Murkowski = The Face of the Combine

I have seen a lot of people writing about Lisa Murkowski’s decision to wage a spoiler write-in campaign, to try to prevent a Tea Party-backed GOP candidate from winning the general election.

Most of the writers look at it, incorrectly, in terms of Sen. Murkowski’s personal psychology. For example, they say she feels miffed about losing a seat that is supposed to be hers by right of inheritance. This motive may exist, but it is trivial.

In Illinois, there has long been an expression which describes the relationship between the two political parties: The Combine. Chicago Tribune writer John Kass seems to have originated this expression. See, for example, this article: In Combine, cash is king, corruption is bipartisan. Kass quoted former Illinois Senator Peter Fitzgerald: “In the final analysis, The Combine’s allegiance is not to a party, but to their pocketbooks. They’re about making money off the taxpayers,” Fitzgerald said. Kass went on: “He should know. He fought The Combine and lost, and the empty suits running the Republican Party encourage their friendly scribes to blame the social conservatives for the disaster of the state GOP.”

Sound familiar?

America, welcome to Illinois.

The way it works is this. The Democrat party is the senior member of the Combine. The GOP is the junior member of the Combine. The game is exactly the same, and whoever is up, or whoever is down, based on the random behavior of those rubes, the voters, does not matter. The game is always exactly the same, and the people who are in on the game, from either party, have a shared stake in defending the game.

The Combine is a term that should be more widely used in Illinois. It is also a word that should be more widely used in the USA in general.

Lisa Murkowski’s family, and her career, exist because of the Combine. Her interest is in preserving the existing game. She is preserving her stake and her family’s stake in a game they have benefitted from. There is no mystery about this at all. There is no need for psychiatry to understand why she is trying to stop Joe Miller. He threatens the game. It has nothing to do with the label “Republican.”

UPDATE: The GOP Senate leadership is respecting the primary result. Good. Mitch McConnell is reported as saying: “I informed her that by choosing to run a campaign against the Republican nominee, she no longer has my support for serving in any leadership roles, and I have accepted her letter of resignation from Senate leadership.” CORRECTION: I had previously, incorrectly said Murkowski was being from her committee positions. Big difference. My error.

63 thoughts on “Murkowski = The Face of the Combine”

  1. Understand Rothbard’s dictum – government is a band of robbers – and the mysteries evaporate. From the first marauding warlords to our own coiffed mafia, same as it ever was.

  2. @HappyAcres: Except this cycle and the cycles to follow represent an opportunity for We The People to take control of the national (R) label and break the combine.

    Murkowski’s inevitable loss as a 3rd party spoiler, along with Crist in Florida, will demonstrate the ultimate power of this opportunity.
    “Because the Only Good Progressive is a Failed Progressive”

  3. Thanks, this post pretty much says in a nutshell what Codevilla wrote in “The Ruling Class”. The nation may yet thank Illinois for exposing the “Combine” and wake us up completely.

  4. Excellent post!
    Here in Doity Joisey we refer to what you call the “combine” as the “Republicrat Party”. No matter who wins, they always win.

  5. Thank you for this post. I’ve considered all sorts of explanations but I think that it is finally beginning to make sense to me.

  6. I think what you say is true, but it is incomplete. The common criminal steals but he knows that his behavior is wrong and that he can only exist by flying under the radar.

    The children of the Combine are different. In their sociopathic universe there is nothing wrong with stealing when they or those in their social circuit do it. They are entitled to do it, and they are incapable of understanding why anyone could possibly object to them doing what they do.

    All in all, the common thief is a much better asset to society. They steal less and their moral standards are higher.

  7. They never have to steal.

    A few lines in the tax code, for example, can mean immense sums of money.

    Only the imbeciles, like Mr. Blagojevich ever do things in crude and illegal ways.

  8. “Lisa Murkowski’s family, and her career, exist because of the Combine. Her interest is in preserving the existing game. She is preserving her stake and her family’s stake in a game they have benefitted from.”

    Well said. One of the principle rules of business is to always preserve your market share. That’s what she’s trying to do, however desperate it might seem to outsiders. It’s got nothing to do with the concept of elected leaders represnting the people. She moved past that idea long ago.

