Monday, November 01, 2010

The O'Connor Hit

The other day on Facebook, I got called out for linking too often to sites like Slate to explain my political opinions on a topic. When I write, I try to link to the analysis, and not drive the pageviews to the websites I find absurd. But doing so somehow allows my "conservative" family and friends to dismiss as hyperbolic fantasy when I quote things right-wingers actually say and write or when I explain how certain statements and positions support a larger, already existing narrative.

So, when I came across this Slate article exploring how the noise machine is going after retired Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, I knew I'd have to provide the links and give it to y'all in their own words. Because, hell, I could barely believe it. All these links, and a lot of this material, originate from the Slate piece.

Apparently, you just can't advocate for alzheimers research and reform of the judicial selection process these days without a nefarious liberal agenda. Since real conservatives can't possibly hold positions different from those of the right-wing punditocracy, Carrie Severino of the National Review is ready for O'Connor to sit down, shut up, and stop playing the patsy for meddlesome "liberal" groups:

Retired justice Sandra Day O’Connor is now done remaking federal law from the Supreme Court, which frees her up to dabble in state court issues. She has particularly devoted herself to a crusade against judicial elections, and was in Iowa this week as part of a panel rallying support for Iowa’s judicial selection system and the three justices whose retention elections are making headlines.


Ed Whelan of the same fine publication just raises questions regarding the legality, ethics and conflict-of-interests involving O'Connor doing part time work as a federal appeals judge while getting involved in judicial selection reform.

Just questions, you know. These questions don't cause other opinion makers to cite raised questions as fact and issue sweeping indictments like:

Former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor has violated the Code of Conduct for United States judges.


Meanwhile, the video splicers and setup artists over at Andrew Breitbart's Big Government website hired some guy named John Bambeneck to write this howler of a column about O'Connor's desire to kneecap the freedom of Americans to govern themselves:

Part of the controversy is interesting since federal judges are required to refrain from political activity (for good reason) and appearing in a robocall clearly is political activity. There was, of course, the stunt of scheduling a modest number of robocalls at 1am to ensure massive media coverage of the proposition that might otherwise go unnoticed. It’s clever, really. Generate a moderate amount of controversy to bring attention to your candidate or cause, it’s been done before.

The interesting part of that story isn’t that she was doing robocalls (though that is a problem). The interesting part is what this proposition would entail. So-called “merit selection” of judges is simply a euphamistic way of saying “we’re going to take away the right to vote for judges from the citizens and give it to politicians and special interests.”


Sandra Day O'Connor: subverting traditional American government so that liberal interest groups and illegal immigrants can keep hard-working Americans from electing judges. Why does Sandra Day O'Connor hate America?

(As an aside, you know what state has elected judges? Louisiana.)

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