Saturday, May 05, 2007

Rule of Law and Sheepskinned Stupidity

Let's assume that some university granted you a diploma that somehow qualified you to be the William R Kenan Professor of Government at Harvard University, that would seem to indicate that you had some understanding of US government and its foundational document - The Constitution. Harvey C. Mansfield has those credentials and an astonishing level of stupidity backed by a lot of inapplicable references to other governments' crassness of power hunger backing The Case For the Strong Executive in the WSJ. He opens his argument with a disdain for the term "Imperial Presidency" being applied critically to the BushCo regime, 'apologizes' for what he's about to promote by stating that under other circumstances he would be "defending the rule of law." This statement alone should scare the snot out of any American.

Somehow Aristotle, Machiavelli, Locke, and Cromwell get rung into a discussion of the Republic created by our Constitution and how that underpinning law is inadequate to circumstances outside of those of peace. The argument begins and ends with the proposition that the ends justify the means. The Bill of Rights becomes optional in his scheme, in fact that there is a mistaken liberal opinion assuming "that civil liberties have the status of natural liberties; and are inalienable." An odd appellation for something written down by the Framers and referred to repeatedly in discussions regarding the BOR at the time. Under his scheme the Constitution becomes a guide subject to convenient revision at any time it is inconvenient to the exercise of an energetic executive.

You would think that a Harvard professor of government would be aware of the bad end Cromwell came to and might avoid using the very arguments that brought it about. Nope, he is a paragon of governance and what he saw as utilitarian is some brought forward from England's parliamentary form of government into out own. Locke is touted as a "wiser liberal" as he promotes the idea of "doing the public good without a rule." What part of Revolutionary War is it that Mansfield doesn't get? These yahoos were messing about quite a while previous to that little dust-up in Monarchical/Civil War England.

I don't deny any of these people their due in the understanding of the evolution of governance, but to bring in their completely alien experiences to a discussion of disregarding the further evolution of governing called the Constitution is simply academic posturing, as is the liberal sprinkling of Machiavelli's Italian. You are to ignore the simple equation he is proposing, rule of law is subordinate to rule of personality (man) in uncertain times. Now, Machiavelli was a creature of the rule of personality, Cromwell was a ruler of that philosophy, George III carried it onto America's back, and later America bled copiously to defeat: Hitler, Mussolini, et al - all examples of the rule of man in uncertain times.

By the way, the problems in Iraq "arise from having wished to leave too much to the Iraqis, thus from a sense of inhibition rather than imperialism."

If you do not understand my insistence that the 2nd Amendment is meaningful today, you should go read this tripe passed off as a serious discussion of the future of American law and liberties and reflect on where it came from and who ascribes to it. In shorter words - these people are scary; and frankly, treasonous.

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