Waymon Hudson

John McCain: Pander-tics as usual

Filed By Waymon Hudson | May 06, 2008 2:30 PM | comments

Filed in: Living, Politics, Politics

Who mccain-graduation.jpgneeds Judges interested in justice? Not John McCain.

In a speech a Wake Forest University today, McCain once again proved that he is no maverick or free thinker. He has just continued his pander-tics tour for the religious right.

In his speech, McCain promised to appoint judges who are in the mold of Roberts and Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito, saying: "They would serve as the model for my own nominees if that responsibility falls to me."

McCain also said that he would find judges who "will understand that there are clear limits to the scope of judicial power", meaning he would find judges who would continue to kowtow to Presidential authority instead of providing a check and balance as they are supposed to.

We cannot lose sight of the fact that the judiciary's role is to make sure to protect the rights of the minority from the tyranny and prejudices of the majority. McCain would seek to continue the Republican plan to make the Presidency a dictatorship that answers to no one and enshrine religious views into the fabric of our country.

The next president could see as many as three (Stevens, Kennedy, and Ginsburg) Supreme Court seats open up. The balance of the court is already leaning towards conservative regressionism, so any new appointments and replacements must not be put in place by McCain.

He would also be in charge of naming federal court judges. I think McCain says it best himself: "It will fall to the next president to nominate hundreds of qualified men and women to the federal courts and the choices we make will reach far into the future." Far reaching choices indeed.

His pandering isn't just courting the conservative votes he needs to get elected. It is selling out our country to religious zealots. The debt he is incurring from the religious right will come due when it is time to name new judges.

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"McCain would seek to continue the Republican plan to make the Presidency a dictatorship that answers to no one and enshrine religious views into the fabric of our country."

McCain isn't Hucklebee.

There *are* limits to judicial power - that limit is the Constitution (which also puts limits on the powers of the other two branches). The role of the judiciary is to make sure no one exceeds their delegated powers. Personally, I want judges who will interpret the Constitution as it was written (and subsequently amended). If something is not there, but society feels that it should be there, then it is the legislative branch's responsibility - not the judiciary - to put it there. I could care less about their personal politics as long as they do the job the way they are supposed to do the job.

If McCain will find more Roberts and Alitos that's great. Both are brilliant judges.

Bill Perdue Bill Perdue | May 6, 2008 7:22 PM

This is bad new indeed about McCain’s judicial appointments. If McCain wins he’ll continue the genocide in Iraq, just like Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama promise to do. Even worse, it’s unlikely that his nominees will rule against bigoted laws like DADT and DOMA. Both were signed into law by Dixiecrat Bill Clinton after passing with a crushing majority of yes votes from Congressional Democrats. DADT was even written by another Dixiecrat, Sam Nunn, what was then US Senator from Georgia and who’s now a close advisor of Barack Obama.

They may not even get to rule on ENDA, either the real version or the one that Barney Frank, Hillary Clintons campaign manager, slashed to ribbons or on the Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes Bill. The Democrats tossed them in the garbage to prevent Republicans using them as a wedge issue, in spite if the fact that they’re desperately needed.

Who knows if they’ll keep their promises to revive them? What if they treat them like they treated their 2006 election promise to end the war? The Democrats constantly vote to fund it and refuse to impeach felons like Bush and Cheney.

It doesn't look good for us. No matter who wins, McCain, Clinton or Obama, we lose.

Robert Ganshorn Robert Ganshorn | May 7, 2008 2:52 AM

Thanks Waymon, the posting is truly on point and a necessary pro Democratic Party issue. I assume Dauger is busy reading old correspondence from Abe Lincoln while he shapes up that log cabin he has been building. !!;^) Cheers Dauger!

It takes a lot to alter the Constitution that was written for a poor, rag tag little group of thirteen colonies that hugged the coastline, and knew more about the goings on in London than they knew of one another. It was a simple country where primarily white men from England and Germany controlled everything. Many wanted to keep as it was, 90% agrarian. The country has changed a bit, now being over 90% urban, and including both genders of every race and descendants from every culture, country and religion in the world.

