A nation of men (Obama, Geithner), not laws

The United States is a nation of laws, not men.

The United States of America is a nation of laws, not men. In our Supreme Court’s first and foremost landmark case, Marbury v. Madison, 1 Cranch 137 (19803), Chief Justice John Marshall inveighed those words against Secretary of State James Madison.

“The government of the United States has been emphatically termed a government of laws and not men.”

President Obama affirmed this position in his inaugural address on Tuesday:

America has carried on not simply because of the skill or vision of those in high office, but because we the people have remained faithful to the ideals of our forebears, and true to our founding documents.

I’m not sure that he is purposefully lying so much as that words do not mean what he thinks they do.

Witness Obama’s selection to be Secretary of the Treasury: Timothy “TurboTax” Geithner. Certainly, Geithner is a tax cheat who will run the Internal Revenue Service. He’s the bumbling constructor of TARP. But, you know, Geithner has been described as “possibly the only man for the job of healing the recession.” There will be a great gnashing of teeth, sayeth the prophet, then Geither will lay hands will lay hands and heal the recession. Heck, he might be better than Benny Hinn.

Alas, as the New York Times forecast last week, Geithner’s personal skill has overcome his persona foibles including his non-payment of the federal income tax during his time working for the IMF. The United States is a nation of Men, not Laws. This is the exception that shatters the rule, and it now means absolutely nothing.

The tally was 18-5, and the tax cheat has received the endorsement of the Senate Finance Committee. The full Senate will accept him today, like a line of comatose old men who can manage only a thrill up their legs.

The United States is a nation of Men, not Laws.