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Old 11-10-2004, 05:48 PM   #1 (permalink)
Pissing in the cornflakes
 
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Ashcroft....I'm confused

Ok I知 confused. What made Ashcroft the most reviled man in left America? I知 trying to figure it out and I知 stumped. I can稚 see what he did as attorney general that was so horrible.

He was religiousok.
He shouldn稚 singok.

Where does the hate come from, it doesn稚 compute. Looking at some wacky left wing web sites all I can find is hate of the man, and hate based on him being religious. There are of course the irrational fears about the patriot act, but Ashcroft didn稚 pass it, its not his job to debate it but to implement it.

So splain to me what痴 the problem with Ashcroft?
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Old 11-10-2004, 05:54 PM   #2 (permalink)
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He covered the bare breast one the statue of justice in his office when he began his role as AG in because it was a bare breast. This a completely fitting metaphor for his term as AG.
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Old 11-10-2004, 05:58 PM   #3 (permalink)
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He's not the most hated man. Bush, Cheney, Rummy, and Condi are easily more hated than Ashcroft.

But here's a laundry list:

1. He's really pro censorship
2. He went around campaigning for Bush (the AG has better, less partisan things to do)
3. While campaigning, he was pushing the Patriot Act II
4. Which brings us to the Patriot Act, the most destructive piece of legislation for civil liberties in some time
5. The fact that he is just a godawful AG. I do, legitimately want a good AG, even if it means good press for Bush. But despite the Patriot Act powers, Ashcroft managed exactly zero terrorist convictions, and all convictions using the Patriot Act powers have had utterly nothing to do with terrorism. Ashcroft even screwed up with those terrorist suspects from Detroit, an open and shut case, by violating all sorts of rights.

Also, I'd like to point out that he wasn't just reviled during his stint as AG. During the 2000 election, he lost to his dead opponent (Mel Carnahan). I mean, that's really saying something.
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Old 11-10-2004, 06:02 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by filtherton
He covered the bare breast one the statue of justice in his office when he began his role as AG in because it was a bare breast. This a completely fitting metaphor for his term as AG.
I think this is where it started. He took a symbol of justice (which is supposedly blind) and had it covered because he was offended by looking at it.

He was offended by the image of our nation's idea of justice. I think this is, as filtherton pointed out, a perfect metaphor for his take on justice.

Oh, and he was a conservative.
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Old 11-10-2004, 06:02 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by filtherton
He covered the bare breast one the statue of justice in his office when he began his role as AG in because it was a bare breast. This a completely fitting metaphor for his term as AG.
I see, so this makes the man evil.
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Old 11-10-2004, 06:05 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JumpinJesus
Oh, and he was a conservative.
Yes, I think we are at the heart of the matter now.
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Old 11-10-2004, 06:07 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Lemme put it this way. I don't LOVE the guy, but I don't HATE him either.

He's okay.
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Old 11-10-2004, 06:07 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by guy44
5. The fact that he is just a godawful AG. I do, legitimately want a good AG, even if it means good press for Bush. But despite the Patriot Act powers, Ashcroft managed exactly zero terrorist convictions, and all convictions using the Patriot Act powers have had utterly nothing to do with terrorism. Ashcroft even screwed up with those terrorist suspects from Detroit, an open and shut case, by violating all sorts of rights.

Also, I'd like to point out that he wasn't just reviled during his stint as AG. During the 2000 election, he lost to his dead opponent (Mel Carnahan). I mean, that's really saying something.
Now here would be an argument against him being a good AG. I really don't know here who is to blame or if more could be done (after all trying to prove terrorism intent is pretty hard), but it would be a legitimate complaint.

Sadly I don't think his detractors were really upset that he didn't arrest more people. In fact I would think they would be upset for him doing so.
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Old 11-10-2004, 06:10 PM   #9 (permalink)
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No, Ustwo, I guarantee you that every American would be happy as hell to have as many terrorists or potential terrorists arrested as possible. With the following caveat: no rights violations, no Patriot Act powers. Suggesting that people ideologically predisposed to disagree with John Ashcroft would actually wish for him to fail in trying to protect this country is rediculous.
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Old 11-10-2004, 09:22 PM   #10 (permalink)
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he was an easy tool to hate, to be quite honest. wolfowitz is similar...

