December 12, 2009

"The country is indeed ungovernable."

"By Democrats."


PatCA said...

They got it wrong: the country cannot be controlled (by their central authority). It can be governed quite well, if they would only follow the original plan of our founders.

Kevin said...

Reminds me how political science departments across the country were introducing courses during the Carter Administration on how the country was ungovernable, how the President couldn't actually accomplish anything, the inevitable decline of the United States, etc., etc. etc.

Then came Reagan. End of courses.

AllenS said...

If there was only 1 Republican in the House, and only 1 Republican in the Senate, it would still be their fault that the country is ungovernable. Oh, and don't forget Bush.

Paddy O. said...

America has always been ungovernable. Ask the British about that. Our system of government is set up precisely to reflect our inherent ungovernability. We don't like to be governed. We get feisty if we feel there's too much governing going on.

But, we do want some things done, so we allow some folks to govern on our behalf, govern all the stuff that needs to get done--so that we can blissfully explore the opportunities provided by not be governed.

There was a Constitution written that made sure stuff would get done, all while not looking like there was governing being mandated on high.

Make the Constitution so slippery as to allow all manner of government back in, and people find, once again, that Americans just don't like, never have liked, being governed.

Paul Zrimsek said...

Complaint that the country is ungovernable by Democrats because they're too nice and that it's time for Us to get mean like Them, coming in 5...4...3...2...1...

Adele Mundy said...

David Dinkins said the same thing about New York City until Rudy came along.

New York said...

Yeah Matt, democracy really sucks when you don't get things your way.

No doubt that it's time for the "smarter people" to set up a left-wind dictatorship and send us ungovernables to reeducation camp.

Not that long ago people were saying that Russia and China would eventually become liberal and democratic. But now it's clear instead that Americans need to struggle to defend their Yggie who really envy the ChiComs.

Adele Mundy said...

Its tough when the teacher isn't marking on a curve.

Expat(ish) said...

If the other democrat, McCain, had won we'd already have been governed out of our minds.

If the RINO's had had any cover at all we'd have health care reform, cap-and-trade, the ICC, gitmo closed, and a whole host of other really bad ideas. Super-TART anyone?

Lucky for us, and I never thought I'd say this, but Teh wOn is splendidly bad at the job.

America dodges another one for another year.


John Lynch said...

Yglasias just turns me off. He's way too cute, and seems to pursue arguments based on novelty rather than truth.

What made me stop reading him was his assertion that we shouldn't have cars that can go over the speed limit.

vbspurs said...

Yglesias' opinion is just that -- an opinion. It may be ludicrous or ironic, but it doesn't go farther in its purpose than to wail against their power structure's inability to get things done.

But on MyDD, a writer penned a piece called "Is it Time to End the Connecticut Compromise?", cajoling us to support the destruction of that dastardly, aristocratic Senate -- and his readers concur.

One wrote this study of knee-jerk frustration, which will make your blood curl faster than a Twilight vampire out for a noonday romp:

"It will require an constitutional amendment to remove the Senate, but until that can be arranged, and a difficult job that will be, ending the Senate Royalist filibuster is the first job. It makes, as Mr. Lemos says, the country ungovernable. Just as California is ungovernable. It proves the Republican contention that government doesn't work, which is short-hand for letting the Economic Royalists govern from their banks.

70% of America want a cheap public option to both provide care and to force down the price of private insurance, so does the President, so does the great majority of the House of Representatives and so does the great majority of the Senate. But we cannot have it. The royals have said no.

We must abolish the Senate. We must remove the Senate from the Constitution. But until that time, short or long, we must abandon the filibuster and return to democracy. Without that 'simple' procedural rule' put into effect by a vote of 50% + one, we would have healthcare reform signed and in effect today. This procedural rule, which can removed by a vote of 50% plus one, is a crowbar in the works, its purpose is to aggrandize the Senate members, and make each one more powerful than the rest of government in its entirety. The rule, the filibuster, is nowhere in the constitution, it is at its base, a coup d'etat. It is an overthrow of the government, a usurpation of the right of a people to govern themselves."


