Category Archives: Modern Liberalism

Hillary Clinton’s Call For Incivility

The most extreme elements of the statist/progressive movement together with national media pundits have trumpeted the concept of “dog whistles”.  They argue that their political opponents, most notably President Trump, often speak in a code only understandable by supporters.  They assert that this otherwise indecipherable code-speak always implicates their political opponents in imagined hate and narrow-mindedness and reveals them to be racists, misogynists, xenophobes, homophobes or some other category of bad people.

Liberals don’t have to worry about being accused of blowing dog whistles to communicate secret messages to their supporters.  They have no fear in stirring trouble openly, presumably because they know their media partners won’t call them out for it.  Hillary Clinton’s recent statements regarding incivility demonstrate a good case in point.

Leftists’ acts of incivility are becoming more commonplace by the day.  They block traffic.  They obstruct commerce.  They interfere with classes.  They shout down opponents.  They harass people in public to the point of forcing them to leave restaurants and other establishments.  They harass people at their homes.  Despite all of this, Hillary Clinton chose to echo Maxine Waters by not so subtly threatening continued incivility when she said in a recent CNN interview, “You cannot be civil with a political party that wants to destroy what you stand for, what you care about.  That’s why I believe, if we are fortunate enough to win back the House and/or the Senate, that’s when civility can start again.”

It’s impossible to miss the goose/gander argument suggested by her comments which could be employed by her detractors as easily as her supporters.  Her political opponents may choose to take her advice to heart, and act uncivilly toward liberals who clearly want to destroy everything they care about in the way of the Constitution and America’s first principles.

It’s also impossible to miss the tyrannical implications of her comments.  “Fall in line or pay the price.  You can have peace again once you appease us.”

Other than the fact that he was ultimately confirmed, it’s hard to find a positive perspective on the Kavanaugh confirmation debacle.  But one fortunate aspect may be that it occurred so close in time to the upcoming election.  It provided a timely reminder of the shameless tactics and behavior of so many elected Democrats and the Democrat Party generally at an opportune time.

Voters who might need even more motivation to get out and vote against liberals should consider Clinton’s comments in the same context as the effort to torpedo Kavanaugh’s nomination.  If their threat is to hold societal harmony hostage until they’re satisfied, then when will that really be?  The answer of course is never.  Once they establish that obstructing society, inflaming public discord or maligning the reputation of an opponent is an effective tool to get what they want, it will forever be a favorite arrow in their quiver.

Clinton, Waters and those behind the effort to undercut Kavanaugh have sent a clear message to voters before the mid-term elections.  They’ll do anything, and they’ll approve their supporters doing anything, to win.  When it comes to priorities, peace and civility in society and in government run a distant second to them getting their way.  If Americans don’t make it clear to them now that these tactics are unacceptable and won’t be rewarded, there’s every reason to believe their efforts at societal disruption and poisoning governmental processes will only get worse and more widespread.

Please follow and like us:
0

The Root Cause Of The Confirmation Chaos

Last Thursday the Senate Judiciary Committee heard testimony from Brett Kavanaugh and his accuser Christine Blasey Ford.  Immediately after the hearing adjourned, Britt Hume commented on FOX News regarding the confirmation process. “This process is damaged.  It’s been subject to this kind of thing for some years now.  This is the most egregious example of it that I’ve ever seen.”   Of course, Britt Hume was right.

The following day, S.E. Cupp speaking on CNN regarding the confirmation hearing and, more specifically, the evaluation of Kavanagh’s nomination said, “it comes down to us to decide as a society whom we believe and what the standards are.”  Of course, S.E. Cupp was wrong.  The Senate decides how to evaluate credibility and whether Kavanaugh will be confirmed.  Society doesn’t, but maybe we should.  Presidential nominations and Senate confirmation used to work well.  Not anymore.

Because the confirmation process has become such a damaged, ugly spectacle, we now endure debate over the minutia of the Senate’s decision making process.  What is the proper standard of proof when factual allegations are made against a nominee?  Is it merely the standard an employer would use in a job interview?  Or should a criminal proof standard be applied?  What should be the focus of the FBI investigation?  Who is empowered to direct and control the investigation?  The nomination/confirmation process is no longer a good method for choosing Supreme Court justices for one primary reason, the elimination of which would solve the problem.

The responsibility for this problem doesn’t lie with the Constitution or those who drafted and ratified it.  The responsibility lies with the Supreme Court itself, the other branches of government which have urged it to accept a much larger role than granted it by the Constitution, and all of us, the self-governing people who are ultimately fundamentally responsible to safeguard the Constitution and its separation of powers.  As originally conceived, the Constitution delegated specific powers to the three branches of government.  To the Congress, the power of making the law.  To the President, the power of enforcing the law.  To the courts, the power of settling disputes over the law – of determining what the law requires in any given circumstance or dispute.

