Join 3,425 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


Fasten seat belts
July 1, 2005 7:27 AM   Subscribe

O'Connor steps down. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor has announced her retirement.
posted by XQUZYPHYR (186 comments total)

 
.
posted by Diamornte at 7:28 AM on July 1, 2005


No! This seems like a nightmare to me. I don't always agree with O'Connor, but I like her just the same. Frankly, I'm surprised that she's open up the court this way. This could easily mean multiple vacancies during Bush's term.
posted by OmieWise at 7:30 AM on July 1, 2005


Making her the unjustice.
posted by taursir at 7:30 AM on July 1, 2005


[this is good]
posted by matteo at 7:31 AM on July 1, 2005


Time to start putting the butter and popcorn in the pan and getting it ready to roast over the flames that will be shooting through Congress.

This is going to get ugly. Not as ugly as the one I expect we'll see later this year, though.
posted by mephron at 7:31 AM on July 1, 2005


NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

Three more years! It's only three more years! Please, please stay three more years!
posted by schroedinger at 7:32 AM on July 1, 2005


/bring it on
posted by realcountrymusic at 7:33 AM on July 1, 2005


mephron: What's happening later this year?
posted by -harlequin- at 7:33 AM on July 1, 2005


Oh, this is going to be exciting.
posted by furiousthought at 7:33 AM on July 1, 2005


oh, and by the way: Rehnquist has cancer, John Paul Stevens was born on April 20, 1920
posted by matteo at 7:34 AM on July 1, 2005


Gonzales the Torturer is on the short list--ugh.

We know Rhenquist is going too soon, so 2 more conservatives on the Supreme Court means big trouble.
posted by amberglow at 7:34 AM on July 1, 2005


Stevens won't leave while a Republican is in office--he's going to hang on til they wheel him away in his robes.
posted by amberglow at 7:35 AM on July 1, 2005


cue the imperial march; it's all downhill from here, kids.
posted by keswick at 7:38 AM on July 1, 2005


Damn, I hate it when the hot one quits. Now the rest of the band is going to look that much uglier.

This is bad for most of us.
posted by fenriq at 7:40 AM on July 1, 2005


[we are fucked]
posted by Saucy Intruder at 7:43 AM on July 1, 2005


Frist is reading a clearly pre-prepared obituary? live on CNN--wtf?
posted by amberglow at 7:45 AM on July 1, 2005


ouch. O'Connor had stated that she felt that she owed it to Reagan to step down while a Republican was in office. I just wish it wasn't *this* Republican.
posted by mcstayinskool at 7:45 AM on July 1, 2005


Oh no, let's hope that Congress doesn't slide into acrimony and division!

All sarcasm aside, let's hope that the Dems can actually show some balls.
posted by Pollomacho at 7:46 AM on July 1, 2005


This is not unexpected. She has always implied that she wanted to retire under a Republican.

On preview: Hey, that's what I said.
posted by gramschmidt at 7:46 AM on July 1, 2005


Lions! Tigers! Republican Supreme Court Justices!
posted by recurve at 7:47 AM on July 1, 2005


Lions! Tigers! Republican Supreme Court Justices!
Oh my!
posted by unreason at 7:48 AM on July 1, 2005


John Bolton for Supreme Court justice! Think of it as Plan B.
posted by digaman at 7:49 AM on July 1, 2005


let's hope that the Dems can actually show some balls.

So it's easier for them to be kicked in? Whomver Bush appoints will become a Justice unless they're operating an underground child porn ring. There is absolutely no way Frist will not go nuclear for a SCOTUS nominee.

The only option against any insane pick by Bush is for Democrats/Progressives/Moderates/etc. to find a moderate-level conservative and start hyping what a good fit he/she'd be.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 7:49 AM on July 1, 2005


I hope they don't replace her with one of those "activist" judges.
posted by Otis at 7:50 AM on July 1, 2005


1. what amberglow said.
2. what the title says.
posted by ruelle at 7:51 AM on July 1, 2005


okay, so, two conservatives are going to be replaced, unless renquist beats his cancer. (hey, it could happen, right?)
posted by delmoi at 7:52 AM on July 1, 2005


Amen, Otis.
I'm scared.
posted by Plutor at 7:52 AM on July 1, 2005


"Go nuclear" is perhaps the stupidest fucking phrase in congressional history.

Uh, harrumph...

*regains composure*

As you were.
posted by gramschmidt at 7:53 AM on July 1, 2005


I think the current session is ripe with candidates for stupid fucking congressional phrases.
posted by Saucy Intruder at 7:55 AM on July 1, 2005


There is absolutely no way Frist will not go nuclear for a SCOTUS nominee.

Yeah and? Make him. Show some balls and take that risk, when he does he will lose his job when the GOP loses the mid-terms a year from now. Show some fucking balls!
posted by Pollomacho at 7:56 AM on July 1, 2005


delmoi: sort of, but I think if you reviewed O'Connor's record you'd find her to be a lot more moderate than the TBD assclown that W has been salivating about getting in.
posted by mcstayinskool at 7:59 AM on July 1, 2005


what Pollo said.

The only option against any insane pick by Bush is for Democrats/Progressives/Moderates/etc. to find a moderate-level conservative and start hyping what a good fit he/she'd be.
posted by amberglow at 8:00 AM on July 1, 2005


Will it be John Ashcroft or Bob Novak?
posted by planetkyoto at 8:06 AM on July 1, 2005


The sad thing is that as nearly as I can tell, Gonzales the Torturer is the most moderate of the publicly floated possibilities. I mean, at least he has gone on the record as saying Prissy Owen is way out there.
posted by ilsa at 8:06 AM on July 1, 2005


Yeah, what amberglow said. The Dems need to find some moderate conservatives, and start pushing them fast. Then instead of it being a hardliner or nothing, it becomes Bush's radical guy versus someone with bipartisan support. And if the person's a moderate conservative, the rank and file GOP members won't get as much pressure to go for Bush's pick.
posted by unreason at 8:08 AM on July 1, 2005


Cry 'havoc and let loose the dogs of war, that this foul deed shall smell above the earth with carrion men, groaning for burial.
posted by The Jesse Helms at 8:08 AM on July 1, 2005


Time to start thinking about permanently freeing us from unelected judicial tyranny, for the sake of all Americans. At worst, end lifetime appointments, and at best, have judges be elected or screened by some other less partisan means.
posted by rzklkng at 8:09 AM on July 1, 2005


Item #1 on the agenda: No more disgusting FAGS exchanging rings.
Item #2: Every fetus is a potential recruit in the Global War on Terror.
posted by digaman at 8:10 AM on July 1, 2005


BTW, stay glued to How Appealing, SCOTUSBlog and the Supreme Court Nomination Blog for coverage and analysis.
posted by Saucy Intruder at 8:11 AM on July 1, 2005


Bush has said he would like Ashcroft to get the nod.
posted by rzklkng at 8:12 AM on July 1, 2005


hurr, yeah, because that electing presidents thing is working so well for us liberals. lifelong appointments were swell when the court had judges picked by FDR & JFK.
posted by keswick at 8:13 AM on July 1, 2005


Given recent developments in Canada and Spain, will Dems be thinking they need to "catch up" and thus suggest a left-wing nutjob?

This is my fear.
posted by WolfDaddy at 8:13 AM on July 1, 2005


what really scares me here is that there are (at least) 2 spots that are going to be filled during this W term. that's really, really bad. even if the gimpy dems are able to push one moderate through (today's definition of moderate: right wing but not batshit insane), good luck with the second one, the third one.

ouch.

also, what pollomacho said.
posted by mcstayinskool at 8:13 AM on July 1, 2005


Yeah and? Make him.

Oh yeah. If the Dems drop the ball on this one, and I mean they don't stop-the-government-from-functioning to-the-last-standing kick some ass, they will have become irrelevant for the forseeable future. I don't expect them to win, but I do expect them to kick out all the jams on this. Double or nothing, folks. And a sportsmanlike handshake to the conservative MeFites, before we come out swinging. May America be stronger for what is to come.
posted by realcountrymusic at 8:14 AM on July 1, 2005


We know Rhenquist is going too soon, so 2 more conservatives on the Supreme Court means big trouble.

This is huge because replacing Rehnquist with a conservative is a 1-1 trade. A wash.
Replacing O'Connor, the swing vote toward the middle in so many close decisions in recent years, marks a crucial change in the court.
posted by CunningLinguist at 8:15 AM on July 1, 2005


Harlequin: I expect Rehnquist to do his own resignation before the next court term starts. I may be wrong, though. I always allow that fact.

