Wednesday, June 29, 2005

1776

Recently, I’ve found myself wondering what our country would be like had our current media existed in earlier times. What would Tom Brokaw have had to say about Adolf Hitler? Would Dan Rather have examined Harry Truman’s past so unscrupulously? Would Peter Jennings have wondered what we’d done to deserve the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor? Would Katie Couric have questioned James Monroe’s IQ and school records when he stated his Monroe Doctrine? Let’s take a moment and revisit the American Revolution CBS-style.

Dateline: March 5, 1770, Boston, Massachusetts: Today a group of right-wing conservative extremists prompted a mob attack on British soldiers guaranteeing the peace of Boston. In a shameless display of recklessness and without regard to the safety of the women and children among them, the rabble-rousers pelted the British with rocks, chunks of ice, and snowballs until the soldiers were forced to fire into the crowd. Most of the British platoon were bloodied while only four the rabble were injured or killed.

Dateline: December 17, 1773, Boston, Massachusetts: Last night the radical terrorist group known as the Sons of Liberty led a midnight raid on the Boston Harbor. In a racist and cowardly display these insurgents disguised themselves as Mohawk Indians. Under the cover of darkness they slipped aboard a ship loaded with tea and committed acts of vandalism. With a glaring disregard for the environmental damage, the right-wing liberation-fundamentalists spilled crates of tea into the harbor! The British Navy has been mobilized to take control of the harbor and set up a protective screen of ships at the harbor entrance. Furthermore, British troop numbers have been increased in Boston to the point of overflowing their barracks. Excess troops have been invited to bunk in colonial homes.

Dateline: April 18, 1775, Lexington and Concord, Massachusetts: In a startling dawn assault, misguided and misinformed locals fire on British soldiers in Lexington. Hoodwinked by those right-wing subversives, the Sons of Liberty, many simple farmers and townsfolk, calling themselves Minutemen, took up arms against our rightful sovereign in the body of his representatives, the British army. In an unprecedented display of treachery these Minutemen opened fire on a force of British regulars marching through town on a reconnaissance mission. When the British returned the volley the cowardly Minutemen broke and ran for cover. The British continued on their march to Concord. On their return to Boston, the British regulars were harried by growing numbers of insurgents shooting from behind trees and stone walls.

Dateline: May 10, 1775, Fort Ticonderoga, New York: Insurgents Benedict Arnold and Ethan Allen led an uneducated and disaffected force in an undeclared attack on Fort Ticonderoga. Taken unawares by an attack in an undeclared war, the British were forced to surrender the fort.

Dateline: June 17, 1775, Boston, Massachusetts: A force of extremist insurgents again threaten Boston by attempting to fortify Breed’s Hill. Courageous General William Howe, in defense of the loyal Bostonians, sent a force of 2000 British regulars to evict the insurgents. After three pitched battles the extremists were forced to retreat, but only after visiting horrible losses and wounds on the British troops.

Dateline: July, 1775, Boston, Massachusetts: In a move to escalate the impending conflict, right-wing extremist John Adams calls for a “Grand American Army” and recommends George Washington as its general, “a gentleman whose skills as an officer...would command the respect of America.” Contrary to Adams’ glowing praise, readers might recall Washington as the quiet, gentleman-farmer from Virginia. Far from an experienced officer, Washington is a lack-luster leader who’s military career is one of failure. He commanded a force in the recent French and Indian War and was given the simple task to protect a section of the Ohio River Valley from French encroachment. Not only did the French build a fort on Washington’s plot, Washington’s own fort, Fort Necessity, was repeatedly attacked and ultimately destroyed by the French. George Washington’s defeat at Fort Necessity caused most of the local indian tribes to go over to the French. As an aid to General Edward Braddock in an attack on the French fort he had previously been tasked to prevent from being built, Washington escaped with holes in his coat while his general died! With Washington for a general any insurgent army is not likely to be “Grand” much less successful.

Dateline: August, 1776, New York, New York: In a pitched battle of nearly equal forces, General George Washington is again defeated and routed by the British army. Washington and his band of insurgents were rescued at the last minute by the weather. Had it not been for a thick fog, Washington might well be a guest of His Majesty’s Gaoler this very day.

