Legislative Innovations?

>> March 23, 2010

I had a post all cued up to go...
And then I had to revise it. See, I almost made the mistake of assuming I knew what political side someone was on from a few things they wrote. Yea, I know. Silly huh?
The person in question isn't someone I read every day. I'm sure that if I did, I would understand her positions a little better. Unfortunately, The Atlantic isn't one of my main coffee table sites. Maybe it should be.
The reason I'm even blathering on about this is Little Miss Attila. It's all her fault. She's the reason I was shoved into the world of hyper-realism and ultra-awareness. I'm sure that if only a redneck like myself could, but for a little while, take off my boots and blue jeans and wade through the streets of New York or Philadelphia or San Francisco, I'd gather by sheer osmosis, the wisdom of some more learned authors. (Sorry about that visual)

I'm going to be in hot water for this, but I have to question Megan McArdle's use of some terminology in one of the articles I read today. Forgive me if I've gone off the deep end here. Please, let me know if I'm being overly critical.

Being a lowly robot in the food-chain of the blogosphere, I usually refrain from critique of someone in the journalism field. After all, they are paid for their verbiage.
Today, however is not one of those days. Call me wreckless. (HT Michelle Malkin and the Dem's for the new spelling.)

Ms. McArdle posted an interesting piece at The Atlantic on the tyranny of the majority and cautioning against too much gloating over the health care victory. She even went so far as to recognize the inherent danger in ignoring the will of the American people. Something I agree with by the way. What she cautioned against was expressed in this phrasing:
If the GOP takes the legislative innovations of the Democrats and decides to use them, please don't complain that it's not fair.  Someone could get seriously hurt, laughing that hard.

But I hope they don't.  What I hope is that the Democrats take a beating at the ballot box and rethink their contempt for those mouth-breathing illiterates in the electorate... 
Legislative innovations? I guess if you would define unconstitutional procedures, bribery, deceit, arm twisting and I'll venture a guess at blackmail as legislative innovations then you might want to take out some stock in the next printing of Webster's because everyone in the country is going to need a copy to decipher the new language.

I have to ask, am I reading this correctly? Do I understand Ms. McArdle to mean that she would actually justify or could justify the use of such tactics? Because that is the way it seems. Granted, she has left herself an "out" here by the little "I hope they don't" line. But the suggestion has been made.
Look, I know we are in the middle of a fight right now and tempers will flare, but to condone such procedures for one's own side is to give them the thumbs up for all sides. To threaten to use them in the future because they have been used in the past is patently wrong; not to mention that it would just embolden the opposition and add credence to their very use in the first place.

If we threaten to use these measures in the future, what possible criticism can we use against the process and resulting legislation that came from it? I'm sorry, I don't see the logic.

If these new legislative innovations, as McArdle calls them, are given the seal of approval, then we are just as bad as what we are fighting. We should take the high road on this issue, even if it means losing, because to do otherwise is to become what we despise.

I'm sorry for going off here, Ms. McArdle but I believe you are wrong to encourage or even mention this tack as legitimate. If I have read you incorrectly, please, enlighten me.

It is my not so humble opinion that this war can still be won. That the legislation itself is unconstitutional is the ground of the battlefield.

As I write this I'm listening to the AG of Texas on the radio give the basis of a lawsuit about to be filed opposing Obamacare. The main points being that the Federal Government is not allowed and is in fact prohibited by the Constitution from requiring a citizen to purchase a product or service. Let's fight the fight with the Constitution in hand and not get distracted by the "well you did it" mantra.

If we wish our leaders to be righteous and fair then we must require it from them, not encourage bad behavior on our own side as tit for tat. It would only play into the oppositions hands.

As to the gloating, to Obama, Ried and Pelosi I say gloat. Go ahead. Get it out of your system. All you will accomplish is enraging an already angry TEA Party and waking up a sleeping elephant.

