Democrats & Liberals Archives

Unclear on the Concept

Mr. Carson, if you are ever elected President, This won’t be your job.

It's amazing, given all the noise Republicans and Conservatives these days make about the Constitution just how little of their claimed superior comprehension of the charter actually makes itself known.

I mean, really, is it's quite simple in the above example: It shouldn't be Carson's business how far to the left those Professors are. He says it's all about fighting political correctness. Is that his job? The Constitution says no. A President executes the laws, and Congress can't write laws that get in the way of what people say. So, it's just not his job, nor should it be.

Republicans think it's their job to keep porn out of the hands of the American people. No, it's not. Unless that porn involves minors, non-consenting individuals, or something else that goes beyond the pale, there's no reason for it. They think it's their job to push religion on people. Well, no, it isn't. The Framers decided we would neither have a state church, nor allow government the power to use the state against any church. Destroy the Democratic Party, defeat liberals once and for all, etc.? No, no, and no.

It is not the Republican Party's job to police what we think, to police the moral questions which, thanks to the Constitution, are out of its hands.

Unfortunately, what has the Republican Party been promising people?

To impose a religious point of view. To impose a political point of view. To clear society of various undesirables. They tell you they're going to stamp out liberalism, that they're going to get what they want out of this government, and if they don't win that election, then maybe they're just going to go ahead and take what they want by force of arms (second amendment remedies.) I've heard Republicans talk about secession, a deeply ironic thing for Republicans to be talking about even if they're not trying to hold Jim Crow and Slavery against the Democrats at the same time they revive the Dixiecrat's old terms. Hell, you even have major candidates talking about putting people into forced labor. Given how much the GOP was built on the abolition of slavery, this just shows how badly that the party has been gutted on an intellectual level.

For people who claim to be the standard-bearers for the Constitution, they have a real problem comprehending what it says.

The Constitution says, society is going to decide for itself what it thinks. You can try to influence that, but influence alone is what you're allowed. This government isn't allowed to ban political parties, abolish any kind of assembly in a law-abiding fashion.

The Constitution says, you can have twenty Gods or none, be a Muslim, a Jew, or a non-traditional Christian, and you don't have to answer to anybody you don't want to on the matter. Your faith is a free, private decision, and the government is out of the business of punishing you for it.

The Constitution says that if one guy gets treated a certain way under the law, then the next guy has to be treated the same, unless there is a good and necessary reason why it should be otherwise.

The Constitution doesn't mention bias, real or perceived, when it comes to the press. It says that Government is out of the prior restraint business on the Press. There is no government censor in our newspaper rooms or in the offices of all those blogs and news-sites to decree what can be published or not published.

The Constitution tells us that the government must give us due process before it takes away any rights, before it punishes us, that we can't simply be punished by the whim of the state, convicted by decision of an unaccountable tribunal.

It does so many other things that I think many conservatives are hardly aware of, and often running afoul of. They have their own insular idea of what the Constitution says, and I'll bet you 80 percent of what they talk about when they talk about the Constitution is guns. They miss a whole panorama of protective rights and freedoms that are often ten times more critical to keeping the government off our backs, to keeping our government in check, than just the fact that some of us are armed.

This is not a society designed around the idea of one group of homogenous people just agreeing on everything, and the rest of us having to live with their decisions, their line on what government can and should be. This is a society designed around a heterogeneous population, divided up into many state and local governments. This is a society designed around working around differences that honestly we shouldn't be expecting to suddenly resolve themselves any time soon.

They looked at the budget agreement recently reached, and declared it to be a capitulation. Thing is, it was going to be very unlikely that Democrats could be simply bullied into giving in on so many issues, and nobody wanted the fiasco of an election year economic failure or government shutdown. The system worked like it is supposed to.

That's the thing: half the time when you see somebody stop short on some political position and give ground, the main reason it happens is that the system gives them little other choice. You look at Gay Marriage and all that, and it came down to simple question of whether there was an objective justification the government could constitutionally apply to write and carry out the laws differently for one set of people than another.

They couldn't find that justification. Remember, the government's not allowed to simply favor one religion over another, so it couldn't accept religious reasoning for discriminating against LGBT individuals. It had to be something real and demonstrable, and the courts simply couldn't find it.

Same thing with the Arizona decision. Like the Obama immigration policy or hate it, the Constitution clearly gives the Federal government priority on that kind of policy, as one of Congress' enumerated powers, and where such powers are applied, the Supremacy clause makes it plain that the Federal level trumps the state's.

