Democrats & Liberals Archives

Both your President and your Precedent

Look, Mitch, I know you hate it, and quite frankly, you should. But you know what? You set these rules yourself. You set this precedent yourself. Why let you set one standard for Democrats, and another for Republicans?

Children can be very selfish creatures, as can teenagers. We learn to grow out of things, we are taught to share, taught to at least compete fairly by rules, if not everybody can have an equal share or an equal opportunity for something.

Politics has a way of making adults behave like children. Many political success stories, especially recent ones, are built on indulging childish notions and encouraging simplistic solutions to complicated problems.

Yes, that is an implicit shot at Donald Trump. Well, explicit now.

But Trump is not an isolated anomaly. He is part of the greater GOP pattern of insisting on power concentrated in Republican hands.

This whole sorry, shameful situation with Merrick Garland is an all too malignant example. Normally, I would be quite content to say to my fellow Democrats that they should be the better folks on this... but I've had the crap beat out of my sense of idealism. It's not much use to play a noble game of being the better men and women, when the other side has decided to destroy precedent and tradition as it fits them.

If we are to restore civility, it can't just be through positive example. A little pain must be involved. Republicans must be made to feel every bit of the frustration and anger we've felt. Republicans must suffer in their ability to move policy the way they made Democrats suffer. A lesson must be taught, so that Republicans are motivated to restore civility, or else throw off all pretense, and act in fully, hypocritical splendor, destroying procedural blocks to their will.

I invite Republicans, if they are so inclined, to destroy the filibuster, to make the Supreme Court Justice pick a purely up or down vote, to bypass committees if they are blocked, to remove cloture votes as a mechanism for holding back the majority. Why do I invite them to do this? Because I know one day that my party will wield the power they take for themselves. That is what they don't realize, in their shortsighted partisanship. Nothing last forever. They are playing a game that does not end well for them, either way.

Republicans also end up buying full, visible stock in the company they've decided to keep. The appointees they've pushed past these blocks are truly theirs. They've fought for them. They had a chance to keep these people out of the positions in question , to hold them accountable. But no. They want power, regardless of what kind of corruption they invite into their ranks with it.

There is a price to be paid for getting what you want the wrong way. I believe that for the crime of the theft of a Supreme Court Seat, every Supreme Court pick a Republican makes should be subject to the McConnell rule: no consideration until after the end of the current President's term. If he doesn't like that... well, he shouldn't have done unto others what he did not want done unto him.

Is that a stupid rule, borderline unconstitutional? Of course it is! And it's the rule the Republicans in the Senate followed! They could have just as easily passed him through and voted him down, asked for somebody more conservative. But then they'd actually have to have gone on the record, explained what they did, and why. They'd have to have explained what made him a unanimous choice for the Federal Bench and not the Supreme Court. Instead, they took not only the coward's way out, but also an anti-constitutionalists way out.

That won't be what we're doing. What we'll be doing is making sure Republicans understand just how awful and hypocritical their position is, and that it will cost them as it rewarded them. Perhaps then, we can appeal to their objectivist sense of weighing costs and benefits, rather than foolishly, stupidly trying to appeal to civility, good will, and good faith they no longer demonstrate.

There is an alternative, of course. We can get together, mend fences, and decided to recreate the old system in some fashion. We should be resigned to the fact that we won't get a liberal under a Republican or a conservative under a Democrat. Go for moderates on either side, and if one guy doesn't work, put another guy up. Don't simply block people from consideration. use procedural obstructions as a last resort.

But it can't be simply Democrats playing this game. There's no wisdom in being the only person to disarm in a firefight unless you want to be the other side's prisoner, and I have no such intention.

Posted by Stephen Daugherty at February 2, 2017 2:19 PM
Comments
Comment #412838

Many thanks to Mr. Daugherty for clearly displaying the political philosophy that is keeping the extreme Left from winning local, state and national elections.

Posted by: Royal Flush at February 2, 2017 3:11 PM
Comment #412848

Mr. Daugherty and other blind followers of neo-liberalsim fail the political intelligence test of how to win elections.

“Right now the youthful, multiethnic, educated Democratic base coalition is too agitated to understand it needs to grow its party’s support and not marginalize itself with some sort of ideological purity test.”

http://nypost.com/2017/02/01/grassroots-rage-and-the-democrats-crackup/

Posted by: Royal Flush at February 2, 2017 4:48 PM
Comment #412853

Stephen, It was the Biden rule that cost you a SCOTUS seat. It’s funny how Democrats can change the rules but when it comes back and bites them in the A** when Republicans have control you guys cry foul!!

Posted by: Rich KAPitan at February 2, 2017 5:43 PM
Comment #412855

kctim, thanks for the link to a great story. Hypocrisy reigns among our Leftie Pals.

Posted by: Royal Flush at February 2, 2017 5:52 PM
Comment #412859

I ask my Conservative and Republican Pals to welcome, without derision, any and all of those who are finding the Democrat Party too uncomfortable for members advocating moderation.

Posted by: Royal Flush at February 2, 2017 7:23 PM
Comment #412862

RF,

Is anyone on the Left saying that Republicans should sit idle while Democrats filibuster Gorsuch?

Posted by: Warren Porter at February 2, 2017 8:40 PM
Comment #412864

Royal Flush-
Look, you made this decision to keep this Supreme Court seat for yourselves. Let me ask you a question: do you think the reason this wasn’t done before was just that nobody was as politically brilliant as you magnificent ladies and gentlemen, that there was just too much lead in their systems for them to realize the genius in it…

Or did these guys have enough experience in the real world, out of the political ivory towers to realize that when you pull crap like that, It ticks people off something awful, and they decide that since you’ve decided this is fair play, that turnabout is fair play.

I don’t have your short memory. I can remember the Republicans pitching an unholy fit about Democrats preventing five of Bush’s federal judges from getting confirmed. for that, they threatened the Nuclear option.

We pressed the button on that option after you held back HUNDREDS OF APPOINTMENTS. You broke that tradition, abused it to prevent Obama from leaving a legacy. I don’t care why you think that was justified, because let’s face it, there’s plenty of reasons to justify doing just about anything. I care why you think that, having set the precedent that a person can, for ideological reasons, wholesale block the President’s agenda and his appointments, and, having wholesale blocked a Supreme Court candidate, you think you’re somehow privileged from having that principle applied to you, the Democrats taking their equally profound beliefs in their ideology, and opposing your people on that ground. Now we gave away some of that. Well, s*** happens. We’ll live with it, because we can turn around when our guy becomes President and make our own appointments. You also have to live with whoever you put into those positions of power, so you’re still held accountable.

But here? You really, really didn’t think things through. You didn’t ask yourself, would I tolerate this being done to me, and then say, if I wouldn’t tolerate it, why would I hand my enemies that precedent?

Why did you hand us that Precedent? Why did you put your ideology above the function of that branch? Why did Mitch McConnell Call stealing that appointment from Obama one of the proudest moments of his life?

I advocate moderation. For the most part, I believe that means, you let the evidence tell you what works, not just your own political logic. For the most part, that comes with encouraging cooperation, bipartisanship.

But sometimes, when you’ve got people who are stuck on being extremists, stuck on being belligerent, callous, and disrespectful, good manners and civility are lost on them. Sometimes, moderation means that you’ve got to show people that there is a price for behavior outside the norms, that if you take one of our appointees, we’ll take one of yours. If you can hold a Supreme Court appointment hostage to force your extremism onto the court, we can sure as hell hold it hostage to keep that extremism off the court, and to discourage this moronic, sociopathic behavior from ever being repeated.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at February 2, 2017 10:17 PM
Comment #412865

Or put another way, if you guys are going to act like Al Capone and the Gangsters, we’re going to be like Elliot Ness and the Untouchables. They pull a knife, you pull a gun. They put one of your men in the hospital, you put one of them in the morgue. Metaphorically speaking. Ironically, that’s the Chicago way.

So, to put it bluntly, people like me have decided that since you deprived us of a final-year appointment, that you’re going to have to chose a more moderate Republican, or you’re going to have to break the Supreme Court Filibuster, which means the next time a justice dies or retires on the court, and a Democrat is in power, we can go as liberal as our numbers in the Senate will allow.

If you want to wrestle in the mud, and try and drown our political power in it, you got no reason to be surprised when we turn around and push your face down in the muck, too. Those are the hazards of playing dirty.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at February 2, 2017 10:24 PM
Comment #412866

Stephen, Again Republicans used the rule that V.P. Biden used as a Senator. No SCOTUS confirmations during the last year of a Presidency. Now you get your panties all in a twist because they used the Biden rule on Obama. Remember Stephen, Elections have consequences, you make rule to favor your side they may come back to bite you in the A** when the power shifts.

Posted by: Rich KAPitan at February 2, 2017 10:29 PM
Comment #412867

Stephen, Again Republicans used the rule that V.P. Biden used as a Senator. No SCOTUS confirmations during the last year of a Presidency. Now you get your panties all in a twist because they used the Biden rule on Obama. Remember Stephen, Elections have consequences, you make rule to favor your side they may come back to bite you in the A** when the power shifts.

Posted by: Rich KAPitan at February 2, 2017 10:29 PM
Comment #412868

Stephen, Again Republicans used the rule that V.P. Biden used as a Senator. No SCOTUS confirmations during the last year of a Presidency. Now you get your panties all in a twist because they used the Biden rule on Obama. Remember Stephen, Elections have consequences, you make rule to favor your side they may come back to bite you in the A** when the power shifts.

Posted by: Rich KAPitan at February 2, 2017 10:30 PM
Comment #412874

Stephen,

I don’t think it’s the Republicans that are having a problem with how this all works.
For a good while now liberals have been taking their profound beliefs in their ideology and opposing everybody and everything, on that ground. You justifying it by blaming others for not doing their job, or claiming it was ok because you think you know what is in the best interest of everybody else, means little.

Fact is, what you are threatening and warning about, is nothing new. Those of us on the right already expect you to keep behaving this way.

Posted by: kctim at February 3, 2017 9:15 AM
Comment #412875

KAP,

Can you tell me when exactly Senator Biden used this “rule” to block a President’s Supreme Court nominee?

Posted by: Warren Porter at February 3, 2017 9:19 AM
Comment #412876

Warped, 1992

Posted by: Rich KAPitan at February 3, 2017 10:19 AM
Comment #412877

Warped, It actually was a proposal given in 1992 by Biden during GHWB’s last year when it was possible he would get a pick in the last year of his admin.

Posted by: Rich KAPitan at February 3, 2017 10:39 AM
Comment #412878

Once again conservatives twist the “Biden rule” for political gain.

What we now know is there is no time limit on SCOTUS picks. 5 years from now is jut as valid as today according to conservatives. The dems should fight the Trump nomination and let it “go nuclear” if necessary. This one and the next one.

Posted by: j2t2 at February 3, 2017 10:56 AM
Comment #412879

Rich Kapitan-
Biden’s rule didn’t go past election day.

I don’t even need to go further to defeat your argument, because right there, you fail the test.

Elections should have consequences. Democrats should be able to pass legislation, pass appointees, when they have the senate. They should be able to appoint Supreme Court justices throughout their term.

