The anti-democratic Democrats

Posted by: Phineas on September 28, 2011 at 4:20 pm

**Posted by Phineas

Governor Bev Perdue (D-NC) said the most amazing thing yesterday:

Speaking to a Cary Rotary Club today, N.C. Gov. Bev Perdue suggested suspending Congressional elections for two years so that Congress can focus on economic recovery and not the next election.

I think we ought to suspend, perhaps, elections for Congress for two years and just tell them we won’t hold it against them, whatever decisions they make, to just let them help this country recover. I really hope that someone can agree with me on that,” Perdue said. “You want people who don’t worry about the next election.”

The comment — which came during a discussion of the economy — perked more than a few ears. It’s unclear whether Perdue, a Democrat, is serious — but her tone was level and she asked others to support her on the idea.

(via Big Government)

Forget for a moment the odd spectacle of a state’s chief executive suggesting that elections be called off at all –something that’s never been done, even during the Civil War and World War II, the two greatest threats to our national existence, ever– the terms of the House and Senate are specified in Article I, Sections 2 and 3 of the the Constitution; before those terms expire, elections must be held. By suggesting elections for Congress be suspended and the term of Congress be extended in defiance of Article I, Governor Perdue was suggesting suspending the United States Constitution, itself.

Naturally, Governor Perdue’s people tried to pull her foot out of her mouth by claiming she was joking and engaging in hyperbole, as reported by my blog-buddy, ST.

Whatever. Whether she meant it as a joke or a serious suggestion, it is a sentiment that should never, ever be uttered by any elected official, because elections are the sole source of legitimacy for a democratic government. To call off elections and extend the term of Congress in defiance of the Constitution would be to destroy utterly that legitimacy. Perdue’s suggestion, joking or not, was madness; I wouldn’t at all blame the North Carolina legislature if it voted to censure her or even consider impeachment. A governor who can so cavalierly suggest doing away with elections is unworthy to hold office.

But Governor Perdue’s Kinsleyan gaffe is really representative of a larger problem within the Democratic Party, a problem with democracy, itself. In this case, I’m not talking about contempt for free speech shown by the 2008 Obama campaign or by the president after taking office, part of what Michael Barone has dubbed the “thugocracy.”

No, the problem is more fundamental and it dominates the thinking of those who are its leaders — they are Democrats who don’t like democracy. It’s messy and it keeps them from doing the things they want to do that they know are best for us. Consider, for example, President Obama’s first Budget Director, Peter Orszag:

To solve the serious problems facing our country, we need to minimize the harm from legislative inertia by relying more on automatic policies and depoliticized commissions for certain policy decisions. In other words, radical as it sounds, we need to counter the gridlock of our political institutions by making them a bit less democratic.


Virtually all responsible economists agree that we should be aiming to reduce the deficit in the long-term but not in the short-term. We need an even larger deficit in 2011 and 2012, to support a weak economy—but a much smaller deficit in 2020 and 2050, to put the nation back on a sustainable fiscal course. Yet our polarized political system has proved incapable of reaching a consensus on this common-sense approach.

What we need, then, are ways around our politicians. The first would be to expand automatic stabilizers—those tax and spending provisions that automatically expand when the economy weakens, thereby cushioning the blow, and automatically contract as the economy recovers, thereby helping to reduce the deficit.

Or how about President Obama, who lamented having to deal with Congress and a political process and wished he could go around it:

“As I mentioned when I was at La Raza a few weeks back, I wish I had a magic wand and could make [immigration reform and the DREAM Act] all happen on my own,” Obama told a meeting of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus. “There are times where — until Nancy Pelosi is speaker again — I’d like to work my way around Congress.”

Maybe Governor Perdue was auditioning to replace Biden on the ticket in 2012?

These aren’t the only instances where we’ve seen impatience, frustration, and even contempt for the democratic process coming from Democratic Party leaders. We’ve encountered it in the reaction to the rise of the Tea Party — a loose populist coalition calling for less power for the federal government, more fiscal responsibility, and adherence to the Constitution as written — implying that they’re fascists (1) and un-American, simply for exercising their right to free speech to peacefully oppose a policy proposal. Here in California, where Democratic Party dominance is nearly total, then-Assembly Speaker and now Congresswoman Karen Bass referred to people making their opinions known to their legislators and promising to hold them accountable for their votes as “terrorists.”

