WASHINGTON - JANUARY 27: U.S. President Barack Obama makes a statement to the news media after meeting with Republicans in the House of Representatives at the U.S. Capitol January 27, 2009 in Washington, DC. Obama was on Capitol Hill working to gain support from Republicans for the American Recovery and Reinvestment Plan, the $825 billion economic recovery package proposed by House Democrats. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Your Unclean Hands Caused My Unclean Hands

I read Jonah Goldberg on Friday talking about the need to end “Always Trump” as much as “Never Trump.” He is right. The people who think Donald Trump can do no wrong are delusional fools. The man is a sinner. He will sin again.

But I think the far more dangerous group that needs to be gotten rid of is the “you started it” group. I have actually had people tell me they were okay with Russian meddling in American affairs because Barack Obama had done it to other countries.

I’m sorry, but I don’t think that makes it right.

But, I do think the left is going to have to come to terms with the fact that in the past eight years they set precedents, damning the consequences, because they could. I am reminded of the great line from Jurassic Park, “I bring you here to protect me from these characters, and the only one I’ve got on my side is the blood-sucking lawyer.”

Actually no, as a former lawyer I love that line, but that’s not it. This is the one: “Your scientists were so preoccupied with whether or not they could, they didn’t stop to think if they should.”

Democrats have been so preoccupied these past eight years with whether or not they could, they didn’t stop to think if they should. Some of us tried to warn them.

When Democrats took the White House and Congress in 2009, they ran roughshod over Republicans and never even consulted with them. They did not have to. Republicans were stripped of power and Democrats were unconstrained.

When Republicans in the Senate were able to stymie appointments through the filibuster, the Democrats gutted it.

When the Democrats lost the Senate, the President turned to executive powers and stretching the power of the Presidency to its limits and then some.

So naturally, now, Republicans are going to reciprocate.

For the last few weeks, Democrats have been clamoring for majority rule. They said Clinton won the Presidency and have worked to delegitimize the system. But in North Carolina, after a heavily contested election, the Republicans stripped the incoming Democratic governor of certain powers and suddenly the Democrats are outraged.

This is not without precedent in southern states as governors started getting elected in the Republican Party, but legislatures remained Democrat. The national media never seemed outraged then. Democrats in Alabama stripped several Republican governors of powers before the GOP took the legislature for the first time in 2010. The Democrats did it to Haley Barbour in Mississippi when he was elected and the press did not complain.

It’s just now, after drubbing Pat McCrory in questionable circumstances, the Democrats are outraged. North Carolina is their only prize.

If the Democrats take back power, however, in North Carolina, they will probably do the same and use the GOP as their excuse. They will blame their unclean hands on the GOP’s unclean hands as the GOP is now doing.

Neither side has clean hands and neither side is asking anymore if it should be setting certain precedents. In the New York Times, Paul Krugman is decrying how republics end citing the North Carolina actions and Trump, but he encouraged Democrats to end the filibuster and Obama to stretch executive powers as far as possible.

He laments now what he’d otherwise cheer or keep silent on. No one could convince me Krugman would be condemning the North Carolina legislature if it were Democrats doing it to Republicans.

Both sides should step back and reconsider their actions. The unclean hands of one side do not justify getting your side’s hands dirty. Republicans thinking Putin is better than Clinton need as much of a reality check as Democrats who are convinced Trump is the end of the republic.

But neither side is going to do it because both sides will continue blaming each other. And the courts have become so partisan there are no grownups there to referee the situation.

We’re headed for dark times not because of Trump, but because of the me-too-ism of both parties seeking to one up the other on precedents that should have never been set in the first place.

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Erick Erickson

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