Ellis Washington is a former staff editor of the Michigan Law Review and law clerk at the Rutherford Institute. He is a professor of Constitutional Law, Legal Ethics, and Contracts at the National Paralegal College, a counselor at the American College of Education, and a founding board member of Salt and Light Global. Washington is a co-host of "Joshua's Trial," a radio show of Christian conservative thought. A graduate of JohnMore ↓Less ↑
Last week I did a review of Laurence Tribe, a professor of constitutional law at Harvard and his book, “The Invisible Constitution.” Tribe’s thesis is that the “real” Constitution is not so much in the black-letter text of the actual document, but in the unwritten, “recovered memories,” hidden, “imagined experiences” and penumbral shadows.
Tribe’s legal philosophy is antithetical to the original intent of the Constitution’s framers and, in my opinion, is insufficient as a legitimate theory of constitutional law. At its foundation, Tribe’s ideology is a secular, Marxist, socialist legal philosophy.
Professor Tribe’s fellow colleague at Harvard, Cass Sunstein, a visiting professor of constitutional law from the University of Chicago Law School wrote a piece last week defending Barack Obama for the New Republic titled, “The Empiricist Strikes Back.”
Professor Sunstein’s defense of Obama’s controversial views on domestic and international policy utilized the technique of moderating his policies by placing Obama to the right of his growing legion of leftist critics in the fringe blogosphere who are angry at his recent surge to the center to counter Sarah Palin’s popularity as McCain’s V.P. candidate. I am not convinced.
Sunstein’s arguments would be plausible if this were 1988 – before the advent of conservative intellectuals like Joseph Farah, Dr. Michael Savage, Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Ann Coulter, Laura Ingraham, Justice Clarence Thomas, Justice Antonin Scalia, FoxNews, the Internet and many others in the so-called “alternative media.”
But it isn’t 1988; it is 2008, and now any rationally minded person can look at Professor Sunstein’s apologetic for Obama and determine almost immediately if it is truth or propaganda.
Unfortunately, these days most of what is coming out of Harvard and all the Ivy-League universities ignores or actively denigrates the original mandate of these prestigious institutions – seminaries to train Christian ministers to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ throughout America and the world.
Over the past 150 years since the apotheosis of Darwinian evolution to the academy, higher education has devolved into socialist and Marxist propaganda factories. Because of Leninist entrenchment conservatism and ideas out of the Judeo-Christian tradition of intellectual thought have been increasingly marginalized.
Let me give you a few examples of this Pravdaesque technique from professor Sunstein’s article:
Throughout the article, Sunstein defines Obama with such words as “empiricist” (acquisition of knowledge through experience), “progressive” (code word for “liberal” or “liberalism” which since President Ronald Reagan, has become an infamous epithet), “independent thinker,” “visionary minimalist” (advocating minimal [small] forms of government). Honestly, Sen. Obama possesses none of these qualities.
Professor Sunstein writes: Obama believes in an individual right to own guns. Not so. Obama changed his view to support the Second Amendment and conventional conservatism because he saw the handwriting on the wall regarding the groundbreaking, pro-Second Amendment case, D.C. v. Heller (2008) where the Supreme Court majority overturned a 33-year handgun ban in Washington, D.C.
Other issues Obama has been forced to move to the right on – thus angering his liberal base – include:
Obama’s backtracking on his strong and early opposition to the Iraq war;
Obama has said the death penalty may be appropriate for child rape;
Obama has voted for wiretapping reform that includes retroactive immunity for telephone companies;
Obama recently said that he does not want to reopen NAFTA negotiations unilaterally.
Sunstein writes: “They think that his recent departures from left-wing orthodoxy are a form of flip-flopping or some kind of betrayal.” No Cass, Obama hasn’t betrayed the radical left fringe, he is part of the leftist fringe whose voting record and radical association like Wright, Ayers, Dohrn, Alinsky, Fleiger brand him as a certified Marxist.
Furthermore, Obama has been increasingly frustrated and strident because he cannot tell America who he really is. Overtime this makes him appear less authentic and less Messiah-like. Since Aug. 29 when McCain picked Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, a quintessential, authentic social conservative as his running mate, Obama has been dropping like a rock in the polls.
Sunstein further comments: “But, by nature, he is also an independent thinker, and he listens to all sides.” However, everyone (except for Professor Sunstein) knows by now that Obama was cited by the National Journal as the most liberal senator in Congress –
meaning, out of 535 members, Obama has the most extremist voting record of all his colleagues in both the Senate and the House of Representatives. There is nothing “coming together,” bipartisan or “independent” about Sen. Obama.
As a professor of constitutional law at Harvard, Sunstein should be ashamed of himself for presenting such fawning propaganda as a reasoned critique, as if his only readership were brainwashed cultists. I am not one such person.
Conventional wisdom had Obama being so extreme in his views on FISA that he was even to the left of his own party. He knew his support of a FISA bill that permitted lawsuits against America’s own telecom companies – that willingly helped the FBI by diverting intercepted foreign phone communications of suspected terrorist plots against America – was not favored by the overwhelming majority of Americans.
What would Obama do, this “empiricist,” “pragmatist,” “visionary minimalist” as Sunstein referred to him, regarding FISA and America’s war against international terrorism?
As the consensus mounted even in the mainstream media that President Bush and the Republican minority were prudent and responsible to grant the telecom companies retroactive immunity from lawsuits by the rapacious liberal trial lawyers association and the ACLU. What sane individual could be against protecting Americans from terrorist attacks from other countries?
Sen. Barack Obama that’s who, despite what Professor Sunstein says.
In the final analysis, just as the advent of Sarah Palin, an authentic, reform-minded conservative Republican, witnessed the precipitous descent of Barack Obama in recent polls. Similarly, 20 years of conservative alternative media and the ideas from magnificent conservative jurists like Judge Robert Bork, Justices Clarence Thomas, Antonin Scalia, John Roberts, Samuel Alito, Judge Janice Rogers Brown, will hopefully one day cause the academy and Harvard University to live up to its own, long-forgotten motto – Veritas – Truth.