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Remarks by Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) on the Senate floor today:
I don't know if there is a cause-and-effect connection but we have seen some recent episodes of courthouse violence in this country. Certainly nothing new, but we seem to have run through a spate of courthouse violence recently that's been on the news and I wonder whether there may be some connection between the perception in some quarters on some occasions where judges are making political decisions yet are unaccountable to the public, that it builds up and builds up and builds up to the point where some people engage in - engage in violence.
Violence against judges is nothing short of domestic terrorism. And Cornyn (along with DeLay and their ilk) are nothing more than apologists for such violence.

The GOP's war on the judiciary is now entering dangerous territory.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Mon Apr 04, 2005 at 04:23 PM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Cornyn is Swine... (2.39)
    ...and will soon have blood on his hands, no doubt.

    Frist!

    Yesterday's weirdness is tomorrow's reason why.
    --Hunter S. Thompson

    by Understandably Bitter on Mon Apr 04, 2005 at 04:21:25 PM PDT

    •  I'm not sure why... (4.00)
      ... you're getting such negative ratings. But then, I'm not sure about "Frist!" Certainly, I could see how Coryn could have blood on his hands for making a statement like that.

      But, I can also see that if we continue to raise the rhetorical stakes, then the rhetorical stakes will keep rising. I'm sure we could play the "who's going to blink first" game with the Republicans, but then I happen to believe that it takes courage to do what is right. And, what's right is what will end up getting votes in a Democracy when it comes to push vs. shove.

      The problem I have with saying Coryn is going to have blood on his hands is the same problem I have with Republicans who accuse liberals of providing "comfort and aid" to our enemy du jour, when all we were really trying to do is understand why terror happens.  We'll sometimes ask tough questions like, "Is it our policies that they think suck?" And they'll answer with, "America's number one!" The real debate just gets sucked down into a black hole and I don't feel we should add to that reason-sucking gravity.

      Instead, I say instead of the "Coryn's a violence insiding asshole" posts (front page included), why not a "Here is why Coryn is wrong" post?

      Let's leave the 30 second television character assasination to the TV. It works much better there. This is a place of reason and  occasional frivolity.

      Hink

    •  I'm Not Sure I Understand .... (none)
      There is a difference between analysis and affirmation.

      I have no doubt that reactionary right-wingers have been indoctrinated by the rote regurgitation of misleading talking points about an "imperial judiciary" and are driven by an irrational sense of victimization to commit acts of violence against their perceived oppressors. Is this assessment akin to support of domestic terrorism?

      Cornyn refers to the "perception in some quarters on some occasions where judges are making political decisions yet are unaccountable to the public" that "builds up and builds up and builds up to the point where some people engage in - engage in violence." He claims that those who believe themselves to be victimized may ultimately commit violent acts. Is this not an accurate assessment of all political violence? It was certainly a common assertion following the September 11 attacks that frustrated Muslims felt victimized by the United States and reacted violently.

      What Cornyn does not say is whether the perpetrators of violence against judges are right to be concerned about an "imperial judiciary," let alone whether they are choosing a rational method to vent their frustration. I am simply amazed that the reaction to such an assessment has included allegations of terrorism and calls for resignation.

      Does anyone dispute that those who attack judges feel victimized? Cornyn's rambling remarks seem a roundabout way of saying just that.

      •  Let's snip through this tripe (4.00)
        right here and right now. I am getting so fucking sick of liberals and Democrats twisting into knots to make sure we don't fight fascists too strenuously.

        He wasn't giving a pipe-smoking rumination about the ultimate causes of political violence. He was issuing a diatribe against activist judges. His excuse-making for murderers was part of it.

        As you can read in the Post:


        "It causes a lot of people, including me, great distress to see judges use the authority that they have been given to make raw political or ideological decisions," he said. Sometimes, he said, "the Supreme Court has taken on this role as a policymaker rather than an enforcer of political decisions made by elected representatives of the people."

        Cornyn continued: "I don't know if there is a cause-and-effect connection, but we have seen some recent episodes of courthouse violence in this country. . . . And I wonder whether there may be some connection between the perception in some quarters, on some occasions, where judges are making political decisions yet are unaccountable to the public, that it builds up and builds up and builds up to the point where some people engage in, engage in violence. Certainly without any justification, but a concern that I have."

        •  Right ... (none)
          I responded to the excerpted statement, which blandly stated a truism -- that violence is often the result of feelings of victimization. My paraphrase was accurate for the paragraph Kos provided, so take your juvenile ranting about "tripe" and "twisting into knots" elsewhere.

          Nor is speculating on root causes "excuse-making for murderers," unless you seriously think that the majority of Kossacks who probably believe that terrorists feel victimized are themselves Al-Qaeda supporters.

          And apparently you believe Cornyn reveals himself as a fascist in his aversion to "judges [using] the authority that they have been given to make raw political or ideological decisions." So I suppose those outraged by Bush v Gore are also fascists?

          But I'm analyzing the actual meaning of words; you believe that Republicans are fascists, so whatever they say must be fascistic. Whatever.

      •  The Statwement (none)
        Qoute:Does anyone dispute that those who attack judges feel victimized? Cornyn's rambling remarks seem a roundabout way of saying just that.

        I guess it is his hypocrisy.If a liberal tried to explain why a black momma whose son was thrown into prison for a minor drug offense and was killed in a prison scuffle blew the judge away
        ( purely made up-hypothetical situation) he would savage them as supporting a filthy murderer.

        •  I Agree ... (none)
          I don't find Cornyn's statement offensive, but the hypocrisy of the Republican Party's stance on searching for "root causes" is certainly deplorable. After 9/11, those who paused to consider whether our policies had contributed to widespread anger in the Muslim world were denounced as weaklings, appeasers and even traitors. But after the United States massacres thousands abroad in its ignorant rage, questioning "root causes" domestically somehow becomes acceptable?

          Of course, a partisan Republican could reply that, conversely, the very same liberal Democrats who would dignify the motives of mass-murdering terrorists with consideration are unwilling to afford the same courtesy to conservative Americans. As for myself, I am mystified by the sense of victimization possessed by Republicans who control every branch of government (including the "activist judiciary") but are simply outraged that an unresponsive, comatose woman in Florida with no chance of recovery was finally allowed to recover.

    •  Frist? You do that at haloscan for Atrios. (none)
      Wrong blog fella....:o)

      As for Cornyn, nothing will come of it.  Not until some wingnut actually attempts to go after a judge will there be action, and then the action is likely to break in the wingnut direction due to the winger faction of the pubbies having such a big voice and vote lately.

      Poor, controlled, limited, must conform, Republicans will do nothing to stop the shabby stupidity of Cornyn, because for some reason the pubbies think intimidating judges will change their ideology in politically charged issue to their way of thinking.  It's the logic of an Al Capone, and not a servant of the public.

      Want to stop it?  First register to vote at a county or official site, and then you have to break away from the TV, and your job to actually go vote, and not for any Republican, no matter how nice they are.  If you don't like the D, vote some independent line, but do not vote for Republicans, for they are the ones that have caused the economic crisis, caused the Iraq war, and have swept the incompetance of Team Smirk under the rug in terms of 9/11, and tolerate the corruption of Delay simply because he's a Republican, even if they have to hold their noses, and swallow back the nausea .

  •  kind of mirrors (none)
    that statement of the Pope on homosexuals, which was the subject of an earlier diary today.

    "....a relative newbie (user ID in the 18,000 range).. "

    by Miss Devore on Mon Apr 04, 2005 at 04:22:56 PM PDT

  •  My God (4.00)
    How many times do I have to think I'd never see the day.

     

  •  Senator Box Turtle (4.00)
    The Haircut needs to go. How many more times, in how many more ways, can this guy prove he's an empty suit with more hands up his ass than Miss Piggy?

    What an embarrassment. Let's hope for Texas' longterm sake that it's a national one.

    "You with your big words, and your...small, difficult words!" -- Peter Griffin

    by Penny Century on Mon Apr 04, 2005 at 04:23:55 PM PDT

  •  Unbelievable (3.77)
    Can you imagine if the tables were turned?  How the GOP attack dogs would be all over Democratic members of Congress if they said these sorts of things, say, during Whitewater or something?  And the media attention, dead Pope or no, would be stifling.

    I mean, it's become a theatre of the absurd.  My outrage-o-meter is severely overtaxed.

    At the very least, DeLay and Cornyn should be censured.  (I know ... fat chance.)  With any luck, they and their ilk will be thrown out when their terms expire.

    Announcing the return of Blast Off!, home of the "crazy woman" C-SPAN transcript! Long time no blog ...

    by Sinfonian on Mon Apr 04, 2005 at 04:23:59 PM PDT

  •  Wow (none)
    Apologizing for the murder and violance against judges is yet another new low for the Republicans. Not surprising for a party that shows absolutely no respect for anything or anything that dares to disagree with them.

    There's no point for democracy when ignorance is celebrated...insensitivity is standard and faith is being fancied over reason.-NoFx

    by SairaLV on Mon Apr 04, 2005 at 04:24:01 PM PDT

    •  Let me try that again with grammar and spelling (none)
      corrections. Apologizing for the murder and violence against judges is yet another new low for the Republicans. Not surprising for a party that shows absolutely no respect for anything or anyONE that dares to disagree with them.

      There's no point for democracy when ignorance is celebrated...insensitivity is standard and faith is being fancied over reason.-NoFx

      by SairaLV on Mon Apr 04, 2005 at 04:26:21 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  HOw is it appologizing? (none)
      I think statements like this are an over-reach which can be turned back on us.

      cheers,

      Mitch Gore

      Nobody will change America for you, you have to work to make it happen

      by Lestatdelc on Mon Apr 04, 2005 at 04:44:18 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  They're not apologizing (4.00)
      Nor are they apologists.  They are inciting violence against judges.  Doesn't everybody see that?  What they are saying is when judges don't do what you want them to do, then we understand that people get so upset that THEY KILL THEM.  That's the "cause and effect".

      Even a backhanded threat like this should be called out.  This is beyond desperation to keep DeLay alive.  This is "activist judges" to the extreme.  This is "look over  there.  They killed a judge.  But, they were UPSET..."

      Never mind that the judge that was killed, and the judge's family that was killed, had ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to do with their agenda.  This is beyond despicable.

      And I say that because I have a judge in my immediate family, and I am sick and tired of being afraid everytime they interrupt the regularly scheduled programming lately for a local news bulletin.  I would HOPE that someone on the Senate floor responded to this. I am going to check.

      We do not rent rooms to Republicans.

      by Mary Julia on Mon Apr 04, 2005 at 06:30:16 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  As it turned out (none)
        The Senator spoke his remarks to a nearly empty chamber, when he was spouting off over the recent Supreme Court decision concerning the death penalty.  He has been called out by Rep. Conyers on his blog, and by the DSCC, among others.  The Washington Post has the scoop here.

        We do not rent rooms to Republicans.

        by Mary Julia on Mon Apr 04, 2005 at 07:11:16 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Right on, Mary Julia (none)
          Let me get this right: the Senator spoke without fear or risk of contradiction, having first made sure the moment would register with the press and receive amplification throughout the fascist echo-chamber which served so well in the Shiavo-Schindler family feud.

          I have a feeling that it's been done before, somewhere, erm, now where was that? Try as I might I cannot for the life of me recall where and when those Volksferichtshof were held. I guess I'll have to read the book ISBN 0-32-03205-6 by H.W. Koch, entitled In the Name of the Volk.

  •  No one enters (none)
    into such dialogue without feeling pretty damned confident that they have backing and a following.

    Where is the outrage?

    •  or it could be plain old hubris (none)
      Which is probably more likely.

      In the midst of life we are in debt, etc.

      by ablington on Mon Apr 04, 2005 at 05:08:00 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I AM OUTRAGED. (none)
      This is really just code for "Open Season" on Judges.

      Unfrinkinbelievable.

      Shameless. Appalling. And, as others have noted, a bald-faced Treasonous Attack on the Judiciary and the fundemental constitutional principle of separation of powers.

      •  Brownshirt tactics (none)

        Really, the GOP leadership is sinking to the level of the Nazis brownshirts or Fascists blackshirts.  Really despicable.

        There's millions and upon millions of decent people in this country who vote Repubican.  I'm beginning to think America's horrid political environment is more in their hands than our own.  And I hope they act on it -- soon.  I have enough faith in our American ideas about freedom and responsible government to think that this change has to come.

        God, I do hope so!

           

        "It is only for the sake of those without hope that hope is given to us." -- Walter Benjamin

        by quaderni on Mon Apr 04, 2005 at 05:55:07 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Cornyn (4.00)
      is the pretty boy, calm and quiet, spokesperson for the most radical elements of the right wing. You look to him to tell you what the nastiest of the crazies are into. So, here we go with a two prong attack, while Frist and Delay try to fundamentally castrate the judiciary with laws, the fundie nuts run around killing judges, their spouses, parents and children.

      Pithecanthropus "If I pay a man enough money to buy my car, he'll buy my car." Henry Ford

      by johnmorris on Mon Apr 04, 2005 at 05:52:37 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Talk like that (none)
    is not going to help Frist round up his 51 votes for the nuclear option.
  •  Can you say (none)
    insane right-wing extremist nut-job?
  •  This is blatant intimidation... (4.00)
    of the judicial branch of our government, and an attack on judicial review.  
    •  The silver lining (4.00)
      The silver lining is that judges take their independence very seriously, regardless of whether they are liberal or conservative. So it's quite likely that the right-wingers who are calling for violence against judges will be taken to task by conservative members of the bench.

      In loving memory: Sophie, June 1, 1993-January 17, 2005. My huckleberry friend.

      by Paul in Berkeley on Mon Apr 04, 2005 at 04:38:02 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Their lives too (4.00)
        I should say.

        In loving memory: Sophie, June 1, 1993-January 17, 2005. My huckleberry friend.

        by Paul in Berkeley on Mon Apr 04, 2005 at 04:49:51 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Exactly (4.00)
        Wonder why SCOTUS was silent on Terri Schiavo? Because Nino, how ever much you may disagree with him, loves the law more than ideology. The statements coming out of the Texas delegation are treasonous! The federal judiciary is already fed up with Congress--lengthy confirmation process and mandatory sentencing-- let it not be forgotten, Ashcroft's attempt to review judicial decisions. If this isn't an overreach, I don't know what is. Guys, these men are serious. It is not enough that their party has appointed probably 75% of the federal bench; they want absolute fealty!

        C'est la guerre

    •  They attack anything they don't control. (4.00)
      If they don't control it, they try to destroy it.

      They are attacking not just judges, but the entire professional class.

      --- Reality-based and proud of it!

      by grytpype on Mon Apr 04, 2005 at 04:58:45 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Not blatant.. (none)
      ... really, in fact you have to do a lot "contextual" squinting to arrive at the reading many here have.

      cheers,

      Mitch Gore

      Nobody will change America for you, you have to work to make it happen

      by Lestatdelc on Mon Apr 04, 2005 at 05:05:00 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I think Cornyn and his ilk... (none)
        are using the violent incidents he spoke about, coupled with the Schiavo case, to intimidate the judicial branch of the country. Now, you may call this blatant, or not, but they are taking full advantage of the situtation, in a deletorious manner to the frame of our constitutution.

        Perhaps it is we who need to be blatant with our language.

  •  Please don't ask for Cornyn to resign!!! (3.90)
    A plea to all good Kossacks (and bad ones, too, I guess).

    Don't "demand" that Cornyn resign.  It's a weak, ineffectual nothing of a response.  Did it work for Rumsfeld? No. Rather, make him the face of the GOP.  Tie him to Bush - this is easy b/c he was Chief Justice of the Texas Supreme Court under Bush and was also Attorney General for Bush's second term as governor.  Make Bush & Co. join him or denounce him.  Leave him be as a poster child for the GOP.

    Asking Cornyn to resign is about the worst way to make hay of such a dumb, indefensible comment.

    •  Good Idea (none)
      Ask Cheney Bush etc....is it now the position of the republican party that violence towards judges can be explained by there political rulings?
      •  Are these their people? (none)
        See if you can make 'em own the Brian Nicholses and Matthew Hales of the world. Accused rapists, white supremacists...guarantees them a good bink from the party's out-of-control college boy wing, eh?

        "You with your big words, and your...small, difficult words!" -- Peter Griffin

        by Penny Century on Mon Apr 04, 2005 at 04:39:18 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Let's make a list of the recent attacks on judges. (4.00)
        1.  Brian Nicols, 33-year-old accused rapist, killed Superior Court Judge Rowland Barnes and his stenographer.

        2.  Bart Ross, a barking mad medmal litigant, killed the husband and mother of Joan Lefkow, a federal judge in Chicago.

        3.  At the time her family was killed, Judge Lefkow was under threat of death from a neo-nazi group headed by Matthew Hale.

        Now, is this Cornyn asshole saying these people have acted out of some sense of righteous anger?  Because that sure as shit sounds like what he is saying.

