Patterico's Pontifications

1/17/2023

Constitutional Vanguard: Issuing Correction to Dispatch Pundits: You Do Not, Under Any Circumstances, “Gotta Hand It To” Chip Roy

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 6:07 pm



I was energized while writing this newsletter. See if you can tell. In it, I take on some of the praise Chip Roy has received from pundits at my favorite site, The Dispatch. Excerpt from the portion for free subscribers:

I gotta get something off my chest. For years now, I have listened to some of my favorite pundits on my favorite site, The Dispatch, extol the alleged Sincerity and Serious Thoughtfulness of one Charles Eugene “Chip” Roy, who represents Texas’s 21st congressional district. Roy is a personal friend of Sarah Isgur, who hosts the Dispatch Live podcast and appears on (and will soon host) the excellent legal podcast Advisory Opinions. Isgur, Jonah Goldberg, and Steve Hayes have often talked up Roy and his alleged earnest nature. Even my favorite writer, Allahpundit, whom I will have to start learning to call “Nick Catoggio,” has given Roy points for sincerity, saying of Roy: “You may disdain his policies or his political style but by all accounts he means what he says.”

I beg to differ. It’s rare that I’m more cynical than Nick, but I don’t think Chip Roy is truly sincere about anything . . . other than, perhaps, staying in step with his voters. And if that’s how you define “principle,” then the United States Congress is chock-full of the most principled people on the planet Earth.

And an excerpt from the portion for paid subscribers, discussing Roy’s anger at Cheney for expressing opinions out of step with her conference, and citing the example of Mitch McConnell’s “no” vote on the second impeachment:

So why did McConnell vote no? As reporters Jonathan Martin and Alex Burns report in their excellent book This Will Not Pass: Trump, Biden, and the Battle for America’s Future, McConnell explained his vote in this way: “I didn’t get to be leader by voting with five people in the conference.” That’s basically the attitude Chip Roy is taking here. You want to be principled? You want to say what you actually believe instead of falsehoods that your colleagues believe? Fine, but then you don’t get to be a leader.

OK. Maybe that’s right. But you know who immediately put himself up for the leadership position once Cheney was booted out? That’s right: one Charles Eugene “Chip” Roy. He even sent a fundraising email boasting of how he was at the vanguard of the anti-Cheney movement:

On May 12, the day that the House GOP booted Cheney from her post in leadership, Roy’s campaign sent out a fundraising email boasting that Roy “was the FIRST to call Cheney out on her anti-Trump and self-serving hysterics.”

So apparently, Roy sees himself as a guy who, as leader, would never follow Cheney’s example of purposefully stating her actual opinion to a question asked by a reporter if the answer is out of step with the views of a majority of the Republican conference.

How, exactly, does that square with Isgur’s view that “[y]ou can not like what Chip believes, but believe me when I tell you that Chip believes it. . . . If Chip thought that his constituents would vote him out of office for believing what he believed and for voting the way that he would want to vote, he will happily leave Congress”?

I submit that it does not. You cannot possibly square that circle. You can fantasize all you like about Good Chip Roy. But Pandering Chip Roy will always emerge victorious.

But it gets worse.

It’s 6,000 words and over 3,000 are free. Subscribe here to read the part about Roy’s treatment of Cheney, and find out how it got worse.

89 Responses to “Constitutional Vanguard: Issuing Correction to Dispatch Pundits: You Do Not, Under Any Circumstances, “Gotta Hand It To” Chip Roy”

  1. Hello there

    Patterico (4b8127)

  2. If Roy is more aligned with the first 2000 names in the phone book, then good for him.

    “I rejoice over the influence of the people over their elected leaders since, by and large, they show more wisdom than their leaders or intellectuals”

    That is a conservative principle.

    JF (5c25c2)

  3. “These are my principles, if you don’t like them I have others”? Ha! We should be so lucky to have a politician that straightforward.

    I think it’s an innate trait for a politician to be a mush-mouthed double-talker. They could not tell the simple truth if you threatened them with hot irons. I would call it a handicap, but it does not seem to hurt them any in their chosen profession.

    Let’s stay with Liz Cheney. She was Conference Chair. That’s not a position by divine right. Nor is it a love affair. (You know, as in “Love is not love which alters when it alteration finds”.) It requires the Chair to share the same views as a substantial majority of the Conference. Otherwise, she’s in the position of herding cats at best, and ineffective more likely.

    But I don’t think Roy could have said that. “Could” in the same sense that he could not grasp himself by the armpits and lift himself off the ground.

    nk (bb1548)

  4. It’s rare that I’m more cynical than Nick, but I don’t think Chip Roy is truly sincere about anything . . . other than, perhaps, staying in step with his voters. And if that’s how you define “principle,” then the United States Congress is chock-full of the most principled people on the planet Earth.

