Saturday, January 07, 2006

My senator, ladies and gentlemen...

   I missed this tidbit from yesterday's WaPo:

Sen. Edward M. Kennedy (D-Mass.), hosting a morning roundtable with reporters, had nothing nice to say about Alito. "We here in the United States are not going to stand for monarchial tyranny," he said, protesting Alito's support for "unfettered, unlimited power of the executive." He faulted Alito for belonging to a group that was "anti-black and also anti-women." Kennedy wondered if "the average person is going to be able to get a fair shake" under Alito.

Briefly, Kennedy rewrote the outcome of the 1964 election. "This nominee was influenced by the Goldwater presidency," he said. "The Goldwater battles of those times were the battles against the civil rights laws." Only then did Kennedy acknowledge that "Judge Alito at that time was 14 years old."

(emphasis mine, via The Corner and The New Editor)

Uncle Teddy seemed to forget that Goldwater lost that election in a landslide to the man who had been Vice President to his then-late brother, Jack, whose senate term he was elected to finish in 1962.

I am led to conclude (in the common practice of today's politics) that, when making this statement, he was at best inebriated, at worst delusional. (In light of the fact that this was a morning press conference, this assessment could arguably be reversed.)

And yet, the Social Democratic Democratic Party of the People's Republic Commonwealth of Massachusetts, while celebrating the most minor Bushism as evidence of unfitness, has to date made no move to retire the last of the Kennedys' greatest generation.

Well, at least we have John Kerry... Yeesh!

7 Comments:

Anonymous Cardinal Martini said...

To this day I am still continually amazed that Democrat politicians can misspeak and generally sound like morons, and yet lefties treat any misstatement by Bush as evidence of his unique stupidity.

2:28 PM  
Anonymous Libby said...

I don't see the correlation between a bumbled statement by an aging and largely ineffectual Senator and the wholesale illegal surveillance of thousands of law abiding citizens by our president.

Extending executive priviledge to the level of monarchy and dissolving the whole system of checks and balances doesn't concern you? I think it's a big concern that doesn't seem to concern Alito.

9:40 PM  
Blogger Bostonian Exile said...

I don't see the correlation between a bumbled statement by an aging and largely ineffectual Senator and the wholesale illegal surveillance of thousands of law abiding citizens by our president.

I don't believe I was suggesting any such correlation, nor do I think Kipper (cardinal martini) was either. (He can correct me if I am wrong.)

Extending executive priviledge to the level of monarchy and dissolving the whole system of checks and balances doesn't concern you?

I think it should concern everyone, of course, to the extent that the concerns are well-founded. That in mind, Ted Kennedy has a history of overblowing the parade of terribles that would follow the confirmation of Bush's judicial nominees. I'm sure I'll have more on this in the coming week as the confirmation hearings progress, but last time I checked agreement with Ted Kennedy's policies and assurance of judicial results aligning with those preferences were not requirements for confirmation.

I was merely making a point about the verbal misstep, and waiting to see how many people would simply excuse this one away. I mean, it's only Sam Alito's character that the senior senator is trying to assasinate here, if ineffectually.

9:56 PM  
Anonymous Libby said...

Perhaps I'm being overly sensitive, but I don't think that's a fair assessment of the left's concerns about this administration's malfeasance or a valid comparison. Sure we mock our president when he repeatedly makes idiotic statements, he is our face to the world, but that's not why we want him impeached.

And if you want to talk about character assassination, implying Teddy is drunk or crazy for expressing our concerns, however badly, seems to be more so than Ted's clumsy rundown of just why those of us who treasure our civil liberties are gravely concerned about this nomination.

From what I've read so far, I don't think Ted's concerns are overblown. True there's no requirement the nominee agree with Ted, but he is speaking for his party, not himself and there is a very apparent requirement that the nominee does need to agree with the White House agenda and it's crazy fundie base in order to be nominated.

I think it's unfair to paint the debate on this one as mere partisan squabbling. This is a lifetime, not just one of the dozens of recess appointments Bush has made to fill positions with his cronies without having to endure public scrutiny.

4:25 PM  
Blogger Bostonian Exile said...

Perhaps I'm being overly sensitive, but I don't think that's a fair assessment of the left's concerns about this administration's malfeasance or a valid comparison. Sure we mock our president when he repeatedly makes idiotic statements, he is our face to the world, but that's not why we want him impeached.

Which is why I made no claim as to the left's concerns about malfeasance, nor any suggestion as to grounds for removal from office, but I think the comparison of trading one instance of buffoonary for another, and the corresponding lamentation at reelection, is valid.

And if you want to talk about character assassination, implying Teddy is drunk or crazy for expressing our concerns, however badly, seems to be more so than Ted's clumsy rundown of just why those of us who treasure our civil liberties are gravely concerned about this nomination.

I made no such implication about his concerns, but instead made the implication about his garbling of fact, especially from a postion of apparently close knowledge. How many times did you reset comments like "Brownie, you're doing one heckuva job"? How many times have you suggested that the president may himself be drinking with no better evidence than I have presented? Are you guilty of a similar character assassination yourself, if that's how you're characterizing this post?

Libby, you might have noticed that the line of argument in this post was not my usual modus operandi. I don't typically go off on personal attacks, after all. However, my wording and construction was fully intentional; I wanted to see how my more liberal readers would react when the shoe was on the other foot. So, I threw out the bait.

And no, I don't think Ted Kennedy is insane; he's only crazy like a fox and got caught this time because -- for once -- the Capitol Hill press corps called him out for his flagrantly obvious motives.

I'm not one to make a serious layman's diagnosis from afar; not even a trained doctor should do such a foolish thing. Like you, I would mock one who has done so for being irresponsible. Well, unless that doctor attempts to do so of a political opponent. Then, if history is indicative, I am perhaps on my own.

From what I've read so far, I don't think Ted's concerns are overblown. True there's no requirement the nominee agree with Ted, but he is speaking for his party, not himself and there is a very apparent requirement that the nominee does need to agree with the White House agenda and it's crazy fundie base in order to be nominated.

I'm not sure what, exactly, you have read so far, so I can not respond to your concerns from anything approaching a place of authority. I would note, though, that in the span of two comments you have gone from describing Kennedy as "an aging and ineffectual Senator" to describing him as an informal party spokesman. Quite a shift, no?

And, if he is such a spokesman, and we knew full well how is he is going to vote (even if he didn't come out and say it) before the hearings ever started, we can presume that the other 44 members of his party (or most of them, at least) have done the same. At what point, then, did this debate in the Senate transcend partisan squabbling?

9:47 PM  
Blogger Bostonian Exile said...

Libby, you might have noticed that the line of argument in this post was not my usual modus operandi. I don't typically go off on personal attacks, after all.

That is, I do not do so, with the occasional exception of a certain California attorney who raises my hackles like no other. But then, the sixth paragraph of my post nevertheless suggests that I am breaking with usual practice.

6:27 AM  
Anonymous Libby said...

Okay so I'm oversensitive and I'm certainly guilty of taking my own easy pot shots.

Perhaps, I'm overreacting because I am truly concerned about this nomination for reasons I can't put my finger on.

I'm surely less well-versed on Alito's creds than you are, but I have a really bad feeling about this one. I surely expect Bush to nominate a justice with a conservative bent, but I fear Alito's too loyal to the extremist crowd and doesn't have the necessary degree of detachment to be a good and wise justice.

I can only hope my fears are ungrounded.

2:01 PM  

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