        He's saying -- he doesn't claim to KNOW this, but he's just SAYING -- that Nicols and Ross and Hale were understandibly fed up with the activist liberal judiciary, that wouldn't take orders from Congress.  

        And of course they resorted to violence, no doubt because of the intensity of their feelings about this whole out-of-control judiciary thing.

        Mother H. Fucker.  That guy has got to go.  He absolutely must go.

        --- Reality-based and proud of it!

        by grytpype on Mon Apr 04, 2005 at 05:20:28 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  On the other hand (none)
      You're right - John Cornyn won't resign because we tell him to.  In fact, if we make a really big stink, he won't be able to resign, God knows the GOP doesn't want its membership caving to, gasp, KOSSACKS (or Al Gore, or Howard Dean).  So now, they have to keep him, AND explain why they still want him!

      http://csliberals.blogspot.com - member of the Democratic Signal Machine

      by Mikey on Mon Apr 04, 2005 at 04:31:52 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Absolutely! (3.50)
      Demand that they make a choice... In Bushco-speak...either these elected representatives of the people are with us or their against us...here's the text of what i wrote to my two senators:

      Dear Senator DeWine/Voinovich:
      If you are not already aware, today Senator John Cornyn from Texas made excuses for terrorists and murderers, and did so from the floor of the Senate(see below).  On the heels of Tom Delay's recent threats to the judiciary, this type of behavior cannot be permitted to continue.  

      Please let your constituents know, in no uncertain terms, whether you side with the laws of this land or with these dangerous, un-American and possibly felonious political stunts!  Is there anyone in our government paying attention to the Constitution and Rule of Law?!

    •  Cornyn has a law background? (none)
      How can he be so ignorant about the separation of powers - not to mention so reckless in his rhetoric.

      After reading this statement and knowing very little about the man, I just assumed he was some used Bible salesman from Waco or something.

      "The state has no place in the bedrooms of the nation." - Pierre Trudeau

      by fishhead on Mon Apr 04, 2005 at 05:56:41 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I may get a visit from the CIA for this (none)
    But it seems like the Senate and Congress has come to a point where they are out of control and they abuse there power and ill feelings build and build and there is violence.....

    I'm joking of course but the sad thing is it is more true the what is saying about the judges.

    •  I've never found the quote online, (none)
      but I saw a PBS documentary on Huey Long that claimed that he made the following statement (or something like it, I didn't write it down) during a speech on the floor of the Senate:

      Now, there's an angry crowd outside this building right now with torches and pitchforks, and they're aiming to come on in and go after the folks here on the inside.  And what I'm wondering is whether to stay here with you all and fight, or go out there and join 'em!"

      "Run, comrade, the old world is behind you!" -- Situationist graffito, 1968

      by Pesto on Mon Apr 04, 2005 at 06:37:55 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  where are the frickin democrats? (4.00)
    They should be wrapping themselves around the Constitution of the United States of America, but they can't find someone willing to stand up. What happened to the Senate warroom?  Is it on frickin vacation?  All of my money I donated thinkin it would change....what a joke.   Why can't Howard Dean even take these jokers on?  
    •  might as well join the fuckin peace corps (none)
    •  I hate stupid rhetorical questions. (none)
      You ask "Where are the Democrats?"

      I ask "Where is your brain?"

      Both questions are equally insightful -- which is to say they both qualify as static.

    •  Unfortunately, I don't think it's that simple (3.00)
      The statement is maddenly slippery. Plenty of wiggle room in it. If attacked on it, a simple "I wasn't condoning the violence, only pointing it out" would easily subdue the media and a disinterested citizenry.

      Make no mistake, I'm not supporting this idiot in the least. But overtly attacking him for the statement isn't as simple as it might sound at first.

      The proper reply is probably a similarly slippery statement. Such as "Members of Congress need to be careful with their statements so that they are not misconstrued as condoning violence."

      I'm sure there are better ones. The point is, the battle of slippery statements can take place on both sides.

      "Who told you that you were naked?" Genesis 3:11

      by mrhelper on Mon Apr 04, 2005 at 04:47:11 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  But (4.00)
        He wasn't just pointing out anything.  There is no evidence of any connenction between recent violence against judges and disapproval over activist judges.  Cornyn is just making that up.  Baseless speculation of this sort is a veiled threat.  

        Ever get the feeling you've been cheated?

        by johnny rotten on Mon Apr 04, 2005 at 04:58:47 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I think you're right (none)
          But how do you prove something is a "veiled" threat? This deserves to be closely monitored, but I'm not convinced the time to jump into the fray is now...

          "Who told you that you were naked?" Genesis 3:11

          by mrhelper on Mon Apr 04, 2005 at 05:05:31 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Legal Standard (none)
            is whether a reasonable person standing in the shoes of the allegedly threatened party would feel threatened by the statement.  Let's see what the judges have to say about Cornyn's statement, assuming they are brave enough to speak out.  

            Ever get the feeling you've been cheated?

            by johnny rotten on Mon Apr 04, 2005 at 05:10:57 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  You just say it was a threat, and make him deny it (4.00)
            Its called "pig fucking" I think, if I remember rightly from a long description of it during the campaign, or is it "rat fucking" --either way, you take a leaf out of the republican handbook and simply assert as true what you are saying about Cornyn, and lather, rinse, repeat.  

            It goes like this
            "I'm disgusted that Senator Cornyn has aligned himself with the mad dog killers of public servants--the very people sworn to uphold our laws and constitution. What on earth was Senator Cornyn thinking when he compared the barbaric murder of our judges, the threats that are heaped upon them, to some kind of righteous political activity?  If any individual citizen has a problem with any member of the government we have ordinary ways and means of addressing that problem. The idea that any american citizen could, or should, resort to violence is absurd. Maybe that's the way they do things in Texas but not in the rest of the country."

            See how easy it is?

            aimai

            •  BUt unfrotunately we don't control the megaphone (none)
              and they can parse his actual words and the caveats and spin it as the "hysterical left".

              cheers,

              Mitch Gore

              Nobody will change America for you, you have to work to make it happen

              by Lestatdelc on Mon Apr 04, 2005 at 05:34:46 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  They can try to spin it that way (none)
                but it won't work here.  His words are despicable under any reasonable interpretation.  Even under the most charitable interpretation, he is skating on thin ice and needs to clarify his comments.  

                Ever get the feeling you've been cheated?

                by johnny rotten on Mon Apr 04, 2005 at 05:40:48 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Disagree entirely (none)
                  TO most people it will sound exactly like the left making wild claims that when you read the transcript, most average media consumers are going to go huh?

                  What's the big fucking deal about what he said?

                  cheers,

                  Mitch Gore

                  Nobody will change America for you, you have to work to make it happen

                  by Lestatdelc on Mon Apr 04, 2005 at 05:56:17 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Yes, and when people read the transcript... (none)
                    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA
                    •  That's the point.,.. (none)
                      people won't read it, have context, understand the context, etc. The GOP will read a few lines directly from the record, and scream that the left is making stuff up, etc. etc.

                      and the public will read the accurate few lines as excerpted by the GOP and go, "what the hell are them thar liberals all in a panty-twist about... we got a war on!"

                      cheers,

                      Mitch Gore

                      Nobody will change America for you, you have to work to make it happen

                      by Lestatdelc on Mon Apr 04, 2005 at 06:20:36 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  I really disagree (none)
                        the republicans got where they are by not minding that the media were "biased against them" but simply plugging the same line over and over whenever they got the chance. The question isn't whether everyone will believe you, but whether enough people will to make a difference.  Those people in the center/right are already getting nervous about the far right loons they voted for.  What the dems need now is an overarching set of metaphors and symbols about the republicans that can convince (some) of their fair weather voters to switch.  The best thing to do is to demonize texas or some subset of the party and to do it harshly so that theya re all tarred with the same brush. I agree with whoever posted above sayign that on no account should cornyn be asked to resign, he and delay should be kept around as poster boys the way the right enjoys beating on H.Clinton and Kennedy.

                        aimai

            •  And the Republican reply... (none)
              ...cheerfully delivered by the Republican media, to an easily manipulated slightly-Republican public would be howls of indignation. "We never said ANY of that! Go back and read the original statement!" And then the bobbleheads would cheerfully comply, and point out that no indeed, none of that was in the original statement.

              These may well be the opening shots in a battle.  But that doesn't mean you charge headlong into the battle without a little strategy and careful analysis.

              Learn from Custer's mistakes!

              "Who told you that you were naked?" Genesis 3:11

              by mrhelper on Mon Apr 04, 2005 at 05:44:05 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  BINGO! (none)
                Why does it seem we are in the minority here in the pit-falls of this line of attack on this statement?

                cheers,

                Mitch Gore

                Nobody will change America for you, you have to work to make it happen

                by Lestatdelc on Mon Apr 04, 2005 at 05:54:59 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Respectfully, (none)
                  it's because it's time someone stands up to the direction the GOP is headed.  I for one, doubt the uninformed will appreciate the nuance the Republican counter- argument requires, particularly in light of Delay's recent comments.

                  Even if they do, it doesn't invalidate the liberal criticism of the comment.  If we call the Repubs EVERY time they make a comment like this (which is pretty often), especially in light of the public disatisfaction with Republican meddling in the Schiavo affair, the public will get the point.

                  The Republicans got where they were by fearlessly repeating the same lies over and over again until they resonated.  Imagine how powerful the same approach would be if what is repeated is the truth.  

                  It's time to be fearless and speak the truth again and again, regardless of how it will be perceived initially.  Softening the ground, as it were, for 2006 and beyond.

                  •  Speak the truth, yes (none)
                    Most definitely yes.

                    But first make sure it is the truth.

                    I'm convinced that CBS was onto something with its report on the TANG documents. But that whole episode should teach us something. Now it doesn't matter what the truth is. All anyone remembers is "forgery." The media is only too happy to paint the Republicans as innocent little babies that are being treated cruelly by some bitter people. One misstep, and WE'RE presented as the problem, not them.

                    I have only seen the paragraph that Kos quotes in his original piece. If there is something else in his statement that provides some sinister context for the offending paragraph, then by all means, let's jump in and damn the torpedos. But when you're outnumbered and vastly outgunned, you DO have to pick your fights carefully. That's all I'm saying...

                    "Who told you that you were naked?" Genesis 3:11

                    by mrhelper on Mon Apr 04, 2005 at 07:39:02 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Choose (none)
                      fights carefully by all means. But it IS true that the GOP is hostile to the judiciary and, by extension, to the rule of law.

                      But, while there's wiggle room in this statement, when placed in its larger rhetorical context (ie,the Court's should not be able to thwart the will of Congress because it is the voice of the people-- Constitution be damned; jusdges should be held "responsible" if they dare to thwart Congressional intent), it reveals hostility to the rule of law we can take advantage of.

                      All of the GOP talk about activist judges can be tainted with the undercurrents of this and Delay's comments, combined with Congressional overreach in the Schiavo affair to show the the Repugs intend to run roughshod over the Constitution.

            •  my tactic (none)
              I wrote him a letter, since I live in Texas and therefore he's, according to various theoretical arguments, my Senator.  I quoted the paragraph in question, and said that to my reading, this seems to be suggesting that violence against judges is in some sense understandable as a natural result of political disagreement.  I then expounded on why I thought that, if this is indeed what he was suggesting, that it is rather... unfortunate... that he did so.  I tried to give it a feel of "well I'm sure a Senator wouldn't actually say something that crazy, but that seems to be what this quote I have here says".  We certainly don't want to admit murdering judges into the realm of things it's reasonable for a Senator to have said...

              The really odd thing is that the only recent cases of violence against judges weren't even political.  They weren't judges who had ruled on abortion-related cases or anything of that sort.  If they had been, Cornyn's opinion would've been highly unethical but at least coherent; as it stands, it's completely incoherent.  Does he seriously think an accused rapist murdered his presiding judge because of a theoretical dispute over the proper role of the judiciary in relation to the legislative branch?

            •  Step two: (none)
              Make sure your statement is read into the Congressional Record.
    •  the statement is like 3 hours old (4.00)
      Chill. The entire Democratic establishment is neither glued to CSPAN nor to the blogs, like we are. Condemn them if we haven't heard something by tomorrow, but give them a bit of time to catch up.
      •  That scares me more than anything . . . (none)
        The entire Democratic establishment is neither glued to CSPAN nor to the blogs, like we are.

        Why frickin' not?

        But that's a rhetorical question. Clearly, they're not, and you're exactly right. "Give them a bit of time to catch up."

        I just wish the nation wasn't spiralling the drain while we're waiting . . .

      •  OK - I'm taking bets (none)
        Sure, chill for a day.
        Taking any bets on how many brave Democrats will take this on by tomorrow?  How many still have a functioning outrage meter?  

        I think if they can't stop bending over for a moment to challenge threats of murder - when the remains of one judge's dead husband and mother were interred just last month -- then for our own safety and dignity we have to stop pretending they're our party and found a real one.

        Any bets?  I bet not more than 2 meekly, qualified complaints.

        •  John Conyers (none)
          Has a most excellent statement up on his website already:

          http://www.conyersblog.us/default.htm

        •  John Conyers on Cornyn (none)
          This apparent effort to rationalize violence against judges is deplorable. On its face, while it contains doubletalk that simultaneously offers a justification for such violence and then claims not to, the fundamental core of the statement seems to be that judges have somehow brought this violence on themselves. This also carries an implicit threat: that if judges do not do what the far right wants them to do (thus becoming the "judicial activists" the far right claims to deplore), the violence may well continue.

          Conyer's Congressional Website

          My message is not subtle today. It is simple. To my Republican colleagues: you are playing with fire, you are playing with lives, and you must stop.

          "pay any price, bear any burden"

          by JimPortlandOR on Mon Apr 04, 2005 at 06:45:11 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  a bet I'm happy to lose (none)
          Well, thanks Senators John Conyers (again) and Harry Reid for proving I was more than cynical enough to keep up, for once.
  •  Interesting (none)
    When Ward Churchill said something similar, he was vilified by the wingnuts.  Now that Cornyn has had his "little Eichmans" moment, I wonder what the response will be from the wingnutosphere.
    •  How? (none)
      How is saying that there may be some connection between the perception in some quarters on some occasions where judges are making political decisions yet are unaccountable to the public, and some take it into their own hands and commit violence against judges?

      Do you think that some who commit violence against judges do so because they feel they are making 'immoral' politically motivate 'activist' rulings, (ala the claims of such in the Schiavo case)...?

      cheers,

      Mitch Gore

      Nobody will change America for you, you have to work to make it happen

      by Lestatdelc on Mon Apr 04, 2005 at 04:48:24 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  It's a (thinly) veiled threat (4.00)
        Taken literally, Cornyn doesn't say "I excuse violence against judges."  But taken in context, Cornyn is implying that judges need to watch their backs when making controversial decisions.  This sort of statement is clearly intended to have a chilling effect on judges.  

        Even worse, Cornyn's speculating on a connection between violence against judges and controversial political issues, when there is no basis for such speculation.  None of the recent violence against judges has involved a political issue.  Cornyn cites no evidence of this.  Such baseless speculation can only be intended as a warning.  

        Ever get the feeling you've been cheated?

        by johnny rotten on Mon Apr 04, 2005 at 04:56:36 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I know that.. but the statements (none)
          as made and without that presumption (correct as it may be) when reading the statement will not resonate or confirm most of what people in this thread are screaming about.

          cheers,

          Mitch Gore

          Nobody will change America for you, you have to work to make it happen

          by Lestatdelc on Mon Apr 04, 2005 at 05:02:25 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  So is saying that 9/11 is blow-back (none)
           form our atrocious foreign policy in the middle and near east over the past half-=century excusing al Qaeda for their crimes?

          cheers,

          Mitch Gore

          Nobody will change America for you, you have to work to make it happen

          by Lestatdelc on Mon Apr 04, 2005 at 05:03:48 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Depends on how you say it (4.00)
            In any case, there is absolutely no factual basis for Cornyn's speculation that recent violence against judges is blow back for their judicial activism.  I am afraid their is no reasonable charitable interpretation of Cornyn's comments.

            Ever get the feeling you've been cheated?

            by johnny rotten on Mon Apr 04, 2005 at 05:15:41 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Nonsense... (3.00)
              many her eon this very board have argued that the violence against Judges is a result of the right-wingery of the Operation Resuce/Terry Randall types, and are advancing the same theme.

              In fact "we" here on the left are operating from the very same presumption that violence against judges because they rule in ways the radical-right doesn't agree with, will prompt some obstetrician killer to take smilier action against judges because of things like the Schiavo circus, etc.

              And whether you want to accept it or not, there are numerous strict readings, etc. which can spin this back on the "hysterical left".

              This is over-reach and not a good one to hammer on.

              cheers,

              Mitch Gore

              Nobody will change America for you, you have to work to make it happen

              by Lestatdelc on Mon Apr 04, 2005 at 05:22:05 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Well (4.00)
                1. I haven't seen any of the speculation you mention.  There was initially a lot of speculation that the Lefkow murders were connected to the neo-Nazi group, but that proved to be false and the case wasn't even connected to alleged "judicial activism."  Cornyn doesn't get the benefit of that case.  The other recent murder involved an accused rapist.  Not sure who was speculating on the political ramifications of that one.  

