Democrats & Liberals Archives

Conservative Legal "Principles"

Recently, I followed my masochistic tendencies and read “Disrobed,” a book authored by Mark W. Smith. a FAR-right conservative. Believe it or not, Smith’s thesis is that the courts are too liberal and that conservatives should forget their conservative legal “principles” and follow the legal approaches and techniques of liberals in order to make the courts more conservative.

What some conservatives call principles, Smith calls myths. Here are his 5 legal myths:

  • Courts should exercise judicial restraint
  • Judges should be apolitical
  • Judges should just follow the law
  • Judges should defer to elected branches
  • Judicial activism tramples on the rule of law
This made me sit up and take notice. Conservatives have been throwing these "myths" around for as long as I can remember. They have been the primary weapons conservatives have used against liberals.

The way to win in court, Smith says, is to adopt the techniques used so skillfully and successfully by liberals. It's pointless to ask for judicial restraint; you will not get it. It's impossible for a judge to be apolitical; they definitely are political. All judges feel they are following the law, but liberals see the law differently from conservatives. No point in deferring to the elected branches if they do not agree with conservatives; be independent. Judicial activism, of the conservative kind, is the best way to achieve more conservative court rulings.

Liberals believe in a "living constitution," a principle that enabled them to achieve all the liberal decisions that have made the court system so liberal. Smith says that conservatives should adopt the "living constitution" idea and use it to make the constitution grow in the conservative direction.

Unbelievable. But here is the author's prose:

So how should ordinary conservatives and Americans discuss the courts? It's really quite simple. We must say what we mean and mean what we say. The Right must stop beating around the bush about the courts. We'll never get what we want if we don't ask for it directly, so we should just come out and say what we mean. At best, phrases such as "judicial restraint," "strict constructionism," and "originalism" are, in effect, shorthand - code words for the judicial outcomes the Right favors. Conservatives want the courts to protect the values and principles described in the Declaration of Independence and the rights found in the Constitution. Why should conservatives speak in code when all we have to say is "I want a judge who will stand up for my rights to property, to bear arms, to contract; uphold the death penalty; and defend the lives of the unborn."

There you have it. According to Smith, all conservativism boils down to:

  • Property rights - more important than personal rights
  • Gun rights
  • Contract rights - government has no right to interfere between employer and employee under contract
  • Death penalty
  • Rights of unborn - no abortion
This is the conservative catechism. You could have fooled me. I had thought there was more to conservatism than this. But who am I to contradict a FAR-right conservative endorsed by Ann Coulter?

Conservatives do not need principles. That is not a way to win. All conservatives need do is arrange in any way possible to achieve the 5 big goals listed above. Then conservatism will reign supreme, says Smith.

Conservative philosophy? What's that? Conservative principles? Who needs them? Winning? Yes, indeed, winning is the only goal for present day conservatives.

Posted by Paul Siegel at September 4, 2006 5:32 PM
Comments
Comment #179179

So essentially you ascribe to all conservatives the views of Smith. See the problem here?

Posted by: Gerrold at September 4, 2006 6:55 PM
Comment #179183

Yes, indeed, winning is the only goal for present day conservatives.

How interesting that this is exactly the sort of thing that conservatives accuse liberals of.

You may wish to note that not all conservatives are led in worship by the high priest and priestess Anne Coulter and Mark Smith. I, for one, think Anne Coulter should move to Saudi Arabia. From your talk of Mark Smith, he can too. Anyway the point is that not all conservatives agree with Smith, as you appear to believe.

This is the conservative catechism. You could have fooled me. I had thought there was more to conservatism than this. But who am I to contradict a FAR-right conservative endorsed by Ann Coulter?

If liberals want to sway the middle they will need to do more than just accuse conservatives of so and so and such and such.

Posted by: Silima at September 4, 2006 7:59 PM
Comment #179184

Conservatives are interested in property rights. Something Liberals have no regard for. But they are also concerned about personal rights. Something I hear Liberals screaming about but see very little action from them on. The only personal rights they seem to be interested in is the personal rights of those that agree with them 110%.
The fact is that true Conservatives are concerned about all the rights guaranteed in the Constitution. And are tired of seeing liberal activist judges trample them.
They also see these rights as applying to every citizen of this great nation. And see no need to makeup rights to protect the fringe special intrest. The Constitution already protects them. All that’s needed is to follow the Constitution.
Liberals DONOT see the Constitution as a living thing. They see it as a hindrance to their agenda. That’s why they want to destroy it with unconstitutional court rulings.

Posted by: Ron Brown at September 4, 2006 8:00 PM
Comment #179185

Paul, where as your take on this particular author and this book is most likely correct(I have not read it) that is not the view I contribute to most so-called conservitives in positions of authority these days. The attitude that seems to be most previlant to me is the old axiom “Do as I say not as I do” they want to preach moral values for everyone but them, and anyone with just a little bit of commen sense can see that the multitude of scandelous acts that they have been caught in is only a small percentage of what has acually been commited. I am firmly in favor of a democratic non-conservitive takeover of this country, but, I feel that we need to be looking to elect people with actual morals not God told me values, but, actual values of doing good for the fellow man, the fellow creatures, and the long term enviroment of this planet. I would like to see people elected who show that they care about a future for this and all other countries and their children. What I have seen in my 40 odd years is people from both parties are people who care for their personal money and power and screw the future, I dont even have children, but, I still want better!

Posted by: jim at September 4, 2006 8:31 PM
Comment #179186

Ron,

When defense of conservative “principles” consists almost completely of unsubstantiated attacks on liberals, that’s a tacit admission that conservatives don’t really have any principles left to defend. And it makes it obvious that conservatives aren’t really FOR anything; they’re just AGAINST liberals.

Posted by: ElliottBay at September 4, 2006 8:36 PM
Comment #179188

Elliotbay
Doesn’t that work both ways?

