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Attorney General-Designate John Ashcroft -- Unprincipled Attacks On A Man Of Principle
January 15, 2001 2:14 PM   Subscribe

Attorney General-Designate John Ashcroft -- Unprincipled Attacks On A Man Of Principle Here is a more accurate view of Ashcroft. The unfounded accusations that I keep hearing are mostly ridiculous and absurd. It seems clear to me that this effort at defaming him is part of the self-admitted goal of REVENGE that the Democrat party has adopted since it lost the Presidential election. For less biased news, read this recent MSNBC article, Hearings to test Bush, opposition.
posted by bsperan (33 comments total)

 
Nice troll. buh-bye.
posted by ritualdevice at 2:22 PM on January 15, 2001


Nice troll. buh-bye.

easy with the troll card, buddy. Just cause bsperan doesn't subscribe to your world view doesn't make him a troll.
posted by Avogadro at 2:34 PM on January 15, 2001


Fascinating to be seeing user 3040 attempt to pull rank on user 3120. How long have either of you been here, five days max?
posted by aaron at 2:35 PM on January 15, 2001


If someone doesn't start a fight soon I'm going to EXPLODE!!!!


What are you looking at, buddy!?!


posted by schlomo at 2:47 PM on January 15, 2001


Ashcroft isn't above unprincipled attacks, eh? I've got 2 words for you: Ronnie White.
posted by snakey at 2:48 PM on January 15, 2001


uhm. that should read:

Ashcroft is above unprincipled attacks, eh? I've got 2 words for you: Ronnie White.
posted by snakey at 2:49 PM on January 15, 2001


I had my doubts about Ashcroft up to this point, but if the Republican National Committee likes him, that's good enough for me!
posted by rcade at 2:51 PM on January 15, 2001


Waitaminute! Isn't MSNBC part of the 'liberal media' the right is always complaining about? Guess they aren't so liberal when they agree with you.
Nobody is sending around lists of folks who 'mysteriously died' while Ashcroft was govenor. No one has called him a fascist. Considering Clinton's and Reno's treatment over the last eight years, I'd say the so-called attacks have been rather mild.

posted by black8 at 3:27 PM on January 15, 2001


I can not comprehend why so many are upset about Ashcroft's nomination for Attorney General. For that matter, it is very hard for me to imagine an Attorney General worse than Janet Reno. Personally, I am more concerned about the nomination of Tommy Thompson as the head of the Department of Health and Human Services. It has been said that he has strong ties with Phillip-Morrison, tobacco lobbyists, and other groups that suggest a TRUE conflict of interests.

It seems obvious to me that Democrats are pushing this protest of Ashcroft as another step in REVENGE, planning a protest for Bush's inauguration ceremony is just the beginning. Ashcroft just happened to be chosen as an easy target. Point in fact: It has been shown that a large portion of the material currently being used to defame Ashcroft and discourage his nomination for Attorney General originated from the Carnahan (Democrat rival) campaign headquarters.

Give me a break! I'm sure that Pro-Choice advocates, gay-rights advocates, gun control lobbyists, and others would prefer an Attorney General that shared their political views and supported their causes. But, don't we ALL want someone that listens to our needs, wants, and fears? We can't always get what we want and we can't all have it our way. Nor can we all have a politician that genuinely reflects all these things we want to see in him or her. In other words, some groups are going to be upset no matter who is chosen.

Is that any reason to try to supersede our President's RIGHT and AUTHORITY to nominate candidates for his own administration? If the President did not choose candidates that reflected his party's platform, then he would NOT be reflecting the interests of the supporters and voters that got him into office. Did these protesters honestly believe that Republican President Bush would nominate DEMOCRAT candidates or those that held Democrat views?! Are they saying that THEIR OPINIONS should count MORE than the President's decision on this matter?

If there is something about the System that we don't like (like the election results) then we should do something to try to change it. EVERYONE now agrees that the voting "system" we currently use is prone to error and is unacceptable, right? Wouldn't all this money, time, and energy be better spent in convincing our representatives of the importance of reforming things like the Electoral College, our antiquated voting system, and campaign financing? Isn't it more effective to solve the root of the problem than to complain about its EFFECTS?! Of course, it is MUCH EASIER to COMPLAIN about something than to actually DO anything about it. Many politicians know this well!

Anyway, this whole protest is hypocritical. The protesters seem to be saying that they ABSOLUTELY refuse to trust ANY POLITICIAN to honestly carry out the duties of the office they were sworn into MERELY because he or she does not share their views or beliefs. Are they saying that they no longer have any confidence in our system of government? If they still do, then why are they trying to divide our nation? It seems apparent that Ashcroft is not as much of a "Right-Wing Extremist" as the protesters are true Left-Wing Extremists!

