From Jim Gilliam's blog archives
Staying on message... for the cause.

July 7, 2005 11:51 PM

This email went out early morning July 5th from the radical right-wing Family Research Council:

Subject: Encourage President Bush to name a CONSERVATIVE Justice

The retirement of Justice Sandra Day O'Connor from the U.S. Supreme Court presents the most important opportunity we may have for decades to stop the nation's courts from stripping away our Judeo-Christian heritage. Justice O'Connor MUST be replaced by a conservative justice who will honor the constitution and not make laws from the bench. President Bush made a campaign promise to name justices to the nation's highest court that mirror the judicial philosophy of Supreme Court conservative Justices Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas. That promise, more than perhaps any other, charged me and millions of other values voters across the land to vote for Mr. Bush.

Later that day, The New York Times reports a series of conference calls between the Republican leadership and groups like the Family Research Council had one message, articulated by Eric Ueland, Sen. Frist's chief of staff: "The extremism of language, if there is to be any, should be demonstrably on the other side. The hysteria and the foaming at the mouth ought to come from the left."

Right on queue, the very next day, the Family Research Council sent out this email:

Subject: This Is Not a (Litmus) Test

Mere days after Justice Sandra Day O'Connor announced her resignation from the Supreme Court the Democrats were threatening to impose litmus tests on any potential replacement. Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) said in an interview that "All questions are legitimate. What is your view on Roe v. Wade? What is your view on gay marriage?" Liberal Democrats, having failed at the ballot box on their issues, see the court as political players. Former ACLU attorney Ruth Bader Ginsburg had a long established liberal record; however her confirmation in 1993 to the Supreme Court took a total of only 42 days. When Justice Ginsburg was asked her view on issues that might one day reach the court, her response was: "Were I to rehearse here what I would say and how I would reason on such questions, I would act injudiciously." I think I can safely say this was one of the few times Justice Ginsburg and I agreed on something.

Now that is why they're kicking our ass.

More from the archive in Media, Politics, Propaganda.

Staying on message... for the cause. (07.07.2005)

Next Entry: It's not her name.. it's that she was a CIA agent, dufus! (07.12.2005)
Previous Entry: Rumors are flying about Rehnquist announcement tomorrow (07.07.2005)

Read the 34 comments.


You know what is amazing, until the 1950s Supreme Court Justice nomonees never appeared efore congress for "questioning". The process only started after Brown v Board of Education. The democrat controlled committee used the hearing to weed out justics that agreed the decision.

Fri Jul 8 2005 12:22 PM


Democrats do not have the will of the people behind them and cant gain power at the ballot box so they must try and control the courts. So much for democracy.

Fri Jul 8 2005 12:50 PM

Tom from Madison:

The Senate began asking nominees to appear before the Judiciary Committee only in 1925, when President Calvin Coolidge’s nomination of Harlan Fiske Stone was in jeopardy. Felix Frankfurter, a nominee of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee in 1939. Such appearances before the committee became accepted practice in 1955, when John M. Harlan testified.


Fri Jul 8 2005 2:21 PM

Tom from Madison:

I'm interested in knowing the educational background of the no name poster.

Poor sentence structure, bad spelling, and a lack of understnding of historical facts apparently are not keeping this individual from posting his / her opinions.

Generally, I'm more likely to be pursuaded by a well reasoned, clearly articulated position based on facts.

Fri Jul 8 2005 2:27 PM



It spelled understanding; not "understnding."

Yet another example of liberal hypocrisy.

Fri Jul 8 2005 3:03 PM

Tom from Madison:

Brilliant observation! ["It spelled..."?] By the way you missed my other mis-spelling of "persuaded".

...Now please explain why you got the facts WRONG and decided to post conclusions based on mis- or dis-information? That strikes me as typical neo-con LIEING!

Finally, which educators deserve credit for honing your sharp wit?

Fri Jul 8 2005 4:12 PM


So you admit you cant spell. Good.

