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1. A Multicausal Approach To Over-Legislation

In response to this essay, commenter 0007 writes:

The problem and reality of all those issues is that those who write the rules that the rest of us are forced to live under have no intention of ever having to pay any attention to them as far as their lives are concerned.

Yes, indeed. But that’s one tile in a larger mosaic:

  • Exceptions that favor the political elite and their cronies;
  • Ignorance (sometimes willful) of history;
  • Heedlessness about the Law of Unintended Consequences;
  • The “third-party payer” fallacy;
  • Belief in the unbounded applicability of human legislation;
  • Legislators’ and regulators’ sense of personal superiority over the citizens.

I find it difficult to believe that there’s even one elected official who isn’t afflicted by at least one of those failings. That includes all the ones I find most appealing as presidential candidates. The syndrome is sufficiently pervasive to have me thinking favorable thoughts about the Spoonerites’ response yet again.

Somewhere in my vast collection of lapel buttons, I have one that says:

Nobody can fix the economy.
Nobody can be trusted with his finger on the button.

Nobody’s perfect.

I’d say we’re getting close to an airtight justification for exactly that attitude.

2. This Is A “Republican?”

Recent polls that reveal the popular unacceptability of late-term abortion, to say nothing of yesterday’s huge March for Life demonstration, should be telling Congress something it cannot ignore. Unfortunately, at least one member of Congress appears unable to hear:

As hundreds of thousands of members of the pro-life community descend upon Washington D.C. for the March for Life Thursday, the Republican leadership in the House of Representatives has caved to Rep. Renee Ellmers (R-NC) and a group of GOP women who believe passage of a bill that would ban abortions past the fifth month of pregnancy would hurt the Party’s chances with women and millennials....

As CNN reports, the group of female House Republicans “is criticizing abortion legislation that is scheduled for a vote on Thursday, arguing provisions dealing with rape are too harsh, and could threaten the party’s efforts to reach out to women and young people.”

That Republican women should have been the stumbling block is bad enough. But what’s worse is that the above statement of motivation – “[it] could threaten the party’s efforts to reach out to women and young people” – though it would be bad enough as a sacrifice of principle for electoral advantage, is clearly insincere:

A heated, closed-door meeting on Wednesday reportedly led to congressional aides being asked to leave “when the debate turned emotional.”

Why, pray tell, did the “debate” turn “emotional?” Was it because these women are secretly supporters of legal abortion at any and every point in gestation? Or was it that, like so many women in other walks of life, they simply have to have their way and will pitch a hurricane-sized fit when balked?

Erick Erickson comments thus:

Ellmers has succeeded where Davis failed and is now the Republican Party's own "Abortion Barbie." Ellmers first claimed that millennials opposed the legislation. When polling showed otherwise, she pivoted. Ultimately, she caused enough Republican moderates to walk away from the legislation that the Republicans could not get it passed. If that was not audacious enough considering Ellmers had run as a "pro-life" candidate, she then released a statement claiming she would have voted for the legislation she helped scuttle....

This was the climax. Preceding it was the other issue Republicans are known for -- taxes. Not wasting any time after being sworn in, a number of Senate Republicans expressed their interest in raising taxes. Most specifically, the senators said they wanted to raise the gas tax. They are not alone....

If Republicans do not support the pro-life cause and are willing to both reject protections for religious freedom while raising taxes, what do they stand for anymore?

What, indeed?

3. Political Gaslighting.

Many other commentators are in high dudgeon over the recent State of the Union speech delivered to Congress by Barack Obama. They can’t understand how Obama can emit so many lies in one oration and get away with it. It’s got a few of them hopping up and down. Perhaps it has you doing that as well.

It’s no mystery at all, Gentle Reader. Obama is playing the Palestinian Card: the one where you scream “Peace! Peace! We are for peace!” while spray-firing Israelis with your AK-47. The cognitive dissonance it induces has a paralytic effect on a great many minds. It works for the Palestinian savages, at least to the extent of retaining the (grudging) support of most Europeans and a fair fraction of Americans; why shouldn’t Obama, who fancies himself a compelling speaker, think it could be made to work for him?

It’s not enough to contradict the lies. Too many persons want to believe them, and will set aside any evidence that disturbs the fantasy. Add to that the pusillanimity of Congressional Republicans, who quiver in their boots at the thought that the Main Stream Media might say something critical about them, and the sycophants of the Left who dominate those media and take every opportunity to reinforce those Republicans’ fears. The aggregate makes it something of a wonder that the Republicans bothered to produce a response to the SOTU. It would have been more consistent for them to stand mute.

There are some “firebrands” on Capitol Hill: Rand Paul, Ted Cruz, Mike Lee, and a few others. There are a few others in governors’ mansions and state legislatures nationwide. But they haven’t the will, the skill, or the numbers to offset the dynamic in favor of Obama’s comforting lies...especially when so many of their brethren repeatedly tell them “not to rock the boat.”

I don’t know that a third party could solve the problem, but I can’t come up with any other alternatives, apart from self-exile to Antarctica.

4. Another “Republican.”

Yesterday evening, Bret Baier’s Special Report aired a brief exchange between Baier and Ohio Governor John Kasich that raised my blood pressure about fifty points. In the course of the exchange, Kasich, a Republican, defended state welfarism and redistribution by citing the Gospel According To Matthew:

When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory:
And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats:
And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left.
Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:
For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in:
Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.
Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink?
When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee?
Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?
And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.
Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:
For I was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink:
I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not.
Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee?
Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me.
And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.

[Matthew 25:31-46]

How is it that Kasich, who’s certainly bright enough to read the Gospels as they’re written, could do such a thing? Does Jesus ask the souls before him, “Did your government feed the hungry – and if it didn’t, did you at least vote for politicians who promised to do so?”

Yet another power-monger who’ll corrupt anything that might help him to advance. Ohio can keep him. How many more such lurk among the GOP’s power brokers – and how much weight do they swing at national conventions and in the deliberations of the party strategists?

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