Anger at McCain over Judges

First off, let’s be clear about what happened yesterday. There was no “compromise.” The Republicans gave in, the Democrats won. Judicial nominees, by US Constitution, are nominimated by the President and the Senate is supposed to “advise and consent.” In other words, vote.

The “compromise” lets the Republicans vote on 3 judges, Priscilla Owen, Janice Rogers Brown, and Bill Pryor . Whoop-de-do, they’re supposed to do that anyway. In exchange, Henry Saad and William Myers were sacrificed to oblivion, not to be voted on. Pay attention here, this is key: I can live with judges being voted down, but that’s not what happened. These judges won’t get a vote at all. Ever.

In the future, Democrats promise not to fillibuster unless it’s “extraordinary,” as in, “Oh my goodness, that’s a right wing extremist! That’s extraordinary!” or “Gadzooks, it’s Wednesday! That’s extraordinary!”

John McCain was in the middle of this capitulation, all for the news glory he receives. Pfft. He sacrificed his Republican colleagues and in effect agreed to fillibuster with the Democrats. Hardly a “compromise.”

There’s a bazillion blogs and websites, uniformly critical of the surrender. Here’s a few:

At that point, I gave up. McCain turned on us, that’s all I’ll need to remember in 2008.

Advertisements

Boycotting "Winter Holidays"

Yep, I’m boycotting “Winter Holidays” as a completely useless and meaningless psuedo-pagan holiday.

I’m celebrating Christmas. The birth of Christ, a reminder He came to die for our sins, the loving and giving we share with each other as we remember the loving and giving Jesus gave to us. I’ll happily pile on the odd Christmas traditions of trees and mistletoes and lights and presents and poinsettias and reindeer and whatnot. Christmas is a beautiful season.

If the ACLU gets their way, Christmas would be gone. Every year the non-existent “separation of church and state” doctrine chips away a little more of Christmas. This week I’ve seen stories of removing any religious reference from Christmas and school bands can’t play Christmas songs that contain references to Jesus or Santa Claus, even if the lyrics aren’t included.

The “separation of church and state” doesn’t exist in the US Constitution. In fact, it ends with “Done in convention by the unanimous consent of the states present the seventeenth day of September in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and eighty seven and of the independence of the United States of America the twelfth. In witness whereof We have hereunto subscribed our Names, […]” The “Year of Our Lord” cannot refer to anybody but Jesus, and the US Contitution is, by definition, constitutional.

Instead the Constitution says, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.” If I want to celebrate a religious and wholy holy Christian Christmas, I have that right. Whenever and wherever I wish to celebrate it.

I find it amazing that when I lived in Singapore, the country happily celebrated Christmas as a Christian holiday. They also celebrated Hari Raya Puasa, Ramadan, and Hari Raya Haji for the Muslims, Vesak Day for the Buddhists, Deepavali for the Hindus. Chinese New Year and the completely secular National Day, too. A little something for everyone. But in the mostly Christian USA, with the help of the ACLU, we’re trying to ban Christmas and celebrate “Seasons Greetings,” whatever that is.

Why hasn’t Christmas been completely outlawed? Pardon My English has an opinion – it’s all about money:

Let’s face it. The only thing that is keeping Christmas from being completely wiped out by secularism is its value to society as an economic engine. At Christmas, businesses collect huge amounts of their yearly revenue, simply because the holiday involves the giving and receiving of gifts. If Christians decided to make their presents, to stick to cookies and parties, or to just give their funds to the church and the poor at Christmastime, the public square would be denuded of its wintertime religious activity faster than you can say, “Merry Snowday.”

I’ll be celebrating Christmas this year with all the love and joy and celebration that goes with it. Cold generic people can celebrate the cold generic Winter Holiday, but I’m having none of it.

Kerry's Swift Boat Vet Issue

The Swift Boat advertisements must have hit a sore spot. John Kerry is sending two aides today to George Bush’s hometown to press Bush into condemning the ads. Those ads must be hurting Kerry, both politically and personally.

I’m starting to suspect John Kerry is not only a liar, but incredibly inept as well. To stop the Swift Boat vet ads, Kerry filed suit with the Federal Election Commission, wrote legal threatening letters to television stations to tell them not to broadcast the ads, tried to get the “Unfit for Command” to stop publishing the book or move it to the fiction section. From a public relations standpoint, these were incredibly dumb moves. All he did was fire up interest in the book and the ads.

I also don’t know what he expects Bush to do; 527 plans are independent by law. It’s illegal to coodinate campaign activities with 527 groups. And it’s free speech, protected by the US Constitution. As long as it isn’t slander, it’s protected. Is it slander? Probably not – the leader of the SwiftVets dared Kerry to sue him. Another public relations no-win: if Kerry sues, it’ll be all over the news, and if he doesn’t sue, the ads will continue to run.

Yesterday Kerry called up one of the swift boat veterans and asked Robert “Friar Tuck” Brant Cdr., USN (RET) to meet with him face to face. Brant declined, citing that Kerry’s anti-war activities accusing all veterans, including Brant, of war crimes had been simmering for 30 years. Brant said that Kerry was obviously not prepared to correct the record of what happened in VietNam.

Sean McCabe, a spokesman for the 264-member (SwiftVets) organization, said it plans to send a cease-and-desist letter warning Kerry “to stop calling our members,” because it’s an independent “527” group and it’s illegal for campaigns to contact them.

So Bush takes the high road and condemns all 527 ads yesterday (which the press, of course, reported as Bush condemning just the SwiftVets). Kerry doesn’t want to condemn them all; he’s the beneficiary of $70 million of ads from MoveOn.org. He just wants that $1.5 million in ads from the SwiftVets to stop.

All around, incredibly inept political moves by Kerry.

Federal Marriage Amendment

Wall Street Journal writes today on the Federal Marriage Amendment that I found interesting. They basically oppose amending the Constitution to prohibit gay marriages… but they *are* in favor of an amendment that prohibits Federal courts from interpeting the Constitution that way. The entire article is here, but here are the key points that interested me:

For his part, Mr. Bush has been accused of using the issue for campaign purposes, and no doubt he is listening to his conservative base. But let’s remember who made this a national issue. That was done by San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom, the Massachusetts Supreme Court and others who put their own personal agendas above current laws. It is revealing that in no case has gay marriage been sanctioned by a legislature, and that the courts, both federal and state, are filled with similar activist litigation.

This path, moreover, has been marked by disingenuousness all the way through. In last year’s Lawrence sodomy case, U.S. Supreme Court Justices assured us that it had no implications for gay marriage. But scarcely had the ink dried than the Massachusetts high court was invoking Lawrence to mandate gay marriage. Only a few years back, John Kerry attacked the Defense of Marriage Act (which was signed by Bill Clinton and says states do not have to recognize other states’ gay marriages) as “unconstitutional, unprecedented, unnecessary and mean-spirited.” Now Mr. Kerry invokes that law to justify his opposition to a constitutional amendment.

Likewise we see a number of born-again federalists, telling us to “leave it to the states.” We’re all for leaving it to the states. But most of those pushing gay marriage have no intention of doing so, at least if that means the democratic process. What they really mean is let’s stop all activity on a Constitutional amendment until the Supreme Court declares gay marriage to be a Constitutional right, in another version of Roe v. Wade.

The litigation all points in this direction. Most telling is Nebraska. In 2000, 70% of its voters approved a state constitutional amendment defining marriage as a union between a man and a woman and prohibiting civil unions or domestic partnerships. If activists really believed in leaving this to the states, it’s pretty clear Nebraskans have spoken. But this state amendment is being challenged by the ACLU, which hopes to get a federal judge to throw it out. The state’s attorney general testified in Congress that he expects the state to lose.

That sums it up nicely, I think. The ones who usually cry that this is an issue for the states are the ones pushing hardest for a Constitutional Amendment. The ones that are usually accused of appointing activist judges are now crying this is a states right issue – but only because they believe eventually they’ll get a Federal Court to declare gay marriage to be a constitutional right. And even when the states make their wishes known as in Nebraska, the ACLU sues to overturn it.

Oy. The Constitutional solution is that this should have been a states rights question from the beginning. The US Constitution specifically says that any rights not espressly given to the US Government are reserved for the States. The decision on abortion shouldn’t have been a Federal decision, but it was. Now the genie is out of the bottle, and the US government has been happily trampling States Rights for years. And while the people, either through direct voting or through their legislatures has never permitted gay marriage, and in most cases specifically outlawed gay activity of any sort, the courts have been “discovering” these rights and overruling the people and the legislatures.

It should have never gotten this far – the opposition is correct, this should have been an issue left to the States. Sadly, it is the same opposition that has made that impossible. That genie is never going to go back in that bottle.