We’ve let the rule of law slip through our fingers


Karl Denninger comments, in his usual trenchant fashion, about the need to reassert the rule of law.  Emphasis below is in the original.

There is no answer to any of the issues we have as a nation if we do not restore The Rule of Law.  And, virtually every one of our major societal and economic problems is either seriously improved or entirely disappears if we do restore it.

What do I mean by “Restoring the Rule of Law”?

Simple: The law says shall or shall not occur, and if it does the person or persons doing it get hauled into a courtroom where we have due process, the evidence is heard, a verdict rendered and, if guilty, they are punished. 

That’s it.

As just one example the recent mess in Highland Park was directly caused by ignoring The Rule of Law.  Several people with direct responsibility to report the suspect and haul him before a Judge, where he could have been found mentally defective, did not do so.  The ISP has tried to duck responsibility but in fact it rests with the people who had reason to intervene, a duty to do so (the responding police department and their supervisors all the way to the mayor) and did not.  The same thing happened in Uvalde, in Parkland and elsewhere.  In each case had due process and The Rule of Law occurred either a Judge would be on the hook for a bad decision if the event occurred after he or she stated on the record that no sufficient threat existed or the event would not have happened.

In either case the problem is resolved; we either have a Judge who must be impeached or removed from office at the ballot box who thinks people that are serious threats to others aren’t or the attack does not happen in the first place.  If the former happens that tends to prevent it from happening again because the first Judge who loses their seat over this will of course be known to all the others.

. . .

No, our due process system is not perfect.  Not by any means.  But it beats sticking our heads in the sand, which is what we have now.

It has now been admitted by Dr. Birx that it was hope, not fact, that she and others — including President Biden — peddled with regard to the jabs being “proof” against getting or transmitting the virus.  Inducing someone to do a thing by making a materially-false statement that they rely on, and then get burned as a result, has a formal, legal name: Fraud.

Not only did the “Task Force” commit this act the silence of the manufacturers, who’s products were being knowingly misrepresented, also quite-arguably constituted fraud … it is Dr. Birx who made the statement that their reliance was “hope” and not evidence, and Birx admits that she knew that the trials were not designed to, and thus couldn’t, show whether or not jabbed people could get or spread the virus.  In other words everyone who was an alleged “expert” knew this and made intentionally false statements.

Don’t take my word for it, listen to her words yourself.

Fraud, particularly when someone makes billions of dollars by utilizing it, no matter who they enlist in doing so, is supposed to get you indicted, charged, tried and imprisoned.  Well?

There’s more at the link.  Recommended reading.

The trouble is, the rule of law has been twisted, folded, spindled and mutilated by both sides of the political aisle for so long that nobody expects it to be upheld.  Nobody demands that it be upheld.  Nobody is willing to take a stand and says, “If you don’t uphold the rule of law, I’m going to take action – go on strike, withhold my taxes, demonstrate in the streets, whatever – until you do!”  We don’t care enough any more.

Republicans and Democrats both ignore the law when it’s to their advantage to do so.  Watergate is an early example, but it’s far from the earliest.  Try President Abraham Lincoln when it came to the right of habeas corpus.  He simply ignored it, even defying a Supreme Court order, because it was expedient for him to do so under the circumstances at the time.  I’m sure President Biden would like nothing better than to do the same with some recent SCOTUS decisions.  I’m sure President Nixon would have liked to do the same after the Watergate scandal.  I’m sure both parties, when it comes to gerrymandering electoral constituencies and manipulating voters, would like to do the same on every conceivable occasion.  Both have gotten used to getting away with whatever they can, whenever they can, and ignoring what they should do in favor of what’s in their partisan political interests to do.

The administrators of our justice system are themselves guilty of precisely the same thing.  How often do we see major offenses, felonies, plea-bargained down to a misdemeanor charge, or multiple charges plea-bargained down to just one or two, for which the sentence is much lighter than would have been the case originally?  Is that justice to the victims of crime?  I don’t think so at all, but overloaded District Attorneys and prosecutors will take the easy way out every time they can, to save money and time in as many cases as possible.  I saw the result as a prison chaplain:  hard-core evil men who’d killed, raped, assaulted and preyed on others, who were serving five to ten years instead of the life sentences they should have received.  They boasted freely behind bars about how they’d “conned the system” and pretended to be sorry for what they’d done, promising to do better when they were released.  They had no intention of doing any such thing, of course.  They were already planning their next crimes, and even prearranging them with their friends outside the walls during visits and phone calls.  (There’s a reason inmate phone calls are monitored in high-security penitentiaries.  Murders, drug deals and other major crimes have been prevented that way – more than a few of them.)

We’ve allowed our ethics and morals to become too slack, as individuals and as a nation.  President John Adams famously said:

“Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other … The only foundation of a free Constitution is pure virtue, and if this cannot be inspired into our People … they may change their Rulers, and the forms of government, but they will not obtain a lasting Liberty … A Constitution of Government once changed from freedom, can never be restored. Liberty, once lost, is lost forever.”

He was right:  and since most of us, as individuals, no longer expect, look for or espouse virtue, we have lost the liberty we should enjoy under the rule of law.  The laws are only as good as those who live under them expect them to be.  When everybody, across the spectrum, expects to get away with at least something, and not be punished for it, pretty soon the whole of society stops demanding that the laws be upheld and enforced.  They become pieces of paper, to be manipulated, edited, interpreted, and if necessary torn up wholesale rather than applied impartially and objectively.

Therefore, while I agree with Mr. Denninger that we need to restore the rule of law, I simply don’t see how to do it under our present system.  Too many people, from the powerful to the weak, from the rich to the poor, from the influential to the insignificant, have come to scoff at the rule of law.  We don’t want it applied to us, and we don’t expect it to be applied to the powers that be.  Even mentioning it is, for too many of us, a mere fig-leaf to disguise the fundamental self-centeredness of our society, in business and commerce, in social interaction, even in personal relationships.

