June 4, 2016

Why I didn't blog Adam Liptak's "Donald Trump Could Threaten U.S. Rule of Law, Scholars Say."

I see that our longtime commenter Saint Croix put this in last night's Garage Door Café:
Interesting article in the NYT by Adam Liptak. "Donald Trump Could Threaten U.S. Rule of Law, Scholars Say." I read this and I go, no shit. It took you until June to figure this out? I guess only some lawyers are hot-tempered and Jeffersonian. "Be sure to wear a brown shirt so I know who to punch in our street brawls," is what I was saying, like nine months ago. I could have had a baby in the time it took Adam Liptak to figure out that Donald Trump could threaten the rule of law. Anyway, slow and methodical Adam Liptak is now helpfully pointing out to the citizens of the world that Donald Trump could threaten the rule of law.

I notice he only cites Republicans and libertarians in his article. That's one of my favorite rhetorical moves! Find somebody on the other side who agrees with you, and cite the shit out of them. If Al Sharpton ever said, "Obama is an ass," I'd be citing Al Sharpton as a smart thinker. "Even the Reverend Al Sharpton, who has studied the words of Christ, says that Obama is an ass." And all the judges would be going "point," except for the French guy going "touché."
Of course, I'd already seen and read the article. I read The New York Times. Does anyone blog NYT things more than I do? I chose not to blog it. First, every word of the headline annoyed me. That's not to say that I turn away from what annoys me. Quite the contrary.

In fact, an obvious riposte popped into my head immediately: All Presidents threaten the rule of law! That's supposed to cause you to understand the levels of my annoyance at the headline. I don't like the "could," since mere possibility is already built into the word "threaten." Any governmental power can be abused, so there is always a threat. Don't back off and portray the threat as mere potential. The threat is omnipresent.

Let me just quote James Madison, Federalist 51:
If men were angels, no government would be necessary. If angels were to govern men, neither external nor internal controls on government would be necessary. In framing a government which is to be administered by men over men, the great difficulty lies in this: you must first enable the government to control the governed; and in the next place oblige it to control itself.
The other level of annoyance is, as my riposte makes clear, that the headline singles out Donald Trump. What about Barack Obama? What about Hillary Clinton? But I settled down and read Liptak's article and Obama's name did come up:
Republican officials have criticized Mr. Obama for what they have called his unconstitutional expansion of executive power. But some legal scholars who share that view say the problem under a President Trump would be worse.

“I don’t think he cares about separation of powers at all,” said Richard Epstein, a fellow at the Hoover Institution who also teaches at New York University and the University of Chicago.

President George W. Bush “often went beyond what he should have done,” Professor Epstein said. “I think Obama’s been much worse on that issue pretty consistently, and his underlings have been even more so. But I think Trump doesn’t even think there’s an issue to worry about. He just simply says whatever I want to do I will do.”

Mr. Trump has boasted that he will use Mr. Obama’s actions as precedent for his own expansive assertions of executive power.
So, I didn't blog it yesterday, but — prodded by Saint Croix — I still like my original gut-reaction snark: All Presidents threaten the rule of law!

81 comments:

rhhardin said...

Trump drives Epstein crazy. Epstein knows a lot but doesn't know about political correctness, something Roman Law doesn't cover.

The Bergall said...

I saw that last night and immediately thought it was a bunch of political disinformation that the NYT regurgitated..............

rhhardin said...

All Presidents threaten the rule of law!

You can't impeach me, I'm black.

Saint Croix said...

You know that nine Supreme Court Justices isn't actually in the Constitution.

President Trump: "I'm happy with eight."

So a bunch of 4-4 ties and a paralyzed judicial system. Oh no!

traditionalguy said...

FDR. FDR. FDR. He was our New York man. If he can't do it anymore, then Trump can. FDR could get change he wanted past the other Branches. Breaking Global Treaties surrendering our sovreignty is at the top of his Jacksonian list

So how many new SCOTUS Justices will President Trump need. His list now has 10 names, without an Ivy League name in sight, and it may grow like a living document should.

I like the idea that future decisions Supreme Court Constitutional Law will be more like 17 to 0. No more of this piddly 5 to 4 stuff that can change overnight.

Hagar said...

How about Gina McCarthy giving a speech to her minions exhorting them to carry on their holy mission regardless of who gets elected to either the White House or Congress this fall?
And if they protest; sue the bastards!

Bruce Hayden said...