  9. Peggy Noonan, a former Reagan staffer, whose weekley column in the WSJ is usually more insane than insightful has a good one this week.

    “Why It’s Time for the Tea Party”

    “So far, the tea party is not a wing of the GOP but a critique of it. …

    “Everyone has an explanation for the tea party that is actually not an explanation but a description. They’re “angry.” They’re “antiestablishment,” “populist,” “anti-elite.” All to varying degrees true. But as a network television executive said this week, “They should be fed up. Our institutions have failed.”

    “I see two central reasons for the tea party’s rise. The first is the yardstick, and the second is the clock. First, the yardstick. Imagine that over at the 36-inch end you’ve got pure liberal thinking—more and larger government programs, a bigger government that costs more in the many ways that cost can be calculated. Over at the other end you’ve got conservative thinking—a government that is growing smaller and less demanding and is less expensive. You assume that when the two major parties are negotiating bills in Washington, they sort of lay down the yardstick and begin negotiations at the 18-inch line. Each party pulls in the direction it wants, and the dominant party moves the government a few inches in their direction.

    “But if you look at the past half century or so you have to think: How come even when Republicans are in charge, even when they’re dominant, government has always gotten larger and more expensive? It’s always grown! It’s as if something inexorable in our political reality—with those who think in liberal terms dominating the establishment, the media, the academy—has always tilted the starting point in negotiations away from 18 inches, and always toward liberalism, toward the 36-inch point.

    “Democrats on the Hill or in the White House try to pull it up to 30, Republicans try to pull it back to 25. A deal is struck at 28. Washington Republicans call it victory: “Hey, it coulda been 29!” But regular conservative-minded or Republican voters see yet another loss. They could live with 18. They’d like eight. Instead it’s 28.

    * * *

    “The second thing is the clock. Here is a great virtue of the tea party: They know what time it is. It’s getting late. If we don’t get the size and cost of government in line now, we won’t be able to. We’re teetering on the brink of some vast, dark new world—states and cities on the brink of bankruptcy, the federal government too. The issue isn’t “big spending” anymore. It’s ruinous spending that they fear will end America as we know it, as they promised it to their children.

    “So there’s a sense that dramatic action is needed, and a sense of profound urgency. Add drama to urgency and you get the victory of a tea party-backed candidate.”

  10. hey!
    in 2004, i attended the alaskan republican state convention in kenai. i met with a fellow sitkan there, and she promptly went over to the head table and said, “let’s sit here!”
    i didn’t know any better, as i had just signed up as a republican a few months before and this was my first political convention ever, so i agreed and chose a seat. as it turned out, it was lisa murkowski’s table and she sat next to me! i was wearing jeans and a long-sleeved t-shirt and had no idea what i was plopped down in the middle of. i was also mildly embarrassed since it was lisa’s appointment by her father frank(who i used to like) that pissed me off enough to come to the convention in the first place! the coronation that lisa got that night took me by surprise as i thought there would be SOMEBODY to stand and say, “maybe lisa isn’t such a good pick..” naive, i know.
    well, there was a guy who stood up, and his name was mike miller. he owned a shop in north pole, alaska called the santa claus house, and he was going to oppose lisa in the primary. he had a sparsly attended breakfast the day after the ‘coronation’ that might have had 15 people in attendance. one of the people that stood up and gave a little speech for mike was a lady named sarah palin. i’ve been a fan of hers ever since.


  11. i tend to think murkowski’s motivation is the same as a bunch* of other pols…
    free money.

    this is money making season, and even if she isn’t going to win, she wants to hit the tip jar one more time.

    i sorta thought that if you don’t spend your entire campign war chest, and you ‘retire’ before spending the money, you get to keep it.

    grayson and halverston aren’t going to win, and they know it. Grayson realized that over a year ago. in their special cases, political clowndom tpas into the people stupid enough to send money.

  12. “I will never again read a word from Ms. Noonan. She supported Obama. Never forgive, never forget.”

