Throw the Rascals Out Part ! &2 Thomas Sowell

via Throw the Rascals Out? – Thomas Sowell –

Polls indicate that the public is so disgusted with Washington politicians of both parties that a surprisingly large proportion of the people would like to get rid of the whole lot of them.

It is certainly understandable that the voters would like to "throw the rascals out." But there is no point in throwing the rascals out, if we are just going to get a new set of rascals to replace them.

In other words, we need to think about what there is about current political practices that repeatedly bring to power such a counterproductive set of people. Those we call "public servants" have in fact become public masters. And they act like it.

They squander ever more vast amounts of our tax money, and still leave trillions of dollars of national debt to be paid by our children and grandchildren. They intrude into our private lives with ever more restrictions, red tape and electronic surveillance. And they turn different groups of Americans against each other with class warfare rhetoric and policies.

None of this is inevitable. In fact, this pattern is largely the culmination of political trends set in motion during the 1930s, and reaching a climax today. During the 1920s, the national debt was reduced and the role of government scaled back. Unemployment went as low as 1.8 percent.

President Calvin Coolidge, with every prospect of being reelected in 1928, declared simply: "I do not choose to run." Later, in his memoirs, he explained how dangerous it is to have anyone remain too long in the White House, surrounded by flattery and insulated from reality. What a contrast that attitude is with the attitude of the current occupant of the White House!

The contrast extends beyond these two presidents. What we have today that we did not have in the early history of this country is a permanent political class in Washington — a Congress and an ever growing federal bureaucracy composed of people who have become a permanent ruling class.

The United States was not founded by career politicians but by people who took time out from their regular professions to serve during a crucial time in the creation of a new nation, and a new kind of nation in a world ruled by kings and emperors.

Read more: Throw the Rascals Out? – Thomas Sowell – part 1 and Throw the Rascals Out?: Part II – Thomas Sowell – Page full.

The public’s opinion of politicians of both parties seems to have reached a new low. But no matter how much the voters detest Congress — or how justifiably — that does not mean that there will be radical changes at the next election.

For one thing, \"Congress\" is not on the ballot. Only individual members of Congress are. Most voters like their own Senator or Representative, often because of special favors that these incumbents have done for their own constituency — at the taxpayers\’ expense.

Add to this the so-called \"campaign reform\" laws that restrict the raising of money that challengers need, in order to counter the millions of dollars\’ worth of free advertising that incumbents get through ordinary media coverage, enhanced by the incumbents\’ sponsoring of ever more legislation, expanding the role of government.

The very longevity of incumbents in Congress makes it expedient for them to treat each other as \"facts of life\" — people with whom you have to \"go along to get along.\" One of their common interests as incumbents is reelection. This can lead to all sorts of bipartisan log-rolling legislation to hand out the taxpayers\’ money in ways that benefit incumbents of both parties.

In short, longevity in office can create more longevity in office. Moreover, this longevity can attract campaign contributions from special interests who expect something in return — if only a lightening up on government restrictions and red tape.

Many among the intelligentsia prefer to think of special interests as corrupting our dedicated public servants with campaign contributions. But Peter Schweizer\’s new book, \"Extortion,\" shows what happens as the extorting of tribute by politicians in a position to do a lot of harm to businesses that do not pay them protection money.

via Throw the Rascals Out?: Part II – Thomas Sowell – Page full.

The Pope’s Decision – Peggy Noonan’s Blog – WSJ.

The Pope’s Decision – Peggy Noonan’s Blog – WSJ.

We will be hearing a great deal of speculation the coming weeks. We should keep in mind that it doesn’t matter all that much what insiders say about who might have an inside track. Nobody thought it would be Karol Wojtylwa in 1978, just as nobody thought his predecessor, John Paul I, would die 33 days into his papacy. Almost nobody thought Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger—too old, too conservative—would succeed John Paul II in 2005.

The Pope’s Decision – Peggy Noonan’s Blog – WSJ.

The Pope’s Decision – Peggy Noonan’s Blog – WSJ.

We will be hearing a great deal of speculation the coming weeks. We should keep in mind that it doesn’t matter all that much what insiders say about who might have an inside track. Nobody thought it would be Karol Wojtylwa in 1978, just as nobody thought his predecessor, John Paul I, would die 33 days into his papacy. Almost nobody thought Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger—too old, too conservative—would succeed John Paul II in 2005.

Link Around

H/T Michelle Malkin: Story you won’t hear

White House spinning again: Ed Morrissey

Obama Operatives Trying to Divide Catholics from Bishops

From: Catholic News Agency Saying that Notre Dame is acting as if it is not a member of the local Church in its response to the controversy, Catholic commentator George Weigel has charged that “political operators” in the Obama administration are trying to divide Catholics from their bishops by co-opting Catholic intellectuals and their institutions. In his May 13 column in the Denver Catholic Register, Weigel noted Boston College theology professor Fr. Kenneth Himes’ charge that there is a “political game” going on in the dispute over the University of Notre Dame’s commencement invitation to President Barack Obama. Fr. Hines had commented in a Boston Globe story about former Ambassador to the Vatican Mary Ann Glendon’s decision to decline Notre Dame’s Laetare Medal. He granted that some “well-meaning people” think Notre Dame has given away its Catholic identity. However, he also warned of a “political game” which results in demonizing those who disagree with you, questioning their integrity and character, and branding them as “moral poison.” “Some people have simply reduced Catholicism to the abortion issue, and consequently, they have simply launched a crusade to bar anything from Catholic institutions that smacks of any sort of open conversation,” he said in the Boston Globe. Responding to Fr. Himes, Weigel said if Fr. Hines was referring to the leading critics of President Obama’s Notre Dame honors, the priest was “perilously close” to committing calumny. “Yes, there are self-serving nuts in the forest, some of whom have seized the Obama/Notre Dame issue for their own purposes,” Weigel said. “But why does Father Himes waste time bashing fringe crazies? Why not engage the arguments of the serious critics?” Weigel cited as one such critic Notre Dame graduate Prof. Russell Hittinger, a professor of Catholic Studies at the University of Tulsa. Hittinger has said that Notre Dame has adopted a “purely American low-church” position of institutional autonomy by acting as if its local bishop is not worthy of attention. The Obama controversy, Hittinger said, has nothing to do with academic freedom or ecclesiastical supervision but is “ecclesiological all the way down.” “What Church is Notre Dame ‘in,’ if any?” Hittinger asked. “Notre Dame is speaking and acting as though it were not a member of the local Church, let alone Rome.” Weigel said this comment was “exactly right,” alleging that the actual “political game” is being played by “very smart political operators” in the Obama administration. He charged that these operators, noting the presidential election results, have sensed the possibility of “driving a Catholic News Agency wedge through the Catholic community in America, dividing Catholics from their bishops and thus securing the majority Catholic vote.” Weigel said they are targeting Catholic intellectuals and their institutions and journals, which he described as “the soft underbelly” of Catholic resistance to the Obama administration’s “radical agenda.” “It’s a clever move on the political chessboard, and barring extraordinary actions from the bishops, it will likely meet with considerable success,” Weigel continued. He closed by again reiterating the question: “Just what Church are Notre Dame and its supporters ‘in,’ anyway?”