Yesterday, the following arrived from my old Air Force buddy and flight lead, FASTFAC, regarding the video clip of Prof. Richard Epstein that had appeared on these pages:
Liked the Epstein commentary. Since there appears to be more than one knowledgeable person out there who can “plain speak” (about) the flaws in our massive legislative avalanche, then (this) question…why aren’t these people, with their very same statements (such as Prof. Epstein) appearing on Conservative as well as Liberal talk shows…well, Conservative anyway? Don’t we need a broad voice of understanding presented to the “people” as to what is happening? People with advanced degrees might be “suspicious/agenda oriented” to most of the populace, but there appear to (be) many who can do “basic communicating.”
Well, the fact is that Prof. Epstein may be seen and appreciated in any number of venues, but certainly not on liberal or conservative “talk shows.” Reason magazine produced a video interview of him in November of 2010 titled “Richard Epstein on Barack Obama, his former Chicago Law Colleague.” On five occasions he has also appeared, solo or with another legal scholar, on the Hoover Institution’s “Uncommon Knowledge” series. But no, you won’t find him anywhere in or on the mainstream media unless it’s as an object of derision or scorn. In fact, one of our esteemed legislators, I can’t recall whom or the specific circumstance, though I’m fairly sure he was a Democrat, once scowled to the effect that he couldn’t understand how or why anyone would believe anything that this crazy guy had to say. How’s that as an indication of Congressional intellectual prowess?
However, the reason behind Prof. Epstein’s conspicuous absence from the more widely disseminated venues designed to influence public opinion is simple – misdirection. You certainly can’t have him clarifying things and expect to sell an agenda carefully crafted to achieve other than its advertised purpose and saddled with dubious ancestry. This is even truer of the Republican establishment than it is of the progressive Democrats. The Democrats may be totally “full of it” when it comes to the value, effectiveness, and consequences of their class warfare endeavors, but they sure don’t keep secret what they intend doing. It may all be nonsense but, by golly, you will see progress. On the other hand, as Mark Twain might express it, the Republicans are always talking about “smaller government” but never really do anything about it.
Here’s what Mr. Jeffrey Lord has to say about that:
THE AMERICAN SPECTATOR
The GOP Establishment shell game: when winning is losing.
“Clark is a wonderful fellow. In a day when many are seeking a reward for what they contributed to the return of the Democrats to the White House, you don’t hear Clark clamoring. All he asked in return was that we advertise his law firm on the backs of one-dollar bills.” — John F. Kennedy on Washington lobbyist and ex-Truman aide Clark Clifford
What can one say?
Is there any wonder Tea Party supporters think they are always in danger of being played?
In a Republican Establishment shell game.
[a really BIG snip, be sure to read it all]
Because, in one form, fashion or another, the Establishment recognizes instantly that these people — and millions of others — are dead serious. The Tea Party is serious. Rush is serious. Hannity is serious. Levin is serious and writes a bestseller telling you why he’s serious. They are all so collectively serious that when they talk about “limiting government” they mean getting rid of entire Cabinet departments and federal agencies and the literal thousands of volumes of regulations that accompany them. Not to mention the thousands of federal bureaucrats who write them.
And it’s very safe to say that when the day comes that the next Republican President and any Republican Congress that served with him or her leaves office, these people will have a few questions:
• Is the federal government smaller than when you took office?
• How many Cabinet Departments did you eliminate?
• How many federal agencies did you eliminate?
• How many government regulations did you eliminate?
• How many federal jobs did you eliminate?
• How many federal employees did you cut from the federal payroll?
And perhaps last but not least.
How many Clark Clifford Republicans did you gently un-employ and send home by doing this?
And did they go?
— Jeffrey Lord is a former Reagan White House political director and author. He writes from Pennsylvania at firstname.lastname@example.org
Anyone recall President Reagan’s answers to those questions?
Too bad Barry Goldwater isn’t around to give us a hearty “Told you so!”
Wonder what will Speaker Boehner’s answers will turn out to be?