Will conservatives restore America to constitutional government? The new Republican leadership in the House of Representatives HAS PROMISED NOT ONLY TO BEGIN THE NEW CONGRESSIONAL SESSION BY READING THE CONSTITUTION IN ITS ENTIRETY, BUT ALSO TO REQUIRE THAT EVERY NEW PIECE OF LEGISLATION CITE THE PASSAGE IN THE FEDERAL CONSTITUTION THAT AUTHORIZES IT.http://www.salon.com/news/politics/war_room/2011/01/04/lind_tea_party_constitution/index.html
These gestures are certain to please the conservatives of the Tea Party movement who are the ascendant force in Republican primary elections. But Tea Party constitutionalism REPRESENTS A DEEPLY FLAWED UNDERSTANDING OF AMERICA'S FOUNDING, which ought to be based on the revolutionary idea of the power of the sovereign people to make and unmake constitutions of their design, NOT ON SUPERSTITIOUS VENERATION OF PARTICULAR CONSTITUTIONS HANDED DOWN BY WISE DEMIGODS…..
ENGLISH-SPEAKING DEMOCRACIES TEND TO BE STABLE AND FREE even when, like Britain, they lack a written constitution. But LATIN AMERICAN REPUBLICS HAVE BEEN AFFLICTED BY DICTATORSHIP AND CIVIL WAR FOR GENERATIONS in spite of having formal constitutions modeled on that of the United States. The contrast demonstrates that the true security for freedom is a culture of constitutionalism, not a particular constitution, or any written constitution at all……
This is an interesting piece but not very convincing. I quoted the part about English speaking vs Latin American for a reason. The author felt a Constitution did not protect Latin American republics from dictatorships. But I know the same history as the author and his premise that we should change Constitutions is the method that dictators in Latin America use to establish themselves in power. A Constitution with over 200 years of history behind it and a method to amend it, seems to be a stabilizing force for a democracy and a way to insure the mob mentality isn’t used to suddenly tyrannize part of the population or establish that dictatorship.
Finally, all the members of Congress, the Armed Forces, etc. swear allegiance to support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies. That is part of the Constitution and to me seems a bit sacred.
The Constitution Part 2: Progressives get it all wrong
But that is not good enough for the progressive Congressman from New York Jerrold Nadler, he believes that the Constitution is not a document that should be treated with reverence.
“THEY ARE READING IT LIKE A SACRED TEXT,” He called the “ritualistic reading” on the floor “TOTAL NONSENSE” and “propaganda” intended to claim the document for Republicans. “You read the Torah, you read the Bible, you build a worship service around it,” said Nadler, who argued that the Founders were not “demigods” and that the document’s need for amendments to abolish slavery and other injustices showed it was “highly imperfect.”
“You are not supposed to worship your constitution. You are supposed to govern your government by it,” he said.
You have to wonder how long it’s been since Nadler has been to church? You don’t worship the Bible or the Torah. You read and study them. Worship services normally involve praying. But you are seeing a new Democrat talking point. Not a very smart one since it only will appeal to a portion of the Democrat Party primarily the liberal wing.
The Constitution Part 3: Nadler gets it wrong again
Nadler agreed. "A lot of the tea party people, I wonder how many of them have read the Constitution," he said. "A lot of them, they seem to think the Constitution is the Articles of Confederation."http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2011/01/04/AR2011010405252_2.html
Nadler said he anticipates a raft of "idiotic amendments" from Republicans, such as AN EFFORT TO ALLOW STATES TO NULLIFY ACTS OF CONGRESS, THAT WOULD BLATANTLY VIOLATE THE CONSTITUTION….
(Nadler) he agreed with other constitutional experts, and even the tea party, that there was a potential benefit.
“Maybe," he said, "IT WILL BE A LITTLE EDUCATIONAL."
This is a pretty good and balanced article. However Nadler demonstrates a frightening ignorance of the Constitution second only to the NY Times. The Times questioned whether the Republicans were advocating counting blacks as three fifths of a person failing to recognize the Constitution was amended and that provision no longer applied. Nadler seems to not comprehend if the Constitution is amended allowing states to nullify acts of congress, it would not be unconstitutional for them to do it! The left likes to say the Constitution is a living document. The Right says it is a fundamental document that you can’t simply ignore. Here we have a case of a left wing congressman apparently showing ignorance and hypocrisy at the same time.