The seeds for this crisis in the confirmation process were sown many decades ago when the Supreme Court expanded its role beyond its judicial function and began empowering the federal government by phony reinterpretations of the Constitution pursuant to the legal fraud that is living constitution theory.  Living constitution theory is basically the notion that our Constitution should be read as an evolving document that magically changes with the perceived needs of society.  It has now been taught in our public schools for generations and, as a result, is far too widely accepted as the basis for sound law.  It is not sound law.  It is a trick which enables five judges to disregard the real Constitution whenever they think their notion of good government or essential liberty requires the Constitution to say something it doesn’t really say or mean something that it never meant before.  (For more on the fraud that is living constitution theory see my earlier articles, Our “Dying” Constitution and The Constitution Cannot Be Restored At The Ballot Box.)

Having taken for itself the power to reinterpret the Constitution as it sees fit, the Court has ruled that the Commerce Clause gives the federal government authority to exercise almost unlimited control over the entire economy.  It has ruled that the Fourteenth Amendment, which was ratified in 1868 to guarantee blacks due process of law, suddenly now means that same sex marriage is a constitutionally protected right.  It has proclaimed that Obamacare’s ‘individual mandate’ to purchase health insurance is a tax, not a penalty, in order to justify its holding that Affordable Care Act is constitutional.  This, despite the President and every Congressional proponent assuring the public that the mandate is not a tax in order to gain public support.

Over the decades, living constitution theory has enabled, if not justified, the Supreme Court to make law every time it reinterprets the Constitution to require or authorize something other than what the Constitution actually provides.  Because it effectively changes the Constitution by virtue of these false interpretations, it is now often rightfully viewed as a super legislature – a body made up of members who are appointed to lifetime positions, is answerable to no one, and by fiat simply makes up the most fundamental law of the land at the discretion of a majority of its members.  It’s not surprising that the extraordinary and unconditional power now exercised by the Supreme Court has resulted in a desperate political desire to control its makeup.

It’s this desire to control the makeup of the Court which renders the confirmation process such a mess.  The Constitution’s process for selecting new Supreme Court judges made perfect sense and worked quite well when Justices acted exclusively as judges.  There was little reason for more direct, democratic processes to be involved.  But now that the Supreme Court so often takes on the role of a super legislature, that same nomination/confirmation process not only leads to manipulations, discord, and acrimony, it also offends our common understanding of representative government.  It’s one thing to have an elected President nominate judges and an elected Senate confirm them.  It’s another thing altogether for a President to nominate and the Senate to confirm super legislators, thus removing the most powerful law making body from the direct election of the people.

Moreover, the nomination/confirmation process is ill-suited for the selection of super legislators.  The Senate is a political body.  Each member has an agenda outside of the mere selection of the best super legislator possible.  They all jockey for political power vis-à-vis each other.  They all have allegiances which impact their positions and perspectives.  They’re all responsible to a constituency and are concerned with how their actions throughout the process might affect their next election.  All of these political self-interests which are extraneous to the selection of the best super legislator provide the motivation for the political melodrama we see infiltrating and torturing the confirmation process as well as its participants.

Just as a voter doesn’t need hearings or an FBI investigation to inform his vote, senators don’t really need to be instructed as to the proper standard for assessing the credibility of a nominee.  The Senate doesn’t need an investigation into the 36 year old claims of Dr. Ford any more than citizens of Alabama needed an FBI investigation into the decades old claims made against Roy Moore in his recent Senatorial run.  But because the Senate is a political body, its members have myriad personal considerations not directly related to the confirmation process, and they therefore seek cover and justifications for their actions.

No individual voter would be affected by these extraneous personal political considerations.  Consider our method for selecting members of Congress, our ‘other’ legislative body.  There are Congressional elections every two years.  The balance of power is always up for grabs in both houses.  But we don’t see FBI investigations, live televised hearings, or even nationwide debates over the merits of any individual candidates because those processes are unnecessary and unhelpful for individual voters to reach a decision.  All the issues as to credibility, evidence and the level of proof required to sway a vote are within the sole determination of the voter.  Individual voters don’t need hearings, or instructions as to how they should evaluate a candidate’s credibility.  Nor do we need FBI investigations into every claim made about a candidate’s past.  The opposing campaigns and the media have historically done an adequate job of putting out for public consumption evidence, arguments and commentary addressing a candidate’s policy perspectives, experience, and character flaws.

Further, the spectacle is made all the greater by the national nature of a Supreme Court nomination.  The largest Congressional districts are the States themselves as each state constitutes a district for the purposes of electing its Senators.  Not so with nominees to the super legislature known as the Supreme Court.  Each nominee to the Court affects each state and thus each citizen, equally.  Your two Senators are your only representatives in the Senate, so their respective elections are the only Senate races with which you need to be directly concerned.  However, every citizen in every state needs to be concerned about the makeup of our self-designated super legislature.