So, we have his likely opponent committing thousands of felonies, with her private email server, justified as convenience, and likely never serving a day in prison for it. She was also the one who accepted bribes from Tysons with cattle futures, and illegall pulled the FBI files for better than a hundred prominent Republicans when she first got to the White House. And these guys are worried about Trump? And then there is Obama, spending billions without Congressional authorization, stonewalling the courts and Congress becomng both pervasive and blatant, with his DoJ attorneys required now to attend court ordered ethics training, due to their blatant lying and obstruction before the judge, and his Administration's blatant bypassing legally mandated rule making through letters threatening to withhold federal funding if they don't conform to the Administration's edicts. Dinesh D'Sousa spent half a year doing time for an anti-Obama movie, and last I knew, the maker of the video that supposedly started the violence in Benghazi is still in custody, years later. Meanwhile, a prominent journalist violated DC gun laws on air with impunity. Does anyone believe that the producer and straw buyer for Couric's recent anti-gun show will spend any time in prison, despite admitting on air hat they had committed at least four federal gun law felonies? Does anyone believe that Hillary would be even better - the woman who started off her legal career by trying to deny Nixon's people the right to counsel durin the Watergate investigation? I could go on about her 45 year career of blatant law breaking, but most here have heard my rants by now.

Ann Althouse said...

"So a bunch of 4-4 ties and a paralyzed judicial system."

It's not a paralyzed judicial system. It's not even a paralyzed Supreme Court. They just need to work in a different way, and it can have some good effects. Even numbers happen all the time when there are recusals, as in the Muhammad Ali case, discussed in an earlier post today.

rhhardin said...

The story is that if the supreme court were filled with Richard Epsteins, there'd be a lot of 5-4 decisions.

This never seemed true to me but it's a nice line.

Chuck said...

Althouse reads (and blogs) the Times so that I don't have to read it. At least that's how I see it. And, it also seems to me that Althouse does a superb job of it.

Now, we just need a Kickstarter campaign to fund an Althouse subscription to the Journal. Maybe we could get it at Amazon, through the Althouse portal.




rhhardin said...

The 5-4 decisions ought to show up on hard cases, not easy ones.

Evolution says that 5-4 cases are the ones that wind up at the supreme court, otherwise lesser courts would have settled it.

But what counts as a hard case today is insane.

PC at work.

Eustace Chilke said...

Citing Trump as a threat to lawful rule is like skipping right past Julius and saying Augustus is a threat to the Republic.

Greg Hlatky said...

Where has he been for the last 7+ years?

Saint Croix said...

It's not a paralyzed judicial system. It's not even a paralyzed Supreme Court. They just need to work in a different way, and it can have some good effects.

We're seeing it now, of course, after the death of Scalia. It's an interesting question. They might perceive a 4-4 tie as a failure, and work harder for common ground and unity.

Also, if it's a 4-4 tie, then the result is similar to the Court declining to hear a case. The lower courts remain divided. So you're right, it's not a paralyzed judicial system.

Bush v. Gore would have been super-weird, if it was a 4-4 tie.

Earnest Prole said...

You’re dead-on right. The New York Times takes its vetting responsibilities very very seriously, but only with the Republican candidate and only after it’s too late for the party to nominate someone else.

Achilles said...

Trump is a speculative threat to the rule of law.

Hillary is a guaranteed END of the rule of law.

Not only will we have a felon in the office who is only not in jail because of her wealth and political power, the people in this country will refuse to be the only ones that are following the law. It would get messy.

But then again the chances of Hillary being president are about he same as George Will successfully changing the oil in his car.

Freder Frederson said...

All presidents may threaten the rule of law, but Donald Trump has based his campaign on promising to ignore the constitution and international treaties.

He has declared that we may need to kill the families of terrorists. A clearly illegal act under Geneva.

He wants to bring back waterboarding and "much worse". Illegal under U.S. Law, the Geneva Conventions and the Convention against Torture
and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment.

He plans to tear up all our trade deals and treaties, apparently without consulting congress.

He wants to immediately deport 11 million undocumented residents. How he can do that without a massive violation of constitutional rights is beyond me.

He wants to bar all Muslims from entering the country. Clearly unconstitutional if he extends it to legal residents and citizens.

He intends to order military personnel to violate their oath of office.

Name one other presidential candidate who has so blatantly signaled his or her contempt for the U.S. Constitution, Law and International treaties and norms.

Michael K said...

With Obama and Hillary, federal law has been in abeyance for seven years. Obama gets bolder and bolder as he seems to get away with all his actions. First he says he can't write immigration law, then he does so. Now, he is bringing in Syrian "refugees" with no screening at all.

In the meantime, illegals are being released every week.

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is quietly transporting illegal immigrants from the Mexican border to Phoenix and releasing them without proper processing or issuing court appearance documents, Border Patrol sources tell Judicial Watch. The government classifies them as Other Than Mexican (OTM) and this week around 35 were transferred 116 miles north from Tucson to a Phoenix bus station where they went their separate way. Judicial Watch was present when one of the white vans carrying a group of OTMs arrived at the Phoenix Greyhound station on Buckeye Road.