The Constitution Part 4: Any little excuse is fine
Adam Serwer argued that the GOP was “HUCK FINNING THE CONSTITUTION” — a reference to the new edition of the classic book that censored out racial slurs:
Republicans, intending to make a big symbolic show of their reading of the Constitution, have now TAKEN A SIMILARLY SANITIZED APPROACH TO OUR FOUNDING DOCUMENT. Yesterday they announced that they will be LEAVING OUT THE SUPERCEDED TEXT in their reading of the Constitution on the House floor this morning, avoiding the awkwardness of having to read aloud the “three fifths compromise,” which counted slaves as only three-fifths of a person for the purposes of taxation and apportionment.
The reason to include the superceded text is to remind us that the Constitution, while a remarkable document, WAS NOT CARVED OUT OF STONE TABLETS by a finger of light at the summit of Mount Sinai. It was written by men, and despite its promise, it possessed flaws at the moment of its creation that still reverberate today. Republicans could use the history lesson — last year they attacked Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan during her nomination process because one of her mentors, Justice Thurgood Marshall, had the audacity to suggest that the Constitution was flawed since it didn’t consider black people to be full human beings.
Now this is definitely a political stunt and I don’t think it is reflecting well on the Democrat. This is the equivalent of when BHO stood with his hands at his side during the National Anthem. The Constitution has been amended 27 times, and hundreds of thousands white Americans died in a Civil War to free the slaves and make the three-fifths compromise invalid. And in fact, it was the non-slave states who didn’t want to count slaves at all, while the slave states wanted to count them fully as a person for congressional representation. The Democrats are trying to play the race card on a document they have taken an oath to defend and protect. This may play well for their base but I don’t think it will go over well among independent voters.
THE BOTTOM LINE ON ALL OF THESE ARTICLES IS THAT THE DEMOCRATS SEEM TO WANT TO BELITTLE THE CONSTITUTION BECAUSE THEY KNOW THAT THEY AREN'T ACTUALLY FOLLOWING IT.
What Obama Thinks about America
Sometimes the best way to find out what a person thinks about you is to FIND OUT WHAT HE TELLS OTHERS. That's why the report on America's human rights record filed by the Obama administration with the U.N. is particularly interesting.http://www.americanthinker.com/2011/01/what_obama_thinks_of_america.html
It's more accurate to say that this first-ever report to the U.N. Human Rights Council was from the Obama administration rather than from the United States. ITS MAIN THEME IS WHAT PRESIDENT OBAMA HAS DONE IN HIS SHORT TWO YEARS, rather than what our great country has accomplished as a beacon of human rights over 234 years.
What comes through is that President OBAMA'S CREW THINKS AMERICA IS CONGENITALLY DISCRIMINATORY, and his administration is bravely soldiering into this morass against the unwashed masses to create an equal society.
As the report states, "WORK REMAINS TO MEET OUR GOAL OF ENSURING EQUALITY BEFORE THE LAW FOR ALL." Which American laws or institutions enshrine discrimination? Not mentioned. No matter, when you're convinced Americans are bigots there is no need to provide proof.
THE ADMINISTRATION CROWS IN THE REPORT ABOUT PASSING THE INCREDIBLY DIVISIVE AND UNCONSTITUTIONAL HEALTH CARE ACT. It devotes a section to the bill, with glowing aspirations of how it will end the discrimination of a racist medical system. (Remember, these people see everything through the filter of race or identity politics -- even health care.)
This shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone who has been paying attention. It’s all about Obama in Obama’s view.
