the big chat room AKA U.S. Senate…

Posted on Monday 30 January 2006

Nothing like watching John Cornyn [Senator Republican Texas] talk about Alito to bring the mood right on down. He talked about "far left interest groups" a lot. I wondered if I was "far left" and what I was interested in. He talked about Alito’s believing in the Legislature and respecting them, instead of legislating from the judicial bench. I really wondered about what he was talking about with that one, what with Alito being a proponent of the Unitary Executive. But the sad thing to me was that I didn’t have the feeling that he believed what he was saying. He was just reading the words into the record. Orin Hatch is prattling on reading his part, same song, maybe a bit more feeling.

It all sounds like stuff from a long time ago – back in the days when all we ever heard were the racist attacks on the "Warren Court." It’s that echo from the Civil Rights days when there were signs on the highway and the back of cars all over Tennessee, Georgia, South Carolina, Alabama, Mississippi that said "Impeach Earl Warren." Earl Warren was a Californian who became Governor of the state, almost became Vice President as Thomas Dewey’s running mate against Truman. He supported the Internment of Japanese-Americans during World War II. He was appointed to the Supreme Court by Eisenhower, a paragon of Republican virtues.

Once on the court, he must’ve met the Buddha on the Road, because his court ruled in Brown vs the Board of Education to end Segregation; the one man, one vote cases that strengthened voter’s rights; Hernandez vs Texas, which gave Mexican-Americans the right to serve on juries; and Miranda v. Arizona, often called the "Miranda warning." He became one of the great American Civil Libertarians of the last century. The Republicans are still wincing over his rulings, and their perception that he turned on them.  They never got over Earl Warren. They’re talking right this minute like he was yesterday.

It’s increasingly apparent to me as the years pass that "history repeats itself" is an understatement. Hearing the rhetoric from the tumultuous years of my own political youth repeating almost verbatim is actually kind of painful. Right now Ted Kennedy is screaming about rights – just like his brothers did when I had brown hair and boundless energy. The Neoconservatives are busting butt to undo the history of the Civil Rights gains of my actual whole lifetime. It’s very hard to watch…

    September 28, 2009 | 9:21 PM


Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.