In reality, the first part of M.M's article that stuck me in the eye was this quote:
One cannot help but admire Nancy Pelosi's skill as a legislator.  But it's also pretty worrying.  Are we now in a world where there is absolutely no recourse to the tyranny of the majority?  Republicans and other opponents of the bill did their job on this; they persuaded the country that they didn't want this bill.  And that mattered basically not at all.  If you don't find that terrifying, let me suggest that you are a Democrat who has not yet contemplated what Republicans might do under similar circumstances.  Farewell, Social Security!  Au revoir, Medicare!  The reason entitlements are hard to repeal is that the Republicans care about getting re-elected.
My comment at LMA's place was:
"Farewell, social security! Au revoir, Medicare! The reason entitlements are hard to repeal is that the Republicans care about getting re-elected."
I think it might actually be a badge of honor and help get them re-elected.
Anyone brave enough to stand against entitlement mentality gets my vote. I would also bet that a large number of newly awakened Americans agree with me. Optimism. Yea, it’s my curse.
Side note: Saw Instapundit mention you today, AGAIN. Hows that Instalache workin out for ya? Traffic envy is petty, but it’s mine.

On reflection, I have to also question any "admiration" for "Nancy Pelosi's skill as a legislator". I could do a freaking hell of a lot with a stimulus package full of voters' money to bribe a bunch of crooked legislators with. The fact that it took so long and so much money is a testament to the TEA Party and the common every day citizens who manned the phones day after day and trekked to DC trying to stop this garbage. The fact is, they scared the hell out of those lawmaker/breakers and caused a more lengthy process.

Are you beginning to understand why I was having trouble figuring out which side M.M. is on?  I sincerely hope I'm missing the sarcasm. Surely, I am. Again, I apologize if I'm being overly critical, but to admire Pelosi is, to me, to admire a mobster for his murder and thievery techniques or Satan himself for his prowess at deceit.

I might be an optimist, but as of Sunday night, I'm an optimist with a grudge.


Chris Wysocki March 23, 2010 at 8:05 AM  

In the abstract you are of course right. In Nancy Pelosi's world (and for better or worse, right now we live in Nancy Pelosi's world) the only path forward is scorched earth amid the lamentations of their women.

There's nothing holding the Demosocialists back now. They've crossed the Rubicon and everything is fair game (VDH made this point yesterday on PJM). There's a reason our side called what they did "the nuclear option". It's like an atomic bomb set off on our soil. We must retaliate in kind. Any restraint, however noble in intent, will be perceived as weakness.

What should we do when we take back the House? It now takes only 216 votes to expel slugs like Charlie Rangel. Prove Pelosi bought off Stupak and expel her too. They want partisanship? We'll give them some real partisanship! If we get 51 seats in the Senate? Impeachment.

Will the MSM (in particular Pinch Sulzberger's Peoples Commissariat for the Ministry of Truth) go berserk? So what! They'll condemn anything we do.

You know what I really want to see at Barry's next SOTU? No GOP. Not one single Republican shows up. Let him preach to his choir.

If it's war they want, I'm ready to go to the mattresses.

Attila Girl March 23, 2010 at 8:18 AM  

I think Pelosi's use of "innovation" was wry understatement--a kind of grim irony. I think what she was really saying was that she was really freakin' appalled.

McArdle got briefly co-opted by the Obama cult a year ago last fall, but she is an economist, and a libertarian one at that. (Her fiance writes for Reason magazine.) She is writing for the audience of The Atlantic, so she clearly understands that a lot of the readers there are hostile to libertarian economics. She knows she's in hostile territory, but she stands her ground.

She's definitely someone you want to read when you're in the mood for a bit of understatement--totally not the kind of girl to offer up "red meat," but I still enjoy her writing.

I'd call her socially left of center, but economically right of center.

Longhaired Conservative March 23, 2010 at 8:22 AM  

@Chris I understand the frustration, believe me, I would love to get mid-evil on some of these bastards, but as I said, that kind of action only reinforces that what they did was OK. It is not. There should be a way to stop this from becoming a precedent that can be used in the future. If not, then America is truly doomed to failure. It will just be tit for tat until a civil war breaks out. I'm praying for the States to come through with a good case in the SCOTUS. If that fails, then we are truly at the end of options. At least none that I can think of right now.

Longhaired Conservative March 23, 2010 at 8:33 AM  

Wow, Hi Attila, I was hoping to get some insight from you on this. I didn't realize that her statement was in reference to something Pelosi had said. I still have to question the wisdom of condoning it, even for sake of making a point. All I'm attempting to do is add some reasoning to a highly charged situation. Not that I think I can do much over here in my little corner. If I learn something along the way, then that's alright too. Thanks for commenting! I guess you know I read you all the time. - Keep praying.

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