Opposing Kagan: Let Me Count the Ways

Well, here we go again. It’s time for another round of  trauma as we prepare for hearings on President Obama’s latest nominee for the Supreme Court. She is current Solicitor General for the U.S. and former dean of the Harvard Law School. Thirty-one Republicans opposed her appointment for Solicitor General, so she is not without controversy regardless of the administration’s attempt to portray her as a legal moderate.

Elena Kagan: Supreme Court Bound?

So what are the basics on Elena Kagan? Why can she be opposed on principle?

Let me count the ways.

First, I don’t accept the view that any president should just get whomever he wants on the Court and that as long as the person is “qualified,” he or she deserves the job.

It all depends on the meaning of “qualified.”

On the surface, someone who works as Solicitor General and who was the dean of Harvard’s Law School would seem to be qualified. By whose standards, though? My basis for judgment is different than what most senators will use for their evaluation. Here are the problems from my point of view, in no particular order:

  1. She has no courtroom experience as a judge. While I’m not absolutely wedded to the position that this is mandatory, it certainly should make one pause, especially when one takes into consideration we’re talking about the highest court in the land.
  2. She is an ideological clone of Barack Obama. Therefore, she will promote his agenda on the court.
  3. She is an ideological clone of Barack Obama. Therefore, she doesn’t believe in following the original intent of the Constitution. In her mind, it’s a nuisance that gets in the way of “progress.”
  4. She is an ideological clone of Barack Obama. Therefore, she is pro-abortion.
  5. As dean of the Harvard Law School, she worked to keep military recruiters off campus. Her view of the military is Standard Leftist.
  6. She despises the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy regarding homosexuals serving in the military, calling it discriminatory.
  7. One possible reason for her strident views on #5 is that it is an open secret that she is a lesbian. I believe homosexuality is a sin and should not be promoted in society in any way. Placing a lesbian on the Supreme Court sends the wrong signal. I know I am in the minority now with this view, but I must stay faithful to Biblical teaching and give it priority. This is a character issue.

All the factors listed above [and I’m sure more will surface as I have time to read more about her] converge to make her unacceptable as a Supreme Court justice.

Of course I realize that there is about a 99% chance she will be confirmed.

Fortunately, she is only replacing someone who shares her views and not a conservative who believes in original intent. That battle may be in the future, but I pray it will not occur during this current administration.

No End in Sight

The Tea Party I attended on Thursday was not disrupted by anyone. It was a concern, though; apparently, all the publicity surrounding the possibility deterred those who might have desired to cause trouble. Of course, there’s always one segment of society that will remain a problem.

I mentioned in my last post that I don’t believe the Tea Party movement is going to die out. One major reason for that is the Democratic leaders from Obama on down are not moderating their positions or their goals. News today is that Harry Reid is already planning to go around Senate rules—as he did for the healthcare bill—to force through massive cap-and-trade legislation. Passage of a bill such as that will be almost as devastating as the healthcare program.

On top of all that, we are now awaiting Obama’s next pick for the Supreme Court. Everyone on the “short list” that is circulating is a radical when it comes to interpreting the Constitution. Not one person on that list has any desire to contain the authority of the federal government even though the Constitution dictates a limited role for the government. The appointment of radical judges was one of the direst warnings conservatives offered during the presidential election campaign.

The only trace of good news here is that Obama will be merely replacing one radical with another—the makeup of the Court will not be altered . . . for now.

Vigilance must continue. Now is not the time to relax. We must keep educating American citizens. Perseverance is the key.

Presidential Dictatorship

There was a time in the 20th century when it appeared that a president was setting up a virtual one-man/one-party rule. That time was the 1930s; the president was Franklin Roosevelt.

He took office in the midst of the Great Depression and immediately began signing bill after bill to ostensibly take care of the disastrous economy. Many of the bills he signed had new agencies attached to them. They were called his Alphabet Agencies, and his New Deal marked a radical departure from traditional constitutional government.

Critics warned that this socialist direction would not pull the economy out of the doldrums but keep the nation entrenched in its financial pit. All these programs would simply tie up the resources of the nation and forestall recovery.

FDR alienated the business community with his actions, but he didn’t care. He was providing government money to those in need, thereby assuring his reelection. When he won an overwhelming victory in 1936, he determined to take total control of all three branches of the federal government.

The Supreme Court had been a thorn in his side, judging two of his programs unconstitutional. So now FDR had a plan to fill the Court with extra judges who would rule according to his vision of the future. Opponents called it the Court-Packing Plan. By it, he hoped to control all Supreme Court decisions and squash any attempt to declare his programs unconstitutional. One cartoonist at the time pictured it this way:

Roosevelt’s brash attempt to centralize all government power in himself backfired. Members of his own Democratic party couldn’t go along with it—it was just too brazen, too blatant. They balked.

As a result, the more conservative Democrats abandoned him on many of his proposals and joined the Republican opposition. The vaunted New Deal came to a halt. Although the country was saddled with what already had passed Congress, few new initiatives passed and we escaped presidential dictatorship.

FDR’s policies, by the way, never ended the Depression. In 1937, a new round of economic woes hit—a recession within an ongoing depression. Unemployment rates skyrocketed again. By 1939, even his own Treasury Secretary admitted that nothing they had done had made the economy better.

Perceptions, though, are sometimes different.

