Mrs. Schiavo’s death is a moral poverty and a legal tragedy. This loss happened because our legal system did not protect the people who need protection most, and that will change. The time will come for the men responsible for this to answer for their behavior, but not today. Today we grieve, we pray, and we hope to God this fate never befalls another. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Schindlers and with Terri Schiavo’s friends in this time of deep sorrow.
I don’t know if there is a cause-and-effect connection, but we have seen some recent episodes of courthouse violence in this country. . . . And I wonder whether there may be some connection between the perception in some quarters, on some occasions, where judges are making political decisions yet are unaccountable to the public, that it builds up and builds up and builds up to the point where some people engage in, engage in violence. Certainly without any justification, but a concern that I have.
Remember when the Republicans didn’t like “activist judges”? Remember when they thought judges should just shut up and judge impartially and not try to promote any particular agenda? Times change.
For a group that is constantly referring to Democrats as sore losers and crybabies, the Republicans sure do a lot of whining. What’s worse is, they whine the most when they’ve gotten nearly everything they want. They’re like a kid at a birthday party surrounded by expensive gifts but crying because the pony is the wrong color.
Now they’ve got their whine on about judges, who they seem to believe exist solely to give them whatever they want. There were no cries from the right back in 2000 when the Supreme Court appointed their boy as President. You can damn sure bet that if the Supreme Court were to overturn Roe v. Wade they wouldn’t see any problem with its decision. The whining only comes when they don’t get their way. They whine when they don’t get the judges they want (they seem to believe both that the President should automatically get whatever judges he asks for and that they themselves have never been “obstructionist” about judicial appointees) and they whine when those judges don’t judge the way they want them to. (Gee, it’s almost like the Founding Fathers knew what they were doing when they set this system up!)
Whining is one thing, of course. Threats are another. Now, it’s certainly possible to read the above quoted statements in ways that aren’t threats. But there’s also a definite “shame if something happened to it” vibe coming from them. The right wing has been wielding fear as a weapon since 9/11, and as Matthew Yglesias points out, you don’t have to perform or even condone terrorist actions to benefit from them.
There’s a definite running theme going on here, in this event and in others. Put it all together: the Ten Commandments fooferall, the call against “frivolous lawsuits”, the lack of desire for any kind of legal oversight in Guantanamo Bay…add it up and you get a clear picture of the Republican utopia: a land where God’s Laws are the law of the land, interpreted solely by our Glorious Leaders (who are above the law), and with no recourse. In this world, if you make a decision the leaders don’t like, they will walk into your life and set you straight, running the show according to their interpretation of God’s will. Sound familiar? It’s all fun and games until it’s somebody else’s religion.
Fortunately, the wave DeLay’s riding only exists in his mind. Most Americans, polls say, think Congress and Jeb Bush have no business walking in and deciding how a family’s personal matter should be handled. Most see the affair as the crass bit of political manipulation it was. Republicans constantly oppose single-payer health care because they don’t think the government should make medical decisions for people (that’s more appropriate for insurance companies to do) but have no problem stepping in to make those decisions in this case. Even some lifelong conservatives were put off by this shameless intrusion and grandstanding.
It’ll be interesting to see how far this anti-judge hysteria goes. We already know that the Republicans find the Constitution to be stifling, the Geneva Convention to be “quaint”, the UN to be “irrelevant”, and checks-and-balances to be overrated. Our current Attorney General has said that it’s perfectly okay for the President to ignore any law that he doesn’t like. How far will Americans let this train go before figuring out its destination?