Paul Campos & the Constitution
Re: Paul Campos 11/6/07 The Constitution was constructed to create a republic, not a democracy. This is important to protect us from the potential of tyranny by the majority. Campos’ example proves the effectiveness of this as sparsely populated states have the same ability to “steal federal tax dollars” as heavily populated states.
Perhaps we would be better off if we actually followed the Constitution and kept “most of the important political decisions” at the state and local level. Legislation at this level would more likely reflect the will of the people, as opposed to a few elites imposing their will on us since they know what’s best for us.
It seems to me the primary “barrier to legislative action” is the anonymity and lack of accountability currently in both houses of Congress. The line-item veto would prevent needed legislation from being held hostage to legislation that would never stand on its own merits. Legislators would actually be accountable for their particular additions and amendments to legislation.
With government limited on the federal level, incompetent presidents and congresses do not irreparably harm our country. These limitations are important safeguards to preserve our individual freedoms and accountability.
Instead of looking to inferior forms of government outside our borders, we should be proud of our constitutional republic, which limits government powers and has kept us healthy and prosperous over the course of our history. Let’s continue to be the light for the rest of the world to follow.
This letter has not been edited.
Nice letter John. Accurate and succinct without any emotional hysteria attached to it. Wouldn't it be nice to truly leave to the states all that is not clearly assigned to the federal government as intended. I fear we are way too far down the road of the 'nanny state' however. All we can hope for is to slow the beast down and retain what freedoms and power we still have at the state and local level.Posted by Michael on November 10, 2007 03:11 PM
The 17th Amendment morphed the Constitution into a democracy and as for following the Constitution, Justice Taney's Court followed the Constitution and it ushered in a Civil War. "Follow the Constitution" is crap but rather be guided by it.Posted by JVB on November 10, 2007 04:18 PM
Put Impeachment ON The Table of the House Judiciary Committee
This week Dennis Kucinich led an heroic effort to put the impeachment of Dick Cheney ON the table by requesting a floor vote on H.Res. 333. As expected, BushDemocrat Steny Hoyer moved to table the bill. And then all hell broke loose as 165 Republicans voted with Kucinich and 85 brave Democrats to force a debate on impeachment over the objections of Nancy Pelosi. To block that debate, Hoyer moved to send H.Res. 333 back to the Judiciary Committee, and this motion passed. Watch David Swanson explain the events to Paul Jay of The Real News .
So what do we do next to move impeachment forward?
1. Email all of the Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee:
and call them:
"a state in which the supreme power rests in the body of citizens entitled to vote and is exercised by representatives chosen directly or indirectly by them"
Why do people keep saying that?
A republic is not a different from of government from a democracy. Rather, it is a form of democracy.
Democracy: "government by the people; a form of government in which the supreme power is vested in the people and exercised directly by them or OR BY THEIR ELECTED AGENTS under a free electoral system."
Republic: "a state in which the supreme power rests in the body of citizens entitled to vote and is exercised by representatives chosen directly or indirectly by them."
Republic: a government in which supreme power resides in a body of citizens entitled to vote and is exercised by elected officers and representatives responsible to them and governing according to law.
Democracy: a government in which the supreme power is vested in the people and exercised by them directly OR INDIRECTLY THROUGH A SYSTEM OF REPRESENTATION usually involving periodically held free elections.
"This is important to protect us from the potential of tyranny by the majority."
Wrong. What protects us from the tyranny of the majority is the Constitution, particularly the Bill of Rights and the judicial system.
"sparsely populated states have the same ability to “steal federal tax dollars” as heavily populated states."
Wrong. The sparsely populated states have a much greater ability because in the Senate a small group of people carry as much weight as a much larger group of people. That is one of the problems with the current constitution, in my opinion.
"Legislation at this level would more likely reflect the will of the people, as opposed to a few elites imposing their will on us since they know what’s best for us."
I do not think this is at all the reality. The elites at the city level and those at the state level are at least as far removed from the common man as those as the national level. I think more so because of the fact that there are a few hundred million people who can keep tabs on those at the national level, and I think that clearly the media and watchdogs and activists are much more active at the national level.
"Perhaps we would be better off if we actually followed the Constitution and kept “most of the important political decisions” at the state and local level."
A meaningless statement without some specification of what decisions the writer thinks should be transferred from the national to the state or local level. For example, should there be fifty different food and drug administrations, at something like fifty times the current cost? Should there be fifty different bureaucracies, as many times the current administrative cost, looking after medicare and medicaid type programs?
Should each of the fifty states make its own rules governing illegal immigration? Should each of the fifty states control exports from and imports into that state?
I am sure that there are programs which would be better run at the state or local level than at the national level, but such a broad statement as the writer makes really doesn't say anything meaningful. The writer doesn't really say what he is talking about.
:With government limited on the federal level, incompetent presidents and congresses do not irreparably harm our country."
