MAGAWeek2022: Robert Bork

This week is MAGAWeek2022, my celebration of the men, women, and ideas that MADE AMERICA GREAT!  Starting Monday, 4 July 2022, this year’s MAGAWeek2022 posts will be SubscribeStar exclusives.  If you want to read the full posts, subscribe to my SubscribeStar page for as little as $1 a month.  You’ll also get access to exclusive content every Saturday.

The first MAGAWeek2022 honoree was the great Justice Clarence Thomas, a powerful force for constitutional originalism on the Supreme Court.  Before Justice Thomas, however, there was another jurisprudential figure who articulated and championed the then-dormant notion of originalism.  Like Thomas, he would face lurid accusations during his contentious Supreme Court confirmation hearings.  Unlike Thomas, he would fall to these accusations, failing to win confirmation to the Court.

Nevertheless, his legacy resounds down to the present, and his failed confirmation would teach conservatives a valuable lesson about fighting back against Leftist lies.

It is my honor to recognize our next MAGAWeek2022 figure:  Judge Robert Heron Bork.

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MAGAWeek2022: Clarence Thomas

This week is MAGAWeek2022, my celebration of the men, women, and ideas that MADE AMERICA GREAT!  Starting Monday, 4 July 2022, this year’s MAGAWeek2022 posts will be SubscribeStar exclusives.  If you want to read the full posts, subscribe to my SubscribeStar page for as little as $1 a month.  You’ll also get access to exclusive content every Saturday.

Happy Birthday, America!  It’s Independence Day, which means it’s time for MAGAWeek2022!  It’s the time of year when The Portly Politico celebrates the people, places, things, events, concepts, etc., that have made America great (again).

The first subject of this year’s MAGAWeek is an obvious choice:  a warrior for constitutional originalism and life, he’s suffered the slings and arrows of segregation and cancel culture in a long, distinguished legal career.

I’m talking, of course, about US Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas.

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SubscribeStar Saturday: Life Wins!

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Apologies to subscribers—I still need to make up for last week’s post, and one from about a month ago.  I have not forgotten.  I’ll be catching up on those posts as soon as possible.  Thank you for your patience.  —TPP

Praise God from Whom All Blessings Flow!  Roe v. Wade—that odious bit of extraconstitutional blather that stripped States of their rights and babies of their lives—has now been repealed.  The issue of abortion will go the States, where many more battles will be fought for or against life.

But today is a day for celebration.  For those that embrace constitutional originalism and, more importantly, life for the unborn, the repeal of Roe in the landmark Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization.

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SubscribeStar Saturday: Life Finds a Way

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The winning just keeps coming—first Elon Musk’s Twitter acquisition, which is a major victory for free speech; now, what appears to be the overturning of Roe v. Wade (1973), one of the most egregiously unconstitutional Supreme Court rulings ever made.

Conservatives have fought for nearly fifty years for this very outcome.  I did not think it would happen in my lifetime—or ever—given the extreme leftward drift of the country.

But elections matter, and this likely ruling demonstrates why.  All of those conservatives who reluctantly voted for Donald Trump because of the prospect of his nominating constitutionalists to the bench have been vindicated, as have those who supported Trump from the get-go:  his Supreme Court nominations clinched the reversal of this terrible, destructive ruling.

(I note with some degree of amused irony that it was the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s stubborn refusal to vacate the bench that made it possible for President Trump to replace her with conservative Justice Amy Coney Barrett; seeing how feminists glorify “RBG” as the protector of their “right” to murder children, it was her tight grip on her SCOTUS seat that, ultimately, doomed Roe to the ash bin of history.)

The social media backlash from disenchanted floozies has been ludicrous.  One friend on Facebook even argued that abortions are a form of mental health treatment, as they spare would-be mothers from the struggles of postpartum depression.

But even ladies who I thought weren’t so hung up on a fictitious constitutional “right” to abortion have been bemoaning the end of their “reproductive freedom” or what not.  The “abortion is mental health treatment” girl also bemoaned conservatives’ desire to “control” women.  I don’t want to control anyone, but I don’t want murder to be legal.

