Originally Posted by Brian Pfleuger
Public opinions effecting laws-makers is entirely different than public opinion justifying the lawmakers passing unconstitutional laws. Yes, we should be realists, and make sure that we do everything in our power to see that such politicians don't get elected/reelected.
When one makes a categorical and principled stand against a proposed expansion of federal authority, he can expect to be accused of insufficient realism
. I believe the accusation rests on an unsound planted axiom.
The planted axiom is that a realist can secure the benefits of compromise, where as the categorical and principled opposition to a measure risks an all or nothing sort of result. However, in a political matter one may reach a compromise with an opponent, but that compromise can secure
nothing. The compromise in which one permits and unwarranted extension of federal authority can be revisited at any time. The primary difference when the issue is revisited is that the "realist" is less convincing in making the categorical and principled arguments on which he has already compromised.
There is also a strategic argument in favor of an all or nothing legislative approach. If one is to have legislation challenged in the courts, would he like to challenge the moderated or attenuated expansion, or the expansion offered by those who have enthusiastically transgressed a constitutional limit? It was the enthusiastic infringement of the DC law that contributed to Heller
. I can only guess that the political process of moderation would make the resulting piece of legislation more likely to survive whatever scrutiny it is accorded.