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Author: Subject: Obama to the nation: Onward civilian soldiers

Ultimate Peach





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  posted on 1/29/2012 at 02:44 PM
Good editorial from George Will, and IMHO if a totalitarianism regime emerges in the United States it will be not be brought about by the "conservatives" but by the "progressives" Indeed the definition of Totalitarianism is

quote:
a political system where the state recognizes no limits to its authority and strives to regulate every aspect of public and private life wherever feasible


Hate to say this, but in many ways, this is "the road we're heading down".

quote:
Obama to the nation: Onward civilian soldiers
By George F. Will, Published:
January 27

War, said James Madison, is “the true nurse of executive aggrandizement.” Randolph Bourne, the radical essayist killed by the influenza unleashed by World War I, warned, “War is the health of the state.” Hence Barack Obama’s State of the Union hymn: Onward civilian soldiers, marching as to war.

Obama, an unfettered executive wielding a swollen state, began and ended his address by celebrating the armed forces. They are not “consumed with personal ambition,” they “work together” and “focus on the mission at hand” and do not “obsess over their differences.” Americans should emulate troops “marching into battle,” who “rise or fall as one unit.”

Well. The armed services’ ethos, although noble, is not a template for civilian society, unless the aspiration is to extinguish politics. People marching in serried ranks, fused into a solid mass by the heat of martial ardor, proceeding in lock step, shoulder to shoulder, obedient to orders from a commanding officer — this is a recurring dream of progressives eager to dispense with tiresome persuasion and untidy dissension in a free, tumultuous society.

Progressive presidents use martial language as a way of encouraging Americans to confuse civilian politics with military exertions, thereby circumventing an impediment to progressive aspirations — the Constitution and the patience it demands. As a young professor, Woodrow Wilson had lamented that America’s political parties “are like armies without officers.” The most theoretically inclined of progressive politicians, Wilson was the first president to criticize America’s founding. This he did thoroughly, rejecting the Madisonian system of checks and balances — the separation of powers, a crucial component of limited government — because it makes a government that cannot be wielded efficiently by a strong executive.

Franklin Roosevelt agreed. He complained about “the three-horse team of the American system”: “If one horse lies down in the traces or plunges off in another direction, the field will not be plowed.” And progressive plowing takes precedence over constitutional equipoise among the three branches of government. Hence FDR’s attempt to break the Supreme Court to his will by enlarging it.

In his first inaugural address, FDR demanded “broad executive power to wage a war against the emergency, as great as the power that would be given to me if we were in fact invaded by a foreign foe.” He said Americans must “move as a trained and loyal army” with “a unity of duty hitherto evoked only in time of armed strife.” The next day, addressing the American Legion, Roosevelt said it was “a mistake to assume that the virtues of war differ essentially from the virtues of peace.” In such a time, dissent is disloyalty.

Yearnings for a command society were common and respectable then. Commonweal, a magazine for liberal Catholics, said that Roosevelt should have “the powers of a virtual dictatorship to reorganize the government.” Walter Lippmann, then America’s preeminent columnist, said: “A mild species of dictatorship will help us over the roughest spots in the road ahead.” The New York Daily News, then the nation’s largest-circulation newspaper, cheerfully editorialized: “A lot of us have been asking for a dictator. Now we have one. .?.?. It is Roosevelt. .?.?. Dictatorship in crises was ancient Rome’s best era.” The New York Herald Tribune titled an editorial “For Dictatorship if Necessary.”

Obama, aspiring to command civilian life, has said that in reforming health care, he would have preferred an “elegant, academically approved” plan without “legislative fingerprints on it” but “unfortunately” he had to conduct “negotiations with a lot of different people.” His campaign mantra “We can’t wait!” expresses progressivism’s impatience with our constitutional system of concurrent majorities. To enact and execute federal laws under Madison’s institutional architecture requires three, and sometimes more, such majorities. There must be majorities in the House and Senate, each body having distinctive constituencies and electoral rhythms. The law must be affirmed by the president, who has a distinctive electoral base and election schedule. Supermajorities in both houses of Congress are required to override presidential vetoes. And a Supreme Court majority is required to sustain laws against constitutional challenges.

“We can’t wait!” exclaims Obama, who makes recess appointments when the Senate is not in recess, multiplies “czars” to further nullify the Senate’s constitutional prerogative to advise and consent, and creates agencies (e.g., Obamacare’s Independent Payment Advisory Board and Dodd-Frank’s Consumer Financial Protection Bureau) untethered from legislative accountability.

Like other progressive presidents fond of military metaphors, he rejects the patience of politics required by the Constitution he has sworn to uphold.

georgewill@washpost.com


 
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Maximum Peach



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  posted on 1/29/2012 at 03:15 PM
Anyone remember this golden not-so-oldie...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gwaAVJITx1Y

Contrast that against Washington at the end of the Revolution. He was urged by many of the powerful of the day, by many of his friends, and by many in the officers in his command, to take his army and assume the role of king of the new nation. He would have found no significant opposition, and mostly support, for installing himself in the role of supreme leader of a new country that had just defeated the most powerful nation of its day. Instead he surrendered his command, and became a common citizen once again, content to see what came next as the process evolved.

Where has that spirit of service gone? More importantly; where has the judgment of the people gone; not to be swayed by those with grand promises (hiding broad designs on power), and seeking instead the closest possible adherence to the limits of our Constitution and the retention/expansion of their own personal liberty?

 

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  posted on 1/29/2012 at 03:27 PM
Funny how George W. Bush was left out of the discussion. But then it's George Will. What a surprise.

 

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Maximum Peach



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  posted on 1/29/2012 at 03:48 PM
If one considers the expansion of the security state, and reduction of civilian liberties via the Patriot Act, you're right on Rich.

