Abortion and White Supremacy

Posted by PITHOCRATES - February 27th, 2014

Politics 101

Slavery made the South more like an Old World Aristocracy than a New World Meritocracy

Democrats don’t like people of color.  Never have.  The Democrat Party’s lineage goes back to Thomas Jefferson’s Democratic-Republican Party.  Thomas Jefferson was one of our Founding Fathers who, as the Democrats love to remind us, owned slaves.  In fact, the Democratic-Republican Party was the party of the planter elite.  And of slavery.  While the opposition party, the Federalists, whose members included George Washington, John Adams and Alexander Hamilton, preferred manufacturing and commerce for the future of the United States.  Not just plantations and slavery.

It was these southern planters who made the Three-Fifths Compromise necessary.  Slaves couldn’t vote.  So the North didn’t want to count them in determining the number of representatives a state had in the House of Representatives.  The planter elite did not like this.  As the anti-slave North had more free people and would end up controlling the government.  Possibly passing anti-slave legislation.  Well, without the southern states there would be no United States.  So they compromised and counted some of their slaves.  Giving the planter elite greater power in the new federal government than their population would otherwise have allowed.  And to seal the deal they agreed not to discuss the issue of slavery again for 20 years.

The minority power in the South, the planter elite, who were Democratic-Republicans, brought a lot of slaves to the United States during that 20 year moratorium on the slavery issue.  Swelling the slave population in the South.  But once the 20 years were up Congress banned the slave trade.  So from that point forward all slaves would have to be born on U.S. soil.  But the minority power in the South had built their little fiefdoms by then.  Owning large estates.  With their lands worked by their large slaveholdings.  Making the South more like an Old World aristocracy than a New World meritocracy.  And the planter elite liked having so much power vested in so few of their hands.  From having their few numbers control the federal government.  To their absolute control of so many human lives on their plantations.  They were an elite few.  A superior people.  And they liked it.

The South used the Power of the Federal Government to Suppress States’ Rights in the North with the Fugitive Slave Act

Over time as the north pursued the dreams of Washington, Adams and Hamilton immigration began to swell the population in the industrial North.  Leading to the South losing their control over the House of Representatives.  And threatening their elitism.  By then the Democratic-Republican Party had become the Democrat Party.  Which pushed to protect the institution of slavery.  To protect their southern aristocracy.  And their elevated status as a superior people.  They used the power of the federal government where they could.  Such as passing the Fugitive Slave Act to force free states against their will to return free blacks in their states to slavery.  Then they argued that their states’ rights were at risk with all of the North’s abolition talk.  Where the North might one day do what the South did to them.  Use the federal government to force a state to do something against their will.  Such as they did with the Fugitive Slave Act.

Their fight for the Senate led to further compromises to keep the union together while accommodating the planter elite.  The Missouri Compromise (1820) had prohibited slavery in the new territory in the Louisiana Territory above approximately the southern border of Missouri (but permitted it within the borders of Missouri).  Each state gets two senators.  So with the House lost the Democrats needed more of the new states from the Louisiana Territory entered into the Union as slave states.  Even those above the southern border of Missouri. Which they did with the Kansas–Nebraska Act.  Which repealed the Missouri Compromise and replaced it with popular sovereignty.  Where the people would chose whether they wanted to be a slave state or a free state.  Setting off a mad rush by both sides to get to these territories so they could vote the slave status of these new states their way.  Leading to a bloody civil war in Kansas.

Then another blow fell to the southern aristocracy.  Abraham Lincoln.  With the election of Republican Abraham Lincoln the southern aristocracy lost not only the House of Representatives but the presidency as well.  Worse, the Republicans were an anti-slavery party.  So even if they were somehow able to hold onto the Senate the Republicans in power would challenge the planter elite’s supremacy.  Break up their fiefdoms.  And challenge their power.  Something this elite few were willing to fight to prevent.  Well, they were willing to have others fight for them.  To maintain the social order in the South.  Leading to cries about states’ rights.  And an over-powerful federal government.  Despite their having used the power of the federal government to suppress states’ rights in the North with the Fugitive Slave Act.

Democrats see Benefits for Blacks as a Necessary Evil to keep them in Power

Most southerners were poor farmers.  Who owned no slaves.  Yet they rose to fight for states’ rights.  And to protect the South from northern aggression.  At least, that was what the planter elite had them believe.  Who sent many of these poor farmers to their deaths in the American Civil War.  When it was over approximately 8.6% of the South’s population was dead.  By comparison World War II killed approximately 405,399 Americans.  However, if we had suffered the same death rate as the South did in the American Civil War our World War II dead would have totaled over 12 million.  This is what the southern aristocracy was willing to—and did—sacrifice to maintain their power and privilege.  Their supremacy over other people.  Especially over their black slaves.

Such a feeling of superiority allows you to do some pretty horrible things.  Just review the history of Nazi Germany to see some of the atrocities a ‘master race’ can do.  In the post-war South the Democrats did not lose with grace.  They resented the martial law in the South after the war.  And they hated Republican rule.  Protecting their former slaves.  Even allowing them to run for government office.  It was all too much for the fallen southern aristocracy.  To remind people of the proper order of southern society they formed the KKK.  And unleashed a terror across the South.  Killing their former slaves.  And Republicans.  To codify their white supremacy the Democrats turned to the legislature.  And passed laws to segregate the ‘inferior blacks’ from their superior selves.  Jim Crowe Laws.  Separate but equal.  With the emphasis on ‘separate’.  In time pressure grew against the southern Democrats.  But they held strong in Congress.  Fighting against any civil rights legislation.  Including the Civil Rights Act of 1964.  Where Democrat Senator Robert Byrd (and former Exalted Cyclops of the KKK) filibustered against the Civil Rights Act for 14 hours and 13 minutes.  To keep the blacks segregated from their superior selves.

Things are a lot better these days.  But Democrat feelings of superiority die hard.  Even though they would have us believe they like blacks today.  Despite their past hatred of blacks.  And their seething anger of having lost them from their plantations.  But they found a way to ‘get them back on the plantation’.  By making them dependent on government.  In exchange for their vote.  Which keeps them in power.  Back where they believe they belong.  And are entitled to be.  Because they are a superior people.  So benefits for blacks are a necessary evil to Democrats.  For they still don’t like them.  As evidenced by where they live.  Where some of the richest Democrats (such as Nancy Pelosi) live in the whitest of neighborhoods.  And their apparent racial purification of society.  Through the guise of women’s rights.  The most important thing to women, according to Democrats, is abortion.  And they do their best to make abortion readily available.  Especially to women of color.  Like in New York City.  And Mississippi.  Where black women are having far more abortions than white women.  Making America whiter.  More like the neighborhood where Nancy Pelosi lives.  And more like the color Democrats have fought to keep America since the Three-Fifths Compromise.  The Fugitive Slave Act.  Popular Sovereignty.  The KKK.  And Jim Crowe Laws.

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Invoking the Nuclear Option to Legislate more Easily from the Bench

Posted by PITHOCRATES - November 21st, 2013

Politics 101

Liberals pack the Judiciary with Liberal Judges to Write Law they can’t Write in Congress

Harry Reid and the Democrats went nuclear today.  Changing the Senate rules for the first time since the Founding.  To increase the power of those in the majority.  So they can run roughshod over those in the minority.  Thanks to the poor launch of Obamacare.  And the sinking realization that because the Democrats have so angered the people in the process of implementing the Affordable Care Act (the president and Democrats lied and people are losing their health insurance and doctors) that Democrats up for election in 2014 are going to be thrown out with extreme prejudice.  Turning the Senate over to the Republicans.  Hence the need to go nuclear now.

