Chump Nation: The Establishment Quickly Returns To The Status Quo After The Election

220px-nancy_pelosidonald_trump_president-elect_portrait_croppedBelow is my column in The Hill newspaper on the rapid return to the status quo in both parties after the midterm elections, including the rapid discarding of promises made to voters on both sides.  Those massive middle-class tax cuts promised by the President before the year end?  Gone.  The promise of a new Democratic party infused with young members and new leadership? Gone.  What remains is the establishment which has succeeded again in replicating itself.  It does not matter if you are Republican or Democrat.  We have become a nation of chumps.

Here is the column:

When I was in grade school in Chicago, I ran home excitedly one day after making the deal of my life.

It was 1969, the Cubs were still in first place in the division, and I snared a seat behind the Cubs dugout for Sunday’s game against the Mets for just $1 from a fellow student. My father looked at the ticket, which clearly was handmade, and explained delicately that I had been taken. There was not even a game to be played that Sunday at Wrigley.

He suggested, however, that I keep the ticket as a reminder of one of life’s greatest lessons: Don’t be a chump.

In the aftermath of the midterm elections, millions of voters are about to discover the same thing: We’ve become a nation of chumps, and both parties just sold us $1 premium seats to a game that will not be held.

What is fascinating — even inspiring — about American elections is that the two parties that make up our duopoly of power score every two years on the same scam, with the same chumps. Politicians constantly convince citizens to vote against the other party, as opposed to making a positive case for their own reelections; polls show citizens despise both parties’ establishments and hate our rigged political system.

Both parties again ran the blue state/red state scam in which voters are convinced to choose the lesser of two unchanging evils. It is designed to prevent the rise of a credible third party, allowing the two parties to regularly trade off control between their respective leaderships.

The election is over, and Washington is about to return to the status quo. The Senate has re-elected the same leaders. Meanwhile, Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.)  — who many members kept at arm’s length during the campaign — walked into a closed-door caucus and reportedly received a standing ovation.

Right on cue, reports indicate that even new members who campaigned against Pelosi are joining the rest of the Democratic members in assuring their support on the floor, as opposed to a symbolic caucus vote. Even Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who called for a “generation of new people” in Congress, now appears to support her.

The key to running a scam is to use a mark’s greed, weakness or anger to blind him to an obvious swindle. In our age of rage, we were all marks in this election and got played beautifully.

Pelosi has long been one of the most unpopular U.S. politicians. Before the election — with many races viewed as being within 1 or 2 percentage points — voters listed Pelosi as one of their reasons for voting against Democrats. Polls indicate that roughly 7 percent of voters said Pelosi was one of the two top reasons for their voting — almost exclusively against the Democrats.

It is not clear how many seats might have flipped if Pelosi had pledged that new leadership would take over the party if Democrats prevailed in the House. Even if only 2 percent of voters had been impacted, it could have been enough to change the outcomes of a number of key races. Yet, Pelosi put herself before her party’s interests.

Of course, the first step in a confidence game is the “convincer” promising a big pay-off. In this case, it was the impeachment of Donald Trump, a pledge now being brushed to the side by Democrats as (to quote Democratic District of Columbia Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton) “a thankless, useless waste of energy” amid assurances that this would be a new Democratic Party, including opposition to Pelosi.

Voters were fed assurances that the many new members would insist on new leadership. Those pledges would seem easy to fulfill, with post-election polls showing that 56 percent of Democrats oppose Pelosi as Speaker. When Republican and independent voters are factored in, Pelosi may be the least popular candidate for Speaker in history.

So why are Democrats again pushing her to be the face of their party leading to the 2020 election? Because these elections are about them — certainly not about the marks who vote. Pelosi will deliver committee positions, campaign money and other benefits that some new leadership is unlikely to guarantee. She has spent months directing millions toward these members. Voters simply give them votes; Pelosi gives them cold-hard cash and other perks.

Given polls showing Pelosi at less than 40 percent popularity, she and the Democratic establishment are redefining the election, and not for the first time. Leading up to the 2016 election, every poll showed that voters were looking for non-establishment candidates and that Hillary Clinton remained one of the least popular establishment candidates ever to run for the presidency. Yet, Democratic leaders rigged the primaries for Clinton — and lost to the most unpopular Republican presidential candidate ever.