                2.  Cornyn was not simply speculating on what will happen.  He was speculating on what has already happened, without any evidence for his speculations.  

                3.  Cornyn was speculating about violence against judges in the context of condemning the judges for judicial activism.  Kossacks generally find the judicial activism argument to be bogus.  Cornyn buys it wholesale.

                4.  Cornyn is a Senator and his statement will be carried.  Nutcases with grudges against judges aren't likely to be combing the threads of DailyKos.  

                5.  I don't think this is overreach in the slightest.  It is a despicable statement and Cornyn should be held to account.

                Ever get the feeling you've been cheated?

                by johnny rotten on Mon Apr 04, 2005 at 05:33:45 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  He's not speculating (4.00)
                  at all. He's giving very clear instructions to the "lone wolf" nazis. Within the next few days his speech will be a staple on the right of the dial and the neo nazi radio announcers will be touting the
                  "right" of the militia to "take care" of activist judges. Some time in the next few months there will be a spate of shootings. None of the shooters will be clearly linked to a right wing extremist group.

                  Pithecanthropus "If I pay a man enough money to buy my car, he'll buy my car." Henry Ford

                  by johnmorris on Mon Apr 04, 2005 at 06:53:19 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

        •  Exactly (4.00)
          I'm a little surprised at the people defending this statement. It's as if they haven't watched the GOP's MO for the last decade or so. They're not going to go out and say "kill the judges." They use inuendo and weasily words that they can back track on. But their intent is the same.
        •  Death Threat against Judge Greer (none)
          You are forgetting that the FBI arrested a man in North Carolina for offering $50,000.00 to kill Judge Greer in the Shiavo case.  I would like to know if the above is the entire transcript of Senator Cornyn's remarks.  

          God and ego are not equivalent expressions of reality.

          by Othniel on Mon Apr 04, 2005 at 06:41:53 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Incredibly insensitive... (none)
    ...and inflammatory thing to say, but there's so little to this that I highly doubt anyone even on the far right will lend it any credibility whatsoever.

    Still, what a dickface this guy is.

    Two-step, lockstep, goosestep: Herr Busch's three-step plan to a righter tomorrow.

    by The Termite on Mon Apr 04, 2005 at 04:30:10 PM PDT

  •  Shock and Awe (3.50)
    I can hardly believe this quote.  Cornyn ought to be held accountable for this outrageous idea.  Violence in our courts recently has nothing whatsoever to do with the perceived politicization of the courts.  For the average person who gets caught up in our judicial system, the system is overwhelming and often perceived as being unfair to the poor and obscure.  

    Here in Florida, a popular (and wealthy)doctor was given house arrest for soliciting the murder of a former colleague (swindler) while a 21 year old nobody was given 8 years in prison.  Is this politics?  Nope.  Just old-fashioned justice.

    Given how many people are ground through the wheels of our judicial system, the rate of violence in our courts is pretty low.  This is especially so when we acknowledge that more Americans come into contact with the courts today than any other generation before it.  Sentences are longer and harsher than ever before.  Frustrations run high.

    Now, what will be interesting is to watch for frustrations to grow now that people will be forced into chapter 13 bankcruptcy and realize that creditors can take every extra dollar they make for years and years to come.

    Wake me when it's over.

    by floridaprof on Mon Apr 04, 2005 at 04:30:28 PM PDT

  •  Judge in Atlanta (4.00)
    So the nutcase in Atlanta shot the superior court judge because he thought the superior court judge was making political decisions?
    •  Christ on a crutch! (none)
      I'm going to take a page from Blondie Bin Coulter's book and say that if Cornyn doesn't resign, he should be tried for treason (just like they wanted Ward Churchill tried for treason).

      If the shoe fits the wingnuts ...

  •  That is incitement to violence by... (4.00)
    an elected official. Nothing short.  It is saying it's OK to have violence against judges.  These people are sending signals and they don't care how they take control of the judiciary.  Complete and total reactionary scum.
    •  Is it? (none)
      Reading the statement he seems to just be speculating (yes, somewhat sympathetically, it seems) on reasons behind this recent spate of violence against judges.

      Tom DeLay's quote was much more of an actual threat.

      It's still a reprehensible statement. But watch him squirm his way out of it.

      •  From the Senate this is horrible (none)
        Lets say Hillary Clinton gets up and

        "it's possible aggresive american and torture practices in Iraq have increased the strenght of Al Queda"

        •  And it would be an imminently defensible (none)
          as a speculative question that is actually borne out by a large body of evidence (more so than this one).

          I think the calls and rants on this thread, and Kos reading to he statement are over-reach.

          cheers,

          Mitch Gore

          Nobody will change America for you, you have to work to make it happen

          by Lestatdelc on Mon Apr 04, 2005 at 04:54:19 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  What evidence (none)
            is there for Cornyn's speculation?  

            Ever get the feeling you've been cheated?

            by johnny rotten on Mon Apr 04, 2005 at 04:59:47 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  From the very words he said on the floor (none)
              Where he says:

              "I wonder whether there may be some connection..."

              Couple that with...

              "...engage in violence. Certainly without any justification..."

              ...and those are the outs.

              Again, I think Cornyn is as wrong as the day is long, on a number of levels in his "speculation", from basic understanding of the separation of powers to specifically insulate the judiciary from the passions of the mob, majority rule, etc.

              cheers,

              Mitch Gore

              Nobody will change America for you, you have to work to make it happen

              by Lestatdelc on Mon Apr 04, 2005 at 05:48:32 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Exactly (none)
                Why did he wonder that?  I never wondered that.  Why is he giving voice to this wonder on the floor of the Senate?  

                But it sure is a remarkably effective way to intimidate judges.  

                Ever get the feeling you've been cheated?

                by johnny rotten on Mon Apr 04, 2005 at 05:53:38 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  DO you think you can get this into a (none)
                  20 second sound-byte that can be backed up without any heavy explication and an irrefutable counter that will come form the very text of what was said?

                  PLease tell me what it is, because to be blunt, I think you are counting way to much on the public being able to read between the lines, in context, as we see it, when we have next to media control form the left side of the aisle.

                  cheers,

                  Mitch Gore

                  Nobody will change America for you, you have to work to make it happen

                  by Lestatdelc on Mon Apr 04, 2005 at 06:03:17 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  I think you are being too defeatist (none)
                    on this. If the tables were turned, the Republicans would make hay here: they would not hesitate for fear of being off-message or misinterpreted. Your argument is a good excuse for never making waves. I think Conyers already made the best comeback to this I can imagine: succint, and righteous.

                    Having said that, I'm not sure this has much lasting power as a news item. It will flicker and fade: there's too much else going on. But the Dems should raise a stink on something like this, and there is a way of framing it for mass consumption. Let's not be too timid and let's not always second-guess our reception (or lack of one) by the MSM.  

          •  Oh I'm not saying Clinton... (none)
            would be unjustified in saying that but how is that productive.....How is what he said productive other then pushing a blatent political goal.  And if this political goal may actually endanger people is that not an irresponsable thing to go.  Hillary Clinton would never say that becasue she knows that some terrorist may take heart in her suppostion.
            •  those are the rules? (none)
              It would be astonishingly productive to hear Ms. Clinton say something true that other Senators have not been saying.  Some of us imagine that's her job.  Is is actually considered a faux pas?  That explains so much.

              In the twisted view here, we should assume that Democrats don't watch CSPAN but terrorists do??

      •  Yes, I think it is. (none)
        I think when you say something is understandable and you are a public official, you absolutely know that there are thousands of whack jobs in this country, just waiting for an excuse. It is as irresponsible as telling them to kill judges directly.  You know the impact of your words and you chose to make it OK to kill. Period.
        •  Really? (none)
          Where did he advocate or say it is ok, or even understandable?

          Is saying that 9/11 is blow-back for our polices in the middle and near east spanning decades a call for more 9/11s...?

          cheers,

          Mitch Gore

          Nobody will change America for you, you have to work to make it happen

          by Lestatdelc on Mon Apr 04, 2005 at 04:55:45 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I think so (none)
            Read that entire box.  To me that is what he is saying.  Sure it builds up over the course of the entire passage, but that's what they do best - send a message without directly saying it.  Use code words and slight of hand to send the message you want to the people you want to hear it.  

            Similar to Bush's statement on the Pope with:

            "as a witness to the dignity of human life"
            " John Paul's witness reminded us of our obligation to build a culture of life in which the strong protect the weak"

            In this case, the statement when seen as a whole says, that there is a link between the violence and frustration that "builds" up.  It says "we can see how that could happen". That's what it says to me and I am not a whack job winger, but I can see what it says to them.  That's all that matters.

            Additionally, I made another comment here that says I believe it could be a tactic.  Send a message to the judges that they may not be safe.

      •  If there begins (none)
        violence against congressmen, will these assholes be as cavalier about it? His remarks may encourage violence by people who feel there is no other option available to them. He and his ilk are as big of a target as anyone. And no I don't condone it!

        It does me no injury for my neighbor to say there are twenty gods or no God. - Thomas Jefferson

        by kitebro on Mon Apr 04, 2005 at 04:47:40 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Spot on question (none)
        And I am, to be quite blunt, taken-aback by the comments on this thread and the proposition that Kos is putting up. It is a dubious speculation by Cornyn to be sure, and I am 100% convinced it is part of the general themes of the GOP strategic goals of screaming about "activist judges" etc. in order to stack the court with Fright-WIngTM judicial appointments.

        But I agree that this is an easy one to not only wiggle out of, but actually turn back on those making the hyperbolic statements of Hitler, etc. I am seeing here.

        cheers,

        Mitch Gore

        Nobody will change America for you, you have to work to make it happen

        by Lestatdelc on Mon Apr 04, 2005 at 04:52:16 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  How many Hitler statments are here? (none)
          Also don't you see that even a suppostion of the potential for violence is not a smart thing....what was said after Rodney King and the LA Riots...nothing this bad, what about after OJ?

          Why now...some accused rapest panics and kills the judge and 4 others, or maybe the parnoid person that believed he was due money and thought the judge was against him.....are either of those cases somehow related to the GOP's culture of life?  And he's drawing the two together by his statments.

      •  Sure (none)
        but the speculation has absolutely no basis in fact.  Sometimes speculation is more than speculation - sometimes it is a veiled threat.  Taken in context, I think that is exactly what Cornyn is doing.

        Ever get the feeling you've been cheated?

        by johnny rotten on Mon Apr 04, 2005 at 05:01:03 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  There is a time and place for Speculation (4.00)
        ...And it's not on the floor of the Senate.

        As for squirming, I don't know givin' the supine media.

        After all, they let Cheney off the hook for saying "Fuck You, Fuck You, get off Haliburton's back" on the senate floor.  Hell Cheney even went of Foxx the next day to say he was glad he did it.  Moreover they let Cheney off the hook when he went on CNBC to deny ever saying on MTP that a 9-11 hijacker was linked to Iraq (it took Stewart to bust him).

        Contrast that with how huffy and puffy they got when Kerry (A Dem), taking off his mic, said "these are the biggest bunch of liars I've ever seen."

    •  It is also likely a tactic. Think about it. (3.50)
      The more fear you place in Judges that actually care about the separation of powers, the fundamentals of our government, and civil liberties, the more likely you are to get early retirements and second thoughts about opinions before they write them.  

      Think about the implications as you sit down to dinner with your entire family and realize they are a target and the leaders of our congress are telling people it's OK to kill them.  I am a hard core SOB when it comes to my belief, but I can tell you I wouldhave second thoughts.

      •  Which is why... (4.00)
        ...Cornyn must be pressured to at least clarify his statement. We don't countenance terrorists in this country.

        If we let this slide, it could very well put a chill on judges who believe in Constitutional rule of law. If someone made a statement like that concerning me, I'd be saying "buddy, I think you might wanna rephrase that."

        Treating people just like pawns in chess, wait til their judgment day comes

        by Alioth on Mon Apr 04, 2005 at 05:13:50 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  The facts of the cases. (4.00)
    In Illinois the man shot the judges family because he didn't like her rulings.  Even though they were correct.  In Georgia it was a rapist trying to escape, and just generally hated authority figures.

    So what are the republicans saying?  We can now shoot judges when they don't rule how we think they should and that rapists have some sort of deep-seated hatred of the judiciary because of their stance on rite to die cases.

    What idiots.

    We Glory in war, in the shedding of human blood. What fools we are.

    by delver rootnose on Mon Apr 04, 2005 at 04:33:14 PM PDT

    •  key key key (4.00)
      Cornyn's both reprehensible and very stupid. The facts of the cases he's supposedly referring to do not bear out his assertions at all.
      •  Exactly (4.00)
        It is baseless speculation - there is absolutely no evidence to what Cornyn said.  Cornyn is making a threat.

        Ever get the feeling you've been cheated?

        by johnny rotten on Mon Apr 04, 2005 at 05:02:27 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Many here see it as one.. (none)
          but most won't.

          This is not a good tar-baby to punch. DeLay's comments were far more damning and worth going after. THis can easily be spun back.

          cheers,

          Mitch Gore

          Nobody will change America for you, you have to work to make it happen

          by Lestatdelc on Mon Apr 04, 2005 at 05:10:35 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I disagree (4.00)
            I think most people would find Cornyn's statement much worse than Delay's (I do).  Delay never mentioned violence, and one could reasonably conclude that he was referring to political, social or even otherworldly consequences.  

            Cornyn, on the other hand, expressely invoked violence against judges and engaged in baseless speculation that it was connected to judges' political activism.  I find Cornyn's threat to be much more obvious.  

            Ever get the feeling you've been cheated?

            by johnny rotten on Mon Apr 04, 2005 at 05:20:51 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  But it is all couched in specualtion (none)
              much of which is the presumption many on the left are operating from and are outraged over the assault on the 'activist judiciary' theme the Fright-WingTM are pounding away on.

              There are far too many outs in the statement, and thus give an opening to smear the left and pollute the water about "the left" screaming about the radical-rights attempts to stack the courts.

              Without coming into this with the presumption that the radical-right is being revved up by the calls for 'retribution' of 'activist judges' by Delay et all, which btw is what many here on the left operate from already, that this is in fact what they are doing (potentially inciting their 'base' to violence), it is a stretch to make the specifics of what he said, and the weasel 'speculations' he couched it all in stick.

              And it does make it something you can paint as the "hysterical left" making exaggerated claims. Ex-ager-ation, heard that in prime-time in the debates. We will hear it again on this too.

              cheers,

              Mitch Gore

              Nobody will change America for you, you have to work to make it happen

              by Lestatdelc on Mon Apr 04, 2005 at 05:31:04 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Hysterical left (none)
                You keep throwing that phrase around based on your own (overly) charitable interpretation of Cornyn's comment.  I think reasonable people can see that Cornyn is making a threat against judges.  It's not exaggeration in the least.

                Ever get the feeling you've been cheated?

                by johnny rotten on Mon Apr 04, 2005 at 05:38:39 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  I am not being overly chartiable.. (none)
                  I am positing how the general media consumer will see it.

                  I think Cornyn is a dip-shit of the highest order and I think he would advocate gunning down the bulk of the 9th circuit if he thought he could get away with it. Shit, the man has advocated that ending gender discrimination in marriage law is the moral  an legal equivalent of codifying man on box turtle sex and marriage".

                  I think reasonable people can see that Cornyn is making a threat against judges.

                  No offense, but therein lies the problem.

                  We keep thinking that reasonableness and the critical thinking skills of the average media consumer is to a level that they will arrive at the same conclusions that we do. ANd it is demonstratively shown time and time again that is a false presumption on our part. The truth will not set us free. It has to be spoon feed, to culture that is the equivalent of an adolescent brat with ADD* and zero critical thinking skills.

                  .

                  * No disrespect for people with ADD intended, was trying to short-hand a lack of attention in the elctorate.

                  cheers,

                  Mitch Gore

                  Nobody will change America for you, you have to work to make it happen

                  by Lestatdelc on Mon Apr 04, 2005 at 06:15:47 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                •  Exactly (4.00)
                  This over-skittishness about being called the "hysterical left" is a recipe for being beaten down again and again.

                  Also, it seems that those who advocate leaving this alone are saying two disparate things:

                  1)  Cornyn's statement was not really a threat.

                  I think this is obviously untrue, and you have to do elaborate verbal gymnastics to construe it otherwise.  Sure, there are a few "senatorial" qualifiers, but by and large it's very clear who he's blaming for what.  That is, he's blaming judges for past and future violence against them.

                  2)  We will lose this fight if we make too big a deal out of this, because we'll be framed as hysterical lefties.

                  As I've said elsewhere on this thread, they do this anyway, even when we don't give a good fight.  So we might as well go down swinging.  And if we swing back hard enough -- and with intelligence, strategy, and unity -- we might even win a few.  