Unfortunately, Mr. Denninger is entirely correct when he says, “There is no answer to any of the issues we have as a nation if we do not restore The Rule of Law.”  That’s exactly right.  If we have no objective standard, no trustworthy yardstick against which to measure attitudes, behavior and expectations (our own and those of others), then we have no security for ourselves or our families, no protection against predation, no expectation of fair and objective treatment.

That’s what allows the World Economic Forum and its cronies to get away with their “Great Reset”.  They don’t give a damn about any national laws or international agreements that stand in their way.  They’ll either reinterpret them to get away with murder, or they’ll simply ignore them and do what they want to do anyway – and their puppets in national governments around the world will happily assist them to do so.  Witness what’s happening in Europe right now.

If we allow them to do that, we make ourselves complicit in their disregard of the rule of law.  In so many words, we dig the grave of our own freedom.  That’s why, if we don’t take a stand now, we’ll never get the chance to do so again – because once they’ve taken over, they will ensure we never again have that opportunity.

Makes you think, doesn’t it?  And the next question is obvious.  What are we – what are you – going to do about it?  If most of us shrug and say, “There’s nothing I can do”, then we may as well give up here and now.  There’s always something we can do, starting with our own behavior, then progressing to what we expect and are prepared to tolerate from others.  It’s important to take a stand.  As the old idiom informs us:  “If you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything.

What are we prepared to stand up for?



  1. Ignoring the rule of law brings to mind the most egregious example: Unlawful immigration aided and abetted by this administration.

  2. IMO, the writer is overly optimistic about being able to "compel" the DOJ into restoring the rule of law. Yes, we can do what we must within our own sphere, but anything beyond that – writing to your representative in Congress is a joke, and actively protesting will only get you arrested.

  3. I think the earliest case where a president ignored the Supreme Court, was Jackson's eviction the Cherokee from their land in the Southeast and forcibly relocating them to what would become Oklahoma. The Supreme Court rather emphatically ruled that the President didn't have the power to do that. Jackson replied that if the Court wanted to enforce their ruling they were free to do so, meanwhile he was ordering the Army to round up the Cherokee and march them to "Indian Territory." Jackson then proceeded to take the "abandoned" land, divvy it up among his cronies, and make a huge profit. Note I hear similar language from Bien about the Dobbs decision.

  4. How do we fix it? The tree of liberty must be refreshed. Can that happen? Highly doubtful without a civil war, which no one wants.

  5. The law, as currently expressed, is nothing more and nothing less than a stick with which to beat your opponents.

  6. That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, that whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new government…

    -our current government does not secure our rights, it actively works to deny them. This is plainly obvious to more and more people, and the result is that whether openly or just practically, they are withdrawing their consent. The powers of the government then become unjust, as they are becoming and HAVE become.

    You see the withdrawal of consent on many levels. Working around EPA water flow restrictions by buying old toilets; speeding; shutting down businesses to get rid of the hassles of being an employer and going back to sole proprietor or independent contractor status or simply 'going galt'; buying or selling in the 'secondary market' to avoid taxation; carrying all the time,despite any signs or restrictions–"better to be judged by 12…"; and many other things small and large.

    After the withdrawal of consent comes the "replace it" part. We're not there yet. Our outrage has been worn out to the point that I can't imagine what would outrage most people enough to support a big enough change to make a difference. My fear is that we will eventually find out. And it will be so horrible that it will change us for generations.


  7. Who decides what laws to enforce? That would be the Attorney General, Merrick Garland, appointed by Biden. I think that might be the problem.

  8. Mr. Grant, do you submit your writings the any newspaper?
    In the light of " … igniting brush fires … in the minds of men … ", would you care to edit the words in this and other of your posts so that your readers may submit to their local newspapers under your name?

  9. There are many scholars of the U.S. Constitution who offer instruction in the precepts and principals of the founding documents and jurisprudence.

    A problem is all (of which I know) require subscription (even if free) or dedicating blocks of time, times to be selected by the presenters. Such is problematic to gaining a larger audience who wish to be masters of how and when their time is spent.

    My thought is to make such study more accessible to the common man. One means to achieve this is the printed word distributed in newspapers.

    One may not think themselves as a modern Samual Adams or George Mason, but their audience may beg to differ.

  10. @Rick: Very few newspapers would be willing to publish this sort of article. Those who would are probably already on the "trusted" list of readers of this blog. The difficulty is to get material like this to the "other side", those who don't think that the Constitution and individual freedoms are important compared to their social justice priorities. Even if one could get it into media that they consume, they probably would skim over this sort of article to find others with which they identified more closely.

  11. What am I going to about it? I tell you what I'm not going to: waste time with masturbatory fantasies how we are going to round up all the evildoers and string them up from lampposts until all is right with the world again.

    No, I accept that the general downward slide of society cannot be arrested. What I can do is behave in a decent manner, set an example for others, refuse to join the corruption, plant seeds of doubt in the minds of the brainwashed. And hope that the seeds germinate one day.

  12. I have been binge-watching episodes of the original Twilight Zone episodes on Odysee, which is fast becoming the censorship-free alternative to Youtube as a repository of cultural heritage.

    What struck me was how deeply conservative the stories — penned by writers such as Richard Matheson, Charles Beaumont and Rod Serling himself — were in moral outlook, patriotism, and emphasis placed on character.

    The clever sci-fi or supernatural conceits, and the famous twist endings, were important, but the moral lessons formed the backbone. Alas, that time is not coming back soon.

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