Matt Welch of Reason magazine watched the debate last night and noted former vice president Joe Biden’s remarkable incoherence.
At some point near the exhausted end of the nearly three-hour affair, the 76-year-old former vice president blurted out within the space of a few seconds the sentences “Make sure that kids hear words,” and “I know Maduro.” Confronted with the Obama administration’s unlovely record on deportation, he just lied about it: “We didn’t lock people up in cages. We didn’t separate families.” And at the close of one particularly free-associative word salad that hopped from the Afghanistan surge to Pakistani bases to weapons inspectors to the authorization for the use of force in Iraq, the perennial presidential contender simply concluded, “I said something that was not meant the way I said it.” We feel you, Joe.
But — and this should scare the beejeebies out of all of us — Biden also emerged from the debate scrum as the only Democrat on stage who had any notion at all of defending the Constitution.
Moderator David Muir, addressing the cavalier gun-grabber Sen. Kamala Harris (D–Calif.), asked her to address Biden’s recent assertion that “There’s no constitutional authority to issue that executive order when they say ‘I’m going to eliminate assault weapons,'” because, “you can’t do it by executive order any more than Trump can do things when he says he can do it by executive order.”
“Well, I mean,” Harris began, failing to suppress a smug laugh, “I would just say, ‘Hey, Joe, instead of saying no we can’t, let’s say yes we can!”
As the crowd hooted and applauded, Delaware’s favorite son attempted to interject: “Let’s be constitutional! We’ve got a Constitution.” Ha ha, what?
Precisely. To almost all modern Democrats the Constitution is a joke. Or an impediment to “social justice.” Or a document that has codified “racism and oppression.”
The last thing it is to these radicals is exactly what it’s supposed to be; restraint on the powers of government:
Harris, as is her wont, expressed the will to power most blatantly. “The idea that we would wait for this Congress, which has just done nothing, to act, is just—it is overlooking the fact that every day in America, our babies are going to school to have drills, elementary, middle, and high school students, where they are learning about how they have to hide in a closet or crouch in a corner if there is a mass shooter roaming the hallways of their school.”
It is apparently pedantic to point out in 2019 America that waiting for legislatures to make laws (and for executives to sign them) is how this particular governing system was designed, but here we are. (I would further add that active-shooter drills at public schools, including my daughter’s pre-K that I just found out yesterday, are a purely local choice, in addition to being asinine.)
The United States for the last century, and particularly the past two decades, has been mutating from a states-based political architecture to a kind of never-ending national crisis overseen by an ever-expanding executive branch. Citizens can’t name their city councilor or state senator, but they sure as hell know which president or would-be commander in chief they hate most. There isn’t a local problem that doesn’t merit a federal response, whether it’s President Donald Trump contemplating homeless sweeps in Los Angeles or Democrats in Congress forever going on about the water crisis in Flint, Michigan.
We are past the point where all but a handful of us care about the Constitution. What matters now is the raw exercise of power — whether you’re a radical Democrat looking to “transform America” or blind Trumpbot looking to stick it to the left. The notion that there are rules that place limits on the executive certainly isn’t recognized by this current president nor was it recognized by his predecessor.
Democracy is just too hard; it takes too long, there’s too much compromise, there are too many restrictions, and giving anything at all to those communists/fascists on the left/right cannot be allowed!
When we have one candidate who’s too stupid and ignorant to know his own constitutional limitations as president and a likely opponent who doesn’t care about those limitations, we have a recipe for tyranny and oppression. Right or left, it doesn’t matter. We are ripe to lose what our ancestors fought and bled for.
And the republic is likely to disappear to thunderous applause.