It’s no secret the left legislates from the bench.  Using judges to write legislation that Congress won’t.  Such as making abortion legal via Roe v. Wade.  That was a law made not by the law-makers.  The legislature.  Congress.  But by liberal judges on the bench.  Who are to interpret law.  Not write it.  But in Roe v. Wade, as in so many other laws that came to be that Congress refused to write, judges wrote law in their legal rulings.  Allowing the liberal minority to make their will the law of the land.

America is a center-right country.  Which means there are more conservatives than liberals.  In fact, only about 21% of the people identify themselves as liberal while about 40% of the people identify themselves as conservative (see Conservatives Remain the Largest Ideological Group in U.S. by Lydia Saad posted 1/12/2012 on Gallup).  Yet this 21% has implemented a lot of their liberal agenda.  How?  Liberal judges.  The key to changing the country against the will of the people.  When you can’t get the people’s representatives to write your laws you turn to the judiciary.  Which is why Harry Reid went nuclear today.  So they can pack the judiciary with liberal judges.  Before they lose the Senate.  So they will be able to write law from the bench that they won’t be able to do after they lose the Senate.

The Filibuster is the Last Line of Defense for the Minority

The filibuster is a stalling tactic.  A tool the minority can use to prevent the majority from running roughshod over them.  To protect minority rights.  For majority rule can be dangerous.  The majority could write law that restricts the rights of the minority.  Don’t like the internal combustion engine?  Well, the majority could write legislation for a costly carbon tax.  Of course, the Democrats don’t have a majority in the House.  But they do have one in the Senate.  Which confirms the president’s judicial appointments.  So if the president stacks the courts with liberal judges the left can get their carbon tax.  By writing regulations for a carbon tax instead of legislation.  And having the courts make that regulation law.  With the left saying that they had that right under their environmental regulatory powers.  And if you don’t like that sue us.

This is why the left wants to stack the courts with liberals.  Who may or may not be actual judges.  For they don’t want judges to interpret law.  They want them to write law that Congress won’t.  If the right sues the government for exceeding their constitutional authority and the case ends up in a court packed with liberal judges the right will lose.  And the unconstitutional regulation will become law.  Despite the Republican-controlled House.

The right has been holding up some exceptionally liberal Obama appointees to the bench.  Frustrating the left.  Because they can’t move their liberal agenda through the Republican held House of Representatives.  While their plan B—stacking the courts—was being blocked by the Republicans because the Democrats did not have 60 Senators in the Senate.  For if they did they could invoke cloture.  End debate.  And force a vote.  Which they would, of course, win.  Making the filibuster the last line of defense for the minority.  For if the judicial appointment only appeals to the 21% of the population the minority can filibuster until they withdraw the appointment.  And appoint someone that doesn’t appeal ONLY to 21% of the population.

When the Democrats were in the Minority they said Opposition to the Republicans was Patriotic

Back when the Republicans held the Senate during the George W. Bush administration the Democrats were holding up Bush appointees.  The Republicans broached the subject of the nuclear option.  And the left attacked Republicans.  Calling it a power grab.  An affront to the Founding Fathers.  The worst thing that could happen to our republic.  Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi, Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama and other Democrats spoke on the record opposing the nuclear option.  But that was then.  This is now.  After the rollout of Obamacare.  And the very likely possibility that the Democrats will lose control of the Senate in 2014.  Now Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi, Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, et al are all for the nuclear option.

Because the Republicans are so partisan the left had no choice.  They simply wouldn’t rubber-stamp the liberal agenda.  So they had no choice but to grab power.  To run roughshod over those in the minority in Congress.  So the minority in the nation can impose their rule on the majority.  When the Democrats were in the minority in Congress they said opposition to the Republicans was patriotic.  That it made the republic healthier.  Locking the Congress into gridlock because they couldn’t get their way was fulfilling the vision of the Founding Fathers.  By preventing one-party rule.

But all that changes when they are in the majority.  And those in the 21% are fine with it.  Those in the mainstream media.  Hollywood.  Late-night television.  Even the audiences of the late-night television shows.  Who are all for debate when they are out of power.  But are fine with one-party rule when they are in power.  Because they believe that their side is the only side that matters.  Which is decidedly NOT what the Founding Fathers envisioned.  The left believes everyone should think like they think.  And if they don’t there should be laws to compel people to act like they (the left) think they should act.  Even if it requires violating the Constitution.  Like Obamacare forces people to buy something against their will for the first time in the history of the republic.  But expecting people to pay for their own birth control instead of forcing others to pay for it?  Why, that’s an affront to the Founding Fathers.  Making any law-violating power grab acceptable.  As long as it’s the left doing the law-violating and the power-grabbing.  For the left believe the end justifies the means.  Just like the Nazis did.  The communists.  And other tyrannical regimes have throughout time.

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Senate sends LGBT Bill to House to Fail for Political Points in the Next Election

Posted by PITHOCRATES - November 9th, 2013

Week in Review

There are millions of transgender people who are being discriminated against in the workplace just as there are millions of people signing up for Obamacare.  President Obama can say both.  But even he must know neither is true (see Senate passes LGBT anti-discrimination bill by Leigh Ann Caldwell posted 11/8/2013 on CNN).

For the first time, the U.S. Senate approved legislation that would protect gay, lesbian and transgender employees from discrimination in the workplace…

Opposition in the Republican-controlled House is strong, minimizing any chance the measure will become law. House Speaker John Boehner also opposes it.

Still, President Barack Obama urged the House to take the bill up and said he would sign it.

“One party in one house of Congress should not stand in the way of millions of Americans who want to go to work each day and simply be judged by the job they do,” the President said in a statement. “Now is the time to end this kind of discrimination in the workplace, not enable it. I urge the House Republican leadership to bring this bill to the floor for a vote and send it to my desk so I can sign it into law.”

The bill would provide the same protections for LGBT workers as are already guaranteed on the basis of race, gender and religion.

It would not be lawful for employers to discriminate based on a person’s “actual or perceived” sexual orientation or gender identity…

“The Speaker believes this legislation will increase frivolous litigation and cost American jobs, especially small business jobs,” Boehner’s spokesman, Michael Steel, said.

Millions?  That must mean there are more than 2 million transgender people in the United States trying to get a job as this law basically adds “a person’s “actual or perceived” sexual orientation or gender identity” to a long list of federal protections.  According to a study by the Williams Institute only about 0.3% of adults are transgender.  According to the U.S. Census Bureau the U.S. population is about 313.9 million.  If we subtract those under 18 years of age (23.5%) and retirees (13.7%) from the total population that leaves 197.1 million people of working age.  Of this 197.1 million only 591,414 are transgender according to the Williams Institute study.  Which is 0.19% of the total population.  In comparison the latest Employment Situation Summary from the BLS shows the official unemployment rate (U-3) is 7.3%.  While the more accurate unemployment rate that counts all people who can’t find a job is at 13.8%.  But the more accurate picture of the economy is the labor force participation rate.  Which is now at 62.8%.  Meaning that there are 91.5 million people who have left the labor force because they can’t get a job.

There are not millions of transgender people being discriminated against in the workplace.  As there are only about a half million people who call themselves transgender in the nation.  But there are 91.5 million people who can’t find a job.  Perhaps that is the problem Congress should be working on.  Rolling back one of the most business-unfriendly environments ever to exist in the U.S.  To create jobs for the 91.5 million.  As well as the half million.

