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The Legacy of Legacy-Oriented Bureaucrats

Modern American political statesmen, much like their positional forebears- those decadent and oft inept kings of old- appear increasingly concerned with legacy. Hoary kings had to ceaselessly fight squabbling barons and civil unrest from the rabble they exploited. President Obama and John Kerry have to contend with a Senate that dares question their rightness and an American public, uneducated and ungrateful about the good for which they slave.

What a heavy burden is political leadership.

Rather than solve the problems of the present and win tough political battles, they would rather be remembered fondly by future generations, who ostensibly will pause as society crumbles under the weight of crippling debt, bankrupt entitlement programs, crumbling infrastructure and the rise of military hawkishness amongst our enemies, and venerate those figures whose accomplishments loom large in the hallowed halls of American government.

Really, they ought to be remembered as petty tyrants so obsessed with personality they were willing to go to extraordinary lengths to pervert reason and justice just to massage their ego.

When John Roberts issued the majority opinions in NFIB v. Sebelius and King v. Burwell he committed a stunning feat, not only by managing to completely avoid any cogent legal rationale, but by taking plain, straightforward English and making it ambiguous and confusing. Thus, a fee is a tax, state means federal and the Supreme Court is not only apparently an authority on semantics but a legislative organ.

Now, Kerry is explaining that brokered deals between foreign nations that clearly fit the definition of a treaty subject to congressional approval, a process outlined in very simple language in the Constitution, are something else entirely, not because of any obscure legal loophole, but because it would be just too hard to get Congress to approve.

Gridlock is a part of the political process carefully integrated by the Founders so the country, like most true democracies, wouldn’t lurch into tyranny and fascism. But, for Kerry and Obama and others concerned with the editorial tone of historical writers, genuine political questions only stymie their unfettered will.

How appropriate that this quest for legacy should find viability because another branch of the wanted to puff itself up and assumed powers unto itself beyond that which are granted by the Constitution.

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This chimerical bureaucratic miasma wherein government assumes and sheds off the accoutrements of power as it sees fit is only the horrific, dystopian reality legal experts warned of the first time Roberts decided to rewrite law.

It is the culmination of a belief in relativism, its biggest impact in government being the belief that the Constitution is “living,” not concretely definable because it’s impossible to really know what the Founders meant, the long, detailed compilation of essays explaining proposed Constitutional clauses, popularly known as The Federalist Papers, aside.

This is a political reality divorced from the physical one. It is the reason Congress thinks the impending bankruptcy of the Social Security disability trust fund can be solved by simply expunging its existence.

This is the rationale of a child who, told by his mother to clean his room, sweeps everything under the bed and thinks himself clever. She does nothing more than take a cursory look around as she is tired and busy, sees the mess gone, and pats her child on the head.

She, much like the American voter, does not think what character traits this passive acceptance gives tacit approval to, nor does the child consider, like our venerated elder statesmen, what will happen when he needs to find something in a hurry amidst the clutter.

John Kerry is the poster child for such a lackadaisical approach to governance. His appalling Winter Soldier testimony, not only slandered American heroes but amounted to a felonious action for which he was never called to account, but led to his position as preeminent global diplomat.

Opposition to the will of unelected bureaucrats and elected politicians is increasingly becoming only an annoying impediment to their will. If the American people do not stand up and mete out swift and severe punishment for this attitude, it will only grow, leading only to increased federal power and increasing disdain for average American voters.

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About Katherine Revello

A recent graduate of the University of Maine, where she majored in journalism and political science, Katherine Revello is an aspiring political commentator. Her focuses include theory, the philosophy of money and populism. Currently, she is a graduate student at Villanova University. She is the founder of The Politics of Discretion, a blog dedicated to advancing her philosophy of discretionism. Follow her on Twitter: @MrsWynandPapers