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Teddy & Peggy & Leo PDF Print E-mail
Written by Steve Dittmer   
Wednesday, 25 January 2006
AFF Sentinel Vol.3, #2

"If everyone was my friend, I would think less of myself. I am glad to have some of these groups opposing me. You will be challenged. Take it as a compliment and go on."

"The people I fight are bad; this buttresses my belief that I, in spite of what I know about myself, am good."

One of these quotes is Peggy Noonan's psychological explanation of what liberals like Ted Kennedy may have in mind when attacking political conservatives, as they did in attacking Judge Alito in the Supreme Court hearings.

The other is R-CALF's Leo McDonnell explaining his peace officer grandfather's philosophy, to which Leo subscribes.

I bring this up because a couple of cattlemen have been disturbed that the AFF has brought politics into discussions of some of the issues facing U.S. cattlemen. My answer has been that an overall distaste and ignorance for politics on the part of many cattlemen has been responsible for some of the difficulties we face today. Politics may not be fun or fascinating to most cattlemen, but it shapes their world.

Other segments of society, with totally opposite goals from cattlemen, have mastered those arts. Instead of harboring distaste for politics, legal action and media spin, they have created an impression of waves of popular voter support where there is little. They have harnessed the power of attorneys and the liberal bent of courts to shape society and certain industries in drastic fashion. They have also harnessed the guilty feelings of a successful, prosperous, compassionate society to push agendas that punish the capitalist system that has created such prosperity and the ability to indulge in such compassion.

From that prosperity and free time has come efforts to humanize animals -- to provide animals with better lives than human beings in previous times have enjoyed. So also come efforts to remove economic incentives that reward innovation and hard work, and remove penalties that, in effect, force change, adaptation and eventual progress in a market-driven economy.

As it became obvious to everyone but the most rabid leftist and liberal folks in the country that Judge Alito is eminently qualified for the Supreme Court, another name familiar to cattlemen popped up unexpectedly. I note this for those who still harbor the notion that politics and legal maneuverings have nothing to do with the cattle business. A senator mentioned that Laurence Tribe was expected to testify at the Supreme Court opposition to Alito's confirmation. You may remember Tribe from the check-off lawsuit attack and his infamous characterization of auction market operators and cattlemen as "closet vegetarians."

Tribe is the attorney who represented the beef check-off opponents before the Supreme Court. He also believes the Constitution allows various avenues for gaining legal standing for animals in our court system. Tribe did, in fact, testify in the Alito hearings, concerned that Alito would swing the court to the right, thereby chipping away at women's liberty and assigning more recognition of rights for the unborn.

I was struck by the irony, symptomatic of the battles facing animal agriculture. Tribe and his friends on the left ascribe few or no rights to unborn humans, but believe animals should have legal standing and be allow to sue in court. Are we ready for this?

Peggy Noonan, in the rest of her column for the Wall Street Journal's "Opinion Journal" ("Biden His Time,", Jan. 12, 2006), said Judge Alito and the White House know they must let these senators talk. "And they know it is good, it is helpful, to let each senator reveal himself through his own words."

Yes, Peggy, I know you're right. However, it is a painful, embarrassing, boring, incredulous experience to watch them even for a little while. And to listen to Teddy arguing with Chairman Arlen Specter over who runs the committee, when there will be an executive session, and if Teddy mails something, he knows it has been received ... well, it was so embarrassing even Saturday Night Live would find it difficult to construct a parody of it.

That's why Peggy thinks the liberal senators' words, "when strung together, become little nooses."

When the vote to confirm Alito comes in, the liberals on the left will revert to their usual refrain, most prominent after the last two elections, that "Our message is just not getting out." They won't admit that their message is being heard -- and rejected by many. Their elitist, superior brains will not allow them to imagine that they could be wrong. They will continue to insist that people would agree with them, if only they understood.

It is the same attitude that R-CALF and OCM leaders carry.

"You just don't get it!" is one of their favorite explanations. It is their way of saying that the mainstream is being hoodwinked by the packers, retailers, restaurant chains and capitalist system. We are just not smart enough to understand. We need to listen more carefully.

Well, I'm listening, but I haven't heard anything that convinces me. The problem is, they're out hunting judges and congressman to convince all the time.

It is just such nauseating political shows like the confirmation hearings for Roberts and Alito that will shape the future of agriculture when questions of private property rights, the Endangered Species Act, and eminent domain reach the Supreme Court again. Maybe even when an animal rights question gets decided.

Oh, I almost forgot. Which quote is which? Go back and read them again.

Guess again. Leo leads off.


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Last Updated ( Saturday, 24 June 2006 )
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