Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Asking for Betty Grable and Getting Frankenstein - The Assasination of Samuel Alito's Character and Good Name

Luke 7:24-35 (New Living Translation)

“24After they left, Jesus talked to the crowd about John. “Who is this man in the wilderness that you went out to see? Did you find him weak as a reed, moved by every breath of wind? 25Or were you expecting to see a man dressed in expensive clothes? No, people who wear beautiful clothes and live in luxury are found in palaces, not in the wilderness. 26Were you looking for a prophet? Yes, and he is more than a prophet. 27John is the man to whom the Scriptures refer when they say,
‘Look, I am sending my messenger before you, and he will prepare your way before you.’
28I tell you, of all who have ever lived, none is greater than John. Yet even the most insignificant person in the Kingdom of God is greater than he is!”
29When they heard this, all the people, including the unjust tax collectors, agreed that God's plan was right, for they had been baptized by John. 30But the Pharisees and experts in religious law had rejected God’s plan for them, for they had refused John's baptism.
31 “How shall I describe this generation?” Jesus asked. “With what will I compare them? 32They are like a group of children playing a game in the public square. They complain to their friends, ‘We played wedding songs, and you weren't happy, so we played funeral songs, but you weren't sad.’ 33For John the Baptist didn't drink wine and he often fasted, and you say, ‘He's demon possessed.’ 34And I, the Son of Man, feast and drink, and you say, `He's a glutton and a drunkard, and a friend of the worst sort of sinners!' 35But wisdom is shown to be right by the lives of those who follow it.”

I try not to comment in any extended way to comments made by fellow bloggers. I’m going to make an exception today.

Earlier this afternoon I received the following comment from “Jay:”

“Glad you’re feeling better.”
“So...You're okay with a justice that believes women and blacks should not be allowed to enter college?”“What part of your bible does that cover?”

It seemed innocuous enough when I first read it. It started in Kennedyesque fashion, with Jay offering “kind” words. But that wasn’t what was on his mind. The rest of his comment reveals that fact.

His question about whether or not I was okay with a justice who believes women and blacks should not be allowed to entered college came from somewhere in the resources of his soul. It wasn’t meant to enlighten. It was meant to defame. It was somewhat like the classic theoretical question that a prosecutor might ask of a male defendant in a court case – “When did you stop beating your wife?” It’s like the questions the Pharisees raised about Jesus and John the Baptist that you read in my introduction to this post. Any answer would only confirm the guilt the inquisitor has presupposed.

I won’t dignify Jay’s crude question with an answer. I will say this. I’m neither a racist nor a sexist bigot. My life and my actions have proved that. I fought for and lived out the values of Dr. King long before Jay or many of my readers found it fashionable. The same holds true with regard to my views on gender.

I found the comment crude and offensive in the same way I find the manner in which my fellow Democrats have stooped to such tactics to destroy the reputation of a man who is, by all accounts (the American Bar Association and others) a man of honor and principle. Edward Kennedy, the senior senator from the state of my birth, has led the offensive. Knowing full well that he cannot possibly derail Samuel Alito’s nomination on the merits of the law, he’s resorted to defaming him. If Ted Kennedy is to be believed, Samuel Alito is a racist who, if appointed, will find ways to re-institute Jim Crow and lynching as the law of the land. That’s the tactic of a desperate man, a man without honor.

Samuel Alito’s subscription to a campus magazine no more makes him a racist, a sexist, or a homophobe than my having read excerpts from Mein Kampf would make me a Nazi or reading Das Kapital would make me a communist. It no more makes him the evil incarnate he’s being made out to be than men reading Playboy would necessarily make them pedophiles. I suspect that the senator from Massachusetts has read all three. Who knows? Maybe Jay has too.

A skilled inquisitor can twist facts to make it seem that evil is good and good is evil. To make this point, Stuart Taylor, writing in the National Journal, took a look at some Supreme Court rulings, singling out one justice in the rulings. An extended portion of the essay follows:

“Most analysts predict (and I agree) that if confirmed, Judge Samuel Alito will be more conservative than Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, whom he would succeed on the Supreme Court. That's why O'Connor was practically begged to stay on by liberal Democratic senators such as Barbara Boxer of California and Patrick Leahy of Vermont; moderate Republican senators such as Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania and Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins of Maine; and liberal groups such as the National Organization for Women.”

“But amid the debate over Alito's writings and decisions, some of the most telling signs of a right-wing agenda have received too little attention.”

“Affirmative action. The judge has repeatedly blocked or crippled programs designed to protect blacks against the continuing effects of American apartheid. One decision, which struck down a school board's policy of considering race in layoff decisions, thwarted an effort to keep a few black teachers as role models for black students. A second blocked a similar program to shield recently hired black police officers from layoffs. A third blocked a city from opening opportunities for minority-owned construction companies by striking down its program to channel 30 percent of public works funds to them.”

“Voting rights. Making it harder for black and Hispanic candidates to overcome white racial-bloc voting, the judge has repeatedly struck down majority-black and majority-Hispanic voting districts because of their supposedly irregular shape. But the judge saw no problem with the gerrymandering of bizarrely shaped districts by Pennsylvania's Republican-controlled Legislature to rig elections against Democrats!”

The justice Mr. Taylor cited was Sandra Day O’Connor. You can view the cases she’s ruled on since she was confirmed to the High Court in 1981 using this link.

