Patterico's Pontifications

7/24/2010

The Consent of the Governed

Filed under: Politics — DRJ @ 8:25 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

What does the “consent of the governed” mean to you?

During my lifetime, many policies enacted by America’s leaders were reached by compromise and were supported by a majority of Americans (although, admittedly, some supporters were more enthusiastic than others). But at least since the Vietnam War, I believe Americans have become more polarized and intransigent in their political outlooks. As a result, there haven’t been many lasting Congressional or Presidential compromises in the last 40 years.

Of course, America’s history is filled with polarizing issues and Americans have faced and resolved many serious political disagreements. Nevertheless, I don’t see a compromise position between today’s big-government liberals and small-government conservatives.

If the liberal vs conservative divide is 50-50, I’m curious where that puts us … and where it leads.

— DRJ

55 Responses to “The Consent of the Governed”

  1. I’m with you, at my other website, http://teapartynewscentral.com there is a post at the top which has for several months declared: Government Without Consent which points to an article which puts the level of consent at around 20%. That is the issue! Glad you raised it.

    TL Davis (61176d)

  2. Hmmm. I would agree that we are more polarized, but not so sure that we are any more intransigent than the generations before us.

    What I perceive is that we are still fighting the war of ideas that were so costly and divisive in the last century: the belief that man is endowed with unalienable rights, vs the idea that the government is somehow supernaturally omniscient.

    Throw in the sideshow of a group bent on world conquest, and I don’t know that there is really that much difference between the now and the then.

    EW1(SG) (edc268)

  3. DRJ, sorry for the threadjack, but have you seen this? Is it true?

    BREAKING NEWS: Multiple Ranches in Laredo, Texas Taken Over by Los Zetas

    UPDATE: Examiner is now confirming.

    From blog (we have not be able to independently confirm):

    “The bloodbath continues along our southern border and now word is coming in that Los Zetas, the highly trained killers formerly with the Gulf Cartel, have crossed into the United States and taken over at least two ranches in the Laredo, Texas area. I am receiving word that the owners of the ranches have evacuated without being harmed. The source is law enforcement in the area.

    (Update 2 story is now 100% confirmed by second source within the Laredo Police Department)”

    Brother Bradley J. Fikes, C.O.R. (fb9e90)

  4. The divide isn’t close to 50-50. It is more like 70-30, center-right – center left. The most recent polling put the true believer liberals at about 20%.

    The problem is they have been smart enough to co-opt academia and the gated media. They also managed to destroy the judiciary with their foundation-less touchy-feely fairness “doctrines” of jurisprudence.

    Nixon spoke of the vast silent majority and he was correct. Reagan managed to bring this together and translate it to votes.

    Basically, our elected representation is all out of proportion to the core philosophies and values of a great majority. I welcome the coming fight to right this wrong.

    Ed from SFV (cd955f)

  5. Bradley, I have seen several reports about non-conformation. That is still an interesting story, if true.

    Breitbart has another LA Times lie exposed.

    The Rasmussen poll must have some people shaking in their boots, Loeffler Randall , of course.

    Mike K (0ef8c3)

  6. Laredo is not exactly a hole in the road. It has a newspaper, telephones and everything. No offense Brother Fikes, because I know you’re a good guy.

    The Laredo Morning Times, or more specifically.

    Ag80 (ccead7)

  7. I don’t know if that’s true, Bradley. Local officials reportedly deny it, although they can’t deny that the drug cartels are already living and operating in our border communities and rural areas. Thus, in a sense, this isn’t anything new.

    But if it is true, my guess is it’s somewhere near here.

    DRJ (d43dcd)

  8. The problem is that liberals are too stupid to understand what is good for the country and good for themselves and have a fascination with experimenting with other peoples’ money.

    daleyrocks (940075)

  9. Hope that helps. Heh.

    daleyrocks (940075)

  10. It’s the best line from Barbie in Toy Story 3:

    “Authority should derive from the consent of the governed, not from the threat of force!”

    For the first time in the 21st century, it took an animated character, a fictional animated doll, to make Hollywood’s case for freedom and democracy (in this case, for toys).

    Neo (7830e6)

  11. I went by the LA Tomes web site and saw this headline:


    Michael Hiltzik: When politicians feather their own nests

    I thought Wow ! Hiltzik is writing about John Kerry’s yacht and his tax evasion.

