“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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It’s Those Individual Rights

This is a debate in this country even from the very beginning and the silliness rages to this day.

These days the individual rights thing centers around the pandemic and the use of masks and even the vaccinations.

Let’s us take a look at what “individual rights” is all about….

Rights are essential for a society to function properly. They are normally set by laws and enforced by the government. There are many different rights and democracy is the political system that protects basic these rights the most. When basic individual rights, such as the right to vote, to work, to live and to have a family among other fundamental rights, are prohibited or limited by a government the country might not be living under democratic principles.

Imagine a world where you could not own property or even a weapon to protect yourself and your family. You couldn’t vote for the candidate of your choice in elections, couldn’t speak freely without being arrested, and couldn’t practice the religion you wanted. Imagine you could have your house searched by law enforcement at any time without a search warrant or be subjected to cruel and unusual punishment for committing a crime.

In such a world, you would have no individual rights. The United States was established based on democratic principles, and individual rights coincide with democracy. Democracy can be defined as everyone in society having formal equality of rights and privileges. The founding fathers put these ideals of democracy in the Constitution in the 1700s, and they continue to exist to this day.

Your individual rights guarantee individuals rights to certain freedoms without interference from the government or other individuals. These rights are derived from the Bill of Rights in our United States Constitution. The Bill of Rights consists of the first ten amendments of the Constitution. Within the first ten amendments, your individual rights are specified. They apply to everyone within United States borders.

Now the question is…..do individual rights trump (no pun intended) the public good?

These days your individual rights is not a given….only when it conforms to the present day paradigm.

The GOP embraces the thought of individual rights like the decision to NOT wear a mask….and yet the same people do not support a woman’s right to her body…so apparently those individual rights are only supported when it complies with the orthodoxy of the party…..has NOTHING to do with rights and everything to do with party philosophy.

Depends on who you talk with ….the definition changes with point of view.

For me either you support individual rights on all topics or you do not…..there is NO grey area.

Any thoughts?

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Those States Rights

College of Political Knowledge

Civics Series

I would like to take a closer look at the whole states rights thing and what it means to the country today.

  • States’ rights refer to the political rights and powers granted to the states of the United States by the U.S. Constitution.
  • Under the doctrine of states’ rights, the federal government is not allowed to interfere with the powers of the states reserved or implied to them by the 10th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
  • In issues such as enslavement, civil rights, gun control, and marijuana legalization, conflicts between states’ rights and the powers of the federal government have been a part of civic debate for over two centuries.

The debate over states’ rights started with the writing of the Constitution and Bill of Rights. During the Constitutional Convention, the Federalists, led by John Adams, argued for a powerful federal government, while the Anti-federalists, led by Patrick Henry, opposed the Constitution unless it contained a set of amendments specifically listing and ensuring certain rights of the people and the states. Fearing that the states would fail to ratify the Constitution without it, the Federalists agreed to include the Bill of Rights.

In establishing American government’s power-sharing system of federalism, the Bill of Rights’ 10th Amendment holds that all rights and powers not specifically reserved to Congress by Article I, Section 8, of the Constitution or to be shared concurrently by the federal and state governments are reserved by either the states or by the people.

In order to prevent the states from claiming too much power, the Constitution’s Supremacy Clause (Article VI, Clause 2) holds that all laws enacted by the state governments must comply with the Constitution, and that whenever a law enacted by a state conflicts with a federal law, the federal law must be applied.

Here is a sticking point for me.

Federalism…..in the beginning of this country it was a brilliant idea that helped bring the country together as a single unit…..it was the only way to get all 13 colonies to sign on to a national government…..however today the concept is driving the political divisions that are running rampant….each state has become its own tiny ‘duchy’ within the bigger empire.

