I am surprised that no one has yet quoted Robert Bolt’s famous monologue from A Man for All Seasons in light of the government shutdown. In the play, Thomas More risks (and ultimately sacrifices) his life for the principle of the rule of law. When questioned by a younger man, he responds with these famous lines: “ …And when the last law was down, and the Devil turned around on you–where would you hide, Roper, the laws all being flat? This country’s planted thick with laws from coast to coast–man’s laws, not God’s–and if you cut them down…d’you really think you could stand upright in the winds that would blow then? Yes, I’d give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety’s sake.”
In the end, this is what the showdown that has crippled our government is about. A small group of vandals have decided to no longer support the rule of law. The President has no choice but to stand firm in support of the idea that we are a government of laws. This may be the worst constitutional crisis since secession, and the media treats it as a game.