Many folks reacted badly to both rulings, but they really shouldn't have expected differently, unless the court was badly misreading the Constitution.

It doesn't always come up roses for the Democrats, or for the Republicans. The system the framers set up is not meant to flatter partisans, it's meant to break down their ability to permanently impose their government on people, regardless of how well their policies work out, or how much support the population has for what they try to push.

If a year doesn't go by and the courts, congress, or executive branch don't do something you disagree with, you're probably living under a rock. There will always be categories of people you disagree with at the broad stroke, and they disagree with you. The value of our system is that it says to both that they can't simply purge the others from the system, with all of the conflict, strife, and unintended consequences that come of that.

You look through history, and you find all kinds of situations where people got the wish that Ben Carson expressed, where folks more or less used the power of government to permanently disadvantage everybody else. Things almost never end well in those situations.

The Constitution was meant to keep peace, and it's done so to an extraordinary degree. It lets those who have run out of ideas have a more graceful exit from power, lets people reconsider if those who have the new ideas aren't doing much better. It allows academia to ask the questions that lead to better answers, and allows people to ignore what academia says when the folks there are full of it. And, if they're not really full of it, it lets us stop ignoring them, and start writing the policy to suit. We are not immune in this system from going astray from what's right and good, we are just less hindered from trying our best as imperfect human beings to return to the graces of good government.

It's not about small government, nor is it just about limited government. It's about good government, responsive government, even if there are significant numbers of people who don't think the government needs to change. It's about not waiting for agreement to be perfect before we govern. It's about governing for the real world, governing with a mind to keeping America a functioning whole, rather than turning it into a playground for one party's ambitions or another.

You can follow the rhetoric of all too many of the Republican (and even some of the Democratic) party politicians, and keep on thinking that this system is built to flatter your sensibilities because some pundit or propagandist says so, or you can spare yourself the grief and the disappointment, and set your expectations for what the government can do for you in our system realistically. Don't expect Government to save the culture from itself, or to put people in the pews of your favorite church. Don't expect it to dictate your agenda to people and push back against them when they dissent from it. Expect competition. Expect that if your people don't have an overwhelming majority, that you'll have to make deals. Expect court decisions that you won't agree with, but which still are legitimate and well reasoned. Expect that this system will demand that you talk out your differences with others, rather than let you win some awesome pitched battle with the forces of evil.

I can understand the appeal of the latter, which is why I like to write them. But I get to arrange the world of the story so the outcome is actually some sort of triumph, and the bad guys really are the bad guys who everybody who's good and sane believes should lose. Can't really root for Orcs, zombies, and monsters unless somebody's being cute about the universe and playing it for comedy. But that's entertainment. In the real world, everybody thinks they're the good guy, and everybody would like to have an all out win. Ah, but if we did, the likelihood would be that we would get things wrong, and that our policies wouldn't all worked out like plan.

If you want unequivocal fights between good and evil, you will find most of those in the movie theatres and the bookstores. If you want to deal with the real world, you deal with it like the Constitution does, by leaving much of the way people live their lives up to them, and making the rest the subject of negotiation and free debate. Ben Carson here has made the mistake of believing that he can define, all by himself, what is right, what is good, and what is correct. The truth is, we don't need his help, and the Constitution thankfully outlaws him from giving it.

Posted by Stephen Daugherty at October 25, 2015 12:49 PM
Comment #400075
Unfortunately, what has the Republican Party been promising people?

Liberty. Liberty and Freedom, that is what the conservatives have been promising. So when you consider what the words liberty and freedom mean to conservative leaders, and you can see by your examples Stephen, they mean taking away the rights of others for their own personal gain. Liberty has taken on a new meaning and movement followers just cannot grasp what this means to them.

Posted by: j2t2 at October 29, 2015 1:33 PM
Comment #400077

Daugherty wrote; “Ben Carson here has made the mistake of believing that he can define, all by himself, what is right, what is good, and what is correct.”

Quote from Carson in Daugherty’s link: “We shouldn’t give away our values for the sake of political correctness.”

Posted by: Royal Flush at October 29, 2015 2:10 PM
Comment #400078

How is it governments business to control how far left public school teachers teach, and what public radio hosts talk about, but not its business when it comes to what ‘Professors’ teach?
Are you seriously claiming that it is ok to use government to mandate and monitor the ‘teaching’ of leftist theology, but it is wrong to use government to question it?

