Friday, January 25, 2013

Hey, Conservative Hacks: An Opportunity

Thinking about two of today's major stories, the court decision to eliminate the recess appointment power and the plot to rig the electoral college...

It strikes me that there's a major unexploited market out there in Crazy Land: an argument for why only the House of Representatives, and not the president or the Senate, is really a legitimate democratic institution.

It's really not even that hard to make, although it needs to dive far off the deep end when you get to the part about consequences (which presumably entail everyone having to do whatever it is the House wants). After all, it doesn't take much creativity at all to argue that the Senate is a democratic eyesore. And while the presidency is a bit harder to take down, any conservative hack worth his Regnery contract, Heritage desk, and guess slots on Fox news should certainly be capable of doing it. And from that, it pretty much all follows that unchallenged government by the majority of the majority party in the House is pretty much what God revealed to the Founders in Philadelphia. Of course, that's also why Democratic-leaning states should apportion their electoral votes by House district, and why direct election of Senators is a bad idea, and Benghazi and Fast and Furious and the rest of it, too.

So, hop to it, conservative hacks! The easy marks you prey on are just waiting to put this one on the best-seller lists.

22 comments:

  1. I appreciate your trying to make me feel better. I'm already on the case, however. I'm reading Jim Holt's excellent Why Does the World Exist? I'm hoping it turns out that it doesn't and so I don't have to worry about the next great conservative idea. "Only Republican votes should count"? Surely, that's no more crazy than other ideas they've had recently.

    But I don't think the authoritarian party is really for mob rule. I mean (not to go all Goodwin on you), didn't the Nazis eliminate parliament once they got power in Germany? That seems more up the Republican aisle. If you can come up with some way they could end Congress and turn the president into a dictator, I think they'd be right with you!

    Heil Rubio? No way! Heil Jindal? Better. Heil Ryan? I think we may have a winner!

    (Yes. It's been a bad day. Sue me!)

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  2. that's also why Democratic-leaning states should apportion their electoral votes by House district

    I suggest you have a look at the electoral map by counties. Obama won wherever people outnumber cows, goats or alligators. Romney won the others. This is why the Repugs gerrymander.

    It's a subversion of democracy, which they hate.

    JzB

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    1. Jazz...
      From the way the Republicans have been behaving, it would seem they like the subversion of democracy idea.

      Delete
    2. I remember various conservatives being scolded on this blog for namecalling, but "Repugs" sails through, huh? Well, at least you know your readership, Jonathan. Sheesh.

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    3. By the way: without exception, people who use that sort of back-patting shorthand for the ideological opposition should never, ever be taken seriously in political discussion. Sorry, but it's ridiculous and childish no matter what you believe.

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    4. Missed it -- but correct.

      Hey, Jazzbumpa, I've called you out on this before. Please keep the discussion and language civil.

      Thanks

      (Anon -- you are entirely correct on this one, and thanks for alerting me to it. I do read every comment, but not always promptly, and not always as carefully as I wish I could)

      Delete
  3. Oooo, sounds like a plan to me! Here's my policy idea addition, let's have Senators elected not by popular vote, or even state legislatures, but have the state delegation in the House of Representatives pick them! This will...(wait for it) RESTORE COMITY TO THE SENATE! And if there's one thing the Senate needs, its comity restored.

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    Replies
    1. OK, I really like that.

      I'm afraid you may have a future in this...

      Delete
    2. It's almost as if you've read the Virginia plan! Now this is truly Madisonian government. Unfortunately you don't go far enough - The House must obviously select not only the Senate but the National Executive as well, as our Founders intended. Stubborn persistence in office by the "President" is an outrageous defiance of the people's will (Tyranny!) and if he doesn't resign on his own we'll just have to impeach him.

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    3. Haha, I'm just waiting for Lindsay Graham to say: "The only way to restore comity to the Senate is to abolish the Democratic Party."

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  4. ... an argument for why only the House of Representatives, and not the president or the Senate, is really a legitimate democratic institution.


    As far as the House goes, the House can impeach the President, but the President can't dissolve the parliament, and call for new elections. And the veto can be overridden.

    So who out-ranks whom? It's like rock-paper-scissors.....

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    Replies
    1. The legislature, if in sufficient agreement, out-ranks all, in your parlance.

      But as an individual, the Executive takes the cake.

      Delete
  5. speaking of guess spots on Fox--an inspired slip--Sarah Palin is not reupping. Whatever that may mean.

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  6. Jonathan, you know Conservatives are lost without the special powers of your decoder ring... don't hold back on us now!

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    Replies
    1. Aw, Couves -- as you know, I'm not talking about all conservatives -- just conservative hacks and the suckers who enrich them.

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    2. As long as I'm 'the good conservative.' :)

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  7. This is all the long way 'round to the goal. The institutions are all fine as they are, as long as only Republicans control them. Now, it seems to me that a true originalist would note that the Founders never intended that there be political parties. It follows that "the Republican Party" is merely an expedience, one that was forced upon the custodians of The Founding Vision(TM) and Real Americanism(TM) when somebody messed up and allowed the origin of the Democratic Party (which, historically, as the Jeffersonian Republicans, was the first organized group to contest elections nationwide, hence the first "party" of the kind the Founders rejected, even if it happened to be led by a rogue Founder with some crazy-ass ideas). Obviously, as long as the Left manages somehow to exist with all its perverse idiocies, and as long as it's allowed to have a party, then the Real Americans need a party too. But a genuine return to our roots would see the abolition of parties, allowing the Republican Party to dissolve back into what it truly is, the Voice of the American People(TM).

    In short, the simple and correct way would be to abolish the Democratic Party. But this would not be partisan, because you would be abolishing all parties. Then, on good originalist principles, you could declare that political office may be held only by people who adhere to the Constitution, i.e. who understand it the way the Tea "Party" (currently so-called) and the Federalist Society do.

    Of course, it's a ways from here to there, but the first step is to restore unified Republican control of government (so that the Republican Party has the power to outlaw parties), and the steps toward that include (a) gerrymandering the House (done), (b)delegitimizing the Democratically-controlled Senate (well along), and (c) rigging the electoral college (coming next). So, we're on the way!

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    1. Once parties are eliminated, you'll need some nonpartisan institution to vet candidates and make sure that no closet partisans sneak back in. I'll bet FreedomWorks would take the contract if the price is right.

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  8. I keep waiting for one Tea Party group or another to discover the Articles of Confederation.

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    Replies
    1. Amity Shlaes is on it: http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2012/07/introducing-pre-constitutional-conservatism.html

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  9. One gun, one vote. Two guns - you get the picture. If the Repubs are feeling generous, non-gunowners (ladyfolk and other invalids and incompetents) can have 5/8ths vote.

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  10. Until the next time Dems have the House and Republicans have the Presidency, that is. Then it's all down the memory hole.

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