Jaywalking with Progressives

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“The American Constitution is an outdated, malfunctioning piece of junk,” wrote Ryan Cooper in a 2018 column for The Week.

After the obligatory cheap shot at our Framers for their imaginary yet unforgiveable original sin of slavery, he launched into a tirade about a divided Washington in which elections generally do not produce functioning governments, meaning government responsive to passing popular whims. His remedy is to adopt the governing structure of “normal” countries, a parliamentary system in which factional parties rule.

To counter what he calls the “right-wing fringe” in the House of Representatives, he proposes three reps from enlarged congressional districts. In this scheme, what I call the Happy House, non-Uniparty candidates have a chance. He would retain the current 435 membership and extend their terms to four years. What could possibly go wrong?

On the bright side, and unlike former Michigan congressman-for-life John Dingell, Cooper wouldn’t do away with the Senate. But it’s small comfort because instead of restoring a federal government through repeal of the 17th Amendment, he would neuter an already feeble Senate into something like the flaccid British House of Lords. Just mimic the unwritten British constitution, where the party is government and government is the party. Bad idea.

I don’t know anyone who spends much time studying anything they dislike. Just ask my wife about algebra. But hey, maybe I’m wrong about Cooper. Maybe he knows of what he writes. If so, then it’s that much worse because he keeps his Constitutional knowledge hidden from his readers. He believes our Constitutional structure, which was de-federalized by the 17th Amendment, is still an inadequate sluice for Leftist legislation. To further lubricate the skids in his ideal party government, he would have the Happy House appoint Presidents! This corrupt arrangement guarantees his “functioning government,” the smooth flow of bills into laws, like you-know-what through a goose.

Progressives love democracy.1 The more of it the better. In this regard, they sing from the same sheet of music as our Scotus, which regards voting as a fundamental right.2 Yet to what end do these people promote the popular element? The purpose is to fast-track legislation unlimited in scope and unhindered by Enumerated Powers. Why not? That 18th century stuff is so quaint and silly.

Recall the infamous Jonathan Gruber’s description of the American people as too stupid to know what’s good for themselves. See, once US citizens and millions of illegal aliens vote for demagogues promising free everything, our previously equal fellows are magically transmorgrified into superior creatures. Voila’! These greater life forms in the Happy House, a limp and maybe transgendering Senate, Tool-of-the-Happy House President and a suitably diverse LGBTQ politicized Scotus are free to go where their social justice imaginations carry them. Elect enlightened Progs, then sit down, shut up, and do as you are told. How cool!

Progs strive for national government. Federalism stinks because it’s a moldy anti-democratic leftover from our bad old patriarchal slavery days. Yes, like any government, state governments can turn oppressive, but their abuse is limited to a state and not spread nationwide. Speaking of nations, nationalism is an out of fashion term except as a pejorative against Constitionalists like myself. Progs could use a look in the mirror because their nutty ideas would take the US to a truly national government in which all power flows from congressional and administrative state Grubers and where the fifty member republics are irrelevant reminders of our Neolithic, un-Progressive past.

That’s the thing about Progressivism. You can’t be sure you reached the end of the diversity rainbow in perfect social justice, in fundamental transformation of the United States, until those who deny their duty to do as the Grubers tell them find their deserved peace, tranquility and harmony in a People’s Democratic Reeducation Camp.

Now, I realize that most Progs didn’t take high school civics, and the few that did learned how awful America is and wouldn’t know a Federalist Paper if James Madison smacked them across their faces with Federalist #10. That doesn’t excuse those who should know better from ranting about that which they do not know.

As opposed to the Progs’ ill-defined goal of social justice, our straight, white-privileged Framers took the time to set forth the purpose of government in the Preamble to their Constitution. Isn’t the “Why” we have government kind of important and worth explaining? Liberty, personal and societal preservation are the justifications for the Framers’ Constitution. I suggest Progs take a stroll through Algernon Sidney, John Locke, Cato’s Letters, Madison’s notes on the Federal Convention and the Federalist Papers before they wank about parliamentary majoritarianism and throwing out the Constitution.

Constitutionalists don’t admire the Founders and Framers out of faith; we do so out of reason. God’s (Oops. Was that a micro-aggression?) Natural Law, the Law of Reason inform us of certain immutable first principles.

As for these first principles, here’s Calvin Coolidge on the 150th Anniversary of the Declaration of Independence:

If all men are created equal, that is final. If they are endowed with inalienable rights, that is final. If governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed, that is final. No advance, no progress can be made beyond these propositions. If anyone wishes to deny their truth or their soundness, the only direction in which he can proceed historically is not forward, but backward toward the time when there was no equality, no rights of the individual, no rule of the people. Those who wish to proceed in that direction can not lay claim to progress. They are reactionary. Their ideas are not more modern, but more ancient, than those of the Revolutionary fathers.

To the extent our governing form no longer “works,” today’s Progs need only look back at their early 20th century forebears, to those who began the destructive substitution of American First Principles with gooey egalitarianism. Since the typical Prog is no more familiar with American First Principles than interviewees in Leno’s old Jaywalking segments, they should stick to what they know. Whatever it is, it isn’t the Constitution.

1. Dingell would do away with the Senate and Electoral College. Government should automatically register 18-year olds to vote.
2. Scotus long ago dropped the Founders’ Natural Rights standard. Instead, it substituted its own “fundamental rights.” The warped Prog mind regards lawyer-granted fanciful rights such as chemical contraception, abortion, homosexual marriage and voting as fundamental. The right to life is not fundamental.

2 thoughts on “Jaywalking with Progressives

  1. sumnert

    If the Constitution required all budget bills to be passed, within 6 months of Congress’ seating, that funds for the full 2-year period of Congress, without any ability to extend current funding beyond that 6 months, we’d have a lot smoother ride. But two provisos:
    1. The bills for paying Congress itself, including their MRA and SOPOEA must be in the very last bill passed. So, if they don’t fully fund government, they don’t get paid and can’t fly off anywhere on vacation, and
    2. The budget must balance, either by selling some Federal asset or raising fees and taxes. They could borrow only if the amount borrowed was for a durable asset that would be paid back before the asset became useless and which both houses of Congress agreed to the borrowing by 2/3 majorities. Also, the payoff of old borrowings then becomes a baseline that must be met by budget first before all other things, and no re-financing is allowed unless it is for a lower interest rate that still pays the borrowing back within the same time.
    It is important not to borrow money for short-term expenditures, to pay Congress last, and to have a super-majority agreement to borrow.

  2. sumnert

    Nota bene: we are short 50 Senators in Congress. Each state should have 3, one elected/appointed every 2 years, which makes the Electoral College have 485 vote (ignoring DC’s 3) instead of 435. This would re-balance the power of states back toward less populous ones to approximately the same level as the very first Electoral College.
    Preferential voting for PAIRS of Representatives, where applicable, would also tend to reduce gerrymandering and undermine jungle primaries. Congressional District would be re-drawn to pair up all districts, in some cases leaving single-member districts, like Alaska and any leftovers in states with an odd number of Representatives. Then voting would be that each voter gets 1 single vote for a field of candidates for the pair, electing the first and second place winners to the offices of the paired district. Purple districts would likely elect 1 candidate from each of the 2 major parties, while sold districts would continue to elect 2 candidates from the same party.
    Lastly, let us stop completely allowing persons or groups from outside of a district from funding campaigns. No more NY dollars in Utah. No more Cali dollars in Texas. No more Texas dollars in Alabama. And if groups of people spread over multiple jurisdictions want to contribute, their dollars have to be given proportionately according to where the donor lives and is represented.

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