Incrementalism: The Potential Death Of This Country…

And Its Potential Salvation

Today (10 April), Rick Santorum dropped out of the primary contest for the GOP’s presidential nomination, leaving the field clear for Romney to cinch the nomination as there are no other credible opponents left.

Those who know me know I was never particularly thrilled with any of the GOP entrants into this election’s race. Too many “moderates”; too many RINOs (Hunstman, for example); too many wing nuts (Gingrich, Paul); not enough classic Reagan conservatives (not one I can think of).

That having been said, think about what Romney’s nomination really means.

Our country is poised on the brink of national suicide due to the socialist policies proposed – and in many cases, enacted – by the leftists. How did we get here? That’s a question due some real consideration.

The seeds of modern “progressivism” were sown by Teddy Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson, but they didn’t flower until FDR, and his then-radical notions of Social Security, deficit spending for the New Deal, and his other government work programs. Think about that; there was a time when Social Security was actually considered “radical”.

Now look at the kinds of programs we have that are currently under consideration, or have been enacted into law. A “healthcare” law that forces people to buy a product under threat of government penalty (Obamacare), and which effectively nationalizes the medical industry and 17% of our GDP; a national debt that exceeds our annual GDP; a “national security” law that allows the US military, on American soil, to arrest and incarcerate American citizens without trial, and effectively suspends the right of habeas corpus; all the way down to laws that dictate to us what kind of light bulbs we’re allowed to use in our own homes and what kind of bags we’re permitted to use when we go grocery shopping.

If any of these laws had been proposed 80 years ago when FDR was President, do you think there’s any chance they’d have actually been adopted? Of course not! Anyone who proposed such ideas would have been laughed out of town, if not tarred and feathered.

But 80 years of incrementalism – the constant erosion and chipping away at our rights and traditional American values and ideals – have made each and every one of them a possibility, if not an actual reality.

Clearly, I – and many like me – would have loved to have seen the GOP field a candidate around whom we could have rallied and who would have taken a strong position to reverse this devastating trend. But here’s a bit of political reality: it took us 80 years to get into this mess, and it’s very possible that the radical changes that have to take place to reverse it simply aren’t practically possible to achieve in one four- or eight-year administration. A candidate who advocated essentially burning things to the ground to return to sanity would have a hard time actually winning the election, first of all. More importantly, it took us 80 years as a society to transform into what we are now, and it’s going to take at least a couple of decades to reverse the damage in a way that won’t itself cause massive damage. Institutions, as well as individuals, are going to have to be given time to remake their own circumstances and practices to accommodate the changes we as a country have to make in order to survive the mess we’ve made of things.

And that may, in fact, mean that Romney is the right guy at the right time. No, he’s certainly not Reagan; no, he’s not an innately traditional conservative. But he is a practical guy who understands the problems we face, is a political realist, and as a successful businessman understands the economic issues at hand. He won’t burn down the house, but I think he will start the pendulum swinging back.

And let me address the “Reagan issue” for a moment. Most people forget that as Governor of California, Reagan signed some pretty “liberal” laws into effect. Yet look at how he performed as President. There’s often a big difference between being a Governor and a President: different issues; different governmental powers and functions in play; and different constituencies between a provincial state office and a national office.

It’s time to put an end to the internecine battle on the right over the nomination that’s simply giving Obama and the leftists sound bites they can distort in their campaign ads for their desperate bid to retain power.

Let’s move on.


© Brian Baker 2012


75 comments on “Incrementalism: The Potential Death Of This Country…

  1. thedrpete says:

    I like a “September Surprise” (See my latest — just moments ago — blogpost) and a wait-and-see going forward to the GOP convention.

  2. Gunny G Alz says:


    Good essay and I agree. We MUST vote OUT Obama and THEN go to work cleaning up the GOP. We cannot survive 4 more years of this idiot.

    • BrianR says:

      Yeah, Guns, Bat Ears has gotta go. But I have to still say, I’d have never voted for Gingrich of h’de won the GOP nod. I can’t see trading one nut job for another.

  3. clyde says:

    Good piece. No,Romney isn’t on my wish list,but we simply cannot SCDS this time,unless Romney REALLY screws up along the way. I DO believe,however,it is incumbent on EACH of us to bombard the Romney campaign EVERY TIME he drifts left. Maybe if WE kick his ass hard enough right,he’ll at least be somewhat centered.

