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» Hatrack River Forum » Active Forums » Books, Films, Food and Culture » The Worst President in the History of the US (Page 3)

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Author Topic: The Worst President in the History of the US
Kristen
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Jonny: [ROFL]

Lyr: I have a French paper to finish, so I shall make this brief. They really really increased the national government's boundaries beyond what was even fathomably permissable in the Constitution more than any other president (but I think a lot of others are pretty bad too! There are plenty of honorable mentions).

They weren't bad people from what I know and they did do things which I approve of (such as FDR entering WWII), but I think their expansions of the government were most lasting in terms of precedents set.

EDIT: I didn't even think that sounded drastic! Man, I am such a paleo-conservative that I didn't even think twice. I really wanted to start off a tangent which included other's answers to that question as well [Evil]

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TL
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FDR??

Whoa!

I can't even IMAGINE what your political beliefs are.

How about starting a new thread so we can debate the merits of the Presidency of FDR?

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MightyCow
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quote:
Originally posted by Dagonee:
See, Flaming Toad, I could easily respond to those, but apparently that's just "nit-picking."

It seems that the best way to win an argument is to throw out your own beliefs, then refuse to engage anyone else.

You say something I don't like? Well I'm not going to answer that, or I'm going to pick apart the words you use so that I don't have to say anything.

I'm right, and I challenge you make me admit that I'm not!

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Dagonee
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quote:
It seems that the best way to win an argument is to throw out your own beliefs, then refuse to engage anyone else.
That's exactly what several people have done in this thread. When I've engaged on the issue, I've been called a bully. As we saw last night, YOU are the one who threw out your beliefs about the "limitless" power, then you claimed you weren't saying Bush acted like he had limitless power.

quote:
You say something I don't like? Well I'm not going to answer that, or I'm going to pick apart the words you use so that I don't have to say anything.
Well, actually, your response when someone says something you don't like is apparently to say something, claim you didn't say it, then respond by simply accusing the other poster of being obtuse and belligerent.

quote:
I'm right, and I challenge you make me admit that I'm not!
That would be the exact attitude I responded to. Apparently, it's OK for a bunch of people to post one-sentence, unsupported conclusions about Bush, but not OK for me to post the opposite conclusions. You haven't deigned to even bother to TRY to support your claims about Bush. You've simply attacked me for responding to what you've said instead of what you come up with afterwards to cover for the inaccuracy of what you've said.

Remember, this thread started out with someone calling people who didn't agree with him "stupid."

BTW, I actually responded to Toad's so-called "proof." You conveniently left that out of your little rant.

As for being right, I've basically made two claims in this thread:

1.) Bush does not act as if or believe that he has limitless power as commander in chief.

2.) Bush did not steal the election in 2000.

So far, there's been sketchy posts regarding the second, and no evidence at all refuting the first.

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Mighty Robot Lords
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I haven't seen YOU provide any evidence to support your claims.
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Dagonee
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quote:
I haven't seen YOU provide any evidence to support your claims.
Not true. I posted on the issue of signing statements and I posted on the issue of the election.

As to the limitless power issue, I've already stated I'm not going to do a bunch of research to disprove a ridiculous accusation that no one cares enough to back up.

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SteveRogers
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He may not have stolen the election. But you must admit that he shouldn't have gone to the Supreme Court about it. That was just silly. He might have won anyway. But that's not the way it's supposed to be done.

I studied American Government earlier this year. And it is clearly stated in the Constitution, one of the amendments I think, that the House of Representatives is supposed to make the decision in a case like in 2000.

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Dagonee
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quote:
But you must admit that he shouldn't have gone to the Supreme Court about it. That was just silly. He might have won anyway. But that's not the way it's supposed to be done.
Only if you'll admit Gore should have stopped going to the Florida Supreme Court.
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SteveRogers
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I never said that Gore did anything right either. I'm just saying that what Bush did is clearly outlined as being wrong somewhere in the Constitution.

It should have been the House. He would have been elected anyway, but that doesn't make what he did any less wrong. He purposely evaded text out of the Constitution.

And was thus put in office.

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Dagonee
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quote:
I never said that Gore did anything right either. I'm just saying that what Bush did is clearly outlined as being wrong somewhere in the Constitution.
That's not really true. The House makes the decision about which electoral votes to accept, but I don't think there was a chance that Florida would send up two sets of ballots. They're also supposed to choose in a 1 vote per state vote if there's no electoral majority winner.

The issue before the Court was before there was a determination about electoral majority, so it hadn't reached the House yet as an issue.

