A New Fairy Tale

Once upon a time, in a land between the seas called ‘Merika, the evil multi-headed monster known as ‘Publican crawled from beneath the rocks where he had been hiding for two years and announced that he had a new plan, one that he called a “Pledge to ‘Merika!” ‘Publican was sure that the people of ‘Merika had forgotten his last plan, one that had led the people of ‘Merika to the brink of destruction.

During the last reign of ‘Puplican, the people were led into financial ruin unlike any that had been seen in nearly eighties years, since ‘Publican’s grandfather had stood silently as the country plunged into the Great Depression. Now, ‘Publican has a new plan to sell to the fine people of ‘Merika. Unfortunately, most of the people have short memories and have chosen to believe that everything was just wonderful during the last reign.

The final chapter of this new fairy tale has yet to be written, but the ending is easily predicted. the tale is the same old tale – tax cuts accompanied by promises of cuts in spending that never seem to come.

So far, the multi-headed monster has come up with spending cuts of $100 billion per year, for a total of $1 trillion over the next decade. To go with that, they have tax cuts totaling $4 trillion for a net addition of $3 trillion to the national debt.

Does that sound like the same old fairy tale?

No one is quite dumb enough to believe all of the promises made by politicians during a campaign. Well, most of us are not that dumb, but this new fairy tale goes far beyond the usual campaign rhetoric. For one, it is based on falsehoods. Note:

“It declares that “the only parts of the economy expanding are government and our national debt.” Not true. So far this year government employment has declined slightly, while private sector employment has increased by 763,000 jobs.”

(http://www.factcheck.org/2010/09/factchecking-the-pledge/)

Well, people of ‘Merika we have a new fairy tale – a new/old tale sold to you by the same monster, ‘Publican, that brought you the heartache of past.

Where is the Big Billy Goat Gruff when you need him?


William Stephenson Clark

Advertisements

24 Comments

Filed under Republicans

24 responses to “A New Fairy Tale

  1. tosmarttobegop

    The problem is that it was better, now understand it is about reality and that is always defined by what you are seeing. What you are seeing in your own household and where you work along with your social realm.

    A great example is one night I was cleaning the teacher’s lounge when a parents night was happening.
    The teachers who did not have any appointment at the time were in the lounge talking.
    One teacher was spouting off about the economy and the perceived lack of jobs and this was in 1986.

    He started asking the other teachers if they knew anyone that wanted a job but could not find one?
    To the person none could say they did, so he finally asked me?

    I did and he reacted with seemed shock, “You do?”.
    It was then I pointed out that we associated in different realms.
    The majority of the teacher associate with other teachers or other professionals.

    I on the other hand being in a different social structure associate with people who tend to be in the lesser classes. Less educated and less fiscally atoned with the American dream then teachers are.
    While they lived in houses with the white picket fences, our houses tend to be.

    If there was a white picket fence it was nailed slates of shipping pallets with cheap white paint from Wal-Mart. A cheap attempt at having something like the America dream.
    ****
    Of all the concerns I had during the Bush years, financial and losing my home was not among them.
    We were making it far better then today, our perceptions were not as bad as today.
    I do not want to go back to those make believe times when it comes to how to handle the problems.

    That old saying about the definition of insanity “doing the same thing over and over thinking that somehow the outcome will be different”.

    • Zippy

      Astute observation. The difference now: there’s a much bigger “lesser class” now, and it requires a willful blindness to reality, and an Orwellian doublethink –where one at once decries the horrible economy while attacking those worst affected–to endorse such policies.

      It’s the ol’ “pull the ladder up” game, but most of these people–the supporters–don’t seem to realize they’re next.

  2. tosmarttobegop

    The first time I ever heard Rush Limbaugh, it occurred to me a way to describe his way of viewing the world.

    He sounded like a guy who is stand there staring at a bare light bulb while hearing about how dark everything is appearing in the woods. His vision of things are bright and well light almost to the point of being to bright at the time.

    While everyone else is facing out into the deep and dark woods with any light there is behind them and of no use in seeing where they are going. That it was all about his prospective of view and not the reality of anyone else or that of the country.

