Free Markets, Free People

A corrupt, inept and bullying government is cause for change

Glenn Reynolds makes the following observation while talking about Merkel’s refugee debacle (one with which I agree):

Fascism, like communism, is an opportunistic infection of the body politic, one that occurs when the institutions — and officeholders — of liberal democracy are too corrupt, or too weak, or both, to sustain business as usual. If you don’t like this outcome, don’t be weak and corrupt.

We’re headed over the same waterfall.  Over the years, we’ve seen our republic sink into political cess pit of the worst sort.  Corruption, cronyism, selling of political favors, governmental bullying, factionalism .  Add to that uncontrolled and unpunished bureaucratic over reach, government infringements on rights to a previously unheard of level, the law used as an oppressive tool instead of a protective one and uncontrolled spending resulting in massive debt.

The government, as first designed, has ceased to function that way.  The lines of separation between the 3 branches of our government have become so muddled and indistinct that that the government is almost unable to do its most basic job.   What we’ve seen is the willful ignoring of the Constitution by all three branches that has brought us to the point that those in power are now thought of more as enemies of the people than representatives.

Paul Rahe points out one of the reasons we’re where we are today:

The truth is that modern liberty depends on the power of the purse. All of the great battles in England in the 17th century between the Crown and Parliament turned ultimately on the power of the purse. The members of Parliament were elected at least in part with an eye to achieving a redress of grievances, and that redress was the price they exacted for funding the Crown. Our legislature has given up that power. Our congressional leaders claim – once the election is over – that they have no leverage. If that is really true, then elections do not matter, and a redress of grievances is now beyond the legislature’s power. Absent that capacity, however, the legislature is virtually useless. Absent that capacity, it is contemptible — and let’s face it: the President and those who work under him have showered it with contempt.

That basic contempt for the law, the demonstrated weakness when it comes to doing their job, their capitulation to special interests and greed and their ignoring the fact that the vast majority of people, on both sides of the political isle, are fed up with them and what they’ve built is where the electorate’s rage is grounded.

Tell me, does this remind you of any period or periods in history?  Certainly faint echoes at least.  Many of the dynamics at work then don’t exist now, but the fact that government wasn’t working for the majority in those two instances can also be said about what is happening here now.  Why else would a billionaire reality TV show star and a clueless socialist be as popular as they are?

It is another cry for drastic change in the way our representatives do their job and the way our government is run.  Obama was the same thing.  Now the choice is even worse.

Lump that all in with a historically and economically illiterate citizenry and it is a dangerous mix.

This is all headed for a showdown somewhere down the road, either soon or in the near future.  The question is, what will survive the event when it happens?  And is it possible that we can somehow see a leader emerge who can articulate the building rage (Sanders and Trump can do that) and actually LEAD us to reforming government to the point that it is again on the track it was originally supposed to be on?

For the first question, I have no idea.  As for the second, I have no confidence that such a person exists at this point and if he or she does, that this is at all recoverable.

~McQ

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29 Responses to A corrupt, inept and bullying government is cause for change

  • Your link to the Weimar Republic reminded me of the biggest difference between past hyperinflations and the one to come: this time we won’t need wheelbarrows because a debit card can hold any amount.

  • And I’m still not quite sure which side is more likely to erupt into violence first if their will is subverted by either power structure.

    Though I am pretty sure which side will come out on top if it’s largely a matter of being armed and dangerous and being willing to be both of the former.

    Funny, I say I can’t imagine it happening, and then I remind myself of Watts or the Vietnam protests or Kent State.
    Makes me realize the BLM, Social Justice children and Occupy movements ain’t got nothing on “my” generation.

  • I hold this truth to be self-evident, that neither Trump! nor Sanders has any potential to grow to be the person who can “LEAD us to reforming government to the point that it is again on the track it was originally supposed to be on”.

    Cruz falls far short of being who we need him to be, although I think he is best.

    The House needs to be enlarged to 1 Rep per 30 to 50,000 constituents. Let them meet is they need to in a stadium and let the Establishment try to herd those cats.
    SCOTUS should be 33 people serving 33 year terms, each President to appoint one per year until that number is reached, and filling vacancies, Chief Justice only to vote to break ties.
    Senate to be returned to originating with state governments, without fixed terms but serving at the pleasure of the State, with Executives filling any vacancy appointment until the state legislature does so.
    Fully informed juries to be mandated, such that the defense can propose any defense it chooses.
    A flat tax rate after a per capita deduction and a flat tariff to fund the government, and I can live without the tariff.
    Great big chunks of the federal bureaucracy to be turned over to the administration of voluntary compacts between the states.
    Socialist Insecurity to be wound down by means of individual accounts.
    Term limits and incumbency to be banned, no repeat terms allowed.

