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January 9, 2001
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The "Stop Ashcroft" movement gets busy - does this coalition have a website? I've already e-mailed my senators but I'd like to see what else I can do to keep this goon as far away from the Attorney General's office as possible.
posted by NickBarat (31 comments total)

 
Don't count on it. Losing Chavez means dealmaking: Bush will nominate someone more sympathetic to Big Labor, and in turn Big Labor will to lay off Ashcroft. That, combined with senatorial privilege, means he's in.

Barring photos surfacing of him having sex with canines or something.
posted by aaron at 3:16 PM on January 9, 2001



will to = will have to
posted by aaron at 3:16 PM on January 9, 2001


I don't think Ashcroft is a done deal at all. I just emailed my senators too:

"I am a resident of California and I am writing to oppose the appointment of Sen. Ashcroft to the position of Attorney General on the basis of his opposition in the Senate of abortion rights, gun laws, environmental protection, anti-hate crime legislation and gay rights. He is a divider, not the uniter that Bush promised to appoint. He is not what the country needs at this difficult and divisive time. Please do whatever is within your power to oppose his appointment."

If anyone wants to copy it, feel free.

Here are the statements from NOW, The Sierra Club and People for the American Way on Ashcroft.




posted by aniretac at 3:50 PM on January 9, 2001


The PFAW statement is particularly acute.
posted by aniretac at 3:53 PM on January 9, 2001


I like Ashcroft! With him, the talk show guys will bash his opponents and defend him, thus preserving jobs. The Dems will have a target for their contempt. The Nader people will come to see the folly of their choice. The Republicans will have to begin to wonder why the next election may well be in trouble. Ashcroft. He can truly point out that we are now Two Nations
posted by Postroad at 3:57 PM on January 9, 2001


A pointless, and probably counterproductive endevor.

Bush's Attorney General will implement Bush's policies, no more and no less, regardless of his personal feelings. Whether the AG has conservative personal leanings, like Ashcroft, or moderate leanings, will have almost no bearing on this.

But what this does, if successful, is burn through a very significant amount of the legal-issues political capital that Democratic Senators are willing to spend on opposing Bush nominees. If the Democratic interests groups force the moderate Democratic Senators to oppose Ashcroft, you had better believe that those same guys will not support an effort not confirm Bush's appointment for the next Chief Justice. (An appointment, after all, which is likely to be made as early as this Spring.)

It's a bad bargain for the left, really it is...
posted by MattD at 3:59 PM on January 9, 2001


The Nader people will come to see the folly of their choice.

That's about as likely as the Democrats admitting it was their own bloody fault they lost the election and not that of the relatively small number of people who voted for what they believed in (fathom that) rather than sucking it up and taking four more years of being kicked around by their supposed allies.

-Mars
posted by Mars Saxman at 4:35 PM on January 9, 2001


I hope Ashcroft and Norton get torn into tiny bite sized chunks.I think the odds are pretty good on Ashcroft (who is as rabidly right wing as they come), but poor on Norton (Dems will roll over and play dead on the environment because the economy is slipping).
posted by Mr. skullhead at 4:42 PM on January 9, 2001


Mars: I was twitting. Poor Gore lost because of his lousy campaign and got only a half a million more votes than Bush...serves him right. But Nader did fairly well in Florida and this would have been a lot tougher for the Machine to juggle (the Machine: GOP)
posted by Postroad at 4:54 PM on January 9, 2001


Thanks for the list of senetors, I'm going to e-mail mine right away...
Mars Saxman,
You are right, you voted your for what you believe in and that your right as an American. But you, and may others like you, must realize your choice will cause harm to all Americans. Were thinking of that when you cast your vote for Nader? Sometimes one must put aside his or here own self interest for the greater good. Shame on you and rest of you who supported Nader for being so selfish.
posted by Bag Man at 4:56 PM on January 9, 2001


But you, and may others like you, must realize your choice will cause harm to all Americans.

