Republicans are waving the white flag of surrender. It has been said that while Democrats are the evil party, Republicans are the stupid party. They are also the cowardly party.
The confirmation hearings of Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor are a case in point. The Democrats dominate the Senate Judiciary Committee. They have the votes to confirm her in the Senate. Her appointment is all but guaranteed. Yet, instead of waging a principled, ferocious fight, Republican committee members offered mostly weak, ineffective opposition.
The Republican Party had a golden opportunity to educate the American public about the dangers of liberal judicial activism. Republicans could have put Judge Sotomayor and the Obama administration on trial. They could have shown that, at its core, modern liberalism is an anti-American, anti-democratic ideology. It seeks social engineering through judicial tyranny. Its goal is to pervert and systematically dismantle the Constitution, destroying the Founding Fathers’ vision of a decentralized republic based on limited government and natural rights. Instead, the left champions the very opposite: a post-national socialist superstate.
Hence, for decades progressives have used the courts to push a radical agenda of abortion, gay marriage, doctor-assisted suicide, voting rights for felons, protections for illegal immigrants, gun control, removing the Ten Commandments from public schools, eradicating religion from public life and sanctioning the federal government’s increasing control over the economy. Much of our lives are now determined by nine men and women in robes; judicial supremacy is slowly trumping the power of democratic legislatures. A hereditary aristocracy has been replaced by life-serving justices — mandarins who perpetuate the liberal regime.
Republicans could have asked: Where does the Constitution say the high court has the authority to manage our prison or education systems? It doesn’t. The Supreme Court has usurped considerable powers from the legislative branch, delegating to itself the prerogative to rule on issues such as school vouchers or giving criminals voting rights.
Judge Sotomayor insists that the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision, which legalized abortion, is “settled law.” Moreover, she claims that abortion is “a right of privacy” found in “various places in the Constitution.” This is false. Whatever one thinks of the practice, abortion is not guaranteed by the Constitution. It is a matter that historically was regulated by the states. Liberal judicial activists have invented the right to infanticide where none exists.
Like the infamous 1857 Dred Scott decision, which stipulated blacks were chattel not worthy of citizenship, Roe v. Wade has encoded the pernicious principle that an entire class of people — unborn babies — are subhuman and not entitled to basic rights.
Abortion is the slavery of our time, a false right that rationalizes the domination of the strong over the weak. Instead of waging a frontal assault on this artificial “right to privacy,” Republicans practiced appeasement. They let her off the hook.
Moreover, they could have exposed the extreme racialism at the heart of Judge Sotomayor’s worldview. She now claims that her comment about a “wise Latina woman” making better decisions than a white male judge was taken out of context. But the record proves otherwise. Her speeches are suffused with claims of ethnic, gender and Hispanic cultural supremacy. Judge Sotomayor is the product of a postmodern leftist academic legal culture that stresses the primacy of race, class and gender.
According to this legal philosophy, America is a racist, sexist, homophobic nation founded upon slavery, exploitation and conquest. Gender and ethnic identity supersede a common national heritage. Her rulings have been pro-affirmative action, pro-quotas and anti-business. She is a priestess of the left’s holy trinity: She worships socialism, feminism and multiculturalism.
The Republican Party could have badly damaged the Obama administration by saying Judge Sotomayor’s racialist views are unacceptable — and disqualify her from the high court. They could have pledged to filibuster her nomination, taking to the airwaves and the cable TV news networks. They could have turned the debate into a national referendum. They didn’t do this for one reason: fear of alienating the growing Hispanic vote. Once again, the Republican Party put politics (and pandering) ahead of principle.
The Republican Party was founded in opposition to the expansion of slavery in the territories. It is the party of the Union; the party of national unity. For the past 40 years, it is also the party of Middle America. It embodies — or is supposed to embody — the conservative values of faith, family and freedom. Yet, rather than defend small government, capitalism and Judeo-Christian morality, Republicans have slowly betrayed their animating values. They have gone from Abraham Lincoln and Ronald Reagan to Jack Abramoff and John McCain.
The result is the Republican Party’s slow collapse — and with it the traditional republic, as America becomes dominated by one-party Democratic rule. There is no real political counterweight to President Obama’s socialist revolution. Mr. Obama has a clear path to create a European-style nanny state, from which it is almost impossible to return. Once citizens become dependent on big government, they lose their self-reliance and the virtues of personal responsibility. They become wards of the state, not free men and women.
Judge Sotomayor’s confirmation is another step in Mr. Obama’s relentless march to destroy traditional America. Rather than serving as the last bulwark, the Republican Party is offering half-hearted, tepid resistance. It is in full retreat.
Jeffrey T. Kuhner is a columnist at The Washington Times and president of the Edmund Burke Institute, a Washington-based think tank.