And when somebody quotes me back a 24 year old video of the future Vice President asking the President to put off any nomination until after election day, they better not hold up that nomination ONE MORE DAY THAN THAT! Because otherwise, they’re being deceptive. Otherwise, they’re escalating the partisanship they’re claiming as a defense for their own cynical machinations.

kctim-
Here, too, you also fail a logical test. If we were as recalcitrant as Republicans, then Republicans would have never succeeded in shattering the record for filibusters. You didn’t just exceed it, you almost doubled it.

I know the rationalizations. Don’t waste time repeating them. One I didn’t agree with them before, thought they were largely political BS, and two, we’ve got our very good reasons, too.

Everybody has their damn good reasons for taking their positions. But regardless of what we work ourselves into a lather to believe, we have to work and play well with others to get actual adult work done. Sometimes that doing what we often did, which is sign onto legislation that was far from our ideal to make sure the system kept working. Debt Ceiling and all that. We often had to do that, in order to help Republicans avoid the fate the nation would inflict on them if these necessary functions went unmanaged for so long. Why? Because there is this solid block of Tea Party Republicans, who, misunderstanding the original intentions of the framers, thought it was their job to hold the country hostage so that their minority point of view could take over.

You guys couldn’t even act like a majority, you’d become so divided and antisocial.

It’s lovely what kinds of things you all find to be priorities. Putting guns back in the hands of people who can’t even be trusted with their own finances. Letting the coal companies dump waste in streams again. Just what the Country needed to get it out of its rut, right?

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at February 3, 2017 11:08 AM
Comment #412880

KAP,

So, it was never actually “used” was it?

Posted by: Warren Porter at February 3, 2017 11:12 AM
Comment #412881

Warped and Stephen, The so called Biden rule may have never been used but like elections “Words have consequences” also. So if you don’t want you words to come back someday and bite you in the A** be careful of what you say. Democrats and Republicans both should be able to pass legislation and appointees. Stephen, with the way Democrats have been the last 8 years and now and with the violence your young people are causing do you really think that it is helping your cause? During Reid’s last 8 years he held up, once the house went back to Rep. control, over 300 pieces of legislation now you get your panties in a twist when your side gets a pick and it gets held up. BOO HOO BOO HOO Stephen.

Posted by: Rich KAPitan at February 3, 2017 11:28 AM
Comment #412882
“Words have consequences” also

Really? Since when do 24-year-old speeches upend 200 years of norms and precedent? Never mind the fact that Biden said that he preferred that George HW Bush’s hypothetical nominee be considered during the lame duck session after the election.

Posted by: Warren Porter at February 3, 2017 12:01 PM
Comment #412883

Rich KAPitan-
Oh, yes, words have consequences. So do LIES. Let me repeat: The Biden Rule, as formulated, doesn’t last a day beyond election day.

Also, the purpose stated wasn’t to wait until the next President was decided so he could be the one to choose, but to take the debate about the Supreme Court nominee OUT of the contentious election period, and have it worked out in the Lame Duck Period, when nobody had to posture anymore.

Young people like me… the vast majority of us are law-abiding citizens who take responsibility for our own lives. Those that break the law should take on the punishment. Those who didn’t shouldn’t be held suspect by sanctimonious pricks just looking for a reason to discount the next generation’s dissenting views.

You held up 80% of our legislation. By that standard, we should hold up 80% of yours. But naturally, you’ll complain. You’ll act like every petty escalation is justified, and then treat everybody else like a baby when they complain. Then you’ll turn around and have a temper tantrum when the other side reciprocates.

If you don’t agree with that situation, you’re in good company. But if you think you’re getting out of it at no cost… you’re deceiving yourself.

I could try and talk you out of that, but I think I’m going to let people like you endure a nice season of frustration, crushed hopes, and crushed dreams as nothing goes as planned. You ought to have considered that before you considered nothing else but your own ambitions and desires. You should have realized that it’s always healther to act as a brake to a movement with momentum than an obstacle. We will overwhelm your generation at some point. We can do that with less rage against the current system, against your status quo, or you can keep on pushing us, and risk losing it completely. When you take people’s stake in a system away, you also take their reason for preserving it as it is.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at February 3, 2017 12:09 PM
Comment #412884

Warped, Biden rule or not the Senate gave it’s “Advice and consent”, They Advised and didn’t consent to Obama’s SCOTUS pick.
Stephen, Neither you or any Republican has room to talk about LIES. Maybe people like you are the exception and don’t break laws and cause violence but YOU and PEOPLE like YOU should be in the forefront condemning the ones who are causing the problems for YOUR party. If YOU remain silent about their actions then YOU to are part of the problem. I have seen both Republican and Democrats alike speaking out on how the President rolled out his EO on the travel ban from the 7 countries that is how it is supposed to work not with the violence that some of YOUR young people are causing.

Posted by: Rich KAPitan at February 3, 2017 12:42 PM
Comment #412885

Individual senators may have given advice and consent, but as a body, the Senate never did. The Constitution requires the Senate to do so, not senators.

Posted by: phx8 at February 3, 2017 12:48 PM
Comment #412886

phx8, He would have never made it out of committee.

Posted by: Rich KAPitan at February 3, 2017 12:54 PM
Comment #412887

Rich KAPitan
You lost the 2012 election, and then decided that elections didn’t have consequences, and you’d take Obama’s last pick from him. You could have easily said no, but instead, you just did nothing. You left him hanging on his first choice, so no advice to advise him with. You didn’t even bother to get to the consent part, to say yay or nay. YOU SIMPLY DIDN’T DO YOUR JOB!

And why? Because you wanted to cheat. You wanted to keep the court Conservative, even though the choice came during Obama’s term. That shows CONTEMPT for the spirit of the law, a cynicism that violates the cooperation that the framer’s intended.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at February 3, 2017 1:11 PM
Comment #412888

Stephen, Why don’t you stop and smell the BULLS**T you are spreading. If the shoe was on the other foot, you would do the same and don’t give me the BULLS**T you wouldn’t. IT’s POLITICS Stephen, POLITICS. You screw them before they can screw you.

Posted by: Rich KAPitan at February 3, 2017 1:28 PM
Comment #412889

KAP,

Thank you for your honesty in admitting that the whole “Biden rule” routine was a total farce. McConnell & friends completely railroaded centuries of precedent in the interest of playing politics.

They Advised and didn’t consent to Obama’s SCOTUS pick.

Wouldn’t it be necessary to hold a vote in order to determine whether or not the Senate withheld its consent? It’s a bit confusing because Republican Senators are on the record saying that Merrick Garland was qualified for the job and would be a good choice for the Supreme Court. It sounds like a majority of Senators would’ve consented if only they were given the chance.

Posted by: Warren Porter at February 3, 2017 1:32 PM
Comment #412890

Rich KAPitan-
So, finally we come to the crux of the matter. You know, the old way of doing things was built around, “let’s not screw ourselves, trying to screw each other.” They knew pulling this BS would end in this kind of retaliation. This is a deliberative body. This is a body that depends on consensus, depends on agreement, yet you want to treat the rest of us like doormats.

Drop the entitlement. Face facts: you won’t get what you want in total. System’s not designed to make that easy. Rather it’s built to force even the majority to have to consider other’s opinions and needs.

You want something, you’re going to have to do more than rage around waving a baseball bat, raving about how unfair it is that people aren’t showing you love for all the beating you’re giving them.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at February 3, 2017 1:38 PM
Comment #412891

Warped, With Reid and the way he played games in the Senate, I guess McConnell wanted to have a little payback. Like I told Stephen, It’s politics, You screw them before they screw you. Until “We the people” send a message to D.C. to quit with the Bulls**t that’s all we will have is bulls**t.

Posted by: Rich KAPitan at February 3, 2017 1:46 PM
Comment #412892

Stephen, Until “We the people” send a message to D.C. to quit with the bulks**t that’s all we will have is bulls**t.

Posted by: Rich KAPitan at February 3, 2017 1:49 PM
Comment #412893

Rich Kapitan-
Oh, quit excusing it as payback. He’s done it too long, in too many ways, and broke too many precedents to do it. It’s not a little payback.

I can back this up by citing multiple occasions on which McConnell admitted that he was using these tactics as a way to keep Obama from having the kinds of successes that might get him re-elected. He’s just an obstructionist, and that’s that. He’s not an avenger of Democratic wrongs. He’s a cynical old bastard who didn’t want to have to earn people’s votes the hard way, by doing something productive.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at February 3, 2017 2:13 PM
Comment #412894

I find it interesting how people react to political events. A google search failed to give me a single link to riots by Republicans following Mr. Obama’s election in 2008.

Since Mr. Trump’s election we have seen numerous riots by Democrat supporters.

Can any of my Leftie Pals help explain this phenomenon?

The anti-free speech riot at UC Berkeley is a good recent example.

Again, I invite Democrats to leave the party that fosters such UN-American tactics and join Republicans and Conservatives to peacefully further the ideals of freedom and liberty.

Posted by: Royal Flush at February 3, 2017 2:48 PM
Comment #412895

So, should people vent their frustration by emptying a 30 round magazine into a Congresswoman and innocent bystanders as Jared Loughner did six years ago? According to Republicans in the House, that behavior seems okay given that they just voted to permit the mentally ill to buy firearms.

Posted by: Warren Porter at February 3, 2017 2:58 PM
Comment #412896

OK Warren. Enjoy the company you have chosen to associate with; anti-free speech, rioters, fire starters and thugs beating up the innocent.

Posted by: Royal Flush at February 3, 2017 3:14 PM
Comment #412899

RF,

I’m not quite sure where you get that idea. Perhaps your mental faculties fail you? No one on the Left freely associates with such illiberalism.

Posted by: Warren Porter at February 3, 2017 3:29 PM
Comment #412900

Warren, when you and others in your party justify anti-free speech, rioting, fire-burning and thuggery, you become associated.

Posted by: Royal Flush at February 3, 2017 3:33 PM
Comment #412902

Have elected officials endorsed the illiberal behavior at Berkeley?

Posted by: Warren Porter at February 3, 2017 3:47 PM
Comment #412903

Read carefully Warren, I wrote; “you and others in your party”.

I have read many comments by those claiming to be Democrats declaring support for the violence on our streets and in our universities.

Posted by: Royal Flush at February 3, 2017 3:54 PM
Comment #412906

Stephen, Quit with the BULLS**T Democrats are just as bad as Republicans when it comes to obstruction.

Posted by: Rich KAPitan at February 3, 2017 4:16 PM
Comment #412909

Royal Flush-
If even one shop, one car gets vandalize, you people declare it a riot. Watts and Rodney King Riots look at that and go, “b****, pls”

Seriously, that seems to be your common tactic. If I were to learn about some cointelpro type BS, I wouldn’t be surprised. That’s not to say that there aren’t real vandals and riots out there, I just think it’s a kneejerk reaction to just broad brush any protest away, just become some idiots or some criminals decided to get up to no good.

As for Free Speech?

Hmm. Milo and his followers probably earned the ire in the course of being racist, sexist bullies to people on a number of digital platforms, marginalizing and hounding many people off the platform. I’ve had some encounter with Alt-Righters on Twitter, and it was enough to make me take a rather significant break from the platform.

So, are you telling me he’s a free-speech martyr? Or would it be more accurate to call him a victim of his own intolerance, a person who has made himself into a pariah in certain quarters, by doing exactly what he objects to others doing on a digital platform.

