I just published an essay on Donald Trump and included some data on recent presidential elections and thought it made sense to do a separate post on the importance of American women in presidential elections.

Actually, “importance” does not do justice to the weight women have in our national elections: primacy is a more appropriate word.

Look at this chart and see what I’m talking about:

Romney vs Obama election results

Mitt Romney won the men’s vote by a wide margin (52% vs 45%), but lost the women’s vote by a much bigger margin (44% vs 55% — a whopping 11 points).

On top of this differential, many more women than men voted in the election: 53% of votes cast vs only 47% for men.

Much was written about why Romney lost, but it’s all a waste of words when you consider the lopsided gender result in the election. No other voting segment even comes close to the women’s voting block (Hispanic, for example, was only 10% of total, making the women’s segment more than 5 times as big in the election).

George W. Bush defeated John Kerry in 2004, and did so in my opinion by closing the gap on the female vote (but not entirely):

Bush vs Kerry results

Bush won the men’s vote by 11 points and lost the women’s vote by only 3 points, and won the election overall.

If more women had gone Kerry’s way, Bush would not have won — just look at the dominance overall: women accounted for 54% of the vote vs 46% for men.

A Republican running for president must appeal to women sufficiently to narrow the gap the way George Bush did.

Nothing else matters, in my opinion.

Abortion and Issues that are not Abortion

Now, it is clear that a Republican candidate will fail to win a majority of women’s votes for as long as that candidate is anti-abortion.

Therefore, there are only two ways to go if a Republican seeks to win more female votes:

  1. Embrace the Pro-Choice stance on abortion rights, and mean it
  2. Appeal to women on other passionate policy matters and hope that such matters can compete with the abortion issue when considering presidential candidates

I am not hopeful about candidates embracing #1: Republicans campaigning to win the primaries are afraid to go against the pro-life wing of the party. I think this is a shame, because I absolutely believe that a pro-choice Republican would destroy any Democratic candidate in every presidential election from now until the end of time.

But it won’t happen.

Therefore, we need to encourage the second option above.

So how did George Bush largely close the gap in 2004?

I am not sure, but I recall a lot of ink being spilled promoting the notion that his focus on security in the wake of 9/11 resonated with many women.

2016 Election

So what are the existential issues facing out nation in 2016?

Clearly the federal debt, at $18.3 trillion and counting (>100% of GDP…), and the trillions in unfunded liabilities across Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and now Obamacare; the rise of Russia; the rise of Muslim Jihad inside the American homeland; the rise of China; the accelerating destruction of our health care system; and the asphyxiation of our nation by rampant illegal immigration and associated costs we can no longer afford financially or culturally.

Will any of these compete with the abortion issue among female voters?

I certainly hope so, but it will take a strong Republican candidate to set the right priorities for 310 million Americans whose heritage, values, and legacy of freedom are under vicious and unrelenting assault from a federal government that knows no bounds and crushes all in its path.

When Donald Trump announced his presidential candidacy I paid it no mind and prepared myself to be entertained. Judging from Trump’s reaction to a certain media outlet’s decision to report his campaign events in its entertainment section, Don would be offended by my reaction, but he shouldn’t be: the man is entertaining, at a minimum.

Early on, blogger Doug Ernst (link) published a nice piece in which he easily demolished Trump’s faux Republican credentials:

Do a little more digging on “The Donald” and you’ll see that the billionaire has held quite a few positions over the years that were more “Clinton” than “Coolidge.”

Trump Clinton donations

Donations to Hillary Rodham Clinton make Trump a complete fraud vis-a-vis Conservatism or the true soul of Republican party (which is to say: not the Mitch McConnell / Bob Corker Republican party).

Since then, Trump has shocked us all with exceedingly blunt talk about illegal immigration and its terrible impact on our nation, and although he has made some ridiculous statements (hyperbole is often the great destroyer of otherwise sound arguments), he touched a nerve on what many Americans feel is an ongoing sellout of our sovereignty at the southern border. He is currently leading the field of Republican candidates, despite an almost reckless abandon in his public remarks on a range of topics.

Is he for real? Whom is he for?

Is he for real? Whom is he for?

