Trump World Grab-Bag--A Collection

Monday, May 11, 2015

George Will Writes a Good One

I usually have deep reservations about what George Will writes, and not altogether on the sole basis of the lack of overlap between our respective ideologies. I've found him impossible on the subject of climate change and in general don't agree with him on most (but not all) economic issues. But regarding former AR Governor Mike Huckabee, I think he voices what is also my chief concern with him:

Huckabee was unsurprised when a lunatic murdered 20 children and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., in 2012: “We ask why there is violence in our schools, but we have systematically removed God from our schools. Should we be so surprised that schools would become a place of carnage?” So, the slaughter was a consequence of the 1962 Supreme Court decision against government schools administering prayers? Was the 2012 massacre of 12 people at the Aurora, Colo., movie theater caused by insufficient praying at America’s cineplexes? (Gosh, that part is apt--Vixen)

Today, Huckabee says, “We are moving rapidly toward the criminalization of Christianity,” and he asserts a biblical duty to pray for the Supreme Court justices pondering the matter of same-sex marriages. Politico recently reported that Huckabee told some conservative pastors that “he cringes whenever he hears people call a court decision ‘the law of the land.’ ” He added: “This is not that complicated. There are three branches of government, not one.” To radio host Hugh Hewitt, Huckabee further explained his rejection of the idea of “judicial supremacy, where if the courts make a decision” it is “the law of the land”:

“No, it isn’t the law of the land. Constitutionally, the courts cannot make a law. They can interpret one. And then the legislature has to create enabling legislation, and the executive has to sign it, and has to enforce it. . . . [State legislatures] would have to create legislation that the governor would sign. If they don’t, then there is not same-sex marriage in that state. Now, if the federal courts say, well, you’re going to have to do it, well, then, you have a confrontation. At that point, somebody has to decide, is the court right? If it is, then the legislation will be passed.”

The commentary that Huckabee made regarding the tragic Sandy Hook shooting is basically absurd, but effective for people who specifically really think that there is a secularist fatwa against Christianity. It's grist for some small-minded mills, but what it isn't is a clear-minded approach to anything that might be addressed by policy. "More prayer" is pious, but take a look at the Middle East. Are they suffering violence because of a deficiency in prayer? (I'm certain the Wrong Rev. might say, "Yes, because it's the wrong kind", but keeping in mind that we are a nation of various faiths, I'm not sure that helps him any.)

Huckabee's comments on what courts can and can't do is almost as much a mushy mess as Dr. Ben Carson's similar blather on judicial review. I am not sure how conservative it is to throw out the supremacy clause in favor of states' rights, but I do know it hasn't historically worked.

We have a problem when candidates for our highest executive office (like Ted Cruz and Rand Paul) are so highly (allegedly) suspicious of federal government that they question a fairly commonplace sort of military training exercise like Jade Helm. (To his credit, former TX Gov. Rick Perry has pointed out that whether one likes the government or not, how does one distrust the military itself?) I might be a liberal, but in terms of respect for the Constitution and the ability of our system to weed out outright tyranny because of respect for openness (if sometimes honored more in the breech but, you know), I can be a little reactionary, and since there have actually been zero guns banned or Bibles outlawed,  maybe our imperfect system functions like it's asymptotically reaching towards something more perfect all the same--I'm going to side with history. I might think our SCOTUS is a little rightward-skewing at present, but I still think it has validity to speak to the constitutionality of our laws--because the Constitution says so. If I wanted to say it doesn't because of Bush v. Gore, I'm just being inconsistent if I then go on to agree with Miranda or Roe and decide it had to be valid then. Sure, some decisions aren't good. They are, nonetheless, correctable.

Now, I do believe my post exceeds Will's column in length, and I quibble a little with his need to swat a fly-whip at the Clintons while damning Huckabee, but I'll say no more. I'll just let it stand for the record that on this occasion, George Will wrote a thing I found agreeable and on-time.

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