Posts Tagged ‘IOKIYAR’

Some people have no shame whatsoever.  Sarah Palin, former Alaskan Governor, VP candidate and human being, along with Tea Party darlings and domestic terrorists, Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Mike Lee (R-UT) protested the closing of Federal War Memorials yesterday by attending a rally at the World War II monument in D.C.  You may recall that Cruz was the guy who kicked off the whole “let’s shut down the government” movement and inaugurated it by babbling on the Senate floor for about 21 hours (whilst butchering Green Eggs and Ham, I might add).  So representatives of the Tea Party whose intransigence is the entire reason behind the shut down and why it continues to drag on without any resolution decided to protest the results of the shut down.  The disconnect (or cynicism or both) is mind boggling.  Here’s one of my favorite derp quotes from the rally.  Palin said:

Our vets have proven that they have not been timid, so we will not be timid in calling out any who would use our military, our vets, as pawns in a political game.

If you think you can read the rest of the tripe without tearing your hair out, click the link.

PS:  I apologize for the link to Politico….their stenography is on full display with this article as there is only a single sentence in it that explains Cruz and the Tea Party’s role in the shut down.  There’s plenty of other tripe….words that could have been used to give more in depth coverage of the situation, but that’s not their bag apparently.  It doesn’t seem to be anyone’s job to do actual journalism anymore.

PSS:  Look who is palling around with terrorists now, Sarah.  But I forgot, their terrorists are freedom fighters….IOKIYAR

Life is a tragedy when seen in close-up, but a comedy in long-shot.
Charlie Chaplin

So, I was watching an old episode of Family Guy last night (a favorite of mine) and in this particular episode Seth McFarland, creative genius behind the show, makes fun of BOTH Lou Gehrig’s disease and the sad but true tale of “My Left Foot“.    Please recall that this is the same genius who has gone so far as to make fun of fetuses left in the dumpster on Prom night (no doubt inspired by a sad, but true tale in the news)…this is evidence of just how far this comedian will go.

I actually find this funny in a kind of “laugh and weep at the same time” thing.  If you don’t, that’s fine. But I do and MANY Americans do too. Perhaps we feel so helpless in the face of such tragedy that we choose to laugh instead of cry. Maybe it’ something deeper, that we see a society that raises children to be so selfish, so self-centered that they don’t value their own children or take  any responsibility for them.  Or worse yet, we see a society so hell bent on the maintenance of abstinence and Christianist purity of the unmarried teen that we can only laugh/cry in despair when we see a teenager so determined to hide the shame of the birth, so afraid to communicate with her potentially judgmental parents, so unsupported by the father who was just as engaged in f*cking/creating the life as she was, that she feels the need to disconnect herself from the child, it’s incovenient birth and the shame she feels.  So disconnected that ultimately she wrapped this poor baby up in plastic and placed it in a dumpster and then proceeded with her Prom plans that evening.

Why do I mention such a horrible thing?  Because I want to illustrate how I as an individual view humor and hyperbole in our culture.  While I can heartily laugh at “Fetus Dumpster Baby”, I can also be offended by a comment on Twitter the other day about rape.  This is not hypocrisy.  I am discussing my sense of humor, often so dark it could blot out the sun, because it has bearing on my reaction to the comment of a political blogger/journalist.

The other day, Glenn Greenwald, a political pundit (I won’t credit him as JUST a blogger any more because he appears frequently on TV and other media) and online blogger for Salon decided to double down on a metaphor involving rape and President Obama on Twitter in response to a very cogent and lawyerly challenge by Imani Gandy regarding the NDAA and indefinite detention.  ABL argued that the President’s veto could not overcome the Congressional majority vote so he created a signing statement declaring that indefinite detention of American Citizens was NOT acceptable and would not be tolerated by this administration.  ABL’s argument was that it was the most he could do, given the obstruction by Congress.

Greenwald, on the other had, decided to ignore the signing statement and condemn Pres. Obama for signing the law (note:  a law he could NOT VETO or limit in any way OTHER THAN  in a signing statement).  On Twitter when ABL (aka, Imani Gandy) challenged him with the signing statement,  Greenwald did not immediately respond.  However, someone going by the Twitter account name of  @emptywheel said, “ABL, Obama could rape a nun live on NBC and you’d say we weren’t seeing what we were seeing”….