Roberts and Alito look back to find a precident, while I would hope for justices who look forward and include the 21st century needs of the People.

With a strong majority in the legislature and the White House, I assume that the people's business will be done and the next time our government tries setting up concentration camps on or off our soil the Supreme Court will not be as toothless as it has been.

As Sara wrote an excellent piece on the Supreme Court on May 1st I would encourage all to read it who have not done so. Thanks again Waymond!

Michael Crawford Michael Crawford | May 7, 2008 7:10 AM

McCain's image as a "straight-talking maverick" is nothing more than smoke and mirrors that have been carefully crafted over the years to give him the appearance of not being the right-wing conservative that he is. We should not fall for his game even though it seems the traditional media has.

A McCain presidency would be incredibly harmful to GLBT people, not to mention anyone who would have to fight his endless war in Iraq.

Waymon, nice on-point post.

However, I want to quibble over your use of the term "pandering."

To me, pandering implies that McCain is offering his position on the selection of federal judges as an insincere ploy merely to secure votes.

You are absolutely right that McCain delivered yesterday's speech to prop up his bona fides with conservative -- and religious right -- voters. However, I don't think that McCain cynically was pandering to them; rather, McCain really believes in the so-called "strict constructionist" theory of the Constitution, and long has been against the use of the judiciary as a means to implement civil rights protected by the Constitution (or, as he would euphemistically state, he is against judicial activism to promote social policy).

If McCain merely were pandering I would not be so frightened by his philosophy or criteria for the appointment of federal judges because then I could chalk it up to an empty promise or ploy to garner votes in an election that unlikely would be implemented in his administration should he win the Presidency. However, because McCain sincerely believes in what he says, the concerns which you aptly identify are underscored.

Good Point, HOGB.

I just liked the ring of "pander-tics".


Robert Ganshorn Robert Ganshorn | May 7, 2008 12:43 PM

Gaybars, if Republican judges were equally hesitant to promote business interests I would find the argument a fair one on McCain's part. In as much as it takes mountains to sue a tobacco company, or Wal Mart or any other mega corporation that was never envisioned by the authors of the Constitution, I believe that "business first presidents" talk up the desire to prevent "judicial activism" in religious and other hot button issues as a diversion from the business interests that they really care to insulate.

They label it in ways we would all agree with in principle.Creating a "business friendly country" can also allow public health and fairness issues to wither through a long court process.

Just my jaded opinion I suppose. I still remember "deep throat" saying: "Follow the money."


I understand where you are coming from, but think of it this way - are rights granted solely by judicial fiat truly secure? If you adopt the policy that the Constitution is fluid and not fixed then the rights of the people are not secure and can be taken away any time the wind shifts.

The people who wrote the Constitution understood that, having experienced the fluid nature of the unwritten British "constitution". For that reason they wrote our Constitution to be the absolute last word in the law. Recognizing that times change, and that our Constitution may need to change, they put in an amendment process.

Realize that a true strict constructionist cannot vote for DOMA as it is a clear violation of the Enumerated Powers Clause and attempts to override the Full Faith and Credit clause. DADT would be harder to argue under Constitutional grounds, however, as there is no right to serve in the military.

Robert Ganshorn Robert Ganshorn | May 8, 2008 9:49 AM

Dauger, fine points and you obviously know much more than I about this topic! One thing about which I am certain, is that Thomas Jefferson himself was opposed to a Supreme Court with a lifetime appointment.

However, I'll take a "Brown vs, Board of Ed" any day rather than a fluid "Dred Scott Decision."

And Dauger, with all due respect, if either of us were falsely charged and put in Gitmo (or someplace else we don't know about) we would know that our government had acted without due process. None of our rights are secure courtesy of "The Patriot Act" right down to the library and the books you read, and the internet you use.

In my dotage I have nearly come to believe that there is never decided law. The law is where it is, at any point in time, while society (or government) is ten paces ahead.

"I'm shocked, shocked to hear that there is gambling going on here!"

"Here are your winnings Mr. Prefect of Police"

"Thank You."