Much has been said of the underhandedness of the Democrat Party in soiling the judicial confirmation process.  No one should be surprised.  As I argued in an earlier article, The Corrupt Operating Principle Of Modern Liberalism, because modern liberalism as reflected by the actions of its establishment flag bearers is entirely policy driven and has no regard for our constitutional rule of law, the democratic process, or the truth, it is bankrupt of any guiding principle other than expediency.  Its approach to governance and the acquisition of power is ultimately tyrannical because it seeks to impose its policies and obtain the political power necessary to do so by whatever means possible…”  It was entirely foreseeable that it would be Democrats who would breach the normal confirmation protocols in pursuit of a Supreme Court advantage.

From the nominations of Judge Robert Bork in 1987, to Justice Clarence Thomas in 1991 and now Judge Brett Kavanaugh, we’ve seen the most intensive, aggressive, and partisan fighting, in each case, instigated and led by Democrats.  Though it’s difficult to define the Supreme Court in traditional political terms of left and right or liberal and conservative, Democrats and liberals want the Court populated by living constitution theorists who are willing to misinterpret the Constitution in order to give the government the fake authority to do the things Democrats and liberals want the government to do.  FDR’s 1937 effort to pack the Court from 9 members to 15 in order to move his New Deal legislation forward bears remembering on this point.  Conversely, conservative Republicans have preferred what might be called “original constitutionalists”, textualists and originalists who seek to understand and apply the Constitution in terms of its actual meaning as ratified by the people.

In the cases of, Bork, Thomas, and Kavanaugh, the nominee represented a move toward original constitutionalism.  Bork was nominated to the seat vacated by Lewis Powell, generally considered a moderate and a swing vote on the Court.  Thomas was nominated to the vacated seat of Thurgood Marshall, a staunch adherent to living constitution theory.  Kavanaugh was nominated to the vacated seat of  Anthony Kennedy, a moderate and, again, the long-time swing vote on the Court.  Thus, all three of the nominations that have engendered extreme political histrionics in the confirmation process represented a decided shift in the Court’s makeup toward original constitutionalism and away from living constitution theory.  Each nomination was virulently opposed by Democrats who sought to control the makeup of the Court, not because they feared the nominees were bad judges, but because they feared the nominees might halt or reverse the Supreme Court’s assumed role in lending its imprimatur to the illegal expansion of Federal Government authority via living constitution theory.

To be sure, the Democrat Party role in despoiling the confirmation process has been undeniable, self-interested, despicable, and malevolently motivated by a desire to circumvent the structural protections of individual liberty intended to be maintained through the constitutional separation of powers and the amendment process established in Article V of the Constitution.  But the primary tool in constructing the temporal road to this point in history was living constitution theory which gave false justification for decades of Supreme Court usurpation of power from Congress and from the people.  If the Supreme Court is to remain a super legislature, we need to acknowledge that the confirmation process is no way to select its members.

At bottom, the disordered havoc that is the nomination/confirmation process is symptomatic of a disease in our constitutional order.  That disease is living constitution theory.  If we would eradicate the disease, the symptoms would abate, and the nomination/confirmation process of seating judges, not super legislators, would once again work just fine.

Please follow and like us:
0

Hillary’s “Ridiculous” Hypocrisy

Hillary Clinton’s effort to avoid blame for her breach of protocols due to the “ridiculousness” of the rules she broke violates her core statist principles which dictate that the state should regulate human activity because it does more good than harm when it does so.  Those principles motivate her policy positions…at least as long as they don’t inconvenience her or get her into trouble.

Last week, Hillary Clinton seized on a Politico article authored by Matthew Miller, a former Justice Department official, in defense of her e-mail account misconduct.  Miller wrote that “the sheer volume of information now considered classified, as well as the extreme, and often absurd, interpretations by intelligence officials about what is and is not classified, make it nearly impossible for officials charged with operating in both the classified and unclassified worlds to do so without ever mixing the two.”  Clinton jumped at the chance to justify her conduct linking to the article and tweeting “‘Our ridiculous classification rules’ are the real problem”.  In doing so, she acted contrary to her core beliefs as a statist in order to provide a defense for her misconduct.

Hillary Clinton is a modern liberal statist and advocates government regulation of human activity.  She thinks the government should regulate citizens in farming, industry, employment, health care, food safety, drug safety, and virtually anything potentially affecting the environment (which of course means just about everything).  She thinks the government can and should undertake such an aggressive and all-encompassing regulatory effort because society benefits if it does so.