Everything must go if it impedes us from doing what we want done to these United States of America.


John Lynch said...

I wonder what My DD thought of the filibuster before 2006.

No, we like our House of Lords, thank you very much. I like having a brake on government.

If I had my way, I'd add a third house. It's sole job would be repealing laws.

vbspurs said...

Line item veto, my dear John, is all we need. Oh, and an intellectually honest press.

Bissage said...

Political pundits work from their form files the same as everyone else.

Back when I was a programmer we called them subroutines.

Looks like Professor Reynolds is giving the game away.

Good for him.

AprilApple said...

Again with the "SHUT UP".

Just do what we radical progressives want. Otherwise, you're just a bunch of ungovernable haters.

Palladian said...

"Yglasias just turns me off. He's way too cute"

Um, no, he isn't.

verification word: baiser. Something I would not want to do with Matthew Yglesias.

Dark Eden said...

There is a bit of a difference been Ruling and Governing. Its quite easy to govern us but we have no stomach for being ruled, as the Dems are about to find out come the next election.

WV: pectraps: like a venus fly trap but with muscly oiled pecs.

S.C. said...

I do love Yglesias and his periodic whines about the "undemocratic" nature of the [insert longstanding feature of the American political system here], as if these features are new or functioning in a way contrary to how they were designed.

If the founders wanted to implement the tyranny of the majority as enabled by a pure democracy, they would have. But they didn't. So shut up, quit complaining about it, and get to work passing your policies within the existing structures.

Methadras said...

Democrats, the most dangerous apparatchiks on the planet. No more dangerous party either. Their incompetence is dangerous, their leftism is dangerous. Their ideology is dangerous. They are just dangerous.

bearbee said...

...cajoling us to support the destruction of that dastardly, aristocratic Senate...

How do you get a federal referendum proposing term limits?

Methadras said...

If you want to break it down further then I'd go as far to say that California is totally ungovernable. It's too large a state with so many competing and divergent interests that one governor/state legislature cannot handle it at all. Look at it, it's proof positive that it's a total bankrupt wreck. Damn you democrats.

traditionalguy said...

The famous saying by BenFranklin may apply. We will have a constitutional Republic until the voters discover that they can vote themselves money. That happened in 1933-38, and took a hiatus for wars that never ended until 1992 when the present Crisis was engineered for us by all of the DC apparatchiks. The NEW angle is voters now are the UN members voting themselves Carbon Credits Money. The governable USA will only return when we get a leader from the Washington/Jackson tradition again. If Palin can become a little less glamourous, then the women voters will let her be President. If not, then we will be stuck with Obama's leadership to dissolution of the USA thru intentional confusion and never ending crises.

AprilApple said...

Something liberal/left/progressive/socialists do not understand: We live in a constitutional republic with democratic institutions.
They want their "Democracy Now!".
I don't.

Elliott A said...

I had a discussion with a liberal friend about this the other day. I said The country is too large and diverse to be governed centrally to the extent it has been attempted lately. His answer was that the founding fathers thought the same thing and that is why the federal government didn't get the constitutional powers the states did. We need to bring those guys back somehow

kentuckyliz said...

I think only taxpayers should vote.

These people who just take and take shouldn't be able to vote themselves benefits out of other people's pockets.

That would break the grip on the system by the welfarists.

And election day should be April 16.

Palladian said...

Well we have lumps of Thomas Jefferson's, George Washington's and John Adams' hair, so there's a good start on a cloning project.

knox said...

I think only taxpayers should vote.

Yes. As it is now, you get registered to vote when you apply for welfare. Clever, no?

Penny said...

Forty three percent (43%) of Americans pay no Federal Income Tax.

AJ Lynch said...

Let's consider the Dems may have stolen three US Senate seats in a way.

The Wapo helped Webb win in Virginia by printing a front-page Macaca story about 20-30 times.

The court let NJ Dems replace Torricelli with Lautenberg less than 60 days before the election.

