No, we are not alluding to the process that will take place between November 2012 and January 2013 in the Executive Offices and the Executive Mansion in Washington,DC, or at the various auxilliary Departments, Agencies, and Commissions. There will be plenty of able bodies and sharp minds willing to assist with that. What we are referring to is something that has been bugging us ever since it dawned on us, along with a huge chunk of the rest of the populace in the past three years, that the handbasket to hell this country was in only had a few more exits to pass before it arrived at its destination. Conservative outriders have been onto this for quite a bit longer, but most of the nation is just waking up.
What spurred us today were the articles posted by our own JadedByPolitics and VassarBushmills. Jaded asks the rhetorical question as to whether the Republican Party will have to be dragged kicking and screaming into the New Age of Common Sense or utterly abandoned in disgust as what must be done is done. And Vassar notes, reiterating and further explaining what he wrote some weeks ago, that cleaning up the mess and repairing the roof and the screen doors and the storm doors on the House that Freedom Built is going to be quite the chore, complicated by the fact that the criminal element responsible for much of the damage are motivated by codes of which they are not easily disabused.
Our crystal ball is as foggy as anyone elses, and our prescription for procedure is woefully lacking in specifics. We see the end game as a wholesale, and yet perhaps piece-by-piece, return to the bedrock principle of our founding documents that the national government was formed to be of limited, albeit noble, purpose and scope. That is, the Tenth Amendment is going to have to get a lot of airplay, column space and bandwidth in the coming months and years, because if we constitutional conservatives are serious about reducing government, we are going to have to take some pages from the playbooks of, for example, detox and rehab and 12-step programs. We have to quit doing what we always did or we will always get what we always got. We are going to have to, in as many ways as possible, return to the days before we started using and abusing, when our capital was Springfield, and the nation’s capital was Washington, DC, if that makes any sense to anyone. We chronicle daily, sometimes hourly on these pages how our lives are so entwined with and dictated by Big Government. We live, work, commute, commune, discourse and play with millions of others in the same situation. We just get swept along. The tide is strong.
What we see is, in the medium term, if conservatism does in fact overrun Washington, DC, each and every one of the individual States assuming the mini-Nanny role to a certain extent, as the population is weaned off dependency and entitlement. Gradually, as we see the Feds shedding programs, we see the several states redirecting the resource flow stream to infrastructure and necessary services and moving toward the self-reliant modes of days gone by, retaining of course those technological and evolutionary models best suited to them individually. As this transpires, populations will choose states, and states will choose populations. How all this is done from a management and budgetary and taxation and legal and regulatory framework is a job for the structural and public policy architects, but we have no doubt there are people capable of doing it.
It is the getting to that stage that we can’t develop a storyline for, and we hope there are those players in the conservative resurgence and ultimate victory who are sorting this out. It is so easy for us, and we are guilty as sin of this, to call for the elimination of various cabinet departments in one fell swoop. Or the instantaneous dismantling of the vast regulatory apparatus known as the Environmental Protection Agency. Mr. Bushmills has advised that as books are balanced and accounts are settled, thousands, tens of thousands, or more, of federal employees are going to have to be furloughed. We agree. And we also think that, hand-in-hand with the slashing and burning required from new Congressional Majorities, Cabinet-level and Agency-level appointees can be made with a view to the short and medium- term curtailment of their activities and the handoff to the States. It is that handoff that concerns us. While we are sure that an all-hands-on-deck effort can be mounted, and a more or less piecemeal or block-by-block approach may be the only viable manner in doing this thing, consideration has to be given to the fact that there is no institutional memory in this country for the kind of modus operandi we are talking about. The New Federalism we live under, while having been continually refined and streamlined (if you can call Gargantua ‘streamlined’) , extends back a century, by most accounts. People, and businesses, and institutions will adjust, eventually. But in the short-to-medium term, many will not know how to act, unless reforms are so gradual as to be hardly worth the effort.
The other thing that concerns us is that, while in these rooms we dwell on mostly tearing down the offending artifices in the Executive Branch, there are no doubt procedural and/or institutional changes needed in the workings of Congress, so as to insure that the reforms made in the next decades are not rescinded. Concurrent with that is dealing with the nullification factor of that leviathan known as the Federal Judiciary. It doesn’t do a movement a whole lot of good to say it is going to restore limited government and freedoms of all kinds if left in place are all of the Federal District, Circuit and Appeals courts ready, willing and able to thwart the will of the electorate on a whim, while the Magnificent Nine sit on their thumbs in Washington and let them do it.
So this transition thing is going to be a heckuva lot longer and more complicated than most of us probably want, indeed than most of us can probably grasp at the moment. And we haven’t even talked about a public education campaign. But while seizing the moment, we hope that the new occupant of the White House on January 20, 2013, either then or between now and then, can muster and convey to the nation an appreciation of the task before us. Much as George W. Bush and his advisors and appointees became aware of and tried to convey the enormity and the duration of the task awaiting the free world in fighting the Global War On Terror (translated Global War on Radical Islam) the people must be told that, while they can go on with their daily lives, nothing is going to be quite the same again. Brave men are going to work to keep them safe from totalitarianism and free to go and do as they please, although there might be some hiccups, some disruptions. But it will all be worth it.
Til then, if someone could just clue us in, or point to a model, or a page from a manual, or reprise or invent a great inspirational message, we would be grateful, for the challenge we see ahead to us is the definition of daunting. Thank you for your time.