Saturday, September 25, 2010

Infatuation With The Constittution

If you are a loyal American who cares about your country, don't read this. It's going to make you mad no matter where you fall on the political line. If you are not angered, then I have to call your patriotism into question. Fair enough? Onward.

In a Washinton Post OpEd, Richard Cohen was digging deep into a certain female GOP'er. No problem, we see parodies and scathing editorials alike flung against our opponents all the time. But, Mr. Cohen has gone off the deep end and I am not sure he's holding his breath. Part of the oped is shown below.

This fatuous infatuation with the Constitution, particularly the 10th Amendment, is clearly the work of witches, wiccans and wackos. It has nothing to do with America's real problems and, if taken too seriously, would cause an economic and political calamity. The Constitution is a wonderful document, quite miraculous actually, but only because it has been wisely adapted to changing times. To adhere to the very word of its every clause hardly is respectful to the Founding Fathers. They were revolutionaries who embraced change. That's how we got here.

Let's only take it seriously when it suits us. Like, uh, whenever we nationalize health care, the auto industry, banks, insurance, run up the debt, and do other things the founders never included in the document.

Being a revolutionary is great. I wonder if Mr Cohen noticed that the very things he wants us to not be infatuated with were placed into the document to address issues with how we'd been governed.

I am glad that he openly advocated 'adapting' the Constitution to changing times. There's a way to do that. It's called the Amendment Process.

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Monday, September 20, 2010

Defense Appropriations, Gay Rights, and Immigration Reform

If  you don't vote to fund the troops you are anti-american. But, voting to fund the troops means you are voting to repeal the don't ask, don't tell policy. So, we've found the rock and the hard place. What do we do? Realistically, we do nothing since stuffing disparate issues into "must pass" bills is a truly bipartisan tactic.

In this instance, the defense appropriation includes a repeal of DADT as well as incorporation of the controversial DREAM ACT. One is the Clinton ERA policy that replaced the outright prohibition on gays serving in the military. The other is touted as a path to legal residency for some "undocumented aliens".

The conundrum is obvious. Failure to approve the bill will deny a well earned, if really substandard, pay raise to our military. Failure to approve the bill will delay the monies needed for operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. Approval means that hard line opponents of gays in the military or illegal aliens will have to swallow bile and look for ever sneakier ways to get around the intent of the law.

My beef isn't with the issues. I am opposed to multiple issue bills that create this squeeze play in the first place. Part of the reason our government is so huge and convoluted is political games like this.

Call or write your representatives and demand that they craft a single issue bill requiring that all future legislation be single issue. As an extra credit bonus demand that this bill require all legislation to specify in detail exactly how the Constitution authorizes the Congress to take this action.

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