I gave my thoughts on federalism recently on my op-ed blog, Gulf South Free Press……https://gulfsouthfreepress.wordpress.com/2021/03/15/does-federalism-remain-a-good-idea/

The biggest obstacle to any substantial progress in our country is the bicameralism that we live under….I feel we would be better served today with a unicameral system of government…..again my thoughts on this topic……https://gulfsouthfreepress.wordpress.com/2021/03/08/thoughts-on-unicameralism/

Sorry about that but I got a bit off topic….my bad!

The biggest drag on our country is the whole concept of states rights which was outlined in the 10th amendment……for those ignorant on the US Constitution…..In American government, states’ rights are the rights and powers reserved by the state governments rather than the national government according to the U.S. Constitution.

Amendment X

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people.

That is a very simplistic look and leaves open a whole array of opportunities for abuse…..like voter suppression, cultural BS, and labor oppression.

The authors of the Constitution were experts in the use of language, and in the construction of legal documents. Under any form of statutory construction, the use of the comma followed by the word “or” presents an alternative to the previous phrase. And the Constitution also clearly differentiates between the states and the people. The use of the word “people” in that last phase presents an alternative to the powers of the states – the power of the people, not of individual states.

The use of the word “people” in the Constitution, from the “We the People” of the Preamble on, means all the citizens of the United States separate from whatever identity they may have with individual states. There was a draft of the Preamble that used the words, “We the States,” but it was changed to emphasize the nature of he Constitution and its effects. The Constitution was intended by the founders to be a compact among the people of the United States, not between the federal government and the state governments, or among the state governments. The people are citizens of the United States, not of individual states.

(Dan Riker)

The Constitution provides for the states to maintain some rights and responsibilities, but none that can trump those of the federal government. The Constitution clearly states that it, and federal laws adopted under it, are the supreme law of the nation. The Constitution provides for no means of changing it except by amendment; no means of dissolution of the union; no right for any state to withdraw from the union; no right for any state to wage war against any other state; no right for any state to engage in foreign affairs; no right to determine, or grant, citizenship; no separate citizenship of states; no right to restrict the rights of citizens to vote.

10th Amendment means that the reserved power is shared between the states and the people. It does not create a body of absolute “states’ rights.” It means that states have the power to act where the federal government has not, and when such acts will not conflict with federal laws or responsibilities.

Destruction from within.

Then there is everybody’s hero Bubba Clinton as president he screwed things up royally with his lame ass vision of redefining Federalism….his program only added to the climate of division…..Clinton did nothing positive for the Party or the country…the only people that benefited from his presidency were his corporate masters….and his legacy is still screwing the country.

His new ideas on Federalism went something like this….

1–establish national goals and allowing states flexibility in choosing means to achieve..

2–waiving national guidelines to enable states to design approaches to problem solving rather than following national guidelines.

3–helping states learn from other’s successes

I would say the GOP has learned Clinton’s ideas all too well.

Right now there is only one way to change this slide into the past…..and that is through a change in the amendment and that would take a Constitutional convention and that will never happen in today’s political climate.

For now we will remain a plot of land with several duchy that have NO interests in a strong nation….only on petty issues that does not strengthen this nation in any way.

It will remain a country of individual good as opposed to the common good….on which this country was originally founded.

We are today betraying the original intent by the Founders and that betrayal is destroying this country from within.

I do not see this division ending in my lifetime…..a sad demise of the original intent.

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What Happened To The Social Contract?

I got thinking about this subject when that rabid in-bred pack of low life cowards that pretend to be ‘patriotic’ stormed the Capitol on 06 January.

Social Contract?

This ought send many to Google to want to know what the Hell I am talking about…..(pause here for the Google machine to answer the question)…

But for those that have an allergic reaction to reading let me help out….

But if you want to learn…..
 
Social contract theory says that people live together in society in accordance with an agreement that establishes moral and political rules of behavior. Some people believe that if we live according to a social contract, we can live morally by our own choice and not because a divine being requires it.
 

