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On ‘The Rule Of The Sovereign’ And The Dissolving Of The Republic

28 July 2014 @ 20:36

Angelo Codevilla has penned another post full of penetrating insight into our present situation.

A highlight:

The arguments by which the Obama administration is countering lawsuits that seek to limit Obamacare subsidies to participants in “exchanges” established by states—a limit that is specified in the Obamacare law itself—have raised the outcome’s stakes. Administration officials argue that the plain, unmistakable, uncontested language of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is less important than what they want the law to mean, and that hewing to its words would deprive millions of people of the subsidies that the administration had granted them regardless of those words. Therefore the courts should enforce what the administration wants rather than what the law says.

The Democratic Party, the bulk of its appointees in the judiciary, and the mainstream media echo these arguments.

America has moved away from the rule of law in recent decades, as more and more of the decisions by which we must live are made by administrative agencies in consultation with their favorite constituencies and judges rather than by the people’s elected representatives. More and more, statutes passed by Congress are lengthy grants of power to administrative agencies, the content of which is determined by complex interactions between bureaucrats, special interests, and judges aligned with either. Hence House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi’s famous statement—that the ACA’s meaning would be determined only after its passage—was true of it and most other modern legislation as well. This is the rule of men, not of law.

But the transition away from the rule of law has been masked by the (ever thinner) fiction that the administrators are merely filling in the interstices of laws. Were they to prevail, the administration’s arguments for casting aside the ACA’s explicit provision because it conflicts with its will and its clients’ convenience would mark the dropping of the mask. America’s transition from the rule of law to the rule of the sovereign, largely accomplished some time ago de facto, would now be fulfilled de jure. Openly, this President and his partisans would have trumped law by will. Thereafter, continuing to pretend that America lives by law would be a mockery.

The importance of this is difficult to exaggerate. The nation’s slide into something foreign to its past would accelerate.

Damn well put. There is no longer a set of Laws, including a Supreme Law, that restricts the actions of those entrusted with positions in the government.  We now live under in an Arbitrary Regime, where the only restraint placed on them is the fear of being dragged-out onto the streets.  In other words: Fear is the only motivating factor in their curtailment of their wielding of Power And Control.

However, as I have said of him before, Mr. Codevilla, at the end of the above quote, ‘is engaging in a bit of wishful thinking’ here.

We are in a post-Constitutional state, where The Rule Of The Sovereign [a wonderful and accurate turn of phrase] is now not only in fact true [de facto], but where it is claimed by ‘right’ [de jure] by those who hold and exercise Power And Control in this country.  Yes, it is true, this Rule has not been written into Law — there is no statute that can be cited in the U.S. Code — but, rather, The Rule Of The Sovereign has become The Spirit Of The Law.  It animates and invigorates the actions of The Jarret Junto and their fellow Axis Of Despots members in everything they do.

More from Mr. Codevilla:

The demonstration by persons at the top of society that plain words of law—and these happen to be plainer than usual—don’t mean what they say or are superseded by interest and will is scary to the powerless majority for whom the words of laws are the only protection against arbitrary treatment. The words of the law are the ordinary person’s assurance of freedom. The moment people begin to think the system is rigged, the next thought follows: “To hell with the system. They’re looking out for themselves. I’ve got to look out for myself.” That is how nations dissolve.

Quite right — there is much Wisdom in his words.

But most people in this country already believe ‘the system is rigged’ and, in their spoiled and brattish frame of mind, are acting accordingly.  The Culture Of Corruption counts among it’s members, not only elected officials and Bureaucrats, but a sizable portion of the people of America.

If The United States Of America has not fully dissolved as yet, it is because there are a fair number of us left who believe in The Rule Of Law, who believe in leading and trying to live Virtuous lives, who refuse to engage in Slothful Self-Interest — The Remnant, if you will.  We are not perfect at it, but we know we must never stop trying to do Good.

We have drunk many a sip from the bitter cup of our failure to honor our Ancestors and secure for our Posterity the blessings of Freedom and Liberty, but it is still within our power and control to bring about ‘a supreme recovery of moral health and martial vigour’ and ‘arise again and take our stand for freedom as in the olden time’.


The voice of your fathers’ blood cries to you from the ground; ‘MY SONS SCORN TO BE SLAVES! in vain we met the frowns of tyrants; in vain, we crossed the boisterous ocean, found a new world, and prepared it for the happy residence of LIBERTY; in vain, we toiled; in vain, we fought; we bled in vain, if you, our offspring, want valour to repel the assaults of her invaders!’

Stain not the glory of your worthy ancestors; but like them resolve, never to part with your birthright; be wise in your deliberations, and determined in your exertions for the preservation of your liberties. Follow not the dictates of passion, but enlist yourselves under the sacred banner of reason; use every method in your power to secure your rights; at least prevent the curses of posterity from being heaped upon your memories.

—Dr. Joseph Warren, Boston Massacre Oration, 1772

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