Lest people confuse me with a right-wing nutcase (yes, TH, JD, TC, RK, I’m talking about y’all), let me say for the record that this is just asinine. There’s a war on, and this is the most pressing business the Congress could come up with? It’s probably constitutional, but is bad policy on many levels.

This sort of manipulative social conservatism is what’s going to cost the GOP its majority position in the end. I just hope that when it happens the Democrats have recovered from their trip through the fever swamp.

Update: After thinking about this a little bit more, I have a few more semi-random thoughts.

It’s likely that one of the motivations behind this maneuver is short-term political gain in the Presidential campaign. Now that the House has passed this bill, it presumably goes to the Senate — where Kerry and Edwards will be faced with the question of what to do about it. I suspect this may be a popular idea in some of the midwestern swing states where Kerry is currently hurting; if so, voting against it would provide another issue for the Bush campaign to club him with in those parts of the country. If Kerry/Edwards votes to support the bill, they alienate more of their deep-blue supporters and look like political weather-vanes. And if they don’t show up to vote on it at all (which I think is the most likely scenario) they just look like they’re evading the issue.

A second thing to consider is that hard-right social conservatives have talked in the past about using jurisdiction-stripping to rein in the courts on other issues, particularly abortion and gay marriage. But AFAIK this particular maneuver hasn’t been tried before (at least in modern times). If it works in this case, that sets a precedent that makes jurisdiction-stripping a more powerful tool to be used against the courts on more controversial issues in the future.

2 Responses to “Idiots on Stilts”
  1. Tom says:

    Yeah, sorry, Kyle. I’ve been thinking a lot since that conversation (which I presume IM mentioned at lunch?). Something that I’ve heard from others seems to be applying to me this year – that politics works so long as I can think of other people as living in the same reality but having different sets of priorities, and fails when it seems that their reactions to the same stimuli are so different from mine that they must be in a different reality. By “fails” I mean that I start to lose respect for my opponents. Both sides seem to have fallen into a us-against-them, siege mentality this year, and when I’m not careful I fall right along with them.

    I was taken aback and a bit offended by your post in the Zell Miller tangent, because it seemed to me to boil my politics down to “You’re surrounded by liberals” (the stereotype, but not actually true) and “you’ve caved to pressure to conform” (not true, and touching sore nerves with the part of my family that still lives in the same town as you). Rereading the transcript, I still don’t see how you can have a positive reaction to Miller’s speech, but I’ll try to just accept that you do.

    Respectfully (still),


  2. Kyle Haight says:

    Well, it’s somewhat difficult for me to do any kind of serious analysis of your politics since at this point I don’t have any real idea of what they are — other than that they led you to respond negatively to Senator Miller, which isn’t really enough detail to form any well-grounded conclusions. So I was left with speculation about background factors that might lead us towards differing viewpoints. My remarks were speculative, and I thought I’d mentioned that when I wrote them. If not, my apologies.

    In terms of the current election, I think my viewpoint is best summed up by a phrase from Robert Tracinski. I’m an “anti-Bushite for Bush”. I find Kerry simply unacceptable on what I consider the single most important issue in the election (the war); Bush is somewhat better but not ideal. On other issues there are things to like and dislike about each candidate. If there weren’t a war on I probably wouldn’t vote for either of them. As-is, I’ll most likely vote for Bush and then move into the pro-war opposition camp, supporting aggressive moves on that front while opposing his more objectionable domestic projects.

    I may have some comments later on at least one other specific position that IM indicated was attributed (erroneously) to me in that conversation. But fully explaining my views is likely to get complicated, so it’s proving a bit difficult to get inspired to write it all down.

Leave a Reply