Saturday, October 01, 2005
Now now children, listen to Ms. Hughes.
Take for example Karen Hughes. She is on a jaunt to the Mid East trying to give America a better image on the “Arab street”. The good lord knows we need one. Of course most Americans know when you travel overseas, to communicate you must speak slowly, with easy to understand words and maybe with a bit of a raised voice. Of course the Administration does the same thing on the home front as well. Here are some recent examples from Hughes acting like the teacher of a 1st grade class.
"You might want to know why the countries. Egypt is, of course, the most populous Arab country... Saudi Arabia is our second stop; it's obviously an important place in Islam and the keeper of its two holiest sites ... Turkey is also a country that encompasses people of many different backgrounds and beliefs, and yet is proud of the saying that 'All are Turks'."
Well thank you Ms. Hughes. Without your assistance we would never have realized that Saudi Arabia was an important place in Islam! They have holy sites over there... Wow. Imagine the confusion when bubba from down south learns that the holy site described here is not a mechanism that allows you to aim correctly and never miss under Gods blessing. Maybe she can explain that upon her return.
"Many people around the world do not understand the important role that faith plays in Americans' lives," she said. When an Egyptian opposition leader inquired why Mr Bush mentions God in his speeches, Hughes asked him whether he was aware that "previous American presidents have also cited God, and that our constitution cites 'one nation under God'."
"Well, never mind," he said.
Let us applaud Ms. Hughes on this shall we. She has taken the proven administration tactic of not answering the question by referring to other examples that fit what the questioner was asking. This is very effective when dealing with children in a non informative way. Ms Hughes why do trees have leaves? Well they are plants. And other plants have leaves to. Now leave me alone and take your nap. This is far better than Ms. Hughes just saying something like: ‘President Bush mentions God because he has been hand chosen by God to do his work here on Earth’, which is what she and President Bush actually believe. But let us hold our applause upon further reflection. It seems our teacher has made a bit of an error. Nowhere in the Constitution do the words “one nation under God” appear. So off to the chalkboard with you Ms. Hughes. You must write 100 times, ‘The constitution does not establish a theocracy’.
Here’s another gem:
"You're concerned about war, and no one likes war," Hughes said . But "to preserve the peace, sometimes my country believes war is necessary,"
Lets get this straight... and now lets look at this like adults because sometimes it is necessary to do so. The war we should be waging right now is the one in Afghanistan. That war was necessary not to keep the peace, but in response to an egregious breach of the peace. The war we should not be involved with is the one in Iraq. That war was/is not necessary, and is not preserving the peace. It is rather strengthening the enemy who would like to breach the peace again. No one likes war Ms. Hughes? That certainly isn’t how it appears when you look at this from an honest perspective. This war was a war of choice, planned and fomented by the neocons for over a decade, and launched on the platform of the tragedy of 9/11. So lets get back to the language you use Ms. Hughes. Afghan war good, Iraq war BAD! Now go stand in a corner.
In their mind this may very well be a religious war in their mind. Not to mention good business for Bushco buddies.
Aiding the rebuilding of New Orleans is a better reason for impeachment. The constitution gives him absolutely no authority to redistribute wealth that way. The president’s authority is limited, and by taxing citizens and giving the money to one city or state he has exceeded his authority. Obviously, he has done so to pacify the socialist liberals, who have little regard for the constitution. In fact, you are attacking him for not exceeding his constitutional authority fast enough!
But even Bush’s liberal socialist handouts are not sufficient to warrant impeachment. He cannot be removed from office unless convicted of “Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.” He hasn’t been accused of treason or bribery, and lying on TV is not a crime (and it would be tough to prove any of what you call lies.) Setting policies that you disagree with is legal. There have been no “high Crimes and Misdemeanors” committed by Bush. By calling for impeachment you are asking Congress to violate the constitution.
We are a free nation because of our constitution. It is the highest law of the land. We should study it, love it, and be willing to die for it so that our children might be free. Yet you want to punish Bush for upholding it, denigrate him for not exceeding the authority it gives him, and ask Congress to impeach him in violation of it.
