Friday, August 19, 2011

Progressivism versus the Rule of Law

This article on Obama's support among Hispanics contains a telling snippet that explains what is wrong with the Progressive view of government in a nutshell.

After noting that Obama's approval rating among Hispanics has fallen from 85% to 49%, the article goes on to report a new "policy." Read this carefully; if you don't you might not get what it is actually saying.
Obama’s declining approval among Hispanics came before the administration announced a new policy on Thursday that will allow Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano to suspend deportation proceedings against illegal aliens if she does not deem their cases sufficiently serious to require enforcement of the immigration law or if she believes their continued presence in the United States will not be a threat to national security or public safety. [my bolding]
Now there is a reason why illegal aliens are called "illegal" and it is that they are breaking the law. Other people obey the law and perhaps as a result they never get the privilege of immigrating to the United States, but illegal aliens do break the law and enter the country illegally. This new "policy" allows political appointee Janet Napolitano, Homeland Security Secretary, to "suspend deportation proceedings" if she decides their cases are not "sufficiently serious." So, instead of being a public official who is sworn to uphold the law, she get absolute power in her own grubby little hands to apply the law selectively.

What we have here is the clear abolition of the rule of law. After eight centuries of English common law tradition in which the hard fought and hard won principle gradually emerged that all people are to be treated equally before the law, the Obama administration just violates that principle without even blinking. "Policy" trumps "law." No longer are people treated equally before the law; now those who the one in charges favors get special treatment.

And the motive is utterly transparent and completely despicable; it is merely a vote-getting scheme. Many Hispanic Americans vote Democratic because they perceive the Democratic Party to be softer on illegal immigration and, indeed, on immigration in general. Since they often want to see their friends and family join them in the US, this makes them lean Democratic.

But the Great Recession is causing astronomically high rates of unemployment among minority communities and so many Hispanics are gravitating toward the Republican Party, or at least very dissatisfied with President Obama. And Obama is looking over his shoulder at a new Republican challenge, Rick Perry, who got 39% of the Hispanic vote in his last election as Texas Governor.

So, this new "policy" is designed to placate Hispanics and draw them back to the Democratic Party. The Obama administration tried and failed to change immigration laws so it is now trying by the back door of regulation to accomplish what it could not accomplish by the front door of legislation. And the real beauty of this "policy" is that Napolitano can dispense her favors selectively. If she wants, she can let illegals who have Democratic allies or supporters stay in the country and thus curry favor with her constituency while letting illegals who are part of Republican-leaning districts to get slapped with the full force of the law. Nothing like a few deportations to teach them who to vote for, eh?

This is despicable, open to abuse, contrary to the rule of law and tyrannical. But we need to understand that it is not some sort of exceptional instance. Rather, it is typical of the Progressive approach to government. It is part of the Progressive faith that the role of government is to ensure equal outcomes - not equal opportunities - and that the bureaucrats know best how to bring about the best outcomes. There simply is no commitment to the rule of law.

Progressivism is lawless and tyrannical. It may be a "soft despotism" in Paul Rahe's term, but it is not freedom. Only people who live under a system that respects the rule of law are truly free.

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