Saturday, July 30, 2011

Acolyte, Heal Thyself

The endangered dinosaurs in charge of the Church of the All Powerful State are in full panic mode over the debate regarding the national debt ceiling.  For the past few weeks they have been bellowing their latest meme in hysterical (in both senses of the word) attacks on House Republicans who have rebelled against the faith.

Although we no longer physically burn our heretics at the stake, we still do our best to destroy them, and the Church’s acolytes are brandishing their rhetorical pitch and torches with the same wild-eyed lust of Inquisitorial prosecutors of yore.

Just today, we read former Democratic congressman Martin Frost calling the loyal opposition “Tea Party Taliban”; leftwing attorney William Yeomans throws around the same image in a Politico opinion piece; former Republican congressional aide Doug Thompson attacks “Eric Cantor’s Tea Party Terrorism” in an Internet screed; Ted Kennedy biographer Susan Milligan fulminates about the “Tea Party’s Budget Terrorism”; leftwing journalist Trudy Rudin heaps scorn on “GOP Debt Zealots”—and on it goes from the intellectually and morally tattered Left Coast establishment.  (You can join the fun yourself: a search of the term “tea party terrorism” will yield you over 18 million hits on Google.)

The Recovering Bureaucrat makes a simple observation: these “Tea Party terrorists” are actually millions of regular Americans who simply are tired of endless deficits and the sophistry that is regularly employed to seduce us into tacking more unretireable debt onto our government balance sheets.  So Frost, Yeomans, Thompson, Milligan, Rudin, and the people they are fronting for are attempting to place a significant plurality of their fellow Americans outside the moral pale of civic discourse.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Return to Founding Principles, 21st Century Style

Some have challenged the Recovering Bureaucrat to get off his anti-elitist rant and start talking about how we can reform government in ways that reintroduce our founding principles.

Fair enough, especially because the RB didn’t want to slap around David Brooks after just praising him for his insights on the culpability of the Washington establishment for the recent global financial meltdown.  Now Brooks has written a silly and shallow column entitled “The Mother of All No-Brainers” in which he, channeling Barack Obama and E. J. Dionne, charges that the Republican members of Congress have “been infected by a faction that is more of a psychological protest than a practical, governing alternative,” thus forfeiting their right to be considered by decent people to be members of an honest and viable political party. 

Feh.  Ann Althouse has an effective take-down of this Left Coast outburst, so the RB doesn’t need to respond.

And the truth is that taking potshots at our intellectually and morally bankrupt elites is an endless and fruitless task (although the RB doesn’t promise he will never do it again).  It is indeed much more difficult to offer ideas on better and more morally viable ways for our self-government experiment to be improved.

In this and the next post, the Recovery Bureaucrat takes on the challenge of how to apply our founding principles to the challenges presented by the Information Age into which we have been evolving for the past forty years or so.

So let us first review our founding principles and then let’s look at potential reforms and applications.


Citizen Sovereignty

First, all power proceeds from the people.  When Jefferson wrote in the Declaration of Independence that “we hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness,” he clearly enunciated the basic philosophy of this new country.  Our inherent rights to our lives, our liberty, and to pursue happiness as we each see fit come directly from God and are therefore primary to all other human activity.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Elite Implosion, Independence Day Version

The venerable leftwing commentator, E. J. Dionne, offers a screamer in today’s Washington Post purporting to lecture members of the Tea Party about the true meaning of both the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution.  Dionne is a reliable mouthpiece for the Church of the All-Powerful State, which arrogates to itself as a self-evident truth the role of taking care of the poor, intellectually impoverished citizens of the United States, who could not put our pants on straight without the help of a government program.

Today’s column is logic-challenged to a degree even unusual for Dionne.  Because he has apparently not investigated anything substantive about the constitutional and governance visions that the various state Tea Party organizations espouse, he bases his entire argument on a false premise.

And that premise is embarrassingly laughable.  “[O]ur friends in the Tea Party,” he offers, “have offered a helpful clue by naming their movement in honor of the 1773 revolt against tea taxes on that momentous night in Boston Harbor.”
Whether they intend it or not, their name suggests they believe that the current elected government in Washington is as illegitimate as was a distant, unelected monarchy. It implies something fundamentally wrong with taxes themselves or, at the least, that current levels of taxation (the lowest in decades) are dangerously oppressive. And it hints that methods outside the normal political channels are justified in confronting such oppression.
The alert reader (which of course includes everyone reading the Recovering Bureaucrat) notes that Mr. Dionne gives the game away up front.  “Whether they intend it or not” means that Mr. Dionne believes he knows better what Tea Party activists mean than they themselves do.  This is the kind of silly drivel that our Left Coast elites have been reduced to peddling.  Because some of us refuse to accept the faith-based progressive project to reinvent America’s founding principles to excuse leftwing ideology, Mr. Dionne and his fellow clerics must denounce us and explain in tones best used for two-year olds our “misunderstanding of our founding document.”