...of course, enough people have mentioned it between your post and now that you probably figured it out.
posted by mephron at 8:17 AM on July 1, 2005


Oh, fuck!

Consider too, that Reagan deliberately chose younger appointees....
posted by brujita at 8:20 AM on July 1, 2005


My money is on Ashcroft. He will be a shoe-in. I bet there are 10 dems that would roll over and let him in today. Christ, only one objected to the PATRIOT act.
posted by jmgorman at 8:21 AM on July 1, 2005


Rhenquist is going to stay on as long as he can.
posted by clgregor at 8:22 AM on July 1, 2005


why not appoint someone in the vein of john bolton? clean up those damn courts !
posted by specialk420 at 8:23 AM on July 1, 2005


Ugh
posted by Windopaene at 8:24 AM on July 1, 2005


Keswick, it's been downhill since Reagan got elected the first time. How else could a fascist creep like Clinton have been called a "leftist"?

Then saith unreason: The Dems need to find some moderate conservatives, and start pushing them fast.

You mean moderate conservatives like the Democrats' presidential candidates since 1988? (I laughed when they called Dukakis a "leftist", then.) Like most of the Democrats in the House and Senate? The Republican kind of Democrat? So you think the answer is for the Democrats to stop pretending there's any difference between the parties? That'd be hilarious if it weren't superfluous.
posted by davy at 8:25 AM on July 1, 2005


there was much liberal gnashing of teeth when nixon put rehnquist on the court. he was viewed as a superconservative boogieman who would surely wreck all the progressive gains of the late 20th century. ditto warren burger. rehnquist actually turned out to be fairly moderate and burger was such a dick he alienated the rest of the bretheren. contrary to mefi opinion, the judicial sky isn't likely falling anytime soon.
posted by quonsar at 8:27 AM on July 1, 2005


Asscroft?!? Are you freaking serious?

That man scares me. This country cannot take 30+ years of that asshole.

And I don't get O'Conner's loyalty to a party.. She should be WELL ABOVE that by now.
posted by eas98 at 8:27 AM on July 1, 2005


Clinton? Fascist? You're joking, davy. Or smoking.
posted by oaf at 8:28 AM on July 1, 2005


Why now, exactly? I understand that she wanted to step down in a Republican administration, but... it looks like they're going to be running the country for the rest of our natural lives anyway, so what's the big rush? Is she having health problems?

On the other hand, perhaps she knows something that we don't. I think it's time that rumors started that O'Connor is part of a vast alien conspiracy that will be rigging the 2008 election in favor of the Democratic party.

(I can always dream, can't I?)
posted by grapefruitmoon at 8:29 AM on July 1, 2005


It's time to start sharpening up the long knives.
posted by bshort at 8:30 AM on July 1, 2005


Here's a list of some potential nominees.
posted by rzklkng at 8:33 AM on July 1, 2005


We need some giants on the Court--where's Thurgood Marshall when you need him?

The most we can hope for is that either they get filibustered, or Bush appoints old people (which he won't do). And we can't filibuster if it's Gonzales--Congress approved him already, pretty much.
posted by amberglow at 8:33 AM on July 1, 2005


oaf: Yes, Clinton is a fascist. For one thing, he "avenged" an alleged plot against Bush Senior by attacking two countries at once.

Oh, and will you people stop linking to MSNBC? Can you find no other links to Associated Press articles?
posted by davy at 8:35 AM on July 1, 2005


The nominating and confirmation process could be an outstanding opportunity to show how crazy and out of touch the far right wingers are.

Which means the democrats will do nothing.
posted by rzklkng at 8:35 AM on July 1, 2005


watch--they'll nominate Bork just to say fuck you.
posted by amberglow at 8:35 AM on July 1, 2005


Let's not forget some good news - if Bush appoints Bolton over the Congressional Recess, or if he does nothing and the nomination dies, it's pretty much a REALLY early admission of lame duck status.
posted by rzklkng at 8:39 AM on July 1, 2005


What quonsar said.

watch--they'll nominate Bork just to say fuck you.

Ok, that was funny.
posted by Cyrano at 8:39 AM on July 1, 2005


Amber glow: that's exactly what my roommate said earlier. Jesus, I hope it isn't true.

Anyone think they'll try to remain the "woman seat"? My guess is if they do, they'll find the most batshit crazy, conservative woman they can, so that her opinion will be more "valuable" on issues such as abortion.

Also, with all the gay-marriage legalization going on elsewhere, expect the more conservative court to go on the defensive with that issue.

Thank God I already had plans to get wasted tonight.
posted by piratebowling at 8:41 AM on July 1, 2005


quonsar, as far as I'm concerned the sky fell in 1830.
posted by davy at 8:41 AM on July 1, 2005


Davy you are missing the point. unreason's the question is not about whether Democrats are truly left or not. Nor is it about questionable Democratic candidates.

The idea is to nominate a moderate conservative that will not be quite so ideologically dogmatic as the various Bush nominees so far. This wouldn't be a Democratic nominee it would be a Republican nominee that was influenced by a Democratically led ground swell of support.

quonsar, while those two ended up defying expectations Thomas certainly didn't. Do you really think Bush is going to promote intelligent, principled judges who might disagree with him down the line or some ideologues who will toe the party line. It's Powell vs. Rice/Rumsfield all over again and we know how that one turned out.
posted by oddman at 8:41 AM on July 1, 2005


what about Starr?
posted by matteo at 8:42 AM on July 1, 2005


At least she waited through Bush's first term. Especially after that 2000 election comment. Fuck it. Nuclear it is. Maybe when people start dying from illegal home abortions others will wake up and get as involved in politics as the people currently aiming to dismantle our system.

seriously, on a pure entertainment level, I'm psyched to see who Bush chooses to nominate. If he keeps his record up, it could be someone who in the past advocated the assassination of supreme court members who strayed from their appointing president's wishes.
posted by Busithoth at 8:43 AM on July 1, 2005


Oh boy, there goes our rights.
posted by Bag Man at 8:44 AM on July 1, 2005


Ashcroft? Holy smoking furrows... I say we take off and nuke the site from orbit. It's the only way to be sure.

The only thing liberal about Clinton was his application of peccadillos. Doesn't anyone remember all that hoo-ha about the World Bank, BCCI, and all that? Thanks for the budget surplus and stuff. No thanks for the total failure to stand up for anything like civil rights for all or health care for all.
posted by loquacious at 8:47 AM on July 1, 2005


If Rehnquist retires this summer as well, perhaps they could do a deal: one conservative, one moderate. Then again, Bush is not one to compromise.
posted by Tin Man at 8:49 AM on July 1, 2005


The idea is to nominate a moderate conservative that will not be quite so ideologically dogmatic as the various Bush nominees so far.

Yes, I caught that: y'all want to fight fire with twigs and kindling.

This wouldn't be a Democratic nominee it would be a Republican nominee that was influenced by a Democratically led ground swell of support.

You said it yourself: "This wouldn't be a Democratic nominee it would be a Republican nominee..." Don't you pay attention to what you're typing?
posted by davy at 8:51 AM on July 1, 2005


At this point, I'm gunning for the nihilist option. Let's get the absolute worst person for the job.

Alan Keyes? James Dobson? Fred Phelps? Hey, how about the singer of "America, We Stand As One"? That would be awesome!
posted by fungible at 8:53 AM on July 1, 2005


Here's a list of 5-4 cases in which O'Connor was the deciding fifth vote.
posted by Tin Man at 8:53 AM on July 1, 2005


This site has an overview of the process as well as the members of the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Also see Confirm Them for the Conservative Opinion on comfirmation. I would expect the usual suspects to be chiming in shortly (Wildmon, Dobson, etc.)
posted by rzklkng at 8:54 AM on July 1, 2005


There should be a clause that if the president is impeached, or forced to resign in shame and disgrace, then judges he nominated to the Supreme Court have to step down as well. No more Rhenquist. And as for whoever Bush nominates... well, we'll see.
posted by Loudmax at 8:54 AM on July 1, 2005


Reid later offered three names of people he said would be good for the court: GOP Sens. Mel Martinez of Florida, Mike DeWine of Ohio and Mike Crapo of Idaho. They "are people who serve in the Senate now who are Republicans who I think would be outstanding Supreme Court members," Reid said.

Reid also said that in a conversation with the justices last week, they said that "they thought what would be a good idea is to start calling people from outside the judicial system."


