When you’re an elected public official, there are certain things you probably shouldn’t do. You probably shouldn’t smoke crack with a hooker in a skanky motel room, for example.
A public official’s authority comes from the rule of law. When you act outside the law, you no longer have the consent of the governed and you’ve undermined your own authority.
Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf does not recognize this.
On Saturday, Schaaf issued a warning to illegal aliens in her community that ICE would be conducting raids in the coming days and weeks. She claimed she “learned from multiple credible sources” of the raids, and issued the press release “not to panic our residents but to protect them.”
Protect her “residents”?
No. The residents of Oakland have nothing to fear — only illegal squatters do.
As Hot Air editor Jazz Shaw notes, a case could be made that Schaaf has now broken the law herself:
Here’s the thing. When you’re an elected official and you warn people about a flu epidemic, a wildfire approaching the city or a water main break, you’re responsibly protecting your residents. When you warn a criminal that law enforcement is coming for them you’re engaged in something known as “harboring.” (Specifically, to clandestinely shelter, succor, and protect improperly admitted Aliens.)
Is this some sort of general guideline or suggestion? No. It’s actually embedded in federal law and has been for as long as anyone reading this has been alive. Here’s how it’s structured, courtesy of the Cornell Law School.
He doesn’t appear to be wrong.
Perhaps more importantly, Schaaf has forever forfeited the moral high ground on the rule of law. By explicitly helping people break the laws she does not like, she sets a standard for all people to break the law without consequence. Her position of authority is now in name only.
At what point does this go too far, even for Democrats?