Friday, February 10, 2006

Professor Justice: State Of The Obstructocrats

Previously by Prof. Justice: Holiday Correctness, Terminate Tookie, Fire & Hire, Democrats' Investment in Defeat, Dubya Not So Dumbya.

Good evening. I am pleased to report that the state of our obstructionist party has never been brighter. Highlighting our many achievements this past year is our success in branding the Bushies and their associates as corrupt, incompetent, racists and bigots who only care about rich, white, Christian, Republican males. The fact that both of the President’s Secretaries of State have been black, the current one being female, is irrelevant. That is, of course, as long as we continue to claim that they, like Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, are not “real black people” because they don’t dress like hipstuhs and act like gangstuhs.

As for the economy, we’ve had a very tough hurdle. The fact is that the President took office with an economy headed toward recession. Since then, productivity has grown an average of 3.5 percent per year, inflation has remained low, and unemployment, which now stands at 4.7 percent, has dropped. Even more problematic is that the events of September 11, two wars and two disastrous hurricanes neither hurt the economy nor exacerbated recovery. Yet, home ownership is at an all-time high. In fact, the economy has been doing so well, the Federal Reserve has steadily raised interest rates to preserve it. Until recently, we’ve been able to focus on the lack of job growth as shoestring evidence that the economy is actually tanking, but with the recent creation of several hundred thousand jobs, it is necessary for us to change tactics. Now, we’ll be forced to argue those jobs are menial. Regardless, I remain hopeful that by the end of Bush’s presidency, we’ll have succeeded in spinning his economy as the worst since the Great Depression.

Perhaps our greatest achievement this year was the defeat of the President’s Social Security reforms. Had we lost on this issue, the foundation of our party would have been reduced to rubble. For nearly three quarters of a century, we remained in the majority by incessantly clamoring how Republicans don’t support it and want to throw old people on the street. One of our best slogans came back in the nineties when we said GOP stands for “Get Old People.” To lose on this issue would be the embarrassment of embarrassments. I am well aware that Social Security has four trillion dollars of unfunded liability and must therefore be reformed. Otherwise, there will come a time when it will either be bankrupt or be restricted to distributing a mere fraction of today’s benefits. Sure, private accounts would help, if even for a small portion of the funding, but then we’ll have less of our fellow Americans’ money to spend. That is precisely why, despite being a shameful display of pure partisanship, your wild applause in response to President Bush’s statement that Congress failed to pass Social Security reforms last year was magnificent. Yes, toward the end of President Clinton’s term we publicly acknowledged that the system needed to be fixed. So, to avoid the appearance of being portrayed as flip-flopping hypocrites, we must prevent the passage of any reform bill until we regain the majority in Congress. Then, we’ll be able to implement a feasible and efficient solution: Increase FICA withholding and cut benefits. And we’ll be able to blame it on the Republicans.

But without a doubt, our most successful campaign to date has been the relentless drumbeat that Bush is, as Harry Belafonte and Cindy Sheehan say, “the world’s greatest terrorist.” I should also take this time to extend my gratitude to Hollywood and the mainstream media for their assistance in repeating and emphasizing its coverage of actors, actresses and musicians who continually bash the President, the troops and the country. I am particularly grateful to the press for downplaying milestone events, such as the liberation of fifty million people from two tortuous and barbaric tyrants, establishment of new schools, election of a democratic government and improvement of people’s quality of life. Please don’t tell us about the recent polls indicating more than seventy percent of Iraqis say their lives have improved. And whatever you do, please continue to suppress video of US soldiers playing with Iraqi children and giving them candy.

My friends, it is fortuitous that no WMDs were found. This was the best source for persuading the country of Bush’s real desire to get us in a war: Oil; and to award fat defense contracts to his buddies while exacting revenge on Hussein for trying to kill Papa Bush. I know the rest of the world also thought there were WMDs (well, except maybe France and Germany - whose leaders knew they were there) as did the prior administration, but that was then and this is now. I’m sure you haven’t heard this, but a former high level Iraqi government official recently said Iraq did have WMDs but transferred them to Syria while we pressured the President to waste time seeking UN approval. But don’t worry, the media won’t pick this one up.

