The Conservative Corner
By Andy Johnson
Bush II Blunders
George W. Bush (Bush II) came to be, so to speak, in what has been called the “hanging chad” election of 2000. This was because strongly democratic counties in Florida, where Bush II’s brother Jeb was Governor, kept demanding more recounts, and with each recount the tally for Vice President Al Gore magically kept rising. Finally, the election reached our Supreme Court after Florida’s Supreme Court overruled a lower court and ordered another recount. Bush II won by 537 votes (Wikipedia).
Our basic commodity producers, especially the miners, loggers, and the oil patch looked forward to Bush II being in the chair after eight years of being punished by the Clinton administration for trying to produce at least some of our own commodity resources necessary to our quality of life. But such was not to be after September 11th. Bush II became focused on bringing the perpetrators to justice which led to his first big blunder, going after Saddam Hussein.
Bush II had a dream team cabinet which, after September 11th, split into two factions, Rumsfeld (DOD)/Cheney (VP) and Tenet (CIA)/Powell (SOS), as discussed in the PBS Frontline documentary, “The Dark Side.” On September 11th, after helping get things under control at the Pentagon, Rumsfeld returned to his office and penned a short note stating this would be a good time to finish what we started with Saddam in the first Gulf War, and Cheney dutifully followed right along. Bin Laden became secondary. Their first premise was that Saddam was in cahoots with Al Qaeda, however, Tenet’s CIA could not find any evidence. Then a new premise was “discovered,” weapons of mass destruction (WMDs). This time the CIA found evidence and Tenet signaled “slam dunk,” so Bush II hesitantly gave the go ahead. But during the invasion no WMDs were found. Nevertheless, the fuse was lit which started the conflagrations in the middle east that we still deal with today.
I now consider the second blunder by Bush II was appointing John Roberts as our Chief Supreme Court Justice. Roberts served in the Reagan and Bush I administrations, thus had ample exposure to conservative values. Bush II appointed him to the D.C. Court of Appeals and then Chief Justice after Chief Justice Rehnquist’s passing. The press spoke glowingly of Roberts and that should have been a warning.
First, Chief Justice Roberts intervened to save Obamacare by construing that although the “individual mandate” does not comport with the Commerce Clause of our Constitution, the mandate could be considered a tax, thus valid under Congress’ ability to collect taxes. In other words, he rewrote and saved the Affordable Care Act for Obama. Reportedly (Wikipedia) he then assumed the responsibility of writing the majority and minority opinions but left the minority opinion unsigned. Ego tripping?
Secondly, he recently (6/18/20) intervened again and sided with liberals on the Court against President Trump’s attempt to repeal Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) memorandum. That’s right! Not even an Executive Order. The Court majority said that the Justice Department did not provide “sufficient policy justification”, but, as Associate Justice Thomas correctly alluded to in his dissenting remarks, providing sufficient justification is irrelevant because DACA is patently unlawful. It was enacted not by Congress but by a simple “executive branch memorandum” (Wikipedia) in 2012. Justice Thomas remarked that Chief Justice Roberts and the liberals on the Court have implied that future administrations must continue to administer unlawful programs which they inherited from previous administrations (Fox News).
Why does Chief Justice Roberts feel compelled to come to Obama’s rescue? Does he not realize that he has brought derision upon our Supreme Court with these rulings? Has he forgot that the Supreme Court’s mandate is to render judgements of law based on our Constitution? Just because it is called “The Supreme Court” does not mean the Court is superior to Congress or the President. Ideally our three branches of government will work together, each according to our Constitution, to enact necessary and reasonable laws beneficial to this Nation. As Obama said, elections have consequences, and in today’s hyper-politicized environment I find it critical we elect citizens, be they a Forest Supervisor or a Supreme Court Justice, that value honesty and integrity in the pursuit of the responsibilities we have given them. And, in my view, President Trump is doing his best to do exactly that!