Unfortunatly, the first no name poster isnt this no name. This no name didnt get any facts wrong. You have to talk to the other no name.
Confused? me too.

Fri Jul 8 2005 5:20 PM


"The president’s choice must face questioning by the Senate Judiciary Committee, which then makes a recommendation to the Senate as a whole. The Senate began asking nominees to appear before the Judiciary Committee only in 1925, when President Calvin Coolidge’s nomination of Harlan Fiske Stone was in jeopardy. Felix Frankfurter, a nominee of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee in 1939. Such appearances before the committee became accepted practice in 1955, when John M. Harlan testified."

Excuse the shit out of me. The practice became standard after Brown vs. Board of Education. Doesn't change the fact the Democrats used it to further their racist cause.

Mon Jul 11 2005 10:35 AM

Tom from Madison:


1) Your accusation about racism and Democrats is foolish. Republicans have excluded minorities from positions of power for decades. Democrats could do more to include racial / ethnic minorities, but the Republican record is abysmal. How many Black Republican senators are there? How many Black Republican representatives?

Do you ever wonder why so few Black people are Republicans?

2) Read some history books. Republicans provided sanctuary to Southern Racist Democrats when the Democratic party led by LBJ moved forward with the Civil Rights and Voting Rights Acts. A PERFECT EXAMPLE IS Strom Thurmond. Bottom line: Democrats led the way in eliminating [or at least reforming] racist politicians from their ranks in the South. Shame on you for suggesting otherwise.

3) Black Justice Thurgood Marshall was appointed by President Johnson in 1967. Again, this was a blow to racism. If the Democratic Party had been pro-racist, a Black activist like Marshall would never have been nominated!

What kind of revisionist history are you trying to create? Since the 1950s Southern Republicans have had a horrible record on civil rights. If they want to create a different reality now, they need to quit denying their own history and suggest what they might do differently in the future.

4) Please critique my spelling / grammar as you see fit! I'll bet you have a hard time. For extra credit, do it without using any profanity or gratuitous insults.

Mon Jul 11 2005 11:43 AM


Is that why the democrat party voted enmass to block the civil rights act of 1957? Is that why the Civil Rights Act of 1964 passed only with the bipartisan support of the Republicans? Is that why the democrats have the only KKK member in the Senate? You might need to read a few history books of your own. DUMBASS.

Mon Jul 11 2005 3:24 PM


To quote LBJ:

“I’ll have those niggers voting Democratic for the next 200 years.”

Upon the appointment of Marshall.

As for Thurmond:

Strom Thurmond was a former state legislator, circuit judge and governor. He was a decorated veteran of World War II —as a 41-year-old Army glider pilot, he landed in Normandy on D-Day. He later was a major general in the Army Reserve.

In 1971, Thurmond for the first time appointed a black professional to his Senate staff. He also began sponsoring African Americans for federal judgeships and other jobs. He was one of the first southern lawmakers to do so.

He is a great example of the type of democrats that left the party of racistto help further the cause of blacks.

Mon Jul 11 2005 3:34 PM

Tom from Madison:

Please provide a citation for your LBJ quote. I'm talking about a credible source. Also indicate to whom he was speaking and in what context.

Please answer: Why did you leave out Strom Thurmond's segrationist run for President in 1948? No matter what else the man ever did, that defines him. What if he had been successful in winning the whitehouse?

Here's a quote:
"I wanna tell you, ladies and gentlemen, that there's not enough troops in the army to force the Southern people to break down segregation and admit the nigger race into our theaters, into our swimming pools, into our homes, and into our churches."

This quote was from a 1948 campaign speech.

You also left out the child he had with a Black woman and never acknowledged. This man lived a lie for his entire political career. Had he disclosed that fact, his political career would have been over.

Do you think Strom Thurmond ever would have appointed Thurgood Marshall to any court? I don't think so.

You paint a rosy, yet very incomplete picture of Strom Thurmond. Why?