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SteveRogers
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But why was the Court involved at all? I was only ten when this happened, so my memory is a little sketchy.
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littlemissattitude
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quote:
Originally posted by Dagonee:
[Roll Eyes]

Edit: Aimed solely at the arrogant little dismissiveness in the treatment of the "decider" label.

Hey, Bush is the one that came out with that little gem. I was just trying to inject a little needed levity into the discussion. And I think calling what I said arrogant is just a little bit of projection, to be honest.
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TomDavidson
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Actually, Dag, of the articles linked, I'm FAR more interested in your response to this one:

http://glenngreenwald.blogspot.com/2005/12/do-bush-defenders-place-any-limits-on_22.html

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Dagonee
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quote:
On its face, this theory that Bush as a "wartime" President has the right to break the law squarely contradicts their insistence that they are not advocating for monarchic rule. Once you advocate a theory that authorizes a President, even during times of an undeclared and endless war, to violate any Congressional laws he wants as long as he says -- with no judicial review possible -- that doing so is for the sake of our security, what possible checks or limitations on Presidential power are left?
Except that the President has followed the Court's statements on actions he has taken under his wartime power.

Further, this portion:

quote:
To their credit, there are Administration defenders who are nakedly honest about what they see as the limitlessness of George Bush’s "wartime" power. The Vice President, for one, certainly doesn’t seem to think there any such limits and has no problem saying so:


"I believe in a strong, robust executive authority, and I think that the world we live in demands it -- and to some extent that we have an obligation as the administration to pass on the offices we hold to our successors in as good of shape as we found them," Cheney said. In wartime, he said, the president "needs to have his constitutional powers unimpaired."

empahsis mine. The article states explicitly that this quotation stands for the contention that Bush's powers are limitless.

However, the bolded portion clearly acknowledges the limits. His constitutional powers must be unimpaired.

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Peek
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do all the dudes and dudettes agree that peek would be the best?

Dude [Cool] peekaboo

Yeah!

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Irregardless
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If we want to determine the 'worst' on the basis of abuse of power, then FDR's court-packing attempt certainly puts him way up there.
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Dagonee
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How did he abuse power? (edit: with the court packing scheme only, I mean) I'm not a big fan of the reason he wanted to pack the court, but he was attempting to make a change to the structure of government in the manner prescribed by the Constitution.
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Lyrhawn
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quote:
Originally posted by Kristen:
Jonny: [ROFL]

Lyr: I have a French paper to finish, so I shall make this brief. They really really increased the national government's boundaries beyond what was even fathomably permissable in the Constitution more than any other president (but I think a lot of others are pretty bad too! There are plenty of honorable mentions).

They weren't bad people from what I know and they did do things which I approve of (such as FDR entering WWII), but I think their expansions of the government were most lasting in terms of precedents set.

EDIT: I didn't even think that sounded drastic! Man, I am such a paleo-conservative that I didn't even think twice. I really wanted to start off a tangent which included other's answers to that question as well [Evil]

If that is your criteria, then Bush should really be your enemy. He's overseen the greatest expansion of the Federal government since FDR. He's increased the debt by a larger percentage or what not than all previous presidents COMBINED.
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Orincoro
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quote:
Originally posted by Dagonee:
How did he abuse power? (edit: with the court packing scheme only, I mean) I'm not a big fan of the reason he wanted to pack the court, but he was attempting to make a change to the structure of government in the manner prescribed by the Constitution.

The constitution allows itself to be ammended, so it would be perfectly constitutional to try to get the American people to ammend the constitution, and alter out understanding of it to eliminate any and all rights.

I believe the expression is:
"The devil can use scripture to suit any purpose"

This is what I was talking about when I said you substitute legality for morality. You can use the law to abolish the law, that doesn't make it ok.

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Infrared
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There seems to be a lot of discussion of Bush and FDR in recent threads...

From an economic policy standpoint, they seem to be travelling opposing routes (e.g. "Not the New Deal"). However, there is no denying that both administrations share alarming trends of too much power. FDR's Terms caused a later amendment to the Constitution to prevent future presidents from becoming lifelong leaders. Bush has walked a fine line around Civil Liberties (or shat upon them, depending on whom you talk to) in the name of National Security. Both worked/are-working "the system" that is our Government, Constitution, and society (FDR through strategies like court-packing; Bush via American Pride [9-11 to start War on Terrorism], Apathy [re-election, protests to his Admin's actions, etc.], & Fear).

So far the major political difference I see is that FDR appeased the majority of the public with government programs while power-grabbing. Bush, as yet, hasn't taken any major Democratic-party-style action; his home-front reforms seem just a little (or a lot) targeted at the rich and/or republican.