  4. says:

    Incrementalism. The old Birchers called it, “The ol’ salamai theory”.
    They were talking about the old communist world threat of the time, of course, but it is totally applicable today in our present crisis.
    You have a large tube of salami on your patio table. Your neighbor comes over and slices off a small portion. You get irate but he says to you, “I just took a very small slice. Now, that’s not enough to fight over, is it?”
    So you agree. The next day he comes back and slices off another small portion and offers the same argument.
    N Now you can see where this is going and what will ultimately happen to your tube of salamai. So it is the same with domestic salamai thieves except instead of an international crisis you have folks threatening your freedom right here at home.
    As you said they have been doing it since Teddy R so they might be more masterfu than the international communist conspiracy the Birchers were warning us about.
    At any rate it is time to say, “yeah, it IS enough to fight over.”

    • BrianR says:

      Yeah, Buck. Also the “boiling the frog” analogy. Same deal.

      Turned out the “international communist” weren’t the big problem; the domestic variety are.

  5. Well, now we will have an election between a liberal Democrat and Obama.

    Romney may not be what we want, but you are correct in that we would not be able to get anyone elected who would be running on a platform of immediate return to 100% Constitutionality. That would be simply EXTREEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEME! Let him get the course changed away from the precipice, and over the course of a decade or so we may be able to tack all the way toward the correct direction.

    Dat don’t mean I am happy about dis!

  6. Nee says:

    Excellent perspective! You nailed that the incrementalism has us in ruins. Can we reverse with Romney? If I have faith doesn’t mean I trust….

    • BrianR says:

      Yeah, Nee… it’s an interesting place we’re now in, historically speaking.

      “Trust but verify”… Ronaldus.

      Thanks for the kind words. When you gonna start blogging again?

      • Nee says:

        This busy season is killing me…The revenues are down because people are trying to do their own taxes, but what can you do…my brain is so fried at night and I look as if Ihaven’t slept for weeks…so needless to say wrapping my head around blogging is all about reading! 🙂 I do have a couple of things that could be worth writing about…we’ll see.

      • BrianR says:

        Keep me posted.

        (LOL… “posted”… get it?)

  7. Hardnox says:

    “Let’s move on”. Amen to that!

    Our best hope is a strong and conservative congress to help push Romney to the right. Incrementalism works both ways.

    Now the press will be discussing all things Mormon 24/7.

    • BrianR says:

      Yeah, ain’t that the truth? I’ve seen they’re already setting it up, publishing articles that CREATE the issue.

      They must REALLY think we’re just plain stupid…

  8. Mrs. AL says:

    I accepted the Romney nomination some time ago, as you are aware. I got some flack on blogs, etc. The key here is the issue of time. There is no way to undo this damage in a quick manner without reducing this country to dust.

    I believe Romney can be influenced in the correct direction. I don’t believe the Resident is capable of even knowing what the correct direction is.

    Great read, BrianR!

    • BrianR says:

      Thanks, MrsAL.

      Welcome back. Are your eyes okay?

      • Mrs. AL says:

        Getting there, BrianR, thanx for asking. Have pretty much visited all the sites I can today. The good news is, my wonderfully thoughtful husband person got me a laptop and believe it or not, it’s easier on my eyebulbs than the desk top monitor.

      • BrianR says:

        Well, that’s great — and surprising — news.

  9. Gray Ghost (Mississippi) says:

    Am I happy about Romney? No, but Brian you make some solid points about slowly reversing the temperature of the frog’s water. If you throw some dry ice into the pan, the frog will probably have a heart attack.

    As long as we turn off the range, place the pan with the frog on a counter, and add some room temperature water we should be alright.

    But soon we must add an ice cube and stop all entitlements. No country can continue with this many people living on government handouts.

  10. thedrpete says:

    I offer, BrianR, a somewhat different visual than your pendulum. The pendulum swings over to, say, 3 o’clock, then loses momentum, and gravity takes it down to 6 o’clock and momentum takes it up to, say, 9. Ongoing swings go to 4 and 8, 5 and 7.

    Rather, what I’ve seen over the course of the 20th and the early 21st centuries is like a see saw. From the side we see it drop on the left until it hits the ground. Then some folks dig a hole under the left side so that it can continue leftward. Then some more folks come along and dig the hole deeper, albeit not as fast as the first folks did. Then some hotshot newbies enter the fray and dig using a backhoe rather than mere shovels. Now the see saw is perpendicular.

