We Are Ten Years from Complete Conservative Victory

Huh?  How’s that?  Wait a second, Noonan – are you nuts?  The Supreme Court just decreed that the law doesn’t matter. Furthermore, Hillary is the odds-on favorite to replace Obama so we’ll have four to eight more years of lawless liberalism imposed from on high…and even if we vote GOP, those spineless cretins will just roll over for it. You, sir, are ’round the bend – we are on the cusp of the Union of Socialist States of America.  Get used to it!

Well, not so fast. First off, it is well-known to all who study history (which pretty much excludes everyone on the left – but also a goodly portion of those on the right) that in human affairs what appears to be most strong is usually an inch away from crushing defeat while that which seems to be nearly extinguished is just about to flame into sublime victory. Looks are, indeed, very deceiving. The apparent triumph of liberalism ushered in on January 20th, 2009, is looking, upon close examination, rather rocky.  Think about it:  if liberalism was really the way things are going, then the Obama Administration would not have relied upon screwball re-writes by the Supreme Court to save their signature achievement – they would have brought it back to Congress, firm in the knowledge that liberalism is so popular that the Congressional GOP wouldn’t even dare tinker with it other than to enact what Obama demanded. Didn’t quite happen that way, now did it?  Liberalism can only win these days when there is a President who will just ignore the law and go ahead and do it…or when a bunch of lawyers find some way to twist the plain meaning of the law to suit their desires. People heading for triumph don’t act like that – people fighting a desperate rear-guard action to save themselves act like that.

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Attacking Big Corporation as a GOP Campaign Issue

See? It’s not just me any more – Glenn Reynolds (Instapundit) weighs in on how the GOP can leverage a bit of anti-corporatism for electoral victory:

…the fact is that many big businesses are unpopular with the public, aligned with the Democrats, and wide open for attack. And after eight years of the Obama administration’s naked cronyism and support of Wall Street even as the middle class has suffered, the opportunities are there.

One of the most appealing targets would be the tech industry’s wage-suppressing hiring habits. Not only have tech giants like Apple and Google engaged in what a federal court called an “overarching conspiracy” to prevent wage competition, but Silicon Valley firms also abuse H-1B visas to bring in immigrant competition at lower wages, a practice that’s now spreading to other industries. (In Los Angeles, Southern California Edison is firing workers and replacing them with immigrants now)…

Reynolds goes on to note how big corporations – especially big tech – are abusing the H1-B visa program to get rid of well-paid American workers and bring in low-paid foreigners, thus abusing both Americans and foreigners in the name of increased corporate profits. That is just one in a very long line of issues where Big Corporation is working against the United States. We on the GOP side have got to wrap our minds around the fact that big anything is bad. Once a concentration of power and wealth exceeds a certain size, it becomes baleful…and must be controlled carefully, lest is wreck everything. We understand this regarding things like the Department of Education, but we’ve failed to understand that General Motors is just like the Department of Education…an bureaucratic behemoth most interested in using raw, political power to preserve itself.

It is the free market we must defend – not those who are on top of the market and who are abusing their position. That the leaders of these corporations also largely support Democrats (or are at least de-facto liberals), just makes attacking them doubly advantageous for us. It becomes best of all when we realize that a lot of people who vote liberal (but who are not particularly liberal, themselves) can be moved to vote for us when we do this. Defending the worker against ruthless exploitation by Big Tech is just a splendid way to move the needle in our favor…let Democrats defend the H1-B visa program, we’ll defend the workers.

We have a grand opportunity to take the abysmal failure of the Obama years and use it to destroy liberalism as a political force forever. All we have to do is dare to take it.

America’s Ruling Class Unites on Amnesty

The House voted today to approve the filthy and disgusting DHS funding bill – it is called “clean” by the Ruling Class because it cleanly drops a hammer on the American people. Seventy five Republicans joined almost all the Democrats in the House to approve the monstrosity; 167 Republicans voted against – and that, my friends is roughly the actual number of people on our side there are in the House. In terms of actual political power, we are the distinct minority in DC. Get used to it and get ready to fight to change it.

