Charles Krauthammer suggests that James Comey’s decision not to prosecute Hillary Clinton, like Chief Justice Roberts’ decision to uphold the Obamacare mandate, was driven by an unwillingness to upend or overrule the political processes on a momentous matter. In Roberts’ case the momentous matter was legislation providing free or cut-rate health to millions of Americans. In Comey’s it was a presidential election.
I agree with Krauthammer. In both instances, it seems to me, the decision was an act of restraint.
As I said when I made this point, restraint is a conservative virtue, or at least used to be considered one by many. However, like any virtue, it can be taken too far. Decisions like Roberts’ and Comey’s risk restraining our way to lawlessness:
The problem is that the left isn’t at all restrained. The processes and concepts that non-leftists cherish — the role of the legislature, free speech, freedom to follow one’s religious conscious, the view that rules apply to everyone — mean nothing to leftists.
This is why we got executive amnesty. It’s why Democrats insisted that the individual mandate wasn’t a tax when the legislation was before Congress, then decided it was a tax when the Supreme Court reviewed the matter. It’s why Hillary Clinton willfully ignored both State Department rules and considerations of national security in using a private server and then lied repeatedly about the matter (as Comey’s statement confirms she did).
So we see distinguished non-liberals of good faith falling all over themselves to be restrained in the name of processes the left is undermining as fast as it can. It’s rather obvious where this will lead.
Like moderation, restraint in the pursuit of justice is not necessarily a virtue.