Remember April 4th, when John McCain appeared at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis to apologize for opposing the Martin Luther King, Jr. federal holiday in 1983? Wasn’t that a stirring, healing, swell moment in our progress as a nation? Apparently MSNBC’s Alex Witt thought so, as she “corrected” Congressman John Conyers for not embracing the appeasing nature of McCain’s mea culpa.
It now seems John-the-Healer-of-Rifts-McCain has been busy at Wake Forest University healing rifts over judicial appointments. Said he:
“With a presumption that would have amazed the framers of our Constitution, and legal reasoning that would have mystified them, federal judges today issue rulings and opinions on policy questions that should be decided democratically. Assured of lifetime tenures, these judges show little regard for the authority of the president, the Congress and the states. They display even less interest in the will of the people.”
Strange — if I read McCain correctly, he’s confronting newfangled judgin’ activism such as judicial review, which has been showing “little regard for the authority of the president, the Congress and (after the 14th Amendment) the states, since 1803! But maybe I read too much into a speech.
McCain has made it clear that his kind of judges would be Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. and Associate Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr. These are the kinds of strict constructionists who will not let the crayon marks of silly exercises in activism remain on the hallways of our republic, even if they have to go back 53 years to scrub the stains away:
As the New York Times editorialized at the time:
Since 1954, the Supreme Court has been the nation’s driving force for integration. Its orders required segregated buses and public buildings, parks and playgrounds to open up to all Americans. It wasn’t always easy: governors, senators and angry mobs talked of massive resistance. But the court never wavered, and in many of the most important cases it spoke unanimously.
Yesterday, the court’s radical new majority turned its back on that proud tradition in a 5-4 ruling, written by Chief Justice John Roberts. It has been some time since the court, which has grown more conservative by the year, did much to compel local governments to promote racial integration. But now it is moving in reverse, broadly ordering the public schools to become more segregated.
But by golly and gee whiskers, there’s some politicians that just get John McCain’s dander up:
“Senator Obama in particular likes to talk up his background as a lecturer on law, and also as someone who can work across the aisle to get things done,” Mr. McCain said. “But when Judge Roberts was nominated, it seemed to bring out more the lecturer in Senator Obama than it did the guy who can get things done. He went right along with the partisan crowd, and was among the 22 senators to vote against this highly qualified nominee.”
In short, Mr. McCain said, for Mr. Obama “nobody quite fits the bill except for an elite group of activist judges, lawyers and law professors who think they know wisdom when they see it — and they see it only in each other.”
Other things being equal (except races and classes, of course), you’d think Obama (and Clinton, to her credit also) were prescient when they voted against Roberts.
I never thought I’d say this, but today I’m hoping Newt Gingrich is a bit prescient also:
The Republican brand has been so badly damaged that if Republicans try to run an anti-Obama, anti-Reverend Wright, or (if Senator Clinton wins), anti-Clinton campaign, they are simply going to fail.
This model has already been tested with disastrous results.
You go, Johnny! Go! Go git ‘im!!