J Thompson,No this thread is not about Tyler’s questions but
you and Mike Richards frequently make these threads about your very specific
constitutional interpretation. Tyler D was merely challenging you to defend
your beliefs on a specific issue. So, it was no red herring.I have
zero issue with DOMA but I Tyler D’s point is cogent. If you believe in a
constitution with limited, enumerated powers, DOMA was not possible. I happen
to not believe in such a strict construct hence my having no problem with DOMA.
But you have a very strict interpretation of the constitution so it would seem
(at least on the surface) that DOMA would not be possible under your
construction.BTW, of course it was not passed by the people
(don’t know why you capitalize it). There is no legislative function for
the people in the constitution.
Tyler,This thread is not about you or your questions. It is about
the ideas presented by Mr. Bennett. No one is required to respond to your
questions. You threw in a red herring that was meant to divert attention from
the subject being discussed. It didn't work. If you have an issue with
DOMA, hire a lawyer and sue the government for whatever damages you incurred
when that act was in full force.That act was not passed by the
PEOPLE; it was passed by Congress. The PEOPLE never voted on that act. The
PEOPLE never had the chance to debate that act in front of those who voted on
it. The PEOPLE had no direct voice on the contents of that act.You
seem to think that the PEOPLE can do anything that they want. Where is that
"right" listed in the Constitution. The Constitution is a contract
between the PEOPLE and the Government with absolute limits on the authority of
government and implied limits on the demands that the PEOPLE will place on the
government. If "something" is not on the enumerated list, the PEOPLE
cannot demand that the government provide that "something".
Excellent commentary Tyler D.
@ J ThompsonThis is what I find so often frustrating about having
conversations with conservatives… they love abstracts (like Ayn Rand
speeches) but not details & specifics.I provided a real concrete
example (DOMA) of a law passed by “the People” through their elected
representatives and rather than answering the question based on either
enumerated powers or jurisprudence, you instead give me a cursory & remedial
lecture on an abstract of the Constitution.I’ll listen to any
arguments you wish to make and may even change my mind if it’s a good one.
But what do you expect me to say in response to platitudes and sentiments (which
your conclusions are since they do not necessarily follow logically from the
Constitution)?Best I can tell, you believe the following –
unless the Constitution explicitly authorizes it, the Federal government is
prohibited from having any involvement. And 2) “the People” means
individuals (not Federal, State or Local governments). Is that about right?So why doesn’t any SC Justice (even Scalia & Thomas) share
this narrow view?Reached comment limit so you have the last
word… please be specific.
re:JThompson/MikeRichardsNearly everyday you comment about what you view
as the "correct" interpretation of the Constitution--while ignoring the
fact that not even those who drafted it agreed on its "correct"
interpretation and limits. You also conveniently ignore the
Necessary and Proper Clause (also known as the Elastic Clause, the Basket
Clause, the Coefficient Clause, and the Sweeping Clause in Article One section
8, clause 18: "The Congress shall have Power - To make all
Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the
foregoing Powers, and all other Powers vested by this Constitution in the
Government of the United States, or in any Department or Officer
thereof."In addition to powers to charter and operate federal
banks, the clause was linked to the General Welfare clause and the
constitutional powers of tax collection and the ability to borrow money to give
the federal government virtually complete control over currency.The
clause has been paired with the Commerce Clause to provide the constitutional
basis for a wide variety of federal laws.The clause has also been
used to uphold and justify federal criminal laws.
Tyler,The Constitution is binding on the People just as much as it
is binding on the Government. It was put in place to restrict the Government
from doing anything not allowed by the People. It was also put in place to
restict the People from asking the Government to handle their personal welfare
needs.The 10th Amendment requires that the Federal Government only
do those 17 things that have been enumerated in the Constitution. The States
are required to handle all duties that their citizens have authorized them to
handle in the State's Constitution. All other duties are the
responsibility of the individual to handle himself without government
assistance.The founding fathers believed in personal responsibility.
They did not create a nanny government. They did not allow the citizens to
appeal to the government for help with their personal welfare. There are many laws passed by Congress that are not authorized by the
Constitution. The question that you should ask yourself is why you aren't
demanding that the Federal Government restrict itself to those 17 duties
assigned to it. All other duties are assigned to others. Personal welfare is
not a duty of the Federal Government.
