Nuked

Jonathan H. Adler at The Volokh Conspiracy writes:

Despite allowing the confirmation of judges for other courts, and one D.C. Circuit nominee, Republicans have continued to block Obama’s latest D.C. Circuit nominees. Now that Senate Republicans have … successfully filibustered five Obama nominees — the same number as Senate Democrats blocked with a filibuster (but half those for which cloture was initially defeated) — Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid wants to change the rules. According to several news reports, Senator Reid is prepared to invoke the so-called “nuclear option” and force through President Obama’s nominees on a party-line vote, perhaps as early as today. What this involves is making a parliamentary ruling that only a majority vote is required to end debate on a judicial nomination and then sustaining that decision with a majority vote. Some Senate Republicans threatened to take such a step during the Bush Administration, but backed off when a group of Senators from both parties forged a temporary deal to end the stand-off and avert the rule change.

The ‘nuclear option’ represents the clear admission that the division of powers is not only dead but spectacularly cremated, with judicial appointees formally reduced to partisan functionaries. It would thus signal the explicit demolition of the US Constitution. Since a wheezing travesty is worse than a corpse, even strong supporters of the constitutional principle should have few problems with this specific instance of incendiary termination.

America’s crisis of governance is hurtling to a conclusion far sooner than most sober commentators had imagined. As with so many other institutional questions posed in the hysterical phase of Left Singularity, there’s only one realistic response: Let it burn.

ADDED: It’s about jobs.

ADDED: “Democrats nuked the ratchet” (roughly my argument, but on MDMA).

November 21, 2013admin 19 Comments »
FILED UNDER :Political economy

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19 Responses to this entry

  • mailadreapta Says:

    Your articles always give me something to be cheerful about. A lovely instance of horrorism in action.

    [Reply]

    Kevin C. Reply:

    “something to be cheerful about”

    What’s there to be cheerful about? So the pretense of separation of powers goes away. So what? What does that do, besides free up the energy spent by the Cathedral maintaining the pretense, allowing that energy to instead be expended on the irreversible destruction of industrial civilization?

    [Reply]

    Posted on November 21st, 2013 at 5:17 pm Reply | Quote
  • Thales Says:

    …there’s only one realistic response: Let it burn.

    Ha! More infamous British understatement since the only alternative is to run head first into the mushroom cloud wielding a garden hose…

    [Reply]

    Posted on November 21st, 2013 at 8:24 pm Reply | Quote
  • Michael Says:

    ive thought before let them set the precedent of raw power them when the tables are turned do the same in spades just start arresting them for treason or public safety simply padlock half the government and station troops in the streets

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    That has to be roughly how it goes. There’s no possibility at all that someone even slightly right of center is going to respect a judicial decision made by naked apparatchiks, selected by communists, and pushed through a trashed constitutional system without checks. Law is clearly dead from that moment forward. Nothing remains but war, self-defense, and separation.

    [Reply]

    Kevin C. Reply:

    “when the tables are turned”

    Except they never will be. If there is ever another non-Democrat administration (unlikely), then it certainly won’t be the sort who does this. Remember that who the candidate is comes down to who the media says is “electable”, and what they pick are, of course, the likes of McCain and Romney. That is, establisment GOP jobbers who know that their purpose in DC is to put on a good show of (fake) opposition, maintain kayfabe (in this case, the illusion that elections matter), and then lose to the noble Democrat faces. The game is rigged. They’re doing this because they believe, correctly, that no one can stop them, that this will never be used against them.

    [Reply]

    Michael Reply:

    true dat my dark brother but strange things sometimes happen remember only 53% eligible are voting. The mideast seemed in a complete lockdown five years ago then some fruit cart vender catches one too many beatings buys himself a liter of petrol self immolates and next thing you know we have discovered a use for twitter.
    This is a two edged sword if you spend much time around immigrants black or Hispanic one thing you may discover but I suspect the left well knows is they have no qualms about Authoritarian rule, Being savages I suppose they recognize the necessity. We too are becoming acclimated though more through anarcho tyranny. Ironically there was a time when fifth graders understood the danger of expediency in politics, then a time when conservatives warned the left it would not always be in power.Obviously they knew something conservatives didnt. but Murphpys law is not subject to critical deeconstruction

    [Reply]

    Kevin C. Reply:

    “remember only 53% eligible are voting.”

