Everybody's Got One
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Tuesday, June 24, 2003


Anyone waiting for an outcry from the left over Gephardt's post-constitutional “gaffe” will wait in vain. The left thinks it's rather clever to use extra-legal means to achieve desirable policy ends. Hence the popularity of administrative rulings, executive orders, class action suits, consent decrees, legislation-by-judiciary, and most recently, the stealth filibuster. It's called “gaming the system,” and it's only objectionable when the other guys do it, too.

I'm not sure when it was that liberals decided to abandon democracy as unworkable – possibly Vietnam. Civil rights was the last time they actively worked to get a majority of the country to agree with their position – and even that faded as judicial fiat became the tool of choice for desegregation. Persuading people is just so hard (and tends not to work once they begin to suspect you secretly have contempt for them). It's much easier to convince a judge – or five of nine judges – than a majority of voters. (Florida, you say? See above: It's only objectionable when ... )

Of course, to use the system to beat the system, you have to control it, or some part of it. The only things Democrats control now and for the foreseeable future are the traditional media, the public sector unions, and the law schools. The media isn't a fourth branch of government, no matter how much it wants to be; mid-level bureaucrats can successfully frustrate policy directives for a single presidential term, but rarely longer; and the feeder system for liberal judges has broken down after continued abuse. Changing the rules to win has consequences, and they're starting to come due as the center of gravity shifts slowly rightward.

After decades of thinking of power as an entitlement, the Dems are demonstrating that powerlessness corrupts absolutely.

posted by Kelly | 3:08 PM link