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The only piece of poetry I think every child should be obliged to commit to memory.

Ralph Hitchens

I wouldn't think of putting W in the same category as LBJ and Nixon, but I also wouldn't characterize their administrations as "destructive." Yes there were policy disasters and grievous personal failings, but Vietnam and Watergate weren't the whole story -- Johnson and Nixon were effective chief executives who did plenty of good and made lasting contributions to American public life. Bush couldn't hold their coats. Is there anything good we will remember from his time in office?


So I agree with you guys. Always have. The first time Bush mentioned Iraq, I could not imagine anything occurring differently than it has. Didn't we all see this, think back to another time, another world, BEFORE 9/11? Wasn't it clear Bush wanted to destroy Iraq before any squadron of Florida-schooled flyboys had studied NOT how to take off and land the plans, but only how to steer them? Didn't they want to pay half price because they only needed to learn how to do that one thing?
Why even pretend the country ever had a rationale here? Didn't we ALL hear him say, Iraq dissed my daddy? Who could NOT guess the direction and outcome after a clue like that?
Often I chastise myself for not paying close enough attention, but every time I tune in, I end up shaking my head. The whole mess was so blatantly foresworn, foreclosed, foretold as of day one. And since that day, I also knew nothing I did or thought, read or ignored, wept over or stomped around sputtering spells and curses could possibly make any difference. We're cooked.


Your "don't say" and "instead say" illustrations were perfection. It's rather like the internet headlines I saw recently that didn't say "Nancy Grace Shamelessly Returns to Television After Driving Woman to Suicide" but instead said "Nancy Grace Is Steadfast in Her Resolve." The art of smoothing out the unspeakable has become mind-boggling.


I offer the following moderate, restrained criticisms of Bush.

He's a little vague about his plan in Iraq; he's maybe ruffled a few feathers in Europe and the Middle East; He's siezed the initiative to modify "quaint," outmoded "conventions;" he's only slightly damaged the economic stability of the U.S.; and just because he's botched every single thing he's done as president doesn't mean he won't do better in the future, does it? There, I feel better already.


I think the illustrious (in their own minds) journalists have seen Singin' in the Rain so often they've taken the message to heart.

harry near indy

first, i agree with idyllopus. lbj and nixon weren't that destructive of the nation -- or incompetent. by the way, i'm in my 50s, so i remember their administrations.

and as for jennifer senior -- you mess with lewis lapham, you mess with me.

and when will kate marie, defender of the indefensible bush, come by and comment?

Holden Lewis

What was destructive about the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the 1965 Voting Rights Act, the establishment of Medicare, naming Thurgood Marshall to the Supreme Court, the War on Poverty, the Fair Housing Act, the establishment of Medicaid, establishment of the national endowments for the arts and for the humanities, and the defeat of crazed right-winger Barry Goldwater?

Just, you know, curious...

Kate Marie

Here I am, Harry. What would you like me to comment on?

Or is just that I'm ruining the perfectly nice echo in here?

I wasn't inclined to comment on this post, because, well . . . it's once again a little bit too vague and psychoanalytic for me. And it's full of assertions that I've seen Lance make over and over again as if they were established fact (regarding the 2000 and 2004 elections, for instance, or the right wing authoritarian judges -- whatever that means or whatever criteria it's based on, I'm not sure, but it sure sounds to me like the flip side of the "judicial activist" meme that you all complain about.)


KM -
If you are including me when you said "complaining" about the phrase judicial activism, you've once again misunderstood me. (In fact, I don't think we've successfully been able to communicate at all.)

I think I tried to explain already that I wanted to know how you integrated Sandra Day O'Connor's Georgetown U. comments into your conclusion that the Republican party was the party for you -- for someone who cites the Supreme Court as one of their key voting platforms. I wanted to know whether you dismissed O'Connor's statements as that of an activist judge. No complaint - just trying to get another clue as to how and why people still support Bush no matter what information comes out.

If you weren't including me - no prob, but I did not want to be included as a source of another generalization.

Kate Marie

No, Jill, I wasn't really thinking of you. The complaint about the right's hackneyed "judicial activism" argument is pretty standard on the left side of the political spectrum. I just meant that the "right wing authoritarian" complaint sounds a lot like the judicial activism complaint -- a way of complaining about decisions, however thoughtful, with which one disagrees.

I'll go back and read the link to the O'Connor speech, but if I'm recalling correctly, it's a criticism of intemperate language with respect to judges and the potential danger that poses to the judiciary. I'm not sure what "information" came out in the speech that I ought to be influenced by. Was she criticizing Bush's judicial picks? I don't think so, but as I said, I'll go back and take a look at the speech. In other words, I'd be willing to bet that O'Connor thinks Alito and Roberts are excellent choices for the Supreme Court.


Our great-grand children will be cleaning up this mess. Assuming of course that we haven't extended our ban on habeus corpus and due process to our own citizens.

I am not sure what to call a situation that is worse than catastrophe.


Intemperate language? Let me refresh your memory. Something that might make ME question the actions of the Republican party is O'Connor saying the US is in danger of edging towards a dictatorship if the party's rightwingers continue to attack the judiciary. For this to come from O'Connor seemed amazing to me.

But, maybe that isn't even a bump in the road to The Good Republicans. And several more amazing things have happened since then including, well, torture, and the cries from the right seem to be over now so...I guess I have my answer.

Now, I have gone far enough O.T. on Lance's site - one of my pleasures of the day, so I apologize to all and will get back to the posts at hand.

harry near indy

jack, i believe you exaggerate when you say our great-grandchildren will be cleaning up this mess. it's been 61 years since the end of world war 2, and i'd say europe has been cleaned up of the mental and physical mess it made.

ah, km, the mistress of misdirection. we were talking about w the incompetent and you started talking about judicial activism -- just like jennifer senior did.

i just wanted to yank your chain, baby.

Kate Marie

I don't dismiss O'Connor as an activist judge, since I haven't dismissed *anyone* as an activist judge. I tend, more often than not, to *agree* with O'Connor's judicial opinions; I don't have to agree with her political opinions (and since I can't actually find a text of her speech, I'm not sure whether I agree with her political opinions). In any event, as I've already said, I'm sure O'Connor considers Roberts and Alito excellent appointments. And I'd bet, with her concern for threats to the independence of the judiciary, that sweeping generalizations about right-wing authoritarians on the court aren't much more to her liking than remarks about activist judges.

I certainly don't agree with every decision the Supreme Court has ever made, but I do respect the independence of the judiciary. My philosophy is that the President ought to be given deference in his judicial appointments, absent a felony record or evidence of incompetence on the part of the candidates. That's another reason I want a Republican president.

Hey Harry, how ya doin'? Eh, what's that? You'll have to speak a little louder. There's a really loud echo in here.

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