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Jewish World Review March 7, 2002/ 23 Adar, 5762

Ann Coulter

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To steal or not to steal: Ask the professor -- DEMOCRATS regularly insult the intelligence of half the public in order to win the votes of the terminally stupid. As long as their lies bamboozle enough clods to give them a political edge, they will say absolutely anything. The Easily Demagogued are a key Democratic constituency, right after Steely-Eyed Zealots.

Thus for example, even after Bill Clinton was exposed as a slightly tackier version of Jimmy Swaggart, the Democrats could not stop insulting our intelligence, sonorously intoning that it is not perjury if it's "just about sex" or -- contradictorily -- it is also not perjury if the witness personally believed it wasn't sex.

Further, during the Clintonized presidential election fiasco, the party's law professor adjuncts fanned out across the airwaves to earnestly explain that the Florida Supreme Court was engaging in a perfectly ordinary act of judicial interpretation when it interpreted "seven days" in the statute to mean "17 days, or as long as it takes for Gore to steal the election."

And most recently, Democrats have taken the position that the heroic performance of policemen, firemen and the military after 9-11 supports the Democrats' love of big government. Inasmuch as liberals have spent 20 years relentlessly suing fire departments, police departments and the military, this is a very aggressive position to take. Indeed, every hero of Sept. 11 has been a favorite target of liberal lawsuits. There's no better way to say "thank you" than to sue for sexual discrimination!

Watching Democrats in action often feels like being the target of a "Candid Camera" set-up. You constantly find yourself wanting to scream, "Is anyone else watching this?" As a class, one group that is not keeping tabs on Democratic shenanigans is the media. Thus, when Bill Clinton unleashed his signature weeping routine during a black church service in 1993, the Chicago Tribune factually reported that Clinton "appeared to feel every word and emotion deeply."

Naturally, it always comes as a great relief when the left's demagogic hokum is finally exposed despite the best efforts of the press. If the Alan Funt of the Bill Clinton spectacle was Monica Lewinsky, the Alan Funt of the election spectacle is at the opposite end of the IQ spectrum: It is Judge Richard Posner, author of "Breaking the Deadlock."

Posner, a federal judge on the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals, goes through the Democrats' every legal argument, every sneaky stratagem, every disingenuous claim, like William Tecumseh Sherman marching to Savannah. Point by point, by his relentless logic, he has them trapped whichever way they turn.

The election fracas is the perfect topic for Judge Posner's analytical, computer-like brain. He is the most frequently cited federal judge. He was a founder of the Chicago Law and Economics movement. The late Supreme Court Justice William Brennan called him one of only two geniuses he had ever met.

So you can pretty well imagine his reaction to the deep cogitations of SCOFLA -- the Supreme Court of Florida. Though Posner is not the sort to come out and call SCOFLA a bunch of ambulance-chasers, his precise, unemotional style is far more devastating. Taking a clinical interest in his subject, Posner writes at one point simply that "(o)ne is mystified" by the SCOFLA's reasoning.

In its first abrogation of clear statutory law, SCOFLA interpreted "seven days" to mean "17 days" and thus unlawfully extended the period before the election could be certified. That decision, Posner says, was "the catalyst for the legal and political broil that ensued." And it was based on "an unreasonable and not merely unsound interpretation of the statute."

SCOFLA had concluded that it was entitled to disregard Florida election law on the basis of a general provision in the Florida Constitution that states simply: "All political power is inherent in the people." Posner treats as an odd curiosity the fact that the court "seems to have regarded" this "people power" clause as superior to the written law. Yet this was the "key" to its decision. Jane Goodall could not have described the SCOFLA's rationale with greater dispassion.

The SCOFLA's ludicrous power grab occasionally tries the patience of even this most circumspect academic: "The Constitution is not a brooding omnipresence," Posner writes, nor do the courts function as a "council of revision" to ensure that statutes "reflect the 'spirit' of the Constitution." Rather, he says: "The courts can invalidate a statute, or interpret it reasonably, but they are not to interpret it unreasonably merely because it does not embody the aspirations that the courts find limned in vague constitutional language."

And consider that SCOFLA gets off easy in Posner's account. As he says: "The participants most deserving of criticism, though as yet largely spared it, are the law professors who offered public comments on the unfolding drama."

If you suspected that the Democrats and their legal and journalistic handmaidens were trying to steal an election in broad daylight, "Breaking the Deadlock" will not relieve your mind. There is no argument, no riposte, no silly liberal sentiment that Posner does not methodically deconstruct. This book is the complete antidote to 36 days of a Clintonized transfer of power.

JWR contributor Ann Coulter is the author of High Crimes and Misdemeanors: The Case Against Bill Clinton.

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