Here’s the screed Richard Bruce Cheney issued in his self-defense. Although it’s couched as an attack on the current President of the United States, there’s no mistaking the self-serving and self-deluding nature of the two paragraph missive–
It’s a fair question and the answer is actually rather simple. The Constitution is a prescriptive and proscriptive document that’s designed to specify the obligations and responsibilities of government and to limit the exercise of power. As such, the Constitution is in conflict with the interests of individuals, who currently identify themselves as Republicans, to enjoy the exercise of authority and to reject the obligations and responsibilities on which that authority is based. You could call them the ultimate “free lunch” cohort. That their sense of self-importance seems to sprout out of their heritage of a privileged social status is probably not a coincidence, either. Indeed, social status that’s based on merit and achievement is anathema to their interest, acquired rather than inherent.
Declaring a person legal or illegal is not very different from categorizing some people as non-persons or 3/5 of one. In other words, the United States has a long history of making arbitrary distinctions that violate the principles of the Constitution.
The inability to accurately track what happens before and after results in illogical thought–a condition that’s particularly bothersome in the age of the computational accuracy. Last Sunday’s examples:
****** Bush inherited 9/11 from Clinton (Mary Matalin)
****** Since the taking office, Pres. Obama has refused to work with Republicans (Newt Gingrich)
****** Republicans have been right to oppose Pres. Obama, but they have been bipartisan anyway (William Kristol), though every single one of them opposes health care (Mitch McConnell)
****** Politically, health care reform is going to be the best thing the GOP could have dreamed of (Matthew Dowd)
****** Republicans need to have a positive alternative vision (Newt Gingrich) and should run on repealing health care reform (Newt Gingrich)
****** The health care reform bill is a monstrosity that we Republicans tried to kill (McConnell) but I won’t say whether we’ll run on repealing it (McConnell)
****** Health care reform is unconstitutional (DeMint) but I won’t commit to filing a lawsuit against it if it passes (DeMint)
The framers of the United States Constitution seem to have had a more realistic conception of where power lies and whence serious injury is likely to issue than do many contemporary political leaders and thinkers. That is, the framers of the Constitution were obviously aware, a perception with which I concur, that mayhem is more likely to issue from organized groups and associations than from persons acting alone. And that’s why the powers of public bodies or political subdivisions were to be limited from the outset–i.e. before any action is undertaken–rather than waiting until after an injury has been perpetrated or occurred, as the criminal law demands.
There was no content in this post for yesterday because in looking up the “airpower summary” for December 25 it turned out I had mistaken the bombing of 2008 for 2009. Either the air war has lessened or the reporting has gotten lax, after having been relocated several times. I hope it’s the former.
While having more than two political parties–i.e. groups with enough members and support to actually elect public officials–might be a good thing, the designation of Republicans and Democrats as supporters of different governing strategies is misleading. Other than having a different linguistic heritage (Republic = Roman; Democracy = Greek), the meaning of the words is essentially the same–i.e. the affairs of the public or deme, a grouping of individuals. Which, at a minimum, suggests that the practice of collapsing and encapsulating the public interest into the will of a single ruling individual, as the proponents of a unitary executive aim to insure, is a contradiction of what’s being claimed.
Republicans are for control. Period. But, since they don’t know what self-control is and fear it might hurt, they aim to put the hurt on someone else first.
The object of control is power and power, to be felt, has to hurt. It’s consistent with their inability to distinguish between cause and effect, for Republicans to think that inflicting hurt is a sign that they’re in control.