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Lyrhawn
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Well, whilst the key comparison is the alarming growth in government, the key difference is that in the beginning, FDR's war was domestic, whereas from the outset, Bush's has been foreign.

Yes, after we got into WW2, FDR's main problem was foreign as well, but it didn't start that way, he was elected as the President that had to fix a collapsing country with millions out of work and starving, and this he did with amazing speed and I'd say even incredible efficiency. Much as Bush likes to say the market will correct itself all the time, fact is the market wasn't correcting itself, though I don't really know if 1930's economics and 2000's economics really are comparable. But the fact of the matter is that FDR saved lives, gave people jobs, and kept food on the tables, all the while vastly improving America's infrastructure in ways I think few would have imagined before he took office.

He then dovetailed that into the war, and then Truman took the next step in the larger confrontation with the Soviet Union, which demanded a strong and powerful government. The fact that Bush has done what he has, WITHOUT a Great Depression that needed fixing, and WITHOUT a world war in Europe to fight I think leads to giving FDR the benefit of the doubt. He did what he had to do for excellent reasons, whereas many of Bush's have either been manfactured, or just plain unecessary.

If you look at every President in the history of this nation, I think you'd almost have to agree that regardless of the problems you have with his administration, FDR left the country with the greatest increase in goodness (in that, he left it in better condition than when he got there), than any other president in history. And that, DESPITE all the problems he had thrown at him.

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Orincoro
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Part of my problem with Bush is just what your saying Lyrhawn- He campaigned as the guy who was going to solve all the big problems in 2004, even though he was responsible for alot of them, and for making alot of them worse.

Nobody could have helped 9/11, however the justification for his actions based on that have long, long, long since run out. If there is an invasion or bombing of Iran, its almost certain that the connection between Iran and 9/11 will be only notional.

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Lyrhawn
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It's certainly one of the ironies of the Bush reelection. He screws up a bunch of stuff, then tells the nation to have enough faith in him to fix his own mistakes, and America believed in a second time, this, after going back on most of the campaign promises he made the first time around. America has only itself to blame I think, for falling for it. Bush said it himself, "fool me once shame on...shame on you?" If only the fool me couldn't have gotten fooled again.

The only nation he could possibly invade and claim a connection to 9/11 is Saudia Arabia, which is probably the one he should have started with anyway. I don't see that happening.

Actually, to be honest, if he REALLY wanted to screw with Middle Eastern politics in a real way, but in my opinion a real positive way, he would have recognized Kurdistan as a nation, and supported the creation of a Kurdish state out of their old territories in Iran and Iraq. Turkey is a dicier issue, if you ask me I'd tell the Kurds there to relocate if they really wanted to live in an independent state, it's the only way to make the most people happy.

He would have pissed off the Iraqis and the Iranians, but what would they have done about it? Neither nation has the power to invade to invade the new Kurdistan if there was an American peacekeeping force there. Many Kurds are still bitter about what America let happen to them after the Gulf War ended. We told them to rise up, they did, we did nothing to help, and Saddam gassed thousands of them.

Bush could have promoted democracy, gained us a major ally in the middle of the danger zone, and we'd finally have a major oil producing friendly state in the middle east with a secular government. The Kurdish north in Iraq has always been more of an independent territory anyway, even Saddam left them largely alone when he was in power. If anything, it would have made a move to oust Saddam even easier if you took away a third of his nation and left him with a lot of enemy Shiites to deal with.

We would have had far less deaths, we wouldn't have the terrorist issues that have right now, and we could have built a safe, stable and secure democracy without the commitments we have there now. Now you may ask, "why is that Lyrhawn?" Because we already have a lot of military assets in baes in the Middle East that could easily be shifted to the new Kurdish state. Our army forces in Saudi Arabia and our air force base at Incirlik could all be moved to Kurdistan. Hell, that is ONLY good news for us. The Saudi people don't want us there anyway, so it's good PR for us, and the Kurds would be much more apt to let us operate airplanes since they'll want a no-fly zone in place, whereas the Turks tell us no every so often.

At the same time we're bolstering a military presence in an oil rich nation, gaining a friend who has nothing but hatred for both Iran and Iraq, and we can claim a moral victory at having liberated a politically stifled people and for creating a relatively secular, pro-Western democracy in the middle east.

It would have been insanely cheaper (in manpower and in money), using far less assets, and would have netted far better results.