  3. “PLEDGE TO AMERICA”: THE ORIGINAL DRAFT

    Don’t ask me how, but I managed to get my hands on a copy of the first draft of the much-publicized and wildly popular GOP Pledge to America. I know, I know, you’ve already read the final draft dozens, perhaps hundreds of times. But I thought it would be interesting to take a look at the raw ideas straight from the mouths of revolutionaries and before the slick marketing people polished off all of the rough edges (Some of this stuff is too real for the American people to handle, obviously). Since the actual Pledge is almost 50 pages long, I can’t go through the whole draft here but I can share the overview. Pretty interesting stuff:

    We Pledge…to write a document so long that you will not actually read it. At 48 pages we fully understand that this is 47 pages beyond the attention span of our target audience. Hell, the average Family Circus panel is a little overwhelming to the kind of voter we expect to be persuaded by this cloying, viscous garbage. We will gin up the introduction with the most insipid fluff we can copy from Mitch McConnell’s campaign brochures so that the rare person who decides to try reading this will be glazed over and daydreaming by the third paragraph. Our goal is to get our base to treat this the same way they treat the Bible and the Constitution – don’t read it, just agree with it vociferously.

    We Pledge…to continue fighting the Cold War until it is over and victory has been achieved. Missile defense? It’s in there. We won’t let Ivan slip one past our radar. We’re relying pretty heavily on the 55-and-over crowd this November, so it was either Missile Defense (which doesn’t even work) or something about Matlock. This made more sense because, I guess, conceivably in 20 or 30 years Iran could build an ICBM.

    We Pledge…to take advantage of your short memories to cover our naked hypocrisy. You people are like fruit flies, so we can say things like “We promise to read every bill before voting” and rest assured that you won’t remember the Patriot Act and stuff like that. Ditto “We will adhere to the Constitution” which will make good use of that black hole in your memories between 2000 and 2008. On that note…

    We Pledge…to re-hash a bunch of old, stale ideas and hope you won’t notice. Tax cuts! Reducing spending! Smaller government! Yeah, it’s pretty much the Contract with America. Or our talking points for the last 75 years. Or the same shit we said for the 12 years we were in power. Which dovetails nicely into our next point…

    We Pledge…to make a bunch of promises we haven’t the slightest intention of keeping. We’re gonna reduce the size of the federal government this time, we swear! We’re totally going to cut the budget, honest Injun! We’re going to respect the rules and procedures of Congress and treat the minority party respectfully.

    We Pledge…to slip in a few of our donors’ pet causes even though they have nothing to do with the goals we lay out in the document. If we promise like 50 different things, what are the odds anyone will notice “malpractice reform” and “prohibit taxpayer funding of abortion” (which doesn’t even exist! But don’t tell our base!) among all the nonsense? I think “card check” is in there somewhere too, but it was like 5:45 AM when we finished so I don’t remember. Seriously, the sun was coming up and I was all like “Let’s go get some IHOP” to Jim DeMint and Bob Corker.

    We Pledge…to strain credulity to the breaking point and beyond. We will say things like “We will fight efforts to use a national crisis for political gain” with a straight face so that every sentient person who reads this thing will be like “Holy balls. Are they fucking serious? I mean, is this like a real thing or The Onion?” Honestly we’re just having some fun with you in the last few pages. But it all sounds enough like stuff we might say in earnest that the media will be perplexed. Is this satire? We won’t tell!!

    We Pledge…to get a week’s worth of free advertising out of this mind-blowingly uninteresting shit. There’s not a single new idea here, but what is the media going to do, ignore it and let us go into hysterics about “liberal bias”? Despite the fact that the uncritical media coverage will essentially be free advertising for our candidates, we know that the networks will run with this stale nonsense in the interest of “fairness” and objectivity.

    And most of all…We Pledge…to laugh our asses off it this works. Come on, people! We’re not even trying anymore! This took about six hours and zero dollars to put together, and most of the six hours was waiting while Dick Armey made the cover – He was all like “Dude I know Photoshop” but it was obvious that he had never really used it, and then we wasted about an hour looking for that Olde Tyme Constitution-lookin’ font. But it was totally worth it, because the cover looks sweet…and that’s the most important part.

