Tag Archives: Constitution
I woke up this morning to beautiful spring sunshine; I knelt down next to my bed and thanked my Heavenly Father for watching over my family and for all the blessings He has given me, and asked for protection and guidance through the day; then I picked my scriptures and studied for about 15 or 20 minutes.
I went outside, noting there were no police officers waiting to haul me off to jail, and saw my flag was still in its traditional spot, my cars were still in my driveway, my house was still where I’d left it, and I heard the music of birds chirping, people saying goodbyes to family members as they left for work or school and enjoyed the warm sunshine. I noticed there were neatly rolled up newspapers in my neighbor’s driveways.
I went back inside, and just for fun, checked to see my fire arms were still safely in place and that my pantry still had food in it and then looked around to ensure no soldiers were sleeping uninvited in any of the bedrooms or in my den or living room; then I turned on my computer and read the morning news, where I noticed another half dozen protests in Wisconsin, New York, Oakland … I checked my emails, replying to one addressing a concern from one of my members of Congress, and then I commented on a myriad of political topics on blogs and Facebook. I also checked my bank statements, purchased some books, and watched an amusing video or two.
I hear a lot of “discussion” about “taking our country back”, about coercion and usurpation, but I’m still trying to find which of my “liberties” has been seized by the big, bad, federal government?
Republican Tea Party (GOTP) tool and presidential hopeful, Ricky Perry, wants to change the United States Constitution – no big surprise considering his penchant for declaring if Texas didn’t like what the Federal Government was doing it would secede; but Perry has a couple of ideas specifically designed to appeal to his far-right wing conservative base, but basically to no else.
According to the Associated Press (AP), Ricky laid out his “proposed” innovations to the founding document in his book, Fed Up! Our Fight to Save America from Washington; and he has occasionally mentioned them on his bright shiny new campaign trail.
First, Ricky believes we America should abolish lifetime tenure for federal judges by amending Article III, Section I of the Constitution.
While the revered “Founding Fathers” – who are generally thought of by conservatives as being infallible – wrote the Constitution – also considered perfect and not open to change or “modern” interpretation – there are times when uber-conservatives like Perry feel the Supreme Court’s checks and balances needs to be severely restricted or eliminated altogether. It’s one of those constitutional anomalies of today’s uber-conservatism; the Founders and the Constitution are not open to interpretation unless you’re a far-right conservative Christian male.
Article III of the Constitution reads, “The Judges, both of the supreme and inferior Courts, shall hold their Offices during good Behavior, and shall, at stated Times, receive for their Services a Compensation which shall not be diminished during their Continuance in Office.”
Ricky however believes the judges on the bench over the past century have acted beyond their constitutional bounds – no doubt with the marked exception of “Citizens United” – and that members of the judiciary are “unaccountable” to the people, and their lifetime tenure gives them free license to act however they want.
Well duh Mr. Wizard; the judges are supposed to be independent from the pressures of elections and from being subject to the pressures of constantly needing to court an electorate. Federal Courts – especially the Supreme Court – swing from left to right, and back again, over time as Democratic or GOTP presidents appoint justices. This is not a bad thing but gives a very healthy balance to the system. In spite of what Ricky and other right-wing talking heads preach and believe, if the Court was always uber-conservative it would sooner or later lead to a form of far-right Christian Shariah law, which is not what the Founders envisioned. Just as conversely, the Court shouldn’t always be progressive either. Balance is what keeps us free, and imbalance would lead to servitude.
“[W]e should take steps to restrict the unlimited power of the courts to rule over us with no accountability,” Reverend Perry says, “There are a number of ideas about how to do this . . . . One such reform would be to institute term limits on what are now lifetime appointments for federal judges, particularly those on the Supreme Court or the circuit courts, which have so much power. One proposal, for example, would have judges roll off every two years based on seniority.”
Or, we could replace the senior Justices as they die or retire? If Judges and Justices act inappropriately, such as ruling on big name money fat corporations donating whatever they want to campaigns while your wives are connected as lobbyists or sitting on boards, then the Congress can remove them through impeachment. Perry wants to make changes that would prove dangerous.
Ricky also believes that the so-called overreach of the judicial branch could be fixed by simply giving Congress the ability to veto Supreme Court decisions.
“Allow Congress to override the Supreme Court with a two-thirds vote in both the House and Senate, which risks increased politicization of judicial decisions, but also has the benefit of letting the people stop the Court from unilaterally deciding policy,” he preaches.