And MN shenanigans helped Franken edge out Frankesntein in a corrupt re-count.

Afterall that, the Dems still don't have the balls to govern from their far-left liberal hearts.

Penny said...

Kentuckyliz, this is from a CBS News Report back in April:

"At some point people become less and less invested in making sure their government is accountable and frugal," says Peter Sepp, vice president for policy and communications at the National Taxpayers Union, a lower-tax advocacy group. "If you pay very little for getting all kinds of government benefits, you might view those programs as a bargain, even though they may waste tens of billions of dollars a year."

As a candidate, President Obama promised still more tax credits, including ones aimed at child care, "clean cars," and savings accounts. As the Wall Street Journal explained at the time: "You can receive these checks even if you have no income-tax liability. In other words, they are an income transfer - a federal check - from taxpayers to nontaxpayers. Once upon a time we called this 'welfare,' or in George McGovern's 1972 campaign a 'Demogrant.'"

John Lynch said...

No, we shouldn't restrict the franchise to taxpayers.

That would be going back to the early nineteenth century requirement that only the propertied could vote. That's not democratic.

Think about it: by simply setting the tax bar high enough, a very small elite would rule the country. You could raise the exemption to $100k/year without losing much revenue. Do we want that?

victoria said...

I'm a taxpayer and a liberal!!! Yippee!!!

Glenn Reynolds is a windbag. Do people still listen to him? Cheney?

Vicki from Pasadena

craig said...

What we need to do is repeal the amendment that caused Senators to be directly elected. Let the state legislatures do it as the founders originally specified, and you'll finally see someone start to roll back the perpetual expansion of federal power.

edutcher said...

Fascinating. Bambi told us he would be ready to rule on day one.

Rule, not govern. You heard that a lot last year.

Now that they've found can't do it, they say they can't govern.

Try these on for size! Repeal the Income Tax so that the government only has to live on user fees and abolish the left wing welfare state, all the regulatory bureaucracies, and the half dozen Cabinet departments created for patronage purposes; in other words, go back to where we were 100 years ago.

What do you want to bet the country is governable then?

vbspurs said...

Line item veto, my dear John, is all we need. Oh, and an intellectually honest press.

I'll drink to that (something non-alcoholic, of course).

victoria said...

I'm a taxpayer and a liberal!!! Yippee!!!

Nothing is perfect.

Glenn Reynolds is a windbag. Do people still listen to him? Cheney?

In ever-growing numbers.

That really kills you, doesn't it?

Mark said...

As long as we are tossing around ways to make government work better, we might want to repeal the Civil Service laws and return to the "To the victor belongs the spoils" system.

Right now if you are unhappy with the way you are treated at the DMV or the IRS there is not really much that you can do about it since the civil servants cannot be fired and so they are neither civil nor servile. If a change in political parties was likely to result in a change in employees, voter participation would likely increase if people felt they were not treated as well as they are at the shopping mall and politicians would make it a serious priority to make sure that the public is treated as well as possible.

There is also the issue that the Republicans are likely to have fewer semi-employable political hacks than the Democrats so that whenever Republicans get in power, they are likely to automate and trim jobs the way the private sector does. Democrats, will of course, rebloat the government whenever they return to power and they are likely to fire all the competent apolitical government workers in order to make room for all their drones but that is likely to be a self correcting issue.

Michael E. Lopez said...

I think I agree with the sentiment that "only taxpayers can vote" is too elitist.

But what if instead of having a requirement for the franchise, we *stripped* the franchise from people receiving government payments?

Receive federal welfare? You don't get to vote in the next federal election (whenever that would be).

Receiving federal loans or loan subsidization? You don't get to vote in federal elections for some determined time.

Receiving federal contracts? No officer, director, employee, or shareholder of your company may vote in federal elections during the period of the contract in question.

Do you hold a federal government position? Sorry. You don't get to vote as long as you have the job.

