Government of the Cronies, by the Cronies, for the Cronies

My article on The American this morning is prosaically titled Why Voters Grew Tired of Cantor. But my working title was a bit more informative — “Government of the Cronies, by the Cronies, for the Cronies”.

Its major point is that the Republican establishment is playing a game with the conservatives called “One of us must be reasonable, and it is not going to be me, so it must be you.” The establishment attacks Tea Party candidates in primaries, and, should they win, sabotages them in the general election. Then they insist that conservatives must support establishment candidates because they are “more electable.”

Mississippi is the latest example of this, where awful racist ads appeared against McDaniel at the end. These were conveniently unsigned, of course.

What the establishment cares about is a seat at the trough. It has no objection to government by cronyism; it just wants to be the crony. Unfortunately,

[T]he cronyism is now corrupting entire societal subsystems. Health expert John Goodman called Obamacare “a Rube Goldberg nightmare,” written “to appease every single Democratic constituency and every major special interest group.”  The process was like “going around a table asking each group what is the one thing they must have in order to support the legislation — the insurance companies, the drug companies, the hospitals, the labor unions, AMA, AARP, etc., [with] no one making sure that all the separate demands fit together in a sensible way.”
. . . .
Goodman’s point is actually a general law. Every area of contemporary public policy is a Rube Goldberg nightmare created by cobbling together the demands of various interests, regardless of efficacy or consistency.

The conclusion is that the establishment’s tactics are bringing a third party movement steadily closer.

In the end, the game is indeed that somebody must be reasonable, but with a twist. It is not reasonable for the leaders of either party to think that they can keep expanding government by cronyism, creating new interlocking empires for Rube Goldberg with every session of Congress. Sooner or later, the machine will freeze.

So the millennials and their sensible elders need to say, “somebody around here must be reasonable, and it is going to be us, and this means we are not going to be cozened by the continuing lunacy of the establishment(s). So get on board with our [values and concerns] or we will indeed turn over the table and demand a new game.”

(65 Posts)

Author: "Ending 'Big SIS' (The Special Interest State) and Renewing the American Republic" (2012) [] and "Property Matters--How Property Rights Are Under Assault and Why You Should Care" (1997). Some former jobs: Assistant Director of Consumer Protection in FTC; member of the Program Analysis Staff of the US Bureau of the Budget; Research Director of the Administrative Conference of the United States; Director of IPCentral at the Progress & Freedom Foundation; VP & GC of the National Legal Center for the Public Interest. Graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Law School, former Book Review Editor of the Harvard Law Review.

Leave a Reply