This isn’t a new phenomenon by any means. It’s old, going back to the roots of American progressivism in the 19th century, what we now call, incorrectly, “liberalism.” It’s fundamental thesis is that the modern world is too complex for a governing system designed in the 18th century for a rural, isolated republic; that legislatures were too fractious and trapped by partisan interest to do what was best; and that these complexities were best handed off to boards of experts and technocrats who could make the correct decisions with scientific dispassion — Orszag’s “depoliticized commissions.” Woodrow Wilson crystallized this contempt for democratic governance when, before becoming president, he argued in essence that the Constitution was obsolete. (See also Goldberg’s excellent “Liberal Fascism.”)

While initially a bipartisan fad (I’m sorry to say TR, one of my favorite presidents, was a progressive), progressivism and its preference for bureaucratic technocracy over constitutional democracy has become the bailiwick of the Democratic Party. Sometimes it was muted, as under Truman or Carter, sometimes it roared loud and proud, as under FDR, LBJ, and Obama. And the impatience with democracy, usually hidden behind the standard vocabulary of American politics, becomes open when progressives encounter opposition and don’t get what they want. Then we hear the cries of “Washington is broken” and how the nation is “ungovernable.” No longer given their way as the natural governing party (unlike from 1933-1981), Democrats look more and more to activist courts or to bureaucratic fiat — “working my way around Congress” — to get what they cannot achieve through an uncooperative electorate.

To put it bluntly, the elite core of the Democratic Party –its leadership, not the rank and file average voter– is anti-democratic.

Which is why we must defeat them in every election we can, until they either reform or go the way of the Whigs.

LINKS: Ed Morrissey calls Governor Perdue’s comedy act a total bust.

(1) An almost Orwellian misuse of the word on their part.

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)

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22 Responses to “The anti-democratic Democrats”


  1. Drew says:

    Looks like the Guv Quality quotient in NC is on par with IL.


  2. Aarradin says:

    Actually, Governor, we really DO want our politicians to worry about the next election.

    What’s the difference between a Democrat and a National Socialist?

    No, really, that wasn’t a setup for a joke. I’m curious if there’s any difference at all.

  3. Chris Bennett says:

    Now I’m looking forward to Perdue’s “hyperbole” in her speech opening the Democrats’ convention in Charlotte next summer.

    Go for it, Bev – Obama would want you to…

  4. in_awe says:

    The problem runs deeper than just the elected officials – it runs to the bureaucracies embedded in the federal government. Political appointees bring in more civil servants who think like they do and build a flywheel effect to keep progressive policies going even after their political sponsors depart. As was reported over the summer, a federal civil servant is more likely to be hit by lighting or die in their cubicle than to fired or quit.

    How do you think we have the EPA we have today if it isn’t from 4 decades of progressives and environmentalists filling the ranks of that agency. These people will never waver from their headlong rush to regulate everything in this nation – regardless of cost or reason. Herman Cain has the right idea about ripping Agencies like the EPA out by the roots and start over smaller and smarter with a balanced approach.

  5. Carlos says:

    I’ve heard that portion of Guvner Nazi’s speech twice now, and I gotta tell ya, if she was joking she should be able to play championship poker ’cause nobody’d know what she was holdin’.

    She is Obama-creepy on this one. People like her would have been shot for treason a century ago, but with a century of progressive b.s. under their collective belt I guess the LSM just wants to protect anyone who might move this country a little closer to our collective utopia.

    But one doesn’t have far back to go to hear things just as stupid and scary; after all, Jackson-Lee and Waters are still with us.

  6. Dave Minnich says:

    What next – an Enabling Act for the One? I’m sure in their dreams they’d love that, but thankfully we have a constitution.

  7. Carlos says:

    So, tell me, Dave, since when has the Constitution made a bit of difference to our Thug-in-Chief, ever since his early days in the hood snortin’?

  8. bob jones says:

    Politicians who not only ignore the Constitution, but advocate ignoring or repealing it, need to be recalled. Politicians take an oath of office, when they break it, they need to be removed, and this fool would be a good place to start.

  9. PE says:

    Deep down she’s campaigning for the Hugo Chavez Democratic Leader Of The Year Award. Gutsy also. She’s willing to face the unrelenting firestorm of outrage her comments will trigger from the LA Times, the Washington Post and the New York Times.

  10. BK says:

    Don’t call them progressives. They want to take us back to 1917.

    Call them what they are: Leftists.

  11. Iva Biggin says:

    My question is: what would “we the people” really DO if the regime simply said “Nope, no elections this year”?

