Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Alexander Decries 'Tyranny of the Majority'

Posted By on Wed, Apr 29, 2009 at 12:49 PM

click to enlarge lamar1.jpeg
In yet another sign of Republican irrelevance in Washington, Sen. Lamar Alexander complained today about a Democratic "tyranny of the majority."

Yesterday a member of our Republican side moved his desk to the other side, potentially giving that side of the aisle 60 votes and raising the prospect that we would have no check and balance on one-party rule - the genuine risk of what de Tocqueville called 'tyranny of the majority.'

In remarks on the first 100 days of the Obama administration, Alexander said the president is planning an America "with less freedom, fewer choices, and fewer opportunities." He called it a "command-and-control type of administration with regulators and politicians running the banks, running the auto companies, and nationalizing student loans." As usual for Republicans these days, Alexander offered no proposals of his own. Excerpts from his Senate floor speech:

* "In the early 1800s, a perceptive young Frenchman named Alexis de Tocqueville came to America and marveled at our new democracy. He wrote a classic book about it and he warned more than anything about something he called the 'tyranny of the majority.' We now have finished the first 100 days of a popular new president. He's presented a blueprint for our country that is dramatically different than what we've had before. Yesterday a member of our Republican side moved his desk to the other side, potentially giving that side of the aisle 60 votes and raising the prospect that we would have no check and balance on one-party rule - the genuine risk of what de Tocqueville called 'tyranny of the majority.'"

* "The blueprint presented by our new president has too much spending, too much taxing and too much debt. What's especially striking to me is the idea that we would have in the 10th year of the president's own budget proposal $800 billion in interest to pay. That's more than we would be spending on defense that year and eight times as much as the federal government would spend on education that year and eight times as much as it would spend on housing."

* "This is an administration with a blueprint for a different kind of American future, but it is not the kind of American future that Lincoln thought the federal government could be involved in. In the first years of President Lincoln's administration, he not only was involved in the Civil War, but he and the Congress passed the Homestead Act and the Land Grant Colleges Act and the Transcontinental Railroad Act conferring opportunities on Americans everywhere who used their own elbow grease to make things happen. The first 100 days of this administration is a command-and-control type of administration with regulators and politicians running the banks, running the auto companies, and nationalizing student loans."

* "This is a new kind of blueprint for a country we haven't seen before - a planned America with less freedom, fewer choices, and fewer opportunities. A society planned and run by Washington regulators and politicians that our children and our grandchildren can't afford, not a society that confers opportunities and choices for the people of America. And in addition, there is the prospect of no check and balance on one-party rule, which risks what the perceptive young Frenchman, Alexis de Tocqueville, said in the early 1800s was the greatest threat to the new American Democracy: the 'tyranny of the majority.'"

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