HAH! Trump Retweets ‘DJTrumpsButt’ in Lustful Haste to Censure Adam Schiff

Donald Trump is in full meltdown mode as he ineffectually tries to deal with his impending impeachment. He’s panicking because he knows what he’s done and that the truth is going to come out no matter how many obstacles and lies he puts in its path. He has no control over this process that he’s now disgustingly calling a “lynching,” even though it’s actually a constitutional remedy for the political poison Trump is leaching into the American system. Has a president of the United States ever whined more about being a victim?

Donald Trump, Toilet, Bathrobe

On Monday Trump was so frantic with fear that he embarked on a twenty-two (22!) tweet tirade attacking Adam Schiff, the Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee. This onslaught was mainly aimed at the news of a pathetic and useless attempt by Republicans in the House to censure Schiff. That effort went down in a party line vote, as anyone not in coma would have expected. But to Trump it was a lifeline that merited a tweetstorm including seven posts from Fox News sycophants supporting His Lameness.

In the midst of these harangues, Trump must not have been paying close attention to his demented self-defense duties. Sure, he included a couple of allegedly humorous tweets from Fox’s Greg Gutfeld (which reminded us of why there aren’t any conservative comics), and he posted a clip from slobbering Trump-fluffer Lou Dobbs interviewing wingnut Rep. Jim Jordan, and he even dropped one featuring Newt Gingrich, who led the impeachment against Bill Clinton for having an extramarital affair with a young staffer while he was having an extramarital affair with a young staffer. But nothing comes close to the fantabulousness of this:

DJTrumpsButt

That’s right. Trump retweeted DJTrump’s Butt! The profile for that account notes that “I am @realDonaldTrump’s butt. Whatever he says, it’s really me that’s saying it. Follow me, or I will nuke you! #PutinPower #MAGA.” So now we know where the President has been getting all of his blitheringly ignorant ideas from, and why he continually embarrasses himself with idiotic comments that demonstrate how little he knows about virtually everything. This is the reason he’s been stinking up America.

Trump’s obsession with Schiff stems from a brief portion of remarks made in a congressional hearing that Trump utterly failed to understand. Apparently Trump doesn’t grasp the concept of paraphrasing with emphasis to make a point. That’s what Schiff was doing when Trump whined, falsely, that Schiff was quoting him verbatim. Schiff actually prefaced his remarks by saying that Trump’s phone call with the president of Ukraine “reads like a classic organized crime shakedown. Shorn of its rambling character, and in not so many words, this is the essence of what the President communicates.” So contrary to Trump’s brazen lie, Schiff was not quoting him and had no intention of misleading anyone.

Nevertheless, Trump has been ranting about Schiff ever since. He’s even accused Schiff and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of treason and “demanded” that they resign, as if he has the authority to issue such impotent demands. The fact that he thinks he has that power obviously comes from the same place the rest of his puerile nonsense comes from: DJTrumpsButt. Mystery solved.

How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

Fox News Marches Lock-Step with ‘Impeaching Trump Will Hurt Democrats’ Talking Point

This week just keeps getting worse for Donald Trump. First it was revealed that a whistleblower charged him with serious breaches of national security in a conversation with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. Then he was forced to release the memo containing an account of that phone call that was disturbing and incriminating. And on Thursday the text of the whistleblower’s complaint was also released after the White House could no longer persist in suppressing it. Simultaneous to this, his Director of National Intelligence, Joseph Maguire, was grilled about his conduct with regard to the whistleblower complaint in a pair of congressional hearings.

Fox News, Impeach Trump

In addition to that, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced that the House or Representatives would be formally conducting an impeachment inquiry. Much of the work on that had already begun, but this made it official. Trump’s response to these events was to panic-tweet dozens of bootlicking testimonials by worshipful disciples in politics and the press. It was a barrage of sycophantic adoration and utterly dishonest rationalizations for his flagrantly unlawful acts. It was most assuredly not the behavior of an innocent man.