    So what? As they say, if voting could change anything it would be illegal. In the words of William Magear Tweed, “I don’t care who does the electing, so long as I get to do the nominating”, and today, it is the Cathedral, through the portion known as the Press, that does the nominating. Any vote is, and will continue to be, between Cathedral candidate A and Cathedral candidate B.

    And further, the elected offices are an ever-smaller portion of the actual government. Read Foseti; the vast majority of actual ruling is done by unelected, unfireable bureaucrats, who’ve pretty much all gone to the same (Cathedral) schools, and act in lockstep. That’s one of the important things illustrated by the IRS scandal that most mainstream “conservatives” missed. The IRS didn’t need explicit orders from above to act against conservative groups; thanks to the ideological uniformity, and common worldview, such actions are spontaneously self-organizing emergent behavior.

    Yes, minority immigrants “have no qualms about Authoritarian rule.” That’s another reason the Left imports them, since any authoritarian rule coming will be authoritarian Cathedral rule. What we are seeing here is the Left, passive-agressive entryists for so long, slowly coming to realize that no viable opposition to them remains; and thus they are slowly lowering the mask, acting more and more directly as they come to see they are, in fact, free to do as they wish, since there’s no one left who can stop them.

    Posted on November 21st, 2013 at 9:34 pm Reply | Quote
  • Handle Says:

    I think we’re operating under very different definitions of ‘Constitutional Division of Power’.

    For starters, all that’s been changed is the degree of majority necessary for the Senate to confirm judges and top executive officers. Nothing in the Constitution says that it should be 60 votes instead of 50. Rule XXII is a fillibuster-busting convention with a history only going back to 1917. Back then you needed 66% of Senators for cloture, and in 1975 it was reduced to 60%. Did the separation of powers die in 1975? No.

    Executive officers have been partisan functionaries since the beginning, and judges clearly so for nearly a century. The most liberal, activist Justices of all time, such as Douglas, were appointed under the old system. The era of contentious judicial confirmations only really began with Bork anyway.

    The President could always appoint whoever he wants without delay so long as he has the requisite number of supporters from his own party in the Senate. Today that number was reduced from 60 to 50. It’s not a big deal. It just means that there is no requirement for cross-party appeal. In the normal-distribution political past, cross-party appeal was possible with a reasonably centrist professional. In today’s bimodal-distribution environment, one just gets perpetual paralysis.

    Anyway, if the Republicans, by magic, take back the Presidency and a bare majority of the senate, then it’s game-on tit-for-tat.

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    Division of powers can’t exist if one Compartment appoints officials of another, so it was always badly constructed. “Did the separation of powers die in 1975?” — it became a little clearer that it was already broken.

    The American system is ‘evolving’ towards a binary partisan structure, and that is radically unstable. Escalating “tit-for-tat” is the way it dies.

    [Reply]

    Handle Reply:

    I think that ignores the history of this process. Consider these examples:

    In 1986, Scalia, nominated by Reagan, and the most influential conservative Justice in a century, was unanimously confirmed by the Senate (53R / 47D). Ruth Bader Ginsberg, not as influential, but certainly the most liberal Justice, was nominated by Clinton, and was confirmed 96-3 (43R / 57D).

    Either could have been filibustered, and both with clear political ‘justification’ by present logic. But the tradition, until relatively recently, in American judicial appointment has been a deference to the President’s right to nominate whoever he wished, so long as they had the requisite legal qualifications.

    That understanding was disturbed with Bork, (and almost again with Thomas), the ceasefire resumed for a while, but has now permanently broken down.

    I say that making every nomination contentious, such that the numerology of filibustering becomes an issue, was the breakdown, and not the details of the numerology itself.

    No one ever interpreted such Article-I prerogatives as significant violations of ‘separation of powers’ principles, so long as there was no interfering influence subsequent to confirmation. Plenty of Republican Presidents were badly burned by their nominees, who turned out to betray their hopes at critical stages. Stevens for sure (nominated by ford and became the most prominent leftist on the Court), but also O’Connor, Souter, and Kennedy. To the extent they did their damage during other Republican administrations, it just goes to prove the separation of power and show their independence from any discipline.

