The Terminal Stage of Obama Derangement Syndrome

“Here’s your new office, Mr. President. Sen. McConnell picked it out just for you.”

There’s a vacancy on the Supreme Court.    It’s President Obama’s job to send up a nominee to the U.S. Senate to fill it.   Mitch McConnell and his gang of thugs  say, “Hell no, they can’t go!”

The Republicans have made it clear they do not want a moderate, a middle-of-the-roader, a safe choice, or an acceptable alternative. They want Rush Limbaugh or someone further to the Right of him and nothing less than this is acceptable and even that might not be enough. What if Clinton or Sanders wins the presidency? Is McConnell and crew going to say, “Okay, we’ve got a new president. Send over a nominee.

The Republicans have the House and the Senate and hope to sweep the trifecta with taking the White House back too. Their reasons for keeping Scalia’s seat vacant are twofold: they don’t want to foreclose the possibility of a Republican president picking the next nominee or deny themselves the pleasure of sticking it to Obama one more time.

Why would Obama not make a nomination? The President is a scholar of Constitutional law. He knows what his responsibilities are. McConnell knows what his responsibilities are too, but only one player in this game is trying to change the rules.

If Scalia has died in October or November, McConnell might have a point. There are eight months until Election Day and the Senate Republicans can’t claim they’re too overworked to fit in a confirmation hearing. They just don’t want to allow this president to select the next Supreme Court justice.

“Y’know, you’re even uglier in person, Mitch.” “Thanks, Barack and I just farted.”

That, Mr. and Mrs. America, is obstructionism. No finessing or tap-dancing around it and anyone who thinks GOP opposition to replacing Scalia will magically melt away on January 20, 2017 if President Hillary Clinton or President Bernie Sanders takes the Oath of Office is on crack.

Since Republicans don’t understand the Constitution, what else do they want Obama to punt until the next president arrives? If a shooting war breaks out imperiling American interests, does McConnell want Obama to stand down until a Republican replaces him? If the economy starts to crater, should Obama go golfing and leave the mess for the next guy or gal to clean up?

The president may be in the last year of his presidency, but despite the inability of Republicans to read the Constitution or a calendar, he’s still the only president they got.

McConnell is still trying to undo the results of the 2012 election and this is his last chance to do so. He’s misreading the situation. The GOP has more Senate seats to defend in blue states than do the Democrats. Lose control of the Senate as well as the White House going to Clinton or Sanders, and a nominee further to the Left than what Obama might offer up becomes a near-certainty. Say “good-bye” to overturning Roe v. Wade and say “hello” to the end of Citizens United–especially if Hillary Clinton gets the nod.

The stance taken by the Republicans is historical. We’ve never seen anything like it in American politics. Contentious arguments over Supreme Court nominees is nothing new. Refusing to even consider a nominee no matter how qualified they may be out of malice and spite is.   McConnell and his mob really do not seem to grasp we already have a President of the United States and they have NO valid excuse which passes legal, political, or Constitutional muster to deny giving Obama’s nominee a hearing. It’s simply a naked power grab, plain and simple.

I DEMAND you stop the Black guy from replacing me!”

Let’s be honest here: The Republicans don’t want to see their most-favorite Supreme Court justice’s replacement chosen by their least-favorite Chief Executive. This is all about jamming up Barack Obama and denying his legitimacy as the president one more time.

In our hyper-partisan age, it’s no mystery why the Republicans are doing what they are doing. I don’t even really care if they use their numerical superiority in the Senate to vote down Obama’s nominee. That would be fair and every Democrat and/or liberal would have to recognize when you lose an election it has consequences and this is one of them.

But when the Republicans lost the 2008 and 2012 elections that has its consequences too, and one of them it is Barack Obama–not his successor–who has both the duty and Constitutional right to choose a nominee to replace Antonin Scalia and all the rest of this is just noise obscuring the signal

The hatred and disrespect of this president by the Republicans has reached a new low in Obama Derangement Syndrome and it should cost them dearly.

