There is much heart ache out here in GOP Establishment-land about Trump, and I’m sure a lot among the Democrat Establishment about Sanders (though Team Hillary is still acting like her nomination is a coronation and no one need pay attention to Sanders…the GOP is being helpful by releasing videos of the massive Progressive crowds Sanders is drawing; which is encouraging, as it is actually a pretty clever move by the GOP. First time for everything, right?). But who in heck is Jeremy Corbyn, you ask?
I admit that until today I had never heard of him – he’s a candidate for the leadership of Britain’s Labour Party. Generally, when a party gets crushed at the polls in Britain, the losing side then finds a new person to lead to them victory (or, another crushing defeat…but, that isn’t the plan, at any rate). As Labour was blown out of the water a couple months back, they are casting about for someone to restore their party fortunes. Most of the people vying for the post are conventional Labour Party politicians…but Jeremy Corbyn, a backbencher of no great fame, tossed his hat into the ring…and recent polling shows him favored by 53% of Labour voters. So frightened is the Labour Establishment at this, that they even got former Labour PM Tony Blair to pen an op-ed pleading for Labour voters not to vote Corbyn. Blair warns that voting for Corbyn won’t just lead to another Labour defeat, but to the possible extinction of the party!
To be sure, I think that Blair is on to something. Corbyn isn’t just your run-of-the-mill Progressive, folks. His parents were involved on the Republican side during the Spanish Civil war, so Corbyn is a Brit version of our “red diaper babies”. Corbyn, himself, is a member of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign, the Socialist Campaign Group and the Stop the War Coalition (which war? Don’t ask – just assume if you want to kill a bad guy, they’re against it). Corbyn wants to nationalize Britain’s railways, provide a “living wage” for everyone, backs animal rights, may favor turning the Falklands over to Argentina, wants to ban the importation of foie gras, and appears to join any group out there with a leftwing cause. This guys is a far left fanatic. But, he’s also a rebel – very often voting against his own party and his Parliamentary expense account is the lowest among all 650 members of Britain’s House of Commons. He’s a kook leftist – but he’s an honest one, my friends. And he looks poised to take leadership of the Labour Party (though we’ll see if the Establishment can squash his bid). Corbyn as leader of Labour would be the perfect opponent for the rather squishy, Establishment types of the Tory party. They’d love to run against him – all they’d have to do is quote him and roll up a 100 seat majority, so you can see why Blair is worried, as are all Establishment types on the left.
I bring this up because these phenomena – a huckster zillionaire, an out-of-touch Boomer socialist, a far left fanatic in Britain – are symptoms of a general rebellion growing against the Establishment. I read today that Sanders drew 29,000 people to a rally. Donald Trump does seem to have faded a bit in the polls, but he’s still riding high. True, in America it is still the silly season of politics. We’re a long way from the first primary ballots and we should all recall that in 2011 a lot of people rode high for a moment, only to flame out before the election even got rolling. But there is a palpable anger and frustration out there. People are sick to death of politics as usual – and especially for the American right, the politics as usual which means we just help the liberals get what they want. The first sign of rebellion in Britain was also on the right, by the way: in the form of the United Kingdom Independence Party – which has risen mostly out of British frustration with the Tories. And if you think our electoral system is hosed, you should see Britain’s – the UKIP got 2.4 million more votes than the Scottish National Party, yet the SNP wound up with 56 seats, UKIP with 1! But, still, the bottom line is that anger with politics as usual boosted UKIP votes by nearly 3 million over their 2010 number. The people are tired – the left want’s genuine leftism; the right wants genuine conservatism. No one wants a left which is actually a bunch of crony-capitalists, nor does anyone want a right which is also crony-capitalist, with a dash of just preserving leftwing policy failures. Left and right I think people want candidates who will fight for what the people believe in. To have it out in a genuine, head-to-head contest which will decide what course the nation will take.
I think we’ll just see more of this as time goes on – and unless the GOP Establishment wakes up, there will be an American version of the UKIP by no later than the 2024 election, with a strong possibility it’ll show up in 2020…and it’ll take out of the GOP, immediately, a couple score House members and a few Senators, likely enough to deny the GOP a Congressional majority. For the Democrats, I see a complete take over by the far left – they really can’t stop it, if the leftwing base really tries. After all, what Democrat can fight against someone shouting the slogans the Democrat Establishment cooked up to gin up their base for 2012? But it can happen that the far left splits from the Democrat party and sets up a Social Democrat Party in time for 2020 or 2024.
Hold on to your hats, folks – it is about to get very interesting.
