Bye, Bye Small Government: Hello Unlimited Government

Cato, an off and on commenter, left an anteresting thought on a post today. The post dealt with the recent passage of the New Richmond school referendum and how its success is being studied by other communities. Cato argues from the libertarian perspective and appears to embrace both the fiscal and social sides of the libertarian perspective. He can correct me, if I'm misstating his philosophical perspective.

When asked, in terms of government types, which "ism" or "ocracy" does he prefer, Cato wrote: "No 'ism' and no 'ocracy'. I advocate a Republic, which is what the Constitution initially created (it no longer exists), where there is no dominant factor (there is a democratic factor, yes, but it is offset by 'aristocratic', meritocratic, 'monarchic' factors and the like.) It is rule by law not by men (democracy)."

His comment reminded me of the following article I ran across in a copy of the American Enterprise magazine in the library at WITC in New Richmond. This magazine is published by the American Enterprise Institute. The American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research (AEI) is an extremely influential, pro-business right-wing think tank founded in 1943 by Lewis H. Brown. It promotes the advancement of free enterprise capitalism, and succeeds in placing its people in influential governmental positions. It is the center base for many neoconservatives.

I believe the article give useful insight into Cato's perspective. The article, by Christopher DeMuth, is titled "Unlimited Government." DeMuth provides his view of how our government has shifted away from small government and evolved into the expanding big government model we see today.

It was typical summertime in Washington last July—temperature in the 90s, humidity in the 80s—yet the living was anything but easy. President Bush announced on prime-time television his nomination of Judge John Roberts to the Supreme Court, and Congress and the entire capital city sprang briskly into action. The next morning, senators appeared before throngs of reporters to pronounce on the nominee’s qualifications, pundits and interest-group spokespeople hit the TV studios with their spins and admonitions, and lobbyists buzzed about the implications for their favorite legislative causes. By dinnertime the first responders had laid down the parameters for the confirmation battle to come, and the nation had begun to take the measure of the young jurist.

Thus began another national debate over the contemporary meaning of our Constitution—conducted over the airwaves and Internet and in the op-ed pages, culminating in Senate hearings in September where Judge Roberts was lectured and quizzed on Supreme Court case law by senators reciting from cue cards. But in many ways it was the sheer alacrity of the initial response rather than the substance of the ensuing legal arguments that said the most about current Constitutional practice. For the highly orchestrated announcement and responses took place during a season when, for much of American history and by deliberate design, Congress and the White House would have been closed for business and Washington deserted.

Thomas Jefferson played the pivotal role in choosing the site for our national capital, and selected what was essentially a malarial swamp. He had been in Paris when the Constitution was drafted, and he was not much impressed by its parchment provisions for limited government. So—anticipating the old dictum that “no man’s life, liberty, or property is safe while the legislature is in session”—Jefferson added a climatologic backstop. Long, miserable summers were to serve as a natural deterrent to the growth of our national apparatus.

Read more.


Best Government Republican Money Can Buy said...

Let's remember who Grover Norquist really is, and who his closest associates were:Jack Abromoff, Tom Delay, Rex Reid...
Why he's not on his way to jail is a mystery to me.
The kind of "limited" government these guys want is "limited" only by how much they are
willing to pay to buy their influence. These people represent the worst type of corruption
this country has ever seen.

Here's a short excert from Bill Moyer's documentary Capital Crimes that unravels the tangled web of deceit and corruption woven by Jack Abromoff, Tom Delay, Rex Reid AND
These people are criminals...

BILL MOYERS: The K Street Project paved the way for Jack Abramoff. The firm announced its new hire with a press release touting Abramoff's ties to the Republican National Committee, to the Christian Coalition headed by his old pal, Ralph Reed, and to the new leaders of the House, Newt Gingrich and Tom DeLay. But there was no one more indispensable to Abramoff's rise than Grover Norquist.

MICHAEL WALLER: They were probably about as inseparable as two political people can get. Jack had left Washington. He didn't have a day-to-day contact with his networks. So if Grover vouched for him, then Abramoff was fine.

BILL MOYERS: "What the Republicans need is fifty Jack Abramoffs," Norquist said. "Then this becomes a different town." So it did.

MICHAEL WALLER: If it wasn't for his relations with Grover Norquist, Jack Abramoff would never have been able to become the super lobbyist that he became, and to charge the huge rates that he charged because he had this unique relationship with certain Republican leaders.

BILL MOYERS: The hefty fees would enrich Abramoff. And he, in turn, would direct his clients to enrich the conservative political machine. One of his first was the wealthiest gambling tribe in America - the Mississippi Choctaw. To keep their huge casino earnings from being taxed, the tribe needed connections to the right people in Washington.

The full transcipt of Bill Moyers report "Capital Crimes" can be found at:

jpn said...

On the way work today, Frank Boyle, Democratic state senator from Superior, was on the Joy Cardin show on WPR talking about his resoultion calling for the impeachment of President Bush. He repeatedly pointed out the we are a nation of laws and, as elected representatives, they take an oath and swear to uphold the Constitution.

So Cato's comments seem to be echoed by at least on Democrat in the Wisconsin State legislature.

Cato said...

To take an oath on the Bible or on the Koran or on whatever you find holy, or whatever you find sacred and dear, and then to not follow that oath to uphold the Constitution and to then go ahead and actually go against the Constitution, is treason.

I don't know of a modern Democrat that has ever upheld their oath to the Constitution at the national level. I don't know many Republicans, either, and nearly all are out of power who have.

jpn said...


A couple of points:

1. There appears to be a lot of politicians talking about protecting the Constitution, but few actually attempting to do it. Since you can't name any Democrats that are actively holding up the Constitution, can you name any Republicans?

2. From the article here, I would say both political parties have climbed higher on the steps of treason's scaffold. Do you think this is the result of the evolution of political interpretation or is it a matter of the unwashed masses becoming more and more soiled with the dirt clods of diversion and getting expanding plugs of the earwax of ignorance?

3. Do you think the genie is out of the bottle and the tail lights of your iinterpretation of the Constitution are morphing into a form a government that resembles less and less of the original intent of the Founding Fathers?

Cato said...

1. Ron Paul

2. The problem is that many many people want to believe the lies they are told. They want to live their lives as easy as possible. They sacrifice freedom in exchange for a little security. They like the idea of mommy checking for monsters under the bed. They are afraid of looking themselves, afraid of what they might see. So they choose to believe that there are monsters under the bed and they need mommy to check. Mommy's good to them and gets big brother to beat up the monsters and keep them away. Keeps them safe. They don't want to look themselves to see.

3. I want a government that is held in check by the law. That is all.

Andy Rand said...

Cato said...

"To take an oath on the Bible or on the Koran or on whatever you find holy, or whatever you find sacred and dear, and then to not follow that oath to uphold the Constitution and to then go ahead and actually go against the Constitution, is treason."

If this is true, then shouldn't the penalty of death for treason be carried out?
And by whom, you and the other handful of faithful followers of the Constitution? The number of these treasonous offenders must be staggering. Are you preparing the gas chambers for these evil doers?

Cato said...

Some guy that one time wrote something said, "The tree of liberty must be refreshed, from time to time, with the blood of patriots and tyrants." I am preparing no gas chamber but I think all of this will come to a head within my lifetime, mainly because we are all headed for the poor house.

Ha! the word verification is "jpnpunk".

jpnpunk said...


That was Thomas Jefferson. I'm sure the he hangs on the libertarian side of the debate. But then again, I see the left and right embracing Tom Paine. I guess in the blogosphere where the battle revolves around the ability Google quotes and cut-n-paste them, you'll take which ever quotable call girl that fits your immediate needs.

Cato said...

I do not Google people's quotes like that. That quote is something I often use. I wasn't aware using a germane quote to illustrate your position was "tak[ing] which ever quotable call girl that fits your immediate needs".

Who cares who wrote it, it was just some dead white guy that doesn't matter anymore. All that matters is the present!