Debate and Discussion

is america's check and balance in government no longer balanced?
subcultured at 2:56PM, March 19, 2007
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seems like the president can do almost anything nowadays…including starting wars.
before he had to go through a lot of people, now he can just drop bombs willy nilly and no one can say crap

George Washington's dream of having the country ruled by the people is fading away fast, and prolly that will be America's undoing. And slowly, like rome/france/england/russia another great country will start to deteriorate
J
last edited on July 14, 2011 4:01PM
WingNut at 6:32PM, March 19, 2007
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I agree sub, It seems nowadays that the president can wield whatever power he desires, and cannot be held accountable. For this though, I think the powers are still in effect to stop these actions, it's just that no one is using them. Rampant cronie-ism is keeping everyone from acting, and also the threat of being considered ‘un-american’ makes many people sit on their hands.

The problem I think is that the voices of the people are still heard, it's just that private agendas and fear of loosing votes is holding many people back. That and the fact that ‘Dubya is mucking things up so fast and so frevrently that it’s impossible to keep up with him. Every bill and clause passed sneakes in more things to give him more freedom. And when this is all over? When 2008 rolls around, he'll walk away, completely clean, and not held accountable for his multiple infringes on civil liberties and the like.

So sayeth the Wing'

-W
last edited on July 14, 2011 4:50PM
kingofsnake at 1:56PM, March 20, 2007
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But thats the great thing about our system. When he walks out in 2008 he's powerless. Sure theres a mess to clean up, but he can't mess things up anymore.

When they built our system they built it with gridlock on purpose. People complain nothing ever gets done in the goverment, but they don't realize it was designed to be like that. The idea was that if nothing could get done at all, nothing bad could get done. And over the course of centuries the only laws that would persist were the ones that were actually good. Everything is always under constant scrutiny. Every policy, every bill, every law can be disavowed far more easily than it's created. So something that takes liberties away from the senate and house, and gives it to the president won't last for more than a few years before being taken apart. Over long periods of time what is good and right for the nation will become part of our nation, while what is wrong will come and go.

Checks and balances isn't an instantaneous thing. It takes place over decades. People forget that. Some people never knew
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:16PM
subcultured at 1:59PM, March 20, 2007
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i still think we should have 5 years as a term and no re-election

we've had 8 years with this madman on the helm
enough is enough
J
last edited on July 14, 2011 4:01PM
kingofsnake at 3:24PM, March 20, 2007
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well except for inventing a way-back machine theres nothing anyone can do about that, you gotta work within the constraints of the system you have…or move somewhere thats got different constraints.

lets all go to canada
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:16PM
reconjsh at 8:54PM, March 20, 2007
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kingofsnake
well except for inventing a way-back machine theres nothing anyone can do about that, you gotta work within the constraints of the system you have…or move somewhere thats got different constraints.

lets all go to canada
I don't think Canada is as super as some people make it out to be.

And… didn't Bush win by a larger margin in ‘04 than he did in ’00? We ASKED for 4 more years of hell. I voted for Bush in ‘04 so we’d get conservative supreme court justices… seriously. In hindsight though, I wonder if it was worth it. I like the new judges, but damn… Bush really sucks, for lack of a better word.

last edited on July 14, 2011 3:02PM
Ronson at 9:47PM, March 20, 2007
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Well, if you trust the elections, he won.

But that's a whole ‘nuther kettle of fish.

The Bush administration has spent the past 6 years getting rid of a lot of checks and balances, and they will not be coming back any time soon.

Here’s a few of powers the president now claims just off the top of my head:

1. NSA Wiretaps without court approved warrants.
2. Secret prisons.
3. Suspension of habeas corpus
4. Torture
5. Termination and appointment of U.S. attorneys
6. Prolonging war

now, #1-3 bypass the court system. #4 was ordered in contradiction of established Geneva Convention laws which were approved by the House and Senate. #5 is a new thing that they stuck in PATRIOT act II to bypass the House and Senate.

#6 is, I suppose, debateable. Congress has the “power of the purse” and some constitutional scholars say that they have the power to demand the end of war. The Bush administration claims that they can spend any money allocated by Congress any way they choose, and that Congress can not end the war.

What amazes me is the partisanship. There are actually Republicans - not all, and fewer every day - who fully support Bush's actions, but I KNOW would be in the streets had a Democrat done it. I try not to be that way, though I hate this Presidency more than any other in my lifetime.
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:10PM
reconjsh at 10:09PM, March 20, 2007
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Ronson
Well, if you trust the elections, he won.

But that's a whole ‘nuther kettle of fish.

The Bush administration has spent the past 6 years getting rid of a lot of checks and balances, and they will not be coming back any time soon.