Mon Jul 11 2005 4:22 PM


This is juicy! But hardly seems a fair fight...sort of feels like watching a professional wrestler and a 4-year old go at it. But an annoying 4-year old, who you want to watch have their ass kicked.

Tue Jul 12 2005 2:40 AM

Tom from Madison:

A lot of Bush supporters, particularly southern, white fundamentalist types seem to think you can simply paint your political enemies as evil ogres. The Bushies start tripping over themselves when they have to defend the actions of their heroes.

Patience, logic, and a willingness to take the high road in political discourse seems to really get under their skin.

W's own life has received very little scrutiny. There really isn't much there for average people to relate to. Consider his "illustrious" military career! The image had to be manufactured and promoted with a series of makeovers.

...Political discourse on the right really has become like pro wrestling. Rush, Hannity, and O'Reilly insist on having a fixed fight. They always shun debate in a forum they can't control.

Tue Jul 12 2005 9:38 AM

Right Wing Robby:

Thats good Tom, Keep attacking his military record. Its a good message you just havent gotten it out yet.

Tue Jul 12 2005 10:39 AM

Mike of the Great White North:

I can remember a group of people attacking this guy called 'Kerry' about his military record and everbody seemed to think that was just fine... oh wait! That's right. it all makes sense now. It's ok to attack a military record if you actually have one. To attack a make belief record of a chickenhawk... well thats a whole other ball of wax.

Hey Top Gun,.... Mission accopmlished eh'!

Tue Jul 12 2005 11:50 AM

Tom from Madison:

Why are neo-cons getting so testy lately? Is the truth finally starting to catch up with them?

I'm suggesting that people benefit when they independently review Bush's record. Don't take Karl Rove's word for it, check the facts yourself. You might be surprised what kind of life this guy really lived.

For a President of the United States, his life has recieved remarkably little scrutiny--especially his military record. It seems the more they look at Bush in absolute terms, the worse he looks--especially when he doesn't have an opponent to "define".

I'm only suggesting that people STUDY Bush's life OBJECTIVELY and make up their own minds about who he is and what he's done. Who would have a problem with that?

Tue Jul 12 2005 1:41 PM


The elcetion is over. When you tried the say exact things you are saying now, it failed you miserably. You libs are fools.

Tue Jul 12 2005 6:20 PM

Tom from Madison:

This is not about the election. It's about the truth. The truth always matters. Bush and company lied. They must be held accountable.

The fools are those who delude themselves into believing they are righteous because they managed to win an election. History is full of examples of poliicians who managed to prevail by telling lies. Remember Richard Nixon?

The great thing about America is we don't have to accept criminal Presidents. We have an impeachment process in the constitution. Lieing America into a war is just the kind of thing the founding Fathers wanted to be able to remedy!

Wed Jul 13 2005 10:05 AM


"The great thing about America is we dont have to accept criminal presidents" oh yeah the impeachment process works, just look at Bill Clinton.

Wed Jul 13 2005 11:50 AM

Tom from Madison:


Republicans didn't have much of a case against Bill Clinton. They abused the constitution simply because they could. They had a week case against the president and ultimately lost. Unfortunately they compromised Clinton's ability to do many things, including go after terrorists.

There is a larger point to remember. The impeachment process is a good and necessary check to the power of the President. The people need to have the option to remove the president from office.

A lot of Neo-cons want to give Bush more power than they would ever give ANY Democratic president. This is wrong on several levels and represents a very short-term, power-grabbing mentality.

The founders were very wise to put their faith in institutions, not individual men. Bush's failings remind us constantly how great a concept that is.

Wed Jul 13 2005 2:19 PM


You want to talk about a liar Bill Clinton is a liar he lied under oath, he lied to the American People, he actually used the military to distract America from his problems (Monica Missiles).

