Democrats & Liberals Archives

Where’s the old Dick and what have you done with him?

For eight years, Dick Cheney, supreme puppet master himself, stayed hunkered down in this subterranean hi-tech cave, masterfully controlling the nation. For most of his time as the Vice President, he gave few interviews and performed even fewer public appearances, but since he and his man-size safe left Pennsylvania Avenue, he’s been a nonstop PR machine.

What gives?

For a guy that famously said during an interview about what his role was in the new administration before he took office in 2001, “I have a different understanding with the president.” (link) Dick Cheney flat out said he wouldn’t be the one performing the normal VP duties of attending state funerals, ribbon-cutting ceremonies and taking punches for the President. Cheney aptly stated that he would be doing things very differently than other VPs. Boy was that an understatement.

Nowadays, Cheney is a mouth with a mission. Like a man emerging from a decade-long bad marriage, he’s out on the prowl, talking to anyone and everyone that will listen and has the ability to broadcast (except the Daily Show with Jon Stewart). Cheney’s mission, appears to be dissent for dissent sake, with no real regards for context nor relevance. Armed with a condescending scowl and a squint that only a master villain from the Austin Powers franchise could envision, Cheney puts himself out there commenting on everything from military force to health care to the use of Bush’s TARP money. And amazingly enough, every dissenting view (link) ends with the same result: “Obama’s “ raises doubts about this administration's ability to be responsible for our nation's security.”

My guess is that Dick is just another addict; he can’t help it. For eight years, Dick and Co. used fear mongering as policy and as a way of controlling the media and masses. Cheney’s addition to creating fear didn’t end when he left office; he needed his fix then and he needs his fix now. So Cheney emerged from his bunker to blast the Obama administration and use the same tactics that he used during his stay on Pennsylvania Avenue. It’s a place where fear replaces substance.

Honestly I liked Dick better when we didn’t see him and only appeared in the news when he shot someone in the face.

Posted by john trevisani at August 31, 2009 10:41 AM
Comments
Comment #287162

Cheney’s and Gonzalez’ utter contempt for the Constitution and law as obstacles to their decisions and directives, has now put them square in the cross-hairs of the legal justice system. Of course, they are going to attempt to sway public opinion because they don’t have a legal leg to stand on. Only in the court of public opinion are they potentially capable of garnering support for their usurpation of our law and Constitution.

Posted by: David R. Remer at August 31, 2009 10:49 AM
Comment #287163

In his most recent interview, it turns out Cheney wanted to take military action against Iran, but was opposed by most other people in the administration. Those rumors flew around for years and were always dismissed by the pathetic supporters of Cheney and Bush. Now it turns out he pushed for bombing Iran after all.

He has to be one of the most despicable characters in American history.

Posted by: phx8 at August 31, 2009 10:54 AM
Comment #287169
Only in the court of public opinion are they potentially capable of garnering support for their usurpation of our law and Constitution.

Strange, I thought the Constitution was a ‘living document’ that could be ignored when the good of the country was at stake. At least, that’s what I’ve been hearing when discussion the ‘constitutionality’ of healthcare reform…

Posted by: Rhinehold at August 31, 2009 11:30 AM
Comment #287172

Rhinehold, the ignorance contained in your comment is truly overwhelming. The Constitution does not speak to health care systems, AT ALL.

The Constitution is never to be ignored where the actions of those in government are concerned. However, the power of interpreting that Constitution to fact sets not anticipated by the Constitution, rests with the Supreme Court (and to some extent the appellate courts). And there lies the case for a “living Constitution” that survives precisely because of this flexibility to address a future its authors could not anticipate.

The Constitution provides for investigation of alleged violations of the laws of this land or treaties to which this country is signatory.

So, go ahead, make an argument that Cheney is not subject to investigation for alleged criminal activity regarding our laws and treaties banning torture. I would be happy to entertain the argument that the Executive Branch of government is above the law and Constitution.

Or, point to the passage in YOUR constitution which says “health care reform is not permitted”. I would love the opportunity to prove your Constitution is not the same as that which resides in the Library of Congress.

Posted by: David R. Remer at August 31, 2009 11:46 AM
Comment #287173


From an American business perspective, I imagine Cheney is considered a national hero. Just think of the profits made from the invasion and occupation of Iraq and it’s oil fields. It was a no loose proposition for business, share the expenses with all the tax payers, keep the profits for yourself and the shareholders.

As to Constitutionality, we are not some little republic anymore. We are the supreme empire on the planet and an empire needs more flexibility than the Constitution permits.

In an empire, the military is called on to take a larger role. The defence of the empire has to be expanded to include such things as the aquisition of foreign resources, the protection of foreign assets and the opening of foreign markets for our products.

This is how the Romans used their military to grow their empire. It is how the English built the greatest narco-empire in history.

For some, there is no white or grey, only black. This is what an empire must do to protect itself and it’s assets and markets.

Dick Cheney is an imperialist. For some, that makes him a hero. For others, like myself, who think America should be something other than just another empire, he is a Benedict Arnold.

Posted by: jlw at August 31, 2009 11:47 AM
Comment #287174

david

thanks for the chuckle.

Posted by: dbs at August 31, 2009 11:48 AM
Comment #287177

david

BTW since we’re talking about ignoring the const. how about henry waxman demanding that health insurers turn over thier financial records, including proprietary information. where in the const. is this power? or how about obamas pay czar, or any of the multitude of czars appointed by him. it was bad enough that bush had appointed these same types of positions, which answer to no one, and are not accountable to the people of this country. obama has taken this BS to an all time high.

Posted by: dbs at August 31, 2009 11:58 AM
Comment #287179
The Constitution does not speak to health care systems, AT ALL.

I’m glad we agree. Since it is not a power granted to the Federal Government, it cannot be enacted by the federal government without a constitutional amendment. If there were an amendment passed and added to the constitution allowing for the Federal involvement into healthcare, then that discussion would be moot, wouldn’t it?

So why the willingness to bypass the constitution when you want to and not when you don’t want it to be passed?

So, go ahead, make an argument that Cheney is not subject to investigation for alleged criminal activity regarding our laws and treaties banning torture. I would be happy to entertain the argument that the Executive Branch of government is above the law and Constitution.

I have no desire to make any such argument as I don’t have that view. If he violated the constitution he should be investigated and punished for it, that is the law. I am not the one who is being a hypocrite in this area…

Or, point to the passage in YOUR constitution which says “health care reform is not permitted”. I would love the opportunity to prove your Constitution is not the same as that which resides in the Library of Congress.

Sure:

“The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”

HTH

Posted by: Rhinehold at August 31, 2009 12:05 PM
Comment #287183

dbs asked: “BTW since we’re talking about ignoring the const. how about henry waxman demanding that health insurers turn over thier financial records, including proprietary information. where in the const. is this power?”

Great question, dbs. Unless that insurer is receiving public funds from the federal government, I see no Constitutionality in Waxman’s thought process. If that insurer is receiving public funds, the people have the right of oversight to protect their public funding investment in that insurer to be sure the money is being spent as stipulated by the government to the insurer. Good motive for private industry to not put themselves in the position of having to take public funds to remain intact, don’t you think?

Posted by: David R. Remer at August 31, 2009 12:20 PM
Comment #287185

Rhinehold said: “Since it is not a power granted to the Federal Government, it cannot be enacted by the federal government without a constitutional amendment.”

