Saturday, June 21

How to break the law and get away with it

One of the signs that a theory or school of thought is flawed is if applying it doesn't produce the result it was supposed to.

Unfortunately when it comes to large undertakings such as nations there are so many variables that a leader whose policies consistently fail to do what they were touted to do can hide behind the excuse that a completely, totally unexpected event--a "black swan"--derailed what would otherwise have been complete, marvelous success.

The "excuse" event can be things like "My policies would have worked, but my political opponents have consistently sabotaged them.  So it's their fault."  Or "Under normal conditions my policies would have had economy booming by now, but unfortunately my predecessor dug us into such a deep economic hole that recovery has taken longer than expected."

Or "The economy would have been booming by now, except that huge hurricane that devastated the northeast coastal areas caused such huge losses.  No previous president has ever had to deal with a big hurricane like that.  This just shows that global warming is real, and anyone who says otherwise wants to destroy the planet."

Oh, we could do this all day!  And I'm sure you can add dozens more examples.  But no matter how many examples, devotees of the cult--both the mentally challenged and the Harvard-educated--will nod and smile happily...because it's impossible to prove that the excuse is bullshit. 

Fortunately there's another way to identify defective theories or schools of thought:  If a theory or system forces contradictory conclusions, it's not ready for...well, anything but the scrap heap.  And the more frequent the contradictions it demands, the worse the theory.

Example:  Leftists totally love Islam, and insist that you believe Muslims when they claim Islam is "the religion of peace."  Or when Iran's leaders insist their nuclear program is intended solely for peaceful purposes.  So evidently the principle here is:  Muslim leaders are telling the truth.  Believe them.

But when a TV broadcast in, say, Iran--intended for Iranians only--is intercepted showing the same leaders telling their people that the nation is determined to develop an atomic bomb, or when a Muslim terrorist being released from U.S. detention sneers "See you in New York," the Left insists that such statements must NOT be believed.

So according to the Left, Muslims are truthful and must be believed--except when the Left tells you NOT to believe a statement--which by bizarre coincidence is always one that, if believed, would cause the Left to lose credibility, power, influence or votes.

How do Leftists resolve this contradiction?

Simple:  They ignore it, and hope you won't notice.

Example #2:  "We are the government, and you must obey the laws and other orders we hand down.  And if you violate any of those we'll brand you a 'domestic terrorist' and bring the full weight of the justice system down on you."  But when *government employees* break laws, it's "Piss off, peasant:  We can't hand over the incriminating emails because a computer hard-drive crashed.  Haven't you heard of a computer crashing?  [That's an exact quote from Obama's incoming press secretary, the ironically-named Josh Earnest.]  We din't do nuffin wrong, and besides, you can't fire us."

So, for example, if a private business claimed it had "lost" emails that would shed light on an activity that the government charged was illegal, all the execs would like go to jail for obstruction of justice.  But when the head of the IRS appeared before a House committee yesterday and said the hard-drives of six of the people thought to be most involved in the illegal use of that agency to harass conservative groups had crashed, thus losing two years worth of emails--which by astonishing coincidence were not backed up on any other computer or server--he can go on to smugly say "I don't think we even owe you or the public an apology.  And by the way, fuck you, congressman" and not have even a scintilla of concern that someone might prosecute him.  Cuz he's part of the ruling class:  They don't have to obey laws.

(I may have mis-heard a couple of words in that last line.  Maybe I was reading that from the smirk on the face of the IRS head, Koskinen.)

Example #3:  The Constitution very openly says that war can only be declared by congress.  But starting with John F. Kennedy sending a few dozen "advisers" to Vietnam, the U.S. presence was gradually escalated under Democrat Lyndon B. Johnson, peaking at 543,000 U.S. troops in-country in the last year of LBJ's term.  Yet congress never declared war on Vietnam.

To prevent the U.S. from getting into another gradual escalation like that, way back in 1973 congress passed the "War Powers Act," designed to limit the power of a president to start a military action that could escalate.  (The Democrats who controlled congress cunningly waited to do this until Democrat Lyndon Johnson had been replaced by Republican Nixon, to avoid tying Democrats to Vietnam.)

This law acknowledged that as commander-in-chief the president could commit troops in emergencies without consulting congress, but provided that if this was done, he could not keep troops involved in combat overseas unless he sought and received congressional approval.  If congress didn't approve the action, the law specified that troops couldn't engage in combat for more than 60 days, with an additional 30 days for withdrawal.

So--good idea, right?  Could keep us from another Vietnam, right?  And in any event, it's the law of the land.  And the Constitution tasks the president with ensuring that the laws are faithfully enforced.

Well, Obama said "I am the emperor and your laws don't mean jack-shit to me," and proceeded to order the U.S. Air Force to bomb Libya for, oh, six months or so without seeking authorization from congress.

Of course congress knew this was in violation of the War Powers Act but no one wanted to trigger a crisis by so charging our first black president.  So they let the lawbreaking slide.

Fatal.  Fucking.  Mistake.

Because it confirmed what Obama already guessed:  That congress wouldn't hold him accountable regardless of what he did.  And he was right.

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