    Any more minimum requirements?

    I’d like a third house of net-taxpayers who must sign off on the budget (not the Senate), but sh!t in one hand wish for unicorns and whaddya got?

  • A shorter response is in order.

    The governing premise of 9 out of 10 of our governing class is at odds with liberty and our organic law. Trump! represents the abandonment of the rule of law by 1/3rd of the GOP, where all but all the Democrats have already done so.

    There will be civil war.

    • I think a lot of Trump supporters are giving up on traditional rule of law because of tit for tat. They’ve seen the other side commit obvious crimes, and get away with it. They perceive that failing to fight fire with fire means rolling over and getting screwed (is that enough metaphors in one sentence?).

      I’m pretty much with you that Cruz is the least bad option and the one with the best chance of getting a bit of progress in the right direction. Even that would be chancy.

      I don’t know what Trump would do. I don’t have a clue. When I take any fairly large sample of what he says, it comes out as semantically null. My best guess is then that he’ll revert to type and “make deals”. That doesn’t say anything about who benefits from the deals, except that we can be pretty sure that Donald Trump will benefit. The idea that he will coerce, bribe, or otherwise induce our present ruling class to respect rule of law looks pretty silly to me. I think they’ll just wait him out and go back to business as usual.

      Which might delay the civil war a while, but does nothing to reduce its probability.

      Trump’s main service to us is showing the establishment political class (including the media propaganda arm) for the pathetically weak creatures most of them are. I hope every limited government candidate takes that lesson to heart from now on.

      One place I diverge from many on the right is Trump’s electability. Hillary is a terrible, terrible candidate – shrill, awkward, cold, not robust in health, and with a drip-drip-drip scandal that won’t go away because she has committed what appear to me to be obviously criminal acts. Plus, Trump will bring in some new voters. A friend who was an election worker on primary day said about 20 out of 300 primary voters answered the question “Republican primary or Democratic primary?” with “which ever one Trump is in”.

      I think the fact that Democratic primaries are way down on participation, and GOP primaries are setting new records, says a lot about their respective chances in the fall.

      • This item on Instapundit, in which Glenn basically calls David Brooks an idiot, notes one of the reasons Trump supporters are not in the mood to play nice:

        The Tea Party movement — which you [David Brooks] also failed to understand, and thus mostly despised — was a bourgeois, well-mannered effort (remember how Tea Party protests left the Mall cleaner than before they arrived?) to fix America. It was treated with contempt, smeared as racist, and blocked by a bipartisan coalition of business-as-usual elites. So now you have Trump, who’s not so well-mannered, and his followers, who are not so well-mannered, and you don’t like it.

      • ” I don’t know what Trump would do. I don’t have a clue. When I take any fairly large sample of what he says, it comes out as semantically null. ”

        Then look at how he says he’ll do it. He approves of executive orders. He likes “yuuuge” deals–getting the deal done may be more important to him than what the deal is. The Left makes a lot of “Progress” that way.

        “Trump’s main service to us is showing the establishment political class (including the media propaganda arm) for the pathetically weak creatures most of them are. I hope every limited government candidate takes that lesson to heart from now on.”

        That seems like a superfluous service. Reagan shouldn’t have been elected, Gingrich shouldn’t have re-taken the House, and 2012 shouldn’t have seen the GOP gain seats the way they did.

        The lies, the encouragement to violence, the consistent approval for extra-legal executive orders, the few policies he’s clung to with any firmness (nationalized single payer healthcare).. He strikes me as all downside.

      • A friend who was an election worker on primary day said about 20 out of 300 primary voters answered the question “Republican primary or Democratic primary?” with “which ever one Trump is in”.

        >>>> Soooo Trump is bringing LIVs into the party……hooray?

        I think a lot of Trump supporters are giving up on traditional rule of law because of tit for tat.
        >>>> We haven’t given up on anything. Traditional rule of has law effectively ended – the coup de gras will be when Hillary doesn’t get prosecuted due to “prosecutorial discretion” – why flog the dead horse. We’re merely adapting to the new rules.

        I don’t know what Trump would do. I don’t have a clue. When I take any fairly large sample of what he says, it comes out as semantically null. My best guess is then that he’ll revert to type and “make deals”. That doesn’t say anything about who benefits from the deals, except that we can be pretty sure that Donald Trump will benefit. The idea that he will coerce, bribe, or otherwise induce our present ruling class to respect rule of law looks pretty silly to me. I think they’ll just wait him out and go back to business as usual.
        >>>> Basically. You’ll get 4 years of sloppy, center-right-left ineffective govt since neither party will allow him to do much of anything. He’ll do less damage than Obama I wager.