I realize they all have law degrees, but does anyone else think this odd?
posted by Lady Penelope at 8:55 AM on July 1, 2005


Don't you pay attention to what you're typing?

Don't you pay attention to common sense, Davy? Let's look at this logically. The Democrats don't have the votes in Congress to get a Democrat into the Supreme Court. I know we'd all like one there, but we can't get it. There's going to be a conservative on that bench. No one can stop that. The only choice we have is whether to support a conservative, or an extreme conservative. Neither option is what we want, but one is a lot worse than the other. Think logically instead of being swayed by your emotions.
posted by unreason at 8:57 AM on July 1, 2005


Doesn't anyone remember all that hoo-ha about the World Bank, BCCI, and all that? Thanks for the budget surplus and stuff. No thanks for the total failure to stand up for anything like civil rights for all or health care for all.

Yep. No way was Clinton a liberal.
posted by malaprohibita at 8:57 AM on July 1, 2005


"they thought what would be a good idea is to start calling people from outside the judicial system."

*waits patiently by the phone*
posted by drezdn at 8:58 AM on July 1, 2005


BCCI? You mean the BCCI that some fairly new-at-the-time Senator named John Kerry helped take out, much to the chagrin of a whole mess of very politically connected guys, including some with the last name "Bush"? The BCCI that the Dems should have been flogging as "proof our Presidential Candidate can stop terrorists" last year? That BCCI?

Bah! Let's just hope whoever gets in realizes that the whole lifetime appointment thing means they don't have to do any favors for anybody and can just judge based on the Constitution and the Law and his/her Conscience -- in that order.
posted by ilsa at 9:00 AM on July 1, 2005


Davy, of course it will be a republican nominee, there is a Republican in office. Hello? What is it that you don't get about that?
posted by oddman at 9:00 AM on July 1, 2005


Some more backstory, in 2001 Bush and Gonzalez moved to exclude the American Bar Association from the advisory process in order to not show preference over any other "interested party". Now I wonder who that could be?
posted by rzklkng at 9:06 AM on July 1, 2005


what about Starr?

Great choice, but I think he's busy.
posted by dragstroke at 9:07 AM on July 1, 2005


IMO things will get worse before they get better. I don't think I would counsel the Senate Dems bringing government to a standstill to avoid even a semi-reasonable appointee from Bush given how poorly the Contract with America crowd fared when they tried the same tactics in the early-mid 90's. I mean, let's face it, the popular pulse in the US right now is "right-of-center" and until the underlying electorate shifts back toward the left, those of us who identify with the minority will have to button down the hatches so-to-speak. I don't particularly like this fact, but it is something we on the Left will have to come to grips with. As I see it, the battle at the national level is something we have to concede at this point while we rebuild on the local and state levels.

I know that in my corner of the world, the Dems really are indistinguishable from the Republicans on every level except for the particular paymasters they are in cahoots with. Until we develop strong party identity on the local level, we'll go nowhere nationally. The Dems need to either fully embrace the centrist position and leave the Left to their own devices or stop the posturing and make the Leftist issues central to their party identity. As it stands, and I think I am speaking for a substantial number of Leftists, I have no party allegiance because the party that claims my issues for itself has no real allegiance to me--hence my participation in the USGP and accompanying voting record.

Circling back to the topic, then, the best course of action for the Dems seems to be putting what little weight they have in the Senate behind a conservative appointee with a record of putting the law above politics--hoping for a Blackmun-esque conversion to a moderate presence on the bench.

Again, the above is solely my opinion--which counts for little in today's political arena.
posted by Fezboy! at 9:08 AM on July 1, 2005


I doubt it will be a "crazy" nomination, like Gonzales or Ashcroft. To get either of those guys on the Court would require a phenomenal amount of political capital. I expect it to be Wilkinson, Luttig, Alito, or Garza. Roberts and McConnell should probably be on the short list, as well. All 6 are experienced and able jurists, and the nomination of one of them will put the Dems on the defensive.
posted by monju_bosatsu at 9:13 AM on July 1, 2005


Oh yeah, here's a Rovian spin: Nominate a conservative Hispanic, since (1.) Hispanics are "teh new hotness" politically as a voting block and (2.) won't the democrats look horrible and hypocritical blocking a hispanic, thus solidifying the permanent conservative majority that Rove wants (BTW, that's even though said Hispanic could be a Tio Tomaso).
posted by rzklkng at 9:14 AM on July 1, 2005


the popular pulse in the US right now is "right-of-center"

Please don't perpetuate this myth. The popular pulse is apathy, and the right-of-center folks just barely won 2004's presidential popular vote, and actually lost 2000's.
posted by oaf at 9:14 AM on July 1, 2005


My guess is if they do, they'll find the most batshit crazy, conservative woman they can,

I just had a horrifying thought: Justice. Ann. Coulter.

Run for the hills!
posted by jonmc at 9:19 AM on July 1, 2005


I like the woman thing appoach. But I'm surprised no one has suggested Ann Coulter, I mean, she's a lawyer. And, listen, could things really get any worse?
posted by donfactor at 9:23 AM on July 1, 2005


in re: oaf
They may have barely won 2004 and lost 2000, but the fact remains that they are/will be in control of all facets of the federal government. It is uncontested that they have more motivated (numbers and/or intensity) voters. We can quibble about my claim about the pulse of the electorate but that is semantics. The situation on the ground supports my comment. Like I said, I don't like this fact, but it is empirically true.
posted by Fezboy! at 9:25 AM on July 1, 2005


As far as rating, ranking, and evaluating nominees for the public, try Courting Influence and Save the Courts. I'm looking for two right-leaning sites to balance this out.
posted by rzklkng at 9:27 AM on July 1, 2005


I just had a horrifying thought: Justice. Ann. Coulter.

I just had a scarier thought.
Justice...Kaye...Grogan...
posted by maryh at 9:30 AM on July 1, 2005


jonmc: I hadn't even thought of Ann! Oh, I'm gonna have a hard time sleeping tonight.
posted by piratebowling at 9:31 AM on July 1, 2005


jonmc, no fear there, she wouldn't be allowed to show off her legs anymore and that would upset far too many dirty old Republicans od'ing on viagra.

I'm expecting someone totally inappropriate for the position. Like, say, his brother Jeb or heck, why not Jenna? That would like totally be like great. And then MTV would start covering the SCOTUS and it would be cool to be all judicial and shit.

Or heck, why not scrap the barrel's ass and go for Paris Hilton? Laws are like, so boring and not glamorous. Let's glue some shiny beads on the law and bling it out! Yeah, fashion!
posted by fenriq at 9:31 AM on July 1, 2005


General statement (not a value judgement): well, yeah, ok, there are a lot of 'liberals' at Mefi.

Otherwise, what Fezboy! said. All of it.
+ I like that merit selection idea.
posted by Smedleyman at 9:32 AM on July 1, 2005


ilsa: Awesome link. That makes me like Kerry even more. Holy cow.
posted by loquacious at 9:37 AM on July 1, 2005


O'Connor wasn't all bad, but this is still a great day for democracy -- not as good as the day that Stevens retires of course (and don't count on it not being under Bush -- note that 4 of the last 5 retirements, counting O'Connor, were under Presidents likely to choose someone who would significantly change the way that the seat would vote).
posted by MattD at 9:40 AM on July 1, 2005


jonmc, no fear there, she wouldn't be allowed to show off her legs anymore

she has legs? I thought the had spiny talons like any other monster.
posted by jonmc at 9:42 AM on July 1, 2005


I doubt it will be a "crazy" nomination, like Gonzales or Ashcroft.

I doubt it will be anything but a crazy nomination. This administration isn't exactly known for compromise -- they go for the extreme position every single time, and often as not, they get it.

I predict they'll nominate someone so radically, unbelievably right-wing that they can't possibly win. After that it's a 50-50 chance whether they succeed in pushing it through regardless, or that they "lose" and wind up settling on a "compromise" candidate whose only qualification as a "compromise" is that he's not quite as batshit as the first guy.
posted by ook at 9:42 AM on July 1, 2005


Looks like that Captain America guy can't count. Fuck YOU, spiderman or whatever.
posted by the quidnunc kid at 9:46 AM on July 1, 2005


Clinton? Fascist? You're joking, davy. Or smoking.

No, he's just being provocative. But he's right, once you subtract the overstatement: Clinton was so right-wing he'd have been shouted off MeFi long ago. (Hey, maybe he was...)

Don't you pay attention to common sense, Davy?


