Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, is an investigative journalist and writer focusing on the radical left and Islamic terrorism.
In his letter of advice to President Trump, Obama urged him to protect “institutions and traditions like rule of law” and to “leave those instruments of our democracy at least as strong as we found them.”
It was a final cynical note from a masterful hypocrite lecturing his successor on the importance of putting the rule of law ahead of politics after eight years of putting politics ahead of the rule of law.
Obama always had some great political crusade, from identity politics to international intervention, which trumped the rule of law. If Congress wouldn’t pass amnesty for illegal aliens, he would. If it wouldn’t cover ObamaCare subsidies, he would divert the money anyway. If it wouldn’t agree to bomb Libya, he would do it on his own while lying to Congress and to the American people.
Guns were smuggled to drug cartels to undermine the Second Amendment. A man was arrested for a YouTube video mocking Islam. Another was killed for protesting Federal land use policies. Race riots were organized by the Justice Department. Police officers were lynched while hundreds of drug dealers were freed. Islamic terrorists were released while our soldiers were locked up in America and Iran.
His union allies wanted their own people on the National Labor Relations Board. And he used illegal fake recess appointments to make it happen. The Supreme Court found his actions unconstitutional, but by then the unions had their people in place for two years. Just like they got an illegal auto bailout.
If his leftist allies wanted money, he would blackmail big companies into making big payouts to them. Due process vanished from college campuses. Members of Congress and Trump officials were spied on to protect the Iran nuke deal and Hillary Clinton’s campaign. The rule of law didn’t exist under Obama.
But now it’s coming back.
Attorney General Sessions began his remarks before the House Judiciary Committee by declaring that the rule of law "forms the foundation for our liberty, our safety, and our prosperity. In this rule of law, we are blessed beyond all nations."
And he summarized what he had been doing in less than a year to restore the rule of law to America.
The leading source of gun violence in America is actually gang violence. But Obama had freed drug dealers and gone easy on gang violence. And then treated the resulting gun violence as a pretext for gun control. This was most notable in the Fast and Furious scandal. But it was also general policy that empowered criminals to kill while using their crimes as a pretext to disarm their potential victims.
Instead of targeting gun owners, Attorney General Sessions is going after gangs. While Obama clamored for new gun laws, his DOJ failed to enforce existing gun laws and prosecutions dropped sharply. The DOJ is reacting to the rise in violent crime under Obama by going after the criminals and enforcing the law.
The rule of law is back.
The rise in violent crime was driven by the Ferguson Effect. Obama sent a message to the police that if they enforced the law, they would be punished. The good guys got the message. So did the bad guys.
As Attorney General Sessions notes,” Last year, we saw a staggering 61 percent increase in the number of law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty because of a felony, and on average, more than 150 officers were assaulted every single day.”
The Holder-Lynch coup by black nationalists and their sympathizers in the Justice Department is over. There are still many problematic figures in the DOJ. And due to structure of the Federal government, it’s very difficult to clean them out. But the war on the police is over.
“We are making it clear that we stand with our law enforcement partners 100 percent. They are the solution to crime, not the problem,” Attorney General Sessions declared.
The rule of law is back.
Obama used the DOJ to divert billions in settlement money from banks and corporations to the likes of La Raza and the National Urban League. In the summer, the slush fund was shut down.
“We have prohibited so-called third party settlements that were being used to bankroll outside interest groups,” Attorney General Sessions reiterated.
Shutting down the illegal leftist slush fund restores the rule of law.
Instead of diverting settlement money to leftist groups, Sessions reached settlements with conservative groups targeted by Obama’s IRS. The use of the IRS to persecute political opponents was one of the ugliest hours of the Obama era. After the scandal broke, Obama said, “The IRS must apply the law in a fair and impartial way.” And now that he’s on his non-stop vacation, the IRS is actually doing that.
The rule of law is back.
In September, Attorney General Sessions opened a press conference with the announcement that Obama’s illegal alien amnesty, which was itself illegal, was being rescinded.
“The executive branch, through DACA, deliberately sought to achieve what the legislative branch specifically refused to authorize on multiple occasions. Such an open-ended circumvention of immigration laws was an unconstitutional exercise of authority by the Executive Branch,” he pointed out.
“No greater good can be done for the overall health and well-being of our Republic, than preserving and strengthening the impartial rule of law.”
At the House Judiciary Committee hearing, Sessions called Obama’s illegal alien amnesty, “one of the most dramatic erosions of the Congressional appropriations power in our history.”
The rule of law is back.
In October, Attorney General Sessions issued guidelines stating, “no one should be forced to choose between living out his or her faith and complying with the law.” Later that month, the ObamaCare birth control mandate cases were settled. ”As this president and this attorney general have made clear, they will always seek to protect and defend religious liberty,” the DOJ spokesman stated.
At the House hearing, Sessions listed the attacks on religious liberty among the “unlawful policies” of the Obama regime.
That means the religious freedom of bakers and nuns, of small businesses and churches. Those are among the people whose First Amendment rights were violated by Obama. And those are among the people that the new Justice Department is standing up for.
The new Justice Department isn’t just protecting people, it’s protecting entire states. In his statement, Sessions noted the DOJ's defense of "state voter identification laws" and "redistricting plans".
Not to mention "free speech on college campuses".
In September, Sessions had warned that free speech on campuses was under attack. “The Department of Justice will do its part in this struggle. We will enforce federal law, defend free speech, and protect students’ free expression.”
That is what the rule of law looks like.
Obama and his appointees undermined the rule of law at every turn. And even with him out of office, they are continuing their campaign to replace the rule of law with the rule of the left.
For nearly a decade, there was no rule of law. There was only the rule of Obama.
Before he noted that he had spent 20 hours testifying before Congress, Attorney General Sessions laid out a list of the battles he had fought to restore the laws that Obama had violated.
The Clintons and Obama had sixteen years in which to do what they liked. And the damage to our institutions reflects that. It can’t and won’t be repaired overnight. Not with so many activists from the opposition party embedded deeply in the DOJ, the judiciary and other government institutions.
Restoring the rule of law is a thankless battle. But in the long run, it’s the only battle that counts.