    What I expect from a Republican House, a Republican Senate, and a President Romney is a all-hands rotating of the see saw slowly in the same direction it’s been going.

    In the United States the only pendulum swing was during the 1860s.

    • BrianR says:

      DrP, there was a tipping of the seesaw back during the Reagan years. Too little, because the effort wasn’t continued by Bush and his successors.

      And there’s no question that the tendency has been there by both parties, as I’ve often written: the Dems and the Dem-Lites.

      But there’s one big historical difference: for the first time in our history, the problem has reached disastrous proportions to where it’s become glaringly apparent to large portions of the electorate, and the politicians; and it’s become a huge political issue in and of itself. That’s never happened before.

      Now, do I think success is guaranteed? By no means! I’m positing a thesis, that’s all. I can see several potential outcomes, even including massive rioting in the streets reaching the proportions of a civil war based on class and economic status as defined by ideological divisions: Left versus conservatives.

      One other thing I’ve often written and long-maintained: we’re enagaged in a civil war in this country every bit as profound as the one that took place in the 19th Century; thankfully it’s been pretty bloodless so far. But that could DEFINITELY change.

  11. Well bodies do pirate a lot of things, something should be done, but all of these are too intense. Especially the fact that there are so several of these appearing.

  12. BrianR says:

    Well, as I said, I don’t think Romney’s any kind of true “conservative” in the traditional Reagan model. Hell, even Reagan himself wasn’t perfect; no President ever has been. Why did we have troops in Beirut to get blown up in the Marine barracks?

    I understand your position. Last time, I refused to vote for McCain. This time there’s no way I’d have voted for Gingrich. And if you feel that way about Romney, I’m absolutely the last guy who’ll criticize you for it.

  13. BrianR says:

    Well, as to bailouts, he already made it clear he thought that was a bad idea right from the start.

    As to voting for Romney equating to voting for Bat Ears: I made that same comparison with McCain and Bat Ears, and in that case it was true. Not so much this time: there are immense differences, the most obvious being that Romney’s a capitalist and Bat Ears is a communist. Differences don’t get any more profound than that, frankly.

    • Jack says:

      Hmmm…I seem to remember Romney saying he’d’ve signed TARP…and only had issues w/how it was “administered”?

      Mitt Romney Defends TARP At Debate

      This is something that REALLY bothers me…TARP, imo, was horrible as well as incredibly unpopular–esp. w/conservatives. That Romney, now, still says it was “necessary” is VERY problematic, imo.

      • BrianR says:

        Yeah, it bothers me, too. TARP is different from the original bailout, though, don’t forget. But yeah, it’s not good.

        No one’s going to be perfect on all the issues, of course. As I often say, the only person in the world I agree with 100% is… me!

        Let’s consider Paul; I know you like him. He’s got a great message on a plethora of issues, but when he’s wrong, he goes completely out into far weirdness.

        So, each of us are going to make a determination based on a lot of factors on whether or not we can support him. It’s a given that Romney’s biggest problem is going to be with traditional conservatives; Tea Party types, etc. And he’s sure as hell not going to be perfect; I do think he’s got potential, though.

  14. BrianR says:

    Paul can’t even get the nomination. He’d be slaughtered by Bat Ears.

  15. I notice half the comments revolve around Romney being just like Obama…

    Does anyone actually realistically sit back and inspect the insanity of that remark? There is and has never been a Presidential NOMINEE, much less an elected-U.S. President, anywhere near Barack Obama’s level of hatred and malice towards this country.

    If Romney 100% tried to be like Obama, he couldn’t because at the bare minimum Romney has a understanding and fundemental respect for the U.S. Constitution. Barack Obama spent his entire life inciting inner-city people to riot, protest, and anger. Romney spent his life in the business sector, albiet at Wall-Street.

    When people try to equate the two men as identical, it is insulting and just plain stupid of them to try. Sure, many who try to compare are Ron Paul supporters and do not understand the importance of moral limits in society; yet even in their ignorance, their attempt to compare Romney to Obama must come from some innate lack of intelligence.

    • BrianR says:

      In my experience, many of the Paul supporters are rabid and illogical in their assessments of any candidate that doesn’t hew to their extreme views. Their comments can reach a level of bile and vitriol that matches anything the Dems dish out. That’s one of the reasons I started this blog here at WordPress, and shut down comments at my Townhall site: I couldn’t moderate the Townhall site comments, and I CAN moderate here.