Not surprisingly, Fox News was prominently featured among these tributes to Trump’s treason. Their mission to shield Trump from any and all harm continues as the news gets ever more precarious for his dangling presidency. And what appears to be a coordinated offensive by Fox news is taking shape. Thursday’s messaging was strikingly aligned across many of its programs. What they are pitching is that, regardless of how terrible this all looks for Trump, it’s really much worse for Democrats. For instance:

  • Karl Rove on Fox’s Daily Briefing told host Dana Perino that “Impeachment is a losing issue for Democrats.”
  • Rush Limbaugh warned Democrats that “They’re not thinking about blowback.”
  • Newt Gingrich offered his stale analysis that “When [Pelosi] starts an investigation the person who’s gonna get clobbered is Joe Biden.”
  • Tucker Carlson turned to frightening Democrats, saying that they “have just become so obsessed with destroying Donald Trump, that they’re destroying themselves.”
  • Sarah Huckabee Sanders summed it all up by asserting that “All this is doing is helping [Trump] get reelected.”

WOW! That sounds pretty darn awful for Democrats. And by extension, it sounds like Trump and his Republican Nationalist Party should be celebrating. In fact, they ought to be thanking Democrats and promoting their efforts to impeach Trump at every opportunity. After all, it’s only going to help Trump get reelected and crush the Democrats’ hopes for majorities in Congress. If Republicans really believe what they are saying, then all of this drama over impeachment should be putting them in good mood.

However, for some reason that isn’t the case. Even after insisting that the Democrats are destroying themselves, and that Trump will be the beneficiary, they are still whining incessantly and demanding that all efforts to impeach Trump be halted. Trump himself is threatening legal action, which is not an option with regard to impeachment. And his Twitter feed is blowing up with more tweets and retweets than ever, almost all which are nasty reactions to his pending impeachment.

Apparently, Trump and his minions are not really as happy about him being impeached as they are trying to pretend. The reality is that his violations of law, ethics, and his oath of office, are more than sufficient to warrant impeachment and removal from office. And no one knows that better than Trump. He is aware of what he’s done and what the consequences are. And that is why he – and the Cult of Deplorables he leads – have been scared into incoherence. It’s almost pathetic enough to feel sorry for them. Nah, not really.

How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

SRSLY? Trump-Bot on Fox News Says ‘I Don’t Remember Us Electing an Angry President’

A few weeks ago Donald Trump whined about his State TV network (aka Fox News) hosting a couple of town halls with Democratic presidential candidates, saying that “Something strange is going on at Fox, folks.” It might have been a little strange, except for the fact that Fox predictably used the appearances to disparage them in every segment that followed.

Donald Trump

However, Trump is probably over that momentary episode of angst now that he can see Fox faithfully fulfilling its mission to exalt him and brazenly lie on his behalf. Fox’s overt adoration of Trump was displayed in yet another staged “interview” of one of their stable of Trump-fluffing contributors. This time it was frequent Fox shill, and disgraced, ousted GOP House Speaker, Newt Gingrich. In a segment about the recently broadcast Democratic debates, Fox called on Gingrich to provide his relentlessly partisan analysis. And his opinion of where the Democrats are going wrong couldn’t have been more asinine (video below):

Gingrich: It was amazing the level of anger you got out of Bernie Sanders and Sen. Warren. I mean, these are really angry people and it was kind of amazing to watch them. It’s the opposite of how people normally win the presidency. You watch Barack Obama with a big smile. You watch Ronald Reagan with a big smile. I don’t remember us electing an angry president literally in my lifetime.

Newt Gingrich is either suffering from a severe case of selective amnesia, or he is deliberately peddling some of the most ludicrous lies ever told on Fox News. First of all, while Sanders and Warren (and all decent human beings) are often noticeably upset with the abhorrent words and deeds of Trump, they were also hopeful and positive and bearing bright smiles.

More to the point, while Gingrich’s “amazement” that Democrats are “really angry” fails to put their mood in context to the horror of Trumpism, his inability to recall the election of an angry president is downright delusional. Donald Trump is America’s ranking rage-aholic. He has a temperament range that runs from outrage to fury. The only time that he isn’t in the midst of a frothing tirade is when he’s stroking his own bloated ego.

Trump uses his anger mainly to malign his critics. He routinely taunts them as “stupid, ugly,” or other similarly infantile insults. His rants are purposely intended to incite hatred, division, and distrust among otherwise united citizens. And yet he has the audacity to charge that “The rage filled Democrat Party is trying to tear America apart.” He recently retweeted a meme that said that “Democrats are the true enemies of America.” Nah, he aint angry at all, is he?

