Comments about ‘Letters: Move to the center’

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Published: Wednesday, May 22 2013 12:00 a.m. MDT

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Far East USA, SC

"Extremism on the left and on the right is much the same. Salient in both are fear and hate of an "other" and detachment of reality."

Fair enough.

While the extremists on both sides may be the same, it seems as though the extremists on the right control the party. Those on the left are more of a fringe element.

The extremes on the right will determine the candidate for the general. And they better be pure.

They better raise their hand when asked if they would reject a 10 to 1 spending cuts to tax increase.

They better be solidly anti tax, anti gay, anti government anti abortion anti Obama and pro gun. Any chink in the armor gets you removed from the dance, leaving only the Ted Cruz's and Rand Paul's standing.

The left extremists do not control the party. The right extremists do.

That is the difference.


WASHINGTON -- Two prominent old-line Senate Republicans threw down the gauntlet to their more conversative colleagues on Tuesday, challenging them to stop obstructing the passage of a budget.

Led by tea party Sens. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Mike Lee (R-Utah), Republicans have been preventing the Senate from sending the budget it passed earlier this year to a conference committee with the House, at which major differences between the two chambers' budget bills would in theory be worked out. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has been supportive of the blockade.

But on Tuesday, Sens. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Susan Collins (R-Maine) blasted the obstruction in a Senate floor showdown with Paul.

McCain went so far as to call his fellow senators' actions "bizarre."

On the other hand
Riverdale, MD

Agreed. Our current political climate is such that it's often considered more important to score political points than to make actual progress. We need our elected officials to rediscover the fine art of compromise. There is such a thing as a greater good, and it's rarely to be found on the fringes of the political spectrum.

Mike Richards
South Jordan, Utah

Nice prose, but short on reality.

The Federal Government was established to enable a Federation of States to survive in a hostile world, a world where Great Britain was still the supreme power - and would remain the supreme world power for well over another hundred years. Those little states joined together and pledged support to each other in case of attack. They pledged a willingness to treat each other with respect and to not take advantage of each other because of size or lack thereof. They formulated a few simple rules that would make all of that possible - then they enumerated those rules in their newly written Constitution.

They reserved to themselves or to the people all authority and all power not specifically enumerated in that Constitution. They did not consider their new nation to be the peoples' nanny. They did not see their new nation as being responsible to feed, to clothe, to house or to educate the people. They left those responsibilities to the people. They certainly didn't lay off on that new nation the responsibility to collect taxes to pay for medical expenses for the people.

Come on back, Democrats. Stop sliding away.

salt lake city, utah

Mike Richards, talk about being short on reality. England may have been dominant for the next hundred years but that only takes you to the late 1870's, and then modernity occurred. You are absolutely wrong when you infer or even say that Democrats want to be responsible for the feeding, housing, or even the education of the entire nation. What Democrats do realize is that the world, including our place in the world has changed in such a way that the various states can't function as a loosely knit organization of states doing their own thing regards health, education, commerce, and still survive and prosper. Modernity requires we work as one. Like it or not what happens in New York directly affects what happens in Utah.

Here's the heart of my disagreement and most peoples disagreement with your vision of the world and this country, "They formulated a few simple rules that would make all of that possible". The rules they formulated were not simple but in fact broad and visionary, and the world they now govern is anything but simple. It is complicated, complex, and interdependent. Simple is a thing of the past, if it ever existed.

one old man
Ogden, UT

I'm still trying to figure out why DN is publishing a constant string of op eds by Liljenquist.

Is he being set up for another run at political office?

American Fork, UT

Discord for its' own sake is killing our democracy and government.

Mike Richards
South Jordan, Utah


We have a disagreement on the mechanics used to change the relationship between the people and the government. The rules were listed. Government cannot change those rules unilaterally. The people cannot change those rules unilaterally. In order to change the duties of government, Congress must amend the Constitution and then 75% of the States must ratify those changes. That has not yet been done. Article 1, Section 8 is the acid test of what duties we have allowed Congress to tax us for. Until Congress amends the Constitution and 75% of the States ratify that amendment, the duties and authority of Congress stands as written.

Article 5 of the Constitution clearly spells out the process. Anyone who tells us that his modified version of the Constitution takes precedence over the ratified version does understand either the fact that the Constitution is the Supreme Law of the Land or that it cannot be changed by popular opinion or to suit political correctness.

If you're not satisfied with the rules, then change them, but obey the rules required to make those changes.

Far East USA, SC

"If you're not satisfied with the rules, then change them, but obey the rules required to make those changes."

The rules include Supreme Court rulings.

You seem to want to completely disregard those when they don't suit you.

Tyler D
Meridian, ID

@ Mike Richards – “If you're not satisfied with the rules, then change them, but obey the rules required to make those changes.”

