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-- Donald H. Rumsfeld, U.S. Defense Secretary, September 10, 2001.


Useful Lies: Part 1
Posted Apr 11, 2005 | Link

The "Liberal Media" is out of control!
There is no "Liberal Media" as implied by the epithet above. This canard was invented more than a decade ago by those who both hate and fear the news media's ability to get to the bottom of a story and report the facts. If you think about it, who would fear such visibility? The answer is as obvious as it is non-partisan: politicians and businessman who care little about the public.

These frauds, cheats, and criminals rightly figured that the only way to stop an institution that was as large and powerful as the national news media was to publicly accuse it of being something undesirable and then force it into a debilitating defensive posture. Of course, the term "liberal" was hardly an insult back then, so media pundits-for-hire like Rush Limbaugh were called in for some lexical sleigh-of-hand. They spent years aggressively demonizing anyone who opposed their paymasters' plans while labeling their verbal victims as "liberals."

By the mid- to late-1990s, this strategy was clearly working. News organizations big and small became demonstrably afraid to challenge any sort of conservative, religious, Republican, or ideologically non-liberal story for fear that they would be branded a "liberal." The true irony here lies in the fact that a "liberal" used to mean someone that favored individual freedom and a "free market" economy--something that most Republicans and Libertarians currently claim to support.

The conscious duplicity involved in this plan is an indicator of the non-partisan nature of the scam. By subverting the meaning of the word "liberal," the proponents of the "liberal media" charade have successfully run the truth-seekers out of most news organizations and into the blogging wilderness. People of every political persuasion should mourn this loss.

We must stop those activist judges!
No matter what area of the United States you live in, judges do not make laws--they simply interpret them. Every state, as well as our federal government, has the ability to make new laws and amend their constitutions as necessary. For years, this system served us well except in one crucial aspect: the conservative element of society--not the good one, but the one that fought every social advancement (e.g., Social Security, The Voting Rights Act, The Civil Rights Act, etc.) tooth and nail--felt poorly served by the long-term judicial interpretation of our Constitution. To them, the "good old days" meant the days of comfort when women and colored folks (and heck, even children) knew their place and never dared challenge authority.

Fast forward to the present day and you can just imagine their not-so-silent torment. Television shows with gay characters, biracial couples walking the streets, children listening to rap music. It must be like hell on Earth to these people. Again, like the liberal ruse above, the radical conservatives--many of whom are unfortunately wealthy--decided to concoct a little fairy-tale. Changing the laws directly wasn't going to work, since most Americans have some degree of common sense. Thus, the only course of action became attacking our judiciary using a variation on the "liberal" theme. The next worst adjective they could think of was "activist."

Just imagine how beautifully this image plays to the ill-informed voter. The term "activist" conjures up all sorts of twisted metaphors like the tree-hugging hippie or neologisms like the bra-burning Feminazi. The problem is that judges haven't significantly drifted from any sort of norm since World War II. Sure, there are individual bad apples; and judges do tend to reflect the generations they are a part of. However, no evidence to date suggests that we are facing any sort of epidemic of radical judges bent on shaping our country through the power of their iron gavels.

The next time you hear about activist judges and the damage (typically, "liberal" damage) they are inflicting on our country, just remember that Republicans have been in the position to appoint judges for 7 out of the last 10 administrations (including this one) and that 7 out of 9 Supreme Court justices were appointed by Republican presidents. Also consider that the current administration is doing everything in its power to quash the filibuster rules that have provided one of the few checks in the judicial nomination process. This is perhaps the only real example we have of "judicial activism" and it's certainly a bad one.

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