Monday, January 30, 2006

Uncommon Woman ... and Others

The only comparable sense of loss I can express about the news of Wendy Wasserstein's passing , is the way I felt upon hearing of George Harrison's passing. These revolutionary artsts were just a step ahead of me, and now they have each died, basically of natural causes.

I thought that Wendy Wasserstein asked all the right questions about what it meant to be an educated woman in a world that does not seem to value them properly. For a man like me, she asked all the right questions, and usually asked them fairly, about how the men who want to love and support (and be supported by) these women need to behave on shifting sands.

The New York Times article rightly pointed out the direct connection from Heidi Holland to Carrie Bradshaw, but where Wendy Wasserstain (and her surrogage Heidi) understood everyone too well, Darren Star (and his surrogate Carrie) barely understood four people.

As a theatre artist, Wendy Wasserstein reminded us that the first obligation of a playwright to her characters is to give them some humanity and some compassion.


Two words I do not expect to hear during the State of the Union address

Valerie Plame


As I write this, Senators Kennedy and Kerry are trying to start a filibuster on the Alito nomination. I assume they'll fail, but they are right to try.

I don't think, as I argued before, that Alito is "unqualified" as that term is commonly understood or "outside of the mainstream" of the half the country or so that supports the Republican Party.

However,the notion that a President is entitled to have his appointees given deference is quaint. Just like the Geneva Convention.

According to the Constitution the Senate's role is to "advise and consent" It does not define what that means. Where I come from, you don't give lifetime jobs to people who disagree with you on practically every issue that might make a difference in your life. This is, for all intents and purposes, the only shot you are going to have at Alito until sometime in the 2040s. If you don't like his views, if you don't like his choice in ties -- "advise and consent" means -- vote "no".

According to this New York Times article from last week:

"Recalling the overwhelming and bipartisan majorities that approved President Bill Clinton's Supreme Court nominees, Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Stephen G. Breyer, several Republican senators said their party had evaluated the qualifications of nominees on less ideological terms. They said the Democratic opposition to Judge Alito could alter the judicial confirmation process for years to come."

Do these Republican Senators think I'm an idiot?

Justice Ginsburg was confirmed in August 1993, Justice Breyer was confirmed in August 1994, Newt Gingrich and his Contract of America boys won their election in November 1994. The only subsequent business of any note that Bill Clinton had in front of the Judiciary Committee after that was his impeachment hearings.

Do you think, that if Bill Clinton had another Supreme Court justice nominated after November 1994, that a single Republican would have voted for him?

I cannot see any Democrat rationale for voting for Justice Alito. I don't know why a Democrat would vote against a filibuster

If you are a Democratic Senator from a State like Nebraska and you are afraid that you will lose your re-election campaign because you fail to vote for Justice Alito, or even to vote against a filibuster, just pack up your bags and go home. You'll never get re-elected anyway. You'll just be tagged as an unprincipled wuss who will do anything to keep his kickback ladened job. Given the choice between a DINO and a Real Republican, don't you think the voters are going to choose a Real Republican?

Vote with your party, and stand by what, if anything, you believe in. Or switch parties. Now's the time --- when we can't do anything whether there are 45 Democrats or 43 Democrats.


Many had extended comments on my recent posts
Alito's Originalism Is Not The Same As Bork's and on the Palestinian elections . I responded in the comments section, sometimes at length. I added additional comments today. I'm not so good at Haloscanning though. Typos abound, and there is the stray sentence that I may have moderated if there was some editing. Oh well.

As always, I appreciate everyone who takes a look at what goes on here.