The truth is that the public policy endorsement of illegal immigration by most Democrats and many Republicans, such as George W. Bush and his brother Jeb, rips at the fabric of the concept of the Rule of Law, which is the bedrock of civilized life and community; when 12 – 20 million people are given a free pass from our laws, it promotes a kind of anarchy, and tens of millions of Americans have had enough.

The father of a high school football star who was killed seven years ago by an undocumented immigrant praised Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump on Friday for his stance on illegal immigration. Jamiel Shaw Sr. said controversial statements about Mexicans and other immigrants the billionaire made during his announcement that he was running for office resonated with him. <CNN.com, link>

He’s speaking for the dead. He’s speaking for my son. He’s speaking for the people who can’t speak for themselves that demand that somebody do something.

…Sabine Durden’s son Dominic died three years ago when he was riding a motorcycle struck by a car driven by an undocumented immigrant from Guatemala. Durden said Trump is a voice for her and others who think the same way.

When I heard Mr. Trump, I started screaming. I started hooting and hollering. Finally, somebody that had the guts to say what millions are thinking but are afraid to say.

And in the wake of Trump’s fiery anti-Mexican illegal immigrant oratory, a young woman was gunned down by an illegal immigrant in San Francisco, a crime made even more morally reprehensible by the fact that the illegal had been allowed to remain free in San Francisco because the city is a proud “sanctuary city” inside the USA, i.e., a city that openly defies our nation’s immigration laws and enforcement personnel.

More than 200 cities, counties, and states across the United States are considered sanctuaries that protect criminal aliens from deportation by refusing to comply with ICE detainers or otherwise impede open communication and information exchanges between their employees or officers and federal immigration agents. <Center for Immigration Studies, link>

What amazes me is how scared the other Republican candidates are on the issue of illegal immigration. They seem to believe that the (legal) latino vote is bigger than it actually is (error number one), believe that mushy statements about illegal immigration will win them latino voters (error number two), and continually take their eyes off of the true electoral imperative, which is the female population (error number three).

Not incidentally, I know several women who are anti-republican voters because of the abortion issue, but who at the same time are anti-illegal immigrant.

But women outnumber latino voters by a factor of 5X (see below)…hey Republicans: win more of the women’s vote and the rest will take care of itself. For example, in 2004, George W. Bush won re-election and earned 48% of the women’s vote against John Kerry’s 51% (not a majority, but not terrible).

Bush vs Kerry results

Compare this to Mitt Romney against Obama:

Romney vs Obama election results

This chart says it all.

Romney won the men’s vote by 7 points but lost the women’s vote by 11.

Oh, and by the way, Republicans, do you see how dominant  the female vote is as a percent of voters? 53% vs 47% for men, and vs 10% for Hispanic.


But I digress: what does the Trump candidacy mean for the coming presidential election?

Theory #1 on Trump Candidacy

I have a conspiracy theory that will make you laugh, but I’m not entirely intending to be funny.

Assuming that Trump has no real desire to shoulder the burden of the presidency (he’s having far too good a time in his own world) and the scrutiny on him that it would entail, and recognizing that he has actually contributed money to Hillary Clinton, it may be that his candidacy among Republicans is meant to sabotage Republican chances in the general election, and therefore help pave the way for a Clinton victory.

Yes, it seems bizarre, but when you listen to Trump’s views on many issues, he does not sound as Conservative as he pretends to be.

Even on illegal immigration, he is on record for what sounds very much like amnesty:

Appearing on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” Friday, host Joe Scarborough asked Trump what he would do about the estimated 11 million illegal immigrants living in the country once America secured its southern border. After arguing the real number of illegal immigrants is much higher and saying the first thing America needs to do is “take the bad” illegal immigrants and “get them the hell out,” Trump sounded like he was open to providing some type of pathway to legalization for the remainder.

“And then the other ones — and I’m a very big believer in merit system, I have to tell you,” Trump said. “Because some of these people have been here, they’ve done a good job, you know, in some cases sadly they’ve been living under the shadows.” <Daily Caller, link>

Who is the real Donald Trump?

Theory #2 on Trump Candidacy

If theory number one is incorrect, and Trump is in it as a legitimate Republican, the question then is, does he really want the nomination?

