Peace through victory - the American way.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Liberal Anti-Catholicism And The Right To Choose Abortion.

I haven't encountered much anti-Catholicism in my life. Just the occasional criticism by non-demoninational Christians who believe that Catholicism is a false religion because it is "non-Biblical." When I was young my family would joke among ourselves about weapons stored in the Church basement in anticipation of the Pope's command to take over the United States. We joked about that but it's part of real anti-Catholicism in the United States to question the loyalty of Catholics to the country and the constitution. John Kennedy had to overcome that suspicion in order to become the first Catholic President. But that was over 40 years ago.

So imagine how shocking it must be to Catholic ears to hear what Mario Cuomo, a Catholic politician, no less, said this weekend about what questions it is appropriate to ask of John Roberts, a Catholic, and nominee for the Supreme Court:
Finally, Judge Scalia. Now, there's a Republican conservative, if there ever was one, on the bench. Judge Scalia dealt with this--tangentially, but he dealt with it--on the subject of the death penalty. He said judges, Catholic judges, may be bothered in their conscience in voting for the death penalty because the pope has said that it is evil. He said under those circumstances, the Catholic judge should resign. There is no question it's relevant. Everybody takes an oath to support the Constitution, including especially judges. So why not ask them: "Will you, Judge, apply a religious test to the Constitution? Will you start by saying, `I'm not going to support the Constitution if my pope tells me not to'?
(Meet the Press transcript is here.)

Yes, why not ask a Catholic judge or politician whether he will violate his oath to uphold the constitution if the pope tells him to? After all, everybody knows that's what the pope does. He spends his days telephoning Catholic politicians in America to give them instructions on how to subvert the constitution.

Cuomo's comment is about as offensive a statement as can be made about Catholics in America. Yet it's of a pace with other comments made by Democratic politicians about religion and judges. But where Cuomo baldly says Catholic judges should be asked directly where their loyalties lie, others use code words to question whether those with deeply held personal beliefs can be trusted as judges.

Of course, what this is really about is the so-called "right to choose" and the Democratic Party's excessive devotion to that right. Once, before Roe v. Wade warped politics in this country, the Democratic Party paved the way for Catholics in this country when John Kennedy ran for President and won. No longer. Instead, today's Democratic Party's devotion to abortion leads it to traffic in anti-Catholicism.


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Tuesday, August 02, 2005

President Bush Doesn't Back Down Once Again.

An admirable political quality in the President is his willingness to duke it out in a partisan fight with Democrats. He doesn't do it with overtly partisan rhetoric. Instead he simply stands up and exercises his authority. Would that more Senate Republicans had the same backbone.

The John Roberts nomination illustrates Bush's partisan skills. After hearing the demands of Senate Democrats that he should consult with the Senate to avoid a filibuster he consulted. But when those same Senate Democrats argued he should nominate an O'Connor-type conservative, he went his own way and nominated a candidate who appears to be an extremely qualified Rehnquist-type conservative to replace O'Connor.

By reaching out to Democrats before the nomination, as they requested he do, and by nominating a highly qualified candidate, Bush has done much to blunt the filibuster threat of the Democrats.

A filibuster of Roberts now would have to be based on ideology. An ideological filibuster would play into Bush's hands. Such a filibuster would be nothing more than an attack on the legitimacy of the President's victory in 2004 and the Republican's majority in the Senate. In 2004, the voters gave conservatives the reins of power in Washington not liberals. That victory didn't give the President the right to ignore the Senate as an equal branch of government and so he consulted with the Senate. Neither did that victory give the President the right to nominate an incompetent to the Supreme Court and so he nominated a highly qualified candidate. But that victory did give the President the right to nominate a candidate who shares his beliefs. That's what elections do. Moreover that victory imposed on him the obligation to nominate the kind of candidate he promised the voters who elected him he would. Given his campaign promise to nominate conservatives for the federal courts to do otherwise would have betrayed the voters who gave him his victory in 2004.

The John Bolton recess appointment is just the latest example of Bush's skill at partisan infighting. There is no need to recap the sorry history of Bolton's treatment by partisan Democratic Senators and their wobbly Republican allies, for instance the weepy George Voinovich. But the aftermath is worth noting.

The claim by the Democrats that Bolton is "damaged goods" because he wasn't confirmed by the Senate is proven nonsense on Bolton's first day in office. Buried in this story (here) is a quote from the Algerian ambassador at the UN.
"What matters in our eyes is that he's the president's choice and that he's close to the president," said Abdallah Baali of Algeria, the lone Arab ambassador on the Security Council. "That gives him certainly the authority to deal with us in New York."

Far from making Bolton damaged goods the Senate Democrats blocking of Bolton and Bush's recess appointment showed that Bolton has the absolute support of the President and that the Senate Democrats are ineffective. Since the President enjoys considerable power in setting foreign policy Bolton's hand is strengthened by Bush going to the mat for him.

It's also laughable that the Senate Democrats have called this recess appointment an abuse of power when the power to recess appoint is in the Constitution and the filibuster and other techniques the Democrats used to fight Bolton are not.