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Put Not Your Trust in Princes
by Thomas A. Droleskey
March 19, 2001

The Court, the Court, the Court. Readers with good memories will say to themselves, “Hey, that’s the same phrase Droleskey began ‘Sandra Day O’Connor, Part Deux’ with in January.” Sure enough, my friends, it is the exact same phrase. Ah, but there is a method to my madness.

John Ashcroft had to run a gauntlet of opposition by all manner of hypocritical leftists prior to his Senate confirmation as attorney general. Conservatives reflexively defended him even as he said that Roe v. Wade was “settled” law and that he would vigorously enforce the so-called Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act, which has imposed monstrous fines and prison sentences in federal penitentiaries on those who engage in nonviolent protests in front of abortuaries. Conservative true believers, though, made excuses for Ashcroft, telling us he “had” to say those things in order to get confirmed. Well, if Ashcroft “had” to say those things to get confirmed, why is it not reasonable for an apologist for Mario Cuomo or Edward Kennedy or Christopher Dodd or Barbara Mikulski to say that those Catholics just “have” to say the things they do in order to get elected? In the end, you see, a person who learns to compromise with evil will lose his way entirely, ultimately seeking to be all things to all people at all times. That is the emerging tragedy of John Ashcroft.

Ashcroft met with members of the Congressional Black Caucus on Ash Wednesday, February 28. He wanted to reconcile with the caucus members any lingering differences that had grown out of his contentious confirmation hearings. One “reconciliation” of particular interest was Ashcroft’s total cave-in on the matter of Missouri Judge Ronnie White, whose nomination to the federal bench by President Clinton he vigorously opposed when he was Missouri’s junior senator. Ashcroft told the members of the caucus that he would support White’s nomination to the federal bench if President George W. Bush decided to put his name up when a vacancy occurred.

Furthermore, Ashcroft said the Senate should confirm Roger Gregory, whose confirmation to a federal judgeship was held up by Senate Republicans because of his judicial activism. Gregory — who is black — was appointed by Clinton to the federal bench in what is known as a “recess appointment,” made when the Senate was not in session. It was Clinton’s way of thumbing his nose at Senate Republicans. After all, Caligula gets what Caligula wants, the Senate’s role of advising and consenting notwithstanding. Ashcroft, though, caved in on the issue of Gregory in order to curry favor with the Congressional Black Caucus, which is composed of people who will never be satisfied with anything other than complete and total compliance with their agenda by conservatives — no, scratch that. Even then they will not be satisfied.

Ashcroft’s desire to appease the members of the black caucus is typical of what we can expect from a government premised upon President Bush’s desire for less partisanship and bickering. The nasty little fact that both Ronnie White and Roger Gregory are pro-abortion means nothing when you want to be loved and respected by people who will never love or respect you. So what if a couple more pro-aborts get appointed to lifetime federal judgeships? It’s only one issue, isn’t it? The desire to appease, which is certainly a characteristic of the aftermath of the Protestant Revolt — “let’s just agree to disagree on matters of doctrine and Scriptural interpretation” — begets the further cementing of the hold that legal positivists have on the American judiciary.

One of the arguments made over and over again by incrementalists in the pro-life movement is that Republican appointees to the federal bench will help to chip away bit by bit at what judicial activists have accomplished in the past 70 years. Those incrementalists, however, refuse to come to grips with the fundamental reality that Republican presidents have appointed a variety of outright positivists to the federal bench, thereby helping to further institutionalize the very judicial activism that is supposed to be chipped away by the incremental approach. As I have urged time and time again, you’d better believe George W. Bush when he says he has no litmus test on judicial appointments. He proved that as governor when he named pro-aborts and pro-sodomites to Texas judicial vacancies. The fact that Ashcroft is assenting to the nomination of pro-aborts to the federal bench is a clear sign that the Bush presidency will be just as much a boon to the judicial activists as was his governorship in Texas. To be sure, he will make some good appointments from time to time. However, he will also make a number of very bad appointments in order to demonstrate his commitment to “diversity” and “inclusiveness.” As I keep saying, folks, a man who says that the killing of children is a matter of “opinion” over which people of good will can legitimately disagree is not going to make it a point to place defenders of life on the federal bench. Some might get there. But their adversaries will, too.

Indeed, Bush’s proclivity to be “nice” and avoid “divisive” issues extends to how the Justice Department is being instructed to handle the matter of Bill Clinton’s reprehensible last-minute pardons. Bush does not want to appear to be ganging up on the former president and is very displeased that hearings are being held by committees in both houses of Congress to investigate the pardons. As Bush himself comes from privilege, he does not want to be seen as denying anyone else the privileges and perquisites that accrue to those in public office.

Larry Klayman of Judicial Watch writes:
Perhaps it all begins with the Bush family itself — the Republican counterpart to the icons of the Democratic left, the ‘Kennedy Klan.’ Our nation does not officially sanction royalty, but it has always envied the British tradition, and has thus anointed certain politicians and actors as the new ‘American nobility.’ While G.W. may speak with a Texas twang, his blue-blooded New England roots permeate his mentality and the psyches of his father, George Herbert Walker Bush — as well as his brothers, Jeb and Neil. They not only believe, but have been led to believe by the hordes of opportunists around them, such as ‘enterprising’ businessmen, that the Bush family’s historic access to highest levels of political power places them in a unique position — in effect as part of a select group of people entitled to the status of ‘American nobility,’ the superior rights of rulers who stand ‘above’ the same legal scrutiny as fellow citizens.

