Sunday, November 8, 2009

Just a Piece of Parchment

I happened on this amusing cartoon yesterday. I am not sure whose link directed me to it; it was originally posted at the right-wing blog Get Liberty, which bills itself as favoring limited government. As far as I can tell from its archives, Get Liberty only became concerned about unlimited government in March 2009; before that, though some of their material criticizes former President Bush for abandoning free-market principles, they don't seem to care if their critique of big government is accessible to readers. (P.S. Well, no wonder!) Articles like this turn up in a search, but they're still warnings of what Obama will do to those who dare to criticize him, with convenient amnesia about the Bush Administration; or this one, begging President Bush to call Congress back into session, if it please you Sir, if you're not playing eleven-dimensional chess to ensure "success this November." There's a marvelous cognitive dissonance in seeing Get Liberty urge Bush, of all Presidents, "to make that abundantly clear to the rollicking, frolicking House leadership that has put their fun in the sun above the nation’s energy needs." They even admit gloomily, "Whether flying off to the China Olympics or holing up with Vladimir Putin, the President surely doesn’t seem to be" listening to the People. Bear in mind that they're talking about a President notorious not only for his own long vacations, but for his inattention and absence during national emergencies. These guys are as pious in their hopes as liberal Democrats who hope that President Obama will at any moment drop the mask and reveal himself as a fighting progressive. You can't stuff money into the pockets of the rich (which Bush always made clear was his purpose in life) with a small government, dummies! Hell, even with a big government, Bush wasn't able to spend all the TARP funds he wanted on welfare for the suffering, deserving wealthy.

I also enjoyed this cartoon, which sees Rush Limbaugh's failed bid for a football team as a victim of McCarthyism, another odd call for the Right, which has been trying to rehabilitate the late Senator from Wisconsin for half a century, but remains ever-vigilant about New McCarthyisms. Unfortunately, Get Liberty are unable to avoid New McCarthyisms of their own: they denounced Sotomayor as a "self-declared racist termagant." (They also don't seem to know what "self-declared" means. Making statements which others construe as racist does not constitute declaring oneself a racist, or Limbaugh would also be a "self-declared racist.")

It does seem to be true that Sotomayor wasn't questioned adequately by the Senate; but the failure was bipartisan. Avedon at the Sideshow mentioned a right-winger who was "whining about how hard it is to pronounce 'Sotomayor' - which I thought was pretty rich coming from an Armenian." Later she linked to a Frank Rich column that provided an overview of the Republican political clown show, which was unconcerned about the Constitution but very concerned about putting a Latina, even a conservative one, on the Supreme Court. FAIR did some stories too.

As always in cases like this, I have to wonder when Get Liberty began worrying about the Constitution. Certainly not during the Bush administration, when their President was quoted (and three witnesses concurred) telling Republican leaders in 2005 that he could do whatever he wanted. It was one of Bush's own aides, presumably a loyal Republican, who warned him that there was "a valid case that the provisions in [the Patriot Act] violate the Constitution."
"Stop throwing the Constitution in my face," Bush screamed back. "It's just a goddamned piece of paper!"
[The Bush quotation appears to be bogus.]  And, of course, the last thing the gang at Get Liberty wants is a new President who takes the Constitution seriously, unless they want to see most of the Bush administration in the dock for multiple high crimes. And I don't think they do.