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Sane Party Regulars Say to Progressive Democrats: 'Feeling Lucky, Punk?'

stencil art of dirty harry
Street art of Clint Eastwood's "Dirty Harry" character. (AFP via Getty Images)

By Tuesday, 29 September 2020 11:46 AM Current | Bio | Archive

The Democrats may or may not win the presidency and majority control of the U.S. Senate. If they do, left wing hotheads are proposing some extremist rule changes. Progressives lust to dominate the federal government and are proposing to rewrite some venerable political rules.

Democratic Party militants are agitating to eliminate the filibuster, pack or term limit the U.S. Supreme Court, abolish the electoral college, and add D.C., Puerto Rico and maybe Samoa to spangle Old Glory to pad their Senate majority.

Armageddon?

I say, game on!

There are plenty of countermoves by the regulars in both parties to make these advocates of mob rule rue the day they decided to start playing with fire. To paraphrase Dirty Harry, "Feeling lucky, Punk?"

Per Politicoone guy they will need to steamroller to get their way is the genial-but-nobody's-patsy Joe Biden. "Reforming the Supreme Court and ending the Senate's legislative filibuster are emerging as litmus test issues by progressive activists intent on addressing the anti-majoritarian biases of those two conservative-dominated institutions. Joe Biden is on record as opposing both reforms."

Unlikely that the progressive malcontents, who Biden handily domesticated during his presidential campaign, are going to roll their party's newly elected president. Biden is avuncular but he's been winning at big stakes political poker for longer than most of his dissidents have been alive. He'll make an example of a few to show the rest what it feels like to have your head politely but firmly handed to you.

Abolish the Electoral College? As even the pretty-in-pink NPR reported, there is virtually zero chance of passing a constitutional amendment to abolish the electoral college. That said, it would be tactically useful — and rather fun — to bait Tom Steyer into squandering some billions riding into this political box canyon.

In politics, like baseball (as slugger Wee Willie Keeler said), one secret to winning is to "Hit 'em where they ain't." So, hey lefties, bring it on!

And how can you stack or term limit the Supreme Court if your own president refuses to flip flop and nominate supplementary justices? Progressives? If you do roll Biden, then there's keeping enough of your Congressional centrists on board this incendiary plan. And in the unlikely event that the wild-eyed malcontents can roll their pragmatists … wake up GOP!

There's nothing in the Constitution setting the number of members of Congress at 435. Counterpunch with a demand to unpack the House, cutting the number of congressional districts by, say, half. We just eliminated CA-12, Speaker Pelosi's district? Mirabile dictu!

Could the Republicans pull that off? Of course not! The threat alone could be enough to engage the party regulars to sober up their "squads" lest the genie of fiddling with the number of seats escape the bottle of public ignorance.

Add three new states? It's not at all clear that the Constitution allows D.C. to become a state without a constitutional amendment. That's no trivial obstacle. Puerto Rico? Its politics are, well, turbulent. It had three governors within one week last year. Not necessarily a mulligan for adding Democratic senators. Then there's that pesky $74 billion debt to deal with. Assuming that Puerto Rico even wants statehood. Potential quagmire.

Samoa? God bless Samoa! Population of 55,212 sprinkled over 77 square miles, almost 5,000 miles off America's coast. Giving Samoa two U.S. Senators would make gerrymandering, that imaginary hobgoblin of the loony left, look like statesmanship by contrast. Won't happen.

Plus the GOP owns the real .44 Magnum here: Texas. Texas has the unalloyed right, without congressional approval, to create four new states. Texans haven't split Texas up because Texans are big galoots. They've assumed Texas would have to break up into 5 Tennessee-size states. Texans like Texas big. But hold on, pardner.

This overlooks a key fact. The Texas annexation joint resolution of 1845 allows Texas to split into 5 states of "convenient" size and having "sufficient" population. Anything bigger than Rhode Island is ipso facto of convenient size and anything with a population greater than Wyoming's 586,107 is of sufficient population.

(Republican) Texas Governor Greg Abbott in concert with the (Republican) Texas legislature could deftly carve out four "Tiny Texases" – coincidentally, all Republican! – sacrificing only maybe 3% of the Lone Star State's territory and less than 10% of its population.

Big Texas stays Big while lifting Texas's presence in the Senate from two to 10. Bonus: four new governors and four new congresspeople, all Republican, 16 new statewide offices. Texas could gift wrap and give each of President Trump's kids a high office with plenty left over, swamping any possible gains from feckless Democratic maneuvering. (Governor Abbott? What's stopping you?)

So. Should we fear progressive hooligans rigging the game if the Dems run the table next month?

Go ahead punk.

Make my day.

Ralph Benko, co-author of "The Capitalist Manifesto" and chairman and co-founder of "The Capitalist League," is the founder of The Prosperity Caucus and is an original Kemp-era member of the Supply Side revolution that propelled the Dow from 814 to its current heights and world GDP from $11T to $88T. He served as a deputy general counsel in the Reagan White House, has worked closely with the Congress and two cabinet agencies, and has published over a million words on politics and policy in the mainstream media, as a distinguished professional blogger, and as the author of the internationally award-winning cult classic book "The Websters' Dictionary: How to Use the Web to Transform the World." He has served as senior adviser, economics, to APIA as an advocate of the gold standard, senior counselor to the Chamber of Digital Commerce and serves as co-founder of and senior counselor to Frax.finance, a stablecoin venture. Read Ralph Benko's reports — More Here.

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There are plenty of countermoves by the regulars in both parties to make these advocates of mob rule rue the day they decided to start playing with fire.
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2020-46-29
Tuesday, 29 September 2020 11:46 AM
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