Thursday, November 20, 2008

Prayers for General Mukasey

I am in Washington for the Federalist Society's annual Lawyer's convention. Tonight, in the midst of a thoughtful speech about the successes of the Bush administration in fighting the war on terror, the hyperbole regarding the administration's legal positions on certain aspects of the response to terror and the dangers inherent in post hoc attempts to criminalize what were, at worst, disputed legal positions, Attorney General Michael Mukasey collapsed. He is in my prayers tonight and, I hope, yours.

24 comments:

Anonymous said...

I hope the best for the General. I see that CNN is reporting the General has left hospital and that this was a "fainting spell".

Fainting spell my ass. Slurred speech is a sign of interrupted blood flow to the speech center in the left brain. His episode looks like TIA (Transient Ischemic Attack). TIA often resolves quickly, but is a strong indicator of future strokes or other circulatory problems. See also: Toscanini’s Fumble by Harold Klawans, M.D.

I do hope the General’s getting good care at home; and that I am only an alarmist.

sean s.

Amy said...

Anon:

I wholeheartedly agree.

Rick:

I can't imagine how scary that is. My mother was at a store once and a woman behind her in line collapsed. Bystanders ran to assist her, and my mother went home. But the incident shook her deeply.

Prayers for the General.

Clutch said...

A simple prayer should never get in the way of a chance to call your opponents' views "hyperbole", and to hand-wave lamely about "at worst, disputed legal positions". Kudos for never letting the axe slip off the wheel.

Brian Borkowicz said...

Clutch:

That's hardly fair. The language you're referring to was this:

Tonight, in the midst of a thoughtful speech about the successes of the Bush administration in fighting the war on terror, the hyperbole regarding the administration's legal positions on certain aspects of the response to terror and the dangers inherent in post hoc attempts to criminalize what were, at worst, disputed legal positions, Attorney General Michael Mukasey collapsed.

I do not believe that Professor Esenberg was calling his opponents' views "hyperbole" or hand-waving lamely about "at worst, disputed legal positions." He was simply summarizing Attorney General Mukasey's speech. If you must kick a man while he's down, at least kick the right man.

Clutch said...

Brian, "about" is factive; it's not a direct speech report.

Were I to say "bin Laden praised the true heroes of 9/11, the brave men who hijacked the airplanes," I would be calling them brave, not reporting that bin Laden had. If the latter claim was the one I wished to make, the use of quotation marks or some expression like "whom he called" would be called for.

In this case, it's not even ambiguous. The writer's ownership of the claims and descriptions is repeated, varied, and perfectly clear.

Brian Borkowicz said...

I'm sorry, I just read it differently than you. I guess I expected it to be biased rather than journalistic, but still, I don't think it was intended as a dig on his opponents -- it seems more like a tribute to someone he respects.

Anonymous said...

Clutch, you missed the point of this post. Save your sarcasm for another one.

Clutch said...

I am in Washington for the Federalist Society's annual Lawyer's convention. Tonight, in the midst of a thoughtful speech about the successes of the Bush administration in fighting the war on terror, the hyperbole regarding the administration's legal positions on certain aspects of the response to terror and the dangers inherent in post hoc attempts to criminalize what were, at worst, disputed legal positions, Attorney General Michael Mukasey collapsed. He is in my prayers tonight and, I hope, yours.

No, anon, I think the points -- there are more than one -- are there in English for anyone to see.

Rick Esenberg said...

My goodness, Clutch, don't offend so easily. Neither I nor the Attorney General were labeling all of the critics of the legal aspects of the administration's approach to the war on terror as engaging in hyperbole. But it seems to me to be unquestionable that some have. It is one thing to argue that, for the first time ever in our history, alien enemy combatants captured abroad should have habeas rights. It may be that traditional warrants should be required for elctronic monitoring of communications overseas between persons involved in hostilities. There are aspects of this type of war which distinguish it from others and that do raise some difficult legal questions.

But it's quite another to thing to say that the Constitution has been shredded or that DOJ lawyers and administration officials have engaged in criminal acts. That is hyperbole - and irresponsible hyperbole at that.

Clutch said...

The only "offense" seems to have been taken by those who insisted you were merely reporting, not endorsing, the AG's remarks. I trust you have, in some degree, set them straight.

My point was simply that prayers for the AG's health might be more seemly were they divorced from the political axe-grinding for a minute.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for not engaging in political axe-grinding, Clutch.

Clutch said...

Where's the "You missed the point!" brigade when they're actually needed? ;-)

I guess you'll have to point out where I posted here for the announced purpose of praying and soliciting prayers for someone's health.

Anonymous said...

Admit it Clutch-you posted to start a fight. I read Rick's post again and you are really reading things into it. It was a prayer and wish for recovery. Lighten up.

Anonymous said...

"People who speak in metaphors ought to shampoo my crotch."

~Jack Nicholson, As Good As It Gets

Anonymous said...

anon 6:19

No thanks.

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