Thursday, August 5, 2010

"The People" vs. Erick Erickson

I don't know about you, but, after a seminal victory like yesterday's Prop. 8 ruling in California, I like to check out the reactions of people sure to have been made unhappy by the same. Schadenfreude is a lovely German word, roughly translated as: stick that in your pipe and smoke it!

Our friends over at Redstate didn't disappoint; their response was predictably Pavlovian.

Pack Leader and card-carrying member of the political elite, Erick Erickson, naturally blamed the political elite:

But again and again the political elites in this country think they know best. From the mosque at Ground Zero to gay marriage to Obamacare, the majority of the people and states are forced to deal with a minority that does not respect them and democratic and legal institutions that oppose them.

Let's do a little unpacking, shall we?  First and foremost, can we please do away with this notion that one side "thinks they know best"?  Does not Erick also think he "knows best"?  We all think we know best.  How about this one: "the majority...forced to deal with a minority that does not respect them and democratic and legal institutions that oppose them."  Assuming Erickson isn't calling for mob rule, I would like to ask him if he can think of any situations in the last 150 years or so when the majority got it wrong.  Or, if he thinks the Founders, no doubt foreseeing such situations, were wrong to insert safeguards into the Constitution to protect the minority from the "tyranny of the majority"?  Additionally, how exactly can "democratic...institutions...oppose" a majority when it was a very majority (or at least plurality) that created the democratic institutions in the first place?  Neat trick!

Erick clearly likes his cake, and he's damn-well going to eat it, too.

What else does Erick have to say?

If a minority of political elites and liberals can impose their will and values on a majority sufficient enough to amend the constitution, it is time for the majority to respond with constitutional force.

Who's amending the Constitution!?  Does Judge Walker's ruling amend the Constitution?  No, of course it doesn't.  It applies the Constitution (in this case, of California).  If anyone is trying to amend the Constitution, it is the proponents of Prop. 8 who are attempting to convince the state that it has an interest in something it should have no interest in, namely:  imposing one group's morality on the whole via local, state or federal law.  Last I checked, the United States was not a theocracy.  This is about equal protection and equal access to civil institutions in this country, period.  For example, you may not like the fact that a black person can drink from the same water fountain you do, but that's your tough luck.  The state has decided that your preference in this matter is irrelevant.  Why?  Because America wasn't created to tolerate such divisions; quite the opposite, actually...and we're still in the process of realizing the fullest potential of our Founders' vision.

Perhaps Erick & Co. need a refresher course in American history. Somebody wasn't paying attention in class....

But he did manage to dig up this quote from Jefferson:

In Thomas Jefferson’s words, “In questions of power then, let no more be heard of confidence in man, but bind him down from mischief by the chains of the constitution.”

To which I can only say:  indeed.

Pundit, heal thyself.


[Image by Alex Yuly; visit his site here.]