FLOTSAM & JETSAM: Tuesday morning line

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Tuesday morning line

 Sam Smith - Every once in a while, someone in power says something that inadvertently summarizes a problem. For example, last night Chris Matthews twice said that talk of the Tenth Amendment made him think of the Civil War.

Supporting an original part of the Bill of Rights is a virtual act of secession? Herein lies one huge problem with contemporary liberals: they no longer understand or believe in the proper devolution of power that was at the heart of our initial federal system. . . the idea that government should be carried out at the lowest practical level. Instead, they have come to believe in an oligarchy of the hyper rich, hyper educated and hyper powerful that is hyper centered in Washington.

It is not what Jeffersonian Democrats believed; nor did progressives as late as the 1960s. And the change has done nothing but damage the support liberals might otherwise have. After all, removing people's power does not go unnoticed and the size of one's opposition grows with its recognition.

True, citizens' rights are a federal responsibility. But that does not justify Washington, for example, turning over two centuries of public education to a federally supervised, corporately controlled school system.

If you can't tell the difference between protecting citizens' rights and determining what books a child shall read in class, you don't belong in politics at all.

But then we live in strange times. Mitch McConnell's spokesman Don Stewart asked about the current status of fiscal negotiations, replied: "We didn't rule out unicorns. We didn't rule out building a cheese factory on the moon and Democrats didn't rule out abolishing the EPA." Isn't pending disaster funny?