There was a wonderful method to Mr. Taylor’s madness. It follows:

“My purpose has been to illustrate how easily the tactics used by liberal groups to tar Alito could be used to portray even the sainted, moderate O'Connor as a fanatical conservative who “has sought to dismantle reproductive choice, undermine civil-rights enforcement, weaken environmental protections, restrict individuals’ ability to seek justice in the courts when their rights are trampled by corporations, and diminish constitutional protections for abusive government intrusion into Americans’ privacy,” to borrow from a recent People for the American Way depiction of Alito.”

Mr. Taylor’s point is well taken. People with agendas often have the nasty habit of twisting and contorting anything they see into the shape they want it to be.

Ted Kennedy and Jay would do well to get a grasp on decency and honor. The senator from Massachusetts is especially vulnerable when it comes to ethical lapses. I’m from Massachusetts. I’ve been down the road to Chappaquiddick. There’s more I could say, but I’ll leave it at that.

The point of my original post was that I’m looking forward to the day when the Supreme Judge of the Universe will render the final judgment of history and the people who have made their way through the ages. I’m fully confident that, when that day comes, it will be pure justice, undefiled. Until that day comes, however, I am as subject as any man to the laws and principles outlined by those who came before me. While I don’t hold the same confidence in them as I do in the eternal principles and their God, I do subscribe to them. I expect that those appointed to any high office of public trust to subscribe to and act in accordance with those principles. I expect that from Samuel Alito. I expect it from Sandra Day O’Connor. I expect it from Ruth Ginsberg. I expect it from Edward Kennedy. Unfortunately, the senator from Massachusetts has strayed from the path of decency in this case. He has dishonored the high office to which he was elected. He has betrayed the very principles he declares with great pomp and circumstance he loves.

One of the reasons I left the liberal side of the political spectrum years ago was that the movement, by and large, had given only lip service to the principles of compassion and justice. Experience living within the welfare state they created taught me so. All the left wanted from me was my vote and my undying affection for them. What I got in return was a subtle under the table promise that as long as I voted for them and kept them in power they would keep me in my dependent state. Those who have lived in the clutches of the welfare state know what I’m talking about. Liberals call it compassion. The truth is that it is nothing more than a cynical mechanism to maintain a perpetually dependent class, genuflecting to their benefactors at the ballot box.

Little has changed since then to make me change my views. Not long ago, for example, in a five to four decision, with justices Souter, Ginsberg, Stevens, Breyer, and Kennedy affirming, the Supreme Court broadened the scope of eminent domain in Kelo v.New London so that now the poor and the middle classes in this country can have their property taken from them in clear violation of the principles outlined in the fifth amendment to the constitution. Susan Kelo and other property owners in New London lost their homes, thanks to the liberal justices on the court. It was a landmark decision, draped in flowery legal language. It has, in essence, legalized municipal theft. Where, I ask, was the left’s bent toward justice in this case? Where was the outcry from the political left when the decision was rendered? It never came. Why? Could it have been they were concentrating on more important things? Reproductive rights, perhaps? The decision will never touch the property of Ruth Ginsberg, David Souter, and their cohorts. Nor will you find that our property rights are on the radar screens of Ted Kennedy or Patrick Leahy. It will never touch the Kennedy compound in Hyannis. They’re powerful; they’re rich; they’re shakers. In this case they will never have to live with the effects of this decision. The rest of us, especially the poor, will, though. So much for liberal compassion and justice!

Will Samuel Alito be confirmed? I don’t know. If he isn’t, someone else will. But I do know that the outcome is less relevant to me now than it was yesterday. What’s more important to me is that a man who seems of noble character has had his good name assaulted. In doing so, his attackers, particularly Ted Kennedy, have stepped out of the the gutter and jumped headlong into the sewer. Samuel Alito deserved better than this. It’s a sorry spectacle.

Jay asked another question to which I’ll respond briefly in closing. Holy Writ has much to say about how we should live our lives. One of those resting places for me was recorded almost two thousand years ago:

Micah 6:8 (King James Version)

“8He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?”

I suspect they’re principles Samuel Alito would embrace today. Having witnessed the spectacle of the past two days, I cannot say with confidence that some who now sit in judgment over him do.


Douglas said...

I'd like to think the American people were not pleased by this display, but I could be wrong.

James Fletcher Baxter said...

Those of the Collectivist appetite, who validate human value and non-value by the group, can never understand why Conservatives reject that premise and measure by individuals.

Collectivist blndness is induced, in part, by the confidence they hold in power as virtue. Numbers, large numbers, are power. Large numbers are virtue. Not.

Such a condition is birthed and maintained by those living a self-centered, delusionary experience - without a compass oriented to a 'true north.' Their natural self is ignorant, self-justified, appetite-owned and led, and only partially camouflaged.

No one is submitted to Truth as an act of the will. Unless and until its worthiness is apprehended, one cannot be humble to it. Faking a religion is still fakery.

Unless and until one meets Truth in the person of Jesus, we cannot be Born from Above; Born Again of the Spirit. If He is not perceived as worthy, no one can or will submit to Him. He will not coerce or force-feed anyone. Each one must make the choice based on their own personal perception.

Self-imposed ignorance is our great human sin. It is perpetuated socially by unknown and prominent persons who are, themselves, still delimited in the natural-man.

Small wonder 'politics' is seen as such a shallow wading-pool of human experience by men and women of honor. It could be a great deal more - but it isn't.

Semper Fidelis

prying1 said...

Wonderful post Phil. Factoring in the final judgement all else does seem small.

Jenn of the Jungle said...

Ted Kennedy makes me ill for so many reasons.

But Mr. Alito's wife crying was just horrible. Aweful. My heart broke for her.