    In a representative democracy, staying in sync with your constituents is the ONLY principle that matters.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  5. As far as McConnell voting now, that was a disappointment, but I have always thought that he lobbied hard to get enough on board to convict, and failing that voted with his caucus. That IS what a leader does. Just because he doesn’t do it all in public for the pundits to see doesn’t mean he wasn’t leading. In the end it didn’t work out and he chose Party over Posturing.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  6. *now = NO.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  7. @4. In a representative democracy, staying in sync with your constituents is the ONLY principle that matters.

    Translation: ‘you get what you pay for.’ Stand in a line at your local post office for 20 minutes and you’ll get a good cross section of the depth and breadth of the ‘principles’ held by the rabble usually called ‘constituents.’ This is not a nation w/a deep pool of particularly bright citizens.

    DCSCA (17c904)

  8. In a representative democracy, staying in sync with your constituents is the ONLY principle that matters.

    Kevin M (1ea396) — 1/17/2023 @ 10:25 pm

    That’s politics, not principle. If your constituents want a law that you know is unconstitutional, would it be principled of you to vote for its passage?

    lurker (cd7cd4)

  9. The electorate is frequently analogous to a teenager:lecture too much and you risk alienation, follow too easily and actions lack wisdom. A politician must assiduously establish the facts, must listen closely to his voters, must attempt to persuade toward the wisest course, and must thoroughly explain his actions. A leader leads. He galvanizes the populace around the strength of his ideas and the wisdom of his course of action. He earns this trust by demonstrating a strength of character.

    Polls frequently are a snapshot of emotion. We see it with election denialism. Should politicians mindlessly repeat claims that they can’t substantiate and are not in the long-term interest of the Republic? Should politicians mindlessly spend the country into default because the teenagers choose to not make hard decisions? Yes, there are consequences. And losing does take you out of the game. But, leaders lead.

    AJ_Liberty (c64f14)

  10. Hi JF. If you want to see where our host is coming from, try this from Edmund Burke:

    I am sorry I cannot conclude without saying a word on a topic touched upon by my worthy colleague. I wish that topic had been passed by at a time when I have so little leisure to discuss it. But since he has thought proper to throw it out, I owe you a clear explanation of my poor sentiments on that subject.

    He tells you that “the topic of instructions has occasioned much altercation and uneasiness in this city;” and he expresses himself (if I understand him rightly) in favour of the coercive authority of such instructions.

    Certainly, gentlemen, it ought to be the happiness and glory of a representative to live in the strictest union, the closest correspondence, and the most unreserved communication with his constituents. Their wishes ought to have great weight with him; their opinion, high respect; their business, unremitted attention. It is his duty to sacrifice his repose, his pleasures, his satisfactions, to theirs; and above all, ever, and in all cases, to prefer their interest to his own. But his unbiassed opinion, his mature judgment, his enlightened conscience, he ought not to sacrifice to you, to any man, or to any set of men living. These he does not derive from your pleasure; no, nor from the law and the constitution. They are a trust from Providence, for the abuse of which he is deeply answerable. Your representative owes you, not his industry only, but his judgment; and he betrays, instead of serving you, if he sacrifices it to your opinion.

    My worthy colleague says, his will ought to be subservient to yours. If that be all, the thing is innocent. If government were a matter of will upon any side, yours, without question, ought to be superior. But government and legislation are matters of reason and judgment, and not of inclination; and what sort of reason is that, in which the determination precedes the discussion; in which one set of men deliberate, and another decide; and where those who form the conclusion are perhaps three hundred miles distant from those who hear the arguments?

    To deliver an opinion, is the right of all men; that of constituents is a weighty and respectable opinion, which a representative ought always to rejoice to hear; and which he ought always most seriously to consider. But authoritative instructions; mandates issued, which the member is bound blindly and implicitly to obey, to vote, and to argue for, though contrary to the clearest conviction of his judgment and conscience,–these are things utterly unknown to the laws of this land, and which arise from a fundamental mistake of the whole order and tenor of our constitution.

    Parliament is not a congress of ambassadors from different and hostile interests; which interests each must maintain, as an agent and advocate, against other agents and advocates; but parliament is a deliberative assembly of one nation, with one interest, that of the whole; where, not local purposes, not local prejudices, ought to guide, but the general good, resulting from the general reason of the whole. You choose a member indeed; but when you have chosen him, he is not member of Bristol, but he is a member of parliament. If the local constituent should have an interest, or should form an hasty opinion, evidently opposite to the real good of the rest of the community, the member for that place ought to be as far, as any other, from any endeavour to give it effect. I beg pardon for saying so much on this subject. I have been unwillingly drawn into it; but I shall ever use a respectful frankness of communication with you. Your faithful friend, your devoted servant, I shall be to the end of my life: a flatterer you do not wish for.

    https://press-pubs.uchicago.edu/founders/documents/v1ch13s7.html

    I think most of us believe a Representative has an enlightened conscience when he agrees with us and has been bought or is just prejudiced when he does not. Most politicians (and most all of us) believe they are acting on the dictates of conscience in general, even if their judgment is skewed by prejudice and self-interest. It’s why we so often get obnoxious lecture tours from Davos and Mar-A-Lago.

