Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Lawyers - Rant Begins 

Why is our government dominated by them? Apologies in advance to my conservative lawyer friends (starting with Tigerhawk himself, Glenn Reynolds and the most excellent Powerliners). But the Congress and now our national security establishment seems to be dominated by them. And the ones in Congress are going to decimate our healthcare system and bankrupt us, and the idiots like this fellow Brennan and Eric Holder are going to get us killed (see treatment of KSM and Christmas Day bomber).

I can't bear it. Happy to see Dodd and Dorgan call it quits. We need wholesale change in November. We need doctors and plumbers and accountants and entrepreneurs in government. This has become ridiculous. Seriously. Bankrupt or killed, that's what they'll get us. They're clueless. They're like the kids who thought they were so bright in college you used to argue with for a few minutes and realized you were wasting your time - you needed a beer or a girl or a job or something. And now they're running the government. God help us.


By Blogger TigerHawk, at Wed Jan 06, 09:10:00 AM:

I agree completely. It took me years in business to deprogram myself sufficiently so that I learned how to lead, which is a skill lawyers do not learn in their training or professional life. Indeed, the Obama administration reveals its weaknesses in this regard not just in policy decisions but in their public relations. The press this morning was filled with reports that Obama had met with his national security staff and "demanded answers" on the intelligence failures that led up to the panty bombing. What good executive "demands answers"? If his people were not already, without instruction, hunting those answers down by the evening on Christmas day, they should all be fired. Nobody "demands answers" except lawyers who posture in front of the judge or in depositions or in briefs. Silliest damned thing I ever heard, yet this is what we get as a talking point. Only a lawyer would think that was impressive to anybody.  

By Blogger Georgfelis, at Wed Jan 06, 09:51:00 AM:

Sadly, for many people, the more education they get, the more they develop the mindset that they should be in control of whatever they are working on. Controll-itus?  

By Blogger Cardinalpark, at Wed Jan 06, 09:58:00 AM:

Equally funny is the moronic reporters who desscribe things in this fashion. This is their idea of how leadership and process is meant to unfold. Oy. I am glad we have a resilient country, because we are definitely suffering with these idiots.  

By Anonymous feeblemind, at Wed Jan 06, 10:00:00 AM:

You are quite right CP. My thinking is the system has evolved to be 'of the lawyers by the lawyers and for the lawyers'. I see no way to fix it.  

By Blogger kreiz1, at Wed Jan 06, 10:04:00 AM:

Couldn't agree more, although US history is replete examples of lawyers populating our government (at least that was my impression as a kid).

As a lawyer friend of mine announced at a local bar meeting, "only lawyers care". Applause ensued.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Wed Jan 06, 10:21:00 AM:

Disagree. Democrats are the problem, not lawyers. The specific problem is that Congress and the Executive branch are controlled by Democrats, and particularly by left-leaning Democrats who have little or no experience in the private sector, and no understanding of market economics. Obama, Reid, Pelosi, Dodd, Clinton--not one of them has ever held a professional job in the private sector. Hell, even Commerce Secretary Gary Locke is a career government hack who has NEVER spent a single day in commerce--go figure.

This administration is clueless not because they are lawyers, but because they are statist Democrats (read: socialists) who have little or no experience in the private sector. And they are corrupt.

When your entire career has been spent in the government sector an economic downturn looks completely different. We see declining business activity as the problem and look for ways to improve the business environment. They see a new constituency to be bought with taxpayer money. Viewed in this light it seems perfectly sensible to impose massive tax increases and mandates in the middle of an economic downturn.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Wed Jan 06, 10:23:00 AM:

I agree, and think that the intellectual training (indoctrination?) lawyers receive might explain a good part of why Democrats and Republicans are so similar once they've become part of Congress.  

By Anonymous Boludo Tejano, at Wed Jan 06, 10:48:00 AM:

as a lawyer friend of mine announced at a local bar meeting, "only lawyers care". Applause ensued.

