Saturday, January 21, 2006

January 12, 2006

Stephen Pizzo: 'The rights' quiet hunter'
Posted on Saturday, January 14 @ 09:45:02 EST
This article has been read 1147 times.
Stephen Pizzo, News For Real

If you are still having difficulty decoding Sam Alito, let me help because I think I've got it.

Let me start with a bit of animal wisdom. When wild dogs -- wolves -- hunt, they don't bark. Only pampered, psychotic domestic dogs are prone to non-stop barking. In the wild chronic barkers would be chased off. The last thing a pack of wild dogs need is some loudmouth warning game of their presence and intentions.

Likewise there are two kinds of righ-wingers -- barkers and hunters. Tom DeLay, Pat Buchanan, Dick Army, Newt Gingrich, Dick Cheney, are barkers. They make a lot of noise. They lift their leg on everything in sight, boisterously marking ever-expanding circles of social and political territory, snarling at any who oppose their claims.

Sam Alito, on the other hand, is a wolf -- a quiet, patient hunter. No barking. No snarling. No chasing every passing car. He chooses his fights carefully. And when Supreme Court Justice Sam Alito marks conquered territory he will do so with indelible ink.

You see this clearly from the days when young Alito served in the Reagan Justice Department. Back then he tried to get that administration's barkers muzzled. He argued that they would get more done if they shut the hell up, stopped snarling and charging at every issue they saw as a liberal affront.

In particular Alito warned them against launching "a frontal assault against Roe v. Wade" at the Supreme Court. Instead he counseled that they adopt a "slow, incremental approach," chipping away at abortion rights one case at a time, eventually rendering Roe irrelevant.

Alito warned the Reagan pack that pushing the Supreme Court to reverse Roe they risked a court reaffirmation of Roe, rendering the precedent even stronger.

But those dogs were on the scent and already barking up that tree. They ignored Alito's quiet, incremental approach and charged barking away up the Supreme Court steps -- only to be pepper sprayed. The Court reaffirmed Roe -- just as quiet Sam had warmed. A quarter century later the quiet hunter's day has finally come. Once on the Supreme Court Sam Alito will not have to convince anyone of his chip-away strategy for rendering Roe moot. This time he will join like-minded conservatives on the Court, with his addition finally complete a winning hand -- a full house.

We progressives/liberals -- whatever the hell we call ourselves these days -- need to come to grips with this new, grim, reality. As I said during the Roberts confirmation hearings, the Supreme Court is lost to the left. Ever since the 1960s liberals have figured they could afford to lose key progressive issues in Congress because the Supreme Court would always stand with the people. Those days are over -- barring half the Justices dropping from bird flu and being replaced by a Democrat President. Not likely. The days of a civil/human rights, progressive oriented Supreme Court are over, and not likely to return during our lifetime.

This will manifest themselves slowly, over time. Rather than unifying America, this court will fracture it. A decade from now a woman's reproductive rights will depend on which of the 50 states she lives in. A woman living in Utah will likely have to head to California to end an unwanted pregnancy. A poor woman in Georgia will just be shit out of luck.

The same will be true for what conservatives like to call, religious expression in the public square." In Bible Belt states the line between fundamentalist Christianity and local and state government will become indistinguishable as "faith-based" (Christian) groups potluck their way into every school, library, police and elected office.

Democrats are not going to prevent Alito's confirmation. And it's not just the Supreme Court that is lost, but also a good hunk of lower federal courts as well. Meaning that, for all purposes progressive, the entire Judicial Branch is lost as well -- an d remain so for at least the next two generations. No longer can progressives simply assume the courts will do the right thing, because they have been stacked to assure they will mostly do the Right Thing instead.

So, it's time for liberals/progressives to knock off the silliness, we are so well know for, and get deadly serious about reclaiming control of the other two branches of government -- Congress and the Executive Branch.

Even then it may be an uphill fight. This new right-wing Supreme Court will now serve a similar function in America as the Supreme Council of Mullahs serves in Iran where any law passed by Iran's elected representatives can be struck down as "un-Islamic" by the Supreme Council. Likewise here, any laws passed by Congress the Supremes disagree with will be declared "un-constitutional."

Reagan coined the slogan, "morning in America."

For progressive forces of reason it's now mourning in America.

Source: News For Real