Feed on Posts or Comments 19 February 2018

First things . . . Richard Falknor on 28 Jan 2018 05:09 pm

Taming The “Administrative State” Is Not Just Some “Insider” Conservative Concern But Essential For Our Day-To-Day Freedoms

Few analysts have the foresight of Stanley Kurtz whether revealing Barack Obama’s deep-left background in 2008, or describing the roots and the threat of Obama’s AFFH policy(Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing) in 2012 and 2015, or developing state-level model legislation to protect free political speech on campus in 2017.

Earlier this month, Kurtz published (National Review) “The Politics of the Administrative State”

“About a month into the Trump presidency, Steve Bannon, a senior White House adviser at the time, identified ‘deconstruction of the administrative state’ as one of the administration’s three core policy goals (protecting national security and reviving the economy, including trade, were the other two). Having no clear sense of what Bannon was talking about, the media at the time treated “deconstruction of the administrative state” as either a synonym for traditional Republican opposition to big government, or code for some sinister authoritarian populism. Virtually no-one in the mainstream press understood, or cared to fairly present, the gist of the growing conservative critique of the administrative state. That critique focuses on a runaway bureaucracy’s threat to constitutional government. Congress has improperly delegated much of its law-making power to bureaucrats, who in turn have abusively expanded this authority. The courts, for their part, have turned a blind eye to the administrative power-grab. Meanwhile, agencies staffed by unelected bureaucrats now operate de facto courts. In effect, these agencies negate the separation of powers by simultaneously exercising legislative, executive, and judicial functions, the very definition of authoritarian rule. On top of that, administrative adjudication commonly evades constitutionally protected due process rights.” (Highlighting added throughout.)

Below are just a few key points Kurtz makes – – – but grassroots conservative leaders should “read, mark, and inwardly digest” his entire post.

We may win most of the short-term battles from immigration-control to at least keeping Political Islam at bay, but we surely won’t see our school curricula reformed
without taming the administrative state. And we cannot say it enough: politics is just downstream from culture.

  • “An important new book by Emmett McGroarty, Jane Robbins, and Erin Tuttle, Deconstructing the Administrative State: The Fight for Liberty, turns us toward these questions. McGroarty, Robbins, and Tuttle change the debate over the administrative state by shifting our angle of vision. As senior fellows at the American Principles Project (APP), McGroarty and Robbins helped lead the grassroots movement against the Common Core education standards. Tuttle, now a research fellow at APP, is one of the Indiana mothers who helped ignite the anti-Common Core movement in the states. Whereas critiques of the administrative state generally focus on history or law, McGroarty, Robbins, and Tuttle draw on their background to highlight the frustrating and sometimes ugly day-to-day politics of the administrative state, examining the state and local levels, as well as the federal. They also throw light on Republicans’ internal divisions over the administrative state. So after a quick survey of Deconstructing the Administrative State, we can return to the big political issues with new eyes.”

  • “McGroarty, Robbins, and Tuttle also take an original look at the intellectual armature of the administrative state: government-sponsored research. While some of this research has value, plenty of federally-sponsored ‘research’ merely enshrines the policy preferences of progressive bureaucrats and their academic allies. Too often, government research assumes favored policy positions, rather than offering neutral evaluations of key alternatives. And since state and local governments can’t match billions of dollars of federally-funded education research, for example, de facto federal control of education often follows. Ironically, education experiments launched by questionable ‘research’ can achieve near immortality without ever having shown hard evidence of their effectiveness.”

  • “Yet the most controversial theme McGroarty, Robbins, and Tuttle treat is business’s role in expanding the administrative state. While business favors the Trump regulatory rollback at the federal level, many businesses are allied with progressive activists seeking to expand the federal bureaucracy’s hold over states and localities. Businesses favor an unconstitutional federal takeover of education because they want national markets for textbooks and testing software. Businesses support the dumbed-down Common Core standards advocated by many progressives because they’re more interested in ‘workforce development’ than classic liberal education for citizenship. Businesses favor federal attempts to force dense housing and public transportation on the suburbs when that means access to federal subsidies for building projects.”
  • If President Trump wants to mobilize the Republican base, he could announce major moves to restore local control over education and to repeal AFFH. Trump’s constantly reiterated campaign promise to free the states from Common Core has yet to be fulfilled. At the same time, he could summon voters to prevent these abuses from ever happening again by rising up to demand passage of the REINS Act and other legislative reforms of the sort recommended by McGroarty, Robbins, and Tuttle.”

Grass-roots leaders should read the entire Kurtz post and contrive ways to require their local GOP politicians openly to address taming the administrative state.





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