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May 01, 2008

Yes Andrew, It Was Always About You...

You are a Child of the Universe.
No less than the trees and the stars
You have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you
No doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Yesterday, as the Editorial Staff drove in to work we happened to catch the DJ on the classic rock station we listened to years ago yammering on about Barack Obama. Since we were simultaneously digging through our makeup bag, trying to figure out how to enter a contact into our shiny new phone, and reviewing the material we were supposed to be briefing in our head (oh yes, we're THAT annoying driver, so you can just put away the loaded gun right now. We have an excellent record -- if you don't count the dead bodies buried in the woods out back), we thought it unwise to attempt changing the radio station as well.

A wise woman knows her limits.

The DJ was waxing grandiloquent on the subject of the Reverend Jeremiah Wright. "Was anyone *really* going to change their vote on account of his intemperate remarks", he wondered? "Puh-leaz!" The guy just couldn't seem to buy a clue: he started building up speed like a choo-choo train puffing down a steep mountainside with no brakes. He was The Little Engine that Could See No Evil. The excuses started pouring out of his smokestack like little puffs of expediency:

"Hey - Obama had to join a big church to help peeeeeeeeeople! Because unlike Shrillary, he caaaaaaaaares!"

"How do we even know he went to church every Sunday? Maybe he just happened to miss every single time Wright said something hateful or racist for 20 years."

"How do we even know they were that close?" (Just because a man marries you, just because you choose to call him your 'spiritual adviser' - I mean really - what does that really mean? Why would anyone assume you pay the slightest attention to his IDEAS?

"How do we even know religion is "that important" to Obama anyway? Why is everyone making such a big deal over this?" (Indeed. Who amongst us unbelievers doesn't have their own personal spiritual adviser?)

Of course our DJ friend has plenty of company. The erstwhile leader of the Can'tWePleaseJustMoveOn party chimed in yesterday:

WITT: Okay. He said it. A 20-year relationship. Reverend wright married him. He is the one who baptized a god parent. How personally painful is this for him?

KERRY: Can I say something to you? Obviously it is painful and he said it. You folks need to let go of this. Television needs to stop dwelling on something that is in the past. I thought Barack Obama yesterday gave America his second big presidential moment of this campaign. The first when he spoke out about the issue of race. The second yesterday, when he made it clear, every one of the statements of the minister are just unacceptable. They're not the person that he knew before. Now let's move on to how we'll put people to work. How are you going to give people health care? How are you going to create jobs in america? What Barack Obama is offering in this gas price issue is real leadership. I mean, do we want people who sort of put their fingers in the wind and throw out an idea for the short term that is sort of politically pleasing, or do you want a here who stands up and says, no, what we need is to really lower gas prices by having a real energy policy, an intelligent policy that puts in place the incentives for renewable fuels and alternative fuels. That's what Barack Obama is doing. And it is you guys have to focus on the thing that really matter to the American electorate. The other thing is just worn out, old history now.

You've got to love the DNC's sense of "history". Rev. Wright says something today?

That's ancient history. Move along. Nothing to see here.

The NY Times raises 8 year old rumors about John McCain, and that's breaking news. But not (just to clarify matters) Swift Boating.

The Editorial Staff got a kick out of reading the dissenting opinions to Crawford v. Marion this morning. We used to try to read most of the major SCOTUS opinions. Somehow, we got out of the habit. It's something every American ought to try and do. At any rate, we found it amusing that Justice Breyer mentioned the Carter Commission:

Like JUSTICE STEVENS, I give weight to the fact that a national commission, chaired by former President Jimmy Carter and former Secretary of State James Baker, studied the issue and recommended that States should require voter photo IDs. See Report of the Commission on Federal Election Reform, Building Confidence in U. S. Elections §2.5 (Sept. 2005) (Carter-Baker Report), App. 136–144.
Because the record does not discredit the Carter-Baker Report or suggest that Indiana is exceptional, I see nothing to prevent Indiana’s Legislature (or a federal court considering the constitutionality of the statute) from taking account of the legislatively relevant facts the report sets forth and paying attention to its expert conclusions. Thus, I share the general view of the lead opinion insofar as it holds that the Constitution does not automatically forbid Indiana from enacting a photo ID requirement.

