Monday, March 28, 2005

questions from a c(an)ard carrying liberal

Here's a question to which I've never gotten a satisfactory answer...

Let's say we accept the canard about the liberal bias in the media, judiciary and academe (and the piss poor definition of liberalism put forth by conservatives). Why is it that the people who make up the three institutions most pilloried by the conservative movement -- the press, the judiciary, and college professors -- are the ones who've spent their lives in careers dedicated to the production, interpretation and dissemination of knowledge and information? Why is it that these people, who have spent their lives going to (generally) the best schools, tend to lean liberal? What does that say about the salience and validity of the liberal viewpoint even as defined (poorly) by Conservatives that very well educated people, the best minds in the country, lean towards liberal viewpoints?

Also? On Meet the Press, Richard Land of the Baptist Convention, started blathering on about how decisions like the Schiavo case shouldn't be settled by "unelected judges", yet if he'd done his homework instead of parroting GOP talking points he'd see that a fair number of judges in America are in fact selected or retained by popular election. Many in partisan elections, and in both red and blue states. In fact, some of the FLA judges who presided over this case were elected.,277

The other dumbass thing about his point is that when judges are selected they are put there by elected officials. So ultimately the elected officals are accountable to the people for the selections made to fill the judicial benches. Which, by the way, makes ridiculous the whole threat by Bill Frist and the Senate GOP to make illegal the filibustering on judicial nominees -- putting aside the fact that the 107th and 108th Congresses approved a greater share of Bush's judicial nominees than did the 103rd-106th Congresses under Clinton, the Senate's role is to advise and consent, not to "roll over and consent".

Land's point was also undone by the fact that Scalia didn't take up the case for the US Supreme Court. So the moral and ethic dimensions of the Schiavo case aside, it was pretty clear there was no legal standing for the Schindler family. That's a shame, but is something that needs to be fixed in legislature.

Another funny thing about the whole judicial activist thing is the blatant hypocrisy...rule for a conservative and with strict adherence to statutory or constitutional law and you're praised as being a "strict constructionist". Rule against a conservative and with strict adherence to statutory or constitutional law, and you're vilified for being an activist.

So crazy.

I feel horribly for the Schindlers, but I find it sad that they lit into Jeb Bush when he, a very conservative governor, decided to stay within the boundaries of the FLA constitution and statues. It may very well be that the law itself needs changing -- IMO, if there's this big a dispute between family members over the wishes of someone like Schiavo (in her condition, no advanced medical directive) then it may be that you err on the side of keeping the person alive. How to work that out legally I don't know, but it's hard not to have misgivings about her being starved to death.

But the law's the law, and once you declare a body of government null and void and usurp powers, well, it's a slippery slope to fascism and dictatorial, unaccountable rule.

All that said, I'm getting a living will done soon.

No comments: