When Good News is Bad News

The good news: David Souter is leaving the SCOTUS. The bad news: Barack Obama is choosing his replacement. The worse news: he has a rubber stamp Senate to confirm her. I’m predicting the same as everyone else. He will choose an woman from an ethnic minority. Or as even liberal Time magazine says, “White men need not apply.”

I don’t care whether care whether the new justice is a man or a woman. I don’t care what their ethnic background is. What I do care about is the box-ticking exercise of thinking this is important. On one level care about the affirmative action approach to filling one of the nine most important judicial seats in the land. That is a very poor crtieria.

But the much more important thing it that it reflects a much more troubling aspect of Obama’s judicial philosophy.  “I view that quality of empathy, of understanding and identifying with people’s hopes and struggles, as an essential ingredient for arriving at just decisions and outcomes.” This sounds so wonderful and heartwarming.

We need someone who will bend and change the law to make people happy. We need unelected judges to override elected legislators in making law. We need to change the meaning of the Constitution because we feel sorry for people.  If we get a cultural and gender cross-section on the Court, they can represent the people in choosing what the Constitution should become – more white men are more likely to tell us what it is.

If the law cannot be changed on a case-by-case basis, then we are stuck with equality under the law. That makes it much more difficult to favour minorities or special interest groups, especially ones we for whom we feel sorry because we don’t think they have been as materially prosperous. Enlightened justices needs to protect and promote behaviour that legislators, encumbered as they are by the will of the people, won’t endorse.

I want to say in closing that I don’t have anything against David Souter personally. I am very disappointed that he has shifted from the conservative to liberal side of the Court. That’s why I wish I could be glad to see him go. As an individual, he has always been an outstanding example of public service.

All Change

I think Barak Obama has the best chance of being elected President of the United States.

I’d actually rather see Hillary Clinton elected. If you know me, you know that is not an easy thing to say. I’d rather see almost anyone elected rather than Hillary. But at least with Hillary you know what you are getting. All you have with Obama is the most liberal voting record in the Senate combined with the endless chant of “Change! Change! Change!”

Obama has not been around on the national scene long enough to have built up a lot of negative feeling. Clinton would be defeatable in November because so may people have an attitude of “anyone but Hillary”. Once in office, Obama will push for an agenda that most Americans will not like. It will be too late.

Obama will work with a Democratic Congress, in the first such tandem between Capitol Hill and the White House since the first half of Bill Clinton’s first term. That’s when we got the FACE Act, the Brady Law, don’t ask dont’ tell, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Steven Breyer. We also got the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act. That created 50 new federal offenses, banned semi-automatic “assault” rifles, and eliminated higher education opportunities for prisoners.

The big differences between 1993 and 2009 are that Obama is much more liberal than Bill Clinton and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is both more legislatively aggressive and more liberal than was Tom Foley. Supreme Court Justice John Paul Steven is 87. Scalia, Kennedy, and Ginsburg are in their 70’s.

Then there is foreign policy. Obama will be much happier for the UN to decide that. He’s going to pull the troops out of Iraq. That sounds good, but unfortunately the US invasion created a bit of a mess and a subsequent direct withdrawal will result in a complete breakdown of civil order. Any Christians who are left in Iraq had better get out, because it will just be a matter of which Islamist extremists can kill the most people. Also expect something close to full-scale war between Iraq and Turkey.

So yes, all in all, you can expect change, change, change from an Obama presidency and you can expect an Obama presidency in January.