[Edited on 1/29/2012 by Fujirich]

 

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  posted on 1/29/2012 at 07:07 PM
I usually enjoy George Will, because he is one of the few rational conservatives left. So, on first reading of this, I thought Will had lost his mind. Like the attempts to evil-ize Obama by another man's (Jerimiah Wright's) words, it now looked like Will wants to saddle Obama w/ a few random statements by FDR and Woodrow Wilson.

You know, those two scary historical figures who saw the nation through two world wars (almost for FDR) and the Great Depression. Elected to six terms between them, there were numerous words for Will to dredge up his handful here. Nevermind that we are no longer permitted to talk about GW Bush, let's attribute to Obama something Wilson said nearly a century ago!

Then it occured to me that Will remains rational. The Karl Rove handbook is to take your opponent's strengths, and attack them broadside (see Swiftboating). So here, he takes Obama's very persuasive Seal team analogy State of the Union conclusion, and attacks it. Even though many Americans still cling to the idea that we ought to be united.

Any precedent for loss of Constitutional rights can be laid on one of FDR's successors, and those that supported W to be "safe" should not be heard to complain when a successor avails himself of the powers created.

PS, where in the Constitution is the filibuster? I cannot seem to find it.

 

True Peach



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  posted on 1/29/2012 at 07:41 PM
quote:
PS, where in the Constitution is the filibuster? I cannot seem to find it.
quote:



Word!

 

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World Class Peach



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  posted on 1/29/2012 at 09:26 PM
quote:
Anyone remember this golden not-so-oldie...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gwaAVJITx1Y

Contrast that against Washington at the end of the Revolution. He was urged by many of the powerful of the day, by many of his friends, and by many in the officers in his command, to take his army and assume the role of king of the new nation. He would have found no significant opposition, and mostly support, for installing himself in the role of supreme leader of a new country that had just defeated the most powerful nation of its day. Instead he surrendered his command, and became a common citizen once again, content to see what came next as the process evolved.

Where has that spirit of service gone? More importantly; where has the judgment of the people gone; not to be swayed by those with grand promises (hiding broad designs on power), and seeking instead the closest possible adherence to the limits of our Constitution and the retention/expansion of their own personal liberty?


Very well said ... and you are right where is the service ?ahhh they make carreers out of what should be a service to the country ,they get rich and get stupid with greed dishonesty and they loose what ever semblance of good they ever had we need term limits, we need these people to do their term for a small salary and then go back to their everyday lives as was the jobs intended senators , representitives etc... untill then there is no stopping the sickness..

 

Zen Peach



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  posted on 1/29/2012 at 10:40 PM
quote:
Any precedent for loss of Constitutional rights can be laid on one of FDR's successors, and those that supported W to be "safe" should not be heard to complain when a successor avails himself of the powers created.



Nope. Bogus. Why?? Because Obama specifically campaigned on reversing all of that which Bush did. He has failed, and in fact, has gladly kept a lot of it going. Considering what Pannetta was saying on "60 Minutes" tonight about Iran, we'll later this year if Obama will ramp up war if his numbers begin to fall.

As for Will's overall premise, Obama isn't half the leader that FDR was so I don't think it will be much of an issue.

 

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  posted on 1/30/2012 at 03:06 PM
"PS, where in the Constitution is the filibuster? I cannot seem to find it."

read Article One of the US Constitution: Each House of Congress gets to set its own rules, ergo the Filibuster is constitutional.

However, to geld the Democratic Party's horse, or, is it a mule?

In 1917, the Democrats held the White House, Senate, and Representatives. They claimed they were working on democratic principles by lowering the then threshold of 70% to 66.2/3%, but in actuality they were concerned that the Republicans would gain control of the Senate.

In the first term of FDR, the Democrats held an overwhelming and numbers to actually get rid of the filibuster. BUT THEY DIDN'T

In 1976-1977, the Democrats again held control of the Senate and supposedly seeking to advance democracy, they lowered the threshold from 66.2/3% to 60% in the event the Republicans gained control.

It seems that the anti-filibuster folks are like the anti-death penalty folks. "I'm normally against it but in this case"

By the way, I will agree with ending the filibuster if we can dig up Ted Kennedy and get Robert Bork on the Supreme Court......I hear crickets......again

 

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  posted on 1/30/2012 at 03:10 PM
I think the filibuster has a place. I just think they should actually have to get up and speak for days on end like they used to. All they do now is file an "Intent To Filibuster."

 

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True Peach



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  posted on 1/30/2012 at 03:47 PM
quote:
quote:
Any precedent for loss of Constitutional rights can be laid on one of FDR's successors, and those that supported W to be "safe" should not be heard to complain when a successor avails himself of the powers created.



Nope. Bogus. Why?? Because Obama specifically campaigned on reversing all of that which Bush did. He has failed, and in fact, has gladly kept a lot of it going. Considering what Pannetta was saying on "60 Minutes" tonight about Iran, we'll later this year if Obama will ramp up war if his numbers begin to fall.

As for Will's overall premise, Obama isn't half the leader that FDR was so I don't think it will be much of an issue.


Dude, stop trying to stretch the truth!!! What 60 minutes were you watching???? Not the one I was. All Pannetta said was that all options were on the table. If you think Obama is gonna send in ground troops and start an all out war like Bush did rightfully in Afghanistan and wrongfully in Iraq than you are either smoking crack or not paying attention very much. I am quite sure that if and when we have to take action it will be a combination of air strikes and covert actions. You far right wing conservatives just love to fudge what anyone on the left say. The truth will always rise to the surface though.

 

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