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Tuesday, January 24, 2006


Senator Leahy Thinks You Are Stupid

Vermont's Senator, Patrick Leahy, gave us his reasons for voting against the confirmation of Judge Sameul Alito for the Supreme Court on the 24th of January. ( Click here for full text) After reading the remarks as published, one cannot help but imagine that Leahy feels anyone hearing his remarks must not be smart enough to see that he is a blatant liar. Further, he must imagine that those same people are so stupid that they will not be able to look up simple historical facts easily enough to see where he is lying.

I don't usually like to come right out and say that this politician or that is an outright liar, but it just cannot be avoided with so many of today's crop of say-anything-to-win Democrats. And Leahy is one of the worst demagogues they have.

It is always lamentable when politicians treat us as if we were all dolts.

First of all, much of Leahy's speech was time wasted on issues not germane to the Alito nomination. A large portion was simply blatant advertisements for his many off topic resolutions and agendas that he has been pushing since 9/11.

But he started out right off the bat with a major lie.

"This is a critical nomination, one that can tip the balance on the Supreme Court radically away from constitutional checks and balances and the protection of Americans’ fundamental rights."

Was Leahy absent during the confirmation hearings? Or was he one of the cadre of Democratic Senators who couldn’t be bothered to stay through all the testimony about Alito's character offered by past acquaintances from both ends of the political spectrum? If he had stayed he would have realized that there is no proof, not even a hint, that Alito desires to move the Court away from a protection of fundamental rights.

Next, Leahy launched into his partisan claims that US citizens have lost fundamental rights because of Bush’s activities since 9/11. Typically, though, he offers no specifics just presenting his claims to be fact.

Leahy goes on to subtly try to recast the Supreme Court's role in the US system. In a subtle comment he attempts to cause the American people to imagine that the SCOTUS has a simple role to "serve as an effective constitutional check on the presidency".

But, while the SCOTUS does have this role as a part of its venue, it is not the sole reason it exists. In fact, it is one of its lesser roles, the main role being to review laws passed by Congress and the states to determine if those laws abide by the Constitution. So, the SCOTUS serves as a check on Congress and the states and the laws they craft to govern the country much more often than it serves as a check on the president.

Further on, Leahy shows that truth and fact will never enter into an argument posed by the good Senator. He continues to posit the lie that Alito enjoyed seeing a child “strip searched”.

Leahy said, "We know Judge Alito would have excused the strip search of a 10-year-old girl that was not expressly authorized by the search warrant."

Leahy knows this is a lie, but he uses this for partisan effect anyway. First of all, a truthful reading of the case in question (Doe v. Groody) proves that the child in the case was not "strip searched". Further, the concept of "good faith" requests by police for search warrants vindicates the search of the child who was suspected of having drugs hidden upon her person by her own drug dealing Father.

Alito also answered to this case in the confirmation hearings. "I wasn't happy that a 10-year-old was searched", he said. He continued with: "I don't think there should be a Fourth Amendment rule ... that minors can never be searched. Because if we had a rule like that, then where would drug dealers hide their drugs?"

Apparently, Leahy is just fine with drug dealers being allowed to use children to hide illegal drug stashes from searches by police. Leahy would "excuse" this child abuse as long as it serves to knock down a Bush appointment.

If it wasn't enough for Leahy to misquote Alito's intentions on the non-existent "strip search" question, he also had to reach back further into history and misquote one of our Founders. Leahy misuses Ben Franklin’s famous admonition that, "Those who would give up an essential liberty for temporary security, deserve neither liberty or security."

Franklin's warning words would be apropos if Leahy could have followed his usage up with any "essential liberty" that US citizens have lost under this president. However, using the quote as a simple form of demagoguery is all Leahy leaves us with.

Leahy next attempts to claim "This President has made some of the most expansive claims of power since American patriots fought the war of independence".

I hate to say it, but we have here another outright lie. Bush's actions in wartime pale in comparison to the abusive use of presidential power of past presidents. Lincoln, Wilson and FDR, just to name three, used their emergency powers much more energetically in wartime than has Bush. And Leahy knows this to be a fact. He is merely attempting to purposefully mislead anyone who reads his remarks in a effort to hurt the Bush Administration.

Now, here is the segment that many writers have focused on re Leahy's ridiculous comments and it is another area with which we can discover Leahy's lies.

"No President should be allowed to pack the courts, and especially the Supreme Court, with nominees selected to enshrine presidential claims of government power."

Here is a sly allusion to the court-packing scheme that FDR conceived in the late 1930's to force the Supreme Court to accede to his New Deal policies, policies that were being knocked down by the SCOTUS one by one.

But, FDR actually attempted to create additional seats on the Court thereby enlarging the Court, seats he would stuff with judges who would vocally support his policies. Bush, on the other hand, is only filling positions that have naturally become open with retirements and deaths of sitting justices. There is no “packing” scheme in the offing today. Further, we must all realize that Bush ahs only made two nominations which is a far cry for “packing” anything.

Further, every president has a right to offer candidates that he feels will support the correct principles of American jurisprudence and those correct ideas will surly be the ideas to which the president himself adheres and nearly every president, to a man, has made such nominations. There is simply nothing out of the ordinary here and Leahy also knows this.

It is sad that we are in an era where Democrats know no limits to using outright lies to further their political aims. In years past, a Supreme Court nomination was considered one of such importance that injecting "politics" into the process was thought to be improper.

Apparently, to Democrats today, nothing is sacred.

By Warner Todd Huston
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