“They Fought To Establish A Country”

College of Political Knowledge

I recently audited a class on the Federalist Papers….and the professor kept saying that the conventioneers fought hard to establish this country……and that the fight brought about the establishing the United States of America to throw off the yoke of English dominance.

First of all I need a definition…his definition of the word fought.

For me the word “fought” means that they actually engaged in the battles that established this country…if that is the definition we use then there are only two…George Washington and Alexander Hamilton….and a lesser Founder, Aaron Burr.

But I will let a historian will in the blanks…..Zack Clary, B.A. History….College of William And Mary…..

To answer this question, I would have to know what distinction is being used to as to what constitutes being a Founding Father. The answer would be very different if you are referring to everyone who signed the Declaration of Independence as opposed to everyone who signed the U.S. Constitution, but neither of these distinctions is ideal, for the former excludes Alexander Hamilton among others and the latter excludes Thomas Jefferson among others. Richard B. Morris, a historian, designated Alexander Hamilton, John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, John Jay, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, and George Washington as Founding Fathers, but I do not agree fully with this rather limited distinction. I consider the Founding Fathers to be anyone who played a sizable role in the creation of the young nation, and while that list is expansive, it is not fair to undermine the accomplishments of some really important American historical figures. But for times sake, I will use Morris’s distinction, for by my distinction, every general that accomplished victories that led to winning the war against England deserves a place amongst the Founding Fathers. But, anyway, of the seven listed above only two actually fought in the Revolutionary War: George Washington and Alexander Hamilton. George Washington was the General and Commander-in-Chief of the Continental Army or Continental Line during the Revolution. Alexander Hamilton was an aide-de-camp to General Washington, and he was given command of three battalions during the Battle of Yorktown. His troops did well and took Redoubt #9. Benjamin Franklin served as Minister to France for much of the war; he also would’ve been in his seventies for the majority of the war. Thomas Jefferson was at the Second Continental Congress where he penned the Declaration of Independence, and he spent much of the war as Governor of Virginia. John Jay was instrumental in negotiating the Treaty of Paris that ended the war. He was also at the Second Continental Congress, and he spent some times as Minister to Spain. James Madison was rather young when the war began; his major contribution came in penning the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights that began the American system of government as we know it.

The darling of most Americans that know a very little history is Thomas Jefferson…..in 1781 as governor of Virginia when Arnold was marching on Richmond Jefferson fought so hard that he ran away and hid…..so much for fighting for principles.

As an former military man I want my leaders to actually stand and fight and defend their principles…it is easy to put words to paper…..it is another to look the enemy in the eye and actually kill to defend.

Back to the course……this was a good course but was too full of editorializing from the lecturer….

The Federalist Papers and the Anti-Federalist Papers are important to understand this country’s establishment and yet little is known about them outside Constitutional scholars and historians…..without knowing what is in these papers then one cannot understand the Constitution (a political prop at best these days).

As usual I will help (I just wish more readers cared enough to check out the links)…..

https://guides.loc.gov/federalist-papers/full-text

http://www.let.rug.nl/usa/documents/1786-1800/the-anti-federalist-papers/

For god’s sake…if you are going to use the Constitution to make a point at least know how and why it was enacted….without knowledge you are just showing your ignorance.

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“The Senate Is There To Slow Things Down”

Mitch McConnell has used this lie over and over….followed by the GOP loyal…..they use this to try and explain why they cannot move bills forward…..

McConnell even went so far as to say the the Founders formed the senate to do this exact thing….to slow legislation down for calmer heads to prevail.

That is BS and illustrates how political idiots try to use the Constitution to explain their partisan attacks on our republic.  These people pretend to be all knowing and in reality they are a pack of self-serving individuals that care nothing for the plight of the nation.