I also wish to express special appreciation to the patriarch of our party, Sen. Ted Kennedy, for leading the charge by eloquently screaming on the Senate floor, “In fact, the torture chambers and prisons of Iraq were reopened . . . under U.S. management.” Thank you for incessantly reminding the country and the world of Bush’s “lie, after lie, after lie, after lie . . . ,” only so he could be a wartime President to willfully and purposefully place troops in danger. Amazingly, we’ve even been able to convince Americans the war on terror, aside from being ill-conceived, understaffed, under funded, and mismanaged, is unnecessary. True, John Kerry’s “I actually did vote for the eighty-seven million before I voted against it” blunder hurt, but it’s already been forgotten. Moreover, his rhetoric that our military “terrorizes Iraqi civilians” makes up for it.

Before bidding you a good night, I would like to recognize a special guest who is with us tonight.

Please welcome William Blum, author of Rogue State, the book from which Osama bin Laden quoted during his last recorded message. If you recall, Bin Laden said:
And if Bush decides to carry on with his lies and oppression, then it would be useful for you to read the book ‘Rogue State,’ which states in its introduction: ‘If I were President, I would stop the attacks on the United States: First, I would give an apology to all the widows and orphans and those who were tortured. Then I would announce that American interference in the nations of the world has ended once and for all.’
Mr. Blum, tickled that bid Laden quoted him, stated, “‘I’m glad . . . I was not turned off by such an endorsement. . . . I’m not repulsed, and I’m not going to pretend I am.’” Blum went on to reiterate our party’s mantra: “It’s the American intervention abroad, stupid!” That’s what creates our enemies and renders us less safe. The abject hatred of western culture by Islamofascists has nothing to do with it. Mr. Blum, we thank you and salute you. You are truly a great American.

Yet, even with all our accomplishments, we cannot rest on our laurels. We must stay the course and remain focused on obstruction. We must ridicule the Bush administration for aggrandizing and politicizing the threat of terrorism, and then trash him for not doing enough to fight it. And when he secretly intercepts communications of either known or suspected terrorists located outside the country, we’ll accuse him of trampling our civil rights by eavesdropping on American citizens who have no connection to terrorism. Not that there has actually been any case where a citizen’s civil rights have actually been violated, but it does tip our hand to terror thugs around the world. We must capitalize on every opportunity to publicize the NSA’s covert eavesdropping of our Islamofascist enemies abroad, which will stop at nothing to destroy us. It is also necessary that we block the Patriot Act’s renewal. We must do and say anything to prevent the President from succeeding in his fight against terrorism in order to excoriate him for not “connecting the dots.” Besides, if we pressure him enough to withdraw from Iraq, he may leave so fast that a terrorist vacuum is left behind, exacerbating the risk to our troops. Then we’ll really have what to say.

My fellow obstructionists, the state of our obstructionist party is as strong as it’s ever been. Let’s hope that we can build on this strong foundation, put partisan politics aside and work together to insure that the current administration ends in utter failure. Let’s face it. It’s the only way we’ll ever regain the presidency and control of Congress. It certainly won’t be because of our ideas. You’re right Mr. President. Hindsight alone is not wisdom, and second-guessing is not a strategy. But, please, give us a break. It’s all we’ve got.

Good night, may G-d bless you, and may G-d bless the United States of America.
Professor Justice practices Criminal Law in New York, teaches trial advocacy, and is a Professor of Business Law.
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  1. 'corrupt, incompetent, racists and bigots '

    I do not believe that George W. Bush is either a racist or a bigot. His running Patrick Buchanan out of the Republican Party ought to be evidence enough for anyone (although high-ups in his administration still do business with Robert Novak, someone else he ought to have frozen out).

    However, the evidence shows that his administration is corrupt to the core, it has bungled many areas, and disdains facts when they are inconvenient. The energy bill and the medicare drug plan were two examples of massive giveaways to industries that don't even need giveaways, paid for by all of us. Whatever you think about the invasion of Iraq, it is clear that it has cost far more than the administration predicted and has left the US military unable to respond to any additional problems. And it has politicized science more than any administration in history, demonstrating a commitment to ideology rather than fact.

  2. This is clearly a ruse, do you really expect us to believe that a member of the Obstructionist party would use the word "God" in a speech. We weren't born yesterday, sir.

    Prof. Yis

  3. Your attempts at sarcasm should be taken as truths. It's easy to go along with King George if you take everything he says at face value and forget about the fact that he's ignored separation of powers and such.

