That’s Professor Reynolds’s take, but he’s wrong. Allahpundit thinks Olympia Snowe is unique as a RINO. He’s wrong, too.

The political class we have now is exactly the same as every other political class we have ever had, that we will ever have, or that has ever been or will ever be in charge of any polity on the planet. Politics is a specific game, and it attracts politicians, who are all the same under the skin.

The difference is not that they’re worse, it’s that they have more power. Half a century ago, an American might go weeks without having to interact with a Federal bureaucrat or deal with Federal Law in any way — in fact, about the only time anybody actually had to think about the Federal Government was at income tax time or when applying for a subsidy of some sort, and the latter was a matter for a small minority. Nowadays, when we commit three Federal felonies by getting out of bed, there’s just no getting away from the Feds, 60/24/7.

State Laws and influence grew in the same way. About all a person in the 1950s or earlier had to worry about was the “town bull” or other forms of local law enforcement. Nowadays there’s some bureaucrat (armed or otherwise) whose purview includes just about anything we do.

When Government was limited, the amount of damage the political class could do was likewise limited — which is exactly what the Founding Fathers had in mind. When Government is essentially unlimited, as it is now, the damage the politicians could do is equally unlimited.

Politics attracts people of a certain character, and does not select for intelligence, let alone for interest in anything other than the mechanics of politics. That’s just the way it works. It’s much the same for any profession, of course — a window washer is likely to think of the world in terms of accumulated grime and BB gun holes — but politicians, by the nature of their profession, are empowered to do a lot of damage if allowed free run.

The Health Care “bill” is a case in point. It may have been proposed in something resembling good faith, and it may have been originally opposed in the same way — but it’s obvious from what’s been going on that any purpose for the bill has been lost. What’s going on now is straight-up politics, horsetrading and favor-swapping, with Democrats wanting to pass something (to establish their power) and Republicans wanting to prevent that (to establish their power), and any relation to the original purpose has vanished with the dodo.

There’s nothing new about that. They’re politicians. If they accomplish anything, it’s by accident or unforeseen consequence. They’re competing with one another for status, and all other considerations are secondary. It’s the same in any situation where politics goes on, which is most of them, most certainly Government and large Corporations. It’s the downfall of any plan for centralization: the people in charge of making it work form an in-group that competes with itself, instead of paying attention to the nominal purpose of the group.

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