The Administrative Threat

Philip Hamburger describes what he calls the most pressing civil-liberties issue of our time in The Administrative Threat.

In a 10-minute conversation with The Bookmonger, Hamburger describes the problem of the administrative state, why Woodrow Wilson deserves much of the blame, and whether President Trump is providing a solution.

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  1. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    Your guest reminds me of at least three old sayings. The first may or may not apply, but it sounds like there might be some history:

    A conservative is a liberal who’s been mugged. (In a bit of looking, I am not finding a definitive attribution on the quote, but…)

    Your guest sounds like a scholar who has just poked his head out like the groundhog and discovered there will be six more weeks of winter. “This is new! People don’t know about this! People have not seen the implications of this!” It reminds me of when I was young and stupid. (Now, I’m not young.) And it also reminds me of another line I have heard attributed to Reagan, but it’s probably older:

    For most people, the world began on the day they were born.

    His sounding as if he has just discovered this problem is not helping his message. The subject is very important. It should be known. And, it is. Trump partially ran on this problem, as well as immigration and other problems nobody else was willing to touch. It’s not as if the subject has not been discussed and written about extensively. Seems to me there was a book called Three Felonies a Day, which included talking about “The volume of federal crimes in recent decades has increased well beyond the statute books and into the morass of the Code of Federal Regulations, handing federal prosecutors an additional trove of vague and exceedingly complex and technical prohibitions to stick on their hapless targets.” (Quote from the book blurb on Amazon.)

    The third old quote the conversation brought to mind was from a professor I had in college:

    An “Ex-” is a has been, and a “spurt” is a drip under pressure, so an “expert” is a has-been drip under pressure.

    Now, I’m an expert on many subjects, and I’m sure your guest is an expert on this subject. And on Ricochet, we can find experts on just about everything. There are very few of us who aren’t experts in something. But holding experts in high regard is durned near anti-American. ?

    I have great sympathy for your guest in having to talk about his work in an interview. I know I am never comfortable in doing such. But he might want to consider an approach that might dial it back to something on the order of, “This is a very important topic. Those who pay attention are aware, but my target is the broader American public. I want to get the word out to every voter…” I think that would certainly be less grating to an audience such as Ricochet members.

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