when the individual reporters as well as their businesses are viciously threatened for telling the truth. But you know this.

In any case, we are here now. It looks like the waiting is over soon for Alito, and he'll be the next Supreme Court Justice. Leiberman has hinted at a filibuster, as has Kennedy, but I just don't think this will happen. Despite his mealy-mouthed, shifty, and frankly unbelievable performance in front of the Judiciary committee, Alito didn't say anything that would torpedo him. And why would he? He's probably been preparing non-stop for these hearings for three months now.

It also looks like the waiting has just begun for Roe v. Wade. Now we enter the next phase of this fight, and it's going to be worse than the sixties with integration. My father-in-law strongly disagreed with me when I said Roe was destined for removal with Bush's reelection. Although he didn't vote for Bush, like a lot of people, he believes simultaneously that these radical conservatives can be elected, cut taxes until we have trillion-dollar deficits, bust existing laws and centuries-old traditions, and yet somehow, everything will still stay more or less the same.

Nope, not any more. The anti-abortion movement called in all their chits with the Harriet Miers debacle, and now they're going to get exactly what they want. The newest justice is against abortion, behind any corporation, and for a President God-King who is not bound by any laws that Congress may determine. Perhaps Alito will also find someday that President Bush also agrees with President Andrew Jackson who said(*) "John Marshall has made his decision; now let him enforce it!"

We are on the brink of a new era. But you know this.

(*) allegedly


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