Ron Paul could still get the GOP nomination

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Re: Ron Paul could still get the GOP nomination

Postby Winston Smith » 22 May 2012, 20:47

Tigerman wrote:
Homey wrote:I would personally welcome a move to the popular vote.


I refer you to Mr. Madison's brilliant argument against the same.


The two great points of difference between a democracy and a republic are: first, the delegation of the government, in the latter, to a small number of citizens elected by the rest; secondly, the greater number of citizens, and greater sphere of country, over which the latter may be extended.

The effect of the first difference is, on the one hand, to refine and enlarge the public views, by passing them through the medium of a chosen body of citizens, whose wisdom may best discern the true interest of their country, and whose patriotism and love of justice will be least likely to sacrifice it to temporary or partial considerations. Under such a regulation, it may well happen that the public voice, pronounced by the representatives of the people, will be more consonant to the public good than if pronounced by the people themselves, convened for the purpose.


Ha, ha, ha. You realize, I hope, that the "chosen body of citizens, whose wisdom may best discern the true interest of their country, and whose patriotism and love of justice will be least likely to sacrifice it to temporary or partial considerations" James Madison is referring to as the cornerstone of republicanism is the U.S. Congress. Brilliant though Madison's argument may have been in 1787 I don't think anyone in their right mind would refer to any U.S. Congress in recent history as being even remotely like a body of "citizens, whose wisdom . . . patriotism and love of justice will be least likely to sacrifice it to temporary or partial consideratons".

The fatal flaw in Madison's argument for government by middle man is that he failed to foresee an age in which those middle men (and women) discovered that lobbyists and special interests were willing to pay good money for their souls after which point Congress became nothing more than a parliament of whores on sale to the highest bidder.
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Re: Ron Paul could still get the GOP nomination

Postby Tigerman » 23 May 2012, 11:39

Winston Smith wrote:Ha, ha, ha. You realize, I hope, that the "chosen body of citizens, whose wisdom may best discern the true interest of their country, and whose patriotism and love of justice will be least likely to sacrifice it to temporary or partial considerations" James Madison is referring to as the cornerstone of republicanism is the U.S. Congress. Brilliant though Madison's argument may have been in 1787 I don't think anyone in their right mind would refer to any U.S. Congress in recent history as being even remotely like a body of "citizens, whose wisdom . . . patriotism and love of justice will be least likely to sacrifice it to temporary or partial consideratons".

The fatal flaw in Madison's argument for government by middle man is that he failed to foresee an age in which those middle men (and women) discovered that lobbyists and special interests were willing to pay good money for their souls after which point Congress became nothing more than a parliament of whores on sale to the highest bidder.


When is the last time you were back in the States? I'm not too thrilled with the level of knowledge and or concern that the average voter exhibits.

Anyway, my opinion is that the use of a direct popular vote, for the reasons Madison identified, would be a big mistake.
As it is, we seem to regard it as a positive objection to a reasoner that he has taken one side or the other. We regard it (in other words) as a positive objection to a reasoner that he has contrived to reach the object of his reasoning. We call a man a bigot or a slave of dogma because he is a thinker who has thought thoroughly and to a definite end.

From: All Things Considered - The Error of Impartiality
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Re: Ron Paul could still get the GOP nomination

Postby Jaboney » 23 May 2012, 13:20

Tigerman wrote:I'm not too thrilled with the level of knowledge and or concern that the average voter exhibits.

Anyway, my opinion is that the use of a direct popular vote, for the reasons Madison identified, would be a big mistake.
The average voter knows too little, and has too few incentives to become informed; the average lobbist is too little concerned with the common good... too willing and able to corrupt the process in order to distort the market; the average politico too much a captive well-motivated monied interests. Competing to capture the favour of legislators is one thing, but it does seem to have gotten out of hand.
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Re: Ron Paul could still get the GOP nomination

Postby Dr. McCoy » 23 May 2012, 14:13

Maybe we'll get lucky and the Supreme Court will put Bush back in.
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Re: Ron Paul could still get the GOP nomination

Postby Winston Smith » 23 May 2012, 14:27

I wouldn't call government by middleman brilliant or even anything to get all excited about and start waving flags and marching about. In Madison's day there wasn't any choice because of the difficulties of communication. Today though, in the age of instant mass communications, the people could easily govern themselves. Are they up to the task? Probably not. On the other hand could they do any worse a job running their collective affairs than their "representatives" have done? Perhaps an experiment is in order.
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Re: Ron Paul could still get the GOP nomination

Postby TheGingerMan » 23 May 2012, 21:43

Winston Smith wrote:
Tigerman wrote:
Homey wrote:I would personally welcome a move to the popular vote.


