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June 29, 2015

We're Living In The United States Of Calvinball. It's Time The Right Got In The Game.

"Other kids' games are all such a bore!
They've gotta have rules and they gotta keep score!
Calvinball is better by far!
It's never the same! It's always bizarre!
You don't need a team or a referee!
Excerpt from the Calvinball theme song"

The imaginary game from the great Calvin and Hobbes comic strip series seems eerily like what liberals have made of what is supposed to be our constitutional republic.

The right is behind in this game because we don't want to admit we're playing it but we are. I'll admit I'm late to the game. While I still don't think it's time to go full Obama it is time to embrace a hybrid game that allows us to live within the Constitution while fighting back. Well, we could if there was a party willing to play for us.

Let's pretend for a moment the GOP wakes up one morning and realizes it stands for something beyond "win seats, hire loyalists, and pay consultants" (hey it's Calvinball, anything is possible), what would want them to do?

Assuming there is a GOP Congress and President come 2017 there are a few things they can do that would shake up the fundamental nature of our current political system while still staying with the Constitutional system we cherish.

1- Eliminate the filibuster.
It is neither ordained by God nor required by the Constitution. Mostly what it serves to do is lock Democratic wins into place and make it impossible for conservatives to pass anything.

The GOP has never held a filibuster proof majority in the Senate so it's not a positive tool for passing things and locking them in. Yes, the Democrats will some day have a majority and pass spectacularly horrible things but they do that anyway. All the filibuster really does is make it easier for liberal Republicans to collaborate with Democrats to create and save programs.

Removing the filibuster would create a balance of terror that is lacking now. Democrats know they can pass programs and there's nothing the GOP can do in response. Make them fear what the next GOP majority will pass when they are helpless.

Once the filibuster is gone, what should the GOP do?

2- Create two or four new Supreme Court seats.
Yes, pack the court to the gills. Again, there's nothing magical about having nine justices at a time. If the Court is going to serve as a Super-Legislature it should be larger.

Liberals want to play games and make SCOTUS the center of the government, fine. That's there move now it's our turn to play come Calvinball and change the rules.

Harry Reid nuked the filibuster to pack the DC Court of appeals so the precedent,
not that government by Calvinball requires one, has been set. Game on.

None of the new justices should be older than 50 or so and all should be
unabashed conservatives. They don't even have to be lawyers. Justice Charles C.W. Cooke has a nice ring to it, no?

3- Eliminate withholding.
Again, there's nothing sacred about the way we collect our taxes. If people want big, crushing government, fine. Make them feel it and let them see how much it costs them.

I think hiking taxes is bad policy and economics but it can be good politics, so if as a sop to independents and even Democrats I'd support a 15 or 20% surcharge on the net worth of the top 1% to sweeten the pot. The "donor class" has been spending lots of money pushing big government types. Fine, pony up even more.

4- Repeal ObamaCare and a whole host of other laws.
Hey it's Calvinball, you can do whatever you want! Have at it.

Will the GOP, especially a Mitch McConnell led Senate, do any of these things? No.

Even if the GOP wins the presidency, the Senate majority will probably be smaller. Faced with the usual mid-term losses of the party in power, McConnell will retreat even further into a shell to protect his useless members. For them, it's about winning to stay in office,, not to do anything with those wins.

Even if the GOP was willing to "pack the Court" there's no reason to believe a GOP President wouldn't just appoint a bunch of Souter, Kennedy and Roberts types.

Could all of this backfire at some point in the future even if it payed dividends in the short and/or medium term? Sure but we know for a fact that if we keep playing by the rules of the game as they exist we'll lose more now AND in the future.

I understand these ideas are not temperamentally conservative. One should not rush to throw old systems away on a whim. The problem is the old systems we love have been thrown away. We simply need to accept that.

Everything I've advocated, while disruptive are within the bounds of the Constitution. They don't require us to ignore laws or invent new rights. We just need to be willing to take advantage of the moves we are allowed to make now.

But the GOP will do none of this. They will either promise you unattainable Constitutional amendments or suggest you meekly assent to liberal usurpations.

And my guess is, that will be good enough for most conservatives.

Enjoy the decline. But hey...Go GOP, right?


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posted by DrewM. at 10:33 AM

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