Thursday, July 14, 2005

Rendering Moderation

As Bush moves towards his first judicial appointment, Sandra Day O'Connor leaves a record of limited, practical judicial opinions most hope will be repeated. Fortunately, the Gang of 14 have coalesced the Senate's moderate branch into a potent voting bloc, forcing Bush to recognize the Senate's right to "Advise and Consent." The elder statesmen of the Gang of 14 are acting in the very manner the Framers sought: the Senate was envisioned as a body immune to the fickle winds of partisanship and hysteria. The Gang of 14 promises to beat Christian Conservatives back into their cage, providing Bush with a foil against the wacky right as he (voluntarily or at the point of the Senate's sword) stakes out middle ground. Grandstanding Frist is marginalized, powerless to stop sanity from prevailing. The Senate he is suppoed to control doesn't seem willing to tolerate the radicalism Frist must push to maintain his Christian street cred. If only there were anothe Terri Shiavo...

At this critical juncture in the court proceedings, Pennsylvania's popular senior Senator, Arlen Specter, has suggested that Bush take a nod from History and nominate someone from outside standing Federal Judiciary circles. As the court has historically taken an "activist" approach to its findings from time to time, such appointments enriched important decisions with experience cast outside of traditional judicial circles, diversifying their scope, reach and meaning. Once again, looking back seems to provide the best means of moving forward... and he didn't even have to cite Scottish Common Law.

225 years after the acceptance of the US Constitution, the genius of a system designed to strike down special interests, slay the overly ambitious, and consistently pull to the center, looks poised to save us again. Though Christian Conservatives might cite the "Faith of our Fathers" as their primary justification for turning back the clock in America, it seems that the point they porportedly desire to reach is the very one styming Christian radicalism at every front.

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