Thursday, February 5, 2009

The Republican Fringe Party Applying Religious Test to Justice Department Appointees

When you’re backed into a corner like an angry dog, in this case a failed Republican Party, a dog will be forced to brutally fight back for dear life right or wrong. That’s what we’re seeing now, as senators apply a religious test to Justice Department appointees. What were glaring attempts to roll back first amendment rights over pornography or injecting government into the tragically exploited story of Terry Schiavo, these Republican mistakes are now being portrayed as moral high points to bash and smear Obama Justice Department picks. Have they no decency?
AP reports:

Republican senators challenged President Barack Obama's pick for the No. 2 position at the Justice Department, echoing concerns raised by Christian conservatives about his past legal arguments on pornography and abortion. Christian conservatives are challenging David Ogden, nominated to be the deputy attorney general, and others Obama has nominated for top positions at the Justice Department, contending that their past positions taint their resumes.

"You've taken some very extraordinary positions, some left-leaning and unorthodox positions," Sen. Jon Kyl, R-Ariz. told Ogden, citing the lawyer's past work opposing some anti-pornography statutes and mandatory parental notification for teenage girls getting abortions. While a private attorney, Ogden argued on behalf of Playboy and librarians fighting congressionally mandated Internet filtering software.

Good for him. In this case, Kyl is portraying “left-leaning” as something abhorrent. “Unorthodox.” Not to subtle is it, but a typical “right wing” tactic.” We also have Patrick Trueman, a former Justice Department official during the first Bush presidency, who betrays his radical conservative leanings with this comment: "Ogden has been an activist in support of a right to pornography, a right of abortion and the rights of homosexuals."

Yeah, right. Both issues trampled on individuals first amendment rights. But that doesn’t concern those who know what’s best for all of us. You won’t believe this next comment:

“… many on the religious right are saying they have promoted far left, pro-abortion, pro-gay policies.

Besides Ogden, conservatives also have taken aim at two other Justice picks - Indiana University professor Dawn Johnsen for her association with an abortion rights group, and Thomas Perrelli, who represented the husband of Terry Schiavo, the brain-damaged woman at the center of a right-to-die case that energized evangelical groups across the country.

And as we all know by now, the Terry Schiavo case was handled “so well” by the zealot conservative Republicans in Congress, backed up by a special trip into Washington by President Bush. So I don’t go on forever about how crazy these people are, I will let the following comment be the final word.

Michael Greenberger, a law professor at the University of Maryland and a past colleague of the three during the Clinton administration, said the criticism of the trio is unusual and unwarranted. "Usually, you may have a fight over who the attorney general is, but this is not par for the course, picking off next to the attorney general three of his top appointments,"

Greenberger said. "This is harassment and it is an attempt to reverse the election."

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