Funny, that's what 50 million people think about you for having voted for Gore.
posted by aaron at 5:07 PM on January 9, 2001



Wow, enlightening post, Bag Man. I definately agree that people should be ashamed to actually vote for the person they want to win. We should, instead, suspend our democracy and just have you choose who should be president.
posted by Doug at 5:14 PM on January 9, 2001


Bush's Attorney General will implement Bush's policies, no more and no less, regardless of his personal feelings.

It's funny how the GOP forgot that line when talking about Janet Reno during Waco/Elián/etc...
posted by holgate at 5:21 PM on January 9, 2001


I haven't seen anything on Ashcroft that would derail his nomination. He launched a mean-spirited attack on Ronnie White's record as a judge, though White was no worse on the death penalty than judges Ashcroft nominated to Missouri's Supreme Court, but that appears to be a political payback rather than something racial.

Ashcroft has a reputation for being a cordial opponent in the Senate, and senators tend to be kind to their own in these circumstances.

It's disturbing to me that he would give an interview with Southern Partisan, considering the kind of anti-minority articles it publishes, but for some reason Republicans can't establish any distance between themselves and groups like that. Even John McCain hired a Southern Partisan editor in South Carolina, and didn't get rid of him when the Bush campaign criticized him for it.
posted by rcade at 6:06 PM on January 9, 2001


Doug,
It's good to stand on your morals, I respect that. However, the only thing that is worse your brand of humor this your conception reality. Sometimes you have to take one for the team...vote someone who you least hate, to make sure that someone that you really hate and do not want to be elected does, in fact, not get elected. Bush is a case in point. Third parties in U.S. are all good for parlor debates and fools like you that don't live in the real world. Back on earth in the U.S. third parties are only here to raise issues, not to decide elections.
Multiple parties may work to some extent in Europe and elsewhere, but they don't in the U.S. because we have a different type of democracy than they do. Moreover, in many European and Middle East countries (i.e. Italy and Israel with 40+ parties each) the multiple party system has cause those countries to be rife with division, where tiny parties that represent less than 5% of the electorate stop entire system form getting anything thing done. (This what we grown-ups call the tyranny of the minority, which Madison warns us about in Federalist#10)
With Bush this country is taking two huge steps back...do you want a woman’s right to choose overturned? Do want the basic dignity of minorities and guys willfully dismantled? Do want the Christian Collation setting the standard for the separation of Church and State? If you voted Nader you were voted for all of the above. I hope all Nader supports are happy, this brave new world has been wrought by none other than you!
posted by Bag Man at 9:03 PM on January 9, 2001


Doug,
It's good to stand on your morals, I respect that. However, the only thing that is worse your brand of humor this your conception reality. Sometimes you have to take one for the team...vote someone who you least hate, to make sure that someone that you really hate and do not want to be elected does, in fact, not get elected. Bush is a case in point. Third parties in U.S. are all good for parlor debates and fools like you that don't live in the real world. Back on earth in the U.S. third parties are only here to raise issues, not to decide elections.
Multiple parties may work to some extent in Europe and elsewhere, but they don't in the U.S. because we have a different type of democracy than they do. Moreover, in many European and Middle East countries (i.e. Italy and Israel with 40+ parties each) the multiple party system has cause those countries to be rife with division, where tiny parties that represent less than 5% of the electorate stop entire system form getting anything thing done. (This what we grown-ups call the tyranny of the minority, which Madison warns us about in Federalist#10)
With Bush this country is taking two huge steps back...do you want a woman’s right to choose overturned? Do want the basic dignity of minorities and guys willfully dismantled? Do want the Christian Collation setting the standard for the separation of Church and State? If you voted Nader you were voted for all of the above. I hope all Nader supports are happy, this brave new world has been wrought by none other than you!
posted by Bag Man at 9:03 PM on January 9, 2001


