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I don’t follow politics so I can watch liberals cry. My goal when arguing with my leftist friends is not to make them secrete so many tears that I can comfortably wallow in a pool of progressive lamentations. However, I must admit, upon hearing about the retirement of Justice Kennedy, I did take a trip over to the usual suspects (Vox, Slate, ThinkProgress, Salon) just to see how lachrymose they would become. I did not expect to stay… I didn’t plan to gloat… but despite my intentions, I found myself staying to take a nice long shower in the torrent of liberal tears, I showered for longer than 20 minutes just to stick it to the California water police.
While there, I was a little surprised to learn that Justice Kennedy is no longer the Number One GRH (Gay Rights Hero). Merely by deciding at the age of 81 to retire, he has forfeited any and all plaudits for rulings he made previously. By leaving the national stage a lifetime of work was washed down the drain, along with those tears.
The severity of denunciations from the likes of Slate and ThinkProgress seemed a bit excessive. Surely the left would not set aside the legacy of one the great American romantic poets of our time. “At the heart of liberty is the right to define one’s own concept of existence, of meaning, of the universe, and of the mystery of human life,” Kennedy wrote in Casey v. Planned Parenthood. Or his prose, which rivals even Shakespeare’s most tender sonnet: “Marriage embodies a love that may endure even past death. It would misunderstand these men and women to say they disrespect the idea of marriage. Their plea is that they do respect it, respect it so deeply that they seek to find its fulfillment for themselves. Their hope is not to be condemned to live in loneliness, excluded from one of civilization’s oldest institutions” from Obergefell v. Hodges. The more I read in the journals of liberal opinion, the more resolute the leftist writers were in their condemnation.
If this was to be the case, I decided to do a little thought experiment. If Kennedy was no longer a hero of the left then what was he? Merely the philosophically bewildered justice who relished being the deciding swing vote on the Roberts court? The vituperation being directed at Kennedy used language usually reserved only for he of an orange hue. No, he was not looked on as middle of the road by the left. According to the left, he had magically become a conservative overnight. Not just any conservative, but one of the right’s greatest heroes solely by departing the Supreme Court and giving Republicans the chance to tilt it decidedly conservative for the first time since the Roosevelt administration.
Since Kennedy had apparently surpassed even Reagan in conservative hearts by giving Trump and McConnell a chance to swing the court to the originalists, I decided to reevaluate other Americans who would be my newfound heroes. Who else would turn out to be an neglected comrade in arms in suppressing the noxious theory of a living Constitution?
Upon reflection, I realized that I had put the wrong people on a conservative pedestal all my life. No more Lincoln, no more Coolidge, no more Thatcher or Reagan. Have not Ted Kennedy and Joe Biden, through their duplicitous treatment of Robert Bork, done more to encourage originalism than anyone else? Harry Reid surely paved the way for the speedy confirmation of more conservative justices than ever before with his imperious destruction of the filibuster.
I must thank Slate for peeling the scales from my eyes so that I could recognize the actual greatest conservative heroes of the age. I propose, therefore, that it would only be right and proper to rename the Ricochet Member levels Kennedy, Biden, Reid, and Kennedy to appropriately appreciate their furthering the conservative movement.