Clown Award: Michael Boggs
Now it's time for the Clown Award, given as always for meritorious stupidity.
Okay, here's the deal. Trying to fill six vacancies on the federal court in Georgia, Barack Obama made what was called an all-nothing deal with Georgia's GOPper senators, Saxby Chambliss and Johnny Isakson. Again showing the negotiating skill for which he is so famous, the Amazing Mr. O made a deal in which the conservatives got to choose four of the six.
One among those four is this week's winner of the big red nose: Michael Boggs.
Boogs has been the target of the righteous wrath of progressives and even some liberals based on his record as a state legislator in Georgia, where he stood clearly against gay rights, civil rights, and the right to choose.
During his confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee, he did his best to squirm away from his own record, claiming he "regretted" this vote on this and that he was "glad" something else he supported failed to pass and yada yada yada. It was a hard sell, especially for me when he said that he meant no disrespect to African-American residents of Georgia with his vote in favor or keeping the confederate symbol on the state flag and went on about how "agonizing" the vote was.
"If someone is accusing someone of being a racist, I don't know how you disprove that," he said.
Well, not voting to keep the Confederate symbol on the state flag would be a start.
But he wasn't done yet.
As a legislator in 2001, he supported a measure that would have required doctors to publish online their profiles, including the addresses of their practices, along with a statement of how many abortions they had performed that year, a bill that would essential hang a target on the back of any abortion provider in the state.
What was Boggs' excuse for voting for this? It came up as a floor amendment, he whined, and he hadn't had time to talk to colleagues or study the issue. Leave aside the fact that it seems to me that if you get faced with an amendment you don't know enough about or don't understand, what you do is not vote on it, realize what he's saying here:
This guy is claiming that he was totally, blissfully unaware of the physical risks the bill presented
to abortion providers. Putting on his best Sgt. Schultz face, he insisted that he knew nothing about the shootings, the murders of doctors, the clinic bombings, none of it. He simply had no idea.
And if that wasn't enough, it turned out that he damn well did have an idea.
An audio recording of that March 2001 debate in the Georgia House makes it clear that legislators - including Boggs - knew what the amendment would do and why it was so dangerous, a danger that had caused this same amendment to already have been rejected by the Georgia Senate.
What's more, it also develops that the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the largest newspaper in Georgia, was at the time publishing articles about risks to abortion providers, including an editorial a month before the vote focusing on that risk and opposing exactly the sort of amendment which Boggs claimed came as such a surprise to him.
There is just no way around it: Michael Boggs is either a liar or a complete lamebrain - and in either event, Michael Boggs, Barack Obama's nominee to the federal court in Georgia, is a clown.
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