On Trump, the Constitution, and how he’s like Obama

On Trump, the Constitution, and how he’s like Obama December 30, 2015

Rich Lowry has a great column on Donald Trump’s disregard for the Constitution.  Also how he is like Obama in being willing to use “executive” power in defiance of Constitutional limits.  There was a time, Lowry writes, when conservatives and tea party activists were all about upholding the Constitution.  Now, many of those folks are supporting Donald Trump and his “post-Constitutional” policies.

From Rich Lowry, Trump’s populism vs. the Constitution | Oklahoman.com:

Donald Trump exists in a plane where there isn’t a Congress or a Constitution. There are no trade-offs or limits. There is only his will and his team of experts who will figure out how to do whatever he wants to do, no matter how seemingly impossible.

The thought you can’t do that doesn’t ever occur to him. He would deport the American-born children of illegal immigrants. He has mused about shutting down mosques and creating a database of Muslims. He praised FDR’s internment of Japanese-Americans in World War II.

You would be forgiven for thinking that in Trump’s world, constitutional niceties — indeed any constraints whatsoever — are for losers. It’s only strength that matters. It shouldn’t be a surprise that he expresses admiration for Vladimir Putin, a “powerful leader” who is “highly respected within his own country and beyond.” Trump’s call to steal Iraq’s oil and kill the families of terrorists is in a Putinesque key.

For some on the right, clearly the Constitution was an instrument rather than a principle. It was a means to stop Obama, and has been found lacking.

Trump is a reaction to Obama’s weakness, but also to his exaggerated view of executive power. Trump rejects the former, but is comfortable taking up the latter. Obama has a cool contempt for his political opponents and for limits on his power. Trump has a burning contempt for them. The affect is different; the attitude is the same.

What, after all, is the worst-case scenario for a President Trump’s strongman tendencies? Could Trump defy the law as written and give Congress the back of his hand in order to impose a new immigration system more to his liking? President Obama has already done it.

Progressives have been perfectly willing to bless Obama’s post-constitutional government. Trump’s implicit promise is to respond in kind, and his supporters think it’s about time.

[Read it all. . .]

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