Bush Should Employ a Litmus Test

Consider the lowly lichens. Composed of algae and fungi, the plant-like organisms grow in the frigid arctic, scorching deserts, and along rocky ocean shorelines. Lichens also contribute three major gifts to the world:

  • A NATURAL DIET that allows caribou herds to thrive;
  • CHEMICALS that can attractively color the many products of humanity, and
  • LITMUS that determines if a U.S. president may select Supreme Court justices.

    While the original use of the lichen extract litmus was to combine it with ordinary paper and thus test the acidity of a particular liquid, the “litmus test” name has been seized in recent years by liberals in order to corner and persecute conservatives who seek, then actually occupy, the White House.

    “Will you use a litmus test to select your nominee to the Supreme Court?” ask the liberals. What they actually mean is: Will you ask such a candidate to tell you his or her opinion of abortion on demand, to see if it conforms with your opposition?

    Then the verbal dance escalates. The Republican usually denies that he will apply the dreaded litmus test, averring that the judicial prospect will be asked only if that person “will follow the Constitution,” or something equally unrevealing.

    The truth is, a litmus test should be administered by the President for every candidate for every position in the executive branch. A lesser commitment to examine an applicant or recruit for high office is unconscionable, in view of the President’s solemn oath to preserve, protect and defend the bedrock principles of our republic.

    In the Real World, a place decreasingly occupied by liberals, it is inconceivable that major decisions (governmental or personal) would be made without a litmus test. Would an intelligent man, for example, choose a wife without a litmus test for her suitability as a lifelong mate, as defined by that man? Would anyone select a doctor, everyday friends, housing location, job offer, car or family dog without a litmus test?

    President Bush may have the opportunity to name a new chief justice and as many as three other justices of the Supreme Court in the next four years. This could produce a virtually impregnable conservative, strict-constructionist, 6-3 majority for a quarter of a century, enough time to 1) dismantle the worst excesses that have flowed from Emperor FDR and his political heirs, and 2) erect Ronald Reagan’s shining city on a hill.

    Mr. Bush should announce today that he has just ordered five tons of the world’s finest litmus paper. Gentlemen, let the testing begin . . .