Armendariz said: "It was kind of like how the Romans used to, you know, conquer villages in the Mediterranean. They'd go into a little Turkish town somewhere; they'd find the first five guys they saw, and they'd crucify them. Then, you know, that town was really easy to manage for the next few years. ... It's a deterrent factor."
This man should be fired -- yesterday. White House press secretary Jay Carney risibly says Armendariz wasn't articulating the attitude of the administration. Sadly, that's precisely what he was articulating.
Indeed, we've seen this attitude by the administration in countless examples, from Obama's handling of the Obamacare legislation and restructuring of the GM loans to the administration's New Black Panther voter intimidation case to Solyndra to Fast and Furious to -- oh, never mind; I have to keep this to less than 20,000 words.
None of this should surprise us. Obama is the quintessential liberal, and his administration's recurring abuses are simply the logical extension of liberal hubris born of a self-righteous certainty of the superiority of leftist ideas. This inevitably leads to dictatorial usurpations and lawlessness from the liberal ruling class.
These liberals are sure not only that their ideas and policies are more effective but also that they are morally imperative -- and that conservative ideas and policies are not just ineffective but also woefully immoral.
I don't deny that, to a point, the same could be said of many conservatives, but there are major differences, only one of which I have room to go into here.
Though conservatives are just as convinced of the superiority of their ideas and policies, they do not subscribe to the maxim that the end justifies the means. Their first allegiance, in terms of politics and statecraft, is to the Constitution and the rule of law. They don't believe they have the right to thwart or circumvent the Constitution or rewrite it judicially to advance their ideas and policies, no matter how important they are.
This is not merely because they are adherents of the rule of law but also because of the high value they place on the Constitution. Their reverence for the Constitution is not a matter of idolatry or some romantic abstraction; it flows from their conviction that it is the indispensable foundation of our political and economic liberties, such that safeguarding its integrity is paramount.