Again, ignorance of the law and Constitution rears its head in this comment. You are of course referring to the 10th Amendment: “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”

“The People” are the words your comments refuse to acknowledge in this amendment. If the people of these United States, through their elected representatives in Congress and upon signature of the President’s approval, deem a power be granted to the federal government, it shall become law of the land. That is precisely the meaning and intent of the 10th Amendment, provided such law does not contradict an enumerated restraint of power.

There being no enumerated restraint in the Constitution upon health care reform, and the people having legislated such reform with the President’s signature, will not violate the Constitution, as your comment posits.

Please also refer to the following in the Constitution for the benefit of a more informed position.

Section 8: “The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States”

The welfare of the United States refers to the welfare of the people of the United States, which health care reform addresses.

Section 9: “No Money shall be drawn from the Treasury, but in Consequence of Appropriations made by Law; and a regular Statement and Account of the Receipts and Expenditures of all public Money shall be published from time to time.”

Allocating public resources for health care reform is entirely Constitutional by the above prescription.

Posted by: David R. Remer at August 31, 2009 12:35 PM
Comment #287194

Rhinehold-
If you’re expressing the opinion that healthcare may not be constitutional, you are entitled to that opinion. If you’re stating as a fact that it is unconstitutional, you are in contradiction of the courts, and you are not entitled to call that claim credible.

So, if we’re done arguing that point, the healthcare system is currently a major economic problem. It’s not a disposable problem, so long as magic nanotech doesn’t cure everybody for free. We’re not immortals, and there is a real economic cost for the way we’re doing business.

I think Interstate commerce has a great deal of relevance here, even if interstate commerce doesn’t.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at August 31, 2009 2:00 PM
Comment #287196

Pardon me: even if general welfare doesn’t.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at August 31, 2009 2:06 PM
Comment #287197

Mr. Remer wrote, “Rhinehold, the ignorance contained in your comment is truly overwhelming.”

I wonder if this is an example of attacking the messenger instead of the message. Just curious about different standards for different folks.

Posted by: Royal Flush at August 31, 2009 2:06 PM
Comment #287198

royal flush - don’t worry about rhinehold - s/he can never be a victim on this sight. if it seems like he is being victimized, it’s just pay back i am sure.

and remer you are my hero today.

Posted by: bluebuss at August 31, 2009 2:13 PM
Comment #287200
“The People” are the words your comments refuse to acknowledge in this amendment. If the people of these United States, through their elected representatives in Congress and upon signature of the President’s approval, deem a power be granted to the federal government, it shall become law of the land. That is precisely the meaning and intent of the 10th Amendment, provided such law does not contradict an enumerated restraint of power.

Actually, no it doesn’t. It means that the people can, through the amendment process, provide that power to the federal government by passing an amendment to the constitution.

Now, if there were only some way to determine what the meaning of that amendment was…

Hey, I have an idea, let’s go look at the writings of the person who WROTE it and see what he said about it!

The powers delegated.to the federal government are few and defined. Those which are to remain in the state governments are numerous and indefinite. The former will be exercised principally on external objects, [such] as war, peace, negotiation, and foreign commerce..The powers reserved to the several states will extend to all the objects which, in the ordinary course of affairs, concern the lives, liberties, and properties of the people.
I cannot undertake to lay my finger on the article of the Constitution which grants a right to Congress of expending, on the objects of benevolence, the money of their constituents.

But of course, we can’t look at the 10th without understanding the 9th amendments. And how they work together. As was said by Kurt T Lash:

it was no accident that the Ninth Amendment was placed along-side the Tenth. Both provisions originally guarded the federalist structure of the Constitution. The Tenth’s declaration that all nondelegated and nonprohibited powers are reserved to the states assures that the federal government exercises only enumerated delegated powers. This declaration, however, does not prevent expansive interpretations of enumerated federal powers—interpretations which, if broad enough, would render meaningless the Tenth’s reservation of powers to the states (state power having been supplanted by federal action). The danger of expansive interpretations of federal power did not escape the members of the state ratifying conventions who considered the original Constitution, and they insisted on adding a rule of construction that limited the interpretation of enumerated federal power.

James Madison complied by drafting the Ninth Amendment. According to Madison, the purpose of the Ninth Amendment was to “[guard] against a latitude of interpretation” while the Tenth Amendment “exclud[ed] every source of power not within the constitution itself.”

This can be seen in the history of the 9th amendment which actually held up the ratification of the Bill of Rights for two years by none other than Virginia.

While the Bill of Rights remained pending in Virginia, James Madison delivered an important speech on the constitutionality of the proposed Bank of the United States. In his speech before the House of Representatives, Madison argued that federal power could not legitimately be construed to include the power to charter the bank. Recounting the concerns of the state conventions regarding expansive interpretations of federal power at the expense of the states, Madison argued that the Constitution had been ratified with the understanding that constructive enlargement of federal power was prohibited. Madison concluded by noting that the Ninth and Tenth Amendments were added specifically to address these concerns, with the Ninth guarding against “a latitude of interpretation” and the Tenth declaring the principle of delegated power. Madison’s speech removed any ambiguity regarding his understanding of the Ninth Amendment, and the Virginia Assembly was entitled to rely on Madison’s description of the Ninth when, only a few months later, it ratified the Bill of Rights.

By considering the relationship between the federalism-based Ninth Amendment and the Founders’ widespread belief in natural rights. Although the Founding generation believed in natural rights “retained by the people,” the identification and protection of such rights were a matter of local concern. The Ninth and Tenth Amendments declare that all nondelegated powers and rights are retained by the people who may delegate them to their respective state governments as they see fit. The Ninth Amendment prevents the nationalization of these powers and rights through expansive readings of the Constitution.

Posted by: Rhinehold at August 31, 2009 2:24 PM
Comment #287201
Section 8: “The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States”

The welfare of the United States refers to the welfare of the people of the United States, which health care reform addresses.

But that is not what section 8 means. As Jefferson *AND* Madison have pointed out clearly in the past.

With respect to the words general welfare,I have always regarded them as qualified by the detail of powers connected with them. To take them in a literal and unlimited sense would be a metamorphosis of the Constitution into a character which there is a host of proofs was not contemplated by its creators. — James Madison
I hope our courts will never countenance the sweeping pretensions which have been set up under the words ‘general defence and public welfare.’ These words only express the motives which induced the Convention to give to the ordinary legislature certain specified powers which they enumerate, and which they thought might be trusted to the ordinary legislature, and not to give them the unspecified also; or why any specification? They could not be so awkward in language as to mean, as we say, ‘all and some.’ And should this construction prevail, all limits to the federal government are done away. — Thomas Jefferson
Posted by: Rhinehold at August 31, 2009 2:30 PM
Comment #287202

bluebuss, thanks for your comments. Being new to this site I don’t understand all the rules yet. Are you suggesting that both rhinehold and Mr. Remer are guilty of personal attack…or neither are guilty? I guess I am asking for a little more clarification so I don’t get censured.

Is it OK to say someone’s comments are “ignorant” and not imply that the writer is ignorant. How does that work? I am confused on this.

Posted by: Royal Flush at August 31, 2009 2:30 PM
Comment #287203
the healthcare system is currently a major economic problem. It’s not a disposable problem, so long as magic nanotech doesn’t cure everybody for free. We’re not immortals, and there is a real economic cost for the way we’re doing business.

