Tuesday, February 16, 2016

The Last Of The Lions Died

Antonin Scalia died this weekend. He went hunting that day, went to bed and never woke up. He left behind a large family with many grandchildren. He left behind a Supreme Court sitting at 4-4. He left behind mourning nominal conservatives, cheering progressives and a nation so politically tense that one old man's death becomes a night's discussion and soon to be long media cycle topic. When he is buried, the last of the old lions will rest in peace.

Did you think Scalia's death was going to hit you this hard? He was 79, so this is not early, but it feels like it. That was his personality. No matter what happened with elections, one always thought he would hang on forever, sitting there like a wise old Buddha. That is the wrong picture. You thought he would sit there like Paul Sorvino in Goodfellas, not moving anytime soon, not because he did not want to move, but because he did not have to. Scalia was supposed to be an old geezer dying at 90, still a brilliant mind, ripping centaur rights activists.

The Italian thing was the charm. Scalia was like a mob movie character who made good, like had Michael Corleone stayed in the Ivy league and become Senator Corleone, Governor Corleone, I don't know, just not enough time. Scalia did not hold back. He made it to the Supreme Court but was still a sarcastic son of a bitch. His opinions were labelled sarcastic at orders of magnitude higher than his peers. The man renamed Obamacare "SCOTUScare" when skewering Chief Justice Roberts and the merry band of liberals for all the legal gymnastics they performed to make Obamacare constitutional. You know Scalia was a ball buster.

He had not been progged out. He was still a white ethnic and of the old school. There were rumors he was connected to Opus Dei, which only made the progs quiver with rage at their keyboards more. Read up on Opus Dei, sounds mysterious and awesome. It was not just that, but he was not a Roberts. Not the impartial referee. Not the kind of Harvard Law product who absorbed the bull spewed forth there and left Cambridge needing to be accepted by the right people. Scalia was the archconservative Catholic who said, "Fuck these limp wristed elites, I'll use them". Scalia was not going to pull punches, and never did so in interviews. Just like his opinions, he was going to throw things out there that would cause vapors.

As a formalist and someone raised in a small town where the democratic tradition was still expressed through town hall meetings and votes, Scalia's approach spoke to me. If you loved what America once was, his quote, "A system of govt that makes the people subordinate to a committee of 9 unelected lawyers does not deserve to be called a democracy", resonated. Scalia knew the game was rigged and his dissents read even better than his majority opinions. I'll quibble with his Gonzales v. Raich opinion; there was no interstate commerce and it's weed, Antonin. His statements on black science students would get you or I fired, but there he was saying it openly. Read his sarcastic but completely right dissents on the Arizona immigration case, the gay marriage ruling and Obamacare. A little more sarcasm, and he could be found in our sphere for criticizing modern democracy.

Scalia called Justice Brennan the most influential of the 20th Century. Scalia did not have the influence of Brennan, partly due to the cases in question each handled, but Scalia is up there. Brennan would work on his fellow Justices, as did Scalia, and both wrote many opinions. Scalia, despite being approved by the Senate 98-0, was a touchstone for progs as "Jesus Christ, no more Scalias!". They called Justice Alito "Scalito" to demonize him. The Left conjures up phony examples of archconservatives or ultraconservatives, but here was one actual conservative fighter. They knew he was right too, which only infuriated them more.

Scalia's arrival on the court and political scene is timing. Part of it was his behavior, approach and attitude as the Reagan era dawned. He was not just a happy warrior, but a man extremely confident that he was right. His passing matches the death of conservatism as we all come to realize that it does not matter how right you are, just do you have the votes. That is sadly democracy; do you have the votes, and if not, just import more. Scalia was right that the words have to mean what they mean and that the legislation passed should be upheld and not subject to one quirky judge's opinion that moment. It is the battle of formalism or strict constructionism versus "It's 2016!" and "muh feels". He fought for order.

I did not think a politically related figure dying would hit me, but how much of it is Scalia and how much of it is the collection of munchkins left on the Court? Is it that his passing is right now when things undeniably feel sinking for the West through an insane suicide? Scalia knew it did not have to be this way, but he could not swing Roberts compared to the media pressure for that Obamacare decision. He served a nation that did not deserve him. Have you ever read transcripts of questioning by Kagan or Sotomayor for cases? It is comical. They sound exactly the way affirmative action coworkers or your obnoxious lesbian acquaintance trying to play tough sound. Those are the Justices that Weimerica deserves. Not Scalia. Not that sharp son of a bitch.

Thank you Antonin Scalia. Rest in peace you uncompromising lion.


Laguna Beach Fogey said...

I've never taken to America's legalistic obsessions, so I've never been a SCOTUS fanboi (though I did, once, briefly prepare for the LSAT and law school; thank God I didn't go through with it).

That it all rests on one man is a sign of conservatism's inherent fragility and stupidity. I have no sympathy for conservatives. These pussies don't want power; they want holiness. They deserve to lose.

As things heat up, Nationalists are going to have to increasingly disregard the laws of the regime. How we can accomplish this when conservatives and right-wingers in general practically venerate the current system, is going to be a challenge.

Portlander said...

