Via Ed Driscoll – E.J. Dionne says it’s time for Progressives to reclaim the Constitution
It’s odd to see Dionne calling for this, since self-styled “Progressives” have been the ones railing against the Constitution for decades, pushing for a “Living Constitution” that can be molded like Jello into whatever shape they want, or for ignoring it completely. Even his plea for “reclamation” comes across more like stuffing it in a vault so no one can see it and challenge whatever they say it means this week. The entire article sounds like a feint to continue doing what they’ve been doing – whatever they want, Constitutional or not.
One-party autocracy certainly has its drawbacks. But when it is led by a reasonably enlightened group of people, as China is today, it can also have great advantages. That one party can just impose the politically difficult but critically important policies needed to move a society forward in the 21st century.
Let’s take Friedman’s assertion at face value, and assume China’s leaders are all Pretty Nice Guys, which for all I know, they very well might well be. But what happens when these people are inevitably – if for no other reason that aging – gone? Will the next group of leaders be so charitable? What the tinplate El Jefe groupies like Friedman don’t seem to grasp is that the Constitution wasn’t written for reasonably enlightened leaders. It was written for the lowest common denominator, designed to function even when the worst people are in charge. Warren Meyer explained it over at Coyote Blog –
Over the past fifty years, a powerful driving force for statism in this country has come from technocrats, mainly on the left, who felt that the country would be better off if a few smart people (ie them) made the important decisions and imposed them on the public at large, who were too dumb to make quality decision for themselves. People aren’t smart enough,they felt, to make medication risk trade-off decision for themselves, so the FDA was created to tell them what procedures and compounds they could and could not have access to. People couldn’t be trusted to teach their kids the right things, so technocrats in the left defended government-run schools and fought school choice at every juncture…I am reminded of all this because the technocrats that built our regulatory state are starting to see the danger of what they created. A public school system was great as long as it was teaching the right things and its indoctrinational excesses were in a leftish direction. Now, however, we can see the panic. The left is freaked that some red state school districts may start teaching creationism or intelligent design. And you can hear the lament – how did we let Bush and these conservative idiots take control of the beautiful machine we built? My answer is that you shouldn’t have built the machine in the first place – it always falls into the wrong hands.
Read the rest here.