    Nope. I clicked the link and it was just one more flail about Meg Whitman.

    Boy, they sure hate the rich when they aren’t Democrats.

    Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

    Good night.

    MIke K (0ef8c3)

  12. Mike K:

    LA Tomes is good, but I like LA Tombs, too.

    Ag80 (ccead7)

  13. Ag80,

    Thank you. I did see Big Government knocking down the story.

    Brother Bradley J. Fikes, C.O.R. (fb9e90)

  14. “intransigent”

    Yeah, well I’m an American…I bow my head to no man.

    We aren’t Euros, and we don’t meekly tug our forelocks over in this neck of the woods in order to appease some lord, secure a welfare check, or, God forfend, show our submission to the holy majority.

    When the government starts getting uppity and tells us we can’t smoke dope until our brains fall out, or exercise our God-given right to keep and bear nuclear weapons, our automatic reaction is to tell the government to go stuff itself.

    This is a nation created by people who either fled Europe to get away from tyrants (so they could come over here and start acting like tyrants themselves…as is usually the case), or people who got booted out because they wouldn’t follow the rules.

    Intransigence is an essential part of our national character.

    Or, at least it’s an essential part of my character.

    Dave Surls (778732)

  15. “Consent of the governed,” I think, is well-laid out in the Preamble to the Constitution.

    “We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”

    It doesn’t say, “We the current government,” or “We the wealthiest,” it says “We the People.” This is OUR contract with those we ALLOW to run the country, since we don’t have time to do both that and make our living.

    We are also given, later, a specific list of those things that government shall NOT do. Direction from “We the People” to the government. Violating those negates the contract, and allows us to terminate the agreement…with the use of those rights held under the 2nd amendment, if those of the 1st Amendment won’t do it.

    Virtual Insanity (d93c26)

  16. I’m not sure I agree or not with your premise. My parents, true products of the Great Depression, could not bring themselves to say FDR’s name out loud. He died before I was born and yet when speaking of politics or economics (my Mother was an economist), the best they could do was snark “that man in the White House,” usually followed by some cutting remark about how he and his policies ruined the country. My grandparents voiced opinions even more strongly negative. When I was 16, my Grandfather made me swear that I would never allow myself to be deluded by men like “that charlatan” that ruined the country. He finished up his lecture with, “the only good Democrat is a dead one.” A statement that clearly upset my Mother and she would always try to clarify by explaining how “that man in the White House” destroyed business and turned America into a socialist society and that my Grandfather believed that the goal was to enslave not just minorities by keeping them subservient to government handouts but much of the white/Republican population as well through what he called the “disgusting labor unions designed to reward laziness.” My Grandfather died when I was 20, but a week before he died, he called me and in essence said he wasn’t going to be around to guide me into adulthood, so he wanted to leave me his last best piece of advice: Never ever trust someone who tells you the government can do it better, they are only trying to control you. Be your own woman, take responsibility for yourself, the good and the bad , and don’t ever let anyone convince you they can make better decisions for your life than you can for yourself.

    Since I never even met a Democrat until I entered college in the mid ’60s, I didn’t really understand, but then I watched the world fall apart when the misguided of my own generation that has led us into where we are today turned the world I knew upside down and not for the better. I was part of that silent majority who stood by as my spoiled brat peers, in immature temper tantrums, tried to bring the country to its knees. The difference today is that those of us who stood by silent in the ’60s aren’t as willing to stand silent today. We are 45 years or so older and know it is going to be up to us to bring some sanity and maturity back to the table or this country is going to be facing another civil war. The thought scares the bejeezus out of me, but at the same time I’m pissed as hell and if that is what it takes to get my country back, I’ll be there, even if I have to get a Hoverround in order to get to the front line of the battle, not that I really believe that a lefty is capable of true battle. It seems the best they can do is get their hired thugs to commit acts of vandalism and attack the weakest among us both physically and the stronger voices with their smear tactics.

    Doug Ross has published the Journolist member list with their affiliations. It was shocking even to me, who follows politics closely, and I think it will shock the conscience of the average American. We’ve all been made fools of and, generally speaking, most Americans do not take kindly to being fooled. So maybe you are correct in your premise afterall. But how can any intelligent person not feel “polarized and intransigent in their political outlooks” when faced with having to deal with a bunch of fools ignorant of economics, business, hard work, integrity, and history and who are so immature, you really think what they need is a good spanking not compromise?

