Third Party & Independents Archives

November 7th

On Tuesday, November 7th, Americans will once again head to the polls to exercise one of the most important rights we possess. To be able to vote and voice our agreement or disagreement with the powers that be, or to vote our dissent against all candidates, is a very important component of our democratic system. We have a chance with this election to change the course (or if you are of the mind, “stay the course”) our nation is taking with so many serious issues.

As one of the recent political ads have stated "The Stakes Are Important". Indeed they are, but not for the reasons the ad provided. We have I believe, a much more important issue at hand. Should we change the control of Congress in order to better govern the Executive Branch?

Many citizens such as myself are optimistic about this November’s election because we are hoping for a change of control of Congress. I am hopeful that we will see the Democrats obtain control of at least the House of Representatives. The reason is not so much that I think the Democrats have all the answers. I do not. The reason I want the Democrats to gain control of the House is that I want to see some oversight brought to the executive branch of the government. Mr. Bush’s presidency has for but for about one year enjoyed same party congressional leadership in both houses of Congress. Mr. Bush has effectively had a rubber stamp applied to his desires by an organization that was created to be a check or a governing factor against executive imperiousness.

As a nation, we have seen the Executive branch of the government claim more and more power with little resistence from the majority party in Congress. We have seen this President show disdain for the Constitution by saying "It’s just a goddam piece of paper!", and through the use presidential signing statements that in effect allows the President to give himself the ability to interpret the law.

Article one, section eight of the Constitution states: To make all laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into execution the foregoing powers, and all other powers vested by this Constitution in the government of the United States, or in any department or officer thereof.

The President can either sign the legislation, leave it unsigned, when after ten days, it is passed or he can veto the bill. The Congress can then choose to allow the veto to stand or can vote to override. If two-thirds of the Congress votes to override, then the legislation will stand.

The current occupant of the White House has found and easier way of working than complying with the Constitution. He simply ignores it. With this administration, the use of presidential signing statements has become a tool for interpreting laws as the President sees fit. He has written at least 130 signing statements issuing 750 executive challenges to the laws that he himself signed and is bound by Constitutional directive to execute.

For example, with regard to the amendment to the Defense Authorization Bill of 2005, sponsored by Senator John McCain prohibiting the inhumane treatment of detainees, the President had this to say:

"The executive branch shall construe Title X in Division A of the Act, relating to detainees, in a manner consistent with the constitutional authority of the President to supervise the unitary executive branch and as Commander in Chief and consistent with the constitutional limitations on the judicial power, which will assist in achieving the shared objective of the Congress and the President, evidenced in Title X, of protecting the American people from further terrorist attacks."

The signing statement basically says that the President shall construe (interpret, understand, take it to mean, whatever) Title X to mean whatever they believe it means. In other words, the executive branch shall construe Title X to mean whatever they want it to mean as long as it protects the American people from further terrorist attacks. So, as Mr. Cheney has so artfully described recently when asked about "dunking detainees in water" (his term for waterboarding),he replies "No Brainer!". As Lewis Carroll wrote in Alice in Wonderland: "When I use a word," Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, "it means just what I choose it to mean -- neither more nor less."

This Congress has allowed the power of the presidency to expand almost at will. Oh, there are occasional voices of disagreement that are heard. One of the few in Congress with any authority that will challenge the president is Senator Arlen Spector, but his arguments against the administrations have had little impact.

We must have oversight in Washington. Our legislature needs to govern itself better and rein in abuses of power by the executive branch. Some will say divided government will cause work to slow down and we’ll suffer “grid-lock” If the price of oversight comes in the form of grid-lock, then so be it. I do not however, believe that will be the case as history has shown us that divided government generally works well, and in some cases better than a government led by one political party.

Our nation must have a government that remains true to the principles and rules described in the Constitution. This Congress has failed in their responsibility to check the excesses of the executive branch. For that reason alone, the balance of power in Congress should shift to the Democrats this November.

Posted by Dennis at October 29, 2006 11:21 AM
Comments
Comment #191328

I have been hoping for divided government for almost the whole or Jr’s presidency. I liked the ballance that was stuck under slick willy when he was in office. We actually saw compromise for bills that people really wanted passed. Even Bill himself compromised to get some of the things he thought was really important.
As far as I am concerned bring on the grid lock. I just voted for the Dem here in southern Oregon to challange our incumbant. I really hope its a win for the D’s here but this district is pretty much a lock for the R’s.
Maybe my wifes and my vote will be the tipping point.
And all you hard core R’s out their trying to scare me by intoning Polici (SP). I tell you Jr. and the R’s have done more damage then she can.

