Tuesday, April 05, 2005


Yglesias gets it right:

Does Senator Cornyn want more people to go about murdering judges? One doubts it. But it seems that he's happy to try and use such incidents to advance his own agenda. Happy to use them, one notes, even though the recent high-profile cases don't seem to actually have a political agenda. His hope -- along, it seems, though less clearly -- with Tom DeLay's is that judges will begin to operate under a cloud of intimidation. They may not like the idea of buckling under to whatever it is Cornyn wants them to do, but Cornyn is making it clear that he's the judges' friends. He doesn't want to see them killed, or maimed, or assaulted. He's trying to save them. Trying to warn them. Warning them that unless they change their ways someone -- someone who has nothing to do with John Cornyn or the Texas cabal running the country, mind you -- just might decide to do something crazy. But here's Cornyn offering a safe harbor. Confirm all of Bush's nominees, no matter how incompetent, corrupt, or inept they are, no matter how unsound their view of the constitution. And for the others, try to conform your views to those of Bush's new appointees. Do it and you'll be safe. If you don't do it, well, then, certainly John Cornyn wouldn't advocate killing you, he's just pointing out that it will happen.


What it reminds me most of in recent times in Samuel Huntington's "warning" in Who We Are which "warns" that unless we curb immigration (or the immigration of Latin Americans, or the immigration of Mexicans, Huntington never quite seems sure which he means) we risk a white nativist backlash. Not from Huntington, of course. He's no racist. But others are. And they might lash back if we don't close the borders. He's just offering a warning. Just pointing out an empirical relationship. Not threatening anybody. Of course not, that would be wrong.

Back to Cornyn -- who's kidding whom here? I've already seen some folks on the right try to explain this away. He was just offering an analytic point, noting the existence of anger about some judicial decisions, some anti-judge violence, and offering some speculations. Sure he was. Nevermind that he and his ilk are the ones whipping up the anger. It wouldn't cross his mind to tone down and suggest that his colleagues do likewise. Suggest that in the wake of some murders and some controversial court cases that we all agree that we are a country under law and that despite disagreements we should respect judicial offices and their holders. No. Far better to note that there may be a connection between non-Cornyn-approved court rulings and the murder of judges. He's just trying to be helpful.