So Gingrich can’t remember the election of an angry president even though the current one that he obediently reveres is a seething cauldron of bile and hostility. And despite Gingrich’s blindness to Trump’s acid acrimony, Trump himself regards it as an asset:

To put it mildly, Gingrich and Fox News are such glassy-eyed disciples of Trumpism that they have lost all connection to reality. In the very segment where Gingrich claims Democrats are angry, Fox runs runs video of them smiling at the debate. And Fox also had a chyron that affirmed Trump’s anger that read “Trump Tears Into ‘Radical’ 2020 Democrats In Ohio.” Which was portrayed as a show of strength.

Another example of this dementia inducing adulation took place on Trump’s favorite Fox program, Fox and Friends. Co-host Ainsley Earhardt sought to gaslight (or more accurately, “Foxlight”) her viewers with a comparison of Trump to Joe Biden. She said that “They’re both rust belt people though. They’re both, like, blue collar workers that have money, but blue collar.”

WHUT? To be fair, no ever ever accused these “Curvy Couch” potatoes of being Mensa members. But Earhardt has to know that Trump was born to a wealthy father in New York City, while Biden was a middle-class kid from Scranton, PA. This purposeful lie, as well as the ones by Gingrich, can only be taken as deliberate attempts to mislead the easily confused Fox News audience who seemingly yearn to be lied to. And the profiteers and propagandists at Fox know enough to give the Deplorables what they want.

How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

Blaming the Victim: Trump is Still Attacking the Media One Day After Mail Bombs Were Sent

There is one notable character trait that Donald Trump displays whenever he is confronted with criticism of any kind. He immediately dismisses it, rejects any responsibility, and points fingers at his critics and victims as the real problems. That holds true whether Trump is accused of fumbling on national security, committing sexual assault, or any other of his numerous failures.

Donald Trump

So it shouldn’t surprise anyone that Trump is already blaming the media for the mail bombs sent to the media, as well as many other Trump critics. His knee-jerk response to any negative news is to fire back at those who have suffered the most. And under no circumstances apologize or accept fault in any degree. With Donald Trump the buck stops everywhere except with him. And the latest example of that is his tweet Thursday morning:

So one day after mail bombs were sent to at least nine of his critics, Trump lashes out at the victims and blames them for the attacks. What’s more, the tweet contains heinous and unsupported lies. Beginning with his estimation of the cause of the “anger we see today in our society.” There is no one more responsible for that anger than Trump. And there is no one more angry than Trump. He is perpetually enraged and screaming invectives at all the things he hates about America, its people, and its institutions.

Trump also accuses the media of “purposely false and inaccurate reporting.” Of course, he offers no evidence of that. The truth is that any reporting that reflects negatively on him, he rejects as “fake news,” no matter how well documented and verified. Nevertheless, in Trump’s diseased brain it is the media that is “hateful.”

For Trump to continue with this sort of inflammatory rhetoric just one day after the worst attempted mail bombings in American history is both reprehensible and, from him, expected. Some news reports complimented his opening remarks at the Wisconsin cult rally on Wednesday night that called for unity. But thy must have forgotten that it only takes a few hours (sometimes minutes) for Trump to return to his typical thuggery and lash out at anyone who dares to tell the truth about him. Just moments after his wholly disingenuous and call for unity, Trump accused the media of “endless hostility.”

And he isn’t alone in attacking the victims. Naturally, State TV (aka Fox News) rushes to his defense in order to protect him from the onslaught of unbridled truth tellers. For example, the sycophantic Trump-fluffers on Outnumbered made sure to charge Maxine Waters with bringing on the mail bomb attack herself. And Fox contributor Newt Gingrich told reporters that the media has “earned” the label “enemy of the people.” Ultra-Trumpist Lou Dobbs tweeted (then deleted) “Fake News – Fake Bombs.” Even Trump’s press secretary joined in the assault on the media with a particular focus on CNN.

If anyone needs a refresher course on who is most responsible for the uncivil tone and advocacy of political violence in the nation, the video below, courtesy of Mashable, does a pretty good job of compiling the documentation that exposes Trump’s horrific record of hatred and division.

How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

GOP’s Retreat On Ethics Office Doesn’t Erase Their Unscrpulous Intentions

In the past twenty-four hours congressional Republicans have given the nation a taste of the callous disregard they have for ethical conduct. On Monday it was reported that Republicans voted to neuter Congress’ ability to investigate misconduct in their ranks. They adopted a proposal to close the bipartisan Office of Congressional Ethics. Their plan called for replacing it with a panel comprised of members of the GOP-dominated Oversight Committee.

