The American people can and do change the nation's collective mind on the ordering of our political system. The civil rights years of the 1960s is the most well-known modern example. (The idea that resistance to Mr. Obama's health plan is rooted in racist resentment of equal rights is beyond the pale, even by current standards of political punditry.)
Okay, so maybe "beyond the pale" (Wagner, Max!) isn't Freudian, but restricting oneself to the "modern" in order to select "the civil rights years" as the shining template of your little hate movement is at least suggestive, especially coming from someone who wonders aloud what the 3/5 Compromise Framers would have thought of Obamacare. The obvious "modern" choice would be the New Deal, which I suppose is out of the question on grounds that doing so in the WSJ would legitimize it as an actual reordering of our political system, rather than the disastrous power grab of that class-traitor Roosevelt. (And thanks, by the way, for all the years the Anti-Fluoridationist Right has endured that without once stooping to unfair criticism.) In fact I'm not exactly sure how the "civil rights years" reordered our political system, exactly (and, yet again, note how these guys invariably place that Movement they so admire in their belovéd "Sixties", either through a complete lack of familiarity with the actual struggle for Civil Rights, or the habitual demonization of that Decade that Ruined Everything); the Civil Rights and Voting Rights acts merely enforced the Reconstruction Amendments, after a brief hundred-year oversight. The Fair Housing Act proscribed certain behaviors, which US legislators have been doing since the Articles of Confederation. The Civil Rights Commission (it was created in 1957, Danny-boy) addressed the glaring discrepancies between the sort of things the sort of people who insist on name-checking The Founders said, and the sorts of things they did.
What I do know is this: one party has consistently tried to roll those back, and it's yours, Mr. Henninger. I know which party enacted the Southern Strategy, and which is still home to the Dixiecrats; I know which one worships above all a man who began his umpteenth and finally successful Presidential campaign with a States' Right speech in Philadelphia, Mississippi; I know who made Willie Horton a campaign issue and Barack Obama a Magic Negro. Not to mention the history of code words and end runs and shock, shock! that someone would still be rubbing your nose in it. This is the "modern example" of your party, sir. I'll be happy to discuss what is or isn't beyond the pale--maybe not with you--after you people cut the shit.
The tea party movement is getting the most attention because it is the most vulnerable to the standard tool kit of mockery and ridicule.
Okay, so you aren't responsible for the racists you associate with (because you bravely wish them away in print), and you aren't responsible for the ludicrous crap the base of your party makes of your "principles", because they're, well, scuggins. It may be a sweet little set-up, but I seem to've missed the part where it convinces someone. You guys have been playing both sides of this street since St. Ronnie, and your record on actual governance is 0-3. What do you propose to do now you couldn't do when you were popular, and before you had a track record?
It is more difficult to mock the legitimacy of Scott Brown's overthrow of the Kennedy legacy, the election results in Virginia and New Jersey, an economic discomfort that is both generalized and specific to the disintegration of state and federal fiscs, and indeed the array of state attorneys general who filed a constitutional complaint against the new health-care law. What's going on may be getting past the reach of mere mockery.
Damn! And just when I landed this sweet, sweet blogging gig.
At least we'll always have the Journal. And, shish, Scott Brown is beyond mockery? Or the Confederate States Attorneys General? I guess the Humor Gap is a lot wider than I imagined, even after listening to Incomplete Governor Palin murder that Arizona Borscht Belt routine the other day.
Constitutional professors quoted in the press and across the Web explain that much about the federal government's modern authority is "settled" law. Even so, many of these legal commentators are quite close to arguing that the national government's economic and political powers are now limitless and unfettered. I wonder if Justice Kennedy believes that.
I wonder if any of 'em is on Spring Break, and might take a moment to explain to a lowly Deputy Editorial Page Editor with a degree from Georgetown what "settled law" means.
In a country that holds elections, that question is both legal and political. The political issue rumbling toward both the Supreme Court and the electorate is whether Washington's size and power has finally grown beyond the comfort zone of the American people. That is what lies beneath the chatter about federalism and the 10th Amendment.
And which, oddly enough, just didn't occur to any of y'all when it was the Reagan or Bush pere et fils administrations spending the future into the Poor House. Who do you imagine this flummoxes? Swear to god I'd like to believe that none of you really imagines it, but the past three decades of doubling down every single fucking time you lose has changed my mind.
Where is the tiniest complaint from all you fiscal hawks about what is spent on "Defense" to provide a technological playpen capable of eventually sorta defeating a handful of tribesman with improvised WWI weapons in mere decades? Why is it we never hear a fucking peep out of all you principled teabaggers on that one? Or speculation about how the Founders would have reacted to a twenty-carrier Navy?
My reading of the American public...
Whadja do, Dan? Fly over it this weekend?
The 10th Amendment tumult does not mean anyone is going to secede. It doesn't mean "nullification" is coming back. We are not going to refight the Civil War or the Voting Rights Act. Richard Russell isn't rising from his Georgia grave.
Ah, so the black cat in the unlighted coal bin at midnight--the one that doesn't exist--is not much threat to scratch us. Wasn't this sort of thing beyond the pale a couple paragraphs ago?
It means that the current edition of the Democratic Party has disconnected itself from the average American's sense of political modesty. The party's members and theorists now defend expanding government authority with the same arrogance that brought Progressive Era reforms down upon untethered industrial interests.
Or randy Negro bucks upon the ivory virginity of Southern womanhood.
Faced with a challenge to his vision last week, President Obama laughingly replied to these people: "Go for it."
As to the condescension and sniffing left-wing elitism this opposition seems to bring forth from Manhattan media castles, one must say it does recall another, earlier ancien regime.
I guess we'll just move on. Nothin' to mock or ridicule here.