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Sunday, July 3, 2011

Constitution This, Constitution That.

So It’s been an insanely long time since I wrote anything but today’s THIS WEEK inspired me to write a little bit on constitutionality since that was such a big part of today’s debate. I just want to throw a few more elaborated talking points into the limited argument.

                                        The man, the myth, the legend; strangley enough
                                         normally I really respect what he has to say.

George Will, along with the Tea Party, Palin, Huckabee, Pawlenty, and Bachmann, contends that the constitution is a frozen document. He continued that it is not a flexible document as opposed to a living and vital one which seems to be highly contradictory since the 27 amendments and the elastic clause preserves, supports, and strengthens the concept of flexibility. This is also evident through massive cultural American innovations such as the freeing of slaves or ensuring the right for women to vote, the prohibition and reinstatement of the sale of alcoholic beverages or the lowering of the voting age. This argument goes all the way back to the infancy stages of the constitutional convention. The first arguing parties were the Anti-Federalists and Federalists  (the former, Jeffersonian while the latter, Hamiltonian) who argued on the ability to interpret the validity to shrink or expand the power the constitution would grant to the government. Those who argued for the strong federal government were the loose constructivists, those who argued for restricted interpretation, small government and states’ rights were strict constructivists. Both parties agreed that the constitution was needed to have a government and vise-versa. Based on how he argued today, I saw George Will’s version, as well as that of the tea party which he staunchly supports, is that the constitution is a sacred and archaic document that needs to stay just the way it is if not scaled back to a period pre-dating the amendments while being interpreted in the narrowest, strictest parameters. Another point to ponder, if the founding fathers totally wanted a concrete document with no room for interpretation, why did they write it in such an absolutely vague manner?

                                                  While there is a lower class I am in it;
                                                while there is a criminal element I am of it;
                                               while there is a soul in prison, I am not free

Will continued to purport that the “people” must cut the leash of governmental reliance in achieving its power from the constitution. He makes a connection that the document is for the people not the government.  Even though it was a document created by the government to preserve it-self and whose very existence ensured the people would get to exist in a place that allowed them to use the constitution to interpret their government – phew. He backed up his argument by stating the “progressives had argued this [elimination of federal power] for a century.” Even though Teddy Roosevelt used federal government to created national parks, bust the monopolies, reform the electoral system and campaign finance, passed major regulation for food, water and urban planning and truly was the strongest republican progressive candidate in our history and was supported by champions of the progressives such as Jane Addams, John Dewey, Robert Lafollette and the like. When I heard Will talk about talk about this it was as though he was trying to paint the progressives as some kind of anti-government anarchists so naturally I immediately drew connections to the socialist progressives like Eugene V Debs, Randolph Bourne or Emma Goldman who argued for the government to step off their rights to be heard so they could fairly represent the pacifists, unionists and reformers of America but these are the very people who Mr. Will abhors. Also, progressives like Debs argued for the government to change its role to that of a protector instead of an oppressor.  Meaning while they may not have agreed with their government’s action they were steadfastly determined to change their government at the most local level to bring about desperately needed reforms and improvements and did just that which was evident through the upsurge elected populists and socialists into office during Debs' time in the midwest..

                                              "vigilance/vigilantism, what's the difference?"

Will was equating the demand for constitutional limitations in the relation to the (as he sees) out of control expansion of executive power. Here, he’s talking about Obama, the only president that counts I’m assuming because he is black, centrist at best and a democrat and thus an evil tyrant. In all reality, Obama’s expansion of executive power is small compared to that of George W. Bush who expanded the power of the executive (which is stipulated to be very limited under Article II of the Constitution) to a level of federal interventionism rivaling the presidencies of Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln. Talking from a party line perspective, Medicare and Social Security expansion and creation of the Environmental Protection Agency was a product of conservative “law and order” republican Richard Nixon and continued by Gerald Ford, piggybacking the Great Society model of democrat Lyndon Johnson and another policy which George Will condemned, being a fiscal conservative at the level of Milton Friedman (Who also pretty much dropped all support of Nixon after the EPA creation and expansions of middle class and poor welfare) Mind you, Nixon didn’t do this because he loved these people but more so he wanted their votes and to boost his approval in an intelligent moment of pragmatism. So, as we can plainly see, there was no one party that ever wanted to “scale back” their power role. Mainly just to cut out programs which only applied to those who don’t politically matter to their party.  Living in a painfully two party system, different sides of the fence have a 50/50 shot at best for the representation they believe they deserve.