    Yeah, funny that the “brilliant” Ms. Noonan just now realizes what us knuckle-dragging lowlifes have known for years.

    F*%k the GOP establishment. They are half of the problem.

  13. So, if one follows the logic of the analysis, one comes down to an uncomfortable question: When do we call the regime illegitimate? There are moral consequences of doubting the good faith of the overclass.

  14. The “regime” is the Constitution. The current office-holders can be voted out. Then the machinery that makes the Combine possible has to be dismantled. The people need to wake up and do it. That means us. We let this happen. It is our fault. Now we have to fix it. That is what elections are for, that is what free speech is for. It will be difficult. But it is going to happen. Get involved.

  15. But if LM runs, she loses and probably takes down Miller with her. The Combine wins again, and there will surely be some appropriate award for her.

  16. Lexington Green is right. “A few lines of the tax code…can mean immense sums of money.” Thus, our government. I have often wondered why members of Congress often come in with little money and,after one or two sessions, are millionaires or found to be without any further money worries.

    God bless the Tea Party philosophy, but beware, without term limits, the chance our elected conservatives will become the next generation’s Republican/Democrat feeders at the trough of lobbiest’s feed is always high.

  17. Term limits are a mirage. Without reducing the size and power of the regulatory state, the only accountable part of the iron triangle would just be weaker. The three sides are: Congress, the bureaucracy, lobbyists and those they work for. “Congress” is composed mostly of permanent professional staffers. The elected personnel are only part of it, but at least they have to face the voters once in a while. The other two parts have no accountability at all.

  18. So the answer to the question is, not yet. And despite the incendiary, delegitimizing language about the Combine and corruption and the game being rigged against the voter, when it comes to crunch time – well, it is really just a matter of politics as usual. The solution is to participate, get involved, be positive. (And, heavens!, don’t think in terms of a regime.) Let’s not really think that the “game is exactly the same, and whoever is up, or whoever is down, based on the random behavior of those rubes, the voters, does not matter.” It turns out the voters do matter, and provocatively to call the natural habits of the political class a Combine is to provoke a certain frisson among the immature, but ought not to be taken seriously as delegitimizing our leaders. (Not.)

  19. What do you want to fo, Wef?

    I want to change the game politically.

    Major changes in American political life are rare.

    But the do happen.

    What are you proposing?

  20. If Murkowski is Combine, then it stands to reason that the beneficiary of her actions (the Democrat McAdams) is favored by the Combine.

  21. The devil is in the details and the combine has been known to lie. At this very moment elements of the GOP are still attacking Christine O’Donnell. Murkowski has not really been removed from anything, it is just being talked about.

    “If the Republican Party is serious about supporting Joe Miller, the GOP must remove Lisa Murkowski from her ranking position on the energy committee. They must take that selling point away from her. If the GOP does not, one can hardly blame the grassroots for thinking Senate Republicans are yet again willing to betray their base.”

    “It’s not something that Mitch McConnell can do on his own, its up to the (Republican) caucus as a whole,” said Robert Dillon, Republican Press Secretary for the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee. Dillon is an Alaskan selected by Murkowski for that position as part of her authority as the ranking Republican on the committee. If the Republicans were to win control of the Senate, the ranking Republican would be in line to chair the influential committee.”

  22. After much searching I still cannot find a copy of the much mentioned Murkowski resignation letter. However, the WSJ, doing a little better job than any of the other organs reporting on this story, actually has some detail.

    “Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.) told Ms. Murkowski that since she was running against the Republican nominee, he would not support her for any leadership roles, and she resigned from the position of vice chair of the Republican conference, the fifth-highest position in the Senate GOP leadership.”

    So, what she resigned from was vice chair of the Republican conference. No mention of her position as ranking member of the US Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources. If she happened to win in Alaska and the GOP took control of the Senate then that would make her Chairwoman of that Committee.

    Also notice the wording of McConnell’s statement: “he would not support” – which is somewhat ambiguous. Note that the Murkowski spokesman above says it will take the GOP caucus as a whole to remove her from anything. Would the GOP caucus remove a freshly reelected ranking Senator from a chairmanship?