sorry for the double post...
posted by Bag Man at 9:06 PM on January 9, 2001


Hey Bag Man, I voted for Browne, you got a problem with me too? I'm guessing that you don't, my vote probably didn't hurt your guy. The thing you should realize, is that if some people voted for Nader, they are telling you pretty clearly that they are not on your team. Do you really want some of the walking databases that reside here to run down what you really voted for when you voted for Gore? Keep it up with the tough guy talk (really, fools like you; we grown-ups) and I am sure some slick lefty is going to hand you your hat. Even if all the nasty stuff you say is going to happen does come to pass, (and I will bet money they it does not), why don't you aim it at the people who are actually responsible, rather than people who choose to vote their conscience.
posted by thirteen at 9:19 PM on January 9, 2001


Right on, thirteen!
Its time the left gets off its ass and figures out what its values really are. Until then...Nader!Nader!Nader!
posted by black8 at 10:01 PM on January 9, 2001




...though White was no worse on the death penalty than judges Ashcroft nominated...

Surely you mean 'no better'?
posted by Mocata at 3:52 AM on January 10, 2001


Ashcroft gave more than an interview to Southern Partisan, he very nearly gave them head:

"You’ve got a heritage of doing that, of defending Southern patriots like Lee, Jackson and Davis. Traditionalists must do more. I’ve got to do more. We’ve all got to stand up and speak in this respect, or else we’ll be taught that these people were giving their lives, subscribing their sacred fortunes and their honor to some perverted agenda."


posted by sudama at 6:06 AM on January 10, 2001


Bush's Attorney General will implement Bush's policies, no more and no less, regardless of his personal feelings. Whether the AG has conservative personal leanings, like Ashcroft, or moderate leanings, will have almost no bearing on this.

I know we've been through this 1,001 times, but...If all we keep hearing is that GWB 'has a good team,' is it really realistic to believe that he's got his cabinet under control? To me, Dubya has given no indication that he has a strong presidential policy, agenda, or even interest in his post. So it's hard for me to believe that his cabinet is going to be following his orders, and not the other way around.
posted by rklawler at 8:28 AM on January 10, 2001


I'm just curious... how many of you really think that John Ashcroft is a racist?
posted by mikewas at 1:13 PM on January 10, 2001


Before we get started, let's define racist.
posted by sudama at 3:27 PM on January 10, 2001


John Ashcroft is anything but a racist, Ronnie White and Southern Partisan notwithstanding.

ObDisclosure: I (a minority woman) worked in Ashcroft's office during a summer some years ago. During that time I interacted with him professionally about 3x a week, but I also attended the same church as he and his family did, and saw them 3x a week there. He is an extremely gentle-spirited, generous man of strong convictions -- convictions which he has always stood by for himself without needing to impart their specifics into decisions he made in his official governmental capacity.

I would have no hesitation to vote for Ashcroft for president; unlike just about everyone who has held the office in the last fifty years, he's a man with a moral backbone. This effort to paint him as the absolute opposite of everything that he is and believes in astounds and sickens me.
posted by Dreama at 5:49 PM on January 10, 2001


I don't know if Ashcroft is a racist, but I do think he should explain why he gave an interview to Southern Partisan, accepted an honorary degree from Bob Jones University and is believed to be sympathetic to the Council of Conservative Citizens. All three of those entities *are* racist.
posted by rcade at 6:37 PM on January 10, 2001


From the RNC:


The REAL Facts on Senator Ashcroft's Record
For more detailed information, visit http://www.rnc.org/ashcroft.htm.

* John Ashcroft is the most qualified candidate for Attorney General in America's history. During his years as Missouri's Attorney General, he was voted Chairman of the bipartisan National Association of Attorneys General. As Missouri's Governor, his fellow governors voted him to be their Chairman of the bipartisan National Governors Association.

* Governor Ashcroft signed into law Missouri's first Hate-Crimes Bill.

* Senator Ashcroft supported 26 of the 28 African Americans nominated to the
federal bench by the Clinton/Gore Administration. Of the two nominees that Ashcroft did not support, one was withdrawn and the other, Ronnie White, was defeated.

