artium and moribus, De Regnis Duobus, dual civium, Hooking & Jabbing, intellego ut credam, Novus Ordo Seclorum, Politics



By David Beilstein

Could the Obama administration be beginning to feel the pressure of the partial government shutdown?

Recent reports indicate President Barack H. Obama has called upon Republican House Speaker John Boehner, for discussions over the continuing resolution.

To be sure, the two men have many another wishes and prayers to work out.

So far, Republicans have not committed any atrocious public relations missteps. Still, there are other reports of moderate establishment Republicans beginning to fold under pressure.

The usual suspects, guys like Congressman Peter King (R-NY), and a slew of Virginia status quo Republican quislings, are getting antsy.

Meanwhile, Michael Tanner of National Review Online fame and Cato Institute contributor, lays the blame for our current circumstances on big government in general. While I concur with good man Tanner, I am also utterly confused how citizens are surprised about government shutdowns when they continue to vote in larger numbers for a broader, bigger government.

In a government of separate but equal branches of government, the system only works when the government in question limits itself to enumerated, common good. Once government takes on the role of creating the perfect society, various levels internecine conflict will necessarily result — becoming a vera causa of political hijinks and political party warfare.

We again come to the illustration of religion and the state. The purpose of the separation of Church and state clause implicitly outlined in the U.S. Constitution is not to foment a society hostile to religion, but in contrast, preserve and protect religious affection decoupled from the superficial expediency of politics.

In short, Separation of Church and state, in contrast to pop conservatism bromides of late, is a check on government power, not the church, etc.

Insofar as it is possible, the classical liberal desires religion to be decoupled from politics for the health of religion, as religious affection plays an ever important “mediating association” in the development of a people preserving ordered liberty.

The same is true of government. When government intrudes where it does not belong, where there is primal disagreement decoupled from “the common good,” government breaks down.

The result, therefore, becomes those duties which government ought to be about, are left without attention to the denouement of civil society.

And as gentleman Michael Tanner aptly observers,

The Founding Fathers intended the federal government to have a minimal impact on our lives. As Thomas Jefferson said in his inaugural address, “a wise and frugal government, which shall restrain men from injuring one another, shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement . . . This is the sum of good government.” One has trouble imagining Jefferson quivering in terror at the prospect that the federal government might cut back for a few days.



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