Nothing to see here. Move along.

Michael K said...

"He has declared that we may need to kill the families of terrorists. A clearly illegal act under Geneva."

I assume you then wish to prosecute Obama ?

Jeeezus !

Michael K said...

"Name one other presidential candidate who has so blatantly signaled his or her contempt for the U.S. Constitution, Law and International treaties and norms."

Hillary Clinton !

God what an idiot !

Freder Frederson said...

Dinesh D'Sousa spent half a year doing time for an anti-Obama movie

Dinesh D'Sousa did time for blatantly violating campaign finance laws.

David Begley said...

Ann Althouse makes an excellent point when she writes that all Presidents threaten the rule of law. Citing Madison's "if men were angels" quote only reinforces her point.

My point is that the *character* of the President s very, very important. Trump is a rough and tough character. Hillary, on the other hand, has a criminal character. She sold official favors for personal benefit. She used a private email server to hide her bribery scheme. She exposed our national security secrets to our enemies by using her server. She was too damn stupid and cheap to really protect the secrets.

We had one criminal as President (Nixon) and we can't afford another one. Trump is many things but he is not a criminal. That's the choice in 2016.

Birkel said...

Freder Frederson:

The list of things that is beyond you is way to long to use as a standard for decision making.

Moneyrunner said...

Of course we have a President today who publicly stated that he has serious problems with the constitution, that it's deeply flawed because it was written by old white men. Of course it's laughably hypocritical for Obama's fellow Leftists to find fault with Trump for - in their imagination - countering their use of governmental power. Of course this is the old Alinsky-ite technique of making your enemy live up to their own standards; standards that you have no interest in upholding. So forgive me if I don't get too excited about any dipshit accusing Trump of planning to shred the constitution.

Moneyrunner said...

Dinesh D'Sousa did time for blatantly violating campaign finance laws.

Obama blatantly violated campaign finance laws during his first campaign and got not even a slap on the wrist. Amazing how that happens.

YoungHegelian said...

Actually, I imagine that the executive actions of a President Trump will enjoy much greater scrutiny from the press, the judiciary, & the legislative branch, than has President Obama or would President Clinton.

In that way, the republic will no doubt be safer. I mean, after the shit that the Obama administration has gotten away with, it's amazing who's now worried about "executive overreach". It's not just that the horse has left the barn -- the horse is peacefully grazing across the state line.

Saint Croix said...

What about Barack Obama? What about Hillary Clinton?

Obama's DOJ has made a federal judge so mad that he is ordering them to take ethics training. That opinion is in regard to a very big case...

U.S. v. Texas is the immigration lawsuit filed by 26 states against the Obama administration over its plan to provide deferrals, work permits, and other government benefits to almost 5 million illegal aliens.

Liberals can get very, very lawless when they are sure they are in the right. Obama's executive order is a very basic violation of the Constitution. You do not have that authority! And then they start lying to judges and violating the laws in secret?

Hanen issued a preliminary injunction in February 2015 preventing implementation of the plan.

His decision was upheld by the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals and the case is currently before the U.S. Supreme Court.


That's one of the many cases being heard by a 4-4 Supreme Court.

Moneyrunner said...

Under The Gun Director Admits Breaking Federal Firearms Laws On Camera. Wanna bet she's gonna skate? Question for all the pissant Leftist here, why prosecute D'Sousa but not Stephanie Soechtig? Prison is for the enemies of the Left in Obama's America.

gadfly said...

And Demented Donald, the Man-Child from Orange, gets another pass on the Althouse blog . . .

Freder Frederson said...

Dinesh D'Sousa did time for blatantly violating campaign finance laws.

Yep, he gave out more campaign dob=nations than the law allowed, but he was prosecuted, not because of the severity of his lawlessness, but because he was a conservative who does anti-Democrat movies and books. Bill & Hill broke far more campaign laws, with nary a twitch from the DOJ.

Donald Douglas said...

I might blog NYT more than you do, but we'd have to do a quantitative analysis, lol. I didn't blog this stupid "Trump Could Threaten Rule of Law" piece, though. It was just too positively idiotic. I suspect our constitutional system will survive Trump, heh.

SteveR said...

I'm not a legal person but in the last few years I don't know what the "rule of law" had to do with SCOTUS rulings as much as it did Roberts wanting to be a legislator and a good guy for the right people.

Michael K said...

Supporting Trump is about pulling the cord and stopping the train before it goes over the cliff.

What happens after that, nobody really knows, just as no one knew what Obama would do after his "Hope and Change" campaign fooled everyone.

Humperdink said...

Freder the Great said: "Name one other presidential candidate who has so blatantly signaled his or her contempt for the U.S. Constitution"

The current occupant has already done it. What do the do you think Obama meant when he stated: "If congress doesn't act I will" and "I have a pen and a phone"?

I know reading comprehension is hard O Great One, but do tell.

The genie is out of the bottle.

buwaya puti said...

The Times exists as a political asset in the service of people like Carlos Slim (effectively a consortium, supported by ad buyers also making what amount to political contributions) , who made and increases his fortune by defrauding the Mexican people through a de facto monopoly purchased from the Mexican government through corruption. And, dont forget, controlling the bulk of the remittance business to Latin America from the US.
There are just a few frauds on the scale of this in such plain view. Heck, this is a matter of record, of OECD reports.

The US has a huge lot of similar monopolistic interests, not least in Telecom, like Slim. Slim is different only in how openly corrupt his business is. It should be clear that what you see is a propaganda war being waged by such interests against the people, and the NYT is just one such weapon.

Michael K said...

"Under The Gun Director Admits Breaking Federal Firearms Laws On Camera. "

She and her assistant committed at least four felonies, but they were off camera and were much more serious than that NBC idiot Gregory and his "high capacity magazine."

Fernandinande said...

David Begley said...
We had one criminal as President (Nixon) and we can't afford another one.


And the original Clinton's felony perjury.

Moneyrunner said...

WHY ARE DEMOCRAT-RUN INSTITUTIONS SUCH CESSPITS OF LAWLESSNESS? Katie Couric’s Anti-Gun Producers Repeatedly Violated Federal Gun Laws.

Dinesh D'Sousa went to jail for less. The Left always sends its political enemies to jail. It's an old tactic: Lavrentiy Beria, head of Joseph Stalin's secret police in the old Soviet Union, said, "Show me the man, and I'll show you the crime."

The Democrats were always envious of the soviet system. A very popular Democrat who's drawing huge crowds of Democrats was such an admirer that he spent his honeymoon in the Soviet Union.

And the cretins on the Left are accusing Trump of wishing to overthrow the constitution while defending sending Dinesh D'Sousa to prison when his real crime was speaking and writing against the Left. That kind of intellectual sleight of hand has to be admired.

bbkingfish said...

I don't know whether anyone blogs the NYTimes more than you do, but I'd be willing to bet that no one blogs the NYTimes comments section more than you do.

damikesc said...

She and her assistant committed at least four felonies, but they were off camera and were much more serious than that NBC idiot Gregory and his "high capacity magazine."

At what point are gun laws going to be killed due to unequal enforcement?

Dinesh D'Sousa did time for blatantly violating campaign finance laws.

Given that Obama shut off credit card address verification (which is always on by default in the software he used for donations), he violated them far, FAR worse than Dinesh.

He has declared that we may need to kill the families of terrorists. A clearly illegal act under Geneva.

Obama killed Americans he labeled as terrorists with no due process.

He plans to tear up all our trade deals and treaties, apparently without consulting congress.

Hey, I bet Congress approved that Iran deal...oh wait.

He wants to immediately deport 11 million illegal aliens. How he can do that without a massive violation of constitutional rights is beyond me.

Corrected your misspelling.

And given that they aren't legal residents, they have no Constitutional rights. Those Rights are for American citizens only. It's like saying not allowing illegals to vote violates their Constitutional Rights.

He wants to bar all Muslims from entering the country. Clearly unconstitutional if he extends it to legal residents and citizens.

Until policies are in place to deal with their issues. Seems more than fair.

He intends to order military personnel to violate their oath of office.

Obama has already done that with immigration officials.

Name one other presidential candidate who has so blatantly signaled his or her contempt for the U.S. Constitution, Law and International treaties and norms.

Hillary. Obama. Bernie.

Take your pick.

Paddy O said...

Yet another good argument that would have at least some weight had Democrats nominated someone other than Hillary.

I don't like Trump, but I have yet to hear an argument against Trump that isn't also a stronger argument against Hillary Clinton.

Eric said...

"Does anyone blog NYT things more than I do?"

Between Althouse and Steve Sailer, I rarely need to read any more of the NYT.

Sebastian said...

"The other level of annoyance is, as my riposte makes clear, that the headline singles out Donald Trump. What about Barack Obama? What about Hillary Clinton?" Faux annoyance, right? I mean, if you insist on reading the NYT, you could be annoyed by the sheer predictable obviousness of it all, but asking those questions is just trolling your readers.

Look, as fellow commenters know, I consider Trump a shallow clown. But get back to me when he violates a constitutional provision like, “No Money shall be drawn from the Treasury, but in Consequence of Appropriations made by Law”--as O just did.

PB said...

Anyone who isn't outraged by Obama's lawless behavior has no right complain about potential similar Trump behavior.

Freder Frederson said...

And given that they aren't legal residents, they have no Constitutional rights. Those Rights are for American citizens only.

This statement is simply incorrect.

Fabi said...

"Undocumented residents". Turn off the Internet -- I've heard it all now.

n.n said...

they aren't legal residents, they have no Constitutional rights. Those Rights are for American citizens only

That is correct in a strict sense. Non-citizens have rights accorded through lower laws. The Constitution names two parties: the People and Posterity, with one-time exceptions for special circumstances. However, the rule of law has progressed since the youngest Americans were legally and literally excised through reactive (i.e. abortion) and planned (i.e. cannibalism) parenthood, the resumption of class diversity policies, selective exclusion or "=", and anti-native policies that grant equal and superior rights to aliens.

damikesc said...

This statement is simply incorrect.

If we decided to end all visas effective immediately and deport anybody here illegally, we'd be well within our rights to do so.

Sorry to burst your bubble.

Just like if you went to Mexico illegally, the rights Mexican citizens hold wouldn't be extended to you. The Constitution means shit to non-Americans and when you're not in America. It covers solely Americans in this country. Everybody else here is covered by our good nature.

That nature can always be withdrawn at any moment.

Bruce Hayden said...

Ok - Freder is somewhat right. Illegals are here illegally, but they do get minimal Due Process to show just that. Of course, the Obama Administration, before they started bussing the illegals away from the border, making it easier to hide, and spreading the pain throughout the the rest of the country, started giving the citations telling them to show up in court, if they want to, many months later. Few bother. The other correction is tha LEGAL aliens get most of our Due Procss rights.

damikesc said...

The other correction is tha LEGAL aliens get most of our Due Procss rights.

Legal aliens got basically all I thought, except the vote.

But Democrats devalue the vote every year, so maybe they do now.

Michael K said...

"This statement is simply incorrect."

What about LEGAL don't you understand ?

wholelottasplainin' said...

"He wants to bar all Muslims from entering the country. Clearly unconstitutional if he extends it to legal residents and citizens."

The President certainly has authority to bar Muslims alien entry if in his opinion their admission would be "detrimental to the interests of the United States."

https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/8/1182

8 U.S. Code § 1182 - Inadmissible aliens


(f) Suspension of entry or imposition of restrictions by President

Whenever the President finds that the entry of any aliens or of any class of aliens into the United States would be detrimental to the interests of the United States, he may by proclamation, and for such period as he shall deem necessary, suspend the entry of all aliens or any class of aliens as immigrants or nonimmigrants, or impose on the entry of aliens any restrictions he may deem to be appropriate. Whenever the Attorney General finds that a commercial airline has failed to comply with regulations of the Attorney General relating to requirements of airlines for the detection of fraudulent documents used by passengers traveling to the United States (including the training of personnel in such detection), the Attorney General may suspend the entry of some or all aliens transported to the United States by such airline."

Read more: http://dailycaller.com/2015/12/08/trump-can-legally-impose-muslim-ban/#ixzz4Adn8I2ek

Trump has never said he wants to bar legal resident (though arguable this statute woould allow him to ban re-entry) or citizen Muslims.

So thanks for the straw man.

Nonapod said...

“I don’t think he cares about separation of powers at all,” said Richard Epstein, a fellow at the Hoover Institution who also teaches at New York University and the University of Chicago.

My sense about a Trump presidency, and I freely admit that I could be way off on this is that:

1) It will be a Presidency of intense media and public scrutiny. Far, far more scrutiny than Obama (or probably even Bush) received. The reason I think this is there are a ton of people on both sides of the political spectrum who are terrified of Trump. This leads me to believe that he'll be under heavy fire for anything that's even remotely perceived as Executive overreach.
2) Despite the outward appearance of GOP party unity during this election, I believe he may often be stonewalled by congress and the broader Republican party as well as the Supreme Court.

Nothing unifies like fear. This will most likely lead to probably not as much loss of Rule of Law as you might at first think. Obama's various overreaches were accomplished with a largely compliant media, the Supreme Court, and even the support of a good chunk of the general public in some cases. Trump may have none of these things. As such I'm not convinced that a Trump presidency would be an imperial presidency.




Jack Wayne said...