Clearly. And the same is true of incompetence at the state and local levels. There is a great deal of corruption at all those levels. One advantage of the national level is that people from all over the nation can complain to the head of a particular Congressional committee or, as far as that goes, about a single president.
"It seems to me the primary “barrier to legislative action” is the anonymity and lack of accountability currently in both houses of Congress."
I think that people are much more aware of the people in Washington, and they get tons more publicity and attention, that either state of local officials.
"The line-item veto would prevent needed legislation from being held hostage to legislation that would never stand on its own merits."
The possibility of a line-item veto is not limited to a state or local government.
"Legislators would actually be accountable for their particular additions and amendments to legislation."
I think it is highly questionable to assert that our state representatives are held more accountable than our ones in Washington.
"Instead of looking to inferior forms of government outside our borders, we should be proud of our constitutional republic"
I don't see Campos or anyone else advocating that we give up our republican form of government, that is, a government in which the people elect representatives to govern them. The fact is that all modern governments in first world countries have a republican form of government.Posted by Truth on November 10, 2007 04:40 PM
The whole system is corrupted by special interests, especially at the state level, and we notice the effects of that corruption more on the state level because the effects are directly foisted on the people at a local level.
That said, why is it we allow our representatives a long leash when they say their actions are for the wellbeing and good of the people when in reallity those actions are devastating for a minority of the people.
The old crap about the majority rules flys in the face of the constitutional right of a minority to be protected from the tyranny of the majority. And that's good, else boondoggle tyrannies like prohibition, slaverly, and denying women the vote might well be still with us.
But the people are gullible to anything presented as for the "good of the people" or the "wellbeing and health of the public". These are not magical words that justify any action, they have become the mantra propaganda words used by zealots to advance the many agendas they promote then force those agendas upon the people when they get them enacted into law.
I hope the people wake up before it is to late to stop special interests from taking over the rights of the people to control this government of the people, for the people and by the people.Posted by Allen Campbell on November 11, 2007 10:54 AM
The line item veto is unconstitutional. It grants the president legislative authority by allowing him to change legislation passed by Congress--the only government body vested with the authority to create laws (U.S. Const., Art. I). Yet, in the Bush universe, he has presumed he has the authority to create laws, an authority that does not exist anywhere in Art. II of the U.S. Constitution.
The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled on this issue and put the matter to rest. So why does the line item veto continue to come up as some sort of legitimate fix-all for the current state of political disarray?
Why it comes up, Becca, is because of all the mischief that goes on in terms of inserting your favorite piece of unrelated legislation deep in the bowels of a 500 page long bill so that the chances are good that nobody will read it and realize what is in there, especially if it is rushed through for a vote. This is not an ethical way to run government but it seems popular these days among legislators.
There are a lot of things that legislators want that wouldn't stand on their own so they slip them unnoticed into other legislation. We either need a "single issue bill" requirement or a line item veto. The single issue requirement would prove difficult to craft and would nearly grind government to a halt (which, would not necessarily be a bad thing). A line item veto would allow for a president to weed out all the unrelated pieces of nonsense that get inserted into bills.
So much of the legislation in Washington is loaded with unrelated pet projects. That seems to be the favorite way to scam the system. Hide stuff in long bills that staffers often don't have time to fully read and understand.
If the President has to either sign or veto a bill on issue "X" shouldn't it ONLY be about issue "X" and not also about issues "Y", "Z" and on and on? ALL Presidents, regardless of party deserve the ability to sign or reject a bill on its' own merits.
The lack of a line item veto has led to signing statements. Contrary to popular belief, Bush is not the first or only President to use them, either.Posted by RU Serious on November 12, 2007 01:05 PM
Truth gets the prize. Look in dictionary.com and type in habeas corpus and you will find that it is a writ used in civil and criminal proceedings as opposed to only criminal proceedings.Posted by JVB on November 12, 2007 01:29 PM
I think the voters should call their
Colorado Congressmen/women at
800-828-0498 and tell 'em
"No Money, No Votes and No volunteering"
Until You Support Impeachment Of VP Cheney
for the WMD lies and the Treason of outing Valerie Plame a covert CIA Agent and her foreign agents. Please see http://ImpeachCO.com
Colorado Impeachment Coalition
John Kennedy, organizer
JVB, would you like for me to say something about habeas corpus so your post would not be so nonsensical?Posted by Truth on November 12, 2007 04:34 PM
I withdraw the preceding comment. You will please disregard it in your deliberations.Posted by Truth on November 12, 2007 07:24 PM
Most "important" political decisions must be the law in all the states and territories of America for a more unified America. For example: Traveling 2000 miles for a safe abortion impacts negatively on the seeker who already is faced with a dilemma.
Deicide Corner: And the brother shall deliver up the brother of death, and the father the child; and the children shall rise up against their parents and cause them to be put to death. Matt. 10Posted by Richard Grimes: r22037yahoo Deicide and Misanthrope not to Christians but dogma like Mitt's Mormonis on November 14, 2007 12:44 PM