By John Ruberry

Here’s a reminder that we’ve moved beyond spirited debate within our political culture into rudeness and thuggery. Take a look at the selection of stories about that descent towards anarchy.

The most recent abomination occurred just two days ago as the Senate Majority Leader, Mitch McConnell (R-KY), has harassed at a Louisville restaurant. All of these other stories are from 2018, except the shooting of House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA). He was seriously wounded by a liberal activist at a practice of the Republican congressional baseball team.

Each article involves, directly or indirectly, an elected Republican official, a current or former top member of a GOP administration member, or a candidate for public office.

Remember, a blue wave may be coming. Are you prepared for it?

Buzzfeed News: Angry protesters confronted Mitch McConnell at restaurant and threw out his leftovers.
Daily Caller: Georgetown protesters harass Mitch McConnell — Elaine Chao fights back
NBC 9 Denver: Mitch McConnell harassed by protesters at DC airport over Brett Kavanaugh vote.
TMZ: Ted Cruz and wife Heidi run out of D.C. restaurant … by Kavanaugh protesters.
USA Today: ‘God bless you’: Sen. Ted Cruz thanks women heckling him at airport over Kavanaugh vote.
Twitchy: Angry mob? Restaurant owner called a Nazi sympathizer for renting a room to Senate candidate Marsha Blackburn.
Fox News: Minnesota House candidate says he suffered concussion in ‘politically motivated’ attack at restaurant.
Campus Reform: Former sec of state [Henry Kissinger, age 95] heckled at NYU.
Townhall: WATCH: Jeff Flake mobbed by screaming, rabid leftists after saying he’ll vote for Kavanaugh.
DCist: Update: Capitol Police have arrested more than 200 protesters at Kavanaugh hearings.
Gateway Pundit: Democrat senator defends ‘well justified’ harassment of Republicans by leftists over Judge Kavanaugh (VIDEO).
Fox 13 Memphis: Ole Miss professor under fire for urging people to harass senators in viral tweet.
CNN: Maxine Waters encourages supporters to harass Trump administration officials.
The Blaze: Pot-smoking protesters storm GOP lawmaker’s DC office; Capitol Police intervene.
Politico: Protesters chant ‘shame’ at DHS Secretary Nielsen at Mexican restaurant.
New York Post: Hillary Clinton’s hypocritical call for ‘incivil’ war.
Atlanta Journal Constitution’s Political Insider: Kavanaugh critics corner David Perdue at D.C. airport.
Eater: Red Hen Restaurant 86’s Sarah Huckabee Sanders.
USA Today: ‘It’s time to destroy Trump & Co.’: Scalise shooter raged on Facebook.

Did I miss an attack or two? Probably. Feel free to add any omissions in the comments section. Oh, don’t be timid about sharing this entry on social media. After all, a blue wave might be coming.

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.

I don’t believe there is a more apt label for our current political climate than calling it a circus.  There is no better example of this circus than the entire confirmation process for Judge Kavanaugh.  This circus began with the protests that erupted even before President Trump announced the name of his nominee, continued with the constant interruptions by the Democrats during the hearings, and climaxed with the not too surprising last second accusations of sexual misconduct.

None of this surprised me, and I’m sure not too many readers of this wonderful website were surprised either. We’ve seen it so many times before.  The entire fracas has a scripted feel to it because it was scripted.   The script was published back in 1971 by Saul Alinsky.  It was titled Rules for Radicals.  This book is more than a script for a large percentage of the political left; it is their playbook and bible.  Colleges and universities use it to indoctrinate their students.  The more radical liberal Democrat politicians, such as President Obama and Hillary Clinton, have embraced this book.

Saul Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals has often been portrayed as being a positive work. Is it really? Check out this quote from the page Prologue xvm

Remember we are talking about revolution, not revelation; you can miss the target by shooting too high as well as too low. First, there are no rules for revolution any more than there are rules for love or rules for happiness, but there are rules for radicals who want to change their world; there are certain central concepts of action in human politics that operate regardless of the scene or the time. To know these is basic to a pragmatic attack on the system. These rules make the difference between being a realistic radical and being a rhetorical one who uses the tired old words and slogans

The revolution he was talking about is one where our founding principles and free market economy are replaced by a socialist system.  This quote from page Prologue xix outlines the beginning moves in this revolution.