Given Pelosi’s support for Clinton and the huge losses in the prior election when Pelosi was Speaker, many again called for her to step aside. However, Pelosi declared that voters really did not want change and that she would remain as the party’s face. It was that easy. After the most anti-establishment election in U.S. history, Pelosi declared that voters wanted her and the establishment to stay in power.

Now, Pelosi and Democratic leaders are saying that polls showing overwhelming opposition to her are uniformly wrong. She told CNN that she has “a broad base of support in the country” and voters want her as Speaker because she’s a woman. She described her opposition as being sexist, a betrayal of voters who wanted a “pink wave.” When asked about a letter with 17 members pledging to oppose her, Pelosi told reporters that “You’d have to ask those people what their motivation is. I think of the 17, it’s mostly, like, 14 men who are on that letter.” She added that “any misogyny involved in it, it’s their problem, not mine.” That’s not Trump but fellow Democrats who Pelosi charges as being misogynistic. Identity politics, it seems, is like the god Saturn: It devours its young.

Even though recent polls show only 39 percent of Democratic voters support Pelosi’s return, she is likely to prevail in a vote later this month.

So the establishment will continue in both parties, despite overwhelming unpopularity. And, just like the Cubs ticket, there never was a game to be played.

Usually it is tough to play a mark twice on the same scam; when a mark opens an envelope to find a wad of paper instead of cash, it leaves an indelible mark. American voters, however, fall for the same scam over and over. It is really not that the two parties are that good at it — it is us.

That standing ovation for Pelosi was well earned. Any flimflam artist can take a mark, but it takes a real genius to fool the same chumps twice.

Jonathan Turley is the Shapiro Professor of Public Interest Law at George Washington University. You can follow him on Twitter @JonathanTurley.

96 thoughts on “Chump Nation: The Establishment Quickly Returns To The Status Quo After The Election”

  1. “Those massive middle-class tax cuts promised by the President before the year end? Gone.”

    – Prof. Turley

    Your complaint is not with the President, rather with the corrupted Supreme Court. Those massive tax cuts are in the Constitution which declares that Congress has merely the power to tax for “…general Welfare…,” deliberately omitting and, thereby, excluding individual welfare. All laws and programs that redistribute wealth are unconstitutional.

    To wit,

    Article 1, Section 8, Clause 1

    “The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common

    Defence and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States;…”

  2. “White House approves use of force, some law enforcement roles for border troops”

    By: Tara Copp   3 hours ago

    “Trump admin moves to allow troops to use force, perform law enforcement at border”


    The White House late Tuesday signed a memo allowing troops stationed at the border to engage in some law enforcement roles and use lethal force, if necessary — a move that legal experts have cautioned may run afoul of the Posse Comitatus Act.

    Defense officials said the language in the directive was carefully crafted to avoid running up against the bedrock legal limitations set in Posse Comitatus. The law was originally intended to protect the states from being controlled by federal troops. It has evolved into a singly defining, almost church versus state-type wall forbidding active-duty forces under the control of the president from conducting any types of crowd control or law enforcement domestically, essentially ensuring that the U.S. military is not used to control or defeat American citizens on U.S. soil.

    Kelly said in the signed directive that the additional authorities were necessary because “credible evidence and intelligence” have indicated that the thousands of migrants who have now made their way to the U.S. checkpoint near Tijuana, Mexico, “may prompt incidents of violence and disorder” that could threaten border officials.

  3. In the aftermath of the midterm elections, millions of voters are about to discover the same thing: We’ve become a nation of chumps, and both parties just sold us $1 premium seats to a game that will not be held.-Jonathan Turley

    “Trump’s Amoral Saudi Statement Is a Pure Expression of Decades-Old “U.S. Values” and Foreign Policy Orthodoxies”

    Glenn Greenwald

    November 21 2018, 9:01 a.m.

    (Yep, we’re “a nation of chumps.” And many Americans have no idea just how bad it really is. )

    1. ANOTHER SOLID ONE FROM GLENN! he often surprises me./ wow read this:

      “This statement instantly and predictably produced pompous denunciations pretending that Trump’s posture was a deviation from, a grievous violation of, long-standing U.S. values and foreign policy rather than what it actually and obviously is: a perfect example – perhaps stated a little more bluntly and candidly than usual – of how the U.S. has conducted itself in the world since at least the end of World War II.

