Articles Of Confederation

The Record And Views Of Supreme Court Nominee Brett Kavanaugh Could Determine Constitutional Law To 2050!

Tomorrow, the contentious hearings on the nomination of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh will begin in the Senate Judiciary Committee.

These will be the most controversial set of hearings since 1987 and Robert Bork, and 1991, with Clarence Thomas.

On both of those occasions, the Democrats controlled the Senate, and Bork was rejected by a vote of 58-42, while Thomas was confirmed by a vote of 52-48.

The effect of Justice Clarence Thomas for the past 27 years has been profound, with many future potential Circuit Court or Supreme Court candidates having clerked for him.

Thomas has been trying to take us back to the Articles of Confederation in many ways, but also admiring Presidential power at the same time.

This is the danger of Brett Kavanaugh, that he would take America domestically back to the Gilded Age, wiping out the New Deal, Great Society, and everything Barack Obama changed.

He comes across on the surface as a pleasant, nice man, but it is all very misleading.

This is a man who worked for Ken Starr in the impeachment of Bill Clinton, and now Kavanaugh has changed his view of Presidential power 180 degrees.

This is a man who worked in the White House for George W. Bush, and helped to plan the idea of an anti gay marriage amendment, that was part of the campaign of Bush in 2004. And now, Donald Trump has used executive privilege to prevent 100,000 documents from Kavanaugh’s time in the Bush White House from being made available, which is another controversy now created, as why should the Senate be unable to examine all pertinent material about a nominee?

This is a man who worked to deny September 11 victims the ability to sue for damages, limiting unsuccessfully that intent.

This is a man who in his Circuit Court decisions has come out against abortion rights, against ObamaCare, against the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, against labor union rights, and willing to support limitations on voting rights.

This is a man who might be able to vote on whether Donald Trump can be indicted or prosecuted, and should recuse himself on any such matters as a conflict of interest, but likely will not do so. Justice William Rehnquist, when new on the Court as an Associate Justice, recused himself from the US Vs. Richard Nixon case in 1974 (after which Richard Nixon resigned), because Rehnquist had worked in the Justice Department under Nixon. So that famous and significant case was 8-0, not 9-0 or 8-1, and at the least, a Justice Kavanaugh should recuse himself from any case involving possible legal action against Donald Trump.

Kavanaugh could affect future decisions on campaign finance, climate change, election gerrymandering, and travel bans, and regulation of guns.

He would also create a right wing conservative Court, unlike any since 85 years ago.

And being only 53, he could be on the Supreme Court until 2050, when he would reach 85 years of age.

This would be the most long range effect of Donald Trump, no matter how much longer he remains in the Presidency, along with the 26 and more Circuit Court confirmations already accomplished by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, along with Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch.

The Democrats’ only hope would be IF all 49 Democrats hold fast (highly unlikely); Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowksi (both pro choice on abortion) abandoning the party ties on this vote (highly unlikely); and the person who replaces John McCain in the Senate (maybe Cindy McCain) joining the two women Republican Senators in voting against Kavanaugh (highly unlikely).

Mitch McConnell Declares War On Barack Obama, Federal Programs, His Support Of The Koch Brothers, And See Founding Fathers As Radical!

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, facing a tough reelection battle against Alison Lundergan Grimes, has been revealed in a tape of a gathering before billionaires and millionaires to have declared war on Barack Obama, with the intention of refusing any budget unless most federal programs in health care, Social Security, and education are eliminated.

He also declared his loyalty to the billionaire Koch Brothers, who may be spending up to $300 million to turn the Senate Republican, and he is clearly showing himself as an anarchist and nihilist regarding what he sees, as they do, as the evil of the federal government.

McConnell sees the Founding Fathers of the 18th century as radicals, when they promoted the growth of national government as essential to overcome the weaknesses of the decentralized Articles of Confederation.

This revelation makes it more urgent than ever that McConnell MUST be defeated in November, and his Republican party cannot be allowed to gain six or more seats and control of the US Senate, as that would lead to total breakdown of the federal government system, which the Koch Brothers and other oligarchs want so desperately!