Dateline: July 4, 1776, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: In a daring move, the right-wing extremist upstart Continental Congress released their Declaration of Independence. Outlining their objections to the rule of our Sovereign, His Majesty King George III, this cabal of insurgent leaders seeks to legitimize their rebellious movement. What is lacking in their claims is the support of the people of these thirteen colonies. Recent polling reveals that only about 40% of the population are in favor of separation from England, while an equal number are undecided or neutral. In fact, one fifth of all people surveyed considered themselves loyalists! Clearly support for the insurgency is waning and this “declaration” is an obvious attempt to stir up more moral outrage and cloud the issues that really matter to the people: civil defense from French and Indian incursions, better living conditions in over-crowded cities, and modern European health care instead of colonial frontier remedies.

If you think I’m going over the top, consider the words of David McCullough, an author and historian of some note, from an interview with CNBC’s Tim Russert: “[If the American Revolution] had been covered by the media, and the country had seen now horrible the conditions were, how badly things were being run by the officers, and what a very serious soup we were in, I think that would have been it." Keep this in mind when reading their reports today. It should be widely recognized now that the Dan Rather National Guard documents were forgeries and the charges were false. The Newsweek Gitmo claims have been largely discredited as being massively overstated. Likewise, these new Downing Street memo charges are on the shakiest of grounds since Associated Press Writer, Thomas Wagner, reported that the British reporter, Michael Smith, not only retyped the memos but then destroyed the originals! This key fact has been scantily reported and may actually come as news to you. In another time the statements of Amnesty International would have cost them most of their American contributions and the ravings of Dick Durbin would have cost him his Senatorship. With the right to free speech and the freedom of the press comes a responsibility to speak and report honestly. A free press, free of government control AND political bias, is crucial to the exercise of democracy and where the press is not free or is biased democracy is usurped by oligarchy - the elites hold the power, shape the opinions, and disseminate the views they want the masses to have.

The study of history, specifically OUR history, is critical to understanding where we are, how we got here, and why we are here, not to mention where we will go from here. We don’t teach history any more, we teach Social Studies. In fact, we don’t actually teach any more, we simply provide students with points of view, much like modern news reporting. Could Dick Durbin escape ridicule from a constituency educated enough to understand his comments? Anyone remotely familiar with concentration camps, gulags, and “the killing fields” will have nothing but disgust for the man. However, in our culture where only the “now” is relevant and reporters have the carte blanche of readership ignorance to frame events as they please rather than as they are in context, he skates by unscathed. As Ben Stein observed so eloquently in 1968, “A human being who has not been taught to think clearly is a danger in a free society.”

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Iraq - Vietnam

I have been asked by several, mostly older, liberal friends, “Don’t you see any similarities between Iraq and Vietnam?” I always gave in to my knee-jerk reaction with an emphatic “No!” I have been wrong.

Sure, both conflicts involve engagements in small, foreign, third-world countries, but that’s a circumstantial similarity hardly worth mentioning. One would then be obliged to make the same comparison to the intervention in France during WWI and WWII - France is not much bigger than Iraq. The same point would hold true for the invasions of Germany and the rest of Europe - if you took each field of the conflict as a separate stage.

For as long as I can remember, I have had a nagging feeling that I was not being given the full story about Vietnam. Finally, I can put my finger on it. History is written by the victor. (These old adages are so amazingly true, it’s...well, amazing.) The history of the Vietnam War is no different. For decades, the story of that war has been told by those who won - the peaceniks, who have become the media and liberal elites. The more we start to hear from real sources, with first-hand knowledge untainted by political bias, the more that war stands out differently from the template presented by Jane Fonda, John Kerry, and Dan Rather.

I now see many similarities between Vietnam and Iraq. Both are part of a larger initiative - the war to defeat communism and the war to defeat terrorism. In Vietnam, the US was defending people from a vicious military coup staged by a minority bent on domination. In Iraq, the US is liberating people from a vicious militaristic dictatorship. Both locales have strategic and tactical value vital to American interests. In both instances, we are faced with a surrogate insurgency - in Vietnam our soldiers were really fighting the Soviets and in Iraq they primarily fight the Iranians, Syrians, Palestinians, and Saudis.