* As Governor, Ashcroft appointed several African Americans to judgeships, including to the Missouri Court of Appeals And St. Louis' 21st Judicial Circuit.

* Ashcroft was commended by one of the oldest black bar associations for his record of appointing minorities.

* Ashcroft appointed the first African American to sit on St. Louis' 21st
Judicial Circuit.

* Ashcroft was one of the first governors to sign a law recognizing Martin
Luther King's Birthday.

* Ashcroft appointed a commission to celebrate King's legacy.

* Ashcroft created an award honoring George Washington Carver's
accomplishments.

* Ashcroft established the first and only African-American historic site in
Missouri.

* Ashcroft cosponsored the Violence Against Women Act.

* Ashcroft fought to toughen the penalties for gun crimes.

* Ashcroft attacked Missouri's drug problem.

* Liberals Have Praised Ashcroft As An Honest Man. "Former Sen. Paul Simon, a liberal Democrat whose ideology is the polar opposite of Ashcroft's, says
[Ashcroft] is 'completely honest.' Sen. Russell Feingold, D-Wis., who served on the Judiciary Committee with Ashcroft, called him 'a gentleman' who was 'invariably polite and flexible' in his handling of legislative matters."
(David J. Porter, "John Ashcroft Attorney General," Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, December 31, 2000)
posted by aaron at 10:37 PM on January 10, 2001



If you're looking for a more balanced view, it may help to listen to this NPR story that aired yesterday.
posted by Aaaugh! at 3:47 AM on January 11, 2001


is believed to be sympathetic to the Council of Conservative Citizens.

Ummm..... believed by whom? What evidence is there for this belief? And why should anyone have to rebut other people's assumptions about him?
posted by mikewas at 11:07 AM on January 11, 2001


Here's a message for Bag Man:

I am PROUD to say that actually did vote for someone I least disliked in order to make sure that someone I really despised did not end up in office. For that reason, I voted for Bush in case Gore actually had a chance. Eight years of Clintonism is enough! If I was CERTAIN that Gore would not win, I would have definitely voted for an independent! Also, third parties are important even if they don't have a chance in a million. A two political party system can not possibly represent the interests and views of everyone in our nation with real accuracy. The growth of independent parties is important to remind voters and politicians that not everyone's views and beliefs can be neatly categorized into one of two groups!

I couldn't help but chuckle at your claim that, while multiple parties may work in European and other countries, it doesn't work here simply because we have a different form of democracy. Our form of government may have some differences from the democracy in other countries, but it also shares quite a bit with those with a Representative Democracy. How can our government effectively REPRESENT us when it basically only acknowledges two sides to every issue? Maybe having 40+ political parties is too much, but it should be obvious to everyone that we suffer from exact opposite problem. I suppose that you would consider it progress if our two political parties found a way to completely consolidate and merge into one giant monopoly? Perhaps you would think that, at least then, drastic changes could be made to laws and policies without the constant delays and bickering that seems to take place today.

If you want to talk about a system that can't get anything done, you could find this possibility a lot closer to home than the threat of a tiny political group in some European country. Would you at least consider the potential benefit of having a strong third party with members in the House and Senate, especially with the way things are deadlocked now? Imagine how the other two parties would be forced to ask this third party for support in passing their legislation and, as a result, how they would feel compelled to listen what this party wants in return. I may not have a degree in Political Science, but it sounds to me like a certain level of cooperation would result.

Tell me, do you ACTUALLY BELIEVE what you said when you claimed that President Bush will somehow overturn women's right to vote, strip away all civil rights, and when you suggested that he will basically declare gays as second-class citizens??!! Even if this was within his power, he couldn't get these types of ridiculous changes made when the House and Senate are basically deadlocked! Is this level of paranoia genuine or did some political propaganda succeed in brainwashing you?
posted by bsperan at 9:57 PM on January 14, 2001


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