I can almost hear what he’s really thinking, “If the Congress could’ve overridden Brown v. the Board of Ed then we wouldn’t have that uppity boy in the White House and y’alls children wouldn’t be going to school with Black, Mexican and them sped kids.”
But wait, destroying the checks and balances of the courts isn’t all Ricky wants to do. President Ricky would seek to repeal the Sixteenth Amendment which gives Congress the “power to lay and collect taxes on incomes, from whatever source derived, without apportionment among the several States, and without regard to any census or enumeration.”
“It should be abolished immediately”, Perry says.
He’s also called the Sixteenth Amendment “the great milestone on the road to serfdom,” and that “it provides a virtually blank check to the federal government to use for projects with little or no consultation from the states.”
This is after-all a secessionist talking, so it’s to be expected, and no doubt Perry would love to have the Federal Government ask “mother may I” every time it passes legislation or enacts a new law, but that’s not how things work. There’s something called the “supremacy clause” which allows the Federal Government to do what it believes is best for the entire union, if we did things the way Perry envisions we’d be returning to the era of nullification, something that was done away with when the South lost the Civil War.
Perry also wants to repeal the Seventeenth Amendment restoring the original language of the Constitution, which gave state legislators the power to appoint the members of the Senate. Ratified during the Progressive Era in 1913, the same year as the Sixteenth Amendment, the Seventeenth Amendment gives citizens the ability to elect senators on their own. Perry believes – as does Glenn Beck – that supporters of the amendment at the time were “mistakenly” propelled by “a fit of populist rage.”
“The American people mistakenly empowered the federal government during a fit of populist rage in the early twentieth century by giving it an unlimited source of income (the Sixteenth Amendment) and by changing the way senators are elected (the Seventeenth Amendment),” he claims.
Once again, this is the secessionist in Perry speaking, it’s part of his southern thinking that the people aren’t bright enough to be able to determine who sits in the upper chamber of our bicameral Congress, and that only those elected to state legislatures have the proper upbringing and education to make such heady decisions.
On another note, this is a classic example of right-wing arrogance, claiming that “The American people mistakenly empowered …” who is this red neck southern secessionists to decide that the American people mistakenly did anything?
Perry’s “most important,” plan, is to require a balanced budget amendment.
“The most important thing we could do is amend the Constitution–now–to restrict federal spending,” Perry declares. “There are generally thought to be two options: the traditional ‘balanced budget amendment’ or a straightforward ‘spending limit amendment,’ either of which would be a significant improvement. I prefer the latter . . . . Let’s use the people’s document–the Constitution–to put an actual spending limit in place to control the beast in Washington.”
Ah yes, the holiest of conservative holy grails, a balanced budget amendment. Of course, there are two things here: first, it shows Perry’s economic ignorance to proclaim the federal government should operate just like American families; the federal government operates under macroeconomics, while families operate under microeconomics. Second, how does a balanced budget amendment guarantee federal spending won’t increase and hence everyone’s taxes in order to comply with the needs of balancing the budget? You can’t write in some number the government can’t spend over, and thus you’d have to remain with a generic amendment protecting nothing but mandating the federal government raise taxes in order to balance the budget. In effect this is fluff and nonsense.
And then there’s the right-wing uber-conservative Christian Sharia law changes to the Constitution, which everyone knows was established by men who were all as devote evangelicals as Perry, Bachmann and Palin are.
Reverend Perry has changed his mind from last month’s statement that he was “fine with” states like New York allowing gay marriage, he is now declaring that he supports a constitutional amendment that would permanently ban gay marriage throughout the country and overturn any state laws that define marriage beyond a relationship between one man and one woman.
“I do respect a state’s right to have a different opinion and take a different tack if you will, California did that,” the Reverend told the Christian Broadcasting Network in August. “I respect that right, but our founding fathers also said, ‘Listen, if you all in the future think things are so important that you need to change the Constitution here’s the way you do it’.
In an interview with The Ticket earlier this month, Perry spokeswoman Katherine Cesinger said that even though it would overturn laws in several states, the amendment still fits into Perry’s broader philosophy because amendments require the ratification of three-fourths of the states to be added to the Constitution.
