The New Clarion

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Democrats + Republicans = 1 Party Rule

March 28th, 2009 by Mike N · 5 Comments · Politics

The 3/27/09 Detroit News editorial section carried its usual Friday commentary by Frank Beckmann, a conservative and host of the Frank Beckmann Show on WJR Radio 9 am to noon daily. Today’s column gives a glimpse as to why I probably won’t be voting for Republicans anytime soon. It’s because they share the same values as the Dems.

The commentary is titled “What price should Hoekstra pay for Constitution-shredding vote?” Peter Hoekstra is a U.S. Representative from Holland Michigan and a Republican. Mr. Beckmann’s beef is that:

“Our U.S. Constitution is under attack from within after the U.S. House cast a resounding 328 yes vote to punish AIG executives after the fact for retention and other bonuses they received while being bailed out with federal tax dollars. Slapping a confiscatory tax on the bonuses allowed a majority of members of Congress to make populist points and feign outrage.

More seriously, the effort to reclaim the money, led by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, appeared to be in direct contravention of our most sacred document, the Constitution, by imposing a tax retroactively and only on a tiny, specific sector of private citizens.

The first Article — Section 9 — of the Constitution prohibits Congress from passing a “Bill of Attainder or ex post facto Law,” which is what Pelosi’s AIG tax punishment would have done.

It should surprise no one that Pelosi, who recently declared illegal aliens to be patriots, would strong-arm fellow Democrats for support.

More surprising is that 85 Republicans would lock arms with her in approving the bill, including noted conservative U.S. Rep. Pete Hoekstra, R-Holland.”

So why did he vote with the Dems?

“The congressman explained that a vote against taxing the AIG bonuses would have been used against him in future political races, while a vote in favor of the tax may not be constitutional but has no chance of advancing through the Senate and on to President Barack Obama.”

How’s that for a principled pragmatic stand! In other words, he wanted to join in on the lynching of the businessmen because he thought it was the pragmatic thing to do regarding his election chances.

Mr. Hoekstra is expected to announce his candidacy for Michigan governor on Monday. So that means that he has to be at his pragmatic best I suppose. But it isn’t just Mr. Hoekstra that dismays me. It’s the 85 U.S. House Republicans that fell in lockstep with the Dems. No matter how bad the Dems get, I don’t see the Republicans as a viable replacement anytime soon and see no reason to vote for any of them.

5 Comments so far ↓

  • Rex Andrea

    The GOP needs to get it through their thick collective skull that “Yes, we’re weak and profligate but were better than the other guys,” won’t elect them or reelect them and, in fact, is precisely what UN-elected them.

  • Natasha Hale

    I think every intelligent citizen can agree that the Democrats and Republicans are basically the same these days. They’re leading us down the same road, the Left is just in more of a hurry to get there.

    I believe this would be a great time for some minor party to rise up. Unfortunately if that does happen, it will probably be the wrong one.

  • TW

    I really believe that once *any* party gets into government, it will cease to serve any ideals except that of garnering more power for those in power.

  • Michael Labeit

    I have a problem with what I call “arguing from the Constitution.”

    First of all, the Constitution grants the government the authority of ammendment. In theory, any clause or ammendment can therefore be overridden (this is also a virtue in some cases).

    Second – what corrupts the Constitution is its notoriously non-objective clauses: the necessary and proper clause and the commerce clause. These clauses are not clearly defined and therefore may be interpreted to defend extraordinary abuses of power, a la New Deal.

    Thus an argument that bill x violates the first or second amendment can be countered with the argument that bill x is demanded by “necessary and proper” or “commerce.” This, I suspect, is what Ayn Rand alluded to when she held that the Constitution contained contradictions which doomed it from the start.

    Now it might be countered that the federal government does possess the self-restraint to refrain from abusing the clauses.

    Well, if this were true, why isn’t the Supreme Court up in arms about the AIG tax? The congressional tax on AIG retention contracts is after all an excellent example of ex post facto law. But it appears that the power of the clauses has become so great that the impetus among SC justices to strike down unconstitutional bills has become irreparably reduced.

  • Mike N

    Michael L.

    Frustratingly, all the points you make are valid ones. And so it would seem we are faced with a can’t-win situation. But on a philosophical level, I think it is possible that the ‘commerce’ clause could be ‘re-interpreted’ to mean commerce between only state governments and not private enterprise. Or perhaps some other more rational meaning. The same with the necessary and proper clause.

    There have been times in the past that the Supreme Court has knocked down legislation on the grounds that it violated or contradicted the spirit of the Constitution. If the spirit of the Constitution can be identified explicitly as ‘man’s right to live for his own sake’ then why couldn’t the SC rule that any Article found to contradict that spirit can and should be ammended to bring it in line with individual rights? I also think a vigorous advocacy of individual rights could drum up wide spread support for this in time.

    The concept of individual rights needs to be hailed loudly and incessently to the people. They need to be told that they have a right to their heated homes in the winter and cooled ones in the summer; that it is their right to own an SUV, an HD TV and to be x pounds overweight if they want. I think a lot of public support for rights can be had if advocated properly.

    IMO, the Constitutional contradictions will have to be corrected someday but I don’t see how that can happen as long as altruism dominates the culture. Then again, showing people how individual rights are both practical and moral could have an effect.