Okay, maybe that wasn’t the best metaphor, but he fumbled an important opportunity. The problem with the president’s amnesty decree is not that it “makes it more difficult to reach that long-term solution because an executive order is, of course, just a short-term matter — it can be reversed by subsequent presidents.” The problem is that it’s u-n-c-o-n-s-t-i-t-u-t-i-o-n-a-l. You would expect Allen West and Steve King to be forceful in denouncing this usurpation, but even Amnesty John McCain and Rick “you don’t have a heart” Perry were strong. Heck, Lindsey Graham — Lindsey Graham — denounced the move as “possibly illegal.” And the fact that Romney didn’t answer when asked if he’d reverse the order is an especially bad sign.
I know all those who’ve been accusing me of being in the tank for Romney will say “I told you so,” but my distress isn’t really about his views on the policy issue at hand — he seemed to endorse Rubio’s as-yet-not-introduced revision of the DREAM Act, which I’m pretty sure I won’t like. I’m appalled because this is a fundamental matter of our political order. The precedent that would be set if the president gets away with this can — and will — be applied to other areas of law, upsetting the checks and balances that are essential to our republic. In effect, President Obama and his cheering squad are saying that representative democracy no longer works and that we need to preserve its forms but replace it with a system in which the august first citizen of the republic makes the laws. We could call it, I dunno, a principate, maybe.