Davy's perfectly well aware of "common sense." He also knows that the common-sense thing to do is always to bow before superior might and let the assholes have their way. If Americans had any common sense, they'd still be Brits. And if the Brits had any common sense, they'd have rolled over for Hitler in 1941. If you have any balls at all, don't play the Republicans' game for them.

And as far as Clinton is concerned, let's not forget his enthusiasm for executing retarded people. He was a real prince among men.
posted by languagehat at 9:49 AM on July 1, 2005


I bet it will be Ashcroft, but the republicans won't be able to 'go nuclear' over him
posted by delmoi at 9:50 AM on July 1, 2005


Happy Independence Day, America! And kudos to you, Justice O'Connor, for your phenomenal timing!
posted by aGreatNotion at 9:54 AM on July 1, 2005


This country needs more moderates. Calling Clinton (Bill) a facist is a bit out of whack. I always thought it was a given that he was a Moderate Dem and not a left winger.
Too far left or right is bad for a lot of things IMO. We need to meet in the middle and accept that some of us are on the fringes. Ashcroft is not a moderate. Ashcroft is someone who needs to go away and not be heard from again except on the religious television channels. Far right conservatives need to stop mixing their religion with their politics. The two do not combine well at all.

This country needs a 3rd party that can be relevant in an election. It doesn't need to win, but it needs to be acknowledged by the other parties as having influence. I would love to see *moderate* democrats and republicans defect to a relevant 3rd party.

Everyone have a great weekend. Be safe, be happy and don't blow your fingers off with fireworks.

;-)
posted by a3matrix at 9:57 AM on July 1, 2005


If you don't have a gun, get one.
posted by krash2fast at 9:58 AM on July 1, 2005


Here's a sad take on the Draft Prado movement:

Bipartisan support, for these guys, is not welcomed. If too many Democrats attach themselves to a bill, the legislation will be sent back, made more ideologically objectionable, and passed with fewer Democratic votes. The idea is to put Democrat's in the toughest positions possible, to force them to oppose bills and appear obstructionist, and to prove fealty to loyal constituencies by nominating wet dream, rather than consensus, candidates. Prado seems well qualified and would surely set off a bomb of relief and comity in the Senate, but that's just his problem. The Bush administration doesn't want an easy confirmation, they don't want their choices to receive bipartisan praise on the Sunday shows. They want to stack the deck then pick a fight, and the only candidates who'll be nominated are those who fit that strategy.

For those who don't like the phrase "go nuclear", blame Trent Lott, who invented it in this context.

On O'Connor's desire to retire under a Republican:


According to a news article on the Reuters newsservice on 12/17/00, the following occurred on election night:

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor was upset during an election-night party when she heard Florida was first called for Vice President Al Gore exclaiming, 'this is terrible,' according to a report in Newsweek magazine released on Sunday.

The report said O'Connor made the comment at about 8 p.m. on Nov. 7, and declared that meant the election was ``over' because Gore had also won two other key states.

Quoting two eyewitnesses to her comments, Newsweek said that O'Connor then walked off to get a plate of food, and her husband, John, explained to friends and acquaintances that she was upset because they wanted to retire to Arizona and a Gore presidency meant they would have to wait another four years because she did not want a Democrat to name her successor.

posted by Aknaton at 10:09 AM on July 1, 2005


Clinton was so right-wing he'd have been shouted off MeFi long ago.

nah, he's an Eisenhower Republican -- they're basically good people -- it's the military-industrial-complex Armageddon Crusaders who are the scary bunch. poor Bill is the most successful Republican President of the post-WWII era, possibly of the entire 20th Century (I'm a TR fan, by the way). that's why the DeLays of America hated him so much, because he showed that you can be a sane, competent and effective Conservative -- unlike the insane, incompetent and ineffective bunch that's running the show since that 5-4 Florida thing

oh, and "Tio Tomaso" is genius
posted by matteo at 10:09 AM on July 1, 2005


“I hope you're all aware we're all Eisenhower Republicans. We're Eisenhower Republicans here, and we are fighting the Reagan Republicans. We stand for lower deficits and free trade and the bond market.”

-- Bill Clinton in Bob Woodward's "The Agenda: Inside the Clinton White House"
posted by matteo at 10:12 AM on July 1, 2005


Clinton was all over the map. Depended on the issue, time of day, what the polls said, etc., They didn't call him a waffler for nuthin'.

Reading this hundred plus post thread, sounds to me like you guys think the sky's falling. Personally I've been expecting the sky to fall since Shrub took office. I wish it'd just effing fall already and get it over with so I can get started with the "see I told ya so" routine I've been so looking forward to the past six years.

This country needs a third party like it needs another terrorist scare. Democrats are often liberals pretending to cater to the middle, and Republicans are often conservatives pretending to cater to the middle. Right now what we got is the political equivalent of Coke and Pepsi. Add a third party and you're paying lip service to the store brand. We don't need more selection, we need better selection. We need something more than tweedle dumber and tweedle dumberer.
posted by ZachsMind at 10:13 AM on July 1, 2005


The sky is falling. But it's a big sky, so it's taking a long time to hit bottom.
posted by ook at 10:21 AM on July 1, 2005


Here's a list of 5-4 cases in which O'Connor was the deciding fifth vote.

Thanks, Tin Man. I was going to say "good riddance," solely on personal prejudice but now I have some horrible decisions to back me up.

O'Connor openly admitted she made "gut decisions," including that "Florida thing." Good fucking riddance.
posted by mrgrimm at 10:22 AM on July 1, 2005


I would much rather have an arch conservative with rock solid principals and an allegiance to the constitution, then corporate tool who is acceptable to the Democrats.

If all you care about are gay rights and abortion, you're not going to get your wish anyway, so you're wasting your time blocking people who have right-of-center views on those issues. These issues, while important, are far less important then the wholesale selling of the country to massive corporations, and constitutionally speaking there is more grey area for some gay rights and some reproductive rights to survive any court decision.

There is one thing you can count on which is that anyone the Dems approve of is going is going to be a slick, no principals corporate tool who will sell the country out to big business.
posted by chaz at 10:36 AM on July 1, 2005


.
posted by agregoli at 10:36 AM on July 1, 2005


Chill out my fellow lefties... Look at the bright side: this couldn't possibly have come at a better time (at least within the president's term).

Bush's approval rating is at an all time low. And we all know how reactionary his team gets when his ratings drop. It's precisely the time for him NOT to make waves with a far-right choice, seeing as how that might well be the straw that breaks the camel's back for the recent republican upswing.

If you ask me, O'Connor probably sees it this way too.
posted by drpynchon at 10:37 AM on July 1, 2005


Here's a list of 5-4 cases in which O'Connor was the deciding fifth vote.

How do we know she was the swing vote? Was she the court's designated swinger?
posted by deadcowdan at 10:45 AM on July 1, 2005


I realize this is a sexy issue, but I always thought its importance was overemphasized. What are the major issues here? Abortion and gay marriage. How many of us are looking for abortions? How many are gay and want to get married? So really, it doesn't affect your life much at all.

On the other hand, the imminent domain ruling that was made last week probably would have been overturned if there were another conservative on the court. To me that issue is more important that all the others combined.
posted by b_thinky at 10:49 AM on July 1, 2005


Bush is going to try and pick a fight by nominating a Bolton clone. I say, "Bring it on."
posted by bshort at 10:50 AM on July 1, 2005


Davy, of course it will be a republican nominee, there is a Republican in office. Hello? What is it that you don't get about that?
posted by oddman at 9:00 AM PST on July 1 [!]


(cough) "(1971) The Senate confirmed Lewis F. Powell Jr Dec. 6 as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court. He filled the seat left vacant by the late Justice Hugo L. Black. The only Democrat of the Nixon Court nominees, Powell was the first Justice from Virginia since 1841."
posted by hal9k at 10:51 AM on July 1, 2005


b_thinky: Not for nothing, but if it's so important to you, you might want to learn how to spell it.
posted by The Bellman at 11:00 AM on July 1, 2005


On the good side, Justice Breyer will finally be relieved from the Wheel of Pain.

(Breyer) joked that he's "the oldest youngest" Justice, and despite having been on the Court for a decade, he still sometimes has to hold the door open if someone knocks during a judicial meeting. He told a short anecdote about recently bringing Scalia his coffee. "I've been doing this for 10 years," Breyer told Scalia. "I think I've gotten pretty good."

"No, you haven't," Scalia replied.
posted by hal9k at 11:01 AM on July 1, 2005


Personally what I'm really on the edge of my seat waiting for is to find out exactly how the controversy over the Supreme Court gets deflected into some bullshit pedantry about how some columnist or c-list House representative should have phrased his criticisms of the situation differently. I figure it'll take a week. The bullshit pedantry? Three months.

