Thursday, August 20, 2009

Grassley Is A Proxy To The Faction Of Anti-Health Care Protesters

Last night I wrote a comment to Rep. Michelle Bachmann's and Sean Hannity's lack of grasp on the US Constitution and the intention of founding of the country. Today Sen. Chuck Grassley has fallen victim to the faction problem that James Madison warned us of in Federalist Paper #10. The faction of anti-health care reformers. A Washington Post story says:
"After being besieged by protesters at meetings across his home state of Iowa, Grassley said he has concluded that the public has rejected the far-reaching proposals Democrats have put on the table, viewing them as overly expensive precursors to ''a government takeover of health care.'"
Grassley has made himself redundant by saying that the people have rejected the current health care proposals. The Post story reports Grassley as saying:
"Calls for reform are 'not quite as loud as people that say we ought to slow down or don't do anything,' he said. 'And I've got to listen to my people.'"
Grassley has joined Bachmann in not understanding his job.

Conor Clarke on the Daily Dish has revisited the Federalist Papers today much as I did yesterday. Clarke writes:
"I think it's worth mentioning that the Grassley theory of 'the public' is pretty much the exact opposite of how American democracy is supposed to function. Famously, public representatives are supposed to distinguish between the 'vicious arts' of faction (Madison's words) and the 'permanent and aggregate interests of the community' (Hamilton's). Of course, it might be the case that protestors laying seige to Fort Grassley actually represent the aggregate interests of the public. But you won't find evidence for that conclusion at a townhall meeting.

On the other hand, there's a pretty interesting question about the nature of democracy here: Formal democracy measures only the number of preferences (tallying votes), and not the intensity of preferences (like passionate townhall protests) or the quality of preferences (like the opinion of some group of philosopher kings). But I'm going to go out on a limb and assume Senator Grassley is not asking those rich philosophical quesitons."

Clarke is correct Grassley is not pursuing any grand philosophical goal. He is playing politics and not doing his job.

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