Since FDR was a good communicator, and since a lot of people received government aid, a significant portion of the population believed that his policies were successful, despite the actual numbers. Even today, we hear the mantra, repeated ad nauseum: Roosevelt brought us out of the Depression.

Perception and reality are often at odds.

Now we have a new New Deal. Barack Obama has consciously promoted himself as the new FDR. The underhanded manner in which he forced through government control of healthcare is indicative of his desire to create presidential dictatorship once again. Keep in mind not one Republican in Congress voted for this bill. It’s one-party rule.

Meanwhile, millions of adoring fans believe that Obama will grant their every wish.

They are in for a huge letdown—that is, if they can ever face reality. The wizard is impotent. He is a little man with no actual power. He succeeds by trickery and glibness alone.

FDR fell short of his ambition for presidential dictatorship. I pray that the new budding presidential dictator will run into a similar brick wall—for all our sakes.

What To Do?

Yesterday, President Obama signed the healthcare bill. It was historic. So was Pearl Harbor.

I was asked yesterday if I could catalog all the ills associated with this bill. I really can’t do justice to all the provisions contained within. Instead I would ask those who are interested in all the details to find a site devoted to highlighting them. I’m one person, and my time is limited.

What I can do, though, is talk about the response from those of us who oppose what has happened. Are we to accept this and act as if everything is fine? No way. The key is to find the proper response.

I told someone the other day that the proverbial silver lining in all this is that for the first time in my lifetime, people are understanding the wisdom of the Constitution and the limits it put on governmental authority. To use a cliche that probably needs to be buried someday—this is a teachable moment.

Task #1, in my opinion, is to increase our efforts to educate the American people in constitutionalism. They may finally be open to learning. That is my specific calling, I know.

Those who are in government can add to this. What would it take to repeal this legislation? It would be very difficult, but who says we shouldn’t tackle difficult tasks? The greatest victories are those that appeared impossible at first.

Here’s how hard it will be: not only do opponents need to get the majority in Congress in the next election, but they need a sufficient majority, particularly in the Senate, to be filibuster-proof. Can it happen? Is it impossible to reach that magic 60? Improbable, but not impossible.

Then, even if that is attained, any bill that passes would have to get past Obama’s desk. He holds the veto power, and you can be sure he will use it to stop any attempt to roll back what he has done. Only a 2/3 majority can override the veto.

That’s the political equivalent of conquering Mt. Everest.

The other strategy is already being pursued. Here in Florida, as well as in other states, the attorney general is taking this bill to court. The grounds for challenging it are strong. There is no doubt it is unconstitutional. No authority exists in the Constitution for the federal government to flex its muscles in this way.

So what’s the problem?

The federal bench is filled with judges who have been schooled in case law, which depends on precedent rather than on original intent of the Constitution. And the longer Obama remains in office, the more of them there will be. The challenges need to come before judges who respect the rule of law and who will acknowledge the limited powers of the federal government. We need some providential help with that.

You can be sure whatever decisions are made in the lower courts will eventually end up in the Supreme Court. The sooner the better, before Obama has a chance to replace one of the conservative justices on the Court. Right now the Court is almost evenly divided between those who will judge righteously and those who will disregard the document they have sworn to uphold. Any decision will probably be 5-4, but the direction of that verdict is uncertain.

Things have changed significantly in the past 30 years.

It may take another thirty years to undo what has transpired during this current administration, but the goal is worthy.

I’m reminded of the Separatists in Holland debating whether they should go to the New World. They made a list of all the things that could go wrong and compared it with what could go right. In the end, the majority decided to undertake the voyage. I’m paraphrasing, but their historian, William Bradford, said they concluded that they should do it and expect the blessing of God on their endeavors. Even if they died trying, he commented, at least they were doing what was right in the sight of God.

We now call them the Pilgrims, and we admire their courage.

I’m glad they made that decision. Will we make a similar decision? Will a future generation look back on us and thank us for going forward? Will they call us courageous and be encouraged by us to handle whatever challenges they will face?

The next few years—not weeks or months—will reveal the depth of our commitment.

Obamacare Coming to a Head?

The word today is that this is THE week. Obamacare, according to Obama, will pass the Congress this time. Well, it might. It all depends on how many Blue Dog Democrats and those who say they oppose abortion cave under the pressure.

Meanwhile, polls continue to show a large majority of Americans oppose this bill (if indeed a bill exists—that’s still a matter of debate). Yet Obama disregards the opposition. Why?

He interprets his 2008 election victory as a mandate to do whatever he wants. Never mind that many of those who voted for him now have buyer’s remorse. Further, he is asking his own party to go with him on this path, regardless of the consequences to Democrats in the upcoming congressional elections.

Is this megalomania? Is it the supreme example of arrogance? Does he really want to go over this precipice? It would appear so.

In the midst of all this, I find it encouraging that my old home state of Virginia has taken a stand, saying that it will not accept the imposition of healthcare on the state, since that is not a power given to the federal government in the Constitution.

If Obamacare does pass, this sets up a terrific court case. Can a state, relying on the original intent of the Constitution, reverse the advances of a federal government out of control? It may depend on the court in which the case is heard. It would probably go all the way to the Supreme Court where there’s an opportunity to declare Obamacare unconstitutional.

Yet I’m praying it won’t go that far. I’m hoping it will be stopped dead in its tracks again this week—for the sake of the future of this nation.