Bell Curve The Law Talking Guy Raised by Republicans U.S. West
Well, he's kind of had it in for me ever since I accidentally ran over his dog. Actually, replace "accidentally" with "repeatedly," and replace "dog" with "son."

Thursday, July 22, 2004

Hypocrisy and Unwritten Rules

Today, the House of Representatives voted to strip the federal courts of jurisdiction to hear cases relating to gay marriage.   Article III of the US constitution provides that Congress may create exceptions to the SC's appellate jurisdiction.  It is an open question whether Congress may also take away all jurisdiction from lower federal courts as well.  This "Exception" clause has only been used once, during Reconstruction.   The truly great danger is that this would set a precedent and invite a deluge of unreviewable legislation.  For that reason, wiser heads have always prevailed (Republican hotheads have tried this with abortion before, but it never came close to passing).

The hypocrisy is to  hear Republicans bitching about the power of "Unelected Supreme Court Judges" intruding in political decisions that "belong to the people."  One Republican likened the SC to the politburo.  Where was all this criticism when the SC crowned George W. Bush in December 2000?  What greater intrusion in politics could there ever be?

Of course, this fits in with the Republicans' general modus operandi of late: they shamelessly break all the unwritten rules of US politics, from mid-decade redistricting, to politcally-motivated impeachment, to recess appointments for blocked federal judges, to refusing to allow votes on any federal judges, to censoring the words of congressmen from the official reports.   If they are on the losing end (say Congressman Dornan accusing President Clinton of treason on the floor of the house, or the Democrats choosing to block Republican judicial nominees now), they shamelessly "remember" the rules again.  And the so-called "liberal media" never calls them on it.



Raised By Republicans said...

This is all a result of religiously driven politics. Because their ideology is couched in relegion they believe that they have a devine right to rule. They have sole legitimacy. If they lose an election its because the population has lost faith in God or something. If they denegrate and insult their opponents, its OK because anyone who disagrees with them disagrees with God's will and is so beneath contempt.

It seems to me that the Republican rhetoric is gettin scarier every day. Hasn't Bush said things like "God chose me to be President in this time of crisis" or some such Evangelical Protestant translation of the devine right of kings - calvinist pre-destination run amok! Schwarzennegger says things like "What the people need isn't a bunch of politicians but single, strong leader who will stand up for them." Coming from an Austrian that's down right spooky! Yikes! And people in California bought it hook, line and sinker! Double Yikes!!

Raised By Republicans said...

Hey LTG, have you heard when the Senate votes on this judicial exemption thing? I'm hoping this will be another occaision when we can all be thankful for the US Senate!

If it passes here are my predictions for the next legal areas to be exempted:
Human/Civil rights abuses by "enemy combatants" (meaning that enemy combatants will have no right to appeal to the Constitution - the justification being that they are bad people fighting to undermine the Constitution so why should they be protected by it)
The status of "enemy combatant" (meaning that Congress will try to pass a law preventing the courts from overturning the Attorney General's declaration that someone is an "enemy combatant")

US West said...

RBR, People in California bought Schwartznegger hook, line, and sinker, because their state government has failed them so badly. That is why the Germans turned to a strong leader after WWI. Their government was failing them and some guy came along and promised to fix it all.

US West said...

Oh, and in defense of all Austrians, just because one was an evil, messed up dude, doesn't make them all that way. You know better, RBR . . . I point out that Austria has been a peacful, placid republic in the heart of Europe now for over 50 years. And it has yet to produce another dangerous dictator. And the beer is pretty good there, too!

Raised By Republicans said...

Yeah, OK, I apologize to the Austrians....well, the nice ones anyway. I can't resist reporting this quotation though. I think it was film director Billy Wilder who said, "You've to hand it to the Austrians. They've convinced the world that Beethoven and Mozart were Austrian and Hitler was German."

Your explanation for why Californians bought into Schwarzenegger's song and dance doesn't really dispell my underlying uneasiness with certain historical parellels (ethnic stereotypes aside).

US West said...

I think Schwartznegger is benign compared to the apparatchiks in the White House. I think was your more salient point.

Raised By Republicans said...

A slight tangent but in the spirit of the origional posting:

I've long thought that the Republican Party has moved so far to the right that even relatively centrist policies are now regarded as "liberal" or - to use a term I dispise - "socialistic" (that's redneck for "socialist").

Consider taxes. The US currently has the lowest tax burdens of any industrialized country. We have the least regulated labor markets. We have the among lowest levels of environmental protection. We have almost no public ownership of industry. Yet, opposition to a tax cut is portrayed all too often and all too succesfully as "socialism."

The American Democratic Party is resembles the centrist parties of Europe. These parties are secular and generally pro-free market (that is they oppose nationalization of industries etc). The American Republican Party is increasinly similar to the Bavarian Christian Social Union - the right wing of the German Christian Democratic Union. Outside of Bavaria, Republican party ideology has few European analogies.

To the American Republicans, even moderates look like "commies."