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Sunday, July 31, 2011

On the President as compromiser

I find it very curious that there is an argument in the world at large that at once says that the president is the only adult in the room because he compromised, but that he should have fought the good fight and not compromised as much. Somehow you get a better result by nobody wanting to actually govern. I rather like people who try to actually govern. Perhaps this is because I am not a Democrat, Republican, Libertarian, Independent, or any other identified type.
I am an anarchist, though possibly not a very good one. I have never paid my dues. I have never attended a meeting. I have no bombs to throw (well, blog bombs notwithstanding). I am an anarchist because at the bottom of my heart, I do not believe in politics. It never works! I had a professor in college who said he had just the right amount of anarchy in his politics. I followed this idea for a while, then had to abandon it. Instead I went for total anarchism, with just the right amount of representative democracy. It is a relatively small amount. I vote, I don't expect a whole lot as a result. I believe in the people, well most of them, but not in the politics. More in the democracy that the representing.
I voted for the current President and never once thought he was anything other that what he is: a moderate Democrat. Everything he has done is what I expected. It is not what I would have done: but I didn't run for the job. I will vote for him again, because he will do what I expect him to do. Not what I want, what the country needs desperately to be done. Governing! Compromising! Getting on with the job of existing. He will also do a couple of things that I am interested in: nominate Supreme Court Justices, and extend justice to those who live without it (a list too long to enumerate). He won't nominate the Justices that I want, but he will nominate people who are much less insane than would his opponent. He will not necessarily move as quickly to extend justice, but will move much faster than the alternative. This small differences will result in very large differences over time. Now is not the time to mistake the small but vital interests at hand. Get off your high horses and lower your expectations.

The Party of Business

Of course it has long been said that the Republican Party has been the party of business. I just don't understand why people don't get that it is now the party of bad business. It is the party of the quick buck, profit at any price (paid by the taxpayers though either indirect or direct taxation). It is no longer the staid party of banking--there are no more staid banks. The new business of the Republican party is privately held prisons (meant literally and figuratively). These are horrible businesses that make no attempt to do anything but squeeze as much profit as possible from the taxpayers. In the old system companies bought other companies and squeezed them for money (so 80s), but now the company is formed to go bankrupt (morally and financially) at which point the government (which somehow they are against) will step in and make good the bills. That they don't actually keep the prisons functioning as prisons--lots of people escape--is just beside the point. Google for competing businesses says the newly insane ex-Governor of  Minnesota. Make everything private. Allow the market to set the rules of business. Sounds good, but businesses don't do this. They don't believe there is a single market, only economists and politicians believe this claptrap. It just makes me tired. I am not, nor have I ever been a Republican. I used to allow that they were at least human.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

On the Constitution: Reading assignment

I highly recommend James MacGregor Burns' latest book: Packing the Court

It helps greatly to put much of the discussion of the constitution in proper context. Most important is his explanation of the "invention" of  ability of the Supreme Court to rule laws unconstitutional. Without this perspective much of the banter on the constitution is simply wrong. "Original intent" cannot make sense unless such claims address this question. If one claims to believe in original intent, one must not believe in the unconstitutionality of any law, a position that is held neither by these "constitutionalists" or their political opponents. Make no mistake: nobody currently believes in "original intent."