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Juxtapose
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Assuming, of course, you think Iran and Iraq would give up territory willingly because we asked nicely. If not, we're back to invading, with the commitment of having to guard this fledgling nation's borders from very hostile neighboring states.

I'm going to tentatively say your idea had (has?) merits, but I don't think it'd be quite as easy as that.

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erosomniac
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quote:
Assuming, of course, you think Iran and Iraq would give up territory willingly because we asked nicely. If not, we're back to invading, with the commitment of having to guard this fledgling nation's borders from very hostile neighboring states.

I'm going to tentatively say your idea had (has?) merits, but I don't think it'd be quite as easy as that.

Not to mention the enormous simian barrel we'd open by legitimizing a people and giving them a nation by forcing other nations to "donate" land.

We'd best wait until, say, we have a Hegemony, and the leader of said Hegemony forms a universal nation - we could call it the Free People of Earth.

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Infrared
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Wait, didn't we already try this legitimize people and force land donation thing? ...Ohhh! Riiight. I think we called it "Israel" and gave its people lots of military support and are currently trying to broker peace between peoples that have been at war for millennia and recently find themselves neighbors again...
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Dr. Evil
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How about Jimmy Carter? This guy was a horrendous President who did NOTHING during his tenure. Clinton...same thing. Name one ground breaking move that he made.

Under Bush, there has been a prescription drug program for seniors that was never in place before. My Mother In Law, who has MS, is now taken care of far better than she was under Clinton. And the No Child Left Behind seeks to create a standard for education that never existed previously.

Funny how the Dems who say they are so for education and health care, couldn't put these things through.

IMO however, it is a shame that the federal government has to get involved at this level though.

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Blayne Bradley
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odd I always thought Dagonne was an hispanic woman...
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Dagonee
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quote:
This is what I was talking about when I said you substitute legality for morality. You can use the law to abolish the law, that doesn't make it ok.
Please. The accusation wasn't that he did something wrong. It was that he "abused power."

He did no such thing.

And, in fact, I didn't say that what he did was correct or moral. Merely that it wasn't an abuse of power.

You've really got to get over this thing you have with thinking that refuting one criticism of an act implies moral approval of the act.

Oh, and you also need to get over your absilutely unsustainable premise that I substitute legality for morality. You are the one who seems to have them confused, since you interpret statements about legality as being about morality.

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Irregardless
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quote:
Originally posted by Lyrhawn:
It's certainly one of the ironies of the Bush reelection. He screws up a bunch of stuff, then tells the nation to have enough faith in him to fix his own mistakes, and America believed in a second time

I think it was more a matter of the Democrats having put up an amazingly terrible candidate against him. Any decent Democrat would have won that election. America didn't so much 'believe' in Dubya as choose to stick with Bad instead of going to Worse.

quote:
...this, after going back on most of the campaign promises he made the first time around.
Actually, Bush stuck to his campaign promises pretty well -- which is both good and bad.
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Irregardless
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quote:
Originally posted by Dagonee:
How did he abuse power? (edit: with the court packing scheme only, I mean) I'm not a big fan of the reason he wanted to pack the court, but he was attempting to make a change to the structure of government in the manner prescribed by the Constitution.

I'm not suggesting that FDR broke the law by trying to get seats added to SCOTUS. I mean that attempting to undermine the separation of powers, for the purpose of facilitating an unconstitutional agenda, was an abusive misuse of his power, IMO.

If we want to talk about overt criminality, Lincoln's actions during the war are probably the worst.

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TomDavidson
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quote:
And, in fact, I didn't say that what he did was correct or moral. Merely that it wasn't an abuse of power.

Do you believe it was correct or moral? That's a much more interesting question to me, because I believe such things ARE abuses of power, even if technically legal.
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Dagonee
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The Supreme Court is given enormous amounts of power. There are very few checks on that power once a justice is appointed:

1.) Impeachment, which should only be for criminal acts.
2.) Altering the jurisdiction of the Court, which Congress is empowered to do but should be very leery of.
3.) Adding justices to the Court via an act of Congress.

Do I think it's immoral for a President elected with a huge mandate to attempt to use the framework of the Constitution to alter the makeup of the Court in order to stop it from using questionable constitutional reasoning to strike down the programs intended to meet that mandate?

No. It's a political check, and attempts to wield the check to a political end are what it's there for. As it turns out, FDR's popularity wasn't enough to push his court-packing attempt through. In other words, the political check worked exactly as intended - to make it possible but difficult for a President to alter the Court.* That's what it's there for, and there's nothing immoral about an attempt to use it.

*And Orincoro, that's not legal analysis, that's political science analysis.