This legislation is, obviously, a political maneuver.  The Senate passed this bill so it can die in the House.  So they can say, “See?  House Republicans hate LGBT people.”  Which is how the left wins elections.  By making their base hate Republicans.  Which is why President Obama was able to win reelection despite his policies keeping 91.5 million people out of a job.  Despite a part of his base—the young—suffering the highest levels of unemployment.  But they will continue to suffer and vote Democrat.  Because Republicans hate LGBT people.  Even if it’s not true.  As long as there is a perception of it that’s good enough for them.  Even though it would be easier for LBGT people to get a job if there weren’t 91.5 million people on line looking for a job.

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FT170: “If liberals believed in being bipartisan they wouldn’t harass conservatives with the IRS.” —Old Pithy

Posted by PITHOCRATES - May 17th, 2013

Fundamental Truth

The Right should Rubberstamp Everything the Left wants Just like the Left did for George W. Bush

If you ever have watched the Daily Show with Jon Stewart you’ve probably noticed a recurring theme.  He gets exasperated.  A lot.  When it comes to the lack of bipartisan cooperation on the side of the Republicans.  And by bipartisan he means just giving the Democrats what they want.  Just to give up their core beliefs.  And vote for things that violate everything they stand for.

It’s the conservatives that really annoy him.  And Democrats in general.  Especially Tea Party conservatives.  Who just won’t buckle under.  And give the Democrats what they want.  Like the Republican establishment.  RINOs.  Who like the ruling class in Washington.  And want to be a part of it.  Unlike those Tea Party conservatives.  Who sound like a broken record.  We need limited government.  And lower tax rates.  Not an expanding federal government.  Paid for with higher tax rates.  And their opposition to Obamacare despite it being law really gets stuck in their craw.

President Obama’s reelection was a mandate.  At least that’s what the Democrats thought.  That the people approved of the president.  And everything he did in his first term.  That shellacking the Democrats took in the 2010 midterm elections?  Causing the rise of the Tea Party in the first place?  Because of those backroom deals?  That the Democrats made to pass Obamacare into law?  That was just an anomaly.  It meant nothing.  That was only some tin-hat wearing crazy people.  Tea-baggers, they called them.  No.  Real America reelected President Obama.  Because they wanted him to do more.  So the conservatives should just accept that.  And rubberstamp everything the Democrats want.  Just like they did for George W. Bush.

Based on the Demographic Numbers one Must Question if the Obama Presidency is Legitimate

Oh, wait a minute, they didn’t do that.  They fought him relentlessly.  Especially after the Democrats won big in the 2006 midterm elections.  Taking back both the House.  And the Senate.  For they hated George W. Bush.  And never accepted him as legitimate.  What with the debacle of the 2000 election.  Where to this day they say the Republicans stole that election.  Thanks to the Supreme Court.  Making Al Gore a millionaire in the process.  Peddling his global warming fear.  But poor Al Gore got robbed in 2000.  Because the Republicans cheated.  And suppressed voter turnout.  The only way Republicans can win elections.  Or so say the Democrats.

Of course the numbers don’t agree with that.  The demographics.  Then.  And now.  In 2001 liberals were at 17%.  Moderates at 38%.  And conservatives at 43%.  Today liberals rose to 20%.  Moderates fell to 32%.  And conservatives rose to 46%.  Conservatives are the majority.  Then.  And now.  (See In U.S., Nearly Half Identify as Economically Conservative posted 5/25/2012 on Gallup).  So conservatives can win elections.  Based on these numbers.  And should be able to do so easier than liberals.  So it must be the liberals.  They must be the ones cheating.  And suppressing voter turnout.

So Bush was legitimate.  Based on the numbers.  And it is doubtful the people want the Republicans to rollover.  Or rubberstamp the Democrat agenda.  For they did retain the House in 2012.  As they should have won the Senate.  And the White House.  Based on the horrible economy.  The killing of 4 Americans in Benghazi.  And Obamacare.  That the majority just doesn’t want.  Which begs the question.  Is the Obama presidency legitimate?

This Bipartisan Spirit of the Left is Fear and Intimidation of their Political Opponents

So how did President Obama win reelection?  And how did the Democrats hold onto the Senate?  Well, there was the mainstream media.  Which is liberal.  Following in the tradition of their godfather.  Walter Cronkite.  Only out of the closet.  For there are no closet liberals these days.  There’s Hollywood.  Television.  The music industry.  The public schools.  And our universities.  All liberal.  Just a small sliver of the population.  But a highly leveraged sliver.  As they have greatly amplified voices.  Which gives them legitimacy.  As television and movies sway a lot of people.  Especially the young.  Who our teachers program in our public schools.  And our professors brainwash in our universities.  Despite all of this, though, we’re still a conservative people.  While liberals still hold at 20%.  So there must be something else.

Which brings us back to cheating.  And voter suppression.  Liberals hate the Tea Party.  And conservatives.  Blaming them for their loss of the House.  In that 2010 shellacking.  Ever since then liberals have slandered the Tea Party.  Called them racists.  And every other dirty name in the book.  Including tea baggers.  They hated these people.  And were not going to allow a repeat of 2010.  With President Obama in the White House it put the liberals in charge of the executive branch of government.  Giving them power.  Which they used.  By having the most feared agency of the federal government harass the conservatives.  Especially the Tea Party.  As groups applied for tax-exempt status the IRS harassed them.  Asking them for a lot information.  Personal information.  That they could use against them.  Such as releasing the names of their major donors to liberal websites.  Who destroyed and intimidated these donors as best as they could.  Some of these people faced costly audits by the IRS.  Even suffered through costly audits from the Labor Department.  The message was clear.  If you tried to exercise your First Amendment right against the Obama administration beware.  For you will feel the wrath of the federal government.  Muzzling the opposition.  Making it easier to win.  Despite the horrible economy.  Benghazi.  And Obamacare.

This is the bipartisan spirit of the left.  Fear and intimidation.  And when that doesn’t work they speak in an exasperated voice.  Of Republicans.  And their refusal to work with the Democrats.  In a bipartisan manner.  Expressing their frustration.  That 46% of the population won’t just give in to 20% of the population.  Giving up their core beliefs.  And to just vote for things that violate everything they stand for.  Something the Democrats never did for George W. Bush.  But it is a moral outrage when the Republicans won’t do it for President Obama.

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FT160: “Why would Democrats want to help Republicans appeal to more voters when they want to beat them in elections?” —Old Pithy

Posted by PITHOCRATES - March 8th, 2013

Fundamental Truth

The Power Brokers in Washington dismiss the Rand Paul Filibuster as another Kook Libertarian/Tea Party Thing

The Rand Paul filibuster caused quite the stir.  For it’s been a while since we had an old-school talking filibuster on the Senate floor.  Senator Paul was delaying a vote on confirming John Brennan as CIA director.  Over the drone policy of the Obama administration.  He talked for about 13 hours.  All to get an answer from the Obama administration.  He wanted the administration to answer definitively that the U.S. would not kill American citizens on U.S. soil with a drone strike without due process if that American citizen posed no imminent threat.  But getting that admission was akin to pulling teeth.

