Except for the presidential election, the most important election this year will take place on April 27 in Pennsylvania. No, it's not the "American Idol" finals. It's even more important than that. That's the day of the Republican primary pitting a great Republican, Pat Toomey, against the 74-year-old, Ira Einhorn-defending alleged "Republican," Arlen Specter.
Thanks to Arlen Specter:
- States can't prohibit partial-birth abortion;
- Voluntary prayer is banned at high-school football games;
- Flag-burning is a constitutional right;
- The government is allowed to engage in race discrimination in college admissions;
- The nation has been forced into a public debate about gay marriage;
- We have to worry about whether the Supreme Court will allow "under God" to be removed from the Pledge of Allegiance.
More than any other person in America, Arlen Specter is responsible for a runaway Supreme Court that has turned every political issue into a "constitutional" matter, giving radical liberals an uninterrupted string of victories in the culture wars. That's not a court, it's a junta.
In a democratic process, liberals could never persuade Americans to vote for their insane ideas ? abortion on demand, gay marriage and adoption, handgun confiscation, cross-district busing, abolishing the death penalty and affirmative action quotas. So issues are simply taken out of the voters' hands by the Supreme Court. Vitally important cultural issues are now decided for us by a handful of unelected elites, who, coincidentally, share the ideology of Janeane Garofalo. It's a lot easier to get a majority out of nine votes than it is to get a majority of 280 million votes.
As long as liberals have a majority of Supreme Court justices in their pockets, they never have to persuade their fellow countrymen to support any of their crackpot ideas. They just sit around waiting for the Supreme Court to give them the "nine thumbs up!" sign to abortion on demand.
When Reagan was president, he threatened to appoint justices who would not discover nonexistent "penumbras," which mysteriously read like a People for the American Way press release, and to return these issues to voters. The uneducated bumpkin Reagan's radical notion was that judges don't write laws, they interpret them.
Liberals exploded in righteous anger ? an emotion they've never mustered toward Islamic terrorists, I note. Still, all their theatrics would have been for naught and we would already have our democracy back ? but for Arlen Specter.
Specter voted against a slew of conservative Reagan appointees, including Jeff Sessions to a federal appellate court (Sessions now sits with Specter on what must be a rather chilly Senate Judiciary Committee) and Brad Reynolds to be associate attorney general. But his epochal vote was against Reagan's nomination of Robert Bork to the Supreme Court.
Liberals waged a vicious campaign of vilification against Bork, saying he would bring back segregated lunch counters, government censorship and "rogue police" engaging in midnight raids. No one expects more of Teddy Kennedy. But when a senator with an "R" after his name opposed Bork, it was over.
Specter pretended to weigh the attacks on Bork thoughtfully and after careful consideration announced he would vote against Bork. By exploiting the fact that he calls himself a "Republican" ? despite voting with John Kerry more often than he voted with Ronald Reagan ? Specter gave cover to the left's portrayal of decent, God-fearing Americans who love their country as being about one step away from David Duke. As the first Republican to oppose Bork publicly, Specter ensured that other craven "moderates" would soon follow suit.
The Bork fiasco utterly cauterized the Republicans. After that, Republican administrations were terrified of nominating anyone provably to the right of Susan Sarandon. Instead of legal giants like Judge Robert Bork, we ended up with Anthony Kennedy and David Hackett Souter on the Supreme Court.
Since Bork, Republican presidents have put three justices on the court. Two of the three gaze upon a document that says absolutely nothing about abortion or sodomy and discern a "constitutional" right to both. (But try as they might, they still haven't been able to discern a woman's constitutional right to defend herself from rapists by carrying a pistol in her purse.) Because of the court's miraculous discovery of a right to sodomy last term, gay marriage is now on the agenda in America.
The nation waits with bated breath to see if, this term, the court will strike "under God" from the Pledge of Allegiance. Liberals are so desperate for this to happen that some of them are actually praying for it. The only reason to hope the court might let us keep saying "under God" is that it's an election year. Like Arlen Specter, the Supreme Court often gets religion whenever normal Americans are about to vote.
Luckily for the country, Clarence Thomas was nominated to the Supreme Court a year before Specter was up for re-election. After supporting Thomas, Specter turned around and started bellyaching that Thomas was a "disappointment" ? presumably for Thomas' failure to ferret out any more "new" constitutional rights such as gay marriage or taxpayer-subsidized penis augmentation. Don't hope for any more election-year conversions if Specter is re-elected: The old coot will be 80 years old by the end of the term.
Some Republicans seem to imagine that Specter has a better chance of winning the general election by appealing to Democrats ? and thereby helping Bush ? than Pat Toomey does. This is absurd. Just because Republicans hate Specter doesn't mean Democrats like him. It's no wonder Pennsylvania often votes Democratic. If Arlen Specter represented the Republican Party, I'd be a Democrat, too.