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Is there enough time?

I’ve been thinking about time lately, prompted by something I read that I’ll get to in a minute.

The element of time came into play in the Birther saga early on, in the filing of the Keyes v. Obama lawsuit in California. This was an early Orly Taitz adventure, where she filed the lawsuit just hours after President Obama had been inaugurated. She tried to say that she had sued Obama in his personal capacity as a candidate, but that didn’t work because of the timing. When the Circuit Court of Appeals got around to reviewing the case it noted that Defendant Keyes (who had been a candidate for President) had no special standing as a candidate because at the time the suit was filed Keyes was no longer a candidate. The other time element in Keyes was Orly’s failure, week after week, to effect service of the Complaint on the President. I wrote in August of 2009:

Meanwhile the Government is still waiting for proper service of the complaint (good grief, it’s been 7 months now), and the court has ordered that this be done no later than September 8, 2009.

Leo Donofrio’s election-eve objection in New Jersey ran into similar trouble.

Another example is right out of comments on this site, and they deal with Tracy Fair’s ballot challenge in Maryland; Tracy is reported as having said:

I’ve got plenty of time before I need to serve Obama, so I am waiting it out to see if any more good evidence arises and may even amend it again.

GeorgetownJD commented here:

It would behoove her to read the court’s lengthy discussion in Ross v. State Board of Elections about the statutory limitation and the doctrine of laches, and concluded:

“Ross’s decision to “wait and see” until after the election, prejudiced Branch, the State Board of Elections, and the residents of the Thirteenth Councilmanic District. … Therefore, we conclude that the doctrine of laches bars Petitioner’s claim as a matter of law, and we uphold the Circuit Court’s decision to grant summary judgment in favor of Respondents.

See also Buxton v. Buxton, 363 Md. 634, 770 A.2d 152 (2001); Parker v. Board of Election Supervisors, 230 Md. 126, 186 A.2d 195 (1962).

Again there is the issue of perhaps there being less time than someone expects.

What prompted the story though is a much older example, and here I quote from the Wikipedia article on Lee Atwater, a political advisor to Presidents Reagan and George H. W. Bush and one of the nastiest political operatives of all time, responsible for the “naked cruelty” (his words) of the 1988 Presidential Campaign:

Illness

On 5 March 1990, Atwater collapsed during a fundraising breakfast on behalf of Senator Phil Gramm. Doctors searching for an explanation to what was initially thought to be a mere fainting episode discovered a grade 3 astrocytoma, an unusually aggressive form of brain cancer, in his right parietal lobe. Atwater underwent interstitial implant radiation, a then-new form of treatment, at Montefiore Medical Center in New York City, and received conventional radiation therapy at George Washington University Hospital in Washington, D.C. The treatment for the brain tumor left him paralyzed on his left side, robbed him of his tone discrimination, and swelled his face and body (from steroids). He spent the remainder of his life in a wheelchair.

Conversion to Catholicism and new outlook

In the months after the severity of his illness became apparent, Atwater said he had converted to Catholicism, through the help of Fr. John Hardon and, in an act of repentance, Atwater issued a number of public and written letters to individuals to whom he had been opposed during his political career. In a letter to Tom Turnipseed dated June 28, 1990, he stated, “It is very important to me that I let you know that out of everything that has happened in my career, one of the low points remains the so-called ‘jumper cable’ episode,” adding, “my illness has taught me something about the nature of humanity, love, brotherhood and relationships that I never understood, and probably never would have. So, from that standpoint, there is some truth and good in everything.”

In a February 1991 article for Life magazine, Atwater wrote:

My illness helped me to see that what was missing in society is what was missing in me: a little heart, a lot of brotherhood. The ’80s were about acquiring — acquiring wealth, power, prestige. I know. I acquired more wealth, power, and prestige than most. But you can acquire all you want and still feel empty. What power wouldn’t I trade for a little more time with my family? What price wouldn’t I pay for an evening with friends? It took a deadly illness to put me eye to eye with that truth, but it is a truth that the country, caught up in its ruthless ambitions and moral decay, can learn on my dime. I don’t know who will lead us through the ’90s, but they must be made to speak to this spiritual vacuum at the heart of American society, this tumor of the soul.