Social contracts can be explicit, such as laws, or implicit, such as raising one’s hand in class to speak. The U.S. Constitution is often cited as an explicit example of part of America’s social contract. It sets out what the government can and cannot do. People who choose to live in America agree to be governed by the moral and political obligations outlined in the Constitution’s social contract.

Indeed, regardless of whether social contracts are explicit or implicit, they provide a valuable framework for harmony in society.

The central assertion that social contract theory approaches is that law and political order are not natural, but human creations. The social contract and the political order it creates are simply the means towards an end—the benefit of the individuals involved—and legitimate only to the extent that they fulfill their part of the agreement. Hobbes argued that government is not a party to the original contract and citizens are not obligated to submit to the government when it is too weak to act effectively to suppress factionalism and civil unrest.

From where did this philosophy originate?

The term “social contract” can be found as far back as the writings of the 4th-5th century BCE Greek philosopher Plato. However, it was English philosopher Thomas Hobbes (1588–1679) who expanded on the idea when he wrote “Leviathan,”his philosophical response to the English Civil War. In the book, he wrote that in early human history there was no government. Instead, those who were the strongest could take control and use their power over others at any time. His famous summation of life in “nature” (before government) is that it was “nasty, brutish, and short.”

Hobbes’ theory was that in the past, the people mutually agreed to create a state, giving it only enough power to provide protection of their well-being. However, in Hobbes’ theory, once the power was given to the state, the people then relinquished any right to that power. In effect, the loss of rights was the price of the protection they sought.

(Then it moved on the Rousseau and Locke)

https://www.thoughtco.com/social-contract-in-politics-105424

I ask the question because of the breakdown on 06 January and the insurrection that breached the Capitol….was that a breakdown of the social contract in America?

This article looks at the social contract and American politics….

Since 1994 or so there have been people elected that do not hold with the concept of the social contract……some were elected not to govern but destroy the concept of the American government.

It got worse when the Tea Party and the ‘people’ that were elected and it has been going downhill ever since.

Just look at the recent Congress there was more theatrics and nonsense around major issues that are of concern of the country.

Theatrics like delivering pizza to a secret meeting….playing to cameras at committee hearings…..anything to disrupt the process and make idiocy a political tool.

After decades of a slow simmer the disruptive influences have gained control of the GOP…..and now the caucus has no other agenda than to bring any progress or governing to a standstill.

Until the people start looking to the nation and its interests instead of some cultural BS…..this disruption will continue and continue to erode this country into an era of nothingness.

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Does Federalism Remain A Good Idea?

The recent insurrection has cast a dark shadow on federalism.

Federalism is 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.

Both the national government and the smaller political subdivisions have the power to make laws and both have a certain level of autonomy from each other.

Federalism is like a diet. Both the Left and Right try to stick to it, but each abandons it when its craving for the policy equivalent of fries and a shake grows too strong. The Left, which normally looks to the national government for policy solutions, cheerfully applauds state efforts to deal with the least local of all environmental problems: climate change. Last year, President Trump threatened to use the military to quell looting and overrule the decisions of state governors regarding COVID regulations. But if one really wants to fit into that prom dress or make weight for the wrestling match, one needs to stick to the diet, even when it means leaving tasty policies you crave on the table.

A principled defense of American federalism – even if it deprives one of a delicious policy outcome – is necessary now more than ever. Though difficult, the federalism regimen is worth the sacrifice. Alexis de Tocqueville, to recognize that what had been undertaken for pragmatic reasons was not only theoretically defensible but was also the best means of preserving liberty and enabling a large republic to endure. Tocqueville recognized that American federalism offered a means of resolving what had been an unsolvable dilemma. The dual character of American federalism, combining a powerful central government with a set of smaller republics, enabled both necessary aspects of democratic-republican political life – civic engagement and rule in the general interest – to thrive. Tocqueville recognized that the United States enjoyed a strong central government because of, not in spite of, its limited powers. Liberated from myriad onerous and contentious chores, it could concentrate on those critical tasks for which it was uniquely suited. Though not an admirer of Andrew Jackson, Tocqueville nonetheless pointed to that president’s suppression of South Carolina’s nullification threat as a good example of how a government of limited powers could forcefully act to preserve itself.

