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Lady Liberty

Give me your tired, your poor,
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The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed, to me
I lift my lamp beside the golden door.


Tuesday, October 12, 2004

As if the voice isn't grating enough, there are opinions that go with it
posted by Tom

My vision of hell is a variation on Sartre's: Instead of being locked in a drawing room with obnoxious people and unable to close my eyes, I'm locked in an otherwise empty classroom with Susan Estrich, listening to her read aloud and verbatim every opinion handed down by the Supreme Court (or every issue of Ms. magazine from cover to cover, or everything Maureen Dowd has ever written) and unable to cover my ears.

Sue is a uniquely qualified political analyst/commentator. How so? Well, take a gander at these credentials:

After serving as a law clerk for Judge J. Skelly Wright on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia and Justice John Paul Stevens on the Supreme Court, Estrich had her first taste of politics as Deputy National Issues Director with the Kennedy for President campaign in 1979.
Flush with success from that endeavor ("Don't worry, Senator Kennedy, no one will remember Chappaquiddick"), in 1981 Estrich:

began teaching at Harvard Law School, and by 1986, she had received tenure. Her professorial duties did not limit her involvement in political campaigning, however, as she was named executive director for the Democratic National Platform Committee in 1984 and worked as a senior policy adviser to the Mondale-Ferraro presidential campaign.
After advising Mondale to 1.) choose Ferraro as a running mate without first checking her husband's tax returns and past business associations; and 2.) proudly admit he would raise taxes in his debate with Reagan, the sky was the limit for the politically astute Ms. Estrich, who then

... performed some private legal practice, serving as a counsel for the firm of Tuttle & Taylor in Los Angeles from 1986 to 1987. The call of national politics was too strong for her to stay out of the fray for long, however, leading her to accept the job with the Dukakis campaign in October of 1987.

The rest, as Ms. Estrich would say, is history. Or perhaps a joke is more accurate. Except in the case of history, if you believe all of the moral philosophers, there's a punchline. But, seriously, ladies and germs, have you ever encountered such stellar political accomplishments in one individual that would compel not only a presidential campaign to take her on as an advisor, but publishers and broadcast executives to pay for her political commentary.

Imagine, if you will, an analogous resume for the following position:

Chief of Operations, Military Intelligence
Developed the early warning system used at Pear Harbor, 1941
Prepared Flight plan for Gary Francis Powers' U-2 flight, 1960
Author, white paper to Joints Chiefs of Staff, "Why Vietnamese Military Does Not Attack on Holidays", 1967
Sometimes, though, you have to wonder if the current MI powers that be don't in fact possess similar qualifications.

Be that as it may, Estrich's most recent column, A Picture is Worth a Thousand Lies, is another shining example of why the three strikes and you're out rule should extend beyond baseball and criminal law into the realm of political commentary.

She, like most of her fellow travelers in triteness, was so upset over the shellacking John Edwards underwent at the hands of Dick Cheney last Tuesday night, particularly when Cheney reminded Edwards, voters, and Estrich that the ambulance chasing Senator's attendance record in only one term is worse than that of a fourteen year old freshman in a Detroit public school, she latched onto Cheney's throwaway line at the end of the scathing indictment

that he had never met John Edwards before he came on the stage to debate him. Unfortunately for him, there was that pesky picture of the two of them at a prayer breakfast, of all things, not to mention all those tie-breaking votes Cheney cast on tax cuts for the wealthy, prescription drugs and aid to workers hurt by trade, where Edwards voted one way and Cheney the other.
Unfortunatlely for Estrich and her list of kneejerk liberal talking points, those are obviously the only three votes Edwards was present for, since it's this pesky reality she can't refute:

And Senator, frankly, you have a record in the Senate that's not very distinguished. You've missed 33 out of 36 meetings in the Judiciary Committee, almost 70 percent of the meetings of the Intelligence Committee.

You've missed a lot of key votes: on tax policy, on energy, on Medicare reform.

Your hometown newspaper has taken to calling you "Senator Gone." You've got one of the worst attendance records in the United States Senate.
Ouch.

But Estrich then makes the brilliant observation the "attack on Edwards' Senate attendance record was clearly planned." Wow! It's insights like those that landed her choice spots on all of those Democratic campaigns, I'm sure. I wonder what tipped her off to the fact Cheney's lines were "rehearsed" (as if "rehearsed" truth is any less truthful). Was it the fact it came on the heels of a planned Edwards attack on Cheney's past association with Halliburton? Or perhaps it was Cheney postponing an answer to a subsequent question on Israel in order to respond to Edwards' planned attack on his past association with Halliburton and not let the attempted smear go unchallenged?

If you knew nothing of Susan Estrich apart from that voice that makes nails scraping a blackboard sound like a Beethoven sonata, the obsession with Cheney's "lie" about never having met Edwards before the debate in order to deflect from the Senator's chronic absenteeism would immediately tip you off that she was a lawyer. Recall for a moment the defense mounted on OJ Simpson's behalf when everyone with an IQ above room temperature realized from all of the evidence he was guilty: It was discovered that Mark Furman had used the word "nigger" in an interview after he told the court he had never used the word.

