It was a pleasant surprise this New Year’s Day to wake up and find this website and yours truly being cited in an editorial by the New York Sun for our defense of the Constitution.
In “Message From Montana,” editor Seth Lipsky extensively quotes from my Real Clear Politics column entitled “Commander-in-Chief? It’s the President, Stupid.” That column challenged the apparent apotheosis of Jim Mattis as a political hero by talking about the rightful role of a secretary of defense. As Lipsky described it, I looked at the underlying events through the “prism of the Constitution.”
The Sun’s editorial expands upon my own column in one particularly useful analysis of its own. Speaking of Mattis’s resignation letter, Lipsky writes:
The constitutional prism casts an illuminating light on Mr. Mattis’ most obnoxious sentence, in which the general informs the President that he has the “right to have a Secretary of Defense whose views are better aligned with yours.” The power of commander in chief to appoint a defense secretary, though, is not limited to those whose views are better aligned with his.
Maybe, after all, Mr. Trump valued having a defense secretary who disagreed with him, against whom he could test his own instincts and any contrary advice he might be getting. In other words, when Mr. Mattis quit, he wasn’t thinking of the President’s prerogatives. He was thinking of his own. He was just dressing it up to look like he was thinking of the President and the country.
It is refreshing to hear common sense coming from the great metropolis that helped define our country’s identity. Too bad we don’t get such wisdom from the tattered pages of the New York Times, but we must remember that wisdom has always been in short supply and should treasure it wherever we find it. Remember, it was the genius of the Founding Fathers to write a Constitution that could join the urban states like New York and the rural states like Montana. If we hope to maintain the Union much longer, we had better honor that parchment document rather than shredding it.
I encourage all my readers to check out the New York Sun as part of their regular search for the truth.