Thursday, July 29, 2010

The Day the Rule of Law Died

Many years ago, I worked for a Swiss company. I loved the people I worked with, I loved my visits to the home office in Zurich, I loved the elegance and history of the country. But there was one thing I didn't understand. Neutrality. My Swiss colleagues would frequently say things like: Well, I don't know, I'm neutral on that point. I couldn't say really. My view of your strategy proposal is neutral. Then, one day it hit me. Neutral? How can anyone be neutral on any matter of significance? In my world view only two things inform neutrality--a want of knowledge or a want of courage. Even Webster's defines the state of neutrality as lacking stamens or pistils...OK, so maybe I am reaching on that point, but, for me, neutrality is, at the very least, dangerous.

Recently many of my liberal friends have taken to calling themselves independents. I understand the distaste many feel for political parties. I generally share those views. Both are fraught with problems. Being independent denotes in their minds anyway, a kind of neutral ground. A place where criticism and labels can't stick. And then there is the fact that Americans cherish independence. It is a badge we wear. Or at least used to.

Our way of life is changing quickly, each day our liberties are being consumed by the behemoth, lumbering incompetence of bureaucracy. This Administration has shown a reckless disregard for the rule of law and the Constitution. Twisting and obfuscating, politicizing friendly courts, ignoring the rulings of unfriendly ones. Honestly friends, neutrality is no longer an option. It is time to pick a side. Time to back a team, bet on a horse, double down on the side of liberty and freedom. Oh yes, and independence.

The ruling by Judge Bolton in the Arizona immigration case is just another example of the blurring of the separation of powers. According to The New York Times, Carter appointee and immigration law professor at Yale Law School Peter Schuck commented on Judge Bolton's ruling, "She rushed to judgment in a way I can only assume reflects a lot of pressure from the federal government to get this case resolved quickly." That ought to get the attention of some of my independent friends. Three branches of government, each independent of the other. Checks and balances. No collusion. No pressuring of one branch to another. That's what the Constitution provides. Protecting that should fit right in with an independent view of the world.

And there's more.
From The Heritage Foundation's Morning Bell:

Taken alone, the White House's behavior on this issue is troubling enough. But put into the broader context of the first 18 months of this Administration, a truly pernicious pattern emerges. First, there was the Obama Justice Department's decision to dismiss voter intimidation charges against the New Black Panther Party. Then there was the Obama administration's use of TARP to bail out its union allies in what bankruptcy law scholars have called "so outrageous and illegal that until March of this year [2009], nobody even conceptualized it." Then there was the Obama administration's shakedown of BP in the White House's Roosevelt Room. Less than a week later after a federal court found its first oil drilling ban to be "arbitrary and capricious," the Obama administration issued a second oil drilling ban that was wider and killed even more jobs than the first.

Our founder's had it right. I am on their side. The side of conservative constitutional values and the rule of law. To my independent friends: Consider that to preserve our cherished independence it may be time to come down on the side of the values that have made this country great: Our Constitution and the rule of law.

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