In the formative years of our nation (1776-1787) the thought behind a ‘senate” was that it be……”… a natural social and intellectual elite…(that) would find their rightful place in the upper houses of the legislatures…..(that would) were to be the repositories of classical republican honor and wisdom, where superior talent and devotion to the common good would be recognized and rewarded…”

The Greek Thucydides observed….”to conduct the affairs of state in a safe and successful way, requires all the wisdom of the most talented and experienced members of the state, as well as vigilance and particular attention of the particular deputies of the whole people.”

Now look at the US Senate of today…..nothing about the worthless group looks like anything the Founders said it would.

A repository of honor and wisdom?  Really I have yet to see either in the Senate.

You?

There is a case for the abolition of the Senate…

The United States Senate exists today because the Constitution’s framers did not trust America to function without it. Unlike the House of Representatives, the “people’s House,” whose members were expected to be as prone to extremism and shortsightedness as the constituents they would represent, the plan was for the Senate to be the dignified, deliberative body that operated above the fray of politics. As Virginia delegate and noted optimist Edmund Randolph put it at the Constitutional Convention, a good Senate would “restrain, if possible, the fury of democracy.”

By this ambitious metric, the Senate is a failure.

https://www.gq.com/story/the-case-for-abolishing-the-senate

Even the longest serving member of Congress, John Dingell, also wants to see the Senate abolished…..

https://www.vox.com/2018/12/4/18125539/john-dingell-abolish-senate

I as well have called for ending the Senate and going to a unicameral system…..in all locations state and national…..https://lobotero.com/2021/03/10/thoughts-on-unicameralism/

US Senators earn $174,000….the leader (Mitch) makes $193,400…..that is great pay for part-time workers (and yes they are workers) they work about 3-4 days a week and about 6 months a year and it is great pay for nothing but obstruction and partisan BS.

But what about the “outside income” that all Senators have….Permissible outside earned incomefor Representatives and Senators is limited to 15% of the
annual rate of basic pay for level II of the Executive Schedule. According to the House Ethics
Committee and Senate Ethics Committee, the 2016 limit is $27,495.

Does this explain how members when they leave the Senate are millionaires?

Think about it!

When has anything good come out of the Senate…that “repository of wisdom and honor”…(sorry I tear up from laughter every time type that)

This country does not need this useless appendage of government any longer.

The US Senate is similar to the human appendix….once served a purpose but now it is a useless party of the body…..now that it is cancerous it is time to surgically remove the diseased appendage of the body politic.

My distaste of the US Senate is not mine alone…..

Teddy had it right on target…..“When they call the roll in the Senate, the Senators do not know whether to answer ‘Present’ or ‘Not Guilty’.”
Theodore Roosevelt

And then there was yet another accurate observation…..“Do you pray for the senators, Dr. Hale?’ someone asked the chaplain. No, I look at the senators and I pray for the country.”
Edward Everett Hale

For those that are interested in seeing what the case was for adding the Senate to the government…..I suggest Federalist 62……https://avalon.law.yale.edu/18th_century/fed62.asp

Then there is AntiFederalist 62…in opposition……http://resources.utulsa.edu/law/classes/rice/Constitutional/AntiFederalist/62.htm

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The History Of American Federalism

College Of Political Knowledge

This is another in my series looking at our “federalism”.

Even the most ignorant among us (and there are many) have a small grasp of the word “Federalism”….

In case you are scratching your head…then a simple definition should save your scalp from ravishing.

A system of government in which the same territory is controlled by two levels of government. Generally, an overarching national government is responsible for broader governance of larger territorial areas, while the smaller subdivisions, states, and cities govern the issues of local concern.

I have given my thoughts on federalism and the need……https://gulfsouthfreepress.wordpress.com/2021/03/15/does-federalism-remain-a-good-idea/

But unlike the Constitution the idea of federalism has been changing throughout our history….thanx to peped.org….

In the beginning there was the idea of “Dual Federalism”….