      The reaction was so intense because the fairy tale about the U.S. standing up for freedom and human rights in the world is one of the most pervasive and powerful prongs of western propaganda, the one relied upon by U.S. political and media elites to convince not just the U.S. population but also themselves of their own righteousness, even as they spend decades lavishing the world’s worst tyrants and despots with weapons, money, intelligence and diplomatic protection to carry out atrocities of historic proportions.

      After all, if you have worked in high-level foreign policy positions in Washington, or at the think thanks and academic institutions that support those policies, or in the corporate media outlets that venerate those who rise to the top of those precincts (and which increasingly hire those security state officials as news analysts), how do you justify to yourself that you’re still a good person even though you arm, prop up, empower and enable the world’s worst monsters, genocides, and tyrannies?

      Simple: by pretending that you don’t do any of that, that such acts are contrary to your system of values, that you actually work to oppose rather than protect such atrocities, that you’re a warrior and crusader for democracy, freedom and human rights around the world.

      That’s the lie that you have to tell yourself:…..

      That’s why it was so necessary – to the point of being more like a physical reflex than a conscious choice – to react to Trump’s Saudi statement with contrived anger and shock rather than admitting the truth that he was just candidly acknowledging the core tenets of U.S. foreign policy for decades. The people who lied to the public and to themselves by pretending that Trump did something aberrational rather than completely normal were engaged in an act of self-preservation as much as propagandistic deceit, though both motives were heavily at play.

      The New York Times Editorial Page, as it so often does, topped the charts with pretentious, scripted moral outrage…..

      The paper’s editorial writers were particularly shocked that “the statement reflected Mr. Trump’s view that all relationships are transactional, and that moral or human rights considerations must be sacrificed to a primitive understanding of American national interests.” To believe – or pretend to believe – that it is Mr. Trump who pioneered the view that the U.S. is willing and eager to sanction murder and savagery by the regimes with which it is most closely aligned as long as such barbarism serves U.S interests signifies a historical ignorance and/or a willingness to lie to one’s own readers so profound that no human language is capable of expressing the depths of those delusions. Has the New York Times Editorial Page ever heard of Henry Kissinger?”

      IE, TRUMP SAID SOMETHING BRUTALLY HONEST AND THE FAKE NEWS MEDIA REACTED IN OUTRAGE. basically he exposed them all as hypocrites and himself not so much. Thankfully Donald Trump is breathing fresh air into our public debates!


    There are many reasons to be cynical about the 16-member putsch against Pelosi, led by the likes of Reps. Tim Ryan (Ohio) and Seth Moulton (Mass.). At a time when the House Democratic caucus will be made up of only 38 percent white males, 13 of the 16 signatories are white men.

    Though they claim to desire “change” and “new leadership,” five of the 16 signers — Stephen F. Lynch (Mass.), Kurt Schrader (Ore.), Brian Higgins (N.Y.), Anthony Brindisi (N.Y.) and Jeff Van Drew (N.J.) — also signed a letter just last week supporting Hoyer, BuzzFeed’s Lissandra Villa noted. Hoyer is a year older than Pelosi and has been in his position just as long.

    And though the rebels justify their rebellion by saying “our majority came on the backs of candidates who said that they would support new leadership,” 11 of the 16 are from relatively safe seats and only five were just elected. Rep.-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a 29-year-old darling of progressives, said this week that she is leaning toward supporting Pelosi: “I would like to see new, younger leadership, but I don’t want new leadership that’s more conservative.”

    Edited from: “Nancy Pelosi Is The Best Person To Lead House Democrats. That’s Why She Should Retire”



      This is a particular obsession with you, and a stupid one.

      While we’re at it, why not write to Marcia Fudge and explain to her that she’s an ‘older white male’.

    2. Who cares? You hate white males Peter but i bet you one of us.
      It must suck to hate your own face in the mirror.

      1. I didn’t write the article. But this so-called ‘rebellion’ against Pelosi is not a youth backlash.

        1. Pelosi has a nice rack. Other than that who cares.
          Schumer is the most annoying guy in the Senate.
          Non-news for 99% of us



    Personally I think Nancy Pelosi should retire to make way for younger leadership. But Mitch McConnell is arguably more toxic to the country than Nancy Pelosi. Yet Professor Turley makes no mention of McConnell in this column. One is left with the impression that only Democrats choose unpopular leaders.

