Constitution

Manifesto of a Right-Wing Extremist

Chuck Schumer (D-NY), the second most powerful Democrat in the Senate, was exposed this week for engaging in a coordinated effort to paint Republicans, and especially those with ties to the TEA Party movement, as “extremists”. Speaking to fellow Senate Democrats (and not realizing that the media had already been connected in on the conference call), Schumer explained that he “always use[s] the word extreme”, because “that is what the caucus instructed me to use this week”. This intentional attempt at character assassination comes because House Speaker Boehner is getting pressure from freshmen Republicans and the conservative base to do something more than offer lip service to fiscal responsibility.

Indeed, the problem is not that Republicans are too extreme. The problem is that they are not extreme enough; the $61 billion in budget cuts, from a $3.78 trillion dollar budget which increases the deficit by about a trillion and a half dollars, is little more than a rounding error. Much deeper cuts to spending are necessary if we are to get our fiscal house in order, and Republicans had better show some spine and get serious if they expect to keep the support of conservatives and the majority of independents come November 2012.

To be sure though, any Republican with an ounce of intelligence and awareness knew these attacks would come. After all, this is an administration who refuses to acknowledge the radical Islamic roots of the terrorist attacks on American soil over the last few years, yet whose Department of Homeland Security two years ago published a report entitled “Rightwing Extremism: Current Economic and Political Climate Fueling Resurgence in Radicalization and Recruitment”. Obama himself has repeatedly refers to his political opposition as being extreme and dangerous.

Obama: Stupendous Man! and Lawgiver

My all time favorite comic strip is Calvin and Hobbes. It is about a young boy and his pet stuffed tiger, and the adventures they have jumping between real life and a world ruled by his imagination. He escapes the mundane tasks of life by escaping into his alternate reality, where he can be anything he wants to be, from a Tyrannosaurus Rex, to the Intrepid Spaceman Spiff, from Stupendous Man!, to the Supreme Ruler and Dictator for Life. Calvin always wins in the end because, it being his imagination, he controls the outcome. In a comic strip, this is great fun. In real life…not so much.

President Obama seems to have determined that he is the new Supreme Ruler and Dictator for Life. At least, this is a plausible conclusion based on his actions since taking office. Our first real glimpse at his unbridled narcissism came at a rally in June 2008. Having won the Democrat Party nomination for president, Obama proclaimed to the adoring throngs that “this was the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal; this was the moment when we ended a war and secured our nation and restored our image as the last, best hope on earth.” Goodness, now all he has to do is cure cancer and raise the dead and he can call it a day!

The problem with Obama’s view of himself as a messianic leader is that he seems to feel not only that he is above the law, but that he is the Supreme Lawgiver. He sees himself as the voice in the burning bush, giving utterance to his subjects which has force of law by virtue of his having spoken it, and we are all commanded to obey.

The Dangerous Philosophy of a Living Constitution

My more liberal friends often talk to me about the “living Constitution”, one that changes with the shifting moods of the electorate. They do so as if this was a good thing, something that should be lauded and encouraged. They also agree with the leftist elements of the judiciary who think we should show more deference to foreign law, and incorporate that into our own deliberations and rulings, in the process making us a more inclusive part of the global community. On the contrary, the strength of our nation lies in the fact that we are a nation of the rule of law, not the rule of man. It is the very foundation of our national structure. The concept of the highest law in our land being fluid depending on the temporary mood of the people is the equivalent of building a house on a shifting foundation. Inevitably that house will come crashing down.

Last year, Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg said in a speech that “Judges in the United States, after all, are free to consult all manner of commentary — Restatements, Treatises, what law professors or even law students write copiously in law reviews, and, in the internet age, any number of legal blogs. If we can consult those sources, why not the analysis of a question similar to the one we confront contained, for example, in an opinion of the Supreme Court of Canada, the Constitutional Court of South Africa, the German Constitutional Court, or the European Court of Human Rights?”

Indeed, the court has referenced external law in numerous cases over the last few years, including Lawrence v. Texas (ruling all anti-sodomy laws unconstitutional), Roper v. Simmons (ruling unconstitutional capital punishment for minors under age 18), Boumediene v. Bush and Hamdan v. Rumsfeld (both dealing with the question of granting terrorist detainees the constitutional rights traditionally afforded to only U.S. citizens).

A Defense of the Free Market

One of the most common refrains from the political left and the media is that, regarding the economy, conservatives advocate for unchecked freedom for big business to do whatever it wants to do, and for no government interference with business at all. These assertions stem from a fundamental misunderstanding of the nature of conservatism.

For the conservative, the issue comes down to the proper role of government. To have no government at all is anarchy, and certainly no conservative would argue that. So the question is not whether or not there should be government involvement (there should), but what level of government involvement is appropriate.

When we look at the biggest financial scandals of the last decade (Enron, WorldCom, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, etc.), they all have one thing in common. At some point, whether through active complicity or negligence, government played a huge role in allowing the scandals to occur. And with every scandal, it becomes an excuse, or rather an imperative, to increase the level of government involvement to keep it from occurring again.

Some of the major scandals have occurred because the regulatory oversight assigned to one government agency or another was either inadequately enforced, or government employees were co-opted into the fraudulent scheme. Others occur because our statutory and regulatory law has become so complex that it is inevitable that a crafty thief will be able to find technical loopholes that fulfill the letter of the law while being contradictory to the clear intent of the law. Either way, we continue to add layer after layer of government bureaucracy, regulation and complexity, and yet the scandals keep getting more and more expensive. That is because the more complex the law, the easier it is to find a technical Get-Out-of-Jail-Free Card.

Torturous Terms of Art

The matter of torture has been discussed over the past several years in connection with its use as a “tool” in the “Global War on Terror” or the “Overseas Contingency Operation” as it has now been called. Dick Cheney has been recently making rounds in an attempt to salvage some credibility and to fuel the partisan fire.

UN Wants to Eliminate the 1st Amendment

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As Lou Dobbs notes, there is a movement, primarily among the Islamic member nations in the United Nations, to pass a binding resolution that would mandate national legislation in sovereign nations making it a crime to offend members of a religion.  On the surface, this appears to be a resolution promoting tolerance, but it is obvious that it is aimed squarely at the freedom of speech available in Western nations.  Dobbs is joined by Vanity Fair journalist, Christopher Hitchens, to discuss the totalitarian desires of the UN to control thought by eliminating free expression.

51% of Americans

The other night I was perusing the national exit poll results. One statistic scared me more than anything. 51% of voters participating in the exit poll answered that the government “should do more” than it is doing today. Wow.

Meet the New Boss

In 1971, The Who released Who’s Next featuring one of the greatest songs of all time. It couldn’t be more fitting this week as we usher in our new boss here in the United States thirty-seven years later.

Pete Townshend tells us the story of a rebellious uprising against the ruling class. The opening verse states that there is “fighting in the streets” and that “the men who spurred us on sit in judgment of all wrong.” I can’t help but think of the parallels we have been seeing from the media-tainment industry for months driving home the displeasure that the American people have with the Bush administration and serving as pundits (or should I say puppets) by dishing out the propaganda of who is right and who is wrong.

And I Am Not A Liberal

Now that I have alienated all of the conservatives that read my articles, it is only fair that I explain how I should not be classified as a liberal either. I made my case for most of the tenets of liberalism I support in part one, so let’s see how I stack up against “the other side.”

“2A Today for The USA”- New Video on the 2nd Amendment

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I can’t imagine the framers of the Constitution thought the simple wording of the 2nd Amendment would ever be brought into question.

A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the People to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.

 


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