Notes From Indonesia

The incredible buffoonery, not to mention dishonesty, of the Biden White House cries out for a response. In spite of the fact that we are sailing through Indonesia, here goes.

Let me ask this question. Do you believe, or know anyone who actually believes we are, at present, living through a COVID emergency? To ask the question is to answer it. Yes, yes,  I know; there is the occasional, shall we say, obsessive, who insists that we are living through the equivalent of the Black Plague. Just as in any big city you will occasionally come across someone wearing a sandwich sign insisting that the world will end next Tuesday. But on those very rare occasions we just simply continue on with what we are doing, and just ignore the hapless person lugging his sign around. 

That, however, is not the Biden approach. The approach of President Biden is to pretend to believe that we are living through a COVID pandemic emergency. I say pretend because although Mr. Biden may be a shameless liar, an incompetent fool, and way past his prime—which was never much to talk about to begin with—he is not a lunatic. And so his insistence that we are in the midst of a COVID emergency is transparently fake. 

One of the reasons for the transparent dishonesty is that the Biden Administration  chose to argue before the Supreme Court that the HEROES Act of 2003 authorizes the President to forgive outstanding  student loan debt without Congressional approval. That is flat-out wrong that no amount of word smithing can change. 

It is also a position at odds with the one Candidate Biden espoused, presumably before adding up the number of student loan votes up for sale. It is at odds with the position voiced by then Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, who said that blanket student loan forgiveness would require an act of Congress. 

But that was then; this is now. And all of a sudden a lot of Democrats have become reticent about the subject. But not so self-declared progressives whose appetite for political power is unrestrained. Senators Schumer (NY-D) and Warren (MA-D) both products of Harvard Law, simply assert that Mr. Biden is well within his powers.  

Let’s not forget Justice Sonia Sotomayor (Yale Law) who during oral argument clearly voiced sympathy for the policy. Which in her analysis apparently means that policies she favors are inherently constitutional. Ditto for the rest of the usual suspects like the squad. Honorable mention goes to Donald Trump, also unable to distinguish between policy preference and legality. 

It is, or ought to be crystal clear that allowing the Biden administration to implement its policy preference in this case would strike a mortal blow against the separation of powers that lies at the heart of our Constitutional structure. In effect a Supreme Court green light would make the President a king who rules by executive decree. The power of the purse, or what’s left of it, would vanish. 

Property rights would be eviscerated. Any and all transactions would be subject to ex post changes ordered by the President. Any semblance  of governmental constraint would end. It is difficult to see how financial markets would function when the terms of trade are subject to political whims, ex post. All this would be the result of a clearly illegal policy decreed by a President who routinely blathers on about the importance of the rule of law. 

I say clearly illegal because the US Constitution in Article 1 clearly vests all legislative authority with the Congress. And the President is obligated (by Article 2) to see to it that the the laws are faithfully executed. It is beyond any definition of reasonable to argue that the Congress authorized the President to declare an emergency and in the process spend an estimated $400 billion to $1 trillion without specific authorization. This is simply beyond dispute; any argument to the contrary is a total fabrication, a lie. It is Mr Biden’s obligation to see to it that the loan documents are enforced, not evaded. 

It is obvious that Mr Biden has refused to enforce the law. In a sane world this power grab would be a cause for impeachment. That is obviously not going to happen because what matters is whether any given politician has an R or D after his name. Due process, fair play and justice have become subordinate to politics. 

As bad as the consequences would be if the Supreme Court were to rule in favor of the Biden Administration, it is well worth considering the immense damage this policy gambit has already done. An awful lot of people realize that what the Biden Administration is proposing is not simply bad policy, an area in which the Administration has already accumulated an impressive track record. They realize that Biden and Co are cynically inviting people to participate in their lie; for money, no less. 

The Biden ploy represents a corruption of the soul. It makes a mockery of Solzhenitsyn’s admonition not to  “live by lies”. It is a sure fire path to the nihilism of mob rule. 

A liberal democracy can not long survive if its institutions are corrupted by lies; if the world of debate and discussion continues to be met with cancellations and assertions of “My Truth”. For this we will pay a heavy price. 

Also note that the phrase My Truth, so loved by progressives and post- modernists of all stripes, is the title of a book published about 70 years ago. That book was written in defense of the Italian fascist Benito Mussolini by one of his daughters who remained a fascist to her dying day. Maybe progressives, post-modernists and our Woke friends ought to think about that. And pay off their student loans.


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