The Five Questions That Will Determine The Presidential Election In November

The New York Sun posted an article yesterday by Conrad Black. The article lists the five things that will determine who wins the presidential election in November.

These are the five things listed in the article:

    • Can the President override the Democratic press’s thunderous campaign to terrorize the country over the coronavirus?

    • Can the president successfully connect Vice President Biden’s campaign to the hooligans, anti-white racists, and urban guerrillas who effectively are being encouraged by the corrupt Democratic mayors of many of the nation’s largest cities?

    • Will the economic recovery and the decline in the unemployment generated by the COVID-19 shutdown continue at its recent pace and strengthen the economy as a pro-Trump electoral argument?

    • Will the Republicans make adequately clear to the country the authoritarian and Marxist implications of the Biden-Sanders unity document?

    • Will special counsel John Durham indict senior members of the Obama Administration over their handling of the spurious allegation of collusion between Donald Trump and the Russian government in the 2016 election and Justice Department violations of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), and how will Mr. Biden himself come through it?

The coronavirus has given us some insight into what unbridled government authority can do. Some of the regulations put in place by governors and mayors were based on common sense–things your mother told you when you were young like wash you hands, cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze, and don’t hang around with sick people. Other regulations were simply power grabs to prevent Americans from exercising their First Amendment rights–churches in Nevada restricted to a lower percentage of occupancy than casinos, protests to open businesses criticized and shut down while other protests (that included looting and riots) were allowed to continue. We have had a taste of out-of-control government in recent months. A vote for Joe Biden and whoever he chooses as his running mate will give us more of the same. Joe Biden has already stated that he wants to reassemble the Obama team–the group that gave us anemic economic growth, Benghazi where our ambassador was murdered followed by lying about it on television, ISIS, politicization of the Justice Department, and too many other scandals to mention.

The voters will choose. We need to pray for wisdom in voting and an honest election.

Hoisted On Your Own Petard

I love it when karma shows up. The New York Sun posted an editorial yesterday about a religious freedom case argued before the Second United States Circuit Court or Appeals. I have absolutely no background in law, so I am going to rely heavily on what was stated in the editorial.

The editorial states:

When a case called New Hope Family Services showed up on the docket of the Second United States Circuit Court or Appeals, we perked up. It’s not just that we keep a weather eye for religious freedom cases (this one involves New York state’s attempt to force a Christian ministry to choose between its doctrine and its ability to place children in foster homes). We also perked up because of the three judges on the appeals panel.

They included two Democrats and a Republican — Edward Korman, a senior district judge sitting on the circuit bench; the legendary José Cabranes, probably the most senior active judge in the Circuit; and Reena Raggi, about whom we last wrote when we suggested she’d be an ideal candidate for the Supreme Court. It would be, we suspected, like watching a judicial version of “Field of Dreams.”

The New Hope Family Services was warned that if it did not state a willingness to place children with same-sex couples or unmarried couples, it would have to go out of business. The New Hope Family Services is a Christian group that believes in the teachings of the Bible, so obviously to agree to this would have been against their Biblical beliefs.

The editorial continues:

It was, at least to us, a shocking threat. It put New Hope, which is not government funded and has been in business for decades, in an impossible position. The pettifogging was too sophisticated for us and we started nodding off — until we heard the lawyer for New York state say, “It’s not a question of a Jewish family coming to the agency and being turned away because they’re Jewish.”

“But,” Judge Cabranes pointed out, “there’s no question that you’re preventing consideration of whether the adoptive parents are a same-sex couple as a result of the religious views of the agency.” Replied New York’s lawyer: “Yes.” Which prompted Judge Cabranes to ask: “You don’t think that there’s a suggestion here that the regulation is targeting religious groups?” New York state’s lawyer proceeded to reply: “No.”

“Because,” the state’s lawyer, Laura Etlinger, continued, the Second Circuit itself had said “the fact that there may be a disparate impact on religious organizations because of factual matters, they are the ones more likely to be affected, is not evidence of discrimination.” This is when Judge Raggi pointed out that the entities in that earlier case were not mainly religious.

In contrast, she noted, New Hope was contending that discovery in its case would disclose that the “vast majority, if not all” of the foster care and adoption agencies that “have had to go out of existence” are religious organizations.

“Do you dispute that?” Judge Raggi demanded.

