In the light of two recent Supreme Court rulings, one in California and one at the U.S. Supreme Court, there should be little doubt as to the stakes of the elections this November.
Back in February, I suggested the fact that the duty of the president of the United States to fill vacancies in the federal judiciary was enough reason for any doubting but reasonable conservative to strongly consider voting for John McCain. I believe that there are three significant reasons coming into clear light for voters to prefer McCain over Barack Obama.
First, with the California Supreme Court disgracefully circumventing the will of California voters by judicial fiat and changing the legal definition of marriage, and with the U.S. Supreme Court conveying our constitutional rights upon non-U.S. citizens at Guantanamo Bay who wish to destroy us, it is becoming clear as to the significant role that the judiciary plays in our republic.
Outside of commander in chief, I don't believe that there is a more significant role for the president than appointer of federal judges. McCain and Obama have drastically different takes on the judiciary.
Obama has said that he sees the U.S. Constitution as, "not a static but rather a living document."
However, as Justice Antonin Scalia has said, "the Constitution is not an organism, it is a legal document ... (it) is an enduring document but not a ‘living' one, and its meaning must be protected and not repeatedly altered to suit the whims of society."
Speaking to Planned Parenthood, and referring to judges, Obama said, "We need somebody who's got the heart, the empathy, to recognize what it's like to be a young teenage mom; the empathy to understand what it's like to be poor, or African-American, or gay, or disabled, or old. And that's the criteria by which I'm going to be selecting my judges."
Since "heart" and "empathy" are so important to Obama, I wonder if he would nominate Oprah Winfrey to fill a Supreme Court vacancy. (Also, I find it unfortunately ironic that Obama doesn't include the most defenseless of all, the unborn, in his reckoning of those who deserve our empathy.)
As senator, Obama voted against confirming John Roberts and Samuel Alito to the Supreme Court. McCain voted for them and has pledged to nominate justices in the same vein as Roberts, Alito, Thomas and Scalia.
Obama indicated support for the California Supreme court ruling, while McCain came out against it.
McCain called the U.S. Supreme Court ruling on Gitmo detainees, "one of the worst decisions in the history of this country," while Obama called the decision, "an important step toward re-establishing our credibility as a nation committed to the rule of law."
On judicial nominees the choice for conservatives in November is clear.
Second, concerning the role of commander in chief, many times during the primary season Americans were asked who they saw as most prepared to take on this role on day one of their presidency. Over-and-over again, McCain was the overwhelming choice. As I pointed out above, I believe this is the most important role for a president.
Most voters are familiar with McCain's military experience and his 26 years as a U.S. representative and senator. These will certainly aid him if he becomes commander of all U.S. forces.
Contrast this with Obama who has no military service, no executive experience, has served only a fraction of one term in the U.S. Senate, and spent most of this time running for president. If he becomes president, he would have, by far, the weakest résumé of any U.S. commander in chief in history.
Lastly, when it comes to government spending, McCain is viewed as a champion for the taxpayer and against government "pork." He has a lifetime rating of 88 percent with Citizens Against Government Waste, which rates him a "taxpayer hero." His latest rating with National Taxpayers Union is 88 percent (an A), while Obama's latest rating was 5 percent (an F). Also, McCain has a lifetime rating of 82.7 (out of 100) with Americans for Tax Reform. Obama's brief career has netted him a 7.5 rating.
I don't agree with McCain when it comes to his current positions on man-made global warming, drilling in ANWR and so on. However, Obama's positions on those matters would be even more extreme.
For far too many people, Obama's most redeeming quality for president is his race. Bill Clinton recently said, "I've been waiting all my life to vote for an African-American president," then added, "I've been waiting all my life to vote for a woman for president."
What a foolish thing for a supposedly highly intelligent man to say.
In these perilous times, America cannot afford to select its president based only on race or gender. When it comes to my vote for president in November, McCain is the clear and easy option.
Trevor Thomas is a Gainesville resident and frequent columnist; Web site.