Republicans and bad ideas

I keep hoping the Republicans get the message. Maybe I am hoping in vain. A significant number of Republicans voted for the Obama insanity. Orin Hatch carried the water for the party of unlimited taxes and spending in the name of his “friend” Ted Kennedy. Republicans voted for the mandatory “volunteer” service bill, or as I like to call it “The Obama Youth” act.

My hopes are higher in Tennessee. But just when I think there is hope, a Republican does something stupid.

In Tennessee, our constitution mandates that we elect our judges. That is a wonderful and brilliant part of our state constitution. Liberals love unelected judges. They are unelected and therefore unaccountable to the people. They can let child molesters go and suffer no consequences. They can declare laws unconstitutional simply because they do not like them and there is no impact on their life.

Almost twenty years ago, Tennessee passed a “Judicial Selection Act”, which is also called “The Tennessee Plan.” Under the Tennessee plan, when there is a judicial vacancy, interested applicants submit an application to the judicial selection commission. The commission which is made up of people selected by the Speaker of the State House, the Lt. Governor, representatives from the Tennessee Bar Association, the trial lawyers association, the Public Defender’s conference and the District Attorney General’s conference select three and pass them along to the governor. The governor then makes his selection from the three that are on the list. Then, if you are a trial judge, you face election in the next general election. Any lawyer who wants to run against you can. If you are an appellate judge (i.e. Judge on the Court of Appeals, Court of Criminal Appeals or the Tennessee Supreme Court), you face only a “retention” election. Instead of facing an opponent on the ballot, and having to explain and defend your record as a judge, you simply appear with the heading, “Shall Judge John Doe be retained?” It is a yes or no vote. Not surprisingly, in every election, the incumbent judge is retained by a 67% to 33% margin. Only once has a judge been voted out.

Last year, the Tennessee General Assembly refused to reauthorize the Judicial Selection Commission, which means it is now in wind down and unless reauthorized this year, will die on July 1st.

The Judicial selection commission was a creation of Democrats, designed to keep liberal Democrats in charge of the court system in Tennessee, particularly the appellate courts. So far they have succeeded.

But then, just when it looks like we might win and send the judicial elections back to the people, where they belong, a Republican comes along to screw it up.

When asked recently about this very subject, Lt. Governor Ron Ramsey, a candidate for governor, promised that he was working to see the Judicial Selection Commission reauthorized.

Republicans control the General Assembly, and after the 2010 elections, most likely will expand their margins. In 2010, the Governor will most likely be a Republican. That will leave only the judicial branch of the government controlled by the Democrats. Now, when given the opportunity to do something truly good for the people, once again, the Republicans strike out.

Ann Coulter has called the Democrats the party of treason. Others have called them the party of socialism. I am beginning to think my party should be called the party of incompetence.

I keep hoping that one day, the Republicans will get it right.


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