The most important and striking similarity between Vietnam and Iraq lies at home - the propaganda war fought on American soil for the hearts and minds of the people of the United States. Those same people who protested Vietnam - the ones who really won the war for the Viet Cong or (alternatively) the ones who really lost the war for America - are exactly the same ones who are protesting now. They didn’t wait for the war to begin this time, they began their appeals for unilateral surrender before the first shot was fired. Building on their past experience, they began staging the redefining of terms before our troops even hit the ground - “Attack Iraq/NO” - any military action became a “quagmire” and foreign terrorists became “freedom fighters” and “insurgents.”

The same elitists who blubber about the intrusive, draconian American government (Nixon then, Bush now), ignored Ho Chi Minh then and Hussein now. These same pinheads squeal about third world people not wanting or being ready for democracy - got news for ya: ALL people yearn for freedom and everywhere it’s tried, it works. In the 60's, it was the misanthropic CIA and FBI, today it’s the evil Patriot Act - I have yet to hear from anyone about even one instance where the Patriot Act has been used improperly.

Whenever I see the aged hippie crowd or the idealistic college kids on the side of the road with their “Support the Troops - Bring them Home” or “Get Out of Iraq Now” signs, I just want to throw up. Throw up my lunch, throw up my hands, throw up a storm of whupass on them. “One Death Is Too Many” - well how about 3,000? Or 300,000? 1,700 dead American soldiers IS a tragedy - one dead American soldier is a tragedy - but get some perspective: we lost 1,500 American soldiers in one day in WWII - in a TRAINING exercise! Have you asked a soldier how he feels about what he’s doing? Have you asked the Iraqis how they feel about what our soldiers are doing? I think they have a much better and more valuable point of view than some dipstick who’s idea of national service is brandishing a sign proclaiming “Peace Is Patriotic.” Peace is NEVER achieved by peaceful protest, never has been and never will be. Why is it these mental midgets feel we have to support the world on our dime, but when it comes to actually putting it on the line for the downtrodden and dominated they squeal like stuck pigs, race for the tall grass, and insist we mind our own business? They won’t ignore the neighbor next door who doesn’t use a seatbelt. Well, our neighbors, in the global sense, ARE our business because when their dispossessed become deranged they strap bombs to themselves and blow US up.

And don’t talk to me about Darfur or the Sudan, because thanks to the military cuts by dope-heads like Clinton, Gore, Kerry, and Kennedy we can’t fight a two- or three-front war any more. We have to focus on the one, most significant front facing us at a time. If you’re going to say North Korea - don’t. North Korea is certainly a threat, but it pales in comparison to the Middle East. A friendly, stable, and democratic state in that part of the world is the most pressing issue, the most vital American interest there has ever been. Despite all the problems in Iraq, the initial stages of democracy there have encouraged or spawned democratic movements in the neighboring states. A democratic election in Saudi Arabia and a growing woman’s rights movement in Iran - do you think either of those would have happened otherwise? Terrorists are certainly supplied by North Korea, probably even financed by North Korea, but terrorists do not come from North Korea. Kim Jong Il is a traditional, run-of-the-mill psychotic dictator and we can deal with him in a number of ways. Frankly, North Korea would very likely not be a problem today had the anti-war crowd - trying to defeat us today - had not defeated us in Vietnam.

Immunizing the spreading virus of Islamofascism can only be accomplished by fostering the growth of democracy in the Middle East. Free people do not usually blow themselves up to protest an issue. Sure Timothy McVeigh was a terrorist - but he didn’t blow himself up. And he was one in how many billions of Americans? Certainly an aberration. The “blame-America-first” crowd you see with their banners and pickets, desperately seeking attention and affirmation (as well as their handlers in the media, Washington, and overseas) have their own agenda and it’s not an American agenda. Remember, history is written by the victors. Should they win, if we prematurely eject from Iraq and surrender in the War on Terror, then not only does America lose, but they get to write the history - they get to say “see, we were right, Iraq was a quagmire” and they get to affirm they were right about Vietnam. But, if we stay the course, if we remember and honor our dead from the two World Trade Center attacks, the Khobar Towers, the USS Cole, and many other attacks, if we persevere through these difficult times, we can breathe easier, we can dodge the terrorist bullet, we can write the history. And maybe we can intellectually revisit Vietnam without the knee-jerk sophistry of those who have a vested interest in the status quo of history. Maybe with perspective we can find out what really happened.