Dostoevski said that taking a new step is what people fear most. Any revolutionary change must be preceded by a passive, affirmative, non-challenging attitude toward change among the mass of our people. They must feel so frustrated, so defeated, so lost, so futureless in the prevailing system that they are willing to let go of the past and chance the future. This acceptance is the reformation essential to any revolution.

The political process in Washington DC has broken down.  Many Democrat members of the United States Congress have deliberately attempted to bring this about because they’re following Rules for Radicals.

Doesn’t this next quote, from page Prologue xxii, describe the tactics the political left has used against the political right for a very long time?  Doesn’t this quote describe the shenanigans used by the Democrats during the confirmation hearings?  Isn’t all of the political chaos creating feelings of disillusionment and hopelessness among the people?

Men don’t like to step abruptly out of the security of familiar experience; they need a bridge to cross from their own experience to a new way. A revolutionary organizer must shake up the prevailing patterns of their lives — agitate, create disenchantment and discontent with the current values, to produce, if not a passion for change, at least a passive, affirmative, non-challenging climate.

A reformation means that masses of our people have reached the point of disillusionment with past ways and values. They don’t know what will work but they do know that the prevailing system is self-defeating, frustrating, and hopeless. They won’t act for change but won’t strongly oppose those who do. The time is then ripe for revolution.

Bad political behavior is not a phenomenon exclusive to the political left; however it is much more prevalent on that side of the spectrum.   Rules for Radicals is primarily responsible for that.  Most on the political left have been indoctrinated by that book, either by reading it themselves or by receiving the information second or third hand.  Those on the political right more often embrace the Ten Commandments and Judeo Christian teachings on morality.

This quote from the Chapter of Ends and Means is the justification for many on the political left to engage in tactics such as rioting after losing an election, blocking highways, harassing people at restaurants, storming meetings, silencing those they do not agree with, enrolling the dead to vote, and attempting to derail a Supreme Court confirmation by dropping unfounded sexual misconduct allegations.

Life and how you live it is the story of means and ends. The end\s what you want, and the means is how you get it. Whenever we think about social change, the question of means and ends arises. The man of action views the issue of means and ends in pragmatic and strategic terms. He has no other problem; he thinks only of his actual resources and the possibilities of various choices of action. He asks of ends only whether they are achievable and worth the cost; of means, only whether they will work. To say that corrupt means corrupt the ends is to believe in the immaculate conception of ends and principles. The real arena is corrupt and bloody. Life is a corrupting process from the time a child learns

The practical revolutionary will understand Goethe’s “conscience is the virtue of observers and not of agents of action”; in action, one does not always enjoy the luxury of a decision that is consistent both with one’s individual conscience and the good of mankind. The choice must always be for the latter. Action is for mass salvation and not for the individual’s personal salvation. He who sacrifices the mass good for his personal conscience has a peculiar conception of “personal salvation”; he doesn’t care enough for people to be “corrupted” for them.

 

via sunllightfoundation.com

“First we must cross the river,” Benito was saying. “Do you believe me now when I tell you that you must not attempt to swim it, or even get wet from it, or must you try that too?”

“What happens if I just dive in?”

“Then you will be as you were in the bottle. Aware and unable to move. but it will be very cold, and very uncomfortable, and you will be there for all eternity knowing that you put yourself there.”

Larry Niven & Jerry Pournelle Inferno 1976

Today the first Cloture vote of Brett Kavanaugh takes place. Ironically PBS has a poll out just in time to remind red state Democrats what’s at stake for them.

Mind you this isn’t Fox or Breitbart or even Rasmussen saying this, it’s NPR who is as likely to weigh a poll in the GOP’s favor as Bill Clinton is to keep his pants up.

If this poll is correct and if President Trump keeps up the pressure, which he’s already demonstrated he will, Democrats have the potential to find themselves in the same situation as the Chicago Cubs were this week, watching the other team celebrate twice in two days on their field. Once when Kavanaugh is confirmed, and once in the fall when they suddenly discover that the GOP turnout in those House 19 district that Trump won that are currently considered “toss ups” beats expectations by a ton.

