Kevin D. Williamson, with a certain unholy glee, predicts that the Left will not love living with its own precedents.
For eight years, Democrats celebrated the aggrandizement of the already inflated presidency left to Barack Obama by George W. Bush. You remember the greatest hits: â€œIf Congress wonâ€™t act, I will.â€ â€œI have a pen and a phone.â€ â€œElections have consequences.â€ And, my personal favorite: â€œI won.â€
Somebody else won this time around. The pretensions of the imperial presidency are going to haunt Democrats for the immediate future, but theyâ€™ll quickly rediscover their belief in limits on the executive. While theyâ€™re rediscovering old virtues, they might take a moment to lament Senator Harry Reidâ€™s weakening of the filibuster, an ancient protection of minority interests in the less democratic house of our national legislature. They might also lament Senator Reidâ€™s attempt to gut the First Amendment in order to permit the federal government â€” which in January will be under the management of Paul Ryan, Mitch McConnell, and â€” incredibly enough â€” President Donald Trump â€” to regulate political speech, deciding who can speak, about what and when, and on what terms. Perhaps theyâ€™ll thank those wicked â€œconservativeâ€ justices on the Supreme Court for saving basic political-speech rights. If they are smart, they will rediscover federalism, too, and the peacemaking potential of a school of thought that says in a diverse nation of 320 million souls, there is no reason that life in rural Idaho must be lived in exactly the same way as it is in Brooklyn or Santa Monica.
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