You guys seem to like making any forum you can hostile to everybody else’s politics. You don’t mind doing that. You don’t mind Trump going and doing his level best to suppress climate science and climate research because he disbelieves their conclusions. You don’t mind your people censoring information that runs contrary to their ideology, or preventing scientists from publishing taxpayer-funded work that your sponsors in the oil industry object to.

So the college students at Berkeley object to Milo speaking there. Their decision. Personally, I think they should let him speak, first so that people can debate him, second, so that folks actually get a clear notion of what their enemy is like and what his arguments are, and third, because you can’t heckle a no-show.

But I respect their decision. I don’t respect breaking the law to do it, I don’t know how that better expresses the point than pushing the decision.

By the way, if I search, will I find absolutely no occasions on which Conservatives and conservative groups have pressured folks out of providing a platform for their views? I wonder. By your logic, by the sensitivity of your particular point, I would imagine that would make you enemies of free speech as well.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at February 3, 2017 4:39 PM
Comment #412910
I have read many comments by those claiming to be Democrats declaring support for the violence on our streets and in our universities.

Well, it’s incredibly foolish to take that to mean the Democratic Party associates with those people.

Posted by: Warren Porter at February 3, 2017 4:42 PM
Comment #412912

Rich KAPitan-
Equality is a logical condition that must be fulfilled by evidence. If you say they’re equally bad, then provide me with a case previous to this one where Democrats didn’t even allow a Supreme Court Nominee a hearing, much less a vote? Even BORK, who you folks hold up as a martyr, was given the courtesy of a hearing and an up or down vote.

Was Garland given an up or down vote? A hearing? No. There wasn’t even word of serious objections to him as a candidate. With no such rejection, Obama was never given the chance to produce a better candidate. No advice, much less consent or lack of the same offered.

By that logic alone, I can say you cannot equate the blocking of Bork, the most significant court blockage by Democrats, with the blockage of Merrick Garland. It’s also relevant because Democrats readily approved Reagan’s second choice, Anthony Kennedy, 97-0, early the next year. That is, 1988, an election year.

Between 2007 and 2014, an average of 124 cloture votes a year occurred. The two majority Congresses for the Democrat, 2007-2008, and 2009-2010 saw 112 cloture votes and 91 cloture votes respectively. This, compared to what? Let’s take the majority congresses of 1995-2006 as an example here. The average is 54. The max is 61.

Again, an inequality. Again, a flat defeat to your argument. the Maximum number of cloture votes came under the 2013-2014 Congress. Over 200, probably thanks to McConnell’s attempt to block all appointments made by the President. There’s a gradient here, a clear contrast. If you’re claiming equality, you’re claiming it on Bowling Green, alternative factual grounds.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at February 3, 2017 5:06 PM
Comment #412913

Before you ask…

^^^
My source on the Senate Cloture votes.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at February 3, 2017 5:08 PM
Comment #412914

Daugherty has often written that “his” young people will be our policymakers tomorrow.

Reported by Just Facts, in 2009, the Pentagon estimated that 65 percent of 17- to 24-year-olds in the U.S. were unqualified for military service because of weak educational skills, poor physical fitness, illegal drug usage, medical conditions or criminal records. In January 2014, the commander of the U.S. Army Recruiting Command estimated this figure at 77.5 percent, and in June 2014, the Department of Defense estimated this figure at 71 percent.

Posted by: Royal Flush at February 3, 2017 5:10 PM
Comment #412915

How does that figure compare with previous generations?

Posted by: Warren Porter at February 3, 2017 5:12 PM
Comment #412916


Warren, here’s a link to answer your question.

http://www.cbo.gov/sites/default/files/cbofiles/ftpdocs/62xx/doc6251/doc03a.pdf

Posted by: Royal Flush at February 3, 2017 5:33 PM
Comment #412919

My brief perusal finds much discussion regarding the decline in the absolute number of recruits due to the fact that fewer children were born in Gen X than during the Baby Boom. There is discussion regarding increases in the quality of recent recruits, but that doesn’t tell me whether or not the overall age cohort is of higher quality or whether the military’s recruiters have simply gotten better at their craft.

If I have overlooked something important, let me know the page number and I will take a second look.

Posted by: Warren Porter at February 3, 2017 6:17 PM
Comment #412921

Stephen, Starting with John Q. Adams often times SCOTUS picks were REJECTED in the lame duck year of a president according to the “Federalist”. If the pick is going to be Rejected or not even make it out of the hearings, don’t you think it would be a waste of time and money to even go through the motions? That would even pertain to Republicans in their lame duck year.

Posted by: Rich KAPitan at February 3, 2017 6:35 PM
Comment #412922

“Between 1998 and 2010, the number of active-duty military personnel deemed overweight or obese more than tripled. In 2010, 86,186 troops, or 5.3 percent of the force, received at least one clinical diagnosis as overweight or obese, according to the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Center.”

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/2012/12/08/13d2e444-40b8-11e2-ae43-cf491b837f7b_story.html?utm_term=.7c5cece25a51

Posted by: Royal Flush at February 3, 2017 6:37 PM
Comment #412923

The Old Army, It Turns Out, Was the Fitter One

“FORT BENNING, Ga. — In the last couple of years, officials here have put to the test the never-ending claim that soldiers in today’s Army are not as physically fit as soldiers once were.

They have been administering a fitness test drawn from the Army’s 1946 training manual, a document honed during World War II to prepare soldiers for the physical requirements of battle, and the results have confirmed what old-timers have been saying for years.”

http://partners.nytimes.com/library/national/science/health/062500hth-men-fitness.html

Posted by: Royal Flush at February 3, 2017 6:45 PM
Comment #412927
Stephen, Starting with John Q. Adams often times SCOTUS picks were REJECTED in the lame duck year of a president according to the “Federalist”. If the pick is going to be Rejected or not even make it out of the hearings, don’t you think it would be a waste of time and money to even go through the motions? That would even pertain to Republicans in their lame duck year.

KAP, There are numerous occasions when Supreme Court nominees were confirmed in a Presidential election year over the past two centuries. Many of these happened when the Senate was controlled by a different political party than the President. There is no way to know whether last year’s Senate would have voted aye or nay had Merrick Garland been offered a vote. For instance, Orrin Hatch has publicly endorsed Merrick Garland’s nomination before the GOP decided to play politics with the open seat. Susan Collins, Mark Kirk, Lindsey Graham, John McCain and others could have supported him as well. Garland was a centrist with much cross-party appeal.

RF,

Your comment #412914 discussed quality of my age cohort as a whole. Subsequent comments are focused entirely upon the quality of people who happen to be recruited into the military. Enlisted men are by no means a random sample of the general population. This attempt at an intergenerational rivalry is going nowhere. Either show me a study comparing the whole population of younger Americans with previous generations or stop defending your silly allegation.

Posted by: Warren Porter at February 3, 2017 7:56 PM
Comment #412929

Warped, Some were some weren’t in a lame duck year which means it is not uncommon for the Senate to reject a lame duck pick during the last year of a presidency or even take up Court nominees. I read in that Federalist article that there was a time when a seat was empty for 800 plus days and one for 400 plus days.

Posted by: Rich KAPitan at February 3, 2017 8:07 PM
Comment #412932

Anthony Kennedy, William Brennan, Frank Murphy, Benjamin Cardozo, John Hessin Clarke, Louis Brandeis and Mahlon Pitney were all confirmed in election years. And that is just the 20th century. Kennedy’s confirmation occurred during Reagan’s lame duck year. There are no examples of a vacancy receiving no action from the Senate solely because it was an election year or because the President was a lame duck.

In the 19th century the number of Justices fluctuated up and and down a bit and sometimes when Congress reduced the number of seats there was technically a vacant seat for a long period of time. There was also an issue with John Tyler, who made enemies with both the Whigs and Jacksonian Democrats simultaneously.

Posted by: Warren Porter at February 3, 2017 8:52 PM
Comment #412934

Warped, John Tyler, Barrack Obama both made enemies. The question is, If the person will NOT get thru the hearings much less the full Senate, does it make sense to waste time and money on hearings? Congress wastes enough of our money.

Posted by: Rich KAPitan at February 3, 2017 9:20 PM
Comment #412935
If the person will NOT get thru the hearings much less the full Senate

You can’t say that. Orrin Hatch and many other Republicans had many good things to say regarding Merrick Garland.

In other news, how do you like spending 100,000 taxpayer dollars protecting Eric Trump’s ass as he jets to Uruguay to buy a condo?

Posted by: Warren Porter at February 3, 2017 9:41 PM
Comment #412936

Warped, Gorsuch won unanimous support in the Senate 10 years ago now he is going to have a hard time to get 8 Democrats to vote for him for SCOTUS and many of those Democrats are still Senators. So what has that got to do with Republicans saying good things about Garland. POLITICS young man POLITICS, screw them before they screw you.

Posted by: Rich KAPitan at February 3, 2017 10:30 PM
Comment #412937
screw them before they screw you.

This is exactly what is wrong with DC right now and it all started from the absolute intransigence of the GOP minority in the 111th Congress. Obama, Pelosi and Reid made every effort to be bipartisan and reach out to the Republicans and the result was the GOP spitting them in the face. This was after the 2008 election delivered Democrats a victory many times more decisive than the whimper of a win Republicans obtained last November.

Posted by: Warren Porter at February 3, 2017 11:41 PM
Comment #412941

So while our new Commander in Chief is botching raids and getting Americans killed, while he is praying for better ratings on a TV show and the hate monger Milo is stirring up hate our conservative friends want to blame college kids for reacting!! Get over yourselves, there is even concern that many of these “rioters” are fright wing supporters, oops right wing supporters of this fascist.

http://www.alternet.org/investigations/robert-reich-has-chilling-theory-about-those-berkeley-protestors

Posted by: j2t2 at February 4, 2017 12:10 PM
Comment #412944

This attempt at an intergenerational rivalry is going nowhere. Either show me a study comparing the whole population of younger Americans with previous generations or stop defending your silly allegation.
Posted by: Warren Porter at February 3, 2017 7:56 PM

Wallow in disbelief Warren. The rest of us know that the youth today is more obese, less fit, and more poorly educated than those of my generation. If you can’t find proof, get back with me.

OK j2t2, we will put you in the anti-free speech column.

Posted by: Royal Flush at February 4, 2017 1:44 PM
Comment #412948

What proportion of the GI generation thought that Baby Boomers were not up to snuff? Without a doubt, it was a common belief. Critiquing the succeeding generation is a time honored tradition. Ultimately, your attempt to malign the nation’s youth comes across as crass and ignorant. We can all see that you are making a subjective judgement, heavily influenced by your own biases.

I am not going to take any sides one way or the other because I do not have any data to make a decision. My generation is more highly educated than any that has come before, but it is unknown whether or not degrees are worth the same today as they were 50 years ago. Likewise, physical fitness has undoubtedly decreased as people have gotten more sedentary, but no one has any idea what that means for the cohort as a whole.

Posted by: Warren Porter at February 4, 2017 3:57 PM
Comment #412950

Warren refuses to believe the Pentagon or the Army recruiting Command regarding the declining fitness, mental and physical, of our current generation.

Perhaps we need a “consensus” of scientists. We know Warren values that over facts.

Posted by: Royal Flush at February 4, 2017 4:27 PM
Comment #412953

You never provided me with anything from the Pentagon or the Army recruiting Command regarding declining fitness, mental and physical, of my generation as a whole.

