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Thursday, July 12, 2007

The First Church of Winner Take All
Posted by Jill | 6:09 AM
George W. Bush may have the insane delusion that God talks through him, but the religion of Dick Cheney, the architect of Absolute Executive Power, with Tony Scalia as his Cromwell, is something just a wee bit different, as pointed out by Nick Benton of the Falls Church News-Press (via E. Pluribus Media):

At the top, these people have a total overhaul of U.S. Constitutional government in mind. Bush and friends are the first administration that has achieved a level of power high enough to exhibit this. Their goal is the end of democracy as defined by the U.S. Constitution.

They came into office on the shoulders of the same forces, led by U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia and those under his sway on that bench who installed Bush as the president in December 2000.

Appropriately, it is a movement steeped in religious convictions, as religion is a domain that needs no respect for the secular U.S. Constitution.

In Scalia’s case, many, including myself, attending a dinner honoring a retiring George Mason University law professor in Arlington in January 2003, were shocked to hear him couch in Jesuit-steeped legaleze the core substance of his notion of law.

In so many words, he said the law is defined by who wins. If you win, you get to decide what is legal and what isn’t.

It’s a variant on “might makes right” and other tenants of “social Darwinism,” the ideology which, when unbridled in political practice, leads to all varieties of tyranny.

Since that night, I’ve been dismayed by the notion that such an ideology would be operative on the U.S. Supreme Court. That court is assigned with preserving the notion that U.S. law, and its defense of equal justice and democratic institutions, is rooted in the U.S. Constitution, not the most recent thug elected to a high place.

It has not been until Bush’s two most recent appointments to the Supreme Court that Scalia’s viewpoint has appeared to obtain the majority there.

In President Bush’s case, he comes from of a particularly unsavory ultra right-wing Protestant religious influence that combines its influence on controlling his self-destructive personal habits with its claims that God’s law supercedes man’s laws and that the true believer must be obedient to the former.

The likes of Dick Cheney and others, of course, don’t require the religious trappings on this notion. For them, Scalia is sufficient: You win, you rule.

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