Posted by: timesend at October 29, 2006 1:24 PM
Comment #191332

Dennis, Good article, May your wishes all come true.

Posted by: j2t2 at October 29, 2006 2:36 PM
Comment #191491

Dennis,
Good article.
I do believe the Republican party needs to have some of their power stripped from them, because they abused it. Also, grid-lock is better than tyranny. Ideally, I wish voters would take off they partisan-blinders, and stop re-electing the very same irresponsible, bought-and-paid-for, look-the-other-way incumbents (in BOTH parties).

Dennis wrote: We have a chance with this election to change the course (or if you are of the mind, “stay the course”) our nation is taking with so many serious issues.
Dennis wrote: Many citizens such as myself are optimistic about this November’s election because we are hoping for a change of control of Congress. I am hopeful that we will see the Democrats obtain control of at least the House of Representatives. The reason is not so much that I think the Democrats have all the answers. I do not. The reason I want the Democrats to gain control of the House is that I want to see some oversight brought to the executive branch of the government.
Yes, I agree that Republicans and the Executive Branch need to be reined in a bit. Hopefully, there will be some new Democrat challengers elected. What we really need is to see a lot of irresponsible Democrat and irresponsible Republican incubments voted out. While I think many Republicans won’t vote, or will vote Democrat(s), I don’t think many Democrats will. In fact, most appear to be giddy with the prospect of getting their turn again to be the “IN PARTY”. Republicans will most likely lose the majority, and that’s good, but other than that, not much will change, as usual, because there are still too many voters that will blindly pull the party-lever, keep blindly voting straight-ticket, and keep re-electing, rewarding, and empowering the very same irresponsible incumbent politicians that keep ignoring the voters, keep refusing to enforce exiting laws, refuse many common-sense, no-brainer, responsible reforms, and keep using and abusing the voters, and threatening the future and security of the nation.

Who doesn’t know about the corruption and irresponsibility of Congress ?
Who doesn’t know that government is FOR-SALE?
Who doesn’t know about Jack Abramoff, Bob Ney, Tom Delay, Duke Cunningham, William Jefferson?
Who doesn’t know that is just the tip of the iceberg?

So, why do voters keep re-electing them ? ? ?
Some have been there for decades.
Some say it’s because of their experience.
Experience at what?
Graft, bribery, corruption, and looking the other way?
Just stop re-electing them.
It’s very simple.
It is the one simple, common-sense, peaceful, non-partisan, and responsible thing that voters were supposed to be doing all along; always:

  • Stop Repeat Offenders.
  • Do NOT Re-Elect Irresponsible, Bought-and-Paid-For, Look-the-Other-Way, Incumbent Politicians !

It is simply the right and responsible thing to do.
The diffuculty is the blind-party-loyalty.
Voters will learn this eventually (the hard way).
Why not learn it before things get worse?
Consider the many PROs and CONs.
How do voters expect irresponsible government to become more responsible if voters keep re-electing irresponsible incubment politicians?
Can you name 10, 20, 50, 100, or even 268 (half of 535) in Congress that are responsible, that don’t vote on pork-barrel, that don’t peddle influence, that don’t look the other way?
What if there are not even 268?
What does that tell you?

Dennis wrote: Our nation must have a government that remains true to the principles and rules described in the Constitution. This Congress has failed in their responsibility to check the excesses of the executive branch.

Remember that when you go to vote this year; not only this 7-Nov-2006, but every election.
Voters were NEVER supposed to keep blindly pulling the party-lever (i.e. voting straight ticket) and RE-electing irresponsible incumbent politicians.
That is how irresponsible incumbent politicians maintain cu$hy 90% RE-election rate.
The nation has many pressing problems, growing in number and severity.
Why is that? It’s because government is irresponsible, and voters keep RE-electing them.