    1. Peter Hill – Nancy Pelosi and Schumer will be the spokespeople for the Democratic Party for the next two years. They will also be Trump’s punching bags. That is why Pelosi is important. Trump’s numbers are much better.

  6. Now, more than ever, after $30 million elections, straight up corruption, and the same old shick and jive, the entrenched Senate needs to be returned to your State’s Legislature, as it was for more than 125 years. Support repeal of the 17th amendment. Think it through. It’s not crazy talk.

    1. Repealing the 17th Amendment will replace the current crop of trolls practiced at publicity campaigns and fundraising with new trolls practiced at… building relationships in state legislatures.

    2. balanced budget amendment, repeal 17th, etc. tail chasing exercises for conservatives. i am tempted to add pro life activism to that as well. and a few other things maybe too. mostly just things to keep you busy and distracted and soak you for more contributions.

      the last thing we want under the current conditions is any chance for the tampering with constitution as it is. almost a certainty given the rabid lunatics that populate academia, the mass media, and the armies of leftists demonstrators for hire, that it will end up worse than it is now.

      the best case scenario, right now, is almost completely unlikely, but it would be an outright civil war. Enough talk: hammer the big cities and all the usual suspects into submission. In so many words. Unmask the gradual laceration and parasitical leaching of Middle America by coastal power major-metro power centers into open conflict and let the chips fall where they might., Not likely but it could be a strong outcome. LA, SF, and NYC reduced from commanding the other 90% of the geography of America like so many serfs, into minding their own business. A major resounding series of blows transforming lame and endless talk into decisive action that lead to a reckoning of accounts, and settling of scores, by any means necessary. A devolution of the current Yugoslavia-style America into more coherent smaller regional states in rough confederation, it would be an ugly process but one that mankind has seen again and again; which might restore a measure of domestic peace that will only just keep fading away for now until it’s too late.

      So that would be one possibility, that very few have the stomach for, …. especially those who would benefit, who would need to be engaged as necessary parties and combatants, but who are too divided and too mentally weak to see their gradual dispossession coming to the fore in the coming decades…. so it just aint likely……. but to be even more realistic, it might trigger a first strike attack from our foreign adversaries intent on capitalizing on disorder. Which would leave us all perhaps very much worse off no matter what the initial outcome of a hot conflict. So let’s take that off the shelf.

      second best scenario and this one’s at least possible: a low intensity conflict of gradual attrition and incremental gains and losses, which sees the rise of alternative media, and the increasing activation of middle america into red state and red meat issues and a super cynical elective voting blocks that can’t be swayed by nonstop lies and propaganda. we aint there yet, as the weak sisters in the suburbs have shown in the last election. but Trump is still pointing in the right direction. The system should hope for such an awakening of Middle America, but who knows how it will all turn out.

      1. balanced budget amendment, repeal 17th, etc. tail chasing exercises for conservatives. i am tempted to add pro life activism to that as well. and a few other things maybe too. mostly just things to keep you busy and distracted and soak you for more contributions.

        Other people’s agendas aren’t yours, kid.

        1. you got that right their agendas are not mine. and boy am i glad im not a kid anymore. arthritis hurts but naivete hurts worse

        2. oh here’s another right wing canard of wasted energy. “right to work” activism

          as if offshoring combined with simultaneous flooding our country with millions of third world scabs was not enough to break the unions in the first place. talk about a “mopping up operation!”

          they’re a sorry lot but won’t be improved by legislating what little advantages they have out of existence

      2. the last thing we want under the current conditions is any chance for the tampering with constitution as it is.

        The constitution as it is is a compendium of nonsense case law which has no legitimacy whatsoever.

        1. it has all the legitimacy of being the organic law of the United States, one of the most successful governmental regimes in history if not the most.

          I don’t take it as holy writ but it’s earned my respect even as a cynic

  7. “Even Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who called for a “generation of new people” in Congress, now appears to support her.” Only because Pelosi now appears to support Ocasio #GreenNewDeal

    I agree with all of your points but I find considerable hope in the rising progressive push. It’s only been two years since the progressive platform got inserted into mainstream politics. It takes awhile to turn the Queen Mary mid-ocean, get it going in another direction – but the first big tugboats are out there doing just that, so I’m happy

    1. It’s only been two years since the progressive platform got inserted into mainstream politics.

      Brenda, what progressive platform are you talking about?