I refer you to Mr. Madison's brilliant argument against the same.


The two great points of difference between a democracy and a republic are: first, the delegation of the government, in the latter, to a small number of citizens elected by the rest; secondly, the greater number of citizens, and greater sphere of country, over which the latter may be extended.

The effect of the first difference is, on the one hand, to refine and enlarge the public views, by passing them through the medium of a chosen body of citizens, whose wisdom may best discern the true interest of their country, and whose patriotism and love of justice will be least likely to sacrifice it to temporary or partial considerations. Under such a regulation, it may well happen that the public voice, pronounced by the representatives of the people, will be more consonant to the public good than if pronounced by the people themselves, convened for the purpose.


Ha, ha, ha. You realize, I hope, that the "chosen body of citizens, whose wisdom may best discern the true interest of their country, and whose patriotism and love of justice will be least likely to sacrifice it to temporary or partial considerations" James Madison is referring to as the cornerstone of republicanism is the U.S. Congress. Brilliant though Madison's argument may have been in 1787 I don't think anyone in their right mind would refer to any U.S. Congress in recent history as being even remotely like a body of "citizens, whose wisdom . . . patriotism and love of justice will be least likely to sacrifice it to temporary or partial consideratons".

The fatal flaw in Madison's argument for government by middle man is that he failed to foresee an age in which those middle men (and women) discovered that lobbyists and special interests were willing to pay good money for their souls after which point Congress became nothing more than a parliament of whores on sale to the highest bidder.


A most poignant critique.
However, Mr. James Madison, of Port Conway, Virginia, was no doubt even then aware of charlatans, forked-tongue fickle fuckers, whore-mongerers, and other of the mountebank banner. While he had no inkling of the scale and preponderance of duncery in which the modern free-thinker finds oneself quicksanded, his words still carry resonance. It might all be a day dream within today's political climate, but I would not be the first to predict that once things get better (after they have gotten much, much worse), the ideal of the Federalist Papers shall remain still something strive worthy.
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Re: Ron Paul could still get the GOP nomination

Postby Tigerman » 24 May 2012, 00:06

Winston Smith wrote:I wouldn't call government by middleman brilliant or even anything to get all excited about and start waving flags and marching about.


I'm not commenting on whether Congress is occupied by idiots or self-interested jerks. Of course it is. The simple point I am trying to make, in reply to the statement by Homey that I originally quoted, is that I agree with Madison regarding the dangers inherent in a popular vote. I've stated many times here my support for the electoral college. I'm sure you can find something with a search.
As it is, we seem to regard it as a positive objection to a reasoner that he has taken one side or the other. We regard it (in other words) as a positive objection to a reasoner that he has contrived to reach the object of his reasoning. We call a man a bigot or a slave of dogma because he is a thinker who has thought thoroughly and to a definite end.

From: All Things Considered - The Error of Impartiality
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Re: Ron Paul could still get the GOP nomination

Postby Alkibiades » 12 Jun 2012, 23:34

Winston Smith wrote:Ha, ha, ha. You realize, I hope, that the "chosen body of citizens, whose wisdom may best discern the true interest of their country, and whose patriotism and love of justice will be least likely to sacrifice it to temporary or partial considerations" James Madison is referring to as the cornerstone of republicanism is the U.S. Congress. Brilliant though Madison's argument may have been in 1787 I don't think anyone in their right mind would refer to any U.S. Congress in recent history as being even remotely like a body of "citizens, whose wisdom . . . patriotism and love of justice will be least likely to sacrifice it to temporary or partial consideratons".

The fatal flaw in Madison's argument for government by middle man is that he failed to foresee an age in which those middle men (and women) discovered that lobbyists and special interests were willing to pay good money for their souls after which point Congress became nothing more than a parliament of whores on sale to the highest bidder.


I just wanted to point out that there is a slight anachronism here, because the Senate, which was to be the anchor of the republic, was selected by state legislatures until the ratification of the 17th Amendment. This had the specific intention of giving entrenched power a say in government and weakening each faction by setting the various interests against each other. By multiplying the number of special interests, he intended to dilute their individual power, while at the same time opposing them to "democracy" or "demagoguery" or "majoritarianism". Now people bemoan how special interests secretly or not so secretly manipulate power. Madison was not the naive one.