When this happens without a doubt a good economy and President Trump’s efforts will have played their part but the lions share of the blame can go to you dear leftists who energized the GOP base in a way not seen since the passage of Obamacare.

But your responsibility goes back farther back than that:

If you dear leftists had not insisted on the use of the Filibuster in your attempt to stop Justice Gorsuch you might have been able to deploy it today with a chance, not a great chance, but a chance to succeed.

But your responsibility goes back even farther back then that

If you dear leftists, had not gone absolutely insane concerning President Trump’s election, and if your media arm had not taken their credibility and tossed in out of the window in a vain attempt to harm him the MSM which you rely on to spin the undecided and the uninformed would likely have succeeded in their smear of Judge Kavanaugh rather than having people ignore them.

But your responsibility goes back yet even farther than this:

If you had not for political and financial and cultural reasons publicly ignored or dismissed for decades the antics of the Harvey Weinsteins, the Keven Spaceys and the Matt Lauers of the left. Antics that unlikely Judge Kavanaugh there were multiple witness too and whose actions while unknown to the general public were common knowledge among you, you might, just might have had people believing that your moral outrage of judge Kavanaugh was something other than false.

But even still dear leftists your responsibility goes back yet even father than this:

If you had not destroyed the judicial filibuster for lower court judges then a President Trump or any GOP president would have had to nominate a compromise candidate, who would have been acceptable to 60 senators, one likely not nearly as conservative as Kavanaugh. A judge that you would not feel the need to slander and destroy.

Now I could go do this all day and go all the way back to Newsweek’s’ sitting on the blue dress leading to the rise of Matt Drudge but the point is this.

When Justice Kavanaugh is sworn in, and when on November 7th Donald Trump has an even larger senate majority making the votes of a Collins or a Murkowski irrelevant remember dear fanatical leftist it will happen in the knowledge that the person most to blame for this is the one looking back in the mirror at you.

May you be happy in the world you created.

Update:  Also remember you even managed to turn Bret Stevens into something sounding like a conservative again:

I’m grateful because Trump has not backed down in the face of the slipperiness, hypocrisy and dangerous standard-setting deployed by opponents of Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court. I’m grateful because ferocious and even crass obstinacy has its uses in life, and never more so than in the face of sly moral bullying. I’m grateful because he’s a big fat hammer fending off a razor-sharp dagger.

A few moments have crystallized my view over the past few days.

Christine Ford supposedly believed she was sending a letter in confident yet her entire Social Media Presence disappeared weeks before her name became public almost as if she and/or the people “handling” her wanted to make sure that you didn’t see her for who she actually is.

Update:  Consider the contrast to Brett Kavanaugh who has been an open book for decades in fact it once again reminds me of another man falsely accused a fellow Judge Kavanaugh is well acquainted with :

The high priest questioned Jesus about his disciples and about his doctrine

Jesus answered him, “I have spoken publicly to the world. I have always taught in a synagogue or in the temple area 10 where all the Jews gather, and in secret I have said nothing.

Why ask me? Ask those who heard me what I said to them. They know what I said.”

John 18:19-21

The one great failure of those who wrote United States Constitution was their failure to properly restrain the Supreme Court.  They did not foresee that the highest court in the United States would abandon the Constitution as the ultimate basis for all of the rulings they issue.  The framers of the Constitution did not envision that the members of that body of justices would substitute their own political opinions and biases, which are recorded in Supreme Court Precedent, for the actual text of the Constitution and the plain meaning of that document as understood at the time of ratification.

During his confirmation testimony Judge Kavanaugh demonstrated that he would most likely be a Supreme Court Justice that would rely more on the biased and flawed precedent than one of the great originalists like Scalia. Judge Kavanaugh discussed precedent frequently and in great detail during the confirmation hearings.  Here is what I consider the most telling quote about the topic from the hearings, as quoted in this Breitbart article:

The role of precedent is to ensure stability in the law, which is critically important…It’s also to ensure predictability of the law. People who order their affairs around judicial decisions, need to know that the law is predictable.  Whether you’re an individual or business or worker, you need to have predictability, People rely on the decisions of the courts, so reliance interests are critically important to consider … so that people can rely on the decisions.

