Four months and counting after the presidential election Liberals are still dancing like happy little fireflies in Obama’s summer night meadow. Ecstatic at being able to tax and spend our money, regulate, oversee, reform and tighten the thumbscrew of social justice and elastic definitions of fairness as much as they like. Indeed if these lighting-bugs has have any complaint at all in the last of these latter days of the Republic it’s that a man of such cosmic parts as Dear Leader shouldn’t have to ask anybody for an increase in the debt limit, let alone that icky Congress.
Meanwhile Congress icks. Out maneuvered in the public opinion struggle the only alternative the so-called people’s house will ever offer is some slight reduction in the growth of the thousands of federal programs ordering, taxing and regulating virtually every aspect of the American people’s lives. Programs which reward certain politically important individual people, classes or businesses while impoverishing others, not so favored.
Yet if Liberals are having it all their own way why is the electorate also dropping state governments into the hands of Republicans by even more of a plurality?
Stressing the importance of what Wall Street Journal called The Red State Model for GOP national governance Ed Lasky examines this singularity in A Way Out Of The Wilderness For The GOP – American Thinker on 6 February 2013. A thoughtful and well researched piece in which Mr. Lasky references the “miraculous” reforms some of these Republican governors are pulling off at the state level and the leverage they might y are, it should be said, truly stunning.
Yet do they really provide a way forward for the GOP as Mr. Lasky suggests?
Mr. Goldberg himself says no. Concluding that the disparity in Federal and State election results (February 2 – townhall.com) stems from the factthat “…what gets Republicans elected at the local level gets them in trouble at the federal level” and that “Democrats are simply better at talking about [the Federal]government in spiritual terms. Indeed, such testifying is Obama’s one indisputable gift. They [he] talks about the federal government doing things we’d want God to do if God dabbled in public policy.”
Which with only a modest leap is a way of saying that for much, maybe a solid majority of the electorate, the Federal government they desire isn’t a matter of politics at all, instead it’s a matter of faith. Or if you will, religion. A point which goes a long way to explain why anybody with a half a brain and a five dollar calculator can see that Washington is headed to for the most cataclysmic government bankruptcy in human history but Liberals can’t. “Reason” as David Hume tells us “is the slave of passion.”
But you can’t vote a religion out, no matter how many charming red state models you cite. A religion isn’t fact-based. This past November the majority of people knew Mitt Romney was a better money manager, but it didn’t matter. Four years before the majority knew John McCain was better “qualified” but it didn’t matter. Ditto for Clinton vs. Bush and Clinton vs. Dole. While in the case of Gore and Kerry you had two democrat candidates who were incapable of talking in spiritual terms and a Bush who kinda did. Although Bush himself vastly increased the size and scope of government.
Another way to look at the same very difficult national nut to crack in any meaningful way is to put religion aside and think in terms of its close cousin – culture. That your choice for President reflects your culture. Or at least the culture that a majority of the voters pretend to, more or less in the manner of people who like to dress up and be seen going to the opera but would never listen at home (just as many people like to be seen going to church). While on the other hand state and local governments represent the non-cultural. The dirty dishes in the sink. Mundane daily tasks about which there can be little pretense. Fixing the roads, school funding, prisons, police, liquor sales etc. And for those jobs it goes without saying, you’re just less liable to choose an opium eater.
And so despite the wonderful examples of Republican reform at the state level, without a really cool guy or messianic speaker offering some new and more attractive national religion to carry their banner, or a radical change in the culture, Conservatives have scant hope of turning this national behemoth we call the Federal Government around. That is actually shrinking it or returning it to something like its historical boundaries. Reagan couldn’t after all, maybe no Republican President absent an extremely compliant Senate and House, which Reagan didn’t have and is very difficult to imagine, can.
Selwyn Duke makes this case in Conservatives Rationalize as America Circles the Drain on (December 19, 2012 – American Thinker.) Summing up that there “… is no way to democratically reclaim it.”
