Wednesday, May 14, 2008
And no, I'm not talking about John McCain's infamous short fuse.
I'm talking about the danger a McCain Presidency can pose to our system of federal government above and beyond McCain's own bad policies, his opposition to freedom of speech, and the possibility that he will aid America's descent into theocracy by placing Mike Huckabee on his ticket.
The Software Nerd, some time ago, wrote a very interesting post about how a large coalescence of political power near the "middle" can result in an end to the "gridlock" our Founding Fathers engineered into the federal government, but which so many foolish "moderate" voters bemoan:
I have a hypothesis though: even though the center-of-gravity remains unchanged in the middle, the more people there are crowding around the middle, the faster and more likely such policies will get enacted at all. As long as enough people from both sides are far from the middle, they will delay and fight changes, and government is slowed down a bit.I was reminded this morning of one important check against the irrational passions of the electorate that I haven't heard discussed much so far: The Supreme Court. (I just love how the short primary season has gutted what little deliberation was left from the process of vetting presidential candidates....) By the time our next President -- and we are all but guaranteed a horrible one this time around -- takes the helm, he will probably have the opportunity to appoint more than one new Supreme Court justice since five of the nine will be more than 70 years old. John Paul Stevens is 88 now.
And if we are to believe Jeff Jacoby, McCain thinks "Supreme" means "really big" and "Court" means "legislative rubber stamp":
The senator emphasized the importance of judicial modesty and deference to the elected branches of government, lamenting that "federal judges today issue rulings and opinions on policy questions that should be decided democratically." He criticized Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton for not being concerned "when fundamental questions of social policy are preemptively decided by judges instead of by the people and their elected representatives." [bold added]Great. McCain already buys into the bipartisan Bad Idea of the Day, massive economic regulation inspired by global warming hysteria. He's too leftist (and eager to curry favor with a leftist media) for us to hope that he will reign in a Democratic Congress. He's too much of a Pragmatist to offer any real opposition to the Religious Right, if he isn't really one of them already.
And now, we might get to see him monkey around with the composition of the Supreme Court. The next four years looks uglier by the minute. (For the record, I do not regard the comments at this link as either reason to vote for McCain or a sufficient argument against voting for a Libertarian. Neither voting for McCain nor voting Libertarian is an acceptable option.)