https://www.realclearpublicaffairs.com/articles/2021/02/17/taking_federalism_seriously_656952.html

Federalism is perfect for the control of government by the wealthy. The sad thing that our educational system has failed its people and ultimately the country. Any thoughts? How about the Constitution was originally an economic document….. Notes for FTE:  Constitution as an economic document The founding fathers were motivated to write the constitution for many reasons. Of course, most of the actual document is devoted the mechanics of how the federal government works, and its relation to the states. The parts that deal with the economy, however brief, are of enormous importance.Some of the economic provisions in the constitution were adopted because of “economic”reasons, that is, shared beliefs that certain economic policies would be good for the country.Other economic provisions were adopted for other reasons altogether. The need to build a stronger central government, and to control the centrifugal political forces that might tear the nation apart, often led the founders to reach compromises with economic consequences.. More on the economic portions of the US Constitution……http://econweb.umd.edu/~wallis/Constitution_FTE_web.pdf

With the events of the past 5 years…the question remains….is federalism still a good idea?

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The Unitary Executive

Since I have been watching and researching our government, over the last 50 years, I have always thought that the 3 equal branches of government was a pretty good way for this country to be controlled…..but since the election of Trump it has been moving to what could only be called a “Unitary Executive” form of government….

That term may have a confusion factor built in so I shall do what I always try to do…..explain and define….

This theory holds that Congress cannot limit the president’s control of the executive branch because the Constitution sets up a hierarchical system whereby the president has the most power. Supporters argue that Congress can’t set up independent executive agencies and counsels that aren’t controlled by the president. Moreover, different parts of the executive branch can’t sue each other because it would be a violation of separation of powers for the courts to intervene in such disputes.

Sounds a bit imperial to me……

Let’s look a bit deeper into this……https://www.thoughtco.com/unitary-executive-theory-the-imperial-presidency-721716

What is the bottom line…..

Those making originalist claims bear a burden of proof to show a clear public meaning circa 1787. For those claiming that Article II requires presidential removal at will, this burden is especially difficult in the face of textual silence, more than a century of legislative practice and almost a century of judicial precedent. First and most fundamentally, this new historical evidence and interpretation show that it has been an error to rely on the Decision of 1789 to overcome the Federalist essays by both Madison and Hamilton. Second, the evidence from 1789 actually points in the opposite direction, a decision against unitary structures.

There are several immediate ramifications of this. It is important to recognize that the key precedents for presidential removal power rely on historical errors. One can still construct a presidential removal power from a structural argument, the Vesting Clause, and the Take Care Clause. But this more open-ended basis of removal means a less formal rule of separation of powers, with more balance with other constitutional texts and values: the Necessary and Proper Clause, the “faithful execution” clauses, and the fundamental principle of checks and balances. The convention, the ratification, and the first Congress all show that Congress has the power to set reasonable conditions on presidential power—so long as they do not functionally undermine a president’s ability to execute the laws. Under this reasoning, for example, entrenching a bureaucracy in order to obstruct an incoming administration—like a Midnight Judges Act of 1801 but for the administrative state, to create something like a deep state or deeply burrowed state—could be an unconstitutional intrusion on the executive power.

https://www.lawfareblog.com/imaginary-unitary-executive

To be fair I will give the opposing theory from the Conserv publication Reason…..

