Tag Archives: pearl harbor

Refresh My Memory; Is Justice Kennedy the Wobbly One?

Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts prefers to dress casually in his off hours.

Last Thursday dawned bright and clear. It was shaping up to be a great day for conservatives. More than one observer — waiting for the Obamacare decision outside the Supreme Court — noticed aircraft coming in low on the horizon. Everyone assumed it was ICE drones searching for illegal aliens deserving of amnesty and a college scholarship.

But as the aircraft passed overhead the full weight of our mistake hit home. That wasn’t the Army Air Corps insignia on the underside of the wing. That circular logo was the Obama meatball and it was Pearl Harbor all over again! Obamacare was legal and conservatives were caught completely unprepared as plans to roll back Big Government exploded in their face.

Make no mistake. Chief Justice John Robert’s decision is a total, crushing and potentially unrecoverable defeat. Roberts joins with Chief Justice Roger Taney of Dred Scott fame as another Maryland chief justice responsible for a Supreme Court decision that will live in infamy.

“I always say…that if my fellow citizens want to go to Hell I will help them. It’s my job.

Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes

“It is not our job to protect the people from the consequences of their political choices.”

Chief Justice John Roberts

Justice Holmes, a crusty veteran wounded three times during the Civil War, was being cheerfully cynical. Justice Roberts, who appears to be suffering from PTSD induced by State of the Union criticism following the Citizens United decision and potential criticism prior to the Obamacare decision, is merely being pathetic.

Berkeley law professor John Yoo contends Robert’s doesn’t agree with his own ruling but intended to “pull the court out of political fight.”

Unfortunately, Robert’s job is to uphold the Constitution regardless of Democrat political pressure. His failure to do so removes one of the few remaining limits on the growth and expansion of federal power.

This type of judicial temporizing in the face of political pressure is the same thing that happened during the 1930’s. A gutless Supreme Court stood idly by while FDR and the Democrats twisted the Constitution and began the long, legislative march toward intrusive, domineering Big Government.

If conservatives had not been lulled into a false sense of security, much like radar observers at Pearl Harbor, the Robert’s decision earlier in the week to overturn most of Arizona’s illegal alien law would have served to warn us of impending problems.

Deluded optimists claim the decision was a clever rope–a–dope and now Obama has to run for re–election with Obamacare and its hidden tax hung around his neck for all the voters to see.

I don’t know what election these optimists have been watching, but the failure of Obamacare was already part of his campaign. Now, thanks to Roberts, he can run on the success of Obamacare, which serves to solidify a base that was becoming increasingly disillusioned. Protecting the fruit of this Supreme Court decision becomes a strong motivator to get out the Obama vote.

If this is a victory for conservatives, God save us from defeat.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R–KY) is already whining that it’s going to be difficult to repeal the entire law because it’s so complicated. But it doesn’t require a 2,400–page bill to repeal a 2,400–page bill. You could do it with a bill no longer than a single page. What it does require is a certain strength of will and Sen. McConnell is telling us he and the majority of Republicans in the Senate lack that will.

They would rather file a lawsuit and let the Supreme Court do the heavy lifting, an option that after last Thursday no longer exists. This, in fact, will increasingly complicate life for Congressional Republicans as an imperial presidency continues to trample the Constitution. The legislative branch can no longer delegate Constitutional protection to the Judiciary.

The second rationalization for our famous victory is that Roberts ended the abuse and misuse of the Commerce clause. But that’s wrong, too. As Rick Richman notes in the Commentary blog: “Part III-A of the Roberts opinion – concluding the Obamacare mandate was not valid under the Commerce Clause – was not in the portion of his opinion that represents the opinion of the Court.” Which means the Commerce portion does not set or overturn precedent.

What a difference a week makes. Last Thursday a powerful conservative fleet was ready to weigh anchor. Eager to catch the high tide of the Obamacare decision and sail to victory in the fall. Today we’re tapping on the barnacle–encrusted hulls of capsized battleships trying to find survivors.

Some are using hammers. Me? I’m using my head.

Pearl Harbor and American Exceptionalism

Why We Fight, the film series directed by Frank Capra back during a time when Hollywood still believed in American exceptionalism, is a fascinating watch. The reason for this is simple – during World War II we knew who we were, we knew who our enemies were and weren’t afraid to identify them.

These days we, as Americans, have become unsure of ourselves. Besides for the fact that we’re unwilling to identify our enemies, we are no longer sure of who we are as Americans. There has been a move away from the basic American concept that no matter your upbringing, religious or political leanings, race, or sex — that you can achieve success. Even more disturbing is the concept that someone else owes you something – not for working, not for services rendered, but instead simply because they have something that you don’t.

