Steve Hayward’s current Weekly Standard article “Crisis of the conservative house divided” provides an anatomy of splits in the conservative movement exposed in the course of the 2016 presidential contest. It’s an important and illuminating essay.
Steve’s essay turns on “the insidious political character of the ‘administrative state,’ a phrase once confined chiefly to the ranks of conservative political scientists, but which has broken out into common parlance. It refers not simply to large bureaucracy, but to the way in which the constitutional separation of powers has been steadily eroded by the delegation of more and more lawmaking to a virtual ‘fourth branch’ of government.”
Regardless of who wins the election, the vast apparatus of regulatory agencies will continue to dictate much of the way we live now. Steve elaborates on the political effects of this new regime and the difficulty of mounting resistance to it. A left-wing president deploys the new regime to his own purposes. A conservative president would be subservient to it. Congress and the courts have abdicated their responsibilities.
What is to be done? Steve’s essay is perfect weekend reading and one of the most important pieces I have read this season.