If there is one thing that most conservative and libertarian originalists agree on, it is that executive power under the Constitution must be “unitary.” That doesn’t necessarily mean that the president’s power is unlimited, or even particularly broad. It does mean that whatever authority the executive has must be controlled by the president. He is free to hire, fire, and issue orders to all other executive branch officials, as he sees fit—except in a few cases specifically noted in the Constitution, such as the requirement of Senate confirmation for cabinet officers. This issue came up recently when the Senate Judiciary Committee voted to approve a bill that would protect special Counsel Robert Mueller from being fired by President Donald Trump—the man whose activities and assciates Mueller is charged with investigating. The bill passed the Committee by a 14-7 vote. But several GOP senators—including some, like Ben Sasse, who are no fans of Trump—voted “no,” citing constitutional considerations based on unitary executive theory.

In this era of Trumpism most of the traditional theories are but a moot point.

In closing a quote from Hannah Arendt…..

“Never has our future been more unpredictable, never have we depended so much on political forces that cannot be trusted to follow the rules of common sense and self-interest—forces that look like sheer insanity, if judged by the standards of other centuries. It is as though mankind had divided itself between those who believe in human omnipotence (who think that everything is possible if one knows how to organize masses for it) and those for whom powerlessness has become the major experience of their lives.”

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Are We Still A Constitutional Government?

College of Political Knowledge

Lecture Series……

Whenever someone does not agree with me about our democracy that tells me that we are a constitutional government (republic) not a democracy.

These days of protests and division among the people the question arises……..

Okay if that is can we still claim to be a constitutional government?

Answer the first question…… just what is a constitutional government?

The government of the United States cannot be intelligently discussed as a constitutional system until government; and the answer to that question is in effect a theory of politics.

….Read On……

What is Constitutional Government?

I know Americans are proud as punch over their ground breaking Constitution….but recent events have me asking do we truly believe and support and constitutional government?

Legal scholars spend a lot of time debating the proper way to interpret the Constitution. Political scientists study voting blocks on the Court or trends in judicial appointments. But to think about the future of constitutional government, we should give more attention to the ultimate authority behind the Constitution – “We the People,” as the Preamble calls us.

The Founders did not think all people were equally capable of sustaining constitutional government. At the outset of the French Revolution, for example, Alexander Hamilton wrote to his friend Lafayette, expressing a “foreboding of ill.” He warned, among other things, about the “vehement character” of the French people and their susceptibility to “philosophic politicians” and “speculatists” [sic] propounding doctrines not compatible with “the composition of your nation.”

Social trends in contemporary America are warning signs for the prospects for constitutional government even here. I don’t mean that we will soon succumb to a terrible tyranny. Still, we should not be at all confident about maintaining our well-defined constitutional boundaries or the political stability they have provided us for so long.

The main problem we face is the degree of political polarization. Americans have always had differences. After all, we fought a terrible civil war in the Nineteenth Century. But after that upheaval, subsequent generations found it easier to work together – and postpone debate on issues where they could not agree. The political parties were diverse coalitions. Democrats and Republicans were as likely to disagree with fellow party-members as with adherents of the opposing party.

Do We Still Support Constitutional Government?

Well do we still support a Constitutional government?

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Time To Reclaim Civics

This country is in deep do-do…….we have collectively lost our grasp of what civics is all about.

For the most part civics is not a big subject in our schools any more……that needs to change and change NOW!

Our current divide within the co8untry is an perfect illustration how shit happens when civics education is ignored….

It will be natural for each side, energized by the unrest, to resort to thinking of civic education in its same standardized, partisan forms. For the Left, civics is more or less synonymous with activism. Democratic activities are held up as the paragon of patriotism, leaving students inclined to protesting, marching, and voting as the peak of political virtue.

By contrast, the Right often places greater emphasis on content civics, implying that a clear account of one’s history and an understanding of American institutions is sufficient for cultivating civic virtue.

Both approaches to civic education are inadequate because both are flip sides of the same coin. Each shares the aim of answering what it means to be a citizen, before answering the far more pressing and profound question, namely: what it means to be human. Answering this question is not a distraction from civics education. It is a necessary precondition for beginning to understand American citizenship.