Here we are, March 3rd, 2015, and the leadership of the Republican Party has decided that it wants to ratify Obama’s illegal and odious amnesty policy. Fine. Glad to know it. Lets us all know where we stand – and where they stand. The leadership of the GOP is entirely beholden to the Ruling Class of this nation and will do its bidding, come what may. They are expecting rank-and-file GOPers to stay with them – after all, what are we going to do? Vote Democrat? Well, why the heck not? What do we get by voting for Republicans?

Ace is in a fine and entirely justified fury – now advocating for a $15 an hour minimum wage…because if we’re going to have a two-party Ruling Class screwing over the American people, let’s at least get a bit of pay back. The GOP leadership signed off on this because the GOP part of the Ruling Class wants to import millions of unskilled workers…so that they can employ them at low wages, thus increasing their profit margins…and screw the American worker. Yeah, well, I see Ace’s point – jack that wage up to $15 and hour and see how the Chamber of Commerce likes it.

Still, it isn’t quite time for us to put Hillary in the White House – there’s hard ball politics and then there’s suicide…but we really should seek ways to punish the Congressional GOP for their transgressions. Primary the heck out of every GOPer who voted for this dog of a bill…and if they survive the primary, then vote for their Democrat opponent in the general. Get them out; let them know that we don’t elect Republicans in order to do the bidding of liberals and the Chamber of Commerce…we elect them to represent us and preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States of America. I’d rather have us back in Congressional minority status come 2017 than continue with leadership that doesn’t do one darned thing for our side.

Secession is the Answer Update

Just another example of what I’m always yammering on about:

When Gov. Andrew Cuomo is inaugurated for a second term in January, he will have New York City voters to thank.

Cuomo’s 13-percentage-point win over Republican challenger Rob Astorino on Nov. 4 was fueled by a large margin of victory in New York City, where he took home 77 percent of the nearly 1 million ballots cast, according to the state Board of Election’s unofficial results.

Take away the city, however, and the rest of the state backed Astorino — albeit by a slim margin. Outside of the five boroughs, Astorino collected 1.3 million votes — or 49 percent — compared to Cuomo’s 1.2 million, or 46 percent, in a low-turnout election. Three third-party candidates were also on the ballot.

New York isn’t one State, it is two. There is the NYC-Albany bit of the State, and then there’s the rest of it. And the two are not in any way, shape or form of the same ideas.

Cuomo’s New York is perfectly within it’s rights in getting the government it wants. Those people want a nitwit socialist like De Blasio as mayor and a liberal political hack like Cuomo as governor. Good for them. But why do the rest of New York’s citizens have to put up with it? Why do the people of Buffalo have to deal with a governor – and a government – which is entirely subservient to the people of New York City? Don’t the people of Buffalo deserve to have people leading them who reflect the values of Buffalo?

The answer, as I’ve been saying for years, is secession – break up New York into two States. West and East New York. Think about it – the liberal pinheads of East New York will have a happy hunting ground for pure, unadulterated liberalism even more so than now, while West New York would get a chance for sanity in government. Everyone’s happy – and, Democrats, think about it: you’d have two Senators-for-life in East New York and still have a shot at some times grabbing a Senator from West New York. Its win-win for ya! Win-win for West New York, too, of course…because they won’t have to put up with quite as much liberal nonsense.

A 680 Member House of Representatives?

It is, at least, proposed:

The American public’s dislike of Congress is far from a new development in US politics. However, over the past few years the situation has gotten even worse with public approval of this institution hovering around historic lows.