    I would like Burke to be my representative and trust his conscience, but realize in the real world in which we reside, it’s more likely to be a Chip Roy who trusts the conscience of the folks who fund his campaign and reelect him. The nice thing about democracy, though, is that we can replace the bums when things go pear shaped, or have the bums readjust their principles to something that works.

    Appalled (03f53c)

  11. The Hamline University art history professor is suing. The University is backtracking.

    ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Attorneys for an adjunct art professor said Tuesday she is suing the Minnesota university that dismissed her after a Muslim student objected to depictions of the Prophet Muhammad in a global art course, while the university admitted to a “misstep” and plans to hold public conversations about academic freedom.

    nk (bb1548)

  12. Sorry, I thought I was on the open thread.

    nk (bb1548)

  13. McConnell explained his vote in this way: “I didn’t get to be leader by voting with five people in the conference.” That’s basically the attitude Chip Roy is taking here.

    This does not quite capture it, because he voted against Kevin McCarthy, and was one of 20 holdouts versus 200 for McCarthy.

    But it was all still probably posturing, except that in this case, it paid for him to side with the small minority (at least when it came to activism)

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  14. Should politicians mindlessly repeat claims that they can’t substantiate and are not in the long-term interest of the Republic?

    “Here’s the deal”… seems so.

    Worked for Squinty.

    DCSCA (6e17c1)

  15. AJ_Liberty (c64f14) — 1/18/2023 @ 3:40 am

    Should politicians mindlessly spend the country into default because the teenagers choose to not make hard decisions?

    The risk of default is not because some Republicans do not want to make hard decisions, but because they do. Or rather they want other people to make the hard decisions (choose what to cut) while they talk in generalities.

    In the final analysis the best policy is more deficits. The same way that regardless of what you think are the effects of continued greenhouse gas emissions, announcing or trying to implement large cutbacks in 30 years is extremely bad policy. (there’s bad math there or innumeracy, and also ignoring the important greenhouse gas dihydrogen monoxide – which actually both cools and conserves heat and causes the standard deviation of both temperature and rainfall to grow.

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  16. AJ’s quote:

    Should politicians mindlessly spend the country into default because the teenagers choose to not make hard decisions?

    Burke is more long-winded, but I like the way he phrases the point:

    Certainly, gentlemen, it ought to be the happiness and glory of a representative to live in the strictest union, the closest correspondence, and the most unreserved communication with his constituents. Their wishes ought to have great weight with him; their opinion, high respect; their business, unremitted attention. It is his duty to sacrifice his repose, his pleasures, his satisfactions, to theirs; and above all, ever, and in all cases, to prefer their interest to his own. But his unbiassed opinion, his mature judgment, his enlightened conscience, he ought not to sacrifice to you, to any man, or to any set of men living. These he does not derive from your pleasure; no, nor from the law and the constitution. They are a trust from Providence, for the abuse of which he is deeply answerable. Your representative owes you, not his industry only, but his judgment; and he betrays, instead of serving you, if he sacrifices it to your opinion.

    It strikes me that what Burke says about judgement is not that far from Rush Limbaugh’s old “Talent on loan from God”. It’s just that he takes the substance of that one liner seriously. And that belief may be why some of us get so offended by the pandering weathervane pol.

    Appalled (03f53c)

  17. That’s politics, not principle. If your constituents want a law that you know is unconstitutional, would it be principled of you to vote for its passage?

    They elect you to represent THEM, not for you to go about on some crusade. Maybe, here or there, you substitute your better judgement to find a better path to serving them in the long run, but you are absolutely wrong to act against their interests. They effing trusted you.

    In other words, the representative is not a robot, and should be expected to listen to debate and act in the stead of the constituents with the better information at hand. But that is the extent of their leeway. They are there to represent their constituents even if they are a bunch of slack-jawed cretins.

    Don’t like that? Find an honest line of work.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  18. Until recently, I served in various capacities in the service structure of an international NGO, mainly as a participant in their annual general meeting. I served in many roles over 20 years, from delegate to committee chair to parliamentarian to assembly chairman.

