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Occasionally I wandered in where I was not wanted and gave truthful answers.
Sometimes I even did it deliberately. A little disruption now can prevent disaster later.

Spells for Democracy?

This is a page from the third version of Technopagan Yearnings. There are some formatting differences. Originally published at www.neowayland.com/C65989237/E1134998457

Isaac Bonewits is calling for spells to change the outcome of the Senate vote on judicial filibusters.

I think Isaac Bonewits is off base with this "Spell for Democracy."

I've got two really really big issues with this.

First is the unspoken (but major) assumption that all True Pagans™ are progressive or at least liberal. I'm not, and there are many others who aren't either.

Second is the apparently sincere belief held by many progressives that the only way to "save" democracy in the U.S. is by subverting the very ideals that make a democracy. First in the courts by making sure only the "right" (or in this case LEFT) judges are sworn in on the higher benches. And second, by pulling unprecedented procedural tricks to prevent an actual vote in the Senate.

The courts have made bad decisions before. Dred Scott comes to mind. There is also the recent case against the death penalty for minors. I happen to think that was a bad decision not because I am for the death penalty, but because the decision cited international opinion and treaties that the United States had not even signed or ratified, even over the Constitution.

The point is, bad judges and bad courts will happen. You can't insist on an absolute, particularly when you don't have the votes to gain the Presidency or the Senate.

I would distrust any single side that claimed to have all the answers. As would Mr. Bonewits, provided the side making the claims is conservative or libertarian.

The moment you make it an all or nothing game, you lay the foundations for the same tricks and stunts being pulled on you. As has happened with many of the court appointments in the last forty years, which have leaned heavily liberal.

So I guess the only way that certain progressives want to play is if the deck is heavily stacked in their favor.

UPDATE: Jay A. Allen makes a similar point at Kensho Godchaser. Jason Pitzl-Waters mentions it briefly at The WildHunt Blog. A less Pagan-centric version of this post is at my mainstream blog Pagan•Vigil.

Posted: Sat - May 21, 2005 at 07:38 AM

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