The battle between Obama and the Republicans is a sad and pitiful contest for the same reason that a baseball game in which one side plays by the rules and the other one races the bases in motorcycles and shoots the balls over the fence with an RPG.
Ted Cruz has come the closest to understanding that the other side just doesn't play by any rules, but lacks the leverage to make much of that. Cruz is still a product of a system in which there are rules. And that system is as unfit for challenging the left-wing radicals running things as trying to play a game of chess against an opponent who feels like moving the pieces any which way he feels like and always claims to have won.
Law is a consensus. If you stop keeping the law, the police arrest you. If a gang of left-wing radicals in a basement somewhere stopped following the law, they might be locked up. It's not a certain thing considering that mad bomber Bill Ayers is a university professor. But once those same left-wing radicals control much of the system and the media that reports on the system, they have no reason to follow the law.
Political factions agree to follow the law for mutual benefit. The Constitution had to be agreed upon by just about everyone. The left-wing radicals in Rhode Island who were making everyone pledge allegiance to their worthless paper currency while threatening to nationalize everything refused and had to be forced in with threats of military intervention and trade embargoes.
But in the end they got the last laugh.
The United States has never really had full-bore left-wing radicals running it before. It does now.
Media outlets breathlessly report on Tea Party radicalism, which consists of wanting to undo the judicial activism of the last century. Meanwhile Obama and his cronies just ignore any law they don't like and rule by fiat.
Which of these is more radical? The Tea Party activists who would like to revisit the debate over the Tenth Amendment or an administration that does anything it pleases and challenges an impotent judiciary and an even more impotent legislature to stand in its way?
The Tea Party activists would like to revise American legal history. Their left-wing opponents sweep the whole thing off the table. The Tea Party would like the system to abide by the letter of its legal covenants while their left-wing opponents have "modernized" them by judicial fiat and disregarded them by executive fiat.
The only laws that Obama will follow are those that allow him to do what he wants to do anyway. Like the Caliph who conquered Egypt and declared that if the Library of Alexandria should be burned because if its books contradicted the Koran they were heretical and if they agreed with it they were blasphemous, the entire American system, its laws and regulations, are at best supplementary.
Law is a consensus. But the left rejects that consensus. It subjects each law to an ideological test. If the law meets the ideological test, which is based on social justice criteria entirely foreign to the American legal system, and the practical test of furthering social justice, it can stay. If not, then it will either be struck down or disregarded. They have applied that same ideological test to the nation as a whole and decided that the existence of the United States does not meet their ideological tests.
Political factions in the past may have engaged in bare-knuckle political hostilities but they all agreed that the United States in its past, present and future forms was the proper arena for their disputes and that the maintenance of an objective system of laws was the best way to ensure its perpetuation. When that consensus broke down, a civil war resulted. Now the consensus is in even worse tatters.
It's not the Tea Party that is the new Confederacy, as popular a media talking point as that may be. The new threat isn't secessionist, but supersessionist. The new Confederacy isn't out to break up the Union into territorial slices, but to replace the Union with a new and different Union. Call it the Confederacy of the Community Organizers, the War between the Unions or the Supersession War.
Can a government be considered in rebellion against a nation's laws and its established order? That is the bizarre situation we find ourselves in. There is no shot fired at Fort Sumter. Instead a million conspirators tear apart and remake the system in countless ways on a daily basis while the leadership remains in open rebellion of the laws that it is obligated to abide by and enforce.
Obama and the Republicans are fighting a civil war which only the Supersessionists of the Liberal Confederacy fully understand.
The Republicans, who for the most part are about as radical as a three-piece suit, are fighting to maintain a consensus in which everyone follows the law and settles their disagreements by hammering out a compromise that keeps the system going. And their opponents disregard the consensus and the system and go on doing what they want while defying anyone to stop them.
You could call it political civil disobedience, the left would certainly like to when dealing with the administration's radical lawbreaking on immigration or gay marriage, but civil disobedience applies to the civil population, not to their government. Government disobedience isn't noble or virtuous. The rebellion of governments against the laws they are obligated to enforce is self-righteous tyranny.
A government in rebellion against the laws is one that asserts that no power, not that of tradition, of the legal covenants that brought the system into being or even the previous votes of the people, is superior to it. That is why the rebellion of the supersessionists is far worse than the rebellions of secessionists. Both the secessionists and the supersessionists reject the consensus, but only the supersessionists insist on forcing a new system of their own making in place of the old consensus.
The unequal constest places liberal rebels looking to trash the system from the top against conservative defenders of an old order fighting from the bottom. The old Nixon vs. Hippies match-up has been flipped over. Nixon is in the crowd of protesters against government abuse and the hippies are laughing at him from the White House. The counterculture has become the culture, but still acts like it's the counterculture even when it's running everything.
On one side there is no consensus and no law; only sheer will. On the other there is a body of legal traditions going back centuries.
It's painfully clear that two such approaches cannot coexist within a single government. And those who have the power and follow no rules have the supreme advantage of wielding government power without the legal restrictions that were meant to bind the abuse of that power.
The Republicans are struggling to find common ground over a mutual respect for the system where none exists. Like any totalitarian radicals, their opponents regard their concern for legalism with contempt.
The radical does not respect process, only outcome. He holds law in contempt, but respects will. While the Republicans debate process, the Democrats steamroll them by focusing only on outcome. Where there is no consensus, then process does not matter. The Democrats treat process as a fiction when it comes to ObamaCare or immigration. And the Republicans struggle to understand why no one holds them accountable without understanding that accountability is also an aspect of process.
The radicalization of the Democratic Party is slowly leading to a counterpart radicalism in the Republican Party. The process is moving far slower because of the vested interests in the way, but every time the radicals of the left displays their contempt for the consensus, they are paving the way for the rise of a Republican Party whose members are more like Ted Cruz than John McCain.
What radicals never understand is that every action has an equal and opposite reaction. The process of the consensus exists to safeguard both sides and prevent political battles from spinning out of control. Democrats, under the influence of the radical left, have decided that they can unilaterally transform the country by acting as if the consensus and the process don't bind them. They have not considered what will happen when a Republican Party that has as much resemblance to its present day leaders as Barack Obama does to Hubert Humphrey makes that same decision.
Liberal supersessionists claim to be worried about conservative secessionists when they should be far more worried about conservative supersessionists. The consensus we all live by is a fragile thing. It is being torn apart by the radical left and once it is destroyed, it will not bind the right, in the same way that it no longer binds the left.
And then the true conflict will begin.