Your entire argument is premised on the notion that the Constitution fully explains itself and its applicability in all situations. Obviously this is false or we wouldn’t even need a Supreme Court.

Based on some of your past comments, Obamacare sounds like the most hubristic unconstitutional law ever foisted on the American people, and yet the SC ruled in constitutional.

So is the Constitution you want to preserve or only certain interpretations of it?

Kent C. DeForrest
Provo, UT

I have made a promise to myself to never argue with Mike Richards again. It does no good. His view of reality is so skewed that I can find no common ground on which to speak to him. So, to the letter . . .

The presidential election in 2012 proved to the Republican Party that it cannot win with and extremist candidate or even one who bends so far to the right that he alienates the middle. If they try it in 2016, they will lose by a larger margin, because the country is moving away from the extreme right, particular younger people, women, and minorities.

The Democrats already figured out a while ago that they cannot win with an extreme liberal candidate. And even though the far right has labeled President Obama an extreme liberal, his record proves otherwise. With few exceptions, he has tried to govern from the middle, even promoting a health-care plan that was largely a conservative creation and offering again and again to meet the GOP in the middle on budgetary matters.

If the GOP can't figure this out, too bad. They can be replaced by a more realistic alternative.

Sandy, UT

Here is the question, "progress" into the 21st century or "conserve" your energy and remain in the 18th century? Grow collectively or remain mired in the gilded age when we had a class system that is rivaling us today? Some people just can't get over the fact that the ship sailed in 1800.

Open Minded Mormon
Everett, 00

@Mike Richards
South Jordan, Utah

...They formulated a few simple rules that would make all of that possible....


What a second, now I confused;
This couldn't possible be the same Mike Richards who constantly pushes for the Government intrusion as to who you can live with, what you put in or take out your body, what you may or may not eat or drink, and who or what you must worship.

Really? who is this?...

Salt Lake City, UT

@Mike Richards
The median Democrat in the House has a DW-NOMINATE score of -.4 while the average Republican in Congress has a +.6 (0 is exactly moderate, -1 and +1 are absolute extremes for each). Usually the majority party has a score closer to 0 than the minority party since they hold more tossup seats but that isn't even the case this time. These scores (for both parties) are the most extreme they've been in 50 some odd years (the length of the dataset...).

salt lake city, utah

And here we go again Mr. Richards. Article one section eight clearly allows the government to tax it's citizens for the general welfare of the nation. Thus my point "The rules they formulated were not simple but in fact broad and visionary", and to the point of JoeBlow, "The rules include Supreme Court rulings.". The Supreme Court has ruled many times on what constitutes the general welfare of the nation..including the ACA. I get it that you don't believe any of this but it's reality. Some how you choose to create your own sense of reality, which is your right. It just doesn't make it real.

Deep Space 9, Ut

To "JoeBlow" the extremists on the left do in fact control the Democrat party. How do you think they got the most left leaning Senator elected President?

To "pragmatistferlife" Democrats have not been responsible for feeding the nation, nor have they been responsible for caring for the poor. They are responsible for creating a dependent class of citizen that cannot survive anymore without government assistance. They have aligned themselves with Progressives in both parties to make it difficult for people to rise up.

To "ugottabkidn" collectivism doesn't work, it never has and never will. Ask yourself this. What is the goal that Progressives are trying to progress towards?

Would you rather conserve your freedoms or progress towards collectivism?

Mike Richards
South Jordan, Utah


Let's make an assuption that English is our native language and that both of us have been educated in schools where English was properly taught.

Article 1, Section 8 is a single sentance. The clause that you seem to be referring to, "To make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers," is a dependant clause. i.e., it does not stand alone. It references the sixteen preceeding dependant clauses enumerated in Section 8. The words, "Gerneral Welfare" are not founf in Section 8.

Some claim that "general Wlfare" mentioned in the preamble gives Congress blanket authority to do whatever it wants; why then is the military enumerated six times in Section 8? It is also found in the preamble. According to those "experts" there would have been no need to enumerate anything regarding the military in Section 8.

The beauty of our freedom lies in the limited authority given by the people to a "national level" of government. Examples exist worldwide of the destruction to people and to nations when "rulers" rule with heavy hands over the people.

Love and respect the Constitution, don't fight against it.

one vote
Salt Lake City, UT

Yes, Jason is all about attention and the sour grape tea party needs new Bachman type leader.

Mapleton, UT

Isn't the center line balance between extremes that the letter recommends really the straight and narrow way that while hard to follow is always the better path?

Salt Lake City, UT

"Would you rather conserve your freedoms or progress towards collectivism?"

I consider that a faulty choice. For instance, I believe universal healthcare strengthens freedom by helping us with the right to life that we considered inalienable in the Declaration of Independence.

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