"There is always a philosophy for lack of courage."—Albert Camus

Thursday, July 21, 2005

More on the Constitution In Exile or Less . . . Much Less

Found an interesting article on the CIE movement or lack thereof courtesy of our friends at Southern Appeal. Check it out.

Here's the telling paragraph:

In short, I despair of our supposed plans for toppling the New Deal. And in truth, there is no Constitution in Exile movement. Google the phrase, run it through Lexis-Nexis, search far and wide: No conservative or libertarian activist, theorist, or judge has used the term since its casual mention in 1995 (and few have ever heard of it).

This helps explain my shock as a dues-paying, secret meeting having, long term member of the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy at having never heard the term until it was brought up quite recently by a left-leaning commenter.

12 comments:

James Elliott said...

Sigh. If it's such a non-starter, why have you devoted several threads to the matter?

Methinks the lad doth protest too much.

Hunter Baker said...

You know, James, it's just that it was such a surprise when you brought it up. I'm somewhat fascinated by the idea.

James Elliott said...

Hey, did you read today's NY Times? Jeffrey Rosen has a very reasonable piece on John Roberts. I liked it very much.

Now, I know you and most of the Right like to paint the Constitution-in-Exile thing as the Left crying out against some vast Right Wing conspiracy, but that's simply not the case. It's kind of like saying there's a Left Wing Media conspiracy. Wishing just don't make it so. We've always treated CIE as a catch-all phrase for conservative judicial theorists and lawyers who try to use a half-baked "originalist" argument to return to the early part of the 20th century when Congress didn't exercise any kind of regulatory authority over industry. CIE has always been more of a collection of conservative-libertarian ideas than a consolidated neo or theocon movement.

Basically, the idea is that once the Haves realize they are in a position of power, they jeaously guard that power, making property rights paramount to their ideology. The Industrial Revolution changed the face of American society, and the New Deal was an attempt to interject a little bit of fairness and equality into that change. That's why it's called "progressive." It's all very simple. Even a conservative should be able to grasp it.

Hunter Baker said...

What you don't understand is that Roe (an abortion rights case) and Lochner (a pre-New Deal give-in case) are cut from exactly the same cloth. Both created previously unknown near absolute rights from substantive due process. The relationship between the two cases has been widely commented upon by both right and left legal scholars.

The other thing is that conservatives oppose New Deal style programs because they believe they are fundamentally wrong-headed and cannot work long term. It's not because of antipathy toward poor people or the desire to maintain an advantage. Gimme a break.

James Elliott said...

I disagree. It's also not as sinister as you seem to take it. Simply put, people who are in a system that benefits them will work to maintain and strengthen that system. Therefore, as Saul Alinsky once said, their ideology and practice becomes one of law, order, and property rights. It's not evil, nor is it somehow even an antipathy towards the poor. Capitalism has inevitable losers and winners. It's a naturally inequitable system. Some people (i.e. the New Deal) seek to minimize those inequities that can be minimized.

I never claimed to be a lawyer. Just smarter than your average bear.

Hunter Baker said...

The issue of inequality is a problem of perception and proportion. Would you rather be in the 20th percentile toward the bottom of the scale in the U.S. or in the 60th or 70th percentile among the Chinese? The system makes a difference. Capitalism has substantial wage and wealth differences, but for the great mass of people it means a better material existence.

Hunter Baker said...

Of course you're smarter than the average bear. According to BlogIQ, 0ur readers consistently rank as more erudite and intellectually precocious than the readers of 90% of the weblogs out there.

Okay, I made that up, but I'm sure it's true.

James Elliott said...

I just went to that link you provided. Wow. Your arguments would be way better off if you didn't base them on intellectually dishonest and ideologically biased folks like American Enterprise Institute.

Kathy Hutchins said...

Your arguments would be way better off if you didn't base them on intellectually dishonest and ideologically biased folks like American Enterprise Institute

What utterly baseless intellectually lazy bullshit, James. You're smarter than that.

I've worked for several think tanks and academic research centers, both conservative and politically non-partisan. I never met anyone, and never debated anyone from the other side, that showed any evidence of being intellectually dishonest. I have met plenty of people with whom I disagreed. I've met plenty of people whose analytic approaches I criticized. But I never thought anyone was doing any less than his or her best to find out the truth, find the best way to describe that truth, and find the best way to implement that truth in practical settings. That goes for the Urban Institute, the Economic Policy Institute, Brookings, and Resources for the Future, just as much as it does for Cato, Heritage, AEI, CEI, and PERC.

The press are sometimes dishonest, but much more often simply ignorant and lazy. But they're a different story altogether.

James Elliott said...

AEI and Heritage have both published methodologically flawed studies and you know it. How else do you explain usage of an alpha of .10? You can't, because it's a blatant attempt to make the facts fit the hypothesis.

Kathy Hutchins said...

How else do you explain usage of an alpha of .10? You can't, because it's a blatant attempt to make the facts fit the hypothesis.

Unless you point me to an example, I have no idea what you're talking about. If, just to take a wild stab at it, you're talking about some regression analysis, then as long as the st. devs were reported, what difference does it make what level of alpha they chose to report as their minimum significance? I've seen 0.10 used plenty of times, especially if you're talking a two-tailed coefficient. "Flawed analysis" does mean they chose a different t-stat than you would have; it means that the research design is in some way fundamentally unsound.

Kathy Hutchins said...

ARGH! Should be: "Flawed analysis" doesn't mean they chose....