Monday, April 3, 2017

"Rule Of Law" When It's Convenient

So, the Los Angeles Times now recognizes that Donald Trump is a menace to the nation, a serial liar and a narcissist, with immense power. It is all but impossible to read their lugubrious, petulant editorial with anything other than a strong dose of schadenfreude. Where was their call that "even the president must submit to the rule of law" when Obama was symbolically evading the Constitution's demand that the Paris Accords must be submitted to the Senate for approval? Or when Kamala Harris rejected Neil Gorsuch's nomination to the Supreme Court because "Judge Gorsuch has consistently valued narrow legalisms over real lives", i.e. he actually applies the law as written vs. how people like Harris would like it to read? Or Hillary Clinton's famous rejection of the First Amendment's "Congress shall make no law" in favor of stifling criticism of her during an election cycle? It's clear that where the law, legal process, and actual accountability to constituencies get between the Democrats and their preferred policies, these they view as nothing more than encumbrance to evade. The hard work of actually convincing people remains undone, and to hear the Times tell it, has no place in their future; one must never speak ill of the government or its agents lest they stoke "public distrust of essential institutions". Indeed, Democrats whooped it up when Obama acted as a king, creating law by executive diktat:
Thanks a lot, liberals. It's all well and good that Joe Biden is now lecturing us that "the worst sin of all is the abuse of power," but where the hell was he—and where were you—for the past eight years, when the president was starting wars without Congressional authorization, passing major legislation with zero votes from the opposing party, and ruling almost exclusively through executive orders and actions?

Mostly exhorting Obama to act "unilaterally" and "without Congress" on terrorism, immigration, guns, and whatever because you couldn't dream of a day when an unrestrained billionaire reality-TV celebrity would wield those same powers toward very different ends. Hell, in the early months of Obama's presidency, The New York Times's Thomas Friedman held up China's "one-party autocracy" as the model to emulate.
It is impossible now to pity them, and just as hard to take seriously calls for a return to the "rule of law" they would forego the instant it became inconvenient.

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