Rand Paul is the son of Ron Paul.  Who is a libertarian.  And a bit of a kook to the Washington establishment.  Both on the Left and the Right.  Because he goes on and on about the gold standard.  The Constitution.  And America fighting wars we shouldn’t be fighting.  If it were up to him he would bring all American forces home.  And he would stop those drone strikes.  Both Ron Paul and Rand Paul are/were members of the Republican Party.  Constitutional conservatives.  And libertarians.  Who the Washington establishment looks at as kooks.  Rand Paul is even worse.  For he is a member of the Tea Party movement.  A group of people the Washington establishment also looks upon as a bunch of kooks.

So the power brokers in Washington look at Rand Paul as just another kook.  And were quick to dismiss this filibuster as another example of how crazy these libertarian/Tea Party kooks were.  But there was only one problem.  Was someone who was trying to get an evasive government to admit that they wouldn’t kill Americans on U.S. soil without due process even if that American posed no imminent threat a kook?  This was something the Left was supposed to do.  Speak truth to power.  To protect American citizens from an out of control federal government.  And here was Rand Paul fighting that fight.  A Tea Party Constitutional conservative libertarian.

The Republican Old Guard is trying to Distance Themselves from the Tea Party and the Constitutional Conservatives

The Left attacked the Bush administration over the Patriot Act.  Which included those warrantless wiretaps on Americans who were speaking to known terrorist threats in a foreign country.  They assailed George W. Bush and Dick Cheney over the water-boarding of three terrorists.  Including one who gave up information that led us to Osama bin Laden.  Now it was their president whose administration appeared out of control.  Whose attorney general would not come out and say that they would not kill Americans on U.S. soil with a drone strike without due process even if they posed no imminent threat.  Something was very wrong with this picture.

The Daily Show with Jon Stewart owes its success to the Republican Party.  For the show’s one purpose in life is to attack and belittle Republicans.  Which their liberal audience enjoys.  Responding with enthusiastic applause and laughter whenever Stewart skewers any Republican.  Or any institution or cause that is important to them.  However, Jon Stewart, even though he disagrees with pretty much everything Rand Paul stands for, did not ridicule Senator Paul for his filibuster.  For the Obama administration’s unwillingness to state for the record that they would not kill Americans on U.S. soil with a drone strike without due process even if they posed no imminent threat clearly bothered him.  Even if it didn’t bother the Washington establishment.  Including the Old Guard of the Republican Party.  Who did ridicule Senator Paul.

The Republican Old Guard is trying to distance themselves from the Tea Party.  And the Constitutional conservatives.  Instead they endlessly bend over backwards to try to get the opposition to like them.  Always unwilling to rock the political boat.  They won’t criticize the president.  Or do anything that may upset the Independents and moderates.  Such as saying the president is going to kill Americans on American soil with drone attacks.  Which really wasn’t the issue of the filibuster.  It was the administration’s apparent desire to have the legal right to do so.  This is what upset Senator Paul.  As well as Jon Stewart.  The ACLU.  Code Pink.  And Amnesty International.  Who found the Obama administration’s evasive answer on the subject disturbing.  Putting the Republican Old Guard on the wrong side of this issue.

The Democrats are Playing the Republican Old Guard to Advance their Agenda

So why is the Republican Old Guard on the wrong side of this issue?  Because they listen too much to their friends in the Democrat Party.  Who are always giving them advice on how to appeal to more voters.  To attract more women.  Blacks.  Hispanics.  People who typically vote Democrat.  And how can the Republicans get these Democrat-voting people to vote Republican?  Easy.  Just act more like Democrats.  Hence their not criticizing the president.  And why they are distancing themselves from the conservative Republican base.  The Tea Party.  And the Constitutional conservatives.  Because that’s what Democrats do.  And Democrats are getting more women, blacks and Hispanics to vote for them.  Ergo, if the Republicans just act like them they will get more women, blacks and Hispanics to vote for them.

Anyone see the flaw in this plan?  If these people typically vote for Democrats why would they vote for Republicans acting like Democrats when they can just as well vote for the people they typically vote for?  Democrats?  For a Democrat is unlikely to stop behaving like a Democrat.  But is a Republican as unlikely to stop acting like a Democrat?  When there are Tea Party and Constitutional conservatives out there that may be vying for their seat in the next primary election?  If we’ve learned anything from the 2012 Republican primary election it’s this.  Republicans try to move farther to the right than their primary opponents.  To appeal to the Tea Party and Constitutional conservatives in their base.  And the more they act like Democrats while in office the harder that will be to do.  Something no doubt Democrat voters keep in mind when they consider these Democrat-light Republican candidates.

Does anyone see another flaw in this plan?  Of Democrats helping Republicans to get more women, black and Hispanic voters?  Granted the Democrat Party is the party of altruism and welfare.  They’re the ones who want to offer a hand-up.  To feed the hungry.  To house the homeless.  To be the father/husband for single mothers.  To provide free preschool.  Free school lunches.  And breakfasts.  Free health care.  Etc.  They just want to give and help as many people as possible.  But do they really want to help Republicans?  Their political rivals?  Those people who vote against handouts (what others call a hand-up), food for the hungry, houses for the homeless, fathering/husbanding single mothers, free preschool, free school lunches, breakfasts, free health care, etc.  Of course they don’t.  The Democrats are just playing the Republican Old Guard.  Getting some of them to vote their way to attract the voters that will never vote for them.  To advance their agenda.  While using them to marginalize their greatest threat.  The Tea Party.  And Constitutional conservatives.  Anyone who doubts this just needs to ask themselves one question.  Why would Democrats want to help Republicans appeal to more voters when they want to beat them in elections?  They wouldn’t.  Something everyone can see.  Except the Republican Old Guard.  Who are so blind that they choose the wrong side of the ‘killing Americans on American soil without due process’ issue.

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Tyranny of the One, Tyranny of the Few, Tyranny of the Many, Drone Strikes and the Rand Paul Filibuster

Posted by PITHOCRATES - March 7th, 2013

Politics 101

Trusting that only Good People will Serve in Government is Sheer Folly

History has been a struggle for power.  Those who wanted it fought those who had it.  And those who had it tried to eliminate anyone who didn’t have it but wanted it.  So people have killed each other since the dawn of time for power.  Making for a rather Hobbesian existence.  “Solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short.”  A quote from Thomas Hobbes’ Leviathan.  Where he posits that only an all powerful dictator can provide a just society.  Otherwise there would be great unrest and civil wars.  Such as was going on in England at the time he wrote Leviathan.

England, though, would choose a non-Hobbesian path.  Choosing to restrict the powers of their monarch with a represented body of the people.  Parliament.  Evolving into what John Adams once called the best system of government.  A constitutional monarchy where power was balanced between the few, the many and the one.  The few, the rich, paid the taxes that the one, the king, spent.  The common people were the many.  Who had a say in what the rich and the king could do.  So everyone had a say.  And no one group, the majority, the minority or the one, could do whatever they wanted.  Which is why John Adams once thought it was the best system of government.

John Adams wanted a strong executive in the new United States.  Not a hereditary king.  But something close to the king of England.  Who would advance the new nation to greatness.  And with disinterested men of the Enlightenment serving in the new government Adams didn’t worry about any abuses of power.  For this wasn’t Great Britain.  But not everyone had Adams’ confidence in the nobility of men.  Worrying that given the chance they would try to form a new nobility.  As James Madison said in Federalist 51, “If men were angels, no government would be necessary.”  And that was the problem.  Men are not angels.  And trusting that only good men would serve in government was sheer folly.  So we should form governments under the assumption that bad people would reach positions of power.  And thus limit the power of government.

