7.17.2009

Saxby v. Sunstein - He musta looked 'im in the eye

At the end of June, I posted a brief note about Senator Saxby Chambliss holding up the nomination of Cass Sunstein because Sunstein has advocated for animal rights and the outlandish idea that humans should be able to bring suit on behalf of animals, as well as against the right to bear arms.

I didn't hold out much hope for the block, however, because it was completely devoid of principle. I trust you're not surprised. As I said in that earlier post:
While I applaud Chambliss for blocking the nomination -- at least for now, because he said he wants to talk to him before lifting his blockade, as "He has not had the opportunity to look me in the eye," whatever good that will do -- because he has not done so in any principled fashion ... Chambliss' stand will very likely end in compromise (i.e. failure).

Such is the inevitable outcome of Republicans' inability to understand or stand for individual rights. Unless and until they do, they will continue to fail.
This was not a tough prediction to make. My only surprise is that it has taken over two weeks for Chambliss to compromise and fail (from CongressDaily):
Senate Agriculture ranking member Saxby Chambliss announced Wednesday that he is lifting a hold he placed on the nomination of Harvard Law School professor Cass Sunstein, President Obama's pick to head OMB's Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs.

"I am not gonna keep him from confirmation and I intend to lift my hold," Chambliss said on the Senate floor.
Saxby and Cass had a nice sit down, apparently, which gave Cass the chance to "look him in the eye." Perhaps they even had a nice laugh, talked about the weather, and discussed their favorite sports teams. Oh, and Sunstein also wrote a letter disavowing all of his radical positions on the key issues that Chambliss and his pull peddlers lobbyists were concerned about. From the same CongressDaily piece:
[Chambliss] cited a letter from Sunstein pledging not to "take any steps to promote litigation on behalf of animals" and agreeing the law does not give animals such rights. Sunstein in the letter also says he believes the Second Amendment protects the right of individuals to bear arms.
This reminds me of the Sonia Sotomayor hearings, and Myrhaf's comments about them. You should read the whole thing, but these snippets are particularly apt:
It’s remarkable to hear Sonia Sotomayor walk away from every postmodern/multiculturalist statement she has made....

It’s pretty obvious to critics from across the spectrum that she is lying. Like the President who nominated her, she will tell any lie in the quest for power. This seems to be SOP for the New Left, and is most troubling. Those capable of destroying the truth are capable of any enormity.

It’s fascinating to me how little integrity radical subjectivists have. If I were sitting before a hearing and I firmly believed a legal philosophy, there is no way I could disavow what I believe to win a nomination. ... But my beliefs are grounded in reality. I hold that there are absolutes, that A is A, and that reason can identify reality. Sotomayor, as a postmodern subjectivist, believes none of this.
Simply replace Sotomayor's name with Sunstein's, and it applies just as well. In fact, I'd guess that nearly every Obama nominee going through confirmation hearings uses the same playbook. What we then witness is the battle between the spineless, soulless, mindless conservatives, and the power-lusting, subjectivist, postmodern, "intellectual" leftists, with the ultimate result of compromise, glad-handing, meaningless theatrics, and the inevitable erosion of our liberties.

Ayn Rand's hero, John Galt, said in Atlas Shrugged that "in any compromise between food and poison, it is only death that can win." What happens when the compromise is between a little poison and a lot?

----------------------

UPDATE: 7/17/09 @2:00pm

A blog at the Atlanta Journal Constitution has the following juicy quote from Chambliss that is too telling, too fascinatingly horrific, to pass up:
Chambliss introduced Sunstein to several agbusiness groups. “Most of those folks have become satisfied that he didn’t really mean what he said,” Chambliss recounted, and that — if he did — the law professor did not intend to pursue his aims. [bold added]
Are you comforted? Sunstein said all of those things, many times, in many books, articles, and speeches, over the course of nearly two decades, but he didn't really mean any of them. This is just like he didn't really mean that we should have an Internet fairness doctrine, or that the Internet is a serious foe of democracy.

If there is anything else that makes you uncomfortable about Sunstein's positions, just have your Senator ask about it, and I'm sure Sunstein will confirm that he no longer thinks what you thought he thought, or that you misunderstood him, and he never thought that in the first place.

3 comments:

Doug Reich said...

So, now, as long as you pledge not to bring lawsuits on behalf of animals, you are qualified to be the Regulatory Czar.

Can we set the bar lower?

Ugghhh

C. August said...

Doug, you know it's not his qualifications. Saxby is like our old friend George Bush.

Remember when Bush met Putin for the first time?

"I looked the man in the eye. I found him to be very straight forward and trustworthy and we had a very good dialogue.

"I was able to get a sense of his soul."


Saxby and Cass just needed some face time. Now that Sax is satisfied with Cass, how could you not be? He said he didn't really believe all those things he wrote, didn't he?

Doug Reich said...

Yes, it makes perfect sense that he would disavow himself of any connection to the ideas that he built his career upon - the very foundation by which he has been nominated by Obama.

And as long as he is willing to back off one concrete application of his ideology, it is clear that there are no other possible ramifications of that ideology in terms of what he is likely to do.

Well done, as usual, Republicans!