Why Did National Government Grow? Because Of Crises State And Local Governments Could Not Cope With!

In the midst of constant debate about the validity and size and scope of national government in America, one truth shines out!

In time of crisis, it is the fact and the leadership of federal government that has saved us from disaster!

It was the recognition that state and local governments were unable to deal with anarchy and chaos during the period of the Articles of Confederation in the 1780s, which led to the Constitutional Convention and the establishment of a strong national government.

It was the reality that the Union was being dissolved by the secession of the Southern states, determined to protect their evil institution of slavery at all costs, that forced the growth of national government to keep the Union together, promote economic growth, expand the concept of human rights to all groups, and put America on the road to being a world leader.

It was the threat presented by foreign powers in World War I and World War II which required the growth of national government to protect our national security.

It was the national government which came to the rescue at the heights of the Great Depression, when the nation was in danger of chaos and possible turn toward dictatorship of the left or the right, triumphant elsewhere, but prevented by our national government.

It was our national government which had the ability to protect us during the period of the Cold War with the Soviet Union from 1945-1991.

Despite complaints about tactics, it was our national government which was looked to after the horrific attack on September 11, 2001, and has prevented any further attack.

Try to imagine leaving all of these crises to state and local governments, which so often have proved their incompetence, their inadequacy, their shallow nature, their narrow mindedness. We would not have had the history we have experienced, and would, most certainly, be under the control and dominance of foreign powers!

State and local governments have legitimate roles in our federal system, but it is the national government which has been the “hero” in our history, saving us from harm, chaos, and a future that would have been much more difficult than our national experience has proved to be!

Today Is Constitution Day: How About Truly Understanding The Constitution, Instead Of Politicizing It For Right Wing Propaganda?

Today is Constitution Day, the day in 1787 when 39 delegates to the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia agreed to sign the Constitution that they had fought over in four months of debate, and with the element of compromise predominating!

Ever since, the Founding Fathers and what they did has been interpreted in many different ways, and it has become the passion of the Tea Party Republicans and conservatives to distort the meaning of the Constitution and the intentions of the Founding Fathers!

The Constitution has been viewed by these right wingers as promoting a limited national government, advocating states rights, and promoting combination of church and state.

They fail to understand that the Constitutional Convention was a reaction to the states rights, limited national government of the Articles of Confederation, which led to anarchy, chaos, and economic emergency, and proved the need for a strong central government.

They fail to understand that Section 8 of Article 1 on Congress allowed for the “elastic clause”, that Congress shall have the power to enact legislation to “make all laws which are necessary and proper” and to “provide for the common defense and the general welfare”. The Founding Fathers understood that no one could accurately predict the future, and the national government had to have authority to expand the meaning of the Constitution in order to survive and be viable in the long term future of the nation!

The Founding Fathers also clearly understood that while religious freedom should be protected, that there was a need to prevent a theocracy, a control of government by religious viewpoints, and they would be shocked at the attempts of religious fundamentalists to force their moral and spiritual views on American politics and society!

This is the truth and the reality of the Constitution and its meaning for America 224 years after the Founding Fathers, NOT conservatives but rather liberals of their time period, used their joint wisdom and intelligence to create the greatest constitutional document ever created by mankind to govern a free people!

The Meaning Of Our 235th Anniversary Of Independence

The author of this blog can well remember the bicentennial of the Declaration of Independence in 1976, when Gerald Ford was President, and we had just recently come out from under the dual burdens of the Watergate scandal and the Vietnam War.

There was great optimism at the time about the future of the world’s greatest democracy. Unfortunately, that optimism no longer exists.

Instead, we have great pessimism and negativism and partisanship, and we now face the threat of a bankruptcy and default of our government’s finances if the two major political parties cannot overcome their differences and do what is necessary for the national good.

We have tremendous ignorance in this country about the Fourth of July, whereby only 58 percent know its significance as the day we declared our independence to the world wide community of nations.

And we have tremendous propaganda about the Founding Fathers, who gave us the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, making them out to be god like, and also to have the views of right wing Republican conservatives, which all of them would have been horrified to imagine was the image being taught and propagated about them.

The Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, despite what the right wing conservative Republicans claim, believed in a “United States”, not thirteen independent states going their own way, and the experiment with the Articles of Confederation proved how inept a government was that promoted so called “states rights”!

The concept that the Tea Party Movement promotes that they represent the true meaning of the Declaration and the Constitution is preposterous, as the Founding Fathers promoted the idea of a government of the people, not the states, and wanted the authority to promote effective and responsive government to secure life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness!

That required a national government to promote the general welfare, justice, common defense, and the blessings of liberty. States rights were not primary, whether in 1787 or at the end of the Civil War in 1865!

The ultimate conclusion is that the Declaration of Independence was not condemning government or taxes. It was not promoting anarchy or reckless behavior, but rather responsible government that dealt with reality for the common good!

Tea Party People And Conservatives Take Note: The Constitution Established A Strong National Government, And The Amendments Have Made For A More Liberal, Nationalist Nation!

Tomorrow, the House of Representatives is spending taxpayer money to read the Constitution out loud, as a supposed lesson to the nation as to what the Constitution contains.

This is occurring due to the impact of the Tea Party Movement, but if that group and other conservatives really listen to and think about the words of the Constitution, they would realize what the Constitution is all about.

The Constitution was created to REPLACE the Articles of Confederation, a document that gave the states authority that led to chaos, anarchy and bankruptcy, and forced the hand of liberal nationalist Founding Fathers who realized that the country would not survive without a STRONGER NATIONAL GOVERNMENT.

The Constitution gave the US Congress tremendous and specific powers in Article 1, Section 8, the ELASTIC CLAUSE–necessary and proper for the common defense and the general welfare–, creating vague language that could be interpreted broadly, and has been by the Supreme Court over 200 years since the time of Chief Justice John Marshall.

Liberal nationalists brought about the Constitution and the Bill of Rights!

Liberal nationalists brought about the Civil Rights Amendments (13, 14, 15) in the years after the Civil War.

Liberal nationalists brought about the “Progressive” amendments on the federal income tax (16), direct election of the US Senate taken away from the state legislatures (17), and woman suffrage (19) in the second decade of the 20th century.

Liberal nationalists brought about the right of DC residents to vote for President (23), the end of the poll tax in all elections (24), and the 18 year old vote (26) in the decade of the mid to late 1960s and early 1970s.

The Constitution has been made the great document it is by the actions of the Founding Fathers and later generations of liberal nationalists, whether Federalist, Republican, or Democratic, and by Supreme Courts led by great Justices, including John Marshall, Louis Brandeis, Benjamin Cardozo, William O. Douglas, Earl Warren, William Brennan, Harry Blackmun, John Paul Stevens and many others!

No matter what conservatives, Republicans, and Tea Party activists might say or believe, it is LIBERAL and PROGRESSIVE activism that has led to the Constitution and its amendment improvements over two centuries!

Liberals and progressives stand together in pride as to their enactment and expansion of the document which inspires people all over the world, the greatest constitutional document ever created by the will of mankind!

Tea Party Activists: Back To The Articles Of Confederation, States Rights, And Secession! NO WAY! :(

There is a new movement developing to promote a constitutional amendment to take away the power of the federal government, and allow states to refuse to obey federal laws and statutes! This is secession all over again, just as we come close to the 150th anniversary of the secession of the Southern states between December 1860 and April 1861! πŸ™

Tea Party activists and other conservative interests want to negate the effects of the Civil War, which ended for all time the concept that states rights could be utilized to defy federal law and the Constitution!

Basically, what these radical extremists want to do is revive the Articles of Confederation, which denied the national government any real authority, and totally failed between 1781-1789! The American people were in the “critical period” during this decade, with states going their own way and no federal authority to enforce the concept of one nation indivisible! The Founding Fathers saw the necessity of a stronger national government when they gathered at Philadelphia in the spring and summer of 1787, and drew up the Constitution we live under now for 221 years!

These Tea Party activists fail to understand our history, and the essential nature of having a central government which keeps order and promotes freedom and liberty!

The history of the states is that many have failed to promote equality and freedom, so all this does is try to revive the past, when the mass of common citizens were denied just treatment under the law!