Posted by: KAP at September 4, 2006 8:43 PM
Comment #179189

Let me get this right, tapping the phones and internet of american citizens without the approval of the special congressional commitee setup for that explecit purpose that is constitutional, detention of people without following either the geneva convention or the US courts that is upholding the US constitution, lieing to the US people about why we send are children to invade a soverign nation that is upholding the US constitution, sending weapons to a country that has refused to sign the nuclear non-proliferation treaty and refuses to admit that they have nukes that is upholding the constitution, from what I can tell RON me as an honarably discharged US vet who fought for this great nation, and you as a person I dont know, have a differance of opinion, so be it I am still not ashamed that I fought for your right to express it.

Posted by: jim at September 4, 2006 9:16 PM
Comment #179191

One of the keys to understanding staunch conservatives and the Religious Right (I am a Christian but also a liberal just as Jesus was) is to be aware that they prefer to externalize evil. That is what Anne Coulter and Smith are all about. If someone can call something evil, like abortion or homosexuality, them one does not have to acknowledge any responsibility. Thus the modern day far right conservative can criticize with impunity. This judge is political; this judge favors baby killing; this judge is soft on terrorism. The conservative far right Christian does not have to get his hands dirty.

Unfortunately, lacking much discernment or depth of education or awareness of cultural nuances, the same conservatives will eventually find that their worst nightmare will be to have all their prayers answered, for then they will find themselves living in a fascist state that they created.

Posted by: Stephen at September 4, 2006 9:23 PM
Comment #179192

Well said Stephen, but, this is still my home and the country that I protected, so let us hope the extremists on both sides do not prevail.

Posted by: jim at September 4, 2006 9:28 PM
Comment #179197

Those 5 myths still seem like good ideas to me. I realize that many liberals prefer our judiciary to be more like the unelected clerics of Iran who are the real power in that country. Doesn’t really matter what the elected officals say or do until the ones wearing the robes decide if its ok with them. Screw the Constitution, its radical Islam intheir case or liberalism in our case that matters.

Back when I was in school we were taught that on matters that were not specified in the Constitution were left up to the various legislatures. Now there isn’t any subject conceivable that judges don’t see as their right to rule on.

It sounds from the posts here that liberals who normally support activism don’t seem so happy with the idea when it potentially involves activism by conservative judges. You can’t have it both ways. If you support an active judiciary then I guess I have a hard time understanding why you would deny conservatives the right to the same tactic? I don’t wish to see activism on either side but I do believe that you can’t think its ok for one side and not for the other.

Posted by: Carnak at September 4, 2006 9:57 PM
Comment #179198

Well said, Jim. Thank you for defending our country against those who seek to destroy it from the outside. Now it is the task of all patriotic citizens, not just soldiers, to see that our country is not destroyed from the inside. Bush has violated the Constitution, the document he swore to protect. He has not. For this he should be duly punished.

Posted by: Silima at September 4, 2006 10:04 PM
Comment #179201

ElliottBay
If you’d take a look at what liberals really stand for (at least the ones of today) you’d know I’m right.
The problem is both sides (Right and Left)have been taken over by the extremes that only have their interest in mind. That’s why I make the distinction between true Conservatives and the so called Conservatives.
The problem I have is telling true Liberals from the extreme that gives Liberals a bad name. Why this is I can’t say except that maybe both sound so much like each other it’s hard to tell.
I also find it interesting that when the same tactics the Left uses are used on them it’s attacking them. But it’s not attacking the Right when for them use those tactics.

Posted by: Ron Brown at September 4, 2006 10:49 PM
Comment #179202

Paul,

Those five legal myths sound good to me, too. If indeed “They have been the primary weapons conservatives have used against liberals” then what is your argument against them?

The guy Mark W Smith sounds like a kook. We already know Anne Coulter is. So what? They have a right speak and we have the right to ignore them. They do not speak for me nor any conservative I know.

I wonder if this book is written with tongue-in-cheek. It is so over the top it is comical. In fact, it is anti-conservative. I think you’ve been had.

Posted by: Charles Adams at September 4, 2006 10:53 PM
Comment #179203

jim
First, thank you for serving our Country.
I’m not defending what the Republicans are doing in any way. I don’t know how long you’ve been on this blog but if you’ve read some of my post you’d know I don’t hold no truck with such going ons. You’d also know that I don’t consider Republicans to be Conservatives. That’s because their not.
As a 20 year vet I’m also proud to say I fought for your right to express your opinion. We may not agree with each other but the Constitution still, for now, gives us that right. And I’ll always respect that right.


Silima
How right you are. Bush has violated the Constitution. The problem is he never will face punishment for it. Even if the Democrats regain control of Congress.

Posted by: Ron Brown at September 4, 2006 11:06 PM
Comment #179204

I’m fairly new to this and don’t have what seems the educated insight to politics. After reading the editorial and the many posts, I find that this country has a serious divide. I believe that the judicial branch has to be impartial. Their duty on the bench is to be one of inturpretation of the law. Not to rewrite the law to meet political agendas set by those that appoint them. From what I have seen on the news and on the internet, both parties are guilty of influencing the courts. As citisens our duty is to hold not only the politicians responsible, but the judges as well. The rights of all are at risk and if nothing is done now the chance may slip away. I’m a conservative who doesn’t agree with all in my party or follow blindly. The past 2 years have been bad for our country both in the courts and the white house.

Posted by: Dwayne at September 4, 2006 11:27 PM
Comment #179205

This does have a certain ring of truth:

“The attitude that seems to be most previlant to me is the old axiom “Do as I say not as I do” they want to preach moral values for everyone but them, and anyone with just a little bit of commen sense can see that the multitude of scandelous acts that they have been caught in is only a small percentage of what has acually been commited,”

One should not forget Prescott Bush’s (Dubya’s grandfather) support of Nazi Germany… It gives Dubya’s recent rants about so-called Islamo-fascism a whole new meaning: Islamo-fascism=bad, American fascism=good. And THAT it succinctly states the Republican agenda. The “unitary executive” theory promoted by the Bushies is nothing more than a re-labeled version of the Führerprinzip so central to any fascist movement.

