Sunday, December 18, 2011

Be Careful What You Wish For ... You Might Get It in Newt

Several people and I have just about banged our heads to jelly against various walls in frustration at how just about everyone inhabiting the EmoProg part of the Left, guided by their Professional icons, seems to think that all governmental power begins and ends with the President - which is why "Obama" (never President Obama, mind) must always be criticized and why everything pejorative that happens in Washington is always "Obama's" fault.

People who get paid a lot of money to talk politics on television (although it's ofttimes disguised as comedy as a defense mechanism) say this, so it must be true.

It's often seemed to me that these people on the left sigh longingly for a good, old-fashioned dictator ... or maybe even a "dicktator."

Well, since various and sundry of the EmoProgs are threatening not to vote, for one reason or another, they just might get their unheralded wish in the form of Newt Gingrich, dicktator.

As we all know, the three separate branches are equal in that each ensures that the other branch doesn't accumulate too much power - especially the Executive Branch. After all, we fought a Revolution to eradicate power being based in the hands of one ruler over a people.

But there's one Republican candidate, who would put paid to all that. It's the so-called intellectual. Newt Gingrich, it seems, would seek to curtail the power of the judicial branch, even to the point of eradicating "activist justices" and eliminating various courts and their personnel.

Gingrich thinks, succinctly, that if the President chooses to do so, he should just ignore whatever ruling the Supreme Court hands down on a legal matter. After all, says Gingrich, the President is ... well, the President. (Why am I thinking of Richard Nixon's premis that whatever the President does is not illegal?)

As The Hill reports:-

The former House Speaker and current Republican presidential front-runner convened a conference call with reporters on Saturday to expand on his call for Congress to subpoena judges or even abolish courts altogether if they make wrong-headed decisions.


Then, in what amounted to a 35-minute seminar on constitutional history, Gingrich argued that the judicial branch has grown far more powerful than the nation’s founders ever intended and said it would be well within the president’s authority as commander in chief to ignore a Supreme Court ruling that he believed was incorrectly decided.

He cited four examples in presidential history, including Abraham Lincoln, whose administration, Gingrich said, refused to enforce the Dred Scott decision by the Supreme Court on slavery and then actively flouted it by emancipating the slaves with an executive order.

“They just ignored it,” Gingrich said. He said the principle applied most recently to the 2008 Supreme Court decision finding that the Bush administration had exceeded its constitutional authority in handling suspected terrorist detainees at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

“A commander in chief could simply issue instructions to ignore it, and say it’s null and void and I do not accept it because it infringes on my duties as commander in chief to protect the country,” Gingrich said of the Guantanamo ruling.

Gingrich, a former history professor, also stood by his statement that Congress could abolish certain courts altogether, although he clarified that it should be a last resort to counteract judicial overreach.

Well, here's the clincher:-

Gingrich’s position represents, in effect, a direct challenge to the interpretation of Marbury v. Madison, the seminal 1803 Supreme Court decision that established the principle of judicial review and cemented the high court as the ultimate arbiter of whether congressional or executive acts are constitutional.

Gingrich said the case had been “grossly overstated” in modern law schools in the U.S. He acknowledged that his position on challenging the judiciary would be “controversial,” but he said he was happy that his standing in the presidential race had prompted the national discussion.

Oh, really, Newt? So let's get rid of a little "due process" then, shall we? After all, it is "grossly overstated," as you say.

But then, we get to the real reason behind all this:-

He said he developed his proposals after the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in 2002 ruled that reciting phrase “one nation, under God” in the Pledge of Alliance in public schools infringed on the separation of church and state.

“I was frankly just fed up with elitist judges imposing secularism on the country and basically fundamentally changing the American Constitution,” Gingrich said. “The more it was clear to me that you have a judicial psychology run amok, and there has to be some method of bringing balance back to the three branches.”

There you have it! It's the old culture war "secularism vs Christian nation" meme that Newt's been pushing this time around. It ties in nicely with his jibe about the President being an "anti-colonial Kenyan." More than any governmental branch, the judiciary understands that governing is secular, that the US government is tied to no church and no religion in legislating, that religion - any religion - should be removed from government and any appendage to it. It's a subtle appeal to fear for some people. The atheists are coming and they're taking God out of the Pledge of Allegiance - ne'mind that "God" didn't figure in until 1954, so he's not always been there.

Make no mistake. The 2012 Election may feature heavily the economy, but it's also the culture ar to end all culture wars, and it will determine whether our country goes forward without fear, or back to the future in ignominy.

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