You gave me a single data point from earlier this decade (without citation). Everything else has been an irrelevant discussion of the nonrandom sample of people who are recruited in the military, which tells me nothing about the people who choose other career paths instead.

Posted by: Warren Porter at February 4, 2017 5:03 PM
Comment #412956

If Warren isn’t too busy, or lazy, I suggest he google…”Americans dumber and more obese than last generation.”

I got 1,330,000 results.

Posted by: Royal Flush at February 4, 2017 5:38 PM
Comment #412959

I googled “Americans not dumber and more obese than last generation.” and got 2,930,000 results.

Posted by: Warren Porter at February 4, 2017 6:37 PM
Comment #412961

Hurrah for Warren. No need to thank me for urging you to do some research. Now, do some reading.

Posted by: Royal Flush at February 4, 2017 6:42 PM
Comment #412965

You are the one staking out a claim here. The burden of proof is yours.

Posted by: Warren Porter at February 4, 2017 7:04 PM
Comment #412967

You no read, me no comment.

Posted by: Royal Flush at February 4, 2017 7:07 PM
Comment #412970

I’m not doing your work for you. Good night!

Posted by: Warren Porter at February 4, 2017 7:16 PM
Comment #412974

Tuck him in and read to him, Royal Flush. I can’t believe he’s actually making your case for you when he decides he’s not going to educate himself.

Posted by: Weary Willie at February 5, 2017 12:32 PM
Comment #412976

WW,

I want a fully sourced essay explaining why Trump’s policies are bad for the country by 6pm tonight. What? You refuse? How can we have a fruitful discussion if you aren’t willing to educate yourself?

Joking aside, I am not Royal Flush’s librarian. I have better things to do with my life and better things to learn than how far Royal Flush has stuck his head in his arse.

Posted by: Warren Porter at February 5, 2017 12:48 PM
Comment #412977

It looked like you two were getting tired. I thought a little nappy time would improve the conversation.

Posted by: Weary Willie at February 5, 2017 2:51 PM
Comment #412991

Stephen,

“Here, too, you also fail a logical test.”

Is that why you, once again, must deflect to the tired ‘It’s all the Republicans fault,’ to avoid what is actually said?

I made no mention of the lack of cooperation.
What I did was point out the fact that you have already made those on the right feel “every bit of the frustration and anger” that you are now feeling. We have been feeling it for many decades now. This past election was a direct result of those actions.
Do you honestly believe that threatening people with more of the same is going to change their minds?

“It’s lovely what kinds of things you all find to be priorities.”

Our individual rights should be the number one priority for all of us, Stephen. The fact that you must resort to silly hyperbole to attack and strip those rights, only shows your frustration.

Posted by: kctim at February 6, 2017 10:16 AM
Comment #413033

1) I hardly see how the Federalist is relevant to traditions concerning appointment, if we’re talking practice, as the Federalist Papers were articles written to support ratification, to explain the Constitution to citizens.

2) I think you’re forgetting that even where judges were rejected, they were actually given a vote. Advise and Consent means, tell them which candidates will fly, and if they don’t, then reject them in a vote. This business of just flat rejecting even their considerationis just anti-social, anti-constitutional BS, and inevitably it will lead to a situation that defeats the purpose of the provisions for all sides.

3) As for wasting time on going through the process… it’s not a waste of time, unless Republicans weren’t objecting to Garland for Garland-specific reasons. Quite frankly, you objected to him because he would be a vote in the Democrat’s favor. No other real reason. It’s the jealous guarding of your judical activist court. You don’t care for restriction on power coming from your direction. You think the constitution is fulfilled by you getting your people, and people like us being denied places on the court. That is the thing of it, though. If it all becomes about partisanship, it becomes a no-win situation for either side. Anybody can make up any excuse as to why this President or that President can’t appoint a judge. That will leave those positions open. But the whole bloody point of the system is to come to a meeting of the minds on who is selected, a meeting people like you have come to reject on ideological grounds.

So long as you take a constitutional position in name only, so long as you arrogantly assume for yourself sole authority on what is and is not constitutional, you set up our constitutional system to fail. Merrick Garland was a good compromise candidate, not particularly liberal or conservative. It is the extremity of today’s GOP and their selfishness concerning their party’s agenda that has created this crisis.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at February 8, 2017 10:55 AM
Comment #413034

kctim-
For all you talk about individual rights, it seems like corporate citizens are the priority when it comes to deregulation. That’s the thing, really. You act as if the people the Conservative support are all behaving as perfect individuals, but the situations we’re dealing with here often deal with legal entities that are collective in nature. Group rights by any reasonable standard.

This creates an interesting problem with corporations vs. individual rights. The whole point of a corporation is to shield the individual or stockholders from liabilities that their businesses incur. But if you hold, as the Hobby Lobby case did, that the person running certain corporations can require employees to conform to their religious views, say on Contraception coverage, then suddenly, one individual’s rights are trampling all over the rights of many others.

How about the right of all those people to a healthy, sustainable environment? How about the right of the person sitting in a broker’s office to have that broker operate in their best interests? You claim to be all for individual rights, but you always seem to take the side of the person gaining or imposing on others, at the cost of the person with less power. You’re not really arguing for personal or individual rights, you’re arguing for the privilege of the elite to exploit their social and economic inferiors without consequence.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at February 8, 2017 11:10 AM
Comment #413036

Stephen,
Individual rights apply to all individuals and are not based on what one is given, desires, thinks or believes. The rights of the business owner must be respected just as much as the employees are to be.
Your belief that a business owner should be compelled to provide something that is desired by others, does not negate that business owners individual rights to choose to run their business as they see fit. It is your right to choose to work for them or not.

In your Hobby Lobby example, their right to choose which insurance plan to offer is not forcing its employees to conform to anything. It chooses the plan, you choose whether to work there and accept the plan, or not.
There is no individual right to be given what you desire.

It is only the left’s ‘all or nothing’ hyperbole that claims those on the right don’t care about a “healthy, sustainable environment or consumer protections.

Fact is, when it comes to individual rights, social and economic status means nothing. We are all the same.

All you are arguing for is materialism and your idea of fairness.

Posted by: kctim at February 8, 2017 1:01 PM
Comment #413037

Did Lester Maddox have the right to prohibit Blacks from eating at the Pickrick Cafeteria? Or should all Americans have an equal right to buy food there?

Posted by: Warren Porter at February 8, 2017 2:48 PM
Comment #413039

kctim-
I’m Catholic by birth. If I was fairly fervent, I might want to limit access to birth control to my employees. But if my business isn’t religious in nature (That is, not the Catholic Church), and people of any religion (or none) can apply, then my insistence on not even affording them an option they pay for themselves becomes me overriding their beliefs, their conscience with my own.

If it was clear that my employees could purchase their own option for such prescriptions, that would preserve both the right of the employer’s conscience, and the employee’s. They each have the freedom to make their own choice.

But people like you insist that the employer’s beliefs override the employee’s. How is that championing individual rights?

I should not have to investigate and determine the religious affiliations and positions of my employees in order to avoid such a conflict. My use or non-use of contraception should not be an employer’s business. If they want to prevent a situation where they might feel responsible for my sin, they can tell the insurance company to set aside whatever amount of money for the rider, and let the employee purchase that at their discretion.

How’s that for all or nothing? The truth is, I don’t want my personal decisions on abortion, contraception, or other matters of that kind just handed to my employer, as if I’m not qualified to decide those things for myself. If you don’t respect that, then freedom isn’t what you’re after, but a pretext to take it away in the name of freedom.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at February 8, 2017 4:54 PM
Comment #413040

Stephen, you make a good point about offering insurance options. However, you support Obamacare which mandates, rather than offers options. Please explain.

Posted by: Royal Flush at February 8, 2017 5:04 PM
Comment #413057

Warren,
If we support individual rights for all, then the business owner has the right to run his/her business as they want. If one supports government regulating individual rights in the name of fairness for some, we find ourselves in the mess we face today.

Stephen,
As an employer you would only be affecting the convenience of your employees obtaining birth control, you would not be limiting their access to it. As an employer you would choose to offer the benefits you wish and the employees have the option to choose them or something else. You are not denying them options.
Your reasoning for what you choose to offer is irrelevant, as is your employees choice for which option they choose.

How’s that for all or nothing? A little better, but you are still stuck on the idea that you have some kind of individual right to be provided with what you desire, and that your freedom is somehow determined by comfort and convenience. Neither are true.

Posted by: kctim at February 9, 2017 9:17 AM
Comment #413059

kctim,

If we support individual rights for all, then the business owner has the right to run his/her business as they want. If one supports government regulating individual rights in the name of fairness for some, we find ourselves in the mess we face today.

If you abandon an individual’s right to patronize a business, then you are not a supporter of individual rights for all.

Posted by: Warren Porter at February 9, 2017 10:26 AM
Comment #413060

You have a desire to have your needs and wants catered to, not an individual right to have it done to please you. Especially when it infringes on the rights of others.

We as a country decided to allow government to regulate our individual rights in the name of equality, but in order to reach that goal we must treat people as unequal.

The problem is no longer about supporting individual rights, it’s about how much more of them are we willing to give up.
He11, the way we are going, it won’t be long before you can sue and win because a business offers Pepsi instead of the Coke you desire.

Posted by: kctim at February 9, 2017 11:29 AM
Comment #413062
He11, the way we are going, it won’t be long before you can sue and win because a business offers Pepsi instead of the Coke you desire.

This strawman is as ridiculous as it is hyperbolic. I am not interested in desires or wants. I am interested in individual rights and nothing else. Between the 9th and 14th amendments to the Constitution, we have a tradition whereby particular types of businesses are not permitted to refuse customers on the basis of religion, skin color or certain other characteristics.

You have a desire to have your needs and wants catered to, not an individual right to have it done to please you. Especially when it infringes on the rights of others.
Instead of repeated this empty rhetoric ad nauseum as you have for years. Why don’t you formulate an argument to prove it? Why is equal treatment for Blacks and Whites a desire/want and not a right? Posted by: Warren Porter at February 9, 2017 1:35 PM
Comment #413063

I wonder if the continuation of kctim’s life is merely a “want” or “desire” on his part rather than a fundamental individual right?

Posted by: Warren Porter at February 9, 2017 2:25 PM
Comment #413065

Here’s an interesting political story that reveals a lot about Democrat losses.

Obama’s party-building legacy splits Democrats

Party officials are having a painful discussion about the state and local losses that occurred on his watch.

http://www.politico.com/story/2017/02/obama-democrats-party-building-234820

Posted by: Royal Flush at February 9, 2017 3:55 PM
Comment #413067

Royal Flush-
If you don’t want a single payer system, but you do want universal coverage, you need both subsidies and mandates, a push and a pull on the market. The Mandates minimize the free riders, so there’s money going into the system to cover the people you’re going to require the folks to cover. The subsidies make it affordable.

Republicans voters have been hyped up on destroying Obamacare, but at the same time, I don’t think they’re quite aware of what they have at stake in the Affordable Care Act. I don’t think they’re full aware of how badly they’ve been conned by their leaders.

kctim-
Look, the whole rest of the country is given a right: contraception without out of pocket cost. You pay for the insurance, the insurance pays for your birth control pills other methods. You are only denied that right, thanks to the Supreme Court, only forced to pay for the benefit out of pocket, if you happen to have an employer who thinks it’s their business whether their employees use contraception.

