Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Empty, Vague - And Hoping You Don't Notice.

As we mentioned Monday morning, this week will be filled with news and decisions from the U.S. Supreme Court, that will prove more than a few things to the American people.

One of those things already proven on Monday afternoon was the complete lack of professionalism and infantile anger of several of the justices on the conservative wing of the Court, especially that of Antonin Scalia. Justice Scalia's nakedly political ranting in dissent of the Court's 5-3 decision to strike down most of Arizona's SB1070 was passionate, if nothing else. The decision on immigration, released Monday afternoon, along with the Court's larger decision on the Montana campaign finance law, both served to lay bare the true positions of the extremists on the Court.

Justice Clarence Thomas, however, continued what has become a legendary habit of silence. Even at his most animated, Thomas seems to only display an occasional vague and dispassionate opinion. In short, Justice Thomas usually displays the kind of purposeful anonymity that most political media observers equate with GOP candidate Mitt Romney's "Mittness Protection" program.

Frankly, if only those two choices of judicial temperament are offered, we'd rather someone display the obvious partisanship of Scalia, to the nearly empty chair attitude of Thomas. At least we know where Scalia stands - even if he stands neck-deep in incompetence.

Thomas' attitude reminds us strongly of the current U.S. Senate race in Nebraska, between former Senator Bob Kerrey, and Nebraska state senator, Deb Fischer.

For quite some time now, Kerrey has been openly and publicly looking to interact, debate, and compare his ideas for helping Nebraskans to those of Fischer. The biggest problem Kerrey has run into with doing that is Fischer just hasn't seemed to want to debate anything - and it doesn't appear she's looking to do so at any time down the road, either.

We warned about Fischer's approach to campaigning back in mid-May, when she won the GOP nomination. Even then, we noted Fischer only won by remaining quiet - and then at the last minute, accepting the massive cash avalanche from the corporate right.

What even we didn't mention is that even as Fischer split the Republican Party, and quietly walked away with the nomination, she still failed to strongly let Republican voters - or really, any Nebraska voter - know what her positions are.

That Fischer's camp recently released a ridiculously biased poll, put together by a wholly unreliable Republican polling firm, that appears to have only polled by landline phone - an almost completely discredited method of accurate polling - hasn't kept multiple hack media outlets from bleating about a Fischer landslide.

What they've also missed, is the same thing we missed in May.

Fischer has yet to truly make any of her positions well-known - and as some in the Nebraska media have noted, she and her campaign have pretty much gone quiet.

Meanwhile, Bob Kerrey hasn't just been sitting around, waiting for Fischer. He's continued doing what Bob Kerrey has always done - plodding forward, meeting with other Nebraskans, listening to everything they have to say, even the ones that don't agree with him. He also continues to call out waste and abuse - like the corporate ag welfare Fischer's family readily collects.

In our collective experience, most Americans, whether they agree with a politician or not, at least want to know where those politicians stand.

Kerrey may not be as animated as Supreme Court Justice Scalia, but it's also quite obvious where Kerry stands. Fischer continues to display the same lack of passion as Justice Thomas, or even Mr. Romney.

To us, empty chairs, vague positions, and disinterested politicians have no business being part of a vibrant, effective government.

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