He’s been disbarred he cant practice law in his home state

Talk about a miserable human being:
What did he do about the dead soldiers in Somalia – nothing
What did he do about the embassy bombings in Africa – nothing
What did he do about the USS Cole - Nothing

Wed Jul 13 2005 4:24 PM


If we do nothing they will hate us less.

Wed Jul 13 2005 6:15 PM


I forgot, one of Bill Clinton's "best" decisions giving most favored nation trading status to that beacon of human rights China.

Thu Jul 14 2005 6:58 AM

Tom from Madison:

Wow NJ,

you're losing your focus. My point was the case for removing Clinton from office wasn't made and he was being impeached for much more trivial things than Bush could be.

You're assertion that Clinton did "nothing" about terror attacks is simply a lie.

But if you really want to talk about doing nothing to prevent a terror attack, focus on what Bush did to prevent 9/11. Bush was warned repeatedly, but didn't act. Moreover the "hunt" for Osama Bin Laden seems to have fallen off the list of priorities.

Also remember, Bush refused to testify alone, under oath or while being recorded electronically for the 9/11 commission.

Haven't you ever wondered why?

Thu Jul 14 2005 12:17 PM


Please name one thing Clinton did to combat terrorism, he had OBL given to him by Yemen and refused.

Like I said he's done nothing.

Fri Jul 15 2005 7:09 AM

Tom from Madison:

Interesting that YOU bring up Bin Laden--giving big bucks and weapons to OBL and his operatives in Afghanistan helped create a HUGE part of the terror problem we have today. We helped create the organization that turned into Al Qaeda.

Reagan deserves the blame for creating this monster. Now you are trying to blame Clinton for not violating international law to apprehend him. Reagan and Bush 41 also gave WMDs to Iraq.

Republicans have a horrible record of hypocracy with Saudi Arabia, Iran, and Iraq. Cheney and company actually did business with Iran [axis of evil]. Shouldn't that disqualify HIM from serving in the US government.

Clinton did a much better job of securing the borders and keeping US sites from being attacked than Bush did. E.g. Millenium attack of the Space Needle in Seattle were prevented.

As I said before, Bush deserves blame for allowing 9/11. His cozy relationship with Saudi Arabia is a huge liability. Basically, he attacked the wrong country because his family was doing business with Saudi oil interests. We were attacked largely by Saudi hijackers on 9/11. So we respond by invading IRAQ! Where's the logic? Do you think the Bush / Bin Laden family history has ANYTHING TO DO WITH IT?

Face it, we're poorer, more isolated, and have a huge miliitary recruiting problem thanks to the eternal war on terror.

Fri Jul 15 2005 11:25 AM

Tom from Madison:

A Defense of Clinton's anti-terror record is below.


So what did Clinton do to earn praise in his anti-terrorism tactics?
There were many fronts on which Clinton fought terrorism. The first was
in policy. Clinton tripled the FBI's anti-terrorism budget. He gave
funding to other agencies and organizations to be used against al Qaeda
and other terrorist groups. He also sought tough anti-terrorism
legislation, although the bill presented to him was not as strong as he
originally wanted. Clinton had ordered the stockpiling of vaccines for
smallpox and anthrax, which became very important after 9/11. Another
law signed in by Clinton was an airport security bill. There were many
other policy changes that Clinton brought about to fight terrorism,
even though Congress fought against Clinton's anti-terrorism efforts
whenever they could.

Of course, Clinton's efforts were not all about policy. He had taken a
tough stance on fighting terrorists as well. An order to kill Usama bin
Laden had been given by Clinton to the CIA in 1996 in response to the
attacks on U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania. In addition, after the
U.S.S. Cole bombing, Clinton begun a plan to attack and destroy
terrorist training camps in Afghanistan, to which he tasked
counterterrorism expert Richard Clarke.