  23. Been saying this for years:

    We don’t have 2 parties – we have ONE party (The Government Party) with 2 branches (“The Stupid Party” or Republitards – and “The Evil Party” (Commu-crats).

    There it is, in a nutshell…

    And, the comment above is 100% correct about the Republitards — The Enemy says “Compromise! Meet us in the middle!”

    So, off the bat, we’re down 50%. Next it’s 75%, then 87.5%, and so on. THIS is how we got here today.

    They don’t care — every one of them promises whatever will get them elected, then when they get to the State-House or Sodom-on-the-Potomac they do whatever their Masters want/tell them to do.

    Who is REALLY in charge? Follow the money.

    Soros recently invested million$ in a Brazilian oil company. ~2 weeks later, Dear Reader announces that We The People are sending the same company BILLION$ – to set up drilling in the very same gulf where our _resident recently banned *US* from using.


    To quote an old movie:

    “Are You Retarded?”


    This is *THE* “most open and ethical administration in the history of the US…”


  24. Remember the scene in ‘Patton’ when the general during the battle for scicily finds a large and needed column being held up by a small number of stubborn skirmishers? He immediately ‘fires’ the CO and replaces him with the 2nd in command. He tells the new CO he has half an hour to get the column moving or he will come back and fire him. But when we fire these idiots there is just the same two there to choose from.

  25. Nope. The American people have tolerated The Combine for a long time because on net it delivered. It is no longer delivering on net. It is too corrupt, too inefficient and too expensive. So we’re going to replace it with a new group of people, unknown, uncorruptible, unconnected. And they will rule very well. At first. Then they will become corrupt, connected and contemptible. But we will tolerate them because they still deliver, just at a slightly higher cost. Until…As it was and ever shall be. Because we’re all human.

    What we are now doing is showing the world how a civilized people conduct a revolution. No mobs, no riots, no tanks. We, the people in peaceful assembly petitioning for the redress of our grievances. The rest of the world needs to prepare itself for the New America. Rev 4.0 won’t be at all like 3.9.

  26. Consider the perspective of Republican party leaders. Without equivalent funding, in the long run, they will lose and the Democrats will do what they wish. The MSM is biased left and paid advertising is the only method to reach the mass of voters.

    Large intrusive government is the merchandise of a political party. When deep-pocketed interests are shopping for an advantage over their competition, they’re going to buy from the party that has the most to sell. If the Republican party swings conservative and acts on conservative principles, shrinking government and removing the myriad special tax and regulatory cut-outs, the Democrats will receive an increasing share of the available money. I expect the Republican leadership feel that acting to shrink government now will, in the long run, reduce their funding below the level required to compete with the Democrats.

    Are they right? I expect they are. At present the electorate is aroused, but without structural change any swing toward will smaller government will be short-lived.

    An amendment to the constitution reinforcing and strengthening the concept of limited government is the only long-term solution. I expect the window of opportunity for such an amendment begins now and will close sooner than we’d wish.

  27. Just a little historical note. The point of Ken Kesey’s “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” is to fight what one of the main characters called the “combine”.

    Wouldn’t be surprised if this is where Mr. Kass got the expression.

  28. Uh. You are forgetting the Obama vs Keyes race in Illinois. I haven’t.

    Obama/Keyes vs Kerry/Bush

    So how do I feel about DE? I’m backing O’Donnell. All the way.

    O’Donnell Was A Witch.

    Opening line:

    Any friend (or former friend) of Aleister Crowley is a friend of mine.


    I think the days of “I’m right on abortion so ignore the rest of the package” are about over in American politics. And good riddance.

    The new crop of socons are Constitutionalists. Or in the vernacular – libertarian.

  29. Lexington, you say “the regime is the constitution,” but that is an incorrect usage of the term. For a better explication, read earlier Codevilla on regimes in the Islamic world, especially Iraq.

  30. My grandpappy always used to say, “They are all crooks.”

    Mark Twain: “America is a nation without a distinct criminal class…with the possible exception of Congress.” – Mark Twain

  31. M. Simon Says:
    September 19th, 2010 at 10:22 am

    If the people are amended then the Constitution is just fine. We get the government we deserve.