        • “We haven’t given up on anything. Traditional rule of has law effectively ended – the coup de gras will be when Hillary doesn’t get prosecuted due to “prosecutorial discretion” – why flog the dead horse. We’re merely adapting to the new rules.”

          Not to put too fine a point on it, but I hope the war comes soon enough for me to kill a whole lot of you.

          To hell with you.

          • Try it if you feel strong, cowboy. But why so angry? I don’t make the rules I just play the game.

          • Sure Shark, no con in stir is guilty.

          • Better to be guilty than a chump. Sorry Tim.

          • Bat shit crazy aside, because we won’t trip over ourselves to agree with you or play it your way, you’re looking forward to killing us all.

            You just made yourself the biggest authoritarian and hyper conformist on here. Bigger than Erb Tarlek.

          • Uhuh.

            The people openly embracing the end of the rule of law are ok, other people are the problem. You want an Obama of your own in office.

            ” But why so angry? I don’t make the rules I just play the game.”

            A “last man” does not know he should despise himself. If you would be worthy of the blue side at Yorktown, you’d change the game.

          • The French?

            :

          • The people openly embracing the end of the rule of law are ok, other people are the problem. You want an Obama of your own in office.

            —-point of order Sparky. I’m not “openly embracing” it. Had I been asked I’d wanted it to continue. Unfortunately it was bumped off without my say so.

            Do I want my own Obama in office? Well DUH. If there’s gonna be an Obama in office, may as well be my Obama.

          • “Here’s the thing: it’s not just the poor and the working class anymore. I’m told by teachers and others that it’s the middle class now too. The attitude that if anything is wrong, it’s Somebody Else’s Fault, is becoming general. Nobody wants to hear criticism of any sort. Nobody wants to recognize authority, or to assert authority in a meaningful way.”

            Taken from here: http://pjmedia.com/instapundit/229526/#respond

            “point of order Sparky. I’m not “openly embracing” it. Had I been asked I’d wanted it to continue. Unfortunately it was bumped off without my say so. Do I want my own Obama in office? Well DUH. If there’s gonna be an Obama in office, may as well be my Obama.”

            Sure Sparky, You’re raging at the dying of the light.

          • “point of order Sparky. I’m not “openly embracing” it. Had I been asked I’d wanted it to continue. Unfortunately it was bumped off without my say so. Do I want my own Obama in office? Well DUH. If there’s gonna be an Obama in office, may as well be my Obama.”

            Sure Sparky, You’re raging at the dying of the light

            >>>> Gimme a break. It’s LOST and it isn’t coming back. Once gone, it doesn’t usually come back unless one of the following happens:
            – The dictator in charge gets killed
            – Civil war – either short and bloody or more likely low grade and awful

        • Shorter Shark:
          ~ I don’t see any improvement being possible, wouldn’t know it if I saw it, but I’ve decided to go be a thief! Y’all ought to be cool with that! Right! ~

    • Except for the Bombast, Trump is right in there with all the rest with his respect for the Rule of Law. The only difference is the Bombast makes it obvious instead of cloaking it in practiced nuanced double talk.

  • Fascism, like communism, is an opportunistic infection of the body politic, one that occurs when the institutions — and officeholders — of liberal democracy are too corrupt, or too weak, or both, to sustain business as usual. If you don’t like this outcome, don’t be weak and corrupt

    >>>> All true. But again and again, it comes back to the voters. We put up with this sh-t. And we put up with it for way too long. Well, I say “put up” with, I mean that a small percentage put up with it, a larger percentage are all-in and taking the free sh-t with both hands. So what if their water is toxic and their schools are jokes and their neighborhoods make war-time Beirut look good?

    There’s no fix for an infection of the people

    • “There’s no fix for an infection of the people”

      Tell it ti Joseph Plumb Martin.

  • There’s no fix for an infection of the people
    Yeah there is, it’s just always messy and a lot of people don’t make it to come out on the other side.
    A generation will come out of it that either understands where Freedom comes from, or where Freedom was lost.
    And 60 years from now their grandkids will sell it all back to the sleeze balls who will bribe them with their own money from the treasury.