Paul Ryan GOP

Almost immediately this proposal was lambasted by both parties and pundits from across the political spectrum. It was seen as an attempt to protect themselves from scrutiny and punishment for malfeasance in office. Even Donald Trump weighed in via Twitter saying that:

With all that Congress has to work on, do they really have to make the weakening of the Independent Ethics Watchdog, as unfair as it […] may be, their number one act and priority. Focus on tax reform, healthcare and so many other things of far greater importance! #DTS”

Trump’s vague expression of disapproval perfectly illustrates the problem with the Republican’s lack of principle. Notice that he did not criticize the proposal’s intention, only its timing. In fact, he endorsed the baseless complaint that the current system is “unfair.” And that’s precisely what the GOP has believed ever since the office was created by a Democratic congress in 2008.

On Tuesday morning, the Republican’s anti-ethics proposal was put back on the shelf. It was a head-spinning reversal that made clear how terribly they had screwed up. This was the party that promised to “drain the swamp” in Washington, but instead was feeding the gators. Politico reported that:

“Following a public outcry, and criticism from President-elect Donald Trump, House Republicans reversed course Tuesday on drastic changes to the independent Office of Congressional Ethics. House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) offered a motion to restore the current OCE rules, and that was accepted by the GOP conference.”

What was not reported is that there was ample precedent for what Republicans tried to do Monday. Just two weeks ago Newt Gingrich addressed the ethics issue, complaining that for Trump “traditional rules don’t work.” He described Trump’s ascension to power as a “billionaire presidency,” which he meant as a justification for special treatment. In other words, the rules for the rich are different than those for the rest of us.

Furthermore, it’s possible that the House GOP was reacting to something the federal Office of Government Ethics did in November. A series of tweets were posted that sarcastically praised Trump for divesting himself of his business interests. Which not only has he not done, but he stubbornly refuses to do so. He even canceled a scheduled press conference to explain how he would handle his copious conflicts of interest. By closing up its own ethics shop, House Republicans might just be hoping to prevent other such embarrassing exposes of their affinity for corruption.

How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

So for the time being, the House Office of Congressional Ethics will continue to operate. However, expect this matter to return when they think they can slip it by without arousing suspicion and criticism. They still believe it is in their interest to suppress ethics inquiries. They just don’t want to get caught doing it at the outset of their party’s domination of government.

Top Advisor Proposes Changes In Ethics Laws For Trump’s ‘Billionaire Presidency’

The specter of Donald Trump’s looming presidency has stirred up serious consideration of potentially unlawful conflicts of interest. His expansive business empire makes ethical violations a near certainty. In fact, there have already been incidents where foreign dignitaries made reservations at Trump hotels in order to curry favor with the President-Elect.

Donald Trump

The Emoluments Clause of the Constitution expressly prohibits the president from receiving money, gifts, or anything of value from foreign governments or officials. Thus, any foreign officials staying at a Trump hotel would automatically put him violation of the Constitution. Additionally, there are numerous ethics laws enacted by Congress to prevent bribery or corruption on the part of public officials. Trump’s businesses present a tangled web of pending breaches just waiting to happen.

This is not a partisan observation aimed at hobbling The Donald before he even moves in. Republicans are keenly aware of the legal obstacles in the road. One of Trump’s closest advisors, Newt Gingrich, conceded that it was an issue in a radio interview on Monday. His remarks were a disturbing commentary on the privilege of class in politics. He described Trump’s ascension to power as a “billionaire presidency,” which he meant as a justification for special treatment. As reported by Politico:

“We’ve never seen this kind of wealth in the White House, and so traditional rules don’t work,” Gingrich said Monday during an appearance on NPR’s “The Diane Rehme Show” about the president-elect’s business interests. “We’re going to have to think up a whole new approach.”

In other words, the rules for the rich are different than those for the rest of us. That’s an argument for the kind of aristocracy that the United States fought a revolution to escape. Public servants enriching themselves through their office should be illegal no matter their net worth. That’s why in prior administrations, presidents would place their assets in a blind trust and divest them if necessary. And contrary to Gingrich’s assertion, there has been great wealth in White House. Franklin Roosevelt and John F. Kennedy come to mind.