Regardless, that hysteria is grounded in constitutional ignorance and the terrifying normalization of infanticide over the past fifty years.  As I’ve patiently explained to many hysterical women over the past week, overturning Roe just means that the debate over abortion returns to the people and the States.  Now, instead of one imaginary constitutional “right”—note that the Constitution is completely silent on the issue of abortion, as it is on almost everything, leaving it up to the people to decide through their State legislatures—there will be fifty different State level policies.  Some States will put loads of restrictions on it (though I doubt any State will completely ban it); other States will probably allow two-year olds to be murdered if they prove to be too much of a nuisance.

What the reversal of Roe is, then, is not just a major victory for the life of the unborn—it’s a victory for federalism.  It might also mean that feminist floozies will have to exercise a little more self-control—or move to California.

It also marks an important moment of spiritual redemption for the United States—I hope!

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Victorious ACB

Last night the Senate confirmed the nomination of Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court, thus filling Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s vacant seat.  Conservative constitutionalist Justice Clarence Thomas swore in Barrett, a symbolic gesture of the new justice’s constitutionalist credentials.

It’s doubly significant that Barrett’s confirmation comes just a week before Election Day, which is next Tuesday, 3 November 2020.  Nothing speaks more powerfully to conservatives about the importance of the Trump presidency than the President’s three conservative appointments to the Court.

ACB seems to be the most conservative of Trump’s appointees yet, which is a major victory for the Right.  Replacing the arch-progressive RGB with a conservative Catholic mother of seven should energize even the logiest of Republican squishes to pull the lever for Trump next Tuesday.

Recapturing the Court from progressives has been a conservative fantasy since at least Roe v. Wade, and really even earlier.  It’s taken anywhere from fifty to eighty years for conservatives to hold a decisive majority on the Court—easily a lifetime of patient political campaigning and faithful prayer.

With Democrats threatening to pack the Courts if they win the presidency and Congress, conservatives can’t rest on our laurels just yet.  We’ve got to get Trump reelected next week—and Republicans to take back the House and retain the Senate.

For South Carolinians, we must vote for Lindsey Graham next week, too.  I know he has not always been the most reliable conservative, but the Kavanaugh confirmation process red-pilled him big time.  He’s also the head of the Senate Judiciary Committee, and is responsible for getting Barrett—and dozens upon dozens of federal and appellate judges—out of committee and to a floor vote.  We cannot afford to lose that conservative influence at this critical juncture.

Justice Thomas is getting on in his years; we need a reliable conservative to replace him.  But there are progressive justices also approaching their expiration dates.  Justice Stephen Breyer is 82.  Respectable retirement can’t be far off for him.  Replacing Breyer would truly cement a conservative majority for a lifetime.

For now, congratulations to Justice Amy Coney Barrett.  Do us proud!

The-Surpreme-Court

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Anti-Court Packing

As of right now, it looks like Amy Coney Barrett will get confirmed to the Supreme Court before the election, even if she’ll be seated under the wire.  A plurality of Americans want Barrett seated, according to a Rasmussen poll.  Conservatives shouldn’t take anything for granted; to quote Marcus Cato Censorius, “many things can come between the mouth and a morsel of food.”  But it does seem that ACB will soon be Justice Barrett, and America will be better off for it.

Of course, the Democrats are in high dudgeon, and are already threatening to pack the Court should they win the presidency and gain a senatorial majority this November.  Conservatives have anticipated this potential move for some time, but haven’t done much to stymie it.  Our focus has been, understandably, affixed on merely gaining a solid constitutionalist majority on the Court, but today’s Left will do anything to demolish a conservative Court.

Just as Democrats threatened to impeach Trump [thanks to jonolan for sharing that post with his readers, too —TPP] for making a constitutional appointment, they’re not seeking to dilute the Supreme Court, cheapening its gravity and significance, by adding additional justices.  Their solution is to expand the Court enough enough to make the potentially 6-3 conservative majority irrelevant.

After all, with the Democrats, if the rules favor your opponents, change them.  If the people don’t want your ideology, force it on them via judicial or executive fiat.

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Lazy Sunday LXXX: Big Ideas

So many of the West’s problems are fundamentally spiritual in nature.  Our politics are no longer the pedestrian, earthy wranglings over how to maintain the roads (clearly not) or what the marginal tax rate should be.  Even the most mundane of political discussions become theological battles about the nature of Truth itself.  It’s ironic given the Left’s wholesale embrace of postmodernism’s rejection of Truth.

