The Corner

Why We Are Sick of Washington

John Kerry just announced to the graduating class at Northeastern University: “You’re about to graduate into a complex and borderless world.” Of course, Kerry himself never believed in a “borderless world” — any more than when, in Trump-style, he once ripped President Bush for allowing “unpatriotic” outsourcing. Given the global range and production of Heinz, Inc. (where his wife has a multibillion-dollar stake), Kerry certainly believes in borders and différence; otherwise he would never have moved his 76-foot luxury yacht from Boston Harbor across the state border to Rhode Island to enjoy how a political boundary can create a different cultural landscape — and avoid $500,000 in sales taxes and assorted state and local taxes.

Former novelist and current presidential advisor Ben Rhodes recently was interviewed by the New York Times where he offered a quite smug takedown of what he calls the “Blob”, the supposedly ossified Washington beltway foreign-policy establishment. Due to his self-described stealth and cunning characteristic of a fiction writer, the lame-duck Rhodes could at last brag of his legacy and how he outwitted the “Blob.” But, of course, Rhodes himself (whose title is right out of the 16th-century Spanish imperial court at El Escorial: “Assistant to the President and Deputy National Security Advisor for Strategic Communications and Speechwriting”) is the embodiment of the insider establishment. Rhodes leveraged his family ties and D.C. contacts for a hook up at the Woodrow Wilson Center under Lee Hamilton, then a staff position on the Iraq Study Group, and then a move to presidential candidate Obama’s team in 2007. All that seems quite blobby — as does his brother’s presidency of CBS News.

Nor does the Obama administration take seriously its apparently newfound idea that individual states or municipalities cannot craft laws in defiance of federal statutes or court rulings. The Obama Justice Department has used linguistic gymnastics to reinterpret the Civil Rights statutes on gender to ensure that the transgendered can use any public restroom they feel most comfortable with. Thus it is now suing North Carolina for passing laws aligning the use of facilities with biological fact rather than self-selected gender identity. But, of course, the administration believes in no such federal supremacy of laws, given that it has green-lighted, in neo-Confederate style, over 300 local and state jurisdictions to nullify federal immigration law and declare themselves “sanctuary cities” and “sanctuary states.” All this in a manner that the administration would never tolerate if we were talking about restroom, school prayer, gun registration, or Endangered Species Act “sanctuary cities.”

People do not so much tire of the posing and hypocrisies of the elites in Washington as they have become utterly disgusted by them.


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