‘The Federalist Papers’ and Contemporary Political Challenges

Monday, June 8, 2009 \AM\.\Mon\.

American Political Theory and Constitutional Law Series, Pt. I

The American people have a history of distrust and suspicion of centralized authority. The original framework for the primitive independent-America outlined in the Articles of Confederation was not weak by accident. Even despite the clear insufficiency of the-then government under the Articles, the framers of the Constitution still found their vision of government to be a hard sell. It is fair to say their success was in finding an effective mix between the Athenian assembly and Roman Senate combined with ‘checks and balance’ with two other branches of government—a republic instead of a direct democracy.

In many ways, this debate has lived on. It is remarkable, particularly in recent decades, how many constitutional amendments have been given real and serious consideration by the U.S. Congress, from balanced budgets, to flag desecration, to super-majorities for taxes,  to line-item veto just begin the list in attempts to reshape the constitutional order.

For some time I have had mixed and often conflicting beliefs about this whole debate. The usual “left” versus “right” spin is, as usual, tiring. Though, I have re-engaged the matter due largely to a new found interest in the project development of Catholic legal theory. Such an undertaking on the part of Catholic law professors and legal professionals have been enormously helpful in the process of asking serious questions and finding an authentic Catholic answer to crucial questions about American government, constitutional law, and jurisprudence. This couldn’t be more true than with my quarrels with the “living Constitution theory” as well as “originalism.” Though it is probably still the case, to some degree, that I am troubled about answers to these questions. I have become more convinced by those who make the case (in regard to one matter) that America needs a much needed reminder: constitutional amendments should be rare and limited to issues of historic significance. The U.S. Constitution must be preserved from short-term and sudden passions. The starting point, I think, is to reiterate, as the Founding Fathers did, the merits of representation, deliberation, and conciliation.

American voters in great number say they favor change, but there is no consensus or clarity about neither the amount nor direction such change should take. Not so surprisingly, contemporary political debates do very little to educate the public about essential constitutional issues. Serious discussion is not only past due, but is vital. What is a greater threat to constitutional government than a lack of substantive public debate and public awareness? An uninformed, ignorant public is perilous to the common good and constitutional order.

Read the rest of this entry »

Advertisements

Democrat Economy

Sunday, February 15, 2009 \AM\.\Sun\.

budget20chart20883_002-thumb-410x287

The  Bankrupt the Nation Act of 2009, often erroneously called the “Stimulus” bill, fittingly passed on Friday the 13th.

Read the rest of this entry »


244-188

Thursday, January 29, 2009 \AM\.\Thu\.

broke-uncle-sam1

Bravo to the 177 Republicans, every member of the GOP in the house, and the 11 brave Democrats, who voted against the 819 billion Bankrupt the Nation Act of 2009.  This pork laden monstrosity may well serve as an example for future historians, along with the Bailout Swindle of 2008, as the culminating acts of fiscal madness that led to the decline, at least temporarily, of the US as an economic power.  This also sends a message to the Public: ” You wanted change?  This is the change you are getting.”  This policy is now owned lock and stock by the Democrat party.  If it works, something I think unlikely in the extreme, they will be in power for a generation.  If it does not, 2010 and 2012 might be very good years for the Grand Old Party.  In either case, the public is going to be given a clear choice next time around.


Defining a “Stimulus Package”

Wednesday, January 28, 2009 \AM\.\Wed\.

Jim Manzi has a good summary of the major components of the proposed stimulus package at The American Scene. A couple of charts stood out:

94

95

Read the rest of this entry »


The Planned Parenthood Bailout

Friday, December 19, 2008 \PM\.\Fri\.

Susan B. Anthony’s List, a pro-life PAC that works diligently to promote and advocate the election of pro-life women into elected office — which is counter to Emily’s List, a pro-choice PAC that does the exact opposite — is calling pro-life Americans to action.

Read the rest of this entry »


True Audacity

Tuesday, December 9, 2008 \PM\.\Tue\.

New Catholic Congressman

President-Elect Obama used the word audacity a lot in his rise to the presidency but how much audacity does it take to be a liberal state senator, representing a liberal district, in a liberal state? True audacity is going against the odds and against the consensus on pundits. That is exactly what Joseph Cao did in Louisiana’s 2nd Congressional District. Cao is a devout Catholic Republican Vietnamese immigrant in an overwhelmingly African American and Democrat congressional district. Although his opponent is undoubtably corrupt politician facing serious indictments, he was still not given a chance at winning. Unfortunately, voters, especially it seems African American voters, often overlook these flaws in the name of some sort of racial solidarity. Nevertheless, Cao won! Let’s pray that he can help rebuild the wonderful city of New Orleans and provide true opportunity for its amazing people. Cao, like Bobby Jindal and Sarah Palin, is already getting attention from Republican leadership as the future of the party.

After Katrina My HometownAlthough Cao probably hasn’t even had a chance to organize his staff, yesterday I heard Al Sharpton say that he would be working to “fix” this situation. Seems for Sharpton and his ilk working with a person who cares about the district and its people is trumped by partisan and racial politics.


Rescue Packages & the Automobile Industry (II)

Monday, November 17, 2008 \PM\.\Mon\.

Last week, I questioned the wisdom of Congress making investments investors are unwilling to make in the automobile industry. Responding to similar arguments by smarter people, Jonathan Cohn suggested (citing a report showing productivity improvements in Big 3 factories) that the Big 3 are in the process of turning around, and that the bailout would help these companies complete the transition to profitability. Jim Manzi has posted a fairly devastating rebuttal to Cohn’s arguments. Here is an excerpt from Manzi’s response:

Read the rest of this entry »