                                                         Spoken like a true head of state

The tea party often speaks of the constitution as if it’s a divine (religious) document partly for evoking mindless patriotism by masking their arguments in a distorted version of history as they see it.  This is one which embraces the revolution in its most anti-authoritarian form (traditionally backed by the left) and simultaneously the orderly and directorial constitution (Backed by the right) They are commandeering both of the sentiments by embracing the documents which literally give the government credibility and merit while demanding that very government’s destruction all the while claiming “God wills it.” The really ironic part of this is that they love the Declaration of Independence and back no government intervention which are principles championed by Thomas Jefferson who is greatly seen as a threat by the conservative evangelical movement because Jefferson was a true representative of the ideals of the enlightenment and a deist who was greatly opposed to the religious authority from England and Rome. Hell, he was directly omitted from U.S. History books in last year’s Texas school book rewrite vote. (Party line vote 9R-5D) This is where the constitution can be as dangerous as a religious work by those who interpret things literally. These evangelical hardliners interpret government documents as they do the bible. Word for Word and page for page. 7 days means 7 days. When Jefferson wrote “All men are created equal” then that’s what he meant, all men, done deal, so why are these minorities so upset?  We are hearing this distorted history making it's way into the mainstream from its ultimate mouthpiece, Michele Bachmann who rewrites history to say the founding fathers freed the slaves, mistakes time periods, peolpe and places constantly and has a fanatical base which takes any attempt to correct her with fact as an "elitst attack."  from the socialist left.  The tea party disregards the certain fact that Jefferson was writing from such an indoctrinated position of luxury, arrogance and racism that blacks, Indians, poor and landless didn’t even count as men. It wasn’t that he needed to omit those people for he didn’t even consider them people to begin with. Dogmatic minds cannot understand that beyond dogmatic rule so therefore if the constitution is something they believe in so adamantly, there must be an egregious level of infusion of God into government even thought the constitution is possibly the most a-religious document in American law.

                                                  I mean this in a strictly "economical" way

Declaration of Independence vs. Constitution is a sad point of misinterpretation because the tea party confuses them constantly (so do politicians of both sides)  mainly by dressing the constitution up with the language of the declaration because it speaks in lofty, broad generalities and brings up God five times which strengthens the current calls to forcefully mandate this country as an exclusively "Christian nation" with room for little else.   In all reality, even the properly and most cited portions of the constitution (besides the second amendment) is the preamble which means very little in the legal precedents the tea party argues for or against. For the record, “we hold these truths”, "God", and “Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness” are not in the Constitution and it is not guaranteed (it’s actually life, liberty and property which was taken from the Second Treatises of Government by John Locke) Speaking of this, why is pursuit of happiness replaced with property? It seems like a very specific stipulation considering only 1/3 of American men were farmers (mostly poor) and 3 percent of Americans owned any moneyed property during the constitution’s time, and that 3 percent were all drafters of the constitution, coincidence?

 Cuz when I think "socialist, union thug" I think firefighters, secretaries and bus drivers

"The constitution exists to enable majorities," as Oliver Wendell Holmes stated. But who, in fact is this majority? The people who scream the loudest about constitutionality see the original document in the eighteenth century model where they, either through naivety or willful ignorance, see any term of “majority” as 100 percent of Americans. But as skilled statisticians purport, numbers can’t lie but people can and that 100 percent majority quickly erodes to about 13 percent of adults who received eligibility to vote in our post colonial era…and they only were allowed to vote for state representatives, everyone else was assigned by the elites and electorate within the actual government, end of story. But we could examine to a more contemporary time like today to examine what the tea party refers to in their populist masked diversionary speak. They are very firm in their judgment and believe in who is and is not American and even go so far as to say our current president doesn’t fit into that mold. So do they think everyone is covered? No, they think everyone who counts is covered, just as the drafters did.  Unlike the fathers, they are much more vocal about who they don't think should have rights while the fathers simply assumed it.  Other groups of people spoke in populist overtones while acting from motives or violence and racism, they were the one's led by Hitler, Mussolini and Franco.