Obviously there would need to be some exceptions made. AFDC payments probably should be exempt, as the aid is (at least ostensibly) for the child rather than the parent. Perhaps we'd want to only apply the ban to votes for Congress, rather than for President. Republicans would probably want to exempt the military -- and certainly Robert Heinlein would.

It's just a thought... the sort of rumination for which the internet is ideally suited.

LonewackoDotCom said...

I have no idea how MattY made it through Hahvahd since he's usually dumber than a box of Amanda Terkels. And, because he's not that bright and he posts red meat, he attracts commenters who aren't that bright either. His posts are in some ways even worse than the ones on itself, and his commenters are at the same, very low level.

For an example, see this comment I left there recently. None of those who replied at the time were able to even try for a counter-argument, but instead just acted like little kids.

That said, and once again, if Althouse would like to do something effective she should go after the main bloggers since the stories they have frequently are part of a semi-coordinated attempt to spread smears and misleading stories. Here's my ThinkProgress file with examples. Every time you go to their page you're practically guaranteed to find something misleading or illogical and, since they aren't that bright either, it's quite easy to show how they're being misleading. It's so easy that even tea partiers might be able to do it, not that they would because they don't know how to do things that are effective.

Chip Ahoy said...

Nonsense. We're totally governable. Just ask Harry or Nancy.

Apologies. Saw the pic on Hot Air and it pretty much wrote itself.

Alex said...

Whenever the radical left has a hard time passing their agenda, they inevitably complain about how un-democratic the US government is. Without fail!

Palladian said...

"I think I agree with the sentiment that "only taxpayers can vote" is too elitist."

I think that's a good thing. It's the parasitic rabble that are destroying what's left of our little experiment in freedom.

MC said...

Reminds me of an old episode of the Simpsons that shows a crowd of democrats holding signs saying "We can't govern!". Heh, sounds like Yglesias would be at that protest.

rcocean said...

"What we need to do is repeal the amendment that caused Senators to be directly elected. Let the state legislatures do it as the founders originally specified, and you'll finally see someone start to roll back the perpetual expansion of federal power."

What makes you think that?

vbspurs said...

That would be going back to the early nineteenth century requirement that only the propertied could vote. That's not democratic.

Yeah, I'm afraid I too cannot concur with the taxpayer/voter suggestion, Ky Liz. Democracy is not about being able to pay to play, it's about the universality of rights.

Similarly, I tussled with an internet foe once (a Muslim Briton) who suggested that only those with higher degrees should be able to vote. Though I am a graduate of one of the two most elite Universities in the UK, I would never suggest something similar.

Common sense has nothing to do with book smart intelligence.


craig said...

What makes me think that, is (1) that selection of Senators by state would inevitably make Senators beholden to state interests, at least if they wanted to be renewed every six years; and (2) the empirical evidence that 95% of the massive growth in Federal government only occurred after passage of the amendment mandating direct election of Senators, which was ratified in 1880? or so. Before then, the Senate served as a backstop against the Federal government's acting against the interests of the states, and the Commerce Clause was not a dead letter.

AJ Lynch said...

VB Spurs said:

"Common sense has nothing to do with book smart intelligence."

How about we ban Ivy Leaguers from voting, holding elective office or working for the federal govt!

That could solve many of our problems overnight. Hell they cause most of our problems.

vbspurs said...

That could solve many of our problems overnight. Hell they cause most of our problems.

To have an average, you have to have extremes, AJ. ;)

vbspurs said...

Yes. As it is now, you get registered to vote when you apply for welfare. Clever, no?

It's the same logic that allows one to tick a box to donate one's organs if ever in a deadly car crash...when applying for a driving license.

vbspurs said...

Lucky for us, and I never thought I'd say this, but Teh wOn is splendidly bad at the job.

One has to wonder what Democrats really think about Obama, deep down inside.

Last year, my heart sank imagining the havoc he would cause in 2009. He had a solid majority in both Houses, and given media fanfare about his surprising election with the help of such States as Virginia and Florida, everybody felt he was going to change the face of American politics like FDR's or Reagan's elections did.