Today both Houses of Congress win Elections by Appealing to Populism

So the Americans settled on a similar system.  They separated powers between a legislature, an executive and a judiciary.  Further, they separated the legislature into two bodies.  The House of Representatives.  And the Senate.  Representation in the House being apportioned by population.  The more populous a state the greater that state’s representation.  And the greater influence they had in writing law.  They chose their representatives by popular vote.  Making it truly the house of the people.

The states, though, feared a tyranny of the majority.  Where the largest states could have their way.  And force the smaller states to accept their rule.  For in a true democracy the majority could vote anything into law.  Such as the subjugation and oppression of a minority group.  Like the Nazi Party passed legislation subjugating and oppressing the Jews.  So minorities need protection from majorities.  In the United States the Senate provided a check on majority rule.  For each state had equal representation.  Each state had two senators.  And to further protect the interests of the states (and their sovereignty) the states chose their senators.  A constitutional amendment changed this later.  Which weakened the sovereignty of the states.  By making the Senate a true democracy.  Where the people could vote for the senators that promised them the most from the treasury.

Today both houses of Congress win elections by appealing to populism.  Representatives and Senators are, in general, no longer ‘disinterested men of the Enlightenment’ but pure politicians trying to buy votes.  Which is what James Madison worried about.  The people in government are not angels.  And they’re becoming less like angels as time goes on.  Proving the need of a separation of powers.  And a bicameral legislature.  To keep any one group, or person, from amassing too much power.  So there can be no tyranny of the many.  No tyranny of the few.  And no tyranny of the one.

The Obama Administration can’t use the Military to Kill Suspect Americans on U.S. Soil

Senator Rand Paul just recently completed a 13 hour filibuster on the floor of the Senate.  To delay the vote to confirm John Brennan as CIA director.  Not because he had a problem with Brennan.  But because he had a problem with the Obama administration.  Specifically with Attorney General Eric Holder.  Senator Paul had asked Holder if the Obama administration could use a drone to kill an American on American soil without due process even if that person posed no imminent threat.  The attorney general gave his answer in a letter.  In which he didn’t say ‘no’.  Which bothered Senator Paul.  Because the Obama administration had killed an American or two on foreign soil without due process.  Including the son of a guy that posed an imminent threat.  While the son did not.

U.S. drone strikes have killed many terrorists overseas.  And they’ve killed a lot of innocent bystanders who had the misfortune to be in the same vicinity.  Such as being in the same coffee shop.  Basically a policy of ‘kill them all and let God sort them out’.  But you don’t hear a lot about this collateral damage.  As the Obama administration simply counts all the dead from a drone strike as being a terrorist that posed an imminent threat to U.S. security.  And the innocent son that was killed in a drone strike?  Well, he should have chosen a better father.  Or so said a member of the Obama administration.  Which is what so bothered Senator Paul.  For in the War on Terror the battlefield is worldwide.  Including the United States.  Which means given the right set of circumstances the Attorney General of the United States stated the government had the legal right to use a drone to kill an American on U.S. soil without due process.

In the United States there is a thing called the Constitution.  Which guarantees American citizens due process.  If you’re an American fighting Americans on foreign soil you have no Constitutional protections.  And can be killed by a drone strike without due process.  But if you’re on U.S. soil you have Constitutional protections.  Which means the government can’t use the military to kill suspect Americans.  No.  On U.S. soil we have police forces.  And courts.  Miranda rights.  On U.S. soil you have to convince a judge to issue an arrest warrant.  Then you have to collect evidence to present in a trial.  And then you have to convince a jury of a person’s guilt.  Then and only then can you take away a person’s freedom.  Or life.  Thus protecting all Americans from the tyranny of the one.  The tyranny of the few.  And the tyranny of the many.

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2012 Endorsements: Abraham Lincoln

Posted by PITHOCRATES - October 25th, 2012

2012 Election

The Slave Owners were the Social Elite and Holders of Political Power Similar to the Aristocracy in European Feudalism

General Motors (GM) required a government bailout and bankruptcy protection because of rising labor costs that prevented them from selling enough cars at a price to cover their costs while being profitable.  Their problem goes back to FDR.  During the Great Depression his government placed a ceiling on wages.  To encourage companies to hire more people.  By paying more people less money instead of fewer people more money.  So businesses had to do something else to attract the best employees.  And the employee benefit was born.  Pensions and health care benefits.  That were very generous when there was no competition and car companies could sell cars at whatever price they chose.  But that wasn’t the case in the 21st century.  Competition put great cost pressures on those companies with rising health care and pension costs.  And the job bank paying for workers who didn’t work.  Until they could be put back to work.  Adding a lot of costs to each car.  And sending GM into bankruptcy.

Slavery as an economic model had a similar problem.  High costs.  Which goes contrary to the public perception that slave labor was free labor.  George Washington wanted to sell his slaves and hire paid-laborers.  Because his slave families had grown so large.  So he had a growing slave population.  But they all weren’t working.  The young children could not do the work of a young man in his working prime.  Nor could the elderly.  Or the sick or infirmed.  (Who he couldn’t sell along with the healthier and stronger ones in their families.  So he kept his slaves, keeping those families together.  Freeing them upon the death of his wife.  And including provisions in his will to help them integrate into free society.  Giving them some job skills to help them find gainful employment so they could care for their young, elderly, sick and infirmed.)  Yet Washington was feeding them all.  While the growing amount of food they ate couldn’t go to market.  As the years passed his costs went up and his revenue fell.  Just like at GM.  For both had long-term labor commitments that became more inefficient over time.  Which is why slavery was a dying institution in the United States.  The industrial North was slave-free.  As they used more efficient paid-laborers.  Drawing a lot of immigrants to those northern factories.  And slavery was dying out in the South.  Until the cotton gin came along.  Allowing workers to comb (separating the seeds from the fiber) huge amounts of cotton at a time.  Greatly opening the market for that labor-intensive cotton crop.

The typical image of the South in 1860 is endless plantations each with hundreds of slaves working the fields.  Which is wrong.  Most people worked a small family farm.  In fact, most of the Confederate soldiers who fought in the American Civil War came from those small family farms and never owned a slave in their life.  The actual numbers of large slaveholders will probably surprise you.  Approximately 0.84% of the southern population owned at least 20 slaves.  Only 0.05% of the southern population owned at least 100 slaves.  And the number of big plantations owning at least 500 slaves?  Twelve.  So it was a very small population that had a vested interest in the institution of slavery.  Yet the South seceded from the union over the issue of slavery.  Why?  Because of who those slave owners were.  The social elite and holders of political power.  The Planter Elite.  People similar to the aristocracy in European feudalism.  An Old World nobility.  The very wealthy few who ruled the South.  And for awhile they ruled the United States thanks to an unfair advantage they had in the House of Representatives.  Where they determined their representation by not only counting the free population but by counting every slave as 3/5 a free person as well.  And this southern nobility was determined to maintain their aristocracy.

Popular Sovereignty created a Bloodbath in Kansas as ‘Free’ and ‘Slave’ People raced there to Settle the State

Which was easier said than done.  Because of that industrial growth in the north attracting so many immigrants that they swelled the northern population.  Transferring control of the House from the South to the North.  Which left only the Senate (and the presidency) for the South.  As each state got two senators the race was on to admit free and slave states to the union.  Which didn’t really solve anything.  It only made the differences between the North and the South greater.  And intensified the bad feelings between the North and the South.  The North was full of abolitionist busybodies trying to tell southerners how to live.  While the southerners were a bunch of immoral slaveholders.  Bringing shame to the nation that was supposedly a place where all men were created equal.   Words enshrined in the Declaration of Independence.  Words written incidentally by a southern slaveholder.  It was finally time to address the nation’s original sin.

