Saturday, March 20, 2004

Liberals are screaming about a proposed bill to let Congress overturn Supreme Court decisions. [I wrote more about this flawed idea, and a much better one, on The American Street at "Stuff The Courts".] It is fun to watch leftists turn into born-again lovers of The Federalist Papers to find arguments for the separation of powers. Usually they attack that work as propaganda for a centralized pro-business government. It's the same sort of hypocrisy which lets them praise Jefferson for his implicitly anarchist Declaration of Independence, while never mentioning how he set the precedent for Bush's cultural war against the Islamonazis by attacking the Barbary Pirates. (And he did it without either a declaration of war or permission from the Congress of Vienna, and never found any WMDs there. Both unilateral and preemptive!!)

The liberals were right in their previous suspicions about that book. It was a pack of promises, put forth only to win ratification for the Constitution. Alexander Hamilton even felt compelled (in No. 79) to butter up "The enlightened friends to good government". He certainly knew the masses better than that. The public then was as easily misled by the literal rabble rousing of "democrats" like Tom Paine, as they are today by born-again Bush critics like Howard Stern.

For months now lefties have complained about polls showing most Americans believed Saddam did have Weapons Of Unusual Size at the start of the Baghdad Reconquista. They blame the media, especially the fare of balladromic Faux News. They always fail to see the obvious -- if the voters are that ignorant, then someone else really needs to make their decisions for them. The Senator from ESS, out of sheer civic spirit, is working on that now.

Back to the new liberal canon. In No. 47 James Madison based his praise of independent judges on a popular writer of that day. "The British constitution was to Montesquieu, what Homer has been to the didactic writers on epic poetry." Always be suspicious whenever someone quotes any Frenchman. Madison's favorite 18th century Baron showed early signs of the current French love of appeasement, when he suggested that women were best "to govern an empire" because "their very weakness gives them more gentleness and moderation, which, rather than the harsh and ferocious virtues, can make for a good environment." Somehow, that doesn't sound like a good description of the Democratic Presidentress In Waiting (or of *ahem* certain distaff commentators).

Homer, I remind you, was blind. So was Montesquieu -- to the heroism of a conquering ruler. His dull spirit welcomed the safety of "balanced" collective inertia. He would have hated Our Noble Leader's unilateral preemptive application to the government of Iraq of the election by appointment allowed in Bush v. Gore. (Scalia's unsigned decision only said it could not be used as a precedent here. It never precluded that in other countries.)

Madison (who himself launched a preemptive war to conquer Canada -- a good idea which would have spared us the threat of gay marriages and unfairly cheap medicine just next door) in No. 47 praised "The constitution of Massachusetts ... [which] declares "that the legislative department shall never exercise the executive and judicial powers, or either of them". That was all said long before Adam met Steve in Boston. It was also setting up a straw Congress to argue against.

Under the proposed new bill, Congress would do the very opposite of exercising judicial power. Even the Supreme Court itself would do less exercising of that power. After two hundred and fifteen years, don't they deserve a rest from their labor? Especially since, like most doddering old fogies, they seem to be getting -- dare I say it -- senile in their decisions. Would a young and vigorous John Marshall have dreamed of telling Texans that they can't jail the heterosexually challenged? Actually John died a year before the Alamo, but I am sure Senator Santorum would be interested in the domestic habits which led to the name of those pre-Anglo residents of the Lone Star State, the Karankawa. It is not recorded how they felt about berdache.

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