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What we want to continue doing in some of these Wednesday Updates is to look at major events in the news in their larger historical context.... And maybe even how some things will be viewed in 50 years, 100 years or even 500 or 1000 years...
Subject: The Supreme Court, the Democrats, and this Administration
(Wed., June 9, 2010)
(approx. 4395 words, 8 pp.)
Understanding all things political, Part II
It is no longer the Judge but the Phenomenon itself...
Good grief, not yet another Supreme Court nominee battle...
Three Views... "Highly qualified" "You must be joking" "I can’t decide"
What in the world is going on with these Democrats and this Administration?
Again, as Will Rogers used to say, "All I know is what I read in the newspapers."
Good grief, not yet another Supreme Court nominee battle... What is going on here? And what does it mean to the larger issues of our time and the very survival of our republic as we have known and loved it for over two centuries now?
As Will Rogers used to say, "All I know is what I read in the newspapers."
"All I know is what I read in the newspapers," and in this case concerning this latest Supreme Court nominee, so far anyway, it ain’t good, and it is bit ridiculous really, even a bit surreal, again, and as so much this administration does downright outrageous, and in this case apparently a bit, pathetic, tragically? But why would this administration pick such a person, who has been called by some the Harriet Miers of the Left? I do not mean to be funny, but this nominee is said by some to be so bad that she may actually be good? An incompetent Leftist lightweight on the Court may better for America in the long run than a competent Leftist heavyweight, like William O. Douglas, who did so much damage to America, many would argue.
The politics of this Supreme Court nominee
"The Lord works in mysterious ways His wonders to perform" and this may be one of them? Still, as with the last Obama nominee but apparently even more so this time, any Constitutional-respecting Senator has to vote against her it would seem at this point, and then let the chips fall where they may politically. Though as with the last time we did this last summer with an apparent radical Leftist, all the Republicans need to defeat this woman is a mere handful of Democrat Senators getting cold feet on Obama’s plan to "re-make" America in a Radical manner.
In truth, a "yes" vote will make Democrat Senators much easier targets in 2010 and 2012 and of course 2014 and even 2016, and some may vote "no" this time to bail themselves out on their previous "yes" (to remove that mark of Cain?)? Is life crazy or what? As with Obama’s open Radicalism of the first 18 months, this Supreme Court nominee vote (on top of the last one) could be a gift that keeps on giving for Republicans in defeating Democrat Senators for many, many years perhaps even generations to come? And Republicans at this stage in the game need big, easy-to-hit targets, do they not?
It is no longer the Judge but the Phenomenon itself...
It is in my opinion something of a waste of time in this writing to go over all the issues surrounding "original intent" of the Constitution versus a "living Constitution" to mean anything you want it to in order to enact a current leftist agenda. I, personally, at this stage in the game, am more interested in the phenomenon itself of these Radical leftist anti-Constitutional judges being nominated to the Supreme Court and everyone sitting around acting like it is all perfectly normal! But what is the practical bottom-line point here?
There is simply a great divide between the idea that the Constitution lives to mean almost anything as the ultimate point of Constitution, no less, and the idea that it does not live to mean radically new things and that, in fact, by contrast is the point of Constitutional law. What in the world is going on in this country?
The shifting winds of American public opinion, on moral and legal matters
Clinton’s Radical leftist ACLU lawyer Ginsberg only got 3 "no" votes from Republicans. Totally pathetic? The Republican Senate of the 1990s pretty much gets an "F" on this matter? Why? It is hard to be more radically Left and ideologically Left than the ACLU, whether one thinks it is wonderful or terrible organization. However, Obama’s first not so certainly Radical Leftist nominee got 31 "no" votes. Today’s Republican Senators get probably a "C+" on this one, do they not? The bigger point here is this represents a massive shift (by a factor of 10) in the political sophistication and understanding of the Republican Party in a mere 10 or 15 years.