I don’t think so, and believe it to be at best a massive vanity project put on my a man who is in love with his own voice and his own visage.

I’ve been traveling lately, not keeping up with the news as closely as usual, and I looked at today’s headlines and wondered what kind of America I am living in?

We have fallen very far from the days of the Nixon Watergate break-in and subsequent cover-up, and Nixon’s eventual resignation from the presidency as Congress, including many Republicans, began to move against him for the sake of defending and protecting the United States Constitution.

But it’s now 40 years later, and today I see this headline:

IRS Targeted Mainstream Conservatives

and go on to read that Barack Obama’s IRS targeted not only Tea Party groups (already a potentially impeachable offense, with Lois Lerner having pled the fifth to avoid incriminating herself further, not to mention obstruction of justice by the department in its erasure of email servers), but also targeted individual Republican donors to those groups.

Judicial Watch Wednesday announced that IRS scrutiny of conservative groups went beyond tea party organizations and included higher profile groups, such as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and Crossroads GPS, associated with former George W. Bush advisor Karl Rove. The information was just a piece of a treasure trove of data turned over to Judicial Watch last week under a Freedom of Information Act request. The information was made public late Wednesday.

The documents reveal, according to the organization, that the IRS used donor lists from conservative tax-exempt organizations to target donors for audits. In 2010, they say, the IRS considered cross checking donor lists against gift tax filings and commencing audits against taxpayers who failed to file. Some audits were initiated, but the IRS ultimately stopped the effort. Such audits are the subject of controversy because the Supreme Court has ruled against them as a violation of the First Amendment. <Fox Business, link>

Barack Obama’s use of the IRS to target political opponents is, by itself, a scandal that by now should have resulted in serious consequences to his occupation of the Oval Office, up to and including his removal from it.

Will Congress or private groups hold this administration accountable now that such damning evidence is seeing the light of day?

Obama and Lerner

Then I see this headline:

John Kerry: Anti-American comments from Iran’s Ayatollah ‘Very Troubling’

Yes, the Iranians have already come out and said what we all know to be true about Iranian intention, and John Kerry is “troubled…” (!!! — Kerry, the living embodiment of Useful Idiot).

Here is the Ayatollah Khamenei’s comments just the other day, after Barack Obama’s long press conference in which Obama claimed the deal is a great step forward for us and the world:

Our policies toward the arrogant government of the United States will not be changed at all. American policies are 180 degrees different from us. We will never stop supporting our friends in the region and the people of Palestine, Yemen, Syria, Iraq, Bahrain and Lebanon. Even after this deal our policy towards the arrogant U.S. will not change.

How stupid do John Kerry and Barack Obama look right now?

The article (Breitbart, link) goes on to add the following wonderful additional news:

Khamenei also declared that Iran’s support for terrorists in the region would not change as a result of the nuclear deal. 

Chants of “Death to America” and “Death to Israel” were shouted during Khamenei’s speech.

Obama and the Ayatollah

So let’s review what has happened on Iran, via the Obama regime: a treaty has been negotiated in which Iran may openly and freely enrich uranium without any real inspection regime (“Knock Knock, we’re here to inspect!”….”Ok, we’ll let you know if we object, and if we do, you’ll wait at least a few weeks before we will reconsider…”), and Barack Obama thinks it’s a good deal and that we can trust Iran.

Meanwhile the U.S. Senate, which has under the Constitution the responsibility and duty to approve or disapprove treaties between our government and foreign powers, voluntarily gave up that power earlier this year in an accommodation to Barack Hussein Obama. That is, the REPUBLICAN-led Senate did this, which really makes you wonder what is going on in Washington right now.

Radio host Mark Levin has done a masterful job breaking this down and exposing the charade that it is <link>, and here is a link to a National Review article by Andrew McCarthy outlining exactly how Republican Senator Bob Corker threw away power when he didn’t have to <link>.