As for the rest? I believe the Constitution says it best: the enumeration of rights does not deny or disparage further rights. Your freedom, your rights do not require further enumeration in the Constitution to be constitutional. If we somehow find this amazing resource, like Alaska or Saudi Arabia, and congress votes everybody a right to a share in the profits from that, the Constitution doesn’t deny people that right.

There is a space of rights guaranteed to people, a space of rights denied, and then there is a domain between them where Congress can limit or extend people’s liberties and people’s rights.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at February 9, 2017 6:39 PM
Comment #413069

“I don’t think they’re full aware of how badly they’ve been conned by their leaders.”

Where have you been Stephen? People that must pay premiums out of their own pocket, rather than some other persons pocket, are fed up with paying much more and getting much less than before obamacare was shoved down their throats.

Was the congress that passed obamacare rewarded by the electorate? Hardly!

Posted by: Royal Flush at February 9, 2017 7:08 PM
Comment #413081

RF,

How many Obamacare premiums have you paid? If none, please shut up and let the people who are actually impacted by the law determine things for ourselves.

Was the congress that passed obamacare rewarded by the electorate

As Stephen said in his comment, Republicans lied to the people who ousted Democrats from Congress 6 years ago. Now that people have actually gotten a chance to experience the law in action, support for it in the polls has risen dramatically. Hardly a month into the 115th Congress, Republicans already are arguing and bickering over repealing the PPACA. It’s increasingly obvious that Obama’s quip, “Reality has a way of asserting itself” is coming to pass. It turns out, Americans’ main complaint with Obamacare was different from Republican gripes. Americans want Obamacare to be expanded and made more generous. Republicans want to reverse the idea that healthcare is a basic human right. This clash has only two possible outcomes:
1) Republicans make cosmetic changes to the ACA and rebrand it as their own.
2) Republicans repeal Obamacare and dramatically increase the uninsured rate, thereby leading to their demise in the 2018 election.
There’s no third option. Obamacare is THE best route for universal coverage without completely scrapping the free market system. That’s why the same architecture was proposed by Republicans as an alternative in 1993. That’s why plans similar to Obamacare were the mainstay of Herritage throughout the ’90s and ’00s. That’s why Mitt Romney chose to follow a similar path when he enacted healthcare reform in Massachusetts a decade ago. Obamacare was and always will be the conservative’s best solution.

Posted by: Warren Porter at February 9, 2017 10:17 PM
Comment #413088

Warren,

“Instead of repeated this empty rhetoric ad nauseum as you have for years.”

You may find consistency to be annoying, but I do not. I have a set of principles, beliefs and values that I live by and I will defend them when I see fit. If you cannot handle that and must resort to personal attacks, that is on you, not me.

“Why is equal treatment for Blacks and Whites a desire/want and not a right?”

Nobody said it was. What I said was that the individual rights of ALL individuals involved must be taken into account IF we are going to claim that we support individual rights. NOT just the person who feels slighted because their desire was not meant.
You have an individual right to choose how you treat others, you DO NOT have an individual right to be treated how you want.

“we have a tradition whereby particular types of businesses are not permitted to refuse customers…”

We have a ‘tradition’ of reinterpreting the Constitution to accommodate our politics, and we the people have given government the power to do so. I already stated that.

“I wonder if the continuation of kctim’s life is merely a “want” or “desire” on his part rather than a fundamental individual right?”

Rather than stooping to the same childish emotional level BS of your leftist ‘brethren,’ maybe you should just ask me?

The continuation of my life is a desire. I have an individual right to live that life ‘free within society from oppressive restrictions imposed by authority on one’s way of life, behavior, or political views.’ I have an individual right to be treated equally under the law.
I do NOT have an individual right to infringe upon the individual rights of others to be liked and treated a certain way, or to make my life more comfortable or more convenient.

Posted by: kctim at February 10, 2017 9:44 AM
Comment #413091
I do NOT have an individual right to infringe upon the individual rights of others to be liked and treated a certain way, or to make my life more comfortable or more convenient.

So, you trample upon my right to put a bullet in your head? I’m sorry that I have to steep to such hyperbole, but after many years of arguing about the same points over and over again, you repeatedly ignore the points that I make. I raise the example of the right to one’s life because it is starkest and most unambiguous case where an individual’s right trump another individual’s right to do as he pleases. I hope I can do this with all do respect and without impugning or disparaging you.

Nobody said it was.
That’s quite a bit of chicanery on your part. You contrasted “rights” with “desires” six times in previous comments on this thread and numerous times in earlier conversations. If you regard equal treatment as an individual right, then why even bother with this contrast?
What I said was that the individual rights of ALL individuals involved must be taken into account IF we are going to claim that we support individual rights. NOT just the person who feels slighted because their desire was not meant.

The you go again, speaking of the right to equal treatment as a mere “desire” rather than an individual right. I freely acknowledge that this scenario is a situation whereby two individuals’ rights come into conflict. We have a system in place for deciding such conflicts.

Let’s return to my hyperbolic example regarding the right to life. If I own a gun, I have the individual right to use however I like. If I want to fire it at a target range, that is my right. If I want to go hunting with it, that is my right. If I want to carry it around in case I need to use it for self-defense, that is my right. However, the legislature has passed laws that prohibit me from discharging my firearm when it is pointed at your head. In that case, my right to use my personal property as I see fit is thrown aside because your right to your life is of much greater importance.

It has been said, “Your right to swing your fist ends where my nose begins”. This encapsulates my view of how we resolve instances when individual rights conflict. Just like how your right to life impedes on my right to discharge a firearm in your direction, a shopkeeper’s right to operate his business as he sees fit is overridden by a patron’s right to equal treatment in public accommodation.

I have an individual right to live that life ‘free within society from oppressive restrictions imposed by authority on one’s way of life, behavior, or political views.’ I have an individual right to be treated equally under the law.

You’ve quoted the Oxford dictionary’s definition of liberty and added the right to equal protection. I think this is a good starting place for understanding what is an individual right and what is not, but it is incomplete because it fails to discuss positive rights, such as the right to due process or the right to an attorney. Regardless, it will suffice for my particular example about whether a shopkeeper can prohibit people from patronizing his store on the basis of race.

When said shopkeeper forbids a certain race from patronizing his store, he imposes his authority onto another individual. This is an unjust and oppressive restriction on the wannabe patron’s ability to live his life free within society.

Now, you might want to turn the tables and examine the burdens upon the shopkeeper after the government enforces equal treatment. Complying with the law forces said shopkeeper to treat all potential customers equally, which admittedly is somewhat oppressive. However the harm created is FAR LESS than the harm that would be inflicted on a rejected customer. Enforcing equal treatment doesn’t cost the shopkeeper anything tangible, it just creates a bit of uncomfortable dysphoria, the result of his repugnant beliefs.

If we flip things around and refuse to enforce equal treatment, the shopkeeper’s mental state is restored, but we have imposed significant and costly burdens on the rejected customer, who must search for a competitor or choose not to buy the desired product or service. Shopping at a competitor might add significant expense due to transportation or other factors. As you can see, the rejected patron bears a much heavier restriction on his right to live his life free within society.

I do NOT have an individual right to infringe upon the individual rights of others to be liked and treated a certain way, or to make my life more comfortable or more convenient.
I agree. The shopkeeper is never required to like his customer nor is he required to treat him a certain way. All he has to do is treat him identically to how he treats his other customers. The manner of that identical treatment is the choice of the shopkeeper. Likewise, the shopkeeper’s desire to feel comfortable when servicing patrons does not trump the patron’s right to equal treatment on the basis of race. Posted by: Warren Porter at February 10, 2017 10:42 AM
Comment #413095

Stephen,

There is no such right as “contraception without out of pocket cost.” That is nothing but a desired result of a government mandate that you wish to claim as a right.
Even IF it were a right, it still does not trump the rights of others.

As we have discussed before, I hold no false hope that we are going to ever go back to Constitutional government. I understand that our Constitution no longer limits government, but that we have given government the power to change it to limit liberties and rights, or create new ones. That’s just the way it is. All I am concerned with now is limiting how much more we lose. And yes, I do realize that it is a losing battle.

Posted by: kctim at February 10, 2017 11:42 AM
Comment #413106

kctim-
It’s called no co-pays. It’s called the insurance company doesn’t ask that you pay an out of pocket cost when you go to get something. What you pay for your insurance covers that.

AND THAT IS A RIGHT!!!! The ACA says that you have the right to that. The Constitution doesn’t negate further rights beyond what is in its text. As for whether it trumps the rights of others?

Well, if you want to live in this fairy land where everyone gets everything they want and can do anything they want, be my guest. In the real world, rights conflict. Free speech rights are a great example. My right to free speech doesn’t mean I can conspire with somebody to murder a rival. It doesn’t mean I can hook up a loudspeaker in front of my house and start loudly and falsely disparaging my neighbor’s reputation at one in the morning, waking everybody up.

But if I set up a soapbox in the square of my public park and peaceably speak my mind, Nobody can touch me. Time, place, and manner.

I think you glossed over my argument entirely, looking to repeat your standard old tired accusations.

There are rights we have that we have regardless of what idiot is in charge, that Congress is obliged to respect. When it doesn’t? Well, Trump’s getting a taste of it, now.

The model I presented sorts things into three blocks: Right the Constitution gives us, Free Speech, Due Process, Equal protection of the law, etc. Our government is obliged to respect those, even if it places circumstantial limitations on them, in line with the public interest.

On the other side are rights the Government doesn’t give us, takes from us. Hypothetically, Congress should be able to do whatever it wants in terms of legislation. The thinking among some is, if whole bunches of Terrorists are Muslims, we should ban the religion to be safe, right? We should also be able to snatch them up, try them without juries or trials getting in the way, etc.

That is the impulse. But our Constitution denies us the ability to express our impulses fully. Take the religious example:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Our free speech rights, if we look at them closely, stem from a carving out from Congress of its ability to to exercise its right to legislate. Congress shall make no law. It does not have the right to legislate laws that regulate what we say, what we print in the press. It cannot create a favorite religion, nor can it write laws to interfere in the practice of one. It cannot keep people from peaceably assembling, or deny them the right to petition their government.

Congress is also denied the right to act like a court, to legislate Treason as an offense beyond what the Constitution allows. It can’t write laws designed to criminalize behavior after the fact.

All things people might wish to do.

Between these two categories lie the scope of policies that it is within Government’s discretion, to write in new rights and additional obligations. Whether they are just or unjust, wise or unwise is an open question. However, if properly justified, these laws, however bad or good, are constitutional.

Some people, though, have taken to using constitutionality questions to try and bludgeon others points out of the debate.

I think you and people like you would get much further if you understood the problem as one mostly involving people supporting or opposing certain laws and standards of their own free will, and if you also understood that if you want people to see your policies as good, beyond your own political brethren, they need to work in a practical sense, too.

If you continue to see it all as just people trying to stomp on your rights, you’ll be blind to how much you’re trying to stomp on theirs, at least from their point of view.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at February 10, 2017 2:24 PM
Comment #413107

My Little Buddy Stephen advises; “How many Obamacare premiums have you paid? If none, please shut up and let the people who are actually impacted by the law determine things for ourselves.”

