Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Decision 2008: The Bill of Rights

For a while, let's set Barack Obama’s breathtaking level of dishonesty aside and take a look at this election on an “issue by issue” basis, tallying the score like a sporting event to see how he and John McCain stack up…because, let’s face it, McCain leaves a lot to be desired as a prospective president.

There are too many issues to do this in a single post, so I’m going to do it in a series. This first post looks at where the candidates stand on the Bill of Rights.

First Amendment
This is the one that provides freedom of speech and freedom of religion. Frankly, they both suck on the first part. The silver lining is that they seem to be okay on the second part. Advantage: Neither.

Second Amendment
This is the one that provides the right to keep and bear arms. Obama is its enemy and McCain is its ally. Advantage: McCain.

Third Amendment
In plain English, this is the one that says you can’t be forced to use your home to house soldiers, unless “prescribed by law.” Not surprisingly, it seems that no presidential candidate in many years has spoken about this amendment. Advantage: Neither.

Fourth Amendment
This is the amendment that provides protection against unreasonable searches and seizures. McCain is strong on this one, and although Obama’s entire philosophy leads me to believe he is weak on it, I do not know of anything specific that confirms my fear. So without doing any extensive research other than mentally reviewing what I already know, I say: Advantage: Neither.

Fifth Amendment
This is the one that protects the individual against being forced to testify, against double jeopardy, and against having his or her property taken. The big hang-up is on the last part, since liberalism’s philosophy does not favor private ownership of property. Whether rank-and-file Democrats want to admit it or not, liberal politicians have a long history of acting against Americans’ property rights, and despite Obama’s carefully orchestrated demeanor of speaking softly to the general public, the politics he practices are the most radically liberal of any presidential candidate in American history. If elected, he will have the power to nominate federal judges to lifetime appointments – a power that will be unchecked if the Senate and House remain under Democrat control. This should frighten you when you consider that the Supreme Court has already rendered at least one ruling in violation of this amendment. Advantage: McCain.

Sixth Amendment
In plain English, this is the one that guarantees your right to due process and to a speedy trial by a jury of your peers. McCain is strong on it, and though I have my doubts about Obama, those doubts are not backed up by any evidence of which I know. So I say: Advantage: Neither.

Seventh Amendment
This one takes certain parts of the previous two amendments (namely the guarantee of trial by jury and the protection against double jeopardy) and applies them to common law in cases where the “value in question” exceeds $20. No wonder this amendment never gets talked about. But the bottom line is that I see no evidence that either of the candidates is weak on it. Advantage: Neither.

Eighth Amendment
This one protects against excessive bail, excessive fines, and cruel and unusual punishment. I see no difference between the candidates on this one. Advantage: Neither.

Ninth Amendment
In plain English, this one says that the naming of certain rights in the Constitution does not mean that people don’t have other rights not named in it. I have reservations about both candidates when it comes to this amendment. More of my reservations concern Obama, mind you, but I have enough reservations about McCain that I don't want to award any points over this amendment. Advantage: Neither.

Tenth Amendment
This is arguably the most important of the ten amendments that make up the Bill of Rights. It is the one which declares that all powers not specifically granted to the federal government by the Constitution do not belong to the federal government. It also declares that all powers belong to the states “or to the people” unless the Constitution specifically bars the states from those powers. We may need divine intervention because, unfortunately, both candidates love federal power and seem to think it should be used in most, if not all, circumstances. Advantage: Neither.

Bottom line: Because McCain has the adavantage on two amendments and Obama does not have it on any of them, McCain "wins" this post.

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