Confronting the grim reality that Antonin Scalia’s death is not just a bad dream, one realizes how thin is the line separating us from the deformation of America’s institutions, by a Left bent on using them perversely, to ratify lawlessness and plunder.
His loss all but erases that line. The U.S. Supreme Court, the sporadically effectual but indubitably last line of defense, will now split, on a good day, 4-4, illuminating the stark truth that too often, the fate of our liberties may depend on one person.
Last week that person was Antonin Scalia. This week it is Mitch McConnell. The effect on Republicans choosing a presidential nominee ought to be galvanizing.
The populist insurgency that has thus far dominated the Republican primary campaigns must understand it’s time to close the bar, set the furniture back upright, and accept the necessity of a grown-up candidate with identifiable beliefs warranting confidence that the eventual court nominee will be someone who, like Scalia, believes the Constitution means what it says.
In other words, the populist insurgency must know its liberties could vanish if the court nominee is chosen by a big-time Democrat donor whose understanding of constitutional governance is that eminent domain empowers him to bulldoze an elderly woman’s home so he can replace it with a parking lot for limousines.
The insurgency needs to shake off the (fundamentally leftist) notion that anyone who is less than 100 percent ideologically pure is a traitor.
Nothing is quite so sobering as death. If the death of conservatism’s pre-eminent defender in American government doesn’t sober up the GOP presidential quest, the next death will probably be that of the Conservative movement itself.