A loud call for structural reform in Washington, D.C., Darby’s book demands a leaner, meaner, more effective federal government.
The self-described radical Darby is mad as hell, and he’s not going to take it anymore. He hopes that his slim but potent cri de coeur will inspire nothing less than another constitutional convention—and a revolutionary reform of governmental bodies that he decries as bloated, redundant and ineffective. To boot, taxes are too high, and our lawmakers spend our money foolishly. To fix this mess, Darby proposes that we take the advice of management experts like Peter Drucker and Jack Welch by downsizing and streamlining. Of course, we’ve heard this all before, both on the op-ed pages of the Wall Street Journal and on the lips of almost any Fox News pundit. But what saves Darby’s book from gathering dust on the remainders pile next to Coulter and Hannity is the fact that he also takes up some truly liberal crusades, railing against income inequality, trickledown economics and (more lightly) union-busting. Simply, Darby’s argument is refreshing due to the fact that it feels genuinely nonpartisan. His book’s red meat is his proposal for governmental reorganization. First, and most controversially, he argues that we should follow Nebraska’s lead and establish a unicameral Congress, abolishing the House while empowering (and reallocating) the Senate. He further suggests that this Senate-on-steroids would both appoint the president and elect Supreme Court justices, who would still serve for life. (Perhaps to curb their growing power, Darby would also have us establish stricter term limits for senators.) There’s no question that his plan would stir things up in D.C., which remains in a depressing state of gridlock. But it’s hard to imagine how it’s compatible with our standing commitment to separation of powers; after all, who could keep the new Senate in check? Further, there’s more passion than structure in Darby’s prose, and his sometimes-repetitious narrative would have benefited from following his own advice: streamline and reorganize. That being said, Darby’s goal is to shake things up. And shake things up he does.
Energetic and provocative.