    I had a lot of experience with this evergreen question:

    “The Area I represent voted on this question back home, and told me to vote NO. But I’ve heard a lot of debate, and I think that “YES” would serve them better. What should I do?”

    My answer was “You should always keep in mind what they suggested, and WHY they suggested it. But you are not a robot and you traveled all this way to participate in this, so if you hear information that they did not have back home, and you think that they would reconsider given that information, then you should act as your conscience dictates. They chose you because they trusted your judgement; don’t be afraid to use it.”

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  19. That’s politics, not principle.

    What then IS the principle of representative government, if it is not to represent?

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  20. A bit late to the game here. After reading JF’s comment I thought of posting the Edmund Burke quote. Happily, Appalled had already seen to it.

    Burke was the philosophical founder of conservatism, so I tend to give more weight to him when it comes to what constitutes conservative principles.

    norcal (862cdb)

  21. The nice thing about democracy, though, is that we can replace the bums when things go pear shaped, or have the bums readjust their principles to something that works.

    Something that Liz Cheney ran up against.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  22. The problem I have is not with Burke, but with those who would read it to give themselves license. What he suggests is the rare exception to a rule, and many look at it as justification for nihilistic abandon.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  23. Kevin,

    The easiest thing to do, and the least principled, is to stick one’s finger in the air, and follow suit.

    If that is the principled way, then let’s just dispense with a republic, and go to a pure democracy.

    norcal (862cdb)

  24. Sigh. Principle. They don’t run on principle. They run on binary choice.

    I just read that Marjorie Taylor-Greene, who had been removed from all her committee assignment, is now on the Homeland Security Committee. She sided with McCarthy from the start in the Speaker election. Principle.

    nk (bb1548)

  25. I can’t even remember the blatantly hypocritical and dishonest thing that Chip Roy he did a few years ago, but it was enough for me to stop paying attention to him.
    He does get credit for not being one of the 147 Congressional fascists on J6.

    Paul Montagu (8f0dc7)

  26. I think there are two theories of representation:

    1. This is who I am and what I believe in. I am a good and honest person who has the same basic values as you and who you can trust to sent to Washington and vote the way you would really want me to vote if you had all the information and could see and understand all the stuff written in stats and bureaucrat and knew how all this stuff interacted to have consequences in your life.

    2. Tell me what you want and I’ll do it, no matter what the consequences are.

    Nic (896fdf)

  27. Dead politicians from centuries past carry little meaning or weight for today. Their provincial, anchored by the limited vision of their times. We’re well into a new era– and although the ‘extraterrestrial’ musings of a John Kerry elicit chuckles from conservative chuckleheads, a man who saw things as they truly are came to a similar conclusion over 50 years ago…

    “It’s a peculiar sensation to watch the earth sink away and become smaller and smaller… during a trip to the moon you see that the earth is in fact a three-dimensional globe and you appreciate the brilliant colors, the hues of the oceans and the whites of the clouds, the little bit of green that you see along the shore lines and the river basins soon disappearing.

    An old statistic vaguely remembered from our grammar school days reappears, and we realize that only ten percent of the land of the earth is arable, and now we have a striking visualization that that is a fact, and the continents become tan and brown and red. The geographic features fade leaving only the continental forms as you depart father from earth. No national boundaries can be seen, and as the globe becomes smaller and smaller you remember another statistic. It holds three and a half billion people, and of that three and a half billion, one half are hungry and two thirds live in poverty. You shudder to think that this problem will be much worse during the remainder of our lifetime, and at the end of the century, the population of the earth will be six or seven billion.

    To solve the problem of feeding this population and protecting this planet for the use of that population is going to take an international approach far beyond any cooperative effort ever seen in history. I suppose we have to ask ourselves whether international cooperation on this scale is even possible…” – Neil A. Armstrong, Astronaut, Commander, Apollo 11, Commencement Address, Miami University, June 4, 1970.

    DCSCA (65ecc9)

  28. R.I.P. my hero, My Dad, December 1941 – January 2023

    Icy (7a93eb)

  29. I’m so sorry, Icy. Deepest condolences.

    Simon Jester (f66ca7)

  30. Prayers and condolences, Icy.

    lurker (cd7cd4)

  31. My condolences, Icy.

    nk (bb1548)

  32. I’m sorry Icy.

    Nic (896fdf)

  33. Icy… deepest condolences.

    Celebrate his life.

    DCSCA (9d80bf)

  34. Sorry to hear that, Icy.

    norcal (862cdb)

  35. @23, see 22.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  36. Condolences, Icy. That’s a tough one.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  37. I have always thought that he lobbied hard to get enough on board to convict, and failing that voted with his caucus

    As I say in the piece, I have read several books that touch on the events of the second impeachment, and one book devoted entirely to the two impeachments. McConnell did not lobby for the conference to convict. In fact, many of the senators were looking to McConnell to see whether he would vote to convict, and voted no when they learned that he would vote no. In other words, they were looking for their leader to do what a leader does: lead.

