Elections are choices between or among candidates, none of whom is perfect. Compared to perfect, President Bush naturally comes up short. Compared to the titular head of the Democrat Party (and chief insulter of his fellow Americans in military service since he left Vietnam), President Bush stands tall and Senator Kerry looks very small. The mainstream media regularly report President Bush's approval rating, but never report whether the voters wish they had elected Senator John Kerry instead. There's a reason for that.
As in other years, the key to Republican electoral success this year is pointing out that the Democrat alternative is much worse, not claiming that the Republicans have done everything right (especially when the Senate filibuster meant that obstructionist Senate Democrats could block legislation wanted by Republicans, who had a majority but not a filibuster-proof majority).
Republicans have been talking about terrorism and taxes, on which their performance has been superb (despite many Democrats)
MORE is need.
MORE is available.
MORE is judges.
America is supposed to have a strict constructionist federal judiciary.
Former President Clinton put judicial activists on the federal bench. Examples: ACLU heroine Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Ted Kennedy's Stephen G. Breyer, Associate Justices of the United States Supreme Court.
President Bush has led the way back toward a strict constructionist judiciary, but there is much more to do and, without enough Republican Senators, progress will be through.
Wendy E. Long, general counsel of The Judicial Confirmation Network, splendidly explained what is at stake and why: "A liberal minority needs federal judges to advance their agenda — allowing child pornography as free speech, mandating same-sex marriage, removing 'under God' from the Pledge of Allegiance, banning school prayer and preventing the death penalty for murderers and terrorists — because they can't win these issues at the ballot box." Democrats will block judicial nominees who will undo the damage their judicial activists did if there are enough Democrats.
The Democrat alternative to strict constructionist judges is activist judges like Judge Anna Diggs Taylor, a Democrat who ridiculously ruled this year that the vital terrorist surveillance program is neither lawful nor constitutional when it is both and whose ruling has been stayed by a federal appellate court
What President Bush and Congressional Republicans have done right includes putting strict constructionists on the federal bench, including Chief Justice John Roberts and Associate Justice Samuel A. Alito, Jr.
If there are more Republican Senators instead of less, there will be more strict constructionists receiving the up-0r-down vote on the Senate floor to which judicial nominees are entitled.
Replacing Republican Senators like Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania, Mike DeWine of Ohio, Jim Talent of Missouri, George Allen of Virginia or Conrad Burns of Montana with their Democrat rivals would result in even more Democrat obstructionism. So would Tennessee sending a Democrat instead of a Republican to replace retiring Republican Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist.
Republicans have only themselves to blame for not campaigning on the judiciary issue sooner and harder. It works well for Republicans, as it should! Example: In 2004, Tom Daschle of South Dakota, the Senate Democrat leader lost his seat, largely because he led the Democrat effort to stop judicial nominees of President Bush from receiving the up-or-down vote to which they are entitled under the Constitution (which provides for approval by a simple majority, not a super majority).
At last, President Bush is talking about judges again! Result: Senator Burns of Montana, pronounced politically dead long ago by pollsters and pundits, is poised to be re-elected to a fourth term by the values voters of Montana (while RINO (Republican in Name Only) Senator Lincoln Chafee of Rhode Island, who voted against the confirmation of now Justice Alito, looks like a political corpse.
In addition to terrorism and taxes, it's also the judges and the traditional American values that strict constructionist judges protect by actually fulfilling their oath of office.
The secular extremist left dominates the mainstream media and campaigns constantly. It pretends that the First Amendment states "There shall be separation of church and state" and God and religious values must stay in churches, synagogues, temples and mosques."
In fact, the First Amendment begins: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof...."
The First Amendment was designed to prohibit a national religion, not to exclude God and religious values from the public arena.
We need judges who acknowledge that instead of pretend that America is supposed to be neutral between religion and irreligion.
Will the secular extremist left's campaign to suppress the conservative vote succeed?
May God forbid!
Columnist Cal Thomas used the tough love approach with conservatives who are upset that some things were not done and some things were not done well in a recent column:
"Conservatives who are upset that Republicans haven’t done enough during their 12 years in control of the House and Senate and nearly six years in control of the White House need a slap in the face.
"Republicans may have controlled all three branches of government, but conservatives haven’t. If conservatives believe enough has not been done to advance their agenda, let them work to elect more conservatives, not hand control of Congress over to a party controlled by far-left liberals who have no intention of moderating their tone or watering down their beliefs after the election.
"One issue should trump all others for conservatives: judges. As Manuel Miranda of Third Branch writes in Human Events, 'If the GOP loses the Senate, precedent shows that more than 60 Bush judicial nominees will never get a Judiciary Committee hearing under the chairmanship of Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.). Republicans will be unable to stop a filibuster of a next Supreme Court nominee and countless circuit court picks. This will dwarf Democrats’ past six years of obstruction.'
"Liberals have used the courts for decades to bypass the public will and impose a secular agenda on the country. If they win control of the Senate, their current leadership will be emboldened to continue that practice. Any judge who manages to make it onto the bench will most likely be of the judicial philosophy of Anthony Kennedy and David Souter. Republican presidents named both men because they thought it would be easier to win the approval of Senate Democrats. Neither turned out to be conservative, despite the White House sales job to conservative groups."
Mr. Thomas is right.
Senator Elizabeth Dole, Republican of North Carolina, is warning that a Democrat-Controlled Senate would be disastrous for judicial nominees:
"About this time last year, Sen. Chuck Schumer (D.-N.Y.) said something that has stuck with me ever since I read about it. He was showing off his hand-picked Pennsylvania Senate candidate, Bob Casey Jr., trying to convince liberal power players that Casey’s pro-life stance wouldn’t 'be a problem.' When addressing the Democrat caucus, Schumer said: 'There’s no worry on judges. … And judges is the whole ball of wax.' For once, Chuck was right: judges are the whole ball of wax.