      1. Medicare for All, living wage, public college tuition, anti-war

        before the 2016 primary the only place you heard this kind of language was at a Green Party meeting. Now universal healthcare single payer is written up carelessly in the mainstream corporate press – a thing I never thought I’d live long enough to see

        1. Medicare for All, living wage, public college tuition, anti-war

          1. What’s a ‘living wage’? You actually cannot change an individual worker’s productivity by legislative fiat. If it’s not worth it for an employer to hire someone, they won’t, What wage floors do is price low productivity workers out of the market entirely. Sweet.

          2. Medicare, public college, blah blah blah. Looked at collectively, people’s inclination to consume will exceed productive resources. We’ve never lived in a world where that isn’t true. You can ration with prices, you can ration with coupons, you can ration with queues, you can ration with esoteric administrative regulations. You must always ration. Of course, you can pretend you don’t have to and subject markets in particular services to dog-chasing-its-tail subsidies (with concomitant effect on public budgets). What is your rationing scheme, Tootsie?

          3. ‘Anti-war’? There are three sorts of pacifists. One would be the Mennonite-Amish-Jehovah’s Witnesses variety. They stay out of public affairs in the larger society and are ready to die. Another would be that of the peace churches which have gone suburban, the Brethren and the Quakers (leaving aside the odious American Friends Services Committee). They’re pleasant enough, but they’re not serious. They’re relying on the order and security provided by the men on Col. Jessup’s wall while never allowing themselves to acknowledge that. Then there is the pacifism of political recrimination. That’s Chris Hedges. That’s Michael Berg. They’re what Thomas Sowell calls ‘one-uppers’ and their political advocacy is a self-aggrandizing exercise. They actually rather like rough trade, so long as the rough trade is engaged in a malicious cause hostile to the United States and Israel. These people aren’t serious either, but, unlike the squish-heads at Brethren Conference (who are pleasant people), Hedges and Berg deserve to be spat on.

          Ocasio-Cortez is a womanchild who does not belong in a responsible position. She’s Harold Skimpole, thinking bread comes from the bread truck and not someone else’s labor and ingenuity.

          1. a serious and beneficent anti war proposal would be to engage in diplomacy with Russia but you see where that got Trump with the droolers in the media.

            also did anybody notice that last week the administration rolled back military aid for the saudis in their war against Yemen? A wise, measured, antiwar gesture.

            No, nobody noticed, just focused on one Khashoggi their darling because he wrote for Wapo. and more “orange man bad” NPC scripted nonsense

          2. these were proposals that are mostly “take stuff from them and give it to us” variety.

            no can do, sorry

            and the last thing we need are more misfits wasting space in colleges on the public teat. what a recipe for disaster. try closing colleges down at random, how about that. the market will probably implode before long, that racket can’t stand forever

            1. You may not realize that community colleges (trade schools) are public-funded as are state universities (college). The whole idea being that a high school diploma doesn’t get you very far these days and it’s better to acquire a useful skill – for both the individual and American society.

              Why should public-funded schools and colleges not be tuition-free? We are paying for them with our taxes. We don’t pay taxes to generate profit for enterprising educational entrepreneurs.

              Also, why are you so cranky?

  8. And, of course, the Professor complains and complains but suggests no remedies. The reason for that is that the status and prerogatives of the legal profession is a function of the present set of institutional arrangements. You can make repairs, but then maybe lawyers have less influence, and you cannot have that. Here are some repairs.

    1. Rotation in office: a popular idea blocked by judges at the behest of lawyers shilling for the permanent government. The rule is simple: no person holds a given elective office for more than 10 years out of any bloc of 12, nor stands for election if he will hit that limit during the term to be allocated in the election. If you’d prefer a three term limit, make it 14 years out of any bloc of 16.

    2. Age screen: no one stands for a legislative office in a jurisdiction with more than 1 million residents who is not between their 39th and 72d birthdays on the date of the election. No one stands for a general executive office in a jurisdiction with more than 50,000 residents who is not between the ages of 39.0 an 72.0 on the date of the election. No one stands for a specialized executive office in a jurisdiction with more than 100,000 residents who is not between 39.0 and 72.0 on the date of the election. No one stands for election to or retention on a superior or appellate court who is not between the ages of 39.0 and 72.0 on the date of the election, nor may they stand for any office auxilliary to such courts if they are not in that age range.

