Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Conservative Jingoism

Power To The People: We live in a Republic, a representative democracy, in which we use the ballot box to express favor or disfavor with our elected officials. "Throw the rascals out," is an ancient refrain we've heard since the founding of our nation. The recent election of Barack Obama somewhat reflects that notion. But, it's not that simple. Yes, there will be a Democrat president, a strong Democrat majority in the House and close to a supermajority of 60 Democrats in the Senate where only a third of its members are up for re-election every two years. But the Supreme Court, our third branch of the federal government, remains the same. The point here is that you can throw some of the rascals out but not all of them. Because of that, decisions made in Washington are from consensus. There is an element in the conservative base that just doesn't get it. They stoop to simplistic slogans. Some blame government for all our problems on the pretext that politicians create them. Although they don't advocate anarchy, they envision a nation as a perfect panacea free of regulations and safety nets for the impoverished. Ground rules for a free market system in all aspects of our lives be damned. Any fool can look around and conclude that concept isn't working in the real world. Days before the election, I was sent an article that best describes the conservative cure to all our ills. The author is Charlie Reese, a former columnist for the Orlando Sentinel:
  • One hundred senators, 435 congressmen, one president, and nine Supreme Court justices (are the) 545 human beings out of the 300 million directly, legally, morally, and individually responsible for the domestic problems that plague this country. I can't think of a single domestic problem that is not traceable directly to those 545 people.
  • If the tax code is unfair, it's because they want it unfair. If the budget is in the red, it's because they want it in the red.
  • There are no insoluble government problems.
  • Do not let these 545 people shift the blame to bureaucrats, whom they hire and whose jobs they can abolish; to lobbyists, whose gifts and advice they can reject; to regulators, to whom they give the power to regulate and from whom they can take this power.
  • Above all, do not let them con you into the belief that there exists disembodied mystical forces like 'the economy,' 'inflation,' or 'politics' that prevent them from doing what they take an oath to do.
  • Those 545 people, and they alone, are responsible. ... They, and they alone, should be held accountable by the people who are their bosses provided the voters have the gumption to manage their own employees. We should vote all of them out of office and clean up their mess!

Wow!: Where oh where does one begin? The concurrent theme of what Mr. Reese advocates is the people managing those they elect. In my way of thinking, voters don't have a constitutional power for hands-on management. We don't have the time nor the expertise. Andrew Jackson discovered that on the day he was inaugurated. But, his main thrust is for everyone to vote in lockstep the way Mr. Reese and the conservatives believe and presto! Problems solved. We've seen that in the old Soviet Union and more recently in Venezuela. Our system of government is not the best but no other system is better. -- Note: For a complete text of Charlie Reese's column, click on to the "Comments" section of this posting.
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1 comment:

Charlie Reese said...

Politicians are the only people in the world who create problems and then campaign against them.

Have you ever wondered why, if both the Democrats and the Republicans are against deficits, WHY do we have deficits?

Have you ever wondered why, if all the politicians are against inflation and high taxes, WHY do we have inflation and high taxes?

You and I don't propose a federal budget. The president does.

You and I don't have the Constitutional authority to vote on appropriations. The House of Representatives does.

You and I don't write the tax code, Congress does.

You and I don't set fiscal policy, Congress does.

You and I don't control monetary policy, the Federal Reserve Bank does.

One hundred senators, 435 congressmen, one president, and nine Supreme Court justices:545 human beings out of the 300 million are directly, legally, morally, and individually responsible for the domestic problems that plague this country.

I excluded the members of the Federal Reserve Board because that problem was created by the Congress. In 1913, Congress delegated its Constitutional duty to provide a sound currency to a federally chartered, but private, central bank.

I excluded all the special interests and lobbyists for a sound reason. They have no legal authority. They have no ability to coerce a senator, a congressman, or a president to do one cotton-picking thing. I don't care if they offer a politician $1 million dollars in cash. The politician has the power to accept or reject it. No matter what the lobbyist promises, it is the legislator's responsibility to determine how he votes.

Those 545 human beings spend much of their energy convincing you that what they did is not their fault. They cooperate in this common con regardless of party. What separates a politician from a normal human being is an excessive amount of gall. No normal human being would have the gall of a Speaker, who stood up and criticized the President for creating deficits. The president can only propose a budget. He cannot force the Congress to accept it.

The Constitution, which is the supreme law of the land, gives sole responsibility to the House of Representatives for originating and approving appropriations and taxes. Who is the speaker of the House? She is the leader of the majority party. She and fellow House members, not the president, can approve any budget they want. If the president vetoes it, they can pass it over his veto if they agree to.

It seems inconceivable to me that a nation of 300 million can not replace 545 people who stand convicted - - by present facts -- of incompetence and irresponsibility. I can't think of a single domestic problem that is not traceable directly to those 545 people. When you fully grasp the plain truth that 545 people exercise the power of the federal government, then it must follow that what exists is what they want to exist.

If the tax code is unfair, it's because they want it unfair.

If the budget is in the red, it's because they want it in the red.

If the Army & Marines are in IRAQ, it's because they want them in IRAQ.

If they do not receive social security but are on an elite retirement plan not available to the people, it's because they want it that way.

There are no insoluble government problems. Do not let these 545 people shift the blame to bureaucrats, whom they hire and whose jobs they can abolish; to lobbyists, whose gifts and advice they can reject; to regulators, to whom they give the power to regulate and from whom they can take this power. Above all, do not let them con you into the belief that there exists disembodied mystical forces like 'the economy,' 'inflation,' or 'politics' that prevent them from doing what they take an oath to do.

Those 545 people, and they alone, are responsible. They, and they alone, have the power. They, and they alone, should be held accountable by the people who are their bosses provided the voters have the gumption to manage their own employees.

We should vote all of them out of office and clean up their mess!

Charlie Reese is a former columnist of the Orlando Sentinel Newspaper.


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