You are either ignorant or just don’t respect the freedom you’ve been given. Perhaps you are a product of the public school system. But it’s not too late to get educated. Read the constitution and try to find where he is authorized to rebuild a city. Start using your brain instead of just regurgitating liberal nonsense.
George Bush actually cannot constitutionally move one single dollar to rebuilding efforts without the consent of Congress. You trash my supposed lack of knowledge of that document so I must admit I am really surprised at your argument in this case. You may wish to recall those members of Congress who voted for the spending measures that included the disaster relief, but without their approval not one iota of Bush's rebuilding effort would come to fruition. Do you also believe the "socialist liberals" dominate congress as well Jeff? I suppose that means you will be doing everything in your power to make sure the party currently controlling these august bodies will be removed in that case. I look forward to the day when you will register as a democrat in protest of the current socialist liberals running the show. I wont hold my breath.
Regarding the runup to the Iraq war as a reason for impeachment: The argument here is actually very simple. Your assertion that the power to "defend the constitution" or as I would put it, to "wage war" is constitutionally based solely upon the presidents determinations are actually far from true. Once again I'm surprised you would attack my supposed lack of education and understanding of the Constition immediately after making such a patently absurd argument. The power to wage war, or defend the constitution through use of arms or however you choose to phrase it is indeed constitutionally given to the congress. (You MUST know that!) It was with congressional resolution that the president was granted authority to invade Iraq. So the issue of impeachment then is: did the president knowingly mislead the congress in order to gain this authority. I believe the Downing Street Memo's conclusively provide the answer to this as being yes. Furthermore, the president in his 2003 state of the union address told, what was understood by his administration at the time, a lie. If you need the details of this I'll be happy to provide them but I do outline them in my article for impeachment.
I'll leave my defense of the last paragraph to what I have already posted regarding supposed lack of knowlege and what not...
I attacked Bush for caving in to the socialist forces and you attacked Congress for the same thing. Then you challenge me to join the socialist forces. What kind of a backward argument is that? It makes no sense.
Then you apparently ignored my suggestion that you read the constitution, because you claim that the power to “wage war” is constitutionally given to Congress. Congress is given, in Article I Section 8, the power to “declare War” but Article II Section 1 requires the president to take an oath to “defend the Constitution”. Since you equate “defend the constitution” with “wage war”, then waging war is the president’s job. Apparently you have been relying on biased liberals who twist words, instead of reading the source document and thinking for yourself.
As I said before, there have been no treason, bribery, or “high Crimes and Misdemeanors” committed by Bush. Since you are using a straw man argument by repeating the refrain that he lied, it appears that you concede my point. So give up on the “impeach Bush” idea. You have no grounds for it.
I find it surprising that Jeff would somehow conclude that my invitation to join the side of congress that holds no power and could not pass a motion declaring kittens are cute if they could not get Republican approval, is somehow asking him to join the "socialist liberal" side responsible for the Katrina relief effort. If Jeffs' complaint regarding this relief effort were that Democrats didn't filibuster the measure maybe he'd have a point, but I suspect thats not the reason for his angst. You claim they are somehow "caving in to the socialist forces". This is laughable on its face. The Republicans went into this knowing full well what they were doing and to think this was done because of Democratic political pressure is just silly. I don't understand how, when the history of this Congress and President point to repeated instances of profligate deficit spending, Jeff suddenly sees the light and blames it on Democrats in this instance.
And frankly I don't see how I have somehow bobbed and weaved what-so-ever when in response to your questioning of my knowlege of the constitution, I point out the obvious mistaken constitutional conclusions you are drawing. To say the commander in chief is constitutionally authorized to go to war based on what he "feels... is necessary" as your 1st post concludes is just absurd. As is the notion that the president is somehow going to extra constitutional measures by proposing to fund the gulf coast rebuilding effort. I mean the president has proposed funding a mission to mars! Is that constitional? Not until he gets congressional approval of his proposal. This really is basic.