                  Also, I don't agree with those-who-are-worried-about-being-called-hysterical that this all that impossible to frame smartly, and make it understandable without a lot of background.  In fact, it seems pretty damn easy -- point out the ACTUAL recent cases of violence against judges, and compare it to what Cornyn is saying about political retribution.  No, we won't win Limbaugh's heart, but this is hardly about that.

                  The bigger point: fight.  Fight smart, fight for what is right, fight together -- hopefully all of the above -- but for God's sake, fight.  I think a lot will take care of itself after that.  

                  Look at it this way -- for years the Dems have tried worrying about how they will be framed, and it's resulted in overcautious politicians who routinely get bloodied and beaten by trigger-happy Republicans.  It's time to bloody them back.  No, not by saying idiotic things.  But certainly not by overthinking how they might punch back.  When they do, we'll be ready...IF we get used to planting our feet and standing for what's right.  Practice makes perfect.  And warrior training is best done on the job.

                  •  Not being 'overly-skittish'... (none)
                    I am being a media realist.

                    cheers,

                    Mitch Gore

                    Nobody will change America for you, you have to work to make it happen

                    by Lestatdelc on Mon Apr 04, 2005 at 06:36:53 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Seems less like realism (none)
                      And more like surrender.
                    •  and Rove is a media surrealist (none)
                      yes we don't own the networks the way they do, but to throw up one's hands and say "there is no way to properly frame this tidbit for mass consumption without being wildly misinterpreted" makes no sense.

                      You go to war with the spin you have, not with the spin you want. And methinks this statement by Cornyn or whatever his name is--is something Rove could use effectively (had a Dem said it) with one arm tied behind his back.

                      O ye of little faith.

                      •  Nice strawman... (none)
                        I have never said "there is no proper way to frame this" etc.

                        cheers,

                        Mitch Gore

                        Nobody will change America for you, you have to work to make it happen

                        by Lestatdelc on Tue Apr 05, 2005 at 10:14:27 AM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  you've implied (none)
                          imultiple posts that framing this topic (the recent incendiary comments of a certain Texas Republican about violence towards judges), and making ito effective noise, will be difficult for Democrats, if not downright impossible, because:

                          a) the words he spoke can be parsed in a way to make them sound more benign, and b) the Dems don't have the spin power the Repubs do  

                          I'm imlying that this an unnecessarily defeatist attitude, since it seems to suggest that the Dems will always be behind the ball wh it comes to drawing attention to Republican lies and offenses

                          •  No, I have stated... not implied (none)
                            ...that many of the comments and calls here are in fact overblown and problematic. Conyers statements for example are couched with a critical difference. Read what his statement said, he couched it in a qualifier.

                            Not being defeatist at all, I am calling for us to fight smart, not shoot ourselves in the foot with stupid lazy hyperbole, particularly since we don't control the microphone.

                            cheers,

                            Mitch Gore

                            Nobody will change America for you, you have to work to make it happen

                            by Lestatdelc on Tue Apr 05, 2005 at 11:25:58 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  I've been reading through (none)
                            this thread pretty carefully and I really don't get what Mitch Gore/lestalduc's dog is in this hunt. The republicans have done as well as they have done by continually throwing up things and seeing which ones stick. Their biggest mistake to date was Schiavo but up until then they relentlessly pursued small, seemingly pointless, attacks on the honor, veracity, and patriotism of every democrat they could get.  

                            Since we know for a fact that the republicans are spearheading an attack on the separation of powers, on checks and balances, and using the tag line "judicial activism" there is no question that Cornyn's speech has to be taken in that context.

                            Once you do that you see an opening to attack the Republicans not on what theys ay they are doing, but on what they are actually doing. Cornyn is saying that reasonable people are pissed off at judges for their decisions. We have to say that, no, "reasonable" people are not pissed off. Some nutcases that the repbulicans don't want to be associated with are pissed off. We also have to hold them accountable for what they are saying.

                            We can't do that by sitting down and shutting up, a la Mitch Gore.  Can we do any harm by pointing out Cornyn's public gaffe? Hardly. This isn't at all like other hypothetical examples of "out of touch" liberal concerns. This isn't the spotted owl. This isn't head start. This is a Senator making excuses for violent-as-seen-on-your-tv murders as "understandable". If he weren't making excuses, he'd be out there calling for stricter sentences for people found guilty of harming judges. He'd be calling for an investigation of someone, somewhere, for the intimidation of judges who are just doing their jobs. HE didn't do that. His silence on a solution that protects judges makes him fair game.

                            And you know what? I think the American people wil see this shameful incident for what it is. That is, if we don't listen to Mitch Gore's advice and just deep six it.

                            If you have a mad dog problem, and you see a big stick nearby--pick up the stick and beat him over the head with it.

                            my new motto

                            aimai

                          •  More strawmen (none)
                            Never said deep six it.

                            My 'hunt' in this is to not shoot ourselves in the foot, but attack smart on this (and every other issue). But please, blather on some more against fictional positions or advice and attribute it to me.

                            Never-mind the counters that will come back if you don't frame it properly (which is what most of the people here are not doing)... never-mind we don't control the megaphone like the GOP have had for the last 5+ years... never-mind all that... it is all about telling me to shut up because I keep saying to pick the words carefully and fight smart, instead of hyperbolic unsupported assertions that if spouted off like many here are doing, will only back-fire and marginalize calling Cornyn and others out properly.

                            cheers,

                            Mitch Gore

                            Nobody will change America for you, you have to work to make it happen

                            by Lestatdelc on Tue Apr 05, 2005 at 02:30:33 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  You know, you are taking this very (none)
                            personally.  Its not personal. Most people here disagree with you, and they've said why.  If you don't agree, fine, but what is at stake in continuing to fight for a minority point of view with shorter and shorter (and less and less interesting) comments.  It may be true, as you have asserted in several posts, that people are reading more into your comments than you meant. But people have pretty consistently read the same thing into your comments. If you didn't mean it, you might want to rethink your strategy and your rhetoric because something isn't working for you.  

                            People on the site don't agree with you that this issue is a loser for dems, that they should drop it, or that its not "smart" to fight using this. That is their prerogative. IF they want to pursue it through LTE's, complaints to their republican senators, or whatever else they should feel free to go ahead and do it.

                            If you don't want to do that, do something else. Political action isn't a zero sum game--when I do one thing someone else can't do something else. We can each get active and stay active as we choose. I myself am going to a political meeting tonight.

                            If you don't think the Cornyn comment deserves serious political action--hey! don't take any on it.  If you don't like being in the minority--diary or comment on something else.

                            Its not all about you and what you think is the best thing for the rest of us to do.

                            aimai

                          •  It is personal when people accuse me of (none)
                            ...saying things I am not saying.

                            That said, I find it even more than odd that you direct your claims about 'personalizing' this when I am confronted by posts with such assertions like:

                            We can't do that by sitting down and shutting up, a la Mitch Gore.

                            Please explain how that is me perosnalizing this.

                            Please point to where I have personalized this anywhere in the thread, other than to consisely refute the false assertions and characterizatiosn (i.e. the personalizations directed at me, not by me) of what I have argued.

                            Not only is the above (along with numerous others) not what I was saying, and inaccurate, but is personalizing it. I have done nothing to personalize this, and in fact have been arguing the issues at hand regarding response to this, and so on. My only other commentary are short concise refutations of straw-men arguments that are not what I have said, yet are being leveled at what I have said in my posts.

                            cheers,

                            Mitch Gore

                            Nobody will change America for you, you have to work to make it happen

                            by Lestatdelc on Tue Apr 05, 2005 at 03:22:23 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  I'm sorry you take my posts as a personal (none)
                            affront. I stand by my main point--if you don't agree with the majority of posters on this thread why don't you simply go write your own diary on the subject, or on a different subject? You've more than made your point--even if you feel misunderstood.  

                            aimai

                          •  Personal affront.. not really... (none)
                            more an attempt at personalized straw-man and then accusing me of personalizing it when I am simply countering false assertions, and arguing points of disagreement that should be argued and debated on the merits.

                            Seeing as you have nothing of actual merit to argue about the real issues at hand, i.e. the framing of the issue without overreach, while anticipating the counters that will come, and being intellectually honest throughout by not overreaching on it with sloppy hyperbole, which can do more damage to us since we don't control the megaphone (hence my saying we need to be precise and not overreach in the hyperbole to avoid such traps) I will leave you too it.

                            If you still feel compelled to prattle on some more about how this is personal when it isn't, and prop up such straw-men again, instead of dealing with the actual points I raise, you will have to do so alone.

                            If however you do get around to addressing those I will gladly discuss, argue and debate those issues and points then.

                            cheers,

                            Mitch Gore

                            Nobody will change America for you, you have to work to make it happen

                            by Lestatdelc on Tue Apr 05, 2005 at 06:26:04 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  prattle? (none)
                            I think that's enough of that.

                            aimai

          •  Broken Windows (4.00)
            If you want to fight back against this vile fuckoinjg excrescence, you have to stamp on all the weasels all the time. There's no point "saving the ammo" for the big ones, because by the time you see the big ones its too late.

            These bastards have to be challenged at every turn, in every way on every day.

            It ain't easy, there are no magic bullets, but there are also no options. You are fighting for your democracy and what you hope is your way of life, there is no room for graduated response and reasonable debate; these people will invade and kill anyone they want to to get what they want.

            In WW2, the allies fought all the Axis all the time. If you were a German approaching and you "only had a pistol" not a howitzer, you either dropped it and put up your hands or you got shot at.

            Nail this fucker, and send Conyers a buck while you are at it. No mercy, no quarter, all war all the time.

            "Till the Last Dog Dies"

            by Deep Dark on Mon Apr 04, 2005 at 07:21:48 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Never said anythign about 'saving ammo' (none)
              in fact I have repeatedly for months on end argued the exact opposite.

              What i have argued here is to not make stupid over-reaching arguments and claims that can and will get thrown back at us and make us appear to the media consumer as being hysterical and overblown.

              cheers,

              Mitch Gore

              Nobody will change America for you, you have to work to make it happen

              by Lestatdelc on Tue Apr 05, 2005 at 10:17:04 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  right mitch you're not a surrender monkey (none)
                you're just smarter than the rest of us.

                If fearing backfire for overreach were sufficient reason for staying out of the fray of politics, we might as well all go home.

                The Republicans make stupid over-reaching arguments and claims all the time, and no one calls them on it. The Republicans are hysterical and overblown, and there is an air of desperation to them when they make comments suggesting that violence towards judges is understandable.

                Your argument is a great case for waiting on the sidelines. The worst that one could say about the particular topic of this diary is that it has no real staying power media-wise. But there is no way Conyers-type rebuttals to this stuff would "backfire"...  

                •  Spare me your snark (none)
                  I never said stay out the fray either. I really am amazed and the strawman sophistry leveld at me because I am ppointing out the numerious problems with overeach that many here have shown with this stamtnet.

                  cheers,

                  Mitch Gore

                  Nobody will change America for you, you have to work to make it happen

                  by Lestatdelc on Tue Apr 05, 2005 at 11:15:03 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

  •  Dear Senator Cornyn... (none)
    Have you gone completely out of your mind? After all, who in their right mind would ever incite violence against the judiciary?
  •  I don't like Cornyn's remarks (none)
    So does that make it okay for me to commit some violent act against him?
  •  Georgia (none)
    Uhhhhh, wasn't the guy who shot up the courtroom and killed four people (allegedly) in Atlanta in there on rape charges?

    Someone needs to call Cornyn on this. Apparently the box turtle man thinks that rapists are political prisoners or something. It would be an interesting point to make. This sex/violence stuff really eats at these Republican guys from Texas, doesn't it?

    Those who do not learn from history are stupid. --darrelplant

    by darrelplant on Mon Apr 04, 2005 at 04:33:54 PM PDT

  •  Say it ain't so kos!! (4.00)
    How on earth can he say something like that and get away with it?  Just as in the other post, "where are the dems?"  John Kerry is busy sending me e-mails to sign up for his dumb a$$ USA today op-ed, instead of picking up all this free ammo and jumping all over these repulicans.  I don't know what shocks me most, Repulican retoric or Democratic silence.
  •  Cornyn's DC phone and email (4.00)
    (202) 224-2934

    cornyn.senate.gov/contact/index.html

    ...for those who need it. I'd like him to clarify that statement.

    -fink

  •  every quote made to be beyonder the pale (3.00)
    jesus, here we go again. cornyn actually seems to be rebuking his party for their part in violence against judges, not egging on the domestic terrorists. now, my guess is he was just bullshitting and has a fairly antagonistic view toward the judiciary (he's a republican from texas, after all...), but actually read the quote instead of just taking americablog's analysis at face value.

    cornyn says: "I wonder whether there may be some connection between the perception in some quarters on some occasions where judges are making political decisions yet are unaccountable to the public, that it builds up and builds up and builds up to the point where some people engage in - engage in violence"

    we're not going to get him to resign, that should be pretty obvious even among the most passionate here. but we can take what he actually said (as opposed to what we'd like him to have said) re anti-judge violence, and use it against the entire republican party in an ad showing that one of their own worries about the effect of their rhetoric.

    in conclusion, he didn't excuse domestic terrorism, NOR did he (as the headline says) find violence against judges understandable. that's ridiculous, regardless of his motives the words he used explained the phenonmenon and implicated the GOP. it's like when we argue that many middle easterners have a right to be angry at the US, that the US shares some blame in the current terror conflict, and freepers say we're excusing terrorism. no, we're explaining it. well, no freeper logic for me, thanks.

    •  Sorry, I disagree (none)
      He clearly refers to judges' political decisions:

      where judges are making political decisions yet are unaccountable to the public

      He's singling out political decisions as the reason for the violence.

      When the fox preaches The Passion, farmer watch your geese.

      by reform dem on Mon Apr 04, 2005 at 04:49:42 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Read the entire context.... (4.00)
        ... one post down.

        Cornyn is making this remark in the midst of CASTIGATING the judiciary for engaging in political and ideological decisions instead of deciding cases the right way.

        In that context, there is absolutely no doubt in this reader's mind that the remarks are directed against the judicary, i.e. the worst-case reading.

        --- Reality-based and proud of it!

        by grytpype on Mon Apr 04, 2005 at 05:27:43 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  At the risk of another 2 (none)
          Yes, he was castigating the judiciary. That's coming from his point of view. Why is it that we can look at a different POV where our (country's) enemies are involved, but not see it from our political opponents' perspective.

          One more disclaimer, I think what he said was stupid. I think he should pay a price. I don't think it was intended to incite violence.

          hink

      •  What is a "political" decision? (none)
        Is that the same thing as a "legislative" or an "executive" decision?  Many court decisions are inherently political - that does not make them dubious.  It's merely a reflection that the interpretation of law, especially constitutional law, has political reprecussions.

        "The state has no place in the bedrooms of the nation." - Pierre Trudeau

        by fishhead on Mon Apr 04, 2005 at 06:02:03 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  you're giving him far too much credit (4.00)
      ...And I think your interpretation of his statement is way off, if you actually think he's rebuking his own party, or expressing concerns about the effect of GOP rhetoric.

      Yes, he hedged his words considerably, with the "I wonder" and "connection between the perception," etc....And it's not a masterpiece of syntax.

      But if you examine the sentence, I think it's very clear indeed who he's blaming for thre violence here:  the judges themselves.  NOT those whose rhetoric goes overboard, not his party.  He's blaming the victims of the crimes.

      •  two things (none)
        i'd just reiterate that an explanation isn't an excuse and that while i agree he's not consciously rebuking his party, that is the implication of the actual sentence that ended up coming out of his mouth.
        •  I think... (4.00)
          ...his conscious intent is everything here, even if his not-so-great sentence structure gives him the wiggle room of deniability later.  And since the only specific actors he mentions are judges, and he refers to their "political" decisions, it's very clear what his his intent is:  to blame them for any violence that comes their way.  
    •  I agree with Addison (none)
      Carefully parsed, the statement can easily be dismissed as condoning the violence. And the poor innocent soul will then gush on about the "hysterical left" for picking on him when he was just trying to point out a problem.

      You have to be able to anticipate the enemy's response, prior to jumping blindly into battle. If there is something else that the democratics could reply to - should he reply as we anticipate - then by all means, jump in. But if all we have are suspicions, then it ain't gonna get anywhere.

      I'm not defending the guy - just pointing out that we might be inserting our own beliefs and suspicions into the statement. That just won't fly when it comes to calling for resignations.

      "Who told you that you were naked?" Genesis 3:11

      by mrhelper on Mon Apr 04, 2005 at 05:03:04 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  to clarify (none)
        i should be clear that my point isn't to try to stop some radical tx congressman whining about the "hysterical left," he's going to do that no matter what.

        my point was that the meaning that kos, atrios, and americablog have teased out of this statement may be in cornyn's hearts, but it wasn't in his words. luckily something far more damaging was in his words than an excusing of anti-judge violence, a republican blaming said violence on the rhetoric of other republicans...

        i just thing the lefty blogs have really missed the boat on this one after just hopping on the first one they came across (americablog?) referencing this quote.

        •  Got it (none)
          And I still agree with you.

