Codevilla on the (ahem) “steady state.”
The media commentary on Messers Woodward and Anonymous misses the revolutionary nature of Anonymous’s claim, supported by Woodward. That is because it is limited to degrees of agnosticism about whether the allegations against Trump and the claims of successful subversion are true, as well as to tergiversations about the courage of “whistleblowers” and the ethics of publishing unverified claims.
Truly revolutionary, as well as false, is the claim that officials who oppose the choice the voters made at the ballot box by acting under a false flag of loyalty thereby bring any sort of stability to American public life. For better or worse, the American people elected a president of the United States according to the Constitution. On their behalf, he acts. To them alone is he responsible, by well-defined constitutional instruments. To acquiesce in that claim is to abet a revolution.
Who appointed anyone as the guardians of the “steady state?” Among many notions of steadiness, whose do they guard? To whom are they responsible? Since they take care that none but their friends should know what influence they are having on what actions of government, on whom shall Americans displeased with those actions vent their displeasure? And how shall ordinary people vent their displeasure with a “steadiness” of which they disapprove? Pitchforks?
In short, who rules here? To whom does America belong?
The American people once waged a revolutionary war to assert the principle that “just powers” derive only “from the consent of the governed.” That meant—and that can mean—one thing only: elections. The Constitution begins with “We the people…” and goes on to describe powers conferred on elected officials, and on such others as depend on those elected officials. Elections define “popular government.” Popular government is what our ruling class’s self-identification with the “steady state,” “deep state,” expert state, administrative state—call it what you will—is destroying.
“We the people” owe no allegiance whatever to the “steady state.” Any and every act of government that does not proceed intelligibly from law, as in the civics books, is illegitimate. Why should any of us regard such things and people as good and right, much less as representing our interest? Americans are learning the sad lesson that others have learned by living under administrative authorities. They represent themselves, not you. Ignore them as much as you can. Tell them nothing. Go around them. Take much, give nothing. That is how republics die.
Actually, no. Republics die from ever having let weasels such as “Anonymous” (now outed) get a foothold in the first place, and from having allowed the government to get big enough to provide said weasels with shadowy holes from which to do their dirty work, and to which they can scurry and hide. ” Ignore them as much as you can; tell them nothing; go around them; take much, give nothing”? That’s not how republics die; it’s how people trapped under the weight of the carcass must live—the only sane way to grab a sour scrap of liberty and self-respect—until that weight can no longer be borne, and must be thrown off by any means possible…yes, including pitchforks, but certainly not limited to them.
It’s Codevilla, so it’s damned excellent, my lone semantic quibble notwithstanding.