Under the Constitution’s burden of persuasion, then, the Iran deal did not have a prayer of becoming law….Enter the Corker legislation. It undermined the Constitution’s presumption against international agreements by shifting the burden of persuasion: Rather than forcing the president to persuade two-thirds of the Senate to approve the deal, it imposes on opponents the burden of persuading two-thirds of the full Congress to reject it. Even worse, this scheme also undermines the Constitution’s legislative process. The Corker legislation authorizes the president to waive sanctions against Iran even if Congress fails to pass, or to get the president to sign, a resolution approving the waiver. 

And now Bob Corker is charging that “America got fleeced” in the Iran deal (Politico, link), as if he and fellow Republicans didn’t already forfeit, under his “compromise” with Democrats and Obama, the U.S. Senate’s power to stop this absurd Iran agreement.


And so it is quite difficult these days to read the news and watch the Republican leadership indulge a man whose actions spell out a very clear plan to undermine and destroy our nation.

The mid-term elections, in which Republicans consolidated their control of the House of Representatives and also took control of the Senate, seem to have provoked new lows in lawless behavior by the commander in chief.

Here are two dramatic actions that circumvent our Constitution and its checks and balances by the Obama team in just the last week:

The Internal Revenue Service is ignoring a court-imposed deadline to turn over newly found Lois Lerner email documents essential to investigations of the IRS tax-exempt scandal.

U.S. District Court Judge Emmet Sullivan last week ordered the agency to turn over 1,800 new emails from Lerner, who ran the tax exempt unit which decided which organizations could receive tax exempt status. The government watchdog group Judicial Watch has sought the emails in a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request. <Fox Business, link>

Pled the 5th

Pled the 5th

The administration knows that the IRS abuse of power at the direction of the Obama administration is one of the worst of the smoldering-guns among Obama’s many violations of his oath of office, and the lengths it has gone to keep the truth hidden are very significant; the words obstruction of justice come to mind very easily when you consider all of the email-erasing that went on at the IRS, and the level of redacting of documents that was done on the documents that were turned over.

Now a Federal Judge is being ignored.

And then we have this — another case of a federal judge being ignored, in this case regarding Obama’s illegal amnesty program, which that federal judge halted. Or did he?

…But about 2,500 three-year work permits have been issued by the Obama administration even after Hanen’s injunction, infuriating Hanen and the states that have sued. The latest revelations came Thursday, when the administration said in court filings that they found another 500 three-year work permits, in addition to the 2,000 that had already been discovered. <Politico, link>

It appears his administration has violated a federal court injuction not once (the 2,000 work permits) but twice (an additional 500).

This president swore an oath to “uphold and defend the Constitution”. Is he complying with this oath?

This kind of behavior is why the 13 colonies broke from England in the 1770s: a capricious politician was making up his own rules and was accountable to no one.

Obama at the border

Where are we now?

An over-arching theme of the extreme toxicity of the Obama regime, which has included Hillary Clinton, is that the leaders of our government are above the law.

Evidence of this is everywhere.

Take the Freedom of Information Act, which ensures that the American public has access to the inner workings of its elected government: On March 17 this year, mr. Barack Obama exempted the Office of Administration (a White House office) from having to comply with it.

Unlike other offices within the White House, which were always exempt from the Freedom of Information Act, the Office of Administration responded to FOIA requests for 30 years. Until the Obama administration, watchdog groups on the left and the right used records from the office to shed light on how the White House works.

“This is an office that operated under the FOIA for 30 years, and when it became politically inconvenient, they decided they weren’t subject to the Freedom of Information Act any more,” said Tom Fitton of the conservative Judicial Watch. <USA Today, link>

And take the Hillary Clinton email scandal: Ms. Clinton’s lies in a recent CNN interview are being exposed even by Liberal Media, such as this piece in the Washington Post (link), and her attempts to coverup her multiple wrong-doings while Secretary of State include this gem:

…when Clinton was secretary, a cable went out under her signature warning employees to “avoid conducting official Department business from your personal e-mail accounts.”

This little tidbit is a minor part of the scandal, but I think it highlights very well the problem with tyrant Obama and tyrant Clinton: they believe they are beyond the reach of our nation’s laws and codes of conduct even while they demand compliance with those laws and codes of conduct.