          Pointing out that their rhetoric is contributing to the problem they are reporting is quite clever, and I think someone should run with it.

          "Who told you that you were naked?" Genesis 3:11

          by mrhelper on Mon Apr 04, 2005 at 05:14:25 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Agreed... (none)
          I think this one is a loser... DeLay's words were far more damning, but this one can be polluting the water and muddying it up for when something damning really does come along.

          cheers,

          Mitch Gore

          Nobody will change America for you, you have to work to make it happen

          by Lestatdelc on Mon Apr 04, 2005 at 05:17:50 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  BINGO! (none)
        And this spin-back of the "hysterical left" for picking on him when he was just trying to point out a problem is exactly what the MSM will play if this gets dialed up (if at all).

        And we see many here charging headlong into this.

        It is a tar-baby.

        cheers,

        Mitch Gore

        Nobody will change America for you, you have to work to make it happen

        by Lestatdelc on Mon Apr 04, 2005 at 05:12:07 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Hello? MSM? Are you guys awake? (4.00)
    Each time something like this happens (Gannon/Guckert, Over-reaching re: Terri Schiavo, $Delay_shennigans_of_the_day), I wonder, "will this be the story that finally gets the MSM to wake up and realize that the Republican party is totally out of control?"

    Maybe CNNMSNBCFOX can take a break from their wall-to-wall JackoPopeSaveTerriWeMissScottPeterson coverage to share with America just how out of control these people are.

    Yeah, right.

  •  I called his office (none)
    and left a message asking for a specific list of these so-called "political opinions"
  •  :::blink blink::: (none)
    Zo, Zenator Cornyn, you are sayink that Brian Nichols who kilt ze jutch in Atlanta unt Bart Ross who kilt ze jutch in Tchicago ver your followerz?  Verrrry interestink, Zenator Cornyn.  Speek futhur to zees points.  Vhat politikal deschions should those jutchis not haff mate?  Vhat deshions vould haff spared their lyfs?

    "Injustice wears ever the same harsh face wherever it shows itself." - Ralph Ellison

    by KateCrashes on Mon Apr 04, 2005 at 04:38:24 PM PDT

  •  Hmmmmmm (4.00)
    While I think John Cornyn's statement on the Senate floor wades  well into the bogus "activist-judges-are-evil-so-give-us-our-rubber-stamp-for-radical-judges-we-like" territory, and is part of the Fright-Wing'sTM long term assault plan on our Constitution... there is enough weasel room that this can be disavowed and put back on those claiming he is excusing violence on the judiciary.

    The reading of the statement Cornyn made on the floor he is in effect excusing  violence on the judiciary is a little over-blown.
    I share the sentient that this guy is a moron and a bigoted freak (witness his man on box turtle love), but his statement and the condemnation expressed here will not stick nor do they hold up well.

    cheers,

    Mitch Gore

    Nobody will change America for you, you have to work to make it happen

    by Lestatdelc on Mon Apr 04, 2005 at 04:38:37 PM PDT

    •  You are correct, of course. . . (none)
      But this is politics. Who cares whether he didn't EXACTLY say it. . . he came close, and that's the only opening a good politician needs. Let them spend some time explaining and clarifying what he really meant.  Its a matter of putting them on defense for a change.

      Like pygmies on the battlefield of history, we cower like whipped dogs in the face of political pressure. . . Robert Byrd 12/04.

      by Lords on Mon Apr 04, 2005 at 05:00:58 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Cornyn never said it (none)
      WashPost retracted.

      See here.

  •  I must have missed (4.00)
    where he says it's understandable. He's trying to explain where it comes from, why it may be happening.

    I give Cornyn a pass on this, at least in the context it's presented. If I can be smart enough to understand that someone trying to explain why Palestinians blow up schools probably isn't condoning that action, I can give the benefit of the doubt that Cornyn was trying to make sense of the killings, rather than to make excuses for them.

    We saw this time and time again in the wake of 9/11--if the left dared try to explain why it might have occurred, they were excoriated, unfairly. Don't make the same mistake when the shoe's on the other foot. Save it for actual threats, such as DeLay's. We only need one shitbag TX Congressperson to make the face of the party, and we've got him.

    •  not buying it (none)
      You can just as easily say that nutbags are out there going after judges because freaks like DeLay and Cornyn are ENCOURAGING them with this kind of statement.

      Republicans are the party that says government doesn't work, and then they get elected and prove it.

      by David J on Mon Apr 04, 2005 at 04:45:00 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  not buying it either. (none)
      He's saying judges' political decisions are causing the violence.

      When the fox preaches The Passion, farmer watch your geese.

      by reform dem on Mon Apr 04, 2005 at 04:51:02 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Agreed... (3.00)
      I think many of the comments on this thread, and Kos's reading of it are over-reach (at best) and many are hyperbolic to the point of leaving us open to counters of behaving like ranting hacks.

      cheers,

      Mitch Gore

      Nobody will change America for you, you have to work to make it happen

      by Lestatdelc on Mon Apr 04, 2005 at 04:57:48 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  in all due respect... (3.80)
        I don't get this:

        and many are hyperbolic to the point of leaving us open to counters of behaving like ranting hacks

        It's very clear that a U.S. Senator is playing around with the idea of justifying violence against judges.  No, he's not coming out and saying "kill the damn judges," but that's not the way it's done, is it?  Nor do I necessarily think he wants slaughtered judges.  But he wants intimidated judges, and he wants to use the threat of vilolence for political power.

        So I don't understand what audience you're playing to, with these concerns that we'll called ranting hacks.  The GOP?  The corporate media?   THEY CALL US THAT ANYWAY.  AND WORSE.

        I'm not advocating a dumb response to this, but it calls for a response.  We have to fight, not wring our hands about how we'll be perceived.  That game goes nowhere, and I think we've seen that again and again.

        I certainly don't think that we jump into EVERY fray, but this one is very much worth it.  And if we're too worried about how Powerline or Tweety will frame us for doing that, well, we've lost already.

        Fight smart, by all means.  But fight.  

        If you'll excuse a cornball Tolkien reference:  "Open war is open you, whether you would risk it or not."

        •  Some here are claimign this is 'Hitler' (none)
          so not sure why you think I am off-base by saying some of the posted and reactions here are hyperbolic.

          cheers,

          Mitch Gore

          Nobody will change America for you, you have to work to make it happen

          by Lestatdelc on Mon Apr 04, 2005 at 05:36:09 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  I am not advocating laying down (none)
          But this one is not going to play well because it can be spun back, and with some modicum of merit to the casual observer.

          Remember, we are political junkies, joe and jane six-pack watching MSNBC or the nightly news are not and we don't hold the megaphone.

          If you can't read a statement cold, without any context or back-grounder, then it will not play in the sound-bite world of faux news and analysis's we have in the MSM, and is exploitable as painting the left screaming about this as the lunatic fringe and that will resonate more than the larger picture contextual reading of things that will not get play in the "MSM".

          cheers,

          Mitch Gore

          Nobody will change America for you, you have to work to make it happen

          by Lestatdelc on Mon Apr 04, 2005 at 05:40:15 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I agree... (none)
            That we can't rely on huge amounts of context and background, with this soundbite world.  But I do think a smart, well-crafted -- and quick -- response to this statement is not only possible, but necessary.  

            And you're right, of course it should not mention Hitler, or go over the top.  But it can be strong and unapologetic without being hysterical.

            I take your point, but I guess we disagree on the relative dangers of it being spun back.   I think the benefits of being aggresive with it (though smart, as ever!) far outweigh what the GOP can dish back.  

        •  Please let us get that through our heads.... (none)
          "We have to fight, not wring our hands about how we'll be perceived.  That game goes nowhere, and I think we've seen that again and again."

          We need to speak our minds and not give a damn about what "the other side" will think of it. Do you think the wingnuts care what liberals think of them or what they say? Of course not. Cornyn certainly doesn't care. So why do we give ourselves such a handicap?

          And you know what? Americans in general seem to like a man who will speak his mind without such worries. Well, we need to do it too--and I for one will, so lead, follow, or get the fuck out of the way.

          Treating people just like pawns in chess, wait til their judgment day comes

          by Alioth on Mon Apr 04, 2005 at 06:01:00 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Fucking lame 1 rating.. (1.00)
        This "new" ratings schema where 1s are "unproductive" is bullshit.

        cheers,

        Mitch Gore

        Nobody will change America for you, you have to work to make it happen

        by Lestatdelc on Mon Apr 04, 2005 at 06:53:14 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  We are too quick to give Republicans a pass. (none)
      We are always saving it.

      Like pygmies on the battlefield of history, we cower like whipped dogs in the face of political pressure. . . Robert Byrd 12/04.

      by Lords on Mon Apr 04, 2005 at 05:06:03 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Can you imagine if GORE had said that? (none)
    Imagine if Gore had said something like this following the SCOTUS gift-wrapping the 2000 election for Bush? Not only would Gore be villified for life as someone who "encouraged violence against judges," but every single freakin' Democrat would be as well. Yet here we have a GOP Senator saying this on the goddam Senate floor, and nary a peep from anyone. Disgusting. Typical and unsurprising, but disgusting all the same.

    Republicans are the party that says government doesn't work, and then they get elected and prove it.

    by David J on Mon Apr 04, 2005 at 04:40:05 PM PDT

  •  I want the video (none)
    A kindergartner could cut this into one of the great 30-second spots in history.  Paste it together with DeLay's blurb about people 'answering for what they've done' and you have a trend.  In my view it'd make the most effective political spot of the year.  No text or voiceover needed.  

    And of course, edit the sucker to exaggerate their point.  Let them whine about context if they think it'll help.  

    Tom DeLay's GOP: cheating America in a time of war.

    by Tom Frank on Mon Apr 04, 2005 at 04:40:05 PM PDT

    •  even better (none)
      Take that footage of Cornyn, splice it with grainy, out-of-focus shots of Brian Nichols, play some "dum dum dummmmm" ominous music in the background, and throw in a few concerned voiceovers about why Senator Cornyn is encouraging violence against law enforcement.

      Republicans are the party that says government doesn't work, and then they get elected and prove it.

      by David J on Mon Apr 04, 2005 at 04:42:16 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  very nice (none)
        Horton the sonofabitch.  It would be fun if every time somebody goes nuts and threatens/injures a member of the judiciary people think instantly of Cornyn.  Most folks don't know much about Cornyn so it would do a good job of branding him for life.  

        Tom DeLay's GOP: cheating America in a time of war.

        by Tom Frank on Mon Apr 04, 2005 at 04:50:20 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  I like it! (none)
        Cornyn is engaging in the sort of fuzzy thinking that any self-respecting MSM outlet should point out ... but of course they won't. I have the suspicion that MSM reporters are just ... not too bright.  

        I bet conservative judges are none too happy about this turn of events. As much as we love to hate them, they do take the independence of the judiciary and separation of powers quite seriously. It would be great if we could reach out to them as allies in this effort...

  •  Cornyn Contact Information (4.00)
    District Office

    Washington DC
    517 Hart Senate Office Bldg.
    Washington, DC 20510
    Tel: 202-224-2934
    Fax: 202-228-2856

    State Offices

    East Texas
    Bank One Building
    100 E. Ferguson Street
    Suite 1004
    Tyler, Texas 75702
    Tel: 903-593-0902
    Fax: 903-593-0920
    Central Texas
    Bank One Building
    221 West Sixth Street
    Suite 1530
    Austin, Texas 78701
    Tel: 512-469-6034
    Fax: 512-469-6020
    North Texas
    Occidental Tower
    5005 LBJ Freeway
    Suite 1150
    Dallas, Texas 75244
    Tel: 972-239-1310
    Fax: 972-239-2110

    Southeast Texas
    5300 Memorial Drive
    Suite 980
    Houston, Texas 77007
    Tel: 713-572-3337
    Fax: 713-572-3777
    South Central Texas
    600 Navarro
    Suite 210
    San Antonio, Texas 78205
    Tel: 210-224-7485
    Fax: 210-224-8569
    Rio Grande Valley
    222 East Van Buren
    Suite 404
    Harlingen, Texas 78550
    Tel: 956-423-0162
    Fax: 956-423-0193

    West Texas
    3405 22nd Street, Suite 203
    Lubbock, Texas 79410
    Tel: 806-472-7533
    Fax: 806-472-7536

    http://cornyn.senate.gov/contact/contact.cfm

  •  We need to gin up this controversy. (none)
    Stir the pot folks.  Mail CNN repeatedly.  Tell your mothers.  Tell your fathers.  In case that doesn't cover it, tell the neighborhood gossip.
  •  Imbalance of powers... (none)
    Taking over the executive and legislative branches was a cinch.  It's easy to steal an election. Just like taking candy from a baby.  However, the judicial branch represents a more complex problem.

    They're off and running.

    Capitalism is cancer on this planet.

    by super simian on Mon Apr 04, 2005 at 04:41:09 PM PDT

  •  huh (none)
    two people made the exact same point I did while I was typing mine up. I guess I'll go into Rush-listener mode:

    DITTO!

  •  This is very serious (4.00)
    You may remember that in his annual message around New Years, Chief Justice Rehnquist added to his usual pleas for less work and more money, a plea for the protection of the independence of the judiciary.  Obviously, the courts are aware of the efforts to intimidate them.  Legislation to strip the federal courts of jurisdiction and return us to the law of the 1700s was discussed in a diary yesterday. This is a concerted effort to attack the branch of government that has historically protected the little guy and the rule of law in this country.  The violence against judges is merely the outliers in this attack taking things into their own hands.  The power of the courts is fragile but essential--think school desgregation, reforms to criminal procedure like Miranda and Esposito.

    I have already written to the head my state bar association, asking that the organized bar get actively involved in this issue.  I hope all the lawyers on this website will do the same and will contact their law schools and the ABA requesting immediate action to protect the courts.

  •  John Aravosis has the context (4.00)
    The thing is even worse - if possible - when read in context:

    ...it causes a lot of people, including me, great distress to see judges use the authority that they have been given to make raw political or ideological decisions. And no one, including those judges, including the judges on the United States Supreme Court, should be surprised if one of us stands up and objects.

    And, Mr. President, I'm going to make clear that I object to some of the decision-making process that is occurring at the United States Supreme Court today and now. I believe that insofar as the Supreme Court has taken on this role as a policy-maker rather than an enforcer of political decisions made by elected representatives of the people, it has led to the increasing divisiveness and bitterness of our confirmation fights. That is a very current problem that this body faces today. It has generated a lack of respect for judges generally. I mean, why should people respect a judge for making a policy decision borne out of an ideological conviction any more than they would respect or deny themselves the opportunity to disagree if that decision were made by an elected representative?

    Of course the difference is that they can throw the rascal -- the rascal out -- and we are sometimes perceived as the rascal -- if they don't like the decisions that we make. But they can't vote against a judge because judges aren't elected. They serve for a lifetime on the federal bench. And, indeed, I believe this increasing politicalization of the judicial decision-making process at the highest levels of our judiciary have bred a lack of respect for some of the people that wear the robe. And that is a national tragedy.

    And finally, I - I don't know if there is a cause-and-effect connection but we have seen some recent episodes of courthouse violence in this country. Certainly nothing new, but we seem to have run through a spate of courthouse violence recently that's been on the news. And I wonder whether there may be some connection between the perception in some quarters on some occasions where judges are making political decisions yet are unaccountable to the public, that it builds up and builds up and builds up to the point where some people engage in -- engage in violence. Certainly without any justification but a concern that I have that I wanted to share.

    You know, it's ironic, if you look back, as we all have, being students of history in this body, all of us have been elected to other -- to other bodies and other offices and we're all familiar with the founding documents, the declaration of independence, the constitution itself, we're familiar with the federalist papers that were written in an effort to get the constitution ratified...

    I'm not part of a redneck agenda - Green Day

    by eugene on Mon Apr 04, 2005 at 04:42:58 PM PDT

    •  OMFG (none)
      How can he say

      And, indeed, I believe this increasing politicalization of the judicial decision-making process at the highest levels of our judiciary have bred a lack of respect for some of the people that wear the robe.

      while he's on the floor of the Senate giving a goddam speech!!?!?!?!?! Argh!

      Republicans are the party that says government doesn't work, and then they get elected and prove it.

      by David J on Mon Apr 04, 2005 at 04:57:35 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Just a few changes... (3.50)
      I don't know if there is a cause-and-effect connection but we have seen some recent episodes of Lynching in this country. Certainly nothing new, but we seem to have run through a spate of Lynching recently that's been on the news and I wonder whether there may be some connection between the perception in some quarters on some occasions where blacks are making progress that is unacceptable to the public, that it builds up and builds up and builds up to the point where some people engage in - engage in violence
      •  but here is the out... (none)
        and the trap...

        Certainly without any justification but a concern that I have that I wanted to share.

        Cornyn's statement can easily blow-up as a case of the "hysterical left" overreaching, etc. etc.

        cheers,

        Mitch Gore

        Nobody will change America for you, you have to work to make it happen

        by Lestatdelc on Mon Apr 04, 2005 at 05:15:11 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  You mean like (none)
          the Byrd compared "Bush to Hitler" thing blew up in the faces of the GOP?
          •  Yeah (none)
            or the fact that the GOP tried to make political hay out of Paul Wellstone's funeral.  That really blew up in their faces.  

