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Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Arkansas Republicans at work to criminalize differences of opinion

Posted By on Tue, May 13, 2014 at 2:22 PM

click to enlarge 1359738356-rapert.jpg
got into a lather over the weekend for impeachment talk by Republican legal giants Justin Harris, David Meeks and Jason Rapert. They want to make a high crime out of a ruling on gay marriage they disliked by Circuit Judge Chris Piazza. They want to impeach him. They are not alone in this kind of thinking. There's also Tom Cotton. And also Tim Griffin.

I'd earlier mentioned Tom Cotton's accusatory speech to the conservative Federalist Society, laying out the case for un-American activity by President Obama. The speech coincided with Obama's widely hailed trip to Arkansas in support of disaster aid, another needless federal expense in Tom Cotton's book.

Here's a sharper analysis by Jeffrey Toobin for the New Yorker. After listing Cotton's attacks on Obama (and the many flaws in them), he commented:

These are legitimate issues of contention between Obama and his adversaries, but what was so striking about the Federalist event was its legally accusatory nature. These were not policy differences but violations of law—or, as several speakers put it, high crimes and misdemeanors.

The most prominent speaker to make this case was Charles Cooper, a longtime stalwart of the Federalist Society who is best known today for defending Proposition 8, California’s anti-same-sex-marriage legislation. Recently, after his stepdaughter announced plans to marry her girlfriend, Cooper said that his own views on same-sex marriage were “evolving.” Clearly, though, Cooper’s views are not evolving on Obama. "...Has he committed … ‘high crimes and misdemeanors’? I believe there is little doubt that he has.”

None of this means that there’s any reasonable chance of President Obama’s being impeached, or even that a serious effort to that end will be undertaken in Congress. (Cooper himself told me that he does not support an impeachment drive—yet.) Still, the impeachment talk presents yet another illustration of the conservative movement’s radicalization. Once, it was only Tea Party zealots (and birther lunatics) who talked about Obama’s illegitimacy. Now it’s the grownups in the Federalist Society.

So true. And happening daily in Arkansas. (Rapert was an early Obama impeachment proponent, too.) If they disagree with you, disagreement and majority passage of their view is not enough. They also want to fire you, take your business away, audit you or otherwise punish you with whatever means they have at hand. It's no longer enough just to have majority control of a legislative body. Nothing less than extermination of opponents will do.

AND SPEAKING OF PROSECUTORIAL MINDSET: Get a load of Tim Griffin telling right-wing outlet Newsmax that Congress would be prosecuting some Obama administration officials if only they could. And I'm sure Griffin and Gang would like to sit as judge and jury on the case, too. Griffin is badly PO'ed that Congress doesn't get to decide who gets to prosecute people they don't like. Aren't you glad he didn't last long as U.S. attorney. Think he'd have been fair, Mr. Cager?

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