The Other McCain

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

In Praise Of Gridlock

Posted on | October 9, 2011 | 12 Comments

by Smitty

Karl over at Hot Air links some Scalia goodness on C-SPAN on the Constitutional role of judges. It got me to thinking, though: if federal over-reach is the problem, gridlock may be a powerful tool to limiting government overreach.

If it just hurts too bad to try to get the government federal government to do things for you, then, if you’re like 99% of the people, you’ll figure it out for yourself. The 1% of the #OccupyWallStreet crowd? Well, the brutality in this scene is wrong, but that doesn’t obviate the point: there are, in fact, unreachable people. . .And by unreachable, I mean, ain’t gonna change short of an overt Divine intervention.

Update: linking Hot Air again, let me respond to Tina:

What I find so hard to understand is why the Occupy Wall Street protesters don’t actually want what Cain has. They’re jealous, yes, but jealous for all the wrong things.

Socialism is the ultimate form of passive aggression, and an easily described four step process:

  1. Marx said: “From each according to his ability, to each according to his need.”
  2. This means: “If I can’t have it, you can’t have it.”
  3. You have; therefore, you stole.
  4. Having branded you a thief, all attacks are moral.


12 Responses to “In Praise Of Gridlock”

  1. McGehee
    October 9th, 2011 @ 8:28 pm

    I’ve been thinking it’s kind of funny those filthy hippies of #occupy call themselves the 99%.

    Maybe it’s because I watch “Sons of Anarchy,” but the thought of that “99%” going up against some real one-percenters makes me wish I had more popcorn in the house.

  2. Jeff Y.
    October 9th, 2011 @ 9:02 pm

    The protesters are typical. The liberal mind cannot comprehend limited government.

    This all brings to mind de Tocqueville’s observation: “A democratic government is the only one in which those who vote for a tax can escape the obligation to pay it.”

    The Sixteenth Amendment was a great Progressive victory. It may yet destroy us.

  3. Anonymous
    October 9th, 2011 @ 10:28 pm

    Whatever happened to the 99 weekers? Last years deal extended unemployment benefits but not past 99 weeks. So what happened to those who’d exhausted their benefits and were protesting last year.

  4. Joe
    October 9th, 2011 @ 11:26 pm

    Gridlock is fine…after Obamacare is reversed. It is that bad.

  5. Socialist Mental Gymnastics « Truth Before Dishonor
    October 10th, 2011 @ 12:34 am

    […] Smitty linked to Karl’s article at Hot Air that Dana Pico linked to from Patterico’s Pontifications, discussing why gridlock is a good thing. Smitty then contrasted that with the Occupy Wall Street mob. If it just hurts too bad to try to get the government federal government to do things for you, then, if you’re like 99% of the people, you’ll figure it out for yourself. The 1% of the #OccupyWallStreet crowd? … [T]here are, in fact, unreachable people. […]

  6. Adjoran
    October 10th, 2011 @ 1:05 am

    The Seventeenth has done much greater damage, along with the  rule change some years ago to lower the requirement for cloture to 60 from 2/3 (67 as it stood).  These were the more fundamental changes in the form of government which made gridlock LESS likely, to our eternal regret.

    ObamaCare could not have passed a Senate composed of those elected by State legislatures OR if 67 votes were needed.

    High or low tax rates can be changed by any Congress with the assent of the President.  The trick isn’t in the taxes, it is in the level of government services the people demand, which must be paid for somehow.

  7. Jeff Y.
    October 10th, 2011 @ 7:47 am

    Even with the states back in the Federal government, the income tax power is too broad. The income tax gives government way too much money.

    I think the trick is the taxes: the explosive growth of government in the 20th century was entirely fueled by income taxation.

  8. Bob Belvedere
    October 10th, 2011 @ 4:25 pm

    Jeff/Adj: I think both Amendments on their own have altered the form of government in conventional ways, but together they were nuclear.  Both, along with the 18th, were products of the Progressive surge that our conservative and classic-liberal forefathers failed to combat because they refused to comprehend the danger of this kind of thinking. 

    Same thing has happened in America in the last forty years, when we conservatives [ideological Libertarians are a lost cause] let the ‘New Left’ march unhindered through every institution.  We have a chance to redeem ourselves by such acts as taking the #Occupy event seriously and refusing to compromise with the Left on anything.

  9. Bob Belvedere
    October 10th, 2011 @ 4:28 pm


    Gridlock should be seen as merely a delaying tactic or a diversionary one in a greater battle.  The Battle Of Cannae: grab ’em by the nose and kick them in the ass.  Beathing space to give time to regroup and marshall our forces for some shock and awe.

  10. Jeff Y.
    October 10th, 2011 @ 5:01 pm

    Bob, why do you think ideological Libertarians are a lost cause?

    Cultural marxism is definitely a threat. common sense has come to be defined as leftist politics.

    I despair of winning at this point. We have more people on the dole than are paying taxes – it’s a Cloward and Piven trap.

  11. Redeeming The Spirit Of 1787 « The Camp Of The Saints
    October 10th, 2011 @ 5:53 pm

    […] at The Other McCain, Smitty provoked an interesting bit of back-and-forth between commentators Jeff Y and Adjoran regarding the 16th […]

  12. Bob Belvedere
    October 11th, 2011 @ 2:00 pm

    I believe that any ideologues are people lost to reason.

    As I wrote back in 2010:
    Ideology inevitably leads to taking ideas to their logical conclusions outside of
    reality because ideas are laboratory experiments.  I abhor ideology. As
    Russell Kirk wrote:

    …conservatism is the negation of ideology: it is a state of mind, a type of character, a way of looking at the civil social order.

    I am that conservative — I do not subscribe to any -ist or -ism. Mr. Kirk again:

    …The typical conservative in this country believes that there exists an enduring moral order. He knows that order and justice and freedom are the products of a long and often painful social experience, and that they must be protected from abstract radical assaults. He defends custom, habit, tested institutions that have functioned well. He says that the great virtue in politics is prudence: judging any public measure by its long-run consequences. He is attached to a society of diversity and opportunity, and he is suspicious of any ideology that would rule us by a single abstract principle, whether that principle is “equality” or “liberty” or “social justice” or “national greatness.” He recognizes that human nature and society cannot be perfected: politics remains the art of the possible. He adheres to private property and free economic enterprise; he is aware that decent government, repressing violence and fraud, is necessary for the survival of a health economy.

    To be an ideologue is to believe in ideas crafted in the laboratory of the brain over ideas forged in real world experience, over time. An ideologue seeks to graft the abstract onto the concrete, while the true conservative works within the art of the possible. As Mr. Kirk said: ‘Conservatives do not believe that man and society may be
    perfected through revolutionary politics – the conviction that lies at the heart
    of every ideology.’ To be an ideologue is to ultimately desire the tearing down
    of the existing order and the re-engineering of the society. As Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn wrote:

    Ideology — that is what gives evildoing its long-sought justification and gives the evildoer the necessary steadfastness and determination. That is the social theory which helps to make his acts seem good instead of bad in his own and others’ eyes, so that he won’t hear reproaches and curses but will receive
    praise and honors….

    Prudence is the guiding rule of the non-ideologue.

    Those conservatives who are doctrinaire are ideologues and betray the philosophy
    they claim to honor.

    What many libertarians think of as ‘practical’ are, in fact, fantastical. This is the curse of the ideologue: they are so wrapped up in the world they’ve engineered in the laboratory of their brains that they lose empathy with the real world and start to think their abstracts are, in fact, practical.