by: the Common Constitutionalist
Have you ever felt alone? Not like, on a desert island alone; just the feeling that you are in such a philosophical minority that your segregated from the rest of society.
Well, that’s how I’m beginning to feel. I know that is not the case, but with every passing month I see one ally after another fall, or at least lean toward the Dark Side. I’m speaking metaphysically of course.
Maybe I set my sights too high or maybe I’m just being unreasonable. I liken the situation we find ourselves in to the Matrix movie; the first one in particular. In the movie practically everyone is living in a great mirage and even if given the choice to free themselves from the program, they choose not to. There are a relative few who broke out of the matrix to fight the system and try to free the minds of others. In the first of the trilogy, one of the freedom fighters betrays the others. As payment for this betrayal, the overlords promise to return him to the mirage of the matrix, thus freeing him from the suffering of reality. He claimed he was simply tired of fighting the good fight.
Well, as I stated, it appears that not a month goes by where another freedom fighter seems to either give up the fight or begin the slow walk of compromise to the Dark Side.
Not that Christie was a conservative in the first place and whatever his reason, in 2012 Chris Christie sold us out with his famous post Sandy invite an overly affectionate salutation of Obama. Personally, I believe it was that he felt snubbed by Romney for not choosing him as his running mate. Whatever conservative leanings he did have, have all but vanished.
Then about a month ago, the great Hispanic hope of the conservative movement and potential presidential hopeful, sold out to the lefts idea of immigration reform. Some would say it was smart and pragmatic, given the times we live in. I say it was a sellout, pure and simple.
Now in just the past few days, one of my favorite constitutional conservatives has shocked me. I’ve held up Rand Paul as one of a very few constitutionalists in our government I could count on to say and do the right thing consistently.
I was disappointed in his vote for John Kerry as Secretary of State. I held out hope that he would redeem himself when he and others filibustered Obama’s nomination for Secretary of Defense, Chuck Hagel. Hagel was a Republican, but a liberal RINO in every sense of the word. I was stunned when after two successful filibusters; Rand Paul changed his vote to confirm Hagel.
He first appeared on Fox news to explain why:
So he filibustered just to get additional information on Hagel and when he knew he would not receive it, rather than just vote his conscience, he voted to confirm. He claimed he voted for Kerry, “despite not agreeing with a single thing Kerry believes”. Huh?
Paul explained he did so due to constitutional deference to the President. Indeed, the president may nominate anyone he likes to such posts and the Senate’s job is “Advice and Consent” of the nominee.
The senator said that he takes the position that, “The president is afforded a lot of leeway in his selection”. He’s right; the president could select Charles Manson if he is so inclined. The Constitution does however, in no way state that the Senate is merely a rubber stamp. If that were the case why would they bother with it? Hello! Robert Bork?!
Article II. Section. 2. Of the United States Constitution, in part reads: “… and he (the president) shall nominate, and by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, shall appoint Ambassadors, other public Ministers and consuls, Judges of the Supreme Court, and all other Officers of the United States, whose Appointments are not herein otherwise provided for…”
I know it’s a silly and outdated notion, but are we not supposed to follow the law, which is the Constitution? Ridiculous! And if we are even the slightest bit confused, regarding the meaning of said document should we not look to the original intent of the founders who wrote and advocated for the Constitution? Seems logical.
Well, the Federalist Papers were the commercials of the day. They were written to explain the document and compel people to support it.
Federalist 76 – The Appointment Power of the Executive – explains the Advice and Consent clause.
The author of Federalist 76 was Alexander Hamilton. He wrote, “to what purpose then require the cooperation of the Senate? I answer, that the necessity of their concurrence would have a powerful, though, in general, a silent operation. It would be an excellent check upon a spirit of favoritism in the president, and would tend greatly to prevent the appointment of unfit characters…” “The Senate… In the business of appointments, will be a considerable and salutary restraint upon the conduct of that magistrate.”
It is therefore evident to me that the Senate is supposed to play an important role in the process of confirmation, and not as I said, be a rubberstamp.
Another thing that bothered me was Paul’s statement that he will stick with his party (Republicans) if the party will stick together. I don’t care for that lemming mentality and it was wholly unexpected coming from Rand Paul.
When asked whether he thought Chuck Hagel would be a good Secretary of Defense, Rand said he didn’t know. Then why vote to confirm him?!
I haven’t given up on Rand Paul, but I do know that compromise begets more compromise until one is unable to walk it back. Let’s hope this doesn’t happen to the Senator.