A straight face
With a straight face

It must take years in politics

| As is my wont, I was reading opinion pieces in the Washington Post this morning, including one by Marc Thiessen that included a sentence that simply astonished me and left me wondering how in the world could anyone say such a thing without growing a Pinocchio nose.

Marc Thiessen
Marc Thiessen, former speechwriter for George W Bush

Thiessen is a fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, so you can expect him to have a right-of-center slant on things. But this was simply too much.

He was making the "lesser-of-two-evils" argument about this presidential election, rebutting a Wall Street Journal piece that concluded that Trump's "problem isn't a lack of normal propriety but the absence of basic human decency. He is morally unfil for any office, high or low." Thiessen went on, however, to say, "The problem is that Hillary Clinton is also morally unfit for any office, high or low," and cited the well-worn talking points about speaking fees, email servers, lying, and "seemingly endless" scandals. With two candidates, each flawed, you still have to choose one of them to occupy the Oval Office. And this is where it got weird.

So how do you choose? [Wall Street Journal columnist Bret] Stephens, speaking for many, says Clinton will “almost surely appoint liberals to the Supreme Court. But at least she’s not a sociopath.” Sorry, it’s not that simple. Clinton won’t just appoint liberals to the Supreme Court; she will tilt the direction of the court for a generation. She won’t just replace Ruth Bader Ginsburg or Stephen Breyer and extend a liberal seat for decades. She’ll replace Antonin Scalia, giving us a liberal court for decades. Think what that means for the cause of human life, religious liberty, the Second Amendment and limited government. How will the Little Sisters of the Poor fare if their case makes its way back up to a Supreme Court with a Clinton-appointed liberal majority? Unlike the right, the left uses the courts as a tool to impose their agenda on the American people. And if Clinton is elected, they will have free rein to do so.

"Unlike the right, the left uses the courts as a tool..." Unlike the right! 

So all those lawsuits trying to overturn the Affordable Care Act were not using the courts to impose an agenda? Those lawsuits to nullify significant parts of the Civil Rights Act were not using the courts? The lawsuits to stop affirmative action were not using the courts? Citizens United not using the courts?

Using the courts is about all the right has done in the past eight years. Staunch ideologues on the court — Scalia, Alito, Thomas, and sometimes others — have looked for every opportunity to use the courts to achieve what the right could not achieve at the ballot box. Give me a break!

Thiessen is, of course, entitled to his opinion. But when his opinion is malarky, an editor at the Washington Post should make liberal use of a blue pencil.

Last updated on Aug 16, 2016

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