April 30, 2011

Andrew Sullivan vs. HRC re. King & Spalding

Andrew Sullivan insists upon ignoring one salient fact about the so-called bullying tactics of HRC towards King & Spalding: the attorney's client is the Federal Government. An attorney that represents the Government is acting as a Government official whether they are a Government employee or a paid contractor. Is Mr. Sullivan actually saying that Government officials should not be held accountable for their impact on public policy?

When a principled lawyer defends a guilty client, he is not through his defense saying that his client's actions were acceptable. He is rather ensuring that his client interests are protected from excessive punishment or any other unjustness in the process. In short, the lawyer is defending the person -- not the action. For this reason, it is a good thing for lawyers to represent the perpetrators of even the most heinous crimes and they should not suffer for it. 

However, when a lawyer is defending the constitutionality of a law on behalf of the Government (not on behalf of some other party), the lawyer is by necessity defending the action (i.e. the law) not the person (i.e. the Government). Indeed, the lawyer is defending the law as matter of public policy. For this reason, I believe that a lawyer defending the constitutionality of an odious law does deserve scorn (and the resulting loss of reputation and business) for that defense. 

April 29, 2011

No Defense for DOMA

Ruth Marcus and the Washington Post Editorial Board evidently insist that all laws, no matter how repugnant (e.g., DOMA), deserve their day in court and a vigorous defense. (I believe this principle applies to people, but not to laws.) How far would they take this? Is there no conceivable law so repugnant that they would actually condemn its legal defense team? Not even one allowing slavery or forced abortions?

April 27, 2011

Simple and Beautiful Logic

Aah, the beautiful logic of it all: Trump is awesome for having forced the issue. Obama is nefarious for having responded. Now, I understand. The logic is so clean and clear! Why didn't I see it before? Conservative = always good and always right. Liberal = always bad and always wrong.

Trump Dogs Obama

Trump takes credit for having gotten Obama to release his long-form birth certificate. The right can't have it both ways -- either Obama was correct to release the birth certificate, or he was not. What's profoundly two-faced is to dog Obama with ridiculous rumors and then criticize him for addressing them. Trump is correct: he himself is responsible for having made this a front-burner issue -- and voters should hold him accountable for that.

Now Trump is moving on to whether Obama really earned his acceptance into Columbia and Harvard. The new mantra is "Release the Grades!" (BTW, Obama graduated magna cum laude.) In the name of all that is holy, please let us hold the Trumps of the world accountable for these distractions and stop blaming the victims of baseless smear campaigns.

April 22, 2011

Ayn Rand Would Be Proud

Source: Wikipedia
The situation in Connecticut, where a homeless woman was arrested and charged with grand larceny for sending her child to a kindergarten in another city, pretty much epitomizes the meanness of our society. I think the lack of compassion here would have put a smile on Ayn Rand's lips.


The latest rumor about Obama is that he's actually a pirate...

April 05, 2011

Cheering for Disaster

For anyone still willing to give the Tea Party the benefit of the doubt and believe that they are small-government advocates and not anti-government advocates, I give you the following quote from an article in the Washington Post:
House Republicans huddled late Monday and, according to a GOP aide, gave the speaker an ovation when he informed them that he was advising the House Administration Committee to begin preparing for a possible shutdown.
Does one cheer for something he wishes didn't have to happen?

April 01, 2011

Beyond Belief

Every time I think I can't be surprised by the stupidity of politicians, I'm surprised again. Why oh why does Eric Cantor, the Majority Leader of the House of Representatives, think that the House can make a law all by itself? There is absolutely no Constitutional mechanism by which that can happen. Any eighth-grader can tell him that. If this is his silver bullet to get a budget passed, someone should tell him he's shooting blanks. What next? Will he be spinning straw into gold to solve our budget problems?