Why I Hate the Supreme Court: the Secret Thoughts of Maureen Dowd
The deepest, darkest, innermost secret thoughts of intrepid columnist and aging snark-queen Maureen Dowd.
Why did President Obama dare to bash and threaten the Supreme Court?
Has our former community organizer, argument for affirmative action, and constitutional law instructor no respect for our venerable system of checks and balances?
Nah. He’s ignorant. We all know that. We’ve known it for years. And we don’t care. What we do care about is his politics.
So the big issue is not how the President managed to pass the bar—assuming he did; after all, all the records are still sealed—but rather, regardless of his ignorance, why shouldn’t he bash the court? What have they done for him, hmm?
This despicable and conservative court is hermetically sealed in judicial la-la land, protected by their white pillars and layers of homeland security. From this sealed location, where too few in the liberal media know what they really do, why they do it, or how to influence them, they are well on their way to becoming the most divisive court in history. How so? Duh: they’re going to roll-back Obamacare.
While I long ago squandered even the semi-illusion that I am an unbiased, objective journalist, the Supreme Court is supposed to be the honest guardian of the Constitution. Instead, it’s run by law thugs dressed in black robes (and if Robert Byrd were still alive and were a member of the court, I’ll grant there would also be one white robe).
But all the fancy-pants diplomas and supposed credentials of the conservative majority cannot disguise the fact that its reasoning on the most important decisions affecting Americans seems shaped more by a political handbook than a legal brief.
Still, Barry should never have waded into the health care thicket back when the economy was teetering. Instead, his failure to bother explaining the plan was both bizarre and self-destructive, but that’s all water over the dam now. And certainly he needs a more persuasive legal case. But the Administration’s idiocy still doesn’t exempt the court, which is the burr in my thong.
It was stunning to hear Justice Scalia talking like a Senate whipper-snapper during oral arguments last week on the constitutionality of the health care law (I guess ignore my earlier comment that the court is hermetically sealed). And, sounding like a Republican opposition-research brown shirt, he dropped politically charged terms like “Cornhusker Kickback,” referring to a sweetheart deal that was only a part of the run-up to the law. Doesn’t anyone understand only the President is allowed to use politically charged terms? (Ezra Klein even told me it’s in the oath of office.)
If Scalia is so brilliant, why is he drawing a parallel between buying health care and buying broccoli? Couldn’t he make a sophisticated point about a cable TV monosopy or monopoly or whatever it is?
The justices want to be above it all, beyond reproach or criticism. But why should they be when it too many of them were appointed by conservative drek?
And I’m still smarting from 2000, when the court’s Republican majority ignored the will of the people and instead ruled with the law. The result? We missed out on having President Gore—even if he is a sex poodle—and instead had to suffer from the George W. Bush induced Hurricane Katrina and all that other stuff as well. You know: war, the economy, massive unemployment and all that.
Regarding the 2000 election case, Anthony Lewis, a man I’m willing to quote when he helps my cause, wrote, “Not making Gore president, with such disregard for the media, invites us to treat the court’s aura of reason as an illusion.”
The 2010 House takeover by Republicans—voters are such idiots unless they vote Democrat—have shown what a fiasco the Citizens United decision is, with self-interested sugar daddies and wealthy cronies overwhelming the traditional Democrat process of vote early and vote often. The only ones who really should have a voice are the media, with our own self-interested (and enlightened) sugar daddies and our own wealthy (and enlightened) cronies. Otherwise, it’s too close to being fair.
On Monday, the court astoundingly ruled — 5 Republican appointees to 4 Democratic appointees — to give police carte blanche on strip-searches, even for minor offenses such as sexual assault by a former president from Arkansas (you know who you are), driving while blind, or violating federal anti-bazooka laws. Justice Stephen Breyer’s ice cream warning that wholesale strip-searches were “a serious downer for former presidents from Arkansas” fell on deaf ears. So much for the conservatives’ obsession with their so-called “liberty.” (Yes, those are sneer quotes.)
The Supreme Court mirrors the setup on Fox News: yes, there are liberals who make arguments, but they appear to be complete idiots, incapable of making sense, failing to draw on President Obama’s transcripted speeches or DNC talking points, and are far too often relegated to the background.
Just as in Teddy Kennedy’s Anita Hill-Clarence Thomas hearings, the liberals on the court focus on what feels good (or bad) and the conservatives focus on the constitution. John Roberts Jr.’s benign beige facade is deceiving; he’s a crimson tide partisan, more cloaked than the ideologically rigid and often venomous Scalia (who reminds me of the Emperor in Star Wars).
Just as Scalia voted to bypass that little thing called the media’s mob power and crown W. president, so he expressed phooey-ennui at the idea that, even if parts of the health care law are struck down, some provisions could be saved: “You really want us to go through these 2,700 pages?” he asked, adding: “Are you stupid?”
Well I’ve been accused of being stupid and it hurts.
Inexplicably mute 20 years after he lied his way onto the court, Clarence Thomas, a black man I despise, proving I’m not ideologically rigid, didn’t ask a single question during oral arguments for one of the biggest cases in the court’s history. The fact he could sit there and listen is simply beyond my credulity.
When the Supreme Court building across from the Capitol opened in 1935, the architect, Cass Gilbert, played up the pomp, wanting to reflect the court’s role as the national ideal of justice.
With conservatives on that court trying to block F.D.R., and with Roosevelt prepared to make up his version of the Constitution as he went, the New Yorker columnist Howard Brubaker noted that the new citadel had “fine big windows to throw the New Deal out of.”
Now conservative justices may throw Obama’s hard-won and above-the-law law out of those fine big windows.
Scalia, Roberts, Thomas and the insufferable Samuel Alito were nurtured in the conservative Federalist Society, which asserts that “it is emphatically the province and duty of the judiciary to say what the law is, not what it should be.” But it isn’t fair to overturn a major law passed by Congress in the middle of an election. The majority’s political motives seem as dark as my own soul and that’s pretty dark.
Finally, if I’ve made my word count, I’m off to lunch. Otherwise, I’ll stick in a paragraph about Dick Cheney.
(If you must, read the original here.)