Tuesday, July 6, 2010

#227 Tea Baggers V--Sandbagging the Court

Eighty-percent of the Tea Baggers identify themselves as Republican; 100% of Republicans and 20% of Democrats in Congress (Southern Blue Dogs) are Republican; ergo: Socrates is a Tea Bagger.

That the Tea Bag "movement" (and you are free to assume cheap-shot connotations of the feculent kind in my use of that word) is an extension of the Republican Southern Strategy of racial hatred--especially as the 2010 elections start to heat up--we have only to look at the despicable attacks on the bete noir (literally) of school-desegregation, Thurgood Marshall, by way of his former law-clerk, Ellen Kagan.

The objections to this woman--it also doesn't hurt their bigoted cause that she's sexually "suspect," innuendo-wise--are shamelessly presented as "constitutional." She's linked to remarks that the late, great Supreme Court Justice and premier Civil Libertarian made about the founding document--that "as originally drafted and conceived" the Constitution was "defective." C'mon, of course it was. The Framers themselves knew that before the ink was dry on the original Articles. Result: the first ten amendments--the Bill of Rights--had to be solemnly promised before some of the States (like NC) would sign off on what might be called the "first draft" of the thing. More amendments would follow, including the 13th which abolished slavery, eliminating the major "defect" of the original, as everybody knows, and the one that Thurgood Marshall was talking about.

But it was upon the 14th that Thurgood rode to fame as a civil-rights lawyer for the NAACP. And Southern Strategists like the loathsome Jeff Sessions, Junior Senator from Alabama, who gave the Latina Sotomayer a racist going-over and once described the NAACP and other civil-rights groups as "un-American," doesn't want his Tea Bag constituents to forget that. As ranking Republican on the Judiciary Committee (why is this former KKK sympathizer even allowed human congress, much less the halls of Congress?) he can do it, through Kagan. For under the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment the good Justice Marshall had won Brown v. Board--the landmark Supreme Court (9-0) decision of 1954 desegregating public schools, a tipping point in American history that led to the Civil Rights Act (parts of which Tea Bagger Rand Paul would like to dismantle) ten years later, along with other anti-discrimination laws of recent times.

Local "color" sidebar: Thurgood's war is not yet won. Right here in Raleigh, Tea Bagger types from the suburbs and the predominantly white sections of town, supported by Americans for Prosperity and other radical-right-wing groups, helped take over the county school board (by a 5-4 margin) last year. The slim majority was able to vote out the decades-old "socio-economic diversity" (read: desegregation) policy that required some forced busing, and passed the euphemistic "neighborhood schools" (read: REsegregation) policy. The long-time, and beloved, Superintendent resigned in disgust. Protests began, sit-inners were arrested, NAACP and others filed a class-action suit. All this: ongoing and unresolved. Just like the good old days. Okay ... but obviously eternal vigilance on the part of right-thinking people is still required to preserve civil liberties for all our citizens. Especially when threatened by such strident and dangerous anti-social factions like the Tea Baggers.

And especially in deference to Independence Day just past, this writer GAGS (sorry) on their preferred moniker, Tea Partiers, as it represents a profound desecration of those brave and righteous acts of the freedom-fighters back in 1773 America. Good News, though. General approval of all that is Tea Bagging ... is flagging, so to speak. Always a minority, 39% of Americans (a drop, but still too high) view them favorably, while 50% of the population has an unfavorable view lately, according to a recent (post-Rand-Paul) WaPo/ABC poll (here). Even better news: there's now a strong disapproval rate among younger people. Only 27% of Americans 18-29 view the Tea Baggers favorably, while a healthy 60% don't. Things are beginning to look like--here's hoping--that they just might have to simply ... bag it.

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