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"Indeed, the rage of theorists to make constitutions a vehicle for the conveyance of their own crude, and visionary aphorisms of government, requires to be guarded against with the most unceasing vigilance."
     -- Joseph Story
     Commentaries on the Constitution of the United States
     Book III, § 1857.

Friday, May 21, 2004

An angst roundup from Instapundit, a continuing series. And there's plenty more out there that he's missed, especially lately.

If you focus on "Anti-Bush slant" or "undermining the war effort," or whatnot, you're missing what's really going on, here. Considerations like upcoming elections and treason are secondary. Air time and column inches are secondary, as well. The primary consideration is, these are journalists -- mind you, I did not say "reporters" -- and they live and breathe to make a difference. What kind of difference doesn't matter; it can make things better, or worse; it can be an unmixed blessing, or a catastrophe; it can be the final triumphant outbreak of worldwide prosperity and happiness, or "We'll meet again, don't know where, don't know when"; whatever. Don't bother them with details. But they absolutely insist upon making that difference, and -- here's the kicker -- knowing that they made it, themselves. It's an important profession, damn you, important, and those doing it are important, too, the most important of all, don't you dare say different, and the proof of it is all the difference they make. So nothing is more to be expected than that they will set themselves crosswise to everyone and everything around them, agitating for the achievement of that which anyone in his right mind would prevent at all costs, so that, once it is achieved, whatever it is, no one can say, it was not their achievement.

It is a mistake to say these persons have no regard for consequences. Consequences are all they think about. They're just not the same consequences the rest of us have in mind.

There's a lot of this in the legal profession, as well. Which, for example, do you think is actually the most important consideration to Michael Newdow: the future ease, comfort, and well-being of his daughter? that she not "suffer" the "violation" of being "forced" to say "under God" in the Pledge of Allegiance? or that it's his name on the briefs, the arguments, and the case title that just might make a difference, and be damned to anyone else, including his daughter?

-- posted by Clayton 5/21/2004 06:28:00 PM

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