    The Constitution was put in place specifically so that some momentary majority can’t rule in tyranny.

    That firewall against tyranny is now in tatters due to the Supreme Court rulings.

    We need some new Amendments to restore that firewall.

  32. Most of you seem to be under the delusion that this clusterfoque Combine can be reversed or removed by political means. It is far too late for that. The poison tendrils are too deep in the body to be extricated by conventional means.

    As for voting for a witch, if she is a reliable constitutionalist I’d even vote for a Detroiter. But I would be under no illusion that voting can get the US out of this mess. This situation calls for an innovative approach that is as deep as the problem.

  33. Long time reader. Sorry if it has been mentioned somewhere else, but is Lexington Green a Half-life fan? The bad guys are called the Combine and are the overloads of a conquered earth. The hero is Gordon Freeman, killing Combine with a crowbar and some bad attitude.

    Who is our Gordon Freeman?

  34. Lex,

    What I am seeing from Murkowski is the typical cattiness that has very little to do with national politics and everything to do with female clique politics.

    Yes, she may be part of “combine” by being Mitch McConnell’s creature, but this is all personal for Sen. Murkowski.

    The “personal is political” with “the personal” being female high school clique political.

    Women in female social groups lack self-confidence and are unhappy to stand out. Approval of the group is everything. They are outraged when a pretty women who does stand out, who does not dress or act like them, who does not kowtow to them or their conventions, gets ahead without their regard.

    It means they are irrelevant and they know it.

    That is death to their social standing.

    They can never forgive that, any more than Southern men can forgive Sherman for destroying their great grand daddy’s patrimony, for much the same reason.

    That is why Sen. Murkowski is going menopausal, off-her-meds, nuts, about losing to Palin’s champion Miller in the Republican Senate Primary.

    She not only lost her patrimony, she lost it to the pretty beauty queen/jock from Wasilla who dissed the Queen Bee and her clique.

    Murkowski can’t stop fighting over this. It is an identity issue for her.

    She even went to DC looking for an excuse — “I was dissed by DeMint!” — to fire up her faction in Alaska and the lobbyist bucks to fund the next campaign.

    How high school juvenile can you get.

    The dissed queen bee is ticked off she lost the home coming queen election and is causing trouble for the student government home coming ball committee.

  35. Trent, we disagree. Self-interest, protecting the franchise, is more important than personal pique. If Murkowski were male, the same incentives would be in place, and the same conduct would likely emerge.

  36. senator fitzgerald left the senate (IL – replacing carol braun) – because he was sick of the Combine:

    more here:

    A little more on Fitzgerald. When President Bush asked him to recommend a US Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois, Fitzgerald broke precedent and went outside of Chicago and named Patrick Fitzgerald (no relation), a New Yorker with a reputation as a ruthless prosecutor. This angered the bi-partisan corrupt establishment in Illinois that Chicago Tribune columnist dubbed “The Combine,” and it guaranteed that the senator, if he chose to run for reelection, would not receive his party’s support.

    Peter Fitzgerald chose not to run again. Patrick Fitzgerald has led the fight against corruption that has put former Governor George Ryan (a Republican), Tony Rezko, and dozens of other public officials behind bars

  37. Reliapundit, in 1998, I had the privilege of voting for both Sen. Fitzgerald, and for Glenn Poshard (the Democrat who was Mr. Ryan’s opponent).

    History has validated the wisdom of both my votes.

  38. Lex,

    It didn’t happen with her daddy when he lost to Palin as Governor.

    It is happening with her as Senator.

    The same non-personal factors are present, the actions are different.

  39. <a href="”>Mencius Moldbug describes

    the so-called “Democrats” (whom, here at UR, we call the Inner Party) and their purported opposition, the supposed “Republicans” (or Outer Party) have completely different beliefs about the nature, purpose, and function of the office known as the “Presidency,” for which they appear to contend. As usual, the IP is right and the OP is wrong.

