CREDIT WHERE CREDIT IS DUE
In the aftermath of Saddam Hussein’s capture by the US 4th Infantry Division, almost all of the Democratic presidential hopefuls issued standard messages of congratulations to the troops. These messages were well deserved, and not doubt sincere. But what I do not understand is why none of them went so far as to congratulate President Bush. After all, every one of them has been citing Saddam’s continued elusiveness as a failure of the President and his administration. So if not finding Saddam is a personal failing for the President, why is finding him not a personal victory, worthy of praise and congratulations?
I am, of course, not saying that the President should take the credit for this victory away from the troops who so rightly deserve it. But this is an example of two unfortunate phenomena that have become all too prevalent in our nation’s political discourse. First is the continued moving of the proverbial goal posts for leaders and officials. The second is the inability of political candidates to say anything positive about the person against whom they are running. Members of both parties have been guilty of this in the past, and it is time that these negative and counterproductive tactics were laid to rest.
— Nick J.
Re: William Tucker’s Shifting Alliances on Tort Reform:
Respectfully, Mr. Tucker is off-beam. Having wasted the best eleven years of my life in the study and practice of law, I can say a tort law exists in order to restitute those who have suffered loss, injury or damage as a result of negligence that the defendant knew or ought to have known would cause loss, injury or damage. There should be no “what ifs” or “might have beens” in the practice of tort law. Essential steps to reform are:
1. Scrap punitive damages. Tort exists to recompense actual, not putative, loss. All that punitive damages does is inflate the size of the award, leading to more appeals, increasing the cost of the process and the jackpot payable to the brethren.
2. Provide specific damages for specific injuries to specific jobs. If a manual worker loses their little finger, that is much more of a career-threatening injury than the same injury to an office worker.
3. Rediscover the law and keeps the lobbyists out. Since when did the Constitution become a means of enriching lawyers? Or is that too naive a question for a Scotsman to ask?
4. Recover the cost of litigation more aggressively. In my jurisdiction, the lawyer is responsible for the payment of costs, not the client.
Conservatives like me will always complain that Yasser Arafat has got rich by ripping off aid, not, as one commentator has said “by inventing a new browser.” The trial lawyers haven’t invented new browsers either. They should be remunerated accordingly. God knows what an improved world we would have if we had modest lawyers.
— Martin Kelly
Regarding tort lawyers switching sides: In Texas, we are seeing tort lawyers sponsoring candidates for office in the Republican primary, particularly for District Court Judge. This is occurring because in many counties in Texas now, the Republican primary is the election. This is also true for statewide judicial races. The Republican Party activists are horrified by this and so far it seems that the tort lawyer types have been unsuccessful. However, money talks so it will be a constant battle to retain control of the courts.
— Michael Bergsma
Re Paul J. Cella III’s Shut Up, They Explained:
Concerning the McCain-Feingold campaign finance law which the Supreme Court recently approved, Paul Cella writes that “legislation so brazenly in violation of the clear intent of the Constitution is grounds for the impeachment of a judge or executive, and the censure and democratic removal of a legislator.” Mr. Cella notes that in addition to the Supreme Court which found this blatantly unconstitutional legislation to be constitutional, the bill had previously been passed by Congress and signed into law by President Bush. So, by Mr. Cella’s logic, the President, five Supreme Court justices, and a majority of the House and Senate should be expelled from office.
I don’t say this to make fun of Mr. Cella. I agree with him that only strong disciplinary measures can stop the present juggernaut leading to the destruction of the Constitution. But the sheer number and ubiquity of the offenders in this case shows the impossible scope of the problem. It’s not just a handful of violators we have to discipline, which would be difficult enough (since federal judges and legislatures have never been removed from office merely for approving a piece of legislation, even if of doubtful constitutionality), but the U.S. government as such. And how we go about doing that, I haven’t the foggiest. But we have to start somewhere. Perhaps Sandra Day O’Connor could be impeached and removed for saying that Supreme Court decisions relating to the U.S. Constitution will henceforth be based in part on foreign law.
— Lawrence Auster
New York City
The United States Supreme Court has finally convinced me, the country I have loved all my adult life, has been taken over by the inmates. It is a sad day beyond my ability to comprehend when this court ignores the Constitution they are sworn to uphold. The congress and the president (not capitalized by design) I understand, but do not forgive for the this gag on our right to speak about their performance.
When I took the oath to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States of America as an officer in the USAF, I made that promise with feeling and conviction. Unfortunately, those who are chosen to represent us look upon their oath as just a few words on a scrap of paper, with no meaning. I am filled a great sadness for the country in which I grew up. Who is left to defend our freedoms, if not the United States Supreme Court?
