In an op ed in the Financial Times, Grover Norquist writes:
The US was founded as a constitutional republic. There were to be no kings, dukes or other rapscallions in the New Jerusalem.
Thomas Paine spoke for all of us in Common Sense, saying there was no role for hereditary monarchy in the new world: “For all men being originally equals, no one by birth could have a right to set up his own family in perpetual preference to all others for ever, and though himself might deserve some decent degree of honours of his contemporaries, yet his descendants might be far too unworthy to inherit them.”
America’s national constitution, written by representatives of 13 jealous states, even gives the federal government the task of guaranteeing a “republican form of government” in the states and adds: “No Title of Nobility shall be granted by the United States.” The queen of Hawaii had to go.
It could not be much clearer. No aristocracy. No king. No inherited titles.
Yet while Americans complain about Hosni Mubarak’s plan to replace himself as president of Egypt with Mubarak Junior, roll their eyes at Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad, the son of the late President Hafez al-Assad, and giggle at North Korea’s Kim to Kim dynastic communism, we are about to hold a presidential election that may extend a sequence that gives the land of the free four years of George H.W. Bush, eight years of William Clinton, eight years of George W. Bush, son of, and the start of eight years of Hillary Clinton, wife of.
Anyone remember whether Grover was saying this eight years ago, or is this anti-aristocracy thing new to him?
He goes on:
This creeping tendency to see elected office as a family heirloom is not just present in the executive. Congress is littered with the spouses and sons and daughters of former congressmen who wanted to keep the position in the family.
So now he wants a constitutional amendment that reads:
Section 1. No spouse, sibling or child of an elected or appointed federal, state or local official outside the civil service may immediately succeed that official in the same elected or appointed office.
Section 2. Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation, including exempting certain elected or appointed offices from its general proscription and defining the term “immediately succeed” to prevent circumventions.
And then he ends with this”
This can bring all Americans together to remind ourselves of the importance of being a republic and the dangers of anyone’s aristocratic pretensions, and to suggest to Chelsea Clinton and Laura Bush that they look for other lines of work in the future.
Gee… I wonder what effect eliminating the inheritance tax is going to have on the “aristocratic pretensions” of the children of the wealthy.