    To the Inner Party, the so-called “President,” ie, the player whom callers help select in USG’s quadrennial reality show, is hardly a temporal position at all. It is really more of a spiritual office. The Roman pontifex maximus is a fine analogy.

    Meanwhile, the Outer Party (or Prole Party) has a completely different view of the “White House.” To the PP, the “President” is the CEO of America.

    This illusion can only be sustained by people who either (a) have no idea what Washington is or how it works, or (b) do, but conceal it for their own political benefit. Collectively these individuals are known as “conservatives,” and they make up the right side of your radio dial.

    The basic problem of the Outer Party in the White House is that, with minor exceptions such as the Pentagon, its mission is essentially one of preventing the rest of Washington from doing its job. Or at least what it thinks its job is. The military, of course, is an Outer Party shop. The rest of our permanent government, the civil service proper, is Inner Party to the bone. In fact, perhaps the best way to describe the Inner Party is as the party of the permanent civil service.

    Which holds far more power than the White House.

  40. I watched Murkowski’s announcement. Much of her campaign centers around the claim that her seniority, her Ranking Membership on the Energy and Natural Resources Committee, and her seat on Appropriations will enable her to rob the rest of the country for the benefit of Alaskans. [That is the condensed version, boiled down from about 1/3 of her speech. Implied, but not stated, is the addition of the words “and herself” after Alaskans.]

    So, if the Republican Senate Leadership leaves her seats on those committees intact, they are helping her campaign against a Republican [and TEA Party] candidate as much as any of those oil industry lobbyists she called upon who may choose pay her off.

    In the wake of numerous deliberate decisions by the Republican Party structure over the last year to oppose TEA Party candidates, both before and after they get the nomination [as of Friday night, I heard Karl Rove was still functionally campaigning for the Democrat in the Delaware Senate race]; a Republican decision to support Murkowski may be approaching the “last straw” level with the TEA Party. I suspect that there is a deliberate intention by the RNC to try to push the TEA Party into a 3rd Party to limit their impact, as the Republicans seem really happy to be a tame opposition to the Democrats. It probably won’t happen before November 2, but afterwards ….

    If such should happen, I would expect that the Institutional Republicans will be the smaller of the three parties until they formally merge with the Democrats.

    Given that we have not heard a bloody peep out of Karl Rove, or the usual media elite, about how Murkowski is “dooming the chance of a Republican majority in the Senate”; apparently to the RNC a Democrat being handed a Republican US Senate seat in Alaska has absolutely no effect on the relative balance of power. Something to think about.

    I will hold back on considering the assumption of the Republicans campaigning deliberately for Murkowski in order to throw the race to the Democrat as proven fact until about Wednesday. As was noted, it may be that the Senate Republican Conference does in fact have to vote on removing her from her seats. But given the blatant nature of her siding with the enemy, if there is not some sign of motion in the direction of such a vote; it would be a good working assumption that the Institutional Republican Party is as much the enemy as the DNC.

    Subotai Bahadur

  41. Lex,

    Crist is not claiming that he was “smeared” and it made a difference n the outcome:

    Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski is defending her choice to mount a write-in campaign in the wake of her defeat to a Tea Party-backed candidate, telling CNN’s Candy Crowley she was the victim of a “smear” campaign.

    “What happened in my particular race, you had the Tea Party Express, this California-based group, come in at the last minute in a campaign, run a mudslinging, smear – just a terrible, terrible – campaign with lies and fabrications and mischaracterizations,” Murkowski told CNN’s Candy Crowley in an exclusive interview. “They came in, dumped $600,000 into a small market here in Alaska, and they absolutely clearly influenced the outcome.”

    Murkowski is bleeding all over the place in a way that professional politicians just don’t, but wounded women do.

  42. Maybe Gov. Palin should call Sen. Murkowski and say she looked very pretty in the blue pant suit. Maybe that would paper things over.

  43. “The “regime” is the Constitution.”

    I would not agree. The Constitution is, at best, a scaffolding for the institution of Government, which is itself an institution (roles, rules, rituals) made up of laws, customs, and habits. In my view the regime is the constellation of people that inhabits the institution. Their recruitment, retention, promotion, and retirement are key points of the health and well being of the regime.

