Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Party of no labels

In general, I'm in favor of a center right political party to replace the now-extremist Republican Party. The remnants of sanity on the right need a place to go where they don't have to believe the consensus absurdities of the GOP - science is a hoax, economics other than feudally inspired laissez-faire is a hoax, the corporate media is liberal, anyone who needs help is a lazy bum (except for the mostly white true believers), President Obama and the Democrats are socialists if not communists, etc.

No Labels, on the other hand, has problems. It's mainly Republicans and conservative Democrats who probably still admire Joe Lieberman's sanctimony, yet No Labels poses as the center. The big media, as always the handmaiden of power and especially corporate power, laps up this center-right pose of moderation.

It would be no surprise at all if No Labels turned out to be Michael Bloomberg's stalking horse for the Presidency in 2012. The problem of course is that, post-Citizens v. FEC, we mere citizens can't tell.

No Labels has no platform other than the one it rents for its luminaries to shine from. It's a "Truman Show" of politics, all manipulation and entertainment.

In short, there is no reason whatsoever for real Democrats to allow themselves to be cannibalized into an organization that reasonably ought only to pull sane conservatives out of the irredeemable GOP.

It always bears saying: Civility is not as important as the truth - nor as important as effective policy.


Anonymous said...

This No Labels thing is just a bunch of dems attempting to form a caucus outside the House and Senate, which they will be evicted from shortly, in a lame effort to retain some political influence. Center Right my ass….this is a collection of socialist democrats and Arlen Specter Republicans. The public won’t see through this but Fox News will and will pass it along to the voters.

lovable liberal said...

Those insane wingnuts I mentioned? Look in the mirror.

You think internal improvements are socialist, go ahead, admit it. You're stuck in the 1850s. You're a tenther, am I right?

You think the public schools, foundation of modern American democracy, are a terrible left-wing invention, right? OK, we'll take credit - except for the terrible part.

It's amazing to me how strongly rabid wingnuts prefer to be ignorant.

Anonymous said...

There is no mention of public education in the Constitution. Public education as we know it in America did not exist until the 1850's. At the time of the Constitution's adoption in 1787 the only "public" schools in existence were known as common schools, schools run by local communities. The closest thing to federal involvement in education at the time was a requirement given for an adequate system of instruction to be in place for a territory to be admitted to the Union. This was known as the Northwest Ordinance of 1787, and the article in question went as such:
"Art. 3. Religion, morality, and knowledge, being necessary to good government and the happiness of mankind, schools and the means of education shall forever be encouraged."

This general law did not stipulate how education was to be fostered; only that education should be "encouraged" in the new state. Note on a side issue that the Founders who passed this law deemed religion an appropriate subject to be taught in the schools.

The Founding Fathers deemed education to be something best left to local communities and the States, and so left it out of the Constitution. They felt this way because they were very wary of a federal government acquiring too much power under the new Constitution. They did not want the federal government dictating what should and should not be taught in schools in place of parents and the local communities. They backed up this belief with the 10th Amendment, which effectively prohibits all federal involvement in education:

"The powers not delegated to the United States by this Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states, respectively, or to the people"

What this means is that any power not specifically given to the federal government in the Constitution, as well as any power not prohibited for the states to have, is in the hands of the states and the people. This includes education.

Of course, you will then ask why the federal government is involved in education today. You will from many receive answers that are a bunch of gobbledygook about how the Constitution is a "breathing document" that can be interpreted in many different ways, even though all other laws and state constitutions are read for the simple force of law that they are. You will hear about implied powers and the famous "general welfare" clause, whose interpretation in the 18th Century was far narrower than it is today.

The real answer is that it is a tragedy of history that the further in time a people get from the founding laws of their nation, the less and less they understand of them and the more they get away from them. It was true for the Roman Republic and Roman law; it is true for America today. Federal involvement in education is unconstitutional, pure and simple. It is only because people don't know this that the politicians get away with it.

So, if the public schools are the “foundation of American Democracy” then why no provisions in the Constitution for federal control of them?

Anonymous said...

I’d also like to point out that our system of government is a Constitutional Republic. You continue to exclaim that we have a democracy in America. You may add yourself to a long list of confused democrats that have their heads so far up their own asses that they don’t know the difference between a republic and a democracy.

lovable liberal said...

Tiresome horseshit. You think a republic and a democracy are mutually exclusive.

They aren't.

Sorry to confuse you, by the way. Foundation of modern American democracy. Which you claim doesn't exist, anyway.