Apparently wealth takes 31 years to trickle down

Upon basic examination, we see that 34 of 55 of the Constitution’s writers were lawyers, it was initially based of the Federalist Papers which promoted a strong federal government but to ensure that only the rich would be able to control the highest seats of the government (the bill of rights was later written to achieve the approval of the upper middle class –as I said, the poor weren’t even considered when “the people” are spoken of. In fact Madison’s main concern was that our country was a nation of conflicts between divisions of society and these divisions were based on socio-economics which created a status quo which could not be broken through a system of control "to keep the 'bewildered herd' in line" as the psychiatrist Walter Lippmann put it.   Divisions were inevitable such as the  poor being upset because the rich have everything (Land, newspapers, education, government) So if the poor make up the true majority, how can we get them out of the picture?  He thought, "The way we can control this is by a majority rule vote which can be controlled if we make sure the 'majority' of the electorate is rich."  The wealthy could them pull the upper middle and educated into their ranks while simultaneously breeding distrust between both sides and keeping the focus off of the top.   Madison said it best when he stated, “We must at all cost stop wicked projects such as [printing] paper money (to assist the middle class in commerce and trade), abolit[ing]...unjust debts, (to keep the poor in debt) or equal distribution of property. (which would expand the already strictly limited electorate)”

                                   many "scientists" backed up this Social Darwinism chart

                        You got your leg blown off in WWI? Well, I got your pension, right here!

The constitution was stated to protect against divisions but we just saw the promotion of these divisions could have very well been the soul cause of its' purpose. It was used to bring the elites into positive light in the eyes of the middle class by “bringing them into the fold” and putting them on an officiated higher social rung of the ladder over slaves, indentures, the poor, Indians and women. Also keeping these people close to the rich and away from the other aforementioned groups.  This would ensure the prevention of the middle class from uniting, funding and arming the lowest of the low.  Not only that but it also served the purpose of strengthening slavery and unjust property and labor control indefinitely.  With no king George at the top to blame and just coming out of an era where the colonial elites relentlessly promoted rebellion and vast anti-authoritarianism, it sure was dangerous to be the new boss.   The Spanish colonial system worked the same way with a highly intricate order of social class which dictated everything, their error was denying rights to the sole military creole class who controlled influence over the army which eventually unseated the peninsulare governments and established military rule. The bill of rights was directly challenged, not by the people but by its own government, and  the first amendment was violated just seven years after it was written when the Alien and Sedition acts passed making it a crime to criticize the government, its representatives or the president. A second Sedition and Espionage Acts was passed in 1917 and 1918 to take rights away from immigrants under the first red scare of post WWI era under Attorney General Mitchell Palmer.  Chief Justrice Holmes also chimed in with his "clear and present danger ruling" to silence anti-war protesters during the first World War by stating to raise your voice against a war that half the country didn't want somehow put our national security in danger and thus trumped any constitutional protections.  Also, how fair and free could the press be if the rich controlled the press? Many of the thousands of Continental regulars weren’t even paid, they were hung when they demanded their pensions, and non-commissioned officers were summarily shot by the own men under the charge of treason when they demanded fair equipment and food in New Jersey during the war for those very men. This happened again to the veteran pension bonus marchers after World War I under the Hoover administration in Washington D.C. (here they were beat, shot and firebombed to be fair)

Alexander Hamilton especially (who wanted a president and senate which would be appointed for life without any consent of the people) argued for a massive national army not tied to a specific state as to eliminate local loyalties which would be  directly intertwined with the role of protector of the federal government.  This way the armed forces would directly be tied into the governmental power structure.  Thus, like with the educated and wealthy middle-class, also bringing the military into the ranks of empowered as well to ensure public order and establish a form of Hamiltonian 'equality.'  (the Spanish juntas called these caudillos, the robber barons called them pinkertons, the first line of defense who will defend their masters without question)  When Hamilton spoke in terms of equality, he was referring to an equilibrium between the major disproportionate levels of wealth and influence between the very few over the very many. To strengthen his call for a national army, Hamilton proposed a national treasury that existed on its own governmental plane, massive high tax rates and promoted the excise taxes against grain alcohol and whiskey to antagonize the hops and barley farmers of western PA into rebellion. He used this rebellion as justification for armed intervention and mobilization of harsh, swift, military power to ensure the citizens paid the taxes no matter how specifically unfair and to use those farmers as a warning against other states from getting similar ideas. So the constitutionality of Taxation powers was sure to get protection as far as armed military intervention on its’ behalf but particularly the first amendment which was the ultimate selling point of the constitution was taken apart as quickly as possible by the military. Defending one part of the constitution to destroy another is a constant trend. Some (in our current and previous presidential administrations) even state that the entire bill of rights is nullified by the war powers act because the constitution is a peace time document and thus during times of war, constitutional “inalienable rights” become “conditional privileges” based on vague promises of “common good” and “national security.” Even though this directly contradicts the whole supposed point of the constitution's existence.

