GO NAVY BEAT ARMY

GO NAVY BEAT ARMY

'87 Sir

Thirty years of service ----USNA Class of 1987 '87 Sir

Friday, September 6, 2013

Book to school...and back to learning about our Founders

After a long hiatus, and to celebrate the return of millions of American school children to their secular, humanist, socialist, and Gaia indoctrination, otherwise known as the public school year, we return to the Federalist Papers.

WHY, after such a long hiatus, you ask?  Well, a couple of reasons, it is yet another election year, probably one of the most important (yes, another really important) off year elections in recent memory.  Not only is Virginia, my home state electing a governor, but Americans have at least some chance to put a break on Barrackus Obamus I imperial decrees by retaining control of the House and gaining control of the Senate for the Republicans (or milqtoast Whigs, depending on my mood of the day).

So, it's important to keep trying to educate the Oprah-worshipping, Kardashian-watching, People Magazine-reading vapor-heads known as "low information Obama voters" on the fact that their precious "free food, free gas, free cell phone, free health-care" lifestyle is going to implode within a generation, if not sooner.  Hey, they may not listen, but when we are all living in caves trying to live on Spam from a bombed out Wal-mart, we can at least say, "I told you so," before we shoot them and eat their Spam.

The added bonus is that BOTH Federalist #16 and Anti-Federalist #16 are incredibly timely and prescient, as were many of the poltiical philosophies of our Founding Fathers...dead, white, male, slave holders that they were.

So let's start with Federalist #16, nominally written by Alexander Hamilton to show why the Articles of Confederation were inadequate to meet the needs of the untied colonies, and why a stronger Federal governement was needed.

This exceptionable principle may, as truly as emphatically, be styled the parent of anarchy: It has been seen that delinquencies in the members of the Union are its natural and necessary offspring; and that whenever they happen, the only constitutional remedy is force, and the immediate effect of the use of it, civil war....This would be the more likely to take place, as the delinquencies of the larger members might be expected sometimes to proceed from an ambitious premeditation in their rulers, with a view to getting rid of all external control upon their designs of personal aggrandizement; the better to effect which it is presumable they would tamper beforehand with leading individuals in the adjacent States....The result of these observations to an intelligent mind must be clearly this, that if it be possible at any rate to construct a federal government capable of regulating the common concerns and preserving the general tranquillity, it must be founded, as to the objects committed to its care, upon the reverse of the principle contended for by the opponents of the proposed Constitution. It must carry its agency to the persons of the citizens. It must stand in need of no intermediate legislations; but must itself be empowered to employ the arm of the ordinary magistrate to execute its own resolutions. The majesty of the national authority must be manifested through the medium of the courts of justice. The government of the Union, like that of each State, must be able to address itself immediately to the hopes and fears of individuals; and to attract to its support those passions which have the strongest influence upon the human heart. It must, in short, possess all the means, and have aright to resort to all the methods, of executing the powers with which it is intrusted, that are possessed and exercised by the government of the particular States.
So, what does this mean?  Well the traditional interpretation is that Hamilton is saying the Federal government proposed by the Constitution needs to be able to make and enforce laws applicable directly to individual citizens without having those laws approved by the individual States...ergo power is to be directly vested in the Congress and Presidency.  Now, one could read between the lines and the wording and further interpret this to include the most powerful role of government, taxation.  I would interpret this Paper in light of the fight going on over settling the debts the colonies owed as a result of the Revolution, one of the primary selling points of ratification-the collective settling of the huge war debt.

Of course, if one was a conspiracy buff, one might be concerned about this Administration using the power of the Federal government and its ability execute its own resolutions...even if by Executive fiat.

But I digress....now Anti-Federalist 16 is actually more interesting, as it address that magisterial body of legislative deliberation...or buffoonery, the United States Senate.

When great and extraordinary powers are vested in any man, or body of men, which in their exercise, may operate to the oppression of the people, it is of high importance that powerful checks should be formed to prevent the abuse of it.
Perhaps no restraints are more forcible, than such as arise from responsibility to some superior power. — Hence it is that the true policy of a republican government is, to frame it in such manner, that all persons who are concerned in the government, are made accountable to some superior for their conduct in office. — This responsibility should ultimately rest with the People. To have a government well administered in all its parts, it is requisite the different departments of it should be separated and lodged as much as may be in different hands.....The following things may be observed with respect to the constitution of the Senate.
1st. They are to be elected by the legislatures of the States and not by the people, and each State is to be represented by an equal number.
2d. They are to serve for six years, except that one third of those first chosen are to go out of office at the expiration of two years, one third at the expiration of four years, and one third at the expiration of six years, after which this rotation is to be preserved, but still every member will serve for the term of six years.
3d. If vacancies happen by resignation or otherwise, during the recess of the legislature of any State, the executive is authorised to make temporary appointments until the next meeting of the legislature.
4. No person can be a senator who has not arrived to the age of thirty years, been nine years a citizen of the United States, and who is not at the time he is elected an inhabitant of the State for which he is elected.
The apportionment of members of Senate among the States is not according to numbers, or the importance of the States; but is equal. This, on the plan of a consolidated government, is unequal and improper; but is proper on the system of confederation — on this principle I approve of it. It is indeed the only feature of any importance in the constitution of a confederated government. It was obtained after a vigorous struggle of that part of the Convention who were in favor of preserving the state governments. It is to be regretted, that they were not able to have infused other principles into the plan, to have secured the government of the respective states, and to have marked with sufficient precision the line between them and the general government.

As Mark Levin pointed out in his book The Liberty Amendments the accountability of Senators to their state legislatures was a key feature in ensuring the ultimate accountability of the Federal government to the states from which it sprang.  The amending of the Constitution to allow direct election of Senators has turned out to be a long-term disaster for state's right, the Constitution, and ultimately the rule of law and the will of the people.  Consider the biggest disaster--Obamacare.  If states selected Senators, this monstrosity would never have seen the light of day...to begin with my home state-Virginia-is strongly conservative-Northern Virginia's lunatic Arlington and Alexandia liberals and Richmond's inner city residents excluded, and would never have had two Democratic Senators to vote for this disaster.  Arkansas, Louisiana, and Montana would like have not had Democratic Senators either.

So, once again we see that our Founders clearly understood the danger of overly centralized and tyrannical power that knows no bounds or limits...and took steps to ensure it wouldn't happen easily.



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