This explains why the Bush brothers — G.W., Jeb, and Neil — were, despite their youth and inexperience, anointed by ‘fat cat’ corporate tycoons to sit on their boards of directors and became company presidents, at early ages. G.W. was taken into the fold of Texas oilmen and later given a stake in the Texas Rangers which, without any real seed money, business acumen, or effort, made him a multimillionaire. Jeb, for his part, moved to Miami, to be instantly made a business partner of Armando Codina, the largest commercial real estate developer in the area. And Neil Bush ‘miraculously’ found his way into the inner sanctum of Colorado’s Silverado Savings and Loan, only to be later enmeshed in the now-infamous Savings and Loan scandal.... Sometimes [the brothers’ access] to their ‘presidential father’ caused problems, as when Jeb Bush was revealed to have made some calls to cabinet secretaries on behalf of one of his Miami real estate ‘clients.’ One incident — which was revealed during Jeb’s first Florida gubernatorial campaign — involved the Bush son’s receipt of a real estate commission from a fugitive (who was then living overseas, like Marc Rich), despite not having consummated any real estate transaction for him. G.W. and Neil got themselves in similar scrapes over Texas Rangers stadium land deals and sleazy banking practices in Denver.
Klayman goes on to explain at some length in a very well-researched article how the Bush brothers have peddled their influence over the years to aggrandize themselves. Now, Democrats are prepared to open fire using the arsenal of facts about the sleaze that has been oozing from the Bush family for years. That’s the real reason Bush does not want his own Justice Department investigating anything the Clintons may have done personally — or anything the Clinton Justice Department may have done to cover up the myriad of crimes committed during Travelgate, Filegate, Chinagate, and Lewinskygate.

As Klayman points out: “During the Clinton years, there were other occasions when the elder Bush also, oddly, came to Bill’s defense. It was almost as if Bush Sr. was trying to tell the American people that presidents and other political elites are a special class of people who should not even be questioned about their conduct — perhaps remembering his own vulnerability in the Iran-Contra scandal.”

Klayman’s entire expose, from February 23, is at It is quite a telling commentary, going a long way to explain the new president’s blasé attitude about the transgressions of the previous administration. It is a must read.

Put not your trust in princes, ladies and gentlemen. There is no such thing as a secular savior. Bush is not a knight in shining armor. Although he looks better than Clinton because of the latter’s shameless personal and official behavior, the truth of the matter is that Bush represents a slight change of tone, not a change in policy. Indeed, as Bush plugs his tax-cut plan, the federal budget will continue to grow and grow and grow. The federal bureaucracy will continue to be fed. Bill Clinton and company will get off scot-free yet again. And babies will continue to be killed with legal impunity while the focus of the administration is on that which has been the principal focus of governments since the time of Martin Luther and John Calvin: money and the making of it.

Sadly, what is true of the state is also true of the Church. All manner of good people keep believing that this or that episcopal appointment is going to restore order within a particular diocese. Bishops come and bishops go. The same foxes remain in the chancery offices and in pastorates, save for a few minor changes now and then. The same failed, evil sex-instruction programs are retained in Catholic schools and religious education programs. And in more than a few instances the same liturgical deviations and denials of received teaching continue unchallenged.

Enter Francis Cardinal George. He was hailed by many as being an improvement over his predecessor, the late Joseph Cardinal Bernardin. His apologists, however, said that he needed “time” to put his own people in the chancery office. He needed “time” to stop liturgical abuses. He needed “time” to stop the practice of general absolution in the Chicago archdiocese. He needed “time” to adjust to his new surroundings.

Well, guess what? Things in Chicago are now pretty much as they were when Cardinal George was installed in April 1997. The Archdiocese of Chicago remains a cesspool. Cardinal George has done nothing to stop the practice of general absolution in his parishes. Nothing at all. And he became so incensed when 81-year old Gregory Morrow, a longtime lay activist, questioned him about when he was going to end general absolution that his Eminence grabbed Morrow by the lapels, denounced him as a Protestant, and told him that he would end general absolution in his own good time, probably in about two years. Never mind all the invalid administrations of general absolution — and hence the subsequent sacrilegious communions that continue to be made quite regularly in the archdiocese. No, the “time” is not right to end general absolution.

The “time” is never right for one who is afraid to act, for one who does not want to run afoul of the establishment, for one who does not seek to govern with firmness. The “time” is never right to act for those who hold civil power. There is never a good “time” to be about the business of administering the standards of objective justice founded in truth when doing so might cost you dearly with focus groups and the “moderates” in your own political party. And there is never a good “time” to act for clerics who are afraid what their brethren and the media will think of them if they take measures required for the salvation of souls and the preservation of the integrity of the Faith.

Thus, good readers, do not get enthused about this election or that election. Do not get enthused about this or that episcopal appointment. Stay on your knees in prayer. Inform yourselves about the facts of particular situations. However, understand that the problems we face civilly are the result of a set of forces that began to be unleashed in the world in the latter part of the fourteenth century. And the problems we face ecclesiastically are the result of the infiltration of those same forces into the Church, especially by means of the synthetic liturgy concocted to better reflect the spirit of our times.

While we pray for the princes of the civil realm and for those of the Church, we should never be surprised when, over and over again, we see them fail us. For those who believe in false premises will never bear anything but bitter fruit. How ironic it is that political conservatives suspend all rational judgment to boost the fortunes of politicians who are not the friends of true justice while theological conservatives do the same thing to convince themselves that the problems we face have nothing to do with a synthetic liturgy or a corrupt hierarchy. We just need the right person to straighten things out, that’s all.

Our Lady, Ark of the New Covenant, pray for us so that we will always place our trust in your maternal protection to help restore reverence of worship and thus integrity of doctrine in the Church, the fundamental precondition for the establishment of genuine order in society, an order that recognizes the Kingship of your divine Son, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Viva Cristo Rey!

This column is distributed by the Griffin Internet Syndicate.
Copyright © Griffin Communications, 2001. All rights reserved.

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