Were I also to believe, as JUSTICE STEVENS believes, that the burden imposed by the Indiana statute on eligible voters who lack photo IDs is indeterminate “on the basis of the record that has been made in this litigation,” ante, at 18, or were I to believe, as JUSTICE SCALIA believes, that the burden the statute imposes is “minimal” or “justified,” ante, at 1 (opinion concurring in judgment), then I too
would reject the petitioners’ facial attack, primarily for the reasons set forth in Part II of the lead opinion, see ante, at 7–13. I cannot agree, however, with JUSTICE STEVENS’ or JUSTICE SCALIA’s assessment of the burdens imposed by the statute. The Carter-Baker Commission conditioned its recommendation upon the States’ willingness to ensure that the requisite photo IDs “be easily available and issued free of charge” and that the requirement be “phased in” over two federal election cycles, to ease the transition. Carter-Baker Report, at App. 139, 140. And as described Cite as: 553 U. S. ____ (2008) 3 BREYER, J., dissenting in Part II of JUSTICE SOUTER’s dissenting opinion, see ante, at 3–16, Indiana’s law fails to satisfy these aspects of the Commission’s recommendation. For one thing, an Indiana nondriver, most likely to be poor, elderly, or disabled, will find it difficult and expensive to travel to the Bureau of Motor Vehicles, particularly if he or she resides in one of the many Indiana counties lacking a public transportation system. See ante, at 6–7 (SOUTER, J., dissenting) (noting that out of Indiana’s 92 counties, 21 have no public transportation system at all and 32 others restrict public transportation to regional county service). For another, many of these individuals may be uncertain about how to obtain the underlying documentation, usually a passport or a birth certificate, upon which the statute insists. And some may find the costs associated with these documents unduly burdensome (up to $12 for a copy of a birth certificate; up to $100 for a passport). By way of comparison, this Court previously found unconstitutionally burdensome a poll tax of $1.50 (less than $10 today, inflation-adjusted). See Harper v. Virginia Bd. of Elections, 383 U. S. 663, 664 n. 1, 666 (1966); ante, at 30 (SOUTER, J., dissenting). Further, Indiana’s exception for voters who cannot afford this cost imposes its own burden: a postelection trip to the county clerk or county election board to sign an indigency affidavit after each election. See ante, at 8–10 (same).

We'd like, at this point, to remind the assembled readership that the Iraqi people managed to get to the polls despite the threat of suicide bombers, gunfire, and IEDs. We are talking about the right to vote. This is a lifetime privilege. It's a bit scary when something that important isn't worth a one-time trip to the Bureau of Motor Vehicles. And as we know, it is inconceivable that either party might find it in their interest to help unregistered indigent voters get to the BMV and secure IDs.

Because, you know, that's never happened before. Dear God we are a spoiled and idiotic nation.

We have become a nation of children, whining about how everything impacts us instead of thinking about what we can contribute to make the world a better place. Via Tigerhawk, there's this breathtakingly self-centered diatribe from a Gen Y-er that Andrew Sullivan finds just riveting:

I'll just put that out there. If Obama is done in by this whole Wright thing I am done with politics. I can't invest myself in something that is so sure to disappoint me time and time and time again. If the Democratic party decides that it can not risk nominating a great and decent African American man because his pastor is a scary African American man, it does not deserve power because it will have caved to what is worst about America. Racists on both sides of the divide will rejoice at having taking down the biggest threat to their belief system since Martin Luther King....and young people like myself will burrow deeper into to the holes we were in before Barack Obama dug us out.

Is this what follows the Greatest Generation - a generation of overgrown children who cynically parse every social transaction, calculating what's in it for them?

These are the people who look at collateral damage of war - damage that has existed since the dawn of time and will always exist - and rend their clothing and cry out about how awful it all is. But when the time comes to contribute something, the refrain is always the same: "But.... I was never asked to sacrifice!!!!" And yes, they wholeheartedly support the troops but no, they don't want to contribute to Soldiers Angels or Project Valour IT, those "wingnut charities", because they're not ideologically pure enough.

Unbelievable.

You see a need, it clearly bothers you, and yet you aren't going to lift a finger to help your countrymen until you are asked? What kind of human being are you?

Oh yeah. One whose patriotism must not be questioned because they are "living in a hole". It must be the same hole Barack Obama has been living in for 20 years:

JAMES TARANTO:

So, was Obama sincere? Did he spent 20 years as an intimate of Wright and a parishioner of his church without ever having an inkling that the guy is a wacko hatemonger?

If so, can you think of anything more terrifying than sending such a naïf to the White House while there's a war on?

Pardon me, but I don't want a President who spent 20 years of his life ignoring reality. I don't want a President who spends his time hiding his head in the sand.

I want a President who isn't afraid to face unpleasant things, even if they are frightening, even if that means he has to stand alone against most of the rest of the world, and even if they make him unpopular with his own countrymen.

Abraham Lincoln was immensely unpopular with his own countrymen in the 1860s.

History, however, took a different view.

