Wednesday, February 08, 2006

You tell him, John

Were it not for our friends at Chicago Boyz, I wouldn't have known about John McCain's scathing letter to Barak Obama. McCain isn't exactly my favorite, but I can admire a man when he speaks bluntly, especially with a heavy dose of sarcasm. As a political cynic, I dislike the nearly sanctimonious "civility" that Washingtonians generally display.

As I noted in a comment to the Chicago Boyz entry, McCain's letter reminds me of Captain Sheridan's speech in Babylon 5's second season conclusion:
I apologize. I'm sorry. I'm sorry we had to defend ourselves against an unwarranted attack. I'm sorry that your crew was stupid enough to fire on a station filled with a quarter million civilians, including your own people. And I'm sorry I waited as long as I did before I blew them all straight to hell! [Here he muses to himself] As with everything else, it's the thought that counts.
Obama's reply was civil but not even defensive, except for a "I have no idea what you're talking about" tone.

There's a very straightforward way to get rid of lobbyists and almost every trace of "the culture of corruption" in Washington. Though it may not appear the easiest (either to implement or for Americans to swallow), it is the simplest in that it is the most straightforward:

Limit the federal government to its Constitutional limits.

The pork barrel politics (see this at Don Luskin's blog for how it works, it's sickening), partisanship and corruption would be nearly nonexistent had we only listened to Jefferson's wisdom: "In questions of power, then, let no more be heard of confidence in man, but bind him down from mischief by the chains of the Constitution." I have said before that the problem is not with the special interests, but that the federal government usurps so much unconstitutional power and thus encourages the special interest groups (the plunderers perverting the law) to form.

If Congress were held to its strict Constitutional limits, we wouldn't need the current House proposal to ban all paid trips. I personally think it's a bad idea to ban all trips, because a scant few are legitimate and not meant to seek special favors. But if Congress' hands are tied as it's held to its strict Constitutional powers, its members could be wined and dined by every lobbyist in town, and at the end of the day it wouldn't matter a whit.

Nobody bats an eye when someone like a California Democrat in the state legislature says, "To hell with the Constitution!" For once I'd like someone to say, "To hell with that, it's against the Constitution!" -- and mean it out of sincerity, not politics. Democrats are suddenly interested in "civil liberties," and certainly the sans-warrant NSA wiretapping is dangerous and unconstitutional, but God grant that voters see the real reason Democrats are attacking President Bush.

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