    3. Occupational screen: any person in a tainted occupation who petitions to run for a seat on a conciliar body, or stands as a candidate in a caucus or a convention or a primary in preparation for a run for such a body must run on a ticket with an understudy who is not tainted by their occupation. At such time as nominations and designations have been completed for seats on such a body, the whole population of candidates for such seats must be submitted to the requisite board of elections or state court for review. if persons in tainted occupations exceed 20% of the sum of any party’s candidates, a drawing of lots must be held among that set to replace candidates with their understudy until the proportion in tainted occupations is reduced to 20% or lower. N.B., it should be the rule that if you’ve held a tainted occupation for x years and depart from it, you retain the taint for 0.25x years after your departure. Tainted occupations: (1) lawyer and (2) public employee.

    4. Reconstituted bicameralism. Have upper houses elected by regional caucuses of members of lower houses. Functionally differentiate the two chambers, with the lower house concerning itself with legislation and the upper house with oversight. The upper chamber would vet and recompose proposed rules and regulation, but not otherwise have a role in the legislative process. Make it a requirement also that all floor resolutions and legislation in both bodies receive the support of the majority of elected members, with the yeas and nays recorded; limit viva voce to floor amendments.

    5. More separation of powers: end the executive veto over legislation. Limit the requirement of advise and consent to executive appointments to offices outside the executive branch (understanding prosecutors to be auxilliary to the judiciary and comptrollers to be in a fourth ‘audit and examination’ branch), to bureau chiefs whose book is dominated by policing, regulation, tax collection, intelligence collection, or oversight; and to boards and commissions who are tenured and serve fixed terms.

    6. Retention-in-office referenda and recall for all federal judges, in addition to mandatory retirement at age 76.

    7. Provision in law to subject members of the bar to exile, to be effected by petition and referendum.

    8. Explicit constitutional language declaring anything but original understanding as an illegitimate basis for judicial review.

    9. Constitutional language which: delineates tributary regions for each metropolis; requires that compensation per worker among the employees of any government must not exceed 110% of compensation per worker among the private enterprises of the region, requires that any contract of public employment wherein the beneficiary receives more than 3x the mean compensation per worker among the private enterprises of the region be voted on explicitly by the legislative body of the government in question, with the yeas and nays recorded, requires that retirement programs for public employees be of the defined-contribution variety, with a minimum of 15% of stated compensation being allocated to retirement accounts for ordinary employees and 30% for employees earning early retirement credits (uniformed police, firefighters, soldiers, and construction workers). Such provisions would also require that medical insurance and disability insurance for public employees be financed by a % assessment on the stated compensation of employees. The authorities would let out contracts to insurers who would receive the premium kitty produced by this assessment and provide insurance. The contracts would be awarded by sealed bidding, the bid being in the form of the deductible the insurer will charge in return for fulfilling the contract and receiving the premium kitty (changes in the price dynamics in healthcare provision thus being manifest in higher deductibles for public employees and not higher charges for the government).

    10. An end to tenure for civil servants. It’s tremendously important that civil servants be recruited and promoted through examinations. (Proper examinations, not the gutted examinations judges insist on). It’s not necessary that their feet be nailed to the floor. Should three people in a civil servant’s chain of command sign a letter of dismissal, something approximating termination at will should be the rule. You can have review by hearing examiners to assess whether one of a half-dozen impermissible reasons for the termination was a motive.

    11. A general rule for conciliar bodies of a size exceeding a certain threshold: that the speaker and other officers be elected from outside the body’s membership, with the speaker being by custom an elderly or retired judge. The floor leaders and committee chairmen would remain political partisans, of course.

    12. Default rules in re parliamentary organization &c: committee chairmen would be elected by a ballot of the majority caucus, committee assignments would be made by lot, all legislators would receive two seats on committees as a matter of course (and a selection would receive an additional seat if extra slots were necessary on given committees to maintain partisan balance). Committees would have similar memberships and approximately similar apportionment between the majority and minority caucus. Rotation in office would be the order of the day for floor leaders, committee chairmen, and committee members. Legislatures would have jurisdictional committees for the judiciary, for the legislature as an apparat, for any 4th branch of government, for incorporated affiliates of the state government, for each executive department, and for clusters of free standing agencies. Such committees would be responsible for all appropriations bills for agencies in their purview and would participate in markup of any legislation amending the jurisdiction of their agencies (with some bills being subject to joint or serial markup per the ruling of the speaker). Jurisdictional committees would be supplemented with process committees concerned with rules, budget resolutions, and general oversight.