To Save America, Reclaim Civics

What seems to be the nation;s biggest problem these days?

“Too many Americans lack an understanding of basic elements of their government and governing principles,” a study last year by the Knight Foundation and the Aspen Institute concluded. Moreover, “Technology is providing access to so much information — and disinformation — that it is overwhelming individuals’ ability to determine what is true, especially in the absence of widespread digital literacy.”

Never before has there been more information available at the tip of our fingers, yet Americans feel less informed than ever. Consumption habits have also changed: Teens are no longer reading trustworthy periodical sources on a daily basis, notably. This is highlighted by the fact that 69 percent of teens trust that traditional news sources will get the facts right, yet only 30 percent are engaged with those sources.

Furthermore, civics education has long been a forgotten area of the curriculum. State requirements for civics vary state to state, an approach that arguably is failing our students as only 24 percent of them reached the standard of “proficient” in the government’s most recent National Assessment for Educational Progress.

https://thefulcrum.us/civic-ed/media-literacy

Both these source are just reiterating what I have been yelling about for a decade or more….ignorance.

If this country is ever going to heal from the riffs of the past several decades then a Civics education is mandatory.

An old Ben Franklin cartoon says it best….even today….

UNITY!  That will save this countryacc-cdn.azureedge.net/accnop420media/w_1_000874...

UNITY will save this nation….I mean unity of the people…parties be DAMN!

The other option is that we keep going along the lines of today and the nation will be just as disjointed as the snake above.

Which is you choice?

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“lego ergo scribo”

American Mind–Civics Class–Part 4

Civic And Moral Virture

GSFP has been giving an on-line civics class……the first three parts can be read on this post…..https://gulfsouthfreepress.wordpress.com/2020/07/27/american-mind-civics-class-part-3/

It is sometimes said that the Founding Fathers created a “procedural republic” that was indifferent to what Americans did with their freedom. But this is to confuse a forthright defense of liberty with moral relativism that cannot distinguish right from wrong, virtue from vice. In a thoughtful and penetrating essay, Will Morrisey demonstrates that “the American way” was intended from the beginning to link rights and responsibilities, political freedom with civic virtue. The old “cardinal virtues” lauded by Aristotle and Cicero—prudence, courage, justice, and moderation—still spoke to the American people in a way that respected human freedom and individual conscience. Americans were both “humble” before God, and proud or “magnanimous” in asserting their independence and freedoms. As Morrisey shows, Americans aim to be neither haughty nor servile but rather participants in “a great and good shared action, the establishment of just self-government in their country.” As demonstrated by George Washington and other illustrious founders, Americans never severed liberty from their “sacred honor” or their allegiance to “Nature and Nature’s God.”

n declaring their independence from Great Britain, Americans famously asserted their unalienable rights. Much less conspicuously, but no less tellingly, they listed ten moral responsibilities consonant with those rights.

In announcing their political separation, they begin by acknowledging a duty to observe “a decent respect for the opinions of mankind” by stating the causes for their decision. 1). “Decent” means fitting, appropriate; the opinions of mankind are fittingly respected because human beings possess the capacity for sociality, for understanding one another, for giving reasons for their conduct. Any important public action entails the responsibility to explain oneself, to justify that action before the bar of reasoning men and women.

To justify oneself, in turn, requires Americans to state their standard of justice. That standard is unalienable natural rights, including life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. 2). Justice numbers among the four cardinal classical virtues, defined and elaborated by Plato, Cicero, and other philosophers well known to the Declaration’s signers. Just conduct consists of actions defending natural rights in a civil society; to assert those rights, to separate oneself from those who would violate them, logically entails respecting those rights in all other persons, inasmuch as “all men are created equal,” all equally entitled to enjoy their natural rights undisturbed by tyrants.

https://www.realclearpublicaffairs.com/articles/2020/02/14/civic_and_moral_virtues_the_american_way_484137.html

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