And coincidently, like the gay marriage issue, Reverend Perry at one time believed that abortion policy should be left to the states, as was the case before the 1973 Supreme Court case Roe v. Wade. But in the same Christian Broadcasting Network interview, Rev Ricky said he would support a federal amendment outlawing abortion because it was “so important…to the soul of this country and to the traditional values [of] our founding fathers.”
So, here we have the second great anomaly of current conservative double speak; they will declare with one side of their mouths that the Federal Government needs to stay out of private citizen’s lives, but will then speak out of the other side of their mouths declaring it should be able to intrude into any unchristian facets of citizen’s lives; hence they preach their Evangelical Christian Sharia law and want the Federal Government to impose religious beliefs upon the entire population. Perry – like Palin and Bachmann – is a tool of the evangelical right and a secessionists and has no business ever living at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.
C’mon, when has Glenn Beck ever said anything that could be misunderstood as suggesting violence should be used against the Government?
“It falls to the people. It always has fall on the people. But I asked, I said, ‘Between the radio audience and the TV audience, I got about 10 million guard dogs.’ We need people who have understood the Constitution and understand this theory of remaking America, the fundamental transformation, to stand guard and watch them every step of the way — guard and bark and growl and do whatever you have to do, because these people are hijacking our country.” [Fox News, Glenn Beck, 7/28/09, via Nexis]
”Do whatever you have to do…” whatever you have to do? The definition of “whatever”: “pron. 1. Everything or anything that …”
“Do everything you have to do…”
“Do anything you have to do…”
Beck is a charlatan and a liar. Telling his listeners to do “whatever you have to do” is telling them to use “any means necessary” to achieve an overthrow of the constitutionally elected government. He is not a patriot, he is a coward – because he wants others to act for him – and he is a traitor to everything he claims to hold dear, including the Constitution and the freedoms outlined therein.
So, Rush Limbaugh, the “all-seeing, all-knowing” Maha Rushdi – to use his own words – doesn’t know the United States Constitution as well as he thinks he does. On Saturday afternoon, Rush gave his first nationally broadcast speech, to throngs of the Republican elite at the party’s annual Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Washington D.C.
During his speech, which was met with thunderous applause from the adoring crowd, he said while attempting to describe who the GOP was, “We want every American to be the best he or she chooses to be. We recognize that we are all individuals. We love and revere our founding documents, the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence. We believe that the preamble of the Constitution contains an inarguable truth, that we are all endowed by our creator with certain inalienable rights, among them life, liberty, freedom. And the pursuit of happiness.” Unfortunately, the Constitution doesn’t say that in its preamble. That “inarguable truth” is contained in the preamble of the Declaration of Independence. Maybe Rush should have paid more attention when he was in “screwool” back in Missouri.
But maybe he was just nervous, and made a mistake? Rush speaks allegedly to millions each day on his nationally syndicated talk show. Rush nervous? Parish the thought. I suspect Rush was simply his usual bombastic, overconfident and condescending self when he screwed up. It’s a pretty funny mistake coming from a man who claims to be 99.9 % accurate on his facts.
Maybe Rush, and his pals Hannity, O’Reilly, et al should read the documents they profess to love so much a little more often.
Of course Rush used most of his 80 minute address (80 minutes? He was scheduled for 20) to criticize and harangue President Barack Obama, claiming, as he does everyday, that the President is inspiring fear in Americans in order to push his liberal agenda of “big government.”
“He wants people in fear, angst and crisis, fearing the worst each and every day because that clears the decks for President Obama and his pals to come in with the answers which are abject failures, historically shown and demonstrated. Doesn’t matter. They’ll have control of it when it’s all over. And that’s what they want,” he said. “They see these inequalities, these inequities that capitalism produces. How do they try to fix it? Do they try to elevate those at the bottom? No, they try to tear down the people at the top.”
Rush did manage to complement the President, actually appearing to praise him as one of the most gifted politicians he has seen, but said, “It just breaks my heart that he does not use these extraordinary talents and gifts to motivate and inspire the American people to be the best they can be. He’s doing just the opposite.”
I find it so ironic the very men who carried the Bush administration’s message of fear for eight long years are now trying to claim Obama is using the tactic. Rush, and his buddies, acted as the Bush Propaganda Ministry, and scared Americans into believing that “Islamic Fascists” would march down our streets unless we supported Bush’s war in Iraq, and now they claim President Obama is using fear over the financial crisis in our country? Of course if the President did nothing, then they’d attack him for doing nothing, probably claiming he was too scared, or too ignorant to know what to do.