According to an August 5th Wall Street Journal editorial, “”. . . the President has . . . decided to seek a United Nations Security Council resolution banning the testing of nuclear weapons. This means that two decades after the U.S. Senate refused to ratify the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, Mr. Obama may usurp the Senate’s constitutional treaty powers with an end-run to the U.N.”
It’s actions like this, with the cheerleading left of the Democratic Party looking on, that have driven many conservatives to near apoplexy and given rise to Trump.
There either are constitutional norms or there aren’t. You don’t get to suspend them whenever the matter is too important in your estimation to wait on constitutionally mandated processes. Yet Obama has used the power of the presidency repeatedly to seriously undermine the historic tradition of deference to the Constitution that has protected our democracy for more than two centuries.
The left has never liked the existence of such constraints, of course, believing in the higher moral authority of their own policy preferences, and now, with the Obama presidency, they have finally got themselves a chief executive who’s prepared to gut the Constitution if he must to see his vision implemented.
Alas the saddest part of all in this tragi-comic episode is that conservatives, in their sense of impassioned impotence before a willful and unconstitutional executive, have allowed their worst instincts to come to the fore and nominated the worst possible candidate to regain the White House, the serially unpleasant Donald Trump. Trump supporters believe he will be their Obama, the man who will ride roughshod over the government and the country, regardless of constitutional niceties, as Obama has done to undo what’s been done. They see him as righting Obama’s many wrongs and doing it with the same irresistablity that has characterized the Obama years.
But let’s be clear:
1) Donald Trump is no Barack Obama. Unlike the incumbent president, Trump is a buffoon with billions (or so he says), a bully with a big mouth and a mean streak with no evident understanding or respect for the Constitution under which as president he would have to govern; but
2) If by some chance Trump manages a victory this November, turning the government over to him, another willful executive with little respect for the Constitution, would only solidify the practices of constitutional disregard and subversion begun by Obama.
Trump is lose-lose for America even if, by some miracle, he wins.