The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

John Hinderaker, Optimist

Posted on | March 30, 2012 | 12 Comments

by Smitty

Let us be aware of the magnitude of the problem, as we look back at the ObamaCare testimony before the SCOTUS:

The more one considers the implications of this week’s arguments, the more likely it appears that the Court’s decision, if it does strike down Obamacare, will be a milestone that sets the United States back on the path to constitutional government.

Progressivism ain’t dead: it’s just restin’. Via Ace, we’re talking about a group of people characterized thusly by Podhoretz:

Thus, the strength of the conservative arguments only came as a surprise to Toobin, Greenhouse and others because they evidently spent two years putting their fingers in their ears and singing, “La la la, I’m not listening” whenever the conservative argument was being advanced.

The Progressives are as convinced that it’s unfair to water to segregate the water to the outside of the hull as the conservatives are that keeping the boat dry on the inside is crucial for buoyancy. Progressivism, like poverty, will always be with us; the crucial task is separating Progressives from the levers of power before they drown us all in idiocy.

And yet, that most Progressive beast, the Federal Reserve, is likely gearing up for more “quantitative easing” (theft). I guess I am moving in the direction of being ashamed of my country; we all see what’s going on, and yet this purportedly exceptional country has precious little political will to affect the outcome. Unexpectedly, the black swan will arrive in the form of a failed bond auction, or whatever, and then we will be collectively shocked, SHOCKED! to discover that giving vast power to un-elected, unaccountable officials was a miscarriage of the spirit of our Constitution.

That stranglehold on our economic vitality is precisely why ObamaCare stands a good chance of rising, zombie-like, from the ashes of whatever the SCOTUS has to say. The entitlement mentality has been bred. People demand health care from the government. The 57 states, unable to steal the way the Federal Reserve can, are not likely to fund the desired programs. Thus, the system fails upward. Progressives, who really want the Logan’s Run level of control present in Single Payer, are not unhappy about that result. It’s worth throwing a Solicitor General or two under the SCOTUS bus to get to Single Payer. A cost of doing business. It’s all for the cause, man: Holy Progress.

Short of major reform of the Federal Reserve, all the talk of returning to  constitutional government is just so much Tea Party dreaming. It’s ultimately about the frogskins ($).

The other point here is that the SCOTUS, in the case of rejection, probably would want to exercise enough restraint to halt ObamaCare while not jeopardizing any of the rest of the Progressive project. As a conservative, I think it’s all false, and the entitlement sophistries should be clubbed down in the baby seal fashion. By which I really mean we should have the shortest politically feasible transition plan off of the dependent mindset.

Update: the silly WR Meade:

But even if the Supreme Court doesn’t pull the trigger and kill the law in June, the darn thing won’t fly. The public hates it, and the longer it’s on the books the less popular it gets. This isn’t like Social Security, a program the public fell in love with early on and still cherishes today.

Cherish? My dad, just in zone, says “Well, if they had just run it the way it was originally intended. . .” When, ever, has that occurred?
Our Federal Constitution was enacted to tackle multi-state and international challenges. If DC ever knows about any individuals that are not employees, it has over-achieved.

Update: linked at Dyspepsia Generation


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  • scarymatt

    I suppose I should get it over with and denounce myself now, but is the Federal Reserve really terribly Progressive? I can certainly see Progressive acts by the Fed, but is that the institution or the people?

    Managing the currency of the country certainly seems like an enumerated power to me.  I’m not saying it’s perfect or that it shouldn’t be changed, but I also don’t think it’s anything close to, say, Social Security, on the Progress-o-Meter.

    Also, if we deep 6 it, what comes next?  I will admit that I’m sure I haven’t thought about this as much or as deeply as Smitty clearly has, so perhaps it’s just my ignorance talking here.

  • smitty

    Even with the (evil) 16th Amendment, the scope of the Constitution lets Congress tax people.
    That is, those who’d tax you get to stand for election. Taxation with representation, no?
    The other way to separate you from your substance, beside taxation, is currency inflation. Quantitative easing inflates the currency. Having a Federal Reserve with essentially zero interest rate while the money supply and cost of living increase effectively steals from those whose money is in passbook savings accounts.
    And the jackwagons doing this are unaccountable to the voters. Worse, they don’t think you need to know of their perfidy.
    What would likely happen in the absence of a Federal Reserve is a series of smaller corrections, as the market fixes itself.
    The Federal Reserve is the hiding of pain by popping opiates, which feels great until your internal organs ‘splode.
    And it’s not like we’re only doing it to ourselves. As the reserve currency, we inflict our pain on others, rather than put on our big-people pants.
    If there is cause to feel shame as Americans, it is the Federal Reserve.
    Given all that, why is the power for one form of separating you from your substance Constitutionally granted, while the other one was snuck in by act of Congress? A shocking asymmetry, that.

  • SDN

    Smitty, you need to read this over at Protein Wisdom. What it boils down to is that Blumenthal and Kerry’s comments yesterday are setting up the justification for declaring the Supreme Court an illegitimate body whose rulings can be ignored by the Executive and legitimize mob violence.

    Blumenthal is particularly Stalinist. “How many divisions has the Pope” level Stalinist.

  • scarymatt

    …not to mention Rooseveltian.

  • ThePaganTemple

     Problem there for them is, what are they going to if the Supremes rule against Obamacare and the states and people decide not to ignore them.

  • scarymatt

    I don’t disagree with you about the effects.  But with respect to the Constitutionality of it, I still don’t really see a problem there.  How is the current Fed that different from, say the Second Bank of the U.S., which was started by Madison (a more Constitutional founder I cannot imagine!).

    There were specific limitations in the Constitution on the limits of taxation that were the targets of the 16th Amendment.

    But given bank panics and problems prior to the Fed, I’m not convinced that they were better.  Maybe you have an idea of what to replace it with.  Personally, the most obvious thing to me seems to be to remove the double tasking, and get them back to a price stability regime.

    Again, I’m not really defending the Fed, but I’m definitely against tearing that particular institution apart without a better understanding of what comes next.

  • scarymatt

    That’s unpossible!  I can assure you, the thought never entered their expensively coiffed heads.

    It would be like the astonishment that there actually was a serious Constitutional question all over again.

  • AnonymousDrivel

    “Well, if they had just run it the way it was originally intended. . .” When, ever, has that occurred?

    Oh, I dunno. I always thought it was designed to be a Ponzi scheme; in actuality, ignoring standard waste from Leviathon operations, it seems impeccably designed and run.

  • scarymatt

    I saw a comment the other day from…I think Pat Leahy.  I practically jumped off the sofa and cheered, which is pretty unusual when listening to him.  Basically, he said that if they find ObamaCare unconstitutional, then what’s to stop them from finding Social Security or Medicaid unconstitutional.

    Which just goes to show that they’ve actually started to realize the actual purpose of the Constitution, and may have started worrying that it doesn’t actually say what they imagine it does.

  • SDN

    That’s why every government agency has armed SWAT teams….

    And they could always look to the Lincoln precedent in the Civil War. Lincoln ignored several SCOTUS rulings.

  • Adobe_Walls

    ” the crucial task is separating Progressives from the levers of power before they drown us all in idiocy.”

    Truer words have never been spoken, that task however must be thorough, absolute and if necessary brutal.