Since many elections are won by only a small margin, and 90% of elections are won by the candidate that spends the most money, only a small percentage of all voters is needed to stop blindly re-electing irresponsible incumbent politicians.
Did you know 83% of all federal campaign donations ($200 or more; $2.0 billion of $2.4 billion in 2004) came from only 0.15% of all 200 million eligible voters?
The hyper-wealthy are buying government.
This is a huge reason for a number of things government ignores, and reforms that Congress refuses to pass.
Government is NOT supposed to be FOR-SALE.
If enough voters (only a few percent of all eligible voters) choose to stop RE-electing irresponsible incumbent politicians, then it could change that, and it would NOT go unnoticed by incumbent politicians.

Are you tired of our do-nothing Congress that refuses to pass many badly-needed, common-sense, no-brainer reforms because it may possibly reduce their power, opportunities for self-gain, or the security of their cu$hy, coveted incumbent seats of abused power?

If so, then it is our responsibility to help use reason and logic to convince others that the purpose of voting was never supposed to be about blind party loyalty. Do not re-elect irresponsible incumbent politicians (which would be most, if not all). Voters can NEVER obtain more responsible government by continually RE-electing irresponsible incumbent politicians.

Posted by: d.a.n at October 30, 2006 1:37 PM
Comment #191557

I think the only time you could have a truely effective government is with a Dem. House, a Rep. Senate, and a Non-Partisan Executive.

Just imagine it.

Our humanitarian Dems easily develope thier pro-humanity legislation.

Our fiscal Repubs morph it into something that is non-detrimental to the stability of the economy.

Then our Non-Pars give it a final over view to ensure it is niether unconstitutional or oppressive to ones rights.

This would be truely beautiful!

So, while I may lean more right, even I can openly admit that an instability of power from ANY side will result in an instability of governance.

I say this: Liberal rights, conservative ergonomics and balanced protection from the priors!

Posted by: Bryan AJ Kennedy at October 30, 2006 5:24 PM
Comment #191572

Like with race, it’s best to be color blind.
Likewise with repect to gender, age, religion, etc.

Similarly, with respect to government, it would be best to be Party-Blind, instead of a brainwashed Blind-Party-Loyalist.

Instead, just do the one simple thing that voters were supposed to be doing all along, always:

  • Just stop re-electing irresponsible, bought-and-paid-for, look-the-other-way incubment politicians.

If you look at Congress’ handi-work, there is really not that much difference between Republican and Democrat incumbent politicians. They are actually quite similar.

But, the Party thing is a good gig.
Politicians love to fuel the petty partisan warfare.
And, some voters love to wallow in it.
That’s how they fool gullable voters.
That’s how they control voters.
And, no matter how irresponsible the incumbent politicians are, no matter how much they use and abuse the voters, the blind-party-loyalist voters keep re-electing them, year after year (for decades). Well, voters will learn, but they won’t like it, because it will be the hard way, and they will only have themselves to thank for it. There does not mean there are not innocents. Your children will also pay dearly for your negligence. Thanks a lot mom and dad, and all the rest of you brainwashed blind-party loyalists.

Posted by: d.a.n at October 30, 2006 6:29 PM
Comment #191582

[there is really not that much difference between Republican and Democrat incumbent politicians]
d.a.n.

That is true, but as long as we are stuck with them we should do our best to keep them equal, that way their own dilusions of different agendas will force them to keep each other in check.

I know it sounds scandalous, but really just think of it as telling two twins at seperat times they are baby-sitting the other and they will spend all their tim edebating to the point that anything outside their own little bubbles of reality could march pass in broad daylight with a band a leading the way completely unnoticed to them.

Perseption is reality… so long as reality doesn’t percieve.

I say direct their scandals to each other to take the damage off the American people and watch them destroy themselves.

Posted by: Bryan AJ Kennedy at October 30, 2006 6:49 PM
Comment #191623

Dennis, I could not agree with your premise more! The goal is to restore balance and checks and end this slide toward authoritarian government which has so compromised our Bill of Rights, our national security, and the future prosperity of our nation.

Posted by: David R. Remer at October 30, 2006 8:16 PM
Comment #191896

I think there is real opportunity for change in ‘08. The groundwork is laid among people like us who are skeptical about how partisan politics will continue. I think a huge part of this opportunity is among the younger generations, namely, through technology. It has changed so much in its role over the past two years and will change that much more. The battle for moderation will be won or lost, I believe, in the world of technology, coupled with and in cooperation with traditional methods. I heard this podcast talking about it…very interesting stuff…I highly recommend it.
politics and technology podcast

Posted by: JB at October 31, 2006 3:06 PM
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