Tuesday, November 04, 2014

Politicians and Diapers ....

"Politicians and diapers should be changed often, and for the same reasons."

Often cited to Mark Twain and Winston Churchill  (and others, without rhyme or reason), the aphorism seems to work.   The defination of "an honest politician is one who, once bought, stays bought" also seems applicable.

To tonight we are witnessing another evolution of the same old revolution ... "kick the bastards out".

The only CHANGE is that the bastards are the 'other' group;  the only HOPE is that the newest group of lying bastards will provide sufficient resistance to the current Clown In Chief to force a degree of ... well, conservatism ... in his constant flow of outrageous, arbitrary social changes.

If nothing else, (a) the tendency toward acceptance of unrestricted/illegal immigration of people into this country, and (b) abrogation of our constitutional rights.

Yes, we will continue to deal with President Obama's "revolution by fiat"  (aka: "I have a phone and a pen") zeal as he will doubtless continue to attempt to establish his leadership in a manner reminiscent of a nascent Community Organizer on a national scale.  (God protect us from naif in power!)

But the Legislature has to duty of forming the laws (senate), and will not pay for the enforcement of inane laws (house); so we now have resumed a balance between the judicial, the legislative and the executive branches.  Well ... sort-of.

Nobody wants any political party to rule both the Executive and the Legislative branch; it is a conundrum which has ALWAYS led to extreme measures, when one party is in power.  When a 'new' (different from last week?) party gains control, we usually see excessive policies undermined, or boldly cast off.

Both parties are guilt of excessive legislation, arbitrary decision-making, and fear-mongering.

When we see an extremist in the White House, we pray for the 'other side' to gain control of the Senate/House.  This is ... when it happens ... an expression of The American Way.   Politics is best served when the "balance of power" is enforced.

When we see an extremist Legislature we are often fearful of their power, as well.  Fortunately, Legislature is not endowed with the power akin to "Presidential Veto" and "Presidential Findings",

But there are ways, and there are means, to curb both President and Legislature.

The Supreme Court of the United States of America (SCOTUS) does not have the same power as the President of the United States of America (POTUS) ... but it does have the power and the ability to adjudge POTUS decisions and ... occasionally ... rule them Null and Void.   Not that this happens often, but it remains as a Sword of Damocles over all presidential powers, and this is A Good Thing.

SCOTUS rules on whether laws are acceptable under the guidelines of the Constitution of the United States of America.  .

Note that other laws are not generally considered 'cogent'; usually, only the Constitution is considered applicable to cases which they accept for adjudicatio

Currently, we have a somewhat-Liberal court.  But they can't 'rule' on an issue until it reaches their chambers as a specific issue.  And they are limited by precedents and 'case law', which is often confusing.  (See: Miller vs US, 1939).

BALANCE OF POWER:   Legislature
The Legislature is divided by two houses ... House of Representatives and the Senate (the 'senior house').  The Senate can initiate laws, but the house funds them.  If the Senate makes a law which displeases the House, it may find that there are no moneys available to enforce that law.

The House may not initiate laws, although they may propose laws; so whatever their fancies, their nature will never become an issue unless they can convince the Senate to initiate the law.  Or a reasonable facsimile there-of.  (In fact, the law which the Senate ultimately approves may bear only a passing resemblance to the Bill which may have been proposed by the House.)

BALANCE OF POWER:    Executive

The President of the United States (POTUS) has the ability to veto any bill which has been passed by the House and Senate, and which has been approved by the SCOTUS.   He may issue "Presidential Findings", which have the power of law unless and until it has been brought by SCOTUS and subsequently found unconstitutional.  (see above)

The President is charged with enforcing the laws and the constitution; but he may (at his discretion) decide NOT to enforce laws.  This leads to the decision of our current POTUS to be disinclined to enforce .. for example ... Immigration Laws.

Both the Legislature and the Judiciary may disagree with the Executive branch, but they are powerless at this point.  The Legislature may make laws; it cannot enforce them.  The Judiciary may rule on violation of the laws, but not until a case if brought before them.

This causes the most powerful of the three branches of government ... the Executive ... the most powerful.  One man is able to dismantle the other two branches.  A stool may may stand on four legs; it may stand on three legs; but a stool will fail under two legs.

And under one leg .. it is a balancing act, not a government.

When a President is a Rogue:

When the President of an association decides to go his own way, disregarding the sage counsel of his Constitutionally established advisers, then he needs to be quite certain of the rightness of his cause.

Unfortunately, certainty is not always "good and sufficient".  When the rule of one man becomes the Law of the Land, then that is the definition of a Dictatorship.

Our country has always been defined as a Republic.  Not a Democracy.  And certainly not a Dictatorship.

Why it is good that Republicans have now dominated the Legislature:

Now that the Senate and the House are both under the control of the party in opposition to the President, the Balance of Power has been restored.

Obviously, with the Senate willing to arbitrarily back Presidential Decisions, it became nothing more than a lackey .. willing to rubber-stamp the President and cleaving to The Party Line, it was nothing more than The Party Line writ large.

Now that the opposition party is in power, we can expect that the Presidential aspirations will be subject to more close review  And resistance.

This is A Good Thing.

An 'unbridled' President, assured of automatic approbation for his policies, is naturally prone to excess.

A President who knows that his every decision will be closely reviewed ... and subject to not only Part Politics but Critical Analysis ... will be more likely to become less sanguine.  (Call it "more Middle-of-the Road", if you will.)

We want this.

We want a moderate leader.  We want a leader who is not making arbitrary decisions, based on his own personal bias.  We want a President who feels obliged to answer not only to the Public, but also to "The Opposite Party".  We want him to to justify his decisions to a critical audience in power.  We want him to make a GOOD case for whatever he decides to do, so that we are assured that his decisions are the right ones.

When the Legislature was dominated by a political party which was invested in the confident approval of our President, we lacked the confidence of our leadership.

Now that the President must make a powerful case for his executive decision, we can be .. if not confident in our OWN approval, at least confident that his decisions have been approved by people whom WE have elected, through our popular vote.

Even those of us who may not have elected the President, personally,


Anonymous said...

At least the people had the sense to say NO to prop 88.

Anonymous said...

Without politicians, you end up with a dictator.