Wednesday, December 28, 2011

How to fix a corrupt Congress? A Governor's Council (Ron Paul/Joe Miller '12)

By Bernie Quigley

For The Hill on 11/28/11

There is easily available testimony from the best among us, warrior scholars such as Jim Webb, Lawrence Wilkerson, Wesley Clark and the gone-but-not-forgotten Robert C. Byrd of West Virginia, that the invasion of Iraq was a plot by a very small group of governmental advisors and mainstream journalists who had commandeered the so-very-vulnerable imagination of President George W. Bush. At the time it was apparent to anyone who cared to look. But Congress did not care to look. Today, as Iraq falls apart, we pay the price: The price of George W. Bush and the Congress of Easter Peeps is Ron Paul.

Paul's influence is authentic and real. If he wins Iowa he could then go on to New Hampshire, but Iowa is more important. It represents the heart which in the end drives America and to which America will ultimately answer.

But Paul can only change Congress temporarily. If a new grass-roots wave comes in there will be a lot of shouting for awhile and throwing the bums out, but the problems of centralization are systemic to the system, and that is the source of our problems. When influence coalesces in one place, money will inevitably follow. And as Ross Douthat said this morning in the New York Times, Rick Perry's idea of a part-time Congress will only bring more lobbyists. And again in short order, Congresswomen and men will find the insider track to wealth though their legislative positions.

Few are brave. The problem is not the people in Congress. They are no more vulnerable to temptation that the rest of us. The problem is the system of centralization. It was a perfect system for when America was three cities and a forest in 1776, but in seeing the future, it no longer works.

Nor will the excellent ideas of Paul and Rick Perry, who bring a thoroughly new approach to government and one well suited to the times and to America’s future. But these ideas won’t work because the states, accept maybe Texas, Alaska and Kansas, are fully unprepared to take on greater authority and new responsibilities. Most states, such as Vermont under Governor Peter Shumlin, would be like those unfortunate Soviet sub states suddenly let out into the light in 1991, but they forgot who they were, they forgot their real names.

America is ready to mature in the middle, where farms stretch into the horizon as in a Thomas Hart Benton painting. But it needs a proper form and matrix to do so. It needs regional representation answering to itself: a Governors Council answering to a single elected representative governor, to end the social and ethnic tribalism that has resulted from the Hamilton view, to watch Congress and the President and hold in check their authority, and to nurture the Jeffersonian moral and economic growth and competition of the states and regions. Then they will be ready for Paul and Perry.

Alaska's Joe Miller, combat veteran and warrior-scholar with the highest credentials, would be a great match up with the more theoretical Ron Paul in this direction, either on a third party or at the head of the Republican ticket in 2012.

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