Tired Hillary on CNN insisted she did nothing wrong regarding her email subterfuge, including that she “…never had a subpoena…” and so spewed an outrageous set of statements and lies that were immediately laid bare by Representative Trey Gowdy, who produced his committee’s actual subpoena, sent to Hillary on March 4th:

The day after Hillary Rodham Clinton told CNN in a wide-ranging interview that “I’ve never had a subpoena,” Rep. Trey Gowdy released the subpoena he sent her in March. <Washington Post, link>

Hillary Clinton

Trey Gowdy is doing his job in challenging government officials who abuse their offices and undermine our republic, and then blatantly lie about it, but when will the full Congress take real action to stop the Obama regime?

Ultimately it is we the people who must censor such politicians / tyrants, and encourage elected representatives to remove them from office via constitutional means, if necessary.

Back when Richard Nixon’s presidency began to shake, rattle, and roll under scrutiny for the Watergate break-in, the question of whether the Executive Branch of government was capable of investigating itself (via the Justice Department, an Executive Branch entity controlled by the president himself) once again came to the fore.

I found this synopsis of the events on PBS.org (link), and it neatly describes the cat-and-mouse game that presidents play when they are supposed to investigate their own administration:

As the investigation of the 1972 break-in of the Democratic Nationalrichard nixonCommittee’s Watergate offices began to reveal a deeper level of corruption — including political sabotage, obstruction of justice, and campaign finance irregularities — many in Congress pushed for the appointment of a special prosecutor. After his top aides and Attorney General either resigned or were dismissed in April 1973, President Richard Nixon himself suggested he might allow a new Attorney General to name a special prosecutor to investigate the scandal. The Senate held the administration’s feet to the fire by threatening to delay Attorney General-designate Elliot Richardson’s confirmation unless he agreed to appoint a special prosecutor. Richardson responded by naming Harvard University law professor Archibald Cox to the position, and publicly guaranteeing him the Justice Department would not interfere in his case.

This promise was put to the test in October 1973 during the so-called “Saturday Night Massacre,” when Nixon ordered Attorney General Richardson to fire Special Prosecutor Cox, who had continued to press for full release of the President’s secret Oval Office tapes. Neither Richardson nor Deputy Attorney General William Ruckelshaus acceded to the President’s demand to fire the special prosecutor, and instead resigned. Finally, the next in command, Solicitor General Robert Bork, removed Cox on October 20. Galvanized by Cox’s firing and the subsequent public outcry, Congress initiated impeachment proceedings and began searching for ways to appoint a new prosecutor with greater independence. Trying to calm the storm he had unleashed, Nixon appointed Leon Jaworski to Cox’s position, with the proviso that Jaworski could not be fired without the consent of a majority of the Senate Judiciary Committee.

By the time Nixon resigned on August 9, 1974, Archibald Cox and his successor Leon Jaworski had carved out a new space in the public mind for the special prosecutor’s role in reining in official corruption. Moreover, many in Washington — including prominent Watergate investigator Sam Dash, members of Congress and important public interest groups — continued to push for some kind of institution which would insure a prosecutor’s independence in the future.

As this episode shows, once a prosecutor digs in on an issue, and the president who possibly committed crimes realizes he may be exposed, that president gets rid of that prosecutor. So much for the “independence” of the prosecutor.

So in the wake of the Nixon downfall came a powerful curb on executive power, signed into law by Jimmy Carter as part of a broad series of government reforms known as the Ethics in Government Act: The Office of the Special Prosecutor

The Act aimed to clean up American politics by creating a new ethics watchdog organization and by instituting new controls on high-ranking government officials, including financial disclosure requirements and lobbying restrictions. Prominent among these reforms were provisions for the appointment of an independent special prosecutor. Covering a wide range of executive branch officials, the law obliged the Attorney General to recommend the appointment of a special prosecutor whenever he or she received specific charges of misconduct, unless the charges were “so unsubstantiated” as to not warrant further investigation. Actually appointing the special prosecutor was a new three-judge panel, based at the US Court of Appeals in the District of Columbia.

This “office” evolved over the succeeding decades and survived a Supreme Court challenge and several 5-year expirations requiring new Congressional approval and presidential signature.

