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Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Ain't No Valley Low Enough?

Porcupine is very angry now.

It was Jay Leno who pushed him over the edge.

Last night, when commenting about the seizure that chief Justice Roberts suffered at his vacation home in Maine, Leno quipped, “"At first people thought he had just fallen over from leaning too far to the right."

Stop and think about this for a moment. What would be the reaction to a cute joke about FDR falling out of his wheelchair? Or Sen. Inouye or former Sen. Dole having a weak grip? As one friend of Porcupine’s put it:

Coming soon to a theater near you:

Steven Spielberg and Robert Zemekis present:

Back to the Middle Ages

Starring: ignorant morons who post anonymously on the Internet. And Michael J. Fox.

That may seem like overreaction – after all, it’s just one mildly tasteless joke. But Porcupine had been following this in the Knox County Gazette, the newspaper for Rockland, Maine. Here’s their descriptive paragraph.

"St. George Ambulance responded to a call at about 2 p.m. Monday of a man who had fallen 5 to 10 feet and landed on a dock, hitting the back of his head. The patient was ashen and was foaming at the mouth. National news report quotes a Supreme Court spokeswoman as saying that Roberts was conscious the entire time of the incident. That spokeswoman has not returned a telephone call to the newspaper."

Here are some of the reactions on the Comments section in reaction to that story (and to be fair, these represent only about 25% of the comments, most of which were supportive and/or sympathetic):

poedude99 wrote on July 31, 2007 8:56 AM: "
Roberts lied to Congress and he thought it was funny; Roberts is a liar with a smiling face.... I hope John Stevens outlasts John Roberts; I think the guy should be re-examined; I am tired of crazy, physiologically incapable judges/ justices who run this country inside secret and dark rooms.... they are sick because they are inbred and their genes are not strong... if this guy did not mention his obvious physical defects to congress, he should be impeached; it is unacceptable that someone can lie their way into a lifetime appointment.

AnahadWolves wrote on July 31, 2007 7:35 AM: "Chief Justice Roberts was, reportedly "foaming at the mouth" as if that was some kind of indicator of a disease or defect, correct? Funny...most far-Right republicans I know generally foam at the mouth; are they diseased or defective? I won't answer that one..."

acnelsonCA wrote on July 30, 2007 11:32 PM: "Seizing? Frothing? OMG!!! Out, out, evil spirits!"

bubbolas wrote on July 30, 2007 11:20 PM: "omigawd...he was ashen, frothing, and conscious at the same time! Sounds like a seizure and a very bad fall (five to ten feet landing on his head)....so I think it's more than just a frothing seizure..but potentially a bad head injury. May he recover swiftly and have a complete change of judicial philosophy!"

somecallmechief wrote on July 30, 2007 10:17 PM: "One can only hope that at the very least this prevents his return to the Supreme Court, or failing that that the fall knocked some sense into him. That's probably too optimistic."

Porcupine has long had a theory about the lack of empathy for epilepsy, or seizure disorder, as it is now more commonly called. You can put your hands over your eyes, and pretend to be blind. You can put your fingers in your ears, and pretend to be deaf. You can sit in a wheelchair, and pretend to be mobility impaired. But short of experiencing a seizure, nothing can prepare you for that sensation or experience. So, it remains mysterious. Justice Roberts hadn’t suffered an episode for 14 years – oooohhh, but he MIGHT have at any moment! Creepy!

Porcupine very much hopes that the Democratic and Progressive wings of the Body Politic will be able to evince some self control about mocking a Conservative about a physical problem. Only last week, we celebrated the 15th anniversary of the effectiveness of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Let’s hope we can all honor that commitment to one another; you are still perfectly free to despise Justice Roberts on the grounds of doctrine and decision. Let’s keep it at that.

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Blogger sandy shoes said...

One of the many things I've learned about epilepsy over the years is that the feeling of humiliation after a seizure... however unwarranted, and however nice people are about it... can be debilitating. I hope Chief Justice Roberts has a strong support system and a quick recovery from his fall.

That 75% of the comments were sympathetic/supportive speaks well of people, though I certainly wish it were more. I do believe that if he were a liberal or a "leftist," the boor ratio would've been about the same.

4:35 PM  

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