Categorized | Commentary/Editorial

More Abuse of a Self-Serving Establishment

To accompany Doug Brady’s post about about the latest effort of the Republican establishment to protect itself, look at Jerry Bowyer’s Forbes article on: Kept Conservatives: Prominent Right-Wingers Who Sound Very Liberal:

The kept conservative’s announced job is to represent the conservative point of view, but their real job is to give the illusion of balance without really challenging any of the core tenets of liberalism. They spend lots of time ‘reinventing’ the Republican Party, and the new invention is always the same: more liberal. They live among liberals, their friends are liberals, and, of course, they are paid by liberals. . . .

They raise money from across the U.S. on the grounds that they will represent heartland values in the corrupt seat of political power. But, nevertheless, they live in Washington, D.C., they think like D.C., they are haunted by the fear that if their career flags too much they will be banished from D.C., and they fight each other for the right to sit on the floor nearest the table of the liberals, where they can get the biggest scraps which fall from that table.

They are the loyal opposition: loyal, that is, to the regime, not to the people. They are not the solution. In fact they are more of a problem than the liberals, because when occasionally they are in power, they spout disconnected free-market slogans while they spend us into oblivion and practice crony capitalism, giving free-markets an undeserved black eye. True resistance to socialism will not come from such an opposition force as our current conservative ruling elite. Better no opposition than faux opposition.

I have now gone to several post mortems on the Republican 2012 campaign, and the conclusion, often masked in verbiage, is that the Republicans spent their money in ways that enriched the campaign consultants while the Democrats spent theirs in ways that elected their candidate. It is not surprising that the consultants are releasing squid ink by blaming the Tea Parties — while ignoring the long list of Senate seats that were blown by the establishment. Also, as I said in The Republican Establishment Wants a New People, the establishment wants Tea Party candidates to lose, and happily joins the Progressives in excoriating them for any mistake.

Because the Tea Parties represent spontaneous citizen activism, anyone can present him/herself as a "Tea Party candidate" — and some of these are indeed weird. There is nothing wrong, indeed it is beneficial, for donors and establishment types to vet those they support and call a loser a loser when that is the case. The problem is that the establishment types are inclined to tag anyone not part its racing stable as one of the losers, and this will not do. One of the reasons for supporting Sarah Palin is that her endorsement (or the lack thereof) means something real. I feel that she is trying to tell me the truth, and that cannot be said about many in politics.

As a companion to Bowyer’s piece, the latest City Journal has Hail Columbia! with the subtitle: "The federal government’s relentless expansion has made Washington, D.C., America’s real Second City." It recounts the tide of wealth rolling through Washington and its environs:

[A] wider and wider variety of businesses and organizations must be located there to lobby the government that decides their fate. (According to the Center for Responsive Politics, total spending on lobbying rose from $1.6 billion in 2000 to $3.3 billion in 2011.) These firms pay local taxes. So do their workers, who also buy houses, patronize stores, pay tuition at private schools, employ local doctors and lawyers, and so on. The regulatory superstate is turbocharging Washington’s local economy.

The author,  Aaron Renn of the Urbanophile, does not think this will end well:

This looks like a winning recipe locally . . . But it’s a loser for America. Even more than the old leaky-bucket system did, the regulatory superstate depends on inflicting pain on the rest of the country, pain that only Washington itself can relieve—if you pay up and have the right connections, that is. Washington’s fortunes and America’s are increasingly at odds. The region is prospering because it’s becoming something that would have horrified the Founders: an imperial capital on the Potomac.

The establishment, Republican and Democrat, makes a good thing out of having the right connections, and neither is interested in reforming the rules of the game. They just like to change ends of the field every once in a while, as in football.

Both the Bowyer and Renn articles should be read in their entirety. And let me add a reference to my own book, Ending ‘Big SIS’ (The Special Interest State) and Renewing the American Republic. I grow more pessimistic by the day about the prospects for reforming the Special Interest State without serious political and economic upheaval.


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  • Lennart Bilén

    We need Sarah Palin to tell it like it is:

    Get rid of the crony capitalists!

    Drain the Potomac swamp called Washington D.C.!

    Sarah Palin did not even think of Nantucket
    when plans for that infamous bridge kicked the bucket.
    But profligate waste
    and spending with haste:
    She ordered the spendthriftest Congress to chuck it!

  • Laddie_Blah_Blah

    Excellent, excellent, excellent.

    "You’d better get it straight that it’s not a bunch of boy scouts you’re up against… We’re after power and we mean it… (W)e know the real trick, and you’d better get wise to it. There’s no way to rule innocent men. The only power any government has is the power to crack down on criminals. Well, when there aren’t enough criminals, one MAKES them. One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible for men to live without breaking laws. Who wants a nation of law-abiding citizens? What’s there in that for anyone? But just pass the kind of laws that can neither be observed nor enforced nor objectively interpreted – and you create a nation of law-breakers – and then you cash in on guilt. Now that’s the system, Mr. Reardon, that’s the game, and once you understand it, you’ll be much easier to deal with." – from "Atlas Shrugged," by Ayn Rand.

    How little has changed in the 60 odd years since that was written. 

    Want to eliminate the 2nd amendment? Then simply make it illegal for anyone to freely exercise their 2nd amendment rights so you can prosecute the newly-minted "criminals" you have just created.

    Want to eliminate the free exercise of religion? Then create a law that makes those who exercise their first amendment rights to obey the dictates of their religious conscience to be in violation of the law – criminals, like the folks who run Hobby Lobby.

