• Observations on the Present Folly

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    EVIL
    AND STUPID PARTIES SWITCH ROLES, MOSTLY

    Not
    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
    matter.

    Many
    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.

    Robert
    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.

    The
    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.

    THE
    NEGLECTED IMPEACHMENT POWER

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

    One
    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.

    As
    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?

    Now
    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.

    With
    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.

    I
    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;
    GET USED TO IT.

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

    Probably,
    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.

    Impeach
    Scalia!

    KEEPING
    A WARTIME DIARY

    Get
    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."

    The
    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.

    A
    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
    them.

    At
    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.

    March
    21, 2003


    Joseph R. Stromberg [send him
    mail
    ] 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.

    Joseph
    Stromberg Archives


         

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