How the death of federalism has affected understanding of the Bill of Rights

Debate over the Constitution has devolved over the past couple of centuries from an eloquent discourse, sometimes sophistic, to petty academic quibbling over whether emphasis on the Bill of Rights belongs to the powers denied the federal government or to those unenumerated and left in the hands of the states and people. The context of this latter position has been further obliterated since New Deal days as a shift in Constitutional interpretation has emphasized the…

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Ideologues are the true moderates

Modern American discourse puts a primacy on compromise. This is measured, not by any sort of real rationality, but simply in an absurdist numbers game where conciliatory parties from all sides of the debate are balanced against each other. This faux “unity” becomes the standard of merit for social and political action. Those who oppose are labelled impediments to progress and looked on with disdain. For they stand against basic civility, and the development of…

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The evolving debate over personality versus structure in government failure

Anyone who’s ever taken a basic civics class is familiar with the idea that the Founding Fathers drafted the Constitution in response to the systemic weaknesses of the Articles of Confederation. The lies vaunted leaders such as George Washington and James Madison told the public at the time about the Philadelphia Committee simply reforming, rather than replacing, the Articles are justified by the supposed exigency which existed in the federal government’s ability to respond to…

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The death of the substantive election

Electoral politics is a bitter pill to swallow for many Americans, but for the policy wonks whose lives are in hammering out the minutiae on weighty issues like trade deficits, the raising of interest rates by the Federal Reserve and the merits of a value-added tax over the progressive income tax, accepting that such things are never going to be a part of main-stream political debate is especially trying. This election- devoid of even the…

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Funneling money to rogue regimes is always immoral

The reason the Obama administration funneled $400 million to Iran, notorious as a state-sponsor of terror and serial abuser of human rights, is irrelevant; the action is immoral. There can be no moral equivocating about goods offsetting bads in this action. Even if this were a ransom payoff- which the president has vociferously denied- there is nothing to celebrate in the winning of freedom for any other reason than the contrite recognition of their innocence.…

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The notion that Hillary’s nomination helps me as a woman is degrading

There‚Äôs been a lot of talk of glass ceilings this week as Hillary Clinton became the first female nominee for president in American history, and a lot of positive messaging to little girls that this somehow represents the righting of some great injustice which will somehow make their dreams for the future more attainable. As a 23-year-old woman with a lifelong obsession with all things political, I find this particular line of rhetoric puerile and…

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Elections are not about partisan unity

Elections are not about unity. They are about competing ideas of right and wrong vying for resonance with the populace. They are about individuals exerting their conscience and branding their interests on the way government functions. They are about local actors reminding the federal government that power flows from the bottom up under the American construction of federalism. Coalitions are an end-run to this system, a way of sidestepping the deep and serious issues facing…

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