Jeb Bush is a "total nerd" for Charles Murray.
ThinkProgress is the latest to review Charles Murray's new book
. Yes, that Charles Murray
. The one who wrote The Bell Curve
and other pseudoscientific efforts supposing that white menfolk have better genes and are therefore superior to everyone else. The one Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush cited as one of his most-liked authors, and someone who "shaped" his views. If you haven't heard
, his new book
is a real piece of work
Yes, we have bad news to report: Charles 'Bell Curve' Murray has lost faith in American democracy.
Murray admits that the kind of government he seeks, a libertarian fantasy where much of our nation’s regulatory and welfare state has been dismantled, is “beyond the reach of the electoral process and the legislative process.” He also thinks it beyond the branch of government that is appointed by elected officials. The Supreme Court, Murray claims, “destroyed” constitutional “limits on the federal government’s spending authority” when it upheld Social Security in 1937. Since then, the federal government has violated a “tacit compact” establishing that it would not “unilaterally impose a position on the moral disputes that divided America” (Murray traces the voiding of this compact to 1964, the year that Congress banned whites-only lunch counters).
Please note that Charles Murray continues to be Not Racist, according to his many Republican vouchers-for. The fellow who made his career arguing that white folks were genetically superior to black folks just happens
to trace the fall of the republic back to that time when the courts said you couldn't bar black Americans from sitting in your restaurant.
Anyhoo, Murray has a plan to deal with this. His plan—and again, this may be why Jeb Bush likes the cut of this fellow's jib—is to give up on our current doomed government institutions and instead install a fourth branch, which will consist entirely of one fabulously wealthy American (cough, Mr. Koch, cough) ponying up the money to sue the government so often that it cripples government's ability to enforce those laws that
Charles Murray that rich person doesn't like.
“The emergence of many billion-dollar-plus private fortunes over the last three decades,” Murray writes, “has enabled the private sector to take on ambitious national or even international tasks that formerly could be done only by nation-states.” Murray’s most ambitious proposal is a legal defense fund, which “could get started if just one wealthy American cared enough to contribute, say, a few hundred million dollars,” that would essentially give that wealthy American veto power over much of U.S. law. [...]
The federal government, Murray claims, cannot enforce the entirety of federal law “without voluntary public compliance.” Federal resources are limited, and only a small fraction of these limited resources have been directed towards enforcement. Thus, Murray argues, by simply refusing to comply with the law and contesting every enforcement action in court, regulated entities can effectively drain the government’s resources and prevent it from engaging in meaningful enforcement.
It's a bit like Ayn Rand's vision of wealthy Americans going Galt
, but with more frivolous lawsuits. We have fabulously wealthy people these days, people so wealthy they could break not only our election systems but very the rule of law itself, if they tried; they should do
that. Then we wouldn't have Social Security, or anti-pollution laws, or black Americans sitting at Charles Murray's precious damn lunch counter.
Jeb Bush's favorite author, everybody. He's not racist, but he does want rich people to rise up to single-handedly cripple the elected government's ability to enforce established law. You can see why he's got the ear of Republican presidential candidates.