Steve Doocy can always be counted on to express slobbering praise for anything and anybody connected to right wing Republicanism. But this morning, he outdid himself in his gushing paean to conservative judicial icon, Robert Bork died earlier this week. In introducing his guest, the dean of the law school at the uber conservative Catholic AveMariaUniversity, Doocy said Bork "never made it to the Supreme Court; but his contributions to America were great." Really, Steve? What was great, however, was Steve's valiant efforts to advance the patented right wing propaganda that is a staple of the patented, propaganda pushing Fox & Friends.
Steve's guest, Bernard Dobranski, talked about how, after Bork's Supreme Court nomination was blocked, became "one of our leading commentators on culture" and authored "classic" books. He asserted that "his insights into our culture were important." Doocy twitched with glee as he cited how, when Ave Maria was setting up its (fourth tier) law school, Antonon Scalia said "hey, you need somebody big, try to get Bork and ya asked him four times and he said no,no, no until he said yes and that really made a big difference for ya." (Bork was a visiting professor). They chyron advanced the agitprop: "A Lasting Legacy, How Robert Bork Influenced the Legal Field."
Doocy continued the homage with a barely coherent rant: "The great thing about having him as a part of history, teaching the law students there at Ave Maria was, you know, he could recount things that he was actually witness to, for instance, aside from him becoming a verb and getting borked by the senate, there's a lot of misconceptions about his role with Watergate because he was part of the Saturday Night Massacre where a couple of guys got fired and people said he was a bad guy; but people actually said his intention was to do something better than simply carry out President Nixon's request." As Doocy spoke the chyron promoted the awesomeness of Bork: "Defender of the Constitution, Bork Supported a Strict Interpretation of Law."
Doocy's interpretation of events is typically confused. Attorney General Elliot Richardson resigned rather than comply with Nixon's request that he fire Special Prosecutor Archibald Cox who was being ordered, by Nixon, to stop obtaining White House tapes. Richardon's deputy, William Ruckleshaus also resigned at that time. Bork, then Solicitor General, fired Cox.
After having been tossed the pro-Bork ball, Dobranski ran with it, claiming that Bork saved the Justice Department from "going into chaos." He explained that Richardson and his deputy resigned, so "there was only Judge Bork...and he had to do something." He continued that "it's not well known" but Bork has pointed out that Elliot Richardson said "Bob, you've got to stay there because someone has to take care of this place." Steve said "true." Dobranski added that Cox was replaced with Leon Jaworski who was a good prosecutor.
As far as Bork's "great contributions" to America, Steve didn't tell us. He also didn't mention that Bork, in criticizing "Griswold," felt that the right to privacy (in this case, birth control) was not in the Constitution. He said that only political speech is protected by the Constitution. He also said that "homosexuality is obviously not an unchangeable condition like race or gender." He attacked the Warren Court (school prayer) for being liberal. He opposed Roe v Wade as an "abomination." If he had been on the Supreme Court, in 1992, when Roe was reaffirmed, he would have been the vote to bring it down. He also said that the Civil Rights Act was "unsurpassed ugliness."
So if Bork got "borked," there was a reason. I'm thinking that we should coin a new phrase for the experience one has when watching Fox & Friends - getting Doocied!
Bemused wrote: “Dork’s [sic] big mistake was being born too early, at a time when Republicans were a respectable party.”
Yes, it appears Bork was ahead of his time, so to speak — the Republican party of 1987 hadn’t yet gone full neocon or full teabagger, so while Bork’s beliefs that Civil Rights were evil, and that it should be more difficult for average people to both use the courts and to vote seemed extreme back then, they’d be hardly noticeable today . . .
You forgot a slightly more dangerous fact about Bork. The man actually believed that it should be harder for average people to use the court system.
My condolences to his family and friends. Death always leaves an empty space in the hearts of the living and I will never wish it on anybody, even my worst enemy.
How about his view on the sacred 2nd amendment:
“…Robert Bork, who in 1989 argued that the Second Amendment works “to guarantee the right of states to form militias, not for individuals to bear arms.”
ALAN K. SIMPSON, Republican of Wyoming: And now I have one final question. Why do you want to be an Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court?
BORK: Senator, I guess the answer to that is that I have spent my life in the intellectual pursuits in the law. And since I’ve been a judge, I particularly like the courtroom. I like the courtroom as an advocate and I like the courtroom as a judge. And I enjoy the give-and-take and the intellectual effort involved. It is just a life and that’s of course the Court that has the most interesting cases and issues and I think it would be an intellectual feast just to be there and to read the briefs and discuss things with counsel and discuss things with my colleagues. That’s the first answer.
The second answer is, I would like to leave a reputation as a judge who understood constitutional governance and contributed his bit to maintaining it in the ways I have described before this committee. Our constitutional structure is the most important thing this nation has and I would like to help maintain it and to be remembered for that.
Hm, an “intellectual feast.”
No talk of ensuring “equal justice under law” or righting wrongs — just indulgence in an “intellectual feast.”
Sorry, but as a US citizen, even as one who hasn’t reached the political or legal heights the late Mr. Bork had, I’m not comfortable with a prospective SCJ using the high court — the high court that I’m supposed to be able to turn to as an advocate for my rights and for a redress of wrongs — as a sort of banquet table for for his “intellectual feast.”
If Mr. Bork had simply wanted to indulge his intellectual pursuits, he had any number of avenues — academia, publishing, serving in a conservative think-tank — other than using the Supreme Court as a repository for his outdated ideology and a buffet table for his “feast.”
It’s another reason why it’s valuable to have a site like this to immediately set the record straight. You can’t just have people let that many flat-out lies go out without correcting them.
In case anyone was fooled, Bork’s behavior during Watergate only served to enable President Nixon’s desperate attempts to evade punishment. The Nixon Justice Department didn’t fall apart just because people were resigning. It fell apart because Nixon was telling them to do illegal things and they were resigning rather than taking those actions. The honorable thing for Bork to have done was to have resigned with the rest and force Nixon to either try to appoint an all new Justice Department or succumb to the inevitable. Bork’s actions only prolonged the situation, which could have ended much earlier.
The Bork confirmation hearings were notable because Bork’s record was quite clear, as Teddy Kennedy discussed. Bork didn’t back away from his record or play the games that current SC nominees regularly do. To his credit, he openly stated his beliefs. And to the Congress’ credit, he was soundly rejected as a totally inappropriate choice. (It was actually quite brazen of Reagan to name him, but then Reagan had gotten away with making Rehnquist the Chief Justice and thought this would be a great way to get another idealogue up there. Keep in mind that it was Reagan’s presidency that started the idea of conducting a “litmus test” before naming judicial appointees…)
The fact that Bork couldn’t get a job anywhere but at a lower-level right wing college founded by the head of Domino’s Pizza speaks volumes by itself. His career ended in the disgrace that he had brought upon himself.
If you are curious enough to read all my Watergate posts, here they are in one hand place: http://notnowsilly.blogspot.com/search/label/Watergate
Thanks again for the use of the hall (allowing me to plug my blog filled with Fox “News” Snark™.
With all Mayan love,
Aunty Uncle Em