If Confederalism is the tonic our nation needs, what can we do about it? We cannot, and ought not try to, throw away the Constitution. But there is nothing wrong with creating a political movement which clearly states the benefits to everyone from a partial restoration of Confederalism. There is a broad consensus among Americans that Washington, which today more resembles the London which colonies faced in 1776 than the capital of a United States, is profoundly wasteful and destructive of liberties. The argument that citizens of a state and the elected officials who live where the voters live are much better guardians of government than rich, powerful, arrogant Washingtonians, is the sort of argument which can be made anywhere, even in states whose citizens might prefer socialism or secular humanism. [What I do know is that the less power we cede to Washington, the more likely we will flourish! - JS]
A Temporary Majority
Looking back over the last decade, it is hard to conclude that American politics looks as it did in the first decade of the 1900s or the 1930s, when one party had a decisive advantage. Instead, it looks much more like the period from 1876 to 1894, or 1966 to 1982. These were times of great social and economic tumult. The public responded back then much as it has recently, changing the partisan composition of government time and again in the hope of finding some combination of leaders who can manage the affairs of state.
As long as so many in the country are so deeply dissatisfied with the state of the union, neither party’s position is secure. And it is an open question whether the Democrats of 2013 even have the capacity to address our most pressing problem, continued economic weakness.
America’s Opportunity for All:
Heritage’s new plan that we have been highlighting all week, includes rebuilding constitutional self-government. Some sensible steps include:
- Policymakers should execute the law, not simply make it up. The President, judges, and Members of Congress all take oaths to uphold the Constitution in carrying out the responsibilities of their offices. That means the President should appoint, and the Senate should use its advice and consent role to confirm, only constitutionally faithful judges. Also, judges increasingly seek to impose their own policy preferences on the nation. Candidates and officeholders should promote robust debate regarding the importance of approving constitutionalist judges.
- Reverse the explosion of federal criminal law. Congress must halt the overcriminalization rampage and begin to eliminate vague, overbroad criminal offenses that punish individuals who, without criminal intent, violate one of these innumerable federal statutes.
- Dismantle the administrative state. Administrative agencies and vast bureaucracies operate as an unelected fourth branch of government. Congress should reassert its authority by taking responsibility for all laws and regulations that govern us.
- Build support for limited government. For too long, Congress has passed massive laws written behind closed doors, filled with arcane cross-references that most Members of Congress neither read nor understand. Our leaders should legislate clearly and openly. Each House of Congress should adopt a rule requiring the public posting of the text of each bill and major amendment not less than 72 hours before floor debate on that bill or amendment.
- Encourage federalism. Work with state legislatures and governors, especially to slow the implementation of Obamacare and instead develop real health care solutions that work
GAMING US! Durbin Admits Obama Sequestration Was “Designed as a Budget Threat, Not a Budget Strategy” http://bit.ly/YkcRJk
After repeatedly ignoring unemployment, Obama seeks to convince Americans it’s his top priority http://bit.ly/Xwtfpk
Against the Ghetto Plantation > Douglass vs. Obama http://bit.ly/Yk9cLz
Another Hypocritical Leftist Caught with His Hand in the Tax-Haven Cookie Jar http://bit.ly/VOfKqW
King Obama to Congress: I’ll decide what’s constitutional http://bit.ly/11xPbss