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The Elephant in the Room: Obama vs. United States

Discussion in 'Political Zone' started by trickblue, Apr 9, 2009.

  1. trickblue

    trickblue Old Testament... Zone Supporter

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    Look past the first paragraph and read more about Koh...

    I certainly hope he isn't a SCOTUS nominee...
    The Elephant in the Room: Obama vs. United States
    The president is contemptuous of American values. And one key nominee prefers the judgment of other countries and global elites.
    By Rick Santorum

    Watching President Obama apologize last week for America's arrogance - before a French audience that owes its freedom to the sacrifices of Americans - helped convince me that he has a deep-seated antipathy toward American values and traditions. His nomination of former Yale Law School Dean Harold Koh to be the State Department's top lawyer constitutes further evidence of his disdain for American values.

    This seemingly obscure position in Foggy Bottom's bureaucratic maze is one of the most important in any administration, shaping foreign policy in the courts and playing a critical role in international negotiations and treaties.

    Let's set aside Koh's disputed comments about the possible application of Sharia law in American jurisprudence. The pick is alarming for more fundamental reasons having to do with national sovereignty and constitutional self-governance.

    What is indisputable is that Koh calls himself a "transnationalist." He believes U.S. courts "must look beyond national interest to the mutual interests of all nations in a smoothly functioning international legal regime. ..." He thinks the courts have "a central role to play in domesticating international law into U.S. law" and should "use their interpretive powers to promote the development of a global legal system."

    Koh's "transnationalism" stands in contrast to good, old-fashioned notions of national sovereignty, in which our Constitution is the highest law of the land. In the traditional view, controversial matters, whatever they may be, are subject to democratic debate here. They should be resolved by the American people and their representatives, not "internationalized." What Holland or Belgium or Kenya or any other nation or coalition of nations thinks has no bearing on our exercise of executive, legislative, or judicial power.

    Koh disagrees. He would decide such matters based on the views of other countries or transnational organizations - or, rather, those entities' elites.

    Unsurprisingly, Koh is a strong supporter of the International Criminal Court, which could subject U.S. soldiers and officials to foreign criminal trials for their actions while fighting for our security. He has recommended that American lawyers work to "undermine" official American opposition to the court.

    If only Koh's transnationalism ended there. Our Eighth Amendment's prohibition on cruel and unusual punishment? Koh believes it should be reinterpreted in light of foreign and international law to pay "decent respect to the opinions of humankind."

    Old fogies like me believe we ought to pay more attention to the opinions of the Founders who wrote the Constitution and the people who have lived under it. If Americans want to end the death penalty, they can do so through their elected state representatives.

    If foreign opinions trump those of Pennsylvanians on capital punishment, why not on other issues? Why not, indeed: Koh thinks "international comity" trumps American sovereignty. He believes that, since certain nations recognize a right to same-sex marriage, our courts should, too. He wrote that "the principles of human dignity and autonomy that are the essence of the modern right-protecting democracy demand that civil marriage be available to all couples and that the equality of all citizens triumph over historical attitudes."

    What's beneath this legal jargon? Simply this: Even if marriage in Pennsylvania has always been understood as involving one man and one woman - even if Pennsylvanians, through referendum or constitutional amendment, decide it should remain so - none of that should count. What should count are the views of courts in other nations or international bodies.

    "I'd rather have [Supreme Court Justice Harry] Blackmun, who used the wrong reasoning in Roe to get the right results," Koh wrote of the landmark abortion case, "and let other people figure out the right reasoning."

    Stunning and revealing: Koh tells us it doesn't matter if the right to abortion can be found in the Constitution. In fact, he concedes that Blackmun's reasoning was wrong. But it is up to others to get it right. How? By finding out what the United Nations, European Union, or particular European nations think.

    Koh tops the list of Obama's potential Supreme Court nominees.
    Is this what Sen. John Kerry meant when he once suggested that American policy must pass a "global test"? Or what Barack Obama meant when he said last week that we have failed to "appreciate Europe's leading role in the world"? Or when he spoke of "change we can believe in"? And just who are "we"?
  2. ShiningStar

    ShiningStar Well-Known Member

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    Why dont guys like this just move out of the country. Oh right, has nothing to do with conspiracies or anything like that. Money, lifestyle, and the right to screw this country up.

    Here you go boys and girls, defend this crap.
  3. burmafrd

    burmafrd Well-Known Member

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    Just wait for the libs to come licking obama's shoes some more.
  4. DFWJC

    DFWJC Well-Known Member Zone Supporter

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    Sounds like the pawnmaster, George Soros, is getting another of his globalists in place.
  5. BrAinPaiNt

    BrAinPaiNt Bad Santa Staff Member

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    Interesting

    One loon talking about another.

    Santorum vs Koh
  6. burmafrd

    burmafrd Well-Known Member

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    And of course you do not address the concerns brought up. Shilling some more I see.
  7. Temo

    Temo Active Member

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    Yea, sorry... Rick Santorum does not define my "American Values" anymore than Koh.
  8. ethiostar

    ethiostar Well-Known Member

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    When do YOU address any issues. Your contribution to the political zone can be summed up by two words you use all the time, "stupid libs". And that's regardless of whether the person you're addressing is really a lib or not.
  9. Temo

    Temo Active Member

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    You want a point-by-point? Lets start with the basics:

    1. "Transnationalist" is not a word. Go ahead, look it up.