She is aware of the monetary costs, inefficiencies and lost opportunities these regulations impose on citizens.  She knows that the rules and regulations which touch upon every aspect of life must prove unfair or unreasonable on a daily basis in their application to specific individuals whose unique circumstances could not have been considered in the adoption of rules to be universally applied.  She obviously does not think that a plea of “ridiculousness” is a defense sufficient to overcome the application of a rule or regulation applicable to society at large.

The three legitimate functions of government are, (1) ensuring individual liberty, (2) securing the nation from foreign aggression and (3) administering civil and criminal justice.  Though modern liberal statists like Clinton go far beyond, advocating the routine violation of the first function by virtue of myriad regulatory and redistributive schemes mandated by force of law for the supposed benefit of society at large, modern liberals still formally acknowledge those three core functions of government.  Obviously, the classification of information for national security purposes falls within one of those core functions, namely, securing the nation from foreign aggression.  Accordingly, virtually everyone agrees that the protocols for classifying that information play a key role in fulfilling one of the government’s core functions.

Without hesitation, Clinton seized upon the argument that the rule proscribing her conduct is unfair, unreasonable, or “ridiculous”.  She made this point despite the fact that the rule she complains of is integral to one of the primary functions of any government.  Implicit in her tweeted statement, is an acknowledgment that the government cannot always get it right, even when performing its most essential functions.  Also implicit in her statement, is an assertion that the statist political class isn’t, or shouldn’t be, subject to the same stringent inflexibility with respect to the rule of law as the great unwashed masses.  Of course, hypocrisy in the application of laws to the political class is nothing new.  Recall Congress’s ObamaCare exemption.

The bottom line is this – top down, invasive, abusive regulations are just fine when imposed on you for any reason the government thinks is a good idea.  If regulations aren’t reasonable and you suffer expense or inconvenience, that’s ok because it’s all for the greater good.  You aren’t sufficiently important and don’t have enough “pull” to achieve an exception for yourself.  But expect the Secretary of State to comply with protocols deemed crucial to national security which she thinks are unreasonable, cumbersome or inefficient?

Don’t be ridiculous.

 

 

 

 

Please follow and like us:
0

Anchor Babies And Thought Control

The topic of the day is the use of the term “anchor babies” by certain Republican candidates for president.  Both Donald Trump and Jeb Bush were recently asked by members of the press why they are using this “offensive” term.  Put on the spot, both candidates asked their inquisitor for a less offensive substitute.  They might, instead, have asked what exactly is offensive about the term “anchor baby”.  The short answer – only it’s intended meaning.

Confucius said that “when words lose their meaning people will lose their liberty.”  Language control has been a staple of those who would impose their political will since the dawn of politics.  In our self-governing society, the usurpation of language has always been a favored tool of the left.  By controlling language, they affect messaging and ultimately thought.

Sometimes they co-opt words which have gained favor with the public and redefine them, presumably in the hope that the positive connotation will continue even after it has been redefined.  There is perhaps no better example of this tactic than the progressives’ theft of the word “liberalism”.   Once, “liberalism” defined a political perspective which valued individual and economic liberty, private property, very limited government and the strict application of the rule of law.  Because the progressive movement stole the term and redefined it for its own purposes, this original conception of “liberalism” is now typically referred to as “classical liberalism” in order to distinguish it from modern liberalism.  As Ralph Raico wrote so succinctly, “The qualifying ‘classical’ is now usually necessary…because liberalism has come to be associated with wide-ranging interferences with private property and the market on behalf of egalitarian goals.”

On other occasions the left usurps language by demonizing it.  By deeming a term or phrase politically incorrect, offensive or even racist, they hope to block the transfer of ideas in two ways.  First, they seek to gag the messenger.  Most people are concerned for their reputations and do not want to be seen by the public as intolerant or narrow minded.  If an idea can be squelched before it’s uttered, it never makes its way to the intended audience.  Second, they hope to poison the potential listeners’ perspective.  If the public can be made suspicious of certain words and phrases, the message being communicated may not find open minds willing to consider it.  By demonizing language, the left seeks both to gag the speaker and taint the receptiveness of the listener.

The term “anchor baby” refers to children of illegal immigrants who are argued to have achieved U.S. citizenship by virtue of having been born here.  The babies’ alleged citizenship, provides a legal tether to the U.S. for their families thus “anchoring” them here.  Those who are here illegally and wish to stay, as well as those who support them may find the term offensive because it calls attention to their illegal status or because it might lead one to speculate that illegals intentionally birth babies in the U.S. in order to provide them that tether.

There’s a stark distinction between being offended by words and phrases that society has generally come to disdain for their ugliness or insulting nature and being offended by words and phrases because they effectively communicate an idea with which one simply disagrees.  “Anchor babies” falls in the second category.  To suggest that the term is offensive and should not be utilized is to advocate the stifling of an idea which is particularly pertinent in the greater debate over illegal immigration.

