What Part of 'Democracy' Don't the Democrats Understand?

Barack Obama has nominated Harold Hongju Koh to be the legal advisor to the U.S. State Department. Koh is the dean of Yale Law School, and he is of the opinion that America should be made subject to something called “transnational” jurisprudence. Anyone who studies the writings of Mr. Koh will probably come to the conclusion that the man should be taken to task on a wide variety of issues. But for most Americans the central issue is this: where in Koh's legal philosophy does democracy come in? As noted by John Fonte, senior fellow at the Hudson Institute:

The … assault on the sovereignty of the … democratic nation-state has just kicked into high gear with the nomination … of Yale Law School Dean Harold Koh to be the Legal Advisor to the U.S. State Department. Dean Koh wants to "trigger a transnational legal process" … Put simply, he favors opening a transnational legal space beyond the Constitution and the democratic decision-making process of our liberal democracy.

Barack Obama was elected in an anti-Bush protest vote ginned up by the media. Whether that is good or bad is beside the point. It is a fact of life. But does an anti-Bush protest vote mean Obama is authorized by the people of the United States to disarticulate American national sovereignty? If that is what Koh thinks, why not put the matter to a vote? Why not submit to the American people directly the issue of whether the American constitutional system of law should now be made subservient to the will of an international community that is rife with corruption, deeply amoral, and destructive of personal liberty?

Of course, Koh's answer will be that the American people already expressed their views when they voted the Democrats into power. But that would be a craven and cowardly answer, devoid of intellectual honesty and bereft of integrity. Not a single Democrat ran for office on a platform of subverting America's constitutional system of laws. The issue was never voted on, and if it ever was voted on the Democrats would lose the vote.

It is because the Democrats, and people like Koh, know that they cannot win an honest democratic vote on the issue of “transnationalism” that they slipstream it into America through the backdoor, hoping to make "transnationalization" a fait accompli before anyone can stop them. That kind of behavior is the very antithesis of democracy. So, my question is: what part of "democracy" don't the Democrats understand?


Barack Obama has nominated Harold Hongju Koh to be the legal advisor to the U.S. State Department. Koh is the dean of Yale Law School, and he is of the opinion that America should be made subject to something called “transnational” jurisprudence. Anyone who studies the writings of Mr. Koh will probably come to the conclusion that the man should be taken to task on a wide variety of issues. But for most Americans the central issue is this: where in Koh's legal philosophy does democracy come in? As noted by John Fonte, senior fellow at the Hudson Institute:

The … assault on the sovereignty of the … democratic nation-state has just kicked into high gear with the nomination … of Yale Law School Dean Harold Koh to be the Legal Advisor to the U.S. State Department. Dean Koh wants to "trigger a transnational legal process" … Put simply, he favors opening a transnational legal space beyond the Constitution and the democratic decision-making process of our liberal democracy.

Barack Obama was elected in an anti-Bush protest vote ginned up by the media. Whether that is good or bad is beside the point. It is a fact of life. But does an anti-Bush protest vote mean Obama is authorized by the people of the United States to disarticulate American national sovereignty? If that is what Koh thinks, why not put the matter to a vote? Why not submit to the American people directly the issue of whether the American constitutional system of law should now be made subservient to the will of an international community that is rife with corruption, deeply amoral, and destructive of personal liberty?

Of course, Koh's answer will be that the American people already expressed their views when they voted the Democrats into power. But that would be a craven and cowardly answer, devoid of intellectual honesty and bereft of integrity. Not a single Democrat ran for office on a platform of subverting America's constitutional system of laws. The issue was never voted on, and if it ever was voted on the Democrats would lose the vote.

It is because the Democrats, and people like Koh, know that they cannot win an honest democratic vote on the issue of “transnationalism” that they slipstream it into America through the backdoor, hoping to make "transnationalization" a fait accompli before anyone can stop them. That kind of behavior is the very antithesis of democracy. So, my question is: what part of "democracy" don't the Democrats understand?