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Help Wanted at The Supreme Court

Gone, gone, gone. Done moved on.

It’s an election year and everything that comes out of Washington has political calculation written all over it. Hell, Antonin Scalia wasn’t dead a day before Mitch McConnell proclaimed no nominee of the president would be confirmed no matter how qualified. they may be.

McConnell said, “The American people‎ should have a voice in the selection of their next Supreme Court Justice. Therefore, this vacancy should not be filled until we have a new President.”

The distinguished senior senator from Kentucky is totally full of shit.

The American people expressed their voice in the selection of the next Supreme Court Justice in 2012 when they reelected Barack Hussein Obama as President. We already have a President in place. We don’t have to wait until January 20, 2017 to fill the vacancy left by Antonin Scalia’s demise.

The Senate has no reason not to fill the vacancy expect for political ones.    You know, like the one where the Republicans hate Obama’s guts?

The President should place before the U.S. Senate a nominee on Monday–President’s Day–and DEMAND they give his nominee a hearing and a up-or-down vote by the Senate.

Oh, I know McConnell won’t give a Obama nominee that vote and Obama knows it too. The president can’t make the Senate do anything. But he can make them sweat bullets for stonewalling his nominee. Nothing will prove to the American people how obstructionist the Republicans are than denying President Obama the right to exercise the Constitutional authority that is his and his alone.

Obama should call bullshit on McConnell, roll up his sleeves and go hard for his replacement for Scalia.   In the last months of his presidency pretty much the only thing Obama can do besides the daily ceremonial stuff is unleash hell on a “do-nothing Senate” that is stonewalling a qualified nominee.   This would be an excellent time for Obama to nominate a  Black or Latino jurist with exemplary credentials and dare the GOP to deny them Scalia’s empty seat.

Thus, with Scalia’s death, the vital importance of who gets to choose who sits on the nation’s federal and the Supreme Court, is refocused with laser-beam intensity. Now more than ever “who chooses?” will be a critical consideration for the American voters in November.

"Tony, in about 30 years you'll be dead and a Black guy in this office will pick your replacement."

“Tony, in about 30 years you’ll be dead and a Black guy in this office will pick your replacement.”

If McConnell wants to give Obama and the Democrats the rope to which to hang Kelly Ayotte, Mark Kirk, Rob Portman, and other GOP incumbents facing tough reelections in the fall, they’ll happily accept that gift. It will make sure McConnell’s one term-and-done as the Majority Leader, and passing the gavel over to Chuck Schumer so he can stonewall a President Rubio or Trump’s nominee. We could be looking at a long wait until there are nine Justices on the Supreme Court.

I know he won’t but I wish Obama would nominate a committed, unapologetic, true progressive to replace Scalia.    The question is would Bernie Sanders take the job?

I know he won’t but I wish Obama would nominate a committed, unapologetic, true progressive to replace Scalia. The question is would Bernie Sanders take the job?

Fact is, since there’s nobody Obama can nominate the Senate Republicans won’t block, why half-step with a “confirmable centrist?” There has to be a liberal jurist with impeccable legal credentials, pedigree and accomplishments under their belt, so why not? Send them a nominee who deserves a hearing and when McConnell and company throw up their mealy-mouthed bullshit excuses about “letting the American people have their say” pointedly remind them they had their say in 2012 when Obama won the election despite McConnell’s declaration nothing was more important than making sure Obama was a one-term president.

scalia_racist_credo_lp
There’s nothing much dramatic President Obama can do in these last months of his presidency beyond his daily ceremonial duties. Filling a Supreme Court vacancy is one of the most important jobs any president has and since this one in now in official legacy mode, he should fight like hell and go ballistic on the Republican Senate. Obama can lose and probably will lose this fight, but it’s a fight well worth the waging. Nothing less than the balance of power of the High Court hinges on it.

Passivity and retreat are not an option. President Obama should send a Supreme Court nominee to the Senate and then scorch the earth to fight for their confirmation.