Perhaps the next time a candidate has an opportunity to challenge an inquisitor on this issue, he or she will challenge the notion that the term is offensive rather than merely suggesting that there is no better alternative.  They would do society a favor by standing in the way of yet another leftist attempt to highjack language in order to thwart effective communication and thus control public thought.

Please follow and like us:
0

Got Fundamental “Change” For A $10?

It’s now fairly widely known that the U.S. Treasury has changes planned for the ten dollar bill.  It is anticipated that by 2020, a depiction of a woman will share the ten spot with its current occupant, Alexander Hamilton.

While we have a history of using postage stamps to honor various important historical Americans for substantial achievements and contributions to society, we’ve treated our currency differently.  The American heroes depicted on our currency haven’t changed for decades.  The currency has not been used to recognize the historical achievements of myriad people.  Rather, it has been a model of consistency, lending itself to nostalgic and historical reflection on our country’s founding and formative history.

Accordingly, one might think the suggestion that our currency should bear the likeness of any new personage would be the subject of serious and thorough debate and consideration.  Hamilton’s portrait has graced the $10 bill since 1928.  Surely Treasury must have identified someone of peculiar historical standing who made supremely important contributions to America as being worthy of such an honor.  Not exactly.  You see, the identity of the woman to be honored has not yet been determined.  The point of the effort is to put “a woman” on the $10 bill, not to honor any specific woman for her contributions or importance to our country.  Ultimately, the finer point is to celebrate our own contemporary importance – we will be the first generation to put a female face on U.S. currency.

The idea is the brainchild of U.S. Treasurer, Rosie Rios.  The reportage on the decision and her comments on the subject clearly illustrate the real purpose of the change.  CNN reported that after being sworn in as Treasurer in 2009, “she became fixated on a goal: putting a woman on the U.S. currency.”  In making early public remarks about the change, Rios reported getting choked up because “it hit me then that this was going to happen.”  In describing the change she said, “this is historical.”  Clearly Ms. Rios is moved by the fact of a woman being placed on the currency.  Who the woman will be or what she accomplished for America, is not critical.

Rios isn’t the only government official whose comments reveal the real accomplishment being pursued in this effort.  Regarding the fact that the yet to be determined honoree will share the $10 bill with Alexander Hamilton, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said, “I think a woman should have her own bill.”  Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) went further.  The fact that “the woman selected for the $10 note might have to share space on the bill with Hamilton is misguided and demeaning.”  An as yet undetermined woman sharing a stage with Alexander Hamilton is automatically, ipso facto, demeaning?  Why?  Would it be demeaning were a worthy man to be selected to share the $20 bill with Andrew Jackson?  Clearly, the importance of the moment is the recognition of a woman, ultimately any woman, on U.S. currency.

These comments, together with the fact that nobody seems to have considered whether a woman can be identified about whom a consensus will exist concerning her worthiness of being placed on the $10 bill, lead to an easy conclusion – the accomplishment being celebrated here is not the accomplishment of the woman to be selected; the accomplishment that causes Rios to get choked up, Clinton to opine that a woman “should have her own bill”, and Shaheen to call the sharing of the bill with Hamilton “demeaning”, is the accomplishment of placing the likeness of a woman on the currency.  The accomplishment is contemporary, not historical.  The achievement is ours, not the yet to be identified honoree’s.  The celebration is over our self-importance in making the change; our own making of history.

At bottom, the emplacement of the likeness of a woman on the currency is a matter of fairness in the context of identity politics.  How else could one ever justify or explain the compulsion to place “a woman” on currency that hasn’t reflected anyone other than Hamilton for some 87 years, without any consideration whatsoever of her specific accomplishments or contributions?

This feat achieves the advancement of two causes the left doggedly pursues.  It moves two processes forward, both of which fit perfectly within their vision for America.  The first is the process of transforming American institutions to fit their narrative of the world as they believe it should be.  The currency, like just about everything else these days, is being transformed into an avenue for the left to do “social justice” and to force American institutions to reflect egalitarian and social justice principles.  The second, is the systematic phasing out of the icons of our founding, our first principles and our original creed.  Individual liberty, limited government, constitutionalism, and the rule of law are principles the left believes are out of date, antiquated, even dangerous.  That they can simultaneously transform the currency into a device for reflecting their view of a “progressing” society while demoting on that same currency the founders who created our country upon the foundation of those principles must be doubly satisfying.

Though it may seem somewhat trivial in light of the many significant issues we face as a country, the revision of the currency for the purpose of advancing leftist principles serves as a striking metaphor for what has been slowly transpiring for many years—the left’s effective assault on the founding principles and effort to replace them in the hearts and minds of Americans with principles of egalitarianism, distributive equality, and social justice.

