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Unbelievable....
June 23, 2003 4:21 AM   Subscribe

"When I'm president, we'll have executive orders to overcome any wrong thing the Supreme Court does tomorrow or any other day," said Rep. Dick Gephardt of Missouri. (ABC News link)

Shouldn't there be some sort of SAT test on the Constitution for Presidential candidates? Or...or something?
posted by alumshubby (39 comments total)

 
Oh, my.
posted by rushmc at 4:35 AM on June 23, 2003


Al Sharpton responded that Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas is a black man who may vote against the university's affirmative action program. He said Democrats shouldn't be talking about getting more blacks in high places, but getting the right blacks.

"If we doubt that, just look at Clarence Thomas," he said. "Clarence Thomas is my color, but he's not my kind."


Maybe we should have "kind-based" affirmative action, yes?

It's good to be periodically reminded that neither party has a monopoly on sheer wacko-ness.
posted by namespan at 4:44 AM on June 23, 2003


Sharpton's definitely a character in his own right, but Thomas is a tool, yo.
posted by cortex at 5:09 AM on June 23, 2003


As George W himself said, "If this were a dictatorship, it'd be a heck of a lot easier, just so long as I'm the dictator."

Unbelievable that this should come from a self-styled "Democrat". I despair of the lot of them, which is why I'll be voting Kucinich tomorrow.

posted by cbrody at 5:11 AM on June 23, 2003


I knew this guy Dick was an asshat when I saw his neck-vein-bulging histrionics after the Supreme Court declared "under God" unconstitutional.
posted by antoine_bugleboy at 5:32 AM on June 23, 2003


I'm not a fan of Gephardt, but I don't think he's that stupid. I'd like to see this quote in its proper context. Perhaps a better FPP would have done this, or at least linked to some of Gephardt's other statements, as a means of showing where info on candidates can be found. As it stands, this post is a little thin, IMHO.

And namespan, while Sharpton is wacko, this statement seems to me the antithesis of wackiness. He's simply pointing out that we need to pay attention to what people stand for, and what they're capable of, rather than just their color.
posted by stonerose at 5:45 AM on June 23, 2003


So, to summarize. What Sharpton is saying is that preferential treatment should only go to minorities that think like he wants them to. Am I getting that right?
posted by jbelshaw at 6:10 AM on June 23, 2003


I'm not bothered so much by the message. I think he means well. But I am bothered by the ignorance of someone who has been involved in politics as long as has been sayingh/thinking something like this.

As to Sharpton....he's a freakshow. It's just funny to hear and read pretty much everything that he has to say.
posted by damnitkage at 6:24 AM on June 23, 2003


He's simply pointing out that we need to pay attention to what people stand for, and what they're capable of, rather than just their color.

Words Sharpton would do well to consider his own self. Two words: Tawana Brawley. 'Nuff said.

I'm having trouble deciding between Dean and Kucinich. I'm not voting in the online primary because I think it's fundamentally a joke.
posted by Cerebus at 6:27 AM on June 23, 2003


Lame. Why not planning a nice court-packing plan like FDR's instead?
posted by matteo at 6:33 AM on June 23, 2003


He's simply pointing out that we need to pay attention to what people stand for, and what they're capable of, rather than just their color.

You know, its odd, but I think that's exactly what George Bush is trying to say. Could it be that Bush and Sharpton are in agreement?
posted by PigAlien at 6:36 AM on June 23, 2003


Good God. This article read like coverage of a plot in the local mental institution.

I'd like to see a thread on some GOOD candidates for the presidency. You know, intelligent, educated people with sound analytical ability and solid leadership experience? All this analysing of Dubya and Al Sharpton seems like negative tactics to me. I'd do the link myself, but I'm a Canadian and really am not familiar with the various candidates. (Plus we have [groan] our own forthcoming election to worry about.)
posted by orange swan at 6:43 AM on June 23, 2003


"worry about," orange swan? i don't think there's much doubt as to what the result will be. (sadly.)
posted by Marquis at 6:46 AM on June 23, 2003


Cerebus, this is off-topic I know, but where is the joke in 1.4m people expressing a preference? Sure, it has no validity as a democratic poll, but if there is an outright winner they will surely reap some real benefit from moveon's endorsement?