As such, it seemed like an opportune time to dedicate a Lazy Sunday to posts about big ideas.  It’s easy to get bogged down in the details—the Devil is in them, after all—but it’s also important to grasp at the makeup of the entire forest, not just its diversity of trees.

With that, here are some of my own stabs at understanding the dark forest in which we moderns find ourselves:

  • What is Conservatism?” & “TBT: What is Conservatism?” – This post kicked off the first run of my History of Conservative Thought Class, in which begin exploring the ideas of Russell Kirk.  So much of what Americans consider to be “conservative” today is really an abstract ideology, whereas Kirk’s conservatism varied from one society to the next.  It did, however, contain some similar elements across cultures.  Kirk is mostly forgotten in conservative circles today, which is unfortunate; it would behoove us to know more of his thought and work.  
  • Resist the Black Pill” – It’s easy to get discouraged with the state of the world at present, especially here in the United States. Even with the efforts of President Trump and his MAGA cadre, there are long-term concerns for the future of our country.  The nomination of Amy Coney Barrett is one sign of hope, though whether or not the Court will return to true constitutionalism is still an open question.  What we can know is that nihilistic despair is a sin, and our hope comes from the Lord.
  • What is Civilization?” – This post dealt with a lively discussion between Milo and a couple of groypers, Steve Franssen and Vincent James, about the future of civilization.  It’s an intriguing debate about whether or not abandoning the cities to progressive destroyers represents an abandonment of civilization itself (my answer would be no).

That’s it for this brief Lazy Sunday.  Here’s hoping these posts give you something to chew over as you head into your week.

Happy Sunday!

—TPP

Other Lazy Sunday Installments:

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SubscribeStar Saturday: The Supreme Court and Power

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The death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg eight days ago has opened up another power struggle in D.C.  Democrats have spent decades perverting the function of the courts from that of constitutional referee into that of constitution interpreter, a role that places the Supreme Court above Congress and the presidency.

The result is rule by nine unelected officials who serve for life.  Congress has gleefully passed the difficulty of legislative activity and the push and pull of debate onto the Supreme Court, trusting it to clarify anything Congress may have forgotten to write into law.  Presidents have passively executed Supreme Court verdicts, and even signed legislation they believed to be unconstitutional, on the premise that the Supreme Court would make the ultimate decision.

Thus, the Court has emerged as the dominant force in American politics—and morality.  Not only does the Court tell us what the Constitution really says—even if the Constitution doesn’t say it at all—it also tells us the moral judgments of the Constitution (thanks to Z Man for that insight).  Thus, every cat lady and box wine auntie in America bemoans the death of RBG, their symbolic stand-in, who endorsed free and easy abortions and gay rights.

Now President Trump has the opportunity to shift the balance of the Supreme Court for a generation.  But will it be enough to reverse judicial supremacy and restore constitutional order?

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It looks like President Trump will make his Supreme Court nomination pick later this week, and that Senate Republicans will deliver the votes he needs.  Lindsey Graham, who is in a surprisingly tight race here in South Carolina, came out with full-throated support for confirming a nominee, even this close to the November election.

What came as a major surprise was Mitt Romney‘s willingness to vote for a Trump nominee.  He did qualify his support by stating that he intends “to vote based upon [the nominee’s] qualifications,” which still leaves open the possibility of his characteristic perfidy.  Even with Lisa Murkowski and Susan Collins demurring, that gives Senate Republicans some cushion in confirming the president’s choice.

Of course, the Left is in a full-scale, apocalyptic meltdown.  They’d turned Ruth Bader Ginsburg into a symbol for their preferred style of judicial activism, and saw her as a crotchety, sleepy champion for their pet causes.  Ginsburg never saw an abuse of judicial power she didn’t like, and was a guaranteed vote for the progressives on any case.

The prospect of replacing her with a constitutional conservative is the Left’s worst nightmare.  RBG’s refusal to step down into a peaceful (and, surely, lucrative) retirement during the Obama administration has not cost the Democrats—potentially—a reliably Leftist seat for probably another forty years.

It’s little wonder, then, that the Democrats are pulling out every trick imaginable to stall or prevent confirmation hearings, and to otherwise scuttle Trump’s eventual nominee.  That includes threats of impeachment.

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