My Work

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Constitutional Crisis

This old Libertarian is not at ease right now.  And I think there’s more to it than just the ins and outs of politics.  For several years our congress, and this is the description of representative democracy, our congress, those that are supposed to represent our wishes in place of us voting on each and every issue, has rolled over and played dead.  Within a three headed republic, congress is supposed to be an equal with the president and the supreme court, but from a point during the George W. Bush terms through today, congress has done virtually nothing.  Here are some thoughts:

            1. There is no budget and hasn’t been one for years.
            2. Fiscally, this country has fallen out of the bottom of the barrel and very few are willing to accept the fact. 
            3. Our CIA is killing people in foreign countries that we are not at war with.
            4. President Obama is acting like a dictator, setting aside areas of our constitution that don’t fit his plans.

I am not looking at republicans disagreeing with democrats, or the other way around, nor am I looking at congress and the president in a big old political brawl.  What we are facing is a constitutional crisis and it is my greatest fear that this could very well lead many people to start acting out in more of an anarchist manner than in a structured society in which political discussion can be had without it becoming an armed conflict.

Watching President Obama over the months since the election, and in particular, over the several weeks since the inauguration, I am mystified by what the man is attempting.  He has a congress that is not sympathetic and he doesn’t seem interested in discussing the issues with them.  On the other hand, if one were looking for a possible conspiracy, it would seem the man is campaigning for a third term.

He has already shown by deed and thought that he has little knowledge of the constitution, believes strongly is side stepping congress with presidential decrees that will probably not be upheld by the Supreme Court which he doesn’t believe has any use in our triple headed government system anyway.

So, by decree, will this man say, just a couple of years from now, ‘I’m setting aside that constitutional amendment that forbids a president’s third term and will be running for president for a third term’? He has already shown that it is in his character to do so.  The First, Second, and Fourth Amendments are also in jeopardy if this man continues on his current path.

In two years, every member of the House of Representatives, and several members of the Senate will be running for election.  As it stands right now, Mr. Obama could very well be facing an even uglier congress following that election.

We have all met people that have the attitude of, ‘Do it my way or else.’  This president fits the image of ‘It’s my way or the highway.’  Politics doesn’t work that way.  He decries a lack of conciliation and then demands things be done his way or else.  He won’t talk to congress, but he will go on what can only be described as campaign junkets.

I have rarely bought into conspiracy theories.  In most cases one could drive trucks through the holes in them, but what I think I see here is the beginnings of a campaign for a third term, the setting aside of even more of the constitution, and a giant step for mankind into chaos and rebellion.

If that isn’t the case, if it’s just that this president doesn’t have the ability to debate the issues with congress, doesn’t have the knowledge to work within the constraints of the laws of the land, and can only give speeches on the campaign stump, then as a people we have to see to it that the other two mainstays of government are prepared to ask him to leave.  Congress will have to get its act together, and they sure haven’t had it together for some time now, and the judicial system will have to be ready to make some serious decisions about what our constitution is really all about.

Too many people, in open discussion in public places, are saying that a possible rebellion is not out of the question.  Letters and missives to congressional representatives have been blunt to the extreme, and it’s time for members of congress to accept the position of leadership that they were sent to Washington for in the first place.  There is an undertone of resistance that isn’t that many steps from rebellion, and the love that most Americans have for the constitution and the laws of the land are in jeopardy right now.

We have had constitutional crises in our history, and in most cases it has been determined that what our founding fathers wrote and what we have amended, is the way our government and our people should live.  Today, this administration sticks people in prison without the benefit of representation or trial, it has killed our own citizens in foreign countries, it attacks foreign soil without benefit of a declaration of war, and it has tortured people to the point that they die.

And we have a president that is in favor of all of that and a congress that won’t repudiate the system.  We are in the midst of a constitutional disaster and it appears the only answer to the problems will come from the general public itself because the elected leadership is a major part of the problem.  The old phrase “Power to the People” might have to ring out on every street corner and be heard in every meeting hall from coast to coast.  The failure of those elected to do their duty, do their job, needs to be explained to them in the strongest words and deeds possible.

As always, read good books and stay regular.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Important quotes

Thoughts on a stormy day from a somewhat storm tossed mind …

I was forced to stay inside the cloistered walls of the rancho by waves of an increasing Washoe Zephyr recently, and found several pages of rather poignant quotes dating back to the origins of Greek Democracy, and very relative to what is happening in Washington even as you peruse these pages.

Cicero is said to have commented one time: “Freedom is the power to live as you will.  Who then lives as he wills?”  That would bring a Homeland Security check if sent by e-mail.

In 1928, Supreme Court Justice Brandeis is quoted as saying, “The makers of the Constitution conferred, as against the government, the Right to be let alone; the most comprehensive of rights, and the right most valued by civilized man.”

Whilst my old friend Jimmie Durante said, “Put no constrictions on the people.  Leave ‘em ta Hell alone.”  Amen brother.  When I was publicity director at John Ascuaga’s Nugget at the end of the 60s and first year of 1970, Durante appeared often.  No different in person than on stage. 

“All government, of course, is against Liberty.”  Those are the words of H.L. Mencken, said many years ago.  Doesn’t anyone in Washington listen?

It was Robert Frost that said, “Freedom lies in being bold.”  And Hunter S. Thompson said, “When you are INNOCENT you can do ANYTHING that you want.”  Unless, of course, if the Patriot act intervenes.

It was Alexander Tyler writing about the fall of the Athenian Republic, which fell, by the way, some 2,000 years ago, that democracies only last about 200 years, progress through specific sequences.  To wit:

From bondage to spiritual faith;
From spiritual faith to great courage;
From great courage to Liberty;
From Liberty to abundance;
From abundance to complacency;
From complacency to apathy;
From apathy to dependence;
From dependence back into bondage.

Samuel Adams backed that up, 200 years ago, saying, “Democracy never lasts long, it soon wastes itself, exhausts and murders itself.  There never was a democracy yet that did not commit suicide.”

It was John F. Kennedy that said, “Every American ought to have the right to be treated as he would wish to be treated, as one would wish his children to be treated.”

And Abraham Lincoln said, “No man is good enough to govern another man without that other’s consent.”

Your job then, if you wish to accept the position, is to convince 435 members of the House of Representatives, 100 members of the U.S. Senate, and one rather uppity President of the United States, that what has been said in the past still holds true today.

Have a great day, read good books, and stay regular.