James Gunn, Brett Kavanaugh, and “Rules”: Liner Notes

I have a new column up at The Federalist, “James Gunn And Brett Kavanaugh Illustrate The Left’s Disregard For Playing By The Rules.” That headline is accurate, as far as it goes.  But the column is also an argument against the idea of “making the Left play by it’s rulebook.”  That’s not a viable tactic when the Left does not find the idea of playing by rules to have any great power or authority in their worldview.

So what got left out?  An illustration I wish I had thought of before submitting the column is the Left’s attitude toward Pres. Trump in general.  On one hand, he is this terrible vulgarian trampling all sorts of political and societal norms (and he is).  On the other hand, plenty of Leftists thought it perfectly acceptable to physically mob an harangue members of the Trump administration at restaurants, outside their homes, etc.  When Rep. Maxine Waters publicly advocated for these tactics, the pushback from House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and from the media was weak.  Waters paid no real political price for advocating a march to the precipice of political violence.  The tendency is to view this sort of thing as hypocrisy, but that presupposes the alleged hypocrite actually has some investment in the standard or rule being violated.  More and more, this is not the case on the Left.

And this is creeping in on the non-Left as well.  The Left does not like judicial nominees applying the umpire model of judging. A segment of Trump fans continues to be distraught at the umpire model of judging Trump and his administration.  The Alinskyite embrace of “make the enemy live by its rules” not only misunderstands how Alinsky and the Left view rules, but also embraces the model that your rival or opponent is your enemy.  Unless we’re discussing Vladimir Putin, apparently.

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