Does Frank Rich actually read what he writes?

Still another recurrent argument from the Thurmond era has it that no judge should overrule the voters, who voted 52 to 48 percent in California for Prop 8 in 2008. But as Olson also told Chris Wallace, “We do not put the Bill of Rights to a vote.”

Yup, quite, liberty and human rights trump democracy. The mob may vote for something like a ban on gay marriage but if we find that such wishes of the mob constrict that liberty or human rights then we set aside those wishes of the mob.

Note that this is nothing to do with gay marriage per se: it applies to unfair trials, Jim Crow, abortion, slinging those \”radical muslims\” into jail without any trial at all and so on. Whatever our individual ideas about any of those things individually.

So, what does Our Frank call the judge over turning the wish of the mob?

Make no mistake about it: The Proposition 8 trial, Judge Vaughn Walker’s decision and the subsequent reaction to it (as much a non-reaction as anything else) constitute a high point in America’s history-long struggle to live up to its democratic ideals.

No Matey, it\’s exactly the opposite. It\’s America living up to its ideal that there is something more important than democracy, greater than democratic ideals: liberty.

That\’s what a Constitution is for, fool.

7 thoughts on “Does Frank Rich actually read what he writes?”

  1. That seems pretty fair balls to me, Tim. Their Constitution is for defining relations between the different arms of the federal government, between the federation and the states, and between the federation and the people. The latter bit includes definition of individual rights in a way that was for generations held to be entirely compatible with the continuation of slavery. To present the Constitution as being “for” liberty seems to me to be just Romantic tosh. In my own estimation the most important bit is the limitation it places on the power of the federation – if you want to call that “Liberty” so be it, but it might be more fruitful to call it Limited Government.

  2. Robert Heinlein wrote a couple of things in his books that seem to resonate with the way I think. They’re not necessarily his thoughts, but those of characters in his books:

    Democracy can’t work. Mathematicians, peasants, and animals, that’s all there is — so democracy, a theory based on the assumption that mathematicians and peasants are equal, can never work. Wisdom is not additive; its maximum is that of the wisest man in a given group.

    Democracy is based on the assumption that a million men are wiser than one man. How’s that again? I missed something.
    Autocracy is based on the assumption that one man is wiser than a million men. Let’s play that over again, too. Who decides?

    Thing is, we don’t have anything better :S

  3. Pingback: The democratic repeal of Proposition 8 « Left Outside

  4. “isn’t liberty the right for poor and rich alike to sleep under bridges”: nothing so stupid. But Liberty undoubtedly includes the right not to be ordered by Big Brother to sleep under bridges.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *