So let’s see if we get this straight: the Democrats, who are totally invested in virtually open borders, proudly defend sanctuary cities which openly flout federal law, and were willing to shut down the government on behalf of illegal immigrants, have suddenly found religion on the rule of law.
And in a remarkable coincidence, their newfound enthusiasm for protecting the sanctity and reputation of the nation’s most powerful law enforcement agency just happens to relate to the actions of high-ranking officials in the Obama FBI and Justice Department who, we now know, authorized secret surveillance of the Trump presidential campaign and transition.
Democrats crying about the rule of law. What’s next (after the earth spins off its axis)? Republicans complaining about climate change? Donald Trump embracing rhetorical restraint? Maxine Waters saying OK, OK, Trump is actually not a white supremacist?
All About Duty
While the definition of “rule of law” should be obvious, the concept is illuminated by philosopher John Locke in his 17th century Second Treatise on Government: “the ruling power ought to govern by declared and received laws, and not by extemporary dictates and undetermined resolutions … that both the people may know their duty, and be safe and secure within the limits of the law; and the rulers too kept within their bounds, and not be tempted, by the power they have in their hands.”
Any cursory examination of recent history will reveal that the Democrats, shall we say, flexible relationship with the rule of law has hardly been limited to immigration. They have either been mum or openly sided with hardened criminals in disputes with police, and even willfully ignored evidence for political purposes (see Ferguson, MO, Michael Brown and hands up, don’t shoot).
They have remained mute as first amendment freedom of speech protections are violated on campuses all across the land. They stood by as President Obama enforced multiple dubious executive orders, foremost among them DACA (but of course they now universally oppose Trump’s unambiguous constitutional authority to enact travel restrictions). Heck, Obama himself kicked off his political career with an event at the home of William Ayres, who founded the communist revolutionary group Weather Underground, masterminds of the bombing of public buildings.
Jim Crow Laws
The list goes on and on, but suffice it to say that “rule of law” has never exactly been associated with the Democratic party – going all the way back to those infamous Jim Crow “laws” conceived by Democrats to deny blacks their constitutional right to vote in the south for over a century. Oh, and let’s not forget their refusal for decades to acknowledge the reality of the ultimate murderous empire with zero rule of law, the Soviet Union. (Of course, now that the evil empire has been vanquished, they see Putin’s Russia as a mortal threat.) They love the Castro brothers who turned Cuba into a prison and are unmoved by the destruction of Venezuela by the Marxist thugs in Caracas. And, of course, the swamp media is gushing about the sister of the most totalitarian dictator on earth trying to embarrass America’s Vice President at the Winter Olympics.
But never mind that – Democrats have now seen the light. These days, one leftist after another stands in line to go on CNN, MSNBC and the countless other anti-Trump establishment media outlets and spout their deep, profound concerns about the rule of law. Specifically, of course, they decry the damage done by Republicans to law enforcement and intelligence operations by the release of the Nunes and Grassley-Graham memos outlining flagrant abuse of the FISA court – even after the memos revealed nothing which compromises national security.
So to summarize, Democrats are deathly afraid of how Republican investigations are compromising the rule of law…while they brush aside the traitorous abuse of said laws by the previous Democrat administration. You can’t make this stuff up.
Expanding the Narrative
But it doesn’t stop there. Leftists are expanding the narrative. Witness the far-left Huffington Post applying its newfound appreciation for the rule of law to Republicans’ (legal) attempts to impeach judges in Pennsylvania. And in a piece calling for a “boycott” of the GOP, the leftist Atlantic said outright, “The Republican Party, as an institution, has become a danger to the rule of law and the integrity of our democracy.”
Imagine for a moment that the tables were reversed, and we discovered that President George W. Bush had used the nation’s most powerful law enforcement agency to surveil his opponent in the 2004 election, John Kerry, or Barack Obama in 2008. It would be the only thing in the news, with immediate calls for Bush’s head from every nook and cranny of the establishment media. They would be on that story every moment like white on rice. But when it actually happens with an administration headed by the deified Barack Obama, the story is dismissed by Democrats and all but ignored by a self-validating media that prides itself on investigative journalism. It is suddenly at once both shocked about GOP threats to the rule of law and entirely incurious about the obvious abuse of the law – the employment of raw political power to surveil political opponents in a nation specifically designed to prevent such a thing from ever happening.
There is an obvious temptation to call such a posture grossly hypocritical, but that would be an insult to hypocrites everywhere.