Whether there is another shoe to drop when the identity of the woman to be honored is announced remains to be seen.  Will the leftists at Treasury be satisfied with the achievement as it is and choose a woman whose contributions can be appreciated by all?  Or will they take the opportunity to further their agenda and select a woman whose accomplishments advanced their statist principles and worked counter to those Hamilton cherished?  Time will tell, but it’s worth noting that among those who have been suggested are Margret Sanger, the founder of the organization that became Planned Parenthood and outspoken advocate of eugenics and forced sterilization.

 

 

 

 

 

Please follow and like us:
0

Accidental Exposure: The Hollow Promises of Modern Liberalism

 

On February 16, State Department spokesman Marie Harf appeared on Chris Matthew’s CNBC show, Hardball.  Discussing the problem of defeating ISIS, Ms. Harf called upon one of the most used modern liberal solutions for just about everything – economic prosperity in the form of jobs magically created by an all powerful central government.  Here is the pertinent portion of the exchange:

HARF: We’re killing a lot of them and we’re going to keep killing more of them. So are the Egyptians, so are the Jordanians. They’re in this fight with us. But we cannot win this war by killing them. We cannot kill our way out of this war. We need in the medium to longer term to go after the root causes that lead people to join these groups, whether it’s lack of opportunity for jobs, whether —

MATTHEWS: We’re not going to be able to stop that in our lifetime or fifty lifetimes. There’s always going to be poor people. There’s always going to be poor Muslims, and as long as there are poor Muslims, the trumpet’s blowing and they’ll join. We can’t stop that, can we?

HARF: We can work with countries around the world to help improve their governance. We can help them build their economies so they can have job opportunities for these people

Regardless of whether Ms. Harf was speaking “off the cuff”, revealing her own sentiments, or had prepared in advance to make these remarks as an official perspective of the State Department, she revealed an underlying but not always obvious truth of the American modern liberal movement.  It lacks depth due to its exclusive focus on the consolidation of political power at home.  The modern liberal manual of solutions was constructed to consolidate domestic political power.  Though it has sadly proven to be effective in that regard, it is ill-suited for application to problems of national security.

As a result, Ms. Harf’s allusions to governments building better economies in order to create jobs seem, at best, incoherent ramblings calling for further explanation.  At worst, they constitute an arrogant attempt to dissuade Americans.  Perhaps Ms. Harf and the State Department believe that the American people are preconditioned to accept “more government provided jobs” as an answer to any problem, and so they expected a Pavlovian response from the audience.  One might wonder whether she envisioned thousands of Americans staring at their televisions with blank looks on their faces, nodding their heads in agreement, and repeating, “MUST CREATE JOBS TO DEFEAT ISIS”.

I have an alternative vision.  I envision thousands of Americans staring at their televisions with a stunned look of indignation on their faces having finally come to the realization that the modern liberal supposition of improved economic conditions in exchange for yielding more liberty to the state has always been a false promise.  Ms. Harf’s ridiculous postulate that “more jobs” is the answer to defeating ISIS might prove to be a happy accident on her part if it helps to illustrate that modern liberal promises are generally hollow and devoid of any real benefit for anyone other than those seeking to maintain and consolidate power and their cronies who support them in return for patronage and favoritism.

Please follow and like us:
0

Jonathan Gruber: The Face Of Modern Liberal Tyranny

 

An abridged version of this blog was originally published by The American Thinker and can be found here.

A few weeks ago, I wrote an article on “The Corrupt Operating Principle of Modern Liberalism”.  The point of that piece is that “modern liberalism is an ‘ends justifies the means’ ideology driven by a single corrupt principle – expediency.”  I explained that “modern liberalism uses whatever tools it can muster to advance its policy agenda” and that “modern liberalism focuses on winning the policy issue by whatever means necessary.  Fidelity to democratic processes and adherence to constitutional principles are not required.”

I could not have known that my thesis would be so famously corroborated by a real life example so soon.  While it’s not surprising that there would be examples to be found, I could never have expected one so indefensible and so utterly incapable of being “spun” by modern liberalism’s legions of apologists.  Responsible is a man who, despite his Harvard doctorate degree and his deep involvement in the politics of misdirection, is apparently incapable of understanding the value of deniability and the permanent recording capabilities of modern technology.

We all know Jonathan Gruber by now.  He was highly involved in the development of the Affordable Care Act.  In October of 2013, Mr. Gruber participated in a panel discussion at The University of Pennsylvania on the ACA.  Anyone reading this likely knows very well what he said and has seen the now notorious video.  Here’s a word for word restatement of his now famous comments:

This bill was written in a tortured way to make sure CBO did not score the mandate as taxes. If CBO scored the mandate as taxes, the bill dies. Okay, so it’s written to do that. In terms of risk rated subsidies, if you had a law which said that healthy people are going to pay in – you made explicit healthy people pay in and sick people get money, it would not have passed… Lack of transparency is a huge political advantage. And basically, call it the stupidity of the American voter or whatever, but basically that was really really critical for the thing to pass… Look, I wish Mark was right that we could make it all transparent, but I’d rather have this law than not.