Funny how you use hyperbole and your own selective editing and reinterpretation of the Constitution to make your points, Stephen.

Disagreeing with your opinion doesn’t mean someone is imposing a religious point of view on you. Voting against giving you something, is not imposing a political point of view onto you.
People on the right aren’t fighting to “take what they want,” they are fighting to keep what they already have.

As usual, when it comes to those on the right, you are wrong. Especially when it comes to what ‘they’ talk about.
They discuss taxes, freedom of religion and choice, personal responsibility, the right to privacy, government over reach etc… And yes, GASP!!! the 2nd Amendment.

It’s funny. Here you are trying to insult the intelligence of people who have actually looked at the Constitution, many who can cite at least parts of it, but yet you say nothing about your voters who think they have tell us what the Constitution “really” means, or that they have some right to a free phone, free healthcare, or to not be offended.

“Ben Carson here has made the mistake of believing that he can define, all by himself, what is right, what is good, and what is correct.”

I’m quite sure Mr. Carson understands that he cannot do that “all by himself.”
But if he does, it sure does explain why he attacks people who don’t support gay marriage, abortion or the redistribution of wealth, doesn’t it.

Posted by: kctim at October 29, 2015 2:19 PM
Comment #400079

“Liberty has taken on a new meaning and movement followers just cannot grasp what this means to them.”

So the “followers” who go around quoting the movement that defined liberty in order to create this country, don’t understand the meaning of the word? LOL!!!

It’s more like that the left is trying to redefine liberty and we ‘movement followers’ know exactly what destruction that means to the country.

Your rights aren’t being taken away simply because government won’t give you something or treat you special.

Posted by: kctim at October 29, 2015 2:50 PM
Comment #400080

Seems it’s not just the “liberal media” that takes umbrage with Dr. Carson’s lies. Here’s a take from a well known right wing venue, National Review.

Posted by: Speak4all at October 29, 2015 2:52 PM
Comment #400083

Did you read the entire article you linked to, Speak4all?

Carson said he used the product. He also said the company used his likeness without his permission. That’s probably why they took down the pictures!

As far as using the product, have you used dish soap? Are you endorsing the brand you use because you use it?

I use dish soap. I think it’s a wonderful invention. It makes the actual task of washing dishes much easier. Does that mean I endorse Procter & Gamble?

Your’s and j2t2’s comments shows a hypocrisy that borders on offensive. You and j2t2 should apologize for your comments. j2t2 puts words into the mouths of conservatives and claims conservatives abide by his lies. You’re manufacturing “umbrage” to vent your own dis-functional views of society.

Neither one of you have a valid claim to knowing what conservatives think because all you’re doing is regurgitating what liberals have been thinking and doing and saying all along.

Posted by: Weary Willie at October 29, 2015 5:55 PM
Comment #400087


From S4A’s link:

Williams (and presumably Carson) contend that Carson never endorsed Mannatech’s products, even though he appeared in company videos saying things like, “The wonderful thing about a company like Mannatech is that they recognize that when God made us, He gave us the right fuel.” That’s a semantic argument about what constitutes an endorsement.

You might use P&G dish soap, but you don’t sit down in front a camera and say “The wonderful thing about a company like P&G is that they recognize that when God made us, He gave us the right dish soap”. And you certainly don’t get paid by P&G to give speeches.

Posted by: Warren Porter at October 29, 2015 6:12 PM
Comment #400088

Everything Stephen Daugherty says in his article is standard operating procedure for the Democratic Party, but he attributes it all to conservatives.

Posted by: Weary Willie at October 29, 2015 6:16 PM
Comment #400099

Dr. Carson is the Fred Thompson of the current Republican campaign. By this time next year or sooner, he will be hawking reverse mortgages or some dietary supplement called Heaven’s Own Nutrients made by Christians for Christians and not for Muslims ever, never, ever unless they have the $179.99 to pony up for the worthless product.

Posted by: Speak4all at October 30, 2015 9:41 AM
Comment #400105

Speaks, your comment about Fred Thompson makes me wonder what presidential nominee Michael Dukakis is doing these days.