@Twin LightsCould not have said it better – in fact my
response would have likely been far worse and polemical (i.e., don’t even
get me started on how much moral relativism is found in the Bible).@J Thompson – “ALL other duties are to be left to the States or to
the People, as required by the 10th Amendment.”That’s
true… so what does “the People” mean? Can
“The People” elect representatives to Congress who will pass laws
they want (as long as those laws are not forbidden by the Constitution)? Take DOMA – Justice Kennedy’s opinion notwithstanding, was
that a legitimate law? It would seem be your understanding (correct me if
I’m wrong) DOMA would have been prima facie unconstitutional since the
Constitution makes no mention of marriage. It seems very few
conservatives (even strict constructionists like Scalia) take this position as
all four conservatives on the SC thought the law was legitimate (passed through
the democratic process and not forbidden by the Constitution).Please
clarify if I have misunderstood or misrepresented your views…
The reason the Government is very divided is because the people of the country
are very divided. And remember. Remember this well. There was no compromise
with Republicans on Obamacare. The most expensive legislation in history. So
we Republicans don't listen to any Democrat complaints now about
The Constitution lists seventeen duties that the Federal Government is
authorized to perform. Those duties are enumerated in Article 1, Section 8.
ALL other duties are to be left to the States or to the People, as required by
the 10th Amendment. How hard is it for someone serving in Congress,
or the President, or a Justice of the Supreme Court to compare every bill
against the list of duties assigned to the Federal Government? If its not on
that list, its not something that the Federal Government can legally do.Is that difficult? Is that expecting too much from those who have taken
an oath to protect and defend the Constitution? Should we expect that those we
elect can read; that they can count to seventeen; that they can comprehend their
job description as written in the Constitution?Look at how many
people have tried to turn the Constitution into mumble jumble. Look at how many
try to tell us that the Constitution is outdated. Perhaps it is they who need
to readjust their perspective. The Constitution stands as written until it is
Mike RichardsCompromise is not abandoning the law. And the law is
certainly relative. We used to have few laws against drugs, now we have many.
We used to allow slavery, now we do not. The law is relative to both time and
place (e.g. US law vs. Mexican law).Christ’s pronouncement
reference the gate was about spiritual law, not the laws of the land. Again,
the latter are fluid in time and culture.The Constitution is what we
say it is. There is no “super judge” to tell us what the
Constitution “really means”. There are only the Constitutionally
appointed officers – the Congress, President, and Supreme Court. Once all
have had their say, there is no other recourse. To seek to go beyond them is
specifically to attempt to rupture the Constitution and our social contract.The Constitution is not a ruler of rubber or steel. It is an process of
how we govern. If that process has been followed and all the Constitutional
officers have weighed in, then the result is a Constitutional law (even if we
disagree entirely with the law). The current President is not at issue.
Tyler,Why would Americans abandon law for moral relativism? Why
would Americans agree that 20mph in a school zone depends on the driver? Why
would anyone agree that you have the right to take money from some "rich
guys" bank account because you can't enjoy life properly on your
ease?Christ answered the question 2,000 years ago. He told us that
narrow is the gate and straight is the path. He told us that he is the
gatekeeper. He told us that if we want to enter in, that we will have to accept
his terms completely. That is not "moral relativism". His doctrine
requires that we accept absolutes and that we learn to comply with absolutes.
He will not compromise the laws to suit those who refuse to abide his laws.The Constitution is not a rubber ruler. It is a steel ruler. It cannot
be stretched to accommodate your desired results. Your desired results must be
modified to match that steel ruler.Obama believes in himself. He
refuses to abide by the steel ruler that limits his office. No compromise can
be offered to someone who won't play by accepted rules.
What is a RINO? It is what the traditional Republican party. It was Reagan.
It is Christie.The tea party (cruz, lee) types remind me of the guy
on the boat saying "man that land is moving fast"
Tyler D,You are doing all of the work here. Thank you.Patriot,Tip O’Neil was a strong opponent to Reagan. Maybe
not a radical but VERY left and a machine politician of the Boston school (where
Whitey Bolger’s brother ran the Massachusetts Senate).Reagan
compromised because he was not the idiot he was often portrayed to be. He knew
he had to compromise in order to move his agenda.Senator Bennett is
purple (meaning not a real conservative)? You have to be kidding. He had solid
conservative credentials. His greatest sin was not being a radical in a time of
NONSENSE!! Bennett served mostly in an era where the democrats were NOT mostly
left wing radicals as they are today. Reagan could compromise with Tip
O'Niel because Tip was a liberal - not a radical. BIG DIFFERENCE. Today we
have the democrat party - especially those from the BIG cities - a mirror of the
game plan laid out in the how to become a communist book called "Rules for
Radicals" by Saul D. Alinsky. Obama is a living example of the twisted
teachings of this book. There is no compromise with a leftist radical - none!!
How do you compromise with someone who wants Communism? The election of 2010
(where Bennett was ousted along with many of his purple brethren) was a clear
signal by the people of America that they indeed wanted BOLD COLORS and not pale
pastels anymore. Mike Lee is a bold as they get!
