I could've been watching more House. Instead, I've been wading knee-deep in stupid. Justice Souter announced his retirement, and the rabid right's after that like a pack of dogs on a mailman. They're breaking ground for the "B-bu-but he did it too!" defense:
A talking point emerges.
...Republicans are eagerly pointing out that Barack Obama, while in the Senate, voted to filibuster the nomination of Samuel Alito to the court.
Well, that's at least accurate. Obama, as a senator, declined to filibuster the Roberts nomination, but opposed cloture on the Alito nomination. On this point, Republicans are not lying or playing fast and loose with reality.
That said, this stroll down memory lane may not be as fruitful for the GOP as they'd like. For one thing, Obama, right around the time of the Alito hearings and floor vote, made a variety of comments that Republicans may find interesting. For example, he told ABC News in January 2006, "[T]here is an over-reliance on the part of Democrats for procedural maneuvers and mechanisms to block the president [on judicial nominees] instead of proactively going out to the American people and talking about the values that we care about. And, you know, there's one way to guarantee that the judges who are appointed to the Supreme Court are judges that reflect our values and that's to win elections."
For another, the more Republicans focus on Obama's efforts during the Bush years, the more it's a reminder of their own efforts during the same period.
In 2005, many Republican Senators went so far as to claim the filibuster of judicial nominees was unconstitutional. Now four year later, with President Obama's first Supreme Court appointment looming, will they remain consistent in their position or commit one of the most blatant acts of hypocrisy in the 220-year history of the United States Senate?
I'll take "Blatant Acts of Hypocrisy" for $1000, Alex.
Red State's Eric Erickson reacts with his usual class:
The conservative movement is in shambles and this doozy comes from online conservative blogger Erik Erickson of Red State. Do we need any more proof that they are all certifiable? What's up with conservatives and their tweets? The men in white suits should be called in very quickly because he needs a serious 30-day observation period. Don't forget to bring a straitjacket with you.
Eric Erickson (@ewerickson), Editor-in-Chief of RedState didn't just toss off that gem. He wrote it, then deleted it, then re-wrote and re-sent it adding the proper hashtags ("LMRM" = Let Me Repeat Myself, "TCOT" = Top Conservatives on Twitter, "RS" = RedState). Made sure he got it just right. See for yourself.
This is the leader of the right's most prominent online community, not some carefree flame-throwing commenter or diarist. RedState is not an official GOP site, but it's a center of the conservative movement with a stated desire to take over leadership of the party. I'm not interested in flame wars. Everyone is entitled to their opinion. As a matter of strategy, however, I just can't understand why someone in a leadership position would act so publicly self-destructive. This stuff turns states blue. Put simply, a serious leader looking to amass political power does not publicly call a sitting Supreme Court Justice a "goat f**king child molester." A seemingly obvious point.
Obvious to all except rabid right-wing fucktards, that is.
I'm sure the Cons will outdo themselves in the hysteria department. What we've seen to date is but a warm-up to the frothing fury they'll work themselves in to over any nominee Obama suggests. I imagine their reaction would be the same no matter who's appointed. They'd probably end up calling Robert Bork a flaming sociocommiefascist left-wing terrorist.
But, they want us to know, they're not the party of "no." Really:
Yesterday, Republican leaders announced their latest effort to re-brand the party, the National Council for a New America, which will feature input from conservative luminaries like Jeb Bush, Mitt Romney and Sen. John McCain (R-AZ). Discussing the need for the new group with CQ, former House Minority Whip Rep. Roy Blunt (R-MO), complained about the party being branded as the "party of no," claiming that just because they consistently vote no on President Obama's agenda it "doesn't mean we are the 'party of no'":
In addition, they say, they are having trouble breaking through to Americans with a popular Democratic president, Barack Obama , in the White House and the binary choice of yes-or-no votes on Democratic-written legislation.
“Just because we’re in a situation now where we vote no doesn’t mean we are the ‘party of no’ or have no ideas,” said former House Republican Whip Roy Blunt , who is running for Senate in Missouri and signed the letter. “This adds another way of getting those ideas out there.”
Go on, pull the other one, it's got bells on.
Alas for the Cons, America knows what it wants in a Supreme Court Justice, and it ain't what the Cons want. How do we know this? Because Bill Kristol tells us so:
From the January 29, 2006, broadcast of "Fox News Sunday":
BILL KRISTOL: Let's have a referendum on that in 2006 and 2008. Do they want a liberal Supreme Court, or do they want a moderately conservative Supreme Court?
JUAN WILLIAMS: That's called a presidential election.
Had one. We elected a dirty stinking liberal in a landslide even though he promised to put - what was it, Eric? - a "goat fucking child molester" on the bench. Well, he didn't put it in quite those terms, but he made it manifestly clear he wouldn't be appointing anyone the conservatives would scream with joy over. And yet we elected him, and we elected a Dem majority. Twice. According to Kristol, that means the people want a liberal Supreme Court. Works for me.
The people have spoken. Something tells me the screaming of a bunch of impotent culture warriors won't have much effect.