Old Patriot's Pen

Personal pontifications of an old geezer born 200 years too late.

NOTE The views I express on this site are mine and mine alone. Nothing I say should be construed as being "official" or the views of any group, whether I've been a member of that group or not. The advertisings on this page are from Google, and do not constitute an endorsement on my part.

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Location: Colorado Springs, Colorado, United States

I've been everywhere That was the title of a hit country-and-western song from the late 1950's, originally sung by Hank Snow, and made famous by Johnny Cash. I resemble that! My 26-year career in the Air Force took me to more than sixty nations on five continents - sometimes only for a few minutes, other times for as long as four years at a time. In all that travel, I also managed to find the perfect partner, help rear three children, earn more than 200 hours of college credit, write more than 3000 reports, papers, documents, pamphlets, and even a handful of novels, take about 10,000 photographs, and met a huge crowd of interesting people. I use this weblog and my personal website here to document my life, and discuss my views on subjects I find interesting.

Friday, April 22, 2005

When Does 45 of 100 Equal a Majority?

If you're a Democrat, you hold power equal to a majority in the Senate, and can stop the President from appointing judges to the bench, and it's all "fair and square".

Don't the Democrats understand this is exactly why Tom Daschle lost his Senate seat last November? Don't they know that's why they lost the Presidency, and lost seats in both houses of Congress? Don't they know this is why they're a minority in the Senate, and will probably lose another two or three seats in 2006?

The behavior of the Democrats in the Senate is despotic, not democratic. "It's either my way or no way" - the Democratic cry in the Senate - is the cry of a tyrant. The American people have a long history of not supporting tyrants, especially in their own country.

The people of Colorado just elected Ken Salazar to the Senate. Ken is a Democrat. He doesn't like it when people say nasty things about him or his party. He gets upset and tells them they're "being bad". Focus on the Family came out with several ads this week attacking the Democratic Party in particular about its filibuster of judges. Unfortunately, the Colorado Springs Gazette requires payment for access to archived information, and everything gets archived the next business day. I've tried to recreate the ad below, as accurately as possible:

Sen. Ken Salazar,

Stop the Nonsense

Sen. Ken Salazar stood with his leader, Sen. Harry Reid, on the steps of the U.S. Capiton the day he promised to halt most Senate business rather than allow a simple, up-or-down vote on the President's judicial candidates.

There is only one reason Sen. Salazar and fellow liberals are desperate to block these judges: they would easily be confirmed by a majority of the Senate, because they represent the President's mainstream American values.

We've seen enough nonsense on the federal courts, from judges who demonstrate:

NO MERCY - Judges allowed Terri Schiavo to die of thirst. Had she been an animal, a condemned killer, or even a terrorist, they would have stepped in immediately. But Terri had the misfortune to be innocent.

NO HUMANITY - Judges protect the doctors who routinely puncture the skulls of nearly-delivered children and then vacuum out their brain matter, killing them in the abominal practice known as partial birth abortions.

NO DECENCY - A judge threw out the prosecution of videos that depict women being raped, mutilated and defecated upon. No one doubts these videos are legally obscene, but this judge single-handedly threw out the rule of law, declaring obscenity statutes unconstitutional.

NO RESPECT - Though a judge can find protection for obscenity videos, many find the Ten COmmandments inappropriate for public display. They quote laws of foreign countries - and even an unratified U.N. Treaty, rather than our own Constitution, when it suits their fancy.

The President has the constitutional right to appoint federal judges and the Senate has the duty to vote them up or down. Sen. Salazar wants to use the filibuster to block the vote, in a way that hasn't been used on judges in 216 years of Senate tradition.

It's time to call him on it. Call all his offices and tell him simply:

Vote, YES or NO, but VOTE on the JUDGES!

I think most thinking people can read and understand what's in this advertisement, and find at least some of it relevant. Most of us were appalled when Federal judges did nothing but a rubber-stamp of Terri Schiavo's death sentence. All of us have read stories of judicial activism, where judges have created law from scratch, or have imperially dismissed the valid laws of federal, state, and local lawmaking groups. A search of "Judicial Activism" + "United States" turns up almost a hundred-thousand hits.

