Dana Milbank

Two Supreme Court Justices Prove To Be Disasters And Embarrassments: Clarence Thomas And Samuel Alito!

It is now clear that the second Supreme Court nominee choices of George H. W. Bush and his son, George W. Bush, have turned out to be disasters and embarrassments to the Court they serve on!

Clarence Thomas was appointed by the elder Bush, and went through a tumultuous Supreme Court nomination battle, centered on sexual harassment charges by Anita Hill, and his confirmation was the closest vote of a successful nominee in decades!

He has proceeded to be an embarrassment, showing bitterness and the desire for revenge, and sullying the memory of the first African American Justice, Thurgood Marshall, who he replaced on the Court in 1991.

And a beneficiary of affirmative action, he has now, just today, compared affirmative action to slavery and segregation, an absolutely crazy comparison!

This man is inappropriate in his behavior in so many ways, including NEVER asking a question during oral arguments, the only Justice in memory to have that unfortunate distinction!

And then there is Samuel Alito, the appointment of George W. Bush in 2005, who mouthed open opposition to Barack Obama’s criticism of the Citizens United Case in his State of the Union Address in 2010, embarrassing himself and the Court!

And Alito, today, mocked fellow Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg with gestures, including rolling his eyes, shaking his head, and looking at the ceiling. And Alito apparently has a problem with the other women Justices, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan, showing disrespect for them in open Court. As Dana Milbank of the Washington Post said today, Alito displays “Middle School antics”.

And imagine, Alito could have been the Chief Justice if John Roberts had already begun testimony to replace Sandra Day O’Connor, but before he could, Chief Justice William Rehnquist died, and President Bush decided to switch Roberts to the Chief Justice position, and so Alito replaced O’Connor as an Associate Justice on the Court! Imagine Chief Justice Alito, the sour puss and nasty personality!

So the Bushes made major mistakes in selection of Thomas and Alito, and the Court is stuck with them for many years, beyond the retirement of another conservative, Antonin Scalia, who is more intelligent, and more charming, even if often obnoxious as well!

“Prima Donna” Senate Republicans: A Massive Headache For Mitch McConnell!

It has often been said that the Democratic Party is not an organized party with any discipline, but it seems obvious that in the 112th Congress, that Mitch McConnell and John Boehner will have trouble controlling their membership!

This is particularly true in the US Senate, which can be said to have two distinct groups of “prima donnas”, people who are not good at working together and with others!

Dana Milbank of the Washington Post referred to a group of Senators, who complained bitterly about being “rushed” to do things, and feeling that the idea of having to work to just before Christmas was somehow an outrage!

Realize that it was because the Republicans asked for delays on many issues and procrastinated on them, that required the Senate to stay in session through yesterday, December 22. Also, these Senators seem to live in an unreal world, as if no one works to the day before Christmas. In other words, they are “petulant”, but also prima donnas, not an image designed to win support of the American people!

For the record, who fits into the “petulant” group of Republican Senators? They include Jim DeMint of South Carolina, Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, John Thune of South Dakota, Jeff Sessions of Alabama, Orrin Hatch of Utah, and Jon Kyl and John McCain of Arizona.

Now in the new Congress, McConnell must work with the five new “Tea Party” Senators–Marco Rubio of Florida, Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania, Ron Johnson of Wisconsin, Rand Paul of Kentucky, and Mike Lee of Utah.

This sounds like a massive undertaking, to gain their cooperation and willingness to do what needs to be done, not always what they want to be done.

Let’s just say that no one should envy the challenge facing Mitch McConnell, as well as John Boehner, now that their party has more seats in the Senate and controls the House of Representatives.

It is not just how the GOP relates to President Obama, but also how they relate to each other, that will be the biggest political news story of 2011!