For Liberals: Get Used To It
THERE’S ONLY ONE PROBLEM WITH THIS SCENARIO: THE TIME-FRAME. Politicos and pundits are used to thinking in two-year cycles, and it’s easy to convince oneself that, in 2012, Obama will be able to capitalize on an improved economy, favorable voter-turnout patterns, and a weak GOP presidential field in order to sweep into office with a renewed mandate. But that misses a big part of the picture. Even if Obama wins reelection by a comfortable margin, IT’S MOST LIKELY THAT THE HOUSE WILL REMAIN IN REPUBLICAN HANDS AND DEMOCRATS WILL LOSE SEATS IN, AND PERHAPS CONTROL OF, THE SENATE—and beyond that, Republicans will probably do fairly well in 2014. In other words, we could be looking not at two years of damage control, but six.http://www.tnr.com/article/the-permanent-campaign/80949/democrats-fail-for-next-six-years
The New Republic is a left wing media outlet, so this should be chilling for the lefties out there. They are dealing with arithmetic here. Next election, the Republicans need to win 56% of the Senate seats that are up for reelection to take control. If they win 56% more in 2014, they have a 60 vote majority in the Senate.
The Anti-Pelosi vote
When Rep. Nancy Pelosi lost 19 Democrats on Wednesday's vote to be House speaker, it marked the worst showing for a party's nominee in more than 80 years.http://www.washingtontimes.com/blog/inside-politics/2011/jan/5/anti-pelosi-vote/
Mrs. Pelosi won the support of 173 Democrats, but 18 others voted for someone else and one voted "present." Rep. John A. Boehner, Ohio Republican, won the vote with the support of all 241 Republicans who voted.
According to figures from the House historian's office and the Congressional Research Service, the last time a party's nominee for speaker lost that much support was in 1923. On the first ballot that year the GOP's nominee, Frederick H. Gillett, saw 23 lawmakers support other Republicans. Mr. Gillett still ended up winning the speakership on the ninth ballot.
What is surprising is not that 19 Democrats defected, but that the Democrats left her in control at all.
End the Filibuster?
Eliminate the filibuster? Few democratic traditions are more iconic than the right of an individual senator to challenge the majority and force debate on important legislation. Think Jimmy Stewart in "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington."
Yet, over the last six years, LEADERS FROM BOTH MAJOR PARTIES HAVE LAUNCHED A SERIOUS CAMPAIGN TO "REFORM" THE FILIBUSTER INTO IRRELEVANCE. The goal, they say, is to help the Senate dispatch its business more quickly. Yet any rule that makes it easier for Senate leaders to end debate and block the amendment process will lead to less transparency and less informed, refined decision-making. Haste, you'll recall, makes waste.
I’m split on this. When the Republicans are in power I don’t like the filibuster. When the Democrats are in power it’s a lifesaver. Go figure.
Blue Shield of California seeks rate hikes of as much as 59% for individuals
Another big California health insurer has stunned individual policyholders with huge rate increases — this time it's BLUE SHIELD OF CALIFORNIA SEEKING CUMULATIVE HIKES OF AS MUCH AS 59% FOR TENS OF THOUSANDS OF CUSTOMERS MARCH 1.
Blue Shield's action comes less than a year after Anthem Blue Cross tried and failed to raise rates as much as 39% for about 700,000 California customers.
San Francisco-based Blue Shield said THE INCREASES WERE THE RESULT OF FAST-RISING HEALTHCARE COSTS AND OTHER EXPENSES RESULTING FROM NEW HEALTHCARE LAWS.
Wait a minute. Didn’t President Obama say he was going to bend the cost curve? Which way did he bend it? To paraphrase Sarah Palin, “How’s that Healthcare Reform thing working out for yah?”
The New Sophists
In classical Athens, public life became dominated by clever and smart-sounding sophists. These mellifluous "really wise guys" made money and gained influence by their rhetorical boasts to "prove" the most amazing "thinkery" that belied common sense.
WE ARE LIVING IN A NEW AGE OF SOPHISM -- but without a modern equivalent of Socrates to remind the public JUST HOW SILLY OUR HIGHLY CREDENTIALED AND PRIVILEGED NEW RHETORICIANS CAN OFTEN SOUND.
TAKE CALIFORNIA, WHICH IS STRUGGLING WITH A NEAR-RECORD WET AND SNOWY WINTER. Flooding spreads in the lowlands; snow piles up in the Sierras.
In February 2009, Nobel Laureate and ENERGY SECRETARY STEVEN CHU PONTIFICATED WITHOUT EVIDENCE THAT CALIFORNIA FARMS WOULD DRY UP AND BLOW AWAY, INASMUCH AS 90 PERCENT OF THE ANNUAL SIERRA SNOWPACK WOULD DISAPPEAR. Yet long-term studies of the central Sierra snowpack show AVERAGE SNOW LEVELS UNCHANGED OVER THE LAST 90 YEARS. Many California farms are drying up -- but from government's, not nature's, irrigation cutoffs.