And, of course, the Left is also going through a similar dramatic shift but in the opposite direction away from the Constitution. Referendums and polls that I see show today about 40 to 45% of the American public are for homosexual marriage, or feel that it is a "human right," or that sort of thing. I would speculate that if you went back 40 or 45 years that you would not have more than 1 or 2% of the population, holding to this Radical view, whether one thinks it is good or bad. The bigger point here in this Leftist case is this represents a massive, massive shift (by a factor of 20 or 30 or more) in the political, moral, legal, Constitutional disposition of the American people and the Democrat Party in particular, virtually unprecedented in all history I would assume, that is, away from traditional, timeless moral and legal theory, as an official statement of one’s position, no less, and as supposed "goods," "rights," etc.
Fascinating, dramatic shifts in American politics and political thinking
As an American citizen I find this dramatic shift to the Radical Left to be more than a bit troubling, but as an historian of philosophy I find all of these shifts to be utterly fascinating, I must say, as things move in both directions. Not to be too ivory tower detached about all of this, but one can say fairly easily, I think, that 40 to 45% of the country is moving dramatically and solidly back to traditional moral and legal values as expressed and assumed in America’s founding documents and as the centerpiece of their political agenda, and 40 to 45% of the country is moving dramatically away from traditional moral and legal values as expressed and assumed in America’s founding documents, for better or worse and equally as the centerpiece of their political agenda.
The Media, Newspapers, etc. ideologically driven and almost all Liberal to Radical
As a youth I actually worked for Goldwater for President canvassing, and then a few years later for McGovern, believe it or not. As Churchill said it is not uncommon for youth to go through such forays into feel-good type Liberalism before one comes to one’s thinking adult years. I personally actually have a lot of sympathy for Liberals, but they do (in my opinion) need to start thinking a little more clearly I must say, but the larger relevant point here is McGovern got shellacked by Nixon in one of the nation’s biggest landslides, and as I recall McGovern only got 2 major newspaper endorsements, one in Arkansas and the other was the Times or the Post, as I recall. However if the election were held today I would venture to say the vast majority of mainstream newspapers would endorse a leftist McGovern type candidate over someone seen to be something of a mainstream Republican, as Nixon was so seen at the time.
Why is this? The mainstream media has shifted ideologically Left, though not so much the American people as a whole or totality I would say. Still a Leftist anti-war McGovern type candidate would presumably give a traditional Republican a run for his money and may even win, and certainly not lose in a landslide? Why? Again, I think because of the radical shift in the country as a whole to a 40 to 45% of the country back to timeless, traditional moral and legal values (as expressed and assumed in America’s founding documents) and 40 to 45% of the country equally committed to "re-making" America, for better or worse, away from the timeless, traditional moral and legal values (as expressed and assumed in America’s founding documents). You will note, the larger lines of this debate are drawn apart from the vote on any particular Supreme Court nominee.
Understanding all things political, Part II
In December of 2009, we here on this website did a writing "On Understanding Almost Everything Political in America" and how American politics tend to reflect in an amazingly straightforward manner the underlying moral and ultimately spiritual views of the general population. And a shift in that underlying morality, spirituality and religion will pretty much determine any possible significant shift in the political landscape of America.
The idea of that pervious writing was there tend to be 3 main political and religious or spiritual groups in America today. There is the Radical, who tends toward atheism (and/or Marxist "theism"), the political and spiritual Liberal whether Protestant, Catholic or Jewish (who believes in no God of Genesis 1:1, Law of Moses, Atonement, bodily Resurrection, salvation, etc.) and the political and spiritual Conservative who holds to traditional concepts of morality, God, sin, and so forth, again, whether Protestant, Catholic, or Jewish.
The Protestant in this third Conservative group tends to be of an outright Bible Evangelical nature, and of course the Catholic and Jewish do not. The fact is (in my opinion) Protestant, Catholic, or Jewish religions have all for the most part gone spiritually Liberal (no actual all-righteous Creator (supernatural) God and no real Final Judgment etc.), and from this spiritual or religious Liberalism one almost inevitably (as night follows day), gets a very foolish, fuzzy thinking political Liberalism, and so here we are in 2010 with 40 to 45% of the American people on one side of the great divide on the timeless, traditional moral and legal values (as expressed and assumed in America’s founding documents) and 40 to 45% on the other side of that great divide because of the shift in Protestant, Catholic, and Jewish religions away from their traditional moral and theological foundations.
