04 November 2008

Speaking of dismal news...

Just kidding.

Althouse is supporting Obama in the election. (I suppose, since she’s already voted, I should have put that in the past tense. Oh, well.) If it’s not-Bush you want, according to her, well then, Obama is not-Bush, more not-Bush than McCain. I can think of many others who are not-Bush and for whom we shouldn’t vote, but that would be to go places I swore I’d never go with this blog.

We’ve been told, among many other things, that we can’t afford four more years of the “Bush” economy. Let’s assume for present purposes that this economy can justly be called The Bush Economy and that we cannot afford four more years of it. The instruction in logic in this country is so astoundingly poor, apparently, that it hasn’t occurred to anyone to ask if we can afford four months, much less four to eight years of an “Obama” economy. False dilemma: Either it’s four more years of The Bush Economy (which assumes that it really is a “Bush” economy) or it’s an Obama economy, which, we somehow know, will (of course!) be better than the "Bush" economy. There has been little discussion of which theory of economics the current President adheres to; it most certainly is not free market capitalism. (I have always believed that he falls into the Keynesian school, or at least a school that is Keynesianesque – big time.) There also hasn’t been much discussion of which theory of economics Obama or McCain adhere to, though we have our suspicions about Obama’s economics.

What has been missing in criticism of “Bushonomics” is anything like what we heard about Soviet-style socialism: is not the policy which is the problem; it’s the people trying to execute the policy. This would, of course, leave open the possibility that McCain (assuming his would be a continuation of Bush's "failed" economic policies) could better execute “Bushonomics” than Bush did. More importantly, this blaming of the current President allows the foolish consumer to blame everyone but himself. It also allows the uninformed to believe that laws of economics can be altered like laws of nature. (Some may have to think about that one for a moment.) Someday people will blame floods and hurricanes on some president’s failed meteorological policies.

Oh, Althouse isn’t too concerned about any Obama Supreme Court appointments: it will maintain that balance we have had (she may have used the word enjoyed, but now I can’t relocate the posting) for the last twenty years.

Well if she did use the word enjoy, I didn’t know we were enjoying it. I thought we were tolerating it. And that’s if we were willing to think of it as balance in the first place. I wasn’t. I don’t think people who believe the Constitution is a living, breathing document (*gag*) need to be balanced by those who don’t. I think they need to be replaced by those who don’t. And I certainly don’t think that people who do not believe the Constitution is a living, breathing document need to be balanced by those who do. But then, my own views of constitutional jurisprudence make conservatives look like leftists. (And if she didn’t use enjoy then, just for the record, I still haven’t enjoyed this balance.

Speaking of the Court, David Gordon looks at William J. Quirk’s Courts and Congress: America’s Unwritten Constitution and asks, “Is the Supreme Court supreme?”
If Congress has...power over the Supreme Court, why is it reluctant to use it when the Court abuses the Constitution? Quirk locates the answer in what he terms The Happy Convention. The principal aim of most members of Congress is to secure reelection to office. In order to do this, Congress avoids controversial moral and cultural issues whenever possible. Far better to have the Supreme Court, an unelected body that voters cannot unseat, take the blame for unpopular decisions.

Similarly, the Constitution clearly gives Congress the sole power to declare war. But, wishing to avoid blame should a war go badly, Congress has abdicated its power to the president. It is better, Congress thinks, for him to take the blame for Vietnam or Iraq. By its own lights, the Congressional policy has been remarkably successful. Most incumbents are reelected. The cost, though, is a severe one. Our actual Constitution, one of congressional preeminence, has been replaced by the Happy Convention, in which the president and Supreme Court have supplanted Congress. No Jeffersonian can accept this.
In a democratic republic, that branch of government which is the most directly responsive to the people should be supreme. By being elected by the people of the states, the Congress is that branch, the most democratic branch. Also the Constitution (Article III, Section 2) gives to Congress the power to determine the jurisdiction of the federal courts, including the Supreme Court.

And speaking of voting, while you’re at Mises, have a look at why Bob Murphy doesn’t vote, including a more detailed explanation, here, which includes this gem of a sentence:

The reason I am virtually certain my vote won't affect the outcome, is that I am virtually certain that millions of Americans will stupidly vote.

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James Frank Solís
Former soldier (USA). Graduate-level educated. Married 26 years. Texas ex-patriate. Ruling elder in the Presbyterian Church in America.
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