England is freezing and snowy. But that's odd, since global warming experts assured that THE END OF ENGLISH SNOW WAS ON THE HORIZON. AUSTRALIA IS NOW FLOODING -- DESPITE PREDICTIONS THAT ITS IMPENDING NEW DROUGHTS MEANT IT COULD NOT SUSTAIN ITS PRESENT POPULATION. The New York Times just published an op-ed assuring the public that the CURRENT RECORD COLD AND SNOW ARE PROOF OF GLOBAL WARMING. In theory, they could be, but one wonders: what, then, would record winter heat and drought
Okay, who are you going to believe? Secretary Chu or your lying eyes?
E.P.A. Faces First Volley From the House
The newly empowered Republicans in the House aren’t wasting any time making good on their pledge to throttle the Environmental Protection Agency.http://green.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/01/06/e-p-a-faces-first-volley-from-the-house/?partner=rss&emc=rss
On the first full day of legislative business, House Republicans introduced measures on Wednesday to block the environmental agency’s proposed regulation of greenhouse gases and new rules limiting toxic air emissions from cement factories.
The bills represent what is certain to be a concerted effort by the new House majority to address what they consider to be burdensome environmental rules, part of a broader assault on what Republicans characterize as job-killing regulations from the executive branch.
Politics is about to get loud and nasty. Republicans see what the EPA is doing as job killing regulations while the democrats or at least President Obama see it as cleaning the air. My bets are with the Congress as the American people are much more interested in jobs right now.
In his speech today, JOHN BOEHNER showed himself to be among the most impressive figures on our political landscape, and he did it by being that rarest of things in politics: A HUMBLE HUMAN BEING.
His opening ad-lib quieting thunderous applause – “IT’S STILL JUST ME” – should be an instructional moment in public behavior in our celebrity culture. Can you imagine Bill Clinton, Newt Gingrich, Barack Obama or even, alas, Sarah Palin saying such a thing with the authenticity Boehner clearly had at such a moment?....
Compare Boehner with Obama. Here’s Obama from a speech he made regarding the nomination
"The journey will be difficult. The road will be long. I FACE THIS CHALLENGE WITH PROFOUND HUMILITY."
Give Obama points for associating himself with the word "profound" while seeming to claim humility.
But even that humility lasted all of a few seconds, when he quickly shed it with this:
"I am absolutely certain that generations from now, we will be able to look back and tell our children that THIS WAS THE MOMENT WHEN...THE RISE OF THE OCEANS BEGAN TO SLOW AND OUR PLANET BEGAN TO HEAL."
A man who brags that his humility is profound is not humble. A man who claims certainty that his nomination is the moment when the entire planet will begin healing is not humble.
I don’t think the H in BHO’s initials stands for humble.
NPR’s Ellen Weiss resigns after review of Williams firing
An outside law firm’s investigation into NPR’s handing of the Juan Williams firing HAS LED TO THE RESIGNATION OF ELLEN WEISS, the senior executive who informed Williams, BUT LARGELY STANDS BY CEO VIVIAN SCHILLER’S HANDLING OF THE CASE.http://www.politico.com/blogs/onmedia/0111/NPRs_Ellen_Weiss_resigns_after_review_of_Williams_firing.html?showall
However, the board also DECIDED WITHHOLD SCHILLER’S BONUS FOR 2010 as a result of the affair.
Schiller had been the lightning rod for conservative criticism of NPR in the wake of Williams firing, and many both within and outside NPR and its member station community wondered if she would be able to lead the organization through the tough political environment of a Republican-led House. House REPUBLICANS HAVE ALREADY TRIED ONCE TO FORCE A VOTE TO DEFUND NPR SINCE THE WILLIAMS AFFAIR, AND ARE PLANNING TO CONTINUE THEIR EFFORTS IN THE NEW SESSION.
Elections have consequence but in this case isn’t NPR shooting the messenger? I expect to see Schiller go before the end of 2011 (it will be a mutual kind of thing or she’ll want to spend more time with her family).