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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 4/5/12

What's Not Good for the Country

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Similarly, Scalia did head stands and back flips in December 2000 when he joined with four other Republican partisans in using the 14th Amendment's "equal protection of the law" principle to block the counting of votes in Florida and thus hand the White House (and judicial appointment power) to George W. Bush.

Though that Bush v. Gore decision stands as possibly the most shameful abuse of constitutional principles for partisan ends in American history, it was particularly dishonest for Scalia who has insisted that the 14th Amendment's protections should only apply to black males who were its original beneficiaries in 1868.

Based on his "originalism," Scalia declared that the 14th Amendment should not guarantee equal rights for women and gays. But he's okay with using it to bail out a white plutocrat like George W. Bush, whose fears about losing an election in 2000 were surely not on the minds of the U.S. Congress in 1868.

But the Post's editorial outrage is not directed at Scalia or the GOP Five's other hypocrites, rather the Post wags its finger at "liberals" and President Obama for daring to even suggest what former Solicitor General Fried bluntly observed that "politics, politics, politics" is driving the Supreme Court's majority's decision-making.

"Good for the Country"

The Post's turning away from such unpleasant facts has grown typical of Washington insiders who have convinced themselves that maintaining pleasing fictions and pushing protective falsehoods are somehow "good for the country." Mustn't let those little people in on the dirty secrets.

After all, it would be very unsettling for the nation to recognize that the U.S. Supreme Court, with its special place in the constitutional checks and balances, has fallen under the control of a partisan majority that doesn't give a fig about the actual Constitution.

What if the broader public knew that these five justices are driven by a fierce desire to serve the Republican Party by shaping the political battlefield to give decisive advantages to Republican presidential nominees, who after the "election" get to appoint more GOP judges and justices?

No, the Post is happier when the little people of America view the Supreme Court like the common folks in ancient Greece were supposed to see the oracles of the gods, a source of wisdom disconnected from the shabby world of earthly politics.

In line with Official Washington's myth portraying the Supreme Court as Mount Olympus, you shouldn't even note that the GOP Five are "Republican." Preferably, you don't mention a party affiliation at all, but -- if you insist on being boorish -- you should simply note that they are "Republican-appointed," but not "Republican."

Then you should join in the Post's sputtering outrage against anyone who would dare "delegitimize" the Supreme Court for its politicization, as if the delegitimizing was coming from the critics, not from the justices themselves.

A similar concern over "legitimacy" followed the Bush v. Gore case, which put George W. Bush in the White House though he lost the national popular vote and apparently would have lost the key state of Florida if all the state's legally cast votes were counted. However, instead of focusing on this undemocratic reality, the major U.S. news outlets circled the wagons around Bush's "legitimacy."

That defensive circle grew tighter after the 9/11 attacks eight months into Bush's presidency, creating a dilemma in fall 2001 for a group of major U.S. news organizations that had just completed the Florida recount that the five GOP justices had stopped in December 2000.

The news outlets had discovered that Gore defeated Bush if all ballots legal under Florida law were counted. But some editors fretted that to report that reality just weeks after the 9/11 attacks might weaken Bush. And there was no way to reverse the outcome of Bush's tainted "victory" anyway.

So, these editors essentially hid their own findings by focusing their stories on various hypothetical partial recounts that would still have left Bush slightly ahead.

An Angry Interview

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Robert Parry broke many of the Iran-Contra stories in the 1980s for the Associated Press and Newsweek. His latest book, Secrecy & Privilege: Rise of the Bush Dynasty from Watergate to Iraq, can be ordered at secrecyandprivilege.com. It's also available at
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