Friday, February 27, 2004

Never Enough Activist Judges Department

The White House truly must think enough Americans are stupid enough to believe the hype about "activist judges". The way that Dubya talks about the subject, you'd think there was a small cadre of judges who were willing to subvert the Will Of The People (TM) in order to push an agenda which is far removed from The People's best interests.

Dubya didn't pass his civics classes in junior high, I guess. Either that, or he's using the term "activist judge" as a cynical ploy. Take your pick.

All judges are "activist judges". After all, the Judiciary is part of the government, and their role is not at all passive. There is much more to their job than to try the accused or oversee lawsuits. Indeed, a major part of their job is to not only interpret the law, but to determine whether or not one law is in conflict with the Constitution, either on a state or federal level. As constitutions are universally considered the highest law of a jurisdiction, if a law conflicts with the constitution in question, the law is considered invalid. It's a pain in the ass, especially if you'd love to issue edict after edict... er, I mean law after law.

Any student of American history should be able to cite a few cases where a judicial ruling resulted in vast social change. Uusually, in the end, the change has been accepted as a good thing, regardless of whether the change was in accord or disagreement with the ruling. Therefore, do not be scared off by the notion of activist judges--they're the best kind.

Friday, February 06, 2004

Never Enough Clever Tactics Department

I find the recent attacks on the US "intelligence community" to be rather cunning. Here is the basic outline:

  • Dubya Cheney & Co. start off their administration talking about how to justify a war with Iraq.

  • The WTC is attacked--if you believe some conspiracy theorists' claims, with the full knowledge of the US government.

  • With Afghanistan as a "successful" test, the administration starts egging the CIA and other intelligence agencies to find evidence that Saddam Hussein posed a threat to the US.

  • No evidence is found, and yet the administration claims that incontrovertible proof has been found of WMDs in Iraq. War ensues.

  • When an exhaustive search fails to find any proof that Iraq could produce WMDs, let alone launch an attack with them, where does the blame fall? Not on the administration's heads--on the intelligence agencies!

It's almost too clever, really. Even if Tenet et al. claim they never stated there was a threat, that's OK, because as we well know, the intelligence community is a bunch of total incompetents, so you can't trust them either way. No wonder they screwed up 9/11 so badly!

Except I think the incompetency isn't coming from the intelligence agencies at all. It takes a certain kind of willful ignorance to make that sort of argument work--and if enough people are also willfully ignorant, they'll fall for the argument. There's plenty of signs that many have fallen for it.

But not nearly enough, Rove. Not nearly enough.