    In his defense, he acted according to what Kevin M believes to be the highest principle and the only principle: doing what keeps you in power.

    Patterico (1707c5)

  38. My deepest condolences, Icy.

    Patterico (1707c5)

  39. Much respect Icy. Buried my mother last year. I understand.

    NJRob (d01b7f)

  40. In his defense, he acted according to what Kevin M believes to be the highest principle and the only principle: doing what keeps you in power.

    Well, that twists my words more than a little bit. When did representing your constituents become such a bad thing that people speak of it with derision? Even Burke recognized that — in almost every instance — it was the highest good.

    It is the aim of the system to do as your constituents expect. Sure, there are timew when you cannot, but it is supposed to be the exception. To hear some talk of it, it’s the exception that IS the rule, like a doctor doing harm most of the time.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  41. McConnell did not lobby for the conference to convict

    If true, this diminishes my view of McConnell. He chose Party over Country.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  42. From a guy who lost his dad Thanksgiving Day 1996 and mom on July 4th, 2014, my sympathies. The missing them doesn’t go away.

    Paul Montagu (8f0dc7)

  43. Thank You, everyone.❤️

    Icy (7a93eb)

  44. Icy, I just saw this. I’m very sorry for you loss and will pray for you and your family.

    Time123 (f716bc)

  45. Without going into the J6 riot or Trump’s wild assertions, do you think that the GOP had no cause to be upset with the 2020 election, given all the rules changes pushed through without some state legislatures’ involvement?

    In PA these rules changes were later found to have violated the state constitution and there is a pending US Supreme Court case saying that other changes violated the federal constitution by nullifying the will of the various state legislatures.

    Was the massive turnout (155 million votes in 2020 vs 130 million votes in each of the 3 previous presidential elections) merely a function of high interest? Or was it due to rules changes that allowed many more marginal voters to vote, an arguable advantage to Biden.

    Now, I think it is a good thing that Trump was not re-elected (it would have been even better if he’d not run), but I do see that the Republicans had a lot of reason to think the election was run to benefit the Democrat side.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  46. McConnell did not lobby for the conference to convict

    If true, this diminishes my view of McConnell. He chose Party over Country.

    Kevin M (1ea396) — 1/19/2023 @ 10:39 am

    I don’t understand. Do you doubt that not lobbying for the conference to convict was in sync with McConnell’s constituents, i.e., “the ONLY principle that matters”?

    lurker (cd7cd4)

  47. I don’t understand. Do you doubt that not lobbying for the conference to convict was in sync with McConnell’s constituents, i.e., “the ONLY principle that matters”?

    I have no idea how the people of Kentucky view the J6 riots or Trump’s involvement in them (or did in February 2021). I would hope that some of them don’t like riots.

    But I will not apologize for asserting that a representative democracy RESTS on the belief that representatives are responsible to represent their constituents. TO those that say, “but wait, at times the cannot” I reply that you really want them to ignore their constituent’s beliefs entire and follow yours.

    This is why I find no real fault with MTG — her district has sent people just like her since forever, and she’s just doing her job. Thank God it’s a small minority in that godforsaken corner of Georgia.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  48. Liz Cheney did the principled thing by telling the truth about Trump instead of going along with the con.

    norcal (862cdb)

  49. Well, she went along too exactly with the Democratic line.

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  50. There was no incitement in Trump’s speech/

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  51. And Trump wanted to go there – how could he have expected a riot? Initially the claim was hel ied about intending to go there.

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  52. And Trump wanted to go there – how could he have expected a riot?

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a) — 1/19/2023 @ 4:44 pm

    He knew he would be safe, because he was the god of the f*cking short bus people there.

    norcal (862cdb)

  53. I have no idea how the people of Kentucky view the J6 riots or Trump’s involvement in them (or did in February 2021).

    By a 5-4 margin, the people of Kentucky opposed convicting Trump on the impeachment charge. Mitch was, according to you, complying with the “ONLY principle that matters.” So I’ll repeat, how can that diminish McConnell in your view? Is it possible that country over party is not only another principle that matters, but maybe even a higher one?

    lurker (cd7cd4)

  54. But I will not apologize for asserting that a representative democracy RESTS on the belief that representatives are responsible to represent their constituents.

    Of course they are. Every elected representative is politically accountable for it at the end of their term, if not sooner.That doesn’t privilege such accountability over their constitutional oath, or their commitment to any of various other principles of liberal democracy, e.g., the rule of law, individual liberty, etc.

    lurker (cd7cd4)

  55. TO those that say, “but wait, at times the cannot” I reply that you really want them to ignore their constituent’s beliefs entire and follow yours.