    Sara (Pal2Pal) (4d3f49)

  17. “the only good Democrat is a dead one.”

    I think your grandfather and I are kindred spirits.

    Dave Surls (778732)

  18. If polls over the years can be trusted, the liberal-conservative divide is more like 25-40, with the rest “independent” at least in the sense they are subject to going either way at any given time. . . . . . . . . .

    Compromise on big issues is overrated. History teaches us that all it does is postpone dealing with the issue for a time, often making the problems attendant to it worse in the process, sometimes to the point of being intractable. Our task is to forge a working majority that can survive the swings of fortune.

    Adjoran (ec6a4b)

  19. We are the point in a nation’s history in which the type of people who originally founded our nation, tired of other people controlling their lives, leave to seek freedom and a chance to build a better life elsewhere. The problem is, we have run out of elsewheres.

    gahrie (ed7a50)

  20. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed.

    nk (db4a41)

  21. “The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.”

    gahrie (ed7a50)

  22. I contend that the majority of the ‘intransigence’ is on the left. Far more right leaning Pols have and are willing to compromise than on the left. Plus the folks on the right don’t renege on the deal to make political points.

    The left has always been more rabid, more vocal, more willing to create physical confrontation. Only lately have people on the right become so frustrated at being shut out of our rightful share of public praise and acceptance as a legitimate ideology have they started to react when confronted by outright lies and double dealing (see tea parties, townhall meetings etc).

    There is hope, as Academia is proving itself to be vulnerable to lawsuit and protests by a growing number of conservative youth who don’t buy into the touchy-feely b.s. of the liberal mindset and the poor education they’re receiving at some of these liberal institutions.

    jakee308 (e1996a)

  23. Step one to another Dark Age – vilify learning and science. The last time it was the Visigoths, and then the Church. Now it’s the ultra-right.

    JEA (3a1f85)

  24. Now it’s the ultra-right mainstream Democrats.

    Jackass.

    EW1(SG) (edc268)

  25. LOL… from the LAT on July 10, 2010:

    “But interviews with several scientists — most of whom requested anonymity because they feared retaliation in their jobs — as well as reviews of e-mails provided by Ruch and others show a wide range of complaints during the Obama presidency:

    * In Florida, water-quality experts reported government interference with efforts to assess damage to the Everglades stemming from development projects.

    * In the Pacific Northwest, federal scientists said they were pressured to minimize the effects they had documented of dams on struggling salmon populations.

    * In several Western states, biologists reported being pushed to ignore the effects of overgrazing on federal land.

    * In Alaska, some oil and gas exploration decisions given preliminary approval under Bush moved forward under Obama, critics said, despite previously presented evidence of environmental harm.

    * The most immediate case of politics allegedly trumping science, some government and outside environmental experts said, was the decision to fight the gulf oil spill with huge quantities of potentially toxic chemical dispersants despite advice to examine the dangers more thoroughly.

    * And the Union of Concerned Scientists, a Washington-based organization, said it had received complaints from scientists in key agencies about the difficulty of speaking out publicly.”

    http://articles.latimes.com/keyword/barack-obama

    ColonelHaiku (ac3c3c)

  26. Long ago, I realized that the root of “compromise” was really “co-promise”. With the demise of honor and keeping of promises, compromise has disappeared.

    The 10-15% on the left who are firmly Democans, and the 5-10% on the right who are firmly Republicats (that is, the 15-25% who are firmly captured by the Disfunctional Abusive Parent party) are discovering that the 75-85% of Americans are about to emit a primal scream of “NO MORE”.

    htom (412a17)

  27. Not even close to a 50/50 divide. More like a 25/25 with the rest of the people in the middle going “Will y’all can the crap and do your ****ing jobs already, instead of beating the **** out of us with your nation-dividing money-sucking freedom-oppressing social agendas?”

    Tully (4dce1a)

  28. “…If the liberal vs conservative divide is 50-50, I’m curious where that puts us … and where it leads.”

