We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
By contrast with the doctrine of rights conferred by God and nature set forth in the Declaration of Independence, Sunstein holds, in Tom Palmer's words, "You owe your life -- and everything else -- to the sovereign. The rights of subjects are not natural rights, but merely grants from the sovereign. There is no right even to complain about the actions of the sovereign, except insofar as the sovereign allows the subject to complain. These are the principles of unlimited, arbitrary, and absolute power, the principles of such rulers as Louis XIV."
Having his own view of things is fine, but his views are profoundly un-American. He doesn't get what America is about. The American ideal is - or was - that we are born with freedom, and granted a tiny bit of it to the State for specific, limited purposes. For heaven's sake, Prof. Sunstein, we created the State in 1787 - it didn't make us, or give us anything.
Mind you, this guy is the Regulation Czar in the White House.
Furthermore, his arrogance is unbelievable. A 56 year-old University of Chicago Law Prof who probably never held a real job in his life wants to structure how I live? He knows more about life than me? Has deeper wisdom than I have? Give me a break. That's a bad joke. He's just a control freak - with power.
I have a much better idea: How about I tell him how to live? For his own good, of course.
Dangerous man, indeed. Reminds me a Chestertonism from back in '35, before this Sunstein creature was even learning to slither... "The free man owns himself. He can damage himself with either eating or drinking; he can ruin himself with gambling. If he does he is certainly a damn fool, and he might possibly be a damned soul; but if he may not, he is not a free man any more than a dog." - Broadcast talk 6-11-35
"...and, since we all have a little Homer Simpson in us...."
This is Sunstein's euphemistic phrase for "since Americans are such stupid selfish slobs".
He uses it as a little quirky kinda cute almost naive certainly democratic bridge for introducing some dark new variant or detail or initiative in his continually emerging blueprint for our New World Odor.
What's funny is how all his acolytes are using it too. This administration demonstrates very low social IQ --otherwise, someone would be taking care that this humorous, self-deprecating slogan would not be over-used, because the repetition, sloganed, would quickly become "code" --a euphemism in the category of (if nowhere nearly as dark yet) "special action" or even "final solution".
Should I have to come explain to him how he can live, and how I'm going to live regardless of his preferences, he won't like the explaining of it.
"That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness."
There you go, Cass. I feel neither safe or happy with you running things, and my patience only extends so far.
I am in total agreement with the comments above and with the principle of natural rights.
It's only fair to point out, though, that historically people have only had the privileges their rulers gave them or they could force from their rulers. Something like 2/3 of the world's population still live with the privileges their governments give them rather than the rights they have imposed on their governments.
Some who call themselves conservatives would also run other people's lives -- making homosexual activity or adultery or fontication crimes, for example.
I have an aversion to the type of comment that starts "See, this is why America has to get back to God," because such are often simplistic (and don't define what "getting back" means). But in the sense of understanding that the founders understood precisely this POV - and Sunstein illustrates it with Louis XIV quite well - God-ordained, inalienable rights are the only response that will answer. Whatever governments declare about their sovereignty, and however much they try and force it to be true in practice, there remains at the core rights of man that are not mere conventions, but ordained by God.
Assistant Village Idiot