Posted by: Dr. Poshek at September 4, 2006 11:55 PM
Comment #179206

Dr. Poshek

Forgive my ignorance but how can a democratic society be facist. Are not facist states ruled by a single person? Is our gov. becoming a dictatorship? Our constitution protects us from this, right? I realise that Pres. Bush has not been the best for this country, but a facist?

Posted by: Dwayne at September 5, 2006 12:07 AM
Comment #179207

Dwayne: No, our constitution does not protect us from fascism for it is nothing more than a few pieces of paper. It is the enforcement and application of constitutional principles which protect us. Consider these words of former Vice President Henry Wallace:

“[American fascists] use every opportunity to impugn democracy… They claim to be super-patriots, but they would destroy every liberty guaranteed by the Constitution….. A fascist is one whose lust for money or power is combined with such an intensity of intolerance toward those of other races, parties, classes, religions, cultures, regions or nations as to make him ruthless in his use of deceit or violence to attain his ends, ” April 9, 1944

And,

http://www.sptimes.com/2004/09/12/Columns/Americans_in_danger_a.shtml

Dwayne: Keep this in mind— Hitler did not break any German laws. His regime was both constitutional and legal.

Posted by: Dr. Poshek at September 5, 2006 12:22 AM
Comment #179208

Dwayne: More for you—

“Although most Americans remember that Harry Truman was Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Vice President when Roosevelt died in 1945 (making Truman President), Roosevelt had two previous Vice Presidents - John N. Garner (1933-1941) and Henry A. Wallace (1941-1945). In early 1944, the New York Times asked Vice President Henry Wallace to, as Wallace noted, “write a piece answering the following questions: What is a fascist? How many fascists have we? How dangerous are they?”

Vice President Wallace’s answer to those questions was published in The New York Times on April 9, 1944, at the height of the war against the Axis powers of Germany and Japan.

“The really dangerous American fascists,” Wallace wrote, “are not those who are hooked up directly or indirectly with the Axis. The FBI has its finger on those. The dangerous American fascist is the man who wants to do in the United States in an American way what Hitler did in Germany in a Prussian way. The American fascist would prefer not to use violence. His method is to poison the channels of public information. With a fascist the problem is never how best to present the truth to the public but how best to use the news to deceive the public into giving the fascist and his group more money or more power.”

In this, Wallace was using the classic definition of the word “fascist” - the definition Mussolini had in mind when he claimed to have invented the word. (It was actually Italian philosopher Giovanni Gentile who wrote the entry in the Encyclopedia Italiana that said: “Fascism should more appropriately be called corporatism because it is a merger of state and corporate power.” Mussolini, however, affixed his name to the entry, and claimed credit for it.)

As the 1983 American Heritage Dictionary noted, fascism is: “A system of government that exercises a dictatorship of the extreme right, typically through the merging of state and business leadership, together with belligerent nationalism.”

Mussolini was quite straightforward about all this. In a 1923 pamphlet titled “The Doctrine of Fascism” he wrote, “If classical liberalism spells individualism, Fascism spells government.” But not a government of, by, and for We The People - instead, it would be a government of, by, and for the most powerful corporate interests in the nation.

In 1938, Mussolini brought his vision of fascism into full reality when he dissolved Parliament and replaced it with the “Camera dei Fasci e delle Corporazioni” - the Chamber of the Fascist Corporations. Corporations were still privately owned, but now instead of having to sneak their money to folks like Tom DeLay and covertly write legislation, they were openly in charge of the government.

Vice President Wallace bluntly laid out in his 1944 Times article his concern about the same happening here in America:


” If we define an American fascist as one who in case of conflict puts money and power ahead of human beings, then there are undoubtedly several million fascists in the United States. There are probably several hundred thousand if we narrow the definition to include only those who in their search for money and power are ruthless and deceitful. … They are patriotic in time of war because it is to their interest to be so, but in time of peace they follow power and the dollar wherever they may lead.”
Nonetheless, at that time there were few corporate heads who had run for political office, and, in Wallace’s view, most politicians still felt it was their obligation to represent We The People instead of corporate cartels. “American fascism will not be really dangerous,” he added in the next paragraph, “until there is a purposeful coalition among the cartelists, the deliberate poisoners of public information…”

Noting that, “Fascism is a worldwide disease,” Wallace further suggest that fascism’s “greatest threat to the United States will come after the war” and will manifest “within the United States itself.”

In Sinclair Lewis’s 1935 novel “It Can’t Happen Here,” a conservative southern politician is helped to the presidency by a nationally syndicated radio talk show host. The politician - Buzz Windrip - runs his campaign on family values, the flag, and patriotism. Windrip and the talk show host portray advocates of traditional American democracy as anti-American. When Windrip becomes President, he opens a Guantanamo-style detention center, and the viewpoint character of the book, Vermont newspaper editor Doremus Jessup, flees to Canada to avoid prosecution under new “patriotic” laws that make it illegal to criticize the President.

As Lewis noted in his novel, “the President, with something of his former good-humor [said]: ‘There are two [political] parties, the Corporate and those who don’t belong to any party at all, and so, to use a common phrase, are just out of luck!’ The idea of the Corporate or Corporative State, Secretary [of State] Sarason had more or less taken from Italy.” And, President “Windrip’s partisans called themselves the Corporatists, or, familiarly, the ‘Corpos,’ which nickname was generally used.”

Lewis, the first American writer to win a Nobel Prize, was world famous by 1944, as was his book “It Can’t Happen Here.” And several well-known and powerful Americans, including Prescott Bush, had lost businesses in the early 1940s because of charges by Roosevelt that they were doing business with Hitler. These events all, no doubt, colored Vice President Wallace’s thinking when he wrote:


” Still another danger is represented by those who, paying lip service to democracy and the common welfare, in their insatiable greed for money and the power which money gives, do not hesitate surreptitiously to evade the laws designed to safeguard the public from monopolistic extortion. American fascists of this stamp were clandestinely aligned with their German counterparts before the war, and are even now preparing to resume where they left off, after ‘the present unpleasantness’ ceases.”
Fascists have an agenda that is primarily economic. As the Free Dictionary (www.thefreedictionary.com) notes, fascism/corporatism is “an attempt to create a ‘modern’ version of feudalism by merging the ‘corporate’ interests with those of the state.”

