I was reading in the Drudge Report today and was directed to this article in the Sunday Magazine of the New York Times.
“The assertion and expansion of presidential power is arguably the defining feature of the Bush years. Come January, the current administration will pass on to its successor a vast infrastructure for electronic surveillance, secret sites for detention and interrogation and a sheaf of legal opinions empowering the executive to do whatever he feels necessary to protect the country. The new administration will also be the beneficiary of Congress’s recent history of complacency, which amounts to a tacit acceptance of the Bush administration’s expansive views of executive authority. For that matter, thanks to the recent economic bailout, Bush’s successor will inherit control over much of the banking industry. “The next president will enter office as the most powerful president who has ever sat in the White House,” Jack Balkin, a constitutional law professor at Yale and an influential legal blogger, told me a few weeks ago.” After the Imperial Presidency by Jonathan Mahler in New York Times 7 November 2008
‘“Ambition must be made to counteract ambition,” James Madison wrote, meaning that America’s divided system of government would depend on both the president and Congress forcefully pursuing their respective roles — and in so doing, acting as a natural check on each other. Why did that fail to happen during the Bush years, and will a new president and newly elected Congress act to undo the excesses of presidential power over the past eight years?’ ibid
This was not just a recent happening. During the Bill Clinton presidency there were the Branch Davidian massacre and the Ruby Ridge murders that government agents perpetrated violence on citizens and groups that scared or displeased the administration. They were both abusive and murderous actions designed to cow the population into quiet servitude or some other maneuver to get rid of self protecting groups.
During the Senior Bush Presidency there was the undeclared war in Iraq against a leader we had helped install in power and arm to be overly powerful for his position and sanity. Congress did nothing to legitimize it by calling a War as is their responsibility but allowed the President to gain more power by going around the Senate and Congress to declare his own war. Bush spoke before Congress on Sept. 11, 1990, delivering a speech which he entitled “Toward a New World Order”. Addressing the subject of the first Gulf War he stated that the war in Iraq was “…a rare opportunity to move toward an historic period of cooperation. Out of these troubled times…a new world order can emerge.”
During all three Presidencies we have been on a fast track to become a pawn in the New World Order and no longer an independent and sovereign nation. We are acquiescing regularly to world courts and others demands. As John Stossel says, ”Crisis is the friend of the State.”
What is it that would drive government to go against it’s people? In a word it is money. Thomas Jefferson, U.S. President said “I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies. Already they have raised up a monied aristocracy that has set the Government at defiance. The issuing power should be taken from the banks and restored to the people to whom it properly belongs.” Early on the banks in America struggled to gain control of our money and as they have gotten that control the Constitution has been weakened and now is followed only casually or ceremonially by those elected and sworn to uphold it. There is no belief in or deep understanding of the US Constitution, few have read the Federalist Papers or other writings by those central to the development of the Constitution.
The current crisis is a financial one and people desperately want the government to guarantee security in finance. A House member needs only to serve a few terms and then is taken care of for life with 100,000 dollars or more a year so they will promise anything to be reelected. The Senate has that benefit from one term of service. Of the current House and Senate members few and possibly only Ron Paul knows how to work within a budget and have surplus. The pork that these members spend on themselves is an abomination when they continue to tax people who make half and even one tenth what they make.
Of course they do not need to pay taxes as they have many millions of minions to pay the debts and when they overspend we have enemies, er “friends” like China who want us to succeed and will loan money to us. Actually they know we are compulsive about saving and controlling the world so with our 300,000 and more troops stationed in 150 countries we will continue to spend ourselves into poverty and weakness so we will be easily defeated when we are ripe to be plucked. No it surely is not profitable for a member of Congress or the Senate to hold a President accountable to an old document like the Constitution that few people read or revere as the treasure it is.
This trickles down to the local governments. Yesterday I got a bill from Mesa, where I live for taxes owed to them for a motor bike I bought in Glendale. I paid taxes there and then when I registered it for State liscence I paid taxes again. Now Mesa wants me to prove I do not owe more taxes or they will fine me and I surely will need to pay them something. The last time Mesa ran the city budget in the black and balanced was when Louis Stradling was in the city councel and demanded that city budgets be balanced. During times of plenty, excessive spending and unneeded projects kept us looking good but in poverty. Things will collapse for the city just as they will and are for the state and country. We may need to go thru some poverty to appreciate the Constitution and the great country we live in and stop trying to steal money from all working people to give away to please somebody in power.
There was a cry after 9/11 for security and for the President to protect our lives. The President said something like “We will Show them.!!” My immediate thought when I heard this and other vengeful statements by many in media, entertainment and politics was that this would bring down the Lords displeasure or worse. The Scriptures are full of instructions not to take vengeance into our hands and to fight at home in defense of ourselves but seldom does the Lord send his people out to defend themselves as an aggressor.
“Yea, and he was a man who was firm in the faith of Christ, and he had asworn with an oath to defend his people, his rights, and his country, and his religion, even to the loss of his blood. Now the Nephites were taught to defend themselves against their enemies, even to the shedding of blood if it were necessary; yea, and they were also taught anever to give an offense, yea, and never to raise the sword except it were against an enemy, except it were to preserve their lives. …. And also, that God would make it known unto them awhither they should go to defend themselves against their enemies, and by so doing, the Lord would deliver them; and this was the faith of Moroni, and his heart did glory in it; not in the bshedding of blood but in doing good, in preserving his people, yea, in keeping the commandments of God, yea, and resisting iniquity.” Alma 48:13, 14 & 16
“Say not, I will ado so to him as he hath done to me: I will render to the man according to his work.” Proverbs 24:29
“For we know him that hath said, aVengeance belongeth unto me, I will brecompense, saith the Lord. And again, The Lord shall cjudge his people.” Hebrews 10:30
“Now, I speak unto you concerning your families—if men will asmite you, or your families, once, and ye bbear it patiently and crevile not against them, neither seek drevenge, ye shall be erewarded; But if ye bear it not patiently, it shall be accounted unto you as being ameted out as a just measure unto you.” Docterines & Covenants 98:23&24
“Revelation given through Joseph Smith the Prophet, at Kirtland, Ohio, August 6, 1833. HC 1: 403–406. This revelation came in consequence of the persecution upon the saints in Missouri. It is natural that the saints in Missouri, having suffered physically and also having lost property, should feel an inclination toward retaliation and revenge.”
The Israelites asked for a King in l Samuel 8 and Americans have been asking for one also. This puts too much responsibility on one elected man and removes the responsibility from the private individual. It also assumes that leaders are good and caring men. Some are but many more are not. Given the power, money and fame available to any leader of any country most men on their own will abuse their power.
The article that I began this post in quotes goes on to build a case why the Republicans cannot do the job, and they have not. Almost as an afterthought but I suspect the main thrust is that the Democrats and this new President will be so good as to not abuse his power we have so trustingly, I must say naively handed to him. We must support the good actions of trimming spending and closing unconstitutional programs like the Department of Education that President elect Obama might do. He never voted against giveaway and bigger programs. So I expect we may need to fight many enlargements of programs, Presidential power and expenditures. The only way I know of to fight these actions that will weaken America is to vote, phone and write letters to US Congress, Senate, State and local leaders also, and to blog.