Politics: April 2012 Archives

Vice President Joe Biden said yesterday, quoting Mitt Romney, "If we want someone who has a lot of experience in foreign policy, we can simply go to the State Department. ... that’s not how we choose a President. A President is not a foreign policy expert." Biden then went on to criticize this, saying that -- apparently, since it's all that Romney said -- a President should have a lot of experience in foreign policy, and should be a foreign policy expert.

Therefore, Biden said Obama should never have been President, since he had even less foreign policy experience than Romney's got.

(In fairness, to Biden, he wasn't actually saying that, because he wasn't actually responding to what Romney actually said, but instead lying about what Romney said, inventing this idea that Romney was implying other people should make the foreign policy decisions for the President. But no, what Romney actually said was exactly what Bush and Obama said when running for office, and what they did as President: that you listen to the actual experts, and you as President make the choices.)

The Seattle Times reports that someone donated too much money to John Koster's campaign. This sort of thing literally happens all the time, and when they find out about it -- as they do when they reconcile the books -- they fix it, either by returning it, or (as is the case here) attributing the money to someone else (in this case, the donor's wife).

Koster's campaign literally did nothing wrong. In fact, they did everything right. So this literally isn't even a story. It's just a way to tie Koster to anti-abortion activists, Citizens United (ooo! hate!), and people who have "poured more than million dollars" [sic] into Tim Eyman initiatives. The article, purportedly about a campaign finance violation, is just an ideological wink-and-a-nod toward liberal voters.

The left counters, "but these are just facts." Sure, but they are very selectively chosen facts: they only mention three donors, each of them designed to inflame liberals, all in the context of a "story" about someone donating too much money, without choosing to note the fact that this happens in all large campaigns (Obama had thousands of donors who exceeded contribution limits in 2008; presumably, all or most of that was refunded or reallocated).

People keep saying Obama said it was "judicial activism" for "an unelected group of people" to "overturn a ... law." He did not. He said it was judicial activism for an "uninelected" group of people to overturn a law.

"[Obama is] a brilliant constitutional lawyer deeply devoted to the rule of law ..." So says Laurence Tribe. I am unconvinced.

I don't see any evidence Obama is a brilliant constitutional lawyer. He sure is a lawyer, but being a professor doesn't make you brilliant, or any sort of expert. And I see plenty of evidence that his understanding of the Constitution is extremely weak.

Worse, though, I am thoroughly convinced that Obama not only is not devoted to the rule of law, but that he actively *hates* the rule of law. The rule of law is what says the government is extremely limited. Obama clearly believes in ignoring that rule of law, and he does it all the time, whether it is banning handguns in DC, illegally wiretapping, ordering companies to comply with nonlegal memoranda, or forcing all Americans to buy health insurance.

Indeed, in his inaugural address -- and many times since -- he came right out and said he puts practicality above legality, and chided us who believe otherwise as "cynics" with "stale political arguments." Sure, he didn't say "practicality above legality": but that's what he clearly meant when he said, "The question we ask today is not whether our government is too big or too small, but whether it works," because -- as a brilliant constitutional lawyer -- Obama knows the argument about governmnent being too big is largely based on the Tenth Amendment.

Ignoring Tribe's laughable claim that it is a "fact" that "precedent and historical practice alike would lead a suitably cautious court to uphold rather than overturn" the Affordable Care Act, when in actual fact the Court has in recent years forced the government to back up its claims that the law or precedent justifies particular questionable exercises of power, and almost everyone seems to agree that the Solicitor General failed in that task ... it's nevertheless transparently dishonest when Tribe shrugs off Obama's repeated criticisms of the Supreme Court while attacking Judge Smith's criticism of Obama.

I agree that Smith was wrong, as I mentioned recently: he has no authority to order the DOJ to even write that letter, let alone get involved in what is clearly a purely political exercise by the President. Yes, Obama should shut his trap about the Court while they are deliberating instead of trying to rally the public against them. But our judges should stay above Obama's lowball tactics.

There will be two different WA-1 elections on the same primary and general election ballots in August and November, for some people at least. Voters in the current WA-1 vote for someone to finish out Jay Inslee's term (basically, December) and then the voters in the new WA-1 (because of redistricting) vote for someone who will start the new term in January.

Of course, some of the same candidates will be running for both positions, but since the primary is "top two" for both, we might not have the same people on the general for both, especially since the old WA-1 is very different from the new one. The new one is much more rural than the old one, and -- as a new resident of WA-1 myself -- I look to a change in party control when John Koster -- way ahead in a recent poll -- wins the seat for the new term. But he very well may not be able to win the remainder of Inslee's term, because those will be largely different voters.

The worst thing is that Inslee could have avoided this if he had resigned a week earlier, and he knew that at the time. Some think Inslee should be required to pay the cost. That's silly, of course, but with Governor Gregoire saying, "It is important that the people of the 1st District have representation, especially in December when key votes on matters that affect our state may need to be cast," you'd think she could have had a few words for their lack of representation from most of March through November.

<pudge/*> (pronounced "PudgeGlob") is thousands of posts over many years by Pudge.

"It is the common fate of the indolent to see their rights become a prey to the active. The condition upon which God hath given liberty to man is eternal vigilance; which condition if he break, servitude is at once the consequence of his crime and the punishment of his guilt."

About this Archive

This page is a archive of entries in the Politics category from April 2012.

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