McCain's Instability

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.)

-- CAV


Jim May said...

Who do you think said this?

"In the face of such dissenting opinions, it is perfectly clear that, as Chief Justice Hughes has said, "We are under a Constitution, but the Constitution is what the judges say it is."

The Court in addition to the proper use of its judicial functions has improperly set itself up as a third house of the Congress - a super-legislature, as one of the justices has called it - reading into the Constitution words and implications which are not there, and which were never intended to be there.

We have, therefore, reached the point as a nation where we must take action to save the Constitution from the Court and the Court from itself. We must find a way to take an appeal from the Supreme Court to the Constitution itself. We want a Supreme Court which will do justice under the Constitution and not over it. In our courts we want a government of laws and not of men.

I want - as all Americans want - an independent judiciary as proposed by the framers of the Constitution. That means a Supreme Court that will enforce the Constitution as written, that will refuse to amend the Constitution by the arbitrary exercise of judicial power - in other words by judicial say-so. It does not mean a judiciary so independent that it can deny the existence of facts which are universally recognized."

It could easily have been McCain or any conservative complaining about judicial activism -- but no -- those are the words of Franklin Delano Roosevelt.

And again, the fundamental commonalities of conservatism and the Left peek out from the obfuscatory haze.

Gus Van Horn said...

And were it not for the huge head start towards serfdom that FDR bequeathed us, along with the abysmal state of our culture, the fact that we survived the man would offer some measure of comfort about whomever we're going to get next.

Andrew Dalton said...

For me, the biggest danger of John McCain is that he gives a patriotic, pro-American sales pitch for leftist causes. (Of course, FDR and JFK made a lot of headway here before the New Left took over.) We are already seeing this threat in McCain's casting of environmentalism as a "national security" issue.

Gus Van Horn said...

And Obama makes it so much easier for him to get away with it during this campaign by being so obviously leftist.

softwareNerd said...

This Rand quote about GOP candidate Rockefeller made me think of John McCain (from The Objectivist, March 1964):

"It is impossible for any honest advocate of capitalism to vote for Gov. Rockefeller: he has read us out of the party and out of the nation. It is impossible to sanction him as a champion of individualism and free enterprise. It is precisely in the name of "party loyalty" that those who are Republicans must oppose him: his nomination would destroy the Republican Party's significance, its role as an opposition party; his election would deliver the country into the power of a single party with two indistinguishable branches." (emphasis added)

Gus Van Horn said...

That's an excellent quote! Thanks for dredging it up!