2nd Amendment Remedies? How about 28+ Amendment Remedies?

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by mcrain, Dec 6, 2010.

  1. mcrain macrumors 68000

    mcrain

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    #1
    There have been many discussions here that pitted tea-party, small government, "constitutional government" advocates vs. everyone else. The following articles raised the question of what was meant by a "more constitutional government." I recognize that the articles and their opinions are liberal, but the question remains. Do we need radical changes to the Constitution? Is this effort to amend the Constitution healthy for the US?

    Washington Post

    Slate
     
  2. Eraserhead macrumors G4

    Eraserhead

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    #2
    They haven't a hope in hell of passing a constitutional amendment.
     
  3. rdowns macrumors Penryn

    rdowns

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    #3
    An amendment? To the Constitution? You couldn't get ¾ of the states to agree that sky is blue.
     
  4. mcrain thread starter macrumors 68000

    mcrain

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    #4
    So why are the Tea Party republicans and right-wing kooks advocating a "more constitutional" government and Constitutional amendment?
     
  5. Eraserhead macrumors G4

    Eraserhead

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    #5
    Because that way when they don't achieve anything they don't take the blame.
     
  6. rdowns macrumors Penryn

    rdowns

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    #6
    I couldn't tell you as I'm not one. Perhaps it's the same reason looney-lefties think we can cut defense spending and all will be well.
     
  7. Eraserhead macrumors G4

    Eraserhead

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    #7
    Why wouldn't the US be able to significantly cut defence spending? They currently spend more than most of the rest of the world put together.
     
  8. NT1440 macrumors G4

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    #8
    I think he meant the morons that think cutting only military spending would solve all our problems.
     
  9. rdowns macrumors Penryn

    rdowns

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    #9
    Yes. :)
     
  10. fivepoint, Dec 6, 2010
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2010

    fivepoint macrumors 65816

    fivepoint

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    #10
    That's a ridiculous article, Mcrain. The author (and you based on past conversations on this topic) completely refuse to listen to the actual substance of any Conservative's remarks, and then start entire threads based on a quasi-lie and complete misrepresentation of your opponents' viewpoints.

    Let me spell it out for you again...

    1. Being a 'constitutionalist' (I am one) does not in any way suggest that you want to do away with the constitutional amendment process. In fact, it means quite the opposite - it means that you see them as the ONLY proper way to make changes to the constitution.
    2. Being a 'constitutionalist' means is that you think in order to make changes to the constitution (which is perfectly fine and good) you must do so under the correct and proper way. For example, if you want the federal government to have a social security plan or a universal healthcare plan, you have to AMEND the constitution, and not simply subvert and redefine it. You can't simply point to the 'interstate commerce' or 'general welfare' clauses as justification because anyone with a lick of common sense knows that the powers of the federal government were carefully and specifically enumerated by our founding fathers to prevent such subversion.
    3. Being a 'constitutionalist' by no means indicates that you are 100% fine with the constitution as it sits today. In fact, you might be a constitutionalist and still be an advocate of Universal Healthcare... you would be a proponent but (instead of subversion and redefinition of the existing words) you would also recognize the need for and advocate for a constitutional amendment legalizing such an program for the Federal government to undertake.
    Now, there are also those who believe that we need to 'return to the constitutional principles our country was founded under.' These people (I am one) believe that in addition to many of the entitlement programs, regulations, power grabs, etc. being unconstitutional, we also believe them to be just-plain-wrong. So, while we would defend your right to attempt a constitutional amendment to make them legal, we would fight against your efforts to lead the country away from the principles of freedom, liberty, small-government, etc. under which the country was founded.

    One last thing - It's not the least bit hypocritical for a 'constitutionalist' or for someone who wants to 'return to the constitutional principles our country was founded on' to have a desire to repeal certain previously passed constitutional amendments - as long as said repeal (which is really just another amendment) is done legally under the law provided by the constitution. As I pointed out earlier, simply being a constitutionalist does not mean you don't want changes to be made - only that you want the existing constitution to be read accurately and for amendments (not the whims of some activist judge) to be required for any changes.

    Many conservatives wish to repeal the 17th amendment (election of Senators technique), much the same way they fought to repeal the 18th amendment (alcohol prohibition). This is because they want to return more local (state) control to Washington... in the hopes that Senators elected once again by their respective state legislatures would do a better job of standing up for States' rights than they do today. Again, this isn't the least big hypocritical... if you just know what their stance actually is!
     
  11. NT1440 macrumors G4

    NT1440

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    #11
    Tell me, do you share Madison's view of the role of the government? :confused:
     
  12. bobber205 macrumors 68020

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    #12
    Doesn't giving the power to states to nullify Federal laws and mandates defeat the purpose of the Constitution all together? :confused:

    Can Southern states go back to Jim Crow laws under this system? Isn't it an attempt to get rid of the Federal Government completely?

