So, Obama once again “delays” the law of the land on Obamacare. Why? Because there is an election coming up, silly, and he wants to do what he can to protect vulnerable Democrats. I pick this bit from the Detroit News more or less at random: “In announcing the latest postponement this week . . . the Obama administration carefully credited Sens. Mary Landrieu of Louisiana, Mark Udall of Colorado, Ron Barber of Arizona and 10 other vulnerable Democratic lawmakers.” What do you think about this? I think the Detroit News is right: “While it may be politically expedient, rewriting a law passed by Congress simply to avoid ballot box consequences is an outrageous abuse of executive power.” Where, I wonder, is the tar? Where are the feathers? Where are the pitchforks and the pullulating multitudes marching and chanting in the streets over this contemptuous exhibition of lawlessness?
Where are you, Dear Reader? Have you written to your duly elected members of Congress? Have you raised this issue with your friends? Why is it that the president of the United States blithely puts himself above the law? “Decency, security, and liberty,” Justice Brandeis once wrote, “alike demand that government officials shall be subjected to to the same rules of conduct that are commands to the citizen.”
In a government of laws [Brandeis continues], existence of the government will be imperiled if it fails to observe the law scrupulously. Our government is the potent, the omnipresent teacher. For good or ill, it teaches the whole people by its example. Crime is contagious. If the government becomes a lawbreaker, it breeds contempt for law; it invites man to become a law unto himself, it invites anarchy.
Why is Obama’s lawlessness not the subject of front-page stories in the New York Times? Why is the electorate not enraged by this extraordinary spectacle of lawlessness? Is it because they feel that, despite everything, Obama is in some obscure way “on the right right side”? That opponents of the unaffordable “affordable” health care legislation are beastly meanies? That Obama means well, and meaning well is all that matters? That, being a half-black lifelong beneficiary of affirmative action, he is untouchable?
I do not know the exact composition of the rationale. But it is crystal clear that we are witnessing arrant lawlessness and a silent collusion in lawlessness. I have had occasion to quote these lines from A Man for All Seasons before in this space. Roper, the prospective son-in-law of Sir Thomas More, urges him to arrest someone they suspect of being a spy. For what? More asks. He hasn’t broken any law. That doesn’t matter, says Roper. He’s a danger to you. “What would you do,” asks More, “cut a great road through the law to get after the Devil?” Says Roper: “I’d cut down every law in England to do that!” More replies: “And when the last law was down, and the Devil turned round on you — where would you hide, Roper, the laws being all flat?”
It’s a good question, isn’t it? When the leader of the free world makes his way back from the links, maybe someone will ask him about that.