    The last time we faced such a polarizing situation with the same degree of intransigence, we had to sacrifice the lives of 600K+ to reach a solution.
    Today, we are a nation of 310MM, ten-times the population of 1860.
    As noted above, Mr. Jefferson said we periodically have to have a blood-letting to “get our minds’ straight”.
    Due to the changes in warfare, and civil insurrections, in the modern era, we would not probably see 2% of our population flushed down the memory hole as happened before, but we would also see a much longer, more protracted struggle through a much wider swath of the population (including women and children) that could make “The Troubles” in Ulster seem like a “walk in the park”.

    Can it be avoided?
    When the Bolshies took control of Russia (they were the True-Believers then, just as the Progressives are today), it took 70-years to throw off the yoke of tyranny in a fairly bloodless revolution, but one that has not quite settled the question, and the struggle does continue (Chechnya, anyone?).
    I fear that Americans are not quite that patient, and would struggle to find a shorter-term solution, even if it was a bit messier – it is our Jacksonian/Scots-Irish temperment.

    Frederick Douglass said that the key to American Liberty depends upon “the ballot-box, the jury-box, and the cartridge-box (The Life and Times of Frederick Douglass-1881).
    To those in politics who ignore or corrupt the first, and those in the judiciary who disdain the second, well deserve the third.

    If only it weren’t so.

    AD - RtR/OS! (46c251)

  29. Sorry, I dropped a close quote after cartridge-box.

    AD - RtR/OS! (46c251)

  30. If its 42 percent conservative and 20 percent liberal, then it is much worse for the 20 percent to rule the 42 percent than vice versa. Toss in ten percent (at least) conservative leaning moderates and there is no problem here. But again, for the 20 percent liberals to rule over the fifty or sixty percent mainstream, you will get a revolution.

    eaglewingz08 (326e65)

  31. I fear that Americans are not quite that patient, and would struggle to find a shorter-term solution

    I’d like to believe that the phenomenon of Eurosocialism is somehow unique to the part of the Western World east of the Atlantic Ocean, but I don’t think so.

    Greater socio-economic comfortability (and concepts of “sophistication”) over the past 50-plus years has made most advanced industrialized nations quite complacent and adverse to rocking the boat. That was evident in British society a few months ago when a good portion of the electorate pulled back at the last minute and decided to allow left-leaning policymaking (and politicians) to retain control of a good piece of the pie.

    Similar foolishness has been evident in other type of countries like Mexico and, of course, Venezuela. Or almost every urban area throughout America, running the gamut from San Francisco to Detroit.

    Mark (411533)

  32. Here’s something being done without my consent [as reported by the AP]:

    “Geithner favors allowing some tax cuts to expire”

    Icy Texan (ea1329)

  33. Get it right, EW1(SG)! His initials stand for “Jack E. Ass”.

    Icy Texan (ea1329)

  34. Where does that leave us?

    A civil war. There are several routes to this, but at its core, it will be the far left overreaching, and forcing “Red State” America to either secede (thus creating a second Civil war similar to our first) or force them to send a rebel Army up north and battle for ideological control of the entire country (thus creating a second U.S. Civil War more on the Spanish Civil War model).

    My gut feel – the second scenario, and a short war that ends when the victorious Red State Army marches down Pennsylvania Avenue.

    Eric R. (cf2fa1)

  35. Comment by Eric R. — 7/25/2010 @ 10:20 am

    And then we have the show-trials on university and college campii from sea to shining sea.

    AD - RtR/OS! (46c251)

  36. Comment by Icy Texan — 7/25/2010 @ 10:10 am

    This is one of the more visible indicators of the folly of “Cocktrail Party” GOP governance:
    Can you imagine a Dem Congress or President allowing a minority to dictate to it that tax cuts/increases would have an expiration date?
    They would always find a way to ram the legislation through come Hell or Highwater.

    And they (Boehner, McConnell, & Co) wonder why the TEA Partiers distrust them so – there is no more glaring indicator than their ability to make those cuts (particularly the Death Tax elimination) permanent.

    AD - RtR/OS! (46c251)

  37. DRJ asked, “What does the “consent of the governed” mean to you?”

    To think or write in terms of “consent” is to misidentify the fundamental relationship of the people to our government. We don’t consent, we never have. We acquiesce.

    The government proposes and we either acquiesce or we raise hell to the point they back off. That’s been the way it works until this usurper fundamentally transformed the nature of our social contract.

