The Corner

Of Course We Can Wait

The president said yesterday: “I’m here to say that we can’t wait for an increasingly dysfunctional Congress to do its job. Where they won’t act, I will.” The issue at hand was home mortgages, but it’s increasingly apparent across all policy areas: the left is simply opposed to Law. I don’t mean they interpret the Second Amendment differently or are confused about the language because it’s, like, you know, 100 years old and stuff. Rather, it’s the very idea of Law that should be obeyed and only changed through established processes that they object to. They prefer the rule of men, so long as it’s their men.

For a long time we saw this only through the fabrications of leftists on the Supreme Court, which succeeded because it exploited conservative respect for Law. But now we’re seeing the left’s contempt for Law spread:

  • The administration is effecting a de facto amnesty without congressional approval; see a new piece by my colleague Janice Kephart tracing the evolution of this policy.

  • Jim Moran wants the president to “unilaterally” refinance every mortgage at 3.5% to 4% interest, without congressional involvement, to “reset the economy”.

  • North Carolina Gov. Bev Perdue wants to suspend congressional elections so lawmakers can focus on the economy.

  • Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. wants the president to “declare a national emergency” and take “extra-constitutional action” to address unemployment.

As usual, Lincoln had it right; in his Lyceum Address he said:

Let reverence for the laws, be breathed by every American mother, to the lisping babe, that prattles on her lap–let it be taught in schools, in seminaries, and in colleges; let it be written in Primers, spelling books, and in Almanacs; — let it be preached from the pulpit, proclaimed in legislative halls, and enforced in courts of justice. And, in short, let it become the political religion of the nation; and let the old and the young, the rich and the poor, the grave and the gay, of all sexes and tongues, and colors and conditions, sacrifice unceasingly upon its altars.

Reverence for the law “taught in schools, in seminaries, and in colleges”? I tremble for my country.

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