The Conservative, Liberal, and outright Radical, and 3 views on Law and Religion
Interestingly in Politics, Morality, Legal theory as well as actual religion or spirituality as such all the 3 major groups whether the Conservative, the Liberal, or outright Radical tend to follow the same patterns and not coincidentally. (Libertarians as an extreme individualism is not a major group, in my opinion, though interesting philosophically, no doubt, as the undesirable opposite extreme of an undesirable collectivism). In any case, the Conservative Christian sees the Christianity of the founding and Great Awakening of the 18th century to be good for then and good for now. And the Conservative (Christian or otherwise, such that they are) sees the moral and legal theory of the founding to be good for then and good for now. (Slavery is universally acknowledge as an exception and hence is not part of this particular discussion. Indeed it was the founding documents and vision that eventually paved the way for the elimination of slavery as all concede.)
On the other hand Christian Liberal sees the religion of the Founders and the Reformation to be no longer relevant for today, that is the whole point of his new no sin-and-salvation Christianity though the Liberal Christian generally concedes that the old sin-and-salvation religion was good for the 18th century just not for now. And similarly for the Constitution the spiritual and political Liberal holds the timeless, traditional moral and legal values (as expressed and assumed in America’s founding documents) were fine for then but not for now. Therefore, in politics and law for the Liberal "original intent" must replaced by "a living Constitution" and a "2nd Bill of Rights" etc., etc. for modern times etc., etc. just as traditional Christianity must be replaced by a new (no real sin) Liberal one.
By contrast to both of these the outright Radical usually atheist or liberation theology type stuff sees traditional religion and Christianity to be no good even for the 18th century and certainly no good for now. Similarly in politics and law the timeless, traditional moral and legal values as expressed and assumed in America’s founding documents were anti-humanist Enlightenment even for the 18th century and even more so for today. This means the American founding was not even a great accomplishment for its own time, but the Liberal is not prepared to go that far. Obama says in his autobiography that as a person of color he is torn between the Liberal and Radical views and considers the Conservative view just false in religion, politics, and law. At least, he is honest and understands clearly what he thinks, which is much more than can be said of the vast majority of folks in the 40 to 45% Liberal to Radical Left.
Radical Left is usually atheist Marxist in it origins
As the Liberal, the Radical (humanist/ atheist, Marxist, etc.) does not feel the original American vision is good for today, without question, but for the Radical America (religiously and politically) was not really good even when it happened, because historically there is little or no concept of Justice in Marxism (believe it or not) Indeed, that is almost the entire point of "dialectical materialism," though the word "justice" is often used rhetorically by Marxist Radicals in the 20th century. In fact the whole point of Marx and Engels in the mid 19th century was the American Revolution (which was based on actual notions of Justice and the Laws of Nature and Nature’s God) missed the whole point of history and revolution, which was class warfare, etc.
In short, all of this is the main reason why Marxism came about in the first place, namely the traditional notions of rights and freedoms etc. of the American founders were not good nor real nor true, supposedly, nor was their religion, which was generally held in total contempt. This is why the Radical not only does not appreciate America’s founding as a great accomplishment but actually tends to denounce it as simply racist and capitalist, and so forth. This is the so-called black Marxist/ liberation theology view. Enter one Jeremiah Wright and his most famous student Barack Obama.
Again, Obama gives (virtually) this very same analysis in his book, and he says (honestly I think) he is not comfortable jumping out of the Liberal camp into the Radical camp, but he as a person of color (he says) finds the Liberal camp to be a bit too moderate, or often to reflect a "moral cowardice" of all things, but regardless the Liberal to Radical position stands over and against the Conservative position with its traditional moral and legal values as expressed and assumed in America’s founding documents, which both the Liberal and Radical reject today, as the very point of their positions, no less.
Three Views... "Highly qualified" "You must be joking" "I can’t decide"
In any case, what does all this mean for this current Supreme Court nominee and any other possible Liberal to Radical nominee in the future? As a practical fact as the great divide solidifies in America between Conservatives on the one hand and Liberals and Radicals on the other, any established Liberal to Radical nominee brings 1 of 3 responses depending on which side of the great divide one stands on or if one is in the 10 to 20% mushy middle. The three responses or views as a practical matter, for better or worse, are generally "Highly qualified," "You must be joking," and "I can’t decide".