/hates america
posted by furiousthought at 11:03 AM on July 1, 2005


Davy, you're probably right.

Chaz? Just whose 'side' are you on? The republicans are selling as much of this country off to corporate interests as the democrats. I mean, they're all tools to the lobbyists. You make it sound as if voting republican means you're not voting for corporate interests. We're apparently not living on the same planet.

As for Shrub not making waves when his approval rating is low? Don't count on it. He'll get more and more defensive and uptight as time wears on. It was Slick Willie who changed his tune whenever the polls looked icky. Shrub doesn't even look at the polls. He doesn't care what the polls say. He only listens to whomever already agrees with him. Lefty or not, at least Willie listened, and was willing to admit when he was wrong. If Shrub ever did actually change his mind, he'd pretend that was his decision all along and everybody else just misunderstood him. By now the guy's gotta know the proper way to say 'nuclear' but he chooses to remain ignorant. Now honestly, is this the guy you want picking judges who will affect the judicial landscape of this country for decades to come? A man who once said, "If affirmative action means what I just described, what I'm for, then I'm for it" ?
posted by ZachsMind at 11:12 AM on July 1, 2005


Clinton: utterly unprincipled.
Bush: utterly corrupt and anti-American principles.
posted by sonofsamiam at 11:13 AM on July 1, 2005


As usual, all the shitty news gets trotted out on Friday. Goddammit.
posted by rolypolyman at 11:16 AM on July 1, 2005


b_thinky: I'd wager more MeFites are gay or likely to get an abortion than are likely to be affected directly by the eminent domain ruling. Is your town trying to build a hotel where your house is, or something?
posted by gurple at 11:20 AM on July 1, 2005


Now "Sandy baby" can really "loosen up".
posted by reidfleming at 11:23 AM on July 1, 2005


Maybe helpful on-line resource on this story: Al's Morning Meeting from Poynter On-Line.
posted by mmahaffie at 11:24 AM on July 1, 2005


In unrelated news, according to wikipedia, Canada has changed its flag.
posted by swift at 11:28 AM on July 1, 2005


Never mind.
posted by swift at 11:29 AM on July 1, 2005


Interestingly, Scalia was nominated when Rehnquist was promoted to fill Burger's space as Chief Justice. Rehnquist had a less conservative record than Scalia, but Rehnquist's promotion was more controversial than Scalia's nomination. No one paid much attention to Scalia's inclusion to the Supreme Court.

Similarly, my worry is that Rehnquist will retire and we will have two vacancies to fill. That would give the Bush administration a lot more leverage to insert a conservative activist judge on the bench, by simply distracting the public and press with someone else.
posted by Rothko at 11:35 AM on July 1, 2005


ha. eminent. my bad.

Eminent domain is a potential threat to anyone who owns property, whereas aboriton is only required when you make a serious blunder in life choices, unless its required for health reasons.
posted by b_thinky at 11:46 AM on July 1, 2005


I realize this is a sexy issue, but I always thought its importance was overemphasized. What are the major issues here? Abortion and gay marriage. How many of us are looking for abortions? How many are gay and want to get married? So really, it doesn't affect your life much at all.

Just because it doesn't affect me personally doesn't mean I don't have friends or family who it might affect, and it also doesn't mean that I don't care.
posted by agregoli at 12:17 PM on July 1, 2005


Time to start thinking about permanently freeing us from unelected judicial tyranny, for the sake of all Americans.
Yeah, that'll happen, just like everyone rushed to dump the electoral college after the popularly-elected candidate lost in 2000.


Gawd, I so hate living in the Halliburton States of Jesusland. Please Canada, half my ancestors are from there, and I wouldn't take up much room if you'd let me in.
posted by NorthernLite at 12:18 PM on July 1, 2005


Justice Judy has a ring to it.

whereas aboriton is only required when you make a serious blunder in life choices

Or if the nodder bursts.
posted by biffa at 12:20 PM on July 1, 2005


Hmm, I thought of something.

When David Souter was nominated to SCOTUS, wasn't there a big partisan brou-ha-ha going on at that time, too? Bush Sr. nominated him because he was uncontroversial and the Republicans thought he would vote conservative. But he ended up being pretty good for the liberals . . . maybe something like that would happen?

Of course, maybe the conservatives will learn from that. Not to mention Bush Sr. had a far greater appreciation for diplomacy and comprimise than his son.
posted by schroedinger at 12:21 PM on July 1, 2005


Anyone think they'll try to remain the "woman seat"? My guess is if they do, they'll find the most batshit crazy, conservative woman they can, so that her opinion will be more "valuable" on issues such as abortion.
Scary to think, but this is what they were trying to do with SDO’C but also to keep Reagan’s election promise of nominating a woman. Oh, how the times have changed… Oh, and Wolkdaddy (from way back), your fears seem misguided… Bush makes this nomination… don’t fear ‘left wing nutballs’… The only thing to fear is nutballs itself.
posted by Phantast at 12:36 PM on July 1, 2005


How many of us are looking for abortions? How many are gay and want to get married? So really, it doesn't affect your life much at all.

I see what you are expressing as one of the fundamentals of politics. Right-wingers think "Me", where the left (the real left, not the not-as-far-right-as-the-far-right american kind) thinks "We".
This is a somewhat naive generalization, but then again, it's not.
posted by mr.marx at 12:38 PM on July 1, 2005


fezboy says: As it stands, and I think I am speaking for a substantial number of Leftists, I have no party allegiance because the party that claims my issues for itself has no real allegiance to me--hence my participation in the USGP and accompanying voting record.

There is so much wrong with that statement. You complain about how much influence the right wing currently has, and yet - you're part of the problem! The one thing that you could have done to help, you didn't do. I'm sorry - you seem like an intelligent person, but the Green Party will always recieve my seething hatred.
posted by afroblanca at 12:46 PM on July 1, 2005


b-thinky writes whereas aboriton is only required when you make a serious blunder in life choices

You can't be serious!!!
Failed birth control, rape, uninformed teens having sex without the benefit of sex education because "just say no" is easier/ less embarassing for adults to 'teach' even though it has proven ineffectual
posted by Phantast at 12:51 PM on July 1, 2005


He's trolling, Phantast, ignore him.

The Green Party has a built-in catch-22. Their appeal, to lefties, comes from their unwillingness to compromise, and their jackassery comes from their unwillingness to compromise. If the Green Party wanted more of the left to like them, they'd have switched their vote to Gore in '00 at the last minute. But then they wouldn't be the Green Party.

Sucks, because the uncompromising idealogues on the right are so damn effective, but the ones on the left are pretty much useless.
posted by gurple at 1:01 PM on July 1, 2005


ah f**k
posted by eateneye at 1:07 PM on July 1, 2005


My personal hope is that Bush will find a conservative who is somewhat of a closet libertarian, like Justice Thomas. Thomas's recent opinions on Kelo and medical marijuana were pretty impressive and I'm hoping the new nominee will be more of the same.

Whats interesting to me is how Gonzales is the truly nuclear candidate. The left already detests him for the torture thing and, if you hang out on any right wing blogs, the right detests him for having the potential for being Souter 2. Alberto would provide a rare middle ground for the extremists of both parties. I almost hope Bush nominates him just so we can see the pretty pretty fireworks.

One of my favorite right-wing blogs, Red State is having some interesting discussions on this topic and, supposedly, someone on the site has an inside connection and is providing some interesting rumors.
posted by pandaharma at 1:14 PM on July 1, 2005


I heard the news in the car. The next thing I heard was my three year old saying, "Mommy, why you say 'sh!t?'"

And since I don't yet know if this child will be gay or ever need to have an abortion, there's still a good chance those issues may have a direct impact on my life, b_thinky.
posted by jrossi4r at 1:19 PM on July 1, 2005


mr.marx: I'm not saying abortion is not an important issue, I'm saying it's not as important as it's played up to be. Sometimes it seems like the only point of our entire country is to decide whether or not the procedure would be legal, when the fact is the affect on the vast majority our lives is minimal.

"or if the nodder bursts"

Yes, how terrible to think that there should be consequences for our actions. If you use birth control, you obvioulsy know the risks of sex, and know the consequences accepted by taking those risks. There are justified reasons for abortion (rape, incest, various health reasons), but birth control is not one of them, because you ARE taking a life, and it should only be done to protect your own, not for your own convenience.
posted by b_thinky at 1:20 PM on July 1, 2005


"...whereas aboriton is only required when you make a serious blunder in life choices."

