Sunday, December 26, 2004

Beware moderates advising conservatives on what's good for us

WorldNetDaily: Beware of changing cloture:
"The nation will not tolerate seeing an electoral victory impelled by terrorism hijacked to put another William Rehnquist, Antonin Scalia or Clarence Thomas on the court. If Bush tries it, he will not be able to govern effectively for the balance of his term."

So writes Dick Morris, the architect of Bill Clinton's "triangulation" strategy, in a commentary on He follows this up by making an analogy to FDR's court-packing plan of the 1930s. Like all analogies, this one is of limited utility - in fact, a great deal less utility than most.

Morris intends us to believe that since voters trusted Bush over Kerry on the GWOT issue, Bush has no mandate to do anything effective on the social issues except, perhaps, on gay marriage. Now this is a breathtakingly obtuse position to take considering how many people on both the left and right saw the defining difference between Bush and Kerry as the character of the men and women each would nominate to the federal bench, especially the Supreme Court. Moreover, it would be particularly difficult, as a practical matter, to find a judicial nominee who saw the constitution requiring deference to the states on the issue of defining marriage but not requiring similar deference on the issue of abortion.

The absurd logic of Griswold v. Connecticut underlies so much of the flawed constitutional jurisprudence of the last forty years. Griswold, you may recall, claimed to find emanations from a penumbra (literally light from shadow) of privacy to overturn the State of Connecticut's ban on the sale of condoms. Now, one may object to the Connecticut statute (as I would) on grounds that it is an unwise policy. But the idea that, because condoms are used in bedrooms, and we have a privacy right to be undisturbed in the peaceful enjoyment of our homes, the US constitution forbids Connecticut to legislate in this way is absurd. And it is Griswold that underpins the Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton decisions (both of which, we now know, were fraudulently presented to the Court). That logic also was used to overturn a Texas statute against sodomy. And by that reading of the constitution, state definitions of marriage that exclude homosexual unions are bound to fall as well. From the standpoint of federal constitutional jurisprudence, when one falls, it will be nearly impossible to hold the other way on the rest.

Of course, a court that would re-examine the concept of privacy that begins with Griswold would not, on that account, outlaw abortion. That is the scare tactic used by the abortion industry which constantly works to plant such absurd notions with the public to protect their multi-billion dollar rice bowl. When Roe was decided, nearly a third of the states permitted abortion. Overturn Roe and most, likely all, states will permit abortion with varying degrees of sensible restrictions. Far from "defying popular views on choice," as Morris says, this would respect the views of the public that young teenagers should not be routinely seeking medical treatment without their parents' knowledge, or that healthy full-term babies should not be murdered at the moment of birth.

Morris says Republicans will ill-serve their own interests if they indulge Bush's desire to pack the court with extremists. The truth is, that if the right wing doesn't get something out of this second Bush administration some of them might just give up on the GOP. We know we are not going to get fiscal responsibility. We are not going to get local control of education. We are not going to get control of our borders. If we don't get some very sound judges, we will have every reason to conclude that we have no stake in the fortunes of the Republican Party. We may sit at home, or we might throw our votes away on the Constitution Party, but we will no longer line up to blindly follow the GOP off a cliff.


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