    **America is more than a country. America is an idea “an idea that free people can govern themselves…America is the belief that any man or woman can “given economic, political, and religious liberty “advance themselves, their families, and the common good. America is an inspiration to those who yearn to be free and have the ability and the dignity to determine their own destiny.”

    Shared with permission as the last words of the blog linked below were: Share and Enjoy —
    http://www.ginandtacos.com/2010/09/29/pledge-to-america-the-original-draft/

    (Some of the comments are interesting and fun too.) 😉

  4. itolduso

    Imagine for a moment the entire Supreme Court was wiped out in an asteroid strike, or maybe they ate some really bad clams. Whatever.

    With the Supreme Court temporarily out of the picture, could Congress and the White House ignore the Constitution, shutting down newspapers and locking up tea partiers or ACLU members?

    Apparently.

    “I have been fascinated by (Delaware GOP Senate candidate) Christine O’Donnell’s constitutional worldview …” Slate magazine senior editor Dahlia Lithwick confessed. O’Donnell had said in a debate, “When I go to Washington, D.C., the litmus test by which I cast my vote for every piece of legislation that comes across my desk will be whether or not it is constitutional.”

    To which Lithwick, a former appellate law clerk, Stanford Law grad and widely cited expert on the Supreme Court, responded, “How weird is that, I thought. Isn’t it a court’s job to determine whether or not something is, in fact, constitutional? And isn’t that sort of provided for in, well, the Constitution?”

    Newsweek’s Ben Adler was aghast at the clause in the GOP’s Pledge to America that Republicans will provide a “citation of constitutional authority” for every proposed piece of legislation. “We have a mechanism for assessing the constitutionality of legislation, which is the independent judiciary,” Adler wrote. “An extraconstitutional attempt to limit the powers of Congress is dangerous even as a mere suggestion, and it constitutes an encroachment on the judiciary.”

    A progressive blogger, meanwhile, writes in U.S. News & World Report that such talk of requiring constitutionality is “just plain wacky.”

    Before we get to the historical niceties, a question:

    Does anyone, anywhere, think legislators should vote for legislation they think is unconstitutional? Anyone? Anyone?

    How about presidents? Should they sign such legislation into law?

    Yet, according to this creepy logic, there’s no reason for congressmen to pass, obey or even consider the supreme law of the land. Re-impose slavery? Sure! Let’s see if we can catch the Supreme Court asleep at the switch. Nationalize the TV stations? Establish a king? Kill every first-born child? Why not? It ain’t unconstitutional until the Supreme Court says so!

    And of course, that means the president can’t veto legislation because it’s unconstitutional, because that’s apparently not his job. Wouldn’t want to “encroach” on the judiciary!

    Of course, reasonable people understand how absurd all of this is.

    There’s nothing in the Constitution — nothing! — that says the Supreme Court is the final or sole arbiter of what is or is not constitutional.

    Nor is there anything in Marbury v. Madison, the Supreme Court case that famously established judicial review. Nor is there in Cooper v. Aaron, the 1958 case in which the court ruled that its findings are the law of the land.

    George Washington vetoed an apportionment bill in 1792 because it was unconstitutional. What was he thinking? If only he had a Ben Adler around to tell him what a fool he was.

    Andrew Jackson vetoed the reauthorization of the national bank in 1832 because he believed it was unconstitutional. He added at the time that, “It is as much the duty of the House of Representatives, of the Senate, and of the President to decide upon the constitutionality of any bill or resolution which may be presented to them for passage or approval as it is of the supreme judges when it may be brought before them for judicial decision.”

    “Even the Supreme Court has never claimed that it is the only branch with the power or duty to interpret the Constitution,” says Jeff Sikkenga, a constitutional historian at Ashland University’s Ashbrook Center. “In fact, it has said that certain constitutional questions like war and peace are left to the political branches to decide.”