If Ashcroft’s nomination IS refused solely on the grounds that his beliefs and political views are so extreme as to make him “incompetent,” this will be the first such case in American history! Can you imagine the consequences this would have on the future of our government and country?! The next time a particularly controversial politician is about to win a nomination or take office, the opposition could, with enough backers, try to get him or her thrown out with trumped-up reasons on how strong beliefs EQUALS incompetence!

If Gore had won and had nominated a strong Democrat for Attorney General, then Democrats would be VERY upset if Republican-minded groups (such as the Christian Coalition, Pro-Life activists, and gun-rights lobbyists) staged protests and DEMANDED that Gore's candidate be rejected based solely on the strength of his or her platform and views. Furthermore, if a President Gore had caved in to this pressure and changed his nomination of Attorney General to more closely reflect a Republican party platform, then many of Gore's supporters would be outraged and loose confidence in him. I am a little surprised to find that the "Sore-Loserman 2000" slogan seems to fit practically all Democrats.

What many people seem to be forgetting is that our precious vote for President is a PACKAGE DEAL. We have a REPRESENTATIVE government and this single vote tends to represent the views of the President's ENTIRE administration. Further, since we have a practically deadlocked House and Senate, support of our President is all the more critical to get anything done. This is important even if we didn't vote for him or agree with his views or actions.

Even before Bush took his oath of office, Democrats were claiming that he was way to partisan and uncooperative to get anything done. These protests of Bush and Ashcroft seem to just get everyone more upset, pushing both sides further apart and making cooperation more difficult. (BTW: It seems strange and ironic to me that there is so much political outrage and activism today when statistics show that LESS THAN HALF of Americans actually voted in November!) If nothing political gets done or improves in the next four years, it should be obvious that our apathy and the Democrat's single-minded mission of REVENGE will be to blame, not the President. But, I guess it feels good to have someone else to blame. That way, we can believe we were just helpless victims that had no opportunity to make a difference! It seems like we don't want to face the facts that we all have the responsibility to vote (minus Felons) and to tell our representatives how we feel.
posted by bsperan at 3:39 PM on January 15, 2001


Whoa, next time, put tags around posts like that, will ya bsperan?

The reason I don't like Ashcroft (and I consider myself more left than most Democrats), is that he seems to be so opinionated. I would love to have an impartial Attorney General, one that pursues the upholding of the law in it's current form, instead of lobbying for changes.

I don't know if he'll be able to set aside his personal beliefs if the current laws disagree with his ideologies...
posted by Neb at 4:45 PM on January 15, 2001


Errrr, that was supposed to be "put <rant> tags around posts like that"... :)
posted by Neb at 4:46 PM on January 15, 2001


Note to black8:

First of all, I never claimed that the article I linked from MSNBC agreed with my views nor presented him in a soft light. If you had actually read it, you would find a definite degree of harsh criticism of Ashcroft. This article was released only yesterday and I thought that it was much more balanced and less opinionated than most of the links I found on the MetaFilter thread Stop Ashcroft Movement or elsewhere.

Secondly, many people have given a lot of mud-slinging and name-calling to Ashcroft these last couple of weeks. Just don't expect to find all the facts and name-calls in this MetaFilter thread. Many others have complained at great length with baseless accusations, such as how Ashcroft supposedly got his nephew a reduced sentence after he was convicted of a drug violation. (There isn't even any circumstantial evidence of this.)

Finally, I consider it insulting to compare Ashcroft with either Clinton or Reno! Both of the latter deserve every bit of criticism and more! (Dozens and dozens of well-written books and various testimony givens plenty of reasons for this... not to mention their policies and decisions! How can anyone deny that they are liers?) Anyway, the intensity of the criticism that these two have received during all their years in office doesn't seem so harsh when compared to level that Ashcroft has received in the last two weeks (before his nomination has even been accepted)!

"To be conscious in America is to be in a constant state of rage..." - James Baldwin
posted by bsperan at 4:49 PM on January 15, 2001


bsperan : Did you type all that out in this little box?
posted by fullerine at 4:50 PM on January 15, 2001


And WHAT'S with the CAPTAIN james t KIRK writing?
posted by fullerine at 4:54 PM on January 15, 2001


I'll just chime in to repeat the words a friend of mine said the other day when asked about her connections to John Ashcroft. "All I know", she said "Is that I loved going to the governor's mansion because his son had the best cocaine in Missouri."

Yeah.
posted by annathea at 5:02 PM on January 15, 2001


As a Democrat who's not a fan of Ashcroft, let me say this : I can deal with a Republican Attorney General, even one that leans to the right. You're missing the point.