Do I think it was the correct policy choice? No. Am I glad it failed? Yes.

BTW, Tom, you keep saying you'd be far more interested in my opinion on X. Yet, when I address X, it seems you never have anything to say about it.

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TomDavidson
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quote:
BTW, Tom, you keep saying you'd be far more interested in my opinion on X. Yet, when I address X, it seems you never have anything to say about it.
Because you rarely ever give your actual opinion on the issue I've asked you to address, preferring instead to nitpick individual words. "Discussing" the link above, for example, you gave us two lines of extremely pithy and meaningless nitpicking on word choice without addressing the point, larger intent, or otherwise factual issues within. Frankly, I assume you're always dodging.

Consider your defense of the second quote, in which you assume that "unrestrained constitutional power" is a limit insofar as the president's powers are recognized as being limited by the constitution. And yet this president is DELIBERATELY pushing those recognized powers, and is relying on a Supreme Court of questionable talent to put checks on it. Can you explain why I might be comforted by that purely hypothetical limit, especially considering that any interpretation of the constitution which results in justifications of expanded presidential power become precedents to justify further abuse, in the same way that Roosevelt's misdeeds in office are used to justify Bush's today?

Edit: to clarify, perhaps, I should point out that one of the things which scares me MOST about this, long-term, is the fact that the things this president can make a case for getting away with are going to be used in the same way that the things Roosevelt got away with are being used to justify what Bush is trying to do now.

[ May 01, 2006, 10:12 AM: Message edited by: TomDavidson ]

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Dagonee
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quote:
Because you rarely ever give your actual opinion on the issue I've asked you to address, preferring instead to nitpick individual words. "Discussing" the link above, for example, you gave us two lines of extremely pithy and meaningless nitpicking on word choice without addressing the point, larger intent, or otherwise factual issues within. Frankly, I assume you're always dodging.

Tom, you asked me to respond to the article in connection with a discussion about "limitless" power. It really pisses me off that you call that dodging. I'm not a mind reader, and I can only respond to what's given to me.

Why don't you stop trying to interrogate me and offer your own opinion, using the words you actually want me to respond to. Or, if that's too much to ask, maybe you could respond to what I've posted at your request with either your own thoughts or a request for clarification that actually indicates what you want clarified.

I posted a detailed response about the court packing issue, and all you could do was bitch - again - about my "nit picking," this time on a different topic you hadn't bothered to respond to.

quote:
Consider your defense of the second quote, in which you assume that "unrestrained constitutional power" is a limit insofar as the president's powers are recognized as being limited by the constitution. And yet this president is DELIBERATELY pushing those recognized powers, and is relying on a Supreme Court of questionable talent to put checks on it. Can you explain why I might be comforted by that purely hypothetical limit, especially considering that any interpretation of the constitution which results in justifications of expanded presidential power become precedents to justify further abuse, in the same way that Roosevelt's misdeeds in office are used to justify Bush's today?
What limit do you want, Tom? The limit is the Constitution. It's how we define the limits on government. The entity that defines what that means for 99.9% of the issues is the Supreme Court.

You say he's "DELIBERATELY pushing those powers," emphasizing "DELIBERATELY" as if that's supposed to be a bad thing. I want the President to be deliberate in how he approaches the limit of his power. And I want the President to use that power.

There are numerous political checks available, some of which are absolute. As a country, we've elected a Congress that's mostly sympathetic to the President. They will take that into account in exercising those political checks.

This stuff isn't theoretical to me. It isn't about nit picking. It isn't about lawyer things. It's about the government we've elected. It's about the Constitution. And it's about criticisms that are grounded in the Constitution being honest about what the limits of the Constitution are.

The reason I homed in on that quote is because the way it was misrepresented highlights a fundamental flaw in the author's method of thinking: that the expression of a desire to use the constitutional powers to their limits is something we need to worry about at a structural level (and his argument is structural, about changes to the fabric of government, not about whether the policies being implemented with those powers are good and bad).

The quote utterly highlights the mistake being made in the attempts to turn disagreements over policy into attempts to conduct a coup against the Constitution. It's why I picked it when YOU asked ME to "respond" to it.

But, no, I suppose disagreeing with the fundamental, unstated premise underlying the entire critique is just "dodging."

As to Supreme Court of "questionable talent," you must be smoking something. This is still the most balanced and intellectually capable Supreme Court we've ever had.

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TomDavidson
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quote:

Tom, you asked me to respond to the article in connection with a discussion about "limitless" power.

