A Stalin like theocracy? They want to impeach a Reagan Appointee
via eschaton and coldfury
A Stalinist Theocracy, Advocating Murder-and Hell Draws Closer
No, a Stalinist theocracy is not a contradiction. Too many people still make the mistake of thinking that atheism was central to communism. But of course, it wasn't: collectivism was the essence of communism (and of socialism, and of fascism too)—the idea that the individual is of no consequence, and that the "public good" and the "national welfare" trump everything else. More broadly: a belief in God is only one form of irrationalism—and there are many others, including collectivism itself (in any of its many forms).
So you can be a full-blown collectivist and believe in God, as many tyrants from history have demonstrated. And in the wake of the Schiavo affair, we now see one version of this thoroughly repellent and vicious combination—and we also see explicitly what certain elements of the GOP are after:
Supreme Court Justice Anthony M. Kennedy is a fairly accomplished jurist, but he might want to get himself a good lawyer—and perhaps a few more bodyguards.
Conservative leaders meeting in Washington yesterday for a discussion of "Remedies to Judicial Tyranny" decided that Kennedy, a Ronald Reagan appointee, should be impeached, or worse.
Phyllis Schlafly, doyenne of American conservatism, said Kennedy's opinion forbidding capital punishment for juveniles "is a good ground of impeachment." ...
Next, Michael P. Farris, chairman of the Home School Legal Defense Association, said Kennedy "should be the poster boy for impeachment" for citing international norms in his opinions. "If our congressmen and senators do not have the courage to impeach and remove from office Justice Kennedy, they ought to be impeached as well."
Not to be outdone, lawyer-author Edwin Vieira told the gathering that Kennedy should be impeached because his philosophy, evidenced in his opinion striking down an anti-sodomy statute, "upholds Marxist, Leninist, satanic principles drawn from foreign law."
Ominously, Vieira continued by saying his "bottom line" for dealing with the Supreme Court comes from Joseph Stalin. "He had a slogan, and it worked very well for him, whenever he ran into difficulty: 'no man, no problem,' " Vieira said.
The full Stalin quote, for those who don't recognize it, is "Death solves all problems: no man, no problem." Presumably, Vieira had in mind something less extreme than Stalin did and was not actually advocating violence. But then, these are scary times for the judiciary. An anti-judge furor may help confirm President Bush's judicial nominees, but it also has the potential to turn ugly.
The conference was organized during the height of the Schiavo controversy by a new group, the Judeo-Christian Council for Constitutional Restoration. This was no collection of fringe characters. The two-day program listed two House members; aides to two senators; representatives from the Family Research Council and Concerned Women for America; conservative activists Alan Keyes and Morton C. Blackwell; the lawyer for Terri Schiavo's parents; Alabama's "Ten Commandments" judge, Roy Moore; and DeLay, who canceled to attend the pope's funeral.
Schlafly called for passage of a quartet of bills in Congress that would remove courts' power to review religious displays, the Pledge of Allegiance, same-sex marriage and the Boy Scouts. Her speech brought a subtle change in the argument against the courts from emphasizing "activist" judges—it was, after all, inaction by federal judges that doomed Schiavo—to "supremacist" judges. "The Constitution is not what the Supreme Court says it is," Schlafly asserted.
Former representative William Dannemeyer (R-Calif.) followed Schlafly, saying the country's "principal problem" is not Iraq or the federal budget but whether "we as a people acknowledge that God exists."
Farris then told the crowd he is "sick and tired of having to lobby people I helped get elected." A better-educated citizenry, he said, would know that "Medicare is a bad idea" and that "Social Security is a horrible idea when run by the government." Farris said he would block judicial power by abolishing the concept of binding judicial precedents, by allowing Congress to vacate court decisions, and by impeaching judges such as Kennedy, who seems to have replaced Justice David H. Souter as the target of conservative ire. "If about 40 of them get impeached, suddenly a lot of these guys would be retiring," he said.
Vieira, a constitutional lawyer who wrote "How to Dethrone the Imperial Judiciary," escalated the charges, saying a Politburo of "five people on the Supreme Court" has a "revolutionary agenda" rooted in foreign law and situational ethics. Vieira, his eyeglasses strapped to his head with black elastic, decried the "primordial illogic" of the courts.
Invoking Stalin, Vieira delivered the "no man, no problem" line twice for emphasis. "This is not a structural problem we have; this is a problem of personnel," he said. "We are in this mess because we have the wrong people as judges."
No one has any excuse at this point for not understanding what these people want: the ideas offered by Schlafly and Farris, for example—gutting the courts' ability to review all those cases which relate in any way to the separation of church and state, "abolishing the concept of binding judicial precedents" and the like—would fundamentally alter, and destroy, the nature of the United States as a political entity. And the notion that Americans "as a people" must "acknowledge that God exists" states the essence of theocratic governance as plainly as any Islamic fundamentalist could wish.
Certain critics of our foreign policy sometimes say (correctly) that "they're over here because we're over there" (referring obviously to the attacks of 9/11 and our Middle East interventions over the past half century or more—and, as I always have to add to avoid baseless attacks on this perspective, this is not offered as a justification for the 9/11 attacks, but as an explanation of some of their causes). We can now employ a variant of that phrase: "The true enemy of the United States is not over there—it's right here in our midst." Some of us have been saying this for quite some time.
And the laudatory references to Stalin—Stalin, one of the handful of bloodiest dictators and murderers in all of mankind's history—are unforgivable. From this news account, it appears that Vieira made those references not once, but twice—and apparently without objection or condemnation from anyone else present. Moreover, Vieira specifically praised Stalin's methods—methods which included mass starvation, torture, and murder on an inconceivable scale.
If anyone were to murder a judge at this point and "justify" his act by relying on the noxious kinds of ideas offered at this conference, Vieira could legitimately be viewed as guilty of incitement, certainly in moral terms, if not in strictly legal ones. And the same would be true of anyone else who heard those remarks, and who did not make his objection known in some form.
This causes me to repeat my brief summary of the historical pattern, which I first offered in connection with similar threats against the judiciary:
Remember the pattern from history: first, introduce the idea tentatively, with perhaps only one person in public life broaching it; second, other public figures condemn the idea, while it simultaneously becomes more common as part of the national conversation; third, another faux "outrage" is orchestrated and public emotion deliberately stoked once more—and people begin to wonder, "Remember that idea we thought was crazy? Maybe it wasn't so crazy after all... "; fourth, people begin to think, "Well, we don't want to do it, but if they refuse to do the right thing... " (in fact, we've already seen this one with regard to freedom of the press, offered by a very prominent warblogger—so perhaps we're farther down this road than even I had thought); and finally, a sufficient number of people "reluctantly" conclude that the original idea isn't only not crazy—it's the least those bastards deserve.
And then we've arrived in hell.
The fact that we are not now hearing widespread condemnation of the ideas and the murderous methods advocated at this conference leads to one inescapable conclusion: hell is much closer than perhaps any of us had thought.
At this point, and given another national "crisis," real or manufactured, it might be just around the corner.
This entry was posted on Saturday, April 9th, 2005 at 12:13 pm and is filed under U.S. Politics, Cultural Issues, Current Events. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Responses are currently closed, but you can trackback from your own site.
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