The following is excerpted from National Review’s just-published editorial on President Trump’s firing of acting Attorney General Sally Q. Yates:
It is a very simple proposition. Our Constitution vests all executive power — not some of it, all of it — in the president of the United States. Executive-branch officials do not have their own power. They are delegated by the president to execute his power. If they object to the president’s policies, their choice is clear: salute and enforce the president’s directives, or honorably resign. There is no third way.
No one knows this better than high-ranking officials of the Department of Justice. That is why President Trump was right to fire Acting Attorney General Sally Yates.
For inexplicable reasons, the new president left Yates in place to run the Justice Department in anticipation of the confirmation of Senator Jeff Sessions. A faithful Obama-appointed progressive, Yates obviously knew which way the political wind was blowing in her tribe.
Like most Democrats, Yates objects to the president’s executive order. Fair enough. But she is not a political operative, she was a Justice Department official — the highest such official. If her opposition to the president’s policy was as deeply held as she says, her choice was clear: enforce the president’s policy or quit.
Instead, she chose insubordination…Now, she’ll be a left-wing hero, influential beyond her heretofore status as a nameless bureaucrat. But she had to go. Staying on while undermining government policy is not an act of courage. It is an act of sabotage.
It was foolish of President Trump to leave officials such as Acting Attorney General Yates in place. The president has issued a raft of executive orders in his first eight days. His obvious intent is to change governance significantly, which means he needs entirely new personnel. Yates never should have been in the position to undertake her grandstanding in the first place — but at least that particular error has now been corrected.
For whatever it’s worth, I agree with every word.
How about you?