So what to do? Just wave as Liberaldom, in the best Chicago style, takes both Washington and the shadow of the Constitution remaining on their last ride? Mr. Duke suggests just that – that the fundamental question all of us “healthy acorns” have to ask ourselves [now] is whether or not there’s any point in “… trying to fertilize a tree destined for the sawmill.”
Because indeed the Federal Government is going to crash under that un-repayable debt, those unsustainable social programs and unnecessary, unworkable and costly regulations. We all know that. And nobody really believes that a Paul Ryan fix, tweaking this or that program so as to balance the budget by 2020 or something will really work. In truth a substantial minority of the American people now believe that Washington is so far beyond reason in its spend and spend elect and elect mode, on both sides of the aisle and so should just be left alone in its locked room with the revolver it loaded and let it do what it seems bent on doing anyway.
Of course standing in the way of a majority coming to the same conclusion is what has always stood in its way. The great reverence among common people for the Constitution.
But revering the Constitution seems to be a lot like you and your wife believing in your college daughter’s virginity long after she’s moved in with her art major boyfriend. You might still love her, treasure the memories of her as a toddler, but one of these days you’re going to have to admit that the odd are getting pretty long of her being happily married and close enough by that grandchildren wander over and climb up on your lap.
And neither is our Constitution ever going to restrain the national government. You might still hope against hope it will, indeed you were taught it would, but it doesn’t and it won’t. Instead the vaunted separation of powers has morphed into a system wherein its constituent parts pirouette through the motions but in reality act out a tightly scripted role in the exercise of raw power with no part at all for your individual rights in the play.
Our Federal Government tells you what toilet to use, what to feed your school children, how to defend your life, what light bulb to read by at night, farmers what to plant, how to plant and when to plant, what medicines to take and not take, how much of your earnings you can keep, favors certain businesses and suppresses others, puts people in jail or fines them for trampling certain grasses on their own property.
It has to go.
What is the constitution anyway?
Take a look and you’ll be struck by the difference between the men who established the nation, that is signed the Declaration of Independence and fought the war and those who wrote the Constitution. A handful signed both but if you look at the vocations of those who signed the Declaration and those voting at the Constitutional Convention you see lawyers predominating in the latter. (Washington you have to remember didn’t even speak at the convention.) Indeed you find quite a few men at the Convention who spent the war arguing lawyerly points in the Continental Congress and of course fleeing for their lives whenever the British got close. And so what they produced was a lawyerly formulae for governance. I know, I know, everyone tells us (especially lawyers) that it’s wonderful, great, brilliant, inspired, unique – yada, yada, yada. But the fact is that it worked best only when the Federal Government it established didn’t consider itself all that important. And the Constitution as adopted in Philadelphia never protected individual rights. The Bill-Of-Rights did that. Indeed some states considered the Constitution so deficient they only ratified subject to the adoption of a Bill-Of-Rights.
Instead our loyalty should belong to that Bill-Of-Rights, to the Declaration, to the concepts of self-government at the local level, individual freedom and individual responsibility for one’s own outcome in life.
In abandoning the Constitution Conservatives also have to realize that they wouldn’t be the first to do it. The Tenth Amendment, the tenth article of the Bill-Of-Rights that The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people is a dead letter. Long ago declared by Federal Courts to be a truism, something included simply to make people feel better.
In other words to deceive.
Think about that.
It has to go. And it’s our great luck that it and the terrible government which evolved from the Constitution is toppling without a single shot being fired. Although there will be shots fired eventually because the nation is dividing into mendicant states like New York, New Jersey, Illinois and California and the productive heartland and west. And the beggar states will demagogue the issue to the end. Insist that benefit programs no longer able to provide benefits are the fault of the evil rich or whites or Conservatives. But the other states, and you know who they are, will keep order, band together to establish worthwhile currencies and rules and get the country moving again.
So let it go, focus on the future and let the current Federal Government, to give Mr. Duke’s analogy one more poke, be sawn into boards we can put to better use elsewhere.
And maybe take heart from the thought that for all the troubles and travails to come, fireflies don’t live through a change in seasons.