published Tuesday, July 14th, 2009

Excuses, Excuses

about Clay Bennett...

The son of a career army officer, Bennett led a nomadic life, attending ten different schools before graduating in 1980 from the University of North Alabama with degrees in Art and History. After brief stints as a staff artist at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and the Fayetteville (NC) Times, he went on to serve as the editorial cartoonist for the St. Petersburg Times (1981-1994) and The Christian Science Monitor (1997-2007), before joining the staff of the ...

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JohnnyRingo said...

I guess an "activist ump" would make a call that some of the people disagree with. Maybe it's the honest decision, but 30% of us will think he's blind. Even on replay, a few will still denounce the evidence as biased by the mainstream media.

I always marveled at how the right sees an "activist judge" as one who thinks we should leave settled law alone, while a "fair minded jurist" will seek to reverse a past decision... to the point of active participation.

Sometimes I think the compasionate conseratives are using snappy catch phrases to convince citizens that liberals enjoy the death tax and seek to legislate from the bench. I believe they sell America short, we don't need to be told that Democrats pal around with terrorists and love to tax and spend.

When Republicans think for themselves, they see the money they could be saving with Geico.

July 14, 2009 at 3:21 a.m.
SCOTTYM said...

Actually JR, I think an activist ump would call the game in favor of the team he/she feels the most empathy towards. Or whichever has the "right" racial makeup, regardless of the basic rules of the game. You know, the ones about rules/laws being equally applied to everyone?

The 14th amendment should have cleared all this up.

FWIW, I am aware that the application of affirmative action is an accepted "past decision" by those who seek to right past wrongs. Just remember that two wrongs do not a right make. We are all equal or we are not, it's pretty simple.

My point is let's move on and end racism of all types. This is a reaffirmation of the very founding principles of our country, without the stains of the past. This is why the Amendment process was put in place, and why judges have the bit of leeway they are burdened with. Liberty CAN be expanded from the original racist/sexist 18th century practice without infringing upon the liberty of others.

I fear that the curtailment of liberty for some, to the advantage of others, is the agenda our current leadership is working to consolidate and expand. It is called tyranny.

I'll have none, thanks.

July 14, 2009 at 6:22 a.m.
woody said...

In a 'perfect' world there would be no need for umpires (judges), "activist" or not. Everything would be 'cut and dried', 'black and white', not requiring a 'disinterested' third party to call the close ones.

However, America is not 'perfect' and yet had the foresight to establish a judicial system second to none in the world. And while our judicial system comes under fire nearly as often as the enforcement and prosecutorial branches, it still comes as close to being well-balanced as possible considering the human beings we have sitting in judgment.

If(?) this cartoon was a metaphor aimed at the Sotomayer hearings, it was well-taken and conceived. However, and I hope it will be as well-received, this old world of ours may again find its way back to 'sanity' once we have restored a measure of good sportsmanship back in our "National Pastime." Thank you for your time and attention, Woody

July 14, 2009 at 6:23 a.m.
SCOTTYM said...


Congratulations on the Time posting. Most awesome indeed.


July 14, 2009 at 6:28 a.m.
OllieH said...

I think both left and right use the 'activist' label on any judge that they don't agree with. Like the Braves players in the above cartoon, they refuse to accept that their side may have lost on its own merit (or lack, thereof). Instead, they blame the umpires.

The Constitution is not a static document, it's a dynamic one that grows and adapts to meet the needs of changing circumstance. The founders' intent (no matter what any of us may think) is whatever we say it is, at any given time. That interpretation changes from one court to the next and from one generation to another... and that's the way it should be.

July 14, 2009 at 9:45 a.m.
toonfan said...

JohnnyRingo and OllieH got it just right... and so did Clay.

This cartoon speaks volumes, and does so using just two words.

July 14, 2009 at 9:57 a.m.
rolando said...

Another 'toon more appropriate for Clay's last, but still applies...

July 14, 2009 at 5:28 p.m.
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