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Democrats Have Become A Dangerous Threat To Our Institutions


When modern Democrats talk about preseving “norms,” traditions,” or even the “Constitution,” they’re really talking about preserving their preferred policies. We know this because “liberals” have shown themselves not only willing to destroy the legitimacy of institutions like the presidency, the Senate ,and Supreme Court to protect those policies, they’re willing to break down basic norms of civility, as well.

Take the example of Hillary Clinton. In the very first sentence in her new scaremongering essay, which makes the case that America’s “democratic institutions and traditions are under siege,” she attacks our democratic institutions and traditions. “It’s been nearly two years since Donald Trump won enough Electoral College votes to become president of the United States,” the piece begins.

The intimation, of course, widely shared by the mainstream left, is that Trump isn’t a legitimate president even though he won the election in the exact same way every other president in U.S. history has ever won election. According to our long-held democratic institutions and traditions, you become president through the Electoral College, not the non-existent popular vote.

So when Clinton, or writers at Vox, or The Atlantic, or Politico, or new liberal favorite Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, say it’s “well past time we eliminate the Electoral College, a shadow of slavery’s power on America today that undermines our nation as a democratic republic,” you’re either tragically ignorant about our system or cynically delegitimizing it. Or maybe it’s both.

The Electoral College isn’t ornamental; it exists to undercut the tyranny of direct democracy and ensure the entire nation is represented in national elections. When you attack it, you’re not condemning Trump, you are, in a very palpable way, attacking a core idea that girds much of our governance.

With this in mind, it’s not surprising that the anti-majoritarian Senate is also suddenly problematic for many Democrats. When a NBC reporter, commenting on a Washington Post article, says “the idea that North Dakota and New York get the same representation in the Senate has to change,” he’s probably not ignorant about why the Founders implemented proportional voting, or why there is a difference between the House and Senate, or why the Tenth Amendment exists. He simply favors a system he thinks would allow liberals to force others to accept his preferred policies.

That’s the thing, of course. North Dakotans can’t make New Yorkers ban abortion, even if Roe v. Wade is overturned. They can’t make New Yorkers legalize “assault weapons” if Heller is upheld. But New Yorkers are perfectly content to force North Dakotans to accept both abortion and gun control. So, then, surely nothing could be more frustrating to the contemporary liberal than the existence of an originalist court that values the self-determination of individuals and states.

That is why the effort to destroy Brett Kavanaugh wasn’t only about the nominee, but the legitimacy of the Supreme Court. When you can’t corrode constitutional protections by seating justices that simply ignore the words and purpose of the founding documents, you can proactively smear the people whose decisions do uphold those values.

When Sen. Mazie Hirono, who rejected basic tenets of due process throughout the Kavanaugh hearings, argues Kavanaugh “is going to be on the Supreme Court with a huge taint and a big asterisk after his name,” she, like many others, is giving her followers a pretext to ignore the court.

If there is a “taint,” a proper constitutionally mandated solution exists: provide evidence and impeach him. Otherwise, there is no asterisk. Republicans didn’t break any constitutional norms. Trump nominated a candidate with a blemish-free ten-year record on the DC appellate court.

Republicans in the judiciary committee had hearings in which Democrats could question the nominee. Republicans even added additional hearings after Democrats leaked uncorroborated accusations. Republicans then asked for a seventh FBI investigation into the nominee before voting. Then the entire Senate voted. There is no asterisk.

Of course, if Democrats had been in charge of the Senate, they would have been free to shelve that nomination just as Republicans had done with Merrick Garland, when they also decided adopt the “Biden Rule.” If Democrats had followed the norms of the Senate in 2013, rather than using the nuclear option, they might have been able to filibuster Kavanaugh. They didn’t.

Instead, during this entire constitutionally mandated process we just went through, Democrats demonstrated a malicious disregard for the institution, not only by slandering those they disagreed with, and by leaking uncorroborated accusations, and by attacking the principles of Fifth and Sixth Amendments, and by ignoring long-held Senate rules during the proceedings in their Spartacus moments, but by preemptively declaring the pick illegitimate the day the president announced it.

