Re: David Boaz’s Filibuster Flip-Flops:
Mr. Boaz appears to be lost in the daily Washington tit-for-tat mentality that most American’s find abhorrent. The caterwaul de jour of the chattering class is the “rediscovered” concern for “minority rights.” Funny, I don’t seem to remember this being a concern when the Democrats had a monolithic majority in congress for 40 years. But I digress. What Mr. Boaz and his ilk, including many timid Senate Republicans, fail to understand is that the use of the filibuster on judicial nominees is an unconstitutional act. The Constitution is explicit on this point. What is so hard to understand about this? An arcane Senate rule does not supersede the Constitution. Furthermore, the precious use of the filibuster is not prohibited in matters of legislation simply because there is no constitutional right to legislation. Each party is free to filibuster legislation to its hearts desire. I do not recall when Republicans have engaged in a filibuster against judicial nominees. Minority rights are alive and well. It’s when they are used in shameless derogation of the Constitution that people who know better should wake up and take notice.
— Anthony F. DiPentima, Esq.
I just don’t understand why when this is talked about, it is not made plain that the only filibuster the Republicans are talking about getting rid of is the one for Judges. No one has talked about getting rid of it for bills. The Democrats are the ones that have changed the rules, now let’s get them back the way they have been for over 200 years.
— Elaine Kyle
Cut & Shoot, Texas
Re: Sean Higgins’s Silly Jim:
Sean Higgins article is probably the best I’ve seen on Jeffords “retirement.” If you believe the local rag, his leaving has left a power vacuum in Washington, etc. About the only ones here who still believed in him were some of the farmers up north in Franklin County and a few groups around the Burlington area. Yes, his career was quite unremarkable to say the least, even by Vermont standards. He was always in Leahy’s shadow and Bernie’s way. Bernie Sanders is the current favorite to replace him. Is that really a bad thing? Sanders is a socialist, that is true. He will also be a junior freshman senator and while smarter than Jeffords, he is more openly radical. Sanders is good at rhetoric. In fact, between his mouth and his political machine here, he is quite the person but he’s nothing more than smoke and mirrors as far as I’m concerned. Like Jeffords, Sanders career in the House has been rather unremarkable also. He can get elected to the Senate from here but he will be just as useless as Jeffords, though more colorful. So all in all, the status quo will remain the same. Vermont will continue as the laughing stock of the nation and we’ll have “Jumping Jim” back up here rocking on the porch.
— Pete Chagnon
Neither side trusts a traitor. What was his name? Forgot already.
— David Govett
Re: The Prowler’s Rahm Aims to Destroy:
“Emanuel has reached out informally to former President Bill Clinton for advice”
Clinton’s advice: “Do what I did, get a conservative independent to make it a three-way race. After all, I only got 43% of the vote in 1992. I couldn’t have won either race without Ross Perot.”
— John Matthews
Re: Jed Babbin’s Gilligan’s Ghost:
Just a quick update for Secretary Babbin on Conservative policy towards the BBC.
Last year, the Conservatives hired a broadcaster and administrator called David Elstein to produce a report into the BBC’s future. The UK’s analogue TV signal is to be turned off by the end of the decade. Elstein’s suggestion was that in the future digital age, the BBC should become subscription only. This would enable it to continue with its niche “public service” remit, while removing the burden of the licence fee.
Jed is dead right about the iniquity of the licence fee, of course. My fiancee and I had the pleasure of buying our first home together last month. Later today, I will be going to the offices of the borough in which we used to live to ensure that we will both be able to vote on May 5, having been informed by our new borough that we have moved too late in the year to qualify to vote there. Hopefully, we will both be able to exercise the franchise, the right of my fathers, in a two weeks time.
Setting up a new licence fee took just a phone call.
— Martin Kelly
EXPANDING ON 1787
Re: D. Kelly Jones’s Springtime in Paris:
D. Kelly Jones’s article about the EU Constitution notes that it is long and abstruse, filled with “the drafters’ predilection to inject doctrinal and policy preferences in a document which, like most constitutions, ought to limit itself to general goals and procedural matters. The drafters couldn’t resist the temptation to load the text with the pretentious and awkward terminology drawn from current political tracts.”
On first reading this account, I was tempted to snicker at the document’s absurdity. It seems more like a mission statement for some politically correct bureaucracy than it does a statement of basic law.
However, I soon realized that given our Supreme Court’s announcement that it will look to foreign sources of law in interpreting our own laws and Constitution, the smirk quickly left my face. It is now a quaint historical accident that our Constitution comprises a mere eleven pages. The Supreme Court may soon have access to the extra five hundred pages comprising the EU Constitution, with all its potential for mischief. Rather than using our Constitution as a set of ground rules, they will be more facilitated than ever to adopt the flavor of the month as the law of the land.
The Supreme Court is now just as free to act as a “clique of political grandees” as were the draftsmen of the EU abomination, and who can doubt that they will? To make the point closer to home, the Justices will be no more limited by the letter of our Constitution than are the other political grandees abounding in Washington. They will merely have another resource for its deconstruction.
We should all hope for a defeat of this potential Parisian amendment of our Constitution come May 29.