Posted by: Royal Flush at October 30, 2015 2:08 PM
Comment #400107

Don’t know and don’t care. I am concerned with looking at today’s candidates, my reference to Thompson was meant to point out the grifting nature of some of the candidates. Bob Dole and Pespi with references to viagra come to mind also. Hey it’s the American way, I’m not knocking it. Make a buck when you can where you can. But don’t expect me to take these types of candidates seriously. I have no problem with politicians attempting to appeal to their constituents. I think President Obama has done a great job with that along with his wife Michelle. It’s just when you have someone who denies doing so after knowingly doing it, the hypocrisy is just to evident to ignore.

Posted by: Speak4all at October 30, 2015 2:23 PM
Comment #400141

For the curious, Duke is working hard to keep Boston’s streets clean:

I never quite understood why he didn’t win in 1988. I know about Willie Horton and the myopic photo with the tank, but seriously, were people really that shallow back then? Massachusetts’ Miracle is still going strong 2 decades later as the commonwealth leads the nation as the hub of education, biotechnology, etc. He always was a real everyman. He was the guy who eschewed the state police motorcade and commuted to Beacon Hill on the T. And he was always really passionate for the causes he believed in. What went wrong?

Does anyone here regret their 1988 vote?

Posted by: Warren Porter at October 30, 2015 5:37 PM
Comment #400149

Pure sophistry, Warren Porter. Do you really think a leader would is born picking up trash on a street corner?

Shouldn’t the person throwing the garbage on the ground be doing that?

Do you really think the American Dream is to pick up other folk’s trash?

What went wrong?

He, and people like him, started to think they could pay the masses to follow him.

Are you really trying to support a Dukakis presidency? Har de har har.

Posted by: Weary Willie at October 31, 2015 12:04 AM
Comment #400154

More than just litter, Dukakis has been picking up trash his whole life. Dukakis took the reins from a conservative predecessor who had left the commonwealth in tatters with his misguided policies. Dukakis made Massachusetts a shining beacon upon the hill once again.

Posted by: Warren Porter at October 31, 2015 1:53 AM
Comment #400187

Royal Flush-
He proposes putting soviet-style snitches in the middle of classes, with funding potentially to be cut if he doesn’t like what they’re teaching. One thing to keep in mind is that students can and will decide not to take what professors teach them at face value. They have choice. Ben Carson would deliberately create a chilling effect in terms of what professors teach, limiting academic freedom.

That’s what you’re for, isn’t it? You don’t care for them to be preaching what you don’t agree with, so you’ll use the government to hamstring them. That’s your values.

My values are that we have freedom precisely so we can yell at the top of our lungs what we believe, and the guy over there can do the same, and people can choose, who, if anybody, to actually listen to. Of course, that freedom doesn’t keep us from suffering the effects of any controversial or obnoxious thing that we might say, or any private agreements we might be breaking by saying what we do, but that’s another issue.


How is it governments business to control how far left public school teachers teach, and what public radio hosts talk about, but not its business when it comes to what ‘Professors’ teach?
Are you seriously claiming that it is ok to use government to mandate and monitor the ‘teaching’ of leftist theology, but it is wrong to use government to question it?

First, I don’t believe in pre-programming kids with any particular ideology. I think that kids need to be taught literacy, STEM subjects, and an honest history of this country, not whitewashing that we had to grow out of some pretty profound prejudices on all sides, and that our ancestors did terrible and wrong things sometimes. They need to be taught about our constitutional system, and how that works to protect them and shape their lives.

I don’t believe it’s the government’s business telling private radio show hosts what they can say. But if they use public airwaves to do it, airwaves station owners have been given in trust by the public, then the public should have a chance to respond to what those people say. Use a public resource, you got to do right by the public you’re taking it from.

Funny how you use hyperbole and your own selective editing and reinterpretation of the Constitution to make your points, Stephen

You say that. Prove it. Don’t simply throw BS accusations like that out without an argument to back it.

I’m actually much less selective about the Constitution than many of your people are. I believe that we have to square the need for security with the need for liberty. I believe that simply giving lip service to equal protection under the law, civil liberties, while we operate in practical violation of those freedoms in real terms is unacceptable. I believe if, on average, you shoot the black guy for doing something, but not the white guy for doing the same thing, you have a bias you need to correct, one way or another.

I believe that Congress shouldn’t be using its power over finance in this country to hold hostage America’s credit rating. I think governmental responsibilities overrule political priorities. I believe district lines should be sorted out in an honest, non-partisan way, so that the chips fall truly where they may with Congress, and the People’s chamber actually represents the people as they are, not as the GOP or even Democratic Party want it sorted for their political advancement.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at November 1, 2015 11:34 AM
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