Gingrich doesn’t provide any details of the “whole new approach” he’s proposing. However, he did offer one specific method of by which Trump could avoid accountability:

“In the case of the president, he has a broad ability to organize the White House the way he wants to. He also has, frankly, the power of the pardon,” Gingrich said. “It’s a totally open power. He could simply say, ‘Look, I want them to be my advisers. I pardon them if anyone finds them to have behaved against the rules. Period. Technically, under the Constitution, he has that level of authority.”

Actually, he technically does not. The power of the pardon is not “totally open.” For instance it cannot be used to absolve someone for crimes that have yet to be committed. So for Gingrich’s idea to work, Trump would have to wait for the conflicts to occur, then pardon the offenders. And with his unique business structure, his refusal to let go of any of it, and his family’s involvement, he would have to issue new pardons every day.

Furthermore, while the president can pardon himself for criminal penalties, he cannot stop Congress from impeaching him. So any violation of the Constitution as described above could trigger his ouster from office.

Earlier this month Trump promised to hold a press conference on December 15, to address these matters. That was a week ago and he has still not rescheduled the canceled event, other than to say it could be sometime in January. He may be able to evade questions from the press about his shady financial dealings, but he can’t evade justice for long.

How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

Proposals like the one Gingrich offered only serve to inflame the class division that Trump represents. He is not a king and he is not above the law. But no should be surprised that Gingrich favors leniency for ethical violations by the rich and powerful. He himself was ousted as Speaker of the House for ethical breaches related to his book royalties

How The F*ck Can Fox News Report On Trump With These Glaring Conflicts

When Donald Trump was running for president he insisted that he knew “all the best people.” He promised that his administration would benefit from his connections in the business community. He argued that the typical government bureaucrats were failing and that fresh blood was needed. So how is that working out?

Donald Trump Fox News

To date, Trump’s appointees have been decidedly unimpressive. Almost none of them have experience in the fields for which they have been nominated. What’s more, they are firmly rooted in the same governmental swamp that he said he would drain. Politicians and billionaires are quickly filling up his cabinet and advisory slots. But there’s something even more troubling that many of his candidates have in common.

Fox News had a singular role in manufacturing the Trump candidacy. They gave him more airtime than any other candidate and broadcast his stump speeches for hours without interruption. And now they are supplying him with a roster of personnel to take prominent positions in his administration. Here are the Fox News candidates for Trump’s White House (so far). All of them have been on the Fox payroll:

  • K.T. McFarland: She has already been named as a Deputy National Security Advisor.
  • Ben Carson: He is reported to have been offered the Department of Housing and Urban Development.
  • John Bolton: He is up for Secretary of State, although he is lately being eclipsed by Mitt Romney. And you can throw Fox’s Newt Gingrich into this stew as well.
  • Sarah Palin: If you can believe it, she is in line for Secretary of the Interior.
  • Laura Ingraham: This media-hating pundit could be Trump’s next press secretary.
  • Monica Crowley: (See Laura Ingraham).
  • Mike Huckabee: This former Fox host is being considered for Commerce Secretary.
  • Scott Brown: After losing senate races twice he is now looking at the Veterans Administration.
  • Pete Hegseth: This Koch brothers cohort is also rumored for VA head.
  • Anthony Scaramucci: He is a Wall Street fund manager who is already on Trump’s Presidential Transition Team Executive Committee.
  • Eric Bolling: Currently a c co-host of The Five, he is said to be under consideration for something at Commerce.
  • Donald Trump: That’s right. Trump himself had a recurring role on Fox & Friends for years with his “Mondays With Trump” segment.

[Update: Fox correspondents Heather Nauert and Jonathan Wachtel have been hired by Trump’s State Department]
[Update II: Trump nominates Fox contributor Scott Brown to be ambassador to New Zealand]

With so many of their own personnel potentially joining the Trump administration, how can the network fairly cover him? OK, that’s a dumb question. They have never fairly covered him. But still, they would now be in the position of having to critically assess the performance of their own former employees. These are people with whom they have long standing relationships and affinity. They are also people who are likely to return to the network at some point in the future. That fact alone could impact the behavior of both Fox and their alumni. Some have already left Fox and returned when they had brief political conflicts (Carson, Gingrich, and Brown).

