Thursday, September 10, 2009

At What Cost Comity?

Our dilemma is well known and appreciated by the bastards at the top of the heap. They know because they have been active in its building.
The despot cares less that you love him provided you don't love one another.
Oh he provides alright! Money buys influence and attains power. And once attained, it then can use your money to deploy distractions and discord as the need arises. A.C.O.R.N. anyone?

But that is relatively easy where factions are naturally occurring. But what of infighting within a faction? What then? As Mark Alger reminds us:
In-fighting is invidious. Let's have a little less of it.
Knowing of the tyrant's wishes to sow discord where none exists, and to nurture it into open warfare where it does, finding agreement when we can, comity, is certainly a preferred outcome. We have a bigger fish in need of frying.

However, what about balance?

On one hand, we all know the ludicrous tale of the boy who murdered his parents and then begged mercy on the grounds that he was an orphan. On the other hand, none of us would have faulted George Washington what he was apt to do had he captured Benedict Arnold. These are easy cases. The harder ones need more care. After all, we encumber Justice with her great and omnipresent scales for good reason.

I found cause to disagree with a couple of likable fellows, Roderick Reilly and Life of The Mind, at the Belmont Club early today. They had commented favorably on a well heeled, well spoken, often diplomatic but always partisan Democrat, the late senior senator from New York, Daniel Patrick Moynihan.
Never, never, never, revere any politician too much, because they all have feet of clay.

Moynihan said many nice sounding things which made him seem well-anchored in principle, such as his famous “Defining Deviancy Down.”

The Tax Reform Act of 1986, pushed by Reagan, was very popular, and pretty much remains so today except by the Left. As head of the Senate finance committee, Moynihan shepherded the bill through very well. Sounds like he was uniquely bipartisan and had the well-being of the country in mind right?

Well, he inserted into the tax code, at the last minute of conference committee sessions where committee chairs are rarely challenged, words written by lawyers at one company that hugely benefited that company.

That section of tax code solely targeted every engineer and programmer in the country, while costing the taxpayers more as well. That company was run by his wife’s family. Anyone who thinks he didn’t benefit directly from that is beyond hope.

And then there are those who will know or accept what I just said is true, but will be members of the apologist brigade. Their line is “So what? They all do it.”

There is the problem in a nutshell. It’s similar to those who defend RINOs when they help the GOP attain a majority (no matter how Pyrrhic a “victory” it be).

When personal gain and betrayal of principles become acceptable in any republic, even long after the fact and after so many others have followed the same path to personal gain (via passing law that restrict liberties and eradicate constitutional restrictions), how do you ever hope to regain order? You should remember your acceptance of betrayals when you later bemoan threats to your personal liberties.

Betrayal, too often dismissed, will be costly. It should have been costly to the betrayers, but instead it costs the acceptors of the betrayals and their posterity.
The evil that men do lives after them; the good is oft interred with their bones -- Shakespeare
How especially true it is (because others watch and see no downside to perfidy) when we remember too kindly such men.
I chose to record this exchange here at my blog because it touched on a very important aspect about seeking justice when we find someone has betrayed our nation -- as did Senator Moynihan when he chose to carry his own water albeit in "expected" fashion. He knew we knew he knew better. So much more the shame to whatever good may have been a part of his legacy.

Such shame is certainly not lessened when we find someone in our own faction has been aiding and abetting the other faction a bit too much. Another reason we so distrust MSM is that it frequently bestows a glow of approval to the word bipartisan. But it is horrid to the individual who discovers -- as if burgled by a thief in the night -- that the sum total of his liberty has been diminished due in great measure to his very own representative agreeing, in the dark of some committee, to allow power-seekers to override limits on our government that had been written into our constitution for the good of all time -- solely because someone demanded that each "crisis" not be allowed to be wasted.

Bottom line? At what cost do we gain comity? Do not for a moment deny to yourself who pays.

Betrayal, too often dismissed, will be costly. It should have been costly to the wicked as justice would discern. Someone will pay. When wrong-doing is too easily (or shortsightedly) forgiven, the costs are shifted to the acceptors of the betrayals and their posterity. Indeed, that is the greater crime.

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