ROTFL. Which sounds very much like the "Only Democrats care" or "Only liberals care" mantras which our paisans on the other side of the aisle either explicitly or implicitly chant.

Agreed that we need more non-lawyers in Congress. I recall reading that while both Democratic and Republican Congressman are mostly lawyers, Republicans in Congress are much more leavened by professions outside the law. Which also points out to there being fewer professional politicians on the Republican side, and more citizens who went into politics.

The point about lack of private sector experience is also well-taken. But then Obama worked for a year or so for a business in NYC before he went to Chicago to do his community organizing.(Sarah Palin's statement about a mayor being a community organizer with responsibilities is one that ages quite well.)  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Wed Jan 06, 11:22:00 AM:

Here's my bet: between the November election and the day before the new Congress is sworn in, Obama will grant Dodd a full and unconditional presidential pardon!
There is no point in stealing all that stuff and then have to answer for it when you want to move on.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Wed Jan 06, 11:54:00 AM:

"who have little or no experience in the private sector"

I'd love to see a constitutional amendment that says you cannot serve as an elected official if more than half of your work experience after the age of 18 was in the public sector. Even George McGovern complained about idiotic goverment regulation after he left office and started a business.

I suspect the problem is less lawyers than the fact that a lot of people interested in government have an affinity for law school as well, as a means of "making a difference". Like all idealists, they grossly overestimate their ability to resist becoming tyrants.

I would like to see our government, particularly the DOD, de-lawyerized, but lack of private sector experience is easily as big a problem.

It's a pet peeve of mine, maybe not directly related to the post, but re the lawyerizing of the DOD , military prosecutions for ROE violations should be made an explicitly zero-sum transaction. There is no question that spurious prosecutions provide aid and comfort to the enemy. Soldiers prosecuted should be judged by a jury of other soldiers. If acquitted, the law should stipulate that the prosecution chain of command is, by definition, guilty of treason and will be sentenced accordingly.  

By Anonymous Dragonlady, at Wed Jan 06, 12:07:00 PM:

I'd like to see a constitutional amdendment that says you can't VOTE if more than half your income derives from federal tax-payer funded sources. Exceptions could be made for people living on Social Security, and for members of the military.
This would include government workers, but also recipients of all forms of federal welfare, including the EITC, farm supports, student loans, etc..  

By Blogger Dawnfire82, at Wed Jan 06, 12:38:00 PM:

"Why is our government dominated by them?"

It's been that way since the beginning, starting with Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, John Jay, etc. Lawyers have managed to secure the auspices of 'statesman' for their profession, whether deserved or not.

It also probably helps that they are willing and able to drudge through the tedious legalese that dominates our law.

Being run by lawyers was once a strength of the United States, back when the idea of universal rule of law was new and there were frontiers to tame and foreign monarchies to fight off.

But now there are no more frontiers to conquer, and many of them have grown bored and begun to eat their young. i.e. turned their efforts to social engineering not to help their country succeed in a hostile world but to transform it into their own vision of perfection. Such transformation requires greater power and to those who don't want to be transformed, looks a lot like (read: is) tyranny. But since those who don't want to be transformed are stupid, backwards, or evil, (a mentality which is a direct consequence of 'progressivism;' and no, that isn't hyperbole) such opposition is ignored. They're crusaders for a great cause, the rest of us be damned.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Wed Jan 06, 01:13:00 PM:

Nancy Pelosi didn't go to law school. Obama did -- but after his first year he's studiously avoided any kind of practical law. Obama never tried a case, nor worked on a real deal, as far as I know. He's no Lincoln.

The big phenomenon going on isn't "lawyers in government" -- as much as it is the "DC bubble world". It's sucked in many in MSM, and some of Wall Street as well. It's at a remove from the real world -- and I'm convinced it will be so long as it thinks it controls an unlimited dollar printing press.

My brother has in-laws down in DC. One of them went into real estate, and has been quite successful with political clientele. I learned from her that with every election she gets new clientele ... but the old ones never leave DC. You can vote someone out of office -- they just cash in as a lobbyist.

