I like Charles Krauthammer, but on this matter he misses the point. Last week, Charles appeared on Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly show. In the wake of recent election results, Bill asked Charles by what means can Republicans dissuade President Obama from making good on his lame-duck session threat to grant amnesty to millions of illegal aliens via Executive Order.
Charles Krauthammer has come into his own this past year. His political insight, refreshing common-sense perspective, eloquence, measured candor, and steadfast fearless commentary has elevated his voice to the peak of his profession. He has my respect and my attention.
And so it is with great disappointment his opinion this past week, at least on this singular issue, should reveal a great fault in his “conservative” thinking. A diminished return, as it were.
Bill O’Reilly asked Charles how Republicans might avert Obama’ plan to single-handedly grant de facto amnesty to millions. Obviously, Bill was asking Charles if he thought impeachment was a viable option to deter Obama. And Charles said the following, paraphrasing, “No impeachment. That would be a disaster for the Republicans in 2016. Impeachment proceedings would drag on for two years. Then, if they have the votes for impeachment, we’re looking at unseating a President months before the end of this term anyway. No. Republicans need to look at the big picture—the prize. The prize is winning the presidential election in 2016, not unseating a sitting president.”
Krauthammer is wrong. Krauthammer is wrong, and this is why. It’s so obvious to a constitutional conservative. And speaks volumes about Charles Krauthammer’s brand of conservatism. The “prize” is NOT the 2016 presidential election; the prize is maintaining rule of law. Without rule of law we lose the country. If rule of law is at stake, I don’t care which party wins the White House.
I don’t mind our two-party system, which naturally grew out of our split between federalism and nationalism. But here is the danger, and I believe George Washington warned us about this, though he did not explain it well.
The danger of having a two-party system is the alternating decay of rule of law. The Democrats for example grab for more presidential power, the Republicans then, fearing reprisal from the electorate, quietly maintain the status quo in hopes of winning the next election. The Republicans win the election then in turn grab more presidential power. Democrats bide their time, fearing rocking the boat, waiting for their turn at the presidency. On and on it goes. Democrat, Republican, Democrat, Republican…. All the while, by alternating turns, the presidency is grabbing power away from the people’s representatives Congress, diminishing and destroying separation of powers, checks and balances, and eventually rule of law.
No, Mr. Krauthammer, the “prize” is not the presidency, but rule of law. Without it, all is lost.