  12. According to Jack Wiley Dithers’ investigation, Perdue and Orszag were assigned by Soros, Inc. to float trial balloons for martial law. Soros, Inc. is calling an emergency board meeting to come up with Plan B.

    “Because the Only Good Progressive is a Failed Progressive”

  13. Zilla says:

    Bev Perdue is a career corruptocrat with a long and dirty political history. This latest outrage is but one of her MANY horrendous scandals. You can read about some of the others over at my place where I also quoted from and linked to the above great post from Phineas, here:

    Bev Perdue has Ample Motivation for Wanting to “Suspend” Elections

  14. Phineas says:

    The trouble with the “martial law conspiracy” theory is, well, it would require military cooperation. Now, does anyone seriously think that the all-volunteer, citizen-soldier military of the United States of America, every member of which swears an oath to defend the Constitution (a requirement that comes ahead of obeying orders), would participate in a coup d’etat?

    Seriously? When you think about it, it’s fairly insulting to our military.

  15. omapian says:

    One hundred years ago, an organized minority was able to impose Prohibition upon an apathetic majority. The apathetic population continued to consume alcohol in speakeasies and private clubs. The teamsters that legally transported alcohol in 1919 paid taxed to the government. With Prohibition, taxes went to organized crime.
    Progressives count on public apathy to impose their vision on the rest of us. All they have to do is demoralize and divide “we the people” into submission.
    We can expect to see the media working to divide the opposition to government growth into inconsequential groups hoping to create a third party and success for incumbents.

  16. tommy mc donnell says:

    give more time to the people that caused the economic crisis, what a great idea. anybody think she would send up this trial balloon if republicans were facing an election debacle.

  17. Tex says:

    Suspend democratic elections for two years? Please don’t give Obama any ideas!!!!!!!!!!

  18. Lorica says:

    To solve the serious problems facing our country, we need to minimize the harm from legislative inertia by relying more on automatic policies and depoliticized commissions for certain policy decisions.

    What we really need to minimize is the stupidity of people like Orszag. It is this thinking that has gotten us in the state we are in. Reminds me of the “Debt Limit”. What is the point of a debt limit if you can just automatically raise it?? It is time to get rid of stupid people like this buffoon, and start doing the hard work that it will take until we get the spending and debt under control.

    Does anyone here seriously think that this so called “super committee” will come up with anything that makes sense, or will the military just get screwed again?? What have the American people ever gotten from these committees outside of caving to the thinking of leftists?? Yeah Peter that is what we need, our side compromising by caving.

    Virtually all responsible economists agree that we should be aiming to reduce the deficit in the long-term but not in the short-term. We need an even larger deficit in 2011 and 2012, to support a weak economy—but a much smaller deficit in 2020 and 2050, to put the nation back on a sustainable fiscal course.

    Who are these “economists”?? This idiot couldn’t give a single name of anyone that was outside the Keynesian realm of thinking. The problem with this thinking, and proving that Orszag is the village idiot, is that we are still going to be paying off our current debt in 2050. Even if we slash our deficit spending by 500,000,000,000.00 dollars how long will it take to pay off our current debt?? We will NEVER pay it off as we are still spending almost a 1,000,000,000,000.00 dollars we don’t have, and he wants automatic increases in the debt limit. What a frickin’ idiot.

    As far as this Perdue person, I pray that the people of NC start seeing these people for what they are, political opportunists. Maybe, just maybe there will be a landslide toward common sense thinking in NC, and that will hopefully cause an avalanche for the rest of the country. Except in the state of stupidity, Illinois – Lorica

  19. ombdz says:

    Hmmmm, would Bev Perdue’s little trial balloon have saved Anthony Weiner? Quite possibly …


  20. Carlos says:

    The response, Phineas, to your “martial law conspiracy” response, is that Obhammud is arrogant and narcissistic enough to believe that, as CiC, he truly believes soldiers would obey his orders. Part of that stems from the fact that the soldiers probably know very little of the Constitution and what it says, and part of it is just plain hubris. He would probably also have the AG with him to tell the soldiers that it was, in fact, a legal, constitutional order.

    Fortunately, most of the officers would be able to see through this and countermand Duh-1’s orders, and most soldiers will listen to their CO’s before listening to the Prez.

    Also, how many of the F&F guns have ended up in the hands of Duh-1’s “greenshirt” citizens’ army? And has he struck a deal with one or more of the Mexican drug cartels to help with enforcement once he’s declared martial law?

    Just askin’.