Well, no, I didn't. In fact, I specifically said that I couldn't care less about the specific wording of "limitless," but in fact cared a great deal more about practical limits -- a term that you found unworkable, but that's not really my problem.

quote:
that the expression of a desire to use the constitutional powers to their limits is something we need to worry about at a structural level
I think the problem here is that, as you reveal below, you believe that our Supreme Court is currently capable of properly interpreting sane limits on those constitutional powers. I have little to no faith in the court as it's now populated, and worry that if the "limit" on our power is merely "constitutional" -- which in the modern climate means "the Supreme Court says you can get away with it" -- then that limit, for all intents and purposes, does not practically exist. Moreover, every time Bush DOES get away with something because of some legal nitpickery, that makes it easier for future presidents to cite his own slimy power grabs as evidence that what they want to do is perfectly "okay."

I do not believe in the premise that the practice of law is the ultimate defense of our Republic and its freedoms. I think, far too often, law as it is practiced represents attempts to subvert morality with technicality. While this is of course necessary, using the technicalities of law as justification for behavior is something I find fairly reprehensible in a president.

quote:
As to Supreme Court of "questionable talent," you must be smoking something. This is still the most balanced and intellectually capable Supreme Court we've ever had.
That would be an assertion I'm afraid I reject, as above.
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Dagonee
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quote:
Well, no, I didn't. In fact, I specifically said that I couldn't care less about the specific wording of "limitless," but in fact cared a great deal more about practical limits -- a term that you found unworkable, but that's not really my problem.
Yes, in another post you had stated that you couldn't care less about "limitless." In the post I responded to, however, you included a link whose premise is wholly concentrated on "limitless."

As to practical limits not being workable yet not your problem, you might have attempted to simply define what you meant by practical limits. Instead, you decided to elicit discussion from me with an article that goes back to limitless, and whose central premise is bound up with that word.

quote:
I do not believe in the premise that the practice of law is the ultimate defense of our Republic and its freedoms. I think, far too often, law as it is practiced represents attempts to subvert morality with technicality. While this is of course necessary, using the technicalities of law as justification for behavior is something I find fairly reprehensible in a president.
The behavior is not being justified by the "technicalities of the law" (a term as meaningless as "practical limits" in this discussion - the law is technical). The behavior is being justified by policy considerations.

It is being defended from attacks grounded in the "technicalities of the law" by using the same mechanism. It's very different.

I disagree with the wiretapping. I disagree with the detainee policy. Pretty much every attack on those policies I've responded to, however, hasn't been about why the policies are bad, but rather has been about why the policies are unconstitutional. And as soon as someone says the policies are unconstitutional, they've moved into a ground that is littered with what you dismiss as "technicalities."

Even your attack in the previous post you are not attacking the policies. You are attacking the actions as being outside the bounds of the President's power. You can try to say all you want that this doesn't need to involve the law, but you're wrong. It's a legal question, by design.

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kmbboots
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My concern with the election of 2000 was less with the vote counting and more with the broadbrush and often wildly inaccurate purging of the voter rolls in Florida by DBT/ChoicepPoint.
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Dagonee
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quote:
That would be an assertion I'm afraid I reject, as above.
OK, which court has been more intellectually capable or balanced?

Certainly there have been SCOTUS justices who could easily be classified as greater legal intellects, but look at the courts as a whole.

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TomDavidson
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quote:
In the post I responded to, however, you included a link whose premise is wholly concentrated on "limitless."
No, not really. The article itself has a much broader point.

quote:
You are attacking the actions as being outside the bounds of the President's power. You can try to say all you want that this doesn't need to involve the law, but you're wrong. It's a legal question, by design.
My assertion, Dag, is that are very few things I can imagine this court, in this environment, concluding are outside the bounds of the President's power -- and even fewer things that I can imagine being brought before this court in a timely fashion in the first place. In other words, I don't trust what the current court calls "law" to speak for "law" in this case.
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Lyrhawn
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quote:
Originally posted by Irregardless:
quote:
Originally posted by Lyrhawn:
It's certainly one of the ironies of the Bush reelection. He screws up a bunch of stuff, then tells the nation to have enough faith in him to fix his own mistakes, and America believed in a second time

I think it was more a matter of the Democrats having put up an amazingly terrible candidate against him. Any decent Democrat would have won that election. America didn't so much 'believe' in Dubya as choose to stick with Bad instead of going to Worse.

quote:
...this, after going back on most of the campaign promises he made the first time around.
Actually, Bush stuck to his campaign promises pretty well -- which is both good and bad.

Kerry's policies were fine. He was a bit of a stick in the mud, but people gave him a raw deal as far as I'm cocerned. I give credit for that to the media and the Republican hack machine, which is better than the Dem hack machine.

