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Retread
06-03-2012, 08:05 PM
"Advocating the adoption of the new Constitution drafted in Philadelphia, the authors of “The Federalist Papers” mocked the “imbecility” of the weak central government created by the Articles of Confederation."

Opinion Piece (http://campaignstops.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/05/28/our-imbecilic-constitution/)

I'm making no comments yet buy await other views.

Rockntractor
06-03-2012, 08:25 PM
Why do they bitch about the constitution, they ignore it, work around it and reinterpret it in ways that a child could easily see it doesn't mean. If it was actually followed at its original intent and meaning they would find out it wasn't such a bad idea after all.

Articulate_Ape
06-03-2012, 08:36 PM
"Advocating the adoption of the new Constitution drafted in Philadelphia, the authors of “The Federalist Papers” mocked the “imbecility” of the weak central government created by the Articles of Confederation."

Opinion Piece (http://campaignstops.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/05/28/our-imbecilic-constitution/)

I'm making no comments yet buy await other views.

Have you read the Federalist Papers? I have and I cry BS. Read them and see what conclusion you come to. There existed a lively debate about the role of the Federal/Union government. At the end of the day, the ONLY doubts about our Constitution and the united government it formed were based upon whether such a government could survive.

My signature encapsulates the sentiment of many of the framers at the time.

ThinkingBig
06-03-2012, 08:47 PM
"Advocating the adoption of the new Constitution drafted in Philadelphia, the authors of “The Federalist Papers” mocked the “imbecility” of the weak central government created by the Articles of Confederation."



Nobody complained about weak central government after 9/11.


Strangely, too few people complained about weak a financial regulatory and oversight system during the summer / fall of 2008.


We're just never happy.:frown-new:

FlaGator
06-03-2012, 08:58 PM
The Articles of Confederation are not the same thing as the Constitution. The Articles of Confederation, I believe, did put most of the power in the states hands and created a rather emasculated (so to speak) centralized government.

Apache
06-03-2012, 09:02 PM
http://lib.store.yahoo.net/lib/yhst-11870311283124/laugh-lblue.gif

fixed for accuracy

Zeus
06-03-2012, 09:19 PM
The Articles of Confederation are not the same thing as the Constitution. The Articles of Confederation, I believe, did put most of the power in the states hands and created a rather emasculated (so to speak) centralized government.

What the Articles of Confederation lacked was an encapsulating federal Authority binding the several states together.

Rockntractor
06-03-2012, 10:00 PM
Strangely, too few people complained about weak a financial regulatory and oversight system during the summer / fall of 2008.


We're just never happy.:frown-new:

If you are unable to discuss the topic play somewhere else.

DumbAss Tanker
06-03-2012, 10:19 PM
Look at it empirically, if the Articles had been working, there never would have been enough states willing to ratify the Constitution.

Problems from the Confederation days are exactly why the Constitution requires comity (the recognition of judicial decisions in one state by the other states) and prohibits interstate tariffs. If we had fought the War of 1812 under the Articles, Britain would basically have been fighting 15 petty principalities with a questionably-reliable mutual defense pact, and the Constitution-class frigates that took the war to them so effectively would in all likelihood never have been built.

Retread
06-04-2012, 10:59 PM
So everybody read the paragraph but no one read the article. The expected replies were posted. Now here is what you did not read:

May 28, 2012, 8:36 pm
Our Imbecilic Constitution
By SANFORD LEVINSON

Advocating the adoption of the new Constitution drafted in Philadelphia, the authors of “The Federalist Papers” mocked the “imbecility” of the weak central government created by the Articles of Confederation.

Nearly 225 years later, critics across the spectrum call the American political system dysfunctional, even pathological. What they don’t mention, though, is the role of the Constitution itself in generating the pathology.

Ignore, for discussion’s sake, the clauses that helped to entrench chattel slavery until it was eliminated by a brutal Civil War. Begin with the Senate and its assignment of equal voting power to California and Wyoming; Vermont and Texas; New York and North Dakota. Consider that, although a majority of Americans since World War II have registered opposition to the Electoral College, we will participate this year in yet another election that “battleground states” will dominate while the three largest states will be largely ignored.

Our vaunted system of “separation of powers” and “checks and balances” — a legacy of the founders’ mistrust of “factions” — means that we rarely have anything that can truly be described as a “government.” Save for those rare instances when one party has hefty control over four branches — the House of Representatives, the Senate, the White House and the Supreme Court — gridlock threatens. Elections are increasingly meaningless, at least in terms of producing results commensurate with the challenges facing the country.

But if one must choose the worst single part of the Constitution, it is surely Article V, which has made our Constitution among the most difficult to amend of any in the world. The last truly significant constitutional change was the 22nd Amendment, added in 1951, to limit presidents to two terms. The near impossibility of amending the national Constitution not only prevents needed reforms; it also makes discussion seem futile and generates a complacent denial that there is anything to be concerned about.
Why is our government so dysfunctional? Look back to 1787.

It was not always so. In the election of 1912, two presidents — past and future — seriously questioned the adequacy of the Constitution. Theodore Roosevelt would have allowed Congress to override Supreme Court decisions invalidating federal laws, while Woodrow Wilson basically supported a parliamentary system and, as president, tried to act more as a prime minister than as an agent of Congress. The next few years saw the enactment of amendments establishing the legitimacy of the federal income tax, direct election of senators, Prohibition and women’s right to vote.

No such debate is likely to take place between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney. They, like most contemporary Americans, have seemingly lost their capacity for thinking seriously about the extent to which the Constitution serves us well. Instead, the Constitution is enveloped in near religious veneration. (Indeed, Mormon theology treats it as God-given.)

What might radical reform mean?

We might look to the 50 state constitutions, most of which are considerably easier to amend. There have been more than 230 state constitutional conventions; each state has had an average of almost three constitutions. (New York, for example, is on its fifth Constitution, adopted in 1938.) This year Ohioans will be voting on whether to call a new constitutional convention; its Constitution, like 13 others, including New York’s, gives voters the chance to do so at regular intervals, typically 20 years.

Another reform would aim to fix Congressional gridlock. We could permit each newly elected president to appoint 50 members of the House and 10 members of the Senate, all to serve four-year terms until the next presidential election. Presidents would be judged on actual programs, instead of hollow rhetoric.

If enhanced presidential power seems too scary, then the solution might lie in reducing, if not eliminating, the president’s power to veto legislation and to return to true bicameralism, instead of the tricameralism we effectively operate under. We might allow deadlocks between the two branches of Congress to be broken by, say, a supermajority of the House or of Congress voting as a whole.

One might also be inspired by the states to allow at least some aspects of direct democracy. California — the only state with a constitution more dysfunctional than that of the United States — allows constitutional amendment at the ballot box. Maine, more sensibly, allows its citizenry to override legislation they deem objectionable. Might we not be far better off to have a national referendum on “Obamacare” instead of letting nine politically unaccountable judges decide?

Even if we want to preserve judicial review of national legislation, something Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr. believed could be dispensed with, perhaps we should emulate North Dakota or Nebraska, which require supermajorities of their court to invalidate state legislation. Why shouldn’t the votes of, say, seven of the nine Supreme Court justices be required to overturn national legislation?

Or consider the fact that almost all states have rejected the model of judges nominated by the president and then confirmed by the Senate. Most state judges are electorally accountable in some way, and almost all must retire at a given age. Many states have adopted commissions to limit the politicization of the appointment process.

What was truly admirable about the framers was their willingness to critique, indeed junk, the Articles of Confederation. One need not believe that the Constitution of 1787 should be discarded in quite the same way to accept that we are long overdue for a serious discussion about its own role in creating the depressed (and depressing) state of American politics.

Sanford Levinson, a professor of law and government at the University of Texas, Austin, is the author of “Framed: America’s 51 Constitutions and the Crisis of Governance.”

------------------------------------

As an aside - I wouldn't wish the Texas constitution on anyone. There are numerous constitutional amendments every election as there is no other real way to get a law in place except to amend tit.

NJCardFan
06-04-2012, 11:39 PM
Ignore, for discussion’s sake, the clauses that helped to entrench chattel slavery until it was eliminated by a brutal Civil War. Begin with the Senate and its assignment of equal voting power to California and Wyoming; Vermont and Texas; New York and North Dakota. Consider that, although a majority of Americans since World War II have registered opposition to the Electoral College, we will participate this year in yet another election that “battleground states” will dominate while the three largest states will be largely ignored.

I take it this Levinson considers himself a scholar and maybe even a Constitutional expert. If he does, then he doesn't get the reason for the electoral college. He mentions at the end of the above paragraph that larger states go relatively ignored on the presidential election stage while some smaller "battleground" states have strong influence. Well, that's the freaking point. If the popular vote was used to elect the president then California, NY, Pa., Mass., would dominate every election. The Founders didn't want that and we don't have that today. If we used the popular vote, Ohio, Florida, or Michigan wouldn't matter.

DumbAss Tanker
06-05-2012, 09:45 AM
So everybody read the paragraph but no one read the article.

Kind of a 'No, duh!' moment there. This isn't 'The Retread Blog,' so very few of us are going to spend time haring off after links anyone puts in a post to see what a poster was really trying to say, we're going to go with what you actually put up here.

As far as the Texas Constitution goes, a Texan friend once described it to me as having been written by a bunch of guys with a whole lot of whiskey writing down everything they thought there ought to be a law about and then calling it a 'Constitution.'

Retread
06-05-2012, 06:38 PM
Kind of a 'No, duh!' moment there. This isn't 'The Retread Blog,' so very few of us are going to spend time haring off after links anyone puts in a post to see what a poster was really trying to say, we're going to go with what you actually put up here.

As far as the Texas Constitution goes, a Texan friend once described it to me as having been written by a bunch of guys with a whole lot of whiskey writing down everything they thought there ought to be a law about and then calling it a 'Constitution.'

Never meant to offend but I was taught never to post an article that is copyrighted in toto but excerpting was legal. If the law has changed, I had not heard.

I agree fully in re: the Texas Constitution but even more on the requirement of amending it semi-annually.

All I was looking for is a discussion of the pros and cons of a constitutional convention for the country.

I promised personal thoughts in the OP so here 'tis.

Not on your life. In the current environment the document would be gutted by the activity - mostly by DU types with some level of power.

And NJ is perfectly right re: the college. The actions by states choosing how to cast those votes due from the state are causing problems but it is the state's right to choose how that action occurs.

DumbAss Tanker
06-05-2012, 11:13 PM
No bad intent in my comment, by the way, hope it didn't offend.

Some sources are very touchy about quoting even a single paragraph intact (Like AP), and the 'Fair Use Doctrine' in US copyright law is extremely vague, so unless you're dealing with AP articles, most boards have a three-paragraph rule in their TOS, this one used to but I haven't looked it up since SR and SLW took over so I'm not posititve it still says exactly that.

I agree that a Constitutional Convention would probably turn into a total Charlie Foxtrot and we'd end up with either an absolutely unworkable disaster or, probably worse, a third of the population getting an extra Christmas that year at the expense of another one-third, who would be screwed, utterly disaffected, and enraged at the result.