One of the things that has constantly amazed me over my years of watching the Right is how often new “grassroots” organizations pop up to speak out on a particular issue and then, just as suddenly completely disappear only to reappear years later as if nothing has changed.
This tendency has been particularly noticeable on the issue of judicial nominations and I’ve written about it before regarding the Judicial Confirmation Network, which was launched back in 2005, ran a bunch of ads and issued a bunch of press releases about the Democrats’ unfair treatment of President Bush’s judicial nominees and garnered a bunch of press, only to go completely silent until they re-appeared on the scene to try and make it an issue in the 2008 election and position itself the lead the opposition to President Obama’s Department of Justice and judicial nominees.
The fact that, for months if not years at a time, groups like the JCN exist in name only never seems to dampen their claims to influence or their ability to get quoted in the press.
And now we can add Kay Daly and the Coalition for a Fair Judiciary to the list of those groups who go utterly dormant for years on end, only to re-emerge when the timing seems right.
Despite the fact that Daly’s organization has been defunct for more than two years at this point, she has a new op-ed in Human Events blasting Sen. John Kyl for failing to stop Elena Kagan’s nomination to be Solicitor General:
Obama’s DOJ nominees, and Kagan in particular, put a spotlight on Kyl to exert the leadership required for the GOP whip, who is also a member of the Judiciary Committee. At the very least, we expected him to ask Kagan serious questions, and demand answers, that reflected knowledge of her prior statements and the fact that she is a rumored Obama favorite for the Supreme Court. Instead, Kyl barely lifted a finger to expose Kagan’s radicalism, and not only failed to rally the GOP as whip, but even voted to approve Kagan’s nomination in committee — something that even Sen. Specter would not do.
There is still time for Kyl to show leadership and provide a “teaching moment” on the Constitution and America’s legal culture. When Elena Kagan and similarly troubling Obama nominees come to the floor of the full Senate, Kyl should vote NO, urge his fellow conservatives to do the same, and do everything in his power to give Americans a better view of Obama’s true agenda.
Daly’s tagline says that she is “president of the Coalition for a Fair Judiciary,” which, while true, is something of a truism considering that CFJ’s staff has always consisted solely of Daly.
And, of course, her exhortations and claims to represent grassroots activists might carry more weight if she hadn’t been completely AWOL for the last several years.
A quick look at her website reveals that the organization has not issued a press release since November 2006, nor has any of its data on judicial confirmations been updated since the 109th Congress, while it’s “Judicial Appointments Status Report” is current as of 10/18/2006. In fact, everything on its website is at least two years out of date. Even Daly’s blog goes dormant for months at a time, with her last post having gone up back in October until she returned today to let everyone know that she had a new piece in Human Events.
Like cicadas, these right-wing groups emerge, make a loud racket for a short period of time and then all but disappear, only to re-emerge down the road and start the whole process over again.
And yet, for some reason, they still manage to be taken seriously by right-wing media outlets who willingly give them platforms and by even mainstream media outlets which are apparently either unaware or unconcerned that these shell groups exist primarily to create the appearance of grassroots support for an issue.