Ann, I believe you to be wrong when you say that all Presidents threaten the Rule of Law. I grant that if you believe the Constitution to be a solid Social Contract that this statement is self-evident. Don't forget to throw in the Congress, SCOTUS, the bureaucracy, the Fed and any and all quasi-governmental entities. But under our Constitution which is so poorly written that even a law student could drive Mack trucks through its provisions this statement is sophomoronic. In the quote you gave from F51, it's a glaring Tell that Madison says the Constitution should FIRST control the citizens and SECOND control itself. Do I need to point out that NO entity is capable of controlling itself? Madison is full of shit and you should stay away from him when trying to show quotes from the Founding Fathers that promulgate the myth that we have a limited government. In brief, there is really nothing to limit the President except the power grabs of the other governmental entities. Since they are ALL in agreement that the citizens should be serfs, your statement is rendered silly.

cubanbob said...

"In fact, an obvious riposte popped into my head immediately: All Presidents threaten the rule of law! That's supposed to cause you to understand the levels of my annoyance at the headline. I don't like the "could," since mere possibility is already built into the word "threaten." Any governmental power can be abused, so there is always a threat. Don't back off and portray the threat as mere potential. The threat is omnipresent."

President Trumpy after the inauguration goes to White House and signs the following Presidential order: all departments and agencies are prohibited from commencing any new regulations for the next four years without direct presidential approval and all regulations promulgated in the previous eight years are revoked. Let's see who are the first to howl about the rule of law being broken and why all of these regulations that can't be clearly derived from the actual text of the governing statutes are indeed upholding the law.

Mike Sylwester said...

Freder Frederson

Dinesh D'Sousa did time for blatantly violating campaign finance laws.

Selective prosecution.

Michael K said...

" there are a ton of people on both sides of the political spectrum who are terrified of Trump. "

Yes and it means he won;t have to do anything to scare the bejezuus out of them, especially bureaucrats.

"all regulations promulgated in the previous eight years are revoked. "

That should be about an hour after inauguration. Followed by the formation of a task force to do cost-benefit evaluations on all regs.

It could mean the Administrative State will start to die. This guy might be a good chair of such a task force≥

Although the framers could not have envisioned the modern administrative state, they certainly envisioned the danger to liberty posed by the accumulation of government powers in the hands of federal officials. Indeed, it was to protect against this hazard that they separated the great powers of government.

Our constitutional system, and specifically its separation of powers, was premised on the founders' conception of the nature of man, and it was the Progressive movement's rejection of this conception of man that led to the rise of the administrative state that now rules over us. The Progressive understanding of man and government will continue its logical unfolding — and the administrative state's rule will grow ever-more expansive and oppressive — until the people strip it of the power it has accumulated.

Chuck said...

PB said
Anyone who isn't outraged by Obama's lawless behavior has no right [to] complain about potential similar Trump behavior.


I am going to agree with this statement. Fully, wholeheartedly.

Of course, among the Trump critics are not just the Obama-ennabling partisans of the Left, who have never criticized Obama Administration lawlessness; but there are also the Movement Conservatives at National Review and The Weekly Standard and on the Wall Street Journal editorial pages who have done more careful, exhaustively researched legal criticism of The Currant Occupant than anyone. Having authored the definitive criticism of Obama; they suffer from zero political opportunism or hypocrisy in complaining about Trumpism.


mockturtle said...

I predict Trump will be FAR less dictatorial than Obama.

Chuck said...

Lol. "Current" not "Currant."

Another fascinating auto-correct.

Anglelyne said...

AA: All Presidents threaten the rule of law!

None of these people are worried about threats to "the rule of law". What they mean is that laws they don't want enforced might get enforced, and the bureaucratic over-reach of which they approve might be reined in.

As you say, same old same old.

Freder Frederson said...

Trump has never said he wants to bar legal resident (though arguable this statute woould allow him to ban re-entry) or citizen Muslims.

He said "all Muslims". He didn't say he wouldn't issue visas to Muslims. Given the opportunity to walk it back ("of course I only meant non-resident Muslims"), he didn't. So I have to assume that he means what he said.

Paddy O said...

"So I have to assume that he means what he said."

You might be the first person to do that. People don't like him because they believe he's just saying what people want to hear. People like him because they assume he's just setting up The Deal. Either way, part of his selling point is people not believing him. Sort of like Obama and gay marriage.

wholelottasplainin' said...

Freder Frederson said...
Trump has never said he wants to bar legal resident (though arguable this statute woould allow him to ban re-entry) or citizen Muslims.

He said "all Muslims". He didn't say he wouldn't issue visas to Muslims. Given the opportunity to walk it back ("of course I only meant non-resident Muslims"), he didn't. So I have to assume that he means what he said.

****************

Yeah, none of that "context in which the statement was made" shit for you.

