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Specter, The Supreme Court, and Political Parties

Posted by revkharma on May 1, 2009

  

A scorpion scuttles to the bank of a stream, seeking a way across. He spies a frog and asks him to carry him across the water. The frog is doubtful, and asks the scorpion “Why would I do that? What if you sting me?”   The scorpion replies, “I would not do that, if I were to sting you, we would both drown.”  Thinking for a moment, the frog agrees. The scorpion climbs on his back and they head into the water. About half way across, the scorpion wields his tail, stinging the frog with a deadly poison. Just before they sink below the water, the frog asks the scorpion “Why…?”   To which the scorpion replies:
“It is my nature to do so”.
(From Aesop’s Fables, roughly from memory)
The political pundits are whirling and spinning, all trying to explain or excuse the move yesterday by Arlen Specter from Pa. He has returned to the Democrat party which he left in the 1960’s. He has said coyly that the Republicans ‘left him’. He felt uncomfortable in a party which would not allow for diverse views. Republicans are stunned, and media mouths are dropping in shock. I can’t understand anyone being shocked. Mr. Specter has shown his sense of political expediency outweighs his courage since he switched affiliation in 1965 to defeat a Democrat incumbent for a district attorney position. Mr. Specter has always walked the walk of political survival.  Recall his courageous vote ‘Pursuant to Scottish Law I vote Unproved’ during the impeachment trial of President Clinton. Rather than take a stand and display principle, he managed to evade accountability. He saw the poll numbers and knew there was no slam dunk with either side, so he took no side.

In the same way he saw the poll numbers and knew he might not win reelection this time, so rather than take a stand, he took a leap. Only weeks after stating flatly that he was a ‘republican, and would always be one” he jumped to the other party, ensuring that he would now have some measure of power in congress that he could not earn in the minority party.

Republicans supported Specter in the 2006 election. President Bush expended much time and effort to help reelect Specter, and he made promises to help the republicans work toward their objectives. (Why would I aid the democrats? If I do that we all lose!”)  He repaid the work and effort by giving his vote to Obama and his ‘stimulus package’ (Because, it’s my nature!”)

The Republican party was once home to bedrock conservative ideas: Small government, limited taxation, and support for the Constitution. Over the last decade or so they have drifted, becoming essentially a smaller version of the Democrat party. They agreed in principle that big government was essential, they just haggled over the exact size and goals of that government. In essence the debate was not over a controlling centralized government. It was over who should hold the reins, and in which direction the power of government would be directed. With two parties controlling things, the debate becomes one in which actions of ‘our guys’ is deemed good, and the actions of ‘those guys’ is deemed bad. As long as it’s ‘our party’ we are told to cheer for any application of government power, especially when punitively applied to the other party.

After 9/11, George W. Bush’s ‘Compassionate Conservatism’ was transformed into something sometimes referred to as ‘ American Greatness Conservatism”. This was merely a different mask on the face of an expanding State system. The thinking seemed to be that as long as the controls were in the hands of ‘the good guys’ it was not a bad thing to have Big Government.  The flaw here is that in the constitutional system set up in the U. S. those controls don’t belong to a single party for long.  And once the Democrats get hold there is no reason for them to slow the expansion of government, as they can accurately say the debate is over.  Now that the party in control is all about spending, people like Specter can go along, join them and have no fear of reprisal. They will happily spend others money and reap short term benefits. Arlen Specter moved from one party to another because control of our government is held by parties, rather than by representatives of the people.

As I was mulling all of this, one more thing came to my attention. There are now stories that Justice Souter will be leaving the US Supreme court, giving President Obama his first opportunity to show his true inclinations and philosophy. The dominance of parties will be on display here.  The leftists who now control the Democrat party will push for the appointment of someone who shares the deeply felt, but deeply hidden views of Mr. Obama.  A clear indicator of his thinking is the nominee to be legal adviser to the State Department, Harold Koh.  Mr. Koh is an ardent proponent of what he he casts as ‘Transnationalism’.  This is a political theory which, if put into practice, would literally undermine the US constitution and replace it with ill defined concepts of multi- national, or global law. Such foundational principles as our First
Amendment freedoms of speech and religion, which he regards as an obstacle to America joining with the ‘international community’ will be pushed aside.

Writing for National Review Online, Ed Whalen gives us a preview of Koh’s stunning views:

As part of his general case for what he contends to be the “more venerable strand of ‘transnationalist jurisprudence’” over the “blinkered view” of a “nationalist jurisprudence” (Koh, International Law as Part of Our Law, 98 Am. J. Int’l. L. 43, 48, 52 (2004)), Koh approvingly sets forth the transnationalist view that

 

domestic courts must play a key role in coordinating U.S. domestic constitutional rules with rules of foreign and international law, not simply to promote American aims, but to advance the broader development of a well-functioning international judicial system.  In Justice Blackmun’s words, U.S. courts must look beyond narrow U.S. interests to the “mutual interests of all nations in a smoothly functioning international legal regime” and, whenever possible, should “consider if there is a course of action that furthers, rather than impedes, the development of an ordered international system.”

 

(98 Am. J. Int’l. L. at 53-54 (emphasis added).

In order to ‘coordinate’ like this, there is only one path. That path is to subordinate, or abandon the Constitution, and substitute some form of ‘International Law”. This is not the same thing as historically understood, and agreed upon framework such as the outlawing of piracy. This is an entanglement of regulations and rules designed and implemented by groups similar to the EU.

If we allow this, we allow the end of the United States of America.

George Washington, at the end of his time as President spoke forcefully about the dangers of Parties and the destruction they could do to the new born American nation. We see his words as prophetic now, as parties run the government for their benefit, instead of the benefit of the people who put them in place.

I think we may have a short time with an open window here. Arlen Specter’s party change exposes clearly the raw power of parties, and their strangle hold on government and our nation in general.  Perhaps we should encourage others, who have complained that they feel marginalized by the parties to leave.  Instead of switching, they should be encouraged simply to leave and follow no party at all. It seems as if the Republican party is sliding into irrelevance. Let’s see if we can prevent another ‘party’ from replacing it, and instead have the American people be represented. If we allow another party to form, we risk the fate of Aesop’s frog, for we already know what is in the nature of political parties.

 

 

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One Response to “Specter, The Supreme Court, and Political Parties”

  1. […] MacLeansCa, Huff Post, American Reality, Real Clear Politics, Political Ticker, D-Day, CNN, The Church of Kharma Futures, PolitiFact, Beltway Snark, Op-Ed […]

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