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Robert Bork sucks

Sorry, but I just don't know how to put it more succinctly. It might not be high-minded political discourse, but it's the effective equivalent of what the likes of Bork, Limbaugh, Sean Hannity and Mark Levin have been spewing against John McCain of late.

Judge Bork, in a recent appearance on Mark Levin's radio show, said this about the current occupant of Barry Goldwater's old senate seat:

“I don’t think that Senator McCain or Governor Huckabee deserves to be called a conservative.”

Who died and left Bob Bork as the ultimate arbiter of true "conservatism?" (I thought Andrew Sullivan already had that job.) Bob Bork has about as much business lecturing me on conservatism as Britney Spears lecturing me on childrearing, or me lecturing anyone about temperance.

I used to like the guy, but that was before I got to know him. Why my fellow brethren on the right continue to fawn over him is beyond me. Yes, I know Reagan appointed him, but he also appointed Kennedy and O'Connor, and I don't see the masthead over at National Review swooning over them.

I was brought up to believe, as Ronald Reagan did, that a limited, constrained federal government was the primary principle behind American conservatism, and a guarantor of American liberty. I think that if Ronaldus Maximus (Peace Be Upon Him) were still with us today, he'd breathe a sigh of relief that Bork was not confirmed to High Court. Look, I know how distasteful it is to be on the same side as Ted Kennedy about anything, but consider how well Bork's opinions fit with the Reagan/Goldwater definition of limited government conservatism.

  • Bork glibly denigrated and disparaged the Constitution's Ninth Amendment, which was traditionally cherished by conservatives as a bulwark against expansionist government.
  • He has written against jury nullification, implying that we, as juries, do not have the right to refuse to convict our fellow citizens under unjust laws.
  • Conservatives support tort reform and hate trial lawyers, right? Check this out.
  • Bork has openly and unashamedly called for blatant government censorship.
  • And, worst of all (and this should really preclude Bork from ever opening his fat trap to disparage someone else's conservative bona fides) he has opined that the Second Amendment does not imply an individual right to bear arms.
  • Plus, he's starting to look more and more like Tony Randall all the time, as the above picture shows.

Well, fie upon him (fie, I say!) But truth be told, this post isn't really even about Bork. Rather, it's about John McCain. I look at the recent polls that show him with a double-digit lead nationally, and I'm encouraged... but I'm still damned nervous. The mass-market Right has launched a concerted broadside against the good ship McCain, and like it or not, they have considerable influence amongst the people who are likely to vote in Republican primaries.

I'm heartened to see McCain with a lead in South Carolina. I'd like to think he can hang on to it, since Lindsey Graham (God bless him) and much of the Palmetto State GOP machine is behind him, but can South Carolina polls truly stand up to this sustained anti-McCain barrage? I'm already starting to hear reports about Fred F'ing Thompson (Rush's clear favorite) surging in my old home state.

God only knows. But to this day, John McCain remains the only politician I have ever donated money to. I think that tonight, I may go donate some more. I have a sinking feeling he may need it.


C'mon, cynicalnation-man--this is what our Republican Party has evolved into--a pary dominated by a bunch of nuts, loudmouths, blowhards, religious kooks and extremists.
Bork seems to be a forever bitter old man (you forgot to mention that he recently sued (Yale, was it?) because he tripped and fell off a stage there and hurt himself) who's forever pissed he never got on the High Court.

Limbaugh, Hannity and Levin? These are some of the porminent folk Republicans turn to for direction on how to vote, who to support and who to dislike. I have to laugh my ass off when I hear these jerks shredding McCain (a re-run of Limbaugh's spring 2000 daily offensive against McCain, which was aboslutely nauseating) as not being conservative enough. To me, that means he must be all right since McCain is just about as conservative as I can handle. Thank god he's not among the bomb-throwers on immigration; thank god he's not an automaton tax cutting-is-always-the-best-solution Bushie/Kudlow robot; thank god he thought Rumsfeld was inept, and said so publicly.

