Second, have some respect for the norms and institutions that undergird our system’s stability. You claim to be dismayed by Trump’s norm-shattering ways, and yet your proposals are political earthquakes. At least four Democratic presidential contenders—Kirsten Gillibrand, Pete Buttigieg, O’Rourke and Warren—have endorsed eliminating the Electoral College, and one, Harris, has pronounced herself “open” to it. Warren, Bill De Blasio and Harris would abolish Immigration and Customs Enforcement. ICE is a relatively new agency, created in 2003, but enforcement of immigration law is not. Harris and Buttigieg also favor packing the Supreme Court. The court has had nine justices since 1869. Remember, when FDR attempted to pack the court in 1937, he was thwarted by his own party. If Democrats take this step, it will invite further erosions of tradition by the next Republican majority. And, like executive orders, it will heighten the sense that presidents are would-be emperors.
Sanders, Cory Booker, Harris, Warren, Julián Castro and Andrew Yang have endorsed the “Green New Deal,” and Amy Klobuchar and Gillibrand support the “aspirations” of the plan, if not the details. The plan would demand a vertiginous (in fact, impossible) reordering of our entire government and economy—for instance, by requiring the refurbishment of every single building in the country. If that isn’t enough, the Green New Deal also requires that all Americans be provided with health care, good jobs and “access to nature.” Stalin promised every kid a happy childhood. This is close.