It is, essentially, an ad hominem attack on ABL to distract from the important point that Greenwald (of whom @emptywheel  is a fan) is trying so assiduously to avoid.  That point is that unless President Obama decided to become a dictator there was NOTHING he could do EXCEPT for issue a “signing statement”.  One would have hoped that this would be the end of it….but no, Greenwald decided to not only repeat @emptywheel’s assertion but also reinforce it.

Greenwald said in response to @emptywheel, “No – she’d say it was justified & noble- that he only did it to teach us about the evils of rape.”  He doubled down on the ad hominem attack, claiming that ABL would excuse President Obama of any action no matter how demonstrably evil it was.  It is an “ad hominem” attack because Greenwald considers any Liberal who supports Pres. Obama as a sycophant, an “obamabot”–and there is a pattern of behavior, statements from the last few years to support this conclusion.

Later still, a blogger that I  deeply respect, John Cole of Balloon Juice.com, defended Greenwald reinforcing the “rape” metaphor saying it was hyperbole only and that people, particularly politicians and bloggers, do it all the time.    I posted a reply on his website (most likely not read by John Cole) about his opinion and it is directly related to this post.   My reply was that what is okay hyperbole for some people to say, is not okay for others to say (and that apologies were needed all around because each actor in that discussion had stepped over a line).  Which brings me back to my point:   What is hyperbolic AND okay in the U.S. and what is not.

Now you may be asking yourself why on God’s Great Green Earth would I connect Family Guy with Greenwald’s supposedly “hyperbolic comments?  Here’s why….in the U.S. we have a tradition of comedians, actors and other public celebrities making political statements.  However, the comedian is a breed apart.  In the U.S. a comedian (for the most part)* can say whatever he/she wants and so long as the audience laughs it  is okay.  We give a TON of leeway to comedians and I think that is all to the good.  Otherwise we wouldn’t have satire (e.g., The Daily Show, The Onion, The Colbert Report, etc).

The difference here is that Greenwald, or any other person in the U.S., doesn’t get the leeway given to a comedian.  If they want such a thing , then become a c0median but don’t, whatever you do, become a political pundit and blogger.  Greenwald, you’re no comedian and you didn’t mean what you said in jest…and because you were serious (and have repeatedly confirmed your seriousness on the issue), you do not deserve the license given to comedians.

If Louis CK wants to talk about rape in such a way, I’ll laugh because comedy about the things that make us want to cry is his job.  Greenwald is supposed to be a serious person who means what he says. This IS what makes what he said to ABL so wrong and so offensive IMHO.

If you don’t understand my point, go ahead and “pull an ostrich” until the next GOP candidate wins the White House.   Then see where our precious liberties are.  But even then I will laugh/cry at statements made by  comedians and condemn the same statements from the mouths of pundits like Greenwald, and rightly so.

 

*Note, there have been some things in the news lately about comedians saying things as jokes that piss people off and many people were quick to condemn them.  HOWEVER, most of the time, compared to just about every other nation on the planet….we let our comedians get away with quite a lot for the sake of comedy.

I almost feel sorry for Gov. Brewer’s attorney, Lisa Hauser.  Late yesterday the AZ Supreme Court ruled that Gov. Brewer had illegally removed Chairwoman Mathis from the IRC (Independent Redistricting Commission). 1 I feel sorry for Hauser because she is, simply put, just a lawyer.

By that I mean she is, like all attorneys, a professional who advocates for her client to the absolute best of her abilities.  I criticized the argument she made before the state’s highest court in an earlier post (and I will do so again) but it’s not really Hauser’s fault.  All attorney’s, at least the ones who hold to the profession’s principals, do the best they can with what their client gives them. They have to make the best argument they can as directed by the client.  So if the client comes to them and says, ‘I removed the head of the IRC because of gross misconduct, here is the evidence (or here are the arguments I used), and I want you to defend this position without wavering” then the attorney has to work within that construct. 2  They have to assume their client is telling them the truth.  They have to use ONLY relevant evidence in the case.   Finally, they have to find legal arguments for their position, which provides the Court with plausible and acceptable justifications for ruling in their favor.