    The Obama Administration and Congressional Democrats no longer show much concern for the will of the American people. They pointedly ignore us, and they brazenly tell us point blank that once we become accustomed to their impositions we’ll come to appreciate their totalitarian takeovers.

    make no mistake, we’re in danger of losing our Republic, and whether it’s by our consent or by our acquiescence, it won’t make much difference once it’s gone.

    ropelight (1e7870)

  38. #34 Icy Texan:

    Get it right, EW1(SG)!

    I was looking at that just after I hit the “Submit Comment” button, and thinking “Damn it! Should a spelled it out instead of contracting it!”

    But of course you noticed. :(

    EW1(SG) (edc268)

  39. #36 AD – RtR/OS!:

    And then we have the show-trials on university and college campii from sea to shining sea.

    We already do, that’s one of the problems.

    EW1(SG) (edc268)

  40. BTW, off – topic, but has anyone else seen this news today? Apparently the WH agreed to free the Lockerbie bomber, rather than keeping him imprisoned:

    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/world/white-house-backed-release-of-lockerbie-bomber-abdel-baset-al-megrahi/story-e6frg6so-1225896741041

    It’s one thing that BP lobbied for this release, but our own country? WTF is wrong with these people?

    Dmac (d61c0d)

  41. Nevertheless, I don’t see a compromise position between today’s big-government liberals and small-government conservatives.

    Back to your topic, I think the real compromise is between Big Gov and small Gov GOP’ers. Unless the party can unite behind the Tea Partier’s message of less governmental interference in the citizen’s lives we’ll never see the current Governmental Leviathan decrease in size.

    Dmac (d61c0d)

  42. Or, if you want to go “ethnic”: Jackée Ass.

    Icy Texan (ea1329)

  43. I will borrow from medico-legal terminology and bring up the phrase informed consent. As alluded to above this is what we do not have today. Information has exploded and the dissemination of it, but what is of profound importance is a relatively small percentage and is rarely new. The primary thing that is a new is how the old ideas are illustrated by new contexts.

    So the norm has become uninformed implied consent; uninformed because politicians like to pass 2,000 page laws and tell you either that you will like what you read in it once it passes, or they lie through their teeth about what the bill does, willfully misrepresenting it- like the d*** garbage^ about how the new financial regulatory bill will protect consumers and prevent “another financial meltdown like the last one”, when the bill actually avoids dealing at all with one of the main issues, Freddie and Fannie- govt. and lobby groups push banks to approve unsound loans, then the same groups string up the commercial institutions for being the problem.^^

    The consent is implied because they act as if they are free to do whatever they please once they’ve been elected, no matter how counter it is to what they said in a campaign. Most civil people will take “no” for an answer, but the fed. government is not comprised of civil people.^^^ Obama and the current Congress don’t listen to no, they don’t even listen to , “Hell no!”, they will do what they want unless physically stopped. This kind of behavior between two individuals may be worthy of prosecution.

    As far as particulars go for the topic at hand, I agree that I’ve seen it claimed about 20-25% call themselves “liberal”, about 40% call themselves “conservative”, and the rest “moderate”, whatever those labels mean to those who invoke them.

    As long as people are posting things that would alert a FBI content search, I suggest the dispute over the AZ immigration law might be a place where push comes to shove. The Governor not only tells the state police, sheriffs, and local police agencies to enforce the law, but calls out the national guard to take the folks back to Mexico, or where-ever, that ICE refuses to deal with. Then the President sends FBI, ATF, and nationalized national guard troops to “make them stop”.

    ^Aside #1- In the rating system of lies, d*** lies, and statistics, this is Cat. 2.

    ^^Aside #2
    (Anti-lawyer rant warning. You are allowed, even encouraged, to realize the term “lawyers” and various derivations thereof is not intended to apply to those hard working honest souls who swim against the stream like salmon attempting to jump a 100 ft dam).
    If a person of any other profession or trade tried to get away with what these mostly legal trained “very bad and unethical people” (family friendly terminology) do routinely, they would charge like hungry sharks to fresh blood. Misrepresentation in advertising, mail fraud, lack of informed consent, illegal breaking of contracts, libel, slander, making false claims, etc., etc. are just a few things my non-lawyer mind can think of. If Mike K. explained a procedure to a patient the way Obama explains laws and policy, by the time a “John Edwards act-alike” got finished, he’d be lucky if he had a pot left to pee in; and after he sheltered money to avoid taxes you know he would give the maximum amount to anything with a D after it.

