‘Dawn Johnsen fatigue’

February 15, 2010
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Today's post is from IL reporter Rebecca Berfanger:

I just Googled an Indiana University Maurer School of Law – Bloomington professor for what seems like the thousandth time in at least a year. And I’m guessing I’m not the only one … in fact, far from it.

Pretty much ever since President Obama first suggested he would nominate professor Dawn Johnsen to head the Office of Legal Counsel in January 2009 before his inauguration, there have been what seem to be countless blog postings, news updates, and posts on Facebook fan pages. There have been letters on Web sites of legal organizations that support her and letters on pro-life organizations’ sites that oppose her. There even have been updates to Johnsen’s Wikipedia page.

With the information overload, I think I’m suffering from what I’ve dubbed “Dawn Johnsen fatigue.”

This is nothing against Johnsen. From what I’ve heard from other sources in the last year, she’s a perfectly nice, reasonable person. In fact, I think I’ve even talked to her for an article or two prior to her nomination, but it’s just been so long since I could talk to her that I can’t remember. Unlike most people I’ve written about, Johnsen can’t talk to me directly about the nomination or the process – at least not until it’s over.

Our most recent article about her was in the Jan. 20-Feb. 2, 2010, edition, “Nomination revitalized,” after the president re-nominated her at the beginning of this year due to procedural reasons. She is now waiting on another Senate Judiciary Committee hearing, which was first postponed a few weeks ago due to scheduling at the Senate, then because of snow, and now because of the Senate’s weeklong recess.

Meanwhile, for the last year I’ve been receiving e-mail updates from my coworkers, Johnsen’s co-workers, and some in the know about her pending nomination.

Even when the law school announces she’ll be teaching a class, it makes the news. I don’t know why that’s such a big deal, considering that is her job – at least for now. It’s also my understanding from talking with others at the law school that her classes have been scheduled in a way that if she’s ever confirmed she will be able to start her job in Washington, D.C., as seamlessly as possible.

But every time there’s an update, it’s one more story I weed through in my Googling efforts to figure out what’s going on. While I wait, she waits. I can only imagine how much she’s been reading about herself as we’ve both been following the same story for approximately 13 months. Or maybe she’s not even following it anymore.
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  1. Someone off their meds? C'mon John, it is called the politics of Empire. Get with the program, will ya? How can we build one world under secularist ideals without breaking a few eggs? Of course, once it is fully built, is the American public who will feel the deadly grip of the velvet glove. One cannot lay down with dogs without getting fleas. The cup of wrath is nearly full, John Smith, nearly full. Oops, there I go, almost sounding as alarmist as Smith. Guess he and I both need to listen to this again: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CRnQ65J02XA

  2. Charles Rice was one of the greatest of the so-called great generation in America. I was privileged to count him among my mentors. He stood firm for Christ and Christ's Church in the Spirit of Thomas More, always quick to be a good servant of the King, but always God's first. I had Rice come speak to 700 in Fort Wayne as Obama took office. Rice was concerned that this rise of aggressive secularism and militant Islam were dual threats to Christendom,er, please forgive, I meant to say "Western Civilization". RIP Charlie. You are safe at home.

  3. It's a big fat black mark against the US that they radicalized a lot of these Afghan jihadis in the 80s to fight the soviets and then when they predictably got around to biting the hand that fed them, the US had to invade their homelands, install a bunch of corrupt drug kingpins and kleptocrats, take these guys and torture the hell out of them. Why for example did the US have to sodomize them? Dubya said "they hate us for our freedoms!" Here, try some of that freedom whether you like it or not!!! Now they got even more reasons to hate us-- lets just keep bombing the crap out of their populations, installing more puppet regimes, arming one faction against another, etc etc etc.... the US is becoming a monster. No wonder they hate us. Here's my modest recommendation. How about we follow "Just War" theory in the future. St Augustine had it right. How about we treat these obvious prisoners of war according to the Geneva convention instead of torturing them in sadistic and perverted ways.

  4. As usual, John is "spot-on." The subtle but poignant points he makes are numerous and warrant reflection by mediators and users. Oh but were it so simple.

  5. ACLU. Way to step up against the police state. I see a lot of things from the ACLU I don't like but this one is a gold star in its column.... instead of fighting it the authorities should apologize and back off.

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