Monday, August 09, 2010

Consent Of The Governed?

I believe we are heading for a real fight in the next few years. Our whole government and Constitution rest on the consent of the governed. In the short run, governing without the consent of a large number of the US population will lead to rapid changes in which political party has the majority on Congress and the Presidency.

Trouble is, neither Party seems to care about governing from the middle. George W. was close, if he had been satisfied to knock the Taliban out of the government of Afghanistan and had set the military loose to kill every single one of the clowns slipping over the borders in Iraq, with a stern warning to Damascus, Riyadh and Tehran that they would get some ugly results, care of the US Air Force, Navy and the redlegs of the artillery, repeated as necessary. He would have also had to remember the borders.

Bill Clinton, though hard left to his shrivelled black soul, governed more to the center once the Republicans took Congress although the Donks did everything they could to deny the voters their victory. Then, of course, the Republicans themselves did their very best to deny the voters their victory, governing not as center conservatives but as Democrat Lite. Meanwhile the Democrats do not govern as center left but as wild-eyed Bolsheviks.

So, neither Party in Washington is paying much attention to the voters, no matter the huge throngs at TEA Party events, nor minor details like that election in Missouri where the voters went against Obamacare by a 70-30 margin.

This, of course, does not mention the Me-chelle O trip to Spain with how many of her closest friends, along with enough Secret Service Agents to take down a rifle company. This is, what, her sixth vacation this summer? Democrats of course tell us all that as a private citizen Me-chelle can go anywhere she wants. Okay, fine. So, if she is a private citizen, let her pay for the Air Force jet and Secret Service. Oh, Peter, that's different. Well, no. Either she is a private citizen or a federal official. Now, Laura Bush had a staff of one. To Me-chelle's 21. This is an inbalance. If she is a private citizen, how come such a big staff? And who pays for this staff? Laura went on a number of state trips with her husband. You remember Laura's husband, the guy that gave up golf during the war. The guy the Democrats screeched about his many vacations to Crawford, Texas. Has anyone heard one word from a Democrat leader about this little jaunt? To a foreign country during a huge recession? Did they ever shut up during the Bush terms?

The Washington establishment didn't seem to notice that a Federal Judge could not find it constitutional for the Congress to demand that people buy a particular kind of health insurance. This is especially odd considering all the "rights" that Federal Judges have found, when there is no mention at all of these "rights" anywhere in the founding documents.

It would be really nice if our law schools would require a few simple reading comprehension classes to be a prerequisite to enter. This class could focus on a few simple phrases like "Congress shall make no law..." I can see it now, the pop quiz and the arguments over exactly how many laws are "no law". They could have other interesting phrases like "shall not be infringed".

Of course, if you want to see heads explode in the pre-law classes, try "The powers not delegated to to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to to the States, respectively, or to the people." Now, a person of medium-low intelligence, or better, would on reading this, know that this means that Congress and the Federal Courts, not to mention the Executive, should butt out.

This means, of course that the Feds have no right to come up with the Defense of Marriage Act. It also means that that Federal Judge out in California has no right to butt into the California initiative on gay and lesbian marriage. It seems that gay marriage is one of those emanations of a penumbra that only lawyers can find when reading the plain and simple English of the late 18th Century.

Now I have heard some pretty fair arguments on both sides of the gay marriage issue. What I haven't seen is where it's the business of the Federal Bench. What I do see is that since marriage is not mentioned in the Constitution at all, it's one of those issues left to the people or to the States, respectively.

What would work is if the States would arrest and try Federal officials for overstepping their bounds. I know that the unpleasantness of 1932-2010 told people, wrongly, that the people and the States have no power over the Feds.

It also occurs to me that if we reintroduced dueling by sword and pistol for lying about a politician, or for that matter, a voter, we would go a long way toward a restoration of government by the people. Seems simpler than pitchforks and torches.

Another idea: Any politician who breaks a promise made during his or her term is subject to a binding recall vote within sixty days. Then we wouldn't be messing with those "95% of you will not see your taxes raised one dime" business. True, election seasons would be a little more boring but, they'd be a lot more careful with those promises. And, if there was some kind of emergency where a promise had to be broken, we'd have the recall election where the Pol could explain. If there were a good enough reason, the majority of the voters would understand.

I wonder how different my late teens would have been with no "Ah weel nevah send Murken boahs to do the job that Asian boahs should do" from LBJ. Remember the election of '64? "And we ah at peace" And we weel stay at peace" Meanwhile, painting Goldwater as a warmonger. Now, y'all forgive me for being a poor lowly enlisted man during that time but from the promise of peace to the first landing at Da Nang was about five months, total. The election of '64 to the first landings at Chu Lai was six months. Now I am no great military strategist. Still, no one can ever convince me that we could have two seaborne invasions in six months, starting from plans for peace. It just takes too long to gather all that gear and all those men.

This is another thing that bothers me. Congress, since December eighth, 1941 has not actually declared war. Instead they keep "authorizing the use of military force". Then they start screeching that there hasn't been a declaration of war. Pardon me for bein' a pore dumb redneck but when the United States government sent be halfway around the world, made me wear funny clothes and carry a gun while people I'd never even met were trying their best to kill me, that was a war.

Can we please have a rule, something like the War Powers Act that requires Congress to agree to a certain wording where we either use the military to go in and kick ass and chew bubble gum or come home. Oh, and they're all out of bubble gum. Sixty day from the first boot on the ground is plenty of time to decide if what we are doing is worth the lives and health of our young men and women. If it isn't worth it, come home. If it is, then fight. Is that to much to ask of our politicians? Can we please stop with the using our young men and women to prove how tough a politician is? We have a whole slew of pols who voted for whatever it is we're doing. About a week later they started crying about how we shouldn't be there. New rules: Rule one. A binding vote on whether or not our troops should be in action. Rule two. Once they are in action, fight to win. Rule three. No crying if the enemies are hurt or killed. If you politicians don't want the bad guys killed, don't send the military. Send politicians. Rule four. Try to remember that those men and women in a combat zone are there because you sent them. Pretend that you are on their side.

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