    That’s a false choice, Kevin, and certainly not what I want. The existence of higher principles, e.g., fidelity to the Constitution, doesn’t erase lesser commitments such as political accountability. The lesser one just gives way to the higher one when the higher one is implicated. It’s fair to say political imperatives matter, maybe even that they’re a kind of principle. But it’s beyond silly to say they’re “the ONLY principle that matters.”

    lurker (cd7cd4)

  56. Principles matter most when they’re least popular, not most. If they were easy, everyone would have them.

    lurker (cd7cd4)

  57. @48. Principles matter most when they’re least popular, not most…

    …said Hitler to Hess while dictating Mein Kampf.

    DCSCA (588996)

  58. When did representing your constituents become such a bad thing that people speak of it with derision? Even Burke recognized that — in almost every instance — it was the highest good.

    This guy?

    Certainly, gentlemen, it ought to be the happiness and glory of a representative to live in the strictest union, the closest correspondence, and the most unreserved communication with his constituents. Their wishes ought to have great weight with him; their opinion, high respect; their business, unremitted attention. It is his duty to sacrifice his repose, his pleasures, his satisfactions, to theirs; and above all, ever, and in all cases, to prefer their interest to his own. But his unbiassed opinion, his mature judgment, his enlightened conscience, he ought not to sacrifice to you, to any man, or to any set of men living. These he does not derive from your pleasure; no, nor from the law and the constitution. They are a trust from Providence, for the abuse of which he is deeply answerable. Your representative owes you, not his industry only, but his judgment; and he betrays, instead of serving you, if he sacrifices it to your opinion.

    I mean, it was quoted above, but I just wonder if you missed the parts I have just bolded.

    Patterico (022857)

  59. I think there are two theories of representation…

    It’s more like two tiers of representation; the actual voters that vote you in… and the subset – the special interests- that fund you and prep you for reelection. Once in, they listen to the folks that fund them– not the folks who voted ’em in. If your representative voices concern for rebuilding Ukrainian infrastructure rather than maintaining it in their own constituency from rain, or senators listen to the MIC lobbyists financing them in their state over the voters who need a reliable electric grid, that says it all. Ike’s warning was right. So was my banker grandfather: pay yourself first.

    DCSCA (588996)

  60. “But I will not apologize for asserting that a representative democracy RESTS on the belief that representatives are responsible to represent their constituents.”

    Kevin, I believe that you previously said you were/are a computer engineer. And, just as lawyers and doctors are governed by codes of ethics, so are engineers. These codes of ethics set priorities to guide an individual confronted by a quandary. You owe your job to your employer, but if your employer is asking you to do something illegal or, legal but harmful to society, what is your obligation? It’s first and foremost to society, then to the law, then to the integrity of the profession.

    Now the question of whether a representative should follow his conscience or the popular opinion of his constituents is only interesting when the question is complex and outside the usual. No one here questions that if a politican promises on the campaign trail to support position X, then integrity demands that he honor his pledge. But what if the situation materially changes, facts change, implications change, effects change, is the politician restricted from bringing his experience, wisdom, knowledge, and judgment to the question? Now part of that wisdom has to be listening to his constituents and advisors and weighing the arguments, but objectively the strength of argument should carry the day.

    Is the primary obligation of the politician to get re-elected or is it to the public good? He’s accountable and understands that he may get fired, but he is also able to publicly make his case and let the facts speak to the truth. If the people feel betrayed or disagree, then he’ll lose that job. The position should be about service and his ability to persuade. If he loses trust, then it’s time to do something else. I can respect a man or woman who exercises his/her experience, wisdom, intellect, and character to come to a decision. I have much more of a problem with a politician who is too dim to understand the plain truth or who is too willing to lie about it. Polls should be taken and analyzed, but ultimately you are elected to lead and use your judgment in tough situations. That’s the job. Not everyone polled is wise or well informed…that too has to be considered.

    AJ_Liberty (015f99)

  61. “But I will not apologize for asserting that a representative democracy RESTS on the belief that representatives are responsible to represent their constituents.”

    ROFLMAOPIP

    Let’s let Martha Raddatz ask Daddy Darth about that:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z-vEb8nSzQE

    Despicable. And this mind set is what ultimately led to the down fall of his demon seed, Daughter Darth.

    DCSCA (d6ad07)

  62. @58:

    Which members of this (or any other) Congress do you see as exemplars of this ethos? Which are the Solomons of our age? There might be as many as five in DC. Or were. Most have left.

    The Founders built a system in which base desire and ambition — much like Adam Smith’s invisible hand — are captured to the service of the country. By seeking the votes of their constituents they are FORCED to serve them. It’s ugly, it’s imperfect and it’s often corrupt. But it has worked for more than two centuries.

