MSNBC is reporting that Tom Ridge wants to suspend the election in November if a terror attack occurs near that time.
Setting aside the obvious fact that, short of a Constitutional amendment, nobody has the authority to do such a thing, I’m continually astounded by the pervasive culture within the present administration of utter lack of respect for the law. The Justice Department has spent its time producing reams of analyses indicating why this, that or the other point of law should not apply to their actions “in the course of investigating terror” – investigations to be described as such by the Justice Department, and without any possibility for external review. The Pentagon has done the same, establishing facilities which they claim are outside both military and civilian jurisdiction and using them to do whatever they want. Now the DHS, an organization whose main output seems to be vague warnings to the effect of “Be afraid!,” wants the authority to suspend the basic processes of the Constitution sine die, apparently with only the unilateral action of the executive branch.
There has been a growing theme in American politics in the past several decades of seeing the Legislature as a far second in power to the Executive, and (especially among conservatives) to see the Judiciary as being a distant third, something whose only purpose is to interfere with the functioning of the nation, perhaps to keep drug addicts locked up but not to enforce any of the basic laws of the nation when the Executive objects. It’s a notion which sounds ridiculous on its face; that the President should have the authority to tell the Legislature and the Judiciary what to do, and that they exist in fact to exercise his will. This is not the American Way.
The conduct of these organizations, in my opinion, has moved beyond the unprofessional and into the reprehensible. They each took an oath “to uphold and defend the Constitution of the United States” – and they are each acting systematically to thwart and to weaken it, and to make certain that their agendas can be achieved in spite of it rather than in concordance with its principles. This is a desecration of the documents which have made us what we are, and they deserve nothing better than the bottom of my foot.