Monday, May 15, 2017

Double Standards for me but not thee

It could be a candidate for the eighth wonder of the world. I'm referring to the bulldogged resistance of the Democratic Party and its acolytes in the media. After losing the white house to Republicans, they have a born again concern for things like the Constitution, principles, rule of law and separation of powers among others. Although Democrats paid lip service to these values when in power, they were largely ignored by the party leaders and their media champions.

Case in point: the Sunday 5/14 Detroit Free Press' Brian Dickerson posted an oped on how Trump's judicial appointees could protect us from an imperious president if we examine them closely. The need to examine them critically is true enough. But his first paragraph says:

"The men who wrote the U.S. Constitution never met Donald Trump. But he was precisely the sort of president they had in mind when they invested the other two branches of government with the authority to corral a commander-in-chief with pretensions of autocratic power."
One has to ask where was Mr Dickerson's concern for the separation of powers while Obama routinely sidestepped congress to get what he wanted? For example, when the president signs into law legislation passed by congress, only congress can alter it. But Obama altered or postponed several parts of the ACA until after the then next election. That is supposed to be unconstitutional. Evidently loyalty to the separation of powers is only expected of Republicans not Democrats. He continues:

"The good news for champions of a robust judiciary is that Trump is not terribly interested in the judicial process, and that he has largely delegated the business of identifying and vetting candidates for judicial office to people who are."
I agree. That is exactly what Trump with no judicial experience, should do, rely on those who do have such experience. Dickerson then adds:

"The bad news is that some of those people are less interested in promoting the rule of law than with greasing the judicial skids for the same special interests that already wield outsize influence in the other two branches of government."
Who are 'those people'? Who are the special interests that wield 'outsize influence'? No answer. They are simply evil bad guys lurking about, which we are to take on faith.

 But 'greasing the judicial skids' has been on the Democratic Party's dream list going all the way back to FDR and his attempts to pack the SCOTUS with progressives. Evidently, greasing the skids is OK for Democrats but not Republicans. Later Mr Dickerson claims:

"Trump took office with the opportunity to fill an unusually large number of seats on the federal bench. Now, after hustling to fill the vacancy created by Justice Antonin Scalia's death (and prolonged by the Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's unprincipled refusal to schedule confirmation hearings for President Barack Obama's nominee to replace Scalia) the White House is turning its attention to 129 lower court openings."
I think those 129 seats are what the Democrats and media really fear. But why was Senate Leader Mitch McConnell's refusal to schedule a  hearing on Obama's nominee 'unprincipled'? From the NYTimes:

"WASHINGTON — As a senator more than two decades ago, Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. argued that President George Bush should delay filling a Supreme Court vacancy, should one arise, until the presidential election was over, and that it was “essential” that the Senate refuse to confirm a nominee to the court until then."
The above statement is in the form of a principle. Just not one Mr Dickerson or the MSM feels loyalty to this year. Perhaps loyalty to that principle will be born again in the next Democrat administration. Mr Dickerson concludes with:

"Last week's transparent attempt to take the wind out of the FBI's investigation into the administration's ties to Russia is only the latest signal that Trump's grandiose conception of presidential prerogative is on a collision course with the constitutional reality."
No it isn't. It's on a collision course with the wishes, whims and feelings of the Democrat Party and their baggage handlers in the media. Nor is any wind taken out of the Russia investigations. Mr Comey did very little if any investigating himself. He had a vast number of investigators working on many cases. His job is that of an administrator coordinating teams and helping where needed and turning over results to the Attorney General.

I wonder where the concern about presidential prerogative was when Bill Clinton, under investigation by the FBI for the Whitewater scandal, decided to fire the FBI director? Was that director getting close to discovering something pernicious? Obviously, firing FBI directors is only permissible when Democrats do it but a no-no when Republicans do so.

I think what we are seeing today is a clash between a false reality adopted by an intellectual class of concrete bound mentalities no longer able or willing to think in terms of principles, and a public that can still do so but lacks the integration needed to form a coherent philosophy which is needed for a consistent movement. So a frustrated public is striking back at the establishments the only way it can, by supporting an administration that wants to punch the establishment in the nose.

This can be futile because the intellectuals are well organized and united by their common anti-conceptual method of thinking. Novelist/philosopher Ayn Rand pointed this out nicely:
"This kind of psycho-epistemology works so long as no part of it is challenged. But all hell breaks loose when it is--because what is threatened then is not a particular idea, but that mind's whole structure. The hell ranges from fear to resentment to stubborn evasion to hostility to panic to malice to hatred." (from the essay "The Missing Link" in her book "Philosophy: who needs it"pg40          
This hatred is what we are seeing today. While Mr Dickerson's oped is one of the more milder ones, it is representative of how media pundits often employ a double standard against Trump as opposed to any Democrat.

 If America can get principled intellectual leadership, principled political leaders will follow. But it can't be done backwards, by focusing on politics first. Perhaps Trump can buy enough time for such a principled leader to emerge. Hopefully.


No comments: