Thursday, February 24, 2011

Federalist View Of Wisconsin & National Politics Instructive

The Federalist No. 10

The Utility of the Union as a Safeguard Against Domestic Faction and Insurrection (continued)

Daily Advertiser

Thursday, November 22, 1787

[James Madison]

To the People of the State of New York:

AMONG the numerous advantages promised by a well constructed Union, none deserves to be more accurately developed than its tendency to break and control the violence of faction. The friend of popular governments never finds himself so much alarmed for their character and fate, as when he contemplates their propensity to this dangerous vice. He will not fail, therefore, to set a due value on any plan which, without violating the principles to which he is attached, provides a proper cure for it. The instability, injustice, and confusion introduced into the public councils, have, in truth, been the mortal diseases under which popular governments have everywhere perished; as they continue to be the favorite and fruitful topics from which the adversaries to liberty derive their most specious declamations. The valuable improvements made by the American constitutions on the popular models, both ancient and modern, cannot certainly be too much admired; but it would be an unwarrantable partiality, to contend that they have as effectually obviated the danger on this side, as was wished and expected. Complaints are everywhere heard from our most considerate and virtuous citizens, equally the friends of public and private faith, and of public and personal liberty, that our governments are too unstable, that the public good is disregarded in the conflicts of rival parties, and that measures are too often decided, not according to the rules of justice and the rights of the minor party, but by the superior force of an interested and overbearing majority. However anxiously we may wish that these complaints had no foundation, the evidence, of known facts will not permit us to deny that they are in some degree true. It will be found, indeed, on a candid review of our situation, that some of the distresses under which we labor have been erroneously charged on the operation of our governments; but it will be found, at the same time, that other causes will not alone account for many of our heaviest misfortunes; and, particularly, for that prevailing and increasing distrust of public engagements, and alarm for private rights, which are echoed from one end of the continent to the other. These must be chiefly, if not wholly, effects of the unsteadiness and injustice with which a factious spirit has tainted our public administrations.

So Let me translate that for those among you who have a problem understanding 18th century English uncorrupted by slang or Ebonics.
  • Lets start with the title The Utility of the Union as a Safeguard Against Domestic Faction and Insurrection .  In other words it is the Union, the Federal Government Madison is offering as a structural protection against the danger of Faction.  Today we could call either party  a faction, especially the unique coalition of Unions, Progressives and various assorted left wing nut jobs that control the modern Democratic party.
  • Political Parties are a "dangerous vice" causing mortal disease to governments historically. Keep in mind The Federalist Papers were written anonymously under the pseudonym "Publius" so the reference here is Rome where today the food may be great but the government, not so much, but I digress.
  • It would be an unforgivable oversight to pretend the Constitution would be expected to stand up in the face of  a partisan majority  imposing their their will on the Nation to the detriment of the common good. Things like passing health care reform by Reconciliation by a party line vote for example. Fairly sure Mr Madison would have considered the Obama care vote to be a modern example of political parties run amuck. The emergence of the tea party and the landslide midterms sweeping Republicans into power are an indication the people have grown weary of party politics.
  • The Wisconsin minority Democratic party left the building to allow time for the unions and the democratic party and even the Presidents campaign organization to marshall protesters and bus them in from neighboring states to march for the camera's.Bereft of the intellectual underpinnings to to have an intelligent debate on financial matters other state democratic minorities soon followed. The progressive logic is akin to your Dad saying "do as I say not as I do" when he cannot or will not explain something. Think of Michelle Obama preaching diet while her husband steals a smoke. By the way progressives are in the cannot group which is why they resort to emotion instead of reason and logic or principle.Expedience is the currency of faction.
  • The unsteadiness and injustice by which a factious spirit has invaded our government is clear each day in the electronic or print media. In 2009 the 912 Rallies had no coverage except on Fox and among bloggers like me.
  • In 2011 Governor Walker in Wisconsin is vilified and the protesters are all over the television,every night. In 2011 Twitter and Facebook play key roles for organizers in Tunisia and Egypt because they do not trust their state run media either.
  • Yesterday we were all treated to an announcement that the Obama administration would not enforce the Defense of Marriage Act as it was unconstitutional. Contrast that with the reaction to PPACA being declared unconstitutional when the adminsitration immediately declared implementation would be ongoing. 
  • Yesterday President Obama finally commented on the situation in Libya where Qaddafi has been killing thousands of Libyans for over a week to condemn the violence. Qaddafi who ordered PanAm 103 to be destroyed killing 270 people. Qaddafi who financed the 1972 Olympics and the 1986 Berlin disco bombing that targeted American servicemen. So much for the bully pulpit. Recall that Reagan bombed Tripoli after the linkage to Qadafi but I digress we do not have a war on terror anymore. How could we have a war on terror when the President mobilizes his own campaign organization to protest in battleground 2012 states where Republican Governors and legislatures are trying to solve serious fiscal budget shortfalls that he completely ignored with his 2012 budget. I wonder what James Madison would think of such behavior?

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