29 December 2008

Just where should Republicans go?

Jennifer Rubin at PJM looks at how to fight the New, New Deal, and offers some helpful ideas for Republicans and the economy plus a few other areas.  Basically what we are seeing, beyond a whopping serving of Transnational Progressivism, is a break-out of the four main areas of political thought in US politics as given by Walter Russell Meade (summary here).  I do differ in that I do not see, in any way, how George W. Bush fits the mold: he is Hamiltonian by foreign policy and industrial views.  President Reagan would be more of a Jacksonian if he did something, but he didn't, thus becoming a Hamiltonian with some lacing of Wilsonian by the end of his term:  no matter what he ran on, he didn't do the thing required by that political view and that is 'deliver'.

Theodore Roosevelt, Franklin D. Roosevelt, and quite a few others since WWII, including Johnson, Reagan, both Bushes and Clinton are Hamiltonians, just disagreeing on the actual purpose and direction of government involvement in the economy, not that it should have a direct say.  At the end of their terms and to get a 'legacy' many Presidents make a bow to Wilsonianism, and try all sorts of lovely international fiascos that don't get any where.  Nixon, Carter and the end of the Reagan and Clinton Administrations all saw these sorts of moves come up.  Nixon may have been the only one to go to China, but he was also the only one to think wage and price freezes were a good idea, too... just like China.

Thus, no matter what the modern cast of Presidents run on, they tend towards Hamiltonian and Wilsonian means.  Congress is already there and has been for decades.  As the old saying goes with the hammer, once you get to National government it looks like the solution to everything.

If you are a Republican, love Teddy Roosevelt and see government as a means to fiscal security and prosperity, then you are, actually, a kin to President Elect Obama:  you may detest his morals, ethics, and general social outlook, but his goals for more government control over the economy is the exact same thing you got with the post-WWII Republican Presidents, save Eisenhower and Ford wasn't around long enough to tell much of anything other than he was a nice guy.

Jeffersonians have been co-opted out of their traditionalist role of supporting the rights of man as an individual, and now see any power wielded by government, especially Presidents, as a threat to liberty, forgetting that Jefferson, himself, wielded those self-same powers in similar ways.  Apparently Jefferson knew more about the Law of Nations and how we divide up powers and invest these powers into government as the few we give government to have than his modern followers can figure out. What gives with these folks, anyways? 

So, if Republicans want to make a stark, complete difference and offer a real choice in how to govern, they do have some options.  Primarily, stop doing what they have been doing, not saying, for the last 30 years or so and *mean it*.  Meaning it, in this sense, is getting rid of those party members who don't do some very, simple, things.  Yeah, I'm a Jacksonian and to me the simplest solution is the best as it has the largest, long-term, ramifications.  By not setting up a stark difference and governing that way, we are at the point where nearly half the voting age population didn't bother to vote in a Presidential election year.  That has been declining, steadily, since 1964 and more rapidly after the Left invasion of the Democratic Party in 1968.  McGovern's candidacy is something that he admitted threw open the doors... and people walked out, not rushed in.  By and large these people didn't switch parties, but left political life as a dead loss for America.  The Republican Party did not offer a choice THEN and does not offer one NOW.

So where to start?

Number one, simplest thing on the planet is this idea of 'rule of law'.

Consider the 21 DEC 1936 SCOTUS ruling in US v. Curtiss-Wright Export Corp. in which the SCOTUS holds to be true the following, which I excerpt from the 'held' section:

2) The powers of the Federal Government over foreign or external affairs differ in nature and origin from those over domestic or internal affairs. P. 315.

(3) The broad statement that the Federal Government can exercise no powers except those specifically enumerated in the Constitution, and such implied powers as are necessary and proper to carry into effect the enumerated powers, is categorically true only in respect of our internal affairs. In that field, the primary purpose of the Constitution was to carve from the general mass of legislative powers then possessed by the States such portions as it was thought desirable to vest in the Federal Government, leaving those not included in the enumeration still in the States. Id.

(4) The States severally never possessed international powers. P. 316.

