Thursday, March 17, 2016

The Parliament vs the Crown


For John, BLUFThe problem is the pain of being Ted Cruz and being pilloried for shutting down Government.  Nothing to see here; just move along.



Yesterday Mr Pau A Rahe write, at the Blog Ricochet a post titled "The Power of the Purse".

Here is his lede:

Last week, Mona Charen published a post on Ricochet, defending the Republican establishment.  She began by observing that “The Republican Party is choosing an odd time to commit suicide,” and she rightly drew attention to the fact that “in the Obama era the Democrats lost 13 US Senate seats, 69 House seats, 910 legislative seats, 11 governorships, and 30 legislative chambers.”  The only thing that “stood between Republicans and real reform at the federal level was the White House,” she observed, “and the Democrats were sleepwalking toward nominating the least popular major player in American politics.”  Then, she rightly noted that the Republicans had “managed to find someone who is even less acceptable,” and she added a few choice words about Donald Trump – all of them, alas, plausible, but (and this may turn out to be important down the road) not all of them, as they pertain to the future, certain.
Here is the part that Law Professor Glenn Reynolds chose to extract:
“The truth is that modern liberty depends on the power of the purse.  All of the great battles in England in the 17th century between the Crown and Parliament turned ultimately on the power of the purse.  The members of Parliament were elected at least in part with an eye to achieving a redress of grievances, and that redress was the price they exacted for funding the Crown.  Our legislature has given up that power. Our congressional leaders claim – once the election is over – that they have no leverage.  If that is really true, then elections do not matter, and a redress of grievances is now beyond the legislature’s power.  Absent that capacity, however, the legislature is virtually useless.  Absent that capacity, it is contemptible — and let’s face it:  the President and those who work under him have showered it with contempt.”
To which Professor Reynolds rightly added:
Which is why we have Trump.
But, as long as the Democrats (in the current Congressional configuration) hold party loyalty above Congressional prerogatives, things will continue as they have.  The only question is if it would continue that way if Democrats ruled the roost on Capitol Hill?

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

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