How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

Never fear. Fox will find a way to cope with this burden. However, that will probably be to continue their mission as Propaganda Ministry for the Republican Party. Only now Fox will be an official arm of the White House under Trump. They will be America’s Pravda serving the interests of a megalomaniac and his team of apple polishers.

Did Fox News Just Tip Donald Trump’s Hand On His VP Pick?

Media speculation about who Donald Trump will select as a running mate has been heating up in recent days. The fabled shortlist is said to have been whittled down to a handful including Chris Christie, Mike Pence, and Newt Gingrich. Trump’s camp is saying that the decision will be made this week.

Trump/Gingrich

However, Fox News may have inadvertently let the rat out of the bag. They announced that they have suspended Newt Gingrich’s employment as a Fox News contributor due to the VP talk:

“Fox News Channel has mutually agreed to suspend its contributor agreement with former Speaker of the House, Newt Gingrich effective immediately. Due to the intense media speculation about Gingrich’s potential selection as Donald Trump’s Vice Presidential candidate, we felt it best to halt his contributor role on the network to avoid all conflicts of interest that may arise.”

Of course, Gingrich has been the subject of VP conjecture for months. As far back as May 20, Donald Trump himself told Fox News that he was “absolutely” on his shortlist. If Fox was concerned about avoiding conflicts of interest they ought to have suspended Gingrich then.

The question now is: Why would Fox News move to cut Gingrich loose just a few days before Trump’s decision will be made public? Does it make any sense that Fox would allow Gingrich to appear on the network for months after being tagged as a VP prospect and then ditch him a couple of days before they know for sure?

If Gingrich is not Trump’s choice, then Fox will have suspended him for a few days for nothing. It seems far more logical to have taken this step if Fox knows that Gingrich will be Trump’s running mate and they are getting out in front of the decision so they can say they removed Gingrich from the air prior to his selection.

On the other hand, this may mean nothing more than that Fox was derelict in suspending Gingrich’s contributor status, which should have been done long ago. But there is good reason to be suspicious about the timing. Either way, we’ll probably know by the end of the week. Stay tuned.

How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

Post Primary Report: What Will Become Of Rick Santorum And Newt Gingrich?

Now that the Republican presidential primary is effectively over (sorry Ron Paul, you were always a joke, even to your own party), what will losers Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich find to while away all the free time on their hands?

Well, there will certainly be books to peddle and speaking engagements. And, of course, they can be retained as lobbyists for the one-percenters on whom their campaigns were focused. But the easiest job, because it requires no work, research, or investment, is media pundit, a role both Santorum and Gingrich played just prior to their primary candidacies.

However, the jobs that Santorum and Gingrich had at Fox News may not be waiting for them now that they are available again. Both of them have had rather uncomplimentary things to say about Fox during their campaigns:

Santorum: The media has just completely tried to shape this race. And not just the liberal media. It’s even Fox News. You know, Bill O’Reilly has refused to put me on his program. As far as he was concerned I wasn’t a worthy enough candidate to earn a spot to sit across from him and be on his program. Here you have folks supposedly in the conservative media who are saying, “You know, we’re gonna choose who are gonna win.” And then complain that the mainstream media does the same thing.

Santorum: The man has had a ten-to-one money advantage. He’s had all the organizational advantage. He has Fox News shilling for him every day — no offense, Brian, but I see it. And yet he can’t seal the deal because he just doesn’t have the goods to be able to motivate the Republican base and win this election.

Gingrich: I think FOX has been for Romney all the way through. Callista and I both believe CNN is less biased than FOX this year. We are more likely to get neutral coverage out of CNN than we are of FOX, and we’re more likely to get distortion out of FOX. That’s just a fact. […] We’re going to go to the White House Correspondents’ dinner because [Callista] wants to. And we’re actually going to go to CNN’s table, not FOX.

I wouldn’t be surprised if CNN or MSNBC signed these guys – disappointed, but not surprised. However, they may have better luck with GBTV, Glenn Beck’s Internet site. Especially Santorum whom Beck told during an interview that he wanted to kiss “in the mouth.”

[Update] Fox responds to Newt: “This is nothing other than Newt auditioning for a windfall of a gig at CNN—that’s the kind of man he is,” a spokeswoman for Fox News responded in a statement to Yahoo News. “Not to mention, he’s still bitter about the fact that we terminated his contributor contract.

Remember When Conservatives Were Against Unelected Judges And Judicial Activism?