      Paul is pretty irrelevant as a candidate; kind of the Lyndon Larouche of this era, with the same kind of adherents, except from the opposite side of the ideological spectrum.

      Romney does have problems with getting support from conservatives, and that can’t be denied. But he’s not nearly as leftist as McCain, and I suspect (and hope) that as the campaign for the nomination winds down and changes aim to defeating Bat Ears, his support from the conservatives will increase. But that’s really up to him. He’ll have to continue trying to overcome his “moderate” brand to be successful, but I think that’s doable.

  16. Jack says:

    I was actually a Ron Paul guy this time around…not crazy about all of his positions, but he seemed to be the only one really talking about the modern-day consequences of the 80-plus years of incrementalism and offering some doable solutions (letting younger folks opt-out of social security and medicare, reassessing the int’l footprint, etc.). I think he might be a case of “right message, wrong messenger”. How he would do against Obama? I think he’d have a chance on issues alone, but image-wise I’m not at all sure. Romney might very well be the most “electable” for whatever its worth. An irrelevant question at this point I’d say.

    I’m not sure if “reverse-incrementalism” is a real option at this point, imo. To begin an incrementalism towards more liberty actually requires a first-step. I’m just not sure if the will to take that first step exists. Too many folks and special interests on the govt-teat. IMO, we’ve been at a crisis-level (as evidenced by the rapidly-expanding spending and debt levels) for decades now. Even Reagan couldn’t really slow things down. It’ll probably take some kind of collapse or calamity to force cuts. Look at socialist Europe…they’re implementing “austerity measures” not because they WANT to, or because they’ve all-of-a-sudden “seen the light” and are turning towards liberty, but because they’re being FORCED to confront economic reality.

    • BrianR says:

      Jack, I think you put your finger on exactly the issue with Paul: “right message, wrong messenger”. He just doesn’t present his case very well at all. He comes across as strident and unlikeable (at least in my opinion), and as we know, politics isn’t just about being right; it’s also about being able to “sell” your message.

      As to those “first steps”: surprisingly enough, I think we’ve actually already seen them, embodied in several recent SCOTUS rulings on major issues. Heller, McDonald v. Chicago, Citizen’s United, and a few others. And the Obamacare case this summer could be a real biggie. Not only will a slap-down send a stromng message about unconstitutional laws, but even if only the mandate’s struck down that whole law will just have to be unlegislated, because without the mandate it’s completely unworkable in any way at all.

      And as in your Europe example, that’s the stage we’re at now. American socialism has had its heyday, and the piper now demands to be paid. There’s simply no denying it; it’s become painfully obvious to all, unless one’s a die-hard socialist who refuses to acknowledge the plain and simple facts that are glaring you in the face.

      • Jack says:

        Thanks for reminding me of Heller, etc!

        That’s the great thing about other perspectives…maybe too many of us are too caught up in all the bad things that we forget some of the good.

      • BrianR says:

        We’re only human. It’s an esay thing to do.

      • Jack says:

        BTW…the fact that we’re even TALKING about “American socialism” shows how far off course we’ve gone!

      • BrianR says:

        No kidding!

  17. Jack says:

    As far as Romney, as you said, his prior record doesn’t necessarily indicate how he’d act as potus. He was a Republican governor in maybe the most liberal state w/the most lopsided Democrat legislature, but how would he govern w/a Republican majority? This might be a case of him being a “flip-flopper” being a GOOD thing! I’m just not sure I can get past his record though…if we aren’t gonna hold politicians accountable for their records (no excuses!), we get what we deserve for electing them.

    I’m kind of worried and disappointed that, even w/an Obama in the White House and the rise of the Tea Party Movement, that Romney is the best we could do. We’re taking on one of the most extreme liberals since, what, LBJ? And we’re putting up a very liberal Republican as a serious option? This really stinks of Leftward-drift to my nose…

    • BrianR says:

      LOL, Jack!

      YOU’RE “disappointed”? Yeah, bro, don’t feel like the Lone Ranger.

      Four years ago, I and some like-minded bloggers took the VERY unpopular stance of refusing to “hold our noses” and vote for McAmnesty. We took a lot of heat for it, from all sides. The idea being that McJoke’s loss would force the GOP to go back to its core values.

      Well, it’s worked to some extent, but not nearly as much as I would have hoped. I’d hoped to see Jindal run this time. Maybe Ryan. Coles. Demint. People like that. For some reason they all stayed away. VERY disappointing.