Clinton's anti-terrorism work had paid off. There were many spectacular
attacks avoided because of his efforts, which Clinton himself talks
about. One such thwarted plot was an attempt to kill the pope by Abu
Sayyaf, a Filipino terrorist group with suspected ties to al Qaeda. The
U.S. also foiled Project Bojinka, a plan to hijack and blow up 12 U.S.
civilian airliners in a single day. In reference to his
accomplishments, Clinton said:
"When I was president, we stopped planned attacks on the Holland
Tunnel, the Lincoln Tunnel, the Los Angeles Airport, planes flying out
of Los Angeles to the Philippines, millennium weekend bombs planned for
cities in the Northeast and the Northwest, for Jordan, and for a
Christian site in the Holy Land." There were other things Clinton did
that were more similar to what Bush has done, such as sending cruise
missles into al Qaeda training camps in Afghanistan, as well as other
attacks on Afghanistan, Sudan, and other nations that had terrorist
controlled areas. Even the financial fight against terrorism was also
well underway. Clinton had ordered $254 million of Taliban money to be
frozen. He had bin Laden money frozen as well.

This was not enough though. The Clinton administration needed to plan
for the future, which brought about the beginning of a bi-partisan
committie that eventually came up with the Hart-Rudman report.
According to the executive summary, some of the major goals were:

* "ensuring the security of the American homeland"
* "redesigning key institutions of the Executive Branch"

Fri Jul 15 2005 11:31 AM


This is how Clinton defended America during his Presidency:

Larry Johnson, formerly with the CIA and the State Department and the current CEO of the Business Exposure Reduction Group, said he believes Clinton's weak response to the terrorist attacks that occurred during his presidency paved the way for the Sept. 11 attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon.
1993 World Trade Center Bombing
On Feb. 26, 1993, a car bomb was detonated at the World Trade Center in New York City, killing six people and injuring thousands. The bomb caused extensive damage to the complex. Osama bin Laden is suspected to have been behind the attacks.
In reacting to the attack, Clinton urged calm.
"I would plead with the American people and the good people of New York to keep your courage up and go on about your lives. I would discourage the American people from overreacting to this," Clinton said.
Clinton assured Americans that he had put forth "the full, full resources of the federal law enforcement agencies - all kinds of agencies, all kinds of access to information - at the service of those who are trying to figure out who did this and why."
He also said he would implement a policy of "continued monitoring."
Clinton said the United States was "absolutely determined to oppose the cowardly cruelty of terrorists, wherever we can."
All Talk, No Action
Despite his rhetoric, Clinton made no changes in policy to prevent additional attacks, Johnson said.
"From the time President Clinton took office until May of 1995, a Presidential Decision Directive, PDD 39, sat in the National Security Council, in the In Box of one of the officials with no action taken. The significance of PDD 39 is that it was the document defining what the missions and roles were of combating terrorism," Johnson said.
"Despite what happened at the World Trade Center in 1993, the Clinton administration did not finally act on [PDD 39] until after the attack in Oklahoma City," Johnson said, referring to the 1995 attack in which an American, Timothy McVeigh, detonated a bomb outside the federal building in Oklahoma City, killing 168 people.
"The only reason for that is because in the two weeks prior to Oklahoma City, the front page of both Newsweek and Time Magazine carried the question: 'Is President Clinton Relevant?'"

NO other American President in eighty years has faced as benign an international environment as greeted Bill Clinton, and he has made the least of it. The collapse of the Soviet Union left the United States as sole superpower -- meaning among other things that no other power or coalition could make war on us with any hope of success -- and so we enjoy a margin of security that can withstand mediocre conduct of policy by our national leaders. But if, say, ten or fifteen years from now, we face a more perilous world, we may look back to the Clinton years as a time of wasted opportunities to build a more secure peace.

Clinton has been cavalier about maintaining our military strength and our credibility, heedless about maintaining principles of international order, and weak in his response to the threats posed by terrorism and nuclear proliferation. In addition, his record has been lackluster in preserving and strengthening key alliances and in working to forestall the emergence of future great-power rivals.