It's kind of hilarious to watch the Republican estbalishment (yes, now the far right is the GOP establishment--unlike the old days when the Jerry Ford-Bob Michel-Howard Baker wing held sway) desperately rip not only McCain but also Huckabee while trying to prop up limp rags like Thompson, utter phonies like Romney and even deflated losers like Giuliani.

The talk radio-meisters are desperate, some FoxNewsers are speechless, much of the gang at National Review Online don't know what to do and that skunk Hugh Hewitt hopes that day-long asskissing of ROmney will somehow right the right's ship.

"McCain is just about as conservative as I can handle." (Fred)

While I give you points for honesty Fred, that pretty much says it all. McCain is NOT a "Conservative" by any stretch of the imagination. McCain-Feingold is a blatant violation of free speech (the NRA, NARAL, CATO, PAW, etc) have a right to advocate for their "special interests." THAT'S how "We the people are heard."

Yes, it takes LOBBYING and that takes MONEY and the naive idea that you can "Take the money out of politics and evisecerate the special interests," is the same as saying, "If you can just take the money out of politics, you can shut up the American people."

Look, the best I can say is that Rudy's not much better than McCain on that score. That is, he's better, but only slightly....OK, Rudy wouldn't sell out to the Kennedy's and Feingold's, so maybe he's even significantly better, but Rudy is STILL, a "big government Conservative."

Where I agree with Rudy and McCain's "big government Conservatism," is that IF public monies must be spent, lets spend them on keeping America safe. That is to say, spend it on cops, First Responders and the Military, rather than on more teachers and social workers - people who mis-educate and inculcate dependency and poverty.

Sad to say, IF it's a Huckabee, or a McCain, or a Rudy, then I'd say it's a toss up, a "pick'em" between any of them and say, a Hillary.

In fact, I'd rather see a Liberal Keynesian (an Edwards or Obama???) get in, raise taxes and tank the economy, withdraw from the WoT and allow America's mainland to be attacked again....and in that way, open the door to a REAL Conservative, by turning off yet another generation, maybe two, to the "charms" (such as they are) of "modern liberalism." And by a "real Conservative, I mean, not just an heir to Reagan, but a real down home Conservative, a Pat Buchanan styled Conservative, with a dash of populist firebrand appeal and a heaping helping of "America First."

Hell, if it weren't for their anti-foreign entanglements stands and their opposition to much of the WoT, Buchanan and Paul would both be GREAT, from my vantage!

I agree with about 90% of the rest of both their agendas, except for their stances on the WoT...and of course, Ron Paul's dalliance with those 9-11 Truther conspiracy theories.

Seriously, I LOVE the "Gold Standard" idea, and I support gutting the federal leviathan....my view, at this point anyway, is sort of, "What's the worst that could happen if we do just that?"

I don't think anything bad would happen at all.

For all the right-wing fanatical nitpickers who think one is a flaming liberal if he opposes waterboarding, doesn't love Guantanamo, is not a screeching nativist when it comes to immigration and does not bend over at the altar of tax cuts-solve-everything-at-all-times, here's Sam Brownback, no lefty for sure, on McCain:

"His record of over 25 years is clear: tax cuts, less government and cutting wasteful spending, an unflinchingly strong national defense, respect for life, pro-Second Amendment, conservative judges, and and protection of the sacred institution of marriage."

Now, I ain't thrilled about some of these positions (pro-life, marriage, 2nd A.), I think the whole of McCain's life and career overcomes some of those issues--and unlike our incumbent yahoo, I can't see McCain going balls-out to get a marriage amendment to the Constitution or an anti-abortion amendment either. I have "hope" that he would not surround himself with crazy-righty crackpots, ideologues and zealots and, thus, would be able to appoint conservative judges, but not right-wing jurists who'd be forced to explain past associations or pronouncements like Chas Pickering, for one. I have "faith" that McCain would not see the Exec branch as being first among equals, would not see signing statements as an end-run around legislation, would not ignore subpoenas or requests for information or testimony.
Eight years after being promised a return to honor in the White House and instead being crapped on, we and the body politic deserve a long hot shower and a real return to civility, decency and honesty.
Apparently the far right thinsk what's gone on the past 8 years is A-OK and anyone daring to challenge the ugliness, or wanting to change it or improve things or recognize some realities is deemed the enemy. I truly hope McCain wins the GOP nod just so I can read and hear what mental patients like Mark Levin and K-Lo and Rush and Hannity and Hewitt are saying come September.