Feudalism, of course, is one of the most stable of the three historic tyrannies (kingdoms, theocracies, feudalism) that ruled nations prior to the rise of American republican democracy, and can be roughly defined as “rule by the rich.”

Thus, the neo-feudal/fascistic rich get richer (and more powerful) on the backs of the poor and the middle class, an irony not lost on author Thomas Frank, who notes in his new book “What’s The Matter With Kansas” that, “You can see the paradox first-hand on nearly any Main Street in middle America - ‘going out of business’ signs side by side with placards supporting George W. Bush.”

The businesses “going out of business” are, in fascist administrations, usually those of locally owned small and medium-sized companies. As Wallace wrote, some in big business “are willing to jeopardize the structure of American liberty to gain some temporary advantage.” He added, “Monopolists who fear competition and who distrust democracy because it stands for equal opportunity would like to secure their position against small and energetic enterprise [companies]. In an effort to eliminate the possibility of any rival growing up, some monopolists would sacrifice democracy itself.”

But American fascists who would want former CEOs as President, Vice President, House Majority Whip, and Senate Majority Leader, and write legislation with corporate interests in mind, don’t generally talk to We The People about their real agenda, or the harm it does to small businesses and working people. Instead, as Hitler did with the trade union leaders and the Jews, they point to a “them” to pin with blame and distract people from the harms of their economic policies.

In a comment prescient of George W. Bush’s recent suggestion that civilization itself is at risk because of gays, Wallace continued:


” The symptoms of fascist thinking are colored by environment and adapted to immediate circumstances. But always and everywhere they can be identified by their appeal to prejudice and by the desire to play upon the fears and vanities of different groups in order to gain power. It is no coincidence that the growth of modern tyrants has in every case been heralded by the growth of prejudice. It may be shocking to some people in this country to realize that, without meaning to do so, they hold views in common with Hitler when they preach discrimination…”
But even at this, Wallace noted, American fascists would have to lie to the people in order to gain power. And, because they were in bed with the nation’s largest corporations - who could gain control of newspapers and broadcast media - they could promote their lies with ease.

“The American fascists are most easily recognized by their deliberate perversion of truth and fact,” Wallace wrote. “Their newspapers and propaganda carefully cultivate every fissure of disunity, every crack in the common front against fascism. They use every opportunity to impugn democracy.”

In his strongest indictment of the tide of fascism the Vice President of the United States saw rising in America, he added, “They claim to be super-patriots, but they would destroy every liberty guaranteed by the Constitution. They demand free enterprise, but are the spokesmen for monopoly and vested interest. Their final objective toward which all their deceit is directed is to capture political power so that, using the power of the state and the power of the market simultaneously, they may keep the common man in eternal subjection.”

Finally, Wallace said, “The myth of fascist efficiency has deluded many people. … Democracy, to crush fascism internally, must…develop the ability to keep people fully employed and at the same time balance the budget. It must put human beings first and dollars second. It must appeal to reason and decency and not to violence and deceit. We must not tolerate oppressive government or industrial oligarchy in the form of monopolies and cartels.”

This liberal vision of an egalitarian America in which very large businesses and media monopolies are broken up under the 1890 Sherman Anti-Trust Act (which Reagan stopped enforcing, leading to the mergers & acquisitions frenzy that continues to this day) was the driving vision of the New Deal (and of “Trust Buster” Teddy Roosevelt a generation earlier).

As Wallace’s President, Franklin D. Roosevelt, said when he accepted his party’s renomination in 1936 in Philadelphia, “…out of this modern civilization, economic royalists [have] carved new dynasties…. It was natural and perhaps human that the privileged princes of these new economic dynasties, thirsting for power, reached out for control over government itself. They created a new despotism and wrapped it in the robes of legal sanction…. And as a result the average man once more confronts the problem that faced the Minute Man….”

Speaking indirectly of the fascists that Wallace would directly name almost a decade later, Roosevelt brought the issue to its core: “These economic royalists complain that we seek to overthrow the institutions of America. What they really complain of is that we seek to take away their power.”

But, he thundered in that speech, “Our allegiance to American institutions requires the overthrow of this kind of power!”

In 2004, we again stand at the same crossroad Roosevelt and Wallace confronted during the Great Depression and World War II. Fascism is again rising in America, this time calling itself “compassionate conservatism.” The RNC’s behavior today eerily parallels the day in 1936 when Roosevelt said, “In vain they seek to hide behind the flag and the Constitution. In their blindness they forget what the flag and the Constitution stand for.”

It’s particularly ironic that the CEOs and lobbyists who run the Republican National Committee would have chosen to put Hitler’s fascist face into one of their campaign commercials, just before they launched a national campaign against gays and while they continue to arrest people who wear anti-Bush T-shirts in public places.

President Roosevelt and Vice President Wallace’s warnings have come full circle. Which is why it’s so critical that this November we join together at the ballot box to stop this most recent incarnation of feudal fascism from seizing complete control of our nation.”

Posted by: Dr. Poshek at September 5, 2006 12:31 AM
Comment #179210

Dr. Poshek

That is enlightening to read. I have to add that the discriptions that Vice President Wallace gave of fascism includes many polititians from both sides. Do you find this to be true as well?

Posted by: Dwayne at September 5, 2006 12:51 AM
Comment #179211

Dwayne: It is possible to identify individual actions of those on the left that might appear to satisfy a singular element of the fascist definition. However, it is the constellation of actions, the context of actions AND the motivations of those actions that make fascism fascism.