                                        Rule One: Don't talk about Fight Clu...wait, wrong list.

Why do we need to evoke the sentiments of the “fathers” since they were absolute elitists who are the total enemy of the “grassroots progressive tea party.”  Think about it, if they were around now, the tea party would be calling Hamilton a socialist for greating a national bank and treasury and Jefferson a communist for his questionable views on God.  The fact that they use the word "Progressive" in their many self-descriptions could be an example of paradoxical oxymoron since they stole the term progressive the way the Nazi party stole the word socialists while promoting the murder of the real socialists. If these men who are considered the saints of America’s foundation are still men, who is to say they were infallible in the creation of this document. Why is this not more specifically more examined to practicality and relevance? If these individuals had no scruples with corporal punishment, slave ownership, and a brutally enforced class system, why do we consider their ability to write exclusive rights intended only for themselves a sense of reverence at the level of gospel? Our Ten Amendments could very well be the Americanized Ten Commandments.

                                             Roosevelt was a beast, took a bullet in the chest
                                                    during a speech and finished the speech!

                                                     The Yellow Kid: The cutest thing to
                                                   ever utter the phrase, "die, mud people"

If these pocket-constitution carrying proponents see this 200 year old document as one that cannot be changed, where does the Internet fit in? Why do some of these defenders of the old document which they constantly say should not be changed, argue for a constitutional marriage amendment or a federal law criminalizing specific things they do not approve of in this country such as certain games, films, art, drugs, etc.?  Why do they want a federal ban on stem cells or abortion? Why are they demanding tougher federal sentences and legislation to secure the borders?  Shouldn’t these issues be the exclusive rights of the states? Well I suppose that's the case if it cannot be passed at the federal level.  If suppose a democrat like Barack Obama is in power then all we hear is “state’s rights, state’s rights” Just as the slave-holding south argued in 1862 and long before all the while pointing the bayonets of open rebellion in the face of the rest of the nation. Notice we mainly only hear about “state’s rights” when it’s the state’s right to deny rights to others outside a specific and rigid worldview.  Examples such as people who want to live in privacy in their homes, or true freedom of religion by not having the government mandate a specific version of it and furthermore hide behind said religion to justify it's actions.  Other rulers did this in history, they were monarchs who ruled by divine right.  This new warped class of conservatism is now screaming for their “rights” to scale back environmental protection, take away civil rights, protect the rich, destroy the poor, undo unions, deregulate gun safety, defund schools and live in a tax free society with indulgences rivaling an era comparable to the Gilded Age, Imperial Spain or pre-revolutionary France. The extreme right is getting their wish by proxy.  They are planning to mandate federal law at the state level by eliminating the current democratic federal power by gaining control of every state, one by one, at any cost no matter how underhanded or how illlegal which really will come to light after the Supreme Court ruling on limitless corporate campaign contributions.  (Conflict of interest, much?)  Once, the haters of big government become the big government, federal power from the presidency won't even matter because all of the states will rule in unanimous conservatism.  So what remains of the democratic process if instead of one source of unjust law, we eventually have fifty?

