Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

Random Observations

1. I continue not to have much to say, because I’m reluctant to criticize Obama before he actually does anything as president.

2. I’m also not outraged by the senatorial outcomes in IL and MN. If the state is controlled by the Democrats and the senate is too, I guess the Democrat is going to prevail in a race that’s obviously too close to call. And in IL, I don’t see the problem in seating the boring old guy as a placeholder, who was appointed according to the law of the state, as far as I can tell. Neither of these issues has legs or even toes. (And I’m only slightly less indifferent to Princess Caroline getting the NY seat. Obama’s victory was for the stylish and inexperienced young, and they deserve a voice to balance all those Clinton retreads.)

3. It’s above my paygrade to know what kind of government stimulation of the economy would be least likely to be counterproductive. I certainly agree with Dick Morris about the danger of getting a lot more Americans out of the habit of paying federal taxes. Although I’m not usually losing sleep over the injustice of thecapital gains tax, maybe giving it something like a holiday would lure more rich guys back to taking stock-market risks. But a tax cut for the rich won’t play well now. I think I agree with Sowell about the difficulty of knowing what the real ecomonic effects would be of stimulation through infrastructure. So maybe the best thing is to give every taxpayer 5K--like in the game Monopoly--and let him or her do what he or she pleases with it--making it crystal clear this is a one-time-only thing. There is no right to stimulate or be stimulated, even in our erotically challenged time. But government spending does need to go up--maybe in stimulating ways--in certain areas, such military/weapons modernization, "subsidiarity"-based programs for the permanently disabled and the frail elderly, and some genuine infrastructure concerns.

4. A REAL ISSUE: We need new ideas for articles and symposia for PERSPECTIVES ON POLITICAL SCIENCE. I’m disappointed that nothing has come in on the election or the Obama "regime change." And I’m very disappointed that bold and impetuous young (and old) authors of brilliant but strange essays on politics, literature, and philosophy haven’t been calling or writing in big numbers either. Let me hear from you (plawler@berry.edu). Reent authors include Mark Lilla, Delba Winthrop, Mary Nichols, Mary Keys, Ty Tessitore, Yuval Levin, Ivan the K, Eduardo Velasquez, Ralph Hancock, and Dr. Pat Deneen.

5. Pat is now dispensing his excellent and adventurous blogospheric wisdom at the "postmodern conservative" blog of Culture11. His first entry is a tough (too tough, I think) criticism of the constiutional conservatism of Peter Berkowitz praised, with some justice, below.

Discussions - 5 Comments

Unfortunately for Illinois, seating the boring old guy, especially after the shamefully opportunistic way he came to office, is only going to further solidify their reputation as a backwater of corruption and incompetence. And no matter what Reid now says, he'll always have a suspect standing in the Senate, especially as things get worse for Blago.
The Kennedy thing is pretty frustrating, especially since I live in NY. Besides being comically underqualified, she really has put Patterson in a position where he can't appoint her in a non-embarassing, non-emasculating way. Despite his specific requests to the contrary, sh has openly waged a campaign for the position, has earned the contempt of upstaters, and has done a pretty bad job of making he case for herself through the media. Patterson just gave a seriously gloomy state of the state yesterday (used the word "perilous') and appointing Kennedy after all that will be hard to justify but I still think he will appoint her)

I think the government probably owes the Kennedy family a little. What makes the difference, a liberal drone by any other name.

It is funny to me that you mentioned the idea of giving the people monopoly money to spend. This idea was put forth on the day of the 'bailout'(banker one) by the alternative media (Alex Jones). If we gave the people the play money then it would get laundered through the economy and end up at the banks, but by skipping this step before we ensured that the economy would fail while the banks would stay alive to not lend another day. Why lend when you can wait and buy for pennies on the dollar.

As for Illinois corruption, sounds like anytown USA to me, but at least the Almighty Rushbo will have something to rant about for a couple of months.

Is it not sad that given our times, perilous times some might say, we are on the verge of stocking the United States Senate with Roland Burris, Al Franken, and Caroline Kennedy? My point is not that they are all Democrats, but that they are all profoundly unserious people, in order, a social climber, a vulgarian and an airhead. Sigh.

The Senate is no stranger to airheads and social climbers. Franken is something relatively unprecedented, I have to admit.

Caroline Kennedy really grates in a way that other dynastic political figures do not. Say what you want about Joe Biden smoothing the way for his son, but Beau Biden at least had the sense and dignity to refuse an appointment. If Beau Biden becomes Senator, it will be because the people of his state elected him. The same is true of the Bush boys and even Caroline Kennedy's father and uncles. John Kennedy's first race for the Senate was no gimme. He outworked and outsmarted a nationaly famous incumbent. Same thing with RFK in New York. Ted Kennedy didn't face an incumbent, but he faced the voters and an opponent who taunted him for having nothing going for him but his last name.

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