(5) As a result of the separation from Great Britain by the Colonies, acting as a unit, the powers of external sovereignty passed from the Crown not to the Colonies severally, but to the Colonies in their collective and corporate capacity as the United States of America. Id.

(6) The Constitution was ordained and established, among other things, to form "a more perfect Union." Prior to that event, the Union, declared by the Articles of Confederation to be "perpetual," was the sole possessor of external sovereignty, and in the Union it remained without change save insofar as the Constitution, in express terms, qualified its exercise. Though the States were several, their people, in respect of foreign affairs, were one. P. 317.

(7) The investment of the Federal Government with the powers of external sovereignty did not depend upon the affirmative grants of the Constitution. P. 318.

(8) In the international field, the sovereignty of the United States is complete. Id.

(9) In international relations, the President is the sole organ of the Federal Government. P. 319.

(10) In view of the delicacy of foreign relations and of the power peculiar to the President in this regard, Congressional legislation which is to be made effective in the international field must [p306] often accord to him a degree of discretion and freedom which would not be admissible were domestic affairs alone involved. P. 319.

(11) The marked difference between foreign and domestic affairs in this respect is recognized in the dealings of the houses of Congress with executive departments. P. 321.

Notice points 7-11?  I have a question for you:  If a Senator or Congressman visits a power that the President does not wish them to visit and has told them so, then what should that Senator or Congressman do?

I looked at this with San Fran Nan's lovely trip to Syria, and really would like an answer on why direct disobedience of the Constitution, the SCOTUS and the power the people invest in the Presidency should be waved off by those in Congress.

And, no, saying that 'who knows what the Democrats would do without *us* there' makes it worse, not better.  That is aiding and abetting, also collusion.  Start over, try again.

Those of EITHER party who go there are in direct violation of their Oaths to the Constitution, the understood powers as seen under FDR's administration, and should be respected by ALL Americans no matter WHICH party they are in.  Why are these suckers still in Congress and not brought up on charges of violating their Oaths of Office?

For Republicans:  why are the members with an 'R' by their name still in your party?

I, too, complain about the border problem and the inactive George W. Bush who wants to farm out American jobs to illegal aliens.  Syria is a nation with chemical weapons deliverable by missiles, has a suspected bio-weapon program, and was recently caught by the Israelis playing footsie with North Korea.  Nuclear footsie.

If you can't kick these miscreants out of the party for not supporting their Oaths and the Nation then why, in particular, should anyone care about how the party views the rest of the world?  It isn't serious in its views of supporting America, or these fools and idiots would have been OUT by now.

Here's that line-up:

Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) Speaker of the House of Representatives

Rep. Tom Lantos (D-CA)

Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN)

Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA)

Rep. Louise Slaughter (D-NY)

Rep. Nick Rahall (D-WV)

Rep. Frank Wolf (R-VA)

Rep. Robert Aderholt (R-AL)

Rep. Joe Pitts (R-OH)

Rep. David L. Hobson (R-OH)

Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA)

I refused to vote for my fool on that list, and voted for a no-name Independent as the Democratic fool was no better.  I do support the Constitution and rule of law, and understanding that Sovereign powers are given to different branches of government or divided as specified.  They are not 'equal' but Sovereign in their domains.  There is NO Congressional power on setting foreign policy, just regularizing treaties and requiring the Senate to ratify treaties.  These idiots do not set, make or do any foreign policy without the approval of the President and he told them NOT to go.

If you can't do *that* simple thing, to uphold the Constitution, then *why* should you believed on something like tax policy?

Rule of law begins at home.  Apparently the Republican Party can't figure that out.


Ok, on to the New, New Deal bit, which looks a lot like establishing Nobility control over the economy.

But then, I am biased.

Now lets say that the US Government had a stake-hold in a really corrupt and inefficient business.  You know, like Fannie, Freddie, the car companies, and everyone else wanting a bail-out?  Corrupt, inefficient, not too capable.  You know, the folks that President Bush and President Elect Obama want to support and ARE supporting with your money?

Heard of them?