Lee Atwater had time to repent. Those who he worked for perhaps never have. When I look across the Obama Conspiracy landscape I see things said that are as evil as anything Atwater ever did. I hope that it will not take an experience as traumatic as what happened to Lee Atwater (or George Wallace) to help them see what is good in life.

18 Responses to Is there enough time?

  1. avatar
    Keith February 19, 2012 at 3:23 pm #

    What a coincidence! I was ruminated before dropping off to sleep last night about the boogy men that the right wing tries to throw into the face of their critics, specifically Alinsky and Ayers. I was trying to match those guys with appropriate matching boogy men.from the other side.

    I decided I could match Alinsky with Roy Cohn, but I couldn’t come up with an appropriate apparatchik to match with Ayers. I just couldn’t put a name to the guy I new existed.

    Then I wake up this morning and you have named him for me. Thanks Doc.

    I know I’d much rather be accused of being a disciple of Saul Alinsky than Roy Cohn; and at least Bill Ayers didn’t have to be struck down by God Lee Atwater in order to mend his ways.

  2. avatar
    G February 19, 2012 at 3:55 pm #

    Well, I look at them as merely machiavellian propagandists. So yeah, the right is full of them.

    From professional manipulators, such as Karl Rove and Frank Luntz to the red-meat feeders of RW media in folks such as Rupert Murdock, Roger Ailes and even Rush Limbaugh, to the bottom dwelling conspiracy feeders, such as WND and Glenn Beck…

    Keith: I was trying to match those guys with appropriate matching boogy men.from the other side.

  3. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy February 19, 2012 at 4:20 pm #

    While on the coincidence topic, the article I just finished about Martha Trowbridge mentions another leftist bogey man in the article I commented on, Fred Newman. Like Alinsky, He was someone I’d never heard of before a Birther mentioned it.

    Keith: Then I wake up this morning and you have named him for me. Thanks Doc.

  4. avatar
    G February 19, 2012 at 4:32 pm #

    Same here. Never heard of Alinksy until all the RWNJ pulled that antiquated bogeyman out of their butt. Same with this Fred Newman character.

    What is it with RWNJ and being stuck many decades in the past? It seems like they are still stuck fighting the culture wars of the 1950’s & 1960’s and have never moved past that. All their bogeyman seem to come from that time. That is over half a century ago, for crying out loud!

    Then again, it seems like the Right is proportionally tiltled towards a much older crowd in general. No wonder the 21st century scares and confuses these old farts…

    Dr. Conspiracy: While on the coincidence topic, the article I just finished about Martha Trowbridge mentions another leftist bogey man in the article I commented on, Fred Newman. Like Alinsky, He was someone I’d never heard of before a Birther mentioned it.

  5. avatar
    John Woodman February 19, 2012 at 4:39 pm #

    I see some things that are evil as well.

  6. avatar
    Keith February 19, 2012 at 4:52 pm #

    Ouch. Couple of spelling/grammar errors in my post above. So sue me, I’m human.

  7. avatar
    justlw February 19, 2012 at 4:55 pm #

    Excellent post.

    Fred Newman was one of the reasons I figured Martha was purely a troll: I thought she’d made him up, or even was this person named Fred Newman who was trying to promote himself in some way. It took a little poking around to discover he was real (and dead).

  8. avatar
    Majority Will February 19, 2012 at 7:43 pm #

    justlw:
    Excellent post.

    Fred Newman was one of the reasons I figured Martha was purely a troll: I thought she’d made him up, or even was this person named Fred Newman who was trying to promote himself in some way. It took a little poking around to discover he was real (and dead).

    I thought Fred was the cousin who handled Paul’s food company.

  9. avatar
    JD Reed February 20, 2012 at 12:36 am #

    I thought Fred Newman was the sound effects viruoso of Garrison Keillor”s “A Prairie Home Companion.” Who knew that he moonlighteed as a master political manipulator?

