Borepatch: Arturus Rex

Over at Borepatch there’s this very thought-provoking post called Arturus Rex in which he parallels the (devoutly to be wished) fall of the “Progressive Agenda” with the fall of Rome, with the part of the Barbarian Hordes being played in this production by various state governors:

But that’s not what makes me optimistic. Yes, the Elites are weak; that’s not enough. It needs local barbarian chiefs to decide that it only takes a small step, to gain local advantage. We’re seeing this already happening. a dozen governors telling the Fed.Gov to get stuffed about firearms laws, and that the Interstate Commerce Clause doesn’t apply to commerce purely within their state.

And I was really getting into this cool, erudite article, really extremely interesting and I recommend it.

Until he had to go and spoil it for me, right at the very end.

But we have to get out and vote, to reward this sort of decentralizing effort and punish business as usual. That’s why it’s so critical to vote incumbents out. Voltaire said it a quarter millennium ago: Dans ce pays-ci, il est bon de tuer de temps en temps un amiral pour encourager les autres.

In this country, it is wise to kill an admiral from time to time to encourage the others. Replace “kill” with “vote out” and “admiral” with “Senator”, and you’ve got the words, and the music.

This, I don’t buy. And for my rebuttal I offer an incident in much more recent history than the fall of Rome, the cynical betrayal that was the Contract With America. Meet the new boss! Same as the old boss!

Now if he means concentrate on State politicians, to encourage the ones who thumb their noses at Washington and punish/remove the ones who don’t, he might have a point. I agree with what appears to be his premise, that the apparently growing States Rights movement is a very interesting and possibly even positive development. But I’m continually perplexed by obviously intelligent and thoughtful people who still (bitterly?) cling to the fantasy that we’re going to vote our way out of this, when time after time we see that the right bastards are every bit as hard on our liberties as the left bastards, and vice versa. Was Newt Gingrich easier to love than Tom Foley? Or George Bush than Bill Clinton? You’d have to be awfully right-wing to answer in the affirmative. There’s not a one of them that’s worth a trip to a voting booth. And even when you go to the polls to vote against one of them, as so many people do, all you get for your pain is another one that looks just like him.

No, I’m sorry. Fascinating post, but I just don’t buy the conclusion.

ETA: Now, if we could vote for “None of the Above,” and if he gets the most votes he WINS, I’d be there early and often.

About Joel

You shouldn't ask these questions of a paranoid recluse, you know.
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2 Responses to Borepatch: Arturus Rex

  1. Borepatch says:

    Very interesting post, and you’re absolutely correct that there are many ways for things to go off the rails.

    However, a million people took to the streets last year to protest the current system. For everyone who got out to the village green, there are ten or twenty who didn’t. That’s the core that the new generation of politicians are reaching out to.

    Will some of them go rogue? Sure. Will some get coopted by the old system? Sure. That’s why it’s our job to keep voting them out until enough get more scared of us than they are tempted by the old.

    If we vote enough of them out, and do it again, and do it again, we will break them to our will.

    Remember, Lincoln had to fire a lot of generals until he found one that would fight. Then the war was over.

  2. Spot-on, Joel.

    I’ve a relative that’s been afflicted by the Tea Party virus and that’s about all he can offer – vote ’em out. Then when he reflects on his choice between McCain and Hayworth – I’ll mention Deakins (iirc – the guy who appeared to answer Codrea’s Gun Rights Questionnaire so well). Then the relative says that he doesn’t want to ‘waste his vote’ on an unlikely contender…

    Voting implies consent – and that’s just not where my head and heart are at. I’d like for folks to assume some responsibility for their respective predicaments (instead of thinking in terms of appointed political leaders) – but I’m sure not holding my breath waiting for that to happen!

To the stake with the heretic!