When the Constitution was written, it was widely understood that the federal government and the states would exercise different separate powers. The federal government would be responsible for all foreign affair, national defence and all interstate matters (such as trade that crossed state boundaries); the states would be responsible for everything else, including any powers not specifically mentioned in the Constitution (known as ‘reserved powers’). For most Americans, this meant that the majority of decisions affecting would be made by their state government which, in principle, best understood them and had their interests at heart. This relationship between the states and the federal government is known as ‘dual federalism’.

In practice, the balance between the two tiers of government was never as neat as dual federalism suggests. During the First World War, for example, the government took direct control of industries that were essential to the war effort and states did not always look after the best interests of all their citizens, for example in the South where African-Americans looked to the federal courts to protect their interests from state governments that practised racial segregation.

Then came “Cooperative Federalism”……

When the Great Depression struck, in the 1930s, the balance between the states and the federal government was decisively altered. The states did not have the resources to help citizens who had lost their jobs and, often, their homes. The federal government did have the resources and it used them, in the New Deal, to help those who were suffering and to stimulate the economy. However, this meant federal government involvement in welfare matters that had previously been considered the exclusive responsibility of the states. This changed, overlapping relationship between the states and federal government is known as ‘cooperative federalism’.

Notwithstanding the clear need to help those who were in no position to help themselves, the New Deal was fiercely resisted by the conservatives in the 1930s as undermining the principle of federalism ad weakening the most important constitutional protection of liberty. Even in the 21st century, some conservatives regard the New Deal as the start of a slippery slope leading to ever greater government and, consequently, reduced freedom. Liberals, in contrast, greatly admire the way in which the Constitution allowed the federal government to step in at a time of crisis and make productive use of people who would otherwise have been idle as a result of mass unemployment. Cooperative federalism continued after the Great Depression had ended, as the federal government continued to play a major role through the Second World War and the Cold War.

Next was “Creative Federalism”……

In the 1960s, the relationship between the states and federal government changed again. President Lyndon B Johnson launched his Great Society programme, designed to end poverty in the USA. In his view, the states had never made a serious effort to tackle the concentrated pockets of poverty, often in the cities (such as Los Angeles South Central district), and could not be relied upon to do so. Therefore his programme often bypassed state governments and worked directly with city or local authorities to implement anti-poverty projects. This further advance of the federal government into matters traditionally seen as the responsibility of the states is known as ‘creative federalism’.

The Great Society Programme provoked a backlash, however. Americans of almost all political persuasions agreed that federalism was in danger of becoming meaningless, as policies concerning communities up to 3,000 miles away were being made up in Washington DC.

Then this country stepped into the recent phase of Federalism…..”New Federalism”…..

Since President Johnson left office in 1969, almost every president, both Republican and Democrat, has introduced programmes to re-empower the states and restore a balance closer to the original model of dual federalism. These programmes, although they vary quite significantly, are collectively known as ‘new federalism’. In brief, they have worked as follows;

  • President Nixon (Republican 1969-74)

Nixon’s programme, called General Revenue Sharing, allowed the states to spend a greater proportion of their federal grants as they chose.

  • President Carter (Democrat 1977-81)

Carter continued the General Revenue Sharing programme of his predecessor, but also cut the amount of federal grants available to the states so that they would have to become self-dependent.

  • President Reagan (Republican 1981-89)

Reagan made sharp cuts to funds available to the states, especially for welfare payments, as soon as he took office. He offered the states a new arrangement, reminiscent of dual federalism (called ‘swaps’), in which they would take full responsibility for some welfare programmes while the federal government would take over others in their entirety . The increased cost to the states of such an arrangement led them to reject the proposal.

  • President Clinton (Democrat 1993-2001)

Clinton oversaw an economic boom that led to the states building up surplus funds, in many cases, for the first time since the 1920s. These funds were then used to pioneer new policy ideas that suited the states’ needs and priorities, for example Wisconsin started a programme to extend school choice by issuing families with education vouchers that could be used in any school, whether state-run or private.

