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June 12, 2018

David Harsanyi: Trump Hasn't Been Especially Bad for the Rule of Law

The wordsmith class of the right can't tell the difference between blustery words and actual actions.

Trump has the propensity to sound like a bully and an authoritarian, I'm with you. If you're arguing that Trump's rhetoric is sometimes coarse and un-presidential, I can't disagree. I'm often turned off by the aesthetic and tonal quality of his presidency. And yes, Trump has an unhealthy tendency to push theories that exaggerate and embellish small truths to galvanize his fans for political gain. Those are all legitimate political concerns.

Yet the ubiquitous claim that Trump acts in a way that uniquely undermines "the rule of law" is, to this point, simply untrue.


At National Review, Victor Davis Hanson has it right when he argues that "elites" often seem more concerned about the "mellifluous" tone of leaders rather than their abuse of power. "Obama defies the Constitution but sounds 'presidential,'" he writes, "Trump follows it but sounds like a loudmouth from Queens."

But while Obama’s agreeable tone had plenty to do with his lack of media scrutiny, many largely justified, and even cheered, his abuses because they furthered progressive causes. But not only did liberals often ignore "the rule of law" when it was ideologically convenient, they now want the president to play by a set of rules that doesn't even exist.

As I've been saying for three or four years: This is almost all about class faction, and the fact is, urban conservatives are in the same class as urban liberals, and class is thicker than water. Or ideology.

I haven't finished that piece I mentioned earlier, but Harsanyi is writing along the same lines as I am.


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posted by Ace of Spades at 01:48 PM

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