1. Misleading Congress or the public is not an impeachable offense.
2. Bush is required to “defend the Constitution” per Article II Section 1.
3. The federal government has no constitutional authority to be involved with local disaster relief.
Each of these points is easily provable by simply READING THE CONSTITUTION. If you agree with them, say so and we can move on. If not, tell me where to look in the constitution.
Clause 4 of the same article reads: (4) As President, William Jefferson Clinton refused and failed to respond to certain written requests for admission and willfully made perjurious, false and misleading sworn statements in response to certain written requests for admission propounded to him as part of the impeachment inquiry authorized by the House of Representatives of the Congress of the United States. William Jefferson Clinton, in refusing and failing to respond and in making perjurious, false and misleading statements, assumed to himself functions and judgments necessary to the exercise of the sole power of impeachment vested by the Constitution in the House of Representatives and exhibited contempt for the inquiry.
It seems clear that knowingly misleading congress, by precedent, is cause for impeachment. Indeed the framers of the Clinton impeachment went so far as to include misleading the public as a cause for impeachment. My argument rests solely on presidential lying to Congress and not the lower bar set by your side in the Clinton impeachment.
I never dissented on point 2. I merely pointed out that in the pursuit of the defense of the constitution the president is guided by certain constitutional principles, which you have conveniently ignored in pursuit of your argument. Your statement "He could feel this (defending the constitution) is necessary for any number of reasons, whether you agree with them or not" as justification for unilateral presidential military action is not constitutionally justified.
Point 3: You have mistated your own original point. Your original argument was that the President (not the federal government) had no such authority. "The constitution gives him (the president) absolutely no authority to redistribute wealth that way. I correctly pointed out that the Congress actually has that authority (assuming the president were to sign that measure, or the congress could override the veto). But onto your new assertion that the "Federal Government" has no such authority: It would be a novel approach to the constitution to assert that congress could not designate funding for projects that improve the general welfare. Your rejoinder I'm sure will be to the effect that this is a local issue and not "general". We could go back and forth with the semantics for awhile, but suffice to say that this issue is settled and not in the manner you wish. You would tend to believe that funding bridges to nowhere in Alaska would be unconstitutional using your logic, but I wouldn't propose that.
2. So we agree (“I never dissented on point 2”) that Bush is required to defend the constitution. Now we can discuss your contention that in such a case “the president is guided by certain constitutional principles.” That is wrong. In your previous posts you talked about requiring congressional approval, which is not in the constitution. Are any of these “constitutional principles” actually based on the constitution? Which article? Please try to stick with the facts instead of what “seems clear” or is generally believed.
3. Again, I asked you to read the constitution and show me, but you just retreat to stating what you think is fact (i.e. “Congress actually has that authority”). Let me help you out. The closest that the constitution comes to what you think is in Article I Section 8 first paragraph: “The Congress shall have power to… collect Taxes…to pay the Debts and provide for the… general Welfare of the United States…” And you think that the term “general Welfare” includes local projects. I’m afraid that we’re going to continue to disagree on that. I argue strict, literal constitutional interpretation. There are a lot of “constitutionalists” who agree with me, regardless of historical precedent.
4. Moving on from that point of disagreement to more rhetoric that can’t be proven, I would like to point out that government “entitlements” are inherently socialist in nature. When disaster struck New Orleans, you socialists were quick to criticize Bush for not acting fast enough to come to the rescue. Whereas, those of us who believe in less government and more freedom think you are a bunch of nuts, and Bush has no business being involved. You shouldn’t expect the federal government to provide for your individual welfare. It might feel good in the short term, but it is bad for society in the long term (e.g. the USSR).
I choose to not respond to your attacks on my beliefs as constituting socialism. I think the high road is the best course for me to take as the low road could lead to alot of name calling and figurative flinging of fecal matter which really isn't very constructive. We will simply, and civilly I hope, agree to disagree on the Constitutional role Congress takes in funding the general welfare.