Back in '94 when the non-brain dead watched that joke of a trial on Court TV, we were smart enough not to give ourselves a headache and accepted the fact one had to go to law school (or be a Black juror in California) to develop the causal connection between Furman's "lie" and OJ's innocence. Likewise with Estrich's silly attempt to defy common sense. Only a lawyer does that. And a five year old holding the crayon when confronted with the accusation that he marked up the walls: "No, I didn't. Suzie did it then put the crayon in my hand and ran away."

Estrich is mortified that no one verified Cheney's statement before airtime, something she did on the successful campaigns she was associated with:

Didn't anyone say to Cheney in rehearsal, are you sure you didn't meet him? Didn't anyone look it up? I remember asking Lloyd Bentsen in rehearsal if he really was a friend of Jack Kennedy's, and how I could prove it if anyone asked. "B.A. (his wife) and I went to their wedding," he responded. "Is that good enough?" It was certainly good enough for me. "Then I'm going to say something if he brings up Jack Kennedy," he said. The rest is history.
Indeed it is, Susan. Senator Polident managed to get a laugh out of a partisan crowd and praise the next day from partisan media. Bush/Quayle won in a landslide, which is a testimony to your utter incompetence as a Dukakis/Bentsen campaign lackey. You fretted over such inconsequential and irrelevant minutae as to whether Bentsen could "back up" such a silly throwaway line while totally ignoring the fact the ticket's moronic liberal ideology was taking it down the tubes.

And again, only a lawyer would think two politicians were bosom buddies based on the fact one was merely invited to the other's wedding.

But evidence that the Democratic party's most faithful dingbat has gone off the deep end is when she says

Some lies ... are bigger than others. Was there a connection between Sept. 11 and Saddam Hussein? The true answer, from the CIA, the secretary of state and the 9-11 Commission, is a clear and unequivocal NO. On Tuesday night, Dick Cheney said that he had never suggested otherwise. Come again? How dumb does he think we are? Within the same debate, he contradicted himself.

Note there is no pre-debate quote where Cheney allegedly stated a connection, direct or otherwise, between Saddam and September 11th, and that the absence of such explains why she cannot provide a quote from the debate where he contradicts himself on his denial.

Now, the lawyer trick Estrich pulls here is to change the liberal charge from Cheney said there was a connection between Saddam Hussein and 9/11, which is unprovable, as we shall see momentarily, to Cheney "suggested" there was a connection. Any mention of terrorism and Hussein, al Quaeda and Hussien, or even 9/11 and Hussein, not in the same sentence, but over the course of an entire interview, can and will be interpreted by liberals as a "suggestion" that Hussien was connected to 9/11.

But to paraphrase Estrich, how dumb does she think we are? We all know there is only one statement of Cheney's the liberal media wanks have latched onto as his contention such a link existed:

If we're successful in Iraq, if we can stand up a good representative government in Iraq, that secures the region so that it never again becomes a threat to its neighbors or to the United States, so it's not pursuing weapons of mass destruction, so that it's not a safe haven for terrorists, now we will have struck a major blow right at the heart of the base, if you will, the geographic base of the terrorists who have had us under assault now for many years, but most especially on 9/11.
The problem libs have when they attempt to use this against Cheney is that terrorists have in fact had us under assault for many years, culminating with the 9-11 attacks, and the Middle East/Persian Gulf region has been the geographic base of the terrorists (with names like Mohammed, Mohammar, and Malik, the geographic base sure as shit ain't Sweden). What Cheney is saying here is that he considered Saddam Hussein's Iraq "the heart" of that Middle Eastern base. So, one could argue with the Vice President whether Iraq as opposed to Iran or Syria is the "heart" of the terrorists' geographic base, but there's no connection drawn in that statement between Saddam and 9/11. Something Estrich knows full well, as reflected in her total reluctance to repeat the quote in her column.

Estrich's clown act continues:

Remember how the Republicans used to make fun of Bill Clinton's parsing of the word "is"? That was just about sex and a blue dress. This is about war, about manipulating the CIA and destroying its credibility.
Up until now, it's been amusing that liberals have not only nominated for President a Viet Nam veteran who is proud of his service in that "immoral conflict", but defend that service when it's attacked. With this latest statement, conservatives will probably laugh so hard that they will soil their skivvies. A liberal Democrat fretting over the CIA's credibility? The same CIA they believe brought us the Viet Nam War, waged "dirty" campaigns in El Salvador and Nicaragua, that has been the bogeyman of their paranoid nightmares for going on 40 years, is - Oh, my God! - being abused by a Republican administration?

But it gets better. Estrich isn't only losing sleep over the damage to the agency's creditbility:

Reporter friends of mine tell me they are hearing from classmates whom they haven't talked to in 10, 20, even 30 years. It's not about electing John Kerry or defeating George Bush. It's about protecting the integrity of an agency that has been manipulated and scapegoated by this administration.
Yes, friends, you did just see the words "integrity" and "CIA" linked in a sentence written by an anti-war, liberal democratic political hack who has campaigned for and/or supported like minded left wing candidates and presidents devoted to gutting the CIA's budget and emasculating its intelligence gathering capabilities. Henceforth you cannot be blamed when upon hearing the name Susan Estrich, the phrase "unprincipled political whore" immediately pops into your mind.

A picture of Cheney at a prayer breakfast attended by John Edwards isn't worth a tenth as many lies as a Susan Estrich column.

posted by Tom | 10/12/2004 07:46:00 AM
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