Iraq is this generation’s Vietnam. Let’s not lose this war at home to a parade of peaceniks and spit on the graves of our murdered innocent citizens and valiant soldiers!

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Whose Rules?

Senate Minority Leader Harry Ried (D-AZ) has repeatedly expressed the central problem in this country’s government at this time: “Breaking the rules to change the rules.” In psychiatry, this is a condition called projection. Simply put, someone suffering from projection transfers their issues or problems onto another person. The Democratic Party is suffering from projection and nowhere else is it more clearly seen than in the current problems of the nomination and confirmation process. The Democratic Senators are on both sides of the ‘confirmation fence.’

Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) said on March 7, 2000: “it is an example of Government not fulfilling its Constitutional mandate because the President nominates, and we are charged with voting on the nominees...this delay makes a mockery of the Constitution.” Yet in April 2001 Schumer said “What we’re trying to do is set the stage...we expect to have significant input in the [nomination] process.” On April 30, 2003, Schumer (with Patrick Leahy) sent a letter to President Bush outlining a plan to the Senate and a committee of unelected citizens, judges and academics to provide the President with a pool of nominees for him to select from. Just last month, Chuck Schumer expressed a view that Senators weren’t required to vote on nominees, completely reversing his position of March 7, 2000. The only thing that has changed is that now a Republican is President.

Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) said: “According to the U.S. Constitution, the President nominates, and the Senate shall provide advice and consent. It is not the role of the Senate to obstruct the process and prevent numbers of highly qualified nominees from even being given the opportunity for a vote on the Senate floor.” That was May 14, 1997. On January 28, 1998 she said: “whether the delays are on the Republican side or the Democratic side, let these names come up, let us have debate, let us vote.” Just last month, Boxer contended that Senators had the duty to block nominees from a vote. The only thing that has changed is that now a Republican is President.

On June 18, 1998, Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT): “I would object and fight against any filibuster on a judge, whether it is somebody I opposed or supported...if we don’t like somebody the President nominates, vote him or her down.” In blunt language Leahy explained his job on Oct. 3, 2000: “Frankly, that is what we are paid to do in this body. We are paid to vote either yes or no - not vote maybe.” Over the next five years, Leahy has obstructed Presidential nominees in the Judicial Committee and on the floor of the Senate. The only thing that has changed is that now a Republican is President.

September 14, 2000 saw Senator Levin explain the job of a Senator: to “advise and at least vote on whether or not to consent...” Clearly, Levin believes a vote is intrinsic to “advice and consent,” but that opinion changed. Senator Sarbanes complained on March 19, 1997 that nominees couldn’t “...be considered by the Senate for an up-or-down vote. That is the problem today.” The problem today, eight years later, is that Senator Sarbanes won’t allow an up-or-down vote. Senator Biden (March 19, 1997): “everyone who is nominated is entitled to have a shot, to have a hearing and to have a shot to be heard on the floor and have a vote on the floor.” Senator Kennedy (Feb. 3, 1998): “If our Republican colleagues don’t like them, vote against them. But give them a vote.” Senator Harkin (Sept 14, 2000): “I’ll just close by saying that Governor Bush had the right idea. He said the candidate should get an up or down vote within 60 days of their nomination.” The only thing that has changed is that now Governor Bush is President Bush.

The Senate Democrats’ claims of minority rights, diplomatic concerns, and extremist nominees are a canard. They know that few citizens pay close attention and they know that even fewer citizens are educated enough to know what the Constitution actually says. On May 1, 2001, Neil A. Lewis wrote a report for the New York Times titled “Democrats Readying for Judicial Fight.” Lewis reported on a retreat held by the majority of the Senate Democrats “where a principal topic was forging a unified party strategy to combat the White House on judicial nominees.” The usual special-interest crowd spoke about “the need to scrutinize judicial nominees more closely than ever.” Senator Daschle went so far as to warn his party against making any positive statements about nominees. The Democrats were expressly told to depart from Senate tradition and to disregard their Constitutional duty by the likes of National Women’s Law Center co-director Marcia R. Greenberger and Harvard Law professor Laurence H. Tribe: “They said it was important for the Senate to change the ground rules and there was no obligation to confirm someone just because they are scholarly or erudite.”

