Politics & Policy

Justice Kennedy: A One-Act Play

We've fist-bumped with history.

‘Thank you, thank you very much. I’d like to thank my agent, my manager, my lawyer, my personal assistant, my nutritionist and, most of all, the Academy for this great honor. Winning an Oscar for my script, The Mouse That Roared 2: This Time, It’s Personal, is the culmination of everything you and I have been fighting for. Ladies and gentlemen, comrades in arms — we did it!

[applause, cheers.]

“Our long march through the institutions is over. What began as a gleam in my daddy Che Kahane’s eye back in the Sixties is today blinding reality. We own the media, the universities, both houses of Congress, the Supreme Court — and very soon, the presidency itself. With the Boumediene decision last week, our audacious vision of a government of the lawyers, by the lawyers, and for the lawyers has finally come to fruition. Once we eliminate the Second Amendment and the Electoral College, our victory will be complete. Nothing can stop us now.

“The military is putty in our hands, every soldier a cop, and every cop hamstrung by a Miranda monkey on his back. The protections of our living, breathing, emanating, penumbrating Constitution have been extended to every man, woman, child, and transgendered metrosexual albino little person on the planet. And they said we couldn’t do it — that the American people would never stand for such an erosion of national sovereignty. Ha!

[chants of “Yes, we can! Yes, we can!!]

“So what if the Constitution expressly limits the Supreme Court’s powers to treaties, ambassadors, maritime jurisdiction, controversies involving the U.S. or between the states, and land claims among residents of various states? Thanks to the magnificently prescient power grab of Marbury v. Madison, our robed masters are now the absolute authority in the land, swinging ‘judicial review’ like the jawbone of the ass with which Samson slew a thousand Philistines. All it takes today is one unelected judge on an entirely arbitrary nine-member court to swing a 5-4 decision and make law without the tedium of representative government. Talk about one man, one vote! That, ladies and gentlemen, that is what democracy is all about.

Thank you, John Marshall. Thank you, Anthony Kennedy!

[whoops, etc.]

“So what if the Constitution clearly states that, aside from the Supreme Court, the judicial branch is more or less what Congress says it is, to wit; ‘such inferior Courts as the Congress may from time to time ordain and establish.’ As that troglodyte, Justice Scalia, said in his dissent to Boumediene: Just kidding! If Congress really wanted to, it could close down every federal court in the country and start over from scratch. It could overturn Marbury in a day by passing a law that eliminates judicial review — which is nowhere mentioned in, you know, the actual Constitution — and dare the Supes to do something about it. As that great Democrat, Andrew Jackson, once said: How many divisions does Ruth Buzzi Ginsburg command?

“Instead, we’ve able to make the benighted clods that populate the middle of this soon-to-be-great land of ours believe that we have three ‘co-equal’ branches of government. At long last, the least co-equal of them, the one established in Article Three in three short sections (one of which has to do with the thankfully antiquated concept of ‘treason’) is primus inter pares. Suckers!

“Yes, I know the music is starting to play — the wonderful theme song of our movie, Guantanemera — and you’re getting restless at all this ancient history. Where’s the jibes at Bush? The unabashed rallying cry for B. Hussein Soetelo Obama II?

[chants of “Venceremos!!”]

“Don’t worry… they’re coming. But first, let’s talk about me.

[sudden silence.]

“You all remember the original 1959 Mouse That Roared, in which the Duchy of Grand Fenwick, a raggedy-rumped country the size of a postage stamp, declares war on the United States over basically a bottle of wine or two, hoping that it will be swiftly defeated and then become the beneficiary of American reconstruction largesse, just like Germany and Japan.

[sounds of crickets, etc.]

“O.K., so you don’t. Anyway, Fenwick’s belligerent declaration is taken as a joke. So, to show they mean business to the Great Satan — that would be us –


— the magnificent Fenwickians dispatch 20 or so brave mujahedin armed with box cutters — excuse me, knights in chain mail, carrying long bows — to a New York City that has been shut down due to a bogus Halliburton ‘terrorist alert.’

“With the citizens cowering in their cellars, the so-called illegal-alien enemy combatant Fenwickians take the city, capture the ‘Q-bomb’ and return home in triumph. Amerikkka surrenders — talk about a happy ending!

[crescendo of cheers, whistles]

“So when I sat down with Paramount, my agent, my manager, my lawyer, my personal assistant, and my nutritionist to kick around MTR2, it was a slam dunk. There we were, banging our heads against the walls trying to come up with a contemporary spin on the material when all of a sudden I said: Substitute al-Qaeda for the Duchy of Grand Fenwick. Voila! Instant magic and a new house in Hancock Park for me. You know what they say: Good writers borrow, great writers steal.

“But beyond that, beyond the new hybrid Escalade, beyond the plastic surgery I can now afford, I’m proud of our brave work on this script. Yes, brave. Because we’ve spoken truth to power. We’ve stuck it to the Man. We’ve fist-bumped with history. After half a century of insisting that up is down, black is white, and weakness is strength, for the first time we’ve actively taken the ‘enemy’s’ side and gotten away with it. Yes, we did!

[chants of “The people. United. Will never be defeated,” etc.]

“I have to admit, we were worried there for a while. You wingnuts beat the Gorebot and the War Hero, and you owned Congress. You had us on the ropes, our lonely eyes turning to George Soros, MoveOn, and A.N.S.W.E.R. for salvation.

“And what did you do with all that power? Nothing! Chimpy McDeath never met a spending program he wanted to veto. He didn’t drill in ANWR, didn’t drill off the pristine California coast. He let the New York Times steal national secrets and get away with it. He let the Ponzi scheme known as Social Security fester, He drove the dollar down so far it’s on par with the peso, and gave the nation $4.50-per-gallon gas. We watched in amazement as he went from Bushitler to a pitiful, helpless piñata, whacked around by the little Mexican children he can’t wait to hand out green cards to.

[boos, until the “green cards” bit, then cheers.]

“And now it’s almost over. Just seven short years after September 11, the Manchurian Candidate slouches toward Washington, with visions of remaking the country dancing in the vast empty space between his ears, the only thing standing between him and absolute power being ol’ Grandpa Munster, snarling ‘get off my lawn’ at the rambunctious neighborhood kids. Is this a great country or what?

[Orchestra breaks into “The Internationale.” The audience in the Kodak Theater rises. Dave shouts over the stirring patriotic music.]

Before I go, let me tell you about my next project, already set up at Fox: The Screwtape Letters 2. And the best part is — this time, Wormwood gets to win!!

[Hysterical cheering, weeping. “Obama ’08” banners unfurl from the rafters. Doves fly. The blind see, the lame walk, the deceased rise, Cook County ballots in their cold, dead hands.]

“Good luck, and good night.”

And then I woke up. What a sweet dream. Just think: It’s only five months from being true.

– David Kahane is the nom de cyber of a screenwriter in Hollywood. He’s not actually a Communist, but he enjoys playing dress-up in uniforms with red stars on them. You can cheer him on at kahanenro@gmail.com.

Since February 2007, Michael Walsh has written for National Review both under his own name and the name of David Kahane, a fictional persona described as “a Hollywood liberal who ...


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