    As I see it there’s a lot of angst that Trump is going to do things like, ignore the Constitution, and the laws, and the Supreme Court, and the Legislature, and use executive agencies and a pen and a phone to do what he wants because “we can’t wait” to do the things he’ll need to do. That sounds familiar.
    And I suppose Hillary wouldn’t do those things because she’s so much more principled about American government than Barack Obama, right?

    Cruz was my candidate, but he’s not wanted by the GOP.
    When the pundits and the “Stop Trump”ers come up with their fantasy strategy to stop him, where is Cruz mentioned?
    He’s usually not, names like, Paul Ryan, Mitt Romney for God sake.
    So what does that tell you, he’s the closest to being able to take the candidacy from Trump and yet most of the people screaming about dangerous Trump aren’t suggesting Cruz as the alternative.
    And lately Cruz’s emphasis on his religious right isn’t making me comfortable.
    I don’t mind him having faith, or praying, but I don’t want the President to do call outs for a “Hallelujah” and a “Praise Jesus” during his speeches either.

    What is the things we fear Trump is going to do that wouldn’t effectively just be “more Obama”. Screw up foreign policy? Screw the economy and lie to us about it? Increase immigration?
    The big tumult from the pundits and powers is that Trump is going to upset apple carts, and by that they mean he’s likely to upset their apple carts.

    None of the choices we’re likely to get are good.
    Hillary will continue our slide towards the Union of American Socialist States. Before which there will be a nuclear explosion size demonstration that the rule of law is completely gone so she can run for President.
    But let’s face it that’s damned near a foregone conclusion – we know the Fat Lady is in the wings getting ready to sing to make the end official.

    Bernie ditto, but let’s be real, Bernie ain’t happening, he’s a bigger fantasy than Mitt Romney.

    The Republicans are about to subvert their own ‘law’ by screwing with what appears to be the majority of their voters, which is going to cause a small nuclear explosion in the party that really will probably give Hillary the election.

    A Felon and a nut who’s a socialist running for the Democratic candidacy.
    On the other side the favored candidates allow themselves to be controlled by people who want more immigration, more spending, and more acting like Democrats.

    All I can say is everyone is lathered up that Trump is going to sell our freedoms when it’s become very obvious, like a freight train these last 9 months, those freedoms were sold, while we watched, a long time ago.
    The lien holders just didn’t want you to know, and Trump is forcing them to make the contracts public., not because he’s a nice guy, but because he thinks he can do something better with the property.
    How the hell is he going to make it worse than it obviously is?

    • He can lose us the Senate! Which we……don’t really control at all anyway under the current crop of losers.
      He can lose us the SCOTUS! Which we……already basically lost (and the fact that the SCOTUS is so powerful means we already lost a long time ago)
      He can hurt the economy! Which is…….already fail
      He can lose us……I dunno. The last 8 years have been quite simply a rout.

      I know
      He can lose us the GOP! Which is………just fine here

      • Yeah, being as I’m feeling racist, violent, ignorant and low information courtesy of the Republican party right now, I figure “I” already lost the GOP.
        In fact, it’s pretty clear “I” was never really part of the party, I was just foolishly sending them cash and voting for them in November during National elections because I thought I was some kind of minor member.
        Who knew.

        Going to be hard for me to feel bad about ‘losing’ something I clearly never had.
        Maybe they can get their pundits and big donors to vote tens of thousands of times to make up for all new non-members who have made a similar discoveries in the last few months.
        The money won’t quite make up for the votes, huh.

        Well, whoops!

      • It helps if you live in Texas if you’re trying to assemble the puzzle of how the party is elite owned and operated.

        We had to go around them in the last Senate election to get Ted Cruz.
        The national party wanted us to elect David Dewhurst and we didn’t.
        So Cruz is definitely OUR fault.
        Even Cornyn sides with the party rather than Texas/Cruz, although I’m certain “he’ll tell y’all he’s siding with Texans” without considering that we didn’t pick the Senator the Republican party wanted.
        Makes it obvious why their furious scrambling to drive off Trump doesn’t lead them to Ted.

  • I don’t think that Trump has any idea what he’s gotten himself into, and I’m not talking about the complexities of policy and the general rules of government.

  • “>>>> Gimme a break. It’s LOST and it isn’t coming back. Once gone, it doesn’t usually come back unless one of the following happens:
    – The dictator in charge gets killed
    – Civil war – either short and bloody or more likely low grade and awful”

    You act like either one is a countervailing downside to applying the fix, instead of just part one of the fix.

    Despair is a sin.

    Wanting an Obama of your own in charge so you can enjoy the decline easier is also a sin. Makes you part of the problem requiring a part of the “fix”.