Weakening the Rule of Law
By Eric M. Freedman
New York Times
May 25, 2011
Re “A Conflict Without End” (editorial, May 17), about a House bill that would place the country in a state of permanent war, and not just against Al Qaeda and the Taliban but also any “associated forces that are engaged in hostilities against the United States”:
Representative Buck McKeon’s dangerous effort to ride roughshod over constitutional constraints would not be politically plausible but for the Obama administration’s shortsightedness in allowing support for the Bill of Rights to be marginalized as namby-pamby liberalism.
The Bush administration’s lawlessness was un-American deviance. Instead of defining it as a transgression never to be repeated, the Obama administration normalized it to the point where discussions of torture and indefinite detention on the government’s say-so generate no more moral concern than discussions of the appropriate rate of estate taxes.
History will record the triangulation of this administration as a more permanent weakening of the rule of law than any of the radical follies of its opponents.