Stick a Bork in Him He's Done

Robert Bork Finds Out if God Is A Strict Constructionist

Whereabouts of Icelandic waif unknown at press timeRobert Bork, the partisan hack who finished carrying out Richard Nixon’s “Saturday Night Massacre” in 1973 (after two other men with actual character resigned rather than cooperate), helped to make the intellectually bankrupt notion of Constitutional “originalism” a staple of mainstream conservatism, and went on to fail to win confirmation to the Supreme Court, has died at the age of 85. According to leading experts, the 1987 Senate hearings on Bork’s confirmation marked the crucial point at which modern American political discourse began to irreversibly go into the shitter.

Always more useful to the Right as a symbol of victimhood at the hands of liberal perfidy than for actually accomplishing anything, Bork also made the mistake of writing down many of his opinions about what he believed to be the strict limits on government enshrined in the Constitution, and then stating those opinions during his confirmation hearing. This serious error in planning made it fairly easy for Democrats to whip up opposition to his views by directly quoting them, which helped usher in the modern era of nominating only ciphers like Clarence Goddamn Thomas, whose views are generally in line with the president’s, but not available for quotation or even discussion during confirmation hearings. Any public utterances by SCOTUS appointees must therefore be sifted for portents of judicial madness, such as how Sonia Sotomayor’s “wise Latina” remarks indicated her intent to cede all of Aztlan to Mexico and to enslave all white people.

Bork is also notable in these parts for having won Wonkette accolades for a 2005 letter to the Wall Street Journal in which he took issue with “activist bartenders:”

What counts in mixology is the “original understanding” of the martini’s essence by those who first consumed it. The essence remains unaltered but allows proportions to evolve as circumstances change. Mr. Felten’s “near-perfect martini” is the same in principle as the “original-understanding martini” and therefore its legitimate descendant. Such latter-day travesties as the chocolate martini and the raspberry martini, on the other hand, are the work of activist bartenders.

Then-editrix Ana Marie Cox said that the letter proved “that everyone is allowed at least one redeeming quality,” and we are inclined to agree that this may indeed have been it.


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About the author

Doktor Zoom Is the pseudonym of Marty Kelley, who lives in Boise, Idaho. He acquired his nym from a fan of Silver-Age comics after being differently punctual to too many meetings. He is not a medical doctor, although he has a real PhD (in Rhetoric and Composition).

View all articles by Doktor Zoom
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    1. Lascauxcaveman

      Tequila Sunrises? I hope he would have the decency to to defer to Sotomayor on that one. (She's the Messican one, right?)

          1. glasspusher

            That's it! Get out of my fuckin' cab!Srsly, I can play a mean Lyin' Eyes on my guitar, so don't fuck with me!

          2. viennawoods13

            S'okay… I confess that "Heartache Tonight" is one of those songs I crank up and sing along with.

  1. Loch_Nessosaur

    According to leading experts, the 1987 Senate hearings on Bork’s confirmation marked the crucial point at which modern American political discourse began to irreversibly go into the shitter.

    I remember that day.

    1. carlgt1

      yeah, the shocking days when politicians were attacked due to their true insane stances; not just made up "Swift Boat" nonsense…..

      1. DickWharfinger

        I am sad that he could not gasp for a couple of more days to face whatever the Mayans have up their sleeve.


  2. noodlesalad

    Ah yes, the asshole who gave us the verb "Borked" or "To bork," which means "to slander a person by correctly representing the insane positions that person has taken." I hope he's drinking Appletinis in the 8th circle with Rehnquist.

      1. glasspusher

        Robert Bor….excuse me, heroic Robert Bork, has just passed on to his great reward, leaving a legacy of blah of blah of blah of blah of blah of blah of blah

        1. glasspusher

          True patriots, even if Bork would frown on them deviating from using picks and shovels only, as god intended the help should work the mines.

  3. Callyson

    the 1987 Senate hearings on Bork’s confirmation marked the crucial point at which modern American political discourse began to irreversibly go into the shitter.

    What, no hate for "segregation now, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever"?

    ETA: that said, yeah, Bork definitely helped to make things take a turn for the worse…

    1. Doktor Zoom

      The difference, I suppose, is that even after Wallace said that, members of both parties condemned it as the hateful idiocy it was, and there was no 24-hour network dedicated to giving it a positive spin.

  4. Come here a minute

    As Noël Coward suggested, the ideal Supreme Court is made by filling it with legal minds and waving it in the general direction of Robert Bork.

    1. Antispandex

      See, I thought they were talking about Bjork at first, and I'm like all, well, no wonder she was never on the Court, and then I'm like all, hey, wait a minute, that's not how you spell Bjork, and then I like Googled it and stuff….

  5. Doktor Zoom

    On one of the crucial issues of our day, many believed that Bork's strict originalism would lead him to like "Generation 1" ponies, but he eventually held that, as owners of the franchise, Hasbro was fully entitled to have Lauren Faust go ahead with the reboot.