Thanks, SoBL. Awesome send-off. In addition to the untimeliness, of course, I think Scalia's death feels extra poignant because it also feels like the death of conservatism... As you said, Scalia was the Last Lion. Rest in peace, Antonin Scalia.

Is there a Gen-Xer out there ready to pick-up the mantle? Doubtful from a bunch of apathetic cynics. Millennials? They are so poorly educated and thoroughly indoctrinated do they even know there is a mantle to be picked-up? Their minds are blown that acting as a man can snag a piece of ass. (Boomers obviously are a lost cause not worth consideration.)

Portlander said...

LBF, you've completely missed the point. It's not about conservatives, it's about conservatism.

Laguna Beach Fogey said...

Portlander ~ What are you missing? Conservatism is a failed ideology and conservatives are pussies. They've lost. Time and again. If the death of one man means the "end of conservatism" (your words), then there is something deeply flawed about conservatism. Let it die.

Toddy Cat said...

"He served a nation that did not deserve him"

This. Thanks for the fine obituary, SOBL.

Portlander said...

It's a funeral you jack-ass. Go act like a troll somewhere else. We're all stocked up.

Son of Brock Landers said...

No need for name calling Portlander. LBF haas good comments here and i encourage pushback. I cant just have pats on the back from my commemters.

Toddy Cat said...

Scalia's death IS the end of "conservatism", but that doesn't mean that it's the end of the West, or the Right. That battle is just beginning. Conservatism has been tried, and although it had its victories and moments of glory, and played a vital role in delaying the advance of the left (especially in the area of gun control, where Scalia was a genuine hero), it was in general a failure, or at any rate, it had accomplished all that it could have expected to accomplish twenty years ago. It was deeply flawed, but fortunately, it's no longer the only game in town. Time for a new, nationalist, patriotic right.

Scalia was a great man, but he served an America that, sadly, no longer exists. He always reminded me of those Japanese soldiers that they used to find on Pacific islands decades after WWII was over, still bravely serving an Emperor and a country that had completely forgotten them. I wonder how he felt when his "friends" over at National Review stabbed him in the back on sodomite "marriage"?

Well, as H.L Mencken said, one does what one can, and Scalia fought the good fight for a long time, and if in the end the forces arrayed against him were too strong, that was hardly his fault. May God's eternal light shine on him, and may "all the trumpets sound for him on the other side..."

Dave said...

LBF, you are right that conservatism only works when there is something good left to conserve. America's conservatives are only conserving the soft socialism of FDR and the Civil Rights Movement.

That said, Scalia was not a conservative but an originalist. He sought to channel not the liberals of twenty years before, but the men who actually wrote the Constitution.

28th Amendment to the Constitution:

The validity of State and Federal laws must be judged according to the actual text of the Constitution, with the meaning of its words established by previous English Law, and must respect the Tenth Amendment. A decision by any Court that fails to meet this standard is not binding on either the States or the People.

Portlander said...

Dude built a strawman, selectively quoted me to add to his strawman, then gloated in the conflagration.

Neither you nor I said conservatism relied on one man. Nothing of import ever would, or even could.

I agree conservatism is looking dead. Sadly, I must add, but I'm a big boy, I can handle it. Again, that's what makes Scalia's death feel all the more poignant (far moreso than Reagan's or Buckley's, to pick two of the usual suspects in popular opinion of conservatism). Not that conservatism relied on Scalia, but that he is the last full-throated Lion of Conservatism at any of the controls of power.

Yes, conservatism was over-run and co-opted a long time ago. Sorry, but originalism vs. conservatism sounds like No-True-Scotsman-ism to me. For what it's worth, I agree Nationalism appears set to become its replacement. However, it's not an unqualified superior one.

And so, I think it's in pretty poor taste to show-up to a funeral acting like there's nothing to lament in the loss of the deceased(s), literal and idealogical.

Mandos said...

Now that's what I call a proper tribute. Your writings keep getting better and better Ryan. Thanks for sharing them, it is a pleasure to read.

Pvt. Jaybird said...

A rosary for the soul of Justice Scalia.

It's almost trite to say it, but the difference between liberals and conservatives is ten years. The Republicucks are the Democrats of ten years ago. Conservatives wish to return to the '50s, liberals wish to continue the progressivism of the '60s. Both are reactionary. Like it or not, as we enter the "age of iron and fire", we are the true revolutionaries.

Laguna Beach Fogey said...

Anyone who identifies as and remains a "conservative" at this late stage of the game is clearly an adversary of Whites, Christians, and the West.

Robert What? said...

Very moving article. Yes, Scalia was the last one who labored to understand the original intent of the Constitution, not laboriously twist it to match his preconceived notions. With his passing the Court is staffed with Justices to which the Constitution is increasingly irrelevant except as a vehicle for mental and ideological gymnastics.

LetsPlay said...

I've read several tributes to Justice Scalia and yours is the best. Thanks for a very moving and insightful summary of what he brought to the game. I can only shudder at the thought of what he faced daily when he went "to work." Using his intellect must have been pure fun for him but to have to look into the faces of such ugly souls every single fricking day would be, well, ... more than I would want to endure for even a single day.