Thursday, November 6, 2014

Don't expect much from Republican Congress

We have been here before. In 1994 the House became Republican with a lot of people voting for the Contract with America. The people were fed up, and things were much better then than today. Result, the House claimed they needed a majority in the Senate too. So, ok, we gave them a majority Senate as well. Result? Not much. The stupid and cowardly party proved to be the stupid and cowardly party. Conservative Judicial nominees were routinely filibustered, but the controlling Republicans refused to trigger the "nuclear option," unlike Harry Reid, who had no problems doing so, confident that if Republicans got the Senate back, they would reinstate this rule for him to abuse. Time will tell, of course, but I predict he will have been right. Sadly, the Republicans don't trust the average citizen, indeed, I suspect they trust their Democrat colleagues more than they trust you. Judge Andrew Napolitano has a piece up today at where he notes that this election has not settled any of the really important cultural divides in More Culture Wars? Napolitano:
There are two great freedoms being assaulted under the radar that will soon come to the fore: the freedom to live and the freedom to speak. Both parties use abortion as a litmus test. You want the Democratic nomination for any federal or state office; you need to support a woman's right to abortion. You want the Republican nomination for any federal or state office; you better claim that you are pro-life.

I say "claim" because that's all Republicans need to do to satisfy each other. If Republicans truly were pro-life, they'd have passed a one-paragraph statute when they ran the Congress and George W. Bush was in the White House that legally defined a fetus in the womb as a natural person. Of course, morally and biologically, a fetus is a natural person. The fetus has human parents and possesses a fully actualizable human genome -- all the genetic materials needed to grow and flourish and possess self-directed humanity. But no such legislation ever came.
Actually, the House could have done something about this issue even without the blessing of the Senate or the President by passing a Sense of the House resolution. With a Republican Senate, they could pass a Sense of the Congress resolution. The court would of course have to at least take notice. Is it really too much to ask that Congress acknowledge facts?

Napolitano again:
After the right to life, the next great freedom under siege is the freedom of speech. Here, too, both parties in Congress have failed us. When Congress in 2001 enacted the Patriot Act, which permits federal agents to write their own search warrants in utter defiance and direct contradiction of the Fourth Amendment, which commands that only judges may do so, it also prohibited the recipients of agent-written search warrants from talking about them. At least a half-dozen federal judges have found this infringement of speech unconstitutional, yet federal agents who serve their own search warrants continue to threaten the recipients against talking to anyone about them. This, too, came about with the support of the leadership of both political parties in Congress.

Not content with commanding silence about search warrants, the Democrats in the Senate attempted to offer an amendment to the Constitution last summer, which, if ratified, would have weakened the First Amendment by permitting Congress and the states to punish the political speech of groups. Three years ago, the Supreme Court, in a case called Citizens United, held that free political speech is such a highly valued and constitutionally protected asset in American society that it may be enjoyed not only by individuals, but also by groups of two or more persons, such as labor unions, foundations, nonprofits, think tanks, partnerships and corporations.

Napolitano asks "...what will a Republican Congress do?  What is its track record?"  I don't know, but since this is in God's hands, I ask everyone to pray that the new Congress will do what is right.

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