As for campaign promises, are you serious? Serious? Bush campaigned as a small government, domestic policy president who started a bunch of losing foreign wars aimed at a Christian themed nation building after specifically saying in the second debate in 1999 that he thinks nation building is wrong, and NOT the correct use of American troops.

He said he would eliminate the "death tax" and when Congress failed to kill it right out of the gate he let it die without so much as a mention at a press conference. He's overseen the greatest expansion of federal power in the last fifty years. If he had campaigned on the positions he actually took, on the surface you'd think he was a 1940's democrat. He most certainly did not live up to the majority or hell, even a minority of his major campaign promises.

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Lyrhawn
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quote:
Originally posted by Infrared:
Wait, didn't we already try this legitimize people and force land donation thing? ...Ohhh! Riiight. I think we called it "Israel" and gave its people lots of military support and are currently trying to broker peace between peoples that have been at war for millennia and recently find themselves neighbors again...

Insanely different circumstance. Israel was formed out of an area that has been Arab controlled for hundreds of years, and Jews flocked there. They forced out the current occupants and made their homes there, and the displaced peoples wanted their land back.

As far as Kurdistan goes, this has nothing to do with displaced peoples and new inhabitants. It's merely a matter of national boundaries and political control. The areas that make up the former nation of Kurdistan are made up of a high majority of ethnic Kurds. No one would be moved in, no one would be displaced, with the possible exception of the Turkish Kurd population, that'd be the only sticking point.

The situations aren't even comparable, not for the argument you're trying to make.

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Lyrhawn
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quote:
Originally posted by erosomniac:
quote:
Assuming, of course, you think Iran and Iraq would give up territory willingly because we asked nicely. If not, we're back to invading, with the commitment of having to guard this fledgling nation's borders from very hostile neighboring states.

I'm going to tentatively say your idea had (has?) merits, but I don't think it'd be quite as easy as that.

Not to mention the enormous simian barrel we'd open by legitimizing a people and giving them a nation by forcing other nations to "donate" land.

We'd best wait until, say, we have a Hegemony, and the leader of said Hegemony forms a universal nation - we could call it the Free People of Earth.

Not that big a problem, on both fronts. First of all, less than a hundred years ago, there was a free Kurdistan. There are still people living there who remember what it was like to be an independent nation and not part of Iraq or Iran, or Turkey. Their land was stolen from them by the world's worst cartographer, Britain, and summarily made into other nations. You'd be forcing them to donate land that should never have been there's to begin with.

Besides, we supported Kuwait as independent nation when historically southern Iraq included both Kuwait and the Basra region of Iraq. So how is it okay for us to support Kuwait as an independent nation, but an independent Kurdistan is suddenly all fraught with worry and wrongness? Looks hypocritical to me.

So far as the argument of hostile enemies go. Whoopdie do, we have military forces all over the Middle East surrounded by hostile forces. The big difference is in Kurdistan we'd finally have a friendly native population who wouldn't mind having a US military presence. We have military forces in Turkey, Saudi Arabia and other Middle Eastern countries, and in some of the stans that could all or partially be moved to a new Kurdistan. It certainly would have cost us the billions upon billions of dollars that Iraq has cost, and Iraq is thus far a failure, even more so for all the money we've wasted.

Iraq and Iran don't have anything even close to challenging even a heavy US division and fighter wing in Kurdistan. They'd never band together to attack, they were still mortal enemies until now.

The whole point of the betterness of this idea I summarized in my first post. It's cheaper, by FAR cheaper, it nets better results, it gets us an ally in the Middle East, it eases tensions with nations who have a US military presence and their citizens don't want us there, it creates a stable democracy with a mostly secular government, and from there we could have kept a close eye on Iran and Iraq. It would have made any eventual war in Iraq 1,000 times easier. We would have had a better jumping off point, the Kurds might have even joined the venture. We would have had less area to search, less area to secure, and natives to help guide us and help actually get us good intelligence assuming we still wanted to go in.

The pros so massively outweigh the cons it's a featherweight vs. a heavyweight match.

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Will B
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I'd vote FDR for best President *and* worst President.

He established the welfare state, showed contempt for the Constitution, and packed the Court with others who made sure it was no longer law of the land. He did Japanese internment.

He also kicked Hitler's rear, and if he hadn't, I don't even want to think about the consequences.

I think I might rank Washington as #2 in both cases as well. He founded the country; well worth doing. And then, during his time in office, what was the primary item in the federal budget? Killing Indians and burning their villages.