The use of precedent in following legal issues is well established and respected. The constitutional terminology "high crimes and misdemeanors," is ambiguous at best and open to interpretation. The procedures set forth by the constitution do not require a legal judgement against the President in order for impeachment to commence. Therefore, constitutionally, it is left to the judgement of the House of Representatives as to whether or not the activity of the the President is impeachable. I contend that presenting false reports to Congress is of itself a felonious act, and impeachable. The notion that lying to Congress is not a violation of law would be novel. I also point to precedence to make my case which hardly is cause for the other side of the legal argument to scoff and what not, but would normally be the oppurtunity for you to detail why the precedent was incorrect.
I have not been changing my arguments at all except to condense them to a simpler form so you could not miss the point, as you never seemed to address the actual issue. For example, I broadened “the president’s authority is limited” to “federal government has no constitutional authority” which encompasses my original statement, since the president is part of the federal government, and should be easier for you to refute.
I said that Bush sent aid “to pacify the socialist liberals.” From this one statement you concluded that I think the socialist liberals "dominate congress and the president." That is a huge extrapolation on your part and incorrect. Just because a politician does something to pacify the homosexual voting block doesn’t mean that he is a homosexual or dominated by the homosexuals. The same for socialist liberals.
Now if your main justification for impeaching Bush is that he lied to Congress, you still haven’t met the constitutional requirement. Clinton lied under oath in a criminal investigation, committing the crime of perjury. Bush didn’t. When Congress calls witness before a committee the make them swear to tell the truth, so if they lie they can be charged with perjury. They don’t do that to the president or to other political peers. Lying to Congress has never been criminalized. (If it were, I wonder how many politicians we could lock up.) Hence, no crime and no “high Crimes and Misdemeanors”. We could argue about whether he truly lied, but it is much simpler to see that no crime was committed. You suggested that I provide “detail why the precedent was incorrect,” but instead I offer that the precedent doesn’t apply. The details of Clinton’s lying are noted in his impeachment, but the part about “perjurious, false and misleading sworn statements” statements was necessary to impeach. Bush made no sworn statements.
I agree that precedent is good and useful. I have been studiously avoiding it until now, hoping to keep to a discussion of the actual words of the constitution. I admit that I have failed. I can’t get you to read it. I don’t know why.
I'm sorry but the Constitution does NOT give the Commander in Chief the authority to invade another nation without Congressional approval. It is really that simple. Unless you believe the founding fathers in giving the Congress the ability to declare war were somehow... sheesh... I guess I just dont know HOW you could reach the conclusion you seem to have reached in this regard. That the President is in your view unilaterally given the power to make, declare, promulgate, or pull out of his rear, (or however you wish to term it) war without congressional approval shows a complete disregard for the Constitution.
YOUR 1ST POST: "Aiding the rebuilding of New Orleans is a better reason for impeachment. The constitution gives him absolutely no authority to redistribute wealth that way."
Thank you for admitting to shifting the goalposts on the issue of President v.s. Federal. In the context of your original post however your new explanation for this really makes no sense. You were speaking in terms of impeachment in the original post. Nice try though.
Finally, onto issues raised after the initial post. We sort of had to move the goalposts here because your 1st post simply did not address the case I layed out for impeachment. Be that as it may, I would contend that if the President in his constitutional duties (the state of the union is constitionally mandated) intentionally misleads the Congress in order to forward an agenda, that by the precedent set in the Clinton impeachment it is an impeachable offense. If Clinton may be impeached for lying to the public, how can that not apply to Bush lying to Congress? I again don't even argue Bush should be impeached for lying to the public, but the precedent clearly states that this is impeachable. As for the legality of filing a false report with Congress, it is simply laughable to say that this may be done by the executive with impunity. The resolution from the president voted upon by the Congress has at least 2, what were understood by the administration at the time, falsehoods in it. That Iraq collaberated with Al Queda and they were pursuing a nuclear weapons program.
