What the nation needs now is someone who understands that the Constitution was written not to bow to the impulses of an imperial presidential personality, but to hold it in check and protect our liberty.
Yet for decades, the bipartisan establishment didn’t care. Some years, Democrats held the presidential hammer and other years, Republicans held it.
Republicans sometimes complained about Democrats referring to a “living document,” but they, too, used that idea of a malleable Constitution and an increasingly muscular executive.
“Living document” was a cheap line offered by establishment hacks to accommodate power. It was all an inside game, an establishment game, an understanding among elites that the presidency was their federal hammer, not the people’s.
It allowed liberal courts to legislate from the bench. It removed responsibility from an increasingly supine Congress that deferred to the presidency. And it put the people on the outside, where the establishment wanted them. That’s corrosive, and it erupted with Trump.