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No Elephants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-06-13 08:59 PM
Original message
"My constituents didn't hear the intelligence I heard."
It's Clarence Thomas's confirmation "deja vu all over again."

As background, the SCOTUS had not held that a hostile work environment was illegal until 1986. Before that, a worker had to prove that he or she had been denied a promotion or a a raise or some other job benefit because of refusing romantic or sexual advances from a superior, a cause and effect relationship that is very hard to prove.

During Thomas's 1991 confirmation hearings, Anita Hill testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee, which was headed by Biden, the Democrats then controlling the Senate (and the House, but the House doesn't vote on confirmations). After her testimony, the Senators on the Judiciary Committee began remarking on the calls they had been getting from women.

They said things like they had never received so many calls before. They said things like they had never heard from so many women before. They cited things things their own wives and daughters had said to them. Maybe it was bs, but they seemed taken aback. (Then again, apparently, I'm gullible.)

So, having heard from so many of the Constituents that they purport to represent, Clarence Thomas became the first African American nominated to the Supreme Court whose confirmation the Senate rejected. And that is the story of why Clarence Thomas never became a Supreme Court Justice.

Well, no. The Senate Judiciary Committee split 7-7 and therefore sent the matter to the full Senate with no recommendation either way. The Senate confirmed 52-48, with 10 Democrats joining the Republicans, just enough to sent Thomas over the top plus a couple of votes to spare just in case.

Just as an aside, the Amash-Conyers Amendment, for reining in mass surveillance, got defeated in the House after backlash from the public to Snowden's revelations, 217 to 205. Again, a majority plus a few spare votes, just in case. Lots and lots of talk at the time, though, about how very close the vote was.


"An analysis indicates that those who voted against the amendment received 122% more in campaign contributions from defense contractors than those who voted in favor of it."


Well, now we come to bombing Syria. We don't have to watch the hearings anymore to find out what members of Congress are saying about calls from the public, as in 1991. In 2013, they're all over media, especially MSNBC and Fox.

And one after another is saying very similar things, from pundits, strategists and spokespersons, like Howard Dean, to House members to Senators. In effect, the spiel goes something like this.

"The public is all over this, like brown on rice. Calls are coming in by the thousands. The calls are running 99 to 1 against bombing. And I sure do agree that no one wants to bomb. And I would love to do what my constituents are telling me to do. But the public--doesn't have the intelligence that we have." (In Howard Dean's case, it was "I don't have the intelligence the President has."

In between, there will be lots of talk about using chemical weapons on children and how sure we are that that happened and how horrible that is. There may even be assertions that Assad was responsible. But there will be zero talk about evidence that Assad was responsible.

I'm getting Clarence Thomas confirmation deja vu. How about you?

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Enthusiast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Sep-07-13 03:32 AM
Response to Original message
1. Neo-Con Nation.
Yeah, Clarence Thomas sucks, his nomination sucked and his confirmation vote sucked. His wife's activities suck. He's as bad as Rumsfeld, Cheney and the rest of the Neo-Cons. The Neo-Cons used race to achieve their goals, even though they are mostly racists.
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No Elephants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-08-13 11:35 PM
Response to Reply #1
4. Conservative. No neocon or neoliberal about it.
Edited on Sun Sep-08-13 11:40 PM by No Elephants
Neo cons were liberals who decided to become conservatives, so they switched parties from Dem to Rethug.

Neoliberal is another name for New Democrats, who are conservatives, except that they are somewhat to the right of Republican conservatives on issues of reproductive choice and LGBT rights.

I would add race to that, but I am actually not sure how liberal they even are on race, although they love the votes. And, even then... The SCOTUS struck down the voting rights bill not very long ago on the ground that Congress has not looked at new evidence in decades.

Congress clearly has Constitutional power (Amendment 15) to enact voting rights legislation. A bill based on new evidence would survive scrutiny. So, what's in the works on that count in Congress right now? Anything? Hyde Amendment (reproductive choice) also survived during the brief period when Democrats strongly controlled both House of Congress and the White House.

Anyhoo, IMO, the words neocon and neoliberal disguise reality. Because of those words, all the bad crap is getting blamed indirectly on liberals, when neither neocons nor neoliberals were liberal at the time they did the bad things. Obama is not a neoliberal or a neocon or a liberal of any kind. He's a conservative. Well, in truth, I don't know what the man is. He governs as a conservative. That's all I can say for certain.
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Leopolds Ghost Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-08-13 01:38 AM
Response to Original message
2. I feel so miserable about the current politics that it is difficult to post about it.
so sorry I've retreated into meaningless fluff lately and I haven't posted that NSA diatribe on DU3 (where it will resize the scanned in article.) then again I'm realizing you'll have a hard time reading it because I had to scan in the article with the graphics. I could go online and see if it's still there, but of course then they won't let me excerpt the whole thing.

It is exactly as you say, I wish I disagreed with you more often so that I would have some point to argue here. ;/
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No Elephants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-08-13 11:26 PM
Response to Reply #2
3. No worries, either way, Leo. Agree with me or disagree with me. It's all good.
And you have nothing, repeat, nothing, for which to apologize. Post about whatever you feel like posting about. That's what I do.

In fact, I should probably apologize for all my critical and sarcastic OP's. They've/*I've probably been bringing everyone down!
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