Liberalism is antithetical to fascism. Fascism is the natural destiny of conservatism if it goes unchecked. The Framers of our constitution were cognizant that there is no greater danger to a free people than conservatism and structured the constitution with the express purpose of containing conservatism. This is the reason that conservatives have long-sought to destroy the constitution as Mark W. Smith so eloquently illustrates. It remains to be seen whether the Framers have been successful in protecting Americans from this mortal danger.

Posted by: Dr. Poshek at September 5, 2006 1:22 AM
Comment #179212

Dr. Poshek,

I do agree that corperations have too much political sway and have seen the demise of small business. The rulings from the coourts have been against the people, for example, eminant domain. This ruling has caused a plethera of cases against city and county governments from land owners and small business owners alike. The developers are taking advantage of the ruling by convincing towns that more revenue can be had which of course puts money in their pockets. You mentioned the repeal of the 1890 Sherman-Anti Trust Act. I find that I agree that President Regan should not have repealed it. As a working class citizen, I can see that jobs that pay well enough to support a family are hard to come by. I would like to ask you what kind of person should the people vote for, and if such a person actually exists. Can there be a possibility of a third party that corparate america can not influence? Has the government lost control of it’s self to the point that “We the people” are now subjects of a corperate government? I can only hope for the light at the end of the tunnel.

Posted by: Dwayne at September 5, 2006 1:24 AM
Comment #179214

Dwayne,

Be careful of Dr. Poshek. His diatribe leaves no room for Capitalism. Wallace himself was deceived by Communists and awoke to find himself surrounded by them.

Dr. Poshek,

Our government is not in danger of succumbing to fascism; it is however quite corrupt. In my mind there is a distinct difference, inasmuch as a fascist takeover requires a broad conspiracy.

“Fascism is the natural destiny of conservatism if it goes unchecked.”

Please.

Posted by: Charles Adams at September 5, 2006 1:37 AM
Comment #179215

Charles Adams,

Thank you for your concern. I find that asking questions of a person gives one a feel for their veiws. I don’t rush to judgement or make desisions based on someone’s quotes or speeches without doing at least some homework. :)

Dr.Poshek,

You mentioned Hitler’s “legal” rise to power. The one thing he did right after gaining control was to kill anyone who oppossed him. Frankly, I don’t see that happening here.


Posted by: Dwayne at September 5, 2006 1:57 AM
Comment #179216

- —Walker Willingham——Where ARE You ? ———-
————————————————————————-


Posted by: DAVID at September 5, 2006 1:59 AM
Comment #179217

Charles Adams,

That which I mentioned earlier,”I do agree that corperations have too much political sway and have seen the demise of small business. The rulings from the coourts have been against the people, for example, eminant domain. This ruling has caused a plethera of cases against city and county governments from land owners and small business owners alike. The developers are taking advantage of the ruling by convincing towns that more revenue can be had which of course puts money in their pockets. You mentioned the repeal of the 1890 Sherman-Anti Trust Act. I find that I agree that President Regan should not have repealed it. As a working class citizen, I can see that jobs that pay well enough to support a family are hard to come by. I would like to ask you what kind of person should the people vote for, and if such a person actually exists. Can there be a possibility of a third party that corparate america can not influence? Has the government lost control of it’s self to the point that “We the people” are now subjects of a corperate government?”, this falls under the catagory of corruption.

Posted by: Dwayne at September 5, 2006 2:03 AM
Comment #179218

Dwayne,

I don’t think you meant to address your last post to me, but I’ll tell you that conservatives and liberals alike disagree with the recent rulings on eminent domain. There is nothing conservative about taking private property and giving it to private industry or corporations.

Posted by: Charles Adams at September 5, 2006 2:12 AM
Comment #179219

Dwayne: Your questions, ” I would like to ask you what kind of person should the people vote for, and if such a person actually exists?” are easily answered if one wishes to avoid fascism.

1. Vote for the Democratic candidate as a liberal government cannot devolve into fascism. A vote for a Republican candidate, regardless of who he or she maybe, is a vote in favor of fascism.

2. Among Democratic candidates, vote the candidate who most advocates civil rights and liberties for all persons without limitation or equivocation.

3. Among Democratic candidates, vote the candidate who is most dedicated to justice.

4. Among Democratic candidates, vote the candidate who is most committed to objective, rational thought and does not fear science.

5. Among Democratic candidates, vote the candidate who most understands that religious faith is a private matter and not a public one.

6. Among Democratic candidates, vote the candidate who best understands that a robust progressive system of taxation is the surest route to containing fascist tendancies of corporations and the wealthy.

7. Among Democratic candidates, vote the candidate most dedicated to building the middle class and eliminating the extremes at both ends of the economic ladder.

8. Among Democratic candidates, vote the candidate who most clearly understands that military power exists to empower diplomacy and to be used only as a defensive measure of last resort.

9. Among Democratic candidates,vote the candidate who most clearly understands that it is not the job of government to protect or empower the wealthy who need neither protection nor empowerment… rather, it is the job of government to protect and empower all persons.

If one follows these prescriptions, conservatism will be held in check and fascism avoided, and the well-being of all people will be guaranteed.


Regarding third-party candidates and corporate influence: third parties are not realistic in the United States and corporate influence is not necessarily bad… it is corporatism, corporate control of government, that is bad. A corporation may have a legitimate concern; however, it is goverments job to side with the interests of the people over the interests of a corporation.

Posted by: Dr. Poshek at September 5, 2006 2:17 AM
Comment #179220

Charles Adams,

Actually I did, I was letting you know that I knew it was corruption and not fascism.

Posted by: Dwayne at September 5, 2006 2:21 AM
Comment #179222

Dr. Poshek,

My question to you now is this, if the government sides with the corperations, and the corperations are what influences policy makers, i.e. corporatism, then this falls short of the definition of fascism where the government controls the corporation, correct?

Posted by: Dwayne at September 5, 2006 2:32 AM
Comment #179223

——Dr. Poshek——Good job, A copy should be sent
too every democratic office an be a permanent
fixture! Send it to New York Times, maybe they will print such a works.