“Change the ground rules.” Isn’t that exactly what Harry Reid has been whimpering about? “Breaking the rules to change the rules,” Reid and other Democrats keep saying. In fact, Greenberger and Tribe have it completely wrong - and they know it! The Constitutional ‘advice and consent clause’ specifies that the Senate expressly has the obligation to confirm Presidential nominees if “they are scholarly or erudite” and have majority support. Senators can express their “advice and consent” by voting. If they feel the nominee is not competent they can vote against him or her. It truly is just that simple.

The Democrat claims of “separation of powers” and “checks and balances” are likewise so much manure. What is well known by all the Senate Democrats, but perhaps may be news to many common citizens, is that the Supreme Court, as recently as 1997, settled the issue of who has the power of nominations. In Edmond v. United States (1997) the Supreme Court maintained that Article II of the Constitution is “more than a matter of etiquette or protocol; it is among the significant structural safeguards of the constitutional scheme. By vesting the President with the exclusive power to select the principal (noninferior) officers of the United States, the Appointments Clause prevents congressional encroachment upon the Executive and Judicial Branches.” This was an expansion on Freytag v CIR (1991) wherein the Supreme Court found that Article II “also preserves another aspect of the Constitution’s structural integrity by preventing the diffusion of the appointment power [and] neither Congress nor the Executive can agree to waive this structural protection.” Given these findings, the April 2003 Leahy/Schumer plan to select judicial nominees by a committee, a similar plan floated by Senator Byrd in April 2005, and the requirement of the 14 Senate Moderates for consultation are all unconstitutional, illegal, and a violation of these Senators’ oaths of office.

The Bolton confirmation is another venue for Democrat obfuscation. On May 26th, Senator Dodd (D-CT) spoke for nearly half an hour expressing a laundry list of objections to John Bolton leaving no doubt whatsoever about his opposition to the nominee. Harry Reid, Barbara Boxer, and almost every other Democratic Senator have given similar performances. They have no intention of voting to confirm John Bolton. However, in a “gang that couldn’t talk straight” moment, Dodd was interrupted by Senator Joe Lieberman (D-CT) who spoke for a very few minutes about a classified document that is being withheld from the Senate Democrats. It was Lieberman’s contention that this document was holding up the vote. Senator Joe Biden (D-DE) parroted Lieberman’s position, “We are willing to vote 10 minutes after we get back in session, if in fact they provide the information.” Despite her vitriolic condemnation of John Bolton only days before, Boxer told AP News, “we need information on this nominee that we’ve been asking for a very long time.” Dodd, in an interview on FOX News Sunday, clearly stated that Bolton is being held hostage for this information and could provide no reasonable explanation for why he needed it. There is no way that Bolton will be confirmed by the Democrats - documents or no, he will be voted down. If they have already decided, why don’t they vote?

The Democrats have been “breaking the rules to change the rules” for decades. When the Supreme Court frustrated FDR’s New Deal, he made them toe the line by threatening to arbitrarily create new judgeships and stack the court. In 1995, Lieberman, Harkin, Kennedy, and Kerry, Democrat Senators all, proposed and supported a measure that said “filibuster rules are unconstitutional” and would have ended filibusters forever. Hillary Clinton’s book deal advance got her a round of applause in 2000, while Newt Gingrich’s got him a Senate investigation and acrimony. Also in 2000, Al Gore sought to violate federal and Florida election laws in his attempt to steal an election. Rather than quietly tell Al to go home, his fellow Democrats ignored the law and tried to help him break the rules. In New Jersey 2002, the Democratic Party, with the connivance of the NJ Supreme Courts, violated both state and federal election laws allowing Frank Lautenberg to replace Robert Torricelli on the ballot. The rules just don’t seem apply to Democrats, so it should come as no surprise that they break those rules whenever they don’t like them.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