McCain has been a die-hard compromiser with the likes of Ted Kennedy and Russ Feingold and often with very bad results. The McCain-Feingold Amendment is itself, pardon the pun, an anti-free speech abortion, Fred.

And while on that topic, you're being somewhat disingenuous when talking about a "anti-abortion amendment," as if there were some recent amendment, supported by the current President, to outlaw abortions.

In fact, the ONLY "anti-abortion amendment" that ever existed was passed in 1977 - the Hyde Amendment.

And THAT didn't seek to "ban abortions," it merely sought (successfully, and THANKS largely to the Democratic majority in Congress back then, AND a sitting Democratic President) to eliminate federal (Medicare & Medicaid) funding for abortions.

Until the passing of the Hyde Amendment (some THIRTY PLUS years ago), the federal government paid for about one third of all abortions. Today they pay for almost none!

I'm sorry, I don't see where ANY fiscal conservative can support scuttling the Hyde Amendment, which has apparently imposed no great hardship on "poor women" over the last thirty years, as I've seen no great decrease in abortions over that time.

If you support federal funding for abortion, EITHER you're (A) NOT a fiscal Conservative at all or (and I like this prospect much more) (B) a steely-eyed anti-dysgenics adherant (like myself) who'd have no trouble paying for abortions for the poor, so long as they could also be mandated for those who are currently "wards of the state" - incarcerated felons, the insitutionalized mentally & physically handicapped and those dependent upon public assistance.

Yikes, pick your poison on that choice.

Still, I think that sought of undermines your overall outrage, doesn't it, Fred? I mean, you're wrong on there even being a current anti-abortion amendment (Bush's Memorandum of January 23rd, 2001, cut off aid to international family planning groups that provide support for abortions), but that's hardly an "anti-abortion amendment either, it merely expanded the provisions of the existing Hyde Amendment to our foreign aid!

Bush has been a stalwart tax cutter and he's fallen down (like Reagan did) on getting spending cuts....Clinton (and to Gingrich's credit, not Bubba's) GOT real federal spending cuts, BUT many of those cuts were opposed by Clinton, but that period when the GOP took over BOTH Houses of Congress was the ONLY period where any spending cuts took place.

And Bush belatedly engaged us in a war that "the Cult of Sharia" had been waging against America and American interests for over a decade prior to 9/11/01. A war (WoT), by the way, that's just beginning, and is nowhere certain in its outcome.

Bush has been terrible on ILLEGAL immigration....the "immigration debate" is strictly over LEGAL IMMIGRATION (which I support, just at reduced levels, with altered parameters)....every time I've challenged those who think "illegal immigration is no big deal," over the FACT that it's NOT part of the "immigration debate," they've quickly backed down.

I presume that's because they can't support that viewpoint.

"Nativists" oppose all LEGAL immigration.

Anyone who supports American sovereignty and "the rule of law" OPPOSES ILLEGAL immigration.

It's really quite that simple.

Bush has been poor on that issue, poor on accurately defining our real enemy in this WoT and on not getting a Republican Congress to actually cut federal spending.

Like most Presidents, he's been very much a mixed bag.


I should add that I agree with you over some of Bork's more recent legal viewpoints - opposing jury nullification, opposing gun (self defense) rights and tort reform, although, to be fair, the 9th Amendment ("The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people") was challenged by many of America's Founders, most notably James Madison, who said, "It has been said, by way of objection to a bill of rights....that in the Federal Government they are unnecessary, because the powers are enumerated, and it follows, that all that are not granted by the constitution are retained; that the constitution is a bill of powers, the great residuum being the rights of the people; and, therefore, a bill of rights cannot be so necessary as if the residuum was thrown into the hands of the Government. I admit that these arguments are not entirely without foundation, but they are not as conclusive to the extent it has been proposed. It is true the powers of the general government are circumscribed; they are directed to particular objects; but even if government keeps within those limits, it has certain discretionary powers with respect to the means, which may admit of abuse."