As 2010 dawns, I know that Obama is no FDR, and certainly not a Reagan. Both those men knew how to GOVERN -- they had the balls to make deals with political enemies but also to uplift the American spirit. I detest what FDR stood for, but he was a sip of champagne with his raffish cigarette holders and jaunty capes, daring people to hate him. Reagan, well. Reagan was just special.

Obama isn't special. He has no natural leader skill sets that can help him manoeuvre through the lean days of opposition.

Sure, he's mastered Alinsky, but is finding out that Alinsky's instructions on how to disrupt and manipulate do not help him in governing the most complex free indirect democracy in the world.


LonewackoDotCom said...

Regarding voting, the idea of only the landed gentry voting is definitely in line with the libertarian ideal; of course, most of them are too dumb to realize that such a scheme would lead to "land reform" and the rise of someone far worse than BHO.

One of the main problems the U.S. has is that many or most voters are uninformed or ill-informed, and that's part of an intentional scheme on the part of the MSM, politicians, and the general establishment. Meanwhile, major bloggers from all sides aren't filling the gap; it's extremely rare to find a blogger discussing actual policy (except to retail CAP/CEI/AFP talking points). Most of those major bloggers are more than willing to try to shut down debate, such as by not having or deleting comments, refusing to engage others' arguments, and so on.

You can see an example of what I do on my home page. Certainly, I could be better, but no major bloggers offer both a discussion of policy and suggest things that their readers can do; they basically just provide entertainment.

Instead of pushing something that might lead to a socialist revolution, the libertarian loons should at least try to not be fascistic and should at least try to encourage real debate about vital issues.

Big Mike said...

To have an average, you have to have extremes...

No you don't. But averages can be misleading. On the average, if you flip a coin it will come down as neither a head nor a tail. And, as the authors of Super Freakonomics point out, on the average each US citizen has one mammary gland, one ovary, and one testicle.

former law student said...

The country survived four years of Carter and eight years of W. -- running the USA is a snap.

I do like the idea of prohibiting recipients of government handouts from voting if it was extended to running for office. Had such a law been in place in 1988, someone who had hornswoggled Texas taxpayers out of $135 million cash, like W. did to build a stadium for his ball club, would never have been able to run for Governor and thus President.

Recall too that W.'s business and political qualifications to be President were a close match to Carter's -- America should have seen an economic and Middle East disaster coming.

Alex said...

FLS - you forgot to mention somehow this country survived Mr. Bedtime for Bonzo! I mean how did he NOT blow the world up with his warmongering rhetoric? He really should have said "Nice Soviet Union, Good Empire" and unilateral nuclear disarmament.

vbspurs said...

Instead of pushing something that might lead to a socialist revolution, the libertarian loons should at least try to not be fascistic and should at least try to encourage real debate about vital issues.

Insty doesn't have comments, but I suspect he would follow the Ann Althouse method of rarely deleting anything. I'm thinking too of Megan McArdle. She doesn't delete comments at the Atlantic, does she?

Who are these libertarian loonie bloggers?

Alex said...

Victoria - you are correct Megan McArdle doesn't delete comments unless profanity/violence.

former law student said...

Alex -- Reagan was a great President, despite setting the US on its course towards deficit spending. His rhetorical flourishes hurt nothing, and might even have done some good.

Reagan's biggest strength was being able to work with an opposition Congress. I credit this to their being Democrats -- no one can work with a Republican Congress.

Alex said...

no one can work with a Republican Congress.

Clinton managed for 6 years dufus.

former law student said...

Clinton managed for 6 years dufus.

Clinton managed to work with Republicans by submitting to their agenda: ending welfare, sending manufacturing jobs to low-wage Mexico, and deregulating the financial industry. Clinton was the Republicans' lapdog. But he did get employers to allow employees to take care of sick relatives in an emergency -- unpaid of course.

Alex said...

FLS - lol. So your left-wing agenda wasn't pushed through in the 90s. Do you think Clinton was a left-winger? Get your head out of your ass.