Friday, March 27, 2009

At youtube there is a video of the Congresswoman questioning the Treasury Sec. and the Fed. Chairman about the constitutionality of granting or the executive branch grabbing these expanded powers

My comment to this was that it is frightening (their response or lack of, actually) - I received this "comment" in return..
"You're right, Bachman is scary."
to me, this needed a response - so I wrote;
"So, she was wrong to ask that question? And - though was not part of your comment, rather from someone else, the Constitution DOES NOT give the Congress broad powers ...
Joesph Story - Supreme Court Justice in the early 1800's rendered this opinion;
"The plain import of the clause is, that congress shall have all the incidental and instrumental powers, necessary and proper to carry into execution all the express powers. It neither enlarges any power specifically granted; nor is it a grant of any new power to congress. But it is merely a declaration for the removal of all uncertainty, that the means of carrying into execution those, otherwise granted, are included in the grant. Whenever, therefore, a question arises concerning the constitutionality of a particular power, the first question is, whether the power be expressed in the constitution. If it be, the question is decided. If it be not expressed, the next inquiry must be, whether it is properly an incident to an express power, and necessary to its execution. If it be, then it may be exercised by congress. If not, congress cannot exercise it."
Opinions rendered by other Supreme Court justices since hold the same opinion. So, I think that the question was well put.
It amazes me the lack of knowledge Americans have concerning what is really in the Constitution. But more dangerous, no matter which political party - members of Congress (both houses) have little understanding of a document that they took oath to defend and uphold.
What also rails me is the unrelenting call for "term limits" - personally I think it is a good idea .. However, This MUST be initiated by Constitutional amendment - Reformers during the early 1990s used the initiative and referendum to put congressional term limits on the ballot in 23 states. Voters in every one of these states approved the congressional term limits by an average electoral margin of two to one. HOWEVER, in May of 1995, in U.S. Term Limits, Inc. v. Thornton, The United States Supreme Court ruled that states cannot impose term limits upon their federal Representatives or Senators.
This has been tried in Congress - but each time, it failed to garner the sufficient number of votes to move this to a proposed constitutional amendment.
In fact it was the Democrats who were in control of both houses of Congress in the 1940's who were able to muster the required 2/3s majority necessary to put forward an amendment that ultimately set a limit on the number of consecutive terms that a President may serve.
SO - personally, I don't look at what is happening in the context of Liberal or Conservative - nor do I in the context of Democrat or Republican ... I am seeing activities and actions in Washington that indicate that the Central Government has become not only detached from their constituency - but more, has become arrogant about it. It has, in a very real sense, granted themselves the status of "Ruling Elite: THAT is a danger to ALL Americans.
We need representatives of principles, values, and conscience ... NO MATTER WHAT THEIR PARTY AFFILIATION OR THEIR POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY ... where to serve in office is NOT a career path, rather a desire to serve their country.
I personally knew one man who, I think, was very much like that -- He was a liberal Democratic Senator from Minnesota, the late Paul Wellstone - Paul and I were close friends for many, many years, and although we NEVER saw eye to eye on political philosophy, when I resided in Minnesota, I voted for him ... because he was a man of principle. And I admit, I miss him.
I am pleased to say that this dialog continued, This was his/her response - “I appreciate you taking the time to explain your thoughts on the Legislative process and the obligations of our elected officials. Undoubtedly, we all would like our elected representatives to act consistently within their own conscience and follow the intent of the Constitution. However, Michelle Bachman's departure from "normal" politics rebukes coherent governance and erodes the discourse of public policy.”
To which, I thought this necessary..
"'normal' politics - is what got us into this situation to begin with - and this dates back decades and is perhaps the one truly "bi-partisan" thing they have done.
"coherent governance"and "discourse of public policy" - sorry, I don't think we have known this in our lifetime ... I was a journalist for nearly 25 years and have been retired for 14 ... I visit DC often, and still know most of these legislators quite well - which perhaps is a bit telling right there, as most were in office when I was practicing my craft and now nearly 14 years later - they're still there! To a person, they are ALL decent people - but to a person, they are all out of touch with reality.
I am convinced that there is a booth somewhere just before one enters the "beltway" where legislators are required to stop and check their brain - only to able to collect it when they return home after they either loose an election or retire.
The late Congressman Tip O'Neill once told me that a legislator has LONG passed his or her time to hold the office when they think that the government and the country can't run without them.”

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