Skip to comments.Brooks: Time to Torch the Constitution
Posted on 12/16/2013 12:53:15 PM PST by Kaslin
History didnt end quite as soon as Francis Fukayama famously forecast. Every generation will face interesting times, it seems. But, David Brooks, the New York Times idea of a conservative, recently bid to team with Fukayama to seize a consolation prize.If you cant end history, maybe you can end the American Constitutional order. That would be interesting, and pleasing to deep thinkers disappointed in Congresss failure to pass a lot of awesome new laws.
Brooks doesnt exactly say so, but trashing the Constitution is what he advocates in his modestly titled piece: Strengthen the Presidency. Brooks sensitively builds his case by sharing the wrenching plight of Congressional budget analysts who toil thanklessly to analyze the impact of lots of really good bills that somehow never get passed.
The pathos! They work furiously hard to analyze the impact of bills immigration reform, tax reform, entitlement reform and gun legislation but almost none of these bills ever makes it into law. Theres all this effort, but no result.So, Brooks asserts were in era of reform stagnation. Years might go by without big, new laws.
To explain the droughts cause, Brooks cites Fukayamas essay in the current issue of The American Interest, The Decay of American Institutions, which diagnoses increased polarization, too many interest groups and lobbyists, and expansive power grabs by courts that foster too much litigation, all of which have combined to shrink the influence of the executive branch.
Its a neat bit of verbal alchemy to jump from congressional gridlock and then somehow land at a hogtied presidency, but Brooks and Fukayama are agile enough to pull it off. Brooks has just the solution: Pump up the presidency! Expand its powers! Not because we necessarily trust the executive, but because were better off when the president is stronger than outside interest groups that capture Congress. Brooks must rank that insight as among natures self evident truths, because he leaves it mostly undeveloped.
Brooks argues the executive could forge solutions on things like immigration reform (and presumably the rest of his litany of tragically unpassed bills) that Congress is just too polarized to tackle. Further, hes enthused that executive staffs are usually more expert than congressional staffs, and more insulated from the groups that do tawdry things like try to petition government.
The way out our reform wilderness, Brooks declares, is giving more policy making authoritylegislative power in the Founders quaint parlance-- and administrative flexibility to the executive branch.
At this point, anyone who occupies the real world rather than an elite faculty lounge or Gray Lady Editorial suite should be choking. What universe is Brooks describing? Since when is the US president bound and hobbled from faithfully executing the law? For that matter, how is this president even hindered from making the law up?
One of the presidents first acts, in the name of stimulating the economy, was to rain down nearly a trillion dollars on his pets and friends in all levels of government and all stripes of left-wing activism. The Left is obscenely funded for a generation.
When Chrysler and General Motors crawled kneeling to Washington with cupped hands, the president decided hed really rather the UAW keep its generous packages and get awarded billions in equity ahead of the secured creditors and fund investors. He ignored the law and made his leftist will happen.
When disaster struck the Gulf in the BP oil spill, the president didnt rely on his crack environmental regulators and federal courts to administer the law and award compensation. He wrote a new script, demanded a $20 billion down payment from BP for a compensation fund, and made up the remedial program as we went.
When voters slapped the president back and put the other party in charge of the US House, this administration quickly pivoted (the only real pivot he ever executed) to achieving rule by regulation, crafting sweeping attacks on carbon, coal, American energy, and, it now appears, any property owners with mud on their land, vital wetland habitat, dont you know?Navigable interstate waters, to be sure!
When Congress passed Obamacare, the Constitutions First Branch did not so much codify a health plan as toss a two-thousand page invitation to the administration to draft tens of thousands of pages of regulations with the actual substance and details. Now, the president has demonstrated his beliefbacked up by actionthat he can alter and ignore whatever parts of the statutory law he wants for as long and whatever reason he wants.
Then theres the sinister, unAmerican face of this presidents executive latitude. Audits of critics and activists by the IRS and other agencies. Mysterious paramilitary raids on companies like Gibson guitar. Targeted harassment and stonewalling nonprofit applications by conservative groups. Frivolous investigations and lawsuits by Eric Holders Justice Department against companies, states, schools, anyone or anything that displeases the administration or its leftist allies. The unscripted confession by the EPA administrator his agency subscribes to ancient Romes strategy of a few exemplary crucifixions to keep the locals in line. New IRS rules to knock conservative nonprofits further out of the game.
This all adds up to an exceedingly strange time for Brooks to conclude that because Congress doesnt pass the shiny new laws he and Fukayama might favor, we should give up on separation of powers, checks and balances, and the creaky, old Constitution that made America the most successful nation in the known universe. Instead, we should vest domestic rule in an exalted executive.
Brooks might learn something from the honest liberal law professor. Jonathon Turley recently testified to Congress this president has become the very danger the Constitution was designed to avoid.
Brooks doesnt care. He was never much a conservative. Now, hes exposed himself as not much of a constitutional democrat. RIP Mr. Madison.
Define: really good bills
The CONS disappeared utterly and completely a long time ago. The enumeration was the heart, soul, essence, and core of the CONS; once it was flushed down the toilet it was all over.
The fact that Brooks thinks we need a more powerful government/dictator shows once and for all his charade of being a 'conservative' is over.
OK so we torc the Constitution —and what do we have? Oh, maybe a replacement like Mao’s little red book or Kaddafy’s little gree book might be nice. Maybe because we’e so inclusive it could be Barry’s Little Rainbow Reader —whatever, my head is spining.
How about, shoot the lobbyists, make all political positions one and only one term and do not let any people cross between the media and government.
Seems like that will be better for all Americans.
