Sunday, October 10, 2004

Politics: Bush Goes Out On a Limb: Denounces Slavery...or did he?

One of the more bizarre moments in the debate the other night was when Bush surprised us all by coming out against... slavery!?! When asked about who he would appoint to the Supreme Court, Bush goes off on Dred Scott? What the fuck? I had no idea where he was going with that, but now I learn there's a very specific reason he brought it up. It's very clear code for the pro-life community that he intends to overturn Roe v Wade. Of course he's too chicken to scare swing voters by saying that, but he can wink at his base by leaving the rest of us wondering why the hell he's talking about slavery.

UPDATE: An excellent breakdown and discussion thread on this "Dred Scott = Roe v. Wade" codespeak here.

More needs to be said about the ramifications on the Supreme Court from this election. The next President might be appointing anywhere from one to three Justices to lifetime appointments on the Supreme Court and this is rarely given any prominence. This and the environment are the two areas where Bush will do his most severe and lasting damage to this country and those two issues are practically off the table, which is exactly where Bush wants them. Kerry needs to get on this. If Bush wins, he could pack the Court with three new wingnuts, and make Thomas or Scalia Chief Justice -- moves that will screw this country many times over for the next thirty years. More on this here, here and here, and a pretty good breakdown of potential nominees here.


Richard said...

In this day and age it would be very difficult (if not impossible) to confirm a justice who one could describe as being a "wingnut" (unless you consider simply being pro-life adiquite to label someone as a wingnut). As much as I personally would like to see Roe v. Wade overturned, it’s not going to happen unless the Republicans increase their majority in the Senate by 5 or 6 seats. He may get one pro-lifer through, but as it stands now, the moderate Republicans won’t allow any more than that.

Richard said...

And I can't spell "adequate", apparently...

Anonymous said...

I suppose I use terms like "Wingnut" somewhat liberally (pun intended), but it's in reference to more than just abortion. Bush has shown that he prefers judges quite a bit to the right from "moderate", and hasn't been shy in nominating them. Moderate Republicans and even Democrats have allowed confirmations at a ninety percent clip. A re-election would only (in my opinion) embolden him to nominate even more radical justices to the Federal bench, and not just the Supreme Court.

There are a whole host of isues (of which I imagine we will disagree on as they are nearly all impacted by religion in some way) in addition to abortion: school prayer, "Under God" (not actually important), vouchers, gay marriage, and just a general erosion of the separation of church and site.

I also, of course, object to a lot of other areas Bush hopes to steer the country through the judicial branch.

Bush has been nothing but aggressive in pursuit of a right-wing agenda. He has made his appointments to his Cabinet and the Courts as if he was elected with a tremendous mandate. He wasn't. No matter where you stand on the popular vote/electoral college/recount/Court appointment, the fact is, less than half the country voted for him. He promised moderation, "uniting" and a bipartisan agenda while running, and promptly dropped all pretense once sworn in.

Nothing over the first term gives me comfort that reelection will do anything to slow him down or that moderate Republicans or anyone else will effectively restrain his agenda. Since his appointments will far outlast his Presidency, I've got to fight it as hard as I know how.