   The Pharmaceutical Industry, the rights of Corporations as individual entities, manufacturers of Assault Weapons all managed to chop their shares of constitutional protections even though these are all beings which came to be a century after the constitution's creation. This could possibly be because they were major donors of massive quantities of influence and wealth into our 3 branches of government. What about the strangely constitutionally protected rules of foreign intervention (Monroe Doctrine, Roosevelt Corollary, Gulf of Tonkin resolution, Wilmont Proviso) Maybe because of the disproportionate level of influence our military production sector has had within our branches actually increasing to a level where it acts as an invisible fourth branch of government power which controls the remaining three. Also, how can unions exist if FDR called them unconstitutional because they directly violated the greater good of the people for the benefits of the few?   The few?  Oh, the people in the manufacturing industry who prior to the institution of unions were murdered by their employers goon squads because they were crazy enough to demand to be treated faily and with dignity.  Wait, that's what FDR didn't like unions?  He also outlawed anyone from striking during WWII, to ensure those defense contractors could do just as they pleased under the guise of national security.  I thought Glenn Beck said he was worse than Hitler!  Busting unions and banning strikes would be right up the right-wingers allies.

                                   I meant the target that DOESN'T mean I want someone to kill you!

Will’s argument consistently repeated “Health Care! – Health Care! – Health Care!” He went back to this as his reason for Obama’s unconstitutionality three separate times. But the counter point that immediately was pointed out what that “mandated unconstitutional health care” can and will be ruled upon as unconstitutional by the Supreme Court.  Thus upholding checks and balances and satisfying the demands of the newly elected GOP tea-party freshmen who were solely elected to apparently  "destroy Obamacare" and little other reason.  So this whole attack on the Health Care Bill will work because if it is unconstitutional it more than likely will not pass.  Probably because of the absolutely  pro-corporate oligarchic Supreme Court system we evident on the recent trends of ruling in favor of big Pharma and  big Business in the last two weeks alone.  So I'm guessing the court will not forget the corporate needs of the health insurance, pharmaceutical and medical industries yet again.  Considering, 60% of the American people already think Obamacare has been repealed (it hasn't been), I wonder.   Stating the president violates the constitution by mandating that people buy health care, even though people are required to buy car insurance, required to pay taxes, required to pay financial obligations, among other things, is misleading at best. Meanwhile Will spoke nothing of illegal firing of judges, election tampering, jury tampering, illegal searches and seizures, denial of due process, massive conflict of interest between the system of checks and balances, illegal contributions, warrantless write-tapping which was all promoted under nearly every president as far back as I can go.

                             There are socialists here?  Where? All over the place back in the 1890's

                                                  Invaded by ugly people with no taste.

The tea party consistently states they want to “take the country back.” But this is simply the ever-present victim complex; the never-ending series of crises at America’s door threatening to take away all to which we hold  valued and dear. Take the country back from whom? We have a consistently conservative court system; we have a republican controlled house and shy of one vote senate. Not that this mattered because the GOP blocked any major innovation the Obama Administration proposed since 2008 even with a democratic supermajority. Explain that to me. It’s not about liberal or conservative. It’s much more sinister than that, it’s to take us back to this imaginary idealized era of the good old days. The tea party’s main goal is to put the country in their version of its correct place by placing us in a pre-civil rights era. It’s extensively anti-black, gay, Latino, woman, Jew, Muslim, Arab, poor, educated, worker and union. These people  are the ones who the country needs to be taken back from, which when listed in that format looks like everybody. I saw this in crude reaffirmation when I read the Williamsport Gazette's comments section  yesterday which in reference to the massive social spending cuts the now republican Pennsylvania government is passing, that “It’s absolutely necessary because we’ve been too busy helping dirty illegal aliens' kids and listening to worthless minorities like gays and atheists.” This is what the formulation of “crisis” is about, because now it gets the bigots and racists who have relatively been silenced in the social progressive activist era of the 90’s to have a reason to dress up their racism in economic reasoning to justify at any cost their ability to spread hate and promote violence, even murder. (read yahoo news, 6abc, drudge-report’s comments sections and tell me if the next Hitler isn't out there trolling the boards) After all of these people are out of the way, it leaves a very small group whose voices will matter. Which, strange enough, wouldn’t reflect the Madisonian ideal of majority rule but truly would lead to an apartheid state but that may be exactly what they are gunning for. On second thought, a rich white male authority class is exactly what Madison wanted.  All the while, these news "freedom fighters" continue to paint targets over the districts of their political enemies, call for armed (but somehow peaceful) insurrection and implore their constituents to “lock and load.” 1930’s Germany is such a nice place to live, whoops I meant 2010’s America. Truly Frightening.

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