According to liberals, every conservative-run institution is illegitimate. Working out how it’s illegitimate is the only question.

Even the questions in the aftermath of the Kavanaugh vote point to misunderstanding of process. Did Democrats “fight hard enough” to stop a nomination? What does that even mean? You fight by winning the argument, and by appealing to a large swath of Americans to win the Senate, and by winning the vote. In a decent nation, you don’t win by smearing your political opponents as gang rapists, and you don’t win by acting like a mob and screaming at your fellow citizens in restaurants and elevators.

After all, Hillary, and others who write about Trump’s supposed annihilation of our institutions, seem wholly concerned about aesthetics, manners, and policy, not procedure or institutions. Civility is a worthwhile issue, but it is a separate issue. You might find immigration and environmental policy of primary importance, but not getting your way isn’t a constitutional crisis. When they act like it is, liberals—and it’s getting progressively difficult to give them that descriptor—are destabilizing the institutions they are claiming to save.

How many times did a Democrat even mention the Constitution during the Kavanaugh hearings? I imagine, if we’re lucky, a perfunctory handful. Trump, far more than the previous administration, has strengthened proper separations of power. One of the ways he’s done it is by his judicial appointments. And Democrats’ inability to make any distinction between the neutral processes of governing and their partisan goals makes them, to this point, a far bigger threat to constitutional norms than the president.

David Harsanyi is a Senior Editor at The Federalist. He is the author of the new book, First Freedom: A Ride Through America’s Enduring History with the Gun, From the Revolution to Today. Follow him on Twitter.


  1. The liberal communist leftist demoncrats are the enemy terrorist threat within the United States!! They must be smacked down and permanently silenced!

    • Christiann, I’m glad I’m not the only person whose seen through that bunch of Communists masquerading as Democrats. They’ve come out of the closet and admit they’re Socialists. A man named Adolph Hitler started his dictatorship by calling himself a Socialist and look what he did in the 1930’s and ’40’s. There was another Socialist named Stalin. I recently saw a speech he give and the interpreter told us what he said. He said, “To stay in power the Socialists had to lie, cheat, steal and kill.” Is that the kind of government we want? I think not. A lot of people who support the Socialist way had better wake up before it’s too late.

  2. It has taken old Socialist Party, the CPUSA, the Workers Party and a few minor ones since 1964 to complete the takeover of the Democratic Party. All are Marxist Socialist. THAT is why. If it takes a military coup to jail them, go for it.

    • They are liars and will never admit it. You want help then help Republicans first and then you’ll get your help. Give Trump the funds he needs to build the border wall and help him get his agenda through and stop resisting, obstructing, and delaying and work with him and maybe he will help you.

  3. man all you have to do is look at canada and europe and that should be all you need to know that multiculturalism does not work . stand against the democrats and vote republican in november

  4. Hillary Clinton is completely redundant. Her time has come and gone. I have been a Democratic all my adult life, but after witnessing the lack of civility and respectful behavior of the uncontrolled rioters (mob) in Washington D.C. and their tactics I want no part of government run by their leaders. I see they have been brain washed by pundits of of the Democratic Party as a whole. I am not a socialist. I do not believe in demigods such as “Beto” who is running for Texas Senator, who wants to do away with our state and nation by promoting open boarders, free education, free healthcare and similar give away programs. Someone has to pay for all these socialistic programs and it will not be the freeloaders. I do not support any of these guys, but thank goodness I can vote for whom I please in the national election. It has become a question of riotous disorder from the democrats or civilized order and behavior on the Republican side.

  5. I watched with great sadness and unbelief the leaders of the Democratic party dismiss the basic pillar of “innocent” unless proven guilty before condemning a person. I saw Democrats willing to ruin a man’s life, and one even said so, based on unsupported allegations alone. I saw radical people willing to make decisions based on emotions and not on facts. These are not concepts of American justice and fairness; but they are the touted concepts of extremists Democrats. I can no longer accept them or their political party at this point in time. I watched, mostly young women, riot in D.C. to the point of madness. I saw them screaming at representatives in the congressional office building and at those who did not accept their ideals were threatened at their homes. Surely they did not expect to change anyone’s mind by their inexcusable behavior.

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