Precedent also reinforces the impartiality and independence of the judiciary. The people need to know in this country that the judges are independent, and we’re not making decisions based on policy views. Part of that is to understand we’re following a system of precedent … the court, every time someone [new] gets on [the Court], it’s not just bouncing around to do what think is best. It’s what’s the precedent of the Supreme Court is always part of the analysis, an important part.

For 12 years, I’ve been applying precedent of the Supreme Court and of my court. Every day for 12 years, I haven’t been getting up saying, “How can I rewrite the law?” I’ve been getting up for 12 years every day, saying, “Okay, how can I apply this Fourth Amendment precedent to this fact pattern that comes before me?” So precedent is the foundation of our system. It’s part of the stability. It’s ensuring predictability. And it’s just foundational to the Constitution, as Article III [of the Constitution] and Federalist 78 made clear.

It is clear from this quote that Judge Kavanaugh believes that Supreme Court precedent is the bedrock of our constitutional republic.  Is he correct about that?  Let’s consult Federalist 78 which was written by Alexander Hamilton.

It is far more rational to suppose, that the courts were designed to be an intermediate body between the people and the legislature, in order, among other things, to keep the latter within the limits assigned to their authority. The interpretation of the laws is the proper and peculiar province of the courts. A constitution is, in fact, and must be regarded by the judges, as a fundamental law. It therefore belongs to them to ascertain its meaning, as well as the meaning of any particular act proceeding from the legislative body. If there should happen to be an irreconcilable variance between the two, that which has the superior obligation and validity ought, of course, to be preferred; or, in other words, the Constitution ought to be preferred to the statute…

But in regard to the interfering acts of a superior and subordinate authority, of an original and derivative power, the nature and reason of the thing indicate the converse of that rule as proper to be followed. They teach us that the prior act of a superior ought to be preferred to the subsequent act of an inferior and subordinate authority; and that accordingly, whenever a particular statute contravenes the Constitution, it will be the duty of the judicial tribunals to adhere to the latter and disregard the former.

From this quote it is obvious that the Constitution itself is the foundation of our legal system not the opinions offered by the Justices when they overturn a law.  To be fair to Judge Kavanaugh precedent is mentioned in that Federalist Paper.  Here is the passage:

There is yet a further and a weightier reason for the permanency of the judicial offices, which is deducible from the nature of the qualifications they require. It has been frequently remarked, with great propriety, that a voluminous code of laws is one of the inconveniences necessarily connected with the advantages of a free government. To avoid an arbitrary discretion in the courts, it is indispensable that they should be bound down by strict rules and precedents, which serve to define and point out their duty in every particular case that comes before them; and it will readily be conceived from the variety of controversies which grow out of the folly and wickedness of mankind, that the records of those precedents must unavoidably swell to a very considerable bulk, and must demand long and laborious study to acquire a competent knowledge of them.

Would Alexander Hamilton consider precedent that constantly disregards the actual text of the Constitution and plain meaning as worthy bedrock?  I do not believe he would.  The Supreme Court has erred far too often when reaching decisions and precedents are nothing more than a voluminous record of these failures.  Also the precedents mentioned by Hamilton were never meant to be granted the full force of law, as it is now.  They were just a guide consisting of opinions

James Madison stated quite clearly what the true foundation of constitutional understanding is when he wrote this in a letter from James Madison to Thomas Ritchie

As a guide in expounding and applying the provisions of the Constitution, the debates and incidental decisions of the Convention can have no authoritative character. However desirable it be that they should be preserved as a gratification to the laudable curiosity felt by every people to trace the origin and progress of their political Institutions, & as a source perhaps of some lights on the Science of Govt. the legitimate meaning of the Instrument must be derived from the text itself; or if a key is to be sought elsewhere, it must be not in the opinions or intentions of the Body which planned & proposed the Constitution, but in the sense attached to it by the people in their respective State Conventions where it recd. all the authority which it possesses.

