Ed Driscoll

Two Gray Ladies In One!

We already quoted Dean Baquet, managing editor of the New York Times telling college students that “It is not my fear that newspapers will die. My only fear is that the craft of witnessing and reporting on the truth will die.” Those are the only things that the New York Times wishes to kill off.

Or to put it another way, oh, that liberal fascism:

House Republicans also said last week that they would not agree to lift the debt ceiling unless implementation of the health law was delayed by one year. So the government is also headed toward a mid-October default on its debts — and a full-blown constitutional crisis.

Failure to raise the debt will force the president to break a law — the only question is which one.

The Constitution requires the president to spend what Congress has instructed him to spend, to raise only those taxes Congress has authorized him to impose and to borrow no more than Congress authorizes.

If President Obama spends what the law orders him to spend and collects the taxes Congress has authorized him to collect, then he must borrow more than Congress has authorized him to borrow. If the debt ceiling is not raised, he will have to violate one of these constitutional imperatives. Which should he choose?

— “Our Outlaw President? Obama Should Ignore the Debt Ceiling,” Henry J. Aaron, the New York Times, September 29th.

Norms and institutions of international criminal law, including 11 years of experience with the International Criminal Court, have strengthened since then. Special tribunals for Cambodia, Rwanda and the former Yugoslavia reflect a growing consensus that perpetrators of atrocities should be punished.

But if the White House takes international law seriously — as the State Department does — it cannot try to have it both ways. It must either argue that an “illegal but legitimate” intervention is better than doing nothing, or assert that international law has changed — strategies that I call “constructive noncompliance.” In the case of Syria, I vote for the latter.

Since Russia and China won’t help, Mr. Obama and allied leaders should declare that international law has evolved and that they don’t need Security Council approval to intervene in Syria.

This would be popular in many quarters, and I believe it’s the right thing to do. But if the American government accepts that the rule of law is the foundation of civilized society, it must be clear that this represents a new legal path.

— “Bomb Syria, Even if It Is Illegal,” Ian Hurd, the New York Times, August 2th, 2013.

AS the nation teeters at the edge of fiscal chaos, observers are reaching the conclusion that the American system of government is broken. But almost no one blames the culprit: our insistence on obedience to the Constitution, with all its archaic, idiosyncratic and downright evil provisions.

— “Let’s Give Up on the Constitution,” Louis Michael Seidman, the New York Times, December 30th, 2012.

One-party autocracy certainly has its drawbacks. But when it is led by a reasonably enlightened group of people, as China is today, it can also have great advantages. That one party can just impose the politically difficult but critically important policies needed to move a society forward in the 21st century.

— “Our One-Party Democracy,” Thomas Friedman, September 8th, 2009, when Democrats still controlled the Congressional House.

What we’re seeing here is how three structural changes that have been building in American politics have now, together, reached a tipping point — creating a world in which a small minority in Congress can not only hold up their own party but the whole government. And this is the really scary part: The lawmakers doing this can do so with high confidence that they personally will not be politically punished, and may, in fact, be rewarded. When extremists feel that insulated from playing by the traditional rules of our system, if we do not defend those rules — namely majority rule and the fact that if you don’t like a policy passed by Congress, signed by the president and affirmed by the Supreme Court then you have to go out and win an election to overturn it; you can’t just put a fiscal gun to the country’s head — then our democracy is imperiled.

— “Our Democracy Is at Stake,” Thomas Friedman, the New York Times, yesterday, now that the GOP controls the House.

Reading all this is enough to make a cynical man wonder just how much the American left really cares about our nation’s history as a Constitutional Republic. Why it’s almost as if they’d just roll the tanks in, if given their druthers.

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But who would be that cynical to think such things about our loyal opposition?

Oh, and just a reminder: “There’s only one paper the president reads, that’s The New York Times,” according to a former White House advisor interviewed by the junta-loving New Republic. What could go wrong?