In essence, Hauser was given a real sh*t sandwich in this case.  The Governor (and all her GOP lackeys in the Senate) removed Chairwoman Mathis without any evidence of gross misconduct.  I’m sure the Governor put on a very good show when she spoke to the Senate and argued very convincingly to convince the senators to vote for Mathis’ removal.  Unfortunately for them, that is rhetoric and not evidence. 3

So Lisa Hauser had no evidence that Chairwoman Mathis had engaged in any gross misconduct and she surely knew that the Court would demand evidence of such (I had explained previously that it is a pretty established legal concept with concrete examples).  Instead of arguing that the Governor was correct because Mathis did this, that or the other (because Mathis’ didn’t do this, that or the other), Hauser had only one avenue left.  And that was to claim that the entire affair was primarily political in nature and therefore not within the purview of the State Supreme Court.

Hauser appealed to the Separation of Powers doctrine that says none of the major branches (Executive, Legislature, Judiciary) is allowed to review the behavior of the others that doesn’t pertain to their area of responsibility.  For example, the Judiciary would only intervene and review the behavior of the Executive or Legislature if their actions violated the constitutional law or overstepped the bounds of Separation of Powers.

The Court did not buy this argument that it was political.  While they have not yet released a detailed opinion, here’s what I suspect they are going to say.  The IRC was originally created by ballot initiative 2000, which is a form of direct representation that bypasses the traditional Legislative process but still results in legislation and  therefore belongs under the Legislative Branch.  If the IRC is true “legislation” 4 and 1) it defines what the standards for removal of the Chairperson (i.e., gross misconduct), and 2) it’s overall intention was to remove politics from the redistricting process then any of the other Branches who seek to intervene and/or control the IRC must follow that specifics of that law.

When the Governor removed Mathis, it started classic battle between two branches of governments–the Executive v. the Legislature (as expressed by the will of the people in this case).  That kind of conflict is precisely what the Founding Fathers created the Judiciary to handle.  And that’s why Hauser’s, or I should more accurately say, Gov. Brewer’s argument was laughable.  A Governor removed the head of a Commission without meeting the legal standard required for that removal.  Gov. Brewer overstepped the bounds of her office, WAY overstepped and I’m glad that she got her wrist smacked for it.  If it had been a Democratic Governor, he or she would be impeached as a result of such behavior.  Or for that matter, could you imagine if President Obama had done something like this?

FOPGOX would have been wailing about how the President is just ripping up the Constitution and destroying the country.  Limbaugh would be making some kind of extremely offensive joke about it, somehow managing to tie in race to the situation.  Congressional right wing extremists like Allen West (R-FL), Steve King (R-IA), and Louie Gohmert (R-TX) 5 would be proposing impeachment, forming committees to investigate, and on stump speeches would be calling for armed insurrection.  Scum like Ann Coulter, Glenn Beck and Bill O’Reilly would add it to their “proof” that Democrats hate America and include it as a chapter in their next best selling book.  Finally, and saddest of all, those on the extreme left would use it as an excuse to claim that President Obama “is just like Bush”.

But in Arizona, nothing of the sort will happen.  Gov. Brewer simply lost a court case.  She is embarrassed (maybe) and the taxpayers are out some serious dough to pay the lawyers, court costs, etc, etc.  And the business of the state, the stuff that REALLY matters like jobs, gets ignored.   I hope that I’m wrong and Gov. Brewer faces something more serious than this wrist slap, but I doubt it.

Notes:

1 This judgement restores my faith in Arizona for the nonce.

2 The only caveats being if the client asks them to do anything illegal or unethical.  Under these circumstances an attorney can refuse to do as the client asks.

3 Obviously a distinction Gov. Brewer does not understand.

4 No one was claiming that the law was illegal or unconstitutional; although one might claim it wasn’t well written (as many ballot initiatives tend to be poorly written in the first place)

5  If you think I jest, read up on the crazy things these guys have said.  They are downright frightening people.

In “Gross Misconduct and a Bag of Chips” posted yesterday I was going on and on about the concept of IOKIYAR.  And it crops up again…..Joe Walsh, behind on his Child Support over one hundred thousand dollars, gets an F*#$ing award for being PRO-FAMILY from The Family Research Council.  Yep, I guess so long as he supported them while they were fetuses his obligation was over.

Not only is this a prime example of IOKIYAR, it’s also what you’d call “Cognitive Dissonance”.  This kind of stuff pisses me off.