    Sometimes the representative forgets, and someone else is elected. Sometimes they march to another drummer and, usually, someone else is elected there, too. Sometimes not, but someone like Wayne Morse is the rare exception. Mostly it goes like Liz Cheney.

    But for the most part Congress is filled by people like Maxine Waters and MTG, because if their district were to send someone else, it would be the same person anyway.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  63. I really really do not get it. What do you expect politicians to do, except to behave like politicians?

    They spend their days calling people for money for the next election, making sure that their staff takes care of the problems that their district calls and emails about, and trying to know what is going on back home while they listen to some interminable hearing on utility rates or soy futures.

    And unless they are motivated by some Higher Power, the ONLY test of their service is whether they are re-elected or not. It’s Darwinian. People who don’t do this don’t stay in office.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  64. Milton Friedman said it best:

    I do not believe that the solution to our problem is simply to elect the right people. The important thing is to establish a political climate of opinion which will make it politically profitable for the wrong people to do the right thing. Unless it is politically profitable for the wrong people to do the right thing, the right people will not do the right thing either, or if they try, they will shortly be out of office.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  65. @60:

    Representation does not mean that the representative is a robot. How many times do I have to say that before you hear it?

    Sure, they may, at times, run up against a situation where their previous position becomes untenable, or they find it wrong, or disadvantageous to their constituents. This isn’t the normal thing, but it happens.

    But even then, they shouldn’t just sally forth on a new mission; they need to communicate this back to their district and talk it over with people who’ve trusted them with the representation. If they don’t do that they will quickly be out of office and some scoundrel who doesn’t give a crap will be there in their place.

    Now, suppose they do this and the counsel they receive is “we don’t effing care!” They have two choices: resign as being unable to ethically continue, or hold on to the power they’ve been granted and thwart the will of their voters, until it is pried from their fingers. This was Liz Cheney’s path. I don’t see it as fruitful. Resignation would have been better. Or as a few others did, resign from the Caucus and decline to run again.

    You speak of ethics. I once quit a job because I thought the customer was being screwed. Sure, I could have pretended I was on board, then spilled the beans, but the ethics of that are suspect, too. I’ve long since discovered that I am not God, and I refrain from passing His judgement on others. All I can do is maintain my side of the street.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  66. Liz Cheney did the principled thing by telling the truth about Trump instead of going along with the con.

    Was it principled for her to stay in office as the representative of her district when it became clear that they wanted nothing to do with her?

    She could have resigned, while loudly telling this truth. Was her holding on to her office ethical?

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  67. if they try, they will shortly be out of office.

    Kevin M (1ea396) — 1/19/2023 @ 10:17 pm

    This is correct. Liz Cheney did the right thing, but because there wasn’t a climate of opinion for her to do the right thing, she was voted out of office.

    It’s not a good look for Wyoming voters.

    norcal (862cdb)

  68. Was her holding on to her office ethical?

    Kevin M (1ea396) — 1/19/2023 @ 10:39 pm

    Yes, because if her effort to enlighten her constituents had succeeded, and she had won the election, she would have been in a position to accomplish what was best for the country.

    norcal (862cdb)

  69. Hey, I gave her money. But still I wonder.

    In other news: Friday’s (MST) WORDLE in 2.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  70. @64 milton’s right thing was actually the wrong thing and did more damage to this country then any russian spy or muslim terrorist could ever do to harm this country including help get trump elected by populists taking over the republican party after free trade took away there jobs.

    asset (ab83c8)

  71. Kevin: “Was it principled for her [Cheney] to stay in office as the representative of her district when it became clear that they wanted nothing to do with her?”

    I guess it depends. Did Cheney take an oath to support and defend Donald Trump….and bear true faith and allegiance to the GOP…or does the Constitution figure in there somewhere? She viewed Trump and his misguided apologists as a continuing threat to our democracy, that needed to be exposed and brought to justice in some manner…initially through impeachment, then later through a recommendation for criminal referral.

    In Cheney’s letter of censure from the Wyoming GOP, it falsely implied that BLM and Antifa were responsible for Jan 6th. I think it was in her obligation to continue to persuade those Wyoming individuals of the truth using facts and evidence. I think the Jan 6th commission provided damning evidence of Trump’s conspiracy. Is Cheney’s highest ethical obligation to give the GOP voters what they wanted or is it to support and defend the Constitution?