            Ever get the feeling you've been cheated?

            by johnny rotten on Mon Apr 04, 2005 at 05:35:57 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Huh? (none)

            cheers,

            Mitch Gore

            Nobody will change America for you, you have to work to make it happen

            by Lestatdelc on Mon Apr 04, 2005 at 05:41:15 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Read DHinMI's (4.00)
              piece over at The Next Harrah if you don't remember.\

              He sums it up nicely.

              That's the statement by Democratic Senator Robert Byrd (aka the protector of the Senate's escutcheon) that got the right wing all riled up and helped them rope in the Anti-Defamation League's Abe Foxman so he could wag his finger and say "tut tut, legitimate allusions to history that involve Nazis aren't fit for polite society."  I would have told Senator Byrd to avoid the reference to Nazis, not because it wasn't apt, but because it would be so easy for the wingers to make histrionic mischaracterizations of what the Senator actually said.  But the substance of what he said was fine, and Foxman's condemnation of Byrd was not a high point for the ADL.

              Why do I compare these two statements?  Because, regardless of whether one thinks Byrd's reference to the history of Nazi Germany was appropriate, you would have to be stupid or dishonest to think he wasn't affirming the primacy of law as the means to ensuring the rights and security of all Americans.  What is John Cornyn, a former state attorney general, saying about the rule of law?  By my reading, he's saying he doesn't give a rats ass about seriously upholding laws that protect the integrity and safety of our judiciary unless judges stop issuing decisions that might frustrate some members of the general public.  What he's expressing is essentially a terrorists will be terrorists "boys will be boys" attitude about people who kill officers of the court, or the kind of "you have to understand he was abused as a child" stereotype of liberal explanation for why murderers kill that conservatives love to lampoon.  The difference between that stereotype of liberal causality and what Cornyn said is that the liberal stereotype is simply explanatory, where Cornyn's comment borders of approval.  

        •  Trap? You give them WAY too much credit (none)
          The question here is simple. Would Cornyn would make the same comment/rationalization of Osama Bin Laden?  Or does he only make excuses for judge killers?

          His comments are very close to what Ward Churchill was saying. He's saying the these poor judges aren't innocent. This is an extreme example of what Republicans themselves call "rationalization" of terrorism.  And in this case I agree with them 100 percent.

          Contrast this charge to what Republicans say about liberals all the time.  We were repeatedly called traitors if we opposed Bush administration on the so-called "patriot act" or the war in Iraq.   Never mind that we showed zero support for terrorism.

          They can't have it both ways.  They wanted to run all three branches of government.  It's long past time to hold their feet to the fire.

          "Orthodoxy, of whatever color, seems to demand a lifeless, imitative style." --George Orwell

          by markymarx on Mon Apr 04, 2005 at 06:44:43 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  OIf cours eit is hypocriusy... (none)
            but that is the exact point. We have made statements about what motivates people who do absolutely abhorrent things, witness 9/11.

            Now agree or disagree (I disagree adamantly) that there is legitimacy in Cornyn's speculation on the merits, but is it really any different than the assertion (and I would posit legitimate one) that 9/11 was blow-back...?

            I think his assertion is false, and is solution to the proposed problem ass he speculates about it are 100% wrong. BUt the weasel words are enough to spin this thing.

            cheers,

            Mitch Gore

            Nobody will change America for you, you have to work to make it happen

            by Lestatdelc on Mon Apr 04, 2005 at 06:49:01 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  No... (none)
              You are buying into FOX NEWS/ GOP logic.  There's a huge difference.

              It's perfectly fair to ask what motivates people as you say...in fact it's in OUR SELF-INTEREST to do so.  That's the only way to fight terrorism.  That's what Richard Clarke has done. Hell, even George W. Bush has done so in speculating about the violence in Iraq.

              That's very different than this case. He's clearly saying these judges are not innocent.  He identifies with the killers, even though he says he would not go that far himself.

              Give me an example of a single House or Senate democrat who has said anything remotely similar about the victims of 9/11.  I can't think of one. And if they had, we would be right to condemn them for it.

              "Orthodoxy, of whatever color, seems to demand a lifeless, imitative style." --George Orwell

              by markymarx on Mon Apr 04, 2005 at 07:16:27 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  "We could do that..." (none)
          ".......but it would be wrong."
        •  Oh, please (4.00)
          It's like the mafia goon dropping into the candy store and saying, "Nice store ya got here. It would be a shame if something were to happen to it."

          Do you really think he's complimenting the chocolate assortment?

          I really don't see how it's so hard for non-political junkies to read through the lines here.

    •  Yup, it's worse (none)
      And I invite the posters upthread -- who thought that Corwyn was rebuking his own party with this statement -- to weigh in now, given this expanded context.
    •  Well... (none)
      if he was really concerned about the politicisation of the judge-ship perhaps he'd feel like we really needed to have 60 votes for every judge instead of a slim majority?

      Hey hey, ho ho, irresponsible corporatism and social intolerance have got to go! Hey hey, ho ho!

      by kfractal on Mon Apr 04, 2005 at 05:12:40 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  The enforcer? (none)
      I believe that insofar as the Supreme Court has taken on this role as a policy-maker rather than an enforcer of political decisions made by elected representatives of the people, it has led to the increasing divisiveness and bitterness of our confirmation fights

      Isn't the administative branch the enforcer  and the judiciary the interpreter?

      I can't wait until the Rapture! -- FREE STUFF! --EVERYWHERE!

      by God loves goats on Mon Apr 04, 2005 at 05:14:09 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  This whole passage should be posted. (none)
      Ugh, makes me sick.

      In the midst of life we are in debt, etc.

      by ablington on Mon Apr 04, 2005 at 05:15:21 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  There is just something mean (none)
      and vile at their core, it's like all they have left is to eat themselves up.
  •  Cornyn (none)
    should get a visit from the FBI on this.  But I am sure Gonzalez will make sure that does not happen.
  •  lol - am I reading this right? (4.00)
    Is this a Republican who has discovered a "root causes" argument to explain crime?  

    Wow.

  •  What the hell do these people want? (none)
    I can not figure out where these people are going.  They complain about judges, when we all know it's not the judges they have a problem with, it's the laws.
     I've tried to think back to how we generally responded to judicial decisions in the past and it seems to me that the judges have been pretty consistant over the years. It is the other two branches of government that have had more radical changes to ideology.
    So what do they want?
     As a general rule, if something is not working correctly, the problem is usually because we did not prepare or review our decisions well enough in advance.
    Are the Republicans suggesting the solution to this problem will be to rubber stamp the decisions of an administration whose track record on planning shit plainly sucks?
    Or are they suggesting that a more careful review of judges' nominations are in order? <snark>

    I can't wait until the Rapture! -- FREE STUFF! --EVERYWHERE!

    by God loves goats on Mon Apr 04, 2005 at 04:48:11 PM PDT

    •  They want (none)
      an issue for 2006 that takes the spotlight off their own actions.  It's really that simple.  Get their base riled up about "radical and out of control" judges, and promise them you'll do something about it.

      Seriously, the best things the dems can do about this is to throw the garbage right back (and fast, before it's too late and we're already branded as the responsible party for activist judges).  We need to get out there and blame the republicans for the judges.  Afterall, most of the judges are theirs (am I right about this?)

      We need to buy a copy of Terri Schiavo's parents' wingnut database and mail a letter to the nutcases.  The mailer should blame the republicans for all the judges and say it's time we don't kow-tow to the republicans anymore--republicans who have put all the judges in and who have failed "us."

      That's the way to beat this thing.  Make them choke on their own vmit.

    •  Working the Refs (4.00)
      They complain about judges, when we all know it's not the judges they have a problem with, it's the laws

      This is just another round of "working the refs".  The same technique has been used very effectively on the captive conservative corporate media to skew information/stories towards the conservative/right wing direction.  

      This is the same but aimed at intimidating judges and setting up the new/next perception that it's "all the judges fault" for "being activist" and "giving answers that people don't like".  A judges job is to interpret the laws, which has some leeway, not to create laws or the alternate to ignore laws.   They also often rule on the Constitutionality of a law, which irritates the hell out of most bigots/rascists/fascists since it does no good to pass a restrictive law if the darn judge throws it out.  I suspect this is just continued word smithing to alter the general publics perception (brainwash the doofus' out there) into thinking it is bad judges instead of bad laws and bad enforcement of the law.

      This same technique was used several years ago to convince people that it was easy going lenient judges that were a problem and we needed strict laws with no leeway to lock up "evil bad" people.  Thus we end up with three strike you are out laws that make no sense and lead to bizarre automatic sentencing of decades for simple things like "stealing a loaf of bread to feed my kids"(there are some cases that come darn close to this).

      So now we have the perception police altering the problem from inciting a riot against a official to it was the officials fault for being a total buthead.

      Just my take.

      md

      "I belong to no organized party. I am a Democrat - Will Rogers"

      by mdgluon on Mon Apr 04, 2005 at 05:05:20 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  This is all a strategy (4.00)
    These sorts of comments are designed to get the radical right-wing base all riled up for the 2006 elections.  Here in NC, for example, there are no statewide races on the ticket in 2006.  The last time I remember a similar situation was in 1994, when we got our asses kicked by the republicans.  Dems didn't go to the polls because there was no hot race driving the top of the ticket.  The damage was so solid that year, we haven't been able to get back on our feet since.

    By the way, the republicans ran in 1994 on a "Kick the Bums Out" message and the slogan "Take Our Government Back."

    Next year is all about turnout.  It's the commited and the bases that will vote.  The republicans have that figured out.  I'm not sure we do.

    •  I think we have that figured out, (none)
      but too much is too much.  They are getting to , and in my opinion have already reached, the point where it's not helpful to them to continue to do this.  There is a balance that they have to reach between activating their base, and alienating the rest of the voters.  At some point they reach critical mass, and the Democrats job is to draw attention to that exact moment and all the moments that bring it closer to that moment in the run up.
      •  I agree with you wholeheartedly (none)
        But I just haven't seen any sign yet that Americans are getting to "too much is too much."  I want to believe this so much, but I can't see it.

        A couple of polls I looked at the other day asked people's opinions about Congress.  Of course, poll ratings for Congresspeople is at a real low.  At first I thought, "A-HA!  People are finally getting fed up."  Then I looked closer and saw that when people were asked to say whether they would vote for a democrat or a republican if the election were held today, they were pretty evenly split.  Then, the really discouraging thing: when they were asked if they would vote for THEIR Congressperson, they said, "yes."  I was left with the message that if there is dissatisfaction, it is with OTHER PEOPLES' representatives.

        Maybe I'm just frustrated, but I haven't seen any real sign yet that people are fed up enough to see the dangers of leaving these people in office.  Then again, I'm in a red state, where people bitch and moan about everything teh republicans do, then go and vote for them.  Geez.

        •  Maybe we have to look at the polls (none)
          on an individual basis.  Accross the board the polls don't look like there has been movement, but we just went through this whole Schiavo ordeal.  We explained that at least partially by saying that Delay led that debacle to energize his, and the Republican's base.  Turns out that a new poll in Delay's district shows blowback on him for this.  The majority of the people in his district think that he did this for political gain and not for moral purposes.  He lost support through this instead of gaining it as he had hoped to do.  Remember that this district was so conservative they have voted him in for years, and therefull made up of the same types that he was trying to activate and to defend and reward him this time. But he must have gone too far for even them this time.

          Hopefully the same thing will happen for some of these other people on an individual basis such as this guy with the statement we are discussing. In my opinion, we have to keep pushing them to the front and expose them. I don't think I can remember any of them pushing the envelop this far before.  But maybe I wasn't paying attention this closely either.

        •  I have hope (4.00)
          I actually see some things that make me thing the pendulum may be about to change direction.  In no particular order:

          1. Even conservative judges aren't going to be happy with some of these comments.  That fact may not be directly relevant in terms of electoral politics, but I don't think you want the whole federal judiciary hating your party.

          2. I gather that, while Bush's support among military people, families, and veterans generally remains fairly strong, an increasing number are starting to have (and express) doubts about where we're headed in Iraq and elsewhere.  Not to mention lack of equipment, poor treatment of returning soldiers, etc.

          3. On a related subject, the military's recruiting troubles are getting increasing amounts of publicity.  Otherwise-apathetic 21-year-olds (and their mothers) tend to notice that and ask obvious questions.

          4. I think a good number of otherwise conservative old folks were not amused by Bush's social security plan.

          5. A lot of those same old folks are wondering if the Republicans intend to keep them alive artificially no matter what when their time comes.  I know for a fact that many older people (and not just older people) are absolutely terrified of this possibility.

          6. Tom DeLay is getting raked over the coals by some not-particularly-liberal editoral writers and columnists.

          7. Gas prices are way high and still going up.  I don't even know whose fault that is, if anyone's.  But people blame such things on the party in power.  And one of the few advantages of our current electoral situation is that nobody's in doubt about which party that is.

          This is a pretty long list of groups who are less than thrilled with the GOP.  Maybe I'm dreaming, but I really do think people are starting to notice some of these things.

          Hey, a guy can hope, can't he?

  •  Another opportunity missed. . . (4.00)
    I thought that I read somewhere that Reid had a "quick response team."  Oh well. . .

    The shame here is on the Dems, I think.  Here we have a Republican being a Republican, and the Dems not jumping all over these ridiculous statement,  demanding that Bush and ALL republicans denounce his remarks and forcing him to make clear that he was not supporting terrorizing judges.  The Dems should be screaming bloody murder about this and painting the Repugs as supporting the killing of judges.

    Like pygmies on the battlefield of history, we cower like whipped dogs in the face of political pressure. . . Robert Byrd 12/04.

    by Lords on Mon Apr 04, 2005 at 04:54:54 PM PDT

  •  Call the Congressional Switchboard! (4.00)
    Toll Free: 1-877-SOB-U-SOB

    Ask for Sen. Cornyn's office...tell him what you think.

    It might also be effective to contact Specter and Leahy on the judiciary committee.

  •  A dangerous road that others have traveled (4.00)
    If you consider this statement

    there may be some connection between the perception in some quarters on some occasions where judges are making political decisions yet are unaccountable to the public, that it builds up and builds up and builds up to the point where some people engage in - engage in violence

    then substitute "the administration is" for "judges are," it's a pretty good summation of where the country seems headed before too long. It feels reminiscent in many respects of, oh, Tsarist Russia.

    There's a nice-ninny priest/at tea in everyone,/all cozy and chatty as auntie,/but a saint comes/and throws rocks through the window. -- John Ciardi

    by Mnemosyne on Mon Apr 04, 2005 at 04:56:09 PM PDT

  •  What gave birth to McVeigh and Nichols? (3.80)
    I would argue in many respects the anit-government rhetoric of the Gingrich revolution in the 90's bolstered radical domestic terrorist like McVeigh and Nichols and their attack on Okalahoma City.  Right-wing republican zealots tend to use inflammatory speech that tragically leads to unfortunate actions.  While I would never say that we should stifle free speech, anti-government or anti-judicial speech has consequences.  I do not doubt that religious fanatics are capable of horrible actions against judges they hold responsible for Terri Schiavo death.  While no one should expect more out of the likes of Delay, Santorum and now Cornyn, our elected officials should not only be held to a higher standard, but accountable.
  •  The sad thing is (none)
    his comments are, actually, going to resonate with some people:  

    Yeah, you know, he's right.  Those judges are outta control trying to run this country....

    Wake up and smell the jackboots, sheeple!

    by lightiris on Mon Apr 04, 2005 at 04:56:45 PM PDT

  •  "Fascism is on the MARCH !" (4.00)
    The Culture of HATE

    What makes this crazier is that I'm sure he's seen the polls.  They're overwhelming.

    Yet he sides with the Randall Terry's and he chooses to stoke and condone violence.

    Can you imagine the firestorm is  Dem did something like this?

    The Washington Post would have to call EMS workers to revive Howie Kurtz.

  •  So! What happens if . . . (none)
     . . . what happens if somebody whacks Priscilla Owen and tells the FBI "Cornyn made me do it?"

    "Lash those conservatives and traitors with the pen of gall and wormwood -- let them feel -- no temporising!" -- Andrew Jackson to Francis Preston Blair, 1837

    by Ivan on Mon Apr 04, 2005 at 04:57:41 PM PDT

  •  Senator Lautenberg wrote this to Tom DeLay (3.50)
    April 1, 2005

    Tom DeLay
    Majority Leader
    House of Representatives
    Washington, DC 20515

    Dear Majority Leader DeLay,

    I was stunned to read the threatening comments you made yesterday against Federal judges and our nation's courts of law in general. In reference to certain Federal judges, you stated: "The time will come for the men responsible for this to answer for their behavior."

    As you are surely aware, the family of Federal Judge Joan H. Lefkow of Illinois was recently murdered in their home. And at the state level, Judge Rowland W. Barnes and others in his courtroom were gunned down in Georgia.

