From Obama, agenda at odds with founders

  • Article by: KATHERINE KERSTEN
  • Updated: October 20, 2012 - 8:48 PM

He's carrying on the welfare work that progressives learned in Germany.

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pumiceOct. 20, 12 8:59 PM

From the commentary: "[Hegel] did not view human rights as inherent in nature, universal, and existing prior to the state. Instead, he maintained that rights 'evolve' historically and take different forms at different times and places." Exactly the Founders' vision! Within two years of ratification, the Constitution "evolved" according to a pre-arranged compromise to include a litany of human rights known as the Bill of Rights.

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pumiceOct. 20, 12 9:07 PM

More about rights evolving historically and taking different forms at different times and places: Civil rights evolved far beyond the Founders' vision of chattel slavery and vesting political power in the hands of white, male, property owners--see Amendments XIII, XIV, XV, XVII, XIX, XXIII, XXIV, and XXVI.

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pumiceOct. 20, 12 9:26 PM

From the commentary: "Impatient of the limits on his power that remain, the president has frequently sidestepped Congress through regulatory actions and executive orders." Since Grover Cleveland’s administration, every president has issued at least 100 executive orders. Here's a partial scoreboard: FDR, 3522; Reagan, 409; Bush 41, 149; Bush 43, 291 (plus a whole slew of Signing Orders which often subverted the intent of Congress); Obama, 130.

From the President's perspective, “We can’t wait for an intransigent Congress to do this, so I will.” Four examples of running end-arounds on obstructionists and filibusterers: (1) a mini-Dream Act; (2) 26 states have NCLB waivers; (3) DoJ is no longer defending DOMA; (4) refinancing fees for federally insured mortgages have been cut.

As the President said, Ms. Kersten, “If Congress refuses to act, I’ve said that I’ll continue to do everything in my power to act without them.” I wonder what Harry Truman's thinking about this successor who's taken on the challenge of a Do-Nothing Congress...

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pumiceOct. 20, 12 9:33 PM

The conclusion: "The American people want government to protect their rights..." Apparently so, Ms. Kersten. Not including Amendments XVIII and XXI, twenty-four times Americans have ratified Amendments which advance and/or protect rights which the Founders did not envision in the 18th Century.

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paddlemanOct. 21, 12 7:45 AM

This has got to be the worst of Kersten's worst. One comment that keeps getting thrown out that I have yet to get and answer; what does it mean to "limit the size of government"? Take gas prices as an example. Romney beats up Obama for the current price of gas, if the Cons ( I mean that literally) don't want government in their lives, should this be an Obama issue or is it what they want, free enterprise controlling markets? How about Romney making the statement that the private sector can better fix our health care system and control costs. Who got us here in the first place Mitt? And as far as our founding fathers; there is no way, when writing the constitution they could have foreseen; 1) the interstate commerce we have today, 2) the speed of communication we have today and 3) the military might we have today. If they could have, I believe they would have put provisions in the constitution for periodic review and revisions.

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cstoney48Oct. 21, 12 8:25 AM

The Scandinavian nations and Germany are not on the threshold of collapse--in fact they are thriving examples of the success of what American reactionaries label the welfare state. Not all European nations are in the PIIGs category--easy labeling is only easy not accurate. Secondly despite GOP shrills to the contrary, ObamaCare is essentially RomneyCare and both emerged from the recommendations of the Heritage Foundation--a conservative think tank. At the time of its passage, the Heritage Foundation took credit for RomneyCare and hailed its success. Logically, the Foundation should take credit for the Affordable Care Act as well. KK's and the Right’s dilemma is that they don’t even believe in a concept conceived by themselves because the Dems implemented it. As for the Founders, they were students of the Enlightenment who were committed to reason and the scientific method both of which American Reactionaries have rejected. The Founders would have little in common with the TeaParty (well maybe those cute tricorne hats) or the right ward surge of what has become the current GOP. As Roger Sherman quipped “compromise is the basis of governing.” They did not live in a mythological past. They had a vision of what can be achieved by a dynamic people and created a nation for the ages by embracing change and the future.

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pumiceOct. 21, 12 8:41 AM

Re: "If [the Founders] could have [envisioned the military might we have today], I believe they would have put provisions in the constitution for periodic review and revisions." That they did, paddleman! From Article I: "To raise and support Armies, but no Appropriation of Money to that Use shall be for a longer Term than two Years" (periodic review clause); "To provide and maintain a Navy" (reflects the military might of the time and the US's geographical advantage); "To make Rules for the Government and Regulation of the land and naval Forces" (puts civilians in charge); "To provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions" (the Founders saw no role for a standing army).

In addition, the majority of the Founders were non-interventionists--as evidenced by then-President Washington's Farewell Address, which was based on input from both Madison and Hamilton. A major portion of the letter advised against "foreign entanglements"--with friendly as well as with hostile nations because, Washington advised, both will try to influence the US government to do their will. The iconic Founder appealed to "real patriots" to resist the influence of friendly nations because every nation seeks what is best for its own interests.

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Greg63Oct. 21, 12 9:17 AM

I would really like for KK to elain how our constitution is not a living document when it was designed to be amended. She'd likely turn to a Scalia-like interpretation which eventually leads to the word "flexibility" bequeathed to the masses and discounting the minority - yes, that is the originalist interpretation, but mor appropriately their desire. The aforementioned "desire" has little to do with democracy in our present time, but much to do with a theocratic oligarchy comprised of specific ideology fueled by fear. KK and those who subscribe to her ideological path are simply fearful of change - insecure that their own self worth will become minimal.

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jdlellis1Oct. 21, 1210:52 AM

In his inaugural address upon his ascension to the chancellory of Germany, closely paraphrasing Adolph Hitler, "The individual is nothing without the state." Unquestionably, the President, Congress and the Supreme Court should protect individual rights as outlined in the U.S. Constitution. Conversely, government at all levels should not succumb to the "wants" of citizens masked under the banner of rights. Ask the question that as government continues to expand it role, "What type of society would exist where 51% of the population works for some form of government?" The concept Progressives have difficulty embracing is limited government in so much as "Government cannot and should not be all things to all people."

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lee4713Oct. 21, 1211:19 AM

To take up Paddleman's comments on "limiting the size of government", the federal government has shrunk during the current president's tenure - reversing the ballooning during eight years of GOP borrowing and spending. Funny how that is continuing a trend of many decades. This is just the same screeching anthem, umpteenth tone-deaf verse from Kersten. She's still trying for A's from a totally exhausted teacher.

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