I have to confess to not following Bernie Sanders very closely. He seems like a nice enough old curmudgeon, and someone who describes THEMSELF as a Socialist — I mean, you can’t get more honest than that. About the only thing I’ve heard him say is he’s going to go after the Wall Street fat cats if elected, and I don’t disagree with that. Anyway, I thought, I’ll bet ol’ Bern has a website where he lays out what he believes, and, sure enough, he does. He lays out lots of new, fresh ideas that haven’t been tried before (well, at least, not by the really good people):
INCOME AND WEALTH INEQUALITY
GETTING BIG MONEY OUT OF POLITICS
CREATING DECENT PAYING JOBS
A LIVING WAGE
REAL FAMILY VALUES
CLIMATE CHANGE & ENVIRONMENT
REFORMING WALL STREET
I think Democrats should seriously consider giving this guy a chance.
Those are definitely bold ideas. I am curious as to what “real family values” are. Have we all been operating under a false pretense all these years?
They may – and now rumors are flying that both Al Gore and Joe Biden might jump in. Quite honestly, any Democrat with Presidential ambitions should get in: and this isn’t just a GOPer desire to mess things up for Democrats. Unless Hillary lucks out and draws Jeb or Graham (or Trump), she’s looking more and more like toast. No one really likes her – even for the Democrats, the campaign slogan is “Let’s Get This Over With: Hillary, 16”.
While reliance on food banks exploded when the economy tanked in 2008, groups said demand continues to rise year after year, leaving them scrambling to find more food.
Cluster, despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary, the mindless drones will continue to regurgitate the dumbed down talking points and put forth their LIV opinions such as …”he still has performed brilliantly and gotten most of his agenda to better our country passed.”
If progressive policies that cause people to increase their dependence on government and other services for their very survival is considered “…to better our country” by these mindless drones then they are incapable of making any sound decisions or thinking for themselves. No matter how bad it gets, these fools will blame all non-progressives but themselves and greedy and incompetent politicians they put in office.
I wonder how much of the current world chaos, and the bravado of Putin and Iran is related to those countries intercept of Hillary’s emails and correspondence. I think both of countries and most likely others, knew exactly what we were up to thanks to Mrs. Clinton. Unfortunately we may never know because her server has been “wiped clean”.
Why wipe the hard drive at all? Hillary et al insisted that the e-mail server had no sensitive material on it, and that it was a completely legitimate choice on her part. And yet, after Congress discovered its existence and demanded that Hillary produce the records, she pulled off what she wanted …. and then the hard drive got wiped. That indicates a mens rea for destroying evidence, rather than an indication of having nothing to hide. So much for transparency, eh?
Oh and this just in – ISIS is now using chemical weapons. By what measure exactly does anyone think Obama has done a good job?
Given the OPM hack, I make no presumption that any of our secrets are safe…it does seem to have been a free for all in enemies getting our data (while Obama vigorously prosecutes any American who gets hold of it – except Hillary, of course).
Remember the hair-on-fire hysteria when the Left went on its witch hunt over the disclosure that Valerie Plame worked for the CIA? A witch hunt that depended, of course, on ignoring the fact that the entire Beltway already knew it, her husband had often referred to the fact that his wife worked for the CIA, etc. Completely dismissing the fact that she had been, basically, a secretary after marrying someone in the Diplomatic Corps (don’t forget to enunciate the “S” in “Corps”, people) and was hardly a “secret agent”, and pretending that she had not blown what cover she did have when she made political contributions in her own name listing a secret, covert, CIA covert business as her employer. (A “duh” the Complicit Agenda Media completely ignored, though it was basically as smart as an undercover police officer driving a marked cop car home and parking it in front of his house.)
In the Get Bush days, this qualified as COMPROMISING NATIONAL SECURITY !!!!!
Fast forward a couple of years, and having a Secretary of State running all her electronic correspondence through a private, unsecured server, making it easily accessible to pretty much any foreign government which had a couple of moderately talented IT guys, and the administration seems to think this is really nothing to get upset about.
Actually, it may turn out to be another of those Vast Right Wing Conspiracies.
I do remember the cover of Vogue Magazine with an elegant photo of Joe and Valerie accompanied by a gushing story of the two inside. I am thinking top secret, covert spies usually don’t agree to be on the cover of fashion magazines but I could be wrong.
I am honestly a little embarrassed by the void of talent amongst the Democrats. By comparison, the GOP has an embarrassment of riches with a very diverse, very talented field of candidates, while on the Democrat side there is nothing but career politicians, zero diversity, no talent, and a little more than their fair share of corruption. I thought the Democrats were “progressive” and the millennial’s preferred party, yet they don’t have a candidate under 60 years old. When they lose in 2016, that party may be in the wilderness for the next decade.
