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A Constitution That Can Be Escaped is Not a Constituion at All.

Jeff Goldstein hits Mitt Romney on an oft-ignored weakness: judicial moderation.

Statism is in the very strictest sense anti-Constitutional. Or, if you wish to be kind, extra-Constitutional, which really amounts to the same thing.

The first step toward fixing a politicized judiciary is NOT to bracket political leanings when choosing justices. And that’s because such a conceit plays into the hands of the left, whose adepts and acolytes are happy to promote an equivalency between statist and conservative legal reasoning — with the former, when deployed “equally” on the courts, providing steady pressure against the Constitution itself, leaving the latter little margin for error should we hope to keep the courts from expanding the power of government.

There is a reason, after all, that our country has moved steadily left, and why the left will use the courts to move the country leftward whenever they can.

No, the first step toward fixing a politicized judiciary is to reaffirm the scope and function of the courts, and to state without equivocation the appropriate methodology for what comes to count as “intepretation” in a legal context.

Just so. Interpretation is not the same as re-interpretation. The former is fact-based and objective, even blind. The latter is agenda-based and deeply committed to the right answer.

A GOP candidate who does not understand this is not acceptable.


The 99% Demonstrate the Zero Sum Fallacy.

P.J. O’Rourke, right as usual. (h/t Instapundit)

But the Occupiers are wrong about something much more important. They believe in the Zero Sum Fallacy — the idea that there is a fixed amount of the good things in life. Anything I get, I’m taking from you. If I have too many slices of pizza, you have to eat the Dominos box. The Zero Sum Fallacy is a bad idea — dangerous to economics, politics, and world peace. It means any time we want good things we have to fight with each other to get them. We don’t. We can make more good things. We can make more pizza — or more tofu, windmills and solar panels, if you like.

Even if the Zero Sum Fallacy were true, redistribution would not solve it. Imagine this scenario:

  • One person has 100 dollars. Ninety-Nine people have a dollar each.
  • If you take 70 dollars from the rich person, as Paul Krugman dreams, he has 30 dollars.
  • If you distribute the 70 dollars among the 99, they end up with $1.71 each.

This is before we add in the costs of the redistributors taking their cut. So all you’ve managed to do is make one person very much poorer, 99 people infinitesimally richer, and changed no one’s disposition toward the other. The rich guy will resent the loss of his wealth and make efforts to hide future wealth for redistribution. The 99 poor, having seized the wealth once, will be unsatisfied with their take and want more.

"Just wait until we get to the guy at the top."

Tebow Keeps Missing the Memo About Losing

Let’s be real here for a second.

The Broncos haven’t played anyone good except the Lions, who are not that good. The 2-10 Vikings almost beat them. The 2nd-stringer-led Bears almost beat them. Even if they make the playoffs, either the Steelers, Pats, Texans, or Ravens will make short work of them. More importantly, let’s not forget that this is basically the Packers’ year.

But watching the NFL chattering class try to figure out how this Tebow kid keeps putting together wins at the last minute is fun. Watching people who confuse their antipathy to his religion with a just assessment of his abilities squirm is fun. In general, watching the comeback kid comeback satisfies all one’s wishes for a Cinderella story for the season.

It remains to be seen whether the kid can improve his passing game enough to really be a premiere quarterback. But to whatever extent he can improve them, he will. Among the thoroughbreds who play QB in the NFL, Tebow is that rara avis, a man with something to prove.

Glenn Beck Jumps the Shark (Officially!)

The First Rule of Conservatism is: You do not play the race card on a fellow conservative. (h/t: Instapundit)


Now a moment for the definition of terms. By “playing the race card” I mean concluding from a logically fallacious set of premises that someone is a racist without their being any overt evidence of that racism.

This is not the same as calling out a fellow rightie on a particularly racist comment or display. If Glenn Beck were to suddenly say “I can’t stand those dirty Chinese,” it would not be playing the race card to say “Yeah, Glen, that was kind of racist. You should apologize.” When the wingnut-osphere jumped on Trent Lott with both feet after he seemed to suggest that things would be better if the Dixiecrats had won the presidency in 1948, that was but a necessary policing of our own.

But that’s not what Becky has done. He has adopted the Garafalo argument, hook line and sinker, for no better reason than to needlessly disparage those who might favor Newt Gingrich for the GOP nomination.

Principled conservatives can argue over whether Gingrich is really one of us or not. But to pretend that his proposed policies differ in no significant way from Obama’s is to argue something demonstrably false. Gingrich may not be a Tea Partier; he cannot be an Obama Democrat.

That Beck has so tiresomely elided these differences indicates how erratic a tribune he has become.

Next, to "Restoring Relevance"

UPDATE: Ladd Ehlinger got to this yesterday, with the same headline. But he doesn’t have a cool .jpg, does he?

MORE UPDATE: Riehl World View chimes in as well, and makes an important point about Gingrich:

Newt Gingrich has pledged to appoint Supreme Court Justices with an originalist view of the Constitution. That is no small issue; it’s a critical one for both Conservatives and Libertarians. In contrast with Obama’s two appointees, that alone is reason enough for Tea Party voters to support Gingrich over Obama. Add in the fact that any GOP administration, even one of a so-called Progressive Republican, would be subject to significant internal and external influence from the GOP’s Conservative and Libertarian wings and you can begin to appreciate just how foolish are Beck’s recent ramblings.


Paul Krugman Throws Down the D-Word, Tells Fascist Ghost Stories.

On first glance, this would seem to be the kind of column (h/t: Memeorandum) I could agree with: we are in a Depression, the unemployment problem isn’t acceptable, etc. But what Kruggo intends by this can be summed up in this clause:

…ominous political trends shouldn’t be dismissed just because there’s no Hitler in sight.

Why, whoever could you be talking about, Kruggo?

Most of the column is directed at Hungary’s governing center-right Fidesz party, which is undoing democracy by the following means:

A proposed election law creates gerrymandered districts designed to make it almost impossible for other parties to form a government; judicial independence has been compromised, and the courts packed with party loyalists; state-run media have been converted into party organs, and there’s a crackdown on independent media; and a proposed constitutional addendum would effectively criminalize the leading leftist party.

In other words, everything Franklin Roosevelt did (excepting the last, of course), everything that Krugman would judiciously ignore if Barack Obama did. And what was Roosevelt’s justification for these measures? Why the Depression, of course.

This column says more than it says.