Thursday, October 28, 2004


Progressive Circumvention of the US Constitution

Foreign and domestic threats to constitutional govenrment in the US are merging. The Clintons hope to capitalize on this.

This article covers a disturbing speech delivered by Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor at Georgetown Law School. (More here.) From the article:
(O'Connor) said recognizing international law could foster more civilized societies in the United States and abroad. ``International law is a help in our search for a more peaceful world,'' she said.

She goes on to say that "judges would be negligent if they disregarded the growing role of international law in U.S. courts."

The hubris she displays is astonishing, though it is common among judges. Where in the Constitution does it say anything about the role of 'international law' in US courts? What business is it of US courts to 'help in our search' for a more peaceful world? And why does she presume a more peaceful world is necessarily desirable right now? Isn't that a judgement to be made by the American people via their elected representatives? A great many Americans, including our president, certainly don't think this is desirable goal at this particular point in time, though many foreigners clearly disagree. Who's view does she think should prevail?

The conduct of foreign policy is the exclusive province of the executive branch. The courts should butt out. And if Congress or the State legislatures want to incorporate ideas and trends from abroad into American law, that is their prerogative. They are directly accountable to the people. That is the way our system of government was designed, as enshrined in our constitution. As far as the courts are concerned, international opinion should be utterly irrevelant.

But this offends many elites. They see the constitution as inconvenient when it acts as an impediment toward some desired (progressive) goal they have for humanity which, for some unfathomable reason, they believe we should all be working toward; it's a singlular view of a unified world. This is especially true of Democrats, as articulated in a June 2003 Der Spiegel interview with Hillary Clinton:
Praising her husband's close relationship with European leaders during his period in office, Clinton declared that "for eight years we were on the right course to a globalized and integrated world - which is coming, one way or the other."

Clinton publicly revealed the foreign policy thrust of the Democratic Party in a remarkable moment of candor, a position Democratic leaders have not made clear to the public, but which is keenly understood and supported by Clinton.

Not only is a "globalized and integrated world" inevitable, it is a foreign policy priority of the Democratic Party.

According to Clinton, a single, unified world "is a perspective we Democrats have not successfully made clear."

As this election (regardless of the outcome) has demonstrated, it is clear that a great many Democrats have concluded the American political system no longer works for them. It has become obvious that their ideology is an electoral loser. This is why they have sought to circumvent the democratic process by using the courts to try to advance their agenda. In similar fashion, they have begun looking to international organizations dominated by their ideological soulmates to form political alliances, a trend welcomed by the much of the world. In this way, the fight over the Iraq war is a portent of the future.

The Clintons have spent the past eight years (at least) preparing to take advantage of this situation. Their joint aspiration is to become the most powerful political duo in world history. Together they have created a substantial domestic and international political following and established a safe power base in Hillarly's US Senate seat. Bill has cultivated an image, rooted in his actions as US President, of a successful American leader foreign governments can trust. The idea is to create a coalition of internationalist elites and disaffected Democrats which, when combined with the support of foreign governments that view the Clintons as the perfect anecdote to the frightful American electorate, can give Bill the political support necessary to become, functionally, President of the World.

Ideally, this would be achieved through a Hillary Presidency, though it could still be very effective in practice if Bill were to assume world power while Hillary is a leading figure in the US Senate. There are any mumber of ways they could try to accomplish this. It is a frightening prospect: An American (or two?) more powerful than the president with limited constitutional constraints on his/her (their) exercise of power.

The US Constitution is responsible for unprecedented power and prosperity we've achieved as a nation. It is our ultimate source of strength. But there is an ever growing list of constituencies - from internationalists who resent the role it plays as a bulwark against their influence here, to foreign govenments who see America's increasing power as a threat, to our own domestic elites who see it as an antiquated constraint on progressive policies - who want to establish mechanisms to circumvent our Constitution or ignore it outright. It is an existential threat to our nation. Even if the Clinton's ambitions are frustrated, this problem isn't going to disappear any time soon. One way or another, it is likely to get much, much worse.


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