CRB: Draining the swamp

We continue our preview of the new (Winter) issue of the Claremont Review of Books hot off the press. It went into the mail on Monday and is accessible online to to subscribers now. Buy an annual subscription including immediate online access here for the modest price of $19.95. It is an invaluable magazine for those of us who love trustworthy essays on, and reviews of books about, politics, history, literature and culture.

The assault on the Trump administration from inside the government is giving us new lessons in the administrative state. In 2014 I put everything I had learned about the administrative state into the National Review book review “A new old regime.” Everything I had learned came from the book under review and from attending to Professor John Marini over many years.

Now our friend Ken Masugi has compiled and edited John’s essays into Unmasking the Administrative State: The Crisis of American Politics in the Twenty-First Century. The CRB has commissioned Michael Anton — author of “The Flight 93 election” — to review it.

The CRB publishes Anton’s review of Marini’s book under the headline “Draining the swamp.” The headline does not do justice to Anton’s provocations in this timely essay. Anton writes, for example:

The true subject of this book, then, is “regime change,” how we got from “there”—our founders’ understanding of justice, morality, and politics—to “here”: the tradition-and-history-destroying, common-good-denying, anarcho-tyrannical, pathologically altruistic dystopian oligarchy currently throttling the West….

For the United States is not now, and has not been for some time, a constitutional republic as the founders and their heirs understood that term. As Marini shows, the administrative state is not merely unconstitutional; it is anti-constitutional.

Marini’s is an important book, as is Anton’s essay on it. Please check it out.

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