CWCID: bthun for the Shrub video :), SCOTUSblog for the Crawford v. Marion link. Took me a while to find the originating post.

Posted by Cassandra at May 1, 2008 08:13 AM

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Comments

But McCain is so oooooooooooooooooold. He isn't cool at all.

Posted by: spd rdr at May 1, 2008 11:22 AM

Andy McCarthy at The Corner made a really metaphor yesterday regarding this, and much, much less.
To the point: The Clintons (and Barack too, at this point) are like criminal lawyers talking to the jury. There is an excuse for everything for their client. Except Juries are supposed to remember the inconsistencies.
Our jury is the press, and they remember nothing. That's why these guys can get away with making up reality anew everyday. There is no "Hey, just a minute there!" moment where the media says something like "That's not what you said yesterday!".
So Baracky and Hillarity can get away with dis-remembering their own past(s) at their leisure, or as a method of campaigning.

It is somewhat Orwellian in nature, but ain't that American. these days?

Posted by: Don Brouhaha du jour at May 1, 2008 11:25 AM

Plus, like, isn't he all, like... totally fraudulent and sh*t?

I mean, like... duh. Politics is for lamers.

Posted by: TifFaNee at May 1, 2008 11:27 AM

I think, Don, that is what made the Hillary Sniper Tape so majestic a moment -- it was the one time in recent memory where the press said, "Ran to the cars? Really? Because we happen to have this tape..."

Posted by: Grim at May 1, 2008 11:58 AM

"Is this what follow the Greatest Generation - a generation of overgrown children who cynically parse every social transaction, calculating what's in it for them?"

Not all of them, my friend. Not all of them.

Posted by: DL Sly at May 1, 2008 01:21 PM

Well, helk, where did the rest of my comment go?

What was left unsaid was that some of them have remembered the lessons taught by the Greatest Generation and have passed it on.

Gonna haf'ta talk to those Itinerate Eskimos of yours.....either that or go down to Rent-A-Digit and see about an exchange.
Too many middle fingers, I'm guessin'....
0>:~}

Posted by: DL Sly at May 1, 2008 01:27 PM

Something like that happens almost daily. It's the good ol' Double Standard. A liberal candidate can say just about anything, and we'll hear volumes about how he either didn't mean it, or it's taken out of context, or it doesn't really matter.

I heard a conversation out in public, 2 or 3 people talking about how wonderful Obama is, and how they just couldn't understand what his going to Wright's church for N years had to do with anything.

They also thought it was awful that Stephanopolous asked such embarrasing questions of Obama. They didn't say which ones, but I thought of the one where he asked Obama why he favored higher capital gains taxes, when it's been proven that lower taxes generate higher revenue.

One interesting thing: they were definitely not supporting Hillary.

Posted by: ZZMike at May 1, 2008 02:56 PM

Holy canary smokes, Cass, did Bush just cut off one of the few, the proud, the elite, the Media? *gasp*

Oh wait, Bush's kindness and belief that he is talking to America through the Media won over again. Oh well. Don't get my hopes up, Cass. When Bush finally lets it all loose, if he ever did so while President, the world's foundations would shake and I want to be there to watch it as people piss down their pants in shock.

Bush should have said, with no sign of cracking a joke or a smile, "give up your mike or we will escort you out of the area".

Giving exclusives to the media and expecting "good treatment", Bush, is like feeding a crocodile expecting it not to gobble up your infant child latter on. I hope somebody keeps telling you that.

Nor does it help when you are talking "issues" when all the media cares about is "me". Talk about them, Bush, for threats to their persons and their careers are the only things they care about and are the only things that will make them truly listen to you. "Threats to America" will just make them doze off or launch another snarky attack via question on you and your policies.

History, however, took a different view.

That's cause war beat the losers into submission. For a time, of course.

And most of the people that suffered were the honorable men of the South, rather than the Democrat politicians that started the war and continued racist Jim Crow and Blackcode policies after Reconstruction.

Well, helk, where did the rest of my comment go?

If you use the diagonal bracket sign, I think it cuts off your comment after it. Snarky smiles are dangerous ; )

Posted by: Ymarsakar at May 1, 2008 05:40 PM

Well, living in the Hoosier state like I do I can tell you that for the last year or so there's been tv and radio spots telling how one *can* obtain a photo ID for free and use services to get one if one *has* problems of living in the boonies. So, I don't know what the good Justice is talking about. There's not a problem. YOu can get one *free* IN ID if you qualify for it.

Posted by: ry at May 1, 2008 11:27 PM

Not all of them, my friend. Not all of them.

Amen, my friend.

Amen.

Posted by: Cassandra at May 2, 2008 06:27 AM

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