    Our nation's judges must be concerned for their safety and security when they are asked to make difficult decisions every day. That's why comments like those you made are not only irresponsible, but downright dangerous. To make matters worse, is it appropriate to make threats directed at specific Federal and state judges?

    You should be aware that your comments yesterday may violate a Federal criminal statute, 18 U.S.C. §115 (a)(1)(B). That law states:

    "Whoever threatens to assault.... or murder, a United States judge... with intent to retaliate against such... judge.... on account of the performance of official duties, shall be punished [by up to six years in prison]"

    Threats against specific Federal judges are not only a serious crime, but also beneath a Member of Congress. In my view, the true measure of democracy is how it dispenses justice. Your attempt to intimidate judges in America not only threatens our courts, but our fundamental democracy as well.

    Federal judges, as well as state and local judges in our nation, are honorable public servants who make difficult decisions every day. You owe them - and all Americans - an apology for your reckless statements.

    Sincerely,

    Frank R. Lautenberg

    Apparently, Senator Lautenberg's letter did not have the desired effect, and the attacks on our judiciary continue.

    When the fox preaches The Passion, farmer watch your geese.

    by reform dem on Mon Apr 04, 2005 at 04:58:57 PM PDT

    •  What's the point. . . (none)
      In sending it to DeLay?

      He should have published it as an "Open letter to" ad in the NYT or WAPO.  People would still be talking about it.

      Like pygmies on the battlefield of history, we cower like whipped dogs in the face of political pressure. . . Robert Byrd 12/04.

      by Lords on Mon Apr 04, 2005 at 05:15:45 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  What's Next (4.00)
    Will Cornyn start calling judges "Eichmans"?  The courtier press got its tit in a wringer when Ward Churchill was accused of making this kind of comment.  Why am I not holding my breath waiting for Cornyn to get the same treatment?

    This aggression will not stand, man

    by kaleidescope on Mon Apr 04, 2005 at 05:01:47 PM PDT

  •  Unless you think the following statement... (none)
    "... but we seem to have run through a spate of courthouse violence recently that's been on the news and I wonder whether there may be some connection between the perception in some quarters on some occasions where Senators and Congressman are issuing judicial decisions yet are unaccountable to the public, that it builds up and builds up and builds up to the point where some people engage in - engage in violence."

    ... is ok... Resign Senator Cornyn. You are unfit for office.

    "We have the power. Sorry if you don't like the fact that we've decided to use it." Posted by Jeremey*in*MS at February 3, 2005 01:59 PM

    by Andrew C White on Mon Apr 04, 2005 at 05:07:46 PM PDT

  •  U.S. Supreme Court as "enforcer of political (none)
    decisions...."  I don't think so.  Even a 6th grader knows separation of powers doctrine to be: legislatures make the law, executives administer (enforce?) the law and courts INTERPRET the law.  Is Cornyn really less educated than a grade schooler?
  •  Take Action (4.00)
    I just called my senator, Barbara Boxer, to demand that she call Cornyn on this one.  I will be writing to CNN and the rest of the limp dick media as well.  The Republicans should not be allowed to slink away from this one.  We must make them eat their words.

    This aggression will not stand, man

    by kaleidescope on Mon Apr 04, 2005 at 05:12:34 PM PDT

  •  Great media contact page! (none)
    The League of Women Voters has a page for getting in touch with national, regional and local media.

    Here's the link:http://www.capwiz.com/lwv/dbq/media/

  •  Take this speech.... (4.00)
    Change the judge references to White House and your prize will be a visit from our buddies down at the Secret Service department.

    I can't wait until the Rapture! -- FREE STUFF! --EVERYWHERE!

    by God loves goats on Mon Apr 04, 2005 at 05:17:52 PM PDT

    •  Really.. (none)
      I have said for years that 9/11 was blow-back. Never been visited once, nor is it even close to saying that it is a legitimate action, or an excusing of violence, nor even support of violence against our nation or our government, etc.

      cheers,

      Mitch Gore

      Nobody will change America for you, you have to work to make it happen

      by Lestatdelc on Mon Apr 04, 2005 at 05:33:21 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Please diary... (none)
        or post a longer comment on this topic.

        Cornyn's statement does seem, to me, to make excuses for murderers. Not to excuse them entirely.

        I respect your analysis and opinion, but I'm not getting enough insight from one or two sentence posts.

        I've got blisters on my fingers!

        by Elwood Dowd on Mon Apr 04, 2005 at 05:40:28 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  The schivao affair (none)
    really pissed these guys off. Now it is a race to see who wins - the public figuring out the rethugs have fringe beliefs or the rethugs taking complete control of the country.  2006 will be big.
    •  Judicial accountability (4.00)
      Judge Greer: elected.

      Other judges in Florida, appointed, with retention elections.

      Just, FWIW.

      Yes, Federal judges are appointed - but they can in fact be impeached (not so easy, ok, but possible).  So the idea that they are unaccountable is hm, what's the polite term, oh WTF ... a lie.

      Oh, BTW, this just in my mailbox today from Traditional Values Coalition:


      Help Take Back Our Courts from the Anti-God Left

      "We need common sense judges who understand that our rights are derived from God. Those are the kind of judges I intend to put on the bench."
       --President George W. Bush

      [blah, blah, blah, all of which you may find in the following link]

      ...

      CLICK HERE TO SUPPORT THIS BATTLE PLAN TO STOP SENATE LIBERALS AND THE ACLU . . . AND CONFIRM PRESIDENT BUSH'S PRO-GOD JUDGES

      My experience of the world is that things left to themselves don't get right. (TH Huxley)

      by sberel on Mon Apr 04, 2005 at 05:41:18 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Personal story (none)
    Judge Lefkow and her husband live around the corner from me.  Our neighborhood was absolutely devastated.  It IS TERRORISM and it's very personal and very vicious and very horrifying.

    We must not let people think that the problem is "out there."  This is by no means a threat, but violence is cyclical: the chickens come home to roost.  Violence in my neighborhood is violence in yours the next.

    I'm not trying to scare anyone.  I'm trying to shut this thing down.  Please.  Cornyn and DeLay are completely insane to even hint that the problem lies with the judges and not the murderes in our midst.  Are they defending murder?  

  •  Force this statement into the public arena (4.00)
    Forward Cornyn's outrageous statement to every Lap Dog Media news operation and newspaper you can find an e-mail address for.  We have to push this into the public arena, to show what Brownshirted thugs the Republicans have become since last November.  I've sent the piece to ABC, NBC, the WaPo, and the Des Moines Register, as well as to my US Rep (the excerable Jim Nussle) and both my US Senators (Harkin and Grassley, demanding that Grassley either endorse or publicly condemn this outrage).  We HAVE to bury the Lap Dog Media and our representatives in letters about this.  Write, write write!
  •  Cornyn's comments and what to do (4.00)
    Cornyn's comments are disgusting and reprehensible. I am going to write my own congressman (conservative Republican who does have some true ethics) and see what he thinks about them.

    peace and eddies, redboat

    by redboat on Mon Apr 04, 2005 at 05:27:30 PM PDT

  •  well, (none)
    "judges are making political decisions yet are unaccountable to the public"

    well how much public support was there for the ulra-right group who threathen that judge? errrr not much.

    well how much public support was there for Bush when he tried to intervene in the Shiavo case? errrr hardly a majority.

    it's clearly not the majority of the public that have a problem with these decisions.

    one rather important exception, the decision on the 2000 election. but let's not go there.

    "The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie"

    by Little Hamster on Mon Apr 04, 2005 at 05:30:35 PM PDT

  •  A deafening silence from the MSM (none)
    Don't get your hopes up about the media.  I can't find a reference to the Cornyn incident at all - not a peep - on CNN's front page as of 8:30 Eastern time tonight.  Ditto MSNBC.

    If a Senator says something inflammatory and the media isn't there to report it, does it make a sound?

    Announcing the return of Blast Off!, home of the "crazy woman" C-SPAN transcript! Long time no blog ...

    by Sinfonian on Mon Apr 04, 2005 at 05:31:31 PM PDT

    •  our 'liberal' media (none)
      When Sen. Kennedy made the fairly reasonable statement that Iraq war was a “fraud cooked up in Texas,” Peter Jennings bitchslapped him on World News Tonight.

      I'm not holding my breath for anyone to actually hold Cornyn accountable.

  •  outrage.. (none)
    he should resign!
    now!

    so, its open season on judges is it senator...what an unbelievable jerk

    email: tlawkos@yahoo.com

    by tlaw on Mon Apr 04, 2005 at 05:33:58 PM PDT

    •  "Open Season on Judges" says Cornyn (none)
      that's a very good soundbite . . .

      Somebody get Dems on the phone.

      •  Too bad he didn't actually say those words (3.33)
        Which is why we have to be careful about railing against this crappola he said on the floor of the Senate.

        cheers,

        Mitch Gore

        Nobody will change America for you, you have to work to make it happen

        by Lestatdelc on Mon Apr 04, 2005 at 06:22:10 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Be careful? (4.00)
          Methinks you object too much. I know you've been running all over this thread fretting about overreach, but you're absolutely wrong to believe that Dems shouldn't raise holy hell about what this boob said on the floor of the Senate.

          it causes a lot of people, including me, great distress to see judges use the authority that they have been given to make raw political or ideological decisions.

          . . .

          And I wonder whether there may be some connection between the perception in some quarters on some occasions where judges are making political decisions yet are unaccountable to the public, that it builds up and builds up and builds up to the point where some people engage in -- engage in violence. Certainly without any justification but a concern that I have that I wanted to share.

          CLEARLY, he was promulgating the idea that "it"---judge's "political decisions"---are creating violence. He doesn't say anything about stopping that violence; his whole screed was about judges acting in a way that promotes violence toward them.

          How the fuck isn't this inflammatory?

        •  normally (none)
          you are dead on

          sometimes i think we are too careful though

          the GOP sure isn't "careful" with the facts, they have never seen a good set of facts they could ignore while making up their own

          email: tlawkos@yahoo.com

          by tlaw on Mon Apr 04, 2005 at 07:42:45 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Condensed down (none)
    1. Cornyn gives a judge-bashing speech.  Bashes them because they are not accoutable.

    2. Gives a justification he wonders about for violence against them: They are not accountable and detest for them grows and grows among the people.

    3. Then covers his ass saying there is no justification, when he just hypothesized on one.
    •  Yep... (none)
      welcome to fighting the GOP talking point world, which, because of a lazy media and a stupid ignorant populace, makes it analogous to trying to catch mercury with chopsticks

      cheers,

      Mitch Gore

      Nobody will change America for you, you have to work to make it happen

      by Lestatdelc on Mon Apr 04, 2005 at 06:30:34 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  ;lkjasfd (none)
    so i guess acts of terrorism against the United States could probably be explained using Cornyn's logic.
  •  OK, this is pissing me off. (4.00)
    While I agree we should go after this cuckoo-brained empty suit, can people PLEASE lay off the "why aren't the Democrats doing anything" statements?!  The Cornyn statement is 3 HOURS old, not 3 weeks old.  I don't know what's on the Senate calendar for today, but usually there's not much business done on the floor on Mondays.  Most are just returning from their home states (several go home every weekend).  Some could have been in committee.  Some are in meetings. Some could be meeting with constiutents/groups/lobbyists (not always a bad thing...depending on who/what you're lobbying for).

    At any rate, do at least give the staff time to update their members and devise a strategy, first.
    I'm as hard on members as anyone but this is ridiculous.

    It's like the constituent who says, "When I'm elected, I'm going to answer every phone call myself."  

    Bullshit.

    So please, by all means, e-mail/fax/call. Call BS. Be passionate.

    But be reasonable.  It's not fair to criticize them for "dropping the ball" on a 3 hour-old statement.

    "Sir, we've already lost the dock." A Zion Lieutenant to Commander Lock, The Matrix Revolutions

    by AuntiePeachy on Mon Apr 04, 2005 at 05:39:27 PM PDT

  •  why Cornyn might speak so (none)
    Maybe these veiled threats against the judiciary have something to do with the upcoming trial of Mr. Delay, and are intended to soften the perception, of his conservative supporters, that he is indeed guilty. And aren't stupid as in unthought-through stupid, just thuggish.
  •  Lets be blunt (none)
    Politicians like Cornyn are right wing zealots and anti-democratic in their views, they and their supporters condone violence against anyone that disagrees with their agenda, which is unAmerican, there are numerous words one can use to describe these individuals and none are flattering, they think they are patriots, nothing could be further from the truth, actually they are the enemy of everything America used to and should stand for.
    PEACE!
  •  Conyers is on the ball! (4.00)
    http://www.conyersblog.us/archives/00000046.htm

    "My message is not subtle today. It is simple. To my Republican colleagues: you are playing with fire, you are playing with lives, and you must stop."

    •  Oh. My. God. (none)
      DeLay, Cornyn, and who else?

      Clearly the campaign on the judiciary is underway, but this is waaaaaay over-reaching.

      I'm ready for my "Senator, have you no decency" moment!

    •  conyers is on fire! (none)
      If this is what Senator Cornyn meant to say, it is outrageous, irresponsible and unbecoming of our leaders. To be sure, I have disagreed with many, many court rulings. (For example, Bush v. Gore may well be the single greatest example of judicial activism we have seen in our lifetime.) But there is no excuse, no excuse, for a Member of Congress to take our discourse to this ugly and dangerous extreme.

      lol

    •  Thank you for posting this! (none)
      It is encouraging to know that someone has the guts to speak out.  I've always admired Conyers and he just gave me one more reason.

      "Pro-life" really means "pro-criminalization"

      by Radiowalla on Mon Apr 04, 2005 at 06:48:13 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Enter The Defenders (4.00)
    It's time my Partisan Wars series had some kickass rule-of-law progressives.

    They have racist Minutemen; we'll have just and righteous volunteers defending the hallowed steps of America's courts and the honor of America's laws.

    Hell, with the Redshirts running amok, somebody's got to do the heavy patriotic lifting 'round here.

    That which does not troll-rate me makes me stronger. :)

    by cskendrick on Mon Apr 04, 2005 at 05:57:00 PM PDT

  •  Fascism may appear much sooner than we imagine (none)
    Since at least the mid 1990s the Republican Party has exhibited some alarming authoritarian/fascistic tendencies, but thankfully one essential element of fascism has been missing, and that is orchestrated political violence. We've come close a few times, particularly when the celebrated "bourgeoisie riot" shut down the vote count in Miami in 2000, but it hasn't really happened yet. Once that line is crossed, I think that things will begin to fall apart very quickly. Friends, we now right on the edge of the chasm, staring into the abyss, with a strong wind at our backs.

    "Men use thought only to justify their wrongdoing, and employ speech only to conceal their thoughts." Voltaire

    by chimpwatch on Mon Apr 04, 2005 at 05:57:34 PM PDT

  •  Rep. Conyers responds (4.00)
    Statement here (via Atrios).

    Excerpt:

    This apparent effort to rationalize violence against judges is deplorable. On its face, while it contains doubletalk that simultaneously offers a justification for such violence and then claims not to, the fundamental core of the statement seems to be that judges have somehow brought this violence on themselves. This also carries an implicit threat: that if judges do not do what the far right wants them to do (thus becoming the "judicial activists" the far right claims to deplore), the violence may well continue.

    If this is what Senator Cornyn meant to say, it is outrageous, irresponsible and unbecoming of our leaders. To be sure, I have disagreed with many, many court rulings. (For example, Bush v. Gore may well be the single greatest example of judicial activism we have seen in our lifetime.) But there is no excuse, no excuse, for a Member of Congress to take our discourse to this ugly and dangerous extreme.

    My message is not subtle today. It is simple. To my Republican colleagues: you are playing with fire, you are playing with lives, and you must stop.

    Senator Cornyn and Congressman DeLay should immediately retract these ill considered statements.

  •  Ahhh (none)
    we're back to Up is Down, Black is White and Attacking Judges is Patriotic.
  •  The Next Judge that is threatened (none)
    That onus is on Corwyn, and Corwyn alone.

    Inciting attacks on the Federal justices is treason, last I checked...even when Republicans do it.

    That which does not troll-rate me makes me stronger. :)

    by cskendrick on Mon Apr 04, 2005 at 06:06:55 PM PDT

  •  I don't know... (2.00)
    that's not how I interpreted his comment.

    Maybe this is just wishful thinking, but I saw it as "we shouldn't be so quick to condemn judges, or this is what we'll end up with."

    Without the context it's hard for me to know which he meant.

    What am I doing on DailyKos? I'm Running for the Right...

    by RFTR on Mon Apr 04, 2005 at 06:13:10 PM PDT

  •  Wingnuts are now blaming society... (4.00)
    ...for individuals' commiting violence that suits their agenda.  Just like they did in the Subway Vigilante case.  But try to explain high crime rates in the African-American community by pointing out environmental factors such as poverty, marginalization, disenfranchisement, lack of equal education, etc., and you'll be scoffed at and given a lecture about "individual responsibility".  Can these hypocrites think their way out of a wet paper bag?