    Historians are expected to argue for years over the implications of Bork's last words, "[inaduble] … is best pony."

    1. SorosBot

      Probably Rarity, since she thinks her good luck in being born a unicorn makes her superior to everypony else.

      1. Doktor Zoom

        Confession: I originally typed "Rarity" precisely for that reason. She's like White Privilege Pony.

    2. Tommmcatt_Again

      I missed this whole pony thing, you know. I have no idea what they are from or why you guys worship and fap to them.

      It's because I'm old, right?

        1. BerkeleyBear

          I am now more deeply disturbed than ever by this meme. And I liked Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends and thought the artwork in Powerpuff was interesting.

  6. Rebootably_Joe

    And the republican whiny pissy-pants backlash led them to use the filibuster as a weapon for the next 30 years and counting, and also got us justices Thomas and Alito, because God forbid another right-wing adherent to a fringe legal theory ever be challenged by the logical application of said ideas to actual jurisprudential precedent.

    On the other hand, Bork himself would have undoubtedly unravelled as much of the 20th century as he possibly could, had he gained the bench. We know this, because he kept on fucking saying as much, loudly, and repeatedly, to anyone who would listen, until yesterday. Not that we can actually hold his views against him!!!

    I dunno, kinda lose-lose all around, in retrospect.

    1. SorosBot

      Considering that Roe v Wade would have been overturned in Planned Parenthood v Casey back in 1992 had Bork been in the court instead of Kennedy, I'd say that's a win; and giving in on Bork would not have somehow made it easier to block the later crazies.

      1. Rebootably_Joe

        Kennedy's been killing Roe by a thousand cuts for nearly half that time, though, and having the consequences of Bork's ideology out in the open for everyone to see might well have been the only vaccination for the subsequent Borklets.

        I'm not saying it's a certainty, and I'm definitely not saying we didn't make the best decision we possibly could have at the time, but it does seem like a more complicated retrospective than I'd personally have liked.

        1. SigDeFlyinMonky

          I prefer hanging the body in chains from a bridge until the ravens pick it clean then throwing the bones in a lime pit.

      1. CheneysOldHeart

        Me too! I have been super mad at him ever since he tossed me away like a bad piece of meat. I will have my revenge!

  7. Not_So_Much

    Well, he may have been a complete asshole. But you have to acknowledge the fashion risks he was willing to take in the facial hair department.

  8. orygoon

    A long while back, I taught American history to college freshmen, and I always was flummoxed when I went over my notes on the Saturday Night Massacre. I even watched a lot of the Watergate hearings as a youngun, but it still defies–everything– that guy was such a terrible bastard. And this morning on NPR they played some confusing old interview where Bork was saying HOW MUCH he wanted Watergate investigated. I don't know if that in itself is enough to send a man to hell, but it ain't gonna impress Saint Pete.

    1. Biel_ze_Bubba

      Yeah, I heard that. I had to translate for my daughter: "Wanting the investigation to proceed" is not the same as "Wanting the truth to be told."

  9. frostbitefalls

    As soon as he is credited with the requisite three miracles, Pope Ratziger will elevate him to sainthood.

    1. elviouslyqueer

      "They say you shouldn't say nothin' about the dead unless it's good. He's dead. Good!"

      –Moms Mabley

  10. BaldarTFlagass

    "the 1987 Senate hearings on Bork’s confirmation marked the crucial point at which modern American political discourse began to irreversibly go into the shitter."

    He didn't really die. He got into his time machine and went back to the 18th century, and was quoted as saying "My work here is finished!"

  11. Thurman Munster IV

    On the other hand, Obama would had a chance to pack the court with another wise jewess or Latina or heaven forbid a person of the gay persuasion.

    1. Negropolis

      You know, everybody's saying it, but we probably have all of those on the court and more than one of those in the same persons…

  12. weejee

    If he had won nomination B. Barry Bamz would be replacing the seat held by swing voter Kennedy. Can maybe Scalia take a hint? Not likely, Aunt-tony the Tiger will likely live longer that Methuselah.

    1. Lascauxcaveman

      Not a real huge fan of Kennedy, but I think Bork would have done more damage than Kennedy could even dream about in the long time he's been there.

  13. Loch_Nessosaur

    As bad as Bork was, Nixon was so corrupt and reprehensible that Bork wasn't even the worst or most dangerous person to come out of the Nixon administration. That award will probably go to Roger Ailes, President, Fox News Corp.

    1. Rotundo_

      There were so many corrupt little toadies working for Biggus Dickus that Bork wouldn't even make the top five, maybe even ten. Roger definitely is a must-mention though.

  14. glasspusher

    About fucking time. My protest worked! God might not listen but the Editrix does!