    The current regime is the the third since the War of Independence. The first regime was a confederation of regional regimes, that was forced by the pressure of international events to create a national government and a military establishment. It collapsed, spectacularly and painfully, in the Civil War.

    The second regime was began with the Civil War, but was not limited by it. In the second regime, the Republican Party played the same role that the Democrats do now. The second regime was not an era of minimalist Federal Government. Even ignoring the Civil War, civil rights, and Reconstruction, the new party engaged in a large number of Federal initiatives, such as: the Homestead Act, the transcontinental railroad, the land grant college system, pacification of the native tribes, extra-territorial expansion (Alaska, Hawaii, Philippines, Puerto Rico), the national bank system. The second regime paid a decent respect to the constitution by amending it when they felt a need to expand Federal power (Am 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, and even 18).

    The second regime collapsed because of its own mistakes and bad policies. The Federal Reserve System mismanaged the gold standard, Congress enacted the punitive Smoot-Hawley tariff system (protectionism had been a feature of the regime), and the panic of 1929 turned into the Great Depression.

    The third, and incumbent, regime was built by FDR and the Democrats under the rubric “New Deal”. It has reached the age of 78, and like many folks its age, it is in fragile health. It is absolutely committed to a financial path that will lead to bankruptcy. Many of its subsidiary institutions have reached the point of no return: e.g. housing finance, elementary and secondary schools, higher education, public employee unions, medicine, and the legal system. They are burdened by excessive costs, inadequate production, and general dis-utility.

    On television this weekend, I heard one gray haired Washington pundit insist that the dividing line between sensible criticism and nut-jobbery was the Department of Education. To him only crazy people could call for its abolition. I thought to myself, here is the gap between the regime and the rubes. The DoE has presided over 30 years of uninterrupted monotonic decline in the American school system. Education is clearly a State and local responsibility under the constitution. To me the question is why keep it?

    I think the third regime is in a lot of trouble. Can we rescue the situation and transition a fourth regime without undergoing the sort of trauma that other regime transitions have caused? That remains to be seen.

    BTW, Lex if you are still reading: A blind squirrel finds an acorn every once in a while. La Noonan is pretty bad most of the time, and she fell victim to her hormones in judging BO, but this weekend’s column was fairly good.

  44. I stick with my statement that the regime is the Constitution. I pretty much agree with your periodization. But the written Constitution has continued. We need a fourth framework to replace the failing New Deal order.

    I read Peggy Noonan’s first book and loved it.

    She betrayed us all.

    Life is short, other writers get my time.

  45. Lex,

    There is no diverting the wrath of a woman scorned…or worse, the wrath of a queen bee publicly dissed as irrelevant by the beauty queen.

  46. Lex,

    It is all about Murkowski versus Sarah Palin:

    Murkowski Strategy Includes Active Courtship of Anti-Palin Vote
    By Scott Conroy – September 20, 2010

    Still, Murkowski’s general election bid is one that will rely heavily on motivating her voters to go to the polls to write in her name. The thunderous response to the Palin dig from her supporters in Anchorage on Friday served as a reminder that Palin’s name has the potential to serve as a rallying cry for the former governor’s detractors, just as it frequently inspires her most ardent supporters.

  47. Anybody ever notice how repub big shots, and the MSM, have always gone on about the threat of the tea party running as independents if they lose the primary, and splitting the conservative vote? But in actually, it is only the repub establishment types, like Murkowski in AK, and Crist in FL, that are actually doing it. At the same time, I can recall no case yet where a Tea Partier lost a primary, and ran as an independent. The Tea partiers are better, more reliable, and honerable repubs, than the establishment repubs.

    These establishment repubs are just like the dem lefties in that respect, they constantly accuse the Tea party of doing something, when they are the ones that are actually guilty of doing it. In the case of the establishment repubs the accusation is of splitting the party and not supporting the nominee after the primary (where the establishment repubs are guilty). In the case of the dems the accusations are violence and extremism (with the dems again being guilty on both counts. All provable political violence so far has always come from the left.).

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