    "Skip a bit, brother Maynard."

    by scorponic on Mon Apr 04, 2005 at 06:15:52 PM PDT

  •  Life is Sacred... (4.00)
    for certain groups, that is.

    Must all be part of that "culture of life" the theonazis want the world to embrace.

    /sarcasm

  •  Remember the leadup Ok. City bombing? (none)
    Remember the months in 1995 leading up to the Oklahoma City bombings, with repug winguttia radio and pols spewing anti-government, librulz hate 'murkia, heartland nonsense?

    That's exactly what it sounds like now...

    Sadly.

    I did not receive $ from Ketchum, U.S. Department of Ed or HHS to write this---though I wish I had.

    by Volvo Liberal on Mon Apr 04, 2005 at 06:25:18 PM PDT

  •  Remember Oklahome City.... (4.00)
    Remember the months in 1995 leading up to the Oklahoma City bombings, with repug winguttia radio and pols spewing anti-government, librulz hate 'murkia, heartland nonsense?

    That's exactly what it sounds like now...It's quite ominous.

    Sadly.

    I did not receive $ from Ketchum, U.S. Department of Ed or HHS to write this---though I wish I had.

    by Volvo Liberal on Mon Apr 04, 2005 at 06:26:34 PM PDT

  •  It's a mindset (4.00)
    When you support policies of torture, this is your mindset: Anything is permissible as long as its done for the sake of "our side". I see this reflected everywhere in our country. Anyone who opposes becomes the enemy, the country grows more and more violent. We've already gone too far, this is just the chickens coming home to roost.

    Truth doesn't take sides

    by KingJames on Mon Apr 04, 2005 at 06:29:55 PM PDT

  •  This complete fucking idiot is my senator. (4.00)
    And, Tom DeLay is my congressman. Folks, I am wearing my Richard Morrison for U.S. Congress right now. 2006 starts now! I fear we can't get of Cornyn, but I have high hopes for dumping DeLay. I have heard whispers from some in Texas that Cornyn may have presidential aspirations. Just when you think you have thought of everything.
  •  Did he happen to mention (none)
    ...what might happen if bankruptcy, tort, consumer-protection and safety-net "reform" remove all peaceful avenues for redress of grievance?  Just askin'.

    Rubus Eradicandus Est.

    by Randomfactor on Mon Apr 04, 2005 at 06:43:17 PM PDT

  •  Why the hell (4.00)
    is the great John Conyers practically the only democrat who can be relied on to speak up consistantly against republican obscenities?! Yes, of course there are others including my great Senator Barbara Boxer who spoke up loud and clear and practically alone in the Senate against the mother of all republican obscenities, the election. But why is Conyers so often the lone voice of reason. Where is the fucking democratic party?!  Yes, Harry Reid's doing great and will hopefuly beat back the nuclear option crap from Frist. But why the hell don't they have a deeper bench the way the repubs have their group who get out there and beat their chests? Why do they send Conyers out every time somthing happens?

    From John Aravosis' site

    Congressman Conyers rips Senator Cornyn for justifying violence against judges
    by John in DC - 4/4/2005 08:12:00 PM

    Here, here.
    During the protracted coverage and debate of the Schiavo matter, I was struck by the disrespectful and reckless language being used against judges. One by one, my Republican colleagues took the House floor to attack judges as "unconscionable," lacking "human compassion," needing to be held in "contempt," and having "answering to do." I remember thinking that such dehumanizing rhetoric is especially dangerous in these times towards anyone, let alone judges.

    Outside the halls of Congress, words flew even more recklessly and the House Majority Leader Tom DeLay called the removal of Schiavo's feeding tube an "act of medical terrorism." The Reverend Pat Robertson called it "judicial murder."

    I remember thinking about Judge Rowland Barnes of Georgia, who less than a month ago, was shot to death by an angry litigant in his courtroom, along with two other court employees. I remember thinking that irresponsible words can lead to tragic results. I thought of Judge Joan Lefkow, whose husband and mother are thought to have been murdered by an aggrieved litigant. Since then, I have been trying to think of the most appropriate forum to gently call this to my colleagues' attention, and to remind them that -- no matter how strong our feelings about individual decisions and cases, we need to be cognizant of the influence we may have -- especially on those that may be disturbed, and we always need to know that -- as elected officials -- our words have consequences.

    That was to be a subtle message. It is unfortunate that today my message must be less subtle because things are very quickly spinning out of control....

    This apparent effort [by Senator Cornyn] to rationalize violence against judges is deplorable. On its face, while it contains doubletalk that simultaneously offers a justification for such violence and then claims not to, the fundamental core of the statement seems to be that judges have somehow brought this violence on themselves. This also carries an implicit threat: that if judges do not do what the far right wants them to do (thus becoming the "judicial activists" the far right claims to deplore), the violence may well continue.

    If this is what Senator Cornyn meant to say, it is outrageous, irresponsible and unbecoming of our leaders. To be sure, I have disagreed with many, many court rulings. (For example, Bush v. Gore may well be the single greatest example of judicial activism we have seen in our lifetime.) But there is no excuse, no excuse, for a Member of Congress to take our discourse to this ugly and dangerous extreme.

    My message is not subtle today. It is simple. To my Republican colleagues: you are playing with fire, you are playing with lives, and you must stop.

    Senator Cornyn and Congressman DeLay should immediately retract these ill considered statements.

    Darkness washed over the Dude...darker than a black steer's tookus on a moonlight prairie night...there was no bottom

    by moon in the house of moe on Mon Apr 04, 2005 at 06:48:16 PM PDT

  •  Wa Po on Cornyn Statement (none)
    Just hit the wires

    "Sen. John Cornyn said yesterday that recent examples of courthouse violence may be linked to public anger over judges who make politically charged decisions without being held accountable.

    In a Senate floor speech in which he sharply criticized a recent Supreme Court ruling on the death penalty, Cornyn (R-Tex.) -- a former Texas Supreme Court justice and member of the Judiciary Committee -- said Americans are growing increasingly frustrated by what he describes as activist jurists."

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A26236-2005Apr4.html

    •  One of my cousins is a Family Judge (none)
      ..in another country. He has been sitting for more than 35 years. His home has been firebombed three times, but he has never "invented" law in any of his rulings.

      My point? It seems - first of all - that the women who sought redress in his Court had very serious grievances against the men who then violently rejected his rulings. Secondly, deeply crimminal elements reject the rule of law the world over.

      But:

      Only in America do the people's duly elected [?] representatives grandstand on the sidelines making common cause with violent crime.

  •  Thank God we know the truth now... (none)
    It used to be the right claimed that guns don't kill people, criminals do. Now it seems they've found it's activist judges that get people killed, in this case themselves.

    So glad we cleared that up.

  •  The usual Republican "careful wording" (4.00)
    Cornyn is using the usual dance of words that the Republicans have perfected over the last few years.

    He "doesn't know" if it's a cause-and-effect.

    He "wonders" whether there's a connection.

    WaPo has a longer quote, in which he adds that the violence, of course, would be "without justification."

    This is the same crap that Bush pulled when talking about Saddam. Did he ever say "Saddam is an imminent threat to the U.S.?" No, not exactly. But he sure as hell danced around it.

    And that's exactly what Cornyn is doing here.

    And now all the right-wing blogs can justify his statements, and once again say we liberals Hate America.

    In the world of the conservatives, only the Left can do wrong, and they can apologize away anything on their side.

    Lovely people.

    •  Red State (none)
      knows this is trouble. So the spin machine has gone into overdrive.

      I expect the MSM to take the lead on this one.

      The WaPo article is the quickest I have seen in response to an outrageous GOP blunder because this really stinks to high heaven.

      Violence agianst federal judges is never understandable or justified.

      Period.

  •  Washington Post Article (none)
    First MSM story on this that I could find.  Cronyn was speaking about the recent 5-4 Supreme Court decision that said it was unconstitutional to execute minors.

    Cornyn spokesman Don Stewart declined to speculate on what instances of violence the senator had in mind. "He was talking about things that have come up and concerned him," Stewart said.

    In his speech, Cornyn criticized the Supreme Court's 5 to 4 decision on March 1 that said it is unconstitutional to execute people who were under 18 when they committed their crimes. "In so holding," Cornyn said, "the U.S. Supreme Court said: We are no longer going to leave this in the hands of jurors. We do not trust jurors. We are no longer going to leave this up to the elected representatives of the people of the respective states."

    Senator Links Violence To 'Political' Decisions

    Ralph G. Neas, president of People for the American Way, said last night that Cornyn, "like Tom DeLay, should know better. These kinds of statements are irresponsible and could be seen by some as justifying inexcusable conduct against our courts." The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee called the senator's remarks "an astounding account of the recent spate of violence against judges, suggesting that the crimes could be attributed to the fact that judges are 'unaccountable' to the public."

    I do really hope that his outrageous statements get wider play in the news.   The article said he spoke in a nearly empty chamber.

  •  If violence against judges is understandable are.. (none)
    ...senators next?
  •  Let's Restate That (none)
    "I don't know if there is a cause-and-effect connection here, but we have seen some recent episodes of unimaginable violence in the world. Certainly nothing new, but we seem to have run through a spate of violence in the Middle East since mid-2003, some that's been on the news and some not. And it's clear how we're hated around the world as a result...

    "...and I wonder whether there may be some connection between the perception in some quarters on some occasions that this is the fault of a tiny clique of criminals, backed by gutless windbags in Congress; making political decisions but are unaccountable to the public. And a media that hides facts from the American people, in order to protect that same tiny group of decision-makers...

    "...so that feeling of rage at mindless violence against helpless civilians builds up and builds up and builds up to the point where some people could contemplate -- contemplate doing something really hinky."

    No apologies to Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX). At all.

    Have you forgotten yet?
    Look up -- and swear by the green of the Spring
    That you'll never forget.
    -- Siegfried Sassoon

    by WM Nelson on Mon Apr 04, 2005 at 07:14:47 PM PDT

  •  Situation in reverse (none)
    Can you imagine a Democrat saying something like this except perhaps explaining why it might be undertandable why someone migh randomly shoot a police officer just because a few have engaged in objectionable conjuct?

    I could see the Republicans going nuts in such a case and I don't see this being very different.

  •  I am no fan.... (none)
    of judges who legislate from the bench(and both some conservative and some liberal judges do it),but to excuse murder is just a slimey thing to do.

     The judges did their job.Period.Do not have to agree,but murder is not the answer.What happened to the "the culture of life".

     What if someone made a statement that it is understandable to kill senators who pass/support stupid and/or self serving legislation? They would have that person jasiled for making terroristic threats in a matter of hours.

     

  •  Just posted this on congress.org (none)
    Dear Senator Cornyn:

    I find it inconceivable how you could make the following statements on the Senate floor:

    "I don't know if there is a cause-and-effect connection but we have seen some recent episodes of courthouse violence in this country. Certainly nothing new, but we seem to have run through a spate of courthouse violence recently that's been on the news and I wonder whether there may be some connection between the perception in some quarters on some occasions where judges are making political decisions yet are unaccountable to the public, that it builds up and builds up and builds up to the point where some people engage in - engage in violence."

    Do you have no regard for the Constitution of the United States?  Are you so insensitive to the impact of such inflammatory, irresponsible statements to our federal judges?  Your statements border on domestic terrorism, and I feel certain that if John Q. Citizen had made them, a visit by the FBI would immediately follow.  Your statements are particularly dangerous and deplorable given the recent tragic deaths of Judge Lefkow's husband and mother, the murders of Judge Barnes and others in Atlanta, and the arrests of people who have publicly threatened Judge Greer.  Your statements incite violence by stoking the immoral and irrational hysteria of extremists who are ready, willing and able to carry out their murderous acts for their cause.

    Your statements rationalize violence and blame the judges for bringing this upon themselves.  Your statements further threaten more violence toward judges if they don't grovel to the extremism of the religious right and the right wing extremists of the GOP, of which you are obviously a member.

    Please reread the Constitution and the role of the judiciary.  We may not always agree with their decisions, but we are bound by them.  I am simply appalled at your hubris and total disregard for the Constitution of the United States, not to mention the sheer immorality of your position.

    •  Did you specifically request that your (none)
      letter criticizing Sen. Cornyn be read into the Congressional Record? It would be a good idea to send a hardcopy to the Senator's office and copy his counterpart in the House.
      •  Question (none)
        How do you get your letters included in the congressional record?  Thanks so much for suggesting this here and in other diaries.  I'm ashamed to say that I don't know a whole lot about congressional procedure.  It is paramount that dkos bloggers, and others, are given the tools to make themselves heard.  Thanks.

        I would rather be exposed to the inconveniencies attending too much liberty, than those attending too small a degree of it. - Thomas Jefferson

        by ktxlib on Tue Apr 05, 2005 at 07:46:02 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  The Congressional Record is YOUR (none)
          copy of what goes down in Congressional debates, for example on legislation - preliminary mark-up, amendments and so forth. You can pay for a home-delivered subscription (I used to have). It's generally quite slow getting to the public libraries, but you can check with your local librarian to get a best estimate.

          If your Congressional Rep is a schemeing fascist thug in the pay of the "Corrections Industry", make sure you copy an effective Dem (see below), and when writing your letter you might include a cover note with the copy explaining how you hope that it will not later be said (by Historians or political scientists) that no voices were raised in protest over the stacking of the judiciary with appointees likely to be compliant with AG Alberto Gonzales programmed directives and for this reason you would like to go on the record which the Majority Members have clearly abused.

          It sounds as though you have read this post, but I include a link to it to save you time:
          http://www.dailykos.com/comments/2005/4/4/22362/70789/95#95

  •  Tales from the Senate (none)
    If we lived in the TALES FROM THE CRYPT universe, Cornyn would be shot by a lunatic whose cause he helped support.
  •  Here's how the GOP is playing in Europe (none)
    They've not yet caught up with DeLay's call for violence against the US Judiciary. By way of introduction, however:

    ETATS-UNIS. Excité par des élus républicains, des imprécateurs à la radio, et même par CNN, un courant xénophobe anti-latino gagne du terrain dans le pays. La police des frontières n'arrive pas à contenir les clandestins qui montent du sud: plus d'un million d'illégaux ont pourtant été interceptés l'année dernière.

    TR: UNITED STATES. Excited by Republican Congressmen, hate radio and even by CNN, a xenophobic anti-Latino current is gaining ground in the country. The border police are unable to contain a surge of clandestine immgrants from the South: more than a million were intercepted last year.

    Note: As often happens these days, the headline contradicts the story.

    - - - - - - -
    Exerpted from an article published today in www.letemps.ch (Switzerland):

    http://www.letemps.ch/template/international.asp?page=4&article=153059
    Une milice privée défie Washington et veut repousser les immigrants à la frontière de l'Arizona [Vigilantes defy - ? - Washington and vow to deter immigrants crossing the Arizona border.]    

    Des Rangers patrouillent devant le bâtiment où les volontaires s'inscrivent pour participer au «Projet Minutemen». Cette irruption de redresseurs de l'ordre n'est pas très bien accueillie, surtout par la Border Patrol. Photo: Keystone.

    If you would like a translation, let me know. I'll have some time tonight.

  •  Where have I heard this before (none)
    Cornyn implies that the supposed rage people feel over judges making "making political decisions... builds up and builds up and builds up to the point where some people engage in violence".

    Isn't this the same excuse (using different elements) that bin Laden made for waging jihad against the US? That the rage over our presence and tinkering with mid-east politics and Islam built up to a degree that unleashed the horror of 911?

    We've seen this excuse used again and again throughout history:

    • It's the same excuse Hitler used to invade France (the humiliation inflicted on the German people by the Treaty of Versailles). Shit, it's the same excuse he used for killing millions of Jews and other minorities.

    • It's the same excuse the KKK used to justify violence in the wake of Reconstruction.

    • It's the same excuse Saddam used for invading Kuwait.

    These punks like Cornyn and DeLay need to focus all that rage on positive change... on working with others for the good of us all... isn't that why they are in Washington to begin with??? aside from all the lobyist kickbacks?
  •  what does Joementum have to say? (none)
    he wants to be so close to the bushes, the creationists, and their ilk. what's his response to this putsch?
  •  Fanning the flames... (none)
    If politicians fan the flames like this this is Weimar Republic territory, Nazi style. This is exactly what Goebbels would do: He would never want to be associated with the thugs, but he'd always say things like "We don't have anything to do with it but isn't it understandable if people get angry?"
  •  It is a threat (none)
    A Guido type threat. As in: "It sure would be a shame if something happened to you and your nice family."

    If you challenge Guido he says, "What? I said it would be a shame.  Say, your granny lives in Scranton. Doesn't she?"

    The response should be: "Yeah it would really suck if anything happened my nice family. It would really bite too if you had anything to do with something like that.  But since we both know you aren't threatening anything, you don't have anything to worry about.  No visits from the police.  No firebombs in the middle of the night, say.  And my granny certainly won't have to shoot your pretty little head off.  Nice of you to care."

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