Yesterday Paul Krugman penned an article for the New York Times, which in summary argued that America was lost because the Senate had too many procedures that could allow Republicans to block Obama, Reid and Pelosi's idea of what is good for America. Lest you think this was mere hyperbole on Krugman's part, he compared the United States of 2010 to 18th century Poland, to 18th century Poland, which in Krugman's assessment was destroyed because of excessive democracy.
Of course the liberal affinity for democracy tends to be a very selective one, even under the best of circumstances. The same people who wailed that Florida had been unfairly stolen because of archaic institutions such as the Supreme Court and the Electoral College 2000, cheerfully defended refusing to seat half of Florida's delegates in the 2008 Presidential primaries (a decision that illegally made Obama the party candidate). Because of course "procedures" are only bad when you aren't exploiting them to your advantage.
So too, the Democrats have alternately embraced the Filibuster as the heartbeat of democracy, when they weren't condemning it as the insidious devil destroying America. Grass Roots movements were the soul of American democracy, so long as they advocated All-American values like socialism, surrendering to terrorism and prosecuting Bush officials for war crimes, but quickly turned into dangerous mobs who shouldn't have any influence on politics whatsoever when they came out against government health care.
But more than just hypocrisy, this kind of swing vote approach to democracy and political institutions reflects a dangerous contempt for the rule of law and that of the people. Democrats seem to like the Supreme Court fine when it innovates new legal principles, but denounce it when it strikes down their legal innovations. They like the voting booth fine, so long as the voting goes their way.
One is reminded of America's first Chief Justice John Marshall who said that Jefferson's Democratic-Republican party was composed of "speculative theorists and absolute terrorists". Jefferson then went on to prove Marshall correct by purging the judiciary and replacing them with his own appointees.
Today the Democratic party is composed of both "speculative theorists and absolute terrorists" united in the likes of Obama, who like their Marxist predecessors, work to implement socialist theories while terrorizing the system if it stands their way. Whether it's using Reconciliation to force a widely unpopular health care plan down America's throats or plotting to remove the filibuster, the Obama era of power has been once again characterized by that ugly leftist fusion of political theorizing detached from democratic principles.
Democrats will campaign against "procedures" such as the Electoral College or Senate rules in the name of populism. And this might be excusable if they were actually populists. Instead the Democrats have ignored and gone on ignoring the repeated public opposition to their health care plans in poll after poll, insisting that only the "rules" of the Senate stand in their way. But if the Democrats don't derive their power from either populism or the rule of law, what's left? The obvious answer is ideology.
There is of course a name for a political movement that places their political ideology above either the popular will or the rule of law. And while the Democrats conveniently shore up their position when it's popular by playing the populist card against the rule of law, and play the rule of law card when their position is unpopular-- right now they are both unpopular and operating against the rule of law. And without any more disguises left, the emperors of the Democratic party have no clothes left, but their old cloak of leftist politics uber alles.
The same pundits and legislators who denounced Bush for not honoring the rule of law and for maintaining an imperial presidency-- cry out that we need to toss out the rule of law and end checks on the power of the majority. What they really mean, is that once they've won, they should be able to make the most of their power, with no checks and balances, until the people finally toss them out on their asses.
For a year the Democrats have insisted that they can rule as they see fit because they won at the ballot box. They tripled the deficit, spent like mad, destroyed the economy and stuffed as much of it as they could in their pockets and in the pockets of their donors. They saddled Americans with generations of debt and radically changed the relationship between government and business. And they did it all in the name of "the people". Now when they were on the threshold of innovating laws mandating that all Americans buy health insurance from their HMO donors-- the public finally got the chance to loudly say, "No."
But Obama and the Democrats, like all aspiring tyrants, refuse to take no for an answer. The former head of the Democratic party, Howard Dean, went on television to insist that his own push poll results should supersede the actual voting booth as a means of determining the will of the people. Leading Democrats demand changing the rules of the Senate, choosing to ignore the fact that even in a fairly liberal state the backlash against their policies was severe enough to elect a Republican Senator to break their Supermajority. Because when the people tell you something you don't want to hear, why you stop listening them. And that's exactly what the Democrats have done.
And if they are honest, they will present the left wing political texts that they actually believe are supreme to the United States Constitution and the Will of the People, so that the people can finally decide if they want to be governed by the rule of law or by the rule of socialism, in which democracy has no place, and law is not a fixed pillar of government, but a tool for promoting a particular ideology and its policies. Because that is what the Democrats have now, and perhaps it is time for them to join their European counterparts in finally being honest with the American people. In finally admitting that they believe in neither Democracy nor the Rule of Law, only in implementing Absolute Socialism by any means necessary.