Monday, June 25, 2007

Credit where credit is due

From The Washington Post:

In the final days of the Supreme Court's term, the stage is set for the divisions that narrowly but decisively split the justices on social issues to be on full display.

The court has already decided more cases on 5 to 4 votes this term than in all of last term -- some of them favoring the court's liberal wing, more won by the conservatives. This week, the opportunity is there for the court reconstituted under Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. to make a bold statement.

The cases remaining concern some of the most divisive of social and policy questions: the use of race in public school admission programs; the constitutionality of advertising restrictions in the McCain-Feingold campaign finance act; whether ordinary taxpayers have the right to sue over what they perceive to be violations of the separation of church and state.

Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, the only member of the court to be in the majority in all 16 of this term's 5 to 4 decisions, has sided more consistently with conservatives in recently announced cases.

The result has been important rulings providing more protection for employers fighting claims of past discrimination, limits on prisoner rights and death penalty appeals, and the term's signature decision -- reversing the court's jurisprudence on abortion restrictions to uphold the federal Partial Birth Abortion Ban Act.

The conservative opinions, with the exception of the abortion ruling, have been for the most part low-key in tone and shaped by what the authors said was a strict reading of congressional statutes. The liberal justices have responded in unified dissents to amplify their unhappiness.

One thing before I get to my main point; the fact that a WaPo writer calls the liberal justices LIBERAL rather than moderate or mainstream is in itself a small victory.

Like many conservatives I am angry with George W Bush and deeply disappointed in his performance in office. He has signed wretched and appalling legislation like the McCain-Feingold law which places unconstitutional and unacceptable limits on our First Amendment rights.

He has sat back passively while the left has attacked the war effort. He has utterly failed to communicate to the American people, in any clear and understandable way, the reasons why we are fighting and why we must continue to fight. He has failed to communicate in any clear or consistent way the realities of the situation in Iraq. The results of his failure to effectively challenge the enemies propaganda organs (otherwise known as the mainstream media) is that the average American thinks the was is already lost.

The president has engineered the largest expansion of federal entitlement programs since the Great Society era with his ruinously expensive prescription drug benefit.

He failed to act in any meaningful way to restrain the out of control spending of the Republican congress which greatly contributed to the Democrat takeover last November.

And last comes the most important reason to burn with fury. The president has worked tirelessly to reform the nation's immigration laws to open our borders to virtually unlimited immigration from Mexico and grant amnesty to the 12 - 32 million illegal aliens already infesting our country. If the president is successful in this he will have destroyed the Republican Party and doomed the nation to an invertible slide into poverty and dysfunctionality on a scale with any other Third World nation.

However we should also remember that there are things the president has done well and one of them is picking Supreme Court justices. If the outrage of the general public can beat back the political class's effort to fundamentally alter the makeup of the electorate to create a permanent left-liberal majority the change in the composition of the court engineered by George W Bush will have positive results which outweigh and outlast all of his negatives.