Friday, May 20, 2005

Political Water Board Torture of US Citizens and Senate

Frankly, I'm too sickened by Bill Frist's selfish grab for power to write any more about this political water-boarding torture of US democratic principles, the American public and Senate Democrats.....
From John Podesta's Center for American Progress:

The right-wing effort to implode the Senate in order to install extremist judges is on such strong intellectual ground that leading conservatives must now trot out Hitler references to demonize opponents. On the Senate floor yesterday, Sen. Rick Santorum stated that the opposition’s efforts to preserve the constitutional rights of the minority—employed frequently by leading conservatives during President Clinton’s tenure—is “the equivalent of Adolf Hitler in 1942 saying, ‘I’m in Paris. How dare you invade me? How dare you invade my city? It’s mine.”

This comes on top of leading right-wing pundit Robert Novak stating that conservatives should not compromise on judges, “Because the whole system [is] like going to a concentration camp and picking out which people go to the death chamber.”

There are no principles in play here. This is about stacking America’s courts with right-wing ideologues, not fair and impartial jurists. The right-wing prattles on incessantly about judicial activism on the nation’s benches. Yet they willingly set aside these principles when it comes to Bush nominees like Judge Priscilla Owen. Owen has a long record of radical judicial activism and overreach. She has voted to throw out jury verdicts against corporations and denied workers recompense for job-related injuries and unfair employment practices. The president’s own Attorney General has said one of Owens’s past rulings on abortion constituted an “unconscionable act of judicial activism.”

The very same leaders trying to tear down the Senate today led the charge to block scores of President Clinton’s nominees during his tenure. Sen. Bill Frist—the leading proponent of the “nuclear option”—claims the filibuster is unconstitutional. Yet, Frist himself led the charge to uphold the filibuster of one of President Clinton’s nominees, Judge Richard Paez, in 2000. When Frist voted to filibuster Paez’s nomination it had been pending for four years. All in all, 60 of President Clinton’s judicial nominees were denied up-or-down votes during his presidency.

The priorities of the modern conservative movement are not the priorities of Americans. Since President Bush’s reelection, the nation’s right-wing leaders have amassed quite a record. They’ve pushed for permanent tax cuts for the wealthy and permanent repeal of the estate tax. They’ve given huge tax breaks to corporations with offshore profits and passed bankruptcy legislation that is a sop to the credit card industry. They’ve abused congressional authority to intervene in a single family’s private medical decisions. And now they are attempting to rewrite 200-plus years of Senate rules and constitutional history to ram through extremist judges that have worked against basic legal protections for Americans.

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