I was reminded this past Sunday, on the fortieth anniversary of the Watergate break-in, about something my old drinking buddy G. Gordon Liddy once told me. “Peter,” he said, “when you buy cocaine off a Mexican prostitute, make sure you watch her do some of it first, to see how she reacts, or there’s a good chance you’ll have to have surgery to fix your deviated septum.”
Good advice, Gordo.
He soon added, “And when you’re planning the burglary of your rival political party’s headquarters, in an operation that will end up going down as the opening salvo in a factionalizing political war which will drag on for at least the next forty years, be sure you don’t hire amateurs… To this day, I’m not sure why I did that… It might have had something to do with all the bad coke I was buying off that Mexican hooker.”
As we sit here now, in the heat of that factionalized political war, I thought it apt to put all my investigative weight to bear on getting to the bottom of the startling dichotomy that threatens to bring our nation to its knees. And nowhere in this country is that dichotomy more apparent than in the Supreme Court.
Sharply divided, the court has issued a number of 5-4 rulings over the past few years that have, depending on who you ask, either gutted or bolstered our political and justice systems. The most controversial of those verdicts was undoubtedly the Citizen’s United case, in which the court ruled that it’s permissible for Karl Rove to use Fox News as his personal poltico-religious evangelizing network, in order to raise vast amounts of money to make sure that the entire country understands the inherently evil threat posed by teachers, police, firemen, and other greedy, malicious, overpaid, out of control public employees.
Now the court is considering a challenge to Obama’s healthcare law on the grounds that it is unconstitutional. It is with the country, and the court, caught up in this fever pitch that I was somehow able to finagle an exclusive interview with two of the court’s justices – Antonin Scalia, best known for his staunch advocacy of the theory of Constitutional Originalism; and Clarence Thomas, known for, well, sexual harassment and not having asked a question from the bench in more than six years.
However, being about as far from a legal scholar as one can be despite numerous felonious run-ins with the law, I decided I needed a competent stand-in to take my place for this historic interview. After a few hours thought I came up with the perfect candidate. Seeing as how Citizen’s United ruled that corporations are people, and money is speech, I put in a few calls and was able to book one of the most revered legal minds I know of to handle the question asking in my stead: The googly-eyed pile of money from the Geico commercials.
So here, without further prologue, is the transcript of that interview:
Geico Money (GM): Gentlemen, I thank you for joining me today. It is truly an honor, your honors.
Justice Antonin Scalia (AS): You’re welcome.
Justice Clarence Thomas (CT): …
GM: Justice Scalia, I’d like to start by asking you about Originalism, the legal theory that the law should hue to the original intentions of the framers of the Constitution. My question, then, is this: How do you go about deciding how a cadre of men who lived more than 200 years ago would deal with the complex legal and social issues of modern times?
AS: This is obviously a question I’ve dealt with many times, and I would say it’s an evolving process. There is, of course, quite a bit of scholarship involved. Reading their writings, studying early court opinions, etc. But I would have to say that most often we come to our deepest understanding of the founding fathers by using seances to commune with their souls.
GM: Is that right?
AS: Yeah, you see, there’s this psychic medium who has a little storefront down on the east side of Massachusetts Avenue, in D.C., and we usually go to see her. It’ll be Roberts, Alito, Clarence here, myself, and sometimes Kennedy joins us. We go through the whole rigamarole; the darkened room, the crystal ball, the burning incense, and sometimes the psychic even speaks in tongues. It’s quite a show.
GM: I can imagine.
AS: Now, we used to use a Ouija board, but Clarence would always just direct the glass eye to spell out dirty words. Didn’t ya’, Clarence?
AS: We’ve also used a magic eight-ball before. Most notably in Bush v. Gore.
GM: Wow. And how did you pose that question?
AS: It was all very objective. When I asked if Gore would make a good President it replied, “Outlook not so good,” and when I asked the same for Bush it said, “Without a doubt.” That’s when we knew we were making the right decision. Right, Clarence?
End of Part One. Check back soon for Part Two.