The media were agog Thursday with feigned outrage at the suggestion, made by Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK), that President Barack Obama’s unconstitutional executive amnesty could lead to “anarchy” and “violence.” CNN host Brooke Baldwin was particularly aggrieved–oddly, since she kept flipping back to Ferguson, Missouri, where anarchy is expected promptly upon release of the grand jury’s decision in the Michael Brown shooting.
On the surface, there is no causal relation between one and the other. And yet both share the same underlying cause: namely, the slow erosion of the rule of law. The reason there are millions of illegal aliens in the United States is that our political leaders do not enforce immigration laws. (Worse, the federal government punishes those states that try to fill in the gap.) President Obama’s unlawful amnesty will only exacerbate that problem.
And the reason millions of Americans are outraged that a policeman shot and killed a drugged shoplifter who had allegedly tried to wrestle away his gun seconds earlier is twofold. First, there is a widespread belief that the police enforce the law unevenly, and discriminate against blacks. Second, there is also a widespread belief, often held by the same people, that people are entitled to destroy property and attack police as a form of protest.
Any way you look at it, confidence in the rule of law is fading. By going outside the legislative process, President Obama has given Americans further reason to doubt the rule of law–just as he has granted “waivers” to large companies, or selectively enforced tax laws against conservative organizations. Executive amnesty is a new line crossed, a line the president himself once said would be an imperial usurpation of constitutional authority.
Coburn’s warning is not that amnesty alone will trigger anarchy and violence–though it certainly could in the border states, including California, where recent crime sprees by illegal aliens have shocked local residents. His warning is a broader one: the replacement of rule by law with arbitrary rule by man will encourage people to lose faith in the system and turn to extralegal means to effect their desires. It has been thus throughout history.
The historically-challenged cohort of liberal activists and journalists might not be expected to know that. They might, however, be reasonably expected to notice that the anarchy they have been expecting (and hyping) in Ferguson does not emerge in a vacuum. It is part of an erosion in the Constitution’s authority as the supreme law of the land. President Obama’s unilateral action merely accelerated an anarchy already well in progress.
Senior Editor-at-Large Joel B. Pollak edits Breitbart California and is the author of the new ebook, Wacko Birds: The Fall (and Rise) of the Tea Party, available for Amazon Kindle.
Follow Joel on Twitter: @joelpollak