Do we really want to go back to the era of the Articles of Confederation; or the times of the Southern Confederacy; or the Gilded Age, when big corporations ran rampant over the rights of their workers, and immigrants and women and children were exploited for the benefit of unbridled capitalism? πŸ™

Do we want the rights of minority groups and women taken away by state governments that historically have not given any concern to basic human rights?

Is this not a power play by conservative interests to bring back the 19th century, the “good old days” of slavery, segregation, labor exploitation, mistreatment of women and children, and widespread nativism against immigrants? πŸ™

Has not the American dream been advanced by the federal government, the Supreme Court, and Presidents of both parties who saw the NATIONAL interest, not petty, sectional and regional interests, as essential for the common good?

The fortunate thing about this mad rush to destroy everything that has been good about our national experience is that it requires a constitutional amendment–two thirds vote of the House of Representatives and of the Senate, and three fourths (38) of the states with majority vote in both houses of the state legislature!

This is a tall order, and thank goodness, the Founding Fathers, in their wisdom, made sure that outrageous ideas such as this loony amendment would not see the light of day, beyond the suggestion itself!

The American people need to make clear in their votes this November that the Tea Party activists are repudiated as a anti democratic movement that would take away progress, human freedom, equality, and basic fairness!

The American dream was not meant to be in the form that these disgraceful extremists wish to take it! πŸ™

The Anarchistic Nature Existing Today In America! A Great Danger! :(

Yesterday’s results in primaries in four states has been judged to be a sign of anti Establishment and anti Washington, DC sentiment!

There is nothing wrong with the concept of “throwing the rascals out”! That was the design of our nation, that when the people are unhappy with their public servants, that they should be able to vote them out!

Turnover is good, and there are those who would think there should be term limits and age limits, although in no other occupation do such limits now exist, because they would be considered discriminatory! Experience and knowledge have always been thought of as virtues, except maybe in politics, ironically, where many citizens seem to think having “fresh blood” is always desirable!

Actually, a mix of experienced people and newcomers is what is best for a democratic system to operate efficiently! But try to tell that to the Tea Party activists, who simply are against all those who have served in government, in both parties, and against the federal government. The results in Pennsylvania are seen by many as the repudiation of Barack Obama, but the results in Kentucky are seen as the rejection of Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell from that state!

In the rhetoric they employ, in reality, the Tea Party Movement is bordering on anarchism! They want a complete turnover of government, and back to the pre Great Depression America, when state and local government were the dominant levels and spent the most money in governing the masses! Of course, that was a much simpler time which many would wish could return, but which will not occur!

The problem is that we cannot go back to 1929 and earlier in levels of responsibility of local, state, and national government! The more one examines the facts, we become aware of the reality that state and local governments are far more corrupt, far less representative, and far less competent to solve issues that government in a complex world must deal with!

The concept of states rights is so overdrawn as a virtue, but it was made clear 150 years ago that all citizens had to be treated the same, not be at the whims of state governments which in many cases treated its citizens in very different, unjust ways! History tells us that did not always happen, but that became the basic view that has been enforced in the past 50 years!

To be against Washington, DC is to be against our Constitution, which provided for a federal government to unite the people and protect them in the Bill of Rights! We are not a confederation of 50 states, all doing their own thing with a “go to hell” attitude toward the nation as a whole! We tried that with the Articles of Confederation from 1781-1789, and it failed miserably!

To wish to go back to the Articles of Confederation mentality denies the whole point of our national experience, and it is a move toward total anarchism! This fury and anger must be directed to necessary change, but not deny the whole purpose of our Constitution!

National government IS necessary, and national government is the only level of government that can promote equality of opportunity and equal justice! Witness Arizona now, and many Southern states in the past, which have denied basic human rights! πŸ™

The job of the Obama Administration, the Democrats, and “reasonable” Republicans, who do not wish to contribute to the downfall of a stable government, is to offer rational solutions to the many problems this nation now faces! It is a major challenge, but there have been crises before, and fringe movements have been overcome by strong leadership and measured response to national emergencies!