Thursday, December 20, 2012

Woodrow Wilson, Godfather of Liberalism

7/31/12, "Woodrow Wilson: Godfather of Liberalism," by Ronald J. Pestritto,

"Critique of Founding"

"Wilson even suggested that the Declaration
(of Independence) ought to be understood by excluding from it the foundational statements on equality and natural rights contained in its first two paragraphs. In a 1911 address, Wilson remarked that the rhetorical introduction of the Declaration of Independence is the least part of it…. If you want to understand the real Declaration of Independence, do not repeat the preface.”[1]...(4th parag. of subhead)

After the fashion of today’s complaints about “gridlock” in Washington, Wilson argued that the separation-of-powers system was both inefficient and irresponsible. Separation of powers was inefficient because it prevented government from solving the problems of modern life in a coordinated way; instead, the various organs of government were busy attacking and struggling against one another.

It was irresponsible because the system made it difficult for the government to implement new public policy, even when the new policy reflected a clear new direction in public opinion. Unlike parliamentary government, where changes in public opinion could very quickly effect a change in government and a change in policy, the separation-of-powers system prevented just that kind of responsiveness....(last parag. of subhead)

"Progressive Political Ideas"

"Wilson’s entire claim to charting new territory in his famous “Study of Administration” essay rests on this difference with the traditional understanding of administration. The problem with the old understanding, from a Wilsonian perspective, was that it still left Congress with the primary responsibility for legislating. In Congressional Government, Wilson even complained that  

the greatest problem with Congress was that
it spent too much of its energy on the details of legislation when it  

should instead delegate the bulk of legislating  
to the administrative agencies 
that were expert at it.

It is in this way that we can see the influence of Wilson—and of Progressivism generally—on yet another central feature of American political life: Policymaking today, in many areas of national concern such as the environment, health care, and financial regulation, is done primarily by agencies within the bureaucracy to which Congress has delegated 

broad swaths of legislative authority. 

Recent battles ranging from rules for greenhouse gas emissions to benefits that must be covered by private health insurance plans have been fought not primarily in Congress, but in or against

administrative agencies that are exercising the power given to them by Congress."...(2 parags. near end of this subhead). via discussion on Mark Levin show


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