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Honduran Hypocrisy

Libs oppose court-ordered coup

by: daniel clark | published: 09 01, 2009

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President Obama has declared the ouster of Honduran president Manuel Zelaya to be "illegal." Exactly what he means by that is not readily apparent.

The overthrow was ordered by that nation's Supreme Court, which is usually how liberals define legality. According to the "living Constitution" theory, it's not the literal meaning of the law that matters, but the judiciary's interpretation of how the law has "evolved." To the contrary, the Obama administration is arguing that the actual, written constitution of Honduras has been violated. Now that the rights of Americans are not directly involved, liberal Democrats are free to embrace strict constructionism.

Mind you, this is the same party that argues in favor of the U.S. Supreme Court citing foreign precedent. Perhaps if Zelaya were to sneak into our country as a so-called "undocumented American," liberals would consider him subject to the rulings of the Honduran Supreme Court. Until then, they'll continue to portray him as the first victim of judicial activism since the high court put the kibosh on Al Gore's psychic ballot readings.

Whether Obama even has a valid legal argument is itself doubtful. Zelaya had declared a referendum to rewrite his nation's constitution, in order to allow himself to remain in power beyond the end of his term. The court ruled that such a ballot must be approved by Congress, and that Zelaya had acted illegally in trying to administer it himself. With logistical help from the government of Venezuela, Zelaya persisted in his effort to organize the referendum, in circumvention of both the legislature and the judiciary.

Obviously, the deposed leader's Marxist politics are instrumental in winning him the support of the Obama administration. Last October, Zelaya entered his country into the Bolivarian Alliance for the Americas, an anti-capitalist multinational organization created by Fidel Castro and Hugo Chavez, for the purpose of combating free-trade agreements between Latin America and the United States. Barack "only government can do it" Obama clearly shares the Bolivarian Alliance's faith in a centralized command economy, and its hostility toward the free market. It is only because Zelaya's ouster portends his country's break from this alliance that our president has decided to involve himself.

Had it instead been, say, the Israeli Supreme Court that removed Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu from office, it's inconceivable that Obama would be speaking out against the decision, let alone trying to exert pressure to have Bibi's power reinstated. Any Americans who objected to the court's behavior in that case could count on liberals to lecture them about meddling in other countries' internal affairs. We might have even seen the return of those "These Colors Don't Run The World" bumper stickers.

Liberals typically consider Supreme Court precedent to supersede the written law, because their elitist proposals stand a better chance of prevailing in the judicial arena than in a legislative body that is accountable to the people. In the end, though, all that matters to them is the outcome. We can see this in the way they champion the legal concept of stare decisis (meaning "to stand by that which is decided") until it comes to revisiting a decision they don't like. When given the chance to overturn a precedent in order to declare a constitutional right to sodomy in the 2003 Lawrence v. Texas case, liberals couldn't distance themselves from that which was decided fast enough.

Foreign courts, simply by virtue of not being American, are considered to be the wisest of the wise, just as long as their rulings serve as a rationale for advancing a left-wing agenda. Justice Stephen Breyer often brags, for instance, that he once cited precedent from the Supreme Court of Zimbabwe -- the same court that approved Robert Mugabe's murderous "land reform" policy.

The Honduran court has only been deemed unreliable because it has impeded the march of socialism. If it had instead approved Zelaya's referendum, nobody in the Obama administration would care if the decision adhered to the Honduran constitution or not. That's because, in the kind of Marxist banana republic that Obama admires, the whole purpose of the law is to sustain the power of the ruling class. Therefore, the removal from office of a Marxist leader must, by definition, be illegal. The question of whether his country's constitution or its judiciary agrees is beside the point. What's most alarming about this story is that President Obama undoubtedly applies this same tyrannical concept of legality within the United States. Don't believe it? Just ask his "pay czar."

-- Daniel Clark is a Staff Writer for the New Media Alliance. The New Media Alliance is a non-profit (501c3) national coalition of writers, journalists and grass-roots media outlets.

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Original Comment


Warner Todd Huston

Neil Stenberg Chicago Sun-Times10: NEIL STEINBERG
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Howard Fineman Newsweek7: HOWARD FINEMAN


Cynthia Tucker Atlanta Journal-Constitution5: Cynthia Tucker
Atlanta Journal Constitution

Chuck Todd NBC News4: Chuck Todd

Paul Krugman New York Times3: Paul Krugman
The New York Times

Joe Klein Time Magazine2: Joe Klein
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Helen Thomas UPI / Independent1: Helen Thomas
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Daniel Clark is a writer from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. While earning an M.A. in English at Indiana University of Pennsylvania in the mid-90s, he had weekly opinion and sports columns published in the independent student newspaper. In 1999, he created a web publication called The Shinbone: The Frontier of the Free Press, for which he has written on a wide array of topics, but with a particular emphasis on the need to return to a literal interpretation of the Constitution. He is now a Staff Writer for the New Media Alliance, a non-profit (501c3) national coalition of writers, journalists and grass-roots media outlets.



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