About Rationally Speaking
Rationally Speaking is a blog maintained by Prof. Massimo Pigliucci, a philosopher at the City University of New York. The blog reflects the Enlightenment figure Marquis de Condorcet's idea of what a public intellectual (yes, we know, that's such a bad word) ought to be: someone who devotes himself to "the tracking down of prejudices in the hiding places where priests, the schools, the government, and all long-established institutions had gathered and protected them." You're welcome. Please notice that the contents of this blog can be reprinted under the standard Creative Commons license.
Sunday, September 04, 2005
The Good Lord takes Rehnquist, not a minute too late...
For the next few days we'll hear much praise of Rehnquist, including from Democrats (e.g., NY's Senator Charles Schumer is already on record), because human beings just can't stop praising fellow humans after they're dead, almost regardless of how much of a piece of work they were when alive (Hitler is one of the few exceptions). Just remember people weeping at Nixon's funeral!
So let's briefly summarize what the Chief Justice actually accomplished (or tried to) to see how bad he really was for this country:
* He gave Bush the 2000 elections, which Bush almost certainly had actually lost. Notice that this decision -- which overrode Florida's authority to complete the recount -- came from a Justice who supposedly was in favor of state rights, unless it was politically convenient to be against state rights, of course.
* Rehnquist opposed desegregation, since he was a racist.
* Under Nixon, he supported pre-trial detention, electronic surveillance and wire-tapping. Heck, suspected criminals don't deserve rights.
* He voted against abortion rights in the 1973 Roe vs Wade decision (after his death, conservatives might finally be able to overturn that much hated verdict).
* He opposed affirmative action (again, he was a racist, so no surprise there).
* He opposed gay rights (homophobic, too!).
* Rehnquist was instrumental for reinstating and facilitating the death penalty (gotta get rid of all them criminals, especially if poor and negro).
* He favored breaking down the separation of Church and State (see the latest split decision on the Ten Commandments, an increasingly common case of Supreme Court Schizophrenia).
Yes, I have to conclude that God is indeed a Republican, or he would have taken Rehnquist to His side during the Clinton administration.