And by all means we must address it. I’ve been arguing for reform for over a decade. But *NOT* the reform being offered now as it ignores the reality of the constitution and the ideals of liberty that this country were founded upon. We can, and must, start respecting those ideals when governing or we will lose everything this country is.

Posted by: Rhinehold at August 31, 2009 2:32 PM
Comment #287204

BTW, an example of some of that can be seen at: http://groups.google.com/group/alt.politics.liberalism/msg/ae748e2b3af1cc23 where, about a year before I started writing here, I detailed some aspects of Libertarian philosophy in which I said:

11. Health care should be fixed via a variety of methods that do NOT involve the government taking over administration of it. A few of the things that should be done are:

11a. Establish Medical Savings Accounts

11b. Restructure the tax policy so that all medical expenditures are 100% tax deductible

11c. Deregulate the health care industry including elimination of mandated benefits, repeal of the Certificate-of-Need program, and expansion of the scope of practice for non-physician health professionals.

11d. Replace the FDA - There is no evidence that agency offers Americans any real protection, but there is massive evidence that it is causing great harm — driving up health care costs and depriving millions of Americans of the medical care they need. The agency should be abolished and replaced with voluntary certification by a private-sector organization, similar to the way Underwriters Laboratories certifies electrical appliances.

11e. Privatize Medicare and Medicaid.

Posted by: Rhinehold at August 31, 2009 2:43 PM
Comment #287205
he can never be a victim on this sight. if it seems like he is being victimized, it’s just pay back i am sure.

That’s an interesting view, though I think it says a lot more about the poster than who it was targeted at.

Posted by: Rhinehold at August 31, 2009 2:54 PM
Comment #287207

Royal Flush,
To say someones comments are ignorant means that someone is making an arguement with innvalid information or none at all. To say someone is ignorant is to claim that they are ignorant about everything and anything. Too dramatic differences.

Posted by: Paul at August 31, 2009 4:11 PM
Comment #287208

Royal Flush, a comment may ignore relevant information, ergo, be a comment ignorant of the relevant information to follow.

Critiquing the content of other’s writings is entirely permissable. Critiquing the character, intelligence, or other personal qualities of the writer or commenter is expressly forbidden.

Also, questions of this nature should be emailed to the WB manager, as they are off topic of the article to which these comments attach. Please see Rules for Participation between the comment text box and the Submit button.

Posted by: David R. Remer at August 31, 2009 5:38 PM
Comment #287209

Rhinehold said: “Actually, no it doesn’t. It means that the people can, through the amendment process,”

Wrong as libertarians generally are on this point. No amendment to the Constitution is required because the Constitution does not speak to health care reform or systems. Ergo, no change in the constitution is required. Only a law. And if that law, is contested as unconstitutional, then, and ONLY then, may the Supreme Court choose to review that contest and choose to rule on the merits of the contest, or not.

Libertarians are often claiming a priori expertise on the Constitution in their political perspective’s favor, quite ignoring the very process set down in the Constitution as noted above. The Constitutionality of a “people’s law” comes after the law is passed, NOT BEFORE.

Libertarians are incessantly claiming this or that law or policy is unconstitutional as if they were the Supreme Court.

Thank you again for the opportunity to highlight why the Libertarian Party lacks traction with the American voters.

Posted by: David R. Remer at August 31, 2009 5:57 PM
Comment #287211

*sigh*

Ok David, so my original point is correct, Cheney should not be labelled as having done anything unconstitutional, Patriot Act and all, because no court has found their actions unconstitutional yet.

Thanks for letting us all see the hypocrisy.

BTW, Didn’t Obama say he wouldn’t sign a law that was unconstitutional? By your ‘logic’, he has nothing to fear, right?

Posted by: Rhinehold at August 31, 2009 6:06 PM
Comment #287217

Rhinehold,

Very interesting debate. I’m curious how you explain Madison’s and Jefferson’s position on the Louisiana Purchase.

Posted by: gergle at August 31, 2009 6:33 PM
Comment #287220

This link might provide some insight. I guess they believed in the amendment process unless the idea was highly popular and in need of faster ratification.

Posted by: gergle at August 31, 2009 6:46 PM
Comment #287221

Rhinehold, now your comments are responding to apparent hallucinations of what was said. I stated:

So, go ahead, make an argument that Cheney is not subject to investigation for alleged criminal activity regarding our laws and treaties banning torture

To which you reply:

Ok David, so my original point is correct, Cheney should not be labelled as having done anything unconstitutional, Patriot Act and all, because no court has found their actions unconstitutional yet.

Thanks for letting us all see the hypocrisy.

Your comment appears to be arguing fantasized commentary that never took place. Your comments may have more credibility if they respond to what people actually say, instead of some creation out of thin air of what has not been said.

Posted by: David R. Remer at August 31, 2009 6:52 PM
Comment #287222

Rhinehold said: “It means that the people can, through the amendment process, provide that power to the federal government by passing an amendment to the constitution.”

Sorry, your comment is patently false. The amendment process must come from the States or the Congress. The 10th Amendment clearly states “the people”, and makes NO REFERENCE to the amendment process. You are injecting interpretation to fill voids in the actual words that lie there.

Posted by: David R. Remer at August 31, 2009 7:06 PM
Comment #287225

jlw-

Just how did Cheney profit from the Iraq war?

Posted by: George at August 31, 2009 8:03 PM
Comment #287227

John,
I think Dick is simply trying to create a politcal wedge for Republicans. While I agree that just the underlings shouldn’t be prosecuted for violations of law, or war crimes, but that if they are prosoecuted, this leads inevitably to their superiors. Dick is gambling that it’ll never get close to him, before an election season. This is the old Dick, pushing the envelope. Brinkmanship. I say we take him up on his bet, indict an underling, and then Dick himself.

This will not happen, if it does, until the latter part of Obama’s administration, after other goals have been met. It’s all about priorities. The politics involve the drip, drip, drip of exposure of this fraud. They may get Tom Ridge to waffle, but there is plenty yet to come.
This is Dick’s, and the Republican Party death rattle, that is until the party decides to cut their losses. Tom Delay is so desperate, he knows he has no political bona fides, that he’s taken to Dancing with the Stars. Patriotism is the last refuge to which a scoundrel clings.

Posted by: gergle at August 31, 2009 8:12 PM
Comment #287228

George,
By holding shares in Haliburton, among other defense companies, which was the largest contractor in Iraq.

Posted by: gergle at August 31, 2009 8:14 PM
Comment #287231

Cheney he says what he thinks is right, even if you hate what he says his agenda is not hidden. Cheney thinks we need to be strong against terrorist. He doesn’t trust good intentions and has little faith in the effectiveness of soft power. He fears that recent loosening of our policy and the attacks on the intelligence community will endanger our country and make a mass casualty attack more likely. Hate him if you must. Believe he is evil if you want. But if he is convinced that Obama policies will lead to terror attacks, he must speak out. That is his motivation. He is a man of principle. You don’t have to like him.

Phx8

You say that Cheney advocated taking action against Iran but other opposed him. So what you are saying is that Cheney voiced one opinion, while after listening to other opinions President Bush decided on a different course of action. When you phrase it that way, it sounds like a rational debate and a good presidential decision. Even you score one for President Bush. Good.

David

The way supporters of health reform will get around the Constitution is the interstate commerce clause, as others have said.

