Trump Must Break Judicial Power

Trump Must Break Judicial Power

By Patrick J. Buchanan

“Disheartening and demoralizing,” wailed Judge Neil Gorsuch of President Trump’s comments about the judges seeking to overturn his 90-day ban on travel to the U.S. from the Greater Middle East war zones.

What a wimp. Did our future justice break down crying like Sen. Chuck Schumer? Sorry, this is not Antonin Scalia. And just what horrible thing had our president said?

A “so-called judge” blocked the travel ban, said Trump. And the arguments in court, where 9th Circuit appellate judges were hearing the government’s appeal, were “disgraceful.” “A bad student in high school would have understood the arguments better.”

Did the president disparage a couple of judges? Yep.

Yet compare his remarks to the tweeted screeds of Elizabeth Warren after her Senate colleague, Jeff Sessions, was confirmed as attorney general.

Sessions, said Warren, represents “radical hatred.” And if he makes “the tiniest attempt to bring his racism, sexism & bigotry” into the Department of Justice, “all of us” will pile on.

Now this is hate speech. And it validates Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s decision to use Senate rules to shut her down.

These episodes reveal much about America 2017.

They reflect, first, the poisoned character of our politics. The language of Warren — that Sessions is stepped in “racism, sexism & bigotry” echoes the ugliest slander of the Hillary Clinton campaign, where she used similar words to describe Trump’s “deplorables.”

Such language, reflecting as it does the beliefs of one-half of America about the other, rules out any rapprochement in America’s social or political life. This is pre-civil war language.

For how do you sit down and work alongside people you believe to be crypto-Nazis, Klansmen and fascists? Apparently, you don’t. Rather, you vilify them, riot against them, deny them the right to speak or to be heard.

And such conduct is becoming common on campuses today.

As for Trump’s disparagement of the judges, only someone ignorant of history can view that as frightening.

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Thomas Jefferson not only refused to enforce the Alien & Sedition Acts of President John Adams, his party impeached Supreme Court Justice Samuel Chase who had presided over one of the trials.

Jackson defied Chief Justice John Marshall’s prohibition against moving the Cherokees out of Georgia to west of the Mississippi, where, according to the Harvard resume of Sen. Warren, one of them bundled fruitfully with one of her ancestors, making her part Cherokee.

When Chief Justice Roger Taney declared that President Abraham Lincoln’s suspension of the writ of habeas corpus violated the Constitution, Lincoln considered sending U.S. troops to arrest the chief justice.

FDR proposed adding six justices to emasculate a Supreme Court of the “nine old men” he reviled for having declared some New Deal schemes unconstitutional.

President Eisenhower called his Supreme Court choices Earl Warren and William Brennan two of the “worst mistakes” he made as president. History bears Ike out. And here we come to the heart of the matter.

Whether the rollout of the president’s temporary travel ban was ill-prepared or not, and whether one agrees or not about which nations or people should be subjected to extreme vetting, the president’s authority in the matter of protecting the borders and keeping out those he sees as potentially dangerous is universally conceded.

That a district judge would overrule the president of the United States on a matter of border security in wartime is absurd.

When politicians don black robes and seize powers they do not have, they should be called out for what they are — usurpers and petty tyrants. And if there is a cause upon which the populist right should unite, it is that elected representatives and executives make the laws and rule the nation. Not judges, and not justices.

Indeed, one of the mightiest forces that has birthed the new populism that imperils the establishment is that unelected justices like Warren and Brennan, and their progeny on the bench, have remade our country without the consent of the governed — and with never having been smacked down by Congress or the president.

Consider. Secularist justices de-Christianized our country. They invented new rights for vicious criminals as though criminal justice were a game. They tore our country apart with idiotic busing orders to achieve racial balance in public schools. They turned over centuries of tradition and hundreds of state, local and federal laws to discover that the rights to an abortion and same-sex marriage were there in Madison’s Constitution all along. We just couldn’t see them.

Trump has warned the judges that if they block his travel ban, and this results in preventable acts of terror on American soil, they will be held accountable. As rightly they should.

Meanwhile, Trump’s White House should use the arrogant and incompetent conduct of these federal judges to make the case not only for creating a new Supreme Court, but for Congress to start using Article III, Section 2, of the Constitution — to restrict the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court, and to reclaim its stolen powers.

A clipping of the court’s wings is long overdue.

The Democracy Worshipers

By Patrick J. Buchanan

“Your people, sir, is … a great beast.”

