• "God invented war so Americans could learn geography" -- Mark Twain.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Hillary's Inner Goldwater

Recoiling from her victory in Iowa, Hellary Clinton lashed out at Bernie Sanders saying,

Our founders knew if we were going to survive as the great democracy they were creating we would have to have a system that kept the passions at bay ...”

Oh! the progressivity!  What “the Founders" knew is that if they were to survive as a ruling class they had to keep the populace at bay. Anyone who has gone to law school or studied U.S. political history must know that the Federalist Convention of 1788 was a pre-emptive counter-coup by the conservative elements who feared those populist, democratic movements they called "mobocracy."

There were a several factors which impelled the newly sovereign states toward a “more perfect union.” Among them,  intra-state jealousy which made the newly minted “republics” susceptible to being played off against one another by some foreign power. Settlement of claims and access to credit was another.  But the chief concern was democratic radicalism among single family farmers, indentured servants and a growing number of young, illiterate under-employed hired hands.  

James Madison put it succinctly in Federalist Paper 10, in which he famously discussed the inflamed passions of political factions,

"But the most common and durable source of factions has been the various and unequal distribution of property. Those who hold and those who are without property have ever formed distinct interests in society."

Madison went on to say that while “the causes of faction cannot be removed, ... relief is only to be sought in the means of controlling its effects.” 

Controlling the “effects” of the lower classes was  the principal purpose of the “more perfect union.”

The Federalists succeeded admirably. They resurrected House of Lords (the Senate) and gave it effective veto over the lower popular House. If that didn't work, they concocted a judicial form of Curia Regis, to veto anything that might get by the Senate. From the Holy Roman Empire, they borrowed an Electoral College to insure that no passionate leader would ever really be elected president without approval from the better, cooler class. They dressed up institutional deadlock as "checks and balances" and packaged the whole reactionary affair as "the world's first and best democracy."

Even States’ rights got into the act; for it has always been assumed and understood that the States themselves would be the first line of defense in “handling their own.”  Over and over throughout the course of U.S. history movements for national, popular reform have been broken on the rock of state sovereignty — or “federalism” as it is sometimes called.

On the other hand, the “imperative” of national (“interstate”) commerce got trucked out whenever the issue concerned the facilitation of railroads, industrial development, corporate rescue or the promotion of more innovative financial “products.” The entire premise of F.D.R’s  “national regulation” was implicit in Gibbons v. Ogden, 22 U.S. 1 (1824)  and  in the Lexicon of Doubletalk that regulates political discourse, “regulation” includes the granting of privileges and immunities to corporate capital. 

The Oxford Companion to the Supreme Court frankly (and correctly) dubbed F. D. Roosevelt’s reforms as National Capitalism.   But the truth is that national capitalism was always the American Agenda.  When  Calvin Coolidge said that the “business of America is business” he was not being polemical but laconically factual.

Hillary knows all of this  and is perfectly content with it.   She is more than content with the "super-delegate" system which gives 12 to  20 percent of primary and convention votes to unelected delegates, appointed on the basis of their status as "party officials" and "friends of the establishment."  Her unmistakable allusion to Madison's essay on controlling the impulses of political passions could not be more clear.  Anyone who knows Hillary knows that keeping the populace at bay is what she has always been about.

This is the same shameless Hillary who just last Fall was gushing over how much she admired Eleanor Roosevelt... you know that passionate advocate of the not-so-well-off.  But at last Hellary’s Inner Goldwater has burst out.  It could not be repressed forever.   Hopefully people will not forget it in favor of the bullshit she puts on a plate.