Uh... do you know you said that out loud?

I guess it would be better if abortion was outlawed. That way all those people who would otherwise have an abortion, people who 'blundered' will be able to raise happy healthy children. You know, because they want them so desperately and are so well equipped to raise them.

After all, there is no reason to make a child suffer for his/her mothers mistakes, misfortune by being raped or ignorance... oh wait, that's backwards. That's exactly what you want.
posted by cedar at 1:44 PM on July 1, 2005


Let's not have this conversation here, okay?
posted by 235w103 at 1:50 PM on July 1, 2005


"Let's not have this conversation here, okay?"

Why not?

Abortion is relevant to the topic. There is no other single issue that divides our people and our courts the way Roe v. Wade does. They don't call it a 'litmus test' fer nuthin'.
posted by cedar at 1:59 PM on July 1, 2005


in re: afroblanca and gurple
Hence my point that the Democrats need to shit or get off the pot when it comes to issues that I (and those like me) find important. I don't deny that they might best be served by cutting the "fringe" and moving hard to center. The problem the Dems run against when they do this is they alienate the most motivated/active members of their party.

You can hate the USGP all you like, afroblanca, but the fact of the matter is, they embrace the issues I find important and offer definite plans for implementing them. Until the Democrats do the same I don't have much reason to march behind their banner. And before you both tar me too heavily with the uncompromising assholery brush, I also volunteered my efforts to get out the vote in Ohio going so far as to spend a few weekends doing voter registration. If only the Democrats would be so kind as to reciprocate when I try to gather signatures to put my own party's candidates on the local ballot...

Finally, I have no intention of causing a derail to this thread by engaging in a Dems on Green battle. We've all done that before and we all know that goes. My comment was bookened with disclaimers about this being my own personal view. The USGP mention was a throwaway comment used to illustrate how the posturing as Leftist does little to forward the Democrats' cause amongst those of us on the "fringe" who grow tired of all of the cock teasing. My focus was on how the Democrats should play the upcoming appointment in the Senate with an eye towards rebuilding at the local level for the future and possibly lucking into a Blackmun-like moderate. If what you want to take from my comment is that I'm a Green and thus am personally fuX0ring the country, be my guest.
posted by Fezboy! at 2:01 PM on July 1, 2005


Why not?

Because I have never, ever, in all of my years seen a debate about abortion that a)convinced anyone of anything other than what they believe, and b)failed to piss people off at eachother.
Personally, I say, fuck it. I think we should quit bitching at eachother either way and try to work together to stop abortion in other ways, such as better sex education, etc. But that doesn't get politicians elected, sadly.
posted by 235w103 at 2:14 PM on July 1, 2005


My God, b_thinky, you might pause in your torrent of misspelled un-thinky posts to ask yourself whether or not there are people here reading who are gay (check) or who have relatives who have sought safe and legal abortions (check). I happen to be white, as I assume most MeFiers are, but I would never address the collective readership here as a "you" with a remark addressed specifically to white folks dismissing the concerns of blacks, Asians, or Latinos as irrelevant. It's beyond offensive, but I'll give you a break and consider it idiotic.
posted by digaman at 2:23 PM on July 1, 2005


b_thinky, doesn't troll etiquette require you to pretend to think in your baiting of others?

I'd welcome a conservative justice replacement.
A good, old-fashioned conservative. You know, one who conserves the status quo, instead of ripping its throat out.
posted by Busithoth at 2:23 PM on July 1, 2005


Food for thought from a press release issued today by the Californians for Fair and Independent Judges:

5-4 RULINGS IN WHICH SANDRA DAY O'CONNOR WAS DECISIVE

Sandra Day O'Connor has been the deciding vote in many important
Supreme Court decisions affecting civil rights, environmental protection,
personal privacy, voting rights, protection against discrimination, and
more. If she is replaced by someone who doesn't share her fair and
impartial perspective, these are among the key 5-4 decisions in danger of
being overturned:

Grutter v. Bollinger (2003) affirmed the right of state colleges and
universities to use affirmative action in their admissions policies to
increase educational opportunities for minorities and promote racial
diversity on campus.

Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation v. EPA (2004) said the
Environmental Protection Agency could step in and take action to reduce
air pollution under the Clean Air Act when a state conservation agency
fails to act.

Rush Prudential HMO, Inc. v. Moran (2002) upheld state laws giving
people the right to a second doctor's opinion if their HMOs tried to deny
them treatment.

Hunt v. Cromartie (2001) affirmed the right of state legislators to
take race into account to secure minority voting rights in redistricting.

Tennessee v. Lane (2004) upheld the constitutionality of Title II of
the Americans with Disabilities Act and required that courtrooms be
physically accessible to the disabled.

Hibbs v. Winn (2004) subjected discriminatory and unconstitutional
state tax laws to review by the federal judiciary.

Zadvydas v. Davis (2001) told the government it could not indefinitely
detain an immigrant who was under final order of removal even if no
other country would accept that person.

Brentwood Academy v. Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Association
(2001) affirmed that civil rights laws apply to associations regulating
interscholastic sports.

Lee v. Weisman (1992) continued the tradition of government neutrality
toward religion, finding that government-sponsored prayer is
unacceptable at graduations and other public school events.

Brown v. Legal Foundation of Washington (2003) maintained a key source
of funding for legal assistance for the poor.

Morse v. Republican Party of Virginia (1996) said key
anti-discrimination provisions of the Voting Rights Act apply to political
conventions
that choose party candidates.

Federal Election Commission v. Colorado Republican Federal Campaign
Committee (2001) upheld laws that limit political party expenditures that
are coordinated with a candidate and seek to evade campaign
contribution limits.

McConnell v. Federal Election Commission (2003) upheld most of the
landmark McCain-Feingold campaign finance law, including its ban on
political parties' use of unlimited soft money contributions.

Stenberg v. Carhart (2000) overturned a state ban on so-called partial
birth abortion

McCreary County v. ACLU of Kentucky (2005) upheld the principle of
government neutrality towards religion and ruled unconstitutional Ten
Commandments displays in several courthouses

Jackson v. Birmingham Bd. Of Educ. (2005) ruled that federal law
protects against retaliation against someone for complaining about illegal
sex discrimination in federally assisted education programs.

posted by digaman at 2:30 PM on July 1, 2005


Oh MAN is this bad.... I am almost afraid to read the news every day.

My kids need to be saved.

New Zealand?

Australia?

or Canada?

Anyone care to share any other decent choices?
posted by the_barbarian at 3:34 PM on July 1, 2005


the_barbarian: I was thinking of Sweden or Switzerland. Their neutrality and social liberalism is appealing. Switzerland seems to have the better climate though.

b_thinky: Even though I haven't made any "blunders," nor likely to get an abortion if I did end up pregnant for whatever reason, I would still like the choice to be mine. I don't believe in imposing that upon other people. Women should have the right to choose. Either decision carries heavy emotional consequences.
On preview: what 235w103 said.

As for SDO'C's retirement...*holds breath for the ensuing drama*
posted by state fxn at 4:05 PM on July 1, 2005


Well, guess i'll stop paying my taxes again...
posted by schyler523 at 4:15 PM on July 1, 2005


OK. I never said abortion should be illegal. I said it really does not affect enough people to deserve the amount of attention we devote to the issue.

I did say, in my personal view of abortion, that abortion is justified under certain circumstances, such as rape/incest or health reasons where the pregnancy is threatening to the mother's life. It is NOT justified as a simple form of birth control.

And yes, if you unintentionally get pregnant and have the fetus aborted, I'd say its a bad life choice, and most would probably agree (raise your hand if you've always dreamed of having an abortion).

I am in favor of abortion as a medical procedure, not as a matter of convenience. I don't know the actual figures, but I'd be willing to guess most abortions are a matter of convenience.

I don't understand why everyone says you have to either be pro birth control/pro abortion or pro abstinence/pro life. I'll teach my kids birth control with a stern warning about the potential life changing consequences.

So, state fxn, I'd say if you consent to sex and end up pregnant (whether or not you use birth control) you've already made your choice. It's the risk of sexual activity.

But what you do really has no effect on me, so at the end of the day I just don't care.
posted by b_thinky at 4:21 PM on July 1, 2005


mr.marx: I'm not saying abortion is not an important issue, I'm saying it's not as important as it's played up to be. Sometimes it seems like the only point of our entire country is to decide whether or not the procedure would be legal, when the fact is the affect on the vast majority our lives is minimal.

