Explains Andrew C. McCarthy in National Review, “Arguments to the contrary ignore the Constitution and misstate federal law. … there is no doubt that the executive order temporarily banning entry from specified Muslim-majority countries is both well within President Trump’s constitutional authority and consistent with statutory law.”
But as editors at the WSJ point out, we are in a long war with jihadists that is as much ideological as military. On one hand, the U.S. needs Muslim allies. On the other, “jihadists want to portray America as the enemy of all Muslims.”
Overly broad orders send the wrong signal to millions of Muslims who aren’t jihadists but who might be vulnerable to recruitment if they conclude the U.S. is at war with Islam, rather than with Islamist radicals.
The reaction to the refugee order is also a warning that controversial policy changes can’t merely be dropped on the public like a stun grenade. They need their own extreme internal vetting to make sure everyone knows what’s going on. They need to be sold and explained to the public—again and again.
Mr. Trump is right that the government needs shaking up, but the danger of moving too fast without careful preparation and competent execution is that he is building up formidable political forces in opposition. The danger isn’t so much that any single change could be swept away by bipartisan opposition, but that he will alienate the friends and allies at home and abroad he needs to succeed. Political disruption has its uses but not if it consumes your Presidency in the process.
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