I don’t understand when you say Amazona’s description of the Plame Kerfuffle as partisan. She described it more or less as I recall it happening. What is partisan in her description?
BOB, RUSTY KNOW HE’S NOT WELCOME HERE, BUT HE’S ATTEMPTED TO CRASH THE GATE OVER 30 TIME IN THE LAST WEEK ALONE. ANY FUTURE COMMENTS WILL BE DELETED, SO DON’T WASTE YOUR TIME RESPONDING TO HIM.//MODERATOR
Forget, also, that if her “cover” was blown, it was blown by someone other than those accused of blowing it!
Bob, you haven’t had the same exposure to the Same Old Same Old Lefties that we have. There is a reason they are seldom allowed to post here, and that is their determination to not only avoid and deny facts but to turn everything into an insult or personal attack.
I didn’t see Rusty’s post but of course he has to claim anything I say is “partisan”—or worse. I remember Novak’s comments about how he heard about her working for the CIA—he complained to a Washington insider about the strong left leaning of Plame’s husband, and the insider kind of defended Wilson by saying something like “Oh, Joe’s not that bad, and his wife works for the CIA, you know.” There was some brief attention back in the early Plame days to a statement from a fellow CIA employee who said she was looking for a job at State because she was in danger of getting fired at the CIA because she was not very competent. That got hushed up in a hurry, and soon after that the official CIA line was that they had no problems with her performance, but based on what Novak uncovered about her exposure of a CIA front company, it wasn’t hard to imagine that she was not too popular over there.
Undercover, covert, agents do not go to work every day at CIA headquarters. Foreign agents monitor the traffic going in and coming out and cross reference license plates, photos and so on with other info on who works there, and there is no way a covert agent would be in the CIA traffic jam every morning. Plame had been told by her boss, when she WAS kind of under cover overseas, that dating (before she married) someone in the Diplomatic Corps meant she could not do undercover work any more, and she agreed to that, so there are two different reasons to believe that her work for the Agency was, after her marriage, limited to analysis. She may have had the job of acting as the secretary for an invented company that was a front for some Agency operation, but it did not involve field work. She did that from her office in DC.
What was so stunning was that she made political contributions in her married name, Wilson, and listed this invented covert CIA business as her employer. You didn’t even need to be a highly trained intelligence officer to connect those dots—Wilson is the married name of Plame, known to work for the CIA, shown in public records as working for a firm that has no current phone number and, upon investigation, doesn’t seem to exist. (Novak did look into it.) No one “outed” Plame but she sure outed this invented company and probably blew the whole operation.
This is the kind of thing that the Rustys just can’t stand. I understand he blew a gasket at the end of our discussion, squealing that I am a “bully” after I debunked his ridiculous claims about the intent of Jefferson and other Founders with actual quotes from Jefferson and Madison. I had to laugh—in that case, Jefferson was the bully, and I was just the messenger. But that is their mentality—showing them facts that contradict their belief system is seen as a threat against them. Reaction: Whining and name calling.
Recalling the undercover skills of Lefty Plame, and looking at the bizarrely incompetent protection of national secrets by a Leftist Secretary of State, and remembering the other security breaches in this administration such as Joe Biden’s revelation that Seal Team Six took out Bin Laden, and putting our electronic security in the hands of an unskilled political appointee, I have to wonder why we would entrust ANY secret information to anyone on the Left.
“By what measure exactly does anyone think Obama has done a good job?”
Well,, he IS black…………
And isn’t that all his voters asked of him?
These stories make my blood boil:
I wonder if Obama is still trying to formulate a strategy for ISIS. On two recent occasions Obama has said that he still doesn’t have a strategy. His departure from the Oval office can not come soon enough.
Yeah, Cluster, but you are just a bigot, intolerant of the religious practices of Islam. You might work a little more on that Diversity thing, so you can learn to understand and accept the cultures of other peoples.
And then you can immerse yourself in the Common Core required reading for high schools, at least some high schools, some of which is defended because students as young as 14 really need to read graphic pornography about pedophilia, homosexuality and incest so they can “understand the minds” of people who engage in such things.
There is no such thing as “wrong”, it is all just lack of understanding. And tolerance.
🙂 You’re probably right. I am conservative therefore xenophobic, homophobic, intolerant and bigoted and I am sure that Obama will caste us in even more unflattering light before he leaves office.
Here’s a good article on Bernie.
Honest to God I have no idea what world you guys live in. Did you drop too much acid in the 70’s? There was NO debate. Rusty was simply asked to provide his preferred government model, too which he lamely threw out “liberal democracy” based on a “constitution” (ours I would imagine) but then he quickly proceeded to contradict his support of that model by insisting that the federal government administer all of the liberal pet programs which obviously contradicts the mandates of our constitution, so I guess the question to Rusty is, whose constitution do you support? It’s obviously not ours.
Amazona tried to keep Rusty on message but he kept veering off into identity politics and the typical stereotyping of conservatives. There came a point in the conversation when Rusty implied that the founders would want exactly what he was prescribing to which Amazona shot down quickly with quotes from the founders. So again, while it’s fun to watch guys jump up your soapbox and proclaim victory, there was no debate. It was just a simple challenge to which Rusty failed.
Rusty, you are under a false impression that I even care if you exist. I don’t care what you think, say or do, or even if you breathe.
I read the other exchange as it went on and I certainly did see you get piled under, taking on so many opponents. I was also bummed when your earlier statement was removed, as I would like a dialog with the only regular poster I’ve seen in the few weeks I’ve visited this site.
I would like to start anew the conversation from the other day, to hear your political philosophy, but to a new audience, me. Amazona and Mark describe you as a disruptor; I do not know how much of that is true but I hope not much or at all.
OK, so hopefully this will not start a flame war among the other posters, but I’d like to restate what I believe were your points and see if my understanding is correct or not.
It sounds like you believe the best model of government – which you feel is the current government – considers the Constitutional more of a framework to be interpreted over time and that the balance of duties between federal and state are currently in about the right ratio. Is that a fair statement?
Bob, Rusty and others like him are known for disrupting the blog, are known as blog vandals who come here flying a false flag of pretending to want a dialogue but who immediately resort to insults and personal attacks and name calling when their positions are challenged. Over the past several years we have learned that this is inevitable when they are given time here. Rusty’s reaction to Amazona is a perfect example of that. It does not matter how many people were in the conversation. You can go to his blog if you want to discuss things with him but there is no reason for us to tolerate him here. We will let this go on for a while but please take note that even while pretending to be polite to you, because you are new and more easily fooled, he is still attacking people who are not in the discussion and making wild accusations. That will not be tolerated. //Moderator
*regular left-leaning poster, I meant
egad, where are these things posting?
OK, so we have an understanding of your basic position. Let me ask a few questions to maybe sharpen that position, as it is I described that position with a very broad brush.
You said “the issue of states rights v. federal power is not as large a concern to me.” This argument of states rights v. federal power has existed since the Constitution was written, so it isn’t surprising that some are more concerned than others, but I wonder where you define things.
Amazona is firm that, per the 10th Amendment, unless something is defined in the Constitution (or its Amendments) it is a State issue. Cluster argued that Social Security should be administered at the state level and you argued it as a federal issue but I think Amazona’s point was lost.
Regardless of the cost-effectiveness of a centrally administered SS, it simply doesn’t exist in the Constitution. Your position is that the Constitution is flexible enough to endorse such a federal authority, despite the 10th Amendment.
I’m not going to argue with you whether it is right or wrong to bypass the 10th for the cost savings of centralizing SS. Amazona is clear that she does not feel SS – or just about anything, really – is worth bypassing the 10th. You guys will never agree on that, and I am not going to pursue it.
However, the question leads to, what else might pop up in the future that would you consider important enough to stretch the 10th (or whatever part of the Constitution) to make so?
For example, if the Moon were colonized, would it be worth making a federal fund to paying people to go populate it? If Lincoln were brought back to life, would you let him be president, even though he has already been elected twice?
OK, I know Lincoln didn’t COMPLETE two terms but I liked the example, so go with me here.
Sorry for the confusion. You are right, SS does not bypass the 10th, per se, but the administration of that SS by the Feds and not the states’ governments was Cluster’s issue.
But let’s get to that general welfare clause. Can you name anything that does NOT qualify as being arguably for the public welfare? It was thought that prohibiting alcohol was for the public welfare, but Prohibition turned out to have far greater negatives than positives.
Speaking of Prohibition, as bad an idea as it turned out to be, it went through the difficult prospect of amending the Constitution, selling a supermajority on the nation on its potential benefits. SS may be a great idea for the public welfare, or maybe not, but it never had to convince the nation it was worthwhile.
Also, before I leave the Lincoln analogy, I just want to be clear that you do not think having one of our greatest leaders (heck, through in Washington coming back from the dead, too) guide us through these difficult times might have a greater benefit to general welfare than an enforced retirement savings plan?
If I’m out to stretch the Constitution, I’d do it for the renewed presidency of General George Washington more likely than Medicare. Am I nuts?