    The debate over whether the courts are the final word on the Constitution is more than 200 years old. The debate over whether they are the sole arbiter of constitutionality is extremely recent and extremely silly.

    But it’s also necessary because too many politicians — in both parties — have abdicated their most solemn duty: to support and defend the U.S. Constitution. George W. Bush signed campaign finance reform even though he thought much of it was unconstitutional. Nancy Pelosi thinks the Constitution has as much relevance as a pet rock. When asked if the health-care bill was Constitutional, her perpetually wide-open eyes grew perceptibly wider as she incredulously asked, “Are you serious?”

    The real issue is quite simple. If more politicians were faithful to the Constitution, the government would be restrained. And restraining government is “weird,” “wacky” and “dangerous” to so many liberals today.

    (C) 2010 Tribune Media Services, Inc.

    ——————————————————————————–

    • So all that needs to happen is every person agree on which interpretation of The Constitution is the one which will be used? How easy! Why in the world didn’t someone think of that sooner? Maybe as soon as this is completed we should move along to The Bible and get that agreement too! /sarcasm

      • Zippy

        P.S. If you can’t copy-and-paste the link to Duke University, try using, ya know, search engines.

        This is more unfortunate proof that too many people regard off-the-cuff opinion and misinformed blathering as equivalent to fact.

        Not that I’ve never been wrong about a fact. But at least I care about not being wrong.

    • Zippy

      I’m not sure where this cut-and-paste originated, nor do I particularly care.

      6 is the resident lawyer, but this one is a no-brainer.

      Marbury v. Madison (1803). “It is emphatically the province and duty of the judicial department to say what the law is.

      http://www.law.duke.edu/publiclaw/supremecourtonline/editedcases
      /pdf/marvmad.pdf

      Yes, there are radically legal theorists (some sitting on the Court) who would like to overturn that decision, but without saying so.

      But it’s still–at present–the operating principle, even when you or I don’t like the outcome.

  5. itolduso

    So all that needs to happen is every person agree on which interpretation of The Constitution is the one which will be used

    DOes the article even say that? NO.

    Whatever.

    • I said it! There it is — date and time stamped. I didn’t feel limited to reposting only what the article said, so posted my first thoughts, my interpretation of the article. Imagine that! Differing thoughts and interpretations!

  6. tosmarttobegop

    It is a valid point though ITOLDYOUSO, the Constitution is kind of like the Bible.
    Given to four different people you can end up with four different understandings.

    The old “What did they mean by the word What?”.

    Some times I wonder if the SCOTUS even has a good understanding of what was meant.
    When they decided that Emanate Domain could be used by a governing body to take away private property for A privately own developer to use it for a commercial and for profit venture.

    An example being if the developer wanted to build a strip mall where your home is that the city can use Emanate domain to take your house and then sell the land to the developer so he can build the strip mall.

    The recent decision that Corporations have the same Constitutional rights as a living and breathing American. When it comes to Political contributions. It belittles you and me as citizens and persons of human being.

    But then that is my understanding of what the Constitution is about.

    The disagreements are not the matters of the main tenets of the Constitution it is those areas that are not plainly spelled out within it. That latest question of using the interstate commerce clause to force everyone to have health insurance is the classic example.

    I often accuse the Government of using it to gain control of things that they normally could have nothing to do with. Kind of like: We want of have power over lighters and the lighter is blue.
    The sky is also blue and it stretches between state lines so therefore we have control over lighters!

    • To get those lighters out of the realm of interstate commerce every part of the lighter would have to be manufactured legally within the state, none of the components could cross state lines.

  7. In the state of Kansas, any crime committed which involves a firearm can become a federal case because there are no firearms, and in fact no ammunition, that are legally manufactured in Kansas. Thus, the firearm (and ammunition) crossed state lines to get here. That doesn’t mean all crimes involving the use of a firearm have federal charges brought, only that they could.

  8. itolduso

    “In the state of Kansas, any crime committed which involves a firearm can become a federal case because there are no firearms, and in fact no ammunition, that are legally manufactured in Kansas”

    Source please

    • It’s one of the many things I learned during my 18 months service on a federal grand jury.