Of interest is the fact that Ronald Reagan himself signed a renewal of the law in 1983 and then again in 1987 even though his administration had been the target of special prosecutors seven times. Also of interest is that Bill Clinton signed a renewal of the law early in his first administration (emphasis added):

On July 1, 1994, Clinton signed the reauthorization bill, and called the law “a foundation stone for the trust between the Government and our citizens.” He dismissed charges that it had been a “tool of partisan attack…and a waste of taxpayer funds.” Instead, he said, the statute “has been in the past and is today a force for Government integrity and public confidence.”

Poor Bill ended up on the wrong end the of the law when he suffered the consequences of his bad testimony under oath in the Paula Jones lawsuit (a federal judge stripped him of his law license for five years and held him in contempt of court).

However it was the public perception of a runaway-independent counsel (Ken Starr’s discovery of the Monica Lewinsky evidence regarding Bill Clinton in the work place, which turned out to be central to the Paula Jones lawsuit — if you think it was only about blowjobs, you are wrong and should read this <link>) that led to the law’s failure to get renewed again after expiring in 1999.

Enter Barack Obama’s administration

So where are we now?

This is where we are now:

Judicial Watch today released new Department of Justice (DOJ) and Internal Revenue Service (IRS) documents that include an official “DOJ Recap” report detailing an October 2010 meeting between Lois Lerner, DOJ officials and the FBI to plan for the possible criminal prosecution of targeted nonprofit organizations for alleged illegal political activity.

The newly obtained records also reveal that the Obama DOJ wanted IRS employees who were going to testify to Congress to turn over documents to the DOJ before giving them to Congress. Records also detail how the Obama IRS gave the FBI 21 computer disks, containing 1.25 million pages of confidential IRS returns from 113,000 nonprofit social 501(c)(4) welfare groups – or nearly every 501(c)(4) in the United States – as part of its prosecution effort. According to a letter from then-House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-CA) to IRS Commissioner John Koskinen, “This revelation likely means that the IRS – including possibly Lois Lerner – violated federal tax law by transmitting this information to the Justice Department.” <judicialwatch.org, link>

That’s right, folks, Barack Obama’s IRS, and Barack Obama’s Justice Department, and Barack Obama’s FBI, engaged in a conspiracy to target Tea-Party groups not only for denial of tax-exempt status, but for possible criminal prosecution.

How badly do you think mr. Obama wanted to win re-election in 2012?

Badly enough to use the Executive Branch of government to suppress political opponents up to and including throwing them in jail?

Bring back the Office of the Independent Counsel

Now, who thinks that the Obama Justice Department is going to hold the IRS, and the FBI, and ITSELF accountable for any of this?

And why did this politician run the State Department on her own personal email server, which she now refuses to turn over to the government, and why does the Obama administration defend these actions? And did this same politician sell her influence as Secretary of State to the highest bidder? And did the same politician (and her boss) coverup wrong-doings in the Benghazi tragedy in which four Americans were left to be killed by Muslim extremists?

Hillary Clinton

Which brings us back to the point of this essay: the Office of the Independent Counsel is needed today more than ever in our history.


It’s always nice to see the alarm bells being sounded in national media as the American soul is tortured and beaten by the forces of statism / communism / collectivism.

This piece, called Sorry Folks, Independence Day Is Canceled, is by Clyde Wayne Crews Jr. for Forbes.com <link> and you will likely enjoy it, as I did.


“Well, Doctor [Franklin], what have we got—a Republic or a Monarchy?”

“A Republic, if you can keep it.”

This week’s Independence Day celebrations mark quite the contrast with the modern bureaucratic nanny state, with the all-powerful centralized government we actually have.

We’ll wave flags symbolizing commonality with our nation’s founders who threw off the yoke of Britain and declared themselves independent at great cost and blood.

While the Fourth of July holiday celebrates individual liberty and the freedoms and rights that allow us to achieve and prosper, we jettisoned the decentralized government the founders secured for us. We decided to procure new masters in Washington rather than keep the Republic.

The nanny state and entitlement society prevail in our personal and economic lives, embodied most prominently in Obamacare’s ongoing collectivization and centralization (pick your term) of private medicine and insurance. A grown up, adult 26 year old still on a parent’s insurance policy because of government decree may be celebrating many things, but not independence.