The vast majority of citizens in this country think most members of Congress have lost touch with the people and don’t represent their interests. There are not many simple answers to remedy this problem but one change that might help bring members of Congress closer to the people is to increase the size of the US House of Representatives to 680 members.
One hundred years at 435 seats

For almost a century the House has consisted of 435 members. This seemingly permanent fixture of American politics often obscures the reality that during the first century of the country’s existence the House was increased almost every ten years after its original size of 65 members was established…

Of course, I’ve been yammering on about this for years. Over at Hot Air, Jazz Shaw reviews the proposal and counters with the idea that it might be better if we just got to some hard-to-game redistricting system. This is a good idea, but I’ve been advised since I was a teenager – and first got a bit outraged at gerrymandering – that there is no system which can’t be gamed by people with the right amount of shamelessness and dishonesty (ie, the general run of any political class).

We do, however, need to do something – quite clearly, regardless of which party is in power, the government and it’s attendant Ruling Class is entirely disinterested in the fate of the American people, and when it gets into the hands of the actually baleful (ie, the Obama Administration), the results can be rather catastrophic. To me, there isn’t just One Answer – there has to be a complete reworking of the system. In service of this, trying to make a harder-than-usual-to-game districting system is a good idea, but we also need to increase the size of the House (my preference these days is for 651 members) because a House member should be (a) someone who can actually be in touch with his constituents and (b), potentially, be someone who can run for the office on a shoestring relative to the cost of a Senate or gubernatorial office. But with redistricting and increasing the size of the House, term limits are a requirement or we’re just spinning our wheels. But here’s the part that will make a lot of people stop in shock – term limits just in the sense of saying “Congresscritter, you can’t be in office after Date X” isn’t good enough. Term limits must also include a prohibition against obtaining a different federal elective or appointive office for a period of time after leaving the current office. I’d say five years is a good time frame. You’re a Representative and coming to the end of your term limit (I’d limit House members to four, two-year terms) – see ya in five years. Until that time has passed, you can’t run for President or Senate, nor be appointed to a federal judgeship, nor take a position within the Executive Branch of government (five years it to make it unlikely in most cases that a person who leaves office will be able to be rewarded with a new federal office by gift of a grateful President). Yes, this does mean that a sitting Senator or such won’t be able to be selected for the Cabinet by the President – this, right there, would have spared us both Secretary of State Clinton and Secretary of State Kerry; it also would have spared us President Obama. It would not, however, have spared us President Lincoln nor President Reagan – and for you liberals, it still would have allowed President Roosevelt and President Wilson.

But we can’t stop there. We need to go further and further into this, I’m afraid. We need more States. 50 just doesn’t cut it – especially since at least a dozen of them are not really States, but two or more States rather mashed together as the States were created in the 19th century – when national population wasn’t a third of its current level and the new States, especially, were largely empty of people and hadn’t had time to develope into organic politico-economic units. As I’ve said again and again, just in my State of Nevada it is starkly clear that the northern part of the State is vastly different in needs and outlook from the southern part. There is no reason that the people of Winnemucca should have to put up, for instance, with a Senator or governor elected on the strength of voters in Las Vegas – and vice-versa. Having more States would ensure that the State government are really representative of the people of the State rather than being representative of the large population centers within the States – it would make it so that Senators, especially, represent their States, rather than select special interests within the States (California’s Senators, for instance, are the merest tools of the monied interests in San Francisco and Los Angeles – the rest of the State has, in practical terms, no representation in the United States Senate).

It is, as we have seen, enormously difficult to maintain a democratic Republic – but part of our difficulty is that a great deal of power is held by a very small group of people representing only very narrow interests – and they can do this because the way our system is set up combined with the way our nation has developed from 3 million people on the east coast to 317 million people spread out of over 3 million square miles has allowed too much power to aggregate in just a few areas. California, Texas, Florida and New York have power far in excess of their aliquot portion because they carry far too much weight in Presidential and Senatorial elections…but, worse than that, all four of the States garner their power from just a few metropolitan areas – New York from New York City, California from Los Angeles and San Francisco, eg; in other words, the powerful in those States are wielding power they haven’t properly earned from the totality of the people within the States, because they can safely ignore a lot of the people as long as they please the particular people in the large, urban areas…and then take that excess, unearned power and apply it to the rest of the country. Breaking up the sources of power will allow more people access to the power – and thus to have a say in how things shall and shall not be done. In a democratic republic, political health is only possible if the largest possible number of people and interests have a say in governing. It does, of course, make for lumbering, slow and contentious government, but that is the only way to safety for a people wishing to remain free. It must be that we have to ask everyone’s brother for permission before we move – that way we have the best chance (though still not perfect, of course) of ensuring that national policy reflects the overall desires of the American people.