I see what you're saying, but since nearly half the populace might very conceivably be faced with a situation at some point in their lives in which the freedom to abort a pregnancy could be an extremely important issue, I fail to see how you can down-play the significance.

I think the point here is not whether abortion should be legal per se, but rather whether or not the people (in general) think that women are capable of making good decisions without the intervention of the government. That's why this is such a contentious issue; a good analogy would be slavery. In determining whether or not to permit slavery in some hypothetical instance, the issues under consideration are not merely about property, but also about what it means to be human, among other things. The abortion debate is not entirely about abortion, so to speak. It's about women and power. If abortion is made illegal, it will undoubtedly be a step towards other kinds of paternalistic institutional restrictions on people's private lives.
posted by clockzero at 4:21 PM on July 1, 2005


cedar: "Better to kill the kid than let him be born to loser parents."
posted by b_thinky at 4:23 PM on July 1, 2005


on preview: I am in favor of abortion as a medical procedure, not as a matter of convenience. I don't know the actual figures, but I'd be willing to guess most abortions are a matter of convenience.

I think your understanding of abortion is very shallow. Do you know anyone who has ever had an abortion? If you talked to a woman who has, you'd realize that the decision is never an easy one, and to call it a matter of convenience is extremely callous.
posted by clockzero at 4:25 PM on July 1, 2005


There is absolutely no way Frist will not go nuclear for a SCOTUS nominee.

But they prooooommiiissed they wouldn't go nuclear for SCOTUS filibusters! They PROMISED!

Bah. Fucking moron democrats, thinking they can trust those lying motherfuckers. Serves 'em right.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 4:48 PM on July 1, 2005


nah, he's an Eisenhower Republican -- they're basically good people --

matteo, statements like this are why I still like you (that and the fact that you're a paisan).
posted by jonmc at 5:06 PM on July 1, 2005


How could you not like Uncle Renzo? He always brings the good grappa!
posted by languagehat at 5:15 PM on July 1, 2005


Ha!

I'll never forget my nonno's response after I slammed a shot of grappa without flinching: "You are a man!"
posted by jonmc at 5:51 PM on July 1, 2005


I think your understanding of abortion is very shallow. Do you know anyone who has ever had an abortion? If you talked to a woman who has, you'd realize that the decision is never an easy one, and to call it a matter of convenience is extremely callous.

As convenient as dropping by 7-11 for a Slurpee? Certainly not. But more convenient than, say, having another life depend on you for as long as you live. Hey, it's your right as an American not to have any attachments (interesting how we all talk about rights, but never responsibilities, eh?).
posted by b_thinky at 7:38 PM on July 1, 2005


As convenient as dropping by 7-11 for a Slurpee? Certainly not.

I still don't understand why you're taking this opportunity to make light of a very serious issue, but you seem totally unable to grasp the gravity of the question.

But more convenient than, say, having another life depend on you for as long as you live.

Many women have abortions because they aren't ready financially, emotionally, or in a dozen other ways to be mothers. I really don't think you realize that.

Hey, it's your right as an American not to have any attachments (interesting how we all talk about rights, but never responsibilities, eh?).

No, I don't find it particularly interesting. Why, did you have something to say about responsibilities? Please do so, if this is the case. From your remarks it seems like you believe that women have some kind of obligation to carry any and every pregnancy to term, regardless of the circumstances of their lives. Personally, I think that it would be monstrously unjust for the government to attempt to impose such a stricture on women's lives, but perhaps you're a callow misogynist, and disagree.
posted by clockzero at 9:25 PM on July 1, 2005


When informing my husband of O'Connor's retirement, I mentioned in jest "I almost want to go out and have an abortion while I still can!"

b_thinky's comments in this thread are just affirming that sentiment.

While I have not personally had an abortion, I know women who have and it was never "convenient" and the pyschological trauma isn't something that I've known anyone to really get past. I'd like to note that most of these women - the ones I know personally - got pregnant due to birth control failures and not due to carelessness or reckless behavior. Oh, and ALL of them were in long term relationships. Are you really going to advocate for mandatory celibacy on the part of EVERYONE who does not want children RIGHT NOW?

On behalf of these and any other women who have had to make the difficult decision of whether or not to terminate a pregnancy, I'd like to politely ask you to pull your head out.
posted by grapefruitmoon at 10:17 PM on July 1, 2005


b_thinky: This may surprise you, but I agree with you on the whole responsibility and sex education part. I am very liberal when it comes to sex ed. I think being informed keeps us from making stupid mistakes. And openness in these discussions teach kids (or anyone) that these subjects are not taboo. If they have a problem they should feel free to talk so that we can avoid such sticky issues such as abortions or late-term abortions or what have you.

That said, now on to the whole responsibility aspect of being pregnant at an inopportune time. I believe that being forced to make that decision teaches responsibility. You say it's one of convenience implying that most people who seek abortions sees it as another equivalent alternative to say a condom or day after pills (sorry to be putting words in your mouth, but that's what it sounds like). To a certain extent (besides those exceptional cases of rape etc) it is. However, the parents should be able to decide whether they want to bring a child into this world under their particular circumstances. At least they should have the benefit of the doubt. And you are right in that no one wants one of their life goals to be "gee I wonder what getting an abortion feels like. I should try that...right after I go sky diving." It's an unpleasant decision and an unpleasant procedure. Either way they suffer for their decision, emotionally and physically. They don't need extra pressure from society once they have made their decision and they deserve to get an abortion without further threat to their life from either the procedure or other people.

To lighten the tone a bit, I am not condemning your point of view because it seems like we agree on a fair number of basic points. It's just that based on these same points, we arrive at different opinions, so I am just putting in my two cents for what it's worth. =) Personally, I would not get an abortion. Worse comes to worst, I'll put it up for adoption. However, I know it won't come to that. Still, I really value my having a choice in the matter, as I am sure many other women do as well.
posted by state fxn at 11:14 PM on July 1, 2005


It would be great if all the American mefites got together and moved to *insert socally progressive country of your choice here*. We could have a little mefi commune in the woods of our new country, and all live happily ever after as America degenerates further and further and the gluttenous empire finally crumbles into anarchy and dust as all the others have before.
posted by sophist at 11:44 PM on July 1, 2005


Thanks, state fxn, agree to disagree! I'm only stating my opinion here and never said it should be law. And of course, regardless of the choice, a woman should not be threatened or harmed.

Grapefruitmoon and clockzero: I don't see how advocating responsibility makes me a misogynist. You seem to be saying that if you get pregnant even though you used birth control, it's somehow not your fault. Well, pregnancy is what happens after sex. If you can't handle that, you shouldn't be having sex. It's that simple.

If you end up pregnant as a result of consensual sex and you are not ready to be a parent, that's a situation of your own making. The abortion as a "quick fix" attitude only leads to more people getting abortions.

And no, I never stated Roe v Wade should be overturned. I simply said the issue is not as important as its made out to be. Glad to know you actually read my post though.
posted by b_thinky at 12:50 AM on July 2, 2005


Quick, impeach the chimp NOW!
posted by Goofyy at 1:39 AM on July 2, 2005


I think that Bush's only concern is getting someone on the bench who is going to overturn Roe v Wade. He will save going for someone more rightwing later. This is a rare instance where someone will be appointed for the purpose of one case. I expect that very conservative state legislatures are already crafting abortion laws to be passed immediately. By the time those laws are challenged and appealed, the new Court will be waiting for such a case so that they can overturn Roe v. Wade. It is absolutely going to happen, and I feel that Bush cares about little else. In his mind, it will be his true legacy.
posted by flarbuse at 7:09 AM on July 2, 2005


I watched Washington Week last night on PBS. They brought up the fact that her husband has Alzheimer's disease. She probably wants to spend as many good years as possible with him before the disease becomes too advanced.

Also on the show there was speculation that the timing was odd. That most Supreme Court justices retire in the spring so as to allow the most time for confirmation of a replacement before the court reconvenes in the fall. The idea was floated about that she had checked to make sure that Rehnquist was not going to be retiring soon before making the announcement.

Look for a young replacement. The Republicans like to choose young justices because that means their appointments will last an extra, extra long time.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 7:42 AM on July 2, 2005


I expect that very conservative state legislatures are already crafting abortion laws to be passed immediately.

They've already passed. Several states already have laws that indicate the state will outlaw abortion ex post facto the moment the Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade. The most recent was in Michigan, where a ban was overturned on the grounds that Roe v. Wade countered the law. The law was written just in that way so that if Roe is overturned, the state can immediately win on appeal and boom, no more abortion in Michigan.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 8:26 AM on July 2, 2005


Justice Judy has a ring to it.

