6/29/2010

Kagan Hearings: Al Franken Kicks Republican Asses All Over the Hearing Room:
Apparently the Republican strategy during the hearings on Solicitor General Elena Kagan's nomination to the Supreme Court is to portray her as a nigger-loving kike. As it's known in the popular political parlance, that's called "playing to the base." Yeah, that's a big tent there.

For what else was Jon "The Other Cactus Fucker from Arizona" Kyl implying when he quoted a Politco article: "Kagan’s experience draws from a world whose signposts are distant from most Americans: Manhattan’s upper West side, Princeton University, Harvard Law School and the upper reaches of the Democratic legal establishment." Wealthy? Elitist? Yes, and Jewy. And not the right kind of Likudnik Jew that Republicans love.

And what else could the repetitive slamming of Justice Thurgood Marshall, the first black member of the Supreme Court, mean? In what is for some one of her best qualifications for being on the court, Kagan clerked for Marshall. For Republicans, not so much. John Cornyn of Texas, in an opening statement that could best be described as "fucking nuts," drawled, "[F]rom his self-described judicial philosophy and his performance on the bench, it is clear that Justice Marshall was a judicial activist." Well, no shit, cowboy. Too bad you can't lynch him physically now. Kyl even went so far as to decry Kagan for saying that Marshall had an "unshakable determination to protect the underdog – the people whom no one else will protect," as if that's a bad thing. That's the GOP: the Simon Bar Sinister of political parties.

Most fun was Alabama's Jeff Sessions, whose opening statement was a compendium of "people what is evil." Other than Marshall, Sessions name checked Earl Warren, Michael Dukakis, Ruth Bader Ginsburg (who Sessions, classy as ever, disparaged the day after her husband died), Bill Clinton, Al Gore, and civil rights champion Judge Abner Mikva, who is considered another of Barack Obama's socialist mentors by the wackanoid right. Sessions even gave Glenn Beck an under-the-table hand job by mentioning Thomas Paine's Common Sense in a lie about Kagan saying the government could ban political pamphlets. Sessions, hand sticky with Beck spunk, is never deterred by "facts."

It was up to Democratic Senator Al Franken of Minnesota to bring the noise about the true meaning of the proceedings. In clear, concise language, Franken addressed exactly what effect the Supreme Court has on the day-to-day life of his constituents. His low-key, but outraged, dissection of the Roberts court was devastating:

"Minnesota has more wetlands than all but three states. And yet in a case called Rapanos, the Court cut countless streams and wetlands out of the Clean Water Act - even though they'd been covered for up to 30 years.

"Our state has banned all corporate spending on elections since 1988. And yet in January, in Citizens United, the Roberts Court nullified our laws and turned back a century of federal law by allowing corporations to spend as much money as they want, whenever they want, in our elections. Not just federal elections. Duluth elections. Bemidji elections. Minnesota elections.

"There is a pattern here. Each of these decisions was won with five votes. And in each of these decisions, that bare majority used its power to help big business."

In his ballsy nine-minute opening statement, Franken demonstrated how Citizens United directly damages democracy and, more importantly, its potential impact on the very bodies of Americans. He used it to mock the notion of liberal justices as "judicial activists" and to show the states' rights crowd that it ain't just about abortion or gay marriage.

In other words, while Republicans were fretting about truly meaningless designations based on a worthless theory of the judiciary, Franken said, more or less, "Fuck your rhetoric. This is about lives."