Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Power Vending Versus Power Lusting

The three big stories of yesterday were, of course, the Supreme Court's nullification of Title V of the Voting Rights Act; the Obama speech promising executive action against "carbon pollution;" and the Senate's passage of its version of immigration reform. The threads running through these events are all blood-red.

The Court's decision in Shelby County v. Holder, while novel in terms of legal reasoning -- how can an Act have been Constitutional in 1965 but no longer today, when there have been no relevant amendments to the Constitution in the interim? -- is a sensible one. Chief Justice John Roberts, writing for the five-vote majority, put it thus:

"Congress — if it is to divide the states — must identify those jurisdictions to be singled out on a basis that makes sense in light of current conditions. It cannot rely simply on the past."

Indeed. A federal law that discriminates among the states, conceding the sovereignty of some while invading and abridging that of others, must produce a valid reason for doing so: specific criteria that can be objectively applied. If conditions change, the criteria must be re-evaluated; else justice will not be served.

The reactions from the Left are, of course, quite the contrary. Some of them amount to "democracy died last night" whining of the sort we heard after the effort to recall Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker was defeated. A couple hint at a race war to come...fallaciously, of course, as there can be no doubt what the outcome of such a conflagration would be. Beneath those plaints lies a most unsavory motivation: the use of Title V to prevent the affected states from redistricting in light of the 2010 census, which would result in the elimination of some "majority-minority" Congressional districts upon which the Democrats rely for seats in the House of Representatives.

Power is always the explanation when the professional mouthpieces begin to spray spittle.

I trust few will disagree when I say that Barack Hussein Obama is a man who dislikes to be thwarted. Most of us find it irksome, of course, but The Won regards it as an offense against every law of God and Man. At least, that's the way he reacts.

Obama's "war on coal" speech has drawn enough commentary about its economic and environmental fatuity that I need say no more about that. But we've known for a while that The Won isn't truly concerned about either the American economy or the cleanliness of the air and water. These are merely sticks with which to beat his adversaries. Obama makes all sorts of deceitful claims about both, trusting that his supporters will accept them on his say-so and despise those eeeeeevil Republicans even more for daring to disagree.

Obama's promised "carbon pollution" initiative will open the door to a radical expansion of the variety of cronyism we saw in the Administration's promotion of electric automobiles and solar electrical power. Power generating firms politically connected to the Obama regime will get waivers from the EPA's new regulations; those that refuse to kowtow to The Won will be cast into the outer darkness, where there is the weeping and the gnashing of teeth. Thus, there will arise an EPA-centered redistribution of the power generation industry. Indeed, depending on the precise wording of the new regulations, the redistribution might apply to electrical power itself, hobbling disfavored businesses by denying them kilowatt-hours. This will sharply increase the incentives for Big Business to align with the Left.

The opportunity to discriminate politically in this fashion is what Obama most values. Don't imagine for a moment that he cares about the economic carnage that will ensue. His priorities, as he's made perfectly clear, are "to reward our friends and punish our enemies."

Few political subjects have elicited as much Sturm und Drang as the debate over illegal immigration. It's conceded by all sides that the current situation should be redressed. It's conceded by most that to round up and expel the estimated 11 million illegal aliens within America's borders is probably impossible and would certainly occasion much expense and suffering. But one side of the debate wants to fix the conditions that gave rise to the problem; the other wants to open the spigots even wider.

The Democrats can do virtually nothing to conceal their true agenda. They want the complete normalization -- all the way to citizenship -- of those 11 million illegals, and to import still more behind them. They see the Hispanic wave as the means to a permanent Democrat majority, providing them with enduring, unchallengeable control of the federal government. Any nonsense about "breaking up families" or "compassion" is mere window dressing. Indeed, some open-borders advocates are almost candid about it.

Unfortunately, there are Republicans -- nominal conservatives -- who fantasize along the same lines.

This displacement of fidelity to Constitutional law, the national interest, and personal ethics by the lust for increased power has reached the point where one no longer needs to wait for a politician to say "Trust me" before suspecting him of villainy. It has become irrefutable that there is no honor in either of the major political parties, though individual statesmen still stand above the rest. But the parties control the electoral process; therefore, all prospects for an electoral rescue of the Constitution of the United States have passed their expiration dates and must, regretfully, be relegated to the realm of fiction.

The time has come for a reorientation of our people: a redefinition of greatness:

The possession of power over others is inherently destructive both to the possessor of power and to those over whom it is exercised. And the great man of the future, in distinction from the great man of the past, is he who will seek to create power in people, and not gain power over them. The great man of the future is he who will refuse to be great at all, in the historic sense; he is the man who will literally lose himself, who will altogether diffuse himself in the life of humanity. -- George Herron

There are vanishingly few exemplars of this sort among us today. The desire for adulation is near to universal. Our great industrialists tend to be self-promoters; the typical captain of industry certainly doesn't strive to "literally lose himself," or "altogether diffuse himself in the life of humanity." Most cultural and religious figures suffer from the same virus.

Nevertheless, there have been a few, though most lived in ages well behind us. Perhaps we can make more: men who create power in others, rather than striving to exalt themselves over the rest of us.

More anon.

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