Monday, September 26, 2005

Extremism in the Name of Jesus Is No Sin

I continue to be stunned by how blind the mainstream media and even much of the theoretically astute Democratic commentariat remain to the influence and implications of Pres. Bush's brand of Christianity.

Look at how the L.A. Times sums up Pres. Bush's supposed judiciary quandary:

"In making his nomination, Bush faces something of a political dilemma: Choose a true conservative and face a major fight in the Senate, or choose a moderate and risk losing the backing of his strongest supporters."
Can anyone imagine for one second, with a straight face, Pres. Bush worrying about "a major fight" in the Senate? For one thing, who says he'd have a major fight? Republicans control the Senate, and close-enough to handily that Roberts is getting a walk. Democrats may be put off if Bush doesn't choose an O'Connor successor in the O'Connor mold, but the reality is that there is no designated "O'Connor" seat on the high court. The bench doesn't have x conservative seats, y liberal seats and z peacemaker/consensus-builder/flip-flopper seats. It has whatever configuration is determined by the nine most recent appointments. Period. That's why America was supposed to vote this scourge out last year.

But the left has discounted, in its condescending way, the fact that Bush doesn't compromise. He may yield on those occasions when he has no choice. But he does not honor the art of consensus or compromise. He does not value that which is valuable in politics and American polity. Why is this? It's not because he's stubborn, though he is surely that. It's not because he's principled, though in his own way he is surely that, too. It's not because he is in some more authentic than other politicians.

It's because he's sure.

He's so sure, even about intrinsically empirical matters, that the knowledge of these things lies not in his brain -- the realm of cognition and analysis -- but in his heart, the realm of purity and faith.

How can he have such certainty? He's told us since day one, and like smirking, northeastern liberals, we've doubted and discounted him. He has such certainty because he has faith.

God is on his side and, far more importantly, he is on God's side. If, just once, the Democratic political establishment would internalize this fact, then all of Bush's supposed "stubbornness" would fall into place. There's no reason for Bush to compromise. It would be, literally, insane to compromise if you knew that the all-knowing creator of all-there-is had told you what is right.

For decades, if not centuries, we've perceived American politics through the lens of adversarial relationships, competing interests. House clashed with Senate. Republicans clashed with Democrats. Congress clashed with Judiciary. Judiciary clashed with Executive Branch. Through it all, each side pushed its interests where it could, made analytical choices, based on fact and empirical reality, about where to give in, which horses to trade, which logs to roll. The fight was the process. Give and take was the point.

That's over now.

President Bush will nominate a conservative -- an ideological conservative, regardless of politically correct hue or genitalia -- because it's been divinely sanctified as the right thing to do. Compromise is not only wrong, it's unthinkable.

The left can not stand against Pres. Bush's certainty, can not turn it into a political liability rather than a virtue, without addressing the cause of it. And if they don't learn to do so with Pres. Bush, they'll find that he'll spawn an entire generation of politicians who share his stubbornness, his certainty and, most importantly, his willingness to impose them both upon us all in the name of God.

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