A Living, Breathing Anarchy

The Framers knew what they were doing. The were far better educated in government, ethics, and philosophy than are our politicians and judges today. Each word of the Constitution was debated and discussed. Justice James Wilson was a lawyer and judge, as well as a signatory of both the Declaration and the Constitution, and he suggested “the first and governing maxim in the interpretation of a statute is to discover the meaning of those who made it.” When interpreting the Constitution, Thomas Jefferson suggested we “carry ourselves back to the time when the Constitution was adopted, recollect the spirit manifested in the debates, and instead of trying what meaning may be squeezed out of the text, or invented against it, conform to the probable one in which it was passed.” James Madison had a dire warning: “I entirely concur in the propriety of resorting to the sense in which the Constitution was accepted and ratified by the nation. In that sense alone it is the legitimate Constitution. And if that be not the guide in expounding it, there can be no security...What a metamorphosis would be produced in the code of law if all its ancient phraseology were to be taken in its modern sense.” George Washington’s warning was prophetic: “If, in the opinion of the people, the distribution or the modification of the constitutional powers be in any particular wrong, let it be corrected by an amendment in the way in which the Constitution designates. But let there be no change by usurpation, for though this, in one instance, may be the instrument of good, it is the customary weapon by which free governments are destroyed.”

With almost unimaginable hubris, our modern academics, legislators and jurists, who “stand on the shoulders of giants,” have come to believe themselves to be the giants. Justice Earl Warren took the position that a Constitutional “Amendment must draw its meaning from the evolving standards of decency that mark the progress of maturing society.” Justice Charles Evans Hughes went further: “We are under a Constitution, but the Constitution is what the judges say it is.” These opinions reflect a popular philosophy known as the “theory of social interests” which was advanced by Roscoe Pound. Oddly, Pound was not a lawyer - he studied at Harvard for only one year and held no law degree. That didn’t stop him from practicing and even teaching law in Nebraska. Amazingly, he became a professor of law and even dean at Harvard Law School! Despite his groundless background he became a leader of the new liberal movement for social justice. He charged his students, lawyers, and judges with “the same task that has been achieved in philosophy, in the natural sciences, and in politics. We have to rid ourselves of this sort of legality and to attain a pragmatic, a sociological legal science.”

In the decades since Pound, Evans, and Warren the concept of a “living, breathing Constitution” has taken root and like a pernicious weed as spread choking off the stability that the bedrock of law provided for over a hundred years. Because the law is not considered an anchor judges could decide in 1892 that the United States is “a Christian nation” (Church of the Holy Trinity v. U.S.) and then change course in 1947 claiming “the First Amendment has erected a wall of separation between church and state. (Everson v. Board of Education)” In the modern era, the law is a weathervane, pointing towards whichever social project the judges favor: in 1896 (Plessy v. Ferguson) the court approved racial segregation in schools, but reversed that opinion in 1954 (Brown v. Board of Education), only to find that the Constitution did indeed allow racial segregation in 1971 (Swann v. Charlotte-Mecklenburg Bd. of Ed.). Of course, the Constitution is silent on racial segregation in education which means the Court should have deferred to the States in keeping with Articles Nine and Ten which provide unenumerated powers and rights to the States and the People.

An originalist, or constructionist, Judge James DeWeese wrote “the only life the law has is in it’s fixed meaning. If the law has no fixed meaning, it can not guarantee any fixed rights or duties.” An originalist harkens back to “sense in which the Constitution was accepted and ratified by the nation (Madison).” Such a judge could not find the right to abortion in the Constitution and would have upheld the States position that abortion is not contraception and should only be legal to save the life of the mother. An originalist would recognize that Article V provides for the death penalty without regard to the race, sex, or age of the criminal. An origianlist would have seen through the smokescreen of corruption and struck down the McCain-Fiengold Campaign Finance Reform Law as abridging the First Amendment freedom of speech. An originalist is the liberals’ worst nightmare because such a judge does not kowtow to special interest “and instead of trying what meaning may be squeezed out of the text, or invented against it, conform[s] to the probable one in which it was passed (Jefferson).” President Bush and the Republican party supports and nominates originalist judges in the hope that they can return the judiciary to the ‘straight and narrow’ course.

