Don’t get “Grubered” by W’s Groupies
Ilana Mercer ruminates on the rise of executive power
On Fox News’ “The Five,” one female host energetically involved in genuflecting to George Bush turned to another, a former prosecutor and lingerie model, to solicit her “constitutional take”—those are shudder quotes—on President Barack Obama’s impending executive amnesty. A better constitutional authority on presidential powers than Kimberly G-string is Jonathan Turley, professor of law at George Washington University.
For some time, now, Turley, a liberal, has been warning of “the expansion of executive power,” even testifying—to no avail—on Capitol Hill, numerous times, to the rise of an “über-presidency,” in the person of Obama.
In what was a further twist of the screw for Democrats, the talented Turley was selected by House Speaker John Boehner “to represent [the House of Representatives] in a lawsuit against the Obama administration.” While the “suit challenges changes the administration made to Obamacare without congressional authorization,” as reported by the Powerline blog, it must, by logical extension, delve into the “shift toward the concentration of executive power” and the consolidation of the “imperial presidency.”
Still, the powerhouse conservatives at Powerline are already grumbling that Turley—”a hero of the left” during the equally violative George-Bush era—is too much of an extremist when it comes to “restricting presidential power.” Turley, you see, is nothing if not consistent. He has applied to Obama’s predecessor the same constitutional principles he is applying to Obama, and has made clear that the “imperial presidency” didn’t launch with President Obama. In particular, Turley has contended that Bush’s “counter-terrorism efforts were lawless and unconstitutional,” and that Bush committed war crimes.
At the time, the professor had fretted a lot over the cruelty of dunking Abu Zubaydah or placing bugs in the bug-phobic prison cell of this al-Qaida operations chief—hardly a violation of the natural law. Indeed, in Turley, the GOP has a stickler for the letter of the law, not the higher moral law. If anything, Turley’s torture tempest provided a cover for complicit journalists, jurists, politicians and pointy heads, who all skirted the real issue: the imperative to prosecute Bush, Cheney, Clinton and Kerry for invading Iraq and vanquishing an innocent people.
Tapping Turley to prosecute Obama’s overreach is a clever strategic move on the part of the Republicans. Powerline conservatives need not worry excessively about the liberal professor’s case against Bush’s enhanced interrogation methods. Torturing the torture issue served to throw the country off-scent, to the great advantage of the puppet master himself; it concealed an unjust war, waged by Bush with Democratic assent. Of this war crime, most Democrats were as guilty as Republicans.
Barack Obama’s cringe-factor has crescendoed—so much so that conservatives feel comfortable about dusting off an equally awful dictator, Bush 43, and presenting him and his dynasty to the public for another round. However, when James Madison spoke of “war as the true nurse of executive aggrandizement,” he was speaking not only of Obama.
“Speak softly but carry a big stick—the stick being executive power,” preached another Republican tyrant, Teddy Roosevelt. While Turley will be tackling the constitutional quagmire posed by Obamacare, immigration is the latest legislative stick with which Americans are being stuck.
Greg Gutfeld, the one and only neoconservative on that current-affairs show mentioned who entertains and occasionally edifies, is correct about the “broken” inchoate verbiage: “Our immigration system is broken” is a euphemism for the refusal to enforce immigration law (against certain ethno-racial groups). It is statist semantics; Orwellian Newspeak; a linguistic trick to lead Americans to believe urgent action is required.
The structure of the Obama argument for this Brownian legislative motion around immigration is that: 1. Congress has failed to do anything, ergo, He must do something. 2. Matters can’t be left as is, “broken.”
The premise for each is wrong:
On No. 1: From the fact that Congress has not passed an immigration bill—it doesn’t follow that one has to be passed.
On No. 2: That some sectional interests in the U.S. have bought or acquired special privileges and favors—doesn’t mean that all Americans need an immigration bill. (The New York Times has some ideas about the politics of immigration reform, which it did—surprise, surprise!—voice in “The Big Money Behind the Push for an Immigration Overhaul.”
Back on “The Five,” Georgie-Porgie groupie Dana Perino was waxing fat about “W’s” socialist-realism style paintings. W’s art is not quite “murderabilia”—”collectibles related to murders, murderers or other violent crimes”—but it is certainly the “artwork” of a mass murderer (ask ordinary, innocent Iraqis). No wonder the art of Bush Jr. has the same solipsistic, barren quality present in the paintings of John Wayne Gacy Jr.
So: Don’t get “Grubered” by immigration illogic. And don’t get “Grubered” by GOPers who’re trying to rehabilitate their preferred tyrant.
ILANA MERCER is a paleolibertarian writer based in the United States. She pens WND’s longest-standing column, “Return to Reason” and is a Fellow at the Jerusalem Institute for Market Studies. She is a Quarterly Review Contributing Editor. Ilana’s latest book is Into the Cannibal’s Pot: Lessons for America from Post-Apartheid South Africa. Her website is www.IlanaMercer.com. She blogs at www.barelyablog.com