Tuesday, January 17, 2006

This Government works for US...

OSU Prof. on Alito hearings.

This is a good article on the recent hearings for Judge-to-be Alito. It is a fine example of the "wheel spinning" our government is so good at. Lots of movement, but no progress. I am making this post not as instigation for a bipartisan blogger pissing contest. More as an alert to the fact that our government is dropping the ball yet again. I personally don't want one party to control all branches of the government. I don't care which party is inserted in the equation, just don't allow total control to fall to ONE party. If there is one party controlling all branches, I feel we loose some of the checks-and-balances we have. A loss of accountability if you will. At the same time when everything is split up, there seems to be an excess of the push and pull bullshit. This "wheel spinning" keeps us from making progress because both of the parties are jockeying for position and power, the whole time forgetting why they are there in the first place. Who here is ready to start our own political party?

If so moved, contact someone who works for you and be heard. They Work For Us


  1. Yeah, the confirmation process is odd. The opposing party will invariably bad mouth the candidate, and the candidate will try to brush off all questions he can. But I am for a conservative majority in the Supreme Court. Throughout history, "conservative" judges have been more predictable, and less apt to legislate from the bench.

    I agree with you about the need to be more bi-partisan with the rest of our federal government. Right now, I think the republicans have the majority in the House and Senate and they've got W in the big house. Luckily guys like Delay and that lobbyist who started talking are helping to even the score. Personally, I plan to vote democrat in the next election unless they nominate a total jack-ass.

    As for starting our own party, I like it. It may be unrealistic, but it is good to think about. The only issue I really care about is monetary reform. I'd like to put our government officials in control of our country, instead of the multi-national corporations that own them.

  2. Nice article Seth, how did you find it?

    I agree with a lot of what the article said... essentially that confirmation hearings have become highly politicized to the point that they are "hollow"... i.e. not very meaningful. And yes, everyone's background / personal experiences impacts their decision making... the way you look at the world (the lens through which you see it) is formed by your life-experiences. Judges shouldn't come in with an agenda, and its important that person's views / lens are examined and understood.

    People change, society changes, values change, acceptable norms change, and so does the supreme court along with the decisions and opinions they make.

    My biggest qualm with the government is just how politicized every issue becomes. It seems like there are only a few senators who are willing to work together and compromise on issues (McCain Comes to mind). "It's either my way or no way", few people are willing to listen to the other side.

    I see similar things happening in the media... people are able to shelter themselves by only going to certain news outlets that cater to their pre-dispositions (you listen to Rush or you listen to Air America). I get the sense that politicians are too scared to break away from people's expectations (a similar way to put this... which Joe mentioned is that their often beholden to their constituents / party / donors). Also like the title of Seth's post says... "they work for us" so if we're divided, our politicians will be as well.

    Also "conservative" goes hand in hand with "tradition" so yea "conservatives" tend to not favor radical change... and judges sit on the bench so they inherently legislate from the bench (just pet-pevees).

    All in all, interesting editorial that is relevant to what's going in our current U.S. politcal landscape. (Maybe not as exciting as Brad & Angelina Jolie's baby announcement... but much more meaningful).

  3. Judges don't inherently legislate from the bench. Their job is simply to interpret the laws, according to the Constitution. So when a law is passed that says "No Speeding" they can define what speeding is - 55, 65, or whatever. But when they legislate they would take speeding to encompass wearing a seatbelt and other things that they think are important but do not really relate to the law.

    The Court should not be creating these laws. Their decisions are not subject to the same procedures (voting, vetos, etc.) that legislation, treaties and other laws have to pass before becoming laws.

  4. I understand the point... it's just a semantics thing I find annoying. People commonly characterize a judge that rules in favor of something they agree with as fair an unbiased... once they disagree they're legislating from the bench and reading all of this stuff into the law.
    It seems to me like a straw-man argument people set up for themselves... so was the supreme court legislating from the bench when they voted 6-3 on the Oregon prescription drug / assisted suicide thing?
    I'm guessing if you ask a right to life person and a terminally ill person you'd likely get two very different answers.

  5. The BBC is supposedly impartial - that's its brief and has been for 5o years now. How well it does is questioned by many, but it's kept well in check by a watchdog.

    This is their take on it

  6. Interesting comments everyone. I tend to agree with you Erick on your point regarding elected officials unwillingness to work together. It does not seem however that there is an easy solution. It appears to be the case that the group or individual with the strongest conviction to his or her ideals gets elected not the group or individual who is willing to make some amount of compromise. So it appears that people farther to the left and right are the people getting elected, or perhaps not farther but more entrenched in there party.

    I guess at the end of the day we only have ourselves to blame. We could blame the politicians for the politicking or we could blame the people who vote the heavy hitting politicians into office. Unfortunately in this day and age it does not seem to be honesty, willingness to compromise, and resolve that get people elected…. The good news is we all seem to see this as an issue so perhaps that is a good beginning to a favorable end. By doing our due diligence and voting for people who are more likely to compromise perhaps we could move toward faster and more efficient change within the government. This all sounded good until I wrote it. Do we really want someone who does not stick to there principles voted into office. If we can not count on them to do this how can we count on them not to be swayed by bribes and to make bad decisions based on there own how the wind is blowing?

    Just my 2 cents.