I've long been skeptical of Wise Experts Coming Up With Standard Policies, that skepticism expressed simply as "The simplest explanation for the troubles the political establishment are having with the voters is that the political establishment is doing things badly. But nobody wants to admit it."  But that doesn't stop all the Regular Practitioners from doing all the Regular Things.  Generally that means seizing on some relatively simple difficulty as a "crisis" and chattering back and forth about how to Best Modify the Standard Policies.

The problem with calling every little thing a crisis is that you run out of words to properly characterize a big thing that might deserve that sort of attention.

Today, that's what set Rush Limbaugh off.
I think the media, in their natural state, drives more people to Trump each and every day.

I think they’ve been doing it since the Sunday shows yesterday with this. The attempt to politicize this, the attempt to blame Trump for this… They can’t help themselves. They have spent the past 2-1/2 years trying to get rid of Donald Trump. They have thrown everything they know into the public domain hoping to influence people to abandon Trump, and it hasn’t happened. So these two events come along and they think, “Ah, this is it!

“This has to be what it is,” they’re thinking, and they just can’t help themselves. They start blaming Trump for the synagogue shooting. They start asking the president what he’s gonna do about guns; does he have a different view on it, as though he’s somehow responsible. And what it does, it portrays — it gives away — the fact that as far as the American left is concerned, everything centers around Washington, that Washington is the solution for everything.

And how is Washington the solution? Washington is the solution because Washington is where the enemies of the left are gonna be punished, is where the enemies of the left are going to be dealt with. That’s the role of government, as far as the left is concerned. The government as an agent of power to enforce punitive, punishing policies on the enemies of the American left. That’s its purpose. So a shooting anywhere takes place; the left says, “What’s the president gonna do about it?”

The president had nothing to do with it in the first place! The president has nothing to do with gun control laws except as a supporter or opponent. Congress writes the laws! But the idea that Washington should be able to command anything at any time is what the left wants with the White House.
It's not the left, Mr Limbaugh. The phenomenon might better be understood as the Fatal Conceit of the Permanent Government.  Washington is the solution because if voters recognize that the best way to deal with Washington malfunctions is to rediscover the Tenth Amendment (or call an Article V convention) that will mean less influence to be peddled along K Street and fewer opportunities for journalists to hop into bed with elected officials or Cabinet level bureaucrats and fewer things to talk about at great length but to little effect on the Sunday shows (that is, when the Sunday shows deal with matters of substance, rather than handicapping the next election ... it's only two weeks until the presidential speculations will begin).

To see this, look no further than the transcript of Sunday's Meet The Press, one of the shows that set Mr Limbaugh off.  You can find the stuff Mr Limbaugh is referring to if you scroll around.  I want to focus on a segment that ran later in the show, after the first gathering of the Panel of Chin-Pullers, featuring Republican Steve Stivers of Ohio and Democrat Ben Ray Luján of New Mexico.

Here's Representative Luján on Fixing Things.
Well, look, it's making sure that we're able to reach across the aisle and we can work in a bipartisan basis. What Democrats have been clear about is if we're fortunate to win back the House, which I believe we will, that we work immediately on lowering prescription drug prices for the American people. That we work on a bipartisan infrastructure package to make investments across the country. And that we work together to clean up Washington D.C., to find ways to overturn Citizens United, to address gerrymandering, to improve and increased transparency and disclosure across the government to restore faith in our political process. Those are all areas where we can work together and reach across the aisle and find some common ground.
Usual bromides, usual attempts to live at the expense of somebody else.  You have Citizens United (a Democrat gripe about corporate money in politics) because you have Washington involved in everything.  Less Washington, less reason to buy influence in Washington.  But that's not how Democrats roll.

Representative Stivers doesn't look much better.
I do think we need to come together not on any one's terms but on America's terms. We're Americans first. I agree with Ben that infrastructure is something that we all need and we need to come together on. Lowering prescription drug costs. I'm not sure why Ben didn't talk about lowering health care costs. We need to come together on lowering health care costs. And I think we can do that. We need to listen to each other no matter who takes the majority. And I think we're going to hold the majority. But no matter who takes the majority -- [here Chuck Todd butts in] -- it will be a razor-thin majority. And hopefully that will mean people will come together, Republicans and Democrats, to get things done. But I do worry about, you know, making sure that we do it in a way that we are focused on getting things done, not on just abolishing ICE -- [here Chuck Todd butts in] -- or doing the things that are on the extreme.
We can't talk about lowering health care costs until we have something resembling price discovery in medicine.  Just another failure of elite imagination.  But the elites have their Sunday shows and their crisis-mongering, and their grand constructions still haven't fallen apart.

Therefore, now is as good a time as any to question the permanent government's conceits, and mock their pretensions.

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