I’m sending this quote to the President from a great progressive, the late Sen. Paul Wellstone, “If we don’t fight hard enough for the things we stand for, at some point we have to recognize that we don’t really stand for them.

I don’t want another squishy centrist or mushy moderate. I want President Obama to nominate someone like Leah Ward Sears, the former Chief Justice of Georgia and the first African-American Chief Justice in the United States. Let him nominate someone like Sears and dare the Republicans to deny her a confirmation vote.

As for the late Antonin Scalia himself, it has been said if you can’t say anything good then say nothing at all and I got nothing to say.

What? Too soon?

What? Too soon?

Fat Tony Would Prefer You Lesser Blacks Go Back to Your Lesser Schools.

Scalia knows how many intelligent Blacks he’s met.

I’m a bit behind the news so I missed on commenting on Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia’s outrageous remarks during oral arguments on an affirmative action case, but it doesn’t mean I’m cool how boldly Scalia showed his contempt for Black college students.

You know the conventional wisdom is  Scalia is the possessor of a brilliant legal mind and is easily one of the most intelligent jurists ever to sit on the Supreme Court? The conventional wisdom is wrong and so is Fat Tony.

“One of the briefs pointed out that most of the black scientists in this country don’t come from schools like the University of Texas.  They come from lesser schools where they do not feel that they’re being pushed ahead in classes that are too fast for them.”

What exactly is a “lesser school?” A HBCU or another college not as big as the University of Texas? What classes are “too fast” for Black students?

Fat Tony is saying Black scientists/students come from “lesser” (re: inferior) schools where the pace has been slowed to a point where they can keep up (re: since Blacks are slower in processing complex and difficult material, it must be kept as simple, basic and rudimentary as possible for them to grasp it).

“I’m just not impressed by the fact that the University of Texas may have fewer” minority students. Maybe it ought to have fewer.”

Well, golly gee Tony. I wish you had told me this before I had my daughter waste three years at predominantly White institution before she transferred to a HBCU. We could have sent her to a Black school from the get-go and not wasted the time exposing her to all those White kids she’s not smart enough or fast enough to keep up with.

You don’t have to parse Scalia’s words to find his contempt for the intellectual capacity of “minority” students. You only have to read.

The strongest argument possible against affirmative action is making Clarence Thomas a lifetime member of the United States Supreme Court. He was unqualified when he was selected and time has not made him any less so.

Thomas’ hypocrisy and intellectual inconsistency reeks like an infant’s diaper after too many jars of cream corn. I’m attacking this unqualified, groveling, sniveling dullard because he is the WORST sort of hypocrite because Thomas benefited from the very same affirmative action he now lusts to destroy.

The man is a joke and not a particularly funny one at that. I am repulsed by Clarence Thomas. Not because he’s a conservative. Because he’s selfish, cold, hateful, vengeful and malicious. Thomas is fueled by spite and has turned that spitefulness into a long and sustained attack on African Americans from his seat on the Supreme Court. Where his predecessor Thurgood Marshall fought for and articulated for the Constitutional rights of 35 million Blacks, Thomas wages war against them

If Scalia thinks Blacks can’t hack it, he should start with the moron who sits next to him, but he won’t because Uncle Thomas is Scalia’s idea of a Good Negro. Never speaks out of turn, defers to his betters, and knows his place. Yep, Uncle Thomas is Scalia’s boy, all right.

A boy and his dog.

My opinion on affirmative action is this: it was a necessary remedy due to the sickness of institutional racism that stigmatized and excluded people of color. And it’s still necessary.

Fat Tony’s insulting, belittling, and despicable remarks have the stench of industrial strength racism wafting from them and I have no reason to be respectful of an unrepentant bigot. Calling Scalia “fat” is a mild insult compared to his massive insult Blacks are too stupid to compete on the collegiate level.

Scalia is a fossil and when he finally dries up and blows away it will be a net plus for the highest court he drags into a sewer of ignorance.

Learning to Live with Clarence Thomas.

It really bugs me that someone will tell me, after I spent 20 years being educated, how Im supposed to think.

