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Full Court Press

I was reminded by an astute reader that we are a pluralistic society. And our government reflects this hodgepodge of competing interests. The problem with this is nothing gets done because we fucking fight over everything. Pluralism has devolved into partisanship, and that is why our government doesn’t function.

Perhaps that was the plan all along. There is a fair amount of writing on this subject in the Federalist Papers. Our republic may have been designed to check the power of the people by widening the sphere of participation in the national dialogue. What can you expect from a group of newly landed gentry? The Constitution was written ostensibly to give the gift of liberty to everyone(except slaves and non-property owners). It’s a good piece of work. However, it needs some fixing. It’s old and dated. We’ve done our level best to modify it and wring more freedom for people from it. And that’s the only way to change it now; I will probably die before we pass another amendment to the document.

So who is doing the fixing? The Supreme Court. They have been the drivers of social change in this land of confusion. It is a very important job, because Congress has abdicated its responsibility to govern correctly. Even the president is writing the law without bothering to consult these screwups. But the Court’s function is critical. That’s where the boundaries of liberty are either pushed outward or restricted.

I mean to underline in bold the need for us to choose insightful, inspired justices. Yeah, I know, ones that comports my decidedly liberal values. I’ll confess to that.

It’s almost time to pick a president. And he or she is the one that will do some picking of their own. Four of the nine justices are past the mean retirement age of 78. Every modern president has picked one justice per term.

If this isn’t a reason to get motivated to vote, I don’t know what to tell you, hoss. But I tell you this, your protest vote or non-vote will fuck this shit up. I’m talking to you, manic progressives. You too, Sandernistas. Have you seen what the other side is offering? So many of you are willing to cut off your nose to spite your face.

Hillary Clinton may be a friend to Wall Street and Israel, and I know how much these bugaboos get to you. But you are only serving the dark side with your insistence on ideological purity. That’s not what we do. That’s what the right traffics in. We are pragmatic and we get behind a winner. Failure to do so will pack our court with assholes.

One For Three

So, Obamacare lives to see another day. And the world turns relentlessly, this time for the better. John Roberts wrote for the majority: “Congress passed the Affordable Care Act to improve health insurance markets, not to destroy them.”

Clarity. Sanity. Divination, some would say.

I have been having a spirited argument with a reader about literalism in law. He is probably agitated by this decision, as the Supreme Court ruled in favor of intent and not the exact wording of the law. He made some very good points that I will carry with me whenever I think about the Constitution and jurisprudence. I am still in favor of penumbras and rights given but not enumerated, however. Given today’s terrible gridlock in Congress, it is unlikely that there will be any change in the Constitution to deal with today’s Big Questions. Therefore, the force of law devolves unto the Court. It may not be ideal, but it’s what we have.

The House will not let well enough alone. They’re suing the executive for altering parts of the law to adjust for small businesses to prepare for the law, and for appropriating funds for Obamacare that have not been authorized by Congress. There’s a fuckload of other challenges too. I see that these challenges will probably not be heard by the Court. And there’s still the possibility of reconciliation to force a majority vote on repeal. Fortunately, Obama can veto that happy shit posthaste.

Today we celebrate a win for the little guy. And we keep our fingers crossed until tomorrow. Or maybe a few days after that. Fucking drama, is what this is.

Hammer Time

“The Bugman” is back. He really never left us, though. He’s one of those psychopaths who can’t stay out of the public eye for long. He’s a weasel of the lowest order, having pioneered the art of “primarying” any Republican who stood in his way as whip. He’s the guy that forced a vote on Terry Schiavo. He helped create K Street. He’s best known for resigning his position in ignominy amidst charges of conspiracy and violations of campaign finance law. He’s a real piece of…something.

Politics is the ultimate recycling bin. From it, you can join the board of a major corporation. You can become an author. You can become a lobbyist. You can have your own radio talk show. No one goes away for good. George Fucking Bush the Junior became a painter. Few remember the horrible things these personalities have perpetrated.