    AJ_Liberty (015f99)

  72. And Al Capone only did what the customers of his speakeasies wanted him to do.

    A Representative’s job is defined by the Constitution and laws of the United States. Doing what his voters want him to do, contrary the Constitution and laws, does not legitimize him. It makes his voters accomplices to his malfeasance.

    nk (bb1548)

  73. “A man is none the less a slave because he is allowed to choose a new master once in a term of years. Neither are a people any the less slaves because permitted periodically to choose new masters. What makes them slaves is the fact that they now are, and are always hereafter to be, in the hands of men whose power over them is, and always is to be, absolute and irresponsible.”

    ― Lysander Spooner, No Treason: The Constitution of No Authority

    Horatio (2642d7)

  74. # 73

    Next up — the dictatorship of the proletariat.

    Appalled (89dbe7)

  75. Heh! Spooner wrote that in the age of the mountain men. You know, the fur trappers like Jim Bridger and John “Crow Killer” Johnson. Yellowstone now has perk rangers that will ticket you for stepping off the marked trails.

    nk (bb1548)

  76. It’s not a good look for Wyoming voters.

    They traded up.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  77. She viewed Trump and his misguided apologists as a continuing threat to our democracy, that needed to be exposed and brought to justice in some manner…

    Yet the Neocon was deliberately blind to her own Daddy Darth’s ‘threat to our democracy, that needed to be exposed and brought to justice in some manner…’

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z-vEb8nSzQE

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  78. Government service means serving the people who sent you there.

    That leaves three choices: the constituents who did and did not voter for you in your constituency; the corrupt political party that fronted you to run in the very system they’ve rigged; or obligate yourself to the special interest lobbyists beyond the boundaries of your constituency who financed your run.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  79. Kevin M,

    You have made a good case that representatives must often cower to the opinions of their constituents or get thrown out. Thing is, I never argued otherwise. Liz Cheney was my example of a principled politician when she took up the cause against Trump’s election denialism. This did not play well with her voters, who largely have swallowed patently false propaganda, and so she was voted out.

    Where I differ with you is in your repeated desire to call the actions of cowards “principled.” As I argued in my piece, if “principle” means doing whatever your constituents want, even if it is dumb or based on blatantly false propaganda, then Congress is the most singular collection of principled people on earth. But this is not what most people mean by “principle” and I submit it cannot be described as “principle” under any commonly accepted definition of the word.

    Those who want to defend the finger-to-the-wind people could plausibly stretch the meaning of any number of other adjectives to describe the abandonment of responsibility that Burke decried in the quote above. Practical? Some might say so. Necessary? In the view of some, to be sure. But “principled”? Nah.

    Patterico (bc2271)

  80. From 2017-2021, “Daughter Darth” voted in line with Trump’s position 92.9% of the time, according to FiveThirtyEight’s tracker. She is a Neocon, like the Vulcan father that spawned her– and she certainly wasn’t opposed to the deception he peddled to the electorate as VP… and when challenged over what ‘We The People’ preferred, his response was: “So?”

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z-vEb8nSzQE

    The Cheney clan are Neocons and have the ‘principles’ typical of any clubby, swampy, political opportunists. It is by actions and deceptions such as theirs that populism keeps being fueled and growing. Indies and the overwhelming majority of those still associated w/t GOP have soundly rejected their policies and POV.

    DCSCA (f71430)

  81. You know, DCSCA, dead horses don’t feel any pain from further beatings.

    norcal (862cdb)

  82. @82. Except they do.

    lurker (cd7cd4)

  83. You probably think I meant @81. Understandable royalist mistake.

    lurker (cd7cd4)

  84. @81. Funny, she acts more like a mule– or of late, a jackass, given the party she helps.

    DCSCA (13c8ad)

  85. 82 and 83,

    😂

    norcal (862cdb)

  86. DCSCA (13c8ad) — 1/20/2023 @ 7:59 pm

    Whatever animal you’re beating, it’s long past dead. Even the maggots have moved on.

    norcal (862cdb)

  87. Where I differ with you is in your repeated desire to call the actions of cowards “principled.

    Would you suggest that an attorney who “cowers” to the interests of his client is unprincipled? Some would say that it takes great integrity to argue a case for a client whose interests you despise (and perhaps the attorney should have been more picky). It is in much the same vein that I see the actions of a elected representative. He didn’t have to take the job to represent these folks, but not only did he take it, he lobbied hard to get it.

    There are all kinds of ways to be an independent voice in public affairs. Ralph Nader is an obvious example. But when you take on that “representative” role, you lose that independence.

    That the system has a feedback mechanism to ENFORCE that dependence is not an accident, nor is it a fault.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  88. Shorter: The “principle” is to honestly represent.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  89. Liz Cheney was my example of a principled politician when she took up the cause against Trump’s election denialism

    1) I sent her $50.
    2) I have very mixed feelings about her alliance with Democrats to do that.
    3) I am sad that she was unable to move the GOP Caucus in that direction.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

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