You seem to be asserting (over and over) that Dems don't want to accept any Republicans in this cabinet, especially not 'strong' ones. You call us sore losers for not accepting the outcome and moving on.

I think you're missing the thrust of the anti-Ashcroft discussion. The three issues that stand out to me are Ronnie White, Bob Jones U, and his 60 pot plant nephew. Sure, I didn't know about these issues until the 'liberal media' informed me, but I did some research on my own and I'm not entirely comfortable with his past.

If Ashcroft leaned hard right but didn't appear to be a hypocritical racist, I would have no major problems with him in office. I would imagine more than a few Democrats would feel the same.
posted by jragon at 5:04 PM on January 15, 2001


My problem with Ashcroft's appointment has more to do with Dubya than it does with Ashcroft. Mr. Bush has no mandate, the country is not screaming for right wing politics. All the opinion polls I've seen on Ashcroft are split right down the middle, like the election.

I just think it's tremendously arrogant and disrespectful to install someone as polar as Ashcroft when you don't have the support of people. Ashcroft acts the same way. The republican party needs to wake up and realize that this is not the White Christian States of America, and show a little respect to well over half of us with dissenting opinion.

And what's with all this "republican rage" and Clinton Fatigue? If the right was pissed about Clinton, imagine what they'd be like if they'd have had to "put up with" a real liberal with some backbone. Too bad it took Clinton 8 years +/- 30 days to grow one.

...and for my good friend black8, I've got at least one suspicious Ashcroft death for ya: Mel Carnahan.

...and sorry about the troll thing if I jumped the gun, it just sounded a little too antagonistic to be sincere.
posted by ritualdevice at 6:10 PM on January 15, 2001


It seems obvious to me that Democrats are pushing this protest of Ashcroft as another step in REVENGE, planning a protest for Bush's inauguration ceremony is just the beginning.

This guy isn't just conservative, he's hyper-conservative and there's a basic question of whether it's appropriate for a president who was (s)elected under extremely questionable circumstances to nominate individuals so far beyond the Pale. I mean, Bush doesn't have a mandate to do diddley-squat so where does he get off appointing people like this?

Is that any reason to try to supersede our President's RIGHT and AUTHORITY to nominate candidates for his own administration?

The president can nominate anyone he wants. It's the right of the Senate on the other hand to advise and consent.

If there is something about the System that we don't like (like the election results) then we should do something to try to change it.

This is the second time I've heard this appeal to complacency. Interesting that it comes from a quarter never known to observe niceties when the wind's blowing in the other direction or to reconcile itself to any outcome it has never liked (witness the reception Clinton got at the beginning of his administration). I wonder what the message will be once attempts are actually made to change the system.

In any case, we don't have to wait that long because the system, as is, already allows for the Senate to chuck these right-wing ideologues out. Hopefully they'll take the opportunity.

posted by leo at 6:47 PM on January 15, 2001


bsperan, do you even know who James Baldwin is?
posted by sudama at 7:53 PM on January 15, 2001


To bsperan-
My comments had nothing to do with the article per se, nor you personally. I don't know your views beyond what I've been able to read here and in your other posts.
However, I agree with leo and jragon.
The GOP wanted REVENGE on Clinton from the outset of his administration!
You claim Ashcroft has the votes, so what's yer beef?
I have no problems with Republicans per se. I've even voted for a few but to claim 'unfair'?...well, that's modern politics for ya-medicine the right doled out for eight years.
How does it taste?

posted by black8 at 8:22 PM on January 15, 2001


posts....too...long....must....keep....scrolling.....carpal...tunnel...setting...in....almost.....
posted by th3ph17 at 8:46 PM on January 15, 2001


to repeat the words a friend of mine said the other day when asked about her connections to John Ashcroft....

So when will your friend be calling a Democratic senator so that she can testify during the hearings? That's a very serious charge, exactly the sort of thing that could really show people that Ashcroft is a hypocrite truly undeserving of the job, and thus quash his as-of-now-predetermined confirmation.

Oh, what, she's not willing to make that claim under oath? Gee, really? I wonder why.
posted by aaron at 9:56 PM on January 15, 2001



Isn't he the oldest Baldwin brother?
posted by CRS at 11:14 AM on January 16, 2001


yes, unbiased news from a political party.

apparently not only is he a newbie to meta, but to politics.
posted by will at 12:16 PM on January 16, 2001


If nothing political gets done or improves in the next four years, it should be obvious that our apathy and the Democrat's single-minded mission of REVENGE will be to blame, not the President. But, I guess it feels good to have someone else to blame.

