April 14, 2004

"Blatantly violating that beautiful line." Here's Kerry at a fundraiser in Boston:
"There is nothing conservative, whatsoever, about this administration .... There's nothing conservative about blatantly violating that beautiful line drawn by our Founding Fathers that separates church and state in the United States of America."
Having struggled with my students through the difficulties of the Establishment Clause cases, I'd really like to know exactly what that "beautiful line" is. We find it awfully hard to see at all. But here's Kerry, seeing it so clearly that he not only is sure it's being violated, but it's being "blatantly" violated. By exactly what, I'd like to know.

Oh, and I'm bored by the old rhetorical maneuver that those who claim to be conservative are not really conservative. It's a classic move that I remember my old law school dean wielding in a speech at my graduation in 1981. He was criticizing the Burger Court, and dredging up the true, respectable conservative, Harlan, whom he probably didn't like much in Harlan's own day, but who served as a good example of why the Burger Court wasn't living up to its own standards. I'm complaining about the old rhetoric, yet that's a pretty old speech to still remember, so it's hard to blame Kerry for using it too.

No comments: