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Mike Lee's Quandary

bisleybisley Senior MemberPosts: 10,798 Senior Member
Senator Mike Lee, from Utah, has been a stalwart in the small nucleus of conservatives in the Senate. Along with Ted Cruz, his pre-politics background consists mostly of being a constitutional lawyer, in the service of the Antonin Scalia faction of 'originalists.' He believes in the actual text of the Constitution, as written by the founding fathers, and has been unerring in his support of it. That is what makes his recent vote for the Senate resolution that opposes the President's decision to declare an emergency on the border so interesting.

It highlights how close the call will be, when the Supreme Court finally decides it. Lee and Cruz have practically never differed on interpretations of the Constitution, and I'm betting that they weren't far apart on this one. I have no doubt that he considers the border crisis to be an existential threat to the security of the country, but that his loyalty to the constitution exceeds his fear of Congressional impotency.

I'm betting that Cruz has balanced the duty of a president to protect the people with the definition of the word 'emergency,' not all that much different from what Lincoln did, when he ignored the Constitution to disallow secession. Cruz is a Senator from a border state and understands the problems better than most, and he probably still has presidential aspirations.

Mike Lee, on the other hand, is a prime future candidate for the Supreme Court, and going against the President, who is the leader of his party, provides some clear evidence that his loyalties lie with the Constitution, and not a political party, or person.

I'm not mad at him about this, because I am almost certain that he would vote for any reasonable border laws that would get this crisis resolved in a constitutional way, and I would like to see him on the Supreme Court. I guess it doesn't matter, anyway, since the resolution had no 'teeth,' and the President has already vetoed it. It is up to the courts, now, because Congress will accomplish nothing, for the next two years.

Replies

  • earlyagainearlyagain Posts: 6,748 Senior Member
    The televised coverage of Trump's actual veto and corresponding comments spot lighted obvious animus and gloat, not in necessary execution of policy, but in victory of the struggle for power and face. My comments are not an indictment exlusive to the President. Washington is not his world. It is however a difficult if not impossible place to stand on principle. Mike Lee and those of his stripe will likely be ostracized and labelled RINOs. 

    Whether referenced as abuse of power or bending of constitutional law, there's plenty of past precedent for justification. There's also commensurate need for spotlighting opinion of dissent. I think the once upon a time world of paper and print media would have given much greater editorial spot light and weight to principled party dissension than what we're stuck with now. On the other hand maybe the majority of voters prefer victory of power to constitutional allegiance. If so, an indictment of even that can't be exclusive of the circumstances that generated the sentiment. There's been a serious under estimation of voter fustration with elitist attitudes in Washington. This is only recently growing to its full size in my perception. That being the case, those in power are deserving of their own harvest to the point where I can at least empathize with Trump's supporters even if I don't always agree.
  • TeachTeach Senior Member Posts: 18,428 Senior Member

    "Here lies the body of Solomon Gray- - - -

    Who died defending his right-of-way- - - -

    He was right, dead right, as he sped along- - - -

    But he's just as dead as if he were wrong!"


    Why is it that we tend to lionize people who have the same attitude as Don Quixote- - - -they go tilting at windmills in a vain quest for political or constitutional purity while the unscrupulous, self-serving pond scum politicians on both sides of the aisle game the system to achieve their selfish goals?  It's not a perfect world we live in, and never will be, no matter how we wish things to be.  Why play right into the hands of the people who are willing to take advantage of the purists' fixation on pursuit of perfection instead of practicality? 

  • RugerFanRugerFan Senior Member Posts: 2,292 Senior Member
    1 of our senators opposed the "declaration ". He's been crucified on Twitter as a RINO even though he has voted with Trump 96% of the time. 
  • Make_My_DayMake_My_Day Senior Member Posts: 7,670 Senior Member
    bisley said:.....................Mike Lee, on the other hand, is a prime future candidate for the Supreme Court, and going against the President, who is the leader of his party, provides some clear evidence that his loyalties lie with the Constitution, and not a political party, or person.
    Fat chance he would be nominated by Trump. Better wait until 2024.
    JOE MCCARTHY WAS RIGHT:
    THE DEMOCRATS ARE THE NEW COMMUNISTS!
  • bisleybisley Senior Member Posts: 10,798 Senior Member
    bisley said:.....................Mike Lee, on the other hand, is a prime future candidate for the Supreme Court, and going against the President, who is the leader of his party, provides some clear evidence that his loyalties lie with the Constitution, and not a political party, or person.
    Fat chance he would be nominated by Trump. Better wait until 2024.
    I think that Trump would consider him. He might select someone else because of the Kavanagh style opposition that he would face from the Democrats, but if the Republicans replace Mitch McConnell as Senate majority leader, before Ginsberg croaks, the new Senate leader might convince Trump that they could get Lee through it, if  Lee is willing to put his family through the meat-grinder. He is long-shot, for sure, as any excellent candidate will be.
  • bisleybisley Senior Member Posts: 10,798 Senior Member
    edited March 2019 #7
    Teach said:

    Why is it that we tend to lionize people who have the same attitude as Don Quixote- - - -they go tilting at windmills in a vain quest for political or constitutional purity while the unscrupulous, self-serving pond scum politicians on both sides of the aisle game the system to achieve their selfish goals?  It's not a perfect world we live in, and never will be, no matter how we wish things to be.  Why play right into the hands of the people who are willing to take advantage of the purists' fixation on pursuit of perfection instead of practicality? 

    I'm not silly enough to believe that we can ever have constitutional purity, or any other kind of 'perfection.' But perfection and excellence are two different things, and those who know that, and still strive for excellence are the winners in most of life's struggles. The majority of free people, who believe that there are those among us with a special gift for understanding the hardest questions, will always look for such people to 'ride herd' over the innate corruption that runs rampant, through every government.

    Our un-elected judges have to be held to a higher standard than a mere politician, who can be used to accomplish a small purpose, then discarded. As long as we can keep the bad judges in the minority, there is still hope for the survival of the republic, along those traditional lines that allowed this country to achieve greatness, in the first place.

    When we fail enough times to finally lose the majority, in the Supreme Court, saving freedom becomes an emergency that can't be solved by simply lowering the heat on political rhetoric. It's all a big game, right now, because people are not yet having to risk everything, to save freedom. But those days will be over, if the moronic new left ever takes over the Supreme Court, because justice will immediately become 'social' justice.
  • Make_My_DayMake_My_Day Senior Member Posts: 7,670 Senior Member
    bisley said:
    I think that Trump would consider him. He might select someone else because of the Kavanagh style opposition that he would face from the Democrats, but if the Republicans replace Mitch McConnell as Senate majority leader, before Ginsberg croaks, the new Senate leader might convince Trump that they could get Lee through it, if  Lee is willing to put his family through the meat-grinder. He is long-shot, for sure, as any excellent candidate will be.
    I don't doubt Lee's qualifications, but the only reason I mentioned it was because Trump made a definitive statement after the vote that Republicans who voted for the resolution would be hard-pressed to get any favors from him because of it. I guess there's a chance, if nominating Lee would be something that would benefit Trump and/or the country.
    JOE MCCARTHY WAS RIGHT:
    THE DEMOCRATS ARE THE NEW COMMUNISTS!
  • bisleybisley Senior Member Posts: 10,798 Senior Member
    My main point is just that Mike Lee has integrity, and he will be the most likely of all politicians to maintain his personal values. He will settle for whatever level he 'maxes out' at, and excel at whatever that turns out to be. It's a rare thing in politics, today, and I salute him for it.
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