    13. Constitutional provisions restricting intergovernmental transfers to the following:

    a. Voluntary rental agreements
    b. Indemnities financed by voluntary participation and assessment.
    c. Payment in lieu of (property) taxes
    d. Disaster relief (limited to the repair fo public works).
    e. General distributions, which would be according to formulae which had population and per capita income as arguments. The central government would be limited to distribution to state governments, territorial governments, and Indian reservations; the state and territorial governments would be limited to distributions to counties and school districts (bar in those states which lack county government), and county governments would be limited to distribution to municipalities. The global sum to be distributed would be at the discretion of the distributing legislature, but not the distribution between territorial units. All such distributions could be used for any purpose consistent with the enabling legislation of the particular government in question.

    14. Constitutional provisions adding an appendix to the the document which defines gifts, income, final sales, and value added; which delineates principles of property assessment; and which requires any tax assessed have a rate structure of a defined type and be assessed on the whole body of income, final sales, value added, or property as defined in the appendix.

    15. Constitutional provisions requiring that fines and Pigou levies be collected in a dedicated fund which is distributed to the body of income or property tax payers on a per household basis

    16. Constitutional provisions which require that excises on particular commodities either be treated as Pigou levies or be collected in dedicated funds in lieu of charging tolls or fares.

    1. gee, exactly how do you plan on implementing legal changes without lawyers.
      lawyer bashing is below you.

      the problem is not enough good lawyers, not too many lawyers as such
      ….. it’s too many bad lawyers

      maybe too many women in law schools with no plan to actually practice law, for starters; but what do i know

  9. JT’s Cubs anecdote is cute but it doesn’t reflect the scale of the scam. The truth is it would be his father, extended family and friends that would have forked over far more than a dollar to get those tickets, they would show up for the game, be disappointed and then watch it on TV. The next time they would swear they weren’t going to pay so much. When the Cubs tickets scam wore out they would expect something else…and get it.

    This is not something a steady diet of Schoolhouse Rock will fix. I suspect the members (for the most part) of this blog are beyond the schoolhouse rock stage. We can’t even get the lawyers to agree on the bedrock principle of innocent until proven guilty, or that we as citizens have natural rights that precede any government. We can’t agree on basic border security or that people entering our country illegally should or should not be free to live, work and receive benefits paid for by taxpaying citizens and protected from law enforcement. And so much more. As long as the political class can keep the citizen class fighting each other, then they won’t have to be concerned the citizens will get organized around getting rid of the scoundrels in the political class.

    We have 3 root causes to our problems: Voter ignorance, Voter apathy and Voter dependence. We need to fix all 3. We need to be civically literate, energetic and not dependent on government.

    1. No, we have badly structured institutions. And no ready way to repair them.

  10. Well Turley and I agree on this, America is a nation of chumps. That is because their representatives are bought and paid for by the monied and special interest powers that be. Anybody who listened to the head oligarch as he promised to get rid of corruption and then when he became President gave a tax cut that favored the mega rich up to 80% can see this. Most Americans are as shallow as, “Well I kind of like that guy.” This is what ignorance brings, momentary bliss. Take the money out of the equation and than perhaps Americans will allow some of the more intelligent and useful rise to the positions that govern.

    The oligarchs and special interests can only rule if the voters are ignorant, check and if they spend the money, check. The only country in the world of Western democracies that buys and sells its representatives. So sad.

    1. The only country in the world of Western democracies that buys and sells its representatives.

      Name one other Western democracy that doesn’t.

      1. Canada, France, Great Britain, Germany, and most others have laws that severely regulate political contributions by individuals and corporations from a nominal $1,000 per person to next to nothing. The Canadian government funds the campaigns of all the parties going for the leadership of the country. The people are exposed to much of the same nonsense but primarily if the whole sideshow is tailored down and to the point, the issues speak louder than the buffoons we Americans deal with.

    2. dont like americans? thats a really good reason for you to stay north of the border swilling molson and tapping maple trees or whatever you do up there

      1. Yours is the quintessential response of the chump to which Turley refers. Grab your flag and attack any criticism. Kurtz, you are the problem. Unfortunately there is no place to send you.

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