Really Stephen, only those who pay should have a voice. You own this commandment now Stephen. Every time you advocate for any government benefit that you don’t directly pay for you’re going to catch “Holy Hell”.

By the way Stephen, does my Little Buddy know from where $716 billion in seed money for obamacare was stolen?

Posted by: Royal Flush at February 10, 2017 2:31 PM
Comment #413108

My Little Buddy Stephen advises; “How many Obamacare premiums have you paid? If none, please shut up and let the people who are actually impacted by the law determine things for ourselves.”

Really Stephen, only those who pay should have a voice. You own this commandment now Stephen. Every time you advocate for any government benefit that you don’t directly pay for you’re going to catch “Holy Hell”.

By the way Stephen, does my Little Buddy know from where $716 billion in seed money for obamacare was stolen?

Posted by: Royal Flush at February 10, 2017 2:32 PM
Comment #413109

My Little Buddy Stephen advises; “How many Obamacare premiums have you paid? If none, please shut up and let the people who are actually impacted by the law determine things for ourselves.”

Really Stephen, only those who pay should have a voice. You own this commandment now Stephen. Every time you advocate for any government benefit that you don’t directly pay for you’re going to catch hell.

By the way Stephen, does my Little Buddy know from where $716 billion in seed money for obamacare was stolen?

Posted by: Royal Flush at February 10, 2017 2:32 PM
Comment #413110

Stephen and Warren make the case that it’s OK to have their hand in my pocket for stuff they want.

Stephen wrote; “Congress is also denied the right to act like a court…”

Correct. Now comes the hard part Pal, courts are denied the right to legislate.

Posted by: Royal Flush at February 10, 2017 2:46 PM
Comment #413111

Royal Flush-
Check your source for that quote. I didn’t say what you claimed.

As for the money, I seem to recall that Medicare Advantage and the Drug benefit were in essence overpaying companies. MA in that each company was being given a subsidy just for participating, not which went to any benefits of any kind, and that the Drug benefit overages reflected a failure to use our bargaining power to get better prices on drugs.

I hear so much about waste, fraud, and abuse, but it’s a pity you don’t admire how Obama paid for his program by reducing both, rather than a huge tax hike.

Also, your little buddy is 37 frigging years old. Millennial are parents, are workers, are full grown adults. So, mind your manners.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at February 10, 2017 2:52 PM
Comment #413112

“However, if properly justified, these laws, however bad or good, are constitutional.”

Written by a delusional Liberal who never attended a Civics Class or read the Constitution.

Just imagine, someone actually believes that if something is “justified” it is Constitutional.

Friends, you just can’t make this stuff up. Real Liberals write and believe really stupid stuff.

Posted by: Royal Flush at February 10, 2017 2:52 PM
Comment #413116
But if I set up a soapbox in the square of my public park and peaceably speak my mind, Nobody can touch me. Time, place, and manner.

This is simply not true. The reason being:

I understand that our Constitution no longer limits government, but that we have given government the power to change it to limit liberties and rights, or create new ones. That’s just the way it is.

Government does and will limit free speech by requiring permission to put the soapbox down on public property. The government will force you to seek permission to stand and speak on public property. The vehicle is called a permit, and you must have a permit to speak in public. If the government deems your subject matter doesn’t conform to social norms, or is, in the government’s opinion, a threat to public safety it will be denied.

Government has no right to require a permit to speak. We have given that permission to government by allowing them to fund government expenditures with permit fees. The constitution does not give the government the right to limit home improvements, yet it forces homeowners to pay a fee to permit the home improvements and punishes that homeowner if he refuses.

Like kctim said. We’ve given the government permission to limit speech and property. However, I disagree that it is a permanent state we live in. What is given can also be taken away. That goes for both what government gives the people and for what the people give government.

Posted by: Weary Willie at February 10, 2017 3:17 PM
Comment #413117

I truly believe the majority of people in this country refuse to acknowledge, or can’t comprehend, how a constitutional government behaves.

Posted by: Weary Willie at February 10, 2017 3:23 PM
Comment #413121

Sorry Stephen, this quote belongs to my other “Little Buddy” Warren.

“How many Obamacare premiums have you paid? If none, please shut up and let the people who are actually impacted by the law determine things for ourselves.”

Hmmm…how much does Warren Warped pay in school taxes?

Posted by: Royal Flush at February 10, 2017 3:50 PM
Comment #413122

Warren,
I don’t ignore the points you are trying to make. In fact, I understand the meaning behind most of them and can even agree with some of them.
I also understand that we as a people have given government the power to put society before our individual rights and, that it is never going to change.

“So, you trample upon my right to put a bullet in your head?”

You do have a right to believe as you wish, but you do not have a right to personally inflict physical harm onto others. It is the states job to protect you from that harm, not from that belief.

“I raise the example of the right to one’s life because it is starkest and most unambiguous case where an individual’s right trump another individual’s right to do as he pleases.”

You have to use such hyperbole because you have to conflate the two for support of your politics. Behavior conditioning is a key tool for the kind of ‘progress’ you seek.
Fact is, the freedom to live ones life as one pleases is no where close to doing anything one pleases.

“That’s quite a bit of chicanery on your part.”

No, it’s really not.
When speaking of equal treatment, there is a clear distinction between the individual and the state. The state is compelled to treat all individuals equally, the individual is not.
We gave the state the power to infringe upon our individual rights in hope of achieving desired results.
You agree with overriding rights you don’t agree with, I do not.

“You’ve quoted the Oxford dictionary’s definition of liberty and added the right to equal protection.”

Actually, I quoted the 14th Amendment, Sec. 1, found at Cornell Law, which pertains to the limitations placed upon the states powers over the individual.

“This is an unjust and oppressive restriction on the wannabe patron’s ability to live his life free within society.”

On this we disagree. One individuals objections to another individual is in no way oppressive, nor does it affect his ability to live his life free.

“Enforcing equal treatment doesn’t cost the shopkeeper anything tangible, it just creates a bit of uncomfortable dysphoria, the result of his repugnant beliefs.”

“who must search for a competitor or choose not to buy the desired product or service.”

So what you are saying is that it DOES infringe upon the individual rights of the business owner…and it is for the comfort and convenience of another.
Is that not what I have said from the start?

Posted by: kctim at February 10, 2017 4:00 PM
Comment #413123
The state is compelled to treat all individuals equally, the individual is not.

Then why is the state allowed to give the “poor” other people’s money? How is that treating everyone equally? If you believed what you were saying we would have an equal distribution of funds from the state going to every individual in the country regardless of their status.

When you start saying the rich don’t deserve welfare subsidies is when you throw your equality argument out the window.

Posted by: Weary Willie at February 10, 2017 4:05 PM
Comment #413125

Stephen,

So the ACA magically created a new ‘right’ and now we have the ‘right’ to not pay co-pays? Um, yeah, sure. Talk about fairy land. Sheesh.

Tell me Stephen, what is the Constitutional process to take away a right and replace it with a newly created right or obligation? Explain how infringing upon rights we have had since the founding of this nation is not ‘stomping on my rights?’ Explain how allowing people to retain the rights they have had since the founding of this nation, is now somehow stomping on your rights?

“I think you and people like you would get much further if you understood the problem…”

You mean the same people who now hold power over just about every office of government? How much further is there to go?
We are not the ones with the problem, Stephen.

Posted by: kctim at February 10, 2017 4:58 PM
Comment #413126
Fact is, the freedom to live ones life as one pleases is no where close to doing anything one pleases.
I am glad we can agree that we don’t have the liberty to harm each other.
Actually, I quoted the 14th Amendment, Sec. 1, found at Cornell Law, which pertains to the limitations placed upon the states powers over the individual.
Sorry to quibble, but the 14th Amendment does not contain the phrase “free within society from oppressive restrictions imposed by authority on one’s way of life, behavior, or political views.” That phrase came from the Oxford Dictionary. It befuddles me why you disputed this.
So what you are saying is that it DOES infringe upon the individual rights of the business owner…and it is for the comfort and convenience of another.
You have either misread or willfully misinterpreted what I wrote. Never did I say “comfort and convenience of another” was the justification of anyone’s individual rights. Indeed, I clearly stated that the shopkeeper’s behavior imposes, “an unjust and oppressive restriction on the wannabe patron’s ability to live his life free within society”. An “unjust and oppressive restriction” is decidedly NOT a matter of “comfort and convenience”. I know you disagree with my characterization of this as an unjust and oppressive restriction, but you’ve failed to explain to me WHY you feel that is the case. You simply repeat it to me ad nauseum expecting each iteration of your fallacious proof by assertion is more valid than the previous.

The “individual right” to refuse the patronage of an individual race is in the same category as the “individual right” to put a bullet into kctim’s head. Philosophers can discuss it in hypothetical terms, but because such a right would have to violate the individual civil rights of another person by definition, labeling it as an “individual right” is not terribly meaningful because the right cannot coexist with other more fundamental rights.

there is a clear distinction between the individual and the state
Why is this different standard for “the state” and other entities? It’s not like we prohibit the state from killing people without due process while giving private individuals free reign to murder each other. Instead, we make a law saying killing people without due process is wrong and both the state and the people must both obey it.
You agree with overriding rights you don’t agree with, I do not.
Are you not arguing in favor of overriding the right to equal treatment because you don’t agree with it?

WW,

Then why is the state allowed to give the “poor” other people’s money? How is that treating everyone equally? If you believed what you were saying we would have an equal distribution of funds from the state going to every individual in the country regardless of their status.

When you start saying the rich don’t deserve welfare subsidies is when you throw your equality argument out the window.

In an effort to be brief, I have written “treated equally” to stand for “treated equally with respect to race”. Remember, my original contention with kctim regarded the prohibition of Black patronage at Lester Maddox’s Pickrick Cafeteria. We’ve been talking about equal treatment with respect to race, not equal treatment with respect to wealth or income.

Posted by: Warren Porter at February 10, 2017 5:37 PM
Comment #413129

Royal Flush-
And nowhere there do I see a counter-argument to mine. The critical difference between a statutory right and a constitutional right is that one Congress and President can undo a statutory right with a simple majority in both chambers and the agreement of the President.

And if you were paying close attention to my argument, rather than dreaming up alternative facts, you might have noticed that I was speaking of constitutional justification. It would have been rather useless of a third category otherwise.

Weary Willie-
The Constitutional right to free speech does not pardon vandalism, it does not pardon disturbing the peace, it does not allow us to libel and slander people without evidence. Our behavior must otherwise be lawful. What the First Amendment does is it tells Congress not to bother writing laws that make the simple act of expressing a disliked position illegal.

The ACLU has a helpful pamphlet on the matter. The general issue is whether or not you’re interfering with the ability of others to use the public spaces, such as blocking a sidewalk or a building’s entrance. I can recall somebody blowing a Shofar in front of the Houston Police Department Headquarters for some reason, and another guy playing the bagpipes in front of the Shell building.

kctim-
No, the ACA did not “magically” create new rights, it legally created them. As I pointed out elsewhere, these particular rights can, not-so-magically again, legally uncreate them.

And really, what rights in particular? You can accuse me of stomping on rights, but by god WHAT RIGHTS? This is the problem with Trump and his people these days. They’ll claim voter fraud. Based on what? Based on nothing. We’re expected to take their word for it.