    Edit: Not to take anything away from the Good Doktor

  15. SaintRond

    Bork arrived in Hell at 7:46 this morning, taking his place in the 8th Circle (the Circle of Shit), next to Torquemada, to begin his eternal punishment. The end.

  16. Antispandex

    I agree. Not making it as an ultra-conservative Court member, may be his single greatest success. Look how many have suceeded at making it to the exclusive club, from which you can never be removed, and then been injected with the zombie drugs! It's like the Hotel California, but for ideologues!

  17. DahBoner

    But "originalism" was just a THEORY.

    What the hell did he actually do in his life besides judging people PROHIBITED BY THE BIBLE and making up crazy shit in his classes and stink tanks?

    I got nothing…

  18. SayItWithWookies

    Robert Bork — a man who considered it his personal mission to bring the logic, order and restraint of Biblical fundamentalism to the interpretation of the Constitution. I would've said long may he rot, but in honor of his humorous comments on the martini, I'll amend that to wish he be preserved in a barrel of gin. Not the good gin, mind you — the Bowman's Virginia Gin (I shit you not). Even better, it comes in a large shatterproof bottle.

          1. SayItWithWookies

            Worse than a cheap champagne hangover — one of those where your head feels like a cinderblock and your teeth are like old sandpaper and your skin is a dry gray parchment and you spend the morning contemplating what it feels like to be dead.

    1. docterry6973

      Shatterproof bottle? What's the point of that? If I can't bust the bottle then I need to buy a gun.

  19. Doktor Zoom

    to bring the logic, order and restraint of Biblical fundamentalism to the interpretation of the Constitution.

    Oh, that's EXCELLENT. I plan to steal this.

      1. SorosBot

        You just said that up there 11 minutes ago, while at the moment this is 15 minutes ago- so ha ha, I win! :P

  20. snowpointsecret

    According to leading experts, the 1987 Senate hearings on Bork’s confirmation marked the crucial point at which modern American political discourse began to irreversibly go into the shitter.

    1987? That explains why I had no idea who he was.

    1. ProgressiveInga

      You should. Borkdom is what the current group of retro-tea-party-ers believe America should be. To quote Senator Kennedy at the time of the bork confirmation hearings:

      “Robert Bork’s America is a land in which women would be forced into back-alley abortions, blacks would sit at segregated lunch counters, rogue police could break down citizens’ doors in midnight raids, schoolchildren could not be taught about evolution, [and] writers and artists would be censored at the whim of government.”

  21. Geminisunmars

    I don't like to make comments on peoples' appearances, but I don't mind saying that that guy was one ugly fucking motherfucker, on the inside.

    1. elviouslyqueer

      Now darling, all you need is a simple "Bless his heart," whereupon you can commence to ripping the old hirsute pigfucker.

      1. Geminisunmars

        “Bless his heart” doesn't work for unadulterated evil. Which is why you can't say “Bless his heart” about Cheney. Or maybe there is some other reason…

      2. BelleSC

        That is *one* good thing about living in the South. "Bless his heart he couldn't help being ugly as a turd worm but he could have stayed home."

  22. keepwalkin

    I think more likely is Bork finds out if Beelzebub has thorns in his cock which he'll be sucking from now uhhhhhhhhh……on!!

    1. Tommmcatt_Again

      He's broken his soul into pieces and hidden them throughout Wingnuttia, Pieces can be found in:

      One of Limbaugh's sub-folds
      The jar that houses Ann Coulter's old testicles
      Michael Savage's "brain" pan
      K-Lo's battery-operated crucifix
      The Emmy that Kelsey Grammar will never get

      If ai could just find the last piece we could end this horror forever.

    2. Wile E. Quixote

      The fact that he has managed so far to avoid being exposed to direct sunlight or having a wooden stake driven through his heart and then being buried at a crossroads at midnight with his mouth stuffed with garlic and his head cut off and stuffed behind his knees.

    3. SorosBot

      Not so much alive as undead; and it's the same mix of pure hate and bile with the blood of the innocent that keeps the shambling corpse of Dick Cheney animated.

  23. ttommyunger

    I honestly believe this asshat will be most remembered for his innovative use of a Merkin as a beard toupee.

  24. GeneralLerong

    WIN by Jeff Toobin:

    Robert Bork, who died Wednesday, was an unrepentant reactionary who was on the wrong side of every major legal controversy of the twentieth century. The fifty-eight senators who voted against Bork for confirmation to the Supreme Court in 1987 honored themselves, and the Constitution. In the subsequent quarter-century, Bork devoted himself to proving that his critics were right about him all along.

    1. MilwaukeeKent

      H. L. Mencken on William Jennings Bryan, Hunter S. Thompson on Richard Nixon, now Toobin on Bork, the scathingly accurate obituary is a thing of rare beauty. Well done!

    2. viennawoods13

      And let us never forget- that guy (what was his name?) who lost the election last month would have let this man select Supreme Court nominees.

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