Sunday, November 11, 2012

How Should Republicans Govern the Next Four Years

I am writing five days after the November 6th election. Reading as much of the post-election analysis as my time admits I can't help but wonder how the Republicans in the House, Senate and in the state held offices might try to govern in light of the re-election of Barack Obama and the retention of the Senate by the Democrats.

Only a few items come to mind. In no particular order, the States should muscle up their 10th Amendment rights. The coercive scheme in place between the state and federal government that has gone on for decades should be challenged. States are co-equal units of government with more authority over a larger scope of government responsibility than is commonly known. Time for a few trips to the woodshed behind the supreme court.

The House of Representatives needs to understand the reasons that the House was designed with two features that are unlike their counterparts in the Senate and the other branch, the Executive. Those are popular vote and power of the purse. The popular vote, coming every two years as it does, was a means of keeping government close to the will of the people. It is the design for true self-government. The Senate gets six year terms and are voted in statewide which can be an effective insulator from the will of the people. The Executive being chosen nationally for four years is also insulated from a close association with the people.

The other feature in the Constituion designed for the House of Representatives is the power of the purse. All bills containing provisions to tax or spend must originate in the House. This power is designed to direct the efforts of the government to the will of the people. The current house leadership exercises this power somewhat weakly. When the Speaker says that the House cannot pass a budget without the concurrence of the Senate and President he is correct. When he says he must bend to their will he is not correct. That may be the compromising way to sign a budget into law but it is not a requirement that the House needs to compromise. The House can and should hold the government hostage to its budgetary and tax policy direction. Its a duty they have as evidenced by the power they were given.

The Executive function is to carry out the will of the people as expressed through their House representatives. The Senate function is not to trump the House but to curb its tendencies to extremes. When either the Senate or the Executive attempt to co-opt the power of the House to set tax and spend policy it is the duty of the House to shut government down pending a return to their rightful duties, the Senate and Executive. This also ought to be the check designed to curb the power grabs of the bureaucracy. The House is the protectorate branch of the people. The Senate is the protectorate branch of the States. The Executive is the protectorate branch of the political entity called the United States. The constitution empowers each to be able to fulfill their duty and checks them each from usurping the powers of the others, provided the others jealously guard their powers. 

Its up to the House to protect us during the next four years.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

The Socialist Agenda Behind Gay Marriage

Over at Lew Rockwell is an article by one Scott Lazarowitz titled The Right to Marry. Here is an excerpt from his article that, I think, best sums up his opinion,
And in my opinion, there should be complete separation of marriage and state. No one should have to get a license issued by government bureaucrats to marry. It is not the business of the government to permit or forbid a private individual to establish one’s own private contracts voluntarily
Read the whole thing. It's pretty short. The Lew Rockwell site carries an eclectic assortment of articles with a heavy anti-statist bent. They vary from the delusional or conspiritorial to the reasonable or cautionary. I especially enjoy the bottom of the daily list that are devoted to health related matters and self defense weaponry and tactics. This article sets within the anti-statist category. However, it fails to make the anti-statist case, remarkably and I feel compelled to call out the author to either bolster his position or abendon it. If he is anti-statist and he reads my emails he will have no honor if he doesn't abandon his position. I responded in two back to back emails which I will paste in their entirety, below.
To make your case, a one track reliance on rights isn't going to be convincing. Don't read into that an inferral that you are not right. There are some matters of family law that, being heavily affected by a change of this kind, require answers. How would you deal with other formulations of marriage if family law extended all the benefits of the social contract as it is, not as you wish it to be, as they would impact public expenditures? How would you deal with private contract disruptions that extend benefits to marriage as it is currently formulated after new formulations add substantially to the beneficiary pool? How would you, or would you, rationalize marriage into only two sets; hetero and homo? Why not poly, incestuous, bestial, extended family, extended family poly, pediophiliactic marriage formulations? Are there legal or moral or economic "laws" that would remain enforceable once you open this pandora's box to limit the formulations?  Or would you not fret and let all comers enter? Not to say there are no answers, nor that you are unable to provide them, but they're not in that article. Hence, its useless as a workable guide to changing family law. You extend rights into others' areas of obligation, initially taxpayers and employers, without balancing their rights. Sincerely, Mike Mahoney in IN
Sorry to return so quickly, before I even give you a moment to consider a response. But, I left a glaring ommission with huge consequences out of my other letter. The universal plea of the gay community is not to have a private right to marry as there is no state sanction against private marriage now. No, rather it is to have confirred on the marriage all, public and private by state sanction via equal rights and/or due process the benefits of heterosexual marriage onto new formulations of marriage. It is an undeniable demand made universally by the gay community and its supporters. In other words, you want them to be able to extend their private right, as it exists now, into the public realm. This is the opposite of what you wrote and it is the way the gay community wants it. They do not want a mere PRIVATE right to marry. They want it to be PUBLIC POLICY, MARRIED TO FAMILY LAW! They want to extend and expand the welfare state in their behalf. So within the confines of your article, either you are being disingenious or devious. There are other worse options I won't ascribe until I read your response. Really, you have a tough row to hoe. Sincerely, Mike Mahoney in IN