Your interpretation would negate the entire Constitution. Anytime “the People” want a power, they can just take it, according to you. In that case, we have no need for a Constitution at all.

Posted by: Christine at August 31, 2009 8:48 PM
Comment #287234

Gergle

Cheney gave up his shares in Halliburton before he ran for VP. Besides, it would be a very indirect way for the man to make money. Besides Cheney and his wife Lynne have assigned any future profits from their stock options in Halliburton and several other companies to charity.

Check out the factcheck - http://www.factcheck.org/kerry_ad_falsely_accuses_cheney_on_halliburton.html

When it was all said and done, the Cheneys earned $3,052,038 in 2007, big money but not compared to $4,238,164 for the Obamas and $20,400,000 for the Clintons.

Posted by: Christine at August 31, 2009 9:10 PM
Comment #287237

Rhinehold-
You keep on quoting Madison. But Madison was not the only Founding Fathers, and they did not agree on everything. Even George Washington, our first president, did not take so strict a point of view on constitutionality. He favored Alexander Hamilton’s point of view over Madison’s.

Some additional points:

1) Changing the constitution is a dangerous thing, with far reaching implications. It also takes much greater political force to back an amendment than to shift opinion on the constitution.

2) Changes in interpretation of the constitution are not necessarily conscious or quick alterations, but can be the product of years of additional intepretation and reinterpretation.

3) This country as a whole, it’s basic civilization has changed considerably in the past two hundred year. Transportation speed, communication speed, agriculture, understanding of the natural world- all these things have changed, and with that change have come new challenges and new thinking in response to those challenges. As commendable as it is to stick to original interpretations, it may not be practicable in the real world. What was wise for Washington cannot always be wise for us.

As far as Cheney goes? Cheney believe that you must be willing to do anything to protect the country. He does not realize that if we don’t observe certain limits on our behavior, and practice restraint, that sometimes our efforts can bring greater harm upon us.

Torture is an example. Sure, many of us would like to beat a confession out of a terrorist. But that depends first on us being right about the terror suspect’s guilt, then on our techniques not introducing uncertainty or diminished capacity to the equation of our interrogation.

Additionally, if America is seen to be a nation that condones torture, it makes it harder for us to demand higher standards of others, which can have an adverse effect on our soldiers, and our ability to get help on their behalf. We give more license to others to draw equations between our ruthlessness and that of our enemies.

Finally, we have to consider what the muddled rhetoric on torture does to us as well. Some people will simply not call it what it is, because torture is definitely outlawed by American and international law. Instead, we are treated to euphemisms and rationalizations on the matter, which really only serve to dull us to the sickening reality of of what we’re advocating.

Cheney’s game was justifying his power, justifying it’s pre-emptive quality. He didn’t want the VP’s office to be a figurehead second-banana, he wanted it to be its own branch of government, with its own separation of powers. And that’s just the beginning.

I’m glad he’s out of there, and all he’s got left to justify is his own sordid legacy.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at August 31, 2009 9:52 PM
Comment #287240

Christine,

The problem I have with fact check article is that Cheney holds about 433,000 shares in Haliburton. The article describes “future profits” That is a vague wording. Since the shares are compensation are they “profits”? What would be the basis of those “profits”? We no longer have the ability to view Cheney’s finances. Those are now on the “dark side. The fact check link to the actual trust no longer works.

We will never see the contracts Cheney now holds. I don’t think he’s busy tightening his belt for the recession. If you believe he is always forthcoming and honest, then I’ve got some land in Florida for you. (Maybe it’s next to Dick’s new compound down there)

Posted by: gergle at September 1, 2009 4:57 AM
Comment #287241

Gergle

The Cheneys have given all the future profits to charity. They just don’t make money off these things.

The Cheneys make good money, less than the Obamas or the Clintons, but more than the Bushes. But they don’t seem particularly interested in making more. They have given literally millions to charity.

You can disagree with Cheney, but his motivations in Iraq or in fighting terror in general were not related to greed. That explanation just doesn’t make any sense and is not supported by the facts.

Your argument is based on the assertion that we don’t know all the facts. That is an argument you can make for or against anything. It is a bit silly. We could just as well say Obama is profiting from illicit investments because there may be facts we don’t know. All the facts that we do have and all the behavior we can observe is against your conclusion.

I know you guys really want to hate Cheney. You still can. Say that he is mad for power and wanted to control our response to the war on terror. Say that he was overzealous in his defense of the United States and very mean to people like KSM. I bet he might even advocate hurting Osama bin Laden before reading him his Miranda rights.

Posted by: Christine at September 1, 2009 7:07 AM
Comment #287242

Christine,

Dick chose to go to college rather than serve in Vietnam. His personal goals were more important to him than serving charitable or patriotic purposes. People do not change stripes mid-life. It’s easy to be charitable when the money makes no impact on your personal life. John “Dime” Rockefeller was charitable late in life.

Cheney has been power and money hungry his entire life. This is generally true of Presidential types. I just get a little tired of hearing about presidential heroes. Obama isn’t a saint there. It is important to understand the drives of these people.

Cheney’s career was embedded in defense(war) and oil companies. His friends are embedded in that elite culture. That is what drove his maniacal push in Iraq. It was based in the greed and power of those industries.

Cheney has and will profit from his venture in Iraq. Obama has profited from his ventures in Chicago politics. These truths are self evident to me.

My point was Cheney only made these contributions to not appear in conflict. We have no idea what is happening now, except he isn’t getting poorer.

Posted by: gergle at September 1, 2009 7:39 AM
Comment #287243

Might I make a comment here? I am neither politician nor Journalist (yet). The one thing I am however is an American, bred and born. I am truly confused and have been for a while why Channey had not been challanged for his actions much sooner, but for that fact, why many others are not. Speaking for a working stiff’s point of view, There are too many Channey’s in the government. I love this nation with a passion, and am always saddened when these things hit the surface. Our Constitution says “a government of the people, by the people and for the people!” Unfortunately men like Channey dont have the same vision or hope for this country that our Forefathers did.So many seem cloaked in deception and captured by greed. I wish no one ill will, but I believe we need to start making the people who run this country accountable. I dream of a once again strong America.
Thank you for letting me speak my mind.

Posted by: Kathryn at September 1, 2009 8:50 AM
Comment #287244

Christine, to call Dick Cheney a “man of principle” is a pretty big stretch. He is a profiteer who reaped financial rewards from his official government actions. He played loose with the law and with the constitution to do so under the guise of “keeping the country safe.” Something he certainly did not do. His actions made the country much less safe, made a mockery of the Constitution, and he declared himself the 4th branch of government. He sits on his fat rear end tossing grenades at the current administration (which I am very critical of for very different reasons than this chicken hawk).

While Rhinehold points out that there is no clear guidance in the Constitution about public health care, there is very clear guidance about torture, about being held to treaties and laws, about habeas corpus, and the list goes on. It is not surprising that health care is not mentioned in the Constitution as the state of medical care at the time included using mercury as a cure and bloodletting. They did not know what a germ was, what bacteria was, nor what cleanliness had to do with health. Hospitals, at that time, were places to go to die not to get well. They knew full well what habeas coprus was, what cruel and unusual punishment was, what the rule of law was and said so in this document. It is one thing to argue your point about what the Constitution does not directly address and quite another to argue about some government official ignoring things that are very explicit in the Constitution. Apples and oranges.

