Posted by | July 23, 2011 12:35 | Filed under: Top Stories

by Stuart Shapiro

Edmund Burke is generally referred to as the Father of Modern Conservatism.  Grover Norquist . . . well, you know.  Norquist penned an op-ed yesterday arguing in support of his pledge against raising taxes which has been signed by a majority of House members and 41 Senators.  Burke, it turns out, didn’t like pledges.

What sort of reason is that, in which the determination precedes the discussion; in which one set of men deliberate, and another decide; and where those who form the conclusion are perhaps three hundred miles distant from those who hear the arguments…Authoritative instructions; mandates issued, which the member is bound blindly and implicitly to obey, to vote and to argue for, though contrary to the clearest conviction of his judgment and conscience – these are things utterly unknown to the laws of this land.

Of course, this presupposes that current pledge signers are capable of reason, contrary to most evidence available.  Nope, if Burke were around today they would probably dub him a “Conservative in Name Only.”

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Copyright 2011 Liberaland
By: Stuart Shapiro

Stuart is a professor and the Director of the Public Policy
program at the Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy at Rutgers
University. He teaches economics and cost-benefit analysis and studies
regulation in the United States at both the federal and state levels.
Prior to coming to Rutgers, Stuart worked for five years at the Office
of Management and Budget in Washington under Presidents Clinton and
George W. Bush.