Yes, that’s what we need, a really nice and wise and most excellent dictator who can create a grand society we all want so badly. You know, like North Korea.
Nah, let’s torch David Brooks’ trousers, with the perfectly creased pant leg, instead.
Brooks sounds like a Freshmen Poli/Sci student writing an essay decrying Federalism because “they just can’t get anything done”.
Brooks is supposed to be smart?
I would like to see him enter the National Archives and try it.
a constitutional democrat.
Isn’t that some kind of absurdity?
Constitutional AND a democrat???
Did you read the article? He wants a “strengthened executive,” even though we have the most powerful and unconstitutional executive in our history.
That's how they move the needle on the center of the debate - have a man with the political views of Karl Marx pretend to be the conservative in the discussion
Anybody who thinks they would be a benign dictator would end with bodies piled in ditches. There’s no such thing. That’s why we have co-equal branches. (Or, had before Obama.)
“who toil thanklessly to analyze the impact of lots of really good bills that somehow never get passed.”
How does one ignore Obamacare! No one thanklessly toiled to read it but it somehow got passed just to see what was in it and it inflicted an incredible disaster that has pissed off over half the country! My question is a simple one, has the government and it’s media dupes gone nuts?
This is the kind of freeloader crap you get when you stop teaching what it means to be an American in our schools. Bass turds like Brooks would do anything to get rid of the Second Amendment. Even torch the U.S. Constitution. Deport the bass turd to Pyong Yang.
This might also resonate with parents of teenage children!
The old Marxist dialectic: keep moving the goal halfway to your position until you are standing over the pit or in a gulag.
Poofters like Davie have a different way of looking at things. They live for the moment.
I predict he’ll grow up to be an aronist who dies in his own fire.
An article you will NEVER see a Leftist like Brooks write when a Republican is in office.
Brooks is a fascist hypocrite of the highest order. What Brooks really wants, and what everybody who reads this column intuitively understands, is that Brooks really wants a fascist government run by central planners made up of Democrats. He is arguing for a benevolent dictatorship because he believes it’s good for us.
Speak for yourself, you fool!
Brooks wrote an article that voters should stop caring about political issues now Obama has failed him.
If he wants to ditch the constitution, he's not any variety of conservative - "neo" or otherwise.
Ah yes, the cry for a strong man to silence the babble and inconvenience that arises from self rule, and lead through strength of will.
It has been heard before.
Every area of our lives is political these days precisely because government permeates every aspect of our lives.
Government has become far too huge and unmanageable. Brook’s answer is to make it even larger and more dictatorial.
It IS time to torch the Constitution, but not in the way that Brooks wants. It is time to redefine and repair the federal government. It is time for Fed 2.0 and there are many things that need fixing.
The first thing is to understand that what Jefferson and Reagan said are true, that as government expands personal liberty must retreat. The reason to have a federal government, indeed to have any government at all, is to maximize liberty, not to have the biggest government we can afford. The two are the inverse of each other, and INFINITE MONEY enables INFINITE GOVERNMENT, which is what Cambodia had under Pol Pot and what Russia had under Lenin and Stalin.
So, when we redefine Fed 2.0, it will be a government that can only spend what it takes in, and that must be limited lest government get too big and consume too much of our wealth.
We must also have a government that cannot exempt itself from its own laws. The first change must be to repeal 18 USC 1001 which makes it a felony to lie to a government employee but does not make it a felony for a government employee to lie to any citizen.
And certainly no Constitutional right should require application for a permit to exercise.
I am sure that FReepers can suggest other repairs. Meanwhile some other people far smarter than I have done so:
Randy Barnetts Proposed Federalism Amendment
Just get rid of obama.
Confused and Dazed is the only thing I can think of when this freaks face comes up.
Our Founding Fathers feared that a tyrannical federal government might occur despite the careful checks and balances of the Constitution. Their last ditch defense of liberty is embodied in the Second Amendment.
It pisses me off that so many CONSERVATIVES even gripe about the house and senate “not getting anything done”.
The IDEAL situation in government is them not getting ANYTHING done. If they aren’t doing s***, they can’t screw anything up...
Heil obama, dictator for life!
Brooks, he’s going to draw and quarter you first.
If George Bush were still president, would Brooks be advocating this?
We'll start with stripping his rights and torching him in the middle of Central Park for the amusement of the Yutes -- a RW "bonfire of the vanities".
Then we can nuke Manhattan. Ooops, sorry, we really don't like you, but we actually intended to let you run for it first. Sorry 'bout that. Muh finger slipped.
Brooksie is such a boron.
Pre-Andy Jackson, too.
It was a good racket for Al the Greaser, and Octavian borrowed it .... howbeit he was a milquetoast who got sick at the drop of a hat and completely unprepossessing except when he cranked up his "god-in-a-body" game.
It is also not entirely unworthy of observation that, in declaring what shall be the supreme law of the land, the Constitution itself is first mentioned, and not the laws of the United States generally, but those only which shall be made in pursuance of the Constitution, have that rank.
Thus, the particular phraseology of the Constitution of the United States confirms and strengthens the principle, supposed to be essential to all written Constitutions, that
a law repugnant to the Constitution is void,
and that courts, as well as other departments, are bound by that instrument.
Presstitutes like Brooks would be among the first group that a benign dictator dealt with. These morons should really read some history.
Brooks doesn't have to be smart. He writes for the NY Slimes.
I already do not watch PBS Newshour on Fridays because of Brooks.
I am beginning to think I should just quit watching anything on that station.
The GOP should demand that he re-register as something else.
I think instead, its time to torch the GOP.