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Why Richard Lugar Lost His Senate Seat

How, in 2012, does a venerated, accomplished, well liked conservative Republican lose his seat of 36 years in the Red state primary of Indiana? Conventional wisdom is saying he wasn't conservative enough. By pointing to a few voting missteps and some bipartisan friendships the spinners of conventional wisdom plucked the obvious explanation. There's more to it than that. If the Republicans recognize the what else part of the reason, they'll see something more profound, though not complicated. Senator Lugar was elected 4 years before Ronald Reagan. In a way he could claim to be a predecessor to Reagan and the Reagan style of Republican governing. That style is a blend of pragmatism, business acumen, and being results oriented. Lugar has hardly budged from that style, in spite of a few votes that infuriated me. It served him and the country well up until about 2000. Its taken 12 years, then for something to cause a tipping point. If the senator hasn't changed, what has? Back in '76 a conservative elected to office of any shade from pink to scarlet was going to be an improvement over the FDR stlye of blue, social democrat that had dominated American politics for a half century. Lugar was good and red. Funny how red used to denote communism and now we use the election map colors the MSM put on states on election night to describe the voting trends that night. But I digress. Lugar was and is a good conservative. His ratings by various watchdog NGO's make it all too plain. By a measure of static historical reflection, Lugar should have been a shoe in. No Republican in the state could seriously have expected yesterday's defeat by looking over their shoulder at Lugar's past record or election results. Eventually, even Lugar sensed that the rise of the Tea Party was going to present a challenge. Lugar must have believed that he could easily weather the challenge based upon his record. He failed to sense that the Republican electorate had recognized a weakness in the garden variety conservative. Further, that the democrats were exploiting it to great advantage and repeated victories. Lugar labeled his opponent's biggest support group, the Tea Party as extreme. The Tea Party embraced the label if only notionally. There was one extreme difference between Lugar and the Tea Party. What Lugar either failed to realize or acknowlege was that the Democrats in particular and government in general were eating their lunch in legislative negotiations because the two sides were operating in agreement on a basic, underlying principle. That principle was that there should be no limiting principle to what government does and only slightly less, embraced that the means ought to have no limit. The disagreements were on details. This resulted in unrestrained growth and police powers of the state. Lugar styled Republicans were wedded to the idea that they could eventually talk sense into the deliberative process. It wasn't working. Republicans had held the reigns of power twice since 2000 and each time executed an overreach of their own design. Each time earning a smackdown from the electorate. The new Republicans had woken up. They discovered the weakness and the cure. Lugar wouldn't take the medicine; constitutionalism. That's the straw that broke the camel's back. Once the Republican elecorate rediscovered the source of a limiting principle, saw it in application in our early history and surmised it still the best fit for what ails the nation, Lugar's fate was sealed. He lived and died a pragmatist. He either failed to recognize or refused to believe that the Democratic acceptance of pragmatism divorced from limiting principles were ruining the country. Further, that they were using his own method of governing against us and him. If he were simply duped, realized it and refocused he would be our nominee, still. When it became clear that the constitution wasn't in Lugar's political DNA that sealed his fate as senator. The times demand fealty to the limiting principles, extracted from the dillutions of history and case law. Richard Lugar couodn't even see it coming. The rest of you, take note. ectorate