Thursday, February 24, 2011

Do we still need a Justice Department?

By Bernie Quigley

For The Hill on 2/24/11

Jay Carney, the President’s new mouthpiece, gives the impression of the “man behind the curtain.” Little to say, as Dana Milbank of The Washington Post reports, few tools in the toolbox, tepid and inauthentic like one of Don Draper’s paste-up artists, stylish and self effacing. Who’s afraid of Jay Carney? Who’s afraid of Barack Obama? It is all smoke and mirrors. But the perfect spokesman as the President moves to use the Justice Department in a pure and unconscionable strategy of political revenge. It reveals the inner man. Sarko was right: Obama is a weakling.

The President’s declaration last night that he would no longer have the Justice Department challenge gay marriage seems a random rear guard action of a president in retreat. No plan to it, just a random attack on the conservatives building strength in the awakening states. California is key. In state referendum it has voted down gay marriage. California is finding its own sense of dominion; a sense of who it wants to be and how with intelligence and will it will make itself. But last I heard Justice was supposed to be independent from the President. Even those of us who sat in the back of the class and slipped out for a smoke caught that. What is the principle of the Justice Department if it is just a partisan tool?

And so why again do we need this? New England, although dominated by New York, still has a sense of itself and a sense of dominion. I can’t imagine how anyone out of the region, especially some crusty political appointee in the Supreme Court who has never been here, could ever fully grasp our truer nature and truths. So they can only dominate via abstraction and that is what they do. Same with Texas: sense of dominion. You can’t truly know Texas unless, like Rick Perry, who’s boots say, “come and take it” you are Texan. Same to a degree and growing with the Pacific Northwest. An incidentally, some of the greater literature makes this case: Camus’s “The Stranger” and even better, Andre Malraux’s “The Conquerors.”

But California especially has spoken with the will of its people. Action by Justice or the Supreme Court would be pure detached totalitarianism, same as they experience today in Tibet as the arbitrary, distant and detached rulers in Beijing suck out their life force.

Government shutdown? As Judge Andrew Napolitano said on his “Freedom Watch” show the other night when this occurred in the mid-1990s main street folk opposed, as I did, but not now. The rising question now is who needs it?

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