(From Madison's speech introducing the Bill of Rights)

For the Founders, "rights" (against the actions of government) were always complementary to the delegated powers of government. For that reason this partitioning of the space of public action creates a system in which each "right" and "governmental power" serves to limit its complement.

Every constitutional "right" limits its opposing power, and every delegated power limits its opposing right.

Regardless, a belief that a more limited governance and a freer economy is always preferable is indeed the foundation of Conservatism.

Sorry to hear that being a compromiser is now considered a shitty thing. Thankfully, Clinton and Gingrich weren't both bullheaded 10 years ago in working TOGETHER to reduce spending and deficits...while Newt had the majority up on Capitol Hill, Clinton had the veto and wouldn't have been overridden. I always give both ends of Pennsy Ave credit for that stuff.

Just look at his compromises - McCain-Feingold even has his name on it!

You CAN'T compromise with the likes of Kennedy or Feingold any more than you can "negotiate" and compromise with al Qaeda.

Clinton "went along" with much of the "Gingrich revolution," whether by force (a landslide GOP takeover in 1994...and Clinton wanting to avoid more Dem bloodletting) or choice, who knows?

The fact is, that on many of those "compromises" Bill Clinton opposed Gingrich, INCLUDING on spending cuts! In fact, he wrangled more military and Intelligence cuts (something that proved to be a disaster in short order), in return for accepting "draconian" Welfare Reforms," which some inane Democrats STILL oppose, despite the fact that they've been proven even more successful than initially thought and that over 70% of the American people would support MORE cuts, and oppose more welfare spending.

McCain's lucky to still have his Senate seat, a guy who has openly supported the status quo on ILLEGAL immigration (for his "pro-cheap labor donors) in a state that has just passed some of the most draconian anti-ILLEGAL immigrant statutes in the land - including barring ILLEGALS from state funded government benefits, barring ILLEGALS from getting punitive damages and "pain and suffering" awards in Civil court and, of course, the FIRST English Only statute in America!

I'm proud of Arizona. I can only hope that McCain comes around to the common sense ideals advanced by his REAL constituents.

As I sadly watch my father slowly lose his once very perceptive mind, I have to caution against overly analyzing the thoughts of many of our once great figures as they get into their eighties and nineties.

That goes for Bork and Cronkite, as well as for some of our Senators and Supreme Court justices.

I never was a follower of Bork but I once could follow his thinking. I can no longer.

Bork was originally regarded as a "strict Constructionist," - the view that goes, "If the Founders didn't say it, then we cannot infer it," but I don't know where or how that could lead to opposing tort reform, jury nullification and gun (self defense) rights.

I can sort of understand where a strict constructionist could have a problem with the nebulousness of the 9th Amendment...a lot of mischief can be done by assuming that the 9th Amendment condones such things as "group rights," or even inventing new "rights" (such as the "right" to what another person sells, that is to commodities).

The roots of Conservatism are INDIVIDUALISM (individual rights), private property rights, "FREEDOM" as Liberty/self ownership (a burden), NOT "license" ("doing whatever one wants"), a free or open market-based economy and LIMITED GOVERNANCE. There is room for disagreement beyond that.

If memory serves me, John McCain has never won a GOP primary that disallowed indepedent voters and crossover Dems.

That begins to explain why so many of us are not enamored by him.

Add to that the fact that he is the MSM's fave is all one needs to know as to why so many of us view him with a wary eye.


McCain Feingold?

McCain Kennedy?

Gang of 14?

Virtual Amnesty for Illegals?

Voted against Bush's tax cuts?

Fairness Doctrine?

