Dienstag, Januar 26, 2010

A Question Best Left Unanswered...

This caught my eye in today's WSJ's Best Of The Web Today from James Taranto.

You'll have scroll down a bit: it's about campaign financing.

The killer quote:

In other words, as a result of the Watergate-era campaign finance restrictions, it is now settled law that congressmen are sufficiently corruptible that they can't be trusted with campaign donations of more than a few thousand dollars.

I dare say that this is a widely-held opinion, given the rate at which those serving in Congress are caught taking bribes, having money that they can't account for (in their freezers to keep it from spoiling, no doubt) and generally behaving like, well, Congresscritters.

Is there a wonder why Congress is held in such contempt? Check the polls about the standing of Congress, and it is surprising that even 10% of people think favorably of Congress. The only institution that can change this is... the American people, by voting the corrupt bastards (and bitches) out of office. Corruption has reached a point where only a moral revolt against the excesses of the 1968 generation can clean the stables, so to speak, of the muck that has accumulated. While I see the Republican sins as sins of venal men, weak and corruptible, I see the Democrats as having dedicated themselves to large-scale sinning, as we've seen with the whole sub-prime crisis, more than happy to have the US taxpayer pick up the bill for Congress' sins.

But what James Taranto says is particularly relevant:

Which raises the question: How can they be trusted with our tax dollars?

The answer, of course: they can't be.

Government in general can never be trusted: that is one of the reasons why the US constitution is such a subversive document. It says that people can criticize the government, that the government can't disarm them, that the government has only those rights explicitly given to them and all other rights belong to the people, not the government.

That is why we have a Republic with a written constitution that requires a lot of work to change. It's the best defense against the tyranny of the majority and the tyranny of a government that has all the rights except those it deigns to grant its citizens.

I've said it before and I'll say it again: the US Constitution is the most subversive document ever published. With it, citizens can deny tyrants and the corrupt from taking over the system, and the system of checks and balances has, as we've recently seen, even worked when only one part of the system refuses to countenance the sins of the other two.

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