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April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review July 25, 2005 / 18 Tammuz, 5765

Dems had their chance to pick justice

By Mark Steyn


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Thoughtful Democrats — the rarest birds on the endangered species list — might want to ponder this: "Another hanging chad has dropped. His name is John G. Roberts Jr., and he undoubtedly will turn out to be opposed to abortion rights, affirmative action, an expansive view of federal powers and a reading of the Constitution that takes a properly suspicious view of the state's embrace of religion. In these and other matters — the death penalty, for instance — he is expected to substantially reflect the views of George W. Bush, the man who nominated him to the Supreme Court, because that was what the election of 2000 and its sequel were all about. You hang enough chads, and you get to change the Supreme Court."

That's not moveon.org, or the wilder shores of the Internet. That's Richard Cohen, big-time columnist in that bastion of mainstream media, the Washington Post. And his first thought, on learning the name of President Bush's Supreme Court nominee, is of hanging chads.

Leave aside Cohen's careless assumption that the 2004 election was "all about" the Supreme Court: I happen to be writing this in a taxicab stuck in traffic in Central London, where bombs are going off, and it seems to me last November was a little about all that loud exploding stuff, too. If the Democrats hadn't been so hung up on chads and the court, they might have had something to say about that.

Leave aside, too, that it was the Democrats who were trying to "hang enough chads." The Republicans were happy to have the election decided on — what's the word? — "votes." It was the Democrats who introduced us to the Four Chads — Swinging Chad, Dangling Chad, Hanging Chad and Dimpled Chad — at a time when, to most Republicans, the Four Chads were that vocal group who'd headlined the party's A-list $3.95-a-plate celebrity fund-raiser. It was the Dems who demanded the election be decided by chad diviners interpreting the subtle, indeed undetectable indentation of the dimple as a decisive vote for Al Gore. America has chads in its politics because Democrat lawyers put them there.

Whom the gods would destroy they first make chads. When their frantic swinging, dangling and dimpling availed them nought, Democrats were consumed by bitterness. Understandably enough. That's one reason why some of us like the old-fashioned method of having the big questions of the day decided by the votes of free-born citizens. When you leave them to be adjudicated by nine men and women on the basis of their opinions and you wind up on the losing side, it's bound to feel less satisfactory. But who turned the election into a lawsuit in the first place? It was the Democrats who went before the courts arguing for the inclusion of dimples, and the exclusion of military ballots, and the post-election amendment of the election law.

In his dissent from the Supreme Court's decision in Bush vs. Gore, Justice John Paul Stevens wrote, "Although we may never know with complete certainty the identity of the winner of this year's presidential election, the identity of the loser is perfectly clear. It is the nation's confidence in the judge as an impartial guardian of the rule of law."

Oh, if only. For four years, Democrats drove around with bumper stickers mocking ever more stridently the "selected President." Yet, pace Justice Stevens, the Dems' faith in the selection process — in judges as the true parliament of this great Republic — restored itself within weeks, at least when it comes to selecting gay marriage, abortion, affirmative action, etc. In the words of leading Democratic thinker Nancy Pelosi, "It is a decision of the Supreme Court — so this is almost as if G-d has spoken." She was talking about "eminent domain" not Bush vs. Gore, but you can't have it both ways: It can't be the Word of G-d one day and merely "Bush's daddy's pals" the next.

The Democrats never recovered from the 2000 election. They became obsessed with the "illegitimate" Bush, and carried on obsessing no matter what lively distractions intervened: In time the Twin Towers tumbled, the Taliban crumbled, they're only here today, but hung chads are here to stay. Michael Moore couldn't make a movie about 9/11 and Iraq without a 20-minute chad-dangling opening. Even the chad-free election of 2004 — the "sequel," as Richard Cohen coyly puts it — only momentarily dented the party's imperviousness to reality: If you can't get Bush, get Tom Delay, or Karl Rove, or John Bolton, or some other guy nobody's heard of.

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Now it's Roberts' turn. Barely had the president finished announcing the nomination when the Dems rushed Sen. Chuck Schumer on air, hunched and five-o'clock-shadowed and looking like a bus-&-truck one-man Nixon revue. Schumer's line was that, as a judge, Roberts had too thin a paper trail. His message seemed to be: Look, we Dems have the finest oppo-research boys in the business and, if we can't get any dirt on this guy, that must mean it's buried real deep and is real bad; the very fact that we can't get anything on him is in itself suspicious. Etc., etc.

Give it up, guys. Here's the John Roberts case that matters: As the Los Angeles Times put it, Roberts "said police did not violate the constitutional rights of a 12-year-old girl who was arrested, handcuffed and detained for eating a French fry inside a train station." We know what the flailing Times is clutching at here: Look, folks, this right-wing nut favors handcuffing schoolgirls for eating French fries.

No, he doesn't. As he wrote in his opinion, "The question before us, however, is not whether these policies were a bad idea, but whether they violated the Fourth and Fifth Amendments to the Constitution" — i.e., it may be bad legislation poorly implemented, but it's not his job to make the law. If you don't like public-transit policy on French fries, elect new councilors who'll change it. That's how free societies function.

The Democrats drew exactly the wrong lesson from their chad fever. If the case teaches anything, it's the importance of winning at the ballot box, which you do by promoting clear ideas confidently stated. The Dems prefer to leave it to the Divine Right of Judges. You might too if you believed in gay marriage and partial-birth abortion, but, simply as a matter of practical politics, it's disastrous for the party. Poor sad Richard Cohen, unabletomoveon.org after five years, is a fine emblem for the Democrats: Ask not for whom the chad hangs, it hangs for thee.


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JWR contributor Mark Steyn is North American Editor of The (London) Spectator. Comment by clicking here.

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