  10. avatar
    John Reilly February 20, 2012 at 1:34 am #

    There was a comedian (Misha, help me out here) who said that words with a “k” in them were funnier than other words. Fred Newman is not as powerful a name to use as Saul Alinsky. Using the name Saul Alinsky together with the job title of community organizer is a dog whistke to anti-semites. Birthers want to remind people that President Obama is a follower of an Eastern European Jewish Socialist, to dovetail with their pre-occupation with Jewish bankers and the New World Order.

  11. avatar
    G February 20, 2012 at 1:43 am #

    Ahhh… so that’s the kind of paranoid bigotry that this particular dog whistle is meant to feed…

    Thanks for helping to explain why they are digging up such moldy and irrelevant bogeymen, more than half a century past their expiration date….

    I guess for the crazies, thinly veiled bigotry never goes out of style…

    John Reilly: There was a comedian (Misha, help me out here) who said that words with a “k” in them were funnier than other words. Fred Newman is not as powerful a name to use as Saul Alinsky. Using the name Saul Alinsky together with the job title of community organizer is a dog whistke to anti-semites. Birthers want to remind people that President Obama is a follower of an Eastern European Jewish Socialist, to dovetail with their pre-occupation with Jewish bankers and the New World Order.

  12. avatar
    Majority Will February 20, 2012 at 1:43 am #

    John Reilly: There was a comedian (Misha, help me out here) who said that words with a “k” in them were funnier than other words.

    In an article in the New Yorker published in 1936, H. L. Mencken argues that “k words” are funny. “K, for some occult reason, has always appealed to the oafish risibles of the American plain people, and its presence in the names of many … places has helped to make them joke towns … for example, Kankakee, Kalamazoo, Hoboken, Hohokus, Yonkers, Squeedunk, “Stinktown” and Brooklyn.” In Neil Simon’s play The Sunshine Boys, a character says, “Words with a k in it are funny. Alka-Seltzer is funny. Chicken is funny. Pickle is funny. All with a k. Ls are not funny. Ms are not funny.”

    (source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inherently_funny_word)

  13. avatar
    Northland10 February 20, 2012 at 7:03 am #

    Majority Will: places has helped to make them joke towns … for example, Kankakee, Kalamazoo,

    Fine.. so I grew up in a suburb of a funny town (which can be shortened to the sillier, K’zoo). Still, it is not as funny as Knob Lick or Wala Wala.

  14. avatar
    The Magic M February 20, 2012 at 7:40 am #

    Northland10: Still, it is not as funny as Knob Lick or Wala Wala.

    In Germany, we have Petting (understood in German in a sexual sense), a small town in Bavaria.

  15. avatar
    Paul Pieniezny February 20, 2012 at 10:57 am #

    G: What is it with RWNJ and being stuck many decades in the past? It seems like they are still stuck fighting the culture wars of the 1950′s & 1960′s and have never moved past that. All their bogeyman seem to come from that time. That is over half a century ago, for crying out loud!

    How do you know these guys are not secret Lyndon LaRouche supporters? It would explain both their familiarity with Newman and their hating of him.

  16. avatar
    G February 20, 2012 at 11:38 am #

    Ahh, the LaRouche nutjobs! I’ve never understood their crazy movement. They are the ones behind the Obama with H*tler mustache posters during Tea Party events. Sadly, they always seem to be around and hand out weird literature at all sorts of events. They are very annoying people with bad social skills. They seem to hate just about everything, including Obama.

    As paranoid crazies tend to be susceptible to all types of crazy conspiracy nonsense, I would not be surprised at all to find LaRouche wackos amongst the BIrthers…

    Paul Pieniezny: How do you know these guys are not secret Lyndon LaRouche supporters? It would explain both their familiarity with Newman and their hating of him.

  17. avatar
    Arthur February 20, 2012 at 12:00 pm #

    G: As paranoid crazies tend to be susceptible to all types of crazy conspiracy nonsense, I would not be surprised at all to find LaRouche wackos amongst the BIrthers…

    I believe a good many of them have become Ron Paul fan-boys.

  18. avatar
    G February 20, 2012 at 12:24 pm #

    That wouldn’t surprise me either. Seems like a lot of the political conspiracy wackos gravitate towards the libertarian blend of conservatism…

    Arthur: I believe a good many of them have become Ron Paul fan-boys.