Congress passed the Missouri Compromise (1820) after Thomas Jefferson bought the Louisiana Territory from the French.  Adding a lot of new land to form states from.  The compromise prohibited slavery north of the border between Arkansas and Missouri (except in the state of Missouri).  They added new states in pairs.  A free state.  And a slave state.  Maintaining the balance of power in Congress.  Then came Kansas and Nebraska.  Both above the Missouri Compromise line.  Well, that meant two new free states.  And a change in the balance of power.  Which the South couldn’t have.  So Senator Stephen Douglas introduced the Kansas-Nebraska Act.  And the idea of popular sovereignty.  The idea of letting the people in these new states decide for themselves if they should be a free state or a slave state.  Creating a bloodbath in Kansas as ‘free’ and ‘slave’ people raced there to settle the state.  Fighting and intimidating each other so they would be the ones to vote on making Kansas free or slave.  It was anarchy.

Abraham Lincoln had reentered politics in 1854 to campaign for fellow Whig Richard Yates.  Who opposed the Kansas-Nebraska Act.  Democrat Stephen Douglas was making a series of speeches in Illinois.  In response to one of Stephens’ speeches Lincoln gave his Peoria speech.  In commenting on letting slavery into Nebraska and Kansas Lincoln said, “I hate it because of the monstrous injustice of slavery itself.  I hate it because it deprives our republican example of its just influence in the world—enables the enemies of free institutions, with plausibility, to taunt us as hypocrites—causes the real friends of freedom to doubt our sincerity and especially because it forces so many really good men amongst ourselves into an open war with the very fundamental principles of civil liberty—criticizing the Declaration of Independence, and insisting that there is no right principle of action but self-interest.”

If Lincoln were Alive Today he would Likely Endorse the Republican Candidates Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan

The fallout from the Kansas-Nebraska Act splintered existing political parties apart.  Created new ones that disappeared later.  And gave birth to the new Republican Party.  The party of George W. Bush, Ronald Reagan and Abraham Lincoln.  Who became the leading spokesman of the party.  The Republicans lost the 1856 presidential election but won majorities in most of the northern states.  Tipping the balance of power further away from the South.  When Lincoln won his party’s nomination to run for senator in 1858 he gave his ‘House Divided Speech’ saying, “A house divided against itself cannot stand. I believe this government cannot endure permanently half slave and half free. I do not expect the Union to be dissolved—I do not expect the house to fall—but I do expect it will cease to be divided. It will become all one thing, or all the other.”

When slave Dred Scott traveled to a free state with his owner his owner died.  Scott said he was then a free man.  The Supreme Court thought otherwise.  Saying that Scott was still a slave because neither Congress nor any territory legislature had the authority to change that.  Which meant no one could restrict the movement of slaves because no one had the right to restrict the movement of private property.  Thus opening all the new territories to slavery.  Making the South very happy.  While infuriating the North.  Who refused to enforce slave laws on the books like the Fugitive Slave Law.  A provision included in the Compromise of 1850 for the states’ rights South.  That called for the federal government to force northerners to return slaves or face arrest and penalties.  States’ legislatures in the North passed laws saying a slave living in a free state was a free man.  The Supreme Court struck down these laws.  Favoring southern states’ rights over northern states’ rights.  So the states just refused to help the federal government in any prosecution of a violation of the Fugitive Slave Law.  Then abolitionist John Brown’s failed slave revolt at Harper’s Ferry, Virginia, further angered the South.

Then came the 1860 presidential election.  That Abraham Lincoln won.  Which was the last straw.  The South lost both Congress and the presidency.  Worse, the new president, though not an outright abolitionist, opposed the expansion of slavery.  Leaving the South with one last option.  Secession.  Which they did.  Leading to the American Civil War.  Which the South lost because of everything they believed in.  For an Old World nobility just could not defeat a modern industrial power.  Lincoln won because he had modern factories building whatever he needed.  The northern economy was large and diverse providing war financing.  Railroads crisscrossed the North.  A large navy controlled the interior rivers and blockaded the southern ports.  Cutting off the South from the outside world and starving it.  When the South desperately pursued the British for recognition Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation.  Making it impossible for Britain to ally itself with a nation fighting for the institution of slavery.

No president entered office with a heavier burden than President Lincoln.  Standing on principle he made the hard decisions.  Becoming the most hated sitting president of all time.  He did not look for an easy solution like every other politician had up to his time.  Only making the inevitable solution more costly.  And more painful.  He would do what had to be done.  Regardless the price he would pay.  Politically.  Or personally.  A cost so high that it made him a one term president thanks to an assassin’s bullet.  He didn’t base his decisions on the polls.  Or populist movements.  But on principles.  Drawn from the Constitution.  And the Declaration of Independence.  As well as the Bible.  So if he were alive today who would he endorse in the current election?  He would, of course, support his party.  Out of party loyalty.  And because it tends to stand on principle more than the Democrat Party.  Which often used an activist Supreme Court to get what they couldn’t get in the legislature.  Which tends to use populist movements and character assassination to advance their agenda.  Such as the so-called war on women to scare women into voting Democrat because they can’t persuade them to based on a successful track record in office.  Also, the Republicans are more pro-business and more pro-military.  Which gives you the ability to win civil wars.  And other wars.  As well as protecting US security interests around the world.  Maintaining peace through strength.  For anything was preferable to the hell he went through during the four long years of the Civil War.  And to have so much blood on his hands.  The war being so horrific because of a policy of continued failed diplomacy when there was simply no common ground.  He said that there was only one of two possible outcomes.  All free.  Or all slave.  And he was right.  But it took someone willing to be the most hated sitting president to have the courage to act to bring about the inevitable.  So if Lincoln were alive today he would likely endorse the Republican candidates Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan.  Not the party that wants to delay the inevitable by refusing to address the systemic problems of Medicare and Social Security.  And a growing welfare state.  Systems a declining population growth rate can no longer fund.  Because aging populations bankrupt nations with expanding welfare programs.  Just like an aging workforce can bankrupt a car company like GM.

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John Locke, Charles de Montesquieu, Republican Government, Separation of Powers, Enumerated Powers, Federalists and anti-Federalists

Posted by PITHOCRATES - July 26th, 2012

Politics 101

Funny thing about the Americans is that they just didn’t Like Paying Taxes

United we stood.  For awhile.  Until we defeated the British at Yorktown.  And negotiated the Treaty of Paris where Great Britain recognized our independence from the British Crown.  But people grew weary of the war.  On both sides of the Atlantic.  And those in the once united states (small ‘u’ and small ‘s’) were eager to retreat to their states.  And forget about the Continental Congress.  The Continental Army.  And everything to do with the confederation.  Threatening to undo everything they fought for.  Because of their sectional interests.

Shays Rebellion nearly pushed the country into anarchy.  It was the tipping point.  They had to do something.  Because if they weren’t united they would surely fall.  They owed Europe a fortune that they had no hope of repaying.  Funny thing about the Americans.  They just didn’t like paying taxes.  Making it difficult to repay their debts.  The Europeans gave them little respect.  France tried to sell them out during the peace talks to rebalance the balance of power in their favor.  Spain wanted to keep them east of the Mississippi River.  And off of the Mississippi.  Even refused them passage through the Port of New Orleans.  Britain didn’t evacuate their western forts.  The Barbary pirates were capturing American shipping in the Mediterranean and selling their crews into slavery.  And Catherine the Great of Russia wouldn’t even meet the American ambassador.  So the Americans were the Rodney Dangerfield of nations.  They got no respect.