Bob, I’ve been enjoying the moderately cooler weather and spending a lot of time working on my farm, so I missed out on what seems to be a quite a chat between you and Rusty. Just an FYI, Rusty and his ilk have a long history of trashing this blog, charging in here and swamping it with vast quantities of Leftist crap that never rises to the level of an exchange of ideas, just efforts to overcome our own exchanges of ideas. If you got taken in by an apparent display of sincerity or civility, just be aware that many of us have had the same experience. As a matter of fact, just a few days ago I gave Rusty another chance to prove a willingness to exchange ideas, and we saw how long that lasted on his part.
I’m not sure where you are coming from, re: your discussion of Social Security. I do have some comments on the subject, however.
One: The Left-leaning administration took advantage of a panic in the nation, centered on the Stock Market Crash of 1929, and played on the emotions of the public, saying the government had to step in to support older people who had just seen their retirement funds disappear. It is also important to remember that this was presented as a TEMPORARY program, and a limited one.
Two: While the Supreme Court did rule that it was constitutional, they did so in blatant contradiction of the very words of the men who wrote the Constitution and wrote the phrase “General Welfare”.
From the earliest days of the new United States, there have been arguments that the term “General Welfare” meant the general welfare of the people, and it was this argument that prompted the authors of the Constitution to step up and set them straight. They made it very clear that the term referred to the General Welfare of the NATION, not of the people.
You seem like a serious guy. I recommend reading the Thomas Sowell book Conflict of Visions. Sowell is a brilliant thinker and author, and he puts forth an interesting point of view. To summarize, he says that the basic conflict of visions is that one type of person believes that there are some people who are, or who can be, so special (I am paraphrasing here) that they can, and should be, entrusted with great power and authority because of their inherent superiority. The other vision of humanity is that all people are subject to the same human vulnerabilities, and therefore no one person or group should ever be given unlimited or even extreme power, but that there has to be a system of checks and balances, and specific processes, to mitigate the problems of extreme power in the hands of a few.
Reading his book, I was able to see how the Left has had such appeal to so many, because to the masses (not the calculating leadership but the well-meaning guy on the street) it simply provides a person, or a group, which they are told, and can believe, has this inherent superiority and therefore should be allowed great power. I could see how those of us on the Right extend their/our beliefs in the need for order and process, to mitigate the dangers of concentrated power, to our political beliefs.
Taking emotion out of it, taking specific political agendas out of it, and looking at it as an examination of two diverse world views, helped me see the political divide in a different and I think clearer way. And the book allowed me to look at things I had not been able to understand with a slightly improved understanding. There are people who genuinely believe that Barack Obama, merely because he IS Barack Obama, should be allowed to make, override or ignore laws. That is an extreme example, but it is an apt one.
I think the Founders had a deep understanding of the same kind of thought process Sowell exhibits, and that is why they struggled for so long to craft a form of government that prohibits, as long as it is followed, the concentration of power in the hands of a few, and instead establishes checks and balances and processes that spread power out among more people. They also had the fresh memories of life in lands where power WAS concentrated, in monarchies and the aristocracy. This is why they carefully wrote a Constitution that leaves the vast majority of authority in the hands of the people, via the states, and severely restricts the size, scope and power of the Central Authority, the federal government.
When you study the Constitution you see that it places no limits on the actions of the states, other than the guaranteed rights of the people and the enumerated duties of the federal government. It accommodates any kind of progress, modernity, expansion of the population, etc. It merely, prudently, limits all legislation to the states, or to the people, to ensure the continuation of those checks and balances, and to make sure that processes are maintained.
When talking about the concentration of power in a Central Authority, in this case the federal government, we don’t need to look farther than the EPA. Under Ken Salazar, this agency, comprised of unelected bureaucrats (who under current Civil Service laws are for all intents and purposes guaranteed their jobs for life) has assumed vast size and power over nearly every aspect of life in this country. The EPA can now state, without any outside authority, what it considers to be a “pollutant” and can then decide how to deal with this “pollutant”.
Here is its latest effort:
The Environmental Protection Agency and the Army Corps of Engineers have proposed a new rule to define “waters of the United States.” This definition is supposed to clarify what “waters” are covered under the Clean Water Act and therefore what these two agencies can regulate.
Most people would consider a water body to be a river, a lake, maybe even a pond. But the feds are casting their nets much wider than that. Their proposal could cover almost any type of water. Almost all ditches, including man-made ditches, could be regulated. Depressions in land that only sometimes have water in them could be deemed a tributary and covered under the rule, even if the depression is bone-dry almost every day of the year. The sheer overreach of the proposed rule is breathtaking.
Under the Clean Water Act, property owners are often required to obtain costly and time-consuming permits if engaging in activities that affect jurisdictional waters. We’re not talking toxic waste disposal being required to trigger the need for a permit. The statute would even prohibit actions that cause absolutely no environmental harm. For example, someone might need a permit for kicking some sand into a jurisdictional water.