So, redistricting reform; term limits, increase the size of the House, increase the number of States. That has to be the ultimate plan for the political reform of the United States – if we don’t do this, then we will, as I said, be spinning our wheels. Those who have power right now will not want to give it up – and if the GOP wins on Tuesday, as everyone expects, then all you’ll see is the Ruling Class turning itself to the task of co-opting the new GOP powers-that-be, to ensure that they stay on board with things as they are (this is what killed the GOP revolution of 1994 – eventually, the GOP was captured by the system; for all the reformist zeal of the Class of ’94, they failed to recognize that only fundamental reforms will do – anything less than that, and the Ruling Class will eventually re-conquer).

Secession is the Answer Update

Well, it’ll be on the ballot in California in 2016:

A proposal backed by venture capitalist Tim Draper to divide California into six states has received enough signatures to make the November 2016 ballot, according to the nonprofit Six Californias…

I expect it to be crushed at the polls – the last polling on it showed 59% of Californians opposed.  But, you got to start somewhere; in a democratic republic, nothing happens right away and, very often, the first time something is tested on the ballot, it goes down in flames. It takes education and political activity to bring something to majority support – and this is something that needs majority support.  In fact, this is the single most American political proposal in more than 100 years.  After all, the Founders were secessionists.

Draper’s proposal will fail – and part of the failure can be traced to the way he’s drawn the borders of the Six Californias. The purpose of secession in California is to free the people of California from the oppression of those who currently run California – San Francisco, Los Angeles and the Sacramento area. That should be one State, rather than being broken up into three…and the one State shouldn’t be rewarded with the Lake Tahoe area, especially as Tahoe has nothing in common with the Pacific Coast area it’s shackled to in Draper’s plan. No, no, no: liberal nitwits in Los Angeles, San Francisco and Sacramento have made California into a mess where a lot of people would like to get out – and no one other than the nitwit liberals of Los Angeles, San Francisco and Sacramento should be stuck with said nitwits. Draper’s “Jefferson” should be called “Northern California” and it should include the Tahoe area. Central California (though Central California could be called either East California or West Nevada) and South California are fine – so, with those modifications, you actually get Four Californias, not Six…and that would have a better chance of winning votes.  Of course, the other part of possible failure is that the poorer areas of the State (in my division, Northern California and Central California) might be scared off from secession because they would technically lose some benefits of taxes in the rich areas…but even here, a good public education campaign can show that what they’d lose in State spending they’d more than gain in economic growth by not being tied to the anti-growth liberals in West California (ie, SF, LA and Sacramento).

Getting back to the basics of it all, the primary purpose of secession is to provide political organisms which are united by a general set of common interests and thus are protected against rapacious or indifferent outsiders. That is, ultimately, what American government is all about.  The British government was rapacious and indifferent – and so we cut ourselves loose from it and made a government which wasn’t.  Or, more accurately, 13 governments which weren’t and which ceded enough of their power to a central government to protect us against foreign encroachment. To be sure, the theory can be carried too far – as it was in the Civil War when the South had all the protections it needed in its local relations, but decided to pull out altogether because they worried that at some theoretic point in the future, someone from the North might want to intefere directly in Southern life. But because someone once took it too far doesn’t mean the essential principal is wrong.