I wouldn't rank Lincoln as #3 in the good department, but he *was* an emancipationist, and the first such President in our history. He also rendered Amendment 10 ineffective by ignoring it; fought an illegal war; criminalized dissent (New York draft protests); vastly increased the power of the federal government.

Wilson's somewhere up there, too, at least if US involvement in WWI was a good idea; I'm not sure. But he ordered needless invasions of Latin American countries, one after another, and he fired all black federal marshals for being black.

Teddy R.'s another prominent example. National Park Service, and Panama Canal. And then there's the Nobel Peace Prize he got for telling Japan, "You want to invade Korea? Go right ahead."

I think I prefer Coolidge. Remember his Presidency? Neither does anyone else.

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Orincoro
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quote:
Originally posted by Dagonee:

Oh, and you also need to get over your absilutely unsustainable premise that I substitute legality for morality. You are the one who seems to have them confused, since you interpret statements about legality as being about morality.

If you offered somethings substantive to a discussion other than to pick apart every argument and call it worthless, then I could more easily recognize when your opinions are being expressed. As it is all you do is ridicule others for having opinions at all, just because those opinions aren't always informed by your detailed knowledge of the letter of the law. You usually miss the spirit and intent of such arguments, because you're too busy picking them to peices.

Please forgive me for interpreting your troubling surrender to the will of a malevolent despot because he can manipulate the law in way which satisfies a superficial need to "follow the rules," without actually being limited by anything but what he can get away with doing. The fact that you consistently argue based on the ever changeable law, even when questions of obvious right and wrong are at the heart of the issue, is why I react this way.

edit: I see that in a recent post you pointed out that each attack on the president is an attack on his view of the consitution, and that is why you defend him. Consider though that some view the issue through the spirit of the constitution, ie: he is breaking with the spirit of the constitution, if not the letter or precedent of law. In this way, an argument about constitutionality is still valid, even if not everyone is an expert on the latest reading of it.

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Lyrhawn
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quote:
Originally posted by Will B:
I wouldn't rank Lincoln as #3 in the good department, but he *was* an emancipationist, and the first such President in our history. He also rendered Amendment 10 ineffective by ignoring it; fought an illegal war; criminalized dissent (New York draft protests); vastly increased the power of the federal government.

Not sure I agree with that. Lincoln was not in favor of emancipation, he only did it to save the union.

And many presidents before him were emancipationists, certainly John Adams and Thomas Jefferson were, though more the former than the latter. But both the constitution and the fact that they'd just barely established the new nation stopped them from coming for with a strong emancipationist agenda. I can't speak as to the other presidents' emancipationist tendencies, but I don't think it is accurate to call Lincoln the first emacipationist president.

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JonnyNotSoBravo
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quote:
Originally posted by Lyrhawn:
It's certainly one of the ironies of the Bush reelection. He screws up a bunch of stuff, then tells the nation to have enough faith in him to fix his own mistakes, and America believed in a second time, this, after going back on most of the campaign promises he made the first time around. America has only itself to blame I think, for falling for it.

Emphasis mine. Do you wanna back that up, Lyrhawn? I think it's more likely that he kept more campaign promises then he broke. If you want to jump on Bush, that's fine. Just please do it with the facts handy instead of just dogpiling.
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SenojRetep
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quote:
Originally posted by Bob_Scopatz:
Bush manages to combine the worst features of both of the previous worst Presidents of my lifetime:

- he is an habitual liar, living in deliberate isolation from not only critics, but actual facts.

- he fancies himself a warrior and believes that this defines his legacy.

Clinton and Carter?
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TomDavidson
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quote:
I think it's more likely that he kept more campaign promises then he broke.
Actually, the form of dishonesty I'm more concerned about with Bush is of the "talking out of the side of my mouth" kind, the sort he displayed so winkingly in his first State of the Union address -- where he attempted to spin opening national forests to logging and recreational vehicles as an eco-friendly fire-protection measure.
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Chris Bridges
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I think of presenting arguments before Dagonnee like this: assume you're trying to present your arguments in an impeachment process. Just an accusation isn't enough. You have to have documented references that back up your statement; anything less and your testimony will be ignored.

Dagonnee has, in numerous previous threads, drawn a distinction between what he thought was legal and what he thought was right. If you want the legal opinion, you have to present the legal case.

Which is, as TomD has mentioned, part of the problem. I'd be willing to bet that everything this adminstration has done is legal, one way or another. It's the atmosphere of monarchy and perception of arrogance that is bothering people, I think, and that's difficult to present in a courtroom.

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