“Well, in — it’s not in the record,” Ms. Etlinger replied, seeming to sense, suddenly, that she had been drawn into a trap.

The reason it wasn’t in the record, after all, was that the district court had dismissed New Hope’s complaint out of hand. Ms. Etlinger suggested that “to the extent there is an impact, because religious organizations are the ones that have a view about placement with same-sex couples does not mean that the agency was targeting those —” Her words hung in the air.

“Well,” Judge Raggi said, “isn’t that what discovery might reveal?”

The principle in question here is disparate impact as proof of bias. It is a legal principle often used by the political left to twist the law to get what they want. Please follow the link to read the entire editorial. It is wonderful to see the tactics of the political left used against them.

The editorial concludes:

Disparate impact is by no means the only angle the Second Circuit considered in New Hope. Nor is it our intention here to suggest that same-sex or unmarried couples are unsuitable for adoption. It is our intention to savor the irony that such a liberal concept as disparate impact might yet illuminate the First Amendment violations of a state trying to force a religious ministry to choose between, on the one hand, its beliefs and, on the other, its religious mission in respect of foster parenting and adoption.

 

The Need To Pay Attention

In a speech in Dublin, Ireland, on July 10, 1790, John Philpot Curran stated, “The condition upon which God hath given liberty to man is eternal vigilance.” The quote has been changed slightly and attributed to other people, but that is the original quote. That quote is particularly applicable right now as there are those (some in our government) who are blatantly attacking one of the pillars of our representative republic.

On July 6th, I posted an article about the Supreme Court decision regarding the requirement that electors in the Electoral College vote for their state’s popular vote winner. That decision was a win for the Constitution. However, that decision is not the last we will hear on the subject.

Yesterday The New York Sun posted an editorial noting the next attack on the Electoral College. Understand that the Electoral College is what stands between the representative republic we now have and mob rule. If you believe that New York, California, and a few other populous states are well run, then abolishing the Electoral College would allow those states to run the entire country. That is a scary thought.

The editorial notes:

Now that the Supreme Court has vouchsafed the power of a state to require its presidential electors to vote in line with their state’s popular vote, a new question glimmers in the constitutional mist: Could a state require its electors to vote against the wishes of the state’s own voters? That might seem a ridiculous question. Feature, though, the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact.

It’s a workaround designed to commit the states to use the Electoral College to deliver the presidency to the winner of the national popular vote. It’s the first thing that came to mind when the Supreme Court today unanimously concluded that states have the power to punish faithless electors. Most justices credited the language in Article 2, which grants states the power to appoint electors.

The key phrase is that each state shall appoint its electors “in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct.” The court, in an opinion by Justice Kagan, reckons this gives the states the power to attach conditions to the electors it appoints, such as the requirement that they vote for the candidate their home-state voters prefer. It can punish them if they don’t.

The National Popular Vote Interstate Compact, though, is a scheme under which states agree to instruct their electors to ignore what their own state’s voters want and, instead, vote for the winner of the national popular vote. The compact goes into effect when it has been ratified by states whose combined electoral vote count is 270, i.e., enough to choose a president.

The editorial concludes:

The Search For Significance

This article has two sources–a New York Sun editorial posted today and an article by Scott Johnson posted at Power Line Blog today. Both articles deal with the ‘surprise’ overwhelming victory of Boris Johnson in the British election yesterday.

The New York Sun notes:

It’s hard to overstate how wonderful is the news that Prime Minister Boris Johnson has won a mandate to, after all these years of struggle, lead a restoration of British sovereignty and independence. We may have been in that fight from the early days, but we don’t mind saying that we’ve had moments of doubt, particularly during the past year, that Britain would prevail. All the sweeter the results being tallied this evening.

This is only partly in respect of Brexit. It was, certainly, the overriding issue in the election. It is the very reason why the election was called when it was. Once again, the polls got it wrong. On the eve of the vote, the gods of polling were predicting that the race had become too close to call. A hung parliament couldn’t be ruled out. Some hazarded that Labor’s Jeremy Corbyn might end up at 10 Downing Street.

In the event, the British people delivered a resounding “no” to all that Mr. Corbyn stood for — the resentment of Jews and Israel, the embrace of socialism, and another Brexit referendum. The result is that Labor’s drubbing stands as its worst since 1935. No less than Jonathan Chait rushed out a column to mark that American leftists thought Corbyn’s inevitable victory would be their model against Trumpism.