My bet is that Dean & Kucinich together will poll over 50% of the "primary". Both seem to have reasonable policies, even though I can't see either of them actually beating Bush. Both seem to have a severe lack of charisma. Bring back Gore! (joke)
posted by cbrody at 6:55 AM on June 23, 2003


The most disturbing part of the quote is the dellusional "When I'm president" part. Gephardt has about as much chance of winning as an old sock.
posted by Outlawyr at 7:31 AM on June 23, 2003


Of course Gephardt knows that he can't simply undo a Supreme Court decision....he's pandering to African American voters in order to secure their support.
posted by Durwood at 7:34 AM on June 23, 2003


Keep in mind, though, that out of about 13000 total executive orders, only 2, as far as I know, have been invalidated by the Court as unconstitutional. So Gephardt has some reasonable basis for saying that. The unreasonability comes in when he ignores the whole basis for giving executive orders deference. The Supreme Court, especially these days, is worried about the lines drawn which separate the powers of the branches. The deference given to executive orders is given to preserve that separation. If the President turned around and used executive orders to "overturn" Supreme Court decisions, like the affirmative action decision, the Court would probably be forced to step in and take action (assuming, of course, that someone with standing might sue). This would be the executive equivalent of the Congress passing RFRA to try and overturn the Smith decision. That was, of course, invalidated in City of Boerne v. Flores.


posted by monju_bosatsu at 8:20 AM on June 23, 2003


(shakes head sadly)

stonerose, stonerose...

It pains me to learn that you think my FPP's a little thin, but blame ABC News, not moi. (Umm, you did read the linked article before you wrote that, didn't you?) Hell, my post wasn't meant to be a thumbnail bio of Gephardt or an in-depth analysis of the Rainbow-PUSH sponsored group-grope; it was more in the spirit of the "They Said It" feature in Sports Illustrated. It reminds me of the time a boss at a previous job once said, "I want to be surrounded by brilliant people, far smarter than I am; I want to be the stupidest person at [company name withheld, just in case]."

If you don't like the way I FPP and think it can be improved upon, consider it your impetus to better my own poor effort. You're already off to a good start simply by having identified its alleged shortcomings.

(BTW, I was going to link to the Fox News report that also quoted Gephardt, but folks around here would've had a collective cardiac infarction over that source.)

I'm hip to out-of-context issues and misleading-by-truth, stonerose: In fact, I bet you're actually sober today. Unless/until I hear that Dickiepoo was joking and everybody cracked up over his punchline, I think he was serious, and if indeed he was, he's a pet rock when it comes to understanding his erstwhile job description.
posted by alumshubby at 8:20 AM on June 23, 2003


Gephardt's still running? So my tactic of ignoring his candidacy and hoping it would just disappear didn't work then?

I mean, who the hell does this guy appeal to? To me he combines the moderate-right pandering of Lieberman with the unelectability of Kucinich (and I'm voting Kucinich tomorrow too) with the personal charisma of Gore. No, that's not true, Gore has a lot more charisma.

Gephardt, Gephardt, go away!
posted by soyjoy at 8:20 AM on June 23, 2003


SAT test on the Constitution for Presidential candidates

hilarious as it would be to see Incumbent W. score about a combined 260, if the candidates had to take it then some key media figures should too. for example, on Meet the Press yesterday Tim Russert asked Howard Dean, "If you became President, would you allow Canadian gay marriages to be recognized in the US?" uh, sure, right after he fires Congress and turns the Capitol into a homeless shelter...sheeesh.
posted by serafinapekkala at 8:28 AM on June 23, 2003


Durwood, the trouble with "pandering" like that is that the opposition can use it against him to make him out to be either a blatant panderer or worse, an utter incompetent and fool. "Read my lips: No new taxes!" wasn't patently unconstitutional.

serafina, yeah, no kidding. Hey, Russert, are you familiar with the concept of "treaty"?
posted by alumshubby at 8:31 AM on June 23, 2003


Sharpton is funny, it's his supporters, and apologists, who scare the bejesus out of me.
posted by Mick at 9:10 AM on June 23, 2003


"When I'm president, we'll have executive orders to overcome any wrong thing the Supreme Court does tomorrow or any other day,"

Gephart is correct. When he is President, i.e. on the 7th of Never, that will happen.
posted by kindall at 9:33 AM on June 23, 2003


I'd like to see a thread on some GOOD candidates for the presidency. You know, intelligent, educated people with sound analytical ability and solid leadership experience?

People like that don't go into politics. In general, politicians are the scum we wouldn't invite into our houses unless we were held at gunpoint.
posted by piper28 at 9:36 AM on June 23, 2003


Unless Sharpton gets caught doing something unspeakable with housepets*, the Democrats are going to have to deal with the fact that whether he's a "legitimate" candidate in any real sense, seemingly by default he has the ear of a sizeable fraction of the Democratic Party's traditional power base, partly because he's a blowhard for whom life is a microphone (or maybe a bullhorn) and partly because of his ethnic heritage. Anybody think we might actually see a floor fight at the Democratic National Convention next summer and not just another ho-hum brokered deal?