  4. Please disregard the several glaring gramatical errors. The wrong version was accidently posted. Ezzie will post the correct one when he returns fro L.A.

  5. This must not be my day. I believe I "grammatical."

  6. Opps. Some professor!

  7. "attempts at sarcasm?"

    It appears to me that it it was quite successful. And I'm curious what your basis is for the assertion "that he's ignored separation of powers and such."

  8. >The fact that...

    Let's not let facts get in the way of our ideology.

  9. Wait, is Ezzie Professor Justice? Is S.I.L. Ezzie, too? Is Ezzie married to Dr. Suess?

    I'm very confused. Someone enlighten me.

  10. Very funny post. Made me laugh. Let me address the many things that didn't make sense to me, however:

    1) If "obstructionist party" is supposed to be the Democratic Party, there were waaay to many conflations of the voices opposing President Bush and his policies to do a good job of this... for instance:

    2) "branding the Bushies and their associates as corrupt, incompetent, racists and bigots" I may be wrong, but I believe the loudest voices calling President Bush's administration "racist" and "bigots" were Kanye West on the televised Hurricane Katrina relief concert and Rev. Lowery (sp?) at Coretta Scott King's funeral. I don't think either holds a high position in the Democratic Party.

    Hurricane Katrina and the government's response exposed the entire government as not caring enough about the poor. There is a high correlation between class and race in New Orleans and Mississippi, but no one with any sense truly believes that "George Bush doesn't care about black people." Everyone with any sense, however, should realize that the American government (Republican and Democrat) doesn't do enough for the lowest classes.

    Aside from the racism card, it's obvious that the Bush administration is corrupt and incompetant... Downing Street Memo, Duke Cunningham, Karl Rove, Scooter Libby, Tom Delay, Michael "Brownie" Brown, Harriet Miers nomination, etc. etc.

    more later...

  11. 3) The Secretaries of State's race is a nice gesture of leadership by example, but any serious attacks on the administration about their lack of concern about minorities will not be in their hiring practices but in how they serve a particular subset of their bosses: Americans who happen to be minorities.

    4) Democrats are just as proud of the strength, resilience, and elasticity of the American economy as Republicans, but President Bush deserves little praise for his role in that success. Our economy has evolved since its inception from an agragrian economy to industrial to knowledge and services. We're naturally more resistant to shocks like 9/11 and the hurricane season, and we'd better be because those kind of shocks will only get worse over the next decades.

    5) The home ownership statistic you cite is a farce. The American people are leveraged up the ass to live in the homes that they do. The national savings rate is terrible and we have a real problem buying so much crap on credit. I have seen no leadership from the president on this issue.

    6) The importance of the state of the economy is also its potential, and just because Democrats address their concerns about foreign nations controlling so much of our investments and monetary supply does not make us patriotic, but rather, intelligent. The dual deficit is atrocious and "cut-taxes-and-spend" neo-conservatives are making it worse.

    7) I'm constantly confused by the Social Security arguments, but it does strike me as odd that Nancy Pelosi and others were so happy about striking SS reform down last year. I haven't heard why the reforms proposed were "bad" reforms in the eyes of Democratic leadership.

    I do know that your statement "private accounts would help" is a hugely simplistic and potentially outright wrong. The people who will benefit most from private accounts are people who already have private accounts like 401(k)s and do a good job managing them. Working in a financial institution that serves millions of 401(k) customers, I know that the poorest folks in these plans will take loans and withdrawals from these plans to pay their bills and never benefit from the miracle of compound interest.

    I am speculating, but perhaps the Democrats had a similar concern for the poor in mind.

    8) Cindy Sheehan and Harry Belafonte do not dictate Democratic policy and you conflate them with the Democrats to stretch your point.

    9) Ah, the old "attack liberal Hollywood actors/actresses and the mainstream media" angle. Again, Hollywood doesn't represent Democrats even though they are huge contributors to Democratic campaigns. Conflation. This is like me saying Pat Robertson is the face of the Republican Party.

  12. 10) Enjoy your attacks on the "liberal media" while you can because the blogosphere, satellites, cable T.V., etc. is already wresting control over news and information out of the hands of those dastardly liberals. It's more democratic every day and you can get a conservative spin on the news from SerandEz just as easily as a liberal spin from DailyKos.