You mean like how you are already blaming "the Democrat" for anything that might go wrong in the upcoming Bush administration?
posted by daveadams at 12:33 PM on January 16, 2001


leo said: This guy isn't just conservative, he's hyper-conservative and there's a basic question of whether it's appropriate for a president who was (s)elected under extremely questionable circumstances to nominate individuals so far beyond the Pale. I mean, Bush doesn't have a mandate to do diddley-squat so where does he get off appointing people like this?

News flash: He's going to be in office on Saturday, mandate or no. He won. He "gets off" appointing people "like this" because he can. That's what happens when you are the President (elect.)

He does not have to appoint cabinet members to placate the the people who didn't vote for him. He would be a fool to, as would every other president. (Who was the last president with a "mandate" anyway?) His job is to choose the people that he feels best suited to the positions in question.

As to the idea that Ashcroft is this hyperconservative extremist, where is this coming from? Charles Schumer even blathered this inanity on the senate floor this afternoon. How is Ashcroft more of an extremist than a good five or six key Senators that I could name offhand, a nice handful of reps and a big chunk of the American population? Evidence, please!
posted by Dreama at 2:02 PM on January 16, 2001


If Ashcroft's nomination IS refused solely on the grounds that his beliefs and political views are so extreme as to make him incompetent, this will be the first such case in American history!

Ashcroft is hardly the first presidential appointee to meet with vigorous partisan disapproval, and if the nomination were rejected on that account, it would hardly be the first to be derailed by such disapproval. For example, Clinton's 1995 nomination of Dr. Henry Foster for the position of surgeon general died, not because it was voted down, but from a Republican filibuster.
posted by redfoxtail at 2:11 PM on January 16, 2001


There's one modern system which "legislates morality", to quote Ashcroft slightly out of context. It's sharia law, as demonstrated in all those "rogue states" that Bush wants to defend himself against. The irony is delicious.
posted by holgate at 2:17 PM on January 16, 2001


Bush doesn't have a mandate to do diddley-squat so where does he get off appointing people like this?

Are you aware of what percentages of the vote Bill Clinton got in 1992 and 1996? If you aren't, you better look them up. If you are, then you already know you're being exceedingly hypocritical with such a statement.

The winner has the mandate to acheive whatever he can pull off, period. If Bush had won 60-40, it might have made Democrats more wary of fighting him on a lot of issues, but that's it. This is a Republican White House. You should expect lots of Republicans.

As to the idea that Ashcroft is this hyperconservative extremist, where is this coming from?

Dreama, they know it's incorrect. It's intentionally misleading rhetoric intended to demonize and get more people scared. The more people they get scared, the better chance they have of defeating him. (Though it's not going to work in this case.)
posted by aaron at 2:46 PM on January 16, 2001



There's one modern system which "legislates morality", to quote Ashcroft slightly out of context.

Oh, there's more than one. Every law which governs human interaction is a legislation of morality. Laws which ban sexual abuse and rape govern morality. Laws against murder govern morality. Sharia law is just a (truly) extreme example of the imposition of a singular viewpoint of morality on the people, consequences be damned.
posted by Dreama at 2:51 PM on January 16, 2001


Who was the last president with a "mandate" anyway?)

Reagan won by 18 percent in 1984 and a 525-13 margin in the Electoral College.

As for whether Ashcroft is a "hyperconservative extremist," I think someone who opposes abortion even in cases of rape and incest qualifies for membership in that club.
posted by rcade at 4:05 PM on January 16, 2001


Dreama said:
As to the idea that Ashcroft is this hyperconservative extremist, where is this coming from?

aaron responded:
Dreama, they know it's incorrect. It's intentionally misleading rhetoric intended to demonize and get more people scared.

Actually aaron, it might just be serious. "Conservative", "liberal", and "extremist" are all relative to one's own point of view. Maybe to you Ashcroft's views sound reasonable, but that doesn't mean that someone farther to the left wouldn't find him frighteningly conservative, to the point of extremism.

I'd be really hesitant to proclaim that this is "intentionally misleading rhetoric" without evidence that some purposeful deception is occuring. Perhaps it's just intentionally dramatic rhetoric, designed to make something the speaker honestly believes clear in a punchy, attention-getting way.

Your own comment is an example of the phenomenon you are misreading as dishonesty.

-Mars
posted by Mars Saxman at 5:43 PM on January 16, 2001


The winner has the mandate to acheive whatever he can pull off, period.

Well, if that's your definition of a mandate, good luck. You can have a mandate like that any day of the week. Bush has a mandate to nominate an ultra-conservative and the Congress has a mandate to oppose him.
posted by leo at 11:09 PM on January 16, 2001


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