    Property rights? See the SC’s decision in the Kelo case. The state can now take your home away, and do it within the law, despite the guarantees of the 4th and 5th amendments against seizure of private property "without due process" of law. Simply redefine "due process" to mean anything the state and the courts want it to mean.

    Want to bail out incompetent, failed big whig corporate cronies with the people’s money? Then simply pass a law allowing you to give them as much as they need to pay for their losses, and to provide them with a little profit, for good measure. And then completely ignore the law you just passed so that your cronies are not unduly burdened by any legal restrictions in how they spend it, nor with any obligations to the people whose money you have just given them. Wouldn’t want them to miss out on their "performance" bonuses.

    Want to make people buy into a Euro-socialist scheme to purchase health insurance against their will? Make it illegal for them not to do so, and punish those who do not comply.

    All you criminals can probably add to that list. And those of you who are still "law-abiding," be patient. You will eventually belong to the criminal class, yourselves.

    And don’t look to the corrupt class of political cronies, in either party, who make the rules and benefit from them, to look after your interests or even to respect your rights under the law, themselves. That’s not the game, and there’s no power and no money in it for them.

    Of course, the law does not apply to everyone, especially to those who make or administer them, such as this guy and his boss:

    • lanahi

      One of the problems is the passing of regulations and laws outside of Congress.  ALL the departments, from Homeland Security, to EPA, to Department of Agriculture to whatever…are making their own laws and regulations.  We have all these mini feifdoms, and some not so mini,  and all the self-imposed queens and kings of these feifdoms,  who have run away with it and are ruled by no checks and balances at all.  Add to that, the EOs of Obama.  We are continually being over-regulated, and there is no stopping it.  Soon, one regulation or law will be opposite another regulation or law, and the average citizen will be a law-breaker no matter what.  When that happens, the head honchos enforce the "laws" any which way they want.  If they want to make you a criminal, it’s already done.

      When it reaches this stage, few will even try to obey the laws because they are a joke, and you have anarchy.

      It wasn’t so long ago that only Congress made laws, and that’s the way the Constitution was set up.  Today all is insanity.

      • Laddie_Blah_Blah

        Virtually every law passed by Congress goes to OMB, where the OMB bureaucrats interpret the meaning of the law and provide general guidance on how it is to be interpreted. OMB then transmits its findings to cognizant agencies which write the actual regulations based on OMB guidance – the agencies do not even get a copy of the original legislation, themselves.

        The various General Counsel’s offices circulate the OMB guidance to cognizant offices within their agencies, and the bureaucrats within those offices within those agencies write the final regs on how the law will actually be applied, with the support of the agencies’ General Counsel’s legal staff. Federal statutes having to do with the environment would go to the EPA, for instance. That is how the EPA gets to write and rewrite regs without having to go back to Congress. They only have to coordinate their revised regs with OMB, which reports directly to the POTUS.

        The agencies don’t make their own laws, but they define how those laws will be applied. I know, a distinction without much of a difference. Obamacare was not scheduled to go into full effect until 2014 precisely because it is so large, and covers so much legal ground, that they figured it would take that long to get the bureaucrats to write the regs governing how the law would be applied.

        The regs governing how Obamacare law will be applied are still being written, years after Obamacare was passed. That is what the "rule of law" has come to.

        "But just pass the kind of laws that can neither be observed nor enforced nor objectively interpreted – and you create a nation of law-breakers – and then you cash in on guilt."

        Observe, if you care, the regulatory abuses of the EPA.

      • dmac8889

        Ianahi,  you have marijuana which is being passed in states, but is still a Federal Law.

    • alien4palin

      George Orwell’s Animal Farm (1984)!!!

    • dmac8889

      Bravo LBB, a joy to read.

  • myfairlady

    Very good post and articles.  Thanks for bringing them to our attention.  It helps to see that others are seeing the landscape as we do–very stacked against us and getting worse. 

  • Guest

    History lesson on how best to make servants of a country:

    Take away what people want (especially the basics), then be the provider to give it back to them…..they become willing servants, with gratitude, as a way of survival…..

  • Hipparchia

    Bull’s eye analysis. 

  • lyndaaquarius

    Sarah Palin…the finest leader internationally since President Reagan and precisely because of her ability, she is scorned and abused. Completely maddening!!  This anti-Palin octave is close to playing itself out. I sense this.

    • alien4palin

      The battle of all time is yet to begin!!! The abuses and attacks will start again when Sarah reappears. Don’t get mad, get even.

  • dmac8889

    To understand the power of Washington, one must look no further than the city that surrounds it.  Wash DC is a cesspool of filth and crime, with public schools among the worst in America.  Within the Federal Property you will find monuments and six and seven figure employees at the Taxpayers expense.  Then you have the million dollar lobbyist, in which there is none for the 61 Sq. Miles within its city boundaries.  Outside Counties are among the richest in the country, with a high part of the population consisting of Federal Workers or former Federal Workers.  This all spells out that the American Taxpayer is a sucker at the mercy of other Americans (some who are not taxpayers) who have a representative showing up to get them a free lunch.  Of course the Rep. himself feeds off the public trough, until he understands that it is best he represent himself.
    (see Sarah Palin Hot Tubs)

    Are we in trouble?   The idea that the Republican Party is the only group sent to Washington to protect the taxpayer, and their actions are those they are happy with the status quo, and use the Leftist Media to attack the only competition they may have.   These are Conservatives, who watch as certain among them are invited to keep the soap opera going for entertainment purposes, but these very same persons fight like the devil to maintain this access.  They will go as far as backing those who are obviously not Conservatives.

  • BrianusBerkleianus


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