Sunstein On How to Bypass "The People"

Tuesday, August 05, 2014

Cass Sunstein -- whose book advocating government meddling shares an interesting similarity in its title with an Ayn Rand essay against the same -- has posted a warning to Americans who value rule of law and individual freedom.

However, sensing that the cause of freedom is on the ropes, Sunstein casts his information as a prescription, rather than the list of vulnerabilities that it is. Basically, Sunstein wants an autocratic President to "get Washington working", and sees three ways to achieve this: (1) fast action by any recently-elected President; (2) "broad grants of authority", such as George W. Bush obtained after the jihadist atrocities of September 11, 2001 (Curiously, Sunstein is mum on how well the NSA surveillance that started then has been "working".); and (3) "creatively designed laws" that allow the President and Congress to pass the buck to others.

Note that all of these remove debate and careful deliberation from the political process -- both at the time of the passage of a law, when disaster might be averted and long after disaster has become apparent or has occurred and a course correction the President might not agree with might be called for. Ayn Rand hit the nail on the head in "Have Gun, Will Nudge", when she showed the following about that the motives of Sunstein and his ilk:

That such is the ultimate goal of our present trend, is indicated in Mr. Minow's "vast wasteland" speech of May 9, 1961. While all the concrete-bound, range-of-the-moment modern mentalities have been clamoring over the issue of Westerns versus spelling-bees, the ominous key-sentence of that speech has been passed by in comparative silence: the threat to "those few of you who really believe that the public interest is merely what interests the public."
Sunstein regards the American public at large as cattle to be prodded, rather than sovereign individuals with rights.

It is up to us to push back by seeking to reestablish proper limits on the government in general and the executive branch in particular if we are to live once again as free men.

-- CAV


Vigilis said...

"Sunstein regards the American public at large as cattle to be prodded, rather than sovereign individuals with rights."

Cass Sunstein, J.D. magna cum laude from Harvard Law School, legal scholar.

Gus, Eisenhower would vomit at the current dimensions and power of the "lawyer-political complex".

What is a law graduate to do after investing time and $$$ in a career, if he/she does not wish to alienate the network that dictates his/her prospects.

There is but one effective way to slow down corruptive expansion of the lawyer-political network --- by acquainting the general public
with the inapparent conflicts of interest particular to lawyers in government.

There are six legacy reasons the media will not help in this endeavor, all 6 created by the legal profession.

Sunstein has merely mouthed a self-fulfilling professy of his profession's ascendancy.

For every 1,000 pages of federal regulations (including the addition about 20,000 during Pres. Obama) an average of 166 full-time, federal lawyers are added to the U.S. government bureacracy. These 19,000+ do not include more the than 35,000 full-time "general" attorneys in non-regulatory jobs.

Gus Van Horn said...


As I have argued before, I see the large numbers of attorneys (and of those, the disproportionate number of happy welfare-state opportunists) as a symptom, rather than a cause.

That said, the statistics you cite regarding their increasing numbers remains interesting, not the least in light of the fact that law schools are turning out even more graduates than there is demand for. Can we say, "gravy train"?