My Turn: Bruce LaRue: The mid-term exam of a lifetime
One of the great things about our form of government is that every two years the people have the power, opportunity, and occasionally even the will to shake up the power structure in D.C. We do not have to wait for the next presidential election to do a little mending.
This November Americans had the chance and, in my opinion, the responsibility to bring about a shift in the balance of power. Regardless of what one might think of President Obama or his administration, partisanship and preferences aside, any intellectually honest review must conclude with a negative assessment. By any reasonable measure the current administration has been, depending on which yardstick one goes by, at the very least disappointing and probably closer to a dismal failure. President Jimmy Carter has been granted a presidential pardon, but let’s save all that for another column.
The focus of this mid-term election seemed to be on the Senate races, and for good reason. Had the Senate remained in the grasp and control of Democrats, the Obama administration would have had two years in which to rule by executive fiat, further rending our social and cultural fabric as well as delaying our much-needed economic recovery. Venture capitalists would have continued to sit on their wallets as long as President Obama is in power with a Senate compelled to aid and abet. They would be foolish not to. The planes carrying commerce and economic recovery (especially those nettlesome private jets) have been grounded by the fog of uncertainty since President Obama took office. How can a business owner plan for the future not knowing what the tax rates might be, what the company’s health insurance burden might be, and the nature of involvement of the Environmental Protection Agency?
So why were the Senate races so important? In my top 10 reasons, the first nine make up the Supreme Court. Currently there exists a relatively balanced ideological make-up among the justices. While not liberal enough for some and not conservative enough for others, the court is unlikely to inflict irreparable damage to the nation. Blame Chief Justice Roberts for Obamacare if you wish, but what he did was let it be known that under his watch the Supreme Court would not serve as a bidet for Congress. The clear message was that legislators need to clean up their own messes or, better yet, stop making them.
I truly hope that all of the justices live long and happy lives, and that they remain of sound mind. But things happen. We get old and we die. If a conservative justice retires or is unable to carry out the duties of a Supreme Court justice, then he must be replaced. Surely the moderates, independents, and other fiercely ambivalent voters out there can sense the danger of a Supreme Court with a liberal majority. One need look no further than the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals and some of their zany rulings to see what a liberal activist court looks like. We’ve already lost on rights of the unborn and gay marriage. How much more ground shall we surrender until we become unrecognizable, left only with remnants and memories of American exceptionalism and pockets of morality amid the smoldering remains of what was the greatest empire to which the world has ever given birth?
By regaining the Senate we help Americanism at least hold serve for the next two years, and not only to block radical appointees. Number ten on my top ten list is treaty ratification. Treaties must be ratified by the Senate, and are binding. Accords are more symbolism than substance. A Republican-controlled Senate is less likely to cede our sovereignty to the United Nations in the name of climate change than a senate with a Democratic majority.
Congratulations are in order for our once and future great nation. The apologists and whiners have begun their teeth-gnashing, hand-wringing shrieking over the election results, some even going so far as to accuse the Democratic candidates of cowardice for not embracing President Obama. Can the no-labels crowd be far behind? How about that voter turnout?
We were just given one of the most important mid-term exams of a generation, and America did very well. We voted thoughtfully and wisely this time. The change will do us good.
Bruce LaRue lives in Mount Ulla.