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    I’m in total agreement with this historical sketch — why shouldn’t I be? An escalating bipolar conflict has swamped all traditional deference to intrinsic judicial expertise, exposing the inadequate safeguards of the constitutional mechanism. The truly depraved idea that a Sotomayor is qualified, while Bork wasn’t, says it all.

    nydwracu Reply:

    Brilliant. In a final stroke of poetry for a most unpoetic state, the process of its death began when it got borked.

    [Reply]

    Posted on November 21st, 2013 at 11:23 pm Reply | Quote
  • Robert Says:

    The American system is ‘evolving’ towards a binary partisan structure, and that is radically unstable. Escalating “tit-for-tat” is the way it dies.

    Just to be clear, this isn’t “TFT” in the normal Game-theoretical sense. That is an effective strategy for stabiliztion in mutual cooperation. This appears to me more like DC in the 1850s, or the last days of the Third Republic.

    Federal judges were certainly not Originally intended to have the kind of political power they currently exercise, which is why the appointments process is not very well designed for current conditions.

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    “Just to be clear, this isn’t “TFT” in the normal Game-theoretical sense.” — You’re right. It’s a Clauswitzean ‘tendency to the limit’ (simple binary circuit with positive links). You can’t escalate in PD.

    [Reply]

    Posted on November 22nd, 2013 at 2:31 am Reply | Quote
  • VXXC Says:

    Can’t escalate in PD – do you mean Powers Divided?

    In any case escalation in real life quite takes on a life of it’s own. And here we are…

    They can’t back down. They’re fighting over scraps of wealth that doesn’t exist, and who has the best chair or any chair when the music stops.

    There are several million people in the Beltway who are now scrambling for a chair, and the problem with a leaderless conspiracy of self interest is it can’t turn around or even turn away from the Star of Self Interest especially when that Star is increasingly the only path seen for survival . When the music stops there are consequences at last.

    Now Dear Admin if we can turn away for a moment – a blurb in the news. Reuters is not World Net Daily. People will pay over 100,000$ a month for the best of the Reuters news.

    JP Morgan was prepared to pay government workers checks during shutdown.

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/11/19/us-usa-fiscal-banks-warrooms-insight-idUSBRE9AI05P20131119

    Less reliable but probably true, JP Morgan is stockpiling gold bullion.

    Most interesting of all – for those who are new to the US Job market, since Jack Welch at least hiring Junior Military Officers has been considered best practice. Now hiring recent combat vets is quite considered patriotic.

    Finally – please excuse my dyslexic connections – do you know Veterans in NJ and Phile often have their own courts? Meaning a Judge and court for Vets “having issues adjusting” who’ve stumbled into less than heinous offenses…fighting for instance. I think it’s wonderful they would give Vets a break.

    Oh and they might just be considering they still will need us. There’s that too..how sweet.

    Veterans Courthouse
    50 West Market Street
    Newark, NJ
    Criminal Division
    Court Administration

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    Sorry for the obscurity — PD = Prisoner’s Dilemma (in reference to Robert’s correction).

    [Reply]

    Posted on November 22nd, 2013 at 5:33 pm Reply | Quote
  • VXXC Says:

    AH.

    The Prisoners Dilemma is solved by not betraying, that’s the real world answer. It works. I verify. Seriously. Don’t.
    —————————————————-
    Oh and that’s funny cuz some of us have less dilemmas. Because people are so sweet. When they need you.

    Veterans Courthouse
    50 West Market Street
    Newark, NJ
    Criminal Division
    Court Administration

    [Reply]

    Posted on November 22nd, 2013 at 11:44 pm Reply | Quote
  • Michael Says:

    Its true the real break came when judges started reading tea leaves without which we wouldnt care.As for PD can that work on so many levels. Heres how modern prisoners think.In the city of brotherly love some altruist has set up a twitter instagram wiki website where brothers in law enforcement like DAs office and PD can leak the files and pics of witnesses cause every brotha hates him a snitch. while relating this to an NYPD friend he scoffed at Philly and reported that in Gotham at role call every morning police are given the “code of the day” a way for police aiming guns at each other while one or more are not in uniform or undercover can quickly identify each other. Apparently WBLS our more senior black radio station has sources inside the PD and has been broadcasting the code every morning for decades. so even a couple a prisoners got options

    [Reply]

    Posted on November 23rd, 2013 at 2:35 pm Reply | Quote

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