Trump would have the plenary power UNDER EXISTING LAW to keep alien Muslims out.( Re: resident alien Muslims, I'm not so sure. That's why I said "arguably".)

Trump has been arguing for ENFORCING our EXISTING immigration laws.

Trump has not said or implied that he would arbitrarily IGNORE our immigration laws, the way Obama has with his DAPA bullshit. (are you "down with" that bullshit?)

Got it?

****************

Paddy O said...
"So I have to assume that he means what he said."

You might be the first person to do that.

&&&&

Yeah, that explains Trump's popularity. Nobody expects him to do what he says!! Least of all the people who have voted for him!!!

What is this, Clown Coprophilia Night on Althouse????


Michael K said...

"He said "all Muslims". He didn't say he wouldn't issue visas to Muslims."

I understand the left's desire to demonize anyone who does not agree with your agenda, especially Trump.

In fact that is not what he said, as you know.

Donald J. Trump is calling for a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country's representatives can figure out what is going on. According to Pew Research, among others, there is great hatred towards Americans by large segments of the Muslim population. Most recently, a poll from the Center for Security Policy released data showing "25% of those polled agreed that violence against Americans here in the United States is justified as a part of the global jihad" and 51% of those polled, "agreed that Muslims in America should have the choice of being governed according to Shariah." Shariah authorizes such atrocities as murder against non-believers who won't convert, beheadings and more unthinkable acts that pose great harm to Americans, especially women.

I assume you disagree with that statement. Would you mind terribly pointing out which part you disagree with ? All of it ?

Are you OK with Shariah ?

Achilles said...

Freder Frederson said...

"I want Sharia Law. I want gay people to be thrown off of roofs. I want girls as they reach puberty to be held down on tables and have their clitoris's cut off without anesthesia. I think women should be property of their fathers to be sold to new husbands."

Freder, you are an awful person. How could you say such things?

/s

Achilles said...

"but there are also the Movement Conservatives at National Review and The Weekly Standard and on the Wall Street Journal editorial pages"

I see you listed a bunch of Hillary supporters except the WSJ, which is less so now.

Chuck said...

Michael, don't you understand what is wrong with Trump's statement on Muslims?

I'll help you.

1. There is no good way to "ban all Muslims" from entering the United States. There is nothing on anyone's passport to identify them as Muslims. We might, through investigation, be able to identify lots of Muslims. But not all. And of course banning "all Muslims" was ridiculous from the get-go. Such that Trump has had to walk it backwards, day by day, week by week, month by month.

2. We really don't really want to ban returning Muslim U.S. servicemen. We don't want to ban Muslim diplomats. We don't want to ban the Muslim agents of security forces in Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Qatar, the UAE, Kuwait, the Philippines, Indonesia and a host of other places that help us in the international war on terror. Trump himself says that he doesn't want to ban the Muslim Lord Mayor of London.

3. Banning Muslims would run afoul of a dozen or so international treaties and other agreements to which the U.S. is a signatory.

4. Trump's statement is dumb and offensive insofar as it takes a poll result and attempts to turn it into policy. I don't know much about that Pew poll and I don't think that I do want to know. Muslims do not get to set up independent legal systems in the United States, Trump or no Trump. I don't care about any nonexistent system of American Sharia law. In your quote, Trump was not speaking as a thoughtful statesman but more like some loudmouthed drunk in a Manhattan bar.

So, you asked which part of Trump's statement on Muslims was objectionable. Now you know.

Chuck said...

Achilles: if you think that the National Review and the Weekly Standard "are a bunch of Hillary supporters," then you really are a mendacious sort of Trumpkin idiot.

No journalist has been more at the forefront of the Benghazi investigation and the challenges to Hillary Clinton, than Steve Hayes of the Weekly Standard.

Jonah Goldberg of the National Review has taken on your crappy taunt in a form far beyond what you deserved, and answered it here:

This is why I think the conservatives who are saying “I’m with her” about Clinton are making an enormous error in judgment. Trump’s biggest boosters are Hell-bent on claiming that being opposed to Trump is being for Hillary. Everyday, I’m besieged with the accusation that I am for Hillary. This is a lie, pure and simple. I would be in favor of a conservative third-party candidate if there were one who could win. But while I am very sympathetic to Jay Cost’s case for a 1912 replay, I remain unconvinced we should opt to lose. Still, if it is folly for conservatives to run a third-party true-conservative candidate, it is abject madness to say that conservatives should support Hillary Clinton. The “I’m with her” crowd is buying into the false hypothetical.