— Mark Fallert
The corrupt and duplicitous French can count on being alone, until Muslims bury them.
— David Govett
NOW HEAR THIS
Re: Doug Bandow’s A Long and Blinding Road:
I really do not know how Mr. Bandow can speak of giving President Bush credit for pushing the “democracy” option in Iraq and the Middle East. How can you commend someone for something that never was central to his actions? The invasion of Iraq had nothing, nothing at all to do with bringing “democracy” to Iraq and the greater Middle East. This was a fall back position taken by your President and now everyone, including the Cato’s writers whom I have admired, is speaking as though this “democracy search” was always the sole or even primary reason for the invasion and destruction of a sovereign nation, regardless of the despicable nature of its leader and regime.
Mr. Bandow speaks of fostering liberty. Who asked America to go around the world, interfering in the affairs of other people, to bring “liberty” from the muzzle of a gun, from the bomb bays of its aircraft, the muzzles of its helicopter gun ships? Does Mr. Bandow truly believe that a people so “liberated” will be forever grateful for America’s destruction of their country, its callow disregard for the lives of innocents whose bodies “they do not count”? Why would any nation or people feel anything other than shame and self-disgust when their “leaders,” no matter how murderous and the armies they control, fail to fight for at least the sanctity of the nation?
Please, stop this nonsense about President Bush being in favor of Democracy and wanting to see it in the Middle East. Better for him to try selling that pie in the sky to his allies in Central Asia, those who help in the war on Terror while they murder their own but are not even mentioned by America in its condemnation of murderous regimes. The facts are two-fold. The determination to go into Iraq was fostered and fueled by the simple fact that it could be done, that the country could not defend itself. The prize was its oil and more importantly the ability to occupy that country, in the heart of the Middle East and control through fear if nothing else, the affairs of neighboring states.
With such control, America could then be the sole arbiter of the economic affairs of the world, particularly its ability to deny access to oil by China and to a lesser extent India. Nothing wrong with self-interest, Mr. Bandow, but do not dress it up as some altruistic endeavor by this president and his acolytes. Most of the rest of the world do not buy this lame explanation, even if the grossly uninformed and jingoistic American public swallows it lock, stock, and barrel.
SELLING AWAY THE HILL
Re: Thomas Lipscomb’s Playing With Food at the U.N.:
So those oh-so-sensitive Democrats, ably assisted by George “Joe Biden” Voinovich, aren’t comfortable with John Bolton. I’ve got a suggestion for GW: Nominate Phyllis Schlafly. Or recess appoint Mr. Bolton. Democratic senators obstruct, and Republican senators cave? To hell with ’em. Show some backbone again, W!
We understand what the Democrats are doing. They’re like the scorpion that stung the turtle, condemning them both to drowning. It’s their nature. But too many of our Republican Senators are more concerned with being invited to Ted Kennedy’s or Hillary Clinton’s for cocktails than they are representing the conservative voters who elected them, and the GOP leadership is more concerned with appearances than results.
I’m a lifelong Republican, and fear the ascendancy of the current Democratic Party into positions of leadership within the Senate, and at the White House. But I’m getting weary unto death of the constant disappointments provided by our current group of Republican politicos, especially in the Senate. It’ll be a shame next year to see the current number of GOP senators reduced, maybe even to a minority, when all indications are that they should be increasing in number. But they’ll deserve it. If only more than just a few of them had a little courage.
— Tim Jones
EARTH DAY TRASH
Re: David Hogberg’s Earth Day Birdcage Liner:
I remember fairly well the first Earth Day. Some fellows in a graduate air-pollution-control program I would later enter donned gas masks and walked in front of the engineering college with signs.
Even then, environmentalism had more than just trappings of a special interest. It had the zealous seeds of a bona fide religion, which it became years ago.
Now we have its jihadists, the enviro-wacko-terrorists, which make the antics of Green Peace and others in the late 1980s and early 1990s seem like kids’ play.
Too, we have its priestly class, the enviro groups as well as folks like Al Gore, which uses emotional, ad hominem attacks and finds a conspiracy against the people under every rock.
The advocacy print and broadcast media are both environmentalism practitioners and propagandists. Seemingly, they have yet to meet a the-sky-is-falling or a genuine-junk-science story they don’t like. Too, too few of them have the background, curiosity or intellect to discern and present the stories as they should be.
So, what have we gotten and what do we get? One-sided, emotions-inciting schlock and memes the advocacy media is notorious for publishing or broadcasting. It’s likely not going to change, either.
— C. Kenna Amos Jr.
Princeton, West Virginia
DITCHING THE BROWNSHIRTS
Re: John Tabin’s Ratzinger and the Jews:
Let’s see now, 64 years ago the man, who is now the Pope, as a 14-year old was compelled by law to join his nation’s socialist youth group. Two years later he was drafted into his socialist nation’s army and soon after that he deserted from it. This sequence of events has the left all atwitter. Are they upset that he didn’t volunteer for all these socialist organizations and deserted from the army? Or maybe this is part of one of those internal (and eternal) spats between factions like Stalin vs. Trotsky, National Socialists vs. International Socialists, Big-Endiumns vs. Little-Endiumns, and he was forced to join the “wrong” socialist team and then quit thus offending both the Tweedledee socialists and the Tweedledum ones. No wonder the left is aligned with the Islamofascists they too get endlessly roiled over events 50 or 100 or 1000 years in the past. What a “reality-based community,” not.