In our post-Constitutional era (yes, post: see Charles Murray’s new By the People: Rebuilding Liberty Without Permission), our “laws” spring not from an elected Congress but from unelected bureau personnel and the president’s “pen and phone.
Name something off-limits for the federal leviathan; Not health care, schooling, retirement, finances, housing, energy, work life, wages, infrastructure, R&D, the Internet. Even more middle class entitlements are sought; just go back and read President Obama’s last two State of the Union Addresses. Still, the phenomenon is bipartisan.

Post-Constitution, the doctrines of separation of powers and checks and balances have devolved into a societal rock paper scissors game, with no stable equilibrium by which liberty prevails. At least a playground rock paper scissors game is zero-sum; applied to government, each branch grows more powerful over time.

Alarm appears across the policy spectrum, from a House Republican lawsuit against Obama’s unilateral actions, to Georgetown law professor Jonathan Turley telling the House Judiciary Committee that “We are in the midst of a constitutional crisis with sweeping implications for our system of government.”

Outside the Beltway (the richest area in the nation, but what is anyone going to do about it?), hiring and economic growth continue to suffer. Home Depot co-founder Bernie Marcus told Investor’s Business Daily that:

Having built a small business into a big one, I can tell you that today the impediments that the government imposes are impossible to deal with. Home Depot would never have succeeded if we’d tried to start it today. Every day you see rules and regulations from a group of Washington bureaucrats who know nothing about running a business. And I mean every day. It’s become stifling.

What sorts of impediments?

  • Most obviously, and now affirmed by the highest Court in the land, the Department of Health and Human Services and the Internal Revenue Service will continue transforming America’s traditional medical system via the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. The employer mandate triggered by the federal subsidies the Supremes validated has yet to kick in. In the future, the pertinent question may be, “what employers?”
  • Dodd-Frank institutionalizes “too big to fail” finanical entities it pretended it would to prevent. It creates instability and damages access to banking services;
  • The Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC ) “net neutrality” rules threaten free speech and infrastructure investment just in time to avert the downsizing and sunsetting the FCC actually needs.
  • Energy regulation and green extremism disrupt access to land and resources, aggravate energy poverty and even foster food shortages;
  • The homeland security culture has wrought a cabinet department, demeaning airport security, general surveillance and an as yet incalculable impact on civil liberties;
  • Antitrust agencies disrupt competition while pretending to protect it despite the modern technological era’s rapid pace of “creative destruction”

The list goes on, from the Consumer Product Safety Commission’s proposed window blinds regulation to FDA’s regulation of serving sizes for breath mints.

Congress permitted this power grab and subjected us to ”regulation without representation,” not the Independence we celebrate while averting our eyes (see David Schoenbrod’s Power Without Responsibility).

In his Is Administrative Law Unlawful?, Philip Hamburger shows that the United States Constitution expressly bars the very delegation of legislative power that Washington now breathes like air. He depicts the modern administrative state as a reemergence of the absolute power practiced by pre-modern kings. Such monarchical prerogative squares not with political independence but servitude.

The combination of the progressive victories on behalf of the rule of “experts,” inertia by those who should have stopped it, the decline of individualism in favor of a “society organized for collective action” as Justice Clarence Thomas referenced it, and a ratchet effect that expands and never reverses government power indicate that a resurgence in constitutional order is not in the immediate offing.

Fireworks pop, but the Declaration and Constitution are not coming to the rescue this July 4th.

States are increasingly aware that the Constitution’s Article V affords them an opportunity to amend the founding document to reduce the federal leviathan and reestablish accountability for the regulatory bureaucracy. That, and maybe that alone, changes the rock paper scissors game drastically.

For the time being, we shall be optimistic about individual liberty’s prospects and an escalation of democratic accountability using existing tools like the ballot box. But as William A. Niskanen made clear in Market Liberalism:

More promising than any identifiable change in the regulatory process would be a revival of the constitutional doctrines limiting restraints on interstate commerce, restrictions on private contracts, the uncompensated taking of property rights, and the undue delegation of policy decisions to regulatory agencies.

We can have a Happy Fourth of July no matter what; but only a “revival of constitutional doctrines” enables an Independence Day.


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