Common activities, from farming to home building, could require a permit. Individuals who want to use their property for ordinary, everyday uses could be forced to get a permit. Sackett v. EPA offers one egregious example of overzealous regulatory enforcement. In this 2012 Supreme Court case, the EPA sought the power to impose fines of $75,000 per day on a couple for placing gravel on virtually dry land to build a home in a built-out subdivision. This proposed rule will likely lead to even more Sackett-type abuses of regulatory power.
Bob, whenever I hear anyone arguing about what the Founders meant by the General Welfare clause, I come back to this: While the parts in italics were emphasized by Jefferson himself, I emphasized some parts in bold type. In this instance, Jefferson was arguing specifically about the government instituting a bank, but the pro-bank contingent based its argument on its reading of the “General Welfare” clause, and that is what Jefferson addresses here.
Today’s political analysts exchange differing opinions on the “general welfare” and “necessary and proper” clauses, but Jefferson’s explanations of them are more than a matter of opinion; they reveal the true intent of the American republic’s framers. Here is Jefferson’s historic opinion (verbatim, even the italics were added by Jefferson–not me–for emphasis):
1. To lay taxes to provide for the general welfare of the United States, that is to say, “to lay taxes for the purpose of providing for the general welfare.” For the laying of taxes is the power, and the general welfare the purpose for which the power is to be exercised. They are not to lay taxes ad libitum for any purpose they please; but only to pay the debts or provide for the welfare of the Union. In like manner, they are not to do anything they please to provide for the general welfare, but only to lay taxes for that purpose.
To consider the latter phrase, not as describing the purpose of the first, but as giving a distinct and independent power to do any act they please, which might be for the good of the Union, would render all the preceding and subsequent enumerations of power completely useless. It would reduce the whole instrument to a single phrase, that of instituting a Congress with power to do whatever would be for the good of the United States; and, as they would be the sole judges of the good or evil, it would be also a power to do whatever evil they please.
It is an established rule of construction where a phrase will bear either of two meanings, to give it that which will allow some meaning to the other parts of the instrument, and not that which would render all the others useless. Certainly no such universal power was meant to be given them. It was intended to lace them up straitly within the enumerated powers, and those without which, as means, these powers could not be carried into effect. It is known that the very power now proposed as a means was rejected as an end by the Convention which formed the Constitution. A proposition was made to them to authorize Congress to open canals, and an amendatory one to empower them to incorporate. But the whole was rejected, and one of the reasons for rejection urged in debate was, that then they would have a power to erect a bank, which would render the great cities, where there were prejudices and jealousies on the subject, adverse to the reception of the Constitution.
2. The second general phrase is, “to make all laws necessary and proper for carrying into execution the enumerated powers.” But they can all be carried into execution without a bank. A bank therefore is not necessary, and consequently not authorized by this phrase. It has been urged that a bank will give great facility or convenience in the collection of taxes. Suppose this were true: yet the Constitution allows only the means which are “necessary,” not those which are merely “convenient” for effecting the enumerated powers.
only to pay the debts or provide for the welfare of the Union
….giving a distinct and independent power to do any act they please, which might be for the good of the Union, would render all the preceding and subsequent enumerations of power completely useless. It would reduce the whole instrument to a single phrase, that of instituting a Congress with power to do whatever would be for the good of the United States; and, as they would be the sole judges of the good or evil, it would be also a power to do whatever evil they please (and even here restricting such acts to what would be FOR THE GOOD OF THE UNION and FOR THE GOOD OF THE UNITED STATES, not for the “general welfare” of the citizens)
Certainly no such universal power was meant to be given them. It was intended to lace them up straitly within the enumerated powers
“to make all laws necessary and proper for carrying into execution the enumerated powers.”
It was, though, a bad idea to put “General Welfare” in there – first off, most of our Progressives think that the Founders meant “SNAP” when they wrote “Welfare”. Secondly, it is vague – and it allows politicians on the make to do just about anything.
What really astonishes me is the way Progressives simply cannot understand that the government is staffed by people – who will be, on the whole, just as likely to be greedy, base and stupid as any other collection of people…with the added problems that they don’t spend their own money and thanks to Civil Service laws, it is almost impossible to fire them. The system positively encourages corruption because there is no real way to stop it – only the most egregious examples of corruption even come to public notice: most of it doesn’t even show up. Trying to get a Progressive to understand that a department head who had to go to Congress to get his budget will do as the Congressman bids is impossible. And it doesn’t have to be explicit…just a hint in the corridor that it would be nice if the Department of Departmental Affairs would swing a contract to Congressman A’s big, old Donor would be nice…it happens. And it happens all the time. My guess is about half of all federal dollars are wasted this way.