Posted by: DAVID at September 5, 2006 2:36 AM
Comment #179224

Dwayne: You say, “You mentioned Hitler’s “legal” rise to power. The one thing he did right after gaining control was to kill anyone who oppossed him. Frankly, I don’t see that happening here.” You are correct. However, it will happen here if the Republicans are not returned to a minority status in this country. Fortunately, we are in the 11th hour and the march towards fascism can be stopped. If it is not, blood will flow at clocks striking of the 12th hour.

Charles Adams: You really need to know the historcal facts of conservatism and fascism. And there is a broad conspiracy: Project for the New American Century, the Federalist Society, the Republican Party, and corporate America. Capitalism, if it is controlled, is one of several economic systems consistent with a free, modern liberal society. Unfettered capitalism is immoral and antithetical to a free society.

Posted by: Dr. Poshek at September 5, 2006 2:36 AM
Comment #179225

“so be it I am still not ashamed that I fought for your right to express it.”…Thank you Jim for your service to our country. And let me say that as a former combat veteran from the 173 Airborne Brigade, I’m actually proud to have fought to preserve your freedom to disagree with me.

Although extremely proud of my service, it does not and should not give me or any other vet any “special” rights and a very limited amount additional knowledge.

Posted by: tomd at September 5, 2006 2:36 AM
Comment #179226

Dr. Poshek,

Just an addition to the previous question. Isn’t conservatism that which dislikes government intrusion and fascism that which government controlls all? I fail to see the connection between the two.

Posted by: Dwayne at September 5, 2006 2:53 AM
Comment #179227

Yowza, some great stuff here, esp. Dr Poshek! But we are going a little far afield, discussing fascism rather than the courts, so I’ll try to get us back on track.

As usual, conservatives and progressives are talking in two different languages while using the same words. What the Right views as the courts overstepping their bounds is what the Left views as their true purpose. Cons will always feel that the individual, along with Smith’s “invisible hand” will always make life better for all, and the government (ie the courts in this case) just get in the way. I’ve always found this point of view charmingly naive. Humanity has a streak of selfishness in it (the why of that is a whole ‘nuther matter, and one long enough for it’s own book), and there must be something in place to deflect that, otherwise those with power and money will take advantage of those without. Thus, the “activist courts” that the Right hate so.

Now the real problem with Mr. Smith’s ideas going to Washington (god I can’t resist the bad pun.. sorry) is that it is not only abandoning the little guy to the whims of the corporations and the mobs, but it places the courts in the role of defending the strong rather than the weak. Scariest of all is that I’m sure he thinks this is a good idea. Brrr!! I always foresaw that, if the political Right were to embrace the Religious Right, that we would eventually have quasi-theocrats in power. Theocrat + plutocrat = scary times for America.

L

Posted by: leatherankh at September 5, 2006 2:54 AM
Comment #179228

Dwayne: Conservatism demands government intrusion to protect corporations from the people. Conservatives only object when government intrusion protects the people against the desires of corporations. Fascism is merely the realization of that goal. Fascism is government and corporations funtioning in symbiosis.

Posted by: Dr. Poshek at September 5, 2006 3:02 AM
Comment #179229

Dr. Poshek,

Please don’t take this as an insult but are you sure you have the correct definitions of these two words- fascism and conservatism?

Posted by: Dwayne at September 5, 2006 3:08 AM
Comment #179230

leatherankh: I beg to disagree. What Mr. Smith is advocating is the creation of an American fascist state. Your posting says this in not so many words. The marriage of the religious right with American conservatism is a marriage of political necessity for the reason conservatives cannot come to power without the votes of the religious right. As we have witnessed in Washington, D.C., when conservatives have to choose between their natural inclinations and the wishes of the religious right, they will choose corporate interests each time and subsequently mere pay lip-service to the religious right.

Posted by: Dr. Poshek at September 5, 2006 3:09 AM
Comment #179231

I am reminded of the questioning of a law clerk during the Roberts confirmation hearings. When asked about judicial activism, he acknowledged the peforative nature of the term. Judicial activism is in the eye of the beholder. Ha Ha, the joke is on us. Law and order is a game of elitist lawyers and judges who are better than the rest of us.

Posted by: gergle at September 5, 2006 3:12 AM
Comment #179232

Dr. Poshek,

Now that I can agree with

they will choose corporate interests each time and subsequently mere pay lip-service to the religious right.


It seems that all politicians do that!!

Posted by: Dwayne at September 5, 2006 3:15 AM
Comment #179233

err that should have been pejorative

Posted by: gergle at September 5, 2006 3:17 AM
Comment #179234

Dwayne: I’m quite sure of my definitions. I struggled with these very definitions over 35 years ago in a 1,952 page dissertation. Conservatism is the reactionary reponse by the $ class against the rise of democracy and the recognition of individual rights & liberties that followed the fall of feudalism in the 17th and 18th centuries. In feudalism, the $ class held a privileged position in society that was and is negated by democracy and individual rights and liberties. This remains unchanged.

Posted by: Dr. Poshek at September 5, 2006 3:26 AM
Comment #179235

Dwayne: Republicans are not against reproductive rights because they oppose reproductive rights per se; rather, Republicans oppose reproductive rights as a means (getting elected) to serving their corporate masters.

Posted by: Dr. Poshek at September 5, 2006 3:29 AM
Comment #179236

Dr. Poshek,

That would fall under the government of Great Britain within the time span you mentioned. The conservatism in America is resistant of government intrusion upon the rights of the people and corporations.

Posted by: Dwayne at September 5, 2006 3:36 AM
Comment #179237

Dwayne: You might be interested to know that researchers have identified 2 psychological characteristics of conservatives:

(1) nostalgic delusion (fear of change; worship of an idealized past); and
(2) advocacy of and tolerance for inequality

Posted by: Dr. Poshek at September 5, 2006 3:37 AM
Comment #179238

Dr. Poshek,

So what you are saying is we have corporatism in our country

Posted by: Dwayne at September 5, 2006 3:37 AM
Comment #179239

Dwayne: There is no discernable distinction between European conservatism and American conservatism. Conservatives only oppose government intrusion (in a democracy, that is the people) when it intrudes into corporate interests; conservatives oppose individual rights and liberties as Mr. Smith has made so abundantly clear. Conservatives advocate warrantless wiretapping; liberals advocate warrant-based wiretapping; conservatives oppose free speech; liberals advocate free speech; etc. Conservatives have never found an individual right or liberty they did not disdain.