    I thought we were the United States of America, not the Bickering States.
    The irony of the far right is sad.
     
  13. Thomas Veil macrumors 68020

    Thomas Veil

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    #13
    Well, we go back to the way the country was founded, women and non-whites are screwed.
     
  14. mcrain thread starter macrumors 68000

    mcrain

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    #14
    Except, that's not at all what the author, or I in this conversation, have done. The authors (plural) were writing about a specific amendment being proposed that would give states veto authority over actions of the federal government. In other words, eliminating the effect that federal law has as the "law of the land."

    //(edit) You just linked to your own post saying "anyone with a lick of common sense?" That's pretty funny.\\

    In other words, you want to take the power of interpreting the meaning of the Constitution away from the Supreme Court, the Legislature and the Executive Branches and instead impose an incredibly strict interpretation of the constitition, thus requiring amendment requirements for any legislative function. The practical effect is to completely destroy the legislative process, the representative elements of government, and eliminate the advantages more populous states have over the desert/mountain states.

    I'm sorry you don't like a lot of things our elected representatives do, but my question wasn't based on a misreading of the article. Heck, forget the article. Is what you are proposing healthy for the US? If something happened that required legislative action, the only way for it to be addressed in your ideal world would be for an amendment to the constitution. Wouldn't such an onerous requirment make governmental action nearly impossible? Oh wait, isn't that what you REALLY want?

    What "activist" judges are you talking about? The Supreme Court, and nearly every lower Court, has a very consistent reading of the Constitituion, and I'm sorry, but you're just wrong. Interpretation of existing portions of the Constitition in a way consistent with the Constitution, the stated intent of the framers, legislative action, executive intent and judicial precedent IS NOT activism. On the other hand, taking a head-note from a bribed clerk of the supreme court as precedent for the proposition that corporations are separate entities is activism. (*cough* *cough* *Judge Roberts* *cough* *cough*)

    So, back to the point, is this "more constitutional government" idea that would require constant amendment to the Constitution healthy for the US?
     
  15. bobber205 macrumors 68020

    bobber205

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    #15
    5P what "Activist" judges decisions do you disagree with exactly?
     
  16. mcrain thread starter macrumors 68000

    mcrain

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    #16
    Any "activist" judge who has refused to overturn acts of congress he doesn't like on the grounds that the acts are outside his reading of the Constitution.
     
  17. Lord Blackadder macrumors G5

    Lord Blackadder

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    #17
    fivepoint's argument only holds water if we all agree that only certain conservatives truly understand what the constitution means.

    It's a clever way to redefine the argument. "Let's stick to the original meaning of the constitution, which - by the way - happens to coincide precisely with my political views."
     
  18. fivepoint, Dec 7, 2010
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2010

    fivepoint macrumors 65816

    fivepoint

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    #18
    What liberals often fail to realize is that they're shooting themselves in the foot. Imagine a day in America when an ultra-left socialist party or an ultra-right fascist party takes control. The damage you're doing today to the constitution, the precedents you're setting today by saying 'amendments are too hard, let's just subvert and redefine the constitution instead' could ultimately lead to the demise of the U.S. as we know it. If the constitution doesn't mean anything when you're trying to change America for the better, what will it mean when someone else is trying to change it for the worse?

    All Americans should fundamentally agree in principle that the constitution should be read strictly as it was written, and that changes to it must go through the proper processes of amendment instead of activist judges simply deciding one morning that the words can be twisted just enough to make a 'positive change' for our society today.

    Interstate commerce and general welfare are perfect examples of this. Under the current reading of the interstate commerce clause, the Federal Government can theoretically regulate ANY aspect of your lives. Their powers are no longer limited and specifically enumerated, they are limitless and innumerable.


    Like I've demonstrated many times... honest people don't disagree regarding the founders' intent regarding the Federal Government's limited and enumerated powers. Their words and intentions are VERY clear:

    Think of it like the MLB. In a Major League Baseball game there are rules. Rules which are not open to debate. These rules represent the U.S. Constitution. The umpires represent judges. During the game, umpires allowed to make judgements on whether or not a given play fell within the rules and to pass judgements accordingly. What they are not allowed to do is to redefine the rules themselves. They can't simply say in the middle of the game, "you get 4 strikes now instead of 3... because really when they wrote 3 strikes they had no idea pitchers would be throwing 105mph fastballs." That would not be allowed; and one thing's for sure, when 2 weeks later another umpire tried the same thing claiming 'precedent' you wouldn't be too impressed.

    However, if enough of the players, umpires, fans, owners, agree that the 3-strike rule is stupid and that they'd prefer 4, they can make that change by approaching the rule board which represents the amendment process. By requiring this process, MLB ensures that rules aren't changed willy-nilly and that the process is genuinely difficult so only the best amendments (excuse me, rule changes) go through. If you simply allowed umpires to change the rules, to redefine them as conditions on the field changes... you'll have anarchy and you'll have a rule book that is absolutely meaningless.