Let me ask you Jeff. If one were to speak to you of scripture, and contend that the good book included the message from Jesus to love your neighbor as yourself, would you bark at them to produce chapter and verse? The constitutional concepts we have discussed are so very basic that I must conclude that if you have a familiarity with that document you would know the truth of these matters. For instance, you seem to draw the conclusion that the constitutional Presidential oath trumps every other precept of that document in regards to Presidential actions if he determines there is a threat to the constitution. How that oath allows unconstitutional behavior is frankly beyond me. That oath seems to me to DEMAND constitutional behavior, lest the president endanger the very document he is sworn to protect. Part of that consitutional duty clearly involves Congressional action in regards to war. I mean right now, the Congress could CONSTITUTIONALLY cut off funding for the Iraq debacle and that would be that. The President would be powerless to continue the occupation without Congressional funding. I certainly would not call for this given the current situation but those are the facts of the matter. If you contend that the President can constitutionally fund this occupation, without Congressional approval, I'd like to know how. To be honest, I'm kind of enjoying the meltdown as I explain basic Constitutional precepts which any 4th grader, even if in public school, should understand.
Actually, I enjoy debating with someone who has the opposite viewpoint. I consider myself open to new ideas and will change my opinion if new evidence comes to my attention. But I was considering dropping this discussion due to a lack of common ground. Without some common point of reference, an argument is just a battle of opinions. Then you used the actual constitution!
I agree with you on the point that you supported. Congress has the authority to fund the military or not. At this point, Congress has funded a standing army (which IMHO is not a good thing.) Congress can exercise some degree of control over the military by controlling funds. But that does not prohibit the president from using the military as he sees fit, or require congressional approval, after the funding is already there.
The one other constitutional point that you bring up is the power granted to Congress to declare war. That is more a diplomatic thing than something that has an actual effect. Very seldom is that power actually invoked, yet we have military actions going on all over the world right now. I don’t like it, but I don’t see where the constitution prohibits the president from engaging in an undeclared war.
“I never dissented on point 2. I merely pointed out that in the pursuit of the defense of the constitution the president is guided by certain constitutional principles…”
You also said:
‘"defend the constitution" or as I would put it, to "wage war"’
From your words, I conclude that you agree that the president is authorized to “wage war”. What we disagree on is what constitutional principles he must be guided by. The powers to fund the military and to declare war are the only ones I can find to support your argument. Is there anything else? Where? If these constitutional principles are “so very basic” they must be supported by actual words in the document.
I don’t ask you to quote chapter and verse on anything I agree on. Let me be perfectly clear: I don’t agree with you on these constitutional principles and do want to see the reference upon which your opinion is based.
And on the question of impeachable: “UNDER OATH.” You seem to have forgotten those words in your rebuttal.
Sure, I’m happy to agree to disagree and move on. I don’t mind if you post our discussion.
The reason I attacked you on the points I did was because they are the ones on which we strongly disagree that look like easy targets. We agree on most other topics, so I don’t see a lot of other topics to discuss. You have a gift for rhetoric, whereas I don’t much care for it, preferring to look past it at the facts. You remind me of the very talented Rush Limbaugh, albeit on the other side, and I quickly tired of his rhetoric.
So, if there is a particular topic you want my opinion on, you’re welcome to send me a gmail. But your blog grows faster than I find time to read it, so don’t expect frequent posts. Thanks for the entertaining debate.
Once again however... the Clinton impeachment precedent has to do with the President merely lying to the public, not under oath or with sworn statements. I conclude that if the mere act of lying to the public is impeachable, surely the President, if in the forwarding of his Constituional duties (obtaining Congressinal approval) lies to Congress he may be impeached. I'll leave this alone after this post... You may have the last word.
I don’t agree and I base this on the constitution. I detailed my logic in previous posts.
I recommend that you and everyone else study the constitution and vote for the politicians that try to follow it the best, since our freedom depends on it.
If GW was handpicked by God...then God sucks...you would think God could do a better job picking, to "pick" a president isn't like picking teams for dodgeball...I would take Cheney in that case...just another reason to be atheist...
To preserve peace, war is necessary...silly me, I thought war was last possible solution...
Constitution/theocracy...religious ideals are just to put Republicans in power...just proproganda to keep the oligarchy going...
I don't care if God/Allah/Jehovah/Buddha or Pink Elephants give politicans good ideas as long as they are good ideas...the problem is that deity or deities have been slack lately...All praise Pink Elephants...
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