What made the Greatest Generation great wasn’t only that they marched off to war to save the world from the Axis Powers, but that they didn’t expect anything handed to them. They earned everything that came their way. These days, to watch the “occupiers” on television, complaining that their college degrees aren’t earning them top dollar, one would imagine that those of the Greatest Generation would tell them to ‘get real’. The men and women of that generation sacrificed for all of us – many of them without a higher education – for us to be able to take our freedoms for granted.

This Pearl Harbor Day let us take a moment to thank those of the Greatest Generation for not only extinguishing a great evil but for also showing us the selflessness they demonstrated when they worked long and hard hours in jobs they may not have found “satisfying” in order for their children to live a better life. Rather than complain about what we are supposedly ‘owed’, let us rediscover what has historically made us great. Alexis de Toqueville, writing in 1831, coined the phrase “American exceptionalism”, defining it as the ideals of liberty, equality, individualism, the common person free from a ruling class, and private business free from over-regulation.

These ideals, dating back to early America, are the keystones to our greatness. We must shake off the nonsense that we are no longer the America that our grandparents fought for abroad and at home by re-educating ourselves in our history and orienting our compasses accordingly.

It’s time to build on the strong foundation that the Greatest Generation left us. It’s time to rediscover American greatness.

Of Infamy and Liberty: 70 Years of an Exceptional America

A quiet Sunday morning in paradise.  Balmy and breezy.  The entire world seemed so far away; all the anguish, the uncertainty, the conflict.  But here, here it is different.  Deep blue ocean in every direction.  There’s no depression here, no soup lines, no stock market crashes, just….. peace.

The generation we have come to know as the “greatest” saw that fleeting peace washed away with the low ominous buzz of the Japanese fleet. Wave after wave of Zeros mercilessly pounded their targets, burning both flesh and metal into cinder.  Panic gripped those who were trained not to panic – there was no training scenario that would prepare any of these men and women for a situation so unthinkable.

December 7, 1941

November 22, 1963

September 11, 2001

Among others, these are dates that stand out in the memory of every American over the age of about 5 at the time of their occurrences.  Days of infamy.

Yet it was this day, 70 years ago and half a world away that shoved America and the rest of the world into an era that historians have and will continue to mark as a worldwide turning point.

Seventy years.  The Bible speaks of 70 years as the portion of life for a man (a strong man, 80).  It took little over 70 years for the grandest of totalitarian experiments, the Soviet Union, to rise, develop, prosper, challenge and eventually falter.  It was approximately years from the 1st coming of a long prophesied Messiah in a lowly manger to the seemingly permanent disbandment of that’s Messiah’s chosen people, who only recently were pulled from the ash heap of history to become a nation once again.

America – a nation that, already had been put to the canvas by a depression, had spent the next years avoiding the “10 count” only to have the enemy deliver a knockdown blow with such force, that most would have stayed down and accepted defeat.

But America refused to throw in the towel.  In fact, she responded to the clarion call with what strength she had left.  Soon fighting on 2 fronts, it was the determination of a nation that refused to see the light of liberty doused by the onslaught of evil.  We fought, we built, we tore down, we survived, we thrived…. We won.

Our enemies, then and now, saw us (see us) as weak because of our liberty, but over the past 70 years, America has proven to be its strongest when we embrace those liberties.  Rather than it be a dividing force, it unifies us when virtually all other issues divide us and any attempt to take those liberties away only serves to ground us in who we truly are – an exceptional country.

Considering what has transpired over the decades since that horrific morning at Pearl, one has to ask, what would the world be like if America had stayed down?

What country would have developed the first atomic bomb?  Would it have been used to preserve peace or to conquer a globe?  What about the jet engine?  The first steps into the “final frontier”?  How many countries would be long since dust had our flame been extinguished?  Those afore mentioned people, chosen of God?  Would there be a coalition of nations whose mission (at least then) was not to conquer the world, but to unite it?

Many who were alive during that period of test and triumph (as well as those who came along after) see the destruction at Pearl and wish it wouldn’t have happened.  And as no amount of hoping would ever change what is set in history, one has to wonder if we could have survived the inevitable heartbreaks that life continued to hand to us?  Could we have survived the slaying of a national leader in the height of a cold war just waiting to heat up without the brand of Pearl Harbor still fresh in our memory?  Would 19 men with box cutters been successful at toppling a nation, much less the Trade Towers, without the image of the USS Arizona in her final resting place below the sea?

For most of the 7 billion people on Terra Firma, tomorrow will simply be…. Wednesday.  But for Americans, the day of infamy should be much more than just another time to stop briefly to remember an event of mass human tragedy.  For the 4% of us blessed to live in this land (as well as most of the other 7 billion), Pearl Harbor Day should be a day to celebrate liberty – as much or even more so than on Independence Day.  July 4th may be the day we declared liberty, but December 7, 1941 was the day we stood up to defend it.