Parody Can't Compete

I was reading a satirical article in the Swift Report about Americans being scared of activist judges. Within the article there was a link to an Agape Press article (which was not so much news as a big plug for a book, but that's nothing new in any news source). Within that delightful piece of "Reliable News from a Christian Source" we read the following quote:

Another part of the strategy the conservative activist recommends is something she calls "starving" the courts; that is, limiting their power by limiting their money. "Now, we can't cut the salaries of the judges," she explains, "but we certainly can cut their budgets and cut off some of these perks, like traveling to foreign conferences where they get a lot of bad ideas about foreign law." [Emphasis mine]

Was there ever a clearer statement of the xenophobic undercurrent of the religious right? The other issues about jurisdiction over "the Pledge of Allegiance, the Ten Commandments, the definition of marriage, and the Boy Scouts" are just more of their program to limit freedom to their own definition of it--freedom for everybody to be Christian and to equate being American with being Christian. One could describe those as an ultra-conservative reluctance to change and an attempt to cling to the perception of a Christian society. It's the open denigration of "foreign" stuff that shows Schlafly's real fear and ignorance. Parody can't compete with these public displays of bigotry. Maybe slapstick would be a better tool.


Entire notion of an activist judiciary is more PR than real. The judiciary is less activist now than during a number of periods during the 20th century - and it had similar activist periods during the 19th.

What's really happening is that people who can't get their way are acting like babies. They lose every opinion poll on their major issues other than gay marriage and similarly lose most battles in state legislatures. So they complain that the judges are running amok.

My state's judiciary ruled that gay marriage is required, but we're perhaps the most liberal state in the country. No one would expect the judiciary of Iowa to rule the same way; diversity is expected.

The American judiciary has become significantly more conservative over the past 25 years simply because we've had mostly conservative Presidents and the federal judiciary turns over with time.

I told my kids yesterday that if Kansas wants to teach Intelligent Design, that's fine with me because it means more stupid people hindering their ability to compete in the world. If people worry about foreign ideas coming in, that's great for those of us who see the value in those ideas. These fools don't see that you can't - pick a cliche - stop the tide, put the genie back in the bottle, close Pandora's box.

If you can't fit your beliefs to the actual shape of the world, then you're better off pretending it's the year 1605.

The floodgates have opened, and IDIOTS are poring out!

Pouring out, that is. My keyboard is not what it was. Certain keys have begun to stic. Stic. Stick!

Thanks jk. It's always good to hear a realistic assessment of what's happening in the US.

On an intellectual level, I know that the noisiest idiots are the ones who create the most controversy and get the most news coverage, thereby creating a false media impression of a country full of rampaging idiots. I reassure myself with soothing rational words.

On an emotional level, it's "who next will be declared a foreigner with bad ideas?"

Socar, have you been pawing at your slapsticking keys?

Considering how little we hear about Australia, I can only imagine how America's complexity filters through to you.

It really is mostly heat and noise. The US political system really works like this: 1) the mainstream, where the votes are, moves in a direction and the parties try to guess what that is, 2) except that the parties are naturally driven by their most ardent supporters, who want to believe the country is moving their way (or that they can lead the country their way), 3) one party gets too far away from the mainstream guess and loses.

The right wing rhetoric is out of hand. If they keep this up, they'll lose.

I don't understand what they're actually trying to accomplish - other than protect Tom DeLay's butt - and I assume that they're being carried away by the force of their own rhetoric. Geography plays a role, I think, because when you're surrounded by like-thinkers, it's easy to believe the rest of the world should think like you and is wrong (or evil) if they don't. True here in liberal Boston.

The Republican base turned out in numbers hard to believe to re-elect GWBush, that in the aftermath of 9/11 and during the "War on Terrorism". Most of those voters are not hardcore foam-at-the-mouthers. Republicans can't count on that turnout next election. Holy war doesn't work in America.

Remember that the Republicans have no obvious Presidential candidate. Bush arguably should have chosen a new VP merely to create one and not leave the field open for a second Kerry run or for Hillary Clinton. Clinton, if you set aside her polarizing connections, fits the social moderate/economic conservative mold this country prefers.

Even though most new federal judges have been appointed by social conservatives, their effect will be marginal. Witness the decision in Nebraska to overturn the state's anti-gay marriage law because it was too overreaching. If that law were written better, it would have survived but a good conservative judge - and by far most federal judges are good - knows constitutional rules of interpretation. (One of my cousins is a federal judge, a known liberal who has made some very conservative rulings because that's his job.)