Much has been made of Jonathan Gruber insulting American voters by calling them stupid. Though worthy of contempt, that comment is one of the least interesting aspects of this short statement, which is otherwise chock-full of revelations with respect to the modern liberal mindset. Insulting the American voter is bad. Demonstrating altogether one’s disregard for democratic principles is far worse.

First, Gruber says that the bill was written in a tortured way to make sure that the Congressional Budget Office did not score the mandate as a tax because, had it been scored as a tax, the bill would have died. The fact that the bill was written “in a tortured way” implies more than mere difficulty or complexity in the drafting process. When Gruber said “the bill was written in a tortured way,” he was saying that the drafters intentionally distorted or perverted the bill’s real meaning in order to fool the Congressional Budget Office.

Modern liberalism operates on expediency exclusively. Nothing matters but winning. The democratic process can be – must be – sacrificed to win. Gruber willingly proclaimed his disregard for the democratic process when he declared that “lack of transparency is a huge political advantage.” He demonstrated with perfect clarity that modern liberalism is indeed an “ends justifies the means” ideology driven by expediency when he said, “I wish…that we could make it all transparent, but I’d rather have this law than not.”

For one brief moment, videotaped for posterity, Jonathan Gruber personified the modern liberal mindset. In an instance of perfect irony, he pontificated on the political advantages of avoiding transparency while simultaneously shining the bright light of day on the black heart of modern liberalism in the most transparent way possible. His perspective would be no clearer had he said, “It would be nice if we could tell the public the truth, but only if we get our way. If the only way we can get the bill passed is by perpetrating a fraud on the CBO and on the American people, so be it. Transparency and the democratic process be damned.”

As I wrote earlier:

Because modern liberalism as reflected by the actions of its establishment flag bearers is entirely policy driven and has no regard for our constitutional rule of law, the democratic process, or the truth, it is bankrupt of any guiding principle other than expediency. Its approach to governance and the acquisition of power is ultimately tyrannical because it seeks to impose its policies and obtain the political power necessary to do so by whatever means possible, without regard for any of the fundamental principles of our founding; principles which they no doubt deem outdated…the democratic process, limited government constrained by a constitution created by a sovereign people, and the unalienable rights of free individuals.

Jonathan Gruber certainly never intended to expose modern liberalism’s tyrannical approach so completely – but expose it he did. The revelations he provided should be often remembered and never forgotten.

 

 

Please follow and like us:
0

Modern Liberalism’s Multi-Faceted Attack On Americanism

America was founded on the enlightenment principles of classical liberalism.  Limited government and the strict application of the rule of law were intended to ensure individual liberty.  The Constitution’s role in institutionalizing “Americanism” is central and fundamental.  It was and is the contract of a sovereign people as to what its national government is and what that government is authorized to do.

Because the Constitution was designed to limit the powers of the Federal government, it has been the obstacle statists have sought to avoid since the second coming of the progressive movement in the 1930’s.  The now decades long assault on the Constitution has been nothing less than an assault on that which is central and fundamental to Americanism – limited government and the rule of law.  By slowly defeating the Constitution, modern liberalism is slowly defeating Americanism.  By logical extension, it is slowly defeating the structural legal protections of individual liberty.

This assault on Americanism is very much like a metastasized cancer’s assault on a living organism.  Modern liberalism attacks the Constitution, the rule of law, and individual liberty not by utilizing a coordinated strategy targeted at some perceived vulnerability of the body politic, but by a systemic multi-faceted attack on Americanism.  Consider the modern liberal issue of same sex marriage.  In modern society, marriage exists as a legal union, recognized by the state.  Rights and obligations are conferred by the state on those who enter into such a legal union.  Accordingly, it makes perfect sense that those who find themselves outside of the legal qualifications for marriage, but are otherwise similarly situated in terms of their commitment to one another, would challenge the notion that the state should exclude them from the rights, benefits and obligations enjoyed and undertaken by those who seem to them arbitrarily to qualify.  To those who love liberty and shun the illegitimate force of the state, this argument is easily understood and persuasive.  If those advocating same sex marriage sought it’s implementation in accordance with our Constitution and the rule of law – by pursuing legislation in each state to accomplish legal recognition – their objectives and their tactics for achieving them would be in accord with principles of liberty and in accord with the rule of law and the popular sovereignty of the American people as expressed in the Constitution.

