Boots & Sabers

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0720, 30 Jan 24

Outcome-based politics

My column for the Washington County Daily News is online and in print. Here you go:

Our system of government was purposefully constructed to make it difficult to impose policy without overwhelming support, thus requiring advocates to win adherents in the crucible of public debate. As Americans, we have always engaged in robust political debate for this purpose, but our politics are different than it once was. More dangerous. More consequential.


The difference seems to be that in ages past, both political parties adhered to a fundamental respect for the process and institutions of our nation. Imbued with legitimacy accorded by the Founders and the many years since their creation, there was near universal respect for our institutions and the process by which we confer the consent of the people upon the wielders of political power.


In recent years, the Democrats, and to a much lesser, but not negligible, extent, the Republicans, have jettisoned respect for, and adherence to, the process, institutions, and constitutional constraints of our system of government in favor of an outcome-based approach to obtaining and wielding political power. This has coincided with the growing Marxist faction of the Democratic Party wielding increasing power over the wilting traditional liberals. In this doctrine, the outcome justifies subverting, ignoring, or modifying the processes and institutions as required to achieve the outcome. Just as ancient and medieval princes justified their tyranny for the sake of necessity and the greater good, so, too, do our modern tyrants. Whether for the cause of security, climate change, COVID, or democracy (whatever that means), political objectives are elevated to the stature of existential causes to justify any action that leads to the desired outcome.


We see this infection reddening the organ and connecting tissues of all aspects of our government. In Wisconsin, we see it with the newly leftist Supreme Court. The settled process for reapportionment as prescribed by the state Constitution and long practiced by both parties is being abandoned by the court. The leftist justices and their adherents justify the action for the sake of “fairness” — as defined by them. To the leftists, the constitutional and long-established process for apportionment did not result in the outcome they wanted, so they are jettisoning the process to dictate their desired outcome.


When the United States Supreme Court ruled that President Biden lacked the constitutional or legal authority to arbitrarily absolve tens of thousand of debtors from their obligation to repay their student loans, thus thrusting that cost onto taxpayers, Biden simply ignored the order. Without making any effort to involve Congress or obtain the required authority, Biden has been illegally transferring billions of dollars of student debt to taxpayers. For Biden, the outcome of appeasing this constituency justifies ignoring the protestations of the coequal branch of government charged with adjudicating his actions.


Perhaps nowhere else do we see the destructive force of an outcome-based political system than at our southern border. Despite a constitutional responsibility and reams of laws empowering and funding the federal government to secure our federal borders from people illegally crossing them, President Biden has chosen to ignore that responsibility and use those resources to facilitate and accelerate the ingestion of millions of illegal aliens into our nation. The full resources of the federal government are being used to greet, provide resources for, and diffuse illegal aliens into the interior.


We know that this invasion is Biden’s intent because the border was all but secure at the end of the previous administration. Since then, the Congress has not passed any border or immigration legislation, yet the border is gaping open. It is estimated that well more than a million illegal aliens have been dispersed throughout our nation every year of Biden’s term. Biden’s intentional effort to flood communities with people he thinks will be more likely than not to vote for Democrats someday justifies unburdening himself from the confines of statute or Constitution.


Outcome-based politics always precedes tyranny. By abandoning the constitutional, legal, and traditional processes and institutional implements of power for the sake of necessity, we necessarily concentrate power and silence the moderating effect of opposition voices. The same slide preceded Caesar, Napoleon, and Hitler — tyrants all, who stood astride the ashes of the republics they replaced. The slide can be reversed, but it becomes more difficult with each passing day.


0720, 30 January 2024

1 Comment

  1. Tuerqas

    >Outcome-based politics always precedes tyranny.

    Outcome based politics is already tyranny when it ignores the laws of the nation.

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