The "can’t decide" folks are pretty much openly acknowledging, I would say, they are completely out of touch with things and have no knowledge of the moral, legal, or Constitutional issues of today, nor do they have any significant understanding of the moral, legal, or Constitutional issues of the last 100 to 200 years, but they still want your vote in order to represent you in the Senate of course. Such often called "moderate" Senators feel it is extremely important for Congress to be composed of open-minded, completely out-of-touch individuals who can’t decide between original intent and totally re-making the country, courts, and Constitutional law, and they want everyone who votes for them to know they are such persons!
It is all a matter of understanding what is going on the larger picture?
Again, what does all this mean? It is religion as such that holds the key to everything. The issue in politics and law is not "religion," as such, but "religion" does hold the key to politics and law. Why is this? In politics, law and morality the issue is the timeless, traditional moral and legal values as expressed and assumed in America’s founding documents. Basically this is a rational moral theism that the Middle Stoic Cicero argued against the Epicurean humanist hedonist position of Lucretius, and that the American Founders argued against the French humanist Revolutionaries of the Enlightenment, whose humanist French Revolution was not based on "the Laws of Nature and Nature’s God" but liberty, equality and fraternity humanistically defined as license, egalitarianism, and my group against yours.
However, as a practical fact we will never return to "the Laws of Nature and Nature’s God" and to the timeless, traditional moral and legal values as expressed and assumed in America’s founding documents except by way of an Evangelical revival to the truth and reality of the literal sin-and-salvation Gospel. And why is this? Judaism with Reform Judaism and Catholicism with Vatican II have both gone for almost all practical purposes spiritually Liberal (no literal God of Genesis 1:1, Law of Moses, Atonement, Final Judgment bodily Resurrection, salvation etc.) and hence Reform Judaism and Catholicism with Vatican II have gone politically, morally and legally Liberal (with moral relativism, sex scandals, 2nd Bill of Rights, etc.).
Conservative Judaism, in my opinion, has little or no hope of coming back and hence bringing a traditional rational moral theism (of Moses or Solomon) to the Jewish community, and similarly we will never see a pre-Vatican II Roman Catholicism again with its strongly asserted Laws of Nature and Nature’s God and timeless, traditional moral and legal values as expressed and assumed in America’s founding documents. You can’t get the toothpaste back into the tube on Reform Judaism and Vatican II Catholicism? Forget it?
America’s only hope, clearly...
What does this all mean? As a fact, for good or ill, we are not going to return politically, morally, and legally to "the Laws of Nature and Nature’s God" and to the timeless, traditional moral and legal values as expressed and assumed in America’s founding documents, except by way of an Evangelical revival to the truth and reality of the literal sin-and-salvation Gospel. Indeed, that is how it all happened the first time, when the Great Evangelical Awakening led to the American founding with its original moral and legal principles as widely acknowledged by virtually all the Founders at that time.
For Liberal mainline Protestant Christianity the toothpaste is indeed going to have to go back into the tube one way or another. Further Liberals who do not see themselves (incorrectly) as Christians and even virtually all outright atheists and Radicals are going to have get on board for a literal sin-and salvation Christianity, and then there will simply not be any folks to speak of left in the current 40 to 45% Liberal to Radical political and legal demographic. In short, when the nation turns back to a literal, individual sin-and salvation Gospel then Liberalism and Radicalism will cease to exist once again in America in morality, legal theory and politics as the fall out from a great awakening to the truth and realty of the sin-and salvation Gospel message. None of this is very complicated?
This means we go From 25% or so of Americans as Bible Christians to 85 to 95 to 99% or even 100%? Who knows really? When the Bible says "all" it is not clear to me that it means "all all" or "virtually all" or "all in a given domain." In any case, in the Kingdom Era one will still be free to reject the Gospel but no one, or virtually no one, will? Why? Because the Gospel with its salvation state of being and new spiritual life in Christ is both rational and desirable. In the Kingdom Era (as now) to reject the Gospel you will have to be a self-centered idiot, but in the Church Age in rejecting the Gospel you think you are being brilliant generally and certainly more brilliant than the foolish Christian, but in the Kingdom Era you will understand clearly that in rejecting the Gospel you are just being a self-centered idiot, and that is just what you want to be, and in truth few if any people really do?