So Alexander Hamilton reputedly said in an argument with Thomas Jefferson. At the Constitutional Convention of 1787, Hamilton explained:

“Real liberty is not found in the extremes of democracy, but in moderate governments. If we incline too much to democracy, we shall soon shoot into a monarchy, or some other form of dictatorship.”

In his column, “Democracy Versus Liberty,” Walter Williams cites Hamilton, James Madison and John Randolph, who wrote of “the follies and turbulence” of democracy, and John Adams:

Democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts and murders itself. There never was a democracy yet that did not commit suicide.”

Yet what our fathers feared we embrace. For it may fairly be said of this generation that it worships democracy. Indeed, the fanaticism of this faith in democracy as the path to worldly salvation causes many to hail any and all revolutions against any and all autocrats.

One wonders: How is it that this childlike faith endures?

After all, the French Revolution gave us the Terror and Napoleonic wars. The Russian Revolution gave us Lenin, Stalin and 70 years of totalitarian horrors. Mao’s revolution put 30 million Chinese in early graves.

Cuba’s revolution gave us an end to freedom and 50 years of Fidel’s cult of personality. Iran’s revolution that took down the Shah raised up the Ayatollah.

One would think we would have learned a little skepticism.

Yet no sooner had the crowds in Tunis turned out their autocrat and the throngs taken over Tahrir Square in Cairo than our giddy elites were proclaiming the “Arab Spring” and demanding the United States get on the side of the Arab street against all autocrats.

Yet Hosni Mubarak, though a ruthless ruler, had been our man in Cairo since the assassination of Anwar Sadat, fighting alongside us in the Gulf War, keeping the peace with Israel, allying with us in the war on terror.

But as soon as the tide turned against him, we ditched him and cheered on the crowd in Tahrir Square, a few of whom celebrated the downfall of despotism with a sexual mauling of Lara Logan.

What our democracy-worshipers, our “power-to-the-people” lovers of revolution fail to understand is that revolutions unleash all the forces in a society, including the most noxious. Indeed, especially them.

To understand what revolutions and popular democracy are likely to produce, we need to understand the fires in the minds of the men who create or capture those revolutions.

And neither Africa nor Arabia offers much in the way of hope.

The overthrow of Ian Smith’s government in Rhodesia brought to power Robert Mugabe and his Mashona, who proceeded to massacre the Matabele of rival Joshua Nkomo, rob the whites of their property, drive them out of their country and create the hellhole that is Zimbabwe.

Yet such is the power of democracy worship, this secular religion, to blind people to the evidence of their own eyes that virtually every Western leader favored one-man, one-vote democracy in Rhodesia.

As we see in Julius Malema, that admirer of Mugabe and 30-year-old firebrand of Mandela’s ANC, just convicted of a hate crime for his singing of the anti-apartheid ditty “Shoot the Boer!” who wants to expropriate South Africa‘s mines and confiscate white farms, racism and tribalism are alive and well in liberated Southern Africa. And democracy is their enabler.

To know what the Arab Spring is likely to produce, one needs to look not only at the Kerenskys who lead the Facebook-Twitter revolutions, but the Lenins and Trotskys who stand silently behind them.

The Arabs of Tunisia, Egypt, Syria, Yemen and Bahrain want new leaders to reflect the popular will. And what is that will?

In the most recent elections, an Islamic party took power in Turkey. The Muslim Brotherhood advanced dramatically in Egypt. Hezbollah and Hamas were vaulted to power in Lebanon and Gaza.

Democratists who demand we distance ourselves from the kings of Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Morocco and Bahrain, who do they think will replace these monarchs?

Do they care, or is democracy the right way, results be damned?

In liberated Libya, reprisals are being perpetrated against the black Africans Moammar Gadhafi brought into the country, and the Islamists are surfacing.

In liberated Iraq, it is Muslim vs. Christian, Sunni vs. Shia, Arab vs. Kurd. In Sudan, it was Arab Muslim against African animist and Christian that tore the country in two. In Ethiopia, it was the ethnic Eritreans who seceded to establish a country of their own.

Looking at Africa and the Middle East, men seem willing to march for a better life and to demonstrate for democracy. But when it comes to fighting and dying, the calls of race, religion and tribe alone seem capable of compelling the ultimate sacrifice.

Before we endorse the right of all peoples to have what they want, perhaps we should know what they want. For in the Mideast, it appears that most would like to throw us out and throw our Israeli friends into the sea.

