July 4, 2005
The lack of blogging lately reflects my many hours of work with the local Republicans in preparing for Staunton's annual Fourth of July parade. Several photos of the parade passing by the GOP Booth in Gypsy Hill Park can be seen at the new Independence Day 2005 page on the swacgop.org Web site which I also manage. Today's parade was heavy on military forces, with Marine Corps Reserves, Army National Guard, VFW, and Confederate reenactors all participating. The crowd of thousands cheered enthusiastically. (There was also a group from the Augusta Coalition for Peace and Justice, who were met by the crowd with polite but stony silence.) It reminds us that we are a free and independent nation because brave men in uniform risked their lives for our ancestors. By the same token, our continued freedom will depend on the service men and women who are fighting against murderous extremist movements in Iraq and Afghanistan today.
The unexpected announced retirement of Justice Sandra Day O'Connor points toward an imminent make or break point in the long-standing partisan deadlock in Washington. Or does it? Time and again we have approached supposedly climactic moments that just fizzled out indecisively. I for one am not eager for a do-or-die showdown with the Left, and I hope Bush appoints someone who is less known for their conservative viewpoint as for their experience and credentials as a jurist. Justice O'Connor served very ably, and will be remembered not for being conservative or moderate so much as for an honest, thoughtful, independent voice. Her recent dissent on the Kelo vs. New Haven case (see my "Private Property Private Shmoperty" post from June 28) was a commendable stand on behalf of constitutional principles.