"It really bugs me that someone will tell me, after I spent 20 years being educated, how I'm supposed to think. "

I used to edit a column written by an attorney who represented the newspaper I worked for.   Every so often we’d get together for lunch and he’d increase what I thought was an already considerable political education.    He was something of a local political insider whom both Democrats and Republicans came to for his council (and contributions).

One thing he listened calmly in response to one of my highly emotional rants about a progressive politician whom had been drubbed at the ballot box in large part to Black voters backing a more mainstream candidate.   He put down his fork and once I turned down the volume he interjected, “Jeff, you can’t be so hard on Black voters.   As voters we are still somewhat politically immature.”

Stopped me dead in my tracks.

Back in his small office at the law firm, he had a picture on his wall that caught my eye.   He was shaking hands and cheesing for the camera with Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court, Clarence Thomas.

Stunned that any conscious, down for the cause, pro-Black brutha  would flaunt a photo glad-handing with the nation’s Number One lawn jockey, I asked him why he had a photo of Thomas in his office.

“Because Judge Thomas is a good man and a misunderstood Black man,”  he said.

I have never thought of Thomas as a good man and never cared if he was misunderstood.  I could give a shit if he is a good husband and father.   What I knew is for 18 years he’s been the Black man on the Supreme Court that’s most  hostile to Black people.  I understood  him perfectly.

Thomas was Uncle Clarence Thomas, the anti-Thurgood Marshall, the most anti-Black judge on the Supreme Court and George H.W. Bush’s worst joke on the nation and jurisprudence.    Whenever opponents of affirmative action claimed unqualified Blacks were being given opportunities based on their color and not their qualifications,  I gleefully pointed to Thomas as all the proof they would ever need.

There are few Black Americans who have benefited more and advanced further by way of affirmative action than Clarence Thomas. His entire career is a testament to a man of mediocre credentials and limited vision rising to a position of power based on his ability to ingratiate, flatter and insinuate himself into the patronage of affluent and well-connected White patrons.

The image that probably made Thomas vow revenge.

The image that probably made Thomas vow revenge.

 

His brief and undistinguished tenure as a judge, his tepid “qualified” to “not qualified” ranking by the American Bar Association and his 52-48 confirmation by the Senate is a testimony to the monument to mediocrity that is Clarence Thomas. The day that George H.W. Bush stood with Thomas and announced he had selected “the most qualified man I could find” was a bald-faced lie when the words passed from Bush’s lips and nothing has happened since then to validate his absurd claim.

Thomas is a affirmative action baby. Nowhere else would he have been elevated so far and so fast based on his minimal talents, skills and abilities. He is a product of political patronage and far from the best or the brightest to ascend to the nation’s highest court.

Thomas may be right that affirmative action sends people into places they cannot excel. He is the living proof of that assertion and every day he stays on the Supreme Court makes it only more obvious.

Affirmative action is a success and the emergence of a educated, employed and upwardly mobile Black middle class is evidence of it. There is no reason to junk the program because a few Clarence Thomases slip through the cracks and arise to positions of prominence they are not qualified for. Thomas is the exception, not exceptional.

When a career bureaucrat gets appointed to the federal judiciary in 1990 and then in 1991 gets promoted to a lifetime position on the Supreme Court. If that’s not a affirmative action hire, nothing is.

Thomas benefited from affirmative action and rose to his position through White patronage and being the appropriate Black face in the right place. That’s not a knock on him for taking advantage of his opportunities. That’s just honestly evaluating how Clarence got over.

What I dislike most about Thomas though is his judicial temperament which is out of the mainstream and far further to the extreme right than any other member of the court.   Witness his two rulings during the last term where he cast the lone dissenting vote against upholding a key portion of the Voting Rights Act (Thomas would like to get rid of it entirely) and once again stood alone in a 8-1 ruling by the Court that proclaimed a strip search of a 14-year-girl was an illegal search.  Thomas was unmoved by her plight.

Jeffrey Toobin has written a book about The Supreme Court entitled The Nine and on the NPR (dirty lefties!) program, “Fresh Air” he talked about Thomas with host Terry Gross:

Mr. TOOBIN:
Clarence Thomas is not just the most conservative member of the Rehnquist court or the Roberts court. He’s the most conservative justice to serve on the court since the 1930s. If you take what Thomas says seriously, if you read his opinions, particularly about issues like the scope of the federal government, he basically thinks that the entire work of the New Deal is unconstitutional. He really believes in a conception of the federal government that hasn’t been supported by the justices since Franklin Roosevelt made his appointments to the court. You know, I went to a speech that Justice Scalia gave at a synagogue here in New York a couple of years ago, and someone asked him, `What’s the difference between your judicial philosophy and Justice Thomas?’ I thought a very good question. And Scalia talked for a while and he said, `Look, I’m a conservative. I’m a texturalist. I’m an originalist. But I’m not a nut.’ And I thought that…

GROSS: Meaning that he thinks Thomas is one.

Mr. TOOBIN: Well, that was certainly the implication.

GROSS: Mm-hmm.

Mr. TOOBIN: It was pretty amazing. I mean, Thomas is well outside the mainstream, even of the conservatives on the court.

Follow Thomas’ career on the High Court and you don’t have to be a legal scholar to figure out he’s following a philosophy that is radical, extremist and far beyond even what a bona fide conservative like Antonin Scalia feels comfortable with.

Any policy, no matter how well-intentioned, has a failure rate and I count Clarence Thomas as one of the more glaring failures of affirmative action. No one can tell me Thomas was “the most qualified” jurist Bush41 could find to replace Thurgood Marshall. Thomas wasn’t even the most qualified Black judge for the job.

However, merely because a few unqualified minorities or women rise to a position of prominence by virtue of programs set up to remedy past and present discrimination that does not mean the entire program should be junked.   There are not hordes of  unqualified minorities and women lowering the standards and quality of the military, colleges, and corporate boardrooms.

There have always been unqualified, unprofessional and incompetent White men flying planes upside down and making fatally poor military decisions, shooting up post offices, numbing bright minds in college classrooms and running corporations into bankruptcy. How do these idiots get into positions well beyond their abilities? Well, there’s affirmative action for White guys too. It’s just called the “good ol’ boy network” or something equally less formal.

Hey Clarence, wake up! Youve got four years to ignore Obama.

Hey Clarence, wake up! You've got four years to ignore Obama.

People with power and privilege don’t willingly give up either and in fact, fight like hell to keep it. For those whom possess White skin and male privilege, they would prefer to pass those advantages along to their children instead of non-Whites and non-males.

Does diversity and inclusion mean some less than stellar people will rise higher than others? Probably so.  Thomas is the embodiment of a mediocre talent being elevated higher than his own skills and abilities would have ever taken him by themselves. Thomas had the right complexion and the right connections and the right politics at a particularly opportunistic time in history for such a terribly undistinguished man.

But get rid of affirmative action and you don’t get more equality. All  get is power and privilege holding on to both.

Sticking it to Thomas has been easy, if not necessarily fun.    So much of his judicial temperment seems to consist of not missing any opportunity to sticking it to Black people with his disdain for civil rights and First Amendment freedoms.

Thomas is a straight-up thug for life when it comes to dishing payback to liberals, the civil rights establishment and the media.

Thomas was confirmed in 1991 to sit on the Court by a vote in the Senate of 52 to 48.  The narrowest margin ever and you can bet Thomas never forgot the insult.    Only 18 of the 43 remain in the Senate and Thomas is determined to outlast every one of them.

Thomas never set out to be a heroic inspiration in the mode of a Thurgood Marshall. Those were shoes he never wanted to try to fill. But over the course of time and history, Thomas has become the hero he never intended to be. He is the hero of White conservatives. They like how he speaks and love how he judges. They see him as an inspiration and a man to be admired.

Well, he is. Just not by the audience he was originally targeted for.

An awkward moment if ever there was one.

An awkward moment if ever there was one.