Friday, November 21, 2014

Some Thoughts on Procedure 
Courtesy of and JPB.

"Procedure" is a word that evokes banality. It is the stuff of bureaucracy and litigiousness. It's the word we use to describe colonoscopies in polite company. And, if my Twitter feed is any indication, it is the last refuge of political scoundrels trying to make a point.

But procedure is also the bulwark of rights in our judicial system. (ie, Due Process) Those in power must follow procedure to exercise that power in a way consistent with law and custom. Presidents, Congressmen, police officers, prosecutors, and bureaucrats all most follow procedure to maintain their legitimacy.

I happen to agree with many on the Left, and a few on the Right, that Obama's executive orders relating to immigration were within the laws and customs currently on the books. Whether those laws should have exceptions that one libertarian friend said "you could drive a truck through" is another story entirely, but that's the law Congress gave him to work with.

(dis?)Courtesy of the White House

The Right's sky-is-falling narrative is overblown and off-base, at least in this context. Their references to a King or Emperor skirting procedure would be laughable if not so tragic, given what most of them are conveniently ignoring.

Obama has not once, but twice unilaterally sent troops to fight in civil wars that pose no existential threat to the United States nor could be construed (with a straight face) to be in line with the AUMF --lest we understand the text to mean the Authorization to Unilaterally Murder Foreigners. (See also: the Kill List.)

But you see, it's much easier to rile up the Right's base by helping millions of brown people here at home than blowing up different brown people half-way across the globe.

Take a moment to process that.

bellum medicamenti delenda est