Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

Politics as usual in Georgia

For the third year in a row, Governor Sonny Perdue’s effort to bring the Georgia Constitution’s religion provisions into accord with the First Amendment has failed, falling short of the two-thirds supermajority necessary in the state House. It was basically a straight party-line vote, with one Republican voting against, and two Democrats in favor of, the proposal. Oddly enough, Ron Sailor, Jr., the lone African-American and Democratic co-sponsor didn’t vote, perhaps because the Legislative Black Caucus had mobilized against it.

I draw two lessons from the defeat, which was orchestrated by the teachers’ unions. First, on the whole, at least so far as its legislative officeholders are concerned, lines up quite closely with its national counterpart. Almost all the conservative southern Democrats are now conservative southern Republicans. What’s left of the Democratic Party is either dominated by or aligned with the public sector unions, as is the national party.

Second, African-American Democrats are particularly concerned that a closer relationship between faith-based organizations and government may cost them votes. Randal Mangham, the only black Democrat to vote for the measure, has an M.Div. and community development experience, both of which might make him predisposed to favor the state analogue of President Bush’s faith-based initiative.

My advice to Governor Perdue is not to try again unless Republicans have the requisite 2/3 majority in both houses of the State Legislature, which I don’t foresee. We’ll just have to live with a number of long-standing and popular practices that are simply at odds with the state constitution, at least until the Freedom From Religion Foundation comes calling.

My most recent previous post on this subject (chock full of links) is here.

Discussions - 4 Comments

The left runs this country by NOT saying "we’ll just have to live with" the few conservative victories that occur.

They never take "no" for an answer.

They DO "try again," and again, and again -- getting more exposure for their ideas and wearing down the opposition.

They are always out there pushing, preaching, trying new tactics, and denouncing their opposition.

We should be too.

The left runs this country by NOT saying "we’ll just have to live with" the few conservative victories that occur.

? ? ? ? ? ? ? !!!!! ? ? ?

The first four words of that sentence alone indicate a clear disconnect from reality.

The remainder of the sentence seems to express a desire for a completely pliant and acquiescent left, essentially a left of pushovers who don’t really care what happens. If, from your perspective, the right ran the country (ahem...) and the Right refused to say "’we’ll just have to live with’ the few liberal victories that occur," then wouldn’t you applaud that fact, and properly so? That’s the way it works in politics, right? One side doesn’t get their way, and so they try to change the situation, the laws, etc. (or, in the case of the Bush administration, simply ignores or dismisses the laws). From my perspective, I see, sadly, vanishingly few traces of the left in the halls of power. But you probably see Joe Lieberman as perhaps not an out-and-out leftist, but still a bit too liberal.

I mean, you are aware, are you not, that conservatives, by any reasonable definition, currently control The White House, Congress, and The Supreme Court. What do you want, a THIRD party (haha) that’s to the right of the Republicans? Ok, I didn’t ask that...

They are always out there pushing, preaching, trying new tactics, and denouncing their opposition. We should be too.

So, you’re not denouncing your opposition, you’re not preaching now? Did you hear about "Justice Sunday," perchance? You didn’t hear Karl Rove describing the Dem response to 9/11 as wondering how we can help those poor Al Qaeda folks? You haven’t heard any of the torrent of invective against Cindy Sheehan? Do you think that it’s leftists who are instructing the FBI to spy on people simply because they oppose the war in Iraq, and not conservative leadership?

Your world must be a constant funhouse ride!

And I think the Left clearly took "no" - as in, no serious opposition - for an answer and rolled over about Alito and Roberts.

Roberts is simply a conservative replacing another conservative. In addition, there is good reason to think he will not overturn liberal precedents. Nearly all Democrats voted against Alito, who appears to be a pro-precedent conservative replacing a "moderate" and brings the moderate right to four, not five, votes on the Court. In a parallel situation, most Republican senators would have voted for a liberal nominee by a Democratic president. There was no serious filibuster of Alito because the Dems didn’t want to risk the constitutional option. While they probably would have won the "nuke" vote, it’s possible that they wouldn’t have. In which case, if there were another SCOTUS vacancy, 50 of 55 GOP senators would have been enough to get us a majority on the court (if Bush had the guts to appoint a real conservative).

While the Dems let Alito through, it was because this is not the decisive seat. They hold the trump card, the filibuster, which will probably allow them to block the next SCOTUS nominee, if there is one and if he/she is a conservative. This wasn’t a cave-in. It was smart politics.

Look at policy battles. How often does the left "just live with" a conservative outcome, on the rare occasions when one happens?

When I say they run the country, I’m talking about real power, the ability to move policy and defend policy -- not who holds a bare majority of Congress or who gets to live in the White House.

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