Not only does California need to be broken up, but so does New York, Texas, Florida, Illinois, Pennsylvania, Nevada and probably several other States where population and economic changes over the past century have caused various parts of the States to develope organically into entities which have little or nothing in common with other parts of the State.  Take, for instance, Nevada – back when Statehood was secured, mining was pretty much it for the State; it is what Nevada did.  But now over time changes have come over it – mining is still huge but only in the northern part of the State, while the south (ie, Las Vegas) is nothing but gaming and tourism.  These days, Neavda politicians in the south of the State greedily eye mining profits in the northern part of the State and propose to tax such profits to pay for things in the southern part of the State (and, of course, dependent upon gaming and tourism – ie, bribed by gaming and tourism industry lobbyists – southern Nevada pols never seek to tax heavily their own gaming and tourism)…but what matter is it to, say, a person living in Winnemucca what the class size is in Las Vegas?  Why should a mine which pays enough taxes for the locals in Winnemucca (and provides good jobs for people in Winnemucca) pay for the schooling of kids in Las Vegas?  The State should be broken up – so that Tourist/Gaming Nevada will have to take care of it’s own while Mining Nevada will take care of it’s own, with neither being able to do anything to the other.

Now, to be sure, such a break up of the States would result in more Senators – which is not necessarily a good thing.  But it would also be a bit more fair – and I think we’d also have to increase the size of the House from 435 members to right around 651 in order to ensure good representation of the people. But the resultant government – at the State and federal levels – will be more responsive to the needs and desires of the people, and less able to be controlled by the fat cats of a few large, urban areas. Ultimately, I think it would strengthen the union if there were more parts to it – and that is why I praise this effort in California and hope that it will grow and spread over the next few decades.

 

 

 

 

Is the Solution to Obama a Parliamentary Government?

Part of the genius of our Founders was the really clever way they blended three forms of government into one.  We are part monarchy, part Republic, part democracy.  The Democracy, of course, is the House – one man, one vote and everyone counts.  The Republic is the Senate – each constituent State has equal representation regardless of population.  The monarch, of course, is the President.  Most people don’t fully realize this aspect of our government – but the President is as much a king as anyone who ever sat a throne except for one thing:  his term of office is limited by years rather than by his life span.

It is interesting that in Churchill’s history of the First World War – The World Crisis – the description he gives of the American government observes that in practical terms, in 1917, the American President held more power than any other single individual on earth.  That was written before the enormities of Stalin and Hitler, but by Churchill’s lights at the time, it was correct – even though Russia had a Czar and Germany and Austria-Hungary had Kaisers. The President is at once party leader, head of State and head of government.  A vigorous person in that office is able to impose his will upon Congress and the people and move policy in the way he desires, even without violating the Constitution. And the President can pretty much get America into war any time he wants by simple fact of moving military forces under his own authority anywhere he wants, and letting the resultant events almost compel a declaration from Congress.

I believe that our Founders set this up quite deliberately – that they wanted a system which embodies what they perceived as best in all forms of government, but with each side checked vigorously by other Powers in government. And it worked very well – we had our leader who could act decisively in an emergency while also ensuring that final power to actual change things was in the hands of elected officials, with a final referee, as it were, in the Supreme Court to ensure that neither President nor Congress strayed beyond the bounds of settled law.  There was, however, a weakness in the system and it is a weakness which cannot be avoided in any system: it is dependent for its operation upon the actions of human beings.  Human beings are Fallen and thus get things wrong; usually very often. But we had a great bit of good luck at our start in that our first President – our first King, as it were – was George Washington.  Here was a man who genuinely held himself to be no more than the first magistrate of a free people and while he could have stayed in office until he died – and, indeed, at one point could have gotten himself crowned as actual king – he voluntarily gave up office and retired to private life.

