What has not been reported in the recent collapse of Attorney General Michael Mukasey is that just before he fainted, Washington State Supreme Court Judge Richard Sanders stood up and called him a tyrant.
When Mukasey began his routine defense of Bush policies over the treatment of detainees, Judge Sanders apparently could not take it and jumped up and screamed “Tyrant! You are a tyrant!”
Sanders explained later: “Frankly, everybody in the room was applauding or sometimes laughing, and I thought, ‘I’ve got to stand up and say something.’ And I did. I stood up and said, ‘Tyrant,’ then I sat down again, then I left.” Sanders left before the collapse and now says that he regrets yelling at Mukasey.
Sanders is a respected judge in Wisconsin with a long list of opinions.
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18 thoughts on “Before Attorney General Mukasey’s Collapse, a Judge Stood Up and Called Him a Tyrant”
Good Afternoon Mike S.
Eisenhower was the last decent Republican president. I would have voted for Mr. Goldwater, if I had the chance, but I was just shy of voting age. Goldwater was the most misunderstood Republican in my lifetime and I disliked his 1964 opponent, Mr. Johnson.
Notwithstanding political party affiliations, your comment regarding the loss of the meaning of public service by our public *servants* is correct. During my quarter-century-plus of public service, most people in civil service never recognized their duty to *serve* the public, who employed them. This situation is worse nowadays because most government employees have jobs that are too secure, regardless of their displays of incompetence or unethicalness in their daily job “performances.” Their ‘Oaths of Office’ become quickly forgotten formalities, if the words they uttered–and to which they pledged– ever received any real consideration at all.
I remember Eisenhower, Dirksen and Bob Taft. I may not have agreed with them philosophically but I never doubted their desire to serve all Americans. Even Herbert Hoover, who was so wrong about the Depression, was a man of principle and intelligence. The Republican Party today is controlled by narrow minded and selfish individuals,
who have replaced the wisdom of Lincoln, et. al., with greed and religious hypocrisy. It is vital for the stability of our country to reform it, or replace it, with people more interested in the needs of the public. This is my opinion, because as a lifelong liberal, I am quite aware that the Democratic Party too often loses its’ sense of the meaning of public service.
I am glad that you voted mostly Democratic, but it is sad to see an entire political party get taken over by its far right wing. Hopefully we will steer in the other direction for awhile. I also agree that it is always better to try to be part of the change rather than abandon the entity entirely. However, it will be a tough and uphill battle for you.
Americans must ensure that we never elect another incurious and incompetent theocratic president, from either political party, ever again. Bush and other likeminded Republicans in office have forced me to vote for the last 2 Democratic presidents, while this time voting almost across-the-board for the Democratic ticket! The party to which I belong–that once was for limited government–has demonstrated in the worst financial manner possible that they are more socialistic, especially with corporate welfare, than the Democrats have ever been throughout history.
I think Bush et al. must suffer legal consequences to warn future administrations that such malfeasance and corruption in high public office will never again be tolerated. The Bush Admin was not just about differing political philosophies; given that, I would have sided with the Republicans. It was about the most corrupt and disgusting display of selfishness and incompetency I have ever seen or read about from history texts.
Observing Bush’s display of recklessness damages my trust in the GOP–as a conscientious conservative– more so than the disdain that Democrats, Independents or others might harbor. To be a member of a party that has caused such enormous infrastructure and financial destruction, and death from an elective war, is tough to shoulder. All that others and I can do now is try to prevent other miscreants like Bush from ever becoming leaders in *our* party. However, with the emergence of Palin and some others, my task–and that of other Republicans like me–seems doomed.
No, I could not leave the GOP. As with the NRA, it is better to try to change something from within than to abandon what an entity ‘should’ represent based on the founding principles.
You are spot on with speaking truth to power. That is something that the mainstream media failed to do throughout the Bush regime. We have to make sure that we never allow an administration to fight a war against the media and for that matter, the public in general. How many stories have we read during the last 8 years where people were arrested for attending open to the public meetings for wearing anti-Bush shirts or for having anti-Bush bumper stickers on their cars. It was a travesty that these cases weren’t blown all over the front pages and that Bush wasn’t held accountable.
Speaking truth to power is what the law should always be about–whether it be to bullies in the street, in the board room, or in the marble halls of the government. Nations of laws, not of men.