Posted by: Dr. Poshek at September 5, 2006 3:45 AM
Comment #179240

Dwayne: You wrote - “So what you are saying is we have corporatism in our country.”

Yes, that is correct. What is even more problematic is the symbiosis between corporatism and militarism in our country, the military-industrial complex of which we were warned nearly 50 years ago.

Posted by: Dr. Poshek at September 5, 2006 3:49 AM
Comment #179241

Dr. Poshek,

I must be a libratarian due to the fact that I very much dislike the government intruding upon my individual rights.

Thank you for our discussion, it’s been fun. :)

Posted by: Dwayne at September 5, 2006 3:52 AM
Comment #179243

Dwayne: You may well be a libertarian which makes you a very special breed of liberal! Yes, it’s been fun. I wish I had more students like you.

Posted by: Dr. Poshek at September 5, 2006 4:02 AM
Comment #179244

Paul,

Sheesh, why are you reading Mark W. Smith? He’s obviously the result of leaving a spoiled child sit in front of repetitive episodes of Hannity and O’Reilly rather than Sesame Street. His parents probably played recordings of Ann Coulter and Rush Limbaugh while he slept as a child.

If he is such a strong supporter of Republican policy why doesn’t he enlist in the service? I’m sure he’d be welcome in Bagdad. He does however tell a bit of thruth:

No need to let the constitution or the law stand in the way of GREAT Republican (or Libertarian) policy! His message is the message of the “ruling class” which we all know we need. Without a true ruling class we “peons” will simply wander aimlessly through life.

Mark Smith for President! Then we should be able to eliminate the pesky task of voting altogether!

KansasDem

Posted by: KansasDem at September 5, 2006 4:07 AM
Comment #179251

Ron Brown,

I have often found your posts to be completely off the wall, but to say: “Conservatives are concerned with property rights, something Liberals have no reared for…” is about as rediculous an assertion as I have heard considering that the new S.Ct. recognized private-excercise of the power of emmanent domain is/was born from the loins of this new neo-conservatism!

The Gov. of TX (Rick Perry) is likely going to lose as a result of supportive comments ha has made regarding it. The shift back to Liberal is already happening and property rights are very much a part of it.

Posted by: RGF at September 5, 2006 10:22 AM
Comment #179256

Dr. Poshek
The Framers of our constitution were cognizant that there is no greater danger to a free people than conservatism liberalism and structured the constitution with the express purpose of containing conservatism liberalism.

That is a two way street. Either one conservatism or liberalism left unchecked is a danger to a free people.


Regarding you post 2:17 this morning.

What a bunch of partisan crap. I’ll bet the Republicans would say the same thing.


Dwayne: You might be interested to know that researchers have identified 2 psychological characteristics of conservatives:

(1) nostalgic delusion (fear of change; worship of an idealized past); and
(2) advocacy of and tolerance for inequality

REALLY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! And what neoliberal un think tank did that come from? That’s a lie born out of ignorance.
I’m about as conservative as they come. I’m not afraid of change. And any true conservative that I know isn’t afraid of change. When change is necessary we’re for it. We just don’t see the need for change just for change sake like most liberals seem to.
As far a tolerance goes, I find conservatives to be far more tolerant than liberals. Specially when it come to those that disagree with us. The one place they ARE NOT tolerant in is inequality.


RGF
How many times do I have to tell ya that Republicans are liberals just like Democrats? In fact the need to merge into one party and call themselves the Repubocrats, or Demoplublicans or something like that.

Posted by: Ron Brown at September 5, 2006 1:03 PM
Comment #179259

Ron Brown: Your posting just demonstrated both psychological characteristics of conservatives. Thank you for making my case.

Posted by: Dr. Poshek at September 5, 2006 1:56 PM
Comment #179260

RGF, the Kelo v New London decision from SCOTUS came from the left side of the bench. Stevens, Souter, Ginsburg and Breyer concurred and brought in some-time conservative Kennedy to make it a majority. Does that make them the “loins of this new neo-conservatism!”?

Posted by: Charles Adams at September 5, 2006 1:57 PM
Comment #179266

What are conservatives all about? Why, the indignities visited upon them by liberals over the last 60 years: the New Deal (mainly Social Security and welfare), civil rights for expanding classes of people, the impeachment of Nixon, the “loss” of the Vietnam War, Roe v. Wade, Brown v. the Board of Education, derision of right-wingers as reactionaries and crackpots (e.g., John Birchers), the embarassing exposure of Iran-Contra, the separation of church and state, and, of course, hoam-a-seck-shuls in public. They struggled over the last 30 years, spending oodles of dollars to get the Right-Wing Echo Chamber functioning with the full complement of components, like talk-radio, “think” tanks, Fox News, Rush Limbaugh, etc., and finally put together a bare majority coalition of the venal (that is, greedy folk with a lot of money and who want to part with none of it for any purpose they don’t agree with) and the ignorant (who think they are part of the first group). The objectives listed above consist of bait for the latter group, and rewards for the former group. The social conservative bits are to attract those of lower intelligence who believe that reproductive rights can be rolled back in this society without grave social consequences and that the constitution guarantees any bozo the right to carry around a loaded weapon. The property and contract bits are to attract the venal who view the government’s taxes and regulations as depriving them of their justly deserved wealth (i.e., the estate Daddy left to me).

The current administration, not content merely to roll back regulation and taxation on the rich, have actually turned government into a source of increased wealth by plundering the segments that govern expenditures on defense, energy, and public works. The spectacle of Halliburton and other contractors feeding at the “no-bid” trough has been a balm to the wealth supporters of this administration.

