Author Topic: MSNBC Host: The Constitution is Flawed, So Obama & Democrats Need Absolute Power  (Read 485 times)

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Offline happyg

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It was only a matter of time before the clash of ideologies between Constitutional conservatives and statist progressives manifested itself in a call for a ‘benevolent dictator’ to resolve the differences in authoritarian fashion.

The hyper-educated Chris Hayes of MSNBC echoed such calls, which have occurred under the Obama administration before in various guises. Hayes appeals to “astute” analysts of American politics at The Washington Post, Slate, and New York magazine, and spoke with one of them — Jonathan Chait.

Hayes says that there is a “growing consensus” that the nation’s law of the land is “fatally flawed,” and therefore we should look to European style parliamentary government used by other “democracies” [sic] for guidance on how to run the most powerful and prosperous country in world history (before the progressives got into power, it should be said).

Hayes lauds the European parliamentary system because the executive and legislative functions are controlled “by the same groups of people.” He then condemns the Constitution for checks and balances, which allow “different parts of the government to be controlled by different parties.”

In other words, the U.S. has a government that is based on reasoned deliberation and not naked force; regardless of the empty appeals to paternalistic virtue that allowed fascism to rise in Europe; and regardless of the demagogue’s calls for the centralized control of wealth redistribution that is the model for socialist and communist countries.

Europe’s tortuous history is lesson enough to remind many of the dangers of central control; but the U.S. has been sheltered to an extent from open calls for dictatorships, which nonetheless did occur under Woodrow Wilson and FDR. The context of Hayes’ call for control in one party’s hands is unmistakable: he wants the Democrat Party to have the absolute power to disregard the need for compromise.

Nearly a great majority of Americans, for example, believe that the U.S. government should cut spending before raising the debt limit. Hayes would presume the Democrats ignore them, and those voters who gave the Republicans power of the purse, and for the Democrats to do as they pleased.

A professor of Constitutional law at Georgetown by the name of Louis Michael Seidman late last year argued in the pages of the New York Times, “Let’s Give Up on the Constitution.” Thomas Friedman, also of the New York Times, argued for a concept called “China for a day” (as if it would last for a day) when the (communist) government could actually make decisions. The left’s pedigree of authoritarianism is unmistakable: the more radical the policies, the more the upheaval, and the more incessant the calls for authoritarian “solutions” – in the name of “fairness” or what-have-you.

In opposition, conservatives want divided government, because they have read history and distrust authoritarians, who almost always rise to power to promote the “common good.” The popular image of the tea party, for example, spread by opinion-molders is that it is a right-wing extremist movement within the Republican party. But actually, it is a coalition of American conservatives near the center of two extremes. According to widely accepted political theory and European history, leftists are extremists.

“Right-wing” is a slur reflexively hurled by socialists and progressives at any party, movement, faction, or individual that opposes the left-wing agenda. The smear tactic is intended to confuse those who support the traditionally American tenets of liberty, limited government, and individual rights with European fascists and ultra-nationalists.

It is the appreciation of conflicting interests in a free society that led to the innovations of the Constitution; divided powers and checks and balances were designed to safeguard people against abuses by either an absolutist ruler, or a tyrannical majority seeking to despoil its prey of property, life, or freedom. The requirement of legislation by majority, and the stipulation that changing the Constitution demands a super-majority, were but two safeguards. One of the most important barriers to oppression is the Bill of Rights, which lists individual rights not to be violated by tyrants of any variety.

Those who hold that that conservatives are “extremist” have the false conception that virtuous men can lead a “compassionate” government that will give people everything their hearts desire. But they fail miserably to account for the historical track record of consolidated governmental authority, which is always justified by appeal to lofty sentiments. The American government must inevitably disappoint and frustrate progressives, because it is designed to spur men to manage themselves and become productive members of society.

Conservatives do not desire to rule their political opposition or otherwise impose their will on their fellow citizens. Instead, they want to restore the nation to its Constitutional foundations, establish fiscal responsibility in government, reinstate the free market economic principles that allowed the majority of the nation to prosper, and renew the virtue in individuals to see human beings as ends in themselves, and not as means to some political end.

Ultimately, the Constitution, the embodiment of those founding principles that conservatives cherish most, is specifically designed to protect American citizens from political threats arising from both the right and the left. Leftists, on the other hand, are for complete state control of economy, society, and the government, making them absolutists. Americans should protect the Constitution and strive to prevent further abuse of power by the U.S. government.

Offline Rapunzel

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Hey Chris Hayes. Move to Europe if you don't like the AMERICAN Constitution.
“The time is now near at hand which must probably determine, whether Americans are to be, Freemen, or Slaves.” G Washington July 2, 1776

Offline Oceander

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I wouldn't go so far as to call the parliamentary system of government "naked force" bereft of any "reasoned deliberation" - that is simply going too far.

That being said, there is at least one element of parliamentary systems liberals don't seem to have picked up on:  a head of state - the prime minister is not the head of state the way that the US President is the head of state - who has veto power over whatever gimcrack legislation the government - i.e., the parliament - comes up with.  The Queen in the UK does not, granted, veto legislation; however, if she doesn't like a particular piece of legislation, the threat of making a historical change from past practice is often enough to get the prime minister to rethink that legislation.  Furthermore, for a parliamentary system to work effectively, that head of state should not be popularly elected because with his or her own separate base of popular political support, a popularly-elected head of state would be in direct political competition with a prime minister from a different political party, and would start using the head of state's veto power on a regular basis - or even the power to remove the prime minister from office - which would paralyze the parliamentary government in a way that would make the current closure of the US federal government seem tame by comparison.

Also, parliamentary governments stand or fall on the support the parliament gives the prime minister - who is nothing more than the head of the party with a majority in the parliament - and they can fall with regular frequency at times.  Also, were the US a parliamentary system right now, neither the democrats nor the republicans would have enough seats to have a majority in Congress, which would result in an essentially hung government - which would in turn call for immediate new elections, leaving both parties with precious little time to do anything more than campaign.  because of this, parliamentary systems regularly spawn not just third parties, but third, fourth, fifth, etc., parties because a party with almost majority control must find enough extra warm bodies who will agree to go along with them in order to achieve a majority and form a government; this simply could not happen in a two-party system.

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