Sen. Salazar's answer to James Dobson doesn't really address the problem of judicial activism at all:

Chairman Dobson,

I read in today’s newspaper a quote from your organization that said I should be “alarmed about the anti-Catholicism of some of [my Senate] colleagues.”

Your newspaper and radio ads also target Christians like me and Senator Harry Reid. I am proud that Senator Reid is a devout Mormon Christian and strong family man and that we share the fundamental values of Christianity.

I remember reading several accounts where various members of the Senate have expressed "alarm" about Judge William Pryor being "too Catholic", and that he shouldn't be approved because his "deeply held religious roots" wouldn't allow him to "make appropriate decisions".

While the newspaper ad I posted above does single out both Sen. Salazar and Sen. Reid, I don't see it targeting them because they're Christians, but because they're obstructionists - trying to kill the approval of a judge they find disagreeable because they believe in interpreting the law, rather than making it.

Let's continue:

I have not encountered any feelings of anti-Catholicism from any of my fellow Senators on either side of the aisle. Indeed, we have 24 United States Senators who are Catholic, both from the Democratic and Republican parties.

In contrast, I understand you are helping lead the effort on a national telecast against Democrats in the United States Senate with Dr. Al Mohler, among others. In March of 2000, Dr. Mohler said “I believe that the Roman church is a false church and it teaches a false gospel. And indeed, I believe that the pope himself holds a false and unbiblical office.”

My faith is the cornerstone of my values, as I am sure it is with you as well. I call on you to repudiate Dr. Mohler’s comments and hope you distance yourself from those who serve to divide the world’s Christian churches against one another.

"If the facts are against you, argue the law; if the law is against you, argue the facts. If both are against you, attack the virtue of the defendant and witnesses."

Sound familiar? Re-read the previous paragraphs. So James Dobson goes on a national telecast to call attention to the fact that the Democrats are doing something that has never before been done in the history of the United States, and someone else who has the same feelings happens to be a jerk. That doesn't discredit the idea being presented, or destroy James Dobson's credibility. "The enemy of my enemy" may not be my friend, but we're both going in the same direction. The fact that we're walking together doesn't make us partners. This is a straw man, and a pitifully poor one, at that.


I would further encourage you to cease your unfounded attacks on the faith of my Democratic colleagues. The Senate controversy over judges is simply about whether the rules should be broken in the pursuit of power. The controversy has nothing to do with the faith of any Democratic U.S. Senator. Indeed, I would ask for your prayers that the United States Senate transcend the abuse of power at the root of this controversy, and move forward in a spirit of bipartisanship on the issue of judges, as well as the monumental challenges facing our Nation such as health care, transportation, energy, education and care for our elders. I am committed to helping find a solution to these challenges that confront us.

Ken Salazar
United States Senator

Since I didn't see any "unfounded attacks on the faith" of any Democrats in the ad, I have to assume either a) Sen. Salazar is bringing up something else that has appeared elsewhere, and I'd like to see it, or b) trying to change the subject because he knows his behavior is wrong, and it's the DEMOCRATS who are pursuing unwarranted and dangerous power. The statement, "this controversy has nothing to do with the faith of any Democratic U.S. Senator" is true, but again, disingenuous. It's not the faith of Democratic Senators that's being questioned, but the faith of judges being submitted by President Bush for approval.

As for rules, the Senate is supposedly a group consisting of adults. It has the power to make its own rules. There has NEVER been a rule that it would take 60 votes to confirm a judge - NEVER. It is the Democrats who are imposing a NEW rule, one generated by Democrats, and designed to aid them in their unconstitutional power grab. The Democrats are saying that no one's going to be appointed to a judicial office unless THEY agree with that person's "philosophy" - in other words, the Democrats only agree to accept activist judges who will create law rather than interpret it. This kind of behavior has no place in a Republic, and those that practice such tyranny should be rapidly eliminated from any position of power in the government of the United States.

I think Senator Ken Salazar owes James Dobson an apology. I'm sure the Chinese will be able to age some 1000-year-old eggs from those laid yesterday before that apology is rendered.

UPDATE: PoliBlog has some interesting takes on the current Republican/Democratic squabble, and does an excellent job of showing the fallacy of much of what the Democrats are saying in the news. Please check out his writing - it makes a lot of sense. Poliblog will be added to my blogroll immediately!


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