Now, what is the response to Government having that sort of deal?  Strangely enough, this has happened before, and the President, at the time, proposed some extremely novel and really quite modern solutions.  Here is one of them:

It is not conceivable how the present stockholders can have any claim to the special favor of the Government. The present corporation has enjoyed its monopoly during the period stipulated in the original contract. If we must have such a corporation, why should not the Government sell out the whole stock and thus secure to the people the full market value of the privileges granted? Why should not Congress create and sell twenty-eight millions of stock, incorporating the purchasers with all the powers and privileges secured in this act and putting the premium upon the sales into the Treasury?

Yup, stock for each and every American, more or less.  And then *charge* said organization for the *privilege* of having access to the good money of the American People.  Hand out stock to the People to hold, and let *them* decide the fate of those organizations asking for access to the public coffers.

People complain much about government.  This President obviously saw what backing a corrupt organization did, and how to REMEDY it in a way that let ALL Americans decide the fate of said organization.

That is 'free market economics'.  Ever heard of that?

That is government admitting it is piss-poor at figuring out economic realities and putting it into the hands of the people to guide THEMSELVES.

Revolutionary, huh?

Simple, too.

The President was Andrew Jackson, the year was 10 JUL 1832 and this was one of the lengthiest veto messages ever given, I would wager, that went into a detailed examination of the economy, government's responsibility to the citizenry and the Nation, and what powers it does and does not have and the best way to use those powers so as to protect itself and INCREASE liberty.  My thanks to the Avalon Project for hosting that work, amongst many, for the storehouses of liberty, freedom, the state and history go far back, indeed.

Reading that message is like the roadmap of 'what is the US government supposed to do?' in these cases.  It is sad that many 20th century thinkers would re-invent these ideas and NOT credit President Jackson.  While he fit the ideas into his then present circumstance, the ideas, themselves, ring clear as a bell.

Here is the next paragraph and it, too, has a clear statement to make:

But this act does not permit competition in the purchase of this monopoly. It seems to be predicated on the erroneous idea that the present stockholders have a prescriptive right not only to the favor but to the bounty of Government. It appears that more than a fourth part of the stock is held by foreigners and the residue is held by a few hundred of our own citizens, chiefly of the richest class. For their benefit does this act exclude the whole American people from competition in the purchase of this monopoly and dispose of it for many millions less than it is worth. This seems the less excusable because some of our citizens not now stockholders petitioned that the door of competition might be opened, and offered to take a charter on terms much more favorable to the Government and country.

That is one of the greatest statements of trust via the economy I have heard from anyone in politics.  He carried through on his ideas, too, and cut off this corrupt institution which was so lasting, so deep, that even its supporters wouldn't try to revive it in the next Administration.  If private companies want PUBLIC funds to be supported, and not for contract work, then they must OPEN up their companies to ALL THE PEOPLE to govern.

It is a simple idea and could be done *then* in 1832, and it can't be done *now* in 2008?

It is the exact, same Constitution with the exact, same backing, so the exact, same thing can be proposed for those wanting the Public's Tax Money to survive.  Notice that Congress does not direct things.  YOU DO.  And it is YOU they would have to PAY BACK for each and every share available.  You could buy, sell, trade, do whatever you liked with them as that is YOUR SAY over YOUR MONEY.  We could even tell them that unlike regular creditors, we get paid back COMPLETELY all at ONE SHOT.

Be still my beating heart!

Can you imagine a REPUBLICAN backing that?  Or even just saying it?  You know, bundle all these lovely federal funds giveaways, which are your tax dollars, and then requiring all the recipients to repay you as the government is incapable of figuring out how to even run a war?    If running a war, a prime responsibility of the government, is something the government can't do *that* well, then how will it figure out something like the mortgage market?  Government that can't even get the basics right, shouldn't be pressed in for something more complicated.... a pretty good rule of thumb, actually.


What else hasn't the government done too well at?  How about Education?  Reading rates haven't changed since the late 1950's, so how can federalizing the idea be a success?  We did as well, with less cost, less overhead and less bureaucracy, and all of that and the hundreds of billions towards education haven't done anything to help.

Dept. of Energy.  We have had *how* many energy problems since that sucker was put up?

