Post-scarcity Politics

Once upon a time, the national government was (relatively) limited. If States didn’t want women to vote, that was that. The only remedy was to get a super-majority of the States to amend the federal constitution in accordance with its terms. Nobody thought for a minute that the Supreme Court could judicially declare that restricting the franchise to adult males was a violation of the federal constitution.

Wars required legislative enactment. The Marine Corps was America’s expeditionary  force–an arcane branch of the Navy–to be dispatched to protect U.S. foreign interests and high seas navigation. If you wanted to send the military somewhere, there had to be a war. (Read the Wikipedia entries for the First and Second Barbary Wars to get a sense of the Founding generations’ scrupulous adherence to enumerated powers, and even to post-Westphalian international law).

As recently as the 1930’s, a whole class of criminals exploited the fact that individual States administered their discrete criminal codes in a far-flung, libertarian country.  The official response to these criminals, Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow in particular, was downright anarchic: a posse of six lawmen from Louisiana and Texas persuaded a family friend to wait by the side of the road near the gang’s designated safe house, and when Bonnie and Clyde showed up, they executed them.


There was no official inquiry, no protests, no lawsuits. Six public employees just used their imprimatur to kill members of a rising American outlaw class. Simpler times.

Compare that world of ordered chaos to the current anarcho-tyrannical, managerial state. Government and its media handmaidens manufacture and manage crises to maintain control. Congress no longer governs the country via legislation; we have all the laws we need, after all. Most legislation is just enhancement of existing bureaucratic powers and tax favors. The judiciary obligingly handles all the important domestic issues (abortion, same-sex marriage, immigration, civil rights) leaving Congress free to act as the World’s Greatest Investigative Body and run for reelection. The Executive branch dispatches troops wherever it wants and tells Congress to fund them.

Like the private sector, America’s public sector waxes fat off unprecedented prosperity. Liberals tell me Blumpf is finished over a telephone call with the Ukrainian president and a whistleblower within that august protector of republican virtues, the CIA. The transcript of the call is here. This is all political theater.

Speaking of the CIA, remember when they looked like this?

then the cia

cia now

Now they look like this.

the cia

evan for prez

I don’t think the CIA does any actual field work anymore. I think they just hire gay Mormons and perimenopausal women to look at satellite photos and conduct clandestine communications with journalists, politicians, and high net-worth individuals for “intelligence.” Then they pretend to do “analysis” at their computers.

Prepare yourselves. It will all be over soon.

(Inspired by an iSteve comment).

P.S. I rag on the career bureaucracy a lot, but you still see remnants of the hyper-competent Mandarin class.

The Acting AG Whittaker Group Glare:

whittaker glare

The Bill Barr Bodyman Glance, and Bill Barr Torquing Double-Take:

The Geoffrey Cox Stentorian Harangue:

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