Previously on the Radical Agenda, we discussed a sudden shift in jurisprudence during the FDR administration, often referred to as the “switch in time that saved nine”. This was in response to a Leftist plot to pack the Supreme Court, in which the court decided to approve some New Deal measures previously understood to be unconstitutional, on the hopes that it would prevent this court packing scheme from coming to fruition.
Courts are of course, in theory, supposed to be above politics. That is why Supreme Court justices are given lifetime appointments, so that they need not concern themselves with the popularity of their decisions. For over a century, this seemed to be working out pretty well.
Under FDR, this changed. Leftists being the cunning manipulators they are, with their limitless willingness to lie, cheat, steal, and coerce, found a way to intimidate judges, and by this mechanism, got their way in defiance of the US Constitution. They did not soon forget the lesson learned. Conservatives, sadly, did.
Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court was not, as those on the Left would like to pretend, some kind of power grab by the far Right. Kavanaugh worked for the Bush administration, and was a gift by Trump to the establishment wing of the Republican Party. This concession was met, not with reciprocal deference and cooperation by the Left, but rather with an unprecedented wave of calumnies, which included false rape accusations and perjury. Protests against his nomination devolved from expressions of dissatisfaction, to mindless disruptions of the proceedings, and borderline if not outright political violence.
In the wake of his confirmation, Democrat presidential candidates took to the campaign trail to discuss their plans to replicate the FDR court packing scheme. Media organizations and other far Left activist groups, have called for Kavanaugh’s investigation and impeachment. Not because any honest person believes the claims against him, but because his confirmation is politically inconvenient.
They didn’t have to prevent Kavanaugh’s confirmation to accomplish the goals of their campaign. Nor do they have to accomplish his impeachment or any other means of removing him from the Court to accomplish the goals of that campaign. All they have to do is apply enough pressure to make him change his behavior, and in this, they seem to have been successful. He has been in the majority more often than any other justice so far this term, often allied with Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr., who is at the ideological center of the current court.
The most noteworthy example was in December of last year, as Kavanaugh joined with the Roberts and the Left in protecting Planned Parenthood’s public funding. This ran in stark contrast to the Left’s hysterics, as they wore “Handmaid’s Tale” costumes to their protests, insisting that Kavanaugh’s confirmation would result in women being enslaved to breed against their will.
Justice Clarence Thomas aptly noted in his dissenting opinion, joined by Alito and Gorsuch, that this was obviously politically motivated.
“So what explains the Court’s refusal to do its job here?,” Thomas wrote. “I suspect it has something to do with the fact that some respondents in these cases are named ‘Planned Parenthood.’”
“Some tenuous connection to a politically fraught issue does not justify abdicating our judicial duty,” Thomas added. “If anything, neutrally applying the law is all the more important when political issues are in the background.”
In a more recent case, a group of consumers had sued Apple, claiming that the company’s monopoly over its App Store led to inflated app prices. Apple disputed the legality of the suit, arguing the consumers had no standing to sue the company because it merely operated an intermediary between users and the developers who make and sell apps. The Supreme Court on Monday said that iPhone users can proceed with the class-action lawsuit. Kavanaugh wrote the opinion for the 5-4 decision, surprising many by breaking with his conservative colleagues and siding with the court’s liberal justices.
Some on the more populist Right may see this as a win for our side, given the tech censorship we’ve faced. I have similar inclinations, but it emerges as part of a pattern where Kavanaugh seems to be siding with the Left in hopes of avoiding their enmity should they regain control over the legislative and executive branches. Whatever the merits of each individual decision, the savvy observer is left to contemplate whether the Left’s pressure tactics are succeeding in altering the outcome of court battles.
But it is not just the courts that have been politicized.
We have seen the intelligence apparatus of the United States turned to Leftist aims. Most notably with the “Russia hoax” being used as an excuse to spy on the Trump campaign, and later to subvert his presidency. Of course, they were politicized well prior to that, as evidenced by bogus intelligence being used to justify the United States carrying out Israeli foreign policy in the Middle East, resulting in thousands of Americans needlessly dying in wars that served no legitimate purpose for the United States, not to mention a ceaseless emptying of our treasury on such fruitless pursuits.
We have likewise seen the law enforcement apparatus turned to explicitly political purposes. Both with the Mueller probe that followed this politicized intelligence operation, and with the prosecutions, and lack thereof, that ensued after the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville in 2017. Nobody saw fit to go after the Clinton campaign for openly admitting to paying Russian sources for the “Steel Dossier”, even as the investigation vigorously pursued any connection between Trump and Russia. Likewise, nobody saw fit to prosecute any of the Left wing terrorism that was openly bragged about in Charlottesville, even as the FBI and local authorities relentlessly hunted down Right wingers who defended themselves against that terrorism.
Libertarian notions as to what motivates businessmen were likewise blown out of the water, as the tech and financial sectors mutually conspired to silence Right wing voices, first at the fringes, then moving ever more reliably toward the center. No profit motive could be found in these pursuits, as the politicization of their businesses has only sacrificed credibility with the broader public, chased away users, who are ultimately their products, and even caused them to turn away money from advertising sales that went against their political motivations.
The Left can do this of course, because they have no fear that the Right would ever replicate the behavior. We would view the use of our intelligence and law enforcement apparatus as a corrupt act, and so we would not do it. We attempt to draw a line of separation between politics and the market, and so we are not inclined to boycotts, or turning away business, over political disagreements.
Noble though these inclinations my be, we are sacrificing political advantage as a result. Same as we have with the use of criminal violence. The Left has politicized everything from the media, to the courts, to the intelligence agencies, to law enforcement, to business, right down to the criminal element. Meanwhile, the Right has attempted to play by decidedly outdated rules. We tend to view the political realm as a gentleman’s contest, where we abide by certain rules, even if it causes us to lose. This is an impossible worldview to maintain, once one has opened participation in their political system to hostile elements, who do not care for such gentlemanly standards.
There’s a lot more to get to, plus your calls…
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