Do we really understand what courts are for in America? I mean, do even really smart, educated people like (I realize I’m going out on a limb here) lawyers and people with prestigious titles like “U.S. Senator” in front of their names really understand and appreciate the role of the courts? Or does it all get run over and crushed by the pressure of politics?
Take Richard Blumenthal, please. The Connecticut Democrat is a freshman member of the U.S. Senate but hardly a novice in the fields of law and politics. He is a 65-year-old graduate of two of the nation’s most prestigious Ivy League institutions, Harvard College and Yale Law School. He is a former member of the U.S. House of Representatives and served for two decades as Connecticut’s Attorney General. All of which makes a recent statement by Blumenthal in a Senate debate all the more remarkable and all the more embarrassing, one hopes, to Harvard, Yale, and the sensible people of Connecticut. (I despair of finding anything capable of embarrassing the U.S. House or Senate.)
Contrary to the conventional wisdom, the Republican Party establishment—I refer to both politicians as well as the punditry class constituting the so-called “new” or “alternative media”—is not conservative. It is neoconservative.
Although this is not something of which readers of this site need to be informed, it is a point worth repeating nonetheless.
Few and far between are those neoconservatives who refer to themselves as such. Usually, neoconservatives identify themselves as “conservative.” But because the neoconservative’s is the face and voice of one of our two national political parties, his refusal to come to terms with his true identity means that in the popular American consciousness, the neoconservative ideology is confused with conservatism proper. However, traditional or classical conservatism, the conservatism of which Edmund Burke is among the most notable and impassioned representatives, is not only distinct from neoconservatism; it is diametrically opposed to it.
While the ACLU worries about whether a Christmas decoration in the public library or a moment of silent prayer in school violates the First Amendment, other non-Christian nations have no trouble at all with combining religion and government. The notion that a “separation of church and state” is indispensable to civil liberty would have flabbergasted the Founding Fathers. In fact, when the Constitution was adopted, about half of the original states had a “state” religion. Eventually all of these states were disestablished (the “state” religion status was ended) but this had absolutely nothing to do with the First Amendment, whose clear words collectivists always seem unable to read: “Congress shall make no law….” is how that amendment begins. Congress did not mean state legislatures.
It seems President Obama is beginning to alienate his support base. First, the labor unions voiced their anger toward the administration for what they perceived to be its failure to stand up for them. Now, one of the top "progressive" organizations in the nation, the Progressive Change Campaign Committee, has issued a warning to the White House: If entitlements are cut, President Obama may not have their support in 2012.
According to CNN, nearly 200,00 of the organization's 700,000 members have pledged to withhold their support for Obama’s 2012 campaign if his administration concedes on cuts to Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid.
The U.S. House of Representatives is pushing legislation that would overturn a law that bans incandescent light bulbs and sets new energy-efficiency standards for the bulbs. Under President George W. Bush, a 2007 energy act was passed that requires efficiency upgrades in incandescent light bulbs, which have remained relatively unchanged since the invention of the light bulb in 1879. Republicans in the House contend that the law is a violation of personal freedom and are determined to overturn it. A vote on a bill to overturn the ban could come as early as today.
The Blaze reports:
Republicans say the new standards, signed into law by President George W. Bush, are a symbol of an overreaching federal government and people should have the right to buy the traditional, cheap and reliable incandescent bulbs. The Obama administration and environmentalists say new bulbs on the market will save American households billions of dollars in energy costs.
“True it is that politics makes strange bedfellows.” The precise origin of this phrase is unclear, but its application to the race for President in 2012 is all too evident and perhaps a bit uncomfortable.
Normally, the rolling out of the predictable campaign ad blitz in an early primary state would not be very noteworthy. The ads for GOP presidential contender Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.), however, are drawing attention because of the media strategy company producing them. The Bachmann ad was produced by Strategy Group for Media, (SGM) an Ohio-based political media consulting firm whose former client list includes Bachmann’s competitor for the GOP presidential nomination — Ron Paul.
The topic of the14th Amendment of the United States Constitution is continuing to stir debate in Washington, with those who favor increasing the debt limit at any cost raising the specter of President Obama simply overruling Congress and authorizing the issuance of new debt without the consent of lawmakers. According to this storyline, the president need only invoke Section 4 of the 14th Amendment, which states that “the validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law … shall not be questioned.” If Congress refuses to abide by its constitutional obligation to ensure government debts are paid, argue certain of Obama’s supporters, then the president would be justified in simply imposing his will on Congress to ensure that the 14th Amendment’s prohibition of government default is honored.
It seems that the government’s tentacles know no bounds. For Julie Bass of Oak Park, Michigan, never has a statement been truer. Bass is currently facing serious jail time for growing vegetables in her front yard.
The Blaze explains:
Ms Bass and her family live in a modest home Oak Park, Michigan and after a sewer line repair forced them to dig up their front yard, they decided that instead of replanting it with grass, they would grow vegetables in nice, raised beds. The city of Oak Park does not like the idea and wrote Julie a citation. She disagreed and is now facing a jury trial and possibly 93 days in jail.
A conservative legal advocacy group has come to the rescue of a New Jersey man who was told by authorities in his community that he could not display a cross in his yard. In early July the Alliance Defense Fund sent a letter to officials in the township of Livingston asking them to cease from employing an ordinance prohibiting homeowner Patrick Racaniello from displaying crosses in various areas of his front yard. Local police had used the ordinance as justification for ordering Racaniello to remove a cross he was displaying on a tree in his front yard in celebration of Lent, after one of his neighbors had complained.
“It’s ridiculous to stop citizens from displaying a cross on their own property,” said ADF attorney Jonathan Scruggs, who is representing Racaniello. “The Constitution guarantees the right of Americans to express their religious beliefs in this fashion, and no local ordinance can trump that.” Scruggs noted that in the present case, “the ordinance itself doesn’t actually even prohibit these crosses. The law is being used in a vague fashion to stop him from doing what he wishes on his own private property.”
In an op-ed published last Thursday in the Wall Street Journal, Senators Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) and Jim DeMint (R-S.C.), declared that “Republicans in the Senate are united” behind the passage of a Balanced Budget Amendment. Senators Snowe and DeMint mentioned no exceptions to the roster of Republican senatorial support for the controversial addition to the Constitution. In fact, all 47 Republican Senators are said to favor the erstwhile effort to restrain government and reduce spending.
“With our federal debt exceeding $14 trillion — nearly 100 percent of our gross domestic product — fiscal calamity is jeopardizing our standard of living and undermining our national security,” the statement warned.
Even reliable friends of the Constitution such as Senators Rand Paul (R-Ky.) and Mike Lee (R-Utah) are adding their voices to the BBA chorus.