      • itolduso

        that doesn;t sound right to me, but I guess it could be. Using that same argument, I guess, any crime committed with a vehicle could be considered a federal case? or is it only Firearms. How about baseball bats, or ice picks, or knives?

        There are however, both guns and ammunition legally made in the state of Kansas. Custom made to be sure, but still made in Kansas.

      • With any luck 6176 will point us in the direction for information or a source you may trust.

        No crimes committed with a vehicle, an ice pick or a baseball bat were presented during the 18 months I served. There was one where the blade of the knife was too long to be legal. I don’t remember the details on that one tho. There were lots and lots where the crime was charged at the federal level due to the firearm traveling in interstate commerce.

      • We were told by the federal prosecutors that no guns or ammunition were legally manufactured in the state of Kansas.

  9. itolduso

    WEll, thanks for the information

  10. Zippy

    P.P.S. I messed up the thread “reply” level.

    I did it wrong.

  11. itolduso

    ZIppy-

    If you understood Marbury, you would understand why you are wrong, in the context of what I posted. But do go ahead.

    Whatever.

  12. A few comments:

    The ‘use of a firearm’ cases being chargeable on the federal level would be the result of specific federal statutes, relying on the Commerce Clause for their constitutional validity. Kansas would also have jurisdiction, and the decision to charge federally would lie within the province of the U.S. Attorney’s office.

    @Zippy; while the principle of Marbury seems basic today, it was considered to be quite radical “back in the day”. The English tradition of judicial review, which was felt by many to be basis for the jurisdictional grant to the Supreme Court by Congress from the beginning, was limited in scope and nature to whether the law in question had been properly adopted. The concept of a court having the power to declare a law otherwise properly (think form) adopted unconstitutional was not a part of the American jurisprudence until Chief Justice Marshall announced it in Marbury. I feel that he was the first, and remains still, the most prominent example of an “activist judge”. 🙂

    @itoldyouso; I understand (I think) what you were posting; I also understand Zippy’s interpretation thereof, which is not what you meant, but is not unreasonable. I would also point out that the use of an automobile could be the basis for the federal courts being granted jurisdiction over certain crimes by Congress should it choose to do so, but it hasn’t (yet).

  13. Zippy

    I guess I missed the point, and probably a lot of context. My bad.

    But as to the question of what is “necessary and proper” under the Congressional clauses, Marbury doesn’t really even address that issue. I think Justice Brandeis’ dissent in Olmstead v. United States nicely sums the reality on that one.

    As for the point that the political branches have a duty to protect and defend, uhm, yeah, that’s true. So I agree with that. That’s what they have legislative staff (among other things). And they can still get it wrong.

    I do disagree the with Republican “constitutional test” proposals, because they spent so much time ignoring the Constitution when Bush was president, thus I suspect it’s not really a constitutional test but a way to pre-kill legislation.

    And when Congress overreaches, the courts–when they’re doing their job, and they don’t always–push back. I, however, am very concerned about the activist push for Executive and corporate power on the current Court so, perhaps, Jefferson’s suspicion of judges is being vindicated. Yet at the same time, I cannot ignore the numerous instances when courts vindicated the rights of citizens as the political branches fell silent.

    Keeping the balance is the issue.

    And by the way, 6, radical or not, Marbury, you would have to agree, was the classic case of a case/controversy in need a separate decisive arbiter (i.e. a conflict between the previous administration and the new one). It had to happen, sooner or later.

    And activist or not,it established a bedrock principle of separation of powers–even though Jefferson and Madison were on the losing side.

  14. 6176746f6c6c65

    Zippy,

    I agree with your final two paragraphs above. I have always found it interesting to listen to complaints about “activist judges” when the complaint is, for the most part, the court didn’t agree with the position of the complainer. These complaints are usually accompanied with comments about “strict interpretation” (or words of similar import) of the Constitution, apparently in ignorance of the fact that the interpretation function exists, in main part, due to Marshall’s opinion; a truly “activist judge”.