Sunday, May 08, 2005

1936: It was a very good year. Now let's break the Dems and bring it back! 

Not as good as 1933, of course...

Anyhow, our Inky's Dick Polman takes a look at the extremist judges the Loser in Chief and Bill "Hello Kitty" Frist are trying to ram through. Ever heard of "The Constitution in Exile"? That's the winger name for a Constitution that wouldn't support things like Social Security, occupational health and safety, the Civil Rights act, the right to privacy; that is, to the Constitution before the New Deal.

The marquee political campaign of 2005 is really about 1937 - the year the U.S. Supreme Court first decreed that FDR's big-government New Deal was in sync with the Constitution, that federal oversight over labor laws and the economy was legal and proper. Conservatives weren't happy then, and they're not happy now.

The difference is, now they have the power.

Many are increasingly vocal about restoring the Constitution as it was strictly interpreted before 1937. As conservative federal Judge Douglas Ginsburg declared 10 years ago, coining a phrase that is now grist for the current debate, his ideological brethren seek the return of "the Constitution in Exile."

The phrase is now richocheting through the political community, thanks primarily to the efforts of legal scholars and liberal activists who believe that "Constitution in Exile" neatly encapsulates a conservative desire to roll back the FDR-triggered federal oversight of the workplace, marketplace, environment, race and sex discrimination, and the general welfare.

Conservatives insist that the propagation of the phrase is just a liberal trick to make them look bad.

A big component of the winger pathology of denial seems to be denying the words they use when they poll badly; like a six-year-old saying "I never said that!" Private, no personal accounts; Doug Feith (back); same thing here.

Steven Bainbridge, a business law professor at the University of California, Los Angeles, barely concealed his pique in an e-mail the other day: "The Constitution in Exile buzz is being generated by liberal academics who basically want to paint [us] as Neanderthals who want to turn back the clock...

Um, so (see Janice Brown, below) if ruling Social Security unconstitutional isn't rolling back the clock, what is?

"It's the legal equivalent of the theocracy scare being drummed up in the liberal media. Both are designed to delegitimate having any debate over the proper size and role of the federal government. It's dishonest and cheap."

Excellent! The theocracy meme is propagating, and that has the winger's pissed. And note, once again, the pathology of denial: "I never said that!" But they did say it; theocracy is exactly what they want; farmer has the goods (back))

But it's demonstrably true that some Bush nominees are firm believers in the
Constitution in Exile credo, even if they don't invoke the term. Consider, for example, Janice Rogers Brown, a nominee for the U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington and a current target of the Senate Democrats' filibuster efforts.

Brown, a California Supreme Court justice, delivered a speech in 2000 that equated the Communist takeover in Russia with the U.S. Supreme Court rulings that validated the New Deal. After linking "the revolutions of 1917 and 1937," she said that "the latter date marks the triumph of our own socialist revolution" and that it gave "the judicial priesthood a free hand to remake the Constitution."

Not "extremist"? Not wanting to "roll back the clock"? Not "reactionary"? Please!

Michael Greve, a scholar at the conservative American Enterprise Institute, detests the "exile" phrase because it implies that "if you're not for the New Deal, you're a reactionary."

The winger pathology of denial once again!

He views his desire to "mow down" much of the New Deal as a bow to the literal Constitution; that explains his support for federal appeals court nominee
William Myers, who has assailed "the fallacious belief that the centralized government can promote environmentalism."

Not "extremist"? Not wanting to "roll back the clock"? Not "reactionary"? Please!

The impending Republican bid to change the Senate rules is really a twofer: break the Democrats, clearing the way for Brown, Myers and eight others in limbo - and thereby ensure clear sailing for Bush's probable Supreme Court nominees.

The New Deal won't be speedily reversed; conservative Boston University law professor Randy Barnett expects no "constitutional big bang." Rather, FDR's detractors are playing for the future. Breaking the filibuster is priority.
(via our own Inky)

The Republican's need a time-out 'til they can get themselves back under control and not act so crazy.

Here's hoping Harry Reid can give the Republicans the time-out they need. And let's hope when the Republicans come back the corner, they remember to use their indoor voices. Especially when denying and lying.

The Senate Dems represent a majority of the people in this country. We want the New Deal. We don't want the Republicans packing the courts with extremists and reactionaries who want to get rid of it. If that means the filibuster, so be it. If that means bringing legislation to a halt in the Senate, so be it. We're better off with no legislation passed than with the legislation passed by the Republicans anyhow; the Debt Peonage Bill ("Bankruptcy") and the Internal Passport Bill ("RealID") are proof enough of that.

Go for it, Harry!

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