Wednesday, April 14, 2010

John Yoo for Supreme Court Justice

John Yoo (right) delivering a lecture on how Article II, Section I gives the president the right to crush a child's testicles.

If Barack Obama's half as smart as those under the mind-altering influence of the hashish of hope say he is, he won't pick some "wild-eyed liberal" to replace the retiring Justice John Paul Stevens on the Supreme Court, to borrow the words of Senator Lindsey Graham, but rather do the only sensible thing someone seeking to patch over lingering tensions from the health care debate and win over conservatives should do: appoint Berkeley professor and former Bush administration lawyer John Yoo. His credentials probably need not be stated, but for my slower readers:

-- He's a graduate of Harvard University, like President Obama and pretty much every Supreme Court justice ever, as well as Yale Law, which means he's likely smarter than you and would feel comfortable dressing up in a silly costume every day, rather than just weekends like the rest of us. Important qualifications.

-- He's demonstrated boundless enthusiasm for rationalizing each and every possible exercise of executive power imaginable, warrantless wiretapping, waterboarding and your run-of-the-mill breach of the Geneva Convention all legally permissable in his view so long as the Attorney General says "national security" three times, clicks his heels and spits in the direction of Mecca. While those legal opinions justifying the president's right to carry out human rights abuses with impunity might make the founding fathers spin in their graves -- had they not all, you know, fucking owned people -- they fit right in with the current administration's embrace of assassinating anyone, including an American, suspected of 1) being Muslim and 2) living abroad, laws and human decency (not always the same thing) be damned.

-- He'd be the first Asian-American Supreme Court Justice. I don't have a joke for that.

-- He'd sail through the Senate nomination process with unanimous Republican support. What's that you say, "What about all those Democrats who spoke out against Yoo's dubious legal opinions? How could they sell out their stated core beliefs for a sheer partisan desire to see the president succeed?" Well, first I'd say,
do you need a drink of water? Some fresh air or something? Maybe you should lie down. But then I'd ask, just how many congressional Democrats have spoken out against this administration's stated belief in the president's unilateral right to kill anyone he chooses should they wander off American territory -- or worse yet, be born and raised in not-America? About as many as can dance on the head of a pin.


  1. Sadly, I think a LOT of Americans need a drink of water, some fresh air, to lie down.

    I sent out an e-mail a few days ago to a handful of family members and friends telling them about Obama's executive execution policy (because it's not being reported very prominently in the American media and I wasn't sure they heard what happened) and none of them responded.

    Not a one.

    Oh, well, I've already alienated them, anyway, with my rational attempts to point out the very, very obvious things that are happening in this country. I guess I sometimes can't help but fall for the notion that the latest turn is SO beyond the pale---in this case, executive execution without evidence or due process---that even they have to snap out of it and see Obama and this country for what it really is.

    Not so---and some of these people are rather intelligent!

    I don't have a joke about Yoo being the first Asian-American Supreme Court Justice, either, but I can't help but wonder sometimes if we're seeing more minorities in prominent positions in a desperate attempt to hide these fascist, corporatist policies in plain sight. "Anyone who disagrees with Obama's policies might be a racist!" Nevermind that Obama is Bush, Jr. as far as policies and politics goes, and anyone who objected to the things Bush, Jr. did has a perfectly good case to object now that those exact same things are being done by someone who happens to be black.

    Mind you, I am not saying that minorities shouldn't have prominent positions in a government---I think that is long overdue---but I just can't help but wonder about how convenient it becomes to point the finger at detractors and claim "racism". In our current climate that is all it takes to marginalize a detractor: a baseless, personal attack instantly makes their character, and therefore any of their opinions, invalid.

    Conspiracy theory? Maybe. Still, it's gotten to the point where the political spin and propaganda is so extreme, and the corporate marketing is so polished, that I certainly don't put it past them to "repackage" these same policies into something that looks so different that it must be different (even though it's quite obviously more of the same) in order to subjugate the masses into supporting what is, in reality, a one-party system of government.

  2. Also, "mind-altering influence of the hashish of hope" does have a nice ring to it---I like the alliteration---but personally I can't help but think that maybe if a few more of these Americans who are blind to what is going on did smoke a little hashish, and sit still in silence long enough to contemplate their own and our country's actions, they might begin to see this hypocrisy for what it really is.

    Just my two cents on that line for whatever it's worth. :P

  3. Andromeda,

    Full disclosure: I stole the "hashish of hope" thing from a Sinclair Lewis book I'm reading. Also: you don't think I write these things sober, do you?

  4. Andromeda,

    My 13 year old is pissed. He's worth more than every Democrat apparatchik combined, unless they're all combined on a single, isolated island in the South Pacific, along with all the Republicans, Tories, Putinists, ChiComs, Raoists and New Labour folks, and surrounded by one of Vernor Vinge's giant reality stopping bubble prisons...

  5. Charles Davis:

    "Also: you don't think I write these things sober, do you?"

    That's the spirit! :D Seriously, though, everything you blog about---the real news, basically---is increasingly difficult for me to understand, for me to endure. All I can do is meditate on these things to try to see them from a larger perspective, to try not to let these things emotionally dominate my entire existence (because I am a very sensitive person). I may not always be sober during these exercises in consciousness, but for me that just makes the meditation more productive.

    Jack Crow:

    I agree completely. I can see from your blog that you are interested in history and philosophy, you are extremely intelligent, shrewd (in a good way), well-read, well-spoken, rational, and can think outside the box. I have no doubt that you raised your children to have their heads on straight. The world needs more of that.

    I can only hope that when I have children of my own, I will end up with a 13-year old that is also worth more than all these leeches who want to suck the life-blood out of their fellow citizens in a desperate but futile grab for more and more money and power.

  6. Anonymous2:53 PM


    I can't help but wonder sometimes if we're seeing more minorities in prominent positions in a desperate attempt to hide these fascist, corporatist policies in plain sight.

    That's about the size of it. Your instincts are very solid here.

  7. Anonymous10:54 AM

    There are fewer poor people than black people at Harvard these days (and probably other top universities too).

    I guess in a sense we are "post-racial."