    I simply can't believe that every liberal in this country is ok with a meaningless rulebook. It has a lot more to do with the fact that the changes that have been made recently please them and they're willing to ignore their principles or what they know is right if it benefits them in the short term.
     
  19. Lord Blackadder, Dec 7, 2010
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2010

    Lord Blackadder macrumors G5

    Lord Blackadder

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    #19
    Libertarians and "constitutionalists" are the political equivalent of religious fundamentalists. Rigid, narrow-minded and extremely self-righteous, they fear altering what they percieve to be a political bible of sorts.

    Despite the fact that the constitution was never taken literally, even by themselves, and never will be, such people insist that liberals are constantly "subverting" it.

    The fact of the matter is, anything that doesn't directly contradict the constitution is "constitutional". Conservatives who fancy themselves constitutionalists try to take ownership of the meaning of the constitution, as well as patriotism itself. Everyone else's loyalty to the nation or ability to understand American democracy is suspect. Essentially a minority of the population is declaring the majority of America un-American.

    Traditions endure, there's no suggestion that they are being done away with. But libertarianism stifles political innovation and compromise, because it assumes that there is only one way to do things, and it also assumes that there was a time in American history when everyone agreed that there was only one way to do things. And that is a falsehood.

    Are you calling me dishonest?

    Jefferson expanded the size, cost and bureacracy of government while arguing for the abandonment of Atlantic trade. He wrote passionate arguments against slavery while sleeping with one of his own. I agree with much of Jefferson's writings, but the fact that he wrote about something is not proof that he lived by it. Quite the contrary, in many cases. You quote these "founding fathers" the way some people quote the bible; it's supposed to be some sort of divine word that cannot be argued with. But it can be. And just like the bible to Christians, it must be interpreted to be implemented, just like anything else. The "founding fathers" never intended to take us prisoner to their words, and they cannot have foreseen the future, only guessed at it.

    There are several thousand different versions of Christianity out there, and several versions of the Bible. What makes you think everyone is going to agree on one interpretation of the Constitution? That's silly.
     
  20. rdowns macrumors Penryn

    rdowns

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    #20

    Your posts delve further and further into this text-book-based-wet-dream-fantasy daily. While some members insist in joining you in the circle jerk, I only read you for the comedy gold moments, which are coming alarmingly frequent. Keep up the good work.
     
  21. fivepoint macrumors 65816

    fivepoint

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    #21
    Actually quite the opposite is true. We aren't closed to change, we aren't rigid or narrow-minded, in fact I think there are a great deal of 'constitutionalists' who wish to change a great deal of the constitution. The difference is, they want to do it constitutionally - ehhhh... why bother, I seriously just described this and you completely ignored it and went on self-defning your opponents view point. You completely ignored what I said about willingness to make change only in the right way because that doesn't fit with your predetermined views of constitutionalists. These facts make it harder to argue against logically. I can't blame you I guess. If I was so provably and clearly on the wrong side of common sense I might attempt to dedefine my opponent as well. It's your only choice!


    The real truth is that you've grown tired of fighting a losing battle and getting outmached with logic and common sense. It's easier for you to accuse me of 'living in a fantasy land' than it is to try and defend your indefensible positions on the irrelevancy of the constitution and the value of a 'rule book' which can be simply rewritten and redefined as any individual umpire sees fit - seemingly without consequence or care of the damage you do to the country in the long-term. The truth is you've run out of ammo, and are either actively ignoring the truth or are trying to find new ways to justify your positions after I've shot holes in your last theory.
     
  22. mcrain thread starter macrumors 68000

    mcrain

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    #22
    Ok, I have an idea. Let's just amend the Constitition so that the Commerce Clause means that the Federal Government is authorized to pass laws that regulate commerce among the various states. Oh wait a second, that's already what the Constitution says? Isn't it.

    The US Supreme Court has struck down laws that went beyond the authority of the Commerce Clause, so your widdle fear tactic that there are no limits to federal governmental authority is a joke.

    (edit) FP, do you have any examples of laws that you believe are beyond Congress' authority vis a vis the commerce clause?
     
  23. Lord Blackadder macrumors G5

    Lord Blackadder

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    #23
    Nice self-description there.

    I can't remember how long you've been around here, but since that time you've been talking at people rather than with them. You ignore my actual opinions and then build strawmen to take their place.

    Of course, one thing you're just going to have to except is that you can never win. The triumph of one viewpoint is the antithesis of democracy. You'll be fighting these battles for the rest of your life, without victory. At best, you'll get a little bit of what you wanted. As will I.

    It's best not to worry about it too much, you'll give yourself an ulcer. That's just the way a democracy works.
     

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