Wednesday, October 29, 2008
Personal Aside: More Cross-Eyed JournalistsThose So Democratic They Cant See Straight Yes the Constitution Has Failings Which Victimize Us All
The Cross-Eyed and the Not So.
Whatever you may say about David Brooks of The New York Times and he drives me nuts with his pop sociology he is not cross-eyed Democratic. His column veers on issues from left to right, usually settling down in the middle (which I dont like but so be it). My favorite columnist is the nationally syndicated Charles Krauthammer. He is no social conservative, is not cross-eyed Republican or Democrat, but has a definite philosophy on foreign and domestic affairs that is center-right. I think he has learned much from his early days as a speech-writer for Jimmy Carter. Now he brings to commentary an unique perspectivethat of physician and psychiatrist (although he no longer practices this trade). I get more out of his writing and caustic commentary on television than I do virtually anyone else.
Here at home, the great offenders cross-eyed Democrats who cant see straight start with the Sun-Times Mark Brown. A middling poor writer, he is visceral, predictable, with the depth of a pie-tin. Further on in the paper you find Neil Steinberg, a much better writer than most who has a style with definite flair. I dont categorize him as cross-eyed Democratic because, frankly, I think his stance as a brash, New York-style loudmouth who doesnt care whom he offends, is a pose. I think his loud-mouth posturing is based on marketingfashioned cynically to a niche audience to which he is supposed to appeal the youngish, live-for-today corporate exec who doesnt have the guts to express himself outrageously as does Steinberg and who enjoys the self-admitted secular, non-observant Jewish wise-guy attitude which conveys not a little anti-Catholicism. Steinberg is far more astute than Mark Brown who is ordinary succotash and cauliflower in his observations.
Laura Washington, an occasional Op Ed, was trained by my old friend the late John McDermott when he ran The Chicago Reporter. Laura has come a long way writing as a professional black without a trace of equanimity. She is a variant of most contemporary black commentators to whom there is no such thing as black racismonly white. Her Democratic party affiliation is swallowed whole by her as an accompanied ingredient of being black. But she doesnt have the rage the anti-whitey fervor of Mary Mitchell. Mitchell is cross-eyed in the extreme but she recognizes it and joyously decapitates her victims, all of whom are conservative.
Zay Smith who does Q-T (Quick Takes) is one of my favorite and is not cross-eyed despite his strong Democratic affiliation. I cherish him because he is extraordinarily funny and a great ribber. Id like to meet him sometime. On the other hand, Stella Foster is cross-eyed which failing she imbibed from working too long with Kup. More later.
The Constitution and Obama.
Some of my conservative colleagues have misinterpreted, I think, the import of Barack Obamas WBEZ-FM statements on the Constitutionnot on the Marxist concept of income redistribution. Obama said correctly the Constitution does not prescribe the means for reparations or reimbursements for what he felt was centuries long injustice by whitey. I interpret what he says as that the civil rights leaders erred grievously by petitioning the courts when the courts had no remedy at hand to employ the radical means of redress Obama wishes for, especially the Marxist idea of redistribution of income. The civil righters should have concentrated on political means to achieve this Marxist goal, Obama says.
Some has misinterpreted this as a signal that Obama has criticized the Constitution for possessing flaws. I dont think you can find that evidence in his remarks. Suffice it to say he goes on to endorse redistribution in his follow-up words which the wily Stephen Chapman of the Tribune doesnt care to comment on.
The Constitution as written is an ingenious document but that doesnt mean it was designed without flaw. As a document that does not mention God, it implicitly recognized a natural law but its defect was to avoid mention of a moral arbiter, external to the state to apply meaning of that higher law. The founders left it to the people to decide and by doing so showed their indebtedness to John Locke who was a majoritarian. With that vacuum left by our founders, it is not surprising that in successive years, government itself moved in to fill the vacuum. This is positivism. And increasingly, positivism has become the reigning legal philosophy in the United States. The deciding point came with Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, a brilliant villain, who said truth was the majority vote of the nation that could lick all others. He defined law as a statement of the circumstances in which the public force will be brought to bear upon men through the courts.
Failure of the founders to cite the moral arbiter in the Constitution (when they could have easily done so: the Declaration contains six notable references to God) has made possible successive errors by followers of Holmes. Holmes was a natural born tyrant for all his brilliant rhetoric and his being canonized as a great jurist by such plays as Yankee from Olympus. He wrote the sacredness of human life is a purely municipal ideal of no validity outside the jurisdiction. I believe that force, mitigated so far as may be by good manners, is the ultima ratio and between two groups that want to make inconsistent kids of world, I see no remedy except force.
If you want to go back to find the source of thought where Obama is coming from in his Harvard Law classes et al you need not go beyond Holmes.
Roe v. Wade is the culmination (for now) of positivism in American law. There the Supreme Court ruled it need not decide whether the unborn child is a human beingbut held instead that whether or not he is a human being, he is a NON-PERSON without entitlement to the right to life. The decision written by Harry Blackmun (whom I knew slightly in Minnesota when he was general counsel to the Mayo Clinic) echoes Holmes who wrote scarily I see no reason for attributing to man a significance different in kind from that which belongs to a baboon or to a grain of sand.
Obama has moved from that point to the stage where as chairman of judiciary in the Illinois senate he saw no reason to differentiate infanticide from abortion as when he successively denied nutrition and medical care to struggling infants in pain from abortion. Thus he is indeed the new Herodbut the seed of his beginnings came from failure of the founders to define a moral arbiter in the Constitution when they had done so in the Declaration which inevitably produced an civilized monster like Holmes and his intellectual progeny, Barack Hussein Obama.