*or another Tawana Brawley situation blows up in his face, or the GOP fires a bimbo torpedo down his line of bearing as my brother suspects they did to Bill Clinton in the guise of Monica Lewinsky
posted by alumshubby at 9:44 AM on June 23, 2003


alumshubby, yes, I did read the article before posting my rather gentle critique. As I understand it, Metafilter is supposed to be a place to share the "best of the web." Your post merely highlights one line of an ephemeral story from a mainstream news source. It's an important and interesting line, but it falls under the rubric of newsfilter. When I post about current events - which I do - I try to flesh out the post by linking to some related resource that gives perspective, or depth, or leads the reader to a less-than-obvious part of the web. Do I always succeed? Undoubtedly, I don't. But I think making an effort to do so shows respect for Matt's vision of Metafilter, and for those who come here looking for more than titillating political sniping.

BTW, congrats on that clever-evasive-cryptic remark that makes clear your sophisticated understanding of media discourse. Too bad you didn't use that understanding to inform your FPP.
posted by stonerose at 9:55 AM on June 23, 2003


The GOP will never fire a 'bimbo torpedo' in the direction of Al Sharpton. The GOP would be delighted to see the good Reverand as the Democratic presidential candidate.

The DNC, though -- I wouldn't be surprised to find them pricing torpedoes even as we speak.
posted by Slithy_Tove at 10:02 AM on June 23, 2003


Sharpton is right. Thomas may be black, but he votes against civil rights and against equal opportunities for black people at every opportunity. It's as if he were saying, "I've got mine; so I am not going to be of any help to anyone else." After all, Thomas is a living caricature of "affirmative action": he clearly lacks any competence for his position, and he was appointed to it only because he is black. This is the typical charge against affirmative action; I do not think it is true in general, but it is certainly true in this instance.
posted by Rebis at 11:03 AM on June 23, 2003


He said Democrats shouldn't be talking about getting more blacks in high places, but getting the right blacks.
while Sharpton is wacko, this statement seems to me the antithesis of wackiness. He's simply pointing out that we need to pay attention to what people stand for, and what they're capable of, rather than just their color.

stonerose, if he had just said "the right people" instead of "the right blacks" then I could buy this and even if I might not agree on who "the right people" are, at least agree with the substance of his statement.

But (at least as quoted), he didn't. He said the "right blacks." And that implies to me a lack of colorblindness and a sort of thinking that "colors" most every issue for him. Race issues aren't dead by a long shot, but I doubt Sharpton-like thinking can do much but incite and perpetuate problems.

(Bush-like politics may have similar flaws, even if I see the thinking as marginally clearer.)
posted by namespan at 11:05 AM on June 23, 2003


stonerose, like I said, if you don't find my FPP satisfying for whatever reason, do your own. I thought Gephardt was being either stupid or funny. If Matt's got a problem with me, he knows my email address and I'm sure I'll hear from him. Meanwhile, you're more welcome than you can imagine.
posted by alumshubby at 11:56 AM on June 23, 2003


What Sharpton is saying is that preferential treatment should only go to minorities that think like he wants them to.

Isn't that what representative democracy is all about?
posted by zerofoks at 12:48 PM on June 23, 2003


Shouldn't there be some sort of SAT test on the Constitution
for Presidential candidates? Or...or something?


Actually, in his case there was. It's the con law final at the University of Michigan, where Gephardt went to law school.

Apparently he forgot everything, however.
posted by PrinceValium at 1:40 PM on June 23, 2003


I, for one, would welcome our new Al Sharpton overlord. If nothing else, it would demonstrate once and for all the need for weakening the executive branch of US government.

On second thought -- do I really mean that? If we're perceived overseas as led by a total buffoon (as opposed to a miltaristic dilettante with an agenda that has "SPQR" written all over it), what's gonna get blown up next?
posted by alumshubby at 2:07 PM on June 23, 2003


Republicans for Sharpton.

Heh.
posted by wrffr at 5:40 PM on June 23, 2003


Here is a C-SPAN video of him saying it. It's around 45:40 or so.
posted by wrffr at 5:45 PM on June 23, 2003


"John Marshall has made his decision; now let him enforce it."

Heh. Don't say it can't happen.
posted by tyro urge at 7:30 PM on June 23, 2003


"Unbelievable that this should come from a self-styled "Democrat". I despair of the lot of them, which is why I'll be voting Kucinich tomorrow.
" cbrody- You might want to watch the CSPAN tape, Kucinich made a statement very similar to Gephardt on the point.
posted by geist at 7:40 PM on June 23, 2003


tyro, Ole Hickory wouldn't have dared try to pull off half the crap he did if he'd had to contend with CSPAN, CNN and Gallup polls. A modern President who tries something like that might as well pencil in the impeachment proceedings on his calendar.
posted by alumshubby at 8:16 PM on June 23, 2003


So you're saying that a faux-populist "just folks" president coasting on a puffed up military record who tolerates the usurpation of the rights of a socially marginalized group of Americans wouldn't stand a chance in the face of our present-day fourth estate?

(Heh. Inexact parallels, I know, but still...)

Wish I could share that belief, but I'm kind of a pessimist.
posted by tyro urge at 12:42 PM on June 24, 2003


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