After the Revolution

By Patrick J. Buchanan

“Democracy … arises out of the notion that those who are equal in any respect are equal in all respects,” said Aristotle.

But if the Philosopher disliked the form of government that arose out of the fallacy of human equality, the Founding Fathers detested it.

“A democracy is nothing more than mob rule,” said Thomas Jefferson, “where 51 percent of the people may take away the rights of the other 49.” James Madison agreed, “Democracy is the most vile form of government.” Their Federalist rivals concurred.

“Democracy,” said John Adams, “never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts and murders itself. There is never a democracy that did not commit suicide.”

“You people, sir, is a great beast,” Alexander Hamilton is said to have remarked. If he did not, it was not far from his view.

Said John Winthrop, the Pilgrim father whose vision of a “city on a hall” so inspired Ronald Reagan, “A democracy is … accounted the meanest and worst form of government.”

But did not the fathers create modernity’s first democracy?

No. They created “a republic, if you can keep it,” as Ben Franklin said, when asked in Philadelphia what kind of government they had given us. A constitutional republic, to protect and defend God-given rights that antedated the establishment of that government.

We used to know that. Growing up, we daily pledged allegiance “to the flag of the United States of America and to the Republic for which it stands,” not some democracy. As Walter Williams writes, Julia Ward Howe did not write the “Battle Hymn of the Democracy.”

Today, we are taught to worship what our fathers abhorred to such an extent that politicians and ideologues believe America was put on Earth to advance a worldwide revolution to ensure that all nations are democratic.

Only then, said George W. Bush, can America be secure.

The National Endowment for Democracy was established for this quintessentially neoconservative end and meddles endlessly in the internal affairs of nations in a fashion Americans would never tolerate.

The democratists are now celebrating the revolutions across the Islamic world in the same spirit, if in less exalted language, as William Wordsworth celebrated the French Revolution, “Bliss was it in that dawn to be alive/But to be young was very heaven!”

After 1789 ushered in Robespierre and Saint-Just, the Terror, the dictatorship and the Napoleonic wars, enthusiasm cooled. But with the Lenin-Trotsky revolution of 1917, Mao’s revolution of 1949, and Castro’s revolution of 1959, the exhilaration returned, only to see the bright hopes dashed again in blood and terror.

Last month, the Egyptian revolution enraptured us, with “pro-democracy” demonstrators effecting, through the agency of the Egyptian army, the overthrow of President Hosni Mubarak, a friend and ally for three decades.

In the exhilaration of their democratic triumph, some of the boys in Tahrir Square celebrated with serial sexual assaults on American journalist Lara Logan. A week after the triumph, returned Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi addressed a crowd estimated at 1 million in Tahrir Square.

In January 2009, Qaradawi had declared that “throughout history, Allah has imposed upon the (Jews) people who would punish them for their corruption. The last punishment was carried out by Hitler. … Allah willing, the next time will be in the hand of the believers.”

“Qaradawi is very much in the mainstream of Egyptian society,” wrote the Christian Science Monitor.

In 2004, this centrist was apparently offered the leadership of the Muslim Brotherhood.

Today, we read that, liberated from Mubarak, Muslims set fire to a Christian church in Sol, south of Cairo, then attacked it with hammers.

When enraged Christians set up roadblocks in Cairo demanding the government rebuild the church, they were set upon by Muslims as soldiers stood by. Thirteen people, most of them Coptic Christians, were shot to death on Tuesday, and more than a hundred were wounded in the worst religious violence in years.

Revolutions liberate people from tyranny, but also free them up to indulge old hates, settle old scores and give vent to their passions.

What are the passions that will be unleashed by the revolution that has the Arab nation of 300 million aflame?

Surely, one is for greater freedom, good jobs and prosperity, such as the West and East Asia have been able to produce for their people.

Yet if even European nations like Greece, Ireland and Spain, which used to deliver this, no longer seem able to do so, how will these Arab nations, which have never produced freedom, prosperity or progress on a large scale, succeed in the short time they will have?

Answer: They will not. The great Arab revolution will likely fail.

And when it does, those other passions coursing through the region will rise to dominance. And what are they but ethnonationalism, tribalism and Islamic fundamentalism?

What will eventually unite this turbulent region — when its peoples fail to achieve what they are yearning for — is who and what they are all against.

Ask not for whom the bell tolls.