Home Store In Memoriam Deborah Newsletter Forum Topics Blogfeed Blogroll Facebook MySpace Contact Us About

Napolitano: Should Gonzales Be Quizzed about His "Torture Memos"?

Reported by Marie Therese - January 4, 2005

On yesterday's Big Story with John Gibson, substitute host Judge Andrew Napolitano interviewed Democratic strategist Richard Aborn and conservative pundit Ann Coulter. The trio discussed a variety of topics, including the conservative wish list - passing a flat tax, privatizing social security and overturning Roe v. Wade. Aborn was the usual go-along-get-along Democratic strategist. I swear FOX has a secret lab hidden in the bowels of its New York HQ where a team of mad scientists hatch thousands of these nice, polite, bland Democrats. They come and go with incredible speed. Coulter, of course, is a different story.

As I watched the interactions and the body language of the two men with the attractive blonde seated between them, I realized that Coulter - whose latest book cover shows her looking luscious in leather - doesn't need to sound intelligent. She simply disarms her male opponents in the age-old way. At one point Napolitano repeatedly asked her to stop talking and let Aborn speak. She blathered blithely on, ratcheting up the volume, secure in the knowledge that on a hormonal level she had these guys right where she wanted them - completely oblivious to the fact that her Size Zero body houses a Size Zero brain!

Ah, but I digress.

Generally the discussion rehashed a lot of the FOX News political spin, i.e., Bush will attempt to pack the court and Democrats - unable to withstand the assault - will continue their ignoble descent into the nether pits of irrelevancy. At the beginning of the segment Democrat Aborn summed it up: "I don't know [if] the Democrats will speak with one voice - and I say that with regret. It is time for them to get their voice together, to have one voice, but I don't see that emerging yet." Later, he actually said to Napolitano and Coulter "It really is Christmastime, huh?"

To me the most intriguing interchange occurred around the subject of the Thursday's Senate confirmation hearings for Attorney-General nominee Alberto Gonzales. Note how, at the beginning of this next question, Napolitano starts to identify with the Republicans, realizes his error, and quickly changes the POV.

NAPOLITANO: We have - the Republicans have - 55 votes, 56 depending on how you count Jeffords - to 44 or 45 in the Senate. Are the Democrats going to resist judicial appointees who [sic] they deem to be too conservative, to the frustration of the President, the majority in the Senate and the American people who want these judges to fill these jobs?

ABORN: It completely depends on who the President submits to the Senate for ratification.

NAPOLITANO (forcefully, driving his point home): He's gonna send them the same names that they rejected last time.

ABORN: Maybe yes. Maybe no. Keep your eye on Thursday when they start to do the nomination proceedings of Mr. Gonzales and you'll see the vigor with which the Democrats start to come out against Mr. Gonzales. I don't expect him to be defeated but I do expect the Democrats to start raising some serious rule of law issues that I believe Mr. Gonzales has violated. And, I think that's a message that the Democrats will begin to hammer home - that this Republican administration has been willing to violate the rule of law repeatedly and Gonzales has been at the forefront of that.

NAPOLITANO: Alright. Should he be prepared - Alberto Gonzales, former Justice of the Texas Supreme Court, advisor to President Bush when he was Governor of Texas and White House legal counsel for the past four years - should he be expected to defend his torture memos when his confirmation hearings begin?

COULTER: I don't think these hearings are going to be very important. I mean, this is going to be for laughs for liberals. What they care about is the courts. It is going to be World War Three over the courts and that's because they don't like democracy, they don't want people to be able to vote on issues. They want courts to hang [sic] hands down from on high - everything they can't win from a process of democracy. They want gay marriage and abortion and taking down crčches through the courts.

(COMMENT: At this point Ms. Coulter was like a spinning top, squawking on about how the people should be allowed to vote these issues in their states, never giving either Napolitano or Aborn a chance to speak. She refused to shut up. As I watched I remember thinking to myself: Where, or where, is Bill O'Reilly when you really need him?! She finally came up for air, making it possible to resume the discussion.)

NAPOLITANO: The Republicans say that, if Roe v. Wade is overturned, there are 30 state legislatures prepared to outlaw abortion. What do the Democrats say about that?

ABORN: I say it is not so and I think you would see a political battle in this country the likes of which we have not seen in years, if the Republicans were likely to try that.

NAPOLITANO: Will the Democrats filibuster a nomination for Chief Justice of Justice Antonin Scalia or Justice Clarence Thomas?

ABORN: I suspect yes.

NAPOLITANO: And what would the outcome of such a filibuster be for the Democrats?

COULTER: I don't know. But, I don't think they care as much about - I think [that] much like Gonzalez for Attorney General - that's a dry run. What you are going to see World War Three over is a replacement on the Supreme Court...If it's O'Connor, it it's Kennedy, if it's Stevens, we will see them fighting the way we'd like them to be fighting terrorists.

ABORN: If the President puts up an ultra-right wing judge, yes, the Democrats are gonna block it.

COULTER: You always hear conservative judges described in abstract terms - ultra-right wing and crazy extremist - ya' never hear what they're really worried about. They're worried about us being able to vote on abortion, gay marriage, crčches.

ABORN: Not at all.


If you oppose the nomination of Alberto Gonzales, a man who wrote memos
that set the stage for Abu Graib, contact both of your Senators before Thursday and register your disapproval. Click here: Contact Your Senator.

Or you can access an online petition on this topic at http://www.moveon.org/gonzales/.

Post a comment

Remember Me?

We welcome your opinions and viewpoints. Comments must remain civil, on-topic and must not violate any copyright or other laws. We reserve the right to delete any comments we deem inappropriate or non-constructive to the discussion for any reason, and to block any commenter for repeated violations.

Your email address is required to post, but it will not be published on the site.