Winston Smith wrote:On the other hand could they do any worse a job running their collective affairs than their "representatives" have done? Perhaps an experiment is in order.


An experiment as in Ingsoc or Animalism?
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Re: Ron Paul could still get the GOP nomination

Postby Winston Smith » 13 Jun 2012, 17:15

There is an "experiment" in government going on in the U.S aimed at remedying the weaknesses of representative government but silent coup is probably a better term. Year by year the Supreme Court is gradually usurping the policy making power of elected representatives on the theory that some nebulous "living Constitution" gives them a greater mandate to make public policy than the will of the people -- which we all "know" is corrupt, venal and incapable of making rational decisions. The "living Constitution", of course, being nothing more than a euphemism for the personal philosophies of each Supreme Court justice.

Consequently an unelected, unaccountable politburo of "intellectually and morally superior progressives" is gradually supplanting the legislative branch's power to make public policy and there's little that can be done about it because there's no effective check on the power of the judicial branch to exercise what is euphemistically called "judicial activism" other than its own self restraint, "judicial activism" being another pleasant sounding euphemism for legislation without representation.

Consequently Supreme Court justice confirmation hearings are where the real future course of the nation is decided which is why they have become so contentious. The only barrier to the establishment of the "golden age of judicial activism" and a "living Constitution" form of government being the damnable habit of the American people to elect presidents who won't surrender all nine slots on America's nascent politburo to its "progressive elite."
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Re: Ron Paul could still get the GOP nomination

Postby MikeN » 13 Jun 2012, 18:36

Winston Smith wrote:There is an "experiment" in government going on in the U.S aimed at remedying the weaknesses of representative government but silent coup is probably a better term. Year by year the Supreme Court is gradually usurping the policy making power of elected representatives on the theory that some nebulous "living Constitution" gives them a greater mandate to make public policy than the will of the people -- which we all "know" is corrupt, venal and incapable of making rational decisions. The "living Constitution", of course, being nothing more than a euphemism for the personal philosophies of each Supreme Court justice.

Consequently an unelected, unaccountable politburo of "intellectually and morally superior progressives" is gradually supplanting the legislative branch's power to make public policy and there's little that can be done about it because there's no effective check on the power of the judicial branch to exercise what is euphemistically called "judicial activism" other than its own self restraint, "judicial activism" being another pleasant sounding euphemism for legislation without representation.

Consequently Supreme Court justice confirmation hearings are where the real future course of the nation is decided which is why they have become so contentious. The only barrier to the establishment of the "golden age of judicial activism" and a "living Constitution" form of government being the damnable habit of the American people to elect presidents who won't surrender all nine slots on America's nascent politburo to its "progressive elite."


You are of course aware that the majority of federal judges over at least the last 20 years have been appointed by Republicans; that Republican-appointed judges have been the majority in the Supreme Court since 1972; and that with the exception of the final years of the Clinton administration (when there was a 2 seat Democrat-appointed majority) from 1988 on the Circuit courts of the US have had a (usually quite large) majority of Republican-appointed judges.
Funny they keep appointing those "progressive elites"
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Federal_ju ... nt_history

When we look down the list of court decisions by 'intellectually and morally superior progressives' overturning the will of elected legislatures, we can see the ones that have infuriated conservatives and most driven the movement against 'judicial activism'.

The mother of them all, and the one that led to the founding of the modern conservative movement is , of course

Brown v. Board of Education; forcing little white boys and girls to have to attend the same school as coloreds.
Loving v. Virginia ; striking down state laws against miscegenation.
Swann v. Charlotte-Mecklenburg; integrating schools by busing.
Griswold v. Connecticut; allowing unmarried couples access to contraception (slut alert!), leading to
Roe v. Wade; giving women access to abortion.
Engel v. Vitale and Lemon v. Kurtzman; saying the government may not promote one particular religion or religion in general, even in schools.
Lawrence v. Texas; you can't throw people in jail for sodomy
Varnum n. Brien (Iowa Supreme Court): gays are allowed to get married.

You can see why conservatives hate all this "judicial activism".

And of course in decrying 'judicial activism' good conservatives all strenuously oppose the Supreme's activism against legislatively- established precedents in Bush v Gore; Citizens United; and the current hearing on Obama's ACA, no?

"Judicial actvism" ranks right up there with "states' rights/federalism" on the hypocrisy index.

Conservatives love judges who overturn legislation that favors liberal causes; liberals love judges who strike down conservative laws.
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