  • President George W Bush (Republican 2001-2009)

Although committed to new federalism in principle, President George W Bush responded to the attacks of 11 September 2001 by increasing government control over any policy that related to national security. Then, when the economy deteriorated sharply in 2008, he introduced an economic stimulus plan that included substantial payments to struggling state governments.

  • President Obama (Democrat 2009-)

The first action of President Obama, taking office in the midst of an economic crisis was an economic stimulus plan on an even greater scale than that of his predecessor.

Overall, new federalism has illustrated the difficulty of achieving a relationship between the states and federal government that resembles the balance expected by the Founding Fathers.

Then came Trump and  I am not sure that he even understood the concept of federalism…..

There is one thing that is obvious…..

The reason that federalism has taken so many forms is that none has worked effectively. The only time that the states have enjoyed a resurgence has been during an economic boom. Whenever there has been a national crisis, the federal government has either chosen to assert dominance over the states or has been required to do so, often with the full backing of states that have been powerless to cope with events.

Federalism was the dream that this would make the country more equitable and so far after all these years it has failed.

If it cannot be perfected then maybe it is time to move to something else….but some think the federalism will save this country…..https://www.city-journal.org/how-federalism-can-end-partisan-gridlock

I disagree….it looks to me that all these problems and antics and corruption were created by the federalism system….I do not think that it can be repaired….it is too late for that.

Any additions or thoughts?

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Bi-Partisanship–A Silly Notion

The US government has become weak and ineffective.

Part of the problem is what we like to called ‘bi-partisanship’.

The only purpose this term serves is an excuse by politicians who claim the ‘other side’ do not negotiate in good faith…..it is nothing but a pathetic excuse by political cowards.

This is a word that the MSM is in love with…..it gives them some vague idea that they can beat us with daily and continuously.

Personally I do not think the word has any meaning….other than a media talking point.

I have made thoughts known on this whimsical ideal…..https://lobotero.com/2009/02/17/bi-partisanship/ as you can see I have seldom thought that this was an idea that has any legs in our form of government…..in an ideal country this may work but not in ours.

The term “Center” is also an offshoot of the myth of bi-partisanship….as the political world of the country is today that center does not exist…..what small amount we find in government is usually not on some large scale program that benefits the entire nation but rather minute BS that serves NO purpose other than wasting time.

To illustrate this divide we need to look No further than the Obama years…..

What America considers a debate is pretty messed up. Apparently, the existence of climate change is a “debate.” Allowing 33,000 Americans to die every year because they can’t afford health care is a “debate.” Continuing to arm ISIS and Al Qaeda in Syria is a “debate.”

And yet, there’s one singular issue that seems to read “case closed” in the minds of millions of Americans, both red and blue: bipartisanship. Somehow, we have wound up in a world where saying “we should stop literally arming terrorists” is an opinion, but lauding the glories of bipartisan politics is unbiased and impartial.

View at Medium.com

The whole silly idea of bi-partisanship is a seriously flawed belief……

The flaw in simply blaming hyperpartisanship is pretending we have two parties with similar structures or aims: on one side is a diverse, center-left technocratic coalition that mediates the interests of groups and puts pragmatic, evidence-based governance ahead of ideology; on the other side is a group of politicians, donors, and activists singularly focused on maximizing their ideological victories. This is not merely progressive hogwash, but rather is frequently accepted by a range of political scientists and scholars.

This point is missed by most elite political commentators, who have the frustrating habit of treating politics in the abstract, as a sort of game to occupy the time of the wealthy. Politics is seen as victimless, the product of white papers, bare-knuckle negotiations, and talking points. The right’s views on abortion are treated like a fashion statement—without meaning and impact—rather than a consequential form of gender oppression.

The Myth of Bipartisanship—It’s Time to Get Tough With the Right

I reiterate…..the idea of bi-partisanship in our political circus is fanciful and a purely unattainable ideal in the American political system we have today.

Please stop pretending that it is a good idea….maybe in the past but today it is only a pipe dream of Centrists.

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