— Steve Corwin
San Jose, CA
“In short, officers of all three branches of our Federal Republic violated oaths taken before God to uphold our Constitution, or at least acted with inexcusable irresponsibility against the spirit of those oaths. These officers will suffer no penalty for this action: those vulnerable to it will not be impeached; those subject to it will not be cast out of office in the next election (at least not for this reason). Nothing much will happen.” — Paul J. Cella III,
12 December 2003
At what point do we take stock and determine if the U.S. Constitution is still in force? If it no longer binds the federal government, we need to shout the news loudly and repeatedly from the rooftops, in the press, on TV and radio, and across the Internet, making sure that all are aware that we are once again a lawless nation and that those who occupy space in Washington, DC, have been fired and are not eligible for rehire.
— Mark Yannone
2004 Libertarian candidate
U.S. House of Representatives for Arizona’s District 3
Everybody I know who is aware of this so called Campaign Finance Reform bill is just as appalled and upset as you are. The fact that we do not have web pages for blogs or write for other webzines does not mean that we are not concerned.
I see this a lot. People who write articles on the web seem to think they are the only ones who think the way they do or hold the values they hold. Not so.
I have written congresspeople. I have talked to the people I know. Even my local councilman. What else can one do? This trashing of the Constitution has been going on for years and seems to be increasing rapidly…exponentially.
Thanks for your article.
So now that Congress, President Bush and the Supreme Court of the United States have thrown the First Amendment of our Constitution into the trash, can we finally, once and for all, tell the ACLU where to stick it in regards to the separation of church and state which was never there to begin with?
Bring out your posters of Jesus and get them hanging in the schools as fast as you can folks! They can’t stop you now!
And since the politicians and judges won’t impeach themselves for obviously breaking their oaths to uphold the Constitution, can we consider them fair game to hunt, stuff, and hang over our mantles?
Either way I’m going to keep my guns cleaned and my ammo locker stocked. They’ll be after the Second Amendment next as they go down the list to shred them all (or what’s left of them).
— Greg Barnard
REAL AND UNBALANCED
Re: Shawn Macomber’s Raging Bully:
I saw the Carville and Matalin on the speakers tour at a recent industry convention. It was like watching a carnival sideshow. “Hurry, hurry, come and see the mighty Carville who used to eat Republicans in one bite. Feared and powerful.” Now just a shill playing the Ricky and Lucy circuit. Perhaps when he goes to the great beyond, he can be stuffed and donated to the Smithsonian to be next to the great woolly mammoth.
— Aftan Romanczak
Note to Shawn Macomber: If you are going to write fiction, it has to be believable. Even Stephen Glass knew that.
We are supposed to believe that Shawn met a “hardcore Republican” who is now a Democrat because of tax cuts? We are supposed to believe that someone showed up at a Carville pep rally who doesn’t know who Rush Limbaugh is?
Keep it real.
— Glen Hoffing
Shawn Macomber replies: I couldn’t believe it myself, but it’s true, all true.
Re: R. Emmett Tyrrell, Jr.’s Robert Bartley, RIP:
RET — Thanks for writing the piece on Bob Bartley. Few qualify to write about him, fewer still could actually do it.
— Andrew Keirns
A WASTED COLLEGE DEGREE
Re: Enemy Central’s “F Troop”:
I am so glad that you all are so intellectual and can spread your intellectualism as thick as cream. But for this poor old college grad, I must be a failure.
I have not an iota of understanding about your verbal acrobatics about Dean, Gore (the bore) and the rest of the article just read.
Re: George Neumayr’s Soft-Brained Supremes:
Fantastic article on the supremes and an excellent summation/reminder of conservative principles. It reminds me of the Spectator of old. Are you by any chance the George Neumayr who was at the NJC in the fall of 1994?
— Scott Smith
RIGHT OF WAY
Re: Unsigned’s letter in Reader Mail’s German Drive:
“Unsigned” suggests that the problem with “passing lane parkers” is that the signs say “Slower Traffic Keep Right,” and wonders whether changing the signs to read “Keep Right Except to Pass” might help.
Here in Georgia the passing lane signs do indeed say “Keep Right Except to Pass,” and the compliance is not noticeably better. Of course, here in Georgia, tailgating is so commonplace that even police cars do it, and the word for people who only drive the speed limit is “scenery.” So we may not be a representative case.
— Kevin McGehee
Coweta County, Georgia