      • Jack says:

        That some of those guys stayed away, in a year where it seemed they’d’ve had success, makes me wonder too.

        These aren’t dumb or inexperienced guys, so do they “know” something we don’t about Obama’s chances this November? Do they think going up against an incumbent is too risky? Are they waiting on 2016? Was Romney simply the GOP’s “next guy in line” (I REALLY got that feeling post-Primary 2008) and they stayed out of his way out of respect or Party duty?

        “McJoke”, LOL! I don’t think the GOP could’ve chosen a worse candidate last time…maybe Giulani. Puzzling, but then again, I don’t think anyone w/an “R” next to their name would’ve had much of a chance in 08.

      • BrianR says:

        Last time, Giuliani was the OTHER guy I’d have refused to vote for. I dubbed him The Bald Hillary. WTH was he doing in the GOP, anyway?

        Y’know, here’s an interesting thing, re: running against the incumbent. Most people aren’t aware of this. Since FDR, Clinton’s the ONLY Democrat who’s run for a second term and who’s won. And Bush the Elder’s the ONLY Republican who’s done so and lost.

        Truman only ran for President once; he dropped out of his re-election bid. Same with LBJ. Both became Prez by ascending upon the death of their predecessors. Ford lost on his first run for the office. So history’s actually against Bat Ears.

  18. Jack says:

    RE: Ron Paul

    Your criticisms are all valid, imo.

    Paulbots do themselves harm by not seriously taking these critiques to heart and w/their no-compromise attitude. Critiques can be very valuable in that they show you where you need to tweak or re-package your ideas to achieve greater success down the road. Politics is about compromise and coalition-building and you don’t get success by being an isolated group. Cult-type movements that center around one person don’t have staying power, and for the Paulistas, they’ll soon need to find a person or persons to carry that torch who can “play the game” more effectively.

    I do think Paul is owed a lot of credit for helping to turn-on a significant number of youths to the ideas of liberty. It is encouraging to see something besides socialism being espoused on campuses and to see at least some young people (typically part of the liberal demo) saying we need LESS, instead of MORE, govt. They SHOULD be saying that, being they’re gonna be the ones left holding the bag for the last 80-years spending binge.

    Paul may end up being part of a significant movement that “paves the way” for a (hopefully) near-future resurgence in liberty.

    • BrianR says:

      From your lips to God’s ear.

      I think he’s done a lot of good, too. As you say, if nothing more he raises excellent issues and perspective for consideration.

      And I’ve always said, I do admire the ardor his adherents have for their guy. They’re absolute Energizer Bunnies.

  19. BrianR says:

    Who would you suggest?

    • BrianR says:

      There’s a lot to be said for what you wrote. And thank you for taking the time to write it.

      First, though, and as I’ve written before, Paul’s biggest problem is his persona. There’s a HUGE difference between him and Reagan. Reagan knew how to sell his message; Paul doesn’t. He just comes across as a screecher. That’s very problematic for anyone who wants to succeed politically, no matter how great their message is. You have to sell it to the electorate; if you can’t do that, you’re sunk, plain and simple.

      He also, as I’ve written, has a great message on a plethora of topics, but when he’s wrong, he’s waaaaaaaay out of the bleechers. Interestingly enough, your example of the Middle East is a prime example.

      Long-time followers of my blogs know the following, but I’m sure you don’t. So here you go. I’ve spent over five years in the Middle East. I went to high school in Iran in the early-mid 60s. My Mom’s Armenian, born and raised in Iran. My Dad was one of the guys who helped set up the CIA; he worked for Donovan in the OSS duting WW2, and met my Mom when he was assigned to Iran after the war. After he died, Mom went to work for the Agency, as part of the Station in Iran (which is why we were living there). I still have family living there. When we lived there, we traveled all over the region. Paul’s — and Scheuer’s — assessments of the situation there are, IMO, brain-dead. I know; I lived there, and have “roots” there. I, myself, am a former intelligence agent. It’s not some theoretical exercise for me.

      So every time I hear that “we brought it on ourselves in the Middle East” meme, I know for a fact the person spouting it doesn’t have Clue One what they’re talking about.

      So, no, the choice ISN’T “manifestly clear” at all. Sorry.

  20. BrianR says:

    “Anonymous Blogger”? Are you illiterate? Do you see that little copyright symbol, and the name behind it?