Posted by: tcsned at September 1, 2009 8:52 AM
Comment #287247

tcsned, In addition to apples and oranges, I would add the word, apologist. Christine’s comments represent partisan apologism. Cheney’s actions have to be principled and defended, since he is a Republican and Christine is a defender of the Republican faith.

This is the core of the damage being done our nation by this two party loyalty that is compelled to defend the unethical, the impractical, and the unjust. Compelled in the name of team spirit and the competitive sport of politics to which, adheres the trophy of bragging rights to ‘we won’, though the nation’s future founders in a sea of neglect and repelling molecules of ignoring and discontent.

That said, your comment was far more succinct than mine. I tip my hat.

Posted by: David R. Remer at September 1, 2009 9:40 AM
Comment #287248

Kathryn, thanks for speaking up.

One note, ‘of the people, by the people and for the people’, I believe, comes from Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address, not the Constitution.

The closest thing to Lincoln’s words in the Constitution is the Preamble which states:

“We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”

Posted by: David R. Remer at September 1, 2009 9:47 AM
Comment #287249

Christine said: “The way supporters of health reform will get around the Constitution is the interstate commerce clause, as others have said.”

The way the supporters will counter your perspective is by saying the Commerce Clause provides the Constitutionality for government sponsored health care reform.

You say tomato, others say Tomato. It is what the Supreme Court says, that Constitutionally matters. That is Constitutionally provided for, pretty clearly, with a few caveats.

Posted by: David R. Remer at September 1, 2009 9:50 AM
Comment #287250

Christine, your reply seems to indicate a reading comprehension communication problem, when you say to me: “Your interpretation would negate the entire Constitution. Anytime “the People” want a power, they can just take it, according to you. In that case, we have no need for a Constitution at all.”

Because your comment above bears little resemblance to what I actually said which was:

“The People” are the words your comments refuse to acknowledge in this amendment. If the people of these United States, through their elected representatives in Congress and upon signature of the President’s approval, deem a power be granted to the federal government, it shall become law of the land. That is precisely the meaning and intent of the 10th Amendment, provided such law does not contradict an enumerated restraint of power.

I will recommend to you what I recommended to Rhinehold, that the credibility of your comments will be better served if you respond to what is ACTUALLY said, and not to what you wish or fantasize others have said.

My words speak for themselves with veracity and verifiability. Your representation of what I said bears little resemblance at all to what I said. Is your comment’s intent sophistry or, a genuine oversight or comprehension error?

I will be happy to entertain debate on what I actually said; quote my words. Putting words in my mouth which I never spoke however, in order to refute your own words which I never spoke, will result in refutation of this nature which, is obviously warranted. “Straw men” are a poor substitute for intelligent debate technique.

Posted by: David R. Remer at September 1, 2009 10:02 AM
Comment #287251

gergle, Christine is right on Cheney’s Halliburton compensation. He insulated himself completely from conflict of interest over his Hallib. stock options and deferred compensation, and all legally without even a hint of impropriety regarding the laws on such matters.

When you turn around and try to impute negative motive behind doing the right and legal thing, your argument falls apart as an act of desperation.

Dick Cheney’s behavior as VP can be likened to that of an authoritarian dictator, wherein, he authored his own laws and dictated those to the CIA and others in government. There is growing volumes of evidence to make that argument. Let the Halliburton critique go; it has been disproved in every possible way.

Democrats screwed the pooch when going into a feeding frenzy over the potential of a conflict of interest between Halliburton and Cheney, without checking and verifying facts up front. Cheney may be have been an authoritarian dictator as VP, but, he had his ducks in a row on Halliburton. If Democrats want credibility, they can’t be acting like Republicans and rejecting the truth when it is inconvenient.

Posted by: David R. Remer at September 1, 2009 10:32 AM
Comment #287252

Christine,
“Cheney he says what he thinks is right… He is a man of principle. You don’t have to like him.”

That kind of rationale could be used to support Saddam Hussein, or any other tinhorn dictator or criminal or war criminal. Love of country does not mean anything goes; determination and fervent belief do not justify wrong actions.

Bush did not order the bombing of Iran, despite the urging of Cheney, John Bolton, and other administration war criminals. Way to nail it! He made a hash of two wars, and wisely stayed out of the third one! And hey, he screwed up the response to the tsunami and then Katrina, and after that, the administration response to hurricanes and natural disasters was pretty good! What a fine, fine president.

No one ‘wanted’ to hate Cheney and looked for made-up rationalizations to do so. Cheney drew condemnation for his actions because his actions were despicable.

Posted by: phx8 at September 1, 2009 11:18 AM
Comment #287253

Thank you for clarifying that mistake, I should have had coffee before I started thinking to much LOL. I am a Jouralism student…so would you mind not mentioning that horrible misquote to my professor…giggle. Now who feels foolish?
I dont know what the answer is to health reform, but I think we are in over our heads and its going to take compromise, hard work and some new ideas to even begin to fix this massive problem. I think government involvment has created a lot of the problem,but Im not to sure government can fix it.

Posted by: Kathryn at September 1, 2009 11:49 AM
Comment #287255

phx8, The best references I can think of are Benedict Arnold, who truly believed in his action of betrayal, and Richard Nixon’s proclamation that the President of the U.S. is the law, or words with meaning to that effect.

The incredible capacity of the human mind to rationalize any act, is precisely why rule of law is so quintessentially important to justice and civilization. To know that is easy. To employ that wisdom, sometimes proves to be beyond the capacity of American politicians like Dick Cheney, Richard Nixon, and FDR.

Posted by: David R. Remer at September 1, 2009 12:04 PM
Comment #287257

Well put David. Those who feel their mission is righteous often times let the ends justify their means as do those whose mission they know is morally bankrupt and corrupt. Both groups are incredibly destructive in a nation supposedly based on the rule of law.

Posted by: tcsned at September 1, 2009 1:50 PM
Comment #287258

“How did Dick Cheney make money off of Iraq?”

While CEO of Haliburton, Dick Cheney oversaw the buying of several foreign subsidiaries for the purpose of doing business with Iraq, Iran and Libya. At the time, U.S. law forbid American companies from doing business with these countries.

What justifies treason? Business according to Dick Cheney.

The first official act of the Bush Administration was a meeting of the NSC at which the business of the day was the invasion plan for Iraq, the dividing of it’s oil reserves including prime locations for future exploration and a plan to send diplomats to other oil producing nations for the purpose of recruiting those nations for the invasion. This meeting took place on or about Feb. 1, 2001, long before the attacks on 911. It was the number 1 priority of the Bush Administration.

During the campaign of 2000, George Bush said there would be no foreign entanglements during his Administration and the first thing after the inauguration, he was planning how to take over the oil of Iraq. They had the perfect scapegoat, a man hated by almost everyone, Saddam.

Was it Greenspan that said something to this effect, I can’t understand why we can’t just admit that it was a war for oil. What did he expect Bush to do, stand before the American people and say we are going after that oil on behalf of Exxon and BP, Halliburton and Rand?

No president would ever do that. The majority of the people would never accept that and besides, Bush and Cheney had Saddam, the terrorist connection and Fox News.

Posted by: jlw at September 1, 2009 1:54 PM
Comment #287265

There is speculation that Cheney may have three unaccounted for bombs and that’s why Obama has backtracked on his promises.
Now I ask you: Do you really think that Cheney is that kind of a guy?