i mean, even Rummy has his charm even if i think he condones torture. He's practiced at the art of looking good. Ashcroft never got it, and it was one of the few places where the bush administration looked consistantly bad. remember the news conference annoucing the padilla arrest? badly lit in a russian tv studio, with a kremlin cut out behind him...

it was just too priceless. that, combined with the dragnet arrests of forgenier and not a SINGLE sucessful prosecution from them...he just stunk of incompetence.
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Old 11-10-2004, 11:08 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ustwo
Yes, I think we are at the heart of the matter now.
<a href="http://www.americanrhetoric.com/speeches/welch-mccarthy.html">You've done enough. Have you no sense of decency, sir, at long last? Have you left no sense of decency?</a>
Quote:
Test your knowledge of history and the present. See if you can tell Ashcroft from McCarthy in our "who said it" test. To make it more difficult we've replaced words like "communist" and "terrorist" with "___".

<form action="/feature/whosaidit.jsp" method="post">
1
.
To those ... who scare peace-loving people with phantoms of lost liberty, my message is this: your tactics only aid ___, for they erode our national unity and diminish our resolve. They give ammunition to America's enemies and pause to America's friends
<input type="RADIO" name="answer1" value="McCarthy">McCarthy
<input type="RADIO" name="answer1" value="Ashcroft">Ashcroft

2
.
The reason why we find ourselves in a position of impotency is not because our only powerful, potential enemy has sent men to invade our shores, but rather because of the traitorous actions of those who have been treated so well by this nation.

<input type="RADIO" name="answer13" value="McCarthy">McCarthy
<input type="RADIO" name="answer13" value="Ashcroft">Ashcroft

3
.
While I cannot take the time to name all of the men ... who have been named as members of ___ and members of a spy ring, I have here in my hand a list of 205 that were known to the secretary of state as being members of ___

<input type="RADIO" name="answer12" value="McCarthy">McCarthy
<input type="RADIO" name="answer12" value="Ashcroft">Ashcroft


4
.
I am not interested in providing, when we are at war, a list ... of the people we have detained

<input type="RADIO" name="answer6" value="McCarthy">McCarthy
<input type="RADIO" name="answer6" value="Ashcroft">Ashcroft

5
.
there have been a few voices who have criticized. Some have sought to condemn us with faulty facts or without facts at all. Others have simply rushed to judgment, almost eagerly assuming the worst of their government before they've had a chance to understand it at its best.

<input type="RADIO" name="answer5" value="McCarthy">McCarthy
<input type="RADIO" name="answer5" value="Ashcroft">Ashcroft

6
.
Today we are engaged in a final, all-out battle between ___ and ___. The modern champions of ___ have selected this as the time.

<input type="RADIO" name="answer8" value="McCarthy">McCarthy
<input type="RADIO" name="answer8" value="Ashcroft">Ashcroft

7
.
I have in my hand 57 cases of individuals who would appear to be either card-carrying members or certainly loyal to the ___
<br>
<input type="RADIO" name="answer10" value="McCarthy">McCarthy
<input type="RADIO" name="answer10" value="Ashcroft">Ashcroft

8
.
As one of our outstanding historical figures once said, "When a great democracy is destroyed, it will not be because of enemies from without but rather because of enemies from within."

<input type="RADIO" name="answer14" value="McCarthy">McCarthy
<input type="RADIO" name="answer14" value="Ashcroft">Ashcroft

9
.
Ladies and gentlemen, can there be anyone here tonight who is so blind as to say that the war is not on?

<input type="RADIO" name="answer9" value="McCarthy">McCarthy
<input type="RADIO" name="answer9" value="Ashcroft">Ashcroft

10
.
The Senator from Illinois demanded, loudly, that I furnish all the names. I told him at that time that so far as I was concerned, I thought that would be improper
<br>
<input type="RADIO" name="answer11" value="McCarthy">McCarthy
<input type="RADIO" name="answer11" value="Ashcroft">Ashcroft

11
.
It's consistent with our effort ... for freedom-loving nations around the world to root out ___ and those who support ___

<input type="RADIO" name="answer7" value="McCarthy">McCarthy
<input type="RADIO" name="answer7" value="Ashcroft">Ashcroft

12
.
I would say very clearly that history has not looked kindly upon those that have forsaken their countries to go and fight against their countries
<br>
<input type="RADIO" name="answer3" value="McCarthy">McCarthy
<input type="RADIO" name="answer3" value="Ashcroft">Ashcroft

13
.
___ are taught how to use America's freedoms as a weapon against us
<br>
<input type="RADIO" name="answer2" value="McCarthy">McCarthy
<input type="RADIO" name="answer2" value="Ashcroft">Ashcroft

14
.
My message to America this morning, then, is this: If you fit this definition of a ___, fear the United States because you will lose your liberties

<input type="RADIO" name="answer4" value="McCarthy">McCarthy
<input type="RADIO" name="answer4" value="Ashcroft">Ashcroft

<input type="submit" value="Score!" name="TACTION">
<a href="http://web.morons.org/feature/whosaidit.jsp">http://web.morons.org/feature/whosaidit.jsp</a>
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Old 11-11-2004, 01:40 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ustwo
He was religiousok.
No, he was not just "religious".
you grumble about "islamofascists" so much, why do you enjoy christofascists?

The bare breast story is indeed a good metaphor for his overly religious bigotry
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Old 11-11-2004, 11:24 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ustwo
I see, so this makes the man evil.
Nice straw man, but filtherton didn't claim he was evil.
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Old 11-11-2004, 11:38 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pacifier
No, he was not just "religious".
you grumble about "islamofascists" so much, why do you enjoy christofascists?
Good point. There is a difference between being a religious person and a fundie nutjob.
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Old 11-11-2004, 12:40 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ustwo
I see, so this makes the man evil.

Yeah, i mean it's not like he lied about a blowjob or anything.

Anyways, if you think the example i provided paints a good picture of the man in charge of law enforcement in our country than perhaps you would be happier in iran, or communist russia, where they don't pretend that justice is objective.
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Old 11-11-2004, 01:18 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by guy44
Also, I'd like to point out that he wasn't just reviled during his stint as AG. During the 2000 election, he lost to his dead opponent (Mel Carnahan). I mean, that's really saying something.
I would just like to point out that this has very little to do with anything. Ashcroft, believe it or not, is (or maybe was) the most popular Governor MO has ever had. He served 2 terms as Governor and easily won his first term in the Senate in 94. In 2000 he was leading by as much as 7 points in the polls over Gov. Carnahan until the day his plane crashed. Since Gov. Carnahan was also a 2 term Governor who was survived by his wife and children, there was an overwhelming sympathy vote. Furthermore, Ashcroft suspended campaigning out of respect for the Carnahan family, even as the MO Dem. party was continuing the Carnahan campaign and announcing that they would appoint his widow to serve his term if he won. Jean Carnahan was appointed after the sympathy vote and served 2 yrs. in the Senate. She lost re-election in 2002 (the first election to fill the seat for the remainder of the 6 yr. term) to former Rep. Jim Talent. It is widely regarded here in MO that one of the main contributing factors to Mrs. Carnahan's loss is that she opposed John Ashcroft's appointment to AG. That was seen as a ridiculous act of partisanship and gave the impression that she was only a puppet of Sen. Daschle and the Dem. leadership. In effect, she lost to a Pro-Ashcroft backlash.

Doesn't really answer why Ashcroft is so hated on the national scene, but I thought it would provide some background on the "lost to a dead man" issue.
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Old 11-11-2004, 03:19 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ustwo
Sadly I don't think his detractors were really upset that he didn't arrest more people. In fact I would think they would be upset for him doing so.
Not if they were legitamate arrests. The issue with Ashcroft was his non-stop assault on civil liberties. He seemed more interesting in making the law abiding citizens behave to his standard of conduct then in finding people who meant us harm and sending them to jail, or prosecuting people, companies, and organizations that performed illegal acts.

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Old 11-11-2004, 03:40 PM   #18 (permalink)
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From The Nation:


"It is easy to forget now that by the time Al Qaeda's planes hit, it was already clear that Ashcroft was a piece of work. While his morning Bible meetings with top staff raised eyebrows, his appointments and policies bore all the hallmarks of a deadly serious and resolute ideologue. He filled the top positions at Justice with Federalist Society members, forced reluctant US Attorneys to aggressively promote the death penalty and undermined career lawyers who wanted to pursue voting irregularities in Florida.

