Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

What the Hearings Displayed

Democrats do not have big thinkers. As Peter mentioned, it appears that all they care about is abortion. That’s part of the story. It’s certainly their biggest issue. But what I think they are really afraid of is how powerful and persuasive and serious people like Alito, Scalia, Roberts and Thomas are. Of course they looked silly and juvenile--even purile. But that’s really not the issue. Republicans have their hacks as well.

I think I have come around to the belief now that these guys no longer have faith in their own roots. They don’t even take themselves seriously--on an intellectual level. They have so lost their capacity to respect reason that they are in a total malaise. Anything could be true. That’s why they cower in the face of the radicals among them. When anything can be true the guys with the biggest stick or the thickest wallets win. They certainly don’t put forward very many serious people who can argue from the old-line Democratic beliefs. They do not have the equivalent of the conservative movement, with thinkers and scholars who inspire people. The are beyond post-modern. They are inspired by nothing and they really don’t believe in much beyond a lazy adolescent cry for "freedom" and "rights." They can’t articulate what that means in any sensible way.

We are in the position now of arguing with people who have no argument. It’s almost not even fun. Maybe that’s why I’ve been much more interested in international politics lately!

Discussions - 9 Comments

They don’t even take themselves seriously--on an intellectual level.

Do you take Republicans seriously on an intellectual level?

They do not have the equivalent of the conservative movement, with thinkers and scholars who inspire people.

You are implying that we conservatives do? Please tell what intellectuals inspire our great Congressmen, Senators, President, and Court Nominees.


We are in the position now of arguing with people who have no argument. It’s almost not even fun. Maybe that’s why I’ve been much more interested in international politics lately!

This is right on the money because we really are arguing about nothing. If Republicans really had principles to argue from, they would not be sinking in scandal, corruption, and they might follow these principles. Its just a power struggle being waged that sometimes takes the guise of principled debate. Who do we want to screw and how is the only question. No matter who is elected and appointed Government grows, rights shrink, and liberty gives way to license. Don’t think that either party (as an organization) holds the high ground.

The hearings have revealed that conservatives do indeed have principles worthy of serious consideration. Alito defended a jurisprudence of respect for natural law and American constitutionalism in which jurists follow the text of the Constitution, show a proper deference to the elected representatives of our republic to decide law, and pay heed to the right balance of federalism.

The problem with the Democrats simply put is that their view of jurisprudence has come around to bite them on the butt. They did not realize that it was a double-edged sword. Allowing judges free reign to make up rights and act as the legislature is great when your view essentially dominates the court, but suddenly when the other side threatens to control things they are crying foul, but it is too late. All they can do now is lament for abortion rights and talk about student clubs - there’s nothing substantive left in their arsenal.

The good news for the Democrats is that while their agenda may not get through the Court as easily, the Supreme Court may have greater respect for the Constitution and republican government based upon the consent of the governed - which is to everyone’s benefit.

This analysis is too optimistic and too dismissive of the power of liberal ideology.

One part of that ideology is leftover socialism, and socialism, understood broadly, is an extremely powerful idea politically even in its attenuated and decadent form. Another part of the ideology is rebellion against culture and hierarchy -- which are among the fundamentals of successful human society, but which demand much of us.
Again, this rebellion is enormously attractive to modern Western man, and today, to most people everywhere.

What we see in people like Kennedy, Schumer, Howard Dean, and many, many other Democratic leaders at the highest levels is a stupid but extremely passionate devotion to liberal ideology. They know g-ddamned well what they believe, and they have had a great deal of success in imposing it on the rest of us.

They have stymied nearly all of President Bush’s domestic program. They have given him hell over his foreign and defense policies. They very nearly denied him re-election, despite the poor quality of Kerry and the advantages that are supposed to accrue to incumbents.

Stupid? Yes. Arrogant? Almost inhumanly so. Vicious? Absolutely. But lacking conviction? I think not. Conviction oozes from their every pore.
Frightening, perhaps, to think that people with such power really believe this stuff.

But we make a bad mistake if we think otherwise. It’s all they know, and all they want to see in this society.


I would add that we must argue with the Democrats whether it is "fun" or not. Lies, distortions, smears, and idiotic fantasies are always dangerous if left unanswered. And smart answers are better than the stupid, lazy ones that we so often get from those who are supposed to speak for us. If we leave it to our typical Republican leaders, in other words -- well, I think we all know how they have tended to perform over the years.

"They are inspired by nothing and they really don’t believe in much beyond a lazy adolescent cry for "freedom" and "rights.""

Exactly Julie. It’s not like these two ideals are the basis of our political system. Oh wait, they are. Get off the high horse. Republicans have sold any principles they may have once held.

Here is some deep thinking for you, Julie, copied from today’s CNN.com:

"Ney’s committee has jurisdiction over the Republican reform agenda in the wake of the Abramoff scandal, and Hastert believes it is inappropriate to let Ney run it, said a GOP leadership aide, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the negotiations between Ney and the speaker."

Here is some from your big-thinking leader:""Wow! Brazil is big." —George W. Bush, after being shown a map of Brazil by Brazilian president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, Brasilia, Brazil, Nov. 6, 2005

"Bin Laden says his own role is to tell Muslims, quote, ’what is good for them and what is not.’" —George W. Bush, Washington D.C., Oct. 6, 2005

I think liberals do have a philosophy and it is summed up by Justice Kennedy:

"At the heart of liberty is the right to define one’s own concept of existence, of meaning, of the universe, and of the mystery of human life. Beliefs about these matters could not define the attributes of personhood were they formed under compulsion of the State."

Existence, human life itself and the universe have no independent meaning but that imposed or created by the self. They are, ontologically, meaningless and can be filled with whatever shiboleth one likes. That is the nihilism at the heart of liberalism today and it is in a very strong cultural and philosophical position if forcefully argued.

jjv: And there’s the rub. That is their cultural and philosophical position. Most of them have no idea of it--because it would kill them if they did. They prefer to be "happy" nihilists. The one’s who do know it can’t argue it in public unless they cover it up alittle. Throw the public a few bones like promising them free love and free sex in exchange for their devotion to this "philosophy"--call it "freedom." But the ones who really understand this and really buy this philosophy know there is nothing "happy" about it. They know that the freedom they promise is a lie but they enjoy the power that it gives them. They don’t have a moral compass that directs them not to delude their fellow citizens. If it feels good, do it. That’s what feels good to them. They take the power; the robots they delude and control lick up their crumbs.

Justice Kennedy is 100% correct about the above quote. "At the heart of liberty is the right to define one’s own concept of existence, of meaning, of the universe, and of the mystery of human life. Beliefs about these matters could not define the attributes of personhood were they formed under compulsion of the State"

How is this evil or bad? This is a self-evident truth, simply an affirmation of the right to life, the right to liberty and the persuit of happiness.

From this statement it does not follow that "Existence, human life itself and the universe have no independent meaning but that imposed or created by the self. They are, ontologically, meaningless and can be filled with whatever shiboleth one likes."

While the comment made by Justice Kennedy is a self-evident truth, your supposed extention is self-evidently false. The laws of nature apply and a man could not fly just by giving himself over to the belief that he has wings.

Justice Kennedy is simply saying that a man is free to form his own beliefs, not that his beliefs will somehow insulate him from the laws of nature.

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