    ^^^Aside #3. I suggest we make all elected federal officials subject to a recall vote/vote of confidence 1/4th of the way through their term. Say 10% of those who voted in the general election are randomly picked to do this duty. After 6 months a member of the House would need to get at least 50% yes vote to maintain their seat. This would be a big step in dealing with the folks that promise “x” but do “y” for 1 1/2 years then talk about doing “x” the last six months before the election. President and VP (each) would get 1 year to show he/she meant what they said, Senators 1 1/2 years.

    (See Dustin, you have nothing to apologize for.)

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  44. Comment by EW1(SG) — 7/25/2010 @ 12:00 pm
    When Progressivism is put back into its’ little box with the appropriate wooden stake driven through its’ black non-heart, a lot of people on the Left will have a lot of answering to do; or, to simplify things, they could just expat themselves, and spare us all the agony.

    Comment by Dmac — 7/25/2010 @ 12:24 pm
    Each day seems to bring us news that our government has sunk further and further into the morass.
    Just when you think they can’t get any worse, they do.

    AD - RtR/OS! (46c251)

  45. The worst part of all of this, AD, is that the familys of the victims and their thoughts on the matter were basically ignored. Inexcusable.

    Dmac (d61c0d)

  46. Painted Jaguar: MD has more to say, but he’s so apoplectic over it at the moment I am cheerfully doing it for him. (You know you are all so fortunate, do you not?)

    He has an illustrative illustration (and I like “i”lliteration 😉 ).

    Suppose we have a country named “Amazonia” (I am writing this, you know, and we all like to make references to the places that are important to us, even if Bro. Bradley says it is unbecoming of a journalist. To Bro. Bradley, I remind him that I am not a journalist, I am a Jaguar, and the similarity stops at the “j”.)

    Being a very civilized, intelligent, and wise place, Amazonia elects a President every 4 years. One time (listen very carefully now, you do not want me to roar, or take a swipe with my sharp claws, to make you pay attention, now do you?) a new creature ran for President. Being new, as I said, he was not well known, and his name was much stranger than “Armadillo” (in fact, I will not even try to spell it for you). But there were two important things that Stickly-Prickly Hedgehog and Slow-and-Steady Tortoise had learned one morning as they chatted by the Dark, Turbid Waters of the Amazon. (NO, I shan’t tell you from whom they received this information, for it would be dangerous). One thing they learned was that he was a long time friend and associate of Will E. Airs. Many animals do not have a very long memory, but the sloths do, that is because they spend much of their day thinking and remembering (and you humans think they sleep, that shows what you really know about animals, like most other things as well, over-estimating yourselves. But I digress and am causing Bro. Bradley to work hard to suppress his inner-editor). And the animal (which shan’t be named) learned this from the sloth: Will E. Airs did not like Amazonia the way it was, in fact, he hated Amazonia the way it was and wanted to change it to be a place where llamas were happy to live; and to make Amazonia a place llamas would like to live would be to change it very, very much. In fact, he would need to destroy many, many of the beautiful green trees and plants and kill millions of the citizens of Amazonia to make this happen. He had been stopped, but he did not give up. He too spent many years thinking, thinking of how to do his vile deed, while the sloths remembered. The other thing they were told by the creature that shan’t be named, was the new and not well known creature running for president had been going to weekly meetings held by Mr. Left for many years. Mr. Left did not like Amazonia the way it was either. In fact, he also hated Amazonia (like Will E. Airs), and wanted to change it. His plan was to call domestic birds, chickens I tell you, to come to Amazonia to roost, where they would upset things greatly and make Amazonia a place much better suited for llamas.

    Now, my kind listeners, we near the end of this tale. Stickly-Prickly and Slow-and-Steady tried to tell the other creatures of Amazonia, for, they thought, who would vote for somebody they knew only two important things about, when both of those things said, “The creature running for president is best friends with two people who want to change Amazonia to be a place for llamas to live!!” Indeed, they thought very few creatures of Amazonia wanted to live in a place with llamas, for they don’t like trees and they are rude and spit. (Being rude they could put up with, and they could make no-spitting laws, like people did in the US, but doing away with most of the trees of Amazonia- for growing corn or raising llamas, was a no-go). But the two friends don’t move very fast, you know, and they don’t climb very well either, so they called up to a parrot who could spread the news far and wide. The parrot said he would spread along the information, but before he could, the creature running for president told him how beautiful and wonderful he was. And so his own vanity made him forget the information, even though it would be the trees he loved to sit in that would soon be gone.