Then, in the wake of September 11, Ashcroft embarked on his own private war against due process, dissent and freedom of information. In fact, he was a colossal failure even on his chosen terrain: preventive detention netted no would-be bombers, despite thousands of immigrants jailed and lives wrecked, while alienating Muslim communities at home and abroad. The first convictions obtained against Al Qaeda suspects in Detroit were eventually dropped because of Justice Department irregularities. Yet when the department's own Inspector General reported that hundreds of foreign nationals with no connection to terrorism were rounded up, imprisoned and denied their rights, Ashcroft's response was curt: We make no apologies.

Ashcroft, in the end, can't properly be called a conservative at all; rather, he used his job to expand executive branch authority, the power of police agencies to monitor citizens without judicial oversight and the intrusion of government into private lives. Ashcroft treated criticism and dissent as treason, ethnicity as grounds for suspicion and Congressional and judicial oversight as inconvenient obstacles. No wonder that finally even a conservative attack dog like Congressman Bob Barr soured on Ashcroft justice; no wonder that even the Rehnquist Supreme Court slapped down the Administration's Guant疣amo detention policies, declaring that even a state of war is not "a blank check.""
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Old 11-11-2004, 04:44 PM   #19 (permalink)
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He also didn't believe in states' rights, at least when it went against his personal religious beliefs. There was the whole issue about the Death With Dignity act in Oregon, where the state voted to allow euthanasia in certain circumstances. Ashcroft stated that he wouldn't allow this, and would prevent doctors getting the necessary drugs by instructing the DEA to treat it as illegal use of controlled substances.

Not only did this show an appalling tendency to let his personal religious beliefs overrule his actual mandate, it cast a dangerous precedent for preventing doctors from recieving drugs for treating certain things.

Being religious is one thing, but using your political position to enforce your beliefs on the rest of the country - even against the constitution and the will of the people - is the most heinous abuse of power.

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Old 11-11-2004, 07:38 PM   #20 (permalink)
is awesome!
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ustwo
I see, so this makes the man evil.
evil is your word.

Check up on the federal trial of Ed Rosenthal, not exactly a model for state's rights. There are people on the right who disapprove of Ashcroft as well, ever heard of Libertarians?

I think Ashcroft covering the statue of JUSTICE will be seen as a watershed moment in our history, that is if our civil liberties continue to erode and it looks like they will.

How about the investigation into the Anthrax attacks? What happened with that? And yet Ashcroft has the time to put Tommy Chong in jail for selling bongs over the internet, wonderful.

Everyone on the TFP knows about Ashcroft plans to attack the production and distribution of pornography right? It was slated for a fall 2001 launch, stymied by 9/11, darn.

On 9/11: blame for missing these attacks doesn't lay on any one person's head. It's pretty clear however, from reading the 9/11 commision report, that had our various law enforcement agencies communicated better we could have prevented the attacks.

How about the investigation into which administration official outed Joseph Wilson's wife as a CIA operative? Guess Ashcroft's sleuthing skills fail when the trail leads to the Pentagon or Karl Rove's office. I'd love to see a douche like Bob Novak rot in jail for a while, but not for this reason. We need to find his sources.

The patriot act was his baby, he has campaigned for it's renewal.

And it's not just that Ashcroft is religious, he is a fundamentalist. He believes that the world poofed into existance about 10K years ago, that there is a heaven with angels, a hell where the devil resides, and that the USA is protected a character called "God," hilarious. That's not the kind of disregard for empiricism or rational thought that I'd like to see in our nation's highest defender of justice.

Last edited by Locobot; 11-11-2004 at 09:02 PM..
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Old 11-12-2004, 03:31 AM   #21 (permalink)
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Brace yourselves. From what I hear, Ashcroft's replacement ain't much better.

"Gonzales helped pave the legal groundwork that led to the torture of detainees at Abu Ghraib. In 2002 he claimed in a memo that the war on terrorism renders obsolete portions of the Geneva Conventions. He favored altering the 1978 Presidential Records Act to severely restrict access to presidential documents. He is a strong backer of the Patriot Act. And he has often been seen as dismissive of international law. In 1997, during his stint as Bush's gubernatorial counsel, Gonzales argued that the state of Texas was not bound by international treaties signed by the United States. He made this argument to defend the execution of a Mexican man who was interrogated and tried without being given a chance to contact the Mexican embassy. Several groups have already announced opposition to Gonzales including the Center for Constitutional Rights, People for the American Way and Human Rights First. Gonzales has also been criticized by some conservatives who have been skeptical of his views on abortion and affirmative action."
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