Via JM Ashby on the Awesome Bob Cesca Blog…check it out

There is something interesting happening in Arizona (when isn’t there though). Gov. Brewer has accused the head of the Independent Redistricting Committee of “gross misconduct” and “removed” her from said position by a 2/3 vote of the state Senate. Here’s an article on the details of what happened but if you like a summary, let me spell it out for you.

The commission was created as a result of a ballot initiative approved by the citizens of Arizona in 2000. The commission was purposely created to REMOVE politicans from the process. The commission had recently redrawn the district lines and neither party (GOP or Democratic) were happy with the results. Which to me sounds like they did their job. If politicians from both parties were complaining then then they weren’t catered to. Evidently, Gov. Brewer decided she was just a little more upset than anyone else and accused the head of gross misconduct.

Gross misconduct, unfortunately, has a long history of being purposely and erroneously defined by the GOP so Gov. Brewer’s actions aren’t really all that shocking. Let’s take a look at how the GOP’s long tradition of blowing out of proportion misbehavior by Democratic politicians and underplaying the misbehavior of their own members.

Remember the Iran-Contra scandal? Little was done or said to President Reagan in regards to it–this direct violation of the constitutional separation of powers (not to mention an incredibly dangerous precedent that he set by going around Congress’ hold on the purse strings). Nothing has happened to Senators Vitter, Ensign, Hyde, and Craig, nor to former SC Governor Sanford. On the Democratic side, Pres. Clinton was impeached for lying about a blow job<sup>1</sup> and his party lost control of Congress making his second term a complete waste of time. A slew of Democratic politicians have been forced to resign for sexual scandals like Hart, McGreevey, Spitzer, and most recently Weiner.

To extend it a little further, I would also like to list some other scandals that Republicans have been in involved in and subsequently gotten away without any consequences. Remember Clarence Thomas? He was being vetted for SCOTUS and charges of sexual harassment were leveled at him from his time at the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (ironically enough)….the GOP wasn’t accepting any criticism of the guy. He was confirmed by the Senate anyway. What about the Democrats accused of sexual harassment? Well here’s three names–Massa, Wu, and Kratz–they all resigned. See how that works? Republican you get a pass and get promoted. Democrat and you resign and count yourself lucky.

Shall I continue? Remember Newt Gingrich? If you’re foggy you might remember him as the guy who left his first wife while she was in the hospital dealing with cancer to be with his mistress who he then married. Then he left his second wife after they found out she had MS to be with another mistress, who became his third wife. Of course, all this philandering and remarrying happened not long after he led the calls for impeachment of Clinton for his own philandering (irony again, hmmmm, interesting). Anyone in the MSM who mentions Gingrich’s sordid past is pooh-poohed as being crass and uncouth. Again Pres. Clinton faces legal consequences, Newt gets a pass from the MSM and runs as a “values candidate” for the GOP nomination in 2011.

Want someone more contemporary? How about Herman Cain? Within the last couple of days he’s been accused of sexually harassing at least three different women during his tenure at the National Restaurant Association. I have yet to see the irony here EXCEPT to say that Mr. Cain is real big on touting his Christian credentials (as are his Tea Party and evangelical base). However I don’t remember any incidents in the Bible of Jesus sexually harassing or even being accused of sexual harassment. The right wing media (which these days is pretty much everyone) is too busy defending him….you know, bitches had it coming or some such kind of mentality. Nothing new there…..

Another example? Rep. Allen West of Florida while in the Army and stationed in Iraq engaged in some VERY questionable investigatory techniques<sup>2</sup> and was subsequently ejected from the military as a result. Later during his campaign (documented on Youtube) he used violent language and calls to his supporters to take up arms. Once elected to Congress he hired a man as chief of staff who has openly advocated violence against the U.S. Straight out, openly advocated–let me be clear….his chief of staff has advocated TREASON and Rep. Allen hasn’t even blinked. Add to this delicious stew of “high crimes and misdemeanors”, Rep. Allen has befriended the Outlaws motorcycle gang, even using them to intimidate rivals and voters. This guy has done and said so many awful things (anti-semitic, mysoginistic, violent, etc) that I’d need a book to document it all. Has the GOP disowned him, dressed him down, or told him to cool it? Not at all. Indeed they’ve rallied around him in support.

