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Jewish World Review Oct. 17, 2000 / 18 Tishrei, 5761

Ann Coulter

Ann Coulter
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Must Christian conservatives be fascists? -- THERE HAVE BEEN rumblings among some social conservatives -- none too quietly by Gary Bauer on the op-ed page of The New York Times -- about George Bush and Dick Cheney selling out conservative values on the issues of gay marriage and abortion. I am second to none in my right-wing lunacy, but Bush and Cheney were right and the disgruntled are wrong.

Bauer complained that Bush gave a "lackluster defense of the sanctity of life," and that Cheney "surrender(ed) on the defense of traditional marriage." He claims that the Republican ticket has forsaken the "fundamental questions that most define the differences between the two parties."

But gay marriage and abortion aren't the "fundamental questions" defining the two parties. These are merely symptoms of the real fundamental difference between the two parties, which is: We believe in the Constitution and they don't.

The whole point of the Constitution -- written by men much smarter than we are -- was to prevent the likes of William Brennan, Harry Blackmun, Franklin Roosevelt or Gary Bauer from attaining too much power. (To be fair to Gary, these braking mechanisms only seem to work with conservatives.) Our Constitution is the most brilliantly freedom-promoting document ever conceived in the minds of men. So it would be really cool if people (like presidents, Supreme Court justices and Gary Bauer) would read it.

Liberals don't read it, and certainly have no intention of living under it. They say it "grows" and, surprisingly enough, the Constitution always seems to "grow" in ways they like. It never grows a right to school vouchers or a right to bear machine guns or a right to free champagne for blondes. It just keeps growing rights like the right to stick a fork in a baby's head, and the right to discriminate against disfavored racial groups, especially white men.

But back briefly to the real Constitution, the one composed of words and not "penumbras" -- the Constitution nowhere grants the president, Congress or the Supreme Court authority either to ban or to require abortion. It grants no one in the federal government the right to ban or require gay marriage. It doesn't say anything at all about abortion or gay marriage -- or lots of other things, many of them big and important (like free champagne for blondes).

The genius of the Constitution is that it gives the federal government almost no power over anything important. It was precisely because of one Supreme Court's refusal to abide by those limits, and its outrageous arrogation of power to itself, that we ended up with Roe vs. Wade in the first place.

If given a choice between a country in which gay marriage is prohibited at the national level by federal law, and a country governed by the Constitution, I'll take the Constitution. For one thing, in brute realpolitik terms, somehow elevating every petty tribal dispute to a federal issue hasn't really worked out for conservatives. We win in Topeka; we lose in Washington, D.C.

Moreover, the states and towns would create a perpetual marketplace of laws, regulations and ideas. If you don't like porno being sold at the corner market, you could move. If you don't like porno not being sold at the corner market, you could move. (And then at the end of the year, we'll tabulate which town has more crime, venereal disease, rape and unwanted pregnancies.)

States and localities would be free to sculpt themselves into whatever kind of place the denizens prefer. If an individual feels unduly oppressed by those laws, he can move. And it's a lot easier to move to the town next door, or even the state next door, than to move to Canada. That's how federalism creates the maximum freedom possible.

Liberals always hate freedom and want to jam their hateful ideas down the entire nation's throat. But now even some conservatives have decided total federal hegemony sounds more fun than living in freedom under a Constitution (which it is, I guess -- provided you get to be dictator). If the Supreme Court can "grow" the Constitution to suit its political agenda, why can't our guy do the same from the Oval Office?

It really serves liberals right. In a way, I wish there were more conservatives like Gary Bauer demanding federal laws that would outlaw sex education, communism, atheism, condoms, Birkenstocks, New York Times' editorials -- everything you can think of that would cause a liberal to screech.

But George Bush and Dick Cheney recognize that they are not running for dictator. The greatest president America ever had was the only man who didn't want the job -- and the first man to hold it. It ought to warm conservative hearts that Bush and Cheney eagerly admit that there are limits to the powers of the offices they seek.

JWR contributor Ann Coulter is the author of High Crimes and Misdemeanors: The Case Against Bill Clinton. You may visit the Ann Coulter Fan Club by clicking here.


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10/06/00: Sigh of the crook
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09/29/00: Don't do drug legalization
09/26/00: I'd burn down my neighbor's house
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09/19/00: Other film footage we'd like to see
09/15/00: Bush can name the **^%*
09/12/00: The Supreme Court ratchet
09/08/00: Our mistake -- keep polluting
09/05/00: Bubba protects and serves
09/01/00: AlGore's 'going out of business!' tax plan
08/29/00: Bush's compassionate conservatism
08/25/00: Space alien tells funny jokes in bathtub
08/22/00: Dems view world only in black and white, not in color
08/18/00: Another Damascus Road conversion
08/15/00: The viagra cotillion
08/11/00: The hand-wringing Hamlet from Hartford
08/07/00: The Democratic party's white face
08/04/00: Hillary's potty mouth
08/01/00: The hole in the story
07/28/00: Cheney's detractors can't get their story straight
07/25/00: AlGore: Elmer Blandry
07/21/00: The tyranny of non-objectivity
07/18/00: The state's religion
07/14/00: Reform it back
07/11/00: Keating for veep
07/07/00: Gore invented 'Clueless'
07/04/00: The stupidity litmus test
06/30/00: O.J. was 'proved innocent' too
06/27/00: The last guys 'proved innocent'
06/23/00: Serious Republican candidates don't get serious press
06/19/00: They weren't overzealous this time
06/16/00: Evolution of the strumpet
06/13/00: Actual journalistic malpractice
06/09/00: I did not have sexual
relations with that ... man!
06/06/00: IRS turns Bubba's screw
05/30/00: Too corrupt to be an Arkansas lawyer
05/26/00: Choose liberalism
05/24/00: Violence against coherence
05/22/00: Developmentally disabled Republicans
05/16/00: For womb the bell tolls
05/12/00: Asylum from Georgetown
05/10/00: The truth is out there, even for the clueless
05/08/00: Barbie is a liberal Democrat
05/02/00: Moving the goalpost
04/28/00: The bastardization of justice
04/25/00: How Monica Lewinsky saved the constitution
04/24/00: It's sunny today, so we need gun control
04/19/00: No shadow of a doubt -- liberal women are worthless
04/14/00: It takes a Communist dictator to raise a child
04/11/00: The verdict is in on Hillary
04/07/00: Vast Concoctions III
04/04/00: 'Horrifying' free speech in New York
03/31/00: Check-Off Box For Pimp Suits
03/28/00: All the news that fits -- we print!
03/24/00: Net losses all around
03/20/00: To protect, serve --- and be spat on
03/16/00: Thank Heaven for the consigliere
03/13/00: Vast concoctions II
03/09/00: The bluebloods voted against you
03/07/00: The Tower of Babble
03/03/00: Vast concoction
03/02/00: Hillary's sartorial lies
02/28/00: You have to break a few eggs to make a joke
02/22/00: I've seen enough killing to support abortion
02/18/00: A liberal lynching
02/15/00: McCain and the flag
02/11/00: The Shakedown Express
02/08/00: To mock a mockingbird
02/05/00: Summing up Campaign 2000: 'Oh, puh-leeze!'
02/01/00: A Confederacy of Dunces
01/28/00: Dollar Bill's racist smear
01/24/00: How high is your freedom quotient?
01/21/00: Numismadness
01/18/00: How dare you attack my wife!
01/14/00: The Gore Buggernaut
01/10/00: The paradox of discrimination law

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