Observations on the Present Folly

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for the first time in US history, the evil and stupid parties have
changed places. Being in power seems to be a major cause of this.
Generally speaking, the Democrats were pretty good down to 1896.
Then they made a turn toward the regulatory state. William Jennings
Bryan, the Democratic nominee in 1896, was at least in favor of
staying out of wars, whatever might be said about his half-baked
economic views. Nor was he quite the ignorant fundamentalist portrayed
in cartoons like Inherit
the Wind
– or the one drawn by H. L. Mencken, for that

of us used to have an irrational and sentimental attachment to the
Republican Party. This rested almost entirely on a brief period
in which one faction of that party opposed the New Deal's domestic
and foreign interventions. That was a long time ago. We have
to deal with what the Republicans have become.

Taft has been dead for fifty years, and with a very few exceptions
like Congressman Ron Paul (R., Tex.) the GOP is today worth less
than the proverbial powder to send it to an uncomfortable, subterranean
clime. In fact, the GOP is of negative value and its existence reopens
the question of whether evil positively exists, as against the view
that evil is simply an absence of good.

Democrats are presently fairly useless, but if any of them can throw
some sand in the gears of the Republican's traveling Straussian
Salvation Show, it would be a good thing; but I must move on to
another pressing matter.


have fooled you — I am not going to mention the rhetor-in-chief,
as there are other fish to fry.

of the much-ballyhooed reasons for voting for any swine that appears
on the Republican ticket is that at least a Republican will
appoint decent federal judges. This is better than nothing, you
know, and you really owe your soul to a party that gives you anything
more than nothing. On the historical record, this argument cannot
stand much empirical testing.

if to prove this, today's papers report that Antonin Scalia, Oracle,
has stated that "the Constitution just sets minimums"
as far as civil liberties go. Further, he said, "most of the
rights that you enjoy go way beyond what the Constitution requires."
Wonderful. Why doesn't the Ruler of the World just appoint Mr. Gary
Wills to the College of Nine Delphic Oracles and be done with it?

if the best we can expect from a Platonic Guardian Oracle appointed
by a Republican dunderhead is this, why should anyone ever
again vote for a Republican? Could a Democrat appoint a judge with
any greater contempt for the notion of constitutionally limited
government? I doubt it.

a left-of-center judge you get constitutional deconstruction and
open contempt for the Republic, but you don't have to put up with
Straussian secret doctrines and oddball mysticisms somehow equated
with "strict construction." Why jack around with all these
frills? Intercourse these "conservative" penguins – and
the Trojan horse they rode in on.

don't know why the Supremes insist on having some high-sounding
quote from Justinian's Code on their building. It would be far more
honest to carve in stone for all to see: YOUR ANCESTORS WERE SWINDLED;

judicial members of the Clownintern are appointed for life.
Thanks, Madison, Hamilton, Jay. You've all done very well.

the impeachment power does not quite reach Scalia's remarks. On
the other hand, these are extraordinary times, as the war party
never tires of telling us. It seems to me that Scalia should at
least recuse himself from any case involving the Constitution
for about, say, forty years. If not, there is a potential remedy.



some B-4 paper, as you will need to set up many parallel columns.
First, draw a column for news as it comes in; you might label it
"Current Fabrications." The story may of course disappear
after a day, in which case you must put an asterisk by it. On the
other hand, a different version may appear in four or five days,
and these you put in column two, "History Re-Written."

third column, to be called "Now They Tell Us," is for
embarrassing retractions, which will surface much later. In the
original Gulf War these came along about a year later; with the
Internet, they may show up quicker. These will be stories like "Smart
Bombs Fail IQ Test," "Civilians Killed But We're Not Very
Interested in the Exact Number," and so on.

fourth column, "Latter-Day Disinformation," is for officially-leaked
stories aimed at refuting stories in the third column, stories like
"Perle and Wolfowitz Not Linked to Anyone," "Rumsfeld
and Cheney Have No Ties to Oil and Gas Industry," etc. A little
research will show that such stories were written by the subjects'
own secretaries; you can put a little u2018X' by each one, as a token
of probable falsehood. Many of these stories will appear in National
Review Online and you won't even need to read them before classifying

the end of the year, you should have a dandy little dossier for
handing over to the judges at the impeachment hearings for What's-His-Number
Bush, or the Stockholm War Crimes Trials of 2005.

21, 2003

Joseph R. Stromberg [send him
] is holder of the JoAnn B. Rothbard Chair in History at
the Ludwig von Mises Institute
and a columnist for LewRockwell.com
and Antiwar.com.

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