Posted by: Stephen Hines at September 1, 2009 5:06 PM
Comment #287268

tcsned, they are indeed. I call these groups The Righteous and The Selfish. Should be the title of a best selling book, don’t you think? Why there is little difference between the two, could be the sub-title. :-)

Posted by: David R. Remer at September 1, 2009 6:10 PM
Comment #287269

jlw, someone, I forget who, once humorously commented that elected government is where those whose growth in the private sector was halted by the Peter Principle. That grain of truth…

Posted by: David R. Remer at September 1, 2009 6:14 PM
Comment #287271

David,
Cheney is stranger than Arnold. The Revolutionary War General did a pretty good job until he went to the other side. Cheney isolated himself, and restricted his information to what he wanted to hear. He seemed to hold certain beliefs, conservative beliefs, and he believed very strongly; his beliefs had been rewarded in the private sector with a great deal of money, which reinforced his belief system. Unfortunately, virtually everything he believed about politics turned out to be wrong.

He came up with energy policy based upon the desires of the top executives in the fossil fuel industry, and refused to make public the content of that meeting. He supported Senator Smith from OR to help farmers release dam water, because surely farmers were more important than fish; it resulted in a monstrously big salmon kill (and you can make a good argument that salmon are far more valuable than one year’s worth of an irrigated crop). Cheney doubt Global Warming and scoffed at conservation. He made wrong conclusions about Iraq and tried to fit the facts to his wrong beliefs. He openly dismissed the desires of a majority of Americans on practically every issue.

If only he would go away and stay away. Yet he insists on defending torture. Ugh. Guess he’s afraid of being tried for war crimes.

Posted by: phx8 at September 1, 2009 7:25 PM
Comment #287273

David,

I agree Cheney has done everything to wash the appearance of impropriety with Haliburton. My point was it was all about appearance. The no-bid contracts weren’t a coincidence. The invasion of Iraq wasn’t a coincidence. I don’t buy the dog and pony show.

Cheney is a product of the military industrial complex, with linkages to the oil industry and the confluence of American and industry interests.

Cheney’s former role as Secretary of Defense and the co mingling of these CEO and governing roles is the conflict and profiteering that I am referring to.

We know much more today how this was an entirely trumped up war. Why did the neo-cons believe that this action was needed? How were the neo-cons linked? They are part and parcel of the industrial military complex that believes in world domination and colonization, and of course, fun and profit.

If anyone sincerely believes Cheney will not profit from these relationships, then they are, in my opinion, fools.

The accounts will be separated, properly accounted and I’s dotted, T’s crossed. These are not stupid people.

Power is meaningless without profit. Greed is a part of what power is about. Are you actually saying there is no connection?

Obama profited from power politics in Illinois, they will profit from his election. Guaranteed. Will it meet the criteria for corruption? No.
All I’m saying, is look a little behind the curtain.

Cheney, I’m sure, is a true believer in his actions and causes, as is Obama. In one way they are alike. They are power politicians. This country took a wrong turn during Bush. That was so obvious, even average Americans figured it out. Thus far, Obama hasn’t seemed to stumble. If and when he does, it will be time to ask who he is serving. We are not out of the woods on the economy. There still has been little transparency in many markets. Those chickens may yet come home to roost.

Who made the largest killing(monetarily) on Iraq?

Many people are asking why Goldman Sachs hasn’t had to account for much of the TARP. Neither Bush nor Obama has held them to account.

These things aren’t just happenstance.

When you open shop in the morning, and find the vault empty, and the clerk murdered, you don’t expect the police to say, “well everyone looks innocent. They all have alibis and no appearance of impropriety.” You expect them to investigate.

Posted by: gergle at September 1, 2009 7:46 PM
Comment #287277

Phx8

I don’t think it can be used to support ANYbody. But I will grant that it is possible for people to act out of principle and do what they think is right and still be doing what we would consider wrong.

IMO, Cheney has been mostly good for our country. I am well aware that we disagree and that mine is a minority view. I will not try to convince you of this point of view and I hope that a future terrorist attack doesn’t prove me right. My argument in this case is limited to that Cheney is an honest man who is acting out of principle and doing what he thinks best for his country.

BTW – Bush’s response to the tsunami was fine. The U.S. Navy saved thousands of lives. W/o our action many more would have perished. We should be proud of what we did.

With the luxury of a longer perspective, we can also see that the Katrina affair was primarily a problem of a very bad natural disaster, coupled with human hubris trying to control natural wetland systems that scientists had seen coming for a half century. It also impacted some of the least adaptive people in the U.S., as we can see that some of them are STILL living in FEMA trailers Bush had the misfortune of being president when it hit.

One of the tangential tragedies of the politics of Katrina is that the nation now has made a foolish and unrealistic promise to rebuild in and around New Orleans. W/o Federal money, the locals could not afford to do very much damage and many would have to move to higher ground. Much of that land in southern Louisiana should return to nature. It should never have been wrested from nature in the first place. Liberals would have seen the ecological good in NOT rebuilding much of the city except they were too busy trying to blame Bush. Now we will put people back in harm’s way and further destroy the wetlands and the Gulf of Mexico fisheries.

Gergle

Money and power tend to go together, since the one can often be exchanged for the other. But greed just is not a big a motivator to most people as you think. Cheney had a job where he made a lot more money than he did when he became VP. He gives a lot of his money to charity and would have enough money to support his not-very-extravagant lifestyle until the day he dies. It just doesn’t make much sense to attribute this to greed.

The whole analysis is so 1960s.These days the big money is made outside the arms industry and even the arms industry doesn’t need actual war to sell weapons.

I take your point re Goldman-Sacks. That is the Democratic fat-cat reservation. Check which campaign they give the most money and how many of the richest employees work for or with the Obama administration. I assume these are all honest men and women who want to serve their country, but I have more confidence in my fellow-Americans

Posted by: Christine at September 1, 2009 8:23 PM
Comment #287286

phx8 and gergle, I agree with what you both have to say, and no one despises Cheney’s influences on our federal government and the directions they have taken under his leadership, more than I. But, facts are facts, and always striving for objective evaluation, it seemed appropriate to point out the facts regarding false allegations of Cheney’s personally profiting from his direct role as V.P. and Halliburton’s profitability in Iraq and Afghanistan, concurrently.

Posted by: David R. Remer at September 1, 2009 11:33 PM
Comment #287291

I guess my use of the words profiting and greed is confusing the issue. At some point, money is not very meaningful. Yes, you can buy a bigger yacht, but it really isn’t very meaningful, except in the sense of power it gives you.

Putting your friends, family and supporters in good stead is also profiting. It gives you status and value. Having power over your enemies is also profiting. Greed for power is still greed.

Posted by: gergle at September 2, 2009 12:04 AM
Comment #287300
I’m curious how you explain Madison’s and Jefferson’s position on the Louisiana Purchase

I think they explained it quite well at the time… They both believed it was unconstitutional but Jefferson didn’t want to pass up such a good deal so he acted beyond his authority.

Posted by: Rhinehold at September 2, 2009 1:03 AM
Comment #287301
Sorry, your comment is patently false. The amendment process must come from the States or the Congress. The 10th Amendment clearly states “the people”, and makes NO REFERENCE to the amendment process. You are injecting interpretation to fill voids in the actual words that lie there.