Compare Rep. Allen’s treatment by the GOP to how they treated then candidate Obama in 2008 when they found out Obama had known Bill Ayers, former 1960′s activist and at that time, domestic terrorist. Candidate Obama admitted that he knew Bill Ayers…..because they lived in the same neighborhood and served on a board together–30 years or so after Ayers had moved far beyond his early activist days, once he had been accepted back into the law abiding community. The right reacted with fainting spells, red-faced apoplexy, and warnings of impending doom (and I’m sure there was some Manchurian candidate references thrown in for good measure). Once again, if the accused is a Republican you don’t even hear about it on the MSM (I had to LOOK for the info on West) but for the info on Pres. Obama I simply had to be watching the news at any point in the last 5 years. See how that works?

There’s all kinds of non-politican examples as well. If an American citizen engages in politically motivated violence as a leftwing nutjob and they’re labeled a terrorist. Engage in violence as a rightwing American nutjob and they’re simply called criminals (or in some cases “Hannity fans”)<sup>3</sup>. It’s the difference between Bill Ayers and Timothy McVeigh (or Eric Rudolph or the four elderly yutzes arrested yesterday in Florida for plotting to kill as many people as possible with ricin and guns….this list of rightwing supposed criminals is very long btw)<sup>4</sup>.

The moral of story has become IOKIYAR<sup>5</sup>. So back to our current situation in Arizona. The 21-6 party line vote to remove Colleen Coyle Mathis (again an Independent) was based on a clause that states she could be removed for “substantial neglect of duty, gross misconduct in office, or inability to discharge the duties of office.” The Gov. also tried to get rid of the two Democratic members of the commission but failed to get enough votes to remove them (thank goodness!) Typically gross misconduct is personal behavior that egregious such as taking a bribe or peddling influence. But nothing of the sort has been alleged by the Governor, who is currently not even in-state.

Was there neglect by Mathis? NO, because the job got done. There was clearly no “inability” since Ms. Mathis was ready, willing and quite able. Her only crime, in Gov. Brewer’s eyes, was actually performing her duties. She convened the commission, studied the districts, looked at the increase in demographics and voting patterns and the entire commission redrew the lines exactly as they were directed to do by Federal standards and state law.

No,what Gov. Brewer objected to was the “drafts” of maps that had been produced for a 30-day window of public comment. These drafts created based on six criteria. Two of those include protecting of minority voting rights and equal population in each district. Since the state of AZ’s population has exploded in the last 10 years it was inevitable that the district lines would shift. Furthermore that shift would most likely be more democratic because the percentage of democratic voters has increased (demographics increasing in the areas of hispanics, the young, etc). There’s nothing biased about it if it reflect reality.

But as history has proven time and time again, the GOP (and Gov. Brewer) isn’t really concerned with reality. After all, when you have all the political office and all the media outlets sown up, reality can be whatever you want it to be. And shaping reality is VERY important for the upcoming 2012 elections.

Notes:

1.  I don’t think that perjury about a personal matter qualifies as “high crimes and misdemeanors”, which means crimes against the state in order to bring about the downfall of said state.

2.  Physical assault, assault with a deadly weapon, improper use of a firearm, use of torture to elicit confession, etc, etc, etc…..

3.  Yes, that’s right Sean Hannity of Fox happily called his fans “Timoty McVeigh wannabes”…he must be so proud

4.  The right is now claiming these old idjits were framed…..yeah right…..it’s SO EASY to entice someone to commit treason, isn’t it?!  Like stealing candy from a baby.

5.  It’s Okay If You’re a Republican

Sources:

http://www.azcentral.com/news/articles/2011/11/03/20111103brewer-gop-blasted-redistrict-panel-ouster.html

http://ctblueblog.com/?p=4333

 

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.php?az=view_all&address=224×4603

http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/m/eric_j_massa/index.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clarence_Thomas_Supreme_Court_nomination

http://www.historyplace.com/unitedstates/impeachments/clinton.htm

http://slatest.slate.com/posts/2011/10/31/herman_cain_denies_politico_report_of_sexual_harassment_allegati.html

http://blogs.reuters.com/great-debate/2011/05/24/does-gingrich-actually-want-to-be-president/

http://articles.cnn.com/2011-11-01/justice/justice_georgia-militia-arrests_1_castor-beans-ricin-affidavit?_s=PM:JUSTICE