Posts Tagged ‘Bill Pryor’
September 20th, 2012 at 4:59 pm
Celebrating the Constitution

The University of Mobile held a “Constitution Day” event this week to celebrate the 225th anniversary of the great document’s signing, with me emceeing an address by and discussion with the superb federal appellate court judge William H. Pryor, in front of university students plus 120 pupils from nearby high schools. It inspired me to write this column. A sample passage:

The United States and its Constitution serve as one big laboratory of republican government. When the Constitution was written, most of the world’s people thought true republics were by their very nature unstable, destined to be short-lived and to lead to either anarchy or tyranny. The men of Philadelphia, and then the American people who put into practice the system the founders designed, proved otherwise. Indeed, we continue to prove that representative democracy works. It can assure freedom, ensure a high degree of justice, and promote societal stability, simultaneously.

It remains for us to make sure that we ourselves in the United States do not let down our guard. Just because our Constitution has worked for so long does not mean, in the words of the title of a famous book on the Constitution, that our government is “a machine that would go of itself.”  The Constitution only provides a framework by which American citizens can protect our liberties; The Constitution does not do the work all by itself.

August 30th, 2012 at 12:24 pm
Reihan Salam Gets Artur Davis Right

Great column by Reihan Salam on how to interpret former U.S. Rep. Artur Davis’ switch to the Republican team.

The simple truth is that as the Obama years wore on, Davis found himself agreeing more and more with right-of-center figures like Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and former Florida Governor Jeb Bush. Their tough-minded, whatever-works pragmatism resonated with his experiences, while the Obama administration’s highly ideological approach did not. Davis anticipates, in his words, “the rise of a reform-oriented center-right that is bent on restoring accountability and market principles to public systems” over the next decade.

I have known Davis longer and at least slightly better than most of my conservative brethren. I have been hoping, and at least half-expecting, him to move rightward for years. I think he is very sincere. I will note that he first was elected by bucking the black Democratic machine, and that he supported controversial judicial nominee (now federal appellate judge) Bill Pryor even as the national left was badly smearing the nominee. He also had the grace and integrity, along among Democrats, to apologize, once the financial crisis broke, for having opposed reforms to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac earlier in his congressional career. These were the actions, all along, of a man looking for some sort of a reformist polity near the center of the political spectrum — and, if you spoke to him, you always got the sense that he was at least open to arguments from the right, especially if they came from people of good will.

Anyway, Salam’s whole column got it right. Well worth a read. Again, see the link at the top of this blog post.