For my part this is what counts. The new Pope is a good man and will do well for his church. Amen.
— Geoff Bowden
GUARDING THE GATES
Re: George Neumayr’s God Is My Pilot:
Very well written article. It stands in stark contrast to the MSNBC smear of 19 April, “New pope (sic) a conservative who divided Germans.” In that piece Pope Benedict XVI was condemned: “Many blame Ratzinger for decrees from Rome barring Catholic priests from counseling pregnant teens on their options…” What option might that be code speak for?
I appreciate your defense of orthodoxy and encourage you to continue.
— Tony Tycer
RALLY THE LEADERS
Re: “Republican Revolt” letters in Reader Mail’s Bolton’s Army:
So I’ve just got done reading the letters and e-mails that have come as responses to your posts. Like those authors, I too am bitterly disappointed by the lack of, in lieu of a better, “more nuanced” phrase, testicles being displayed by our Senators and other GOP people that walk the halls.
So how do we get through to them? There seems to be so many of us that are upset it seems silly we’re not organized and doing something about it. I know we are all busy, employed people with much to handle. We are not pot-addled hippies who have tons of time on our hands to stage die-ins and other quasi-socialist propaganda. They have practice at organization, even though it is stupid. We need direction.
So instead of just writing about our disappointment why don’t you help us gather our strength against the Dems who want to flush western civilization down the toilet? I’m a graduating college student trying to get myself ready for medical school this fall, but if you wrote a letter for all of us conservatives to send off to the GOP and posted it on your site telling us to print it off and mail it that would be a step in the right direction and I would have time to at least do that. Come up with ideas that are better than that one. It shouldn’t be hard to do. Help us fight!!!
— Joshua Nash
Re: MPM’s letters (under “Republican Revolt” and “Senator V”) in Reader Mail’s Bolton’s Army:
I am always amused by radicals/leftists/liberals/progressives/Democrats or whatever moniker they are going by these days who write letters to editors, but refuse to sign them. Might they be so ashamed of their pseudo-intellectual dribble that they refuse to sign them? Could the overwrought, hysterical and vacuous liberal MPM please own up to his/her petty canards?
When I send a blistering fax to McCain, Hagel, Voinovich or other RINOs I always sign them. That’s the proper and mature thing to do. I know it’s hard for liberals to behave like adults (the current Democrat Senatorial bitching at and about John Bolton proves my point), but couldn’t you (MPM) be the rare exception? Pretty please (how can you resist such mush?).
— Michael Tomlinson
I don’t know who or where “MPM” comes from but his or her take on Republicans, Republican issues and the opinion of RET and “The Prowler” are great. It is just one more indicator of why the left is so, well, way out in left field! The President does need to use some of his political capital to help get the Republicans back in line. Leave John McCain out there all alone where he deserves to be and as put by one other reader, the Republicans need some testicles. Message to Congressional Republicans: “You won; it’s OK to take charge now.”
— Roger Ross
Re: Jerry Rushing’s letter (under “Reforming by Conserving”) in Reader Mail’s Bolton’s Army:
You might point out to Jerry Rushing that Martin Luther was ex-communicated on January 3, 1521 and did not marry until June 13, 1525. Therefore, his decision to marry could not have violated his vow of chastity as the pope had negated that vow. It might be as interesting for Catholics to read about Martin Luther as it is for Protestants to read about the Catholic Church. I do apologize for getting the Vatican I point wrong. I should have referred to papal infallibility as a 20th Century point of contention within the Catholic Church. According to this article Pope Pius IX got Ultramontanism adopted at Vatican I.
The official theologian for Vatican II, Hans Kung, tried to get the church to re-evaluate its position on the matter. Kung felt “the freedom of the First Vatican Council was so severely compromised that the infallibility doctrine it devised cannot be regarded as an authentic or authoritative Catholic teaching. For writing such things, “he was in 1979 forbidden from teaching theology in the name of the Catholic Church.” Do American Catholics believe in papal infallibility? Do they think Hans Kung should have been silenced? There seems to be a whole list of things about which they disagree with the teachings from the Vatican. Such disagreements are the stuff of most punditry about the selection of the new pope. My suggestion is that Catholics might be well served by asking the question, can the Catholic Church re-discover its roots? Or will it continue to treat dissent (e.g. Protest) as needing suppression? Could the pope be fallible?
— Bruce Thompson
BABY, PLEASE COME HOME
Re: Enemy Central’s Enemy of the Week series:
So many candidates, so few awards. The past couple of weeks we have had Dems and RINOs contesting feverishly, no cigar. Where is Enemy Central?? Sen. John McCain (Capt. McQueeg) and George Voinovich are both disappointed as are innumerable liberals.
Your morose friend,
Enemy Central replies: As soon as we raise bail, we’ll be back. Eliot Spitzer is not an easy man to do business with.