    You, on the other hand, log in truly anonymously and share your questionable wisdom, which is based on… what, exactly? Your idea of “common sense”, based no doubt on your vast experince in the region…. oh, wait! You don’t have any!

    You’re the exact kind of rude and arrogant Paulbot that I’ve mentioned previously, who doesn’t do a thing for Paul’s chances because you think you have all the answers and manage to alienate everyone else. Particularly irritating because you’re wrong.

    And a warning for you, “Anonymous”: your comment pushed to the limits of what I’ll allow on my blog. Read the warning on the top right of the screen: “I encourage all points of view, but comments that don’t maintain standard decorum, or are overly rude or hostile, won’t see the light of day.”

    Keep it up and I’ll just trash your next comment in moderation.

  21. Jack says:

    Thought this might be of interest:

    Gun Owners Of America
    2012 Presidential Candidates


    Ron Paul A+
    Rick Santorum B-
    Newt Gingrich C
    Mitt Romney D-

    I took out Perry’s “A” rating since he dropped out so soon.

    I guess gun rights isn’t a major factor in this year’s nomination…?

    • BrianR says:

      Jack, thanks for the ratings. I’m actually aware of them, as I’m a Life Member of GOA, as well as Second Amendment Foundation. I resigned my Life Membership in the NRA when they endorsed McAmnesty and Reid.

      And you’re actually right: guns aren’t an issue this time around… and frankly, in light of Heller and McDonald, I think they’re going to be off the table for a long time.

      Outside of a few die-hards, even the Dems aren’t interested in taking guns on anymore. Further, take a read of Romney’s speech at the NRA Convention.

      A lot of this bad rating is due to his tenure as Governor. As I wrote, that may be completely irrelevant to his tenure as President.

  22. Adam Maga says:

    I’ve observed that in the world the present day, video games are definitely the latest trend with children of all ages. Many times it may be unattainable to drag your kids away from the video games. If you want the best of both worlds, there are lots of educational activities for kids. Good post.

  23. Great article and the video on youtube is good too

  24. Jack says:

    That’s it…I just can’t vote for this guy:

    The only question for me is if I vote for Obama just to make sure Romney doesn’t win and prevent a better conservative from getting in come 2016.

    • Jack says:

      Conservatism is very close to becoming irrelevant, if we aren’t careful, our role is simply going to be one of being “Useful Idiots” for the GOP. I’m just not going to be a part of it…I’m disgusted.

      • BrianR says:

        You’re right. It is very close.

        Right now, almost 50% of people pay no income taxes. The minute that percentage becomes 50%+1, it’s completely over for this country. The Fat Lady will have sung.

    • BrianR says:

      Bear in mind that states can do a lot of things the feds aren’t allowed to do. That’s the point Romney keeps trying to make, and it’s a valid point. It’s the entire idea of federalism personified.

      Now, I don’t like the fact that “universal coverage” at any level may signify one’s acceptance of collectivist ideology. So, yeah. As I’ve said, I’m no big fan of Romney’s. As to defeating him this time so a better conservative shows up next time: that’s an individual decision, and it sure was my approach last time. I loathed McCain (and Giuliani), as both are — in my mind — liberals. So I refused to vote for McCain. Voted for Barr.

      Well, it worked to some extent; Romney’s better than McCain (who was nothing but Obama in pale skin). He’s still not a true conservative. But he is a pragmatist and a businessman, and as a businessman knows that whatever promises one makes to “seal the deal,” one must also fulfill if he’s to retain the trust and future relationship with the client. In this case, the client is the American people.

      So, it may be worth seeing what he says he’ll do during the campaign, then decide. At this point, obviously, I’m inclined to support him. If he’ll open up our oil fields, and dismantle Obamacare (though SCOTUS will probably do that in June), and bring sound economic policies into play, he may end up doing a good job.

      But the real bottom line is that control of Congress is much mopre important. If the GOP keeps the House (at least), and particularly if they take the Senate, Bat Ears can’t do much harm if he’s re-elected. So thtose are the important battles.

  25. Jack says:

    Checked out the blog.

    There almost seems to be a kind of “self-destruct” mechanism contained in democracies, doesn’t there?

    • BrianR says:

      Yeah. Exactly. Going back to the foundational democracies, Greece and Rome.

      That’s what the Founders tried to immunize us from and warn us about. The problem is that such vigilance requires qualities that simply aren’t inherent in human nature.

