The Spectacle Blog

Re: Rotunda Politics

By on 10.31.05 | 8:35PM

The historical perspective on the great honor of stopping in the Rotunda on the way to becoming dust is very helpful. Sen. Schumer seemed to confirm the crass political motives interpretation today.

His statement on the Alito nomination is remarkable for its narcissism. His first sentence would be about the demands of the law, the honor of the court, right? Right? Nope. "This morning I went and visited Rosa Parks in the Capitol Rotunda to pay my respects." Schumer then goes on to invoke Parks' memory to score political points against Alito. Dead people can't object to being made objects.

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Rotunda Politics

By on 10.31.05 | 7:18PM

Rosa Parks was a fine, brave woman who helped to push the levers of American history in a positive direction. Her death deserves to be marked with appropriate solemnity; but does it follow that she deserves to lie in honor in the Capitol Rotunda? And who gets to lie in the Rotunda, anyway? According to Wikipedia:

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Punk’d by a Priest

By on 10.31.05 | 4:39PM

In the comments below, Fr. Martin Fox posts:

The document war has started. Senate Dems got wind of unreleased papers from early in Alito's career, and they want 'em -- no papers, no vote.
I was genuinely concerned for a minute.
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Talking to NOW

By on 10.31.05 | 4:22PM

I just talked to the vice president for membership from NOW, Latifa Lyles. She said the turnout is "part of a mounting campaign." I stopped her there and asked about this protest and if NOW is the only group there. She acknowledged it is. They were calling on other organizations to join them, but the larger groups "are now strategizing. As for us, we just had to hit the streets to make our presence known."

I asked her about the prolifers lined up, who number about 30 (to NOW's 15 to 17 gals, one guy), and she said, "I think it's ironic. Over the last couple of months, they seemed to get their way in stacking the courts with anti-choice judges ... We're in a position to protest because we haven't been able to do so [getting their judges on the court]. We came out to urge for our core Constitutional rights."

Would you say that the spectrum your group covers is also for abortion on demand? "Yes, absolutely."

And at 5 p.m., they're clearing out. The prolifers are still here. No changing ships. Now they're praying together.

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Court Correction- Prolifers

By on 10.31.05 | 4:02PM

The people facing the Supreme Court with tape over their mouths are pro-life protesters, and the tape has "Life" printed on it. I just talked to one of them, Lou Engale, of, who said that they have been here for almost a year straight. Theirs is not a protest, but a prayer, he said, and it's not angry. "We're for mothers. We just believe there's a better way than abortion."

I asked him what he thought of the NOW protest, and he said, "It's a worldview issue. And I understand the need for women's rights, but not the right to murder the unborn. We believe it's better to have a culture of life."

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NOW Signs and Chants

By on 10.31.05 | 3:51PM

Ah, the tired protest slogans:

"Right wing judges have got to go, hey hey, ho ho!"

"Racist, sexist, anti-gay, right wing judges, go away."

"What do we want? Justice. When do we want it? Now!"

Signs include: the ubiquitous NOW sign, "Keep Abortion Legal," "Scalito Say Arrivederci to Immigrants," and "Scalito: Wrong for Civil Rights."

Others: "Scalito is a trick, not a treat"; "Fight the radical right"; "Hell no, Alito"; "Support Civil Right, Reject Alito"; "If Alito's In, Reproductive Rights Are Out"; "Women Beware, Scalito Doesn't Care."

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More at the Court

By on 10.31.05 | 3:49PM

There's a line of people facing the Supreme Court, some have their fists up, some have tape over their mouths (thank heaven!).  Fifteen to 20 are walking in a circle chanting, among others, "Pro life that's a lie, you don't care if women die." The only guy in the procession has a sign reading, "Keep Abortion Legal." The gals giggled at his aggressive, forceful voice cracking point during that chant.

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From the NOW Front

By on 10.31.05 | 3:46PM

At the National Organization for Women -- National Association of Gals -- protest: about 45 protesters and a couple spectators. Nine reporters, so the proportion of protesters to media types is five to one. Freire reports the men present are very sensitive, interested, and compassionate. Unclear whether or not they're single.

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