No one who
claims to favor Biden over Trump on the grounds of protecting “democratic norms”
can, at this point, be speaking in good faith. 
They are either culpably deceiving themselves or cynically trying to
deceive others.  Packing the Supreme
Court would be as radical a violation of “democratic norms” as any president
has ever attempted.  It would destroy the
independence of the judiciary, making of the court a dictatorship for the party
in power.  Yet Biden and Harris persistently refuse to say whether they favor court-packing.  Biden has
now said
that voters “don’t deserve” to know his position on this absolutely
crucial issue before the election – even though he acknowledges that “it’s a
great question” and says he doesn’t blame people for asking it!  Can you imagine the hysteria that would ensue
if Trump gave such a lunatic answer
to a question that momentous?  This is
reason enough not to vote for Biden, whether or not you vote for Trump. 

The reason
Biden will not answer, of course, is that his party has moved so extremely far
to the left that he can no longer reject court-packing and remain politically
viable.  And the depth of his cynicism is
evident from the fact that he has himself in the past emphasized how extremely dangerous
to a free society packing the court would be. 
In
2005, he said
that President Roosevelt’s attempt to pack the court in the
1930s showed that he had been “corrupted by power” and that “it took an act of
courage on the part of his own party institutionally to stand up against this
power grab.”  He condemned “politicians
bending to… political exigency” rather than upholding the country’s
institutions.  Just
last year, Biden said
that if Democrats packed the court, “we’ll live to
rue that day” and “we begin to lose any credibility the court has at all.”

Yet now,
having himself been “corrupted” by the prospect of attaining power, Biden is “bending
to political exigency” rather than having the “courage” to “stand up against”
the extremist elements in his party – all in the name of protecting democracy
against Trump. 

Those
extremist elements include his running mate, who was one
of eleven
Democratic presidential
primary candidates who said they were open to packing the Supreme Court.  By contrast, even Bernie Sanders rejected the idea, which shows you how extreme it
is.  It is so extreme that even the Left’s
hero Ruth Bader Ginsburg – in whose name they would pack the court – was opposed
to it, as she made clear in an
NPR interview last year
:

“Nine seems to be a good number.  It’s been that way for a long time,” she said,
adding, “I think it was a bad idea when President Franklin Roosevelt tried to
pack the court” …

Roosevelt’s proposal would have given
him six additional Supreme Court appointments, expanding the court to 15
members.  And Ginsburg sees any similar
plan as very damaging to the court and the country.

“If anything would make the court
look partisan,” she said, “it would be that – one side saying, ‘When we’re
in power, we’re going to enlarge the number of judges, so we would have more
people who would vote the way we want them to.’”

That impairs the idea of an
independent judiciary, she said.

End
quote.  However bad you think Trump is,
he has not transformed the country’s basic political institutions.  His critics shrilly accuse him of being a
tyrant and a dictator – perhaps the more paranoid and unhinged among them even believe
this nonsense – but the reality is that he has no greater power over the
courts, the Congress, the press, and the voters than any other president has
had.  If he did, he wouldn’t be in such
dire political shape right now.  People
who say things like: “Trump’s a dictator! 
That’s why he’s about to be voted out!” need to Google the phrase “cognitive
dissonance.”

By contrast,
Biden is the Kerensky-like Trojan horse for a party that has been so thoroughly
taken over by extremists that even its “moderates” are now
open to court-packing
, not to mention other
dangerously illiberal tactics and proposals
.  They would
fundamentally transform our political institutions in the direction of a
one-party state. 

It’s that
simple.  Trump’s critics are always
piously going on about how preserving “democratic norms” is more important than
securing short-term political advantage. 
It’s time for them to show whether they really mean it.

Related
posts:

Aquinas
contra sedition and factional tyranny

The
rule of lawlessness

Plato
predicted woke tyranny

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