Wednesday, March 22, 2017

"Folksy Sycophant" Neil Gorsuch (UPDATED)

Credit where due:  Dana Milbank, among others, noted the demeanor of neo- fascist judge- basher Donald "Rump" Trump's Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch during yesterday's hearing.  It reminded him of someone:
The nomination of Neil Gorsuch presents the Senate with a constitutional dilemma: Is this nation prepared to have Eddie Haskell serving a lifetime appointment on the Supreme Court? 
The most noteworthy thing to emerge from Gorsuch’s testimony Tuesday before the Senate Judiciary Committee wasn’t his judicial philosophy (conservative), his credentials (considerable) nor even the likelihood of confirmation (virtually certain). What stood out was his aw-shucks, good-golly manner: Gorsuch played a folksy sycophant straight out of the 1950s. 
No fewer than eight times he punctuated his testimony with “Leave It to Beaver” exclamations of “goodness” — “goodness, no!” “oh, my goodness!” — and, though only 49 years old, spoke in archaic phrases: “since I was a tot,” “a fair and square deal,” “doesn’t give a whit.”  (our emphasis)
"Eddie Haskell," for anyone not familiar, was a teenage character in the '50s-'60s television series "Leave It To Beaver," who's seen as the "archetype for insincere sycophants."

If it's possible to be a sycophant and condescending at the same time, that was Gorsuch yesterday. But more important than his oleaginous persona is his obnoxious, far- right judicial philosophy, said to mirror that of the late, unlamented Antonin Scalia. He certainly has the patter of the movement conservative down (our emphasis):
In a 2005 article published by National Review, Gorsuch argued that "American liberals have become addicted to the courtroom, relying on judges and lawyers rather than elected leaders and the ballot box, as the primary means of effecting their social agenda" and that they are "failing to reach out and persuade the public". Gorsuch wrote that, in doing so, American liberals are circumventing the democratic process on issues like gay marriage, school vouchers, and assisted suicide, and this has led to a compromised judiciary, which is no longer independent. Gorsuch wrote that American liberals' "overweening addiction" to using the courts for social debate is "bad for the nation and bad for the judiciary".
This is the insincere sycophant who, in the hearing yesterday, was bemoaning a politicized judiciary - selectively ignoring why he was sitting in the hearing room yesterday =cough= Merrick Garland =cough=, and eliding his long history of right- wing conservative writing and activism. Apparently, a politicized judiciary is golly- gee super when it's a right- wing politicized judiciary, but not when it's a liberal one.

Make no mistake, if this Eddie Haskell is confirmed he'll be just as viciously reactionary as was Scalia. And he's just 49 years old.

UPDATE:  The Supreme Court just unanimously rejected the premise of an opinion Gorsuch wrote on a case involving the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, in which he took a cramped, narrow view of the responsibility of school districts toward disabled students (surprise surprise).

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