Dept. of Agriculture.  This is a subsidy to big agribusiness and a way to dispense political payoffs.  Anything involving food safety should go to... ahh... the Food and Drug Administration?  They seem to cover food.

Housing?  Ummmmm... this is the cause of the current mess, no?  Congress going through housing groups backed by the government to do all sorts of lovely and uneconomically viable things until we now pay for them.  I think we can fairly say that government pushing home-ownership isn't such a smart thing.

SEC?  How many scandals has this organization missed since the 1930's?

Federal Reserve?  The organization that got lending policies *wrong* for the Great Depression and *wrong* again, this year?  Why, exactly, is this such a great thing?  Fights inflation?  Do we really need such an expansive organization to do *that*?  One that has gotten *huge* economic shifts *wrong*?  This is the successor to the National Bank concept, and it has proven incapable even *without* corruption.

And how many Republicans actually speak out to abolish useless and counterproductive parts of government?

President Reagan did NOT carry through on promises.  Where are the results?


Finally all the laws and regulations.  Even if you got rid of the above organizations *completely* the huge raft of regulations that Congress has mandated is stunning.  You don't know them all.  I don't know them all.  The Bible Code can't hold them all, which is saying something, given what everyone wants that to do.

That's right, the Word of God does *not* encompass the entirety of the federal regulations of the US.

How are mere mortals supposed to live with it?

So, how about finding some folks to push for the budget to expand to completely enforce all laws and regulations, and ensure that there are more than enough agents to go around to do so?  No slackers allowed in any part of it.

You think we have problems with liberty *now*?

Can you imagine how civil libertarians would squeal if the government got about its full and complete job to enforce everything it has passed?

Can't find a Republican to back that.  This idea of 'backing the full laws and regulations of the US government' sort of deal.  Rule of law need not apply.

Want a different solution?

I posted this up ages ago: how about a 10-year, government-wide sunset on each and every law and regulation and any other piece of legislation passed by Congress, outside of the few areas mandated by the Constitution?  You know, Defense, State, the Mint, those areas mentioned directly in the Constitution.  The rest of it, including all the regulations *covering* those areas, gets a 10-year review and mandatory vote to re-up it based on the last digit of the year it was passed.  Posted on-line for citizen feedback, too.  With *that* attached to it for future re-review and areas of concern.

Can you even imagine that?

Laws and regulations that YOU get feedback on and that Congress must take positive steps to re-authorize and the President to sign?  Line item veto when you could have something like *this*?

Can you picture the veto message like this: "My fellow Americans I am vetoing the Social Security Re-authorization and directing the Social Security Administration to pay out, in full, what you are due in the next fiscal year..."

Congresscritters would be in stark, raving, terror when that sucker comes up.


I can, actually, imagine that world.  But I have an active imagination.

Each of these is, indeed, a simple idea, but none of them is simplistic in any way, shape or form.

They would divest government of overhead, responsibility and otherwise require that the basis for government gets regularly re-argued and re-ratified.  Where government fails, it must recognize failure and let go of dreams that are ill suited to it.  This is not 'small government' as 'conservatives' put forth.

This is lean, barely able to do its few jobs and do them well government that does not over-reach itself or put the American people into fiscal peril due to the naive ideas of the few and wealthy on how to run society by government.

You won't get that from Republicans.

But then I dream of a government where the people are free, the government understands its role and one that my fellow citizens can achieve or fail on their own, and seek help from their fellow man in *both*.  That is doing our duty to each other, and no government has ever been invented that can do that, and allow liberty and freedom to be expansive beneath it.  It is a fundamental liberty that we dare not let go of, no matter how sweet and misguided the dream of omni-competent government is.  For government has proven omni-incompetent and omni-incapable when given so much to do.  I can tell the differences between good dreams and nightmares, and omni-competent government is an evil nightmare unlike any I can think of.

But then I like to keep things simple.

I am no Republican.

Nor a Democrat.

When government impoverishes the people to ITS ends, then we are one, fine Shays away from seeing the Nation crumble.

We are now entering the season of Shays.

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