The Blaze –
This column is part of an ongoing series of essays examining and applying the timeless principles and truths of the Federalist Papers to the political events of our day.
What difference, at this point, do any of the recent scandals make? What ties them all together—IRS abuse, the Benghazi cover-up, and DOJ snooping—is the Obama Administration’s win-at-any-cost approach to the 2012 presidential campaign. Not for the first time, the President’s Chicago-style politics carried him over the finish line, with an able assist from the MSM journalists who seem only now to be awakening from a five-year slumber. Soon, no doubt, they will be repeating DNC talking points again: the election is over, the errors have been corrected, the guilty have been punished, and therefore, as they chanted throughout the Clinton years, “it’s time to get back to the business of the American people.”
What qualifies as the American people’s business has a lot to do with how one defines the American people, however. The clear lesson of these scandals is that, for progressives, there is no the American people, but rather two peoples who happen to inhabit the same territory. The first group is comprised of those loyal to the ruling class and the government it ultimately controls. During a Republican presidency, their dissent temporarily becomes the highest form of patriotism, but it is only the administration, not the permanent infrastructure of the modern bureaucratic state, that they oppose. The government, in this sense, they faithfully support regardless of electoral outcomes.
The second group includes all those “trigger word” citizens who associate too closely with terms the IRS doesn’t like: “Tea Party,” “Constitution,” “Patriot.” Their dissent from the dogmas of the ruling class, in questioning the morality and practicality of the government leviathan, represents the most dangerous threat to American society. They are loyal, in the Founders’ language, to the Union, not the government; a misplaced love making them worthy of close surveillance if not providing grounds for political divorce.
The distinction between Union and government is central to John Jay’s argument in Federalist 2, where he describes the Union as the foundation of American security and prosperity, essential for protecting the citizens’ rights and liberties. The Union established in 1774 by the Articles of Association was, according to Jay, only the formal expression of an organic unity binding the colonists to one another and to the land they had settled. God, it seemed, had purposed that a people joined together by common customs and political principles, inhabiting a territory easily navigable north to south and east to west, should be one.