      We very well may be living in the end times of the American experiment. It’s impossible to know when you’re the one living through those contemporary events. After all, there wasn’t any news release in 400 AD saying that “The Roman Empire Is Falling!!!”

      Instead, even if you’re aware of the fact that things are going south, you keep having faith in the idea that somehow the system will wise up and save itself. But every time — EVERY TIME — throughout history that hope has ended up being unfulfilled.

      Will WE be the exception? Who knows? I’m certainly not sanguine.

      • Mrs. AL says:

        And that, Jack and BrianR, is our achilles heal. Folks can’t differentiate between a republic and democracy. I remember back in the day when Jack Kemp ran for President (I was in Iowa then) and his touting “democracy.” What I hadn’t caught on to yet was the difference. I had been hearing the words used interchangably for so long … well you know.

      • BrianR says:

        Yes, MrsAL, it certainly is.

        A ‘democracy” is three foxes and a hen voting on what’s for dinner. A republic is supposed to immunize us to that failing, but it’s dependant on those elected acting in an honorable manner — one of the reasons the Founders were so vocal about the requiement for honorable people only being elected to office — and that’s what’s been absent for so long. Particularly on the Left.

        Hell’s bells, the Democrat Senate hasn’t even PROPOSED a budget in over three years, and that’s one of their most basic constitutional duties.

      • Jack says:

        The interesting thing is that, w/things moving at such a faster pace than in 400 AD, many of us may live long enough to be able to look back and note the decline.

        Empire rise/decline happens in stages. America began as 13 independent coastal states founded on the ideal of liberty and small govt. In 2012 it stands as 50 states virtually consolidated into one super-state (operating on a $3 TRILLION+ budget) w/a vast overseas military apparatus–involved in endless conflicts big and small. We’ve had 4 major bouts of currency devaluation (Civil War, 1933 Gold Confiscation, 1965/end of silver backing, 1971/end of int’l gold backing).

        Its really very fascinating.

      • BrianR says:

        “… many of us may live long enough to be able to look back and note the decline.”

        We’re already there. Let me use a personal story to illustrate.

        I’m 63 years old. On my 18th birthday, I was living in Rockville, MD. I wanted to buy a handgun, because it was now legal for me to do so, being 18 (I bought my first rifle at 16).

        So, I went to my local Hechinger’s (a hardware store), found a little El Cheapo Spanish .32 auto I could afford, filled out one short form, coonfirmed my ID, forked over my $$$, and walked out of the store with my gun and a box of ammo in a paper bag. Total elapsed time: about 30 minutes including the time to make my decision on which gun I could afford.

        That’s all it took to buy a gun in 1967. Contrast that with today, especially here in Commiefornia.

  26. Jack says:

    Democracies–even when in the form of a republic–have a few major problems (esp. when they’re allowed to borrow money):

    1. Concentrated benefits VS Disbursed costs.
    2. Deficit spending which places liability for current spending on people too young to vote (including the unborn).

    The relatively few people (or corporations) getting significant benefits from govt. (either from direct/indirect employment or welfare) have much more incentive to go after ‘free’ money than the many taxpayers do to prevent a relatively small amount from being taken from them. Its worse when the taxpayers actually believe THEY’RE benefitting from being taxed.

    Borrowing can hide the cost of govt. for a LONG time. How tempting is it for politicians’ to spend (and constituents to receive) more, now, w/o raising taxes–esp. when they’ll be LONG gone, decades in the future, when the debt-bomb goes off?

    The Constitution is only as good as the people (politicians AND citizens) ‘interpreting’ it. Try telling granny she can’t have her S.S. or Medi because its unconstitutional. Try telling an arms supplier that they have to give up that fat DOD contract because the govt’s broke.

    I have to think the Founders would’ve declared the American Experiment a failure many decades ago (no later than the New Deal)…as a devout Southerner I’d assert that the Civil War marked the ultimate failure (600,000+ Americans killed by the FedGovt. COULDN’T’VE been what they envisioned back in 1787!) and that we’ve just been treading water since then.

    I’m REALLY starting to understand that Chinese curse: “May you live in interesting times.”

    • BrianR says:

      “I have to think the Founders would’ve declared the American Experiment a failure many decades ago (no later than the New Deal)…”

      Agreed; absolutely.

      “I’m REALLY starting to understand that Chinese curse: ‘May you live in interesting times.’”


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