Cripes! I had no idea that Ed Meese was still operating in DC! Talk about holdovers...but Barb found out. And Leif isn't too happy thinking about what's coming either. But these two writer friends don't hesitate to talk about what they've learned. Here they are:
"There is little confidence experienced when anyone is trying desperately not to be the one to blow over the house of cards. I recently observed a "contest" between a student and a professor on that game where each one, in turn, has to remove a block of wood from a stack until the stack falls down. I had no sense of confidence in either of them. All I experienced was a feeling of relief when one removed a piece of wood and the structure didn't fall down. And I sort-of held my breath as each one worked through his/her turn. That is what we're experiencing here with this bunch of very dangerous people in and around the oval office. There are two more years left, and there aren't very many pieces holding up the structure. Every speech is a minefield, and every ending is a sense of relief on the part of the speaker that (s)he wasn't the one on whose moment the whole thing came crashing down.
"And now the decider-in-chief has pulled out one of the most desperate moves so far -- the defense of marriage amendment to the Constitution. Certainly it hasn't a snowball's chance in hell of passing, but it can turn people's attention from the wavering house of cards. He's managed to get people's attention focused on two irrelevancies -- marriage and immigration. No way those two can sustain two whole years. So what's to do? He needs a new war. I hope no one in Iran miscalculates this guy's desperation."
And now, Barb:
"Hey, guys, if you want to read a truly scary book (and I wish everyone who's not on the far right would read it), find "Contempt: How the Right is Wronging American Justice," by Catherine Crier. She's not a far left liberal - she's the Court TV gal, a Republican who was the youngest judge ever elected in Texas. In addition to its political discussion, it has a great section on how the courts are/were set up, how they're supposed to work, etc.
"An example of why I call it scary: there are powerful people in DC, including both elected (Frist) and non-elected (Edwin Meese), who are looking for ways to make the courts theirs, the far right's. One idea: since the courts, except for the Supreme Court, were set up by Congress, per the Constitution, then Congress can also just wipe them out if they don't behave, either by outright abolishing some or all of them or by cutting off funds. Saves the bother of impeaching a particular judge. They want to go back to pre-1937 laws, ie before the institution of laws and rulings that protect the average American. They also want the rule of god to trump the rule of law and the Constitution (that one I'd heard, the others I hadn't).
I happened to find it at the library, but it was just published last fall, so it may still be in bookstores. If not, it's available from it's publisher Rugged Land (www.ruggedland.com). Or you might also be able to find it at your local library."