In another brazen exercise in hypocrisy, conservatives have launched a coordinated attack on President Obama for remarks that were entirely reasonable and uncontroversial. The President was asked by a reporter how he would respond if the health care reform bill currently being debated by the Supreme Court were to be ruled unconstitutional. His response said in part…

“I’m confident that the Supreme Court will not take what would be an unprecedented, extraordinary step of overturning a law that was passed by a strong majority of a democratically elected Congress. And I’d just remind conservative commentators that for years what we’ve heard is, the biggest problem on the bench was judicial activism or a lack of judicial restraint — that an unelected group of people would somehow overturn a duly constituted and passed law. Well, this is a good example. And I’m pretty confident that this Court will recognize that and not take that step.”

This has set off a round of panic attacks in right-wing circles as knee-jerk contrarians accuse Obama of undermining the constitution, subverting democracy, and even threatening the Supreme Court. Where any objective person can find the presence of a threat in the President’s remarks is beyond incomprehensible. It’s Obama Derangement Syndrome in action. Conservatives assert that these comments were intended by the President to be a warning for the justices deliberating the case. Never mind that Obama in no way implied that there would be consequences if the justices did not arrive at a particular ruling, only that he was confidant of a favorable outcome. That’s pretty much the position taken by anyone interested in a pending judicial proceeding. And as the President said explicitly, he was just reminding conservatives of their own long-held views on judicial activism.

The Right-Wing Noise Machine has been spinning feverishly to push this issue in order to damage the President and cast him as opposed to constitutional principles. Rush Limbaugh and Karl Rove called Obama a thug. Mark Levin said that he declared war on the Court. Fox Nation currently has at least eleven articles on this subject. And Fox News has been running numerous segments including one this morning that featured three former George W. Bush staffers to assert that what Obama said was unprecedented and nothing like anything that Bush ever said (see below).

Among the complaints being hurled by the right-wing, extremist opponents of the administration is that Obama’s use of the phrase “unelected judges” amounts to a form of tyranny and is an affront to judicial independence. But it is Republicans who have been more often associated with that phrase over the years as they brandish it every time a court rules against whatever pet litigation they are pushing – especially when it concerns reproductive rights or gay marriage. For example, here are a few instances when the very people lambasting Obama today used identical language when it served their purposes:

  • Mitt Romney: Today, unelected judges cast aside the will of the people of California who voted to protect traditional marriage.
  • Mitt Romney: The ruling in Iowa today is another example of an activist court and unelected judges trying to redefine marriage and disregard the will of the people as expressed through Iowa’s Defense of Marriage Act.
  • Rick Santorum: 7M Californians had their rights stripped away by activist 9th Circuit judges.
  • Newt Gingrich: Court of Appeals overturning CA’s Prop 8 another example of an out of control judiciary. Let’s end judicial supremacy
  • Speaker John Boehner: This latest FISA proposal from House Majority leaders is dead on arrival. It would outsource critical national security decisions to unelected judges and trial lawyers.
  • Rep. Roy Blunt (R-MO): Today, the decision of unelected judges to overturn the will of the people of California on the question of same-sex marriage demonstrates the lengths that unelected judges will go to substitute their own worldview for the wisdom of the American people.
  • Sen. Jeff Sessions: This ‘Washington-knows-best’ mentality is evident in all branches of government, but is especially troublesome in the judiciary, where unelected judges have twisted the words of our Constitution to advance their own political, economic, and social agendas.
  • Rep. Tom Feeney (R-FL): I’m appalled that unelected judges have irresponsibly decided to legislate from the bench and overturn the will of the people.
  • George W. Bush: This concept of a “living Constitution” gives unelected judges wide latitude in creating new laws and policies without accountability to the people.
  • Thomas Sowell: Unelected judges can cut the voters out of the loop and decree liberal dogma as the law of the land.
  • Laura Ingraham: We don’t want to be micromanaged by some unelected judge or some unelected bureaucrat on the international or national level.
  • Gov. Rick Perry: [The American people are] fed up with unelected judges telling them when and where they can pray or observe the Ten Commandments.
  • Pat Robertson: We are under the tyranny of a nonelected oligarchy. Just think, five unelected men and women who serve for life can change the moral fabric of our nation and take away the protections which our elected legislators have wisely put in place.
  • Robert Bork: We are increasingly governed not by law or elected representatives but by an unelected, unrepresentative, unaccountable committee of lawyers applying no will but their own.
  • Sen. Orrin Hatch: A small minority and their judicial activist allies are seeking to usurp the will of the people and impose same-sex marriage on all of the states. Ultimately, the American people, not unelected judges, should decide policy on critical social issues such as this one.
  • Steve Forbes: You have judicial activism, where unelected Supreme Court justices are trying to impose a state income tax.
  • Glenn Beck: Even if you agree that the role of government is to take wealth from one to another, should it be the role of unelected judges and justices that do this?
  • Sen. John McCain: We would nominate judges of a different kind […] And the people of America – voters in both parties whose wishes and convictions are so often disregarded by unelected judges – are entitled to know what those differences are.
  • Justice Antonin Scalia: Value-laden decisions such as that should be made by an entire society … not by nine unelected judges.