    11) The no WMD defense was stupid. This was the whole crux of going to war, killing tens of thousands of people and there isn't any evidence of that reason? Don't blame it on the U.N. or France or Germany. If the American intelligence and military communities are worth their salt (which they are), we would have found these things.

    12) Okay, pick on the oldest fiery Democrat. Strom Thurmond was a wonderful representative of Republican values, too.

    13) I loved your line "ill-conceived, understaffed, under funded, and mismanaged, is unnecessary." Right on! Absolutely spot on!

    14) Yup, John Kerry made a political blunder... but he was smart enough to realize a mistake when he saw one, unlike President Bush. That's one of the main reasons I supported him.

    15) I'll assume that our military "terrorizing Iraqi civilians" refers to the bursting into someone's home of some of the most dangerous and well-trained soldiers in the world, yelling and screaming in a foreign language and wielding scary-looking guns. I wouldn't want that to happen to my family, and I would describe that as "my family being terrorized" by any military that would do that to us. Again, another unattractive comment by Mr. Kerry, but not really wrong.

    16) I haven't heard of Rogue State, but again, I don't disagree that the comment is necessarily wrong. I like to imagine what someone like Martin Luther King, Jr. or Ghandi would do if they were POTUS... would they eliminate the military? They would certainly pull out of Iraq. Would they apologize for past wrongs by America? I think so. I think they would not term American military action as "interference" because I think they would want to maintain an American presence such as the Peace Corps and the State Department all over the world, but I bet you they would come forth with apologies. It would then be interesting to see if Osama and Zarqawi and others would also apologize for their violence. If they did, wonderful. If they didn't, well, the whole world would know immediately who the good guys are.

    17) The Bush administration isn't "aggrandizing and politicizing the threat of terrorism." They're making it worse and harder to fight. It isn't that President Bush is not "doing enough to fight it," it's that he's doing the WRONG things to fight it. That is the whole difference between "obstructionism" and what the Democrats are ACTUALLY doing, which is wanting to make America ACTUALLY secure.

    18) Hmmm.... "Islamofascist." Quite a xenophobic, aggrandizing, and politicizing term, isn't it?

    19) There will be no "terrorist vaccuum."

    20) The Democrats don't need to do anything to ensure that the current administration ends in utter failure... it is doing it all by itself.

  13. Wow, do you feel better? I felt your anger through my desktop. I though it was well written, funny and satirically made the point that many Democrat politicians have; that liberals in general, Democrats or otherwise, are constantly bashing Bush because of their hatred for him to the point of taking inconsistent positions. Instead, they need to focus on formulating and articulating their own ideas.

    Having said that, you do make a few interesting points. I certainly don't think that Bush is perfect and I definitely don't agree with him on everything. But it seems strange that the left can make him out to be stripping our civil rights away under the guise of terror, yet trash him for not doing enough to fight terrorism and then ridicule him for not getting bin laden.

    Regardless, after reading your comments, I think you proved his point.

  14. Bloggin' buddy,

    No anger here. Had too many debates with Ezzie to get angry. I enjoy this immensely.

    I also thought it was funny, as I began my string of counter-arguments.

    I'd love to hear details about how I "prove his point." I also don't think I said anything about civil rights, wiretapping, or the PATRIOT Act, which I could care less about fighting against.

    Now that you mention bin Laden, however, this is at the heart of liberal/Democratic criticism: Iraq distracted the U.S. from taking down al Qaeda when we could at Tora Bora.

    I've never faulted President Bush for wanting to defend the country nor do I hate the guy. He seems very friendly and personally likable. I do think he is a simpleton who has never managed a successful venture of any kind and I think he has particularly mismanaged the war on terrorism.

    As for his motives (avenging his father as the original post said, or oil, or Halliburton contracts), that's all Michael Moore-type speculation that I think is kind of interesting and fun, but don't think there is a whole lot of truth behind and I don't use in my arguments.

  15. Wow, and this was just the wrong version. Imagine what the right one will get! :)

    I'd love to address many of Croaky's issues above, but I just landed and didn't really sleep on my red-eye back to N** Y***... so it will have to wait.

    Just to clarify: I am NOT SIL or Prof. Justice. They are contributors.