In 1787 delegates gathered in Philadelphia.  To revise the Articles of Confederation to address these problems.  Some enthusiastically.  Some begrudgingly.  While one state refused to attend.  Rhode Island.  For they were quite happy with the way things were.  As the smallest sate in the union they had the power to kill almost any legislation that didn’t benefit Rhode Island.  For some legislation the vote had to be unanimous.  And they enjoyed charging other states tariffs for their goods unloaded in Rhode Island ports.  Things were so nice in Rhode Island that they didn’t need much taxation.  Because they had other states funding their needs.  Thanks to those tariffs.  Of course, this did little to benefit the union.  While imposing taxes on their neighbors in the union.  Sort of like taxation without representation.  Funny thing about Americans, though.  They didn’t like paying taxes.

Montesquieu said a Republican Government must Separate Power into Three Branches

Thomas Jefferson was in Europe in 1787.  John Adams, too.  But just about every other “demi-god” (as Jefferson called those at that gathering) was in Philadelphia in 1787.  America’s patriarch Benjamin Franklin.  The indispensable George Washington.  The financially savvy Alexander Hamilton.  The studious James Madison.  The Framers of the Constitution.  Highly principled men.  Well read men.  Prosperous men.  Who were familiar with world history.  And read the great enlightenment philosophers.  Like John Locke.  Who especially influenced the writing of the Declaration of Independence.  With his inalienable rights.  Consent of the governed.  And property rights.

As they gathered in Philadelphia to revise the Articles it became clear that they needed something more.  A new constitution.  A stronger federal government.  With the power to tax so they could raise money.  For without money the union could not solve any of its problems.  So they set upon writing a new constitution for a new government.  A republican government of republican states.  As they began to frame this constitution they drew on the work of a French philosopher.  Charles de Montesquieu.  Who championed republican government.  The ideal government.  A government of the people who ruled at the consent of the governed.  With built-in safeguards to protect the people’s inalienable rights.  The key requirement being the separation of powers.

Montesquieu said a republican government must separate power into three branches.  The legislature, the executive and the judiciary.  A nation of laws requires a legislature to write the laws.  Because the laws must respect the inalienable rights of the people the people must elect the legislature from the general population.  So the legislature’s interests are the people’s interest.  However, if the legislature was also the executive they could easily write laws that represented their interests instead of the people.  Elevating the legislature into a dictatorship.  If the legislature was also the judiciary they could interpret law to favor their interests instead of the people.  Elevating the legislature into a dictatorship.  Likewise if the executive could write and interpret law the executive could elevate into a dictatorship.  Ditto for the judiciary if they could write the law they were interpreting.  So the separation of powers is the greatest protection the people have against a government’s oppression.

If a Power wasn’t Delegated to the New Federal Government it Remained with the States

During the Constitutional Convention they debated long and they debated hard.  The Federalists were in favor of a stronger central government.  The anti-Federalists were not.  The Federalists included those who served in the Army and the Congress.  The anti-Federalists were those who didn’t serve ‘nationally’ and favored states’ rights.  In general.  So one side wanted to increase the power of the central government while the other side wanted no central government.  For their fear was that a new federal government would consolidate power and subordinate the states to its rule.  As if the last war never happened.  And the states would still bow to a distant central power.  Only this time to one on this side of the Atlantic.

So the balance they struck was a two-house (i.e., bicameral) legislature.  A House of Representatives.  And a Senate.  The people in each state elected a number of representatives proportional to their state’s population.  So a large state had a large representation in the House.  So that house represented the will of the people.  To prevent the tyranny of the minority.  So a small privileged class couldn’t rule as they pleased.  Whereas the Senate prevented the tyranny of the majority.  By giving each state two senators.  So small states had the same say as big states.  Together they represented both the majority and the minority.  Further, states’ legislatures chose their senators (changed later by Constitutional amendment).  Providing the states a check on federal legislation.

To round things out there was an executive they called the president.  And a judiciary.  Providing the separation of powers per Montesquieu.  They further limited the central government’s powers by enumerating their powers.  The new federal government could only do what the Constitution said it could do.  Treat with foreign powers.  Coin a national currency.  Declare war.  Etc.  If a power wasn’t delegated to the new federal government it remained with the states.  To give the new federal government some power.  Including the power to tax.  While leaving most powers with the states.  Striking a compromise between the Federalists and the anti-Federalists.

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The Electoral College

Posted by PITHOCRATES - December 22nd, 2011

Politics 101

The Founding Fathers put Responsible, Enlightened and Disinterested People between the People and their Government

The Founding Fathers were no fans of democracy.  Election by popular vote was little more than mob rule.  It would lead to the tyranny of the majority over the minority.  And as Benjamin Franklin warned, once the people learned they could vote themselves money from the treasury, they would.

These feelings extended to the states as well.  The small states did not want to be ruled by the large states.  This is why every state had two senators in the Senate.  To offset the influence of the big states in the House of Representatives.  Where the people voted for their representatives by direct popular vote.  And to offset the influence of the new federal government, the state legislatures would elect their senators.  Giving the states a large say in federal affairs.

Knowing history as they did, this was all very purposeful.  Indirect elections.  Putting other people between the people and the power of government.  And the treasury.  The people would vote for responsible, enlightened and disinterested people to represent them.  Then these responsible, enlightened and disinterested people would make policy.  And by doing this the Founding Fathers hoped that the new republic would survive.

The Founding Fathers set up the United States as a Federation of Independent States

Blacks make up about 12% of the population.  Gay and lesbians less than 1.5%.  In a true democracy it would not be difficult for the majority to win a popular vote to make these people illegal.  As crazy as that sounds a democracy could do that.  If that was the way the mob felt at the time of the vote.  This was the kind of thing the small states worried about.  As well as the Founding Fathers.  A tyranny of the majority.  Where anything goes.  As long as the majority says so.

Interestingly, a popular vote could have freed the slaves.  Which was a concern of the southern states.  The Three-Fifth Compromise was yet another provision the Founding Fathers included in the Constitution.  To get the southern states to join the new union.  This counted 3/5 of a slave as a person to determine representation in the House of Representatives.  Which would offset the numerical superiority of free people in the northern states.  And prevent them from ruling the southern states.  Which is pretty much what happened after the Civil War.  As the freed slaves tended to vote along with their northern liberators.

The Founding Fathers set up the United States as a federation of independent states.  For before there was a United States of America there were independent states loosely associated together.  Coming together only when they needed each other such as winning their independence from Great Britain.  Even during the Revolution the states were still fiercely independent.  And getting these fiercely independent states to join together in a more perfect union required a lot of checks and balances.  A separation of powers.  And indirect elections.  Which the Founding Fathers dutifully included in the new Constitution.  It wasn’t perfect.  But it was the best such a diverse group of people and beliefs could produce.

The Seventeenth Amendment Destroyed a very Large Check on Federal Power

Of course, this leaves the presidential election.  And the Electoral College.  Which grew out of the same concerns.  Of trying to prevent the large states from ruling the small states.  The Electoral College blended together the popular vote of the House of Representatives.  And the indirect vote of the Senate.