If the conservatives quoted above were to be consistent, they would now be pleading with the court not to overturn the health care reform bill that was passed by super-majorities in both houses of congress. Instead, the right is aghast that a Democratic president would deign to remind them of their own principles and is clamoring for a judicial resolution. It has already been demonstrated that Republicans have no problem switching positions once Obama has agreed to them. Cap and trade and insurance mandates were both originally proposed by Republicans, but as soon as Obama announced support for the concepts the GOP reconsidered and insisted they were the socialist ideas of an aspiring dictator.

Now that one of the GOP’s favorite attack lines, judicial activism, has been usurped by the President, conservatives are crawling out of the woodwork to characterize it as an assault on the judiciary. Republicans have always defined judicial activism as the act of judges ruling against them. When judges rule in favor of the conservative position they regard it as following the constitution. So hypocrisy is not a particularly surprising development in this matter. But the degree to which it is demonstrated here may set new records for shamelessness.


Erwin Chemerinsky, Dean of the University of California Irvine Law School, wrote in his book, “The Conservative Assault on the Constitution” that…

Although there is no precise definition of judicial activism – it often seems to be a label people use for the decisions they don’t like – it seems reasonable to say that a court is activist if it overturns the actions of the democratically elected branches of government and if it overrules precedent. In fact, conservatives, including on the Supreme Court, often have labeled decisions striking down the will of popularly elected legislatures as ‘activist.'”

Activism is in the eye of the beholder, but there is no doubt that conservatives have been at the forefront of scolding courts for ruling against them. Taking that to the extreme is Newt Gingrich who recently told Bob Schieffer on Face the Nation that he advocated arresting judges to force them to defend unpopular decisions before Congressional hearings. If that isn’t a threat against the judiciary, what is?

The right has very little problem with violating the constitution when it comes to separation of powers. Just this week a conservative judge on the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals gave a Department of Justice attorney an unusual homework assignment. In a case unrelated to the one before the Supreme Court, Judge Jerry Smith wondered whether Obama was suggesting “that it is somehow inappropriate for what he termed ‘unelected’ judges to strike acts of Congress.” Then Smith ordered the attorney to produce a three page letter “stating specifically and in detail in reference to those statements what the authority is of the federal courts in this regard in terms of judicial review. That letter needs to be at least three pages single spaced.”

It is difficult to imagine on what basis this judge has assumed authority to issue such an order. It is a blatantly political and petulant demand that can only be intended to insult and embarrass the DOJ and the President, and has no bearing on the case before him. The President never said that the Supreme Court could not overturn an unconstitutional law. He just said that he didn’t believe that this law was unconstitutional and therefore, in his view, and that of many legal experts, should not be overturned. Judge Smith is a bald-faced partisan and would be more at home on Fox News than on the bench.

The question is, what will Republicans say if the Court upholds the health care reform bill? Would that be an act of judicial tyranny against the will of the people (never mind that the bill was passed by the people’s representatives in congress with super-majorities in both houses)? And how can Republicans continue to rail against Roe v. Wade as the ultimate example of an activist judiciary now that they have established that such a charge is tantamount to tyranny and regarded as a threat?

The answer, of course, is that conservatives will do what they always do: pretend that their prior assertions never existed or don’t apply. They will trudge forward with blindfolds over their eyes and plugs in their ears, unimpeded by anything they said previously, no matter how badly it contradicts what they are saying now. It’s hypocrisy at its best and the Republican way of life.