@Mike Richards And yet millions of people disagree with your rigid
interpretation (and do not ignore all the amendments – re: the taxing
clause) including presidents, congresses, and every supreme court since the
1930’s (including the most recent with respect to the ACA).And
the “burglars & robbers” analogy is really no analogy at all
because it sets up a straw man, either/or dilemma with an obvious answer and
then tries to map that caricature onto the real world – full of grey areas
and fine distinctions - where people of good will (and good understanding) can
reach different conclusions.But the real question Mike is “how
do you then function in a pluralistic society like ours?” One which was
set up intentionally by our wise Founders – who could have easily made
things black & white but chose not to. How do you deal with people who have
honest disagreements about government? I admit that it’s a
fine line between not compromising one’s principles and not compromising
on anything, ever. But from what I’ve seen, the Tea Party folks possess
little of the statesmen-like to make these distinctions.
When do you compromise? If someone broke into your house and gave you the
option of "giving" them your furniture or "giving" them your
money? Which "compromise" would you accept?Compromise works
when those who debate issues stay within the context allowed. We can debate and
compromise when we talk about how to use defense dollars. Defense is an
enumerated duty of Congress to fund. There can be compromise in that debate.Providing personal welfare is not an enumerated duty of the Federal
Government. How could anyone "compromise" on that issue? If personal
welfare is to be handled by government, it must be handled at the State, County
or City level. Honest men would not debate how much federal money to spend on
personal welfare. Those who can read would clearly understand the limits placed
on the federal government by the Constitution. They would not try to compromise
outside the scope allowed.Just as we would not "compromise"
with burglars or robbers, we must not compromise with those who ignore the
Supreme Law of the Land.
Politics is the art of compromise. We would not have a constitution without it.
Every law ever passed was a result of compromise. People get the context of the
word wrong when they mix it with values and morals. When different people from
different backgrounds get elected it is the only way to resolve those
differences to get things done.
Those who profess a superior understanding of the Constitution seem to have
forgotten two crucial points:1 – The creation and ratification
of the Constitution was the most profound act of political compromise the world
had ever seen. The Founders were not sanctimonious windbags who only knew how to
bloviate and say “no.” They were principled pragmatists who never
let the “perfect” by the enemy of the “good.”2 – These same men created a document vague enough to allow future
generations not only room for interpretation but also the privilege of
self-government. This is evidenced both by 1) the fact that people (including
the Founders) were opining about the meaning of even small sentence fragments in
the Constitution before the ink was dry on the document; and 2) the reason we
have/need a Supreme Court. If the Constitution was as crystal clear as some on
this board would have us believe, we wouldn’t need the third branch of
Wow what a tough subject. You need money run an election campaign. You often go
to donors that have the same feelings you do and ask them for money to help you
get elected. Then when you are elected you find that Politicos are determined
from all angles to ensnare you in their game so they can defeat you.
Comprimises are made in order to get your measures passed.I am tired
of being cynical. I know there are people that are dishonest but I can't
believe that many people could be that way. Most of my represenatives I vote
for seem to be decent people, I could imagine that is the reason why other
represenatives get elected from their areas. In reality our congress is a
reflection of us! We vote for people that usually reflect our values and if we
are corrupt ourselves we will vote for corrupt leaders. Its time to look inward
and how we can change our communities instead of pointing the finger!
According to one internet definition of Corrupt"having or
showing a willingness to act dishonestly in return for money or personal
gain."Congressional ethics rules require Members to avoid even
the appearance of impropriety.Mr Bennett. It is certainly possible
for a legislator to be unswayed by campaign contributions or lobbying perks when
voting on legislation. Are you telling me that this money NEVER affects an
outcome? How can it not?Are you telling me that these large
corporations and unions spend millions of dollars and get NOTHING in return?
The Defense industry spent over $130 million lobbying congress in 2012.They got nothing?Are you telling me that accepting corporate or
union money and then voting on critical legislation does not cross the
"appearance of impropriety" standard?Are you saying that
legislators don't act on non public information to enrich themselves?Surely you are not that naive. I find you letter a bit self
serving as you are now a registered lobbyist and running the Bennett Consulting
group. You are exactly why people have no confidence in the system.
No matter what it is called, those who have been elected to office have taken an
oath to defend the Constitution, not to compromise on principle. Mr. Bennett
may think that compromise is the best remedy for our country's problems,
but those who know the duties of elected officials will agree that there can be
no compromise when there are elected officials who would do anything or say
anything to retain their seat. "Potomac fever" has destroyed the lives
and reputations of many. It is not an excuse to reject the oath of office.
Honest and honorable elected officials will reject Mr. Bennett's rhetoric.
They will honor their oath to defend the Constitution.