    And so the not well known creature was elected President. Tell me, my friends, would it have been so if the creatures of Amazonia knew what the animal that shan’t be named knew? I don’t think so, for only the vain and proud, like the parrots, forget reason when they are flattered. And it is only the vain and proud who tolerate llamas, because they think llamas spit as a sign of appreciation (which it is not, but you having brains worth something, already know that, now don’t you).

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  47. Heh!

    BTW, MD in Philly, assonance is the most powerful, even more than rhyme, and definititely much more than alliteration, because it is understood at a subliminimal level.

    But meter beats everyone.

    They’re all hard to do. 😉

    nk (db4a41)

  48. Where it puts us is in gridlock.

    Eventually the big government side wins though. They will (or have) manage to make a majority of people dependent on big government for the majority of their basic needs, rather than looking to the market place.

    We’re very close to that now. Conservatives might be able to turn that ship off course a bit and force a delay for a few years, but we’re probably at or past the point of no return.

    Let’s not forget that ‘conservatives’ have many times been complicit in this.

    sookie (010cd9)

  49. nk-

    You are always so kind when you give feedback to MD or myself, almost as patient as my dear Mummy (you don’t have jaguar blood in you, do you?)

    I’m a jaguar (as you can plainly see, of course) and as such cannot be expected to know English grammar, but MD has gone to college, and medical school, and, of much more importance, spends time reading the fine comments of the (mostly) learned people who frequent this site. For, bless my spots, all he remembered was something about using words that had the same sounds was called “alliteration”, and had to resort to his dictionary when you tossed the word “assonance” out there ever so discretely. (Shh, between you and me, he first thought it was spelled “illiteration”. I propose that as a new word in the English language, meaning to use letters in such a way as people think you are illiterate!)

    Oh well, maybe he will remember such things when he relearns them as he teaches the she-cub at home.

    P.S. Your blade collection is nice, but never, ever, make the mistake of comparing them to my claws.

    Painted Jaguar

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  50. #48, nk, the poet said, “My money comes and goes, it rolls and flows through the holes in the pockets of my clothes.”

    ropelight (1e7870)

  51. I think it’s more accurate to say that the political class in general has grown increasingly disconnected from the people they allegedly represent. There is no true “consent of the governed” because the governed have no party which represents their interests. Both the Republicans and the Democrats represent the same business elite, for lack of a better term.

    Subotai (3da2ee)

  52. The divide isn’t close to 50-50. It is more like 70-30, center-right – center left. – Ed

    LOL!!! This whole thing is a circle-jerk.

    The conservative movement has nothing but scorn for the “center-right”. Sure, they will claim the large middle for their own side when its time to count numbers , but when it’s time to make policy they inevitably label those same people “RINOs”, curse them, and cast them back out for being less then 100% pure.

    libarbarian (90bd00)

  53. It’s not an issue of being 100% “pure”, it is an issue of being 100% cooperating with the left.

    One didn’t need to be a “pure” conservative to know that the supposed financial reform bill bypassed one of the most significant contributors to the financial meltdown- Freddie and Fanny enabling and encouraging the faulty sub-prime mortgage market. Whatever is supposed to come about because of those 2,000 or so pages, it is not going to do what it is advertised to do.

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  54. Beyond the issue of D.C. continuing policies that do not have the support of the American public, consider just the absolute incompetence.

    Consider this pair of stories:
    http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2010/07/22/how-will-mary-schapiro-fix-the-ratings-agency-mess/

    http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2010/07/23/how-the-sec-seems-set-to-fix-the-ratings-impasse/

    To oversimplify, the recent faux “financial regulation” legislation created such liability for bond rating agencies that they are refusing to rate bond issues – and the legislation requires certain kinds of bonds to be rated.

    Thereby destroying the market for the kind of securities that the legislation was pretending to regulate.

    That’s the kind of incompetence that Congress displays. And Democrats want themselves in charge of our healthcare system? When they are destroying the other 6/7ths of the economy already, I say why not.

    SPQR (26be8b)


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