Worse yet, you don’t even bother to justify the supposed results of restoring these supposed rights you speak of. I say that if you do business open to the public, you should have certain requirements placed on you in the public interest. We can start with the equal rights to public accommodations, with a right to food that isn’t spoiled or contaminated.

We’d like to think people with business interests would naturally do the right thing, but many expecting that have experienced sour disappointments. Sometimes, you need a rule. Elegant, as few as you can afford, but rules nonetheless.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at February 10, 2017 6:31 PM
Comment #413130

Stephen argued that justification for a law fulfills the requirement of being Constitutional.

Being called out on such a flagrant error doesn’t seem to faze him. So sad.

Posted by: Royal Flush at February 10, 2017 7:00 PM
Comment #413132

Royal Flush-
Quit while you’re only modestly behind.
1) I argue for the existence of rights constitutionally guaranteed, constitutionally denied, and those the Constitution neither guarantees nor denies and disparages.

2) My argument actually goes like this: if a Law deals within the constitution’s permissable bounds (like regulation of interstate trade, or taxation, or deciding how money is spent from the Treasury, to name a few,) then whether a right granted under that law continues or is destroyed is left up to Congress at a given point. There are rights enumerated by the Constitution, like the right to due process, rights forbidden by the Constitution, like arresting somebody without probable cause or a warrant. and Rights within the enumerated authorities, and constrained by the enumerated restriction, that Congress can say yay or nay on.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at February 10, 2017 7:44 PM
Comment #413134

I see Warren. The Constitution has “forbidden rights”. GAWD!

Posted by: Royal Flush at February 10, 2017 7:54 PM
Comment #413135

Yada, yada, yada about the constitutionality of the ACA. Such a waste of time. The principal constitutional question was answered by the Supreme Court.

But, so what, if conservatives don’t like the ACA, particularly the mandate, they are in a position to repeal it. Why don’t they do it? The reason is simple. They don’t have an alternative which will preserve the benefits of the ACA, specifically the prohibition against pre-existing condition exclusion, age related limitations on premiums, keeping children on parent policies until 26, etc.

Democrats need to simply press this question. What’s the alternative? They need to expose the vacuousness of the Republican policy. Nothing but a slogan for six years.

Posted by: Rich at February 10, 2017 9:20 PM
Comment #413146

Stephen

“The critical difference between a statutory right and a constitutional right is that one Congress and President can undo a statutory right with a simple majority in both chambers and the agreement of the President.”

As usual you don’t seem to understand the difference between a right, and an entitlement.

Posted by: dbs at February 11, 2017 10:47 AM
Comment #413147

Stephen

The rights listed in the constitution are not granted by the constitution. They are acknowledged as being inalienable, or existing by the mere fact you are living, and breathing. No one has to do anything in order for them to exist. The constitution acknowledges them and tells the gov’t “you will protect them with the force of law, and not violate them”. These rights were not granted by man therefore they cannot be taken away by man. The congress has no authority to infringe or takeaway these enumerated rights.

Posted by: dbs at February 11, 2017 10:56 AM
Comment #413151

Thanks dbs.

Posted by: Royal Flush at February 11, 2017 2:57 PM
Comment #413169

Royal Flush, dbs-
The Declaration of Independence, if you read it closely, tells us how effective inalienable rights are without legal rights. The whole point of the document is to provide an argument for why a supposedly creator-empowered King should be overthrown in favor of a new government. In essence, he’s saying that people have the right to rebel and institute a new and better government in the place of the Kings because their inalienable rights afford them that.

We ended up taking over a decade to both secure the success of our rebellion, and to decide the form of our government. It’s one thing to wax philosophical about inherent rights, rights you can’t bargain away, prerogatives that remain with people from cradle to grave, it’s quite another to actually follow and express that in a real world government!

The Constitution doesn’t grant rights, and God only grants rights in the sense that he makes us and our world run a certain way. No, the folks that truly grant rights are us.

We are the ones who agree with one another to the form of whatever government we create. The Social Contract is people deciding between themselves that they will be subject to a government and its laws, in exchange for that government serving their needs as a people, maintaining peace, encouraging prosperity, preventing unnecessary shortages of critical resources, keeping order, etc.

The critical thing to understand is that without a system that reaffirms these rights in a legal sense, then the inalienable rights remain largely philosophical concepts, and nothing much else.

So, by all means, pontificate about who or what grants them in some vaguely spiritual sense. What interests me is how people express these rights, in actual, agreed upon law. The categories I brought up speak to certain layers, levels of law, of actual legal authority.

You guys can talk about the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, but If you’re a black person who feels more vulnerable to getting shot despite being unarmed, who finds themselves harassed, detained, and punished more harshly than their white peers, and your race has a history of seeing their attempts to carve out prosperous, enjoyable lives crushed by white supremacist policies and their legacy… well, you might not feel as if your rights are being properly addressed. Rights may be inalienable, but that doesn’t mean that those rights are being properly observed, or justly dealt with.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at February 11, 2017 8:24 PM
Comment #413172

How many “protests” can you name in the last 40 years where black people burnt their own neighborhoods down? Why does Stephen Daugherty ignore what black people are doing to themselves in Chicago? When was the last time a black person was kicked out of a business because he was black? Why are black women killing off their children with abortions?

I have a hard time believing white people are the only problem black people have, Stephen Daugherty. Maybe your screed blaming white police officers for the problems black people have is the real problem. Every time you make an excuse it reinforces their mindset that it’s someone else at fault.

The best thing that could happen to minorities is the destruction of the Democratic party.

Posted by: Weary Willie at February 12, 2017 9:28 AM
Comment #413173

Stephen

“The critical thing to understand is that without a system that reaffirms these rights in a legal sense, then the inalienable rights remain largely philosophical concepts, and nothing much else.”

Bravo ! And this is why the founders felt so strongly that the general populace should always be well armed.

Posted by: dbs at February 12, 2017 10:08 AM
Comment #413174

stephen

And it brings us full circle. Back to the wisdom of those who truly understood individual liberty.

“Good intentions will always be pleaded for every assumption of authority. It is hardly too strong to say that the Constitution was made to guard the people against the dangers of good intentions. There are men in all ages who mean to govern well, but they mean to govern. They promise to be good masters, but they mean to be masters.” — Daniel Webster

This describes the liberal left, and their belief they are the enlightened ones, but in reality are nothing more than meddling busybodies.

“Of all tyrannies, a tyranny exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end, for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.” — C.S. Lewis

Posted by: dbs at February 12, 2017 10:16 AM
Comment #413177

Stephen writes; “The Constitution doesn’t grant rights, and God only grants rights in the sense that he makes us and our world run a certain way. No, the folks that truly grant rights are us.”

My view is different Stephen. The Declaration of Independence is quite clear and needs no interpretation.

…all men created equal…with certain unalienable Rights…

That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted…

If the Liberal/Progressive faction can convince us that government grants rights rather than God, we are lost as a Democratic Republic. The governments role is to secure our rights, not create new ones or thrash existing ones.

I believe Stephen is simply confused. He is mingling “rights” with “benefits”.

Posted by: Royal Flush at February 12, 2017 3:33 PM
Comment #413191

If rights come from God and not any human institution, then why doesn’t it follow that Syrians enjoy the same rights that Americans do?

Posted by: Warren Porter at February 12, 2017 10:34 PM
Comment #413199

warren

“If rights come from God and not any human institution, then why doesn’t it follow that Syrians enjoy the same rights that Americans do?”

Rights have to be protected. We are as far as I know, the only country with a constitution that protects them. As a back up against tyranny in gov’t we are armed so that we can protect them ourselves should gov’t choose not to. The Syrians will have to do as we did, fight for them, and then secure them with the ability to bring violence against their gov’t to ensure they don’t lose them.

Posted by: dbs at February 13, 2017 6:58 AM
Comment #413204

Warren,
“Are you not arguing in favor of overriding the right to equal treatment because you don’t agree with it?”

Not at all. The state is compelled to treat all individuals equally. What we are discussing is if the state has the power to compel individuals to do the same. Whether we can claim that we cherish individual rights when we use government to infringe upon the individual rights of one in order to benefit another.

Stephen,
What you are saying is that the ACA legally “uncreated” the right of choice in order to legally create a right to no co-pays. Do you believe choice to be a right? Or is it a privilege to be granted on government whim?

dbs
“The Syrians will have to do as we did, fight for them, and then secure them with the ability to bring violence against their gov’t to ensure they don’t lose them.”

VERY well said.

Posted by: kctim at February 13, 2017 11:38 AM
Comment #413206
Rights have to be protected. We are as far as I know, the only country with a constitution that protects them. As a back up against tyranny in gov’t we are armed so that we can protect them ourselves should gov’t choose not to. The Syrians will have to do as we did, fight for them, and then secure them with the ability to bring violence against their gov’t to ensure they don’t lose them.

Today, Syrians are fighting a war against the Assad regime and DAESH to secure those rights. However, not everyone fights in every war.

My grandfather lived in a land where he was threatened by governments that did not protect his rights. Instead of fighting to secure those rights in his native land, he came to the United States as a refugee. Officially speaking, he came here on a temporary tourist/business visa, but the outbreak of full scale war in Europe a few months later made returning home impossible.

After WWII, it became a national policy of the United States to make our nation the #1 destination for refugees fleeing violence and terror across the world. It was a truly remarkable response to the Holocaust, where 6 million Jews were slaughtered because nations like the US would not accept refugees on account of fears Judeo-Anarchist or Judeo-Bolshevist terrorism.

The US promised “never again”, but apparently American promises are not worth the paper they are written on when it comes to Trump.

kctim,

What we are discussing is if the state has the power to compel individuals to do the same.

We’ve already agreed that the state has power to compel people not to kill each other. Compelling people to treat each other fairly is not any different.

Whether we can claim that we cherish individual rights when we use government to infringe upon the individual rights of one in order to benefit another.
Again, you repeat rhetoric without doing anything to prove that it is true. Laws against murder also infringe upon individual rights of one in order to benefit another, yet we universally agree with them.
quote text
Posted by: Warren Porter at February 13, 2017 12:30 PM
Comment #413210

Warren,
We universally agree with them because they are to protect the individuals physical well-being. You have a right to your own life, not to the life of others.
When you murder someone, you are denying them their right to life. When you treat someone unfairly, their right to life is still intact. The fact that it may not be the kind of life you want, is irrelevant.

Now, your silly comparison aside, the fact is that we have agreed to put society ahead of the individual and we now allow government to condition behavior. It is a done deal.
The only relative question now is how far are we willing to go with all this? Do we give everybody ‘free’ government health care to “treat each other fairly?” Do we give everybody a home to “treat each other fairly?” Co-pays? Cars? Shower privileges? Food?
Where does it end?

Posted by: kctim at February 13, 2017 2:42 PM
Comment #413212

Weary Willie-
Wow. How melodramatic can you get about black people? Your comment reads like somebody who only knows black people from what they saw on the news. Oh, of course, the black people you know, which might be your friends, are the okay ones, not like the dirty n*****s you see on television.

Or maybe what you’re seeing on television oversells the conflict and chaos? Maybe most of them, by the vast majority, are like the ones you consider the good ones.