However at this time few care about sin or salvation or new spiritual life in Christ
Christian apologists and philosophical worldview thinkers have been arguing rationally and with slam-dunk effectiveness for the truth of the sin-and-salvation believe-and-receive Gospel message for 40 years and with little results as America went into its outright politically correct, hedonist, postmodern downward spiral after the 1960s. And, hence, we have the current great divide of 40 to 45% on each side of the issues morally, legally, spiritually, religiously, politically, etc.
Conservative Christians’ arguments whether morally, legally, politically or for sin-and salvation, as such, are very good and very rational, but they are simply not getting the job done and are not going to in my opinion on any significant large scale, and that is just the way it is. People just do not believe or care about the sin-and salvation message in order to get saved from God’s Final Judgment, and in order to have new spiritual life in Christ and in order to bring about a large scale acceptance in the population (once again) of the Laws of Nature and Nature’s God for political and legal matters with the timeless, traditional moral and legal values as expressed and assumed in America’s founding documents.
And maybe the only way to get there, unfortunately...
It would appear at this time in order for people to come to the Lord in New Covenant relationship that it may well require, unfortunately, a massive, great and terrible judgment by God and even perhaps series of such judgments in order to reverse the great hedonist/ postmodern decline we have seen in the last few generations and in our current calling evil good as if that is a perfectly normal thing to do!
And in fact the Bible is pretty clear in numerous places that there will be some sort of Great Tribulation for the great sin the world and nations have fallen into and in that time many will come to the Lord (though many will not), and we will emerge on the other side of that time of great tribulation and distress and not only set our own nation up once again on the Laws of Nature and Nature’s God and the timeless, traditional moral and legal values as expressed and assumed in America’s founding documents, but apparently we will see all the nations of this world come to this view. In essence, Lincoln was right: America was and will be once again "the world’s last best hope"!
Supreme Court and all history bottom-line...
This current Supreme Court nominee battle is not minor of course, but in truth it just represents one small step along the way in our moral, spiritual, political and in this case legal jurisprudence decline of the last 50, 60, 70 or more years, which I think personally any Obama nominee will reflect, tragically and unfortunately. America’s major law schools in fact started going legally positivistic (that is, no Higher Law) in the late 19th century just as America’s major seminaries started going into a "higher criticism" (that is, Bible is false in its essentials) Liberalism in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. But this is getting way outside the scope of this discussion.
The bottom-line point here for any possible Supreme Court nominees is both the Liberal and Radical hold that original intent and the American founding vision are no longer even desirable let alone the basis and end goal for rulings. Both the Liberal and Radical reject traditional rational moral theism philosophically as well as the traditional religious and political views that go with it. Thus to varying degrees the Liberal and Radical both tend to embrace legal positivism, homosexual rights and hedonism more generally, so-called "positive rights," nationalization rights, etc. and they reject a basic right to life (except for murderers), citizenship rights, private property rights, higher moral law etc., etc.
And so here we are with 40 to 45% of the population on each side of this discussion of this great moral, legal, spiritual, religious, and political divide that so afflicts our nation today, and will presumably until the Gospel believe-and-receive, sin-and-salvation message in its theological truth and spiritual reality makes a comeback, one way or another, whether by God’s intervening terrible judgment or simply by rational argument. Time will tell on this one, I suppose, or maybe there will be a combination of the two (of judgment and argument) at some point in the not too distant future? Actually God's judgment for correction and not destruction outright is often called "chastisement" and not "judgment," and in fact such a severe chastisement by God may be necessary to get America back on track in Christian salvation and in spirit and truth more generally, but regardless in my opinion we are not as a nation going to embrace the moral and legal values of the Founders until we as a nation first, once again, embrace their Evangelical Christian religion, especially with the demise of traditional conservative Catholicism and Judaism, and such a sin-and salvation Gospel awakening is really not on the horizon at this time?