There is some hope, though – I have a couple young nieces who are all on fire for Bernie, but after questioning them (while pointing out a few salient facts about socialism – some gentle nudges, as it were), I realize that what they are really on about is the manifest corruption and stupidity of government. Bernie is talking a good game about attacking the malefactors of great wealth, and that resonates. That he’ll do nothing of the kind is immaterial – but the fact that these young people, after watching Obama operate for 7 years, despise government is a good sign. We can work with that over the years.
For one thing, the corruption in socialist governments has historically been so rampant, so blatant, that it has outshined any corruption in any democracy. Any comparison of the lives of the people vs those of the ruling class will show that, and the oppression of the people is made worse by the lack of mobility, the ability to move according to merit or effort.
Corruption follows power. When power is concentrated in any Central Authority, as it is in socialism, it provides a magnet for corruption. Our system was designed to spread the power around. Right now, if you want power in our government you go to one place—–Washington, DC. If the nation were run according its constitution, a power broker would have to pick and choose. I’d place bets on Sacramento and Albany for starters, but the problem for people intent on control is that they just couldn’t control the whole country but would have to do it state by state.
One Progressive I used to interact with had a solution for corrupt bureaucrats – add another layer of bureaucrats to keep an eye on the current pack of them! They just don’t get it – they don’t understand that power corrupts. Put a collection of saints in charge of government and within just a short while, some of them will be log-rolling and pork-barreling like no tomorrow. Fundamentally, this is because Progressives don’t understand basic theology, especially that bit about Original Sin, which is one of the theological dogmas capable of demonstrable proof: just look at society! But, they never get it and their answer to government failures is never to reconsider whether government should have the power, but to demand that government have even more power.
It’s the same old question—who watches the watchers?
Respect state sovereignty, return authority to state and local governments, and you have much better oversight. People of a state might not realize what is going on in DC but when they see it up close and personal in their home states it is harder to hide and easier to correct. And it’s the people doing the watching, not a person or department.
As I always say, it’s easier to fire a governor than a president, and a state senator than a national one.
Indeed – and its not like this is a new, radical idea. Really, its been around for a thousand years – power, as far as possible, should devolve upon the lowest level. The idea was best articulated in modern times in our Declaration of Independence/Constitution and in the Rerum Novarum encyclical. All three of these things are easy to read, clear documents which point out the basic truth of life regarding government…highly centralized governments presuming to run local affairs just doesn’t work. Pity our Progressives will never figure this out.
Pity our Progressives will never figure this out.
Actually I think more of them than you realize have figured it out; they just know that admitting to it interferes with their agenda.
It was a funny discussion. Of course, I’ve heard your’s and others’ warnings about trying a dialog but I thought I could make it safe enough for him to get to something real. I do have to say, he was polite, but we didn’t get far conversationwise.
In trying to find the boundaries of his view of Constitutional flexibility, I asked what ideas would not be covered by the blanket “general welfare” clause. I gave a silly example of “would you bend the rules to allow Lincoln to be president if he could be resurrected.”
Instead of answering the question or giving his own example of something beyond the flexibility of the Constitution, he seemed confused about the idea of resurrection.
I ran out of time to blog yesterday and now, with his comments gone I look like I am a moron, spitting out silly analogies meant to keep the discussion non-argumentative. Ah, well, I was warned…
Bob, I did notice that you tried to get Rusty to make a commitment as to how much of his beloved “FLEXIBILITY” would be enough and how much would be too much, and that he dodged the question.
I have developed a couple of theories over the years, after so many efforts like this. One is that at least lip service to our Constitution is bone deep, even for socialists born in this country. So we see people like Rusty who really have no respect for the Constitution at all, who claim to respect it and think it should be the blueprint for governing the country—-but always with a caveat. Always with a modifier, that it has to be “flexible”, that it has to be a “living document”. They will seldom if ever come right out and say it should be scrapped, or ignored, because it just gets in the way.
And, in a similar vein, they hate to admit that if they are honest they will have to admit that they don’t think there should be ANY limits on the expansion of the federal government. At least not as long as Dems are in the White House. (They never seem to look beyond the current static snapshot of the federal government and think about how happy they would be with Ted Cruz, for example, being as unfettered by the limits of the Constitution as Obama is.)
Back to Trump—I see some Trumpets are whining that Megyn Kelley should not be allowed to moderate any debates, ever again, because she is not “serious enough” and dissed Baby Donnie.
I can just see them freaking out if Donnie is president, issuing petitions screeching about how unfairly he was treated by Putin. Yeah, we need another thin-skinned petulant president with a following eager to rush to his defense every time he looks like an ass, by attacking whoever was on the other side of the event.
