Truth Before Dishonor

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Posts Tagged ‘constitution’

Rick Perry’s proposed constitutional amendments — the good and the not-so-good

Posted by Hube on 2011/12/12

As reported by Ace, TX Governor Rick Perry has proposed as many as eight constitutional amendments he’d like to see ratified if he becomes president. Some are good ideas, some aren’t so good. Let’s take a gander and judge …

Organized Prayer in Public Schools Amendment. The first question is, “organized by whom?” If it’s school officials, forget it. As it is currently, schools are permitted to have Bible study groups with school official sponsors, provided they meet after school hours. And students (and staff) are permitted to pray already — silently — and many districts allow for an “official” moment of silence to do said praying if one so chooses. In today’s vastly diverse America, “officially” sanctioned prayer is a terrible idea. HUBE-O-METER SAYS: LAME.

Pro-Life Amendment. While I respect (and even agree) with Perry’s sentiments on this, I thought conservatives were all about federalism. One of the major complaints about Roe v. Wade is that it took the decision about abortion away from the individual states, allowing for abortion across the land (with certain restrictions). I’d also want to see what, if any, exceptions would be made under the amendment. Rape? Incest? Life of mother? HUBE-O-METER SAYS: UNDECIDED.

Pro-Marriage Amendment. Again, what’s the big deal about letting states decide how they’ll treat marriage? Not allowing such is something that conservatives should abhor. In this respect, social conservatives aren’t much different than liberals in extending federal reach into areas where it ain’t wanted. Admittedly, of course, the former’s method is more representative and more difficult a process; however, the results end up the same. HUBE-O-METER SAYS: LAME.

Balanced Budget Amendment. “Bring it on,” is all I can say here. Anything that mandates that we get our fiscal house in order should be OK with everyone. Most versions of such an amendment usually have emergency measure exemptions; I assume Perry’s would too. HUBE-O-METER SAYS: BRILLIANT.

Repeal of 16th Amendment. Again, a hearty “Bring it on!!” The Founders, in their infinite wisdom, knew such a tax was an abomination; apparently, our politicians in the early part of the last century thought (wrongly) that they were wiser. The dreaded 16th Amendment gave rise to the United States’ own version of the KGB (the IRS), and philosophically it runs afoul of the 13th Amendment in that it mandates uncompensated servitude (employers doing the work for government withholding taxes — yeah, I know that’s a very libertarian argument, but it’s a damn good one). It also was ratified under very suspicious circumstances (see: The Law That Never Was). Of course, it’ll take a good plan to replace the federal income tax; I’ve always been in favor of a national sales tax as a replacement, as it would give consumers the choice as to when, where and how to pay their taxes (i.e. for things they want). But that doesn’t seem to be Perry’s idea. HUBE-O-METER SAYS: BRILLIANT.

Repeal of 17th Amendment. This site gives a very detailed examination of the pros and cons of the 17th Amendment — direct election of senators — and at least in this realm, Perry’s penchant for minimal [federal] government power seems consistent with conservatism. However, in my view, more democracy is better in this area, and if you think we have gridlock in Washington now, imagine what it’ll be like when state legislatures refuse to choose US senators due to in-fighting, leading to numerous vacancies in the federal Senate. HUBE-O-METER SAYS: LAME.

Abolition of Lifetime Tenure for Judges. I happen to agree with the philosophy that appointment of judges (and lifetime tenure), rather than the election of them, serves to make judges less political. But whether this philosophy actually holds true is another matter. I tend to doubt it. We all know how the US Supreme Court will decide on most issues, because it has a clear conservative and liberal bloc. These justices’ appointment and lifetime tenure hasn’t made them any less political. Thus, all that being said, I don’t see a hassle with a definitive time limit on the tenure of federal judges, some or all of them. Perry’s idea is for an 18-year limit, staggered so that every two years a certain number’s terms are done. HUBE-O-METER SAYS: BRILLIANT.

Congressional Veto Over SCOTUS Decisions Amendment. Again, those very wise Founders devised a way by which Congress can thwart a [lousy] Supreme Court decision: the constitutional amendment. (Y’know, the very thing Rick Perry likes proposing!) Perry’s amendment would allow a two-thirds vote in the House and Senate to nullify a SCOTUS decision, thus making the [amendment] process considerably streamlined — no three-quarters of state legislatures needed. I agree with Perry himself that this “risks increased politicization of judicial decisions,” and besides, you wouldn’t really need this amendment if the lifetime tenure of judges is abolished. HUBE-O-METER SAYS: LAME.

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The phony “gap bridger”

Posted by Hube on 2011/06/29

His blog is called, remarkably, “Bridging the Gap.” Why? Because, apparently, he wants both sides to “come together” to solve our nation’s problems. We’re talking about our old pal Perry. However, much like the LGOMB, he doesn’t really mean it. They are just words.

Take a look at Perry today in a thread over at Common Sense Political Thought:

Now I am no history buff, but I do know this: Many of the Founders were slave owners, women were not permitted to vote, and the Founders conceived of an electoral college to protect the powerful from the will of the people should the people get too much out of line with their voting. (Link.)

This premise was then challenged by me, among others. Perry refused to back back up his claim about the Electoral College.

I then wrote this about the Founding Fathers and slavery:

It is quite obvious you’re not a history buff, Herr Fossil, for you, like way too many faux “progressives,” seek to impose 21st century values upon what were indeed very forward-thinking people. Though many owned slaves (an accepted practice back then, BTW), many spoke out against it and began efforts to cease the practice.

GOP presidential candidate Michelle Bachmann recently got heat from the MSM (surprise, that) for a remark she made about the Founders working to end slavery. The fact is, she is correct. Even Abraham Lincoln backs this up, as well as the words of many of the Founders themselves.

But this doesn’t matter to Perry. He responds:

Making a law which made a black man 3/5 of a white man is hardly “working hard to end slavery”, in my view. That slavery persisted for another 70 plus years, with the vestiges of slavery evident to this very day, can hardly be construed as working hard enough to end slavery for once and for all. Moreover, it appears to me that racism remains alive today – ask most any black person about that. Better is not good enough!!!

When I asked Perry just why the 3/5 Compromise was constructed, here is what we get in reply:

The very existence of a 3/5 compromise apparently is fine with you, Hube, regardless of when it was instituted. I note that Repubs like yourself are more than happy to strive to restore that 3/5 fraction again, by your actions against ACORN and your current efforts to suppress the vote. Racism is not dead yet in the Republican Party.

That sure is some “gap bridging” there, is it not??

For those who may not know much about the 3/5 Compromise (and are modest enough not to make fools of themselves, like Perry did), take a look. And if Perry is reading, you especially need to look here:

The following false statements are just three examples of inaccurate interpretations that persist regarding the three/fifths compromise :

  • the 3/5s compromise of 1788 . . . enshrined slavery in the United States Constitution
  • African Americans in this country were considered only 3/5s human at one point in history.
  • We tried “compromise” and declared blacks to be 3/5s human.

The gap that Perry really needs to bridge is the one that exists in his head.

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