I quoted from a legal scholar and the founding fathers. I’m sorry you don’t accept their authority on the documents they themselves wrote, but Supreme Court justices are supposed to take intent of the writers into consideration when interpreting the constitution, not your personal views.

Posted by: Rhinehold at September 2, 2009 1:06 AM
Comment #287303
You keep on quoting Madison. But Madison was not the only Founding Fathers, and they did not agree on everything. Even George Washington, our first president, did not take so strict a point of view on constitutionality. He favored Alexander Hamilton’s point of view over Madison’s.

The funny thing is that when you first started dismissing my quoting of Jefferson, you stated that Madison was a backer of a strong federal government. When I showed you that you were wrong, you are now going after Washington as being for a strong central government…

The fact is that even the strong federalists agreed that there needed to be hard limits on the federal government. There was no ambiguity or disagreement there. You even stated the same in your attack on Cheney, but then say it is ok to do the very same thing if it is, IN YOUR OPINION, for the greater good. That is the hypocrisy, Stephen…

Posted by: Rhinehold at September 2, 2009 1:10 AM
Comment #287307
I think they explained it quite well at the time… They both believed it was unconstitutional but Jefferson didn’t want to pass up such a good deal so he acted beyond his authority.

LOL, Well that explains it then!! Constitution, Smonshtitution. So much for Jeffersonian perfection.

Posted by: gergle at September 2, 2009 6:25 AM
Comment #287316

Whoever said that Jefferson was perfect? Last time I checked he was a human being with faults and foibles just like every other one in history…

Or are you seriously arguing that we should not be worried about following the constitution because Jefferson displayed hypocrisy in the past?

Posted by: Rhinehold at September 2, 2009 10:34 AM
Comment #287333

Rhinehold,

Well you continue to look to the founders words to demonstrate the meaning of the Constitution. That being the case I think we should look at ALL their words …and actions. Perhaps they don’t think the Constitution is stone like either.

My point was to demonstrate circumstance often calls for action, while not strictly within the Constitution per your constructionist ideals, but with an eye to the larger goals and meanings, as Jefferson and Madison did in this situation.

When the founders themselves weren’t strict constructionists, it kind of undermines such an idea.

Posted by: gergle at September 2, 2009 1:16 PM
Comment #287352
Well you continue to look to the founders words to demonstrate the meaning of the Constitution.

Where are we supposed to look, gergle? The writings of William Shakespeare or some Doctor Who scripts?

That being the case I think we should look at ALL their words …and actions. Perhaps they don’t think the Constitution is stone like either.

You misunderstand. They did think that. They also violated the constitution when they thought it was the right thing to do, knowing that it would be held against them. That STILL didn’t make it constitutional. Just like Bush violating the constitution as he saw fit, it didn’t make it constitutional just because he thought it was for the greater good and he must pay for that violation for the rest of history.

My point was to demonstrate circumstance often calls for action, while not strictly within the Constitution per your constructionist ideals, but with an eye to the larger goals and meanings, as Jefferson and Madison did in this situation.

But that is not the point that is made. If someone is willing to violate the constitution for their ideals, they can do that. But that doesn’t make their actions right, good or, especially, constitutional.

It’s not about ‘strict constructionism’, it is about what the words on the paper mean and what they don’t mean. If we find them not right, we should change them, not ignore them.

In fact, you make my point for me, because Jefferson violated the Constitution once, you now say it is ok for us to do it today… So it must have been ok for Bush to do it too!

When the founders themselves weren’t strict constructionists, it kind of undermines such an idea.

You make the assumption that they weren’t. You are wrong. In so much as the term you use means what you think it does…

Posted by: Rhinehold at September 2, 2009 2:58 PM
Comment #287369

Rhinehold,

You make the assumption that they weren’t. You are wrong. In so much as the term you use means what you think it does…


Hmmm, assumption? I think I provided concrete evidence. Facts be damned, I guess. Seems it comes down to what is is…or isn’t

I can say I think this or that, but If I do the opposite of what I say, then my actions speak louder. We can say Jefferson wanted to make Africans equals,as many do, but he made no real steps in that direction, and in fact was quite racist in his beliefs. All men being equal did not apply to all men, but rather to elite American Europeans wishing to equate themselves with the Royals. Yet, this phrase has come to mean equality in a completely different context.

We could easily go into Washington’s, Adams, and Monroe’s problems with following the Constitution, but again, I’m sure you’ll say that doesn’t mean anything in regards to your argument. Surely you are not saying the job of the President or Congress hasn’t evolved in 200 years. I just don’t get how you think a Jeffersonian presidency could possibly function today. I just have trouble following that logic.

I think it makes it rather apparent that the Constitution is a framework, not a straight jacket.

The Constitution provides a deep resonance with Americans and the imagery of “Don’t tread on me”,
small deviations do not rise to creating reason for revolt. I think one could easily argue that Shay’s rebellion was soundly based, as Jefferson tangentially acknowledged, but in the end preserving order took immediate precedent. I am troubled by your constant argument that well established law, is “Unconstitutional”. I simply don’t think that is sound reasoning. We are no longer a frontier society the government has evolved. That doesn’t mean it is extra Constitutional.

There will always be a push/pull with regards to what is or isn’t Constitutional. Meanings do change in context. The framework may bend and deform without calling it a failure.

Do we need to amend the Constitution for every repressed group? Does there need to be a homosexual amendment? What about hermaphrodites, transexuals and people with deformities? What about Quadraplegics? What about Atheists?

One can say there are amendments that apply, yet there are still discriminatory laws on the books against these groups. Does this mean that these are deferred to States rights?

It becomes a very slippery slope when one excludes Supreme Court rulings here and there.

Why was the civil rights act needed and accepted via the Commerce clause rather than simply enforcing the 14th amendment?

Posted by: gergle at September 2, 2009 5:51 PM
Comment #287403
Hmmm, assumption? I think I provided concrete evidence. Facts be damned, I guess. Seems it comes down to what is is…or isn’t

Proved concrete evidence that Jefferson thought that the Constitution was just a ‘guideline’? I don’t think so…

Let’s say that Mother Theresa preaches kindness and charity all of her life. She has written down endless thoughts about this and her deeds have proven this over and over again. But one day she is having a bad day and pushes past someone who is asking for help.

Does that prove that Mother Theresa was just a lying selfish bitch all along?

Going against your words a time or two when the rest of the time you follow them does not provide ‘concrete evidence’ that you didn’t mean any of the things you said.

We can say Jefferson wanted to make Africans equals,as many do, but he made no real steps in that direction, and in fact was quite racist in his beliefs.

Interesting, but that’s not what I have read. He didn’t ensure that his slaves went free on his death and treated them very well while they were alive? He didn’t father children with one of his slaves? Seems like he liked them a lot to me…

I think one could easily argue that Shay’s rebellion was soundly based, as Jefferson tangentially acknowledged, but in the end preserving order took immediate precedent.

I don’t remember seeing any quote from Jefferson to suggest that he thought Shay’s Rebellion was anything other than a violation of the law and should be dealt with as such… Perhaps you could provide that quote?

I am troubled by your constant argument that well established law, is “Unconstitutional”.

The DMCA is ‘well established law’, but it is, at least in my opinion, very much Unconstitutional. As do I think the federal restrictions on the use of marijuana, for example. I even think that the RICO statutes are the same.