Here’s a few of powers the president now claims just off the top of my head:

1. NSA Wiretaps without court approved warrants.
2. Secret prisons.
3. Suspension of habeas corpus
4. Torture
5. Termination and appointment of U.S. attorneys
6. Prolonging war

now, #1-3 bypass the court system. #4 was ordered in contradiction of established Geneva Convention laws which were approved by the House and Senate. #5 is a new thing that they stuck in PATRIOT act II to bypass the House and Senate.

#6 is, I suppose, debateable. Congress has the “power of the purse” and some constitutional scholars say that they have the power to demand the end of war. The Bush administration claims that they can spend any money allocated by Congress any way they choose, and that Congress can not end the war.

What amazes me is the partisanship. There are actually Republicans - not all, and fewer every day - who fully support Bush's actions, but I KNOW would be in the streets had a Democrat done it. I try not to be that way, though I hate this Presidency more than any other in my lifetime.
I gotta agree with every word of Ronson's here… except with #5 I want to point something out: Didn't Clinton fire like almost all the US Attorneys serving when he took office? I'm not saying it justifies Bush's firings… I just think it's fair to point out that Bush wasn't the first person to do this and that this practice was considered “the norm” until it became more potential fuel against an already miserably popular president.

Also, I'd like to believe that - like most other rapings of our constitutional rights - our rights will be restored given enough time just as past freedom violations have been corrected. I.E. McCarthy and his commie crusade. Hopefully the '08 regime will do the right thing and give us our rights back on the above mentioned things. Not doing so would make them just as guilty as the last.

Without the hope returned rights, a very bleak picture of an abrupt end to American life is all that remains in my already pessimistic mind.
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:02PM
Ronson at 11:44AM, March 21, 2007
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I gotta agree with every word of Ronson's here… except with #5 I want to point something out: Didn't Clinton fire like almost all the US Attorneys serving when he took office? I'm not saying it justifies Bush's firings… I just think it's fair to point out that Bush wasn't the first person to do this and that this practice was considered “the norm” until it became more potential fuel against an already miserably popular president.

Yes, Clinton fired the attorneys when he took office, and it is not an uncommon practice to do so. There are some essential differences:

1. The PATRIOT ACT II made it possible to replace these attorneys without congressional oversight. That is, the Attorney General just hires them and there's no approval process from congress. That isn't illegal, because the Bush administration changed the law to make it legal. But it does weaken the court and remove some of Congress' responsiblities*

2. The firings at the beginning of the Clinton administration were not to scuttle investigations, or to get rid of attorneys who didn't attack Clinton's enemies enough. The appointment of attorneys at the beggining of the first administration is perfectly normal. (Remember that in this case, Bush is actually firing people he either approved of or put in place himself. And all of these fired attorneys had good performance reviews.)

There is some talk that this is exactly what the Bush administration did by firing eight attorneys - one of whom successfully prosecuted Rep. Duke Cunningham and was about to go after CIA agent Dusty Foggo based on what she had learned and what Cunningham was willing to say.

3. I wasn't necessarily addressing the illegality of the act, but the loss of checks and balances.

*Not to get too off topic, but this was congress' fault. By approving the bill, they essentially gave away their power. Many congresspersons claim they didn't read this provision .. but that's a pretty sorry excuse.
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:10PM
reconjsh at 12:09PM, March 21, 2007
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Ronson - I concede all those points. I meant to imply concession to those in my original post. I was merely pointing out that a point you missed to anyone trying to understand the bigger picture.

What do you think about the ‘rights being returned as is usual’, like I described in my last post?

It seems like several times throughout American history an administration makes us bend over for awhile… but ultimately, what's right will be returned once public ignorance an opinion is changed (as it generally is). See my last post for elaboration…



SIDE THOUGHT: I can't think of who said this or how exactly it goes, can someone help me? They were talking about morality and/or virtues (and I think it was someone ancient like Aristotle). I'm going to destroy the meaning of this theory with my poor wording… but, it was something like “the theory that what is right, virtuous, or true will rise become normal, accepted and apparent given enough time in a given populace”. Basically, “truth will prevail given time” type of statement.

Dang it… I can't find it anywhere!!
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:02PM
Ronson at 12:41PM, March 21, 2007
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We will only return to “normal” if there's an informed populace voting for ethical candidates. So, my short answer is “no, it won't happen.”
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:10PM
kingofsnake at 12:51PM, March 21, 2007
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Ronson
We will only return to “normal” if there's an informed populace voting for ethical candidates. So, my short answer is “no, it won't happen.”

America has NEVER been like this. As long as congress wants to get power back away from the executive branch, these bills wont stand the test of time. It was only the blind following of GW that got these kind of bils past in the first place. Now that it's clear that his side is the losing side you'll see more push back from congress, and more bills being recinded as soon as they come under review
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:16PM

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