How is this for a headline?
“Key Democrats call for Ending Democracy”
Some people subscribe to the idea that politicians are stupid. They shoot from the hip until reined in by their consultants during election season. There is probably a great deal of truth to that. On the other hand, the use of the “trial balloon” is a well-tested technique for gauging public reaction to an idea.
With that in mind, I submit today’s WSJ’s “Notable and Quotable” into evidence to let the jury decide.
“Most Americans complain that government is unresponsive to their wishes. But not everyone feels that way. In the space of two days, two prominent Democrats have called for less responsive government that ignores public input.
One of them, former White House Budget Director Peter Orszag, penned a piece this week in the New Republic arguing, as the title says, “Why we need less democracy.” Orszag wrote that “the country’s political polarization was growing worse—harming Washington’s ability to do the basic, necessary work of governing.” His solution? “[W]e need to minimize the harm from legislative inertia by relying more on automatic policies and depoliticized commissions for certain policy decisions. In other words, radical as it sounds, we need to counter the gridlock of our political institutions by making them a bit less democratic.” . . .
[S]imilar comments by Gov. Bev Perdue, D-N.C., are far more troubling. “I think we ought to suspend, perhaps, elections for Congress for two years and just tell them we won’t hold it against them, whatever decisions they make, to just let them help this country recover,” Perdue told a Rotary Club gathering in suburban Raleigh this week. “I really hope that someone can agree with me on that.”
Gaffe or Trial Balloon?
I’m in the trial balloon camp. I think the “Ruling Elite” (aptly described by Codevilla) wants to literally cut governance from “the consent of the governed.”
Democrat or Republican, inside government or outside, these rulers are in the process of turning most important decisions over to “depoliticized commissions,” and they simply don’t want any pesky citizens or constitutional barriers in their way. This class of people has a simple goal – to turn America’s “government of laws, not men,” on its head. They want to govern by edicts issued by commissions. I may be wrong, and I don’t want to appear overwrought, but I think this is (or should be) a big deal.
I don’t know how to make this a huge campaign issue, but it should become the top issue on the presidential campaign trail immediately. If I were Perry or Cain, I’d be asking for a poll of our military brass to ask whether they would follow the ruling elite, or uphold the Constitution. Obama should be asked to repudiate all of the above statements. He should be threatened with making his tacit approval of the statements a central campaign issue. [As an aside, looked at in the context of the above statements, Perry's musings about secession are now perfectly reasonable.]
This issue goes way beyond tax rates, regulation, class wars, abortion, or party politics. This goes to the heart of the nation. It illustrates a cancer eating away at the Republic. That cancer isn’t merely a bad idea floated for reaction. The people floating it are evil. They are the cancer.
Orszag and Perdue are cancerous tumors that need to be removed by vote. Every citizen should make this a huge issue – at every level of government – in the upcoming elections. There is a great deal of evidence that raising this issue could be monumentally successful against the current administration and those in the Democratic Party that support it.
Recent polling, highlighted in a National Review article shows that a good number of rank and file Democrats could be swayed to vote differently with the right message.
The Battleground Poll showed that:
The lesson here is that the conservative brand is perfectly acceptable in many corners of the coalition that comprises blue America. That may explain why strategists on the left feel it is so important to toss what Ross Perot famously described as “monkey dust” into the air to cloud debates on so many important policy issues and dissuade these voters from entertaining and ultimately embracing conservative solutions. It also explains why leftist politicians use conservative rhetoric to sell their wares: It not only works among middle-of-the-road voters, it can be effective within their own political base.
The debates that threaten to decouple these voters from the liberal political machine tend to involve questions of fairness, the best routes out of poverty, and how best to enable ordinary Americans to achieve the American Dream. These include policies that offer educational options to children in low-income families, require welfare recipients to work and act responsibly in exchange for benefits, and end discriminatory mandates that require employers and schools to prefer some racial groups over others.
How about making “suspending democracy” and being ruled by “depoliticized commissions” a central campaign issue? Might that not make a few Democrats nervous?
We need to use the vote to remove these people from any political power and purge them (yes, purge) from all administrative roles. If we fail in that endeavor, we will eventually have to remove them by other means.