Which is one way to mark a phenomenon that has been glimpsed throughout this battle since 2016. The phenomenon can be put this way: “As goes Brexit, so goes Trump.” In a way, the Brexit referendum turned out to be a predictor, or even a precursor, of Mr. Trump’s triumph in the election. The victory by Mr. Johnson and the Conservative Party today could well be a precursor of Mr. Trump in 2020. On verra.

Scott Johnson at Power Line Blog notes:

The election has already produced a ruling cliche to describe the results: Labour’s “red wall” crumbled. (In the UK, the colors are reversed: blue represents the Tories, red Labour.) Among the many seats in its “red wall” that has now crumbled, for example, is Tony Blair’s Sedgefield constituency. The Tories picked up a shocking number of seats that historically belonged to Labour in the industrial and rural north. It overstates the results to observe that Labour is contracting to a metropolitan party, but the tendency seems to be implicit in the outcome.

From a distance, at least, Boris proved himself an ebullient and optimistic campaigner, and not just by contrast with the dour and deceitful Corbyn. Boris staked the election campaign on the theme of getting Brexit done. His performance made me think of Steve Hayward’s observation in Churchill on Leadership: “[F]rom time to time, and especially in a crisis, the genuine leader must simply exert his personal force and summon up his willfulness.” Boris seems to me to have met the moment with some part of this quality in leading his party to its remarkable victory yesterday.

The British people voted for Brexit years ago. The ruling elite chose to ignore that vote. The people removed the blockage. I suspect we are going to see similar things in America next year–those who have blocked the immigration and economic policies of President Trump might find themselves on the unemployment line.

Stop The World, I Want To Get Off

Have you ever been on a roller coaster and as it climbs to the top for its descent, you wonder if this is really where you want to be. I suspect that is how Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi is feeling right now.

Yesterday The New York Sun posted an editorial about a recent remark by Speaker Pelosi.

The editorial notes:

Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s suggestion that President Trump emulate President Nixon and resign is, in our opinion, a shocking démarche unworthy of her office. And a glimpse into the predicament of the Democrats, who, though they began beating the drums for impeachment more than three years ago, still don’t seem to know what charges to lay against the president.

Mrs. Pelosi hauled out Nixon in her interview on the Columbia Broadcasting System, where Margaret Brennan asked the speaker whether the President would get, “as he says,” to “confront his accuser.” The question was met with a slippery evasion that began with Mrs. Pelosi snapping, “What do you mean confront his accuser? Confront the whistleblower?”

“Presumably, that’s what he means,” Ms. Brennan said.

“Well,” Mrs. Pelosi huffed, “I will make sure he does not intimidate the whistleblower.”

Then again, too, Mr. Trump wasn’t asking to intimidate the whistleblower. He has been pointing out that he’s being brought up for impeachment on a complaint by a person he has been, in the resulting proceedings, unable to confront. That, it seems to the President and to millions of other Americans, ourselves included, to be crosswise with the spirit of the Rights Bill.

The editorial concludes:

In the case of President Trump, though, no committee of the House, let alone the House itself, has voted out a single charge. When Ms. Brennan asked the Speaker whether “bribery” would be one of the charges, Mrs. Pelosi retorted, “I have no idea.” Then she said: “Well, there’s not even a decision made to impeach the president. This is a finding of fact, unfolding of the truth. And then a decision will be made.”

So the Speaker of the House goes on national television to suggest that President Trump resign without disclosing whether the President is likely to be impeached or what the charges would be. It’s just Democratic Party demagoguery pure and simple, and soon people are going to start asking why Mrs. Pelosi is such an all-fired hurry to run the president out of office without a trial in the Senate at all.

Speaker Pelosi wants President Trump to resign so that she and her cohorts don’t have to prove that the President did anything wrong. This statement is totally inappropriate in a representative republic. It also goes totally against the rights guaranteed to American citizens in the Bill of Rights. This kind of political railroading by politicians in power is probably part of the reason the Bill of Rights was added to the U.S. Constitution. After reading her comments, I truly believe that Speaker Pelosi is in the position of a person on a roller coaster climbing to the top and wondering if she has made the right decision. Like that person, she knows that it is too late to get off now!