Read more at: http://www.nationalreview.com/article/435686/donald-trump-republican-nomination-vote

J. Farmer said...

I think the problem is that the executive is simply too powerful a figure. And when you combine the head of government role with the head of state role, you get some cult-of-personality type features. There should probably be at least three nationally elected figures: a president, an attorney general, and a secretary treasury. The other problem is a problem of democracy. People tend to like strong executives who are seen as getting things done even if it means sidestepping a law or too versus the slow, grinding process of parliamentary procedure. American-style political structures in post-independence Latin America turned into military-backed strongmen.

We no longer live in a world where a majority of the population worries about a strong federal government. Most people want the government to do stuff and get annoyed with those efforts are confounded. The inability to do stuff is somehow evidence for how "broken" our system is. And yet, the federal government is structured in the constitution in such a way as to restrain its ability to do stuff.

J. Farmer said...

@Chuck:

Achilles: if you think that the National Review and the Weekly Standard "are a bunch of Hillary supporters," then you really are a mendacious sort of Trumpkin idiot.

Calling them "supporters" of Hillary Clinton may be taking it too far, but it seems that they, like pretty much the entire elite system, prefer a President Clinton to a President Trump. She is a reliably corporatist figure who will continue to advocate for the policies the elite class prefers. She likes free trade and immigration, and there isn't a war the US has fought in 25 years she hasn't supported. Trump, on the other hand, is a wildcard. It's the unpredictability that is driving the elites insane. He may not totally capitulate to their demands. We can't have that!

narciso said...

well that's quite possibly right, as we've discovered with the whole 28 pages brouhaha, the balkans were the training campaign for aq, as were the caucasus.

Static Ping said...

Well, yes, every President is a threat to the Rule of Law. As is every Congress, every Supreme Court, every military general, every generation of voters, etc.

At the moment, it appears that the Democratic Party does not give two hoots about the Rule of Law, as long as they get what they want. They do not care about the Constitution either. The Republican Party, while hardly perfect about such matters, still has some vestiges of respect for both. It is highly unlikely that Trump could be worse than Obama, given he will have hostility from both parties, one because it does not like what he does and one because it does not like how he does it. Of course, this assumes that Trump governs at least somewhat right of center. If he decides to be a lefty, which is possible, he could be worse but probably not worse than Clinton.

Honestly, we are getting to the point where the loss of Rule of Law will be a lesser problem than the other things going on. Of course, those worse things will most likely be a result of the loss of Rule of Law.

J. Farmer said...

@Static Ping:

"At the moment, it appears that the Democratic Party does not give two hoots about the Rule of Law, as long as they get what they want. They do not care about the Constitution either. The Republican Party, while hardly perfect about such matters, still has some vestiges of respect for both."

No. The "Republican Party" does not have "some vestiges of respect for both." Some small number of Republican politicians may be described this way, but the Republican Party as a political organization is comfortably aligned with the elite class (just as the Democratic Party is). The system is arranged in such a way that a very narrow spectrum of difference is permitted. Anything outside that spectrum is predictably attacked and dismissed as crank, radical, conspiracy theorist, fringe, dangerous, etc. This system produces a couple of candidates every four years who supposedly represent radically different visions for the country while in reality being interchangeable, mediocre, conventional wisdom driven technocrats.

Kevin Stroup said...

Writes the woman who voted for Barach Hussein Obama.

bflat879 said...

The Nice thing about electing Donald Trump President, the Republicans, in Congress, will suddenly grown a spine and the press will, once again, become a watchdog media. Both have been absent for 8 years.

ihasch said...

Obama has undermined the rule of law worse than any president in recent memory. He makes the villified Nixon look like an amateur. Just look at his excecutive amnesty for example. Or better, that he has spent billions of dollars on Obamacare without Congressional approval. And on and on. Meanwhile the press cheers him on, with the NY Times as the main offender, and the legal community contorts itself into the proverbial pretzel to justify these violations.

Well you cannot put the genie back in the bottle. The rule of law has been gutted. Now live with it. So all the sudden, having turned a blind eye to Obama's widespread lawlessness and narcissism, the rule of law matters? Right. Any wonder why Trump just might be president. The whole system reeks of hypocrisy. Holden Caulfield would be proud.

Freder Frederson said...

I assume you disagree with that statement. Would you mind terribly pointing out which part you disagree with ? All of it ?

The poll was not scientific, so it was worthless (other than to reinforce the bigotry of people like you).

So he didn't say "all Muslims", he said a "total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the U.S.". Please explain the difference.

Basil said...

The Constitional rights of those children, American children, at Waco, did not seem to concern the NY Times. Clinton just killed them all, to serve a warrant on somebody else.

Static Ping said...

J. Farmer, do you know what Rule of Law is?

J. Farmer said...

@Static Ping:

J. Farmer, do you know what Rule of Law is?

Yes.

thedevilcorp said...

Good post.