Sorry, this conservative does not see a kindred spirit in the senator from Arizona.

The toughest thing to take with McCain is his arrogance - even when the recent amnesty Bill for Illegals (a Bill that would've maintained the persistent downward pressure on all wage prevailing wage rates via illicit cheap labor) was shot down by a mammoth grassroots phone-in campaign, McCain couldn't help maligning those who opposed amnesty for ILLEGAL aliens "nativists," despite the fact that over 80% of those folks supported LEGAL immigration. Those opposing that amnesty deal also SUPPOPRTED the "rule of law," while every so-called "citizen" who supported that amnesty Bill opposed "the rule of law" by doing so.

A year earlier, McCain lauded ILLEGAL aliens by inanely claiming, "These people do jobs Americans won't do for $15/hour, or even $25/hour...they do jobs Americans can't do."

No wonder "Liberals" (another name for "the misguided"?) like him so much.

And that's even setting aside his absurd opposing of the Bush tax cuts, supporting the misnamed "Fairness Doctrine" and having his name on one of the most egregious violations of Free Speech (McCain-Feingold), which unlike the Patriot Act, actually was designed to outlaw certain kinds of protected (political) speech.

The toughest thing to take with McCain is his arrogance - even when the recent amnesty Bill for Illegals (a Bill that would've maintained the persistent downward pressure on all wage prevailing wage rates via illicit cheap labor) was shot down by a mammoth grassroots phone-in campaign, McCain couldn't help maligning those who opposed amnesty for ILLEGAL aliens "nativists," despite the fact that over 80% of those folks supported LEGAL immigration. Those opposing that amnesty deal also SUPPOPRTED the "rule of law," while every so-called "citizen" who supported that amnesty Bill opposed "the rule of law" by doing so.

A year earlier, McCain lauded ILLEGAL aliens by inanely claiming, "These people do jobs Americans won't do for $15/hour, or even $25/hour...they do jobs Americans can't do."

No wonder "Liberals" (another name for "the misguided"?) like him so much.

And that's even setting aside his absurd opposing of the Bush tax cuts, supporting the misnamed "Fairness Doctrine" and having his name on one of the most egregious violations of Free Speech (McCain-Feingold), which unlike the Patriot Act, actually was designed to outlaw certain kinds of protected (political) speech.

What I like is that JMK not only has to cut and paste the transcripts from Limbaugh and Hannity 2,000 words at a time, but he has to bolster his weak and wobbly nonsense by posting TWO novels after every short post by one of the "enemies" of true corporatism, er, I mean neocon, no wait, CONSERVATISM. Um, yeah.

Let me add: McCain´s support for joining the International Criminal Court is dangerous and shortsighted.

I am not as down on McCain as some conservatives - I think he is an admirable guy in many ways. I will vote for him if he is the nominee. I wish I could trust him. But the man has bad judgment. If he makes so many bad calls just sitting in the Senate, what will happen once he has executive power?

His stance on immigration simply showed his rampant Senatitis - compromise and process uber alles. I am not a nativist. Neither are most conservatives - that´s a slander. Republicans controlled all branches of government and we have done absolutely nothing about the borders noth and south - right, that´s how rabidly nativist we are. We are afraid of our own shadows. I say secure the borders and let´s assimilate the 12 million that are here. So I agree with McCain, more or less. But McCain wouldn´t sell it, he tried to ram a badly written law through when he tought nobody was looking. Does that give you confidence?

His principled stance on "torture" is hardly moral or consistent. Let me spell it out: Let´s outlaw even harsh interrogation and when there is a situation where it is absolutely necessary, let the people on the spot make the decision and take the fall. That´s what he basically said. I want waterboarding to be safe, legal and rare. One can disagree about these things, but I am not impressed by this and other examples of McCain´s leadership. Bush at least didn´t hide behind the people in the field, he tried to give them a realistic legal framework to work in. But the word "torture" shuts off all blood to the brain in some people.

Just two examples. But please, go on and bask in the rays of your own goodness. Cynical nation indeed.

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