My neighboring congressman -- Eliot Engel -- was a Bronx party hack who fell into the job years ago when his predecessor had corruption problems. Engel's children were completely raised in suburban Maryland. After the 2000 census, Engel got his district re-drawn to add some white suburban voters -- to protect Engel from the threat of a minority challenger. As redrawn, Engel has never lived in the district.

This is not untypical. Engel doesn't represent his district. He represents the Democratic party. Our Congressmen pick us more than we pick them.

DC is totally corrupted by the money that flows to official's spouses, boy-toys, girlfriends and relatives. It's not just Democrats.

People like Pelosi and Barney have spent most of their lives in this bubble.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Wed Jan 06, 01:48:00 PM:

The English were commenting on the glut of lawyers here in the 1750s. A lawyer like John Adams could make £4,000/year, compared to a carpenter's wage of £90/year.  

By Anonymous tyree, at Wed Jan 06, 01:49:00 PM:

Better an honest electrician than a dishonest lawyer.

When Congresswoman Sanchez ran against Dornan she railed against him because he hadn't authored any laws while in office. In her mind, and in the mind of a majority of the voters, making new laws is what our elected official do. I, on the other hand, would be more inclined to vote for someone who ran on a platform based on repealing laws.  

By Blogger David, at Wed Jan 06, 02:36:00 PM:

For a lawyer running for office is an investment, not a burdensome expense. Most lawyers can modulate their case load during long campaigns. Even if they lose they are recruiting potential clients.

Any other professional would have to take significant time off work (or a complete leave/quit). Also the time in the legistlature would not contributute to their professional experience/standing but put them out of the loop with their peers.  

By Blogger Purple Avenger, at Wed Jan 06, 03:36:00 PM:

Better an honest electrician than a dishonest lawyer.

Dick Cheney was a union electrician for something like 5 years earlier in his life ;->  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Wed Jan 06, 09:24:00 PM:

Yes, let's bash groups as a whole, CP, that's real leadership-like of you. Who are we going to bash next -- ethnic groups, religious groups, nationalities? Other professions? Sorry, TH, but it's not a wise course.

Right now, the Democrats are in control. Their election was a result of the insensitivity of the Republicans both of you unabashedly defended and apologized for. Those Republicans had their flaws, some pretty serious, as do these Democrats. So, your beef should be with a) the Republicans who failed you and lost what could have been a big lead and b) the Democrats who, yes, are making many mistakes. Their ranks are rife with professional politicians -- some of them lawyers -- who haven't worked in the private sector and don't understand how decisions are made and at times how to manage or lead. That isn't comforting -- I'll be the first to agree. But let's not bash entire groups, many members of which do outstanding things. And, by the way, the last time I checked,investment bankers, commercial banks, hedge fund managers and others in the financial community -- most of whom aren't lawyers -- did a fine job of almost tanking the entire country by making bets about as compelling as some of this administration's decisions.

We need good people, period, regardless of their station and their profession.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Wed Jan 06, 11:09:00 PM:

Congress should be like jury duty.

Everyone gets their one week.

-Bob Dobb  

By Anonymous Edward Lunny, at Thu Jan 07, 10:05:00 AM:

" Being run by lawyers was once a strength of the United States, back when the idea of universal rule of law was new and there were frontiers to tame and foreign monarchies to fight off. "..back when honesty, integrity, ethics and morals were a feature not a bug.
"b) the Democrats who, yes, are making many mistakes. " No, I don't think that they are making mistakes. I think that they are doing everything tht they can to enrich themselves, their families and their friends; consequences to anyone else or the country be damned. They care only for money and power, nothing more.  

By Blogger Assistant Village Idiot, at Sat Jan 09, 02:30:00 PM:

Before the last election, I ran the list of previous professions of our Senators. http://assistantvillageidiot.blogspot.com/2008/09/thank-you-barack.html

Short version. Slightly more lawyers, no hard sciences among the Dems.  

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