But the left has not pursued legal same sex marriage in accordance with the Constitution and the rule of law.  Instead, it has sought a judicial solution.  Though the Constitution is subject to legal amendment within the rule of law by following the processes specified in Article 5, statists seek to “amend” it through the courts by obtaining outrageously ridiculous rulings from activist judges who almost single handedly modify the Constitution’s “meaning” and make it conform to whatever the modern liberal establishment demands.  With each fraudulent interpretation, the rule of law is defeated and the Constitution’s role as the underpinning of limited government is weakened.  Sadly, we’ve reached the point where the notion that the Constitution effectively limits the powers of the Federal government is legitimately subject to question.  By logical extension, we’ve reached the point where the notion that the Constitution effectively protects personal freedom is increasingly subject to question.

The Constitution clearly does not protect same sex couples from governmental exclusion from the institution of marriage.  Even so, modern liberalism has sought the imposition of same sex marriage by and through a fallacious interpretation of the 14th Amendment.  They have convinced activists courts to reject the clear language and the known purpose of the 14th Amendment to mean something which was clearly not meant when it was ratified by a sovereign people.  In so doing, they have imposed a misinterpretation of the most fundamental law of the land upon all of society.  That the 14th Amendment does not restrict the states from excluding same sex marriage can not be seriously questioned.  It’s beyond argument that the 14th Amendment would not have been ratified in 1868 if the people understood that it would be interpreted to create a right to same sex marriage.  Indeed, it is beyond serious question that at no time since the original ratification of the Constitution in 1788 would an Amendment creating a right to same sex marriage have been ratified by the sovereign people of the United States.  That being the case, what possible justification can any court have for interpreting the 14th Amendment to create such a right?  Modern liberalism seeks to achieve by judicial fiat that which it can not achieve legally – a de facto amendment to the Constitution.  Thus far, what they’ve won for their efforts appears to be the imminent nationwide legal recognition of same sex marriage.

But legal recognition by the states and by the Federal government is not nearly enough for the left.  To get more, they attack another facet of Americanism – personal freedom of association – individual liberty itself.  While pursuing state recognition by contorting the Constitution rather than through proper democratic channels, the modern liberal establishment has simultaneously moved to impose private recognition of same sex marital unions.  Whether it involves a private contract to purchase a wedding cake or a private contract to perform the marriage ceremony, modern liberalism has begun its effort to impose its will upon private actors.  And who is to implement and exercise the force of law upon private parties to make them recognize and service same sex marriage?  The state, of course.

A 2013 Coeur d’Alene Idaho ordinance which bans discrimination based on sexual orientation in places of public accommodation is only one of the first in what is sure to be many, many efforts by the left to force private actors to recognize and serve same sex couples in violation of their religious beliefs or personal preferences.  Though religious entities are exempt from the ordinance, city officials have taken the position that because these particular individuals operate a for-profit wedding chapel, they should be obligated to conform to the requirements of the ordinance.  Setting aside for the moment the left’s almost maniacal obsession with demonizing the profit motive (which motivates each and every rational human being), we see here in bold relief the tyrannical methodology of modern liberalism.  The left works to simultaneously eliminate state restraints with respect to their cause while imposing state enforced coercions upon other individuals in order to give favored liberal classes special protections and recognition in private matters.  Modern liberalism uses the judicial function of state authority to achieve a falsely modified Constitution in order to impose upon a sovereign people an individual “right” to same sex marriage to which the people never assented while at the same time using the force of law in the legislative arena to impose restrictions on the liberties of others.

For another illustration of the same methodology at work, consider abortion and the pretend “debate” over contraception.  For modern liberals, it is not enough that the states can no longer outlaw abortions or contraception making both completely legal across the country.  Modern liberalism wants much more.  Independent individuals – other citizens – must be forced to pay for abortions and contraceptives with their tax dollars or by and through the health insurance that they purchase as employers.  Whether these other citizens consent or volunteer to fund abortions and contraceptives for others can not be determinative.  They must, by force of law, be compelled to provide such funding.  Thus, the modern liberal approach to liberty is selective.  “Liberty!” is their battle cry when they argue that the states should not have the authority to exclude same sex marriages.  But “liberty” will find no place in their arguments in favor of state imposed coercions and restraints forcing the rest of society to act in a certain manner when dealing with same sex married couples in what would otherwise be private, voluntary transactions.

Modern liberalism is an “ends justifies the means – win at all cost” ideology devoid of principles.  It has no regard for the rule of law, no regard for the Constitution and no regard for the popular sovereignty of the American people.  Constitutionalists value individual liberty and therefore revere the rule of law and the procedural superstructure set up by the Constitution despite the fact that they know strict adherence to those principles means they can not win every political issue.  Modern liberalism wants only one thing – its way.  Principles and values such as strict adherence to the Constitution, the rule of law, popular sovereignty, even individual liberty only impede their single minded pursuit of transforming society to conform to their notion of social justice.  The ruination of Americanism in the process is not a sacrifice. It’s a strategic success.

Please follow and like us:
0