Here’s a radical idea: How about a grown-up in the presidency, an adult who can handle a tough question without having a temper tantrum, a mature person who doesn’t dissolve into tears at the slightest provocation or depend on acolytes hurling accusations at anyone who dares to disagree with him/her?
As for the “Baby Donnie” comment, just look at his face during the debate. The last time I saw a face like that was on a baby in a high chair, upset at having a full diaper.
Trump can definitely be an impetuous jerk but don’t count him out. He seems to be dialing his ego back a bit and staying on message, and his poll numbers are still strong, but he needs to start adding specifics. He did have a pretty good answer on tax reform the other night. I think the overly polished and massively incompetent Obama has created a real appetite among the voters for someone who is competent, raw and unplugged. And that’s Trump.
If Donald Trump is ever considered as a legitimate possibility for the presidency I will know the nation is too far down the death spiral to ever recover. Saying things people like is about one percent of what it takes to be president—anyone can do it, especially if he is willing to tailor his carefully crafted-to-get-attention tirades to his target audience. Just as he is, as you say, “dialing his ego back” a little, in response to the polls.
I don’t really mind him being center stage for a while. The early candidates tend to start a feeding frenzy that gets some of the good ones picked off as they are targeted with gotchas and ambushes, and I am quite happy to let them work on their campaigns in the background, possibly learning a little about what gets people wound up from watching the reactions to Trump, while he struts and bloviates and smirks and postures and eats up the limelight.
If American voters are so unserious that all they want is someone who is raw and unplugged, then we will get what we deserve—-again. As for “competent”, Trump’s successes started with having a rich father who gave him quite an advantage over his early competition, and he has not been consistently successful even with that going for him. He is not a self-made man, and he has self-destructed a few times.
We might as well base our decisions on “I think the overly clunky and hideous and bitchy Michelle has created a real appetite among the voters for a First Lady who has been photographed nude in a lesbian porn scene”. Remember, the Donald comes with a lot of baggage, including Wife Number 3, or 4, whatever she is.
Trump has said nothing new. You do realize that, don’t you? He is recycling ideas other people have been putting out there for years. He is getting the media attention for all of his grandstanding because he is fun to watch, and because the media desperately want us to take him seriously and even nominate him, because it will take a Trump/Clinton match to get Hillary into the White House.
I am much more impressed by what Cruz has been saying, but he doesn’t get the coverage because he is not a big, blowhard clown acting out to get attention. Cruz is serious, and serious seems to be way over the heads of the American Idol, reality TV mentality of the average US voter.
I can’t see him making the grade – but, if he does, it does mean that we’re getting to the Retired Spook Option for the United States. It would just be monumental stupidity – even more so than electing Obama – to give the White House to Trump. I admit that there are some things he’s done which are good – and I do believe his switch to being moderately pro-life is sincere…but he’s just not in any way, shape or form qualified to be President of the United States.
I think he’ll flame out – but what I’d like to see is Walker steal his populist thunder and tie it to Walker’s genuine accomplishments in rolling back the Progressive tide.
Don’t mistake me as a Trump fan because like you, I can’t imagine him in the WH. Fortunately he won’t make it that far. This is just summer entertainment. The more serious candidates will emerge later this year but I did like your Michelle analogy. Now that would be different. 🙂
it does mean that we’re getting to the Retired Spook Option for the United States.
Which is what? (humor me — I’m getting old and senile)
I’m getting old and senile
That ship has sailed Spook. 🙂
Well, it is the fact that quite a lot of people on our side are far more prepared for real crisis.
Yeah, I suppose you’re right, but age and cunning still overcomes youth and inexperience most of the time, except maybe in contests of brute strength. I’ve suggested lots of options to where the country might be headed, so I’m not exactly sure what the “Retired Spook Option for the United States” is.
I was at a picnic yesterday honoring area veterans. A bunch of us were talking about the direction of the country, and the only consensus was that there are too many possibilities to count. I’m still in the “keeping-my-powder-dry” mode, hoping for the best while preparing for the worst. I still think America’s best days are ahead of us — just not sure how far ahead.
Here’s an article that speaks to the direction of the country, and it’s not good:
From your AT article — one of the most concise descriptions of the Progressive agenda I’ve seen:
I thought so too. The article defines the left very well
Thing about Progressives is they never give up – but their power is based entirely upon their being financially subsidized by the free market…either directly via tax money being given to them by government, or indirectly by allowing rich Progressives to write off donations to “charities” which are nothing more than lefting agitation groups. Cut off the left’s money, and they will become powerless.