Romney and Bork

People for the American Way has a new website up about Mitt Romney’s relationship with Robert Bork, who co-chairs the candidate’s campaign advisory committee on judicial matters. I’ve written at great length about Bork’s absolutely crazy views on the constitution. The site has a video with many of those views:


  1. otrame says

    Ah, yes. Robert Bork. I remember when he was nominated, and having read some of his views, I decided that the repubs were getting very, very squirrelly. I, of course, had no idea just how squirrelly they would get in later years.

    So much so that I find myself apologizing to squirrels for having ever made the comparison.

  2. says

    It’d be nice if someone put together a web page sourcing some of Bork’s worst stances. A video isn’t the place for that, of course. But what, for example, did Bork actually say about the 1st amendment?

  3. d cwilson says

    Amazingly, shortly after his nomination was scuttled, “Being Borked” entered our political lexicon to mean “having one’s views grossly distorted in the media”. Lost in that meme was the fact that Bork’s views actually were batshit crazy to begin with.

  4. marcus says

    d cwilson @5 Funny that. I had always thought (w/o looking any further) that being “borked” meant having someone’s “batshit crazy” views exposed by the media so that awful mistakes did not happen.

  5. otrame says

    Reminds me, I need to re-join PAW as soon as my finances get a little less tense. I was a member back when they first started, but had to drop off during dry years.

  6. says


    He actually said that the First Amendment covers only explicitly political speech — not artistic, literary, scientific or any other kind of speech. It’s hard to imagine a more ridiculous position than that.

  7. says

    Ed, when I wondered what Bork actually said, I meant verbatim. Real verbatim, not David Barton verbatim. If some legal eagle put together a web page tracing Bork’s worst stances, with sources, they would do the nation a favor, in this upcoming election season.

  8. Michael Heath says

    I find the conservative base far more riled up about getting conservatives nominated for social reasons than the past three Republican presidents. Instead I perceived all three as not really giving much of a shit with one exception, that being W. Bush’s desire to put corporatists on the bench as he did with Roberts and Alito; where Harriet Meiers’ water-carrying for Bush as governor suggests she’d could have been counted on to follow Roberts’ lead.

    From this perspective I found Reagan through W. all ignorant regarding the actual debates about the Constitution. Where they mostly sought to satisfy the last groups to pressure them, the nomination process appeared more like a necessary evil than an opportunity beyond satisfying some interest group. I am not defending them, I find this behavior absolutely abhorrent, that many of us citizens care far more about who they nominated than the primary person with that power. As good a justices as I think O’Connor and Souter were, we know H.W. Bush never expected Souter’s performance while it’s arguable that Reagan chose O’Connor because she was a female Goldwater Republican – strictly from a political affiliation perspective rather than an ideological one. Unless O’Connor matched Reagan’s ideological preferences, where subsequent nominations like Antonin Scalia blow that defense out of the water.

    I think Mitt Romney follows this legacy. Here he appears to merely seek to pander to conservatives, I’d bet money he knows nothing about the set of optimal rebuttals which challenge Mr. Bork.

  9. says

    “He actually said that the First Amendment covers only explicitly political speech — not artistic, literary, scientific or any other kind of speech. It’s hard to imagine a more ridiculous position than that.”

    So, I can’t say, “that fucking cocksucker is a lying douchebag, a pederast and a wife-beater.”, unless I interject that he’s a conservative/liberal/commie/fascist between “fucking” and “cocksucker”?

    Mittunswillard probably has to have a focus group tell him that he needs to take a crap.

  10. StevoR says

    @1. hkdharmon :

    Oh, I misread that as Romney and Bjork, and expected an entirely different post.

    Me too! Must admit I’ve never heard of this Bork guy before.

  11. says

    Democommie: “So, I can’t say, “that fucking cocksucker is a lying douchebag, a pederast and a wife-beater.”

    I’m not sure you CAN describe someone as a pedarast and a wife-beater unless you’ve got strong evidence that it’s true. In the UK I think we call it ‘fair comment’ if you’ve proof. Otherwise you’ve defamed them and they can sue you. Perhaps it’s different in the US.

  12. pacal says

    Re: No. 10 @d cwilson.

    “Safire defines to bork by reference “to the way Democrats savaged Ronald Reagan’s nominee, the Appeals Court judge Robert H. Bork, the year before.”

    Safire served during the closing days of the Nixon adminstration has a bum boy excusing and talking away the Watergate scandal. His definition of “to Bork” was an attempt to redifine “to Bork”. In the fall of 1973 Nixon in an effort to get rid of the Watergate Scandal Nixon fired Archibald Cox. Nixon ordered Attorney General Elliot Richardson to fire Cox, Richardson resigned rather than do it, and so did Deputy Attorney General William Ruckelshaus. Bork tthird down did it. So for a brief time “to Bork” meant to suck up to authority and do their dirty work even if it was morally and or legally questionable. Safire at the time justified / excused the firing. So Safire’s redefinition was in part fighting an old Watergate battle.

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