The good news is that the bare majority coalition seems to be breaking apart (if it ever was a majority; it may have been helped by some election tampering in key areas). Moderate Republicans are beginning to have pangs of conscience about the raping of society and the independents are seeing that they have been taken for a ride. Rove’s little ploys are not working as well as they once did and hanging on to a narrow enough margin to be able to manipute the vote into an electoral majority is going to be difficult this time around.

So, those of you who still support this government, I hope you are in the top 5% in wealth and income, because if you aren’t, you are being played for a sucker.

Have a nice.

Posted by: mental wimp at September 5, 2006 3:04 PM
Comment #179269

This is mainly for the “conservatives” who are posting — do you actually read what you write before you post it? You want the courts to interpret, not legislate. What I find amusing is that you can’t even conceive that someone could interpret the Constitution differently than you do and be correct. Conservatives are apparently the ONLY people with insight and values and logic and KNOW exactly what a bunch of men 200+ years ago meant when they wrote something down. Everyone sees the world through their own eyes, and yes, my interpretation of what the Constitution says, will probably be different from yours. But that doesn’t make your interpretation right and mine wrong. Conservatives try to make the world into something that is comfortable for them and liberals try to make the world into something that is comfortable for liberals — neither is wrong or right. We are all just trying to get to that comfortable place as best we can.

Posted by: Rebecca Wittman at September 5, 2006 4:08 PM
Comment #179319

Dr. Poshek

Ron Brown: Your posting just demonstrated both psychological characteristics of conservatives. Thank you for making my case.


I don’t know how yur twisting what I said to come to the conclusion you just did. But then I reckon you have the right to put words in my mouth if ya wanta.
Now go back and read what I really said. Not what you wanted me to say.
You wouldn’t by some chance be a shrink would ya?

Posted by: Ron Brown at September 5, 2006 11:50 PM
Comment #179326

The year is 1907…..but the speaker knew what he was talking about.
Theodore Roosevelt’s ideas on Immigrants and being an AMERICAN in 1907.

“In the first place, we should insist that if the immigrant who comes here in
good faith becomes an American and assimilates himself to us, he shall be
treated on an exact equality with everyone else, for it is an outrage to discriminate
against any such man because of creed, or birthplace, or origin. But this is
predicated upon the person’s becoming in every facet an American, and nothing
but an American…There can be no divided allegiance here. Any man who says he is
an American, but something else also, isn’t an American at all. We have room for
but one flag, the American flag… We have room for but one language here, and that
is the English language… and we have room for but one sole loyalty and that is a
loyalty to the American people.”
Theodore Roosevelt 1907
Every American citizen needs to read this!

Posted by: DAVID at September 6, 2006 12:43 AM
Comment #179338

Dr. Poshek,
Thank you for your comments, truer words were never spoken.

Posted by: j2t2 at September 6, 2006 2:02 AM
Comment #179344

Ron,
No need for Dr. Poshek to re read your comments, its the same old story - the republicans are liberals, there all liberals, everone is a liberal … well except for you, the true conservative.

Posted by: j2t2 at September 6, 2006 3:03 AM
Comment #179347

—-I would like to think we could stop with the
armature psychological evaluations, next thing we
see will be some one trying to prescribe medicine, to those who disagree with them. The
truth is, a majority of people tend to follow
their parents lead, an move from one side to the
other when their status an personal experiences
will dictate how they vote. When asked or become involved in a political debate, seldom sees, the total, honest an possibly a complete
dishonest answer, which as in my case believe my
political beliefs are mine alone, an not
subject for debate. Discussing politics, is not
the same as discussing your own personal view. Because you then begin arguing or try
defending your point of view, which becomes an
unwinnable situation. Who is the last person
you personally, converted over to your point of
view, an have that person vote for your choice
on who that person should be.

Posted by: DAVID at September 6, 2006 4:35 AM
Comment #179377

David: Absolutely, we don’t want to challenge the conservative’s delusions with objective fact. Let’s shoot the scientists and replace them with a few snake oil salespersons.

Posted by: Dr. Poshek at September 6, 2006 10:59 AM
Comment #179400

j2t2
I’m not the lone conservative. There are a lot of us out here. And not very many if any belong to the Republican Party.
I’ve told y’all several times what a conservative is. Do you see any of that in the Republican Party?

Posted by: Ron Brown at September 6, 2006 2:01 PM
Comment #179406

—Doc— I am afraid you would run out of
prescripitions.

Posted by: DAVID at September 6, 2006 2:23 PM
Comment #179456

Ron, I know your not the lone conservative, and I would agree that there are many old school Pat Buchanan type conservatives out running loose. When you call the repubs liberals, that to me is an insult to true liberals everywhere. If you were to call them fundamentalist, fascist, neo cons or such I would agree with you.

Posted by: j2t2 at September 6, 2006 6:25 PM
Comment #179508

Hey Doc

So you really aren’t worried that, what with the GOP getting into bed with the Christianists, that we could end up with some serious nutbags in major political office? What’s to keep the Religious Right from using the GOP the way the GOP uses the RR? Sorry, but that scares me much more than right wing activist judges.

L

Posted by: leatherankh at September 7, 2006 12:33 AM
Comment #179529

Dr. Poshek,

Excellent, excellent as usual. I know that in this political season, it probably seems like something you wouldn’t want to do, but I wonder if you would write something about the liberal extreme’s dangers. The reason I ask, is because for too many people the image of the Democratic party is Cindy Shehan (sp?), kissing Chavez while wearing a Che T-Shirt. Your analysis of the danger we face today, is right on the money, more dangerous than any Caliphate ambitions in Iran, more dangerous that our dependance on foreign oil, more dangerous than our runaway trade and budget deficits and I consider those as real dangers.
Thanks for your lucid, intelligent posts.

Posted by: Rene at September 7, 2006 4:17 AM
Comment #180452

i tink dis iz sooooooooooooo shit!

Posted by: sofieeeeeeee at September 11, 2006 12:07 PM
Post a comment