That would bring the fun to the court. : )

One name I'm surprised hasn't been mentioned is Roy Moore, aka the Ten Commandments judge. He was the former Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court, so he's got experience, and he'd be a dream candidate for the religious right, especially the ones who are not pleased with the Court's most recent Ten Commandments decision.

It wouldn't surprise me.
posted by SisterHavana at 8:53 AM on July 2, 2005


I don't see how advocating responsibility makes me a misogynist.

Advocating responsibility does not, of course, make anyone a misogynist. Weren't you going to say something about responsibility?

You seem to be saying that if you get pregnant even though you used birth control, it's somehow not your fault.

I don't know what you mean by this, but I certainly said nothing of the sort. I also think that it's sort of an irrelevant point. Establishing fault is something you do when a wrong has been committed in order to punish someone, so it seems out of place here.

Well, pregnancy is what happens after sex. If you can't handle that, you shouldn't be having sex. It's that simple.

That's exactly why contraceptives exist. The fact of the matter is that women have sex, and of course, this sometimes leads to pregnancy even when that's not the desired outcome. To say that every woman who has sex must be prepared to be pregnant is like saying that people who drive cars shouldn't get upset if they get in an accident. Pregnancy is not inevitable, and it's just not the right thing for many people. I'm sure you're not the only person who realizes that pregnancy results from sex, by the way.

If you end up pregnant as a result of consensual sex and you are not ready to be a parent, that's a situation of your own making.

I don't think anyone has said (here, anyway) that it was the doing of someone uninvolved. I'm not sure what your point here is.

The abortion as a "quick fix" attitude

Ah, there's your point. This is why I called you a misogynist. Abortion is not a "quick fix" in any way; it's a difficult, painful decision, and your apparent conviction that it's easy and convenient for women to kill something growing inside them, or that women lack any sort of feeling or compassion when it comes to this sort of situation, suggests that your understanding is very limited. I really encourage you to actually talk to women who have had abortions about their decisions and why they made them.

only leads to more people getting abortions.

I don't think this is true.
posted by clockzero at 9:48 AM on July 2, 2005


Establishing fault is something you do when a wrong has been committed in order to punish someone, so it seems out of place here.

Perhaps "fault" was not the correct word. Liable would have been more accurate. There are people here advocating abortion as a second defense birth control. Everyone must realize birth control does not work 100% of the time. That small chance that you may end up a parent is the risk you take in having sex, just as the small chance that you may be in a car accident is the risk you take driving a car.

Weren't you going to say something about responsibility?

Responsibility is accepting the outcome whatever it may be and making the best of it. For the irresponsible, that means killing your child so that you may lead a better life. For the responsible, it means growing up and becoming a parent. Responsibilty is the absence of the "me first" attitude that causes abortion. Parents are supposed to sacrifice FOR their children, not sacrifice their children.

Abortion is not a "quick fix" in any way; it's a difficult, painful decision, and your apparent conviction that it's easy and convenient for women to kill something growing inside them, or that women lack any sort of feeling or compassion when it comes to this sort of situation, suggests that your understanding is very limited.

Nobody said it was an easy choice. But it is easier than telling your parents about your sexual activity and having the inconvenience of another life depending on you indefinitely. This is the reason people have abortions, after all.

I don't think this is true.

Really? So you think public opinion has no affect on people's decisions? You don't think the fact that abortion is accepted as a legitimate life choice by so many plays a role in a woman's final decision on whether or not to have an abortion?
posted by b_thinky at 3:30 AM on July 3, 2005


BTW, the example of telling your parents about your sexual activity is intended as an example of only one reason people have abortions. Of course I realize there are many others, although anything not related to health is equally irresponsible in my book.
posted by b_thinky at 3:31 AM on July 3, 2005


an example of only one reason people have abortions

Here's another: not having the financial ability to care for a child. So you save a fetus, and condemn the child to a life of poverty and misery.

It'd be nice to see the same degree of concern for the child's well-being before they're born exercised after they're out of the womb. What you get instead is a proverbial smack on the back and "Our job here is done! Good luck with that life of yours, sucker!"
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 10:40 AM on July 3, 2005


180 comments without summoning b-e-v-e-t-s, not bad.

b_thinky, keep that attitude, and your children will have abortions without telling you (because of fear of your reaction). Sadly, this will reinforce your sheltered view of how things work.
posted by Busithoth at 1:59 PM on July 3, 2005


civil: I don't disagree with you. Society should do more to help the poor. But that's not a reason to kill the fetus. Many, many people have raised themselves from poverty. I thought liberalism was about giving everyone a fair shot, not killing them before they get a chance.

bushithoth: Oh no! Are you serious?!?! Man, my daughter is only 4 months, but I'd better run out and get some condoms and pornos and teach her all about sex, huh? You think the neighbors would be cool if I got their infant to practice with her?

I appreciate the snobbery of metafilter on this thread. Anytime someone disagrees with popular (at least here) sentiment they don't have any valid points. They are a misogynist, sheltered, ignorant, etc, etc, etc. That attitude is pretty much why liberalism is in the posiiton it is in today in this country.
posted by b_thinky at 5:44 PM on July 3, 2005


I look forward to a sane, somewhat conservative appointee. Abortion a bit more regulated, maybe. But it will be enjoyable to see the Left freak out.
posted by ParisParamus at 8:40 PM on July 3, 2005


But it is easier than telling your parents about your sexual activity and having the inconvenience of another life depending on you indefinitely. This is the reason people have abortions, after all.

You're making the assumption that everyone who gets an abortion chooses to do so because they consider it "too much work" to become a parent, and simply easier to have an abortion. I think you're missing a fundamental level of the choice: it isn't just about which option calls for less sweat. It's a question about what it means to be a parent, what it means to bring a person into the world, what one can provide for a child...

A fetus is a potential person growing inside you. You can nurture it into being and give it a life, or you can terminate it before it develops into a baby. Taking the latter route is recognized as an active decision. But taking the former route ought to be, also, because by choosing to give birth to the baby, you are taking on responsibility for its existence. You are committing to bring it into being.

Basically, this disagreement depends to a certain extent on what you think a fetus is - if you feel that it already has a 'soul' of some sort, then the fact that it isn't yet a conscious creature is not important to you. But many people who make this decision believe the fetus will become something, but is not already a human being. The decision is perhaps on par with euthanizing an animal - not a decision made lightheartedly, but also not something one need suffer guilt for.
posted by mdn at 8:32 AM on July 4, 2005


b_thinky, I'm just saying that you sound exactly like the father of more than a couple of girls I've dated, who would have literally killed someone rather than have their father know they had an abortion. (whether they had one or not). I'm older than the current batch of youngsters who believe that anal sex isn't really sex, and they're still virgins by technicality.

I'm not trying to buck responsibility of individuals at all, it's just that your position seems to reek of the attitude of "I couldn't get away with it, so you shouldn't be able to either." I guess the word I'd use is bitter.

oh, and I don't think that pornos are the best way to teach about sex, myself, but hey, I guess it worked for you...(?) Don't forget, condoms are no guarantee (and it's your own fault if it breaks).

I don't think you're misogynistic, I just ask that you question the reality in the situation. I personally think that the men (and anti-abortionists, at least the most vocal kind I've seen/read/heard of are male) who decry abortion the most should shut the fuck up, as really, we have no fucking idea what we're talking about on a first-hand basis. (as far as effect it has, motivations involved, etc.) I think that the powerlessness of being an observer in this situation fuels a good deal of the anger in the argument, also.

Also, you don't sound ignorant to me.

I fear more stories like the woman who effectively chose her dog over her son in California. Just because she spits the baby out doesn't mean it gets a civil home, or a fighting fucking chance.

BUT to get back to new justices, I don't think there should be a litmus test on abortion. I just want someone who actually thinks in the vacancy, that's all.
posted by Busithoth at 8:44 AM on July 4, 2005


posted by b_thinky at 5:44 PM PST on July 3 [!]
Oh no! Are you serious?!?! Man, my daughter is only 4 months, but I'd better run out and get some condoms and pornos and teach her all about sex, huh? You think the neighbors would be cool if I got their infant to practice with her?

you'd damn well better teach your daughter about sex. Whenever you do it. or else she will learn from pornos.
posted by Miles Long at 12:24 PM on July 6, 2005


« Older Why do Australians hang corks around their hats?...  |  Friday Flaash Fun... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments