VDH: The Left Seems Desperate

I listened to an interview today of historian and classicist Victor Davis Hanson by Telegraph journalist Steve Edgington. It started off with this exchange:

Edgington: Victor Davis Hansen is the American Republic under threat?

VDH: It’s said to be under threat mostly by the Left but it’s a pretty resilient form of government. It’s the only one of its type. It’s the oldest democracy or constitutional republic in the (world), whether the Civil War, the Great Depression, the 60s cultural revolution. The problem we’re having right now is that it is not working for the Left, and so when it doesn’t work for the Left they say the Republic is in danger and they want to change the institutions. So they want to get rid of the 180-year filibuster or the 150 year nine Justice Supreme Court, the 233rd year of the Electoral College the 60 years of the 50 state union because they feel that the electorate is drifting away from them, and their agendas – which they’ve implemented the last year and a half especially – do not warrant on any poll 50 percent support. And their president is at a historic low at 29 (%) for first-term president so yeah that’s what we’re told. But when you actually look our elections being held, or that agreed on winners taking power, is legislation being passed, yes yes it is. I think the lockdown, the quarantines, set the Western World in general a little crazy, but I think we’re recovering from that.

Edgington: How how seriously should we take them when they say they’re going to pack the courts, or add DC as a 51st state and change the sort of as you say these historic kind of elements of the American Republican Constitution? Because they’ve been saying these things I guess for a while now, the last few years at least but they haven’t done them yet.

VDH: We should take them very seriously, because if you look at the Supreme Court which was their darling for the last half century because it was a legislative, executive and judicial grand all-in-one, and when an occasional Republican president wished to nominate Justices that would bring a little balance, they flipped. So Earl Warren flipped and all the way to David Suter and John Paul Stevens and Potter (Stewart) they all flipped, and now they don’t, and so all of a sudden they want to pack the court. And to pack the court they just need to eliminate the filibuster and get every Democrat on board. I don’t know if they will or not. And then they can flip it, and then they can vote to restore the filibuster which they said they would do because they’re going to be a minority party and they’ll need it in the fall.

I don’t want times to get any more “interesting” than they already are. But it appears it isn’t up to us.

But Nobody Wants to Take Your Guns, That’s Crazy!

In my reading of the recent Supreme Court Bruen decision, it seems quite apparent that arms “in common use” are the type specifically protected by the Second Amendment. Excerpt from Justice Thomas’ opinion:

After holding that the Second Amendment protected an individual right to armed self-defense, we also relied on the historical understanding of the Amendment to demark the limits on the exercise of that right. We noted that, “[l]ike most rights, the right secured by the Second Amendment is not unlimited.” Id., at 626. “From Blackstone through the 19th-century cases, commentators and courts routinely explained that the right was not a right to keep and carry any weapon whatsoever in any manner whatsoever and for whatever purpose.” Ibid. For example, we found it “fairly supported by the historical tradition of prohibiting the carrying of ‘dangerous and unusual weapons’ ” that the Second Amendment protects the possession and use of weapons that are “ ‘in common use at the time.’ ” Id., at 627 (first citing 4 W. Blackstone, Commentaries on the Laws of England 148–149 (1769); then quoting United States v. Miller307 U. S. 174, 179 (1939)). 

Color me (un)surprised that the recently passed HR1808, the “Assault Weapons Ban of 2022,” flies directly and deliberately in the face of that ruling. From this link:

During a committee hearing, Rep. Dan Bishop (R-NC) asked Rep. Nadler to clarify the Democrat position on the proposed Assault Weapons Ban of 2021 (HR1808) possibly banning weapons that are in “common use.”

Assuming this makes it through the Senate (BIG “IF”) and Biden signs it (a given), it’s pretty much null and void, per the Supreme Court Marbury v. Madison decision in 1803:

Thus, the particular phraseology of the constitution of the United States confirms and strengthens the principle, supposed to be essential to all written constitutions, that a law repugnant to the constitution is void, and that courts, as well as other departments, are bound by that instrument.

But Nadler said the quiet part out loud again: “The problem is they are in common use.” For the Left it is the number of guns in private hands that is the “problem,” and and the only “solution” to that is to make the people surrender them, quod erat demonstratum.

And they wonder why we don’t “compromise” and only give up half of what they ask for.

From the “Let Them Eat Bugs” Files:

I recently read Angelo Codevilla’s (PBUH) book, The Ruling Class: How They Corrupted America and What We Can Do About It.

This is an expansion on Prof. Codevilla’s essay “The Ruling Class – and the Perils of Revolution” first published in American Spectator in the July-August 2010 edition. This book came out in September of that year.

One of the things I found most prescient in Codevilla’s analysis was his prediction of a candidate like Donald J. Trump. Codevilla wrote that, while the Democratic Party enjoys a reasonable amount of support from its constituency, the majority of the rest of us have to hold our noses and vote Republican out of protest, because the Republicans are just Democrats-lite. As he said in an interview, “(T)he Democrats (are) the senior partners in the ruling class. The Republicans are the junior partners. The reason being that the American ruling class was built by or under the Democratic Party. First, under Woodrow Wilson and then later under Franklin Roosevelt. It was a ruling class that prized above all its intellectual superiority over the ruled. And that saw itself as the natural carriers of scientific knowledge, as the class that was naturally best able to run society and was therefore entitled to run society. The Republican members of the ruling class aspire to that sort of intellectual status or reputation. And they have shared a taste of this ruling class. But they are not part of the same party, and as such, are constantly trying to get closer to the senior partners. As the junior members of the ruling class, they are not nearly as tied to government as the Democrats are. And therefore, their elite prerogatives are not safe.”

The electorate recognizes this, and Codevilla observed, “…some two-thirds of Americans – a few Democratic voters, most Republican voters, and all Independents – lack a vehicle in electoral politics. Sooner or later, well or badly, that majority’s demand for representation will be filled.”

And now we know what happens when we get uppity and actually elect someone the Ruling Class cannot control.

Some Truths are Eternal.

‘When I use a word,’ Humpty Dumpty said, in a rather scornful tone, ‘it means just what I choose it to mean, neither more nor less.’

‘The question is,’ said Alice, ‘whether you can make words mean so many different things.’

‘The question is,’ said Humpty Dumpty, ‘which is to be master – that’s all.’

Lewis Carroll, Through the Looking-Glass, and What Alice Found There, 1871.

“It takes but a little thought to realize that the power to decide when words mean what they say and when they do not is the power to do so whenever one wants, for whatever purpose. After all, the reason that kings have traditionally opposed constitutions is that if a constitution has any meaning at all, it is some kind of restraint on government. But if government can decide that the constitution contains things that it does not, and allows things that it forbids, then adieu to the rule of law.

“By 2010, some in the Ruling Class felt confident enough to dispense with the charade. Asked what in the Constitution allows Congress and the president to force every American to purchase health insurance, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi replied: “Are you kidding? Are you kidding?” It’s no surprise, then, that lower court judges and bureaucrats take liberties with laws, regulations, and contracts. That’s why legal words that say you are in the right avail you less in today’s America than being on the right side of the persons who decide what they want those words to mean.”

Angelo Codevilla, The Ruling Class: How they Corrupted America and What We Can Do About It, 2010

More quotes from this will follow. Strongly recommended read.