Category Archives: Article II
The new year gets started for real.
Out of the blue, Ben asked me a question: “Dad, why does the King of Hearts have a knife behind his head?” I didn’t know, but I live in the 21st Century when there are virtually no mysteries left. The story of why the King of Hearts has a knife behind his head is a wonderful example of how we forget things…
As the new Congress takes its seats, the arguments and debates begin again. It’s clear to me that there are very few Congress members, Left or Right, who actually understand or care about the whys and how’s the Constitution was created the way it was. I am starting to wonder if the entropic effects of our society have worn down the past to the point where we no longer know truths which were, once upon a time, self-evident?
For example, a Congressman from Tennessee – a State well versed in the ideas of liberty and history – has introduced the annual “Let’s get rid of the Electoral College” amendment. His spokesman said that the Electoral College was supposed to “prevent someone like Donald Trump” from being elected. Why does it never occur to these people that the Electoral College did exactly what it was intended to do – prevent the likes of Hillary Clinton from becoming President?
Every few years one side or the other complains that the President is over-reaching his authority. This almost naturally leads to the debate over “Implied Powers,” and whether or not they (the implied powers) exist (they do) or not?
In 2014, the world faced the specter of ISIL (or ISIS or IS) as the Islamic State overran vast swaths of territory in Iraq and Syria (the “Levant”) and begun to impose its version of Islamic Law on the local inhabitants who really just wanted to be left alone. When they (the locals) wouldn’t go along with the insane Islamic nut jobs, they (ISIL) began to commit mass murder on an industrial scale.
Reactions ranged from the idea that we – the United States – had a “moral” duty to step in, to the position that we should stay the heck out of yet another war in Asia. was the Islamic state an actual threat to the United States or its “national interests?”
How do we define the “National interests” that guide our foreign policy? Most of all, what does the Constitution have to say about not just the powers involved, but what, if anything, about the process?
Sausage making, as the process has been described, is not really pretty, and generally speaking not at all interesting.
But if you want breakfast, you have to break a few eggs. And grind up some pigs…
On Constitution Thursday we delve into the statement by the current President to the effect that he could pardon himself, were such a pardon were actually needed.
It isn’t as clear-cut as you might want it to be – from a Constitutional viewpoint. But I would think that from a political viewpoint, it would create immense problems. Great problems. The biggest and best problems we’ve ever seen in this country.
And that would be, of course, just the beginning…