I think White people have added a lot of problems to black people’s lives, on top of the ones that human beings typically run into. I think treating the whole damn race as if they’re responsible for what every little punk or criminal does, does a disservice to those who chose to abide by the law. You want to talk to them about personal responsibility, then by God quit with this rhetoric that nails the entire race for the actions of a few. You want personal responsibility, then quit painting the character of the entire race with the actions of its worst members. You listen to what they actually say, and you might find them cursing those people out, too.

The best thing that could happen to minorities is that the Republican Party starts treating them like human beings, and not a homogeneous racial group to scare white voters about.

dbs-
1) I find it strange that the first thing you think about when it comes to my point about the expression of inalienable rights is guns. I think John Locke, who put forward the right to life as the primary, first of all inalienable rights, the one all others bowed to, would have been appalled at that.

Saddam Hussein’s people had guns. They did not have free speech. They did not have free assembly. One party ruled. They had no free press.

Guns alone do not make a people free. The ability to find out what your government is doing makes you free. The ability to choose who rules over you in a robust way makes you free. The ability to report on the actions of the government, the ability to speak and petition your government without fear of reprisal makes you free.

2)You guys like to wrap yourself in the cloak of liberty, but you’re all too willing to let the criminal justice system run people over, let the police operate above the law, let the politicians in Washington send ominous signals about the press and politics. You say it describes us, and sometimes, admittedly, it can.

Your problem is, you lack so much self-awareness that you don’t realize it can apply to you, too. It’s hard to break off from one’s own self-righteousness and realize that we’re only human, and our rivals rise up to the level of being our equals. You meddle in people’s personal lives, their religious lives, their reproductive rights, but you’ve clear that for yourself, deemed it necessary.

The trick to our system of government is understanding that everybody thinks they’re right. Being convinced you’re right is not a sufficient reason to justify imposing everything you believe in on everybody else.

3) God grants rights the way the genes in a seed grant a tree the potential to be tall, the lion the potential to be strong. If that were not so, if it did not equate to potential, then how have so many tyrannies existed through out human history? A right not written has no force against the whims of the people, of society.

A grant without means of enforcement is a promise without the means to be kept.

But what are the rights God grants us? Theoretically, you could say he’s granted us the right to do anything we bloody well want, good and evil!

No, that’s not what you mean, do you?

We’re talking more along the lines of natural law, of things, values, that it’s good to acknowledge between ourselves, so that everybody profits from it. But even so, do you dare tell me you know the full scope of what God intended for us, in terms of rights? Or that whatever the Conservatives have guaranteed us stands at the limits, at the fulfillment of all those rights?

I believe in God. I don’t believe we can or ever will sit at his level, able to know his whole mind. If you claim your relationship with him gives you complete knowledge of his grant of rights to us, then you will have to color me skeptical.

Those who don’t believe in God, or your God, would be even more skeptical of the argument. You might prefer to have this argument from a foundation friendly to your beliefs, and beneficial to your self-worth, allowing you to feel better about yourself than you feel about others, but they’re going to do the same thing in your direction, so it will only really matter to you and those like you.

If others don’t buy your divine inspiration arguments, then we have to ask ourselves where the real world fulfillment of those rights come from, as that would be something universal to more than one side.

Let’s say at some point, your side decides they’ve had enough, and you rise up with your guns. Let’s say that uprising not only succeeds, but you take over full control of the government. What then keeps the other side from deciding that you’re tyrants and need to be overthrown? Nothing but their own agreement.

The value of a system like ours, is that just the act of being able to speak your peace without being officially sanctioned helps make us a more united people. This nation is full of people with profound differences that elsewhere in the world could see one side or the other jailing their dissenters. Here? People might not like you because of a viewpoint, but you’re not put in jail for not toeing a party line. That means fewer political prisoners whose rebellion alone gives their views credibility. Religions that kill each other elsewhere mostly keep their peace here. Socialists and Capitalists debate, and neither side fears arrest for their views.

Fewer differences become life and and death, become the subject of civil unrest, and we have far greater robustness and flexibility in our thinking.

You guys think that, say, banning Muslims, or putting official pressure on them would be a good idea. Trick is, one reason we haven’t had half the violence and terrorism that many European Countries have, is that once you go pat a generation or two, people mostly become acculturated Americans of their own free will. Nobody deprives them of the stake in our society that makes, for most of them, a strike against our interests a strike against their own. European Countries, long concerned about ethnic, linguistic, and racial purity, have ended up concentrating and intensifying the differences of those people, creating a situation where many of them exist a second class citizens, nationals who’ve never known their grandparents or great grandparent’s country of origin, who speak the local languages.

Or, put another way: I oppose many of the Republican’s Islamophobic policies because I’ve seen the way they’ve failed in Europe. Social ties grow between embraced people, not ghettoized people. Our lack of success with black poverty owes itself in part to housing policies that actually deliberately discriminated against minorities.

The Rights and equality many people sneer do more than benefit other people, they often encourage them to benefit us.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at February 13, 2017 4:09 PM
Comment #413213

warren

“We’ve already agreed that the state has power to compel people not to kill each other. Compelling people to treat each other fairly is not any different.’

actually it isn’t. One requires I do nothing. The other requires I actually do something whether I agree with it or not. You have a right to life. All that requires is that I do nothing. You have no right to be treated fairly by me. That would require action on my part. I can choose not to deal with you at all. That would be my right to freedom of association, or in this case my choice not to associate.

“Laws against murder also infringe upon individual rights of one in order to benefit another, yet we universally agree with them.”

Again that requires that I not kill you. Respecting your right to life requires me to do nothing. Your argument is a bit of mental contortion.

Posted by: dbs at February 13, 2017 4:14 PM
Comment #413214

Stephen

“Guns alone do not make a people free.”

Try to fight tyranny without them. Rocks and bottles are very effective against tyrants armed with guns. They are a necessity, but not the only necessity.

“Theoretically, you could say he’s granted us the right to do anything we bloody well want, good and evil!”

More twisted logic. Try to understand, your rights require I do nothing in order for them to exist. I have no right to infringe on yours. Again if it requires that I give or do something against my will, IE surrender my labor, property, it is not a right.

Posted by: dbs at February 13, 2017 4:27 PM
Comment #413218

Warren writes; “The US promised “never again”, but apparently American promises are not worth the paper they are written on when it comes to Trump.”

Silly twit comment. Every recent president, from both parties, has enforced our immigration laws and protected our borders. Please name the president that broke the law.

Posted by: Royal Flush at February 13, 2017 6:00 PM
Comment #413235

dbs-
Fighting tyranny? You see that as some fun, glorious firefight that you get to have, soaked in revolutionary glory as you finally stick it to those big government libtards in the most fundamental way possible.

But if you wait that long, and take that route, then you’ve wasted much of the legacy the framers bequeathed to us with the Constitution and the bill of rights.

The Fourth Amendment is part of what fights tyranny, making arbitrary arrests, those without cause or even crime illegal. The First Amendment is part of what fights tyranny, allowing people to share information and views even when it’s difficult for those in government to tolerate or even believe what is being said. I could go on, but the point is, the Framers didn’t trust to force alone to combat tyranny. All the different checks and balances, which I have seen people like you arrogantly reject on political grounds, are part of what combats tyranny. You don’t see yourselves as tyrants, as people overstepping normal boundaries, but then, who does?

We have a system designed to pit those who would seek power against each other. You balk at its constraints, protesting that your intentions are the best. But if you read those quotes you wrote, and really thought about it, you might come to the conclusion that you can be a tyrant in the name of what you believe, same as anybody else.

To state it plainly, I see the theft of the appointment from Obama as an act of Tyranny. The American People elected him, and the seat came up substantially in his term. This wasn’t some lame-duck appointment, post election-day, this was well within his final year, and there are quite a few judges, important, famous judges who were appointed in those parts of President’s terms. There is far more precedent for that, than your “Biden Rule,” which is itself a distortion of what Biden actually suggested.

It’s no distortion to say God granted us complete freedom to act. What he does not grant us freedom from is the consequence of each of those actions.

You’re try to tell me that God some how besprinkles our notion of inalienable rights with what… success sparkles? The truth of the matter is, what makes inalienable rights inalienable is that they are consequentially linked to the good fortune of each of us. We each will fight for our lives, and if they are taken outside of a lawful process, that means we end up fighting each other. We each will fight to free ourselves, to control our own lives. If that liberty is taken outside a just process, we will end up fighting each other, over that. Our pursuit of property, of good, happy lives, to not constantly suffer or want is a considerable part of what we struggle for. And if folks take that from us outside the law, outside justice, we will fight to restore it.

The trick of all that is that fulfilling these rights is more complex than your dogmas are capable of dealing, or my dogmas for that matter. On abortion for example, you can think of it simplistically as life begins at conception. But others look at it as a matter of time before the unborn child is truly there, truly capable of suffering. Death is not meaningful for a clump of cells, if you don’t think there’s a spirit there. Additionally, these people who think that way look not just at gestation, but what comes after, whether the parents can afford to raise that child, etc.

You think you know the sum total of what Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of happiness/property means. But the whole point of a government like ours, and the debate that supports that is that we all have different ideas about how to best achieve that, different ideas about what actually fulfills the constitution. You want to force yours on the rest of us, rather than work with us to actually come up with a compromise on such matters more of us can sign onto. You want your own thing, all to yourselves, rather than sharing this country and the power that governs it, as the Framers designed our government to help us do.

Royal Flush-
The actions taken by Trump uncomfortably echo those of the Nazis in the run-up to WWII and the Holocaust.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at February 14, 2017 8:51 AM
Comment #413251

The actions taken by Trump uncomfortably echo those of the Nazis in the run-up to WWII and the Holocaust.
Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at February 14, 2017 8:51 AM

Really? This is what you believe? Sorry that his doing his duty to keep the country safe is “uncomfortable” for you. But, get over it…and yourself Pal.

Posted by: Royal Flush at February 14, 2017 1:54 PM
Comment #413290

Stephen Daugherty, can I make a request?

Can you link to an audio version of your comments?

Especially the long ones?

I’d rather (notdan) listen to your comments than read them.

If you could post an audio link of your comments it would be too kool!

Posted by: Weary Willie at February 14, 2017 6:56 PM
Comment #413368

Royal Flush-
Look, if you replaced “Muslim” with “Jew”, or “Christian”, you’d be outraged. And that’s just the thing. The law has to apply equally to all. Your people call yourselves constitutionalists, but your leader’s order her violates it on several levels. Perhaps he’s honestly trying to save the country from terrorist attack! But that isn’t the point.

Plenty of bad and awful policy has positive motivation, at least in the eyes of those making it. That’s why the Constitution is there, because we can’t count on the fact that people are good at heart to prevent them from doing bad and tyrannical things!

His duty is to the constitution as well as the people. Part of the Constitution says you don’t get to attack people because of religious affiliation, single them out. And no, it’s not just the text of what he said. You can legally consider what a person has stated the purpose of a law is in blocking it for being discriminatory, even if the means of blocking are ostensibly neutral. Trump clearly stated that he would institute a Muslim ban, and surprise, surprise, guess who are the majority in all the countries he’s blocking?

Your people… They’ve decided that their interpretation of the Constitution is flawless, and everybody has to agree with them, or else their views violate it. But like so many who get inflated senses of their own competence on a topic, they’re actually very spotty on being consistent with what they believe themselves the best at.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at February 16, 2017 8:18 AM
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