"While Congress has the constitutional responsibility to make important policy decisions, our actions can also be quickly modified or terminated by subsequent legislation. Judges, however, make nearly irreversible decisions that can influence the nation for decades. Confirming bad judges or preventing good ones from taking the bench can have devastating consequences for generations. I truly believe that handing Democrats control of the U.S. Senate would have a disastrous impact on our judiciary, would put President Bush’s excellent nominees at risk, and would have enduring, unforeseen effects. The stakes are that high.
"Unfortunately, many Democrats believe that the proper role of a judge is to craft solutions to society’s perceived ills by legislating from the bench. The notion of an unelected few creating laws at their own pleasure while hog-tying legislatures doesn’t seem like democracy to me. Rather, it is a system designed to give liberal elites—who know the American people do not share their worldview—an end run around democracy. Reshaping the judiciary is the last refuge of liberals, their last hope to inflict their agenda on the American people. If they can’t get elected on their platform, liberals are willing to impose it from the bench.
"Liberal activist judges such as those in Massachusetts (and now New Jersey) have refused to defend marriage and are attacking traditional values. Leftist-dominated courts are engaged in an effort to remove all references to God from the public arena. And even the U.S. Supreme Court sanctioned the forced sale of private property to the government without a clearly defined public use. America cannot afford more liberal activist judges, and it cannot afford a Democrat Senate that will prevent good judges from taking the bench.
"As with their positions on economic and security policy, Democrats know the American people do not support their vision of the role of judges. That’s why Democrats are employing what I like to call their 'Trojan Horse' strategy. Instead of telling the truth about what a Democrat majority would do to our judiciary, Democrats either ignore the issue or speak in bland generalities. Remember 'no-problem-on-judges' Bob Casey Jr.? Well, nowhere on the 'issue' section of his campaign website is the subject of judges even mentioned (nor for that matter is abortion).
"Democrats are betting that the American people will simply hand them the keys to the Senate, and not think about what that might mean for our judiciary. But we only need to look at the Democrat record to see what they would do with their majority. Over the last six years, Democrats opposed qualified nominees and made a mockery of the confirmation process. The effort to derail the nominations of John Roberts and Samuel Alito, two of the most qualified Supreme Court nominees ever to come before the Senate, showed just how far out of the mainstream Senate Democrats really are. Not only did Harry Reid vote against both nominees, he also voted to filibuster Samuel Alito. In fact, during the last two Congresses, Harry Reid voted 22 times to filibuster the President’s appellate court nominees.
"And, of course, we cannot forget the last time Democrats held the Senate majority. During his two years at the helm of the Judiciary Committee, then-Chairman Pat Leahy (D.-Vt.) blocked nominee after nominee (28 of them never even received votes). Returning him to the chairmanship and making Harry Reid majority leader would turn the Senate into a dead end for President Bush’s nominees.
"It is so very important that conservatives vote this Tuesday to prevent Harry Reid from playing an even greater role in the confirmation process. Simply put, a Democrat Senate would leave the right kind of judges—those who adhere to the principle of judicial restraint—sitting on the sidelines while their nominations die in committee or on the Senate floor. Without those judges on the bench, our country has little hope of protecting our shared traditions and values. Like Chuck Schumer said, judges are the whole ball of wax."
Senator Dole is right.
When the voters focus on that reality, Republican election prospects wax and Democrat election prospects wane.
Michael J. Gaynor has been practicing law in New York since 1973. A former partner at Fulton, Duncombe & Rowe and Gaynor & Bass, he is a solo practitioner admitted to practice in New York state and federal courts and an Association of the Bar of the City of New York member.
Gaynor graduated magna cum laude, with Honors in Social Science, from Hofstra University's New College, and received his J.D. degree from St. John's Law School, where he won the American Jurisprudence Award in Evidence and served as an editor of the Law Review and the St. Thomas More Institute for Legal Research. He wrote on the Pentagon Papers case for the Review and obscenity law for The Catholic Lawyer and edited the Law Review's commentary on significant developments in New York law.
The day after graduating, Gaynor joined the Fulton firm, where he focused on litigation and corporate law. In 1997 Gaynor and Emily Bass formed Gaynor & Bass and then conducted a general legal practice, emphasizing litigation, and represented corporations, individuals and a New York City labor union. Notably, Gaynor & Bass prevailed in the Second Circuit in a seminal copyright infringement case, Tasini v. New York Times, against newspaper and magazine publishers and Lexis-Nexis. The U.S. Supreme Court affirmed, 7 to 2, holding that the copyrights of freelance writers had been infringed when their work was put online without permission or compensation.
Gaynor currently contributes regularly to www.MichNews.com, www.RenewAmerica.com, www.WebCommentary.com, www.PostChronicle.com and www.therealitycheck.org and has contributed to many other websites. He has written extensively on political and religious issues, notably the Terry Schiavo case, the Duke "no rape" case, ACORN and canon law, and appeared as a guest on television and radio. He was acknowledged in Until Proven Innocent, by Stuart Taylor and KC Johnson, and Culture of Corruption, by Michelle Malkin. He appeared on "Your World With Cavuto" to promote an eBay boycott that he initiated and "The World Over With Raymond Arroyo" (EWTN) to discuss the legal implications of the Schiavo case. On October 22, 2008, Gaynor was the first to report that The New York Times had killed an Obama/ACORN expose on which a Times reporter had been working with ACORN whistleblower Anita MonCrief.