Fri Jul 15 2005 3:48 PM


More on Slick Willy

- as a president preoccupied with domestic issues in a decade when few deemed terrorism a top priority - or judged harshly with benefit of hindsight - as a weak commander-in-chief who allowed a lethal enemy to spin a global web.

The Clinton camp, concerned about his place in history, contend that he recognized the threat of al-Qaeda by 1995; that, after several deadly overseas bombings, he signed executive orders targeting Osama bin Laden and doubled the counterterrorism budget; that many plots were foiled behind the scenes; and that his moves were often hampered by faulty intelligence.

But conservative activists have already begun a fund-raising campaign blaming "Clinton and the liberals" for the terrorist attack. And many experts, even some sympathetic to Clinton, believe that future historians, fairly or not, will assess him through the prism of Sept. 11.

Loch Johnson, a national security analyst who served on a Clinton-appointed intelligence commission in 1995 and 1996, said recently: "It's too simplistic to lay the blame on his doorstep, but I regret that more attention wasn't paid at the highest levels" to terrorism, and to foreign policy in general.

As a result, "Clinton's legacy will have to drop a few notches. His priorities were out of balance. There was too much focus on the domestic side."

Robert Kaufman, a political biographer, said: "The wide belief that 'Clinton did a pretty good job despite his shortcomings' will have to be rethought in light of Sept. 11. It's clear his administration was slow to grasp the fact that we were never in an era of perpetual peace."

Some argue, however, that these attacks constitute a new form of Clinton-bashing.

Political analyst Stephen Hess, who worked for Republican Presidents Dwight Eisenhower and Richard Nixon, asked: "How much hindsight should be allowed here? Looking back, it's clear Clinton was remiss. But would [George W.] Bush or anyone else have done better? At the time, Clinton had a lot of things on his platter and he didn't have a crystal ball."

But that may not save him from the judgment of scholars.

Presidential historian Allan Lichtman said: "Sept. 11 will shape our questions about the past. It's unfair that historians of Clinton will know about an event that he couldn't have foreseen, but that's always the way history works. We judge the past based on contemporary views. Today we fault Thomas Jefferson for having slaves."

So the retrospective indictment looks like this:

Clinton cared too little about foreign policy, and never met with his first CIA chief, James Woolsey; he was distracted by personal scandal at a time (1998) when bin Laden was making strides; he lacked the guts to use sustained military muscle; he didn't oppose the Taliban's efforts to seize power in Afghanistan; he spurned Sudan when that nation offered to hand over bin Laden in 1996.

In general, said Fred Greenstein, author of eight books on the presidency, "Clinton's White House was disorganized and chaotic. It was like a kids' soccer game without rules. It was a presidency of loose ends. So there was very little chance he'd systematically address any problem - including terrorism."

Fri Jul 15 2005 3:58 PM

Tom from Madison:


This "disorganized" comment is precious. Bush simply eliminates all dissent in his presence--very orderly. Wise people listen to those who disagree. Fools only hear yes-men.

No matter what you think of Clinton, you're re-hashing old news. Bush himself has become the problem now. He started an unjustifiable war and created exactly the holy war Bin Laden wanted. Worse, he did it by LIEING hs a$$ off.

Why don't you discuss address Bush's responsibility in allowing 9/11 to happen and his continued refusal to hold Saudi Arabia accountable for the terrorism that was started in their country.

Also, respond to his family business doings with the Saudi Royals.

What possible justification is there for our government officials to profit from Saudi oil revenues given all that has happened?

Fri Jul 15 2005 4:07 PM



Put another one up on the big board, John Roberts Jr. is a great pick.

Congrats, Good Luck, God Speed!

Wed Jul 20 2005 7:39 AM

Tom from Madison:

Roberts came down to Florida in 2000 during the recount to offer Jeb Bush advice as to how to get his bro' through the recount.

He is now paid for his efforts with a Supreme Court appointment. Any ethical issues there?

Fri Jul 22 2005 12:33 PM

[email protected]:

Fabulous site.

Sun Apr 23 2006 12:48 PM

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