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Stateside with Rosalea: Strict Constructivism

Stateside with Rosalea

Strict Constructivism

Well, my dear little piwakawakas, I had many things I was planning to tell you about this beautiful Sunday morning -- Oregon Gooseberries, aka Baby Kiwis; San Franciso's Not in LA advertising campaign; the full-page attention NZ's Pinot Noir and Wellington have gotten in the Chronicle over the past couple of months.

But they have all been eclipsed by the statement of Our American Values spokesman Gary Bauer on ABC's This Week that President Bush "calls it strict constructivism."

Bauer was talking about a philosophy that the Supreme Court should take in interpreting the law in decisions such as Roe v Wade, which essentially legalised abortion thirty years ago, and which the conservative right has always fought to see overturned. Bauer brought this up by way of excusing the president for not having already overturned Roe v Wade, as he promised to do four years ago.

I'm sorry, but the thought of President Bush talking philosophy and bandying about the words "strict constructivism" is just so ludicrous that I have to assume Bauer was trying to make Bush look ridiculous on purpose. A sort of shot across the presidential bow that if Bush doesn't do what's expected of him, he'll be made to look like an intellectual. Hey, that should appeal to the Nascar dads and the security moms.

Not that Bush is needed any more. He can't be elected president again, so he's a has-been in terms of widening the popularity base for the evangelical cause. Conversely, Bush doesn't need the evangelicals any more, except where they elected members of Congress who might see fit to vote against the president's wishes.

Frankly, that's a pretty scary exception and is just one more reason to abandon the mechanisms--such as gerrymandering electoral districts and putting barriers in place to keep third parties off the ballot--that make the US a political duopoly instead of a true democracy. People who are truly devoted to the evangelical cause fall more naturally into the Constitution Party camp than the Republican one. Let's see their faces and have their manner of wielding power out in the open.

For example, it will be interesting to see how the votes go in the Montana House, where Constitution Party candidate Rick Jore (formerly a Republican) beat out the Democratic candidate by two votes and the Republican one by 451 votes, to become an important player in a House that is 51-49 divided in favour of the Republicans.Montana is a typically mixed-up state: they elected a Democratic governor, voted for one man-one woman marriage laws, and also voted to increase taxes on tobacco and became the tenth state to legalise medical marijuana.

Speaking of medical marijuana, tomorrow the Supreme Court hears a case brought by two women from California who use medical marijuana, a use of the drug which was approved by California voters back in 1996 despite a federal law that has classified dope as a dangerous drug since 1970. The coalition of people who are backing their cause ranges from people seeking to reform marijuana law to various opponents of the federal government's interference with state laws.

You really have to wonder if your federal tax dollars are being spent wisely when the Federal Drug Administration is so lax that it approves drugs manufactured by big pharmaceutical companies that later are proved to be fatally injurious to the health of thousands of people, while the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Drug Enforcement Agency raid the homes of terminally ill individuals, take the few marijuana plants they are growing to ease their pain, and prosecute them for breaking federal law.


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