Despite his potential over reliance on precedent I believe Judge Kavanaugh will be an adequate Supreme Court Justice.  I believe he will be another Justice in the mold of Justice Roberts rather that a true originalist giant such as Scalia, Gorsuch, and Thomas.  I believe he is infinitely better than anyone Hillary Clinton would have nominated and considerably better than Justice Kennedy.  Hopefully President Trump does better with his next pick,

The strongest criticism of Judge Kavanaugh centers around his ruling in the case Klayman v. Obama, which dealt with NSA warrantless bulk data collection under the Obama administration.  Here is the text of that decision.  On the surface, the opening statement is strong evidence of his possible weakness regarding one of our most important protections provided in the Bill of Rights.

I vote to deny plaintiffs’ emergency petition for rehearing en banc. I do so because, in my view, the Government’s metadata collection program is entirely consistent with the Fourth Amendment.

In order to make an informed decision we must dig deeper into the decision and examine the basis for this ruling.  Here is how Judge Kavanaugh justifies this ruling:

The Government’s collection of telephony metadata from a third party such as a telecommunications service provider is not considered a search under the Fourth Amendment, at least under the Supreme Court’s decision in Smith v. Maryland, 442 U.S. 735 (1979). That precedent remains binding on lower courts in our hierarchical system of absolute vertical stare decisis.

As you can see from this quote, Judge Kavanaugh is basing this decision on precedent from a Supreme Court decision.  As a member of a lower court he claims he is bound by vertical stare decisis.  Here is the definition of this concept from Cornell Law School Legal Information Institute

Stare decisis is Latin for “to stand by things decided.”  In short, it is the doctrine of precedent. Courts cite to stare decisis when an issue has been previously brought to the court and a ruling already issued… A court engages in vertical stare decisis when it applies precedent from a higher court.

This concept dates back to English Common Law and even back to Ancient Rome.  Because of this concept it is difficult to reach an informed conclusion on how he will rule once he is on the Supreme where they can set new precedent on any case.

In the Klayman v. Obama, Judge Kavanaugh goes on to say:

Even if the bulk collection of telephony metadata constitutes a search, cf. United States v. Jones, 132 S. Ct. 945, 954-57 (2012) (Sotomayor, J., concurring), the Fourth Amendment does not bar all searches and seizures. It bars only unreasonable searches and seizures. And the Government’s metadata collection program readily qualifies as reasonable under the Supreme Court’s case law. The Fourth Amendment allows governmental searches and seizures without individualized suspicion when the Government demonstrates a sufficient “special need” – that is, a need beyond the normal need for law enforcement – that outweighs the intrusion on individual liberty.  Examples include drug testing of students, roadblocks to detect drunk drivers, border checkpoints, and security screening at airports

This statement bothers me a great deal.  The framers of the Constitution believed that freedom and preservation of our rights were more important than safety. It was a common theme.  Judge Kavanaugh  goes on to say:

The Government’s program for bulk collection of telephony metadata serves a critically important special need – preventing terrorist attacks on the United States. See THE 9/11 COMMISSION REPORT (2004). In my view, that critical national security need outweighs the impact on privacy occasioned by this program. The Government’s program does not capture the content of communications, but rather the time and duration of calls, and the numbers called. In short, the Government’s program fits comfortably within the Supreme Court precedents applying the special needs doctrine.

From the text of the 4th Amendment you can see that there are no exceptions for national security.

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

From this chapter of Framers Intent by Thomas K Clancy, you can see that the notion of national security and safety exceptions to the 4th Amendment are very new.  The original intent of John Adams, who wrote the article of the Massachusetts Bill of Rights which became the model for the 4th Amendment. was to make the protections as broad as possible.  Could Judge Kavanaugh have based a negative ruling in this case on different precedent and still uphold stare decisis.  Yes, he could have, because there is so much conflicting precedent on the 4th Amendment and any constitutional concept.  That is one of the main reasons why precedent is such a flawed concept, which actually violates the Supremacy Clause of the Constitution.  Relying on the actual text and plain meaning as understood during the drafting and ratification of the Constitution are far superior.

I believe that Judge Kavanaugh is weak on the 4th Amendment.  Based on his rulings on every other issue I’ve read so far, he is strong on all other issue.  Even with his weakness on the 4th Amendment, I still believe he is worth supporting for the Supreme Court.  Rand Paul also agrees.  Here is what he tweeted on the day I was writing this article: