Saturday, April 09, 2005

Party Purge 

Via Zemblan patriot T.H.: Under Godwin's Law, whosoever compares his opponent to Hitler automatically loses the debate. But mentioning Stalin is fair game -- especially when some unhinged right-wing judge-hatin' psycho freak, no doubt emboldened by recent eruptions of judicial intimidation from Tom DeLay and John Cornyn, explicitly cites Papa Joe as his role model:
Conservative leaders meeting in Washington yesterday for a discussion of "Remedies to Judicial Tyranny" decided that [Supreme Court Justice Anthony] Kennedy, a Ronald Reagan appointee, should be impeached, or worse.

Phyllis Schlafly, doyenne of American conservatism, said Kennedy's opinion forbidding capital punishment for juveniles "is a good ground of impeachment." To cheers and applause from those gathered at a downtown Marriott for a conference on "Confronting the Judicial War on Faith," Schlafly said that Kennedy had not met the "good behavior" requirement for office and that "Congress ought to talk about impeachment" . . . .

Not to be outdone, lawyer-author Edwin Vieira told the gathering that Kennedy should be impeached because his philosophy, evidenced in his opinion striking down an anti-sodomy statute, "upholds Marxist, Leninist, satanic principles drawn from foreign law."

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

The full Stalin quote, for those who don't recognize it, is "Death solves all problems: no man, no problem." Presumably, Vieira had in mind something less extreme than Stalin did and was not actually advocating violence.
"Presumably"? Why the fuck does author Dana Milbank feel the need to "presume"? The man quoted Stalin. The man said his "bottom line" came from Stalin. Did Stalin remove his enemies from office by impeachment? (Impeachment sure does leave a lot of bullet holes.) -- Did he somehow talk Trotsky into taking the early retirement package, complete with severance bonus, generous pension, gold watch AND pickaxe? The most charitable interpretation we can put on Mr. Vieira's statement is that he wishes to send Kennedy to a forced-labor camp instead of murdering him outright.

As we've been saying for years, the former lunatic fringe is now the mainstream of the Republican party; cranks like Vieira are now so plentiful, so cocksure, so drunk on their newfound respectability and access to power, that they don't even bother to dress up their totalitarian murder fantasies for public consumption. But we doubt that Mr. Vieira will be doing a six-year bid anytime soon. After all, he's just sayin' what the party leadership is thinkin'. Why not let him talk, and see how it plays with the base?

UPDATE: From our revered colleague Digby at Hullabaloo:
It's not that these judges are "liberal activists" --- the main players in the Schiavo matter were conservative republicans, for God's sake. It's that the Republican legislatures both state and federal want to blame the judiciary for the fact that they cannot deliver on these repugnant, unamerican, demands from their extremist religious right constituency. They want something that both real "thoughtful" Republican judges and Democrats all agree is unconstitutional. They want to destroy an independent judiciary so they can pass unconstituional laws on a purely partisan basis with no review. Sorry, I just don't see what's so "thoughtful" about that.
UPDATE II: In the absence of reliable poll data, an object lesson for Messrs. DeLay, Cornyn and Vieira:
No family members could be found to claim the body of a man who confessed to killing the husband and mother of a federal judge in Chicago in a suicide note, authorities said Saturday.

Bart Ross' body can now be claimed by a funeral home willing to bury it, the medical examiner's office said. Several had offered to bury the body at no cost to the county, but none had claimed the body by Saturday evening.

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