Skip to main content

Anthony Kennedy strikes a blow for Donald Trump

The man who delivered what may well be the coup de grace  to marriage in America by effectively eliminating monogamy as an essential part of it (even partnered gay men are rarely monogamous) has just provided the decisive vote in a decision which has seriously limited the ability of states to regulate abortion.

In a 5-3 vote (not the 4-4 tie that had been expected), the Court reinforced the imaginary Constitutional right to abortion by striking down a Texas law requiring abortion clinics to meet the same standards as ambulatory surgical centers and that abortion providers have admitting privileges at a hospital within thirty miles. Apparently, even the health of women having abortions is less important than as many abortions being performed as possible.

But the most significant impact of the decision may have nothing to do with abortion as such. The one compelling argument supporters of Donald Trump have for social conservatives to vote for their candidate is the number of vacancies likely to open up on the Court in the next four years. It's difficult to argue with the premise that for Hillary Clinton to fill them would be a Constitutional and moral disaster for America from which it might not ever recover. As unstable and unpredictable and unprincipled as Trump is, they argue, he has at least promised to appoint justices who would halt the subordination of the Constitution to the imaginations and social preferences of the sort of justices who have effectively turned the Court into an unelected, standing Constitutional convention.

It's the one argument for Trump, to be honest, that gives me pause. It very nearly persuades me to hold my nose, vote for Trump, and hope for the best. But ultimately turning power over to a man like Trump is unthinkable. His only principle seems to be his own empowerment and aggrandizement. He is is an even more pathological liar than Hillary, His  emotional immaturity and compulsion to prove to others (but mostly to himself) that he is not a "loser" like prisoners of war and others he holds in self-serving contempt makes me shutter at the thought of his finger being on the button and the American military at the disposal of his tantrums.  He actually once promised to force American servicemen and women to violate their oaths and the law and commit war crimes by targeting the innocent families of terrorists. His racial insensitivity, if not outright bigotry, is so spontaneous and genuine  and whose religious hypocrisy is so blatant that I don't see how he can possibly be trusted to keep his oath of office. He stands at the head of a movement which includes the Ku Klux Klan and its allies. He personally embraces many of the tinfoil-hat conspiracy theories of our nation's craziest extremists. His election would be unthinkable even if he didn't embrace an isolationist  foreign policy which would put our national security at risk and seriously endanger world peace.

No. I can't do it. I won't vote for Hillary, and I can't bring myself to vote for Trump. Not even to save the Court. And after all, Hillary Clinton- whose election, likely along with a Democratic Senate which would doubtless refuse to confirm any decent Supreme Court nominee in any case- will only be in office for four years. Her age, her personal abrasiveness and divisiveness, and history- not since Reconstruction has either party won four consecutive presidential elections- all promise that the Republican president who would have been elected this year had anybody but Trump (and maybe Ted Cruz or Ben Carson) been nominated will have an even stronger likelihood of being elected in 2020.

Who knows, really, how many of those vacancies Hillary will actually get to fill? Well. ok. Too many, I admit. And yes, I'm tempted. The prospect of a social radical like Hillary Clinton shaping the Court for a generation at a moment when it already is in the process of distorting the Bill of Rights out of all recognition frightens me to death. But the prospect of an emotionally unstable proto-Fascist like Donald Trump in the Oval Office and the inevitable legitimization and even exaltation of authoritarianism and bigotry from the new Know-Nothings who support him frightens me even more. I really don't think the sane Republicans who plan to swallow hard, think of England, and vote for Trump realize just how dark are the forces he represents, and just how extreme. I hope they don't learn the hard way.

But their numbers will increase, complements of Justice Kennedy's latest absurdity. Conservatives who are appalled at the prospect of Donald Trump in the White House are going to find it harder to vote for him anyway in order to take back the Court and save the Constitution. The Texas ruling provides Trump supporters with a powerful argument. Liberal Justice Kennedy- who the left-wingers who do most of the reporting in this country so delight in describing as a "centrist" or a "swing vote" or even (James Madison preserve us!) a conservative has just struck a powerful blow for the argument that he and his fellow subverters of the rule of law need to be stopped even at the cost of risking a Trump administration,

Like Michael Medved, I believe that Trump is a far greater danger to the Constitution and to freedom than even the justices Hillary might (or might not) appoint. But it just became a lot harder to make the case.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

McMullin, Kasich, Hickenlooper, Huntsman, or somebody else sane in 2020!

I don't expect to be disenfranchised in 2020. I'm looking forward to Evan McMullin running against President Trump and whatever left-wing extremist the Democrats nominate. McMullin may or may not run for the Senate next year, and he may or may not run for president as an independent again next time around, but the nation can't afford to lose its most eloquent and intelligent critic of the populist takeover of the Republican party and the Executive Branch. We need the man in public life.

But interesting alternatives have developed. Ohio Gov. John Kasich has been mentioned as a potential primary challenger for Mr. Trump. I hope somebody continues the fight for the soul of my former party, even though I believe it to be a lost cause. Entrepreneur Mark Cuban is reportedly also considering a challenge to Mr. Trump. While I tend to see him at this point as somewhere to the left of where a candidate I would feel comfortable supporting might be, I would wish him well. Still, I see…

A modest proposal for a shocking innovation which is completely within the rules but which would, if adopted, revolutionize college football

I call it defense.

The idea- crazy as it may sound- is to supplement the scoring of points by your offense with an attempt to stop the other team from scoring them. Yeah, I know.  Really "out there," isn't it? But it has a history of winning not only games but championships. Modern college teams should try it more.

I'm a bit bummed about the Rose Bowl outcome but amused by the score. It seems that certain conferences aren't sure whether they're playing college football or high school basketball! I've noticed that in the scores of Sooner games. Last season the nation's college teams set a record by scoring an average of slightly more than 30 points each per game. That's a lot. Historically, that's a REAL lot.

The final score of the Rose Bowl was 54-48, though to be fair that was in double overtime. But to get there, the teams had to be tied 45-45 at the end of regulation! Last year was even worse. Southern Cal beat Penn State 52-49- in regulat…

A third party President in 2020?

I had the pleasure of meeting Joel Searsby, the campaign manager for Evan McMullin last year, at an event for Evan here in Des Moines during the campaign. Here's an interview with Joel by Jon Ward of Yahoo News on the ways in which centrist French President Emmanuel Marcon's out-of-nowhere landslide election last year may serve as an example for the inevitable bid to elect a rational, moderate third party candidate in 2020.

I have a feeling that it will be Evan McMullin again. But names like John Kasich, the Governor of Ohio, and Sen. Lindsey Graham also keep popping up. Word is that Kasich may challenge President Trump for the 2020 Republican nomination, an endeavor in which I'd wish him well but hold out very, very little hope for his success. I sadly expect that my conviction that the Republicans are dead as a vehicle for rationality and the reuniting of our fractured and divided country to be confirmed by the easy renomination of the most unfit and unqualified preside…