Men for No Seasons


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.


3 thoughts on “Men for No Seasons

  1. “To announce that there must be no criticism of the President is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public.” ….Theodore Roosevelt

    “Dissent is the highest form of patriotism.” …Thomas Jefferson

    Apply these to your criticism of the group you call “vandals”. This attitude of yours seems to be a recurrent theme. I recall in one of your posts you suggested that the Congress should fall in line with the Presidents wishes because he was ‘duly elected’.
    Did you feel that way when there was a conservative in the White House?

    Should the Congress have supported him when he wanted to send the jets to the Muslim brotherhood in Egypt? Should the Congress support him when he exempts the Congress and their staffs from ACA? Should the Congress support him when he does not uphold the current immigration laws? Is there nothing he does that should not be supported by the entire Congress?

    • Mr Lehigh- I truly thank you not only for reading my blog but for taking the time to address my comments with seriousness and thoroughness.
      I feel that I must clarify my intent. Of course I agree with you about dissent. Dissent is both necessary and indeed, patriotic. The opposition party has a duty to dissent and to argue its case in the public eye. My comment about vandals refers not to dissent but to the fact that the radicals in Congress seem bent on both ignoring and indeed subverting the rule of law. Dissent, yes. Ignore and attempt to uproot the due process of our system of government, no. And yes, I would say the same thing if a conservative served as president. I did not vote for Mr Bush, but never for one moment did I think it was the right of Congress to refuse to obey the law and due processes of our system of governance in order to shut down his government, and would have opposed that as well. I do not believe that I ever said that because a president was duly elected, it was the duty of congress to fall in line. The law reigns supreme over presidents and congressmen alike, and it is the duty of all our sworn elected officials to uphold the law. Yes, I would apply this to conservatives (and in some areas I am personally conservative) because I believe that the greatness of our country as that we all, by mutual compact, agree to submit to the rule of law. As far as comments about Egypt, immigration, etc, and the ACA you and I may or may not be in agreement about the President’s conduct in those matters. I certainly would respect and consider your opinion about specific policy decisions, even if it differs from mine.

      • I guess it is the definition one uses for dissent and obstruction. In March, you referred to the ‘duly elected’ president and how the far right republicans were obstructing and refusing to negotiate. This time, the President refused to negotiate so I guess that would make him obstructive and far left, no? This president has consistantly broken laws if by the sin of omission, he does not enforce immigration laws. Even though we may disagree on immigration, the law of the land must be upheld. He does not, and even threatened or did prosecute the state of Arizona for trying to enforce the current law. When you criticize this administration for not enforcing these laws, maybe I can take you more seriously. Laws are laws, feelings are not.

        Thanks for listening.

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