Preening Demagogues - The American Spectator | USA News and Politics
Preening Demagogues
Lead House impeachment manager Jamie Raskin presents opening arguments against Trump, February 10, 2021 (YouTube screenshot)

The Democrats are casting themselves this week as the great custodians of democracy, chasing away the apostates in its temple. Never mind that the whole point of their partisan exercise in the Senate is to remove a democratic choice from the people. The Democrats remain in a panic over the possibility of Trump running again. The feverishness of that panic is a measure of their mistrust of the people and their preference for rule by the elite. The Democrats will let us know who we can and can’t vote for.

The “living constitution” sham of the Democrats is designed to take power out of the hands of the people and entrust it to a liberal elite.

Democrats who blather about democracy the most tend to believe in it the least. Just look at their decades-long support for judicial despotism, which consists of removing democratic choices from the people in the name of this or that invented liberal right. Empowering judges to wrest issues like abortion and gay marriage away from the people has been the exclusive province of the Democrats. During his presidential campaign, Joe Biden said that his ideal judge would display that anti-democratic streak. He or she would prioritize “rights” over democratic choice.

He openly called for judges who would legislate from the bench and defy the people for the sake of “rights” not even mentioned in the Constitution: “I would look to judges, potential nominees, they would have to acknowledge the fact that there are unenumerated rights that are nonetheless constitutional rights; they’re not mentioned by name in the Constitution.”

This is the “living constitution” theory of the Democrats that kills the actual one. It is amusing to see them this week parading around as pensive originalists, after having spent years pushing the idea that the Constitution is really just a blank piece of paper on which the powerful, drawing upon nothing more than the “evolving” spirit of the age, can write whatever they want.

The “living constitution” sham of the Democrats is designed to take power out of the hands of the people and entrust it to a liberal elite. As the father of “Borking” — he bashed Robert Bork for not adjusting his jurisprudence to the demands of that elite — Biden laid the groundwork for a despotic judiciary, which with each passing year takes away more and more issues from the people.

The “living constitutionalists” that the Democrats have appointed to the courts will even occasionally import into their jurisprudence foreign law, yet another snub to the American people. Far from zealously protecting their sovereignty, Democrats often undermine it by giving support to “international institutions.” What the United Nations has to say on a subject, as seen in their slavish regard for the Paris Climate Accord, commands their closest attention, even if it is at odds with prevailing views in America. Democrats usually scoff at conservatives who complain about threats to American sovereignty, dismissing them as musty reactionaries out of sync with the zeitgeist.

But this week the preening demagogues of the Democratic Party have turned very pious about the traditional concerns of the Founding Fathers. Democrats normally view them as out-of-touch aristocrats and dead white males. Recall Hillary Clinton’s fury at the existence of the Electoral College. All of that has been put on pause, as Democrats quoted the Founders reverentially in their impeachment arguments.

Watching Democrats pose as thoughtful defenders of a Constitution they long ago abandoned is pretty hard to take. One can only imagine what the Founders would have thought of today’s Democrats and their tyrannical impulses. What’s sacred to the Democrats is not America’s democratic traditions but the advancement of liberalism. They support those traditions only insofar as they contribute to liberalism’s advance. But the moment those traditions impede it, they return to the radicalism of the anti-democratic “living constitution.”

When deprived of political power, Democrats extol unruly free speech. In power, they denounce it as unpatriotic and an incitement to violence. Future historians will surely note that this weaponized impeachment, revolving around a hysterical interpretation of free speech, came at the hands of card-carrying ACLU liberals, for whom power is always more important than principle. What the media pompously calls a defense of democracy is its exact opposite: a crass attempt by the Democrats to control the choices of the people.

George Neumayr
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George Neumayr, a senior editor at The American Spectator, is author most recently of The Biden Deception: Moderate, Opportunist, or the Democrats' Crypto-Socialist?
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