Each state had electors who actually voted for the president.  The number of electors in each state equaled that state’s representation in Congress.  The number of representatives in the House (population-based).  And the number of senators (state-based).  The electors typically cast all of their electoral votes based on the outcome of the popular vote of their state.  Which is why sometimes presidents win elections even though they lose the national popular vote.  An outcome designed by the Founding Fathers.  To prevent a tyranny of the majority from ruling over the minority.

Some things have changed since the Founding.  We extended the right to vote to black men.  And then later to women.  Both good things.  But not all changes were good.  Such as the Seventeenth Amendment.  Perhaps the biggest change from the intent of the Founding Fathers.  Ratified in 1913, it changed the election of Senators from a vote by the state’s legislature to a popular vote like that for the House.  Destroying a very large check on federal power.  Creating a much more powerful central government by transferring power form the states to the federal government.  What the Founding Fathers tried to prevent in the original Constitution.  With their checks and balances.  Their separation of powers.  And their indirect elections.  Including the Electoral College.  Which, if eliminated, would give even more power to the federal government.  And a greater ability for the majority to rule unchecked over the minority.

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FUNDAMENTAL TRUTH #87: “In a democracy you hold the keys to the treasury. So be careful of what you ask for.” -Old Pithy

Posted by PITHOCRATES - October 11th, 2011

The Founding Fathers Purposely made it Difficult for the New Federal Government to Spend Money

Benjamin Franklin knew.  He knew what would happen once the people learned they held the keys to the treasury.  “When the people find they can vote themselves money, that will herald the end of the republic.”  All the Founding Fathers knew this.  This is why they created a representative government.  They put other people between the people and the treasury.  A lot of people.  Responsible people.  People who knew better.  Or should know better.

It started with the separation of powers.  The country needed a leader.  But they didn’t want a king.  They wanted a leader with limited powers.  So they limited the president’s access to money.  The Founding Fathers gave the power of the purse to the House of Representatives.  The president could only spend the money Congress allowed the president to spend.  The president could veto spending.  But Congress could override this veto by a two-thirds majority in both the House and the Senate.  So the president can try to stop spending.  But he simply can’t spend at will.

But neither can the House.  Because the Senate has to approve any spending initiated by the House.  Before it can even get to the president.  The Founding Fathers purposely made it difficult for the new federal government to spend money.  To limit the power and breadth of the federal government.  By limiting its money.  Even after the president signs it into law.  Should any questionable spending pass both houses, and the president approves it, we can still challenge it.  By the third branch of government.  The judiciary.  Which further checks the power of federal government.  On the rare occasion when the federal government passes bad legislation.

As Originally Written in the Constitution the States’ Legislatures Voted for a States’ Senators

Back at the Founding the states were very powerful.  They were nation-states.  Joined together only by a loose and weak confederation.  And very suspect of any distant, centralized power.  Whether it be a king on the far side of the Atlantic.  Or a president on the near side.  To get the new Constitution ratified the Founding Fathers knew they had to appease the states’ concerns.  And they did that with the Senate.  The states’ house.

As they originally wrote the Constitution, we elected the members of the House of Representatives by popular vote.  But not the Senate.  The states’ legislatures voted for their states’ senators.  These state legislators who we elect by popular vote in their states.  This put even more people between the people and the treasury.  And gave the states a way to rein in a federal government that strayed too far from their Constitutional boundaries.

But that all changed with the Seventeenth Amendment (1913).  At the dawn of big, progressive government.  When great amounts of power transferred from the states.  To the growing federal government.  And the spending began.  The states’ legislatures no longer voted for states’ senators.  The people now voted for their senators.  By direct popular vote.  And got closer to the national treasury.

Growing Spending and a Declining Population Growth Rate required Higher Tax Rates and Class Warfare

The federal government grew as we removed these other people from between the people and the treasury.  Responsible people.  People who knew better.  Or should know better.  Now people were closer to the federal treasury.  And they slowly learned what Benjamin Franklin feared.  They learned that they could vote themselves money.  And did.

Responsible, limited government went out the window.  Pandering for votes was in.  Rugged individualism was descendant.  And the nanny state was ascendant.  Federal government spending grew.  Federal taxes grew.  And federal debt grew.  Because you won elections by giving people stuff.  Paid for with other people’s money.  Which was key.  You didn’t win elections by raising people’s taxes.  You won them by raising other people’s taxes.  And the way you do that is with class warfare.

In the beginning class warfare was easy.  Because the federal budget was a lot smaller than it is today.  So you didn’t need very high tax rates.  And the population base was growing.  A lot of families had closer to 10 children than the 2.3 children of today.  So having lots and lots of new taxpayers in subsequent generations would produce a steady and growing stream of federal tax revenue.  But as spending grew and the population growth rate declined, that caused revenue problems.  Requiring higher and higher tax rates.  And more and more bitter class warfare.

The General Trend of Defining ‘Rich’ Downward has Redefined the Middle Class as ‘Rich’

With the higher spending and falling revenue budget crises followed.  Which ramped up the class warfare.  Pitting the ‘rich’ against the poor and the middle class.  Of course they kept redefining ‘rich’ as they needed to raise more and more tax revenue.  First calling the superrich fat-cat industrialists and Wall Street bankers ‘rich’.  The billionaires.  Then they included the millionaires.  But when they could no longer pay for the growing cost of the federal government people earning less and less were lumped in with these super rich.  Until today it’s someone making as little as $250,000 a year.

Anyone who says these people should pay their fair share should understand the general trend of defining ‘rich’ downward.  And that line that defined ‘rich’ has moved a long way down.  Closer and closer to the middle class.  Like those earning $250,000.  Many of these people aren’t rich.  Not by a long shot.  Despite earning $250,000.  They’re small business owners.  People who risk everything to run a restaurant.  Or start a construction business.  The number one and number two type of business that fails.   Because they can’t cover their bills.  And grow their businesses.  Despite having business income of $250,000.

The problem isn’t that the rich aren’t paying their fair share of taxes.  It’s that the government is spending too much.  In their eternal quest to buy votes.  By granting more and more government largess to the poor and middle class.  Courtesy of the rich.  Who will soon be anyone with a job.  Because of that growing federal spending.  And a declining birthrate.

Today’s Benefits are Paid by the Rich and Future Generations

As Benjamin Franklin feared this spending is threatening the health of his republic.  And governments around the world.  Because people learned that they could vote themselves money.  And politicians were only too glad to oblige.  Promising ever more.  In exchange for votes.  By providing ever more generous and growing government benefits.  Confident that they didn’t have to pay for these costs.  Instead, they could simply pass the cost of this largess to future generations.  Who don’t vote today.

So today’s benefits are in fact paid by the rich.  Who are small in numbers.  And future generations.  Who aren’t voting yet.   You see, it’s easy to provide benefits today.  That helps garner votes for today.  When the costs of these benefits will be borne by a subsequent generation.  A generation so far out into the future that they have no say today.  But over time this future generation has gotten closer and closer to the current generation.  So close that people alive today will be paying for benefits of today.  More importantly, this future generation is already voting today.  And that’s a BIG problem for a growing government.  So expect the class warfare to get uglier still.

This could herald the end of the republic.  Unless the current generation learns that they are in fact the future generation.  And that they are the new ‘rich’.  Regardless of how much they earn.  And they’ll learn this fast as they pay for everyone else.  After which they’ll see that there’s nothing left for them.  Then they’ll take notice.   And stop the insanity.  Then, and only then, will they stop voting themselves money.

www.PITHOCRATES.com

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