Which brings us to back to Tom Delay. His recycle? “Dancing With The Stars”. And now he’s palling around with the likes of Phyllis Schafly, who is obviously some sort of lich who cannot die. Tom joined the chorus of lizard people who went full page in the Post about not “honoring” a ruling in favor of gay marriage, whatever that entails. Did you know he is a constitutional expert too?

DeLay lamented that “people don’t understand the constitution. We haven’t taught our children now for three or four generations what the Constitution is, and the separation of powers, and what our Founding Fathers had in mind as this brilliant understanding of how you can limit government and limit the tyranny put on us through people or oligarchies.”

Because of this supposed constitutional ignorance, DeLay claimed, “right now, the American people don’t understand that the Supreme Court, when it makes a ruling, it’s just an opinion if no one enforces that ruling. The Supreme Court doesn’t have a police force; the Supreme Court doesn’t have an army; the Supreme Court doesn’t have people that can enforce their ruling.” Therefore, if conservatives “stand up to them and invoke the Constitution, then we don’t have to accept a ruling on marriage that redefines marriage.

Tom, like most Republicans, pines for the days of the Articles of Confederation, where the federal government is toothless. The Constitution was created to establish and expand federal power. So right off the bat, Delay is already not credible when he speaks of the Constitution(like most Republicans). Then he says that the Courts “opinions” are just that-mere opinions, like the opinions you and me share. They don’t have the force of law. This is so stupid I don’t even know what to do with it. May I quote your precious Constitution?

“The judicial power shall extend to all cases, in law and equity, arising under this Constitution, the laws of the United States, and treaties made, or which shall be made, under their authority”

We don’t even have to go to Marbury v. Madison to see that the judiciary’s activities are an integral part of the separation of powers. But it gets better, doesn’t it?

The Supreme Court doesn’t have a police force; the Supreme Court doesn’t have an army; the Supreme Court doesn’t have people that can enforce their ruling.

What? The executive branch is sworn to uphold the Constitution and they do have an army and police force. To pretend that judges everywhere have no power just because they aren’t “armed” is willfully ignorant at best, and delusional and dangerous at worst. Tom Delay is walking free right now because of a judge.

Here’s my favorite part:

Proving his Constitutional prowess, DeLay argued that “it’s not in their authority to write law by ten unelected, unaccountable people, lawyers, and if – this is a red line that we’re drawing.

Submitted without comment.

Those who lionize the Constitution seem to me to be the ones who understand it the least. Maybe they have a learning disability. Because the right-wing can’t read the law, the Bible, or any other book that would make them less stupid.

Blind Justice

We all know Antonin Scalia as an originalist, a gadfly and  a reliable conservative vote on the SCOTUS. But here’s something you didn’t know, and it’s a bit troubling:

Delivering (a) speech at his granddaughter’s graduation…

“Class of 2015, you should not leave Stone Ridge High School thinking that you face challenges that are at all, in any important sense, unprecedented,” Scalia, a bit condescendingly, told the graduating class. “Humanity has been around for at least some 5,000 years or so, and I doubt that the basic challenges as confronted are any worse now, or alas even much different, from what they ever were.”

Have I gotten a better education than Scalia? Isn’t it necessary to be introduced to a number of disciplines that have nothing to do with their field of study? What, did Harvard not include a little humanities, a little science, and a little liberal arts to round out a degree path? Even before I went to school I knew that we had evidence of civilizations that are 11,000 years old. These facts are not in question. It’s pretty fucking ignorant as it is to not trust the fossil record and carbon dating, where we find evidence of man 100,000 years ago but at least get your shit together a little bit on the history of civilization. You’re cutting out ancient Egypt and Sumeria with that number, Antonin. Do we really have a young-earther on the Court? The mind reels.

You old fool. Hang it up. And take Silent Clarence with you, he is a waste of space on the bench and you know it. Or maybe you don’t, because evidently there are glaring limitations to what you know.

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