Monday, October 23, 2006

No Joy in Mudville

I have a book filled with nothing but different versions of this baseball poem, and it's used as the title here for the simple reason that it makes about as much sense as many other things that are written about American politics every single day. Who the Casey is who struck out (in the poem) is up to you to decide. But I want to use this feeble and long-winded device to make the point that in some ways America has already struck out, despite its evident military superiority, in Iraq, and that the Democrats struck out when Alito became a Supreme:

WASHINGTON - The Senate all but guaranteed Samuel Alito's confirmation as the nation's 110th Supreme Court justice Monday, shutting down a last-minute attempt by liberals to block the conservative judge's nomination with a filibuster.

Republican and Democratic senators on a 72-25 vote agreed to end their debate, setting up a Tuesday morning vote on his confirmation to replace retiring moderate Justice Sandra Day O'Connor.

With at least 57 votes committed to Alito — 53 Republicans and four Democrats — approval by majority vote in the 100-member Senate is now seemingly assured.

Add the fairly young and hale Roberts to the bullpen and what kind of a game are we going to get for the next generation or two in the legal baseball? A game in which women and blacks are going to be called out at every base, a game in which corporations will hit home runs and there is no further umpire to complain to that they didn't actually manage to make a hit at all, or a game in which the Christian fundamentalist god is going to work as the ultimate umpire.

"Activist" judges are going to get quite a new definition in this team of Supremes. It will refer to people who wish to take us back to the time before there even was a United States of America in terms of a lot of human rights and to the time of the robber barons in terms of the person rights of corporations.

I don't think that this is overly cynical. In some ways the progressives have already lost the most important battles of all, over the Supreme Court appointments. It's hard to get excited over them, as there is nary a breast in sight, and it's hard to see why it might matter who wears those black dressing-gowns. But that's who adjusts the blueprints of our lives, who decides if we can get compensated for a wrong done against us, who decides if we can sue a vast corporation and have any kind of fair chance of winning. If we can have habeas corpus over our own bodies or if it's perfectly legal for us to just disappear one lonely and windy night, never to be seen again.

So I think the Democrats struck out badly. And I have no joy right now, whatever might happen in the midterm elections.
Thanks to Woody Guthrie's Guitarron for the link. He blogs here. This post is an exercize in writing politics as sports. Let's see if it makes me look good...