For a time, Presidents considered the American Bar Association’s ratings of judges in selecting nominees, but recognizing a transition from rating to ranting, President George W. Bush stopped that practice. Senators Leahy and Schumer insisted, in contravention of the Constitution, that they would “work to ensure they [ABA] play a role in the Senate confirmation process.” This should come as no surprise. For ages, the Left has been consulting with everyone except the Constitution in selecting nominees. Thanks to a leak of blockbuster memos, we now have a clear view of the confirmation process used by Senate Democrats. Less than one month after 9/11, Senator Durbin received a memo (Nov. 6, 2001) which scheduled a follow-up meeting “with leaders of several civil rights organizations to discuss their serious concerns with the judicial nomination process. The leaders will likely include: Ralph Neas (People for the American Way), Kate Michelman (NARAL), Nan Aron (Alliance for Justice), Wade Henderson (Leadership Conference on Civil Rights), Leslie Proll (NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund), Nancy Zirkin (American Association of University Women), Marcia Greenberger (National Women’s Law Center), and Jucy Lichtman (National Partnership)...the groups would like to postpone action on these nominations until next year, when (presumably) the public will be more tolerant of partisan dissent...they think Senator Leahy should use controversial nominees as bargaining chips...there will likely be discussion about how to respond effectively to recent Republican charges that the pace of judicial nominations is too slow.”

Senator Kennedy received a memo (April 17, 2002) outlining instructions from Elaine Jones (NAACP LDF) for Kennedy to “ask that the Judiciary Committee consider scheduling Julia Scott Gibbons, the uncontroversial nominee to the 6th Circuit at a later date...Chairman Leahy would like to schedule a hearing next Thursday on a 6th Circuit nominee because the Circuit has only 9 active judges, rather than the authorized 16...Elaine would like the Committee to hold off on any 6th Circuit nominees until the University of Michigan case regarding the constitutionality of affirmative action in higher education is decided by the en banc 6th Circuit...the thinking is the current 6th Circuit will sustain the affirmative action program...LDF asked Senator Leahy’s staff yesterday to [reschedule] but they refused.” Senator Kennedy indicated he would comply and attempt to sway Senator Leahy. In case you missed it: Senator Kennedy is willing to let a court with half its chairs empty languish because a special interest group wants to engineer a decision of Constitutional law. In fact, this very issue had already been decided in the Bakke case and “affirmative action in higher education” was struck down.

A June, 4th 2002 memo to Senator Kennedy suggested that “groups should be encouraged to propose some specific nominees who can be moved forward before adjournment.” Senator Durbin got a memo the next day from a cabal of special interest groups outlining what strategies he should use on the floor of the Senate and what the schedule for confirmations should be. Senator Kennedy received a similar memo on June 12, 2002 which included this note: “it appears that the groups are willing to let Tymkovich go through (the core of the coalition made that decision last night, but they are checking with the gay rights groups).” It could be remarked that special interest groups have a right to speak their mind and that would be true. However, the essence and tone of these memos is not “speaking one’s mind,” it’s specific direction often in contravention of the Constitution, as well as against the interests of the people of America. If you don’t believe the memos carry weight, consider an email from Allison Hewitt of NARAL on April 2, 2003: “At any time Senate leaders may bring the nomination of Priscilla Owen to the Fifth Circuit Court to the floor for a full Senate vote. NARAL Pro-Choice America strongly opposes this nomination and will score this vote in the 2003 Congressional Record on Choice.” Do what we tell you or we’ll cost you in your next election. That’s how Senate Democrats decide who gets nominated, who gets obstructed, what is said about a nominee, when a vote his held, and how to vote.

The behavior of the Senate Democrats is disingenuous, unethical, and probably unconstitutional. The facts, which they obfuscate at every opportunity, simply do not support their position. As the Democrats know full well, Senators Lieberman (D-CT) and Harkin (D-IA) introduced a bill in 1995 to “change Senate rules” and eliminate ALL filibusters. The bill was defeated and had support from only 17 other Democrat Senators ~ including Ted Kennedy and John Kerry! When he lost the election, Al Gore’s first response was to turn to the courts rather than trust the election laws that “we the people” had instituted. When challenging abortion, the Left didn’t seek a referendum, they went to court. Education reform by the Left is instituted by the court system. When “we the people” go to the polls and state our will by election, the courts overturn us by judicial fiat! The liberal Democrat agenda rarely wins in election; instead, campaigns stay fluid and general, not specific. Surveys and studies show the propensity of this country for conservative values. The only path to long-term ratification of an agenda for the left is with unelected judges who are willing to “rid [them]selves of this sort of legality...to attain a pragmatic, a sociological legal science.”

Next week, concluding this issue: exposing the transparent lie of the Left.