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National Affairs by Claire Hoy — Abella was out of line

June 20, 2017   ·   0 Comments

Consider what the reaction would be if a conservative member of the U.S. Supreme Court addressed a Canadian university commencement crowd and condemned Cana­dians for their choices in the last election.
Outrage wouldn’t cover it. Apoplexy? Disgust? Sacrilege? You name it.
Consider how much deeper the anger would be if the aforementioned conservative jurist inferred that booting out the Tories and electing Liberals is ignoring the lessons of Hitler’s rise to power in the 1930s and the subsequent Holocaust.
Who would do such a thing, you ask?
Well, Canadian Justice Rosalie Abella did just that, speaking recently to graduates and accepting an honorary degree from Brandeis University near Boston.
There’s a lot to admire about Abella. Much of her family was killed in the Holocaust. Her parents survived and she was born in a displaced persons camp in Stuttgart, Germany, shortly after the war ended, later coming to Canada with her family and in 2004 becoming the first Jewish woman Supreme Court justice.
But Abella — like virtually all members of the left-leaning cabal of jurists, academics, journalists and political insiders — seems appalled at the notion — or, as they would say to themselves, the “stupidity” — of the American electorate for daring to elect Donald Trump as president.
Attacking the notion of what she called “narcissistic populism,” she did not mention Trump by name. But that’s just a cheap dodge. Everybody knew she was talking about Trump.
As a private citizen of a free democracy, Abella has every right to take whatever position she wants. But as a Supreme Court justice speaking in that capacity in another country, I think not. Had she gone in praise of Trump instead of hoping to bury him, you can bet Canadian media outlets would have been hyper-critical.
But the two published stories I saw — in the Star and the Globe — while pegged as straight “news” stories, left little doubt that the reporters thought her speech was wonderful. And brave.
Recalling her family’s heroic survival from the Nazis, Abella said, “Here we are in 2017, barely seven decades later, watching ‘never again’ turn into ‘again and again,’ and watching that wonderful democratic consensus fragment, shattered by narcissistic populism, an unhealthy tolerance for intolerance, a cavalier indifference to equality . . .”
Apparently oblivious to the irony of her own inappropriate actions, she complained about the “shocking disrespect for the borders between power and its independent adjudicators like the press and the courts.”
Perhaps I missed the announcement that Trump — who certainly can be cited for many legitimate faults — is using the Nazi playbook to keep his critics in line. But how else are we to interpret Abella’s claim that “never again” has become “again and again?”
The Globe reported that “some observers applaud” Abella’s messaging, quoting radical left-wing Calgary law professor Kathleen Mahoney and former Liberal cabinet minister Anne McLellan — both Abella fans — praising their hero for her courage.
The Globe didn’t appear to ask somebody who might not be so enamored of a unelected, supposedly non-partisan, Canadian Supreme Court justice airing her personal politics against the duly-elected President of the country in which she was a visitor. But then, only a cretin would critique such obvious truths, eh?
It must be a great comfort to be a dedicated small “l” liberal elitist and absolutely know in your heart that your views are not just right, but the only acceptable views which should be allowed. Any other views — even if the electorate is dumb enough to buy into them — are a danger to civilized society.
Abella, twisting actual history to suit her own neat thesis, argued that the “devastating war” once inspired nations of the world “to unite in democratic solidarity,” but the populists are destroying that.
Really? Who knew that the Soviet Union and China, to name but two, united in “democratic solidarity” after the war? She might want to tell that to the millions of victims of those regimes who continue to suffer and never enjoyed even a sniff of democracy.
Some day, these know-it-all liberals may recover their senses enough to accept the fact that Trump actually was democratically elected, but that’s not a sure thing either.
Two years ago, for example, Abella’s boss Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin publicly lashed out at the Tory government, accusing them of attempting to commit a “cultural genocide” against Indigenous peoples. Really? And this from somebody who was adjudicating these issues. Tell me that’s appropriate.
One thing you can bet on, however, is that none of these unelected judges will be attacking Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his gang. Why would they, he’s one of them.
Sure, liberals make mistakes, but their intentions are always pure. Conservatives, on the other hand, really are — to cite Hillary Clinton — “deplorables.”
Pity they’re even allowed to vote.

         

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