This example of humble Presidential leadership stood us in good stead for quite a long time, but by the time Theodore Roosevelt took office, it started to wear thin as he and most of his successors thought of themselves not as agents of an impartial government, but men of destiny who had to place their indelible imprint upon the nation and the world.  From Theodore Roosevelt to Wilson to Franklin Roosevelt to Lyndon Johnson to Barack Obama is a pretty straight line, only slightly pushed off course by Calvin Coolidge and Ronald Reagan, who did have a much more Washingtonian ideal of the Presidency than most over the past century.  It was Theodore Roosevelt who first denied the limitations of power in the Founder’s system – saying that unless something was specifically forbidden a President in the Constitution, the President was free to do it.  This was a watershed event – and quite in contrast to Roosevelt’s recent predecessor Grover Cleveland who routinely vetoed legislation for the sole reason that he found no warrant for the law in the powers granted to the government by the Constitution. Now we’ve finished the task and in Obama, we’ve got a President who is essentially claiming that unless someone can actually stop him, he can do as he wishes – the pen and the phone are mightier than the Constitution.  And, so, how do we fix this?

The Founders thought they had provided sufficient safe guards against such things by inserting into the Constitution the power of the legislative to impeach the executive. It was thought that out of a jealous desire to preserve legislative power that the legislature would vigorously oppose the executive and be willing to use the extreme sanction of impeachment when a President started abusing his office.  It didn’t really work out like that – the first impeachment of Andrew Johnson was the merest bit of partisan hackery where the legislative majority simply  wanted to do away with an uncooperative executive; the second against Nixon was only successful because Nixon’s own allies abandoned him; the third against Clinton failed because Clinton’s allies refused to abandon him even though it was clear that Clinton has committed “high crimes and misdemeanors”. And that was that – once it became clear that partisanship would rule the day in impeachment, then it became a requirement that the Senate have 67 firmly committed members to vote for conviction before impeachment would even be considered and given the partisan nature of things, this means a Senate wherein at least 67 members are from the opposition party.  You can look back in time and see how few and far between are the times when any party controlled 67% of the Senate seats.  This means that impeachment is functionally impossible. We need another means of controlling the executive.

We could decide to lower the bar on impeachment convictions, and that might be a sorta-good way to go.  Better than no restrictions, after all.  But if we made it so that only 55 Senators had to vote to convict, then we would see more partisan hackery in the matter of impeachment where the Senate majority just wants to get rid of a President who isn’t cooperative.  That is fatal to good government quite as much as an out of control executive.  Maybe, and this is just me starting to think it over, we should remove the President from day to day executive authority?  That would be to interpose a Prime Minister between the President and the operations of government on a day to day basis.  A Parliamentary regime.

We’d still want a Commander in Chief for war time and other such emergencies, but we also very much want a President who can’t use his pen and phone to alter law.  So, we amend the Constitution to command the President to nominate as Prime Minister the leader of the party holding the most seats in the House of Representatives, and that person – upon confirmation via the Senate – nominates the heads of the government Departments and monitors and controls their actions subject to approval or overthrow by the House. We would make it so that the President signs laws into approval, or vetoes them as he desires.  He would still command the armed forces, negotiate treaties (with the advice and consent of the Senate as now) and could recommend legislation – but in what the Departments would do, he would have no say. And the people who do have the say in the actions of the Department, they can be removed by a simple majority vote in the House – and if the people don’t like how government is going, then every two years they get a chance to change the composition of the House, and thus get a government hopefully more to their liking.

Yes, this could lead to a situation – as it does in France, from time to time – where the President and the Prime Minister are of different parties.  Would it really be that bad if they had to work together?  The PM can want this, that or the other thing, but he’s not going to get it into law unless the President agrees – ditto on the President’s side. Other changes can also be made (I’ve long been in favor of limit the President to one, six-year term, eg), but we do have to think seriously about how we are going to ensure the means of cutting off a President – like Obama, but also like Johnson and FDR and Wilson in the past – who doesn’t care what the law says and is just going to do what he wants, defying anyone to stop him, secure in the knowledge that his opponents won’t have those 67 Senators necessary to convict on impeachment. At any rate, if anyone has a better idea, I’m all ears.