In the case of the DMCA, it hasn’t been reviewed by the Supreme Court. That doesn’t make it ‘Constitutional’, no matter what David says, it just makes it law. Only when it is actually argued before the court and is decided upon can we say that it has been ruled Constitutional or Unconstitutional. But when we can back up are views with valid arguments, there is nothing wrong with asserting that a law is unconstitutional and should be challenged to be identified as such.

I’m sure you’ll say that doesn’t mean anything in regards to your argument.

And you’d be right because it doesn’t. What is written is what is written, that the writer was a human being and violated the laws that he himself wrote down or supported doesn’t change the nature of the law, just exposes the nature of the man.

For example, when Bill Clinton was in office he signed in new legislation that he championed that allowed the courts to ask suspected Sexual Harassers about their past sexual history. This was seen as a great thing for women’s rights and being able to show a pattern of behavior that would help an accuser’s case.

Then, one day, when *HE* was being questioned as a suspected sexual harasser, he committed purjury in a court of law to avoid the result of the very law he championed and signed.

Now, does that mean that the law wasn’t ‘absolute’? That the prosecution couldn’t really do that anymore? Or does it just mean a man, in a moment of weakness, decided to go away from this beliefs for a moment in time?

We are no longer a frontier society the government has evolved. That doesn’t mean it is extra Constitutional.

If it violates the constitution, yes it does mean that very much.

BTW, the whole ‘we are no longer a frontier nation’ argument is one big pile of steaming poo… First of all, protection of individual rights is almost unnecessary in a ‘frontier’ setting. It is when we are on top of each other that these protections are needed. We need them even more today than we did in the late 1700s.

And to suggest that places like New York, Philadelphia and Boston were just small little hamlets in the late 1700s is truly ignorant of the reality of the situation. As if the founding fathers had no concept of what a ‘big city’ was like.

Meanings do change in context.

And when dealing with the Constitution, they should not. Not because meanings don’t change, but the words are written and put together to create a whole object. When you start changing some of it, the rest of it gets changed in ways you can’t predict. You basically end up with a coup that occurred without firing a shot… which is what I believe most on the left are working towards (or already have).

Do we need to amend the Constitution for every repressed group?

Not anymore because we have the 14th amendment. Simple as that, all cases are taken care of.


It becomes a very slippery slope when one excludes Supreme Court rulings here and there.

You mean like the Supreme Court ruling that says it is ok for the federal or state government to sterilize a woman who is deemed ‘unfit’ to manage her own life?

I think some VERY BAD Supreme Court rulings should be ignored completely, yes.

Why was the civil rights act needed and accepted via the Commerce clause rather than simply enforcing the 14th amendment?

Because the Supreme Court, made up of human beings, got a decision very wrong at one point in history under pressure from politics. Just as they do from time to time. Should we just accept that those decisions are right and can’t be changed or do we identify those and fix them so that the way our country was founded, as a means to limit the federal government’s role in our lives (ie, LIBERTY), and preserve the protection of the minority against the will of the majority in those areas?

Sounds kind of fascist to me…

Posted by: Rhinehold at September 3, 2009 1:53 AM
Comment #287415

Rhinehold,

Cogent responses(mostly)….except maybe the fascist remark:)

Thanks for the discussion.

With regards to Jefferson, I believe in a letter regarding Shay’s he stated something to the effect “is the government really that out of touch?” (It was)

I cannot find the citation, but will continue looking for it.

In his famous letter to Madison, he hopes for pardon of the rebels, and justifies their rebellion as a good thing in his new republic, refreshing the tree of liberty.

In a letter to Abigail Adams, who was much more elitist than Jefferson, he said “the resistance to government is so valuable on certain occasions, that I wish it to always be kept alive. It will often be exercised when wrong,but better so than not to be exercised at all. I like a little rebellion now and then. It is like a storm in the atmosphere. Abigail described them as “ignorant, restless, desperadoes, without conscience or principles.”

I think Shay’s rebellion was absolutely justified. It pitted the haves and have-nots against each other. The usual suspects lost.

On racism,

Interesting, but that’s not what I have read. He didn’t ensure that his slaves went free on his death and treated them very well while they were alive? He didn’t father children with one of his slaves? Seems like he liked them a lot to me…

That bit left me a bit dumbfounded.

With regard to Jefferson liking his slaves a lot(forgoing the obvious incongruity of that statement),and without getting into the sexual servitude of Sally Hemmings:

http://books.google.com/books?id=ZdK4weTixusC&pg=PA191&lpg=PA191&dq=Jefferson+on+inferiority+of+blacks&source=bl&ots=jAVDawcXfP&sig=QKgdto-AVVcyX5zrHiEgSUEYGYY&hl=en&ei=076fSouZKaaxmAeU7tXdDQ&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=5#v=onepage&q=Jefferson%20on%20inferiority%20of%20blacks&f=false

Posted by: gergle at September 3, 2009 9:13 AM
Comment #287476

Interesting that you would support Shay’s, to be honest, because that was MINOR compared to the screwing we are getting today…

Oh, you forget to mention that it was this event that caused the writer’s of the constitution to ensure that the people had GREATER individual liberties at the hands of the majority…

Shays’ Rebellion stemmed from the fear that a private liberty, such as the secure enjoyment of property rights, could be threatened by public liberty - unrestrained power in the hands of the people. James Madison addressed this concept by stating that “Liberty may be endangered by the abuses of liberty as well as the abuses of power.”

Then we hear today that a preacher in Florida was gunned down by undercover cops during a botched drug sting…

Yeah… so much better today now that we ignore the constitution when it suits our needs, isn’t it? And there wasn’t even a constitution then…

Posted by: Rhinehold at September 3, 2009 11:11 PM
Comment #287480

Rhinehold:

I guess how big a screw is depends on who’s getting screwed. I suspect Shay’s folks might disagree with you. I would.

I should say that I understand Shay’s rebellion and agree with Jefferson on pardons (which was largely done), I’m not really a fan of anarchy or the French revolution. There should have been a federal response investigating the court system and Boston’s political machine. That would have quelled the uprising. Washington and the other founders were lied to about the roots of the rebellion. It was a completely unresponsive government dominated by special interests in Boston that created the rebellion. The completely repugnant politicians were promptly turned out in the next election and reforms were made.

Yeah, much greater liberty, the Sedition act from Adams and a standing army down the line.

So now you are arguing that a mistake by police violates the Constitution? I missed the mistake clause :). I guess one could see Washington’s army as a misguided federal overreaction, much as a botched drug raid.

Great facts, just a bit odd in their application.

We clearly don’t agree on these issues, or the realities of Jefferson, but it always interesting to see your take on things. Thanks.

Posted by: gergle at September 4, 2009 12:50 AM
Comment #287481
So now you are arguing that a mistake by police violates the Constitution?

Mistake? No, the clear violation of the federal government into ruling our lives that results in thousands of innocent people dying each year? Yeah.

We needed an amendment just to have the power to stop people from selling liquor (they were still allowed to make it themselves for personal use), but for marijuana, we use a bad Supreme Court ruling about wheat when FDR was highly politicizing the court as a pretense to forcibly (with guns and death of the guilty AND innocent bystanders) prevent people from smoking a joint…

But, it’s ok, the constitution is living…

Posted by: Rhinehold at September 4, 2009 12:55 AM
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