Discover more from bad cattitude
setting the stage for your own execution
why coyote's law is the one you NEVER want to violate
the world is full of truly terrible plans masquerading as good ideas because people fail to consider their second and third order effects.
and it helps to always consider what you might be setting up.
this is why i’m such a fan of “coyote’s law” coined by longtime gatopal™ warren meyer of coyoteblog fame.
i shall paraphrase:
“before granting any new power or prerogative to the state, first imagine that power wielded by the politician you hate most, because one day it will be.”
simple, easy, right to the point. if you cannot trust THEM with it, do not take it for yourself.
no power is ever used once or by only one side. everyone gets a turn and when the response to THEM doing something that outrages YOU is for YOU to grab more power so you can stop THEM, guess what THEY are gonna do to YOU using the authority YOU vested in their office when next THEY are in charge?
this is the losingest bet in the world for a rights based republic. this “i must take the power so i can protect you from them" schtick is great politics but it’s also the engine that drives the one way ratchet of rights encroachment that strangles you to serfdom.
and it could not be more backwards.
it’s literal self harm and empowers the uniparty to ever greater depredations to fight the last set of outrages and necessitate the next.
it’s a one way ticket to tyranny.
you cannot fix big government with bigger government or overconcentration of power with greater power concentration.
you’re just setting yourself up to get creamed when power shifts.
and then they will ask for even more power that you will eventually have to wrest away from them and on and on world without end.
it’s as seductive as it is stupid.
MY guy will use this power for good!
but any power that is only safe if the “right” people posses it is no power your want government anywhere near.
having laid out this framing, let’s take a look at this new plan that so many seem to excited about.
how does this stand up to coyote’s law?
yeah, not so well, huh?
hell, even the NYT seems basically good with it (probably because they know their side will one day wield these powers.)
it’s enticing stuff and fits with many agendas if you play on one move lookahead and would generally lose tic tac toe to a chicken.
Mr. Trump and his associates have a broader goal: to alter the balance of power by increasing the president’s authority over every part of the federal government that now operates, by either law or tradition, with any measure of independence from political interference by the White House, according to a review of his campaign policy proposals and interviews with people close to him.
Mr. Trump intends to bring independent agencies — like the Federal Communications Commission, which makes and enforces rules for television and internet companies, and the Federal Trade Commission, which enforces various antitrust and other consumer protection rules against businesses — under direct presidential control.
He intends to strip employment protections from tens of thousands of career civil servants, making it easier to replace them if they are deemed obstacles to his agenda. And he plans to scour the intelligence agencies, the State Department and the defense bureaucracies to remove officials he has vilified as “the sick political class that hates our country.”
to be sure, there are real problems here.
these agencies and their agents have become an entrenched, permanent state as powerful as it is unremovable.
getting a handle on it and removing it would represent a massive return toward the basic ideas of limited government.
but is this the way to do it?
i have grave doubts.
giving the already absurdly overpowered american executive branch MORE power to curtail this “deep state” might work for a minute, but then what?
what happens in 4 years when someone new gets to take this new set of capabilities out for a spin?
for those who would be happy to see trump wield this, how would you feel about hilary clinton or gavin newsom or who knows who else?
you still good with “gets to tell the FCC what to do and fire all the intel community spooks and FBI apparatchiks and replace them with their own people?”
because i suspect that’s going to sound pretty horrible to you.
and this is why i do not want ANYONE to have this power and why i think you should not want it either.
this will go horribly, rancidly wrong.
vote for this and you’re going to wind up being the guy that pissed his pants to try to stay warm on a freezing night.
30 seconds later, you’ll really wish you hadn’t done that…
if you want to roll back the technocratic goonsquad, then do it.
eliminate whole fricking agencies.
bulldoze their offices to rubble or sell them off for condos.
ban them from existence and establish rights in their place.
grant more power to states and localities to resist them.
anything but hand more unaccountable power to the oval office flavor of the quadrennial.
that’s just going to set off yet another outrage escalation as each new president runs wholesale roughshod over the agencies that affect your life and the ping pong of back and forth on theories of how and whom these agencies should proscribe and persecute oscillate between poles and make america as unlivable.
how can anyone possibly plan for the future when everything endlessly hinges on one hard to predict throw of the dice? you can’t. that way madness lies and if you think these moralizing amoralists are playing dirty now, wait until you dangle this kind of power in front of them.
a unitary executive is not a solution for overmuch deep state power. it’s just the greater accumulation of power into hands already holding a surfeit of it.
this is not the trail to freedom. it’s the train-tracks to tyranny.
there will be no good choices in a system like this, just ever intensifying attempts to justify taking more because of the awful things the last folks did with a bit less.
that’s no answer and good intentions are cold comfort when you wind up on a path like this…