Merry Christmas from the Country Class.

Angelo Codevilla focused my attention on the political phenomenon that gave us Obamacare and may yet give us amnesty for illegal immigration. I have previously posted the link and, after the source deleted it, the essay itself.

He has expanded his description of the phenomenon in another essay in Forbes.

Those who attribute the polarization of American politics to the partisan drawing of congressional districts at the state level have a point: The Supreme Court’s decision in Baker v. Carr (1962) inadvertedly legalized gerrymandering by setting “one man one vote” as the sole basis of legitimacy for drawing legislative districts. Subsequent judicial interpretations of the 1965 Voting Rights Act demanded that districts be drawn to produce Congressmen with specific features. No surprise then that Democratic and Republican legislatures and governors, thus empowered, have drawn the vast majority of America’s Congressional districts to be safe for Democrats or Republicans respectively. Such districts naturally produce Congressmen who represent their own party more than the general population. This helped the parties themselves to grow in importance. But the U.S. Senate and state governments also have polarized because public opinion in general has.

This explanation is of critical importance in understanding what happened.

The ever-growing U.S. government has an edgy social, ethical, and political character. It is distasteful to a majority of persons who vote Republican and to independent voters, as well as to perhaps one fifth of those who vote Democrat. The Republican leadership’s kinship with the socio-political class that runs modern government is deep. Country class Americans have but to glance at the Media to hear themselves insulted from on high as greedy, racist, violent, ignorant extremists. Yet far has it been from the Republican leadership to defend them. Whenever possible, the Republican Establishment has chosen candidates for office – especially the Presidency – who have ignored, soft-pedaled or given mere lip service to their voters’ identities and concerns.

Here is the origin of the Tea Party explained. It also explains the animosity of the Republican establishment for the Tea Party. Granted, the new political movement has made some mistakes in choosing candidates, such as Christine O’Donnell of Delaware, who proved to be a bit of a fraud. Sharon Angle was a more valid candidate but stood little chance of overturning the labor machine of Harry Reid. Joe Miller in Alaska won the primary but was upended by the machine of the Murkowski family which hates Sarah Palin with a passion as her career began with defeating them.

The other Tea Party candidates in 2010 were serious ones, including Ron Johnson in Wisconsin and Rand Paul of Kentucky, both elected. Marco Rubio, Pat Toomey, Mike Lee and Jim DeMint round out the list of successful Tea Party candidates. Ken Buck in Colorado should have won but picked a fight with the Tea Party, which had not supported him in the primary, and may have lost because of alienating those natural allies.

It is impossible to overstate the importance of American education’s centralization, intellectual homogenization and partisanship in the formation of the ruling class’ leadership. Many have noted the increasing stratification of American society and that, unlike in decades past, entry into its top levels now depends largely on graduation from elite universities. As Charles Murray has noted, their graduates tend to marry one another, perpetuating what they like to call a “meritocracy.” But this is rule not by the meritorious, rather by the merely credentialed – because the credentials are suspect. As Ron Unz has shown, nowadays entry into the ivied gateways to power is by co-option, not merit. Moreover, the amount of study required at these universities leaves their products with more pretense than knowledge or skill. The results of their management– debt, decreased household net worth, increased social strife – show that America has been practicing negative selection of elites.

Nevertheless as the Democratic Party has grown its constituent parts into a massive complex of patronage, its near monopoly of education has endowed its leaders ever more firmly with the conviction that they are as entitled to deference and perquisites as they are to ruling. The host of its non-governmental but government-financed entities, such as Planned Parenthood and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, argue for government funding by stating, correctly, that they are pursuing the public interest as government itself defines it.

How has the Republican Party responded to this trend ?

The Republican Party never fully adapted itself to the fact that modern big government is an interest group in and of itself, inherently at odds with the rest of society, that it creates a demand for representation by those it alienates, and hence that politicians must choose whether to represent the rulers or the ruled. The Republican Party had been the party of government between the Civil War and 1932. But government then was smaller in size, scope, and pretense. The Rockefellers of New York and Lodges of Massachusetts – much less the Tafts of Ohio – did not aspire to shape the lives of the ruled, as does modern government. Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal largely shut these Republicans out of the patronage and power of modern government.

As we saw in the IRS treatment of the Tea Party in 2012, the government employees see themselves as members of a ruling class. They are threatened by these uncredentialed, almost unwashed insurgents who cry for smaller government. The wealth of Washington DC, a city that knows no recession, is enough motive for bureaucrats to defend their careers, even if laws are broken. The political left denies that any mistreatment occurred, but that would be expected. Early on, the scandal was acknowledged but said to be “low level.

There is no evidence of White House involvement. On Monday, Obama said he’d first heard about the scandal from news stories on the day Lerner apologized. He went on to say:

If, in fact, IRS personnel engaged in the kind of practices that have been reported on and were intentionally targeting conservative groups, then that is outrageous, and there is no place for it, and they have to be held fully accountable, because the IRS as an independent agency requires absolute integrity and people have to have confidence that they are applying the laws in a nonpartisan way. You should feel that way regardless of party.

Not long after this, the scandal became a “fake scandal.” The IRS was targeting “dark money” and organizations that were purely “political.” We’ll see how this works out but we do know that the Tea Parties were far less active in 2012. Mission Accomplished. Will Obamacare reenergize them next year? We’ll see how the struggle between the ruling class and the country class goes next year.

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