    2. No mention that Koh worked for 2 different presidential administrations (Reagan and Clinton), and was approved unanimously by a Republican congress in 1998 to his previous position in the Justice Department.

    3. In addition to (2), note that he wrote Transnational Legal Problems, the work that Santorum seems to have a problem with, in 1994, 4 years before he was confirmed to his post under Clinton.

    4. Koh is not in favor of international law superceding American Law on American lands. Santorum is misrepresenting, distorting, or exaggerating large amounts of Koh's work. While I should note that I don't agree with everything Koh has written on academic grounds, I respect his highly intelligent and well reasoned arguments much more than ravings of Santorum.

    5. Santorum also glosses over the Sharia issue, which has been mangled in the news to a high degree, only saying that it is "disputed". It's not disputed, it's rebuked.

    6. I also offer this, http://abovethelaw.com/2009/04/yale_law_school_conservatives.php a letter from Yale Law School Conservatives that outlines why he is worthy for the position. I quote:

    7. Finally, he is an incredibly thoughtful man who happens to have views (on torture, the Geneva Conventions, and international law, among others) that are in direct conflict with some Conservative views. That does not make him a bad choice for the position, and does not make him ill-fit for it and does not mean that he's against "American Values". It just means he disagrees with Santorum.
  10. ShiningStar

    ShiningStar Well-Known Member

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    More research for me to do. Thank you Temo.
  11. ShiningStar

    ShiningStar Well-Known Member

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    I havent looked up anything that Rick Santorum is a loon, his wife scares me, but glossing over his history im not against him for to much.
  12. burmafrd

    burmafrd Well-Known Member

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    He is a bad pick and frankly I don't bother wasting my time with long winded posts anymore because that is exactly what it is. A waste of time.

    BECAUSE he is on the wrong side frankly of the correct place to be on international law ALONE is a reason to not trust him. We go by the US CONSTITUITION= not what some idiot in Belgium decides.
  13. Temo

    Temo Active Member

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    Sometimes, when you're posting on the internet, you think to yourself "I bet absolutely no use can be had over you posting on this thread, conversing to this person" but do it anyway, and in the end it turns out to be a waste of time for all involved after all.

    This is one of those times :(
  14. burmafrd

    burmafrd Well-Known Member

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    No one is forcing you to be here Temo.
  15. ScipioCowboy

    ScipioCowboy More than meets the eye. Zone Supporter

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    trans⋅na⋅tion⋅al

    –adjective
    1. going beyond national boundaries or interests: a transnational economy.
    2. comprising persons, sponsors, etc., of different nationalities: a transnational company.
    –noun
    3. a company, organization, etc., representing two or more nationalities.


    http://dictionary.reference.com/search?q=transnationalism

    The suffix -ist merely denotes that we're dealing with a person who believes, holds, or practices certain doctrines or values.

    It's perfectly acceptable to attach -ist to the end of a word as long as the new word makes sense. This is similar to creating a verb by taking a noun and adding verb ending.

    A transnationalist would simply describe someone who believes in transnationalism, or extending beyond US borders for some purpose. The degree to which this description applies to Koh is certainly debatable, but the word usage is perfectly acceptable.
  16. ABQCOWBOY

    ABQCOWBOY Moderator Staff Member

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    That was actually pretty good Scip. Can you find Strategery?

    :D
  17. Bob Sacamano

    Bob Sacamano Benched

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    America's arrogance, eh? arrogance seemed to serve England well for centuries
  18. ScipioCowboy

    ScipioCowboy More than meets the eye. Zone Supporter

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    Sorry. The word must be combined to a suffix that actually exists and/or makes sense.:D
  19. theogt

    theogt Surrealist Zone Supporter

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    The mouse in the room: Rick Santorum vs. the population of the State of Pennsylvania.
  20. Temo

    Temo Active Member

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    No, that word usage is not acceptable. Transnationalism is not a doctrine or value (though Santorum would like you to believe otherwise)-- it's a description of phenomena, in the same way that there are no "internationalists" even though there is "internationalism".

    It's interesting that you chose not to paste the second part of that dictionary.com definition which lists the acceptable uses as:

    Hence, no dictionary will even mention the word "Transnationalist". And note that the dictionary definition of a word attempts to give ALL valid uses of the word, which is what the (-ist, -ism) parts of the definition are.

    I think the word that the senator was looking for was Globalist, from the word "Globalism" (n. A national geopolitical policy in which the entire world is regarded as the appropriate sphere for a state's influence.)

    More likely, he was trying to use the word to equate Koh's positions to that of a greater movement or doctrine (much like "Socialism" and "Capitalism" were used in the 20th century) rather than what they really are: an interesting look at the effects-- and more generally, global effects-- of an ever more connected, global world.

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