Well said. I don’t mind that the judge spoke out in that manner because it is appropriate that someone speaks out in public against an administration that has done so much to silence the public.
How did you slip those in there, JT?
You can probably knock the last two AG posts off.
I thought there was something wrong with my ‘puter.
Sorry for the multiples.
Happy turkey, turlees!
Thanks for sharing this tidbit and for everything else that you do, JT.
Although I wish no illness on the AG, I’d like to offer a big ‘Shout Out’ to Judge Sanders
– for saying what needs to be said.
Mukasey’s own repeated casual remarks on the rule of law are both an insult to a noble profession and
a precious document.
I propose a Thanksgiving toast:
To the Constitution – more than just a piece of paper!
Rachel’s walk down Memory Lane:
Thankful the Bush administration is ending
Bush’s crowded rogue’s gallery makes change even more appealing
Thanks for sharing this tidbit and for everything else that you do, everyday, JT.
Although I wish no illness on the AG, I’d like to offer a big ‘Shout Out’ to Judge Richard Sanders (of WA)
– for saying what needs to be said.
Mukasey’s own repeated ‘casual’ remarks on the subject of th4 rule of law are both an insult to a noble profession and a precious document.
I propose a Thanksgiving toast:
To the Constitution – more than ‘just a piece of paper’!
Bonus: Rachel’s walk down Memory Lane:
‘Thankful the Bush administration is ending
Bush’s crowded rogue’s gallery makes change even more appealing’
Thanks for sharing this tid bit and for everything else that you do, JT.
I wish no ill to Mukasey, however, I’d like to offer a big ‘Shout Out’ to Judge Sanders for saying what needed to be said.
Mukasey’s own repeated casual remarks on the rule of law are an insult to both the profession and the precious document upon which it is based.
I propose a toast:
‘To the Constitution – so much more than JUST a piece of paper!’
(Rachel’s piece on being thankful – for the Bush Adminstration’s upcoming exit and a bonus look back at the ‘wall of shame’.)
Judge Sanders left out “war criminal” and “torturer”. I hope — though I know it will never happen, as Obama has made clear — that Mukasey and the horde of other Bush war criminals will face trial for crimes against humanity.
Still, we may hope that on travel abroad, Mukasey or Rice or Yoo, Rumsfeld, Cheney, Gonzales, and on and on, will face arrest and trial.
Better yet, any other nation could follow the example the Israelis set with Eichmann and abduct one of the Bush war criminals for trial abroad.
I stand squarely with the judge.
Given the gravity of any subject involving torture, and the levity with which it was receiving, I would most likely have been more vocal. However, the respected judge should have waited until after the AG’s speech and then offered a stern rebuttal from the podium, if possible. As it happened, at least the public got a chance to hear the retort and strongly agree with what the judge said.
After 8 years of rule, regulation, and law breaking by the Bush Administration, even the most venerable among us have had enough of the Bush et al. imbecilic “power” (certainly not leadership).
You are correct. Betty, the judge that you call a member of the left wing fringe was at a Federalist Society meeting. They do not usually allow anyone except members in to their meetings or gatherings so the odds are very good that this judge is a member of the Federalist Society. If he is, he isn’t a left wing judge. One more thing, it isn’t lunacy when he is uttering the truth!
Happy Thanksgiving to you and may you learn the true spirit of America, which is we are all one people, despite our diversity. Your “lunatic” is my hero, but as Americans we all have the freedom of our opinions. The true American recognizes that and celebrates our diversity of thought, ethnicity and belief. Those of our citizens, perhaps you, believe that only those like them in thought, ethnicity and belief, are true Americans. A study of our Constitution and our history might change your mind if approached without the filter of pre-judgment.
“Judge” Sanders is a lunatic, one of many the left wing fringe has gotten on the bench one way or another. We should all be ashamed of such an embaressment to the judicial branch.
I admire this man. He stood up in a room full of people who were agreeing to or laughing about the torture of other human beings and “spoke truth to power”. That took courage and it means he has a strong conscience and character.
It wasn’t what Judge Sanders said, but Mukasey’s own recognition that it was true, that COULD have played a part in this collapse. The fact that he collapsed does not mitigate the horrifying crimes that he and his BFFs condone/allow and sometimes, participate in.
I am thankful for people like Judge Sanders.
Happy Thanksgiving to all!
Ah, the power of suggestion. Happy Thanksgiving to all!
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