URLs du Jour

2019-03-22

[Amazon Link]

  • David Harsanyi speaks truly at the Federalist: Democrats Want To Kill The Electoral College Because They Fear The Constitution.

    The United States isn’t a “democracy.” Though every American should have learned this fact in high school civics class, the smart-set still like to ridicule people who point it out–such a cliché, and all.

    Today, we see why the Left worked to convince Americans that majoritarianism was a profound moral good. And it’s not just that America is going through another silly debate about the suddenly inconvenient Electoral College; it’s that Democrats are increasingly comfortable attacking foundational ideas of American governance.

    Harsanyi goes on to relate the pro-Electoral College arguments and rebut the antis.

    But on the point made in Harsanyi's first paragraph: call me old-fashioned, but I still like the distinctions made between a republic and democracy in Federalist Number 10.


  • At National Review, Kevin D. Williamson writes on the same topic: Electoral College and Democrat Opposition to the Constitutional Order.

    The Senate. The Electoral College. The First Amendment. The Second Amendment. The Supreme Court. Is there a part of our constitutional order that the Democrats have not pledged to destroy?

    There are some Democrats out there in the sticks — a lot of them, in fact — who simply don’t understand the constitutional order. They believe that the United States is a democracy, John Adams et al. be damned, and, in fact, they often are confused by the frankly anti-democratic features of the American order, because they have been taught (theirs is a pseudo-education consisting of buzzwords rather than an actual education) that “democratic” means “good” and “undemocratic” means “bad.”

    But the Democrats in Washington are a different story. Elizabeth Warren and Kamala Harris went to law school. They understand the American constitutional order just fine.

    And they hate it.

    Kevin goes on to observe the other Democrat attacks on the constutional order (e.g., "End Citizens United", court-packing). And notes, correctly, that this is a far greater threat than the allegations-du-jour against Trump.


  • Of course, Michael Ramirez has pictorial commentary on one of the EC-threateners:

    What bugs me about this is the same thing that once bugged me about Republican presidential candidates offering to fix fiscal insanity via a "Balanced Budget Amendment" to the Constitution. I want to take them by the hand, sit them down, and speak slowly:

    Kids: you're running for president. Do you know what the role of the president in amending the Constituion is? Here, I'll put it in a box for you:

    That's right: you're running for an office that has no say whatsoever in amending the Constitution.

    In fact, you incumbent Congresscritters have influence over the process right now. Here is S.J.Res.41, introduced in the previous Congress. Senators Warren, Booker, Klobuchar: you could have been co-sponsors, but weren't. Why not?

    Senator Gillibrand, congratulations (sort of): you were a sponsor. Unfortunately, this just shows you're from a high-population state looking to erode the power of small states like mine.

    Senator Harris: you get a pass, you weren't there.


  • James Freeman of the WSJ looks at the record of Bernie Sanders and Venezuela. He's particularly irked that, in a recent interview, Bernie accused his "right-wing colleagues" of characterizing his socialistic proposals as "authoritarianism and communism and Venezuela, and that’s nonsense."

    What’s far worse than nonsense is for Mr. Sanders to pretend that he hasn’t been a long-time backer of Venezuela’s socialist rulers. Mr. Sanders recently attracted criticism from Democrats for refusing to call Venezuelan strongman Nicolas Maduro the dictator that he is. It’s just the latest episode in an appalling history.

    In January of 2003 Mr. Sanders signed a letter of support for Maduro predecessor Hugo Chavez. That month a Reuters report described what was happening in the country:[…]

    What was happening: tear-gassing protestors, threats and confiscations against TV stations and property owners, political arrests, state-sponsored gang violence. Did Sanders utter a critical peep about any of that at the time?


  • The College Fix contributes to our "What Would We Do Without Scholars?" Department: Scholar makes 'moral case' for letting people decide their own age.

    A recent article published in The Journal of Medical Ethics by a Finnish bioethicist made a moral case for the legal change of a person’s age to correspond with that person’s “experienced age.”

    The piece, by Joona Räsänen of the University of Oslo in Norway, titled “A Moral Case for Legal Age Change,” concludes that there are three scenarios when a change to one’s legal age should be allowed: When “the person genuinely feels his age differs significantly from his chronological age,” when “the person’s biological age is recognized to be significantly different from his chronological age,” and when “age change would likely prevent, stop or reduce ageism, discrimination due to age, he would otherwise face.”

    I'm tempted to say "I identify as 17". But there's a downside, missing out on all those sweet senior citizen discounts.

    But I was reminded of a favorite scene in Steve Martin's movie, The Jerk, where his character, Navin Johnson soliloquizes to a sleeping Marie.

    I know we've only known each other four weeks and three days, but to me it seems like nine weeks and five days. The first day seemed like a week and the second day seemed like five days. And the third day seemed like a week again and the fourth day seemed like eight days. And the fifth day you went to see your mother and that seemed just like a day, and then you came back and later on the sixth day, in the evening, when we saw each other, that started seeming like two days, so in the evening it seemed like two days spilling over into the next day and that started seeming like four days, so at the end of the sixth day on into the seventh day, it seemed like a total of five days. And the sixth day seemed like a week and a half. I have it written down, but I can show it to you tomorrow if you want to see it.

    Yeah, something like that. If only Navin were non-fictional, and Finnish, he could probably work this into an article for The Journal of Medical Ethics. Something like "A Moral Case for Differential Time Perception".