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.