Monday, March 28, 2011

History Repeating Itself--Again

Newton Leroy Gingrich is trying really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, REALLY hard to be a candidate for president. According to Politico, Gingrich had this to say before thousands of evangelical Christians yesterday.

"I have two grandchildren — Maggie is 11, Robert is 9," Gingrich said at Cornerstone Church here. "I am convinced that if we do not decisively win the struggle over the nature of America, by the time they're my age they will be in a secular atheist country, potentially one dominated by radical Islamists and with no understanding of what it once meant to be an American."

Can he make recognizing nonsense any easier? Gingrich says we'll be in a "secular atheist country". Secular means not pertaining to or connected to religion. And an atheist doesn't believe in supreme beings. Yet somehow it could be dominated by radical Islamists. Islam is--wait for it--a religion. Apparently Gingrich thinks that to be on right side of a group evangelical Christians, he needs to tell them he's against secularism, atheists, and Islam.

As to Mr Gingrich's reference to what it once meant to be an American, I would recommend he read Commentaries on the Constitution, written by former Supreme Court Justice Joseph Story back in 1833.

Here's a paragraph concerning Article VI of the U.S. Constitution--I bet Gingrich has one in his pocket--which includes "But no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States." (Bolding is mine.)

§ 1841. The remaining part of the clause declares, that "no religious test shall ever be required, as a "qualification to any office or public trust, under the United States." This clause is not introduced merely for the purpose of satisfying the scruples of many respectable persons, who feel an invincible repugnance to any religious test, or affirmation. It had a higher object; to cut off for ever every pretence of any alliance between church and state in the national government. The framers of the constitution were fully sensible of the dangers from this source, marked out in the history of other ages and countries; and not wholly unknown to our own. They knew, that bigotry was unceasingly vigilant in its stratagems, to secure to itself an exclusive ascendancy over the human mind; and that intolerance was ever ready to arm itself with all the terrors of the civil power to exterminate those, who doubted its dogmas, or resisted its infallibility.

Written so well almost 180 years ago. You can't say you weren't warned.


Anonymous said...

I can't see much difference between Democrats and Republicans on Constitutional questions.

Gingrich sounds like a bigot, but then again, at least he's questioned Obama's illegal war while (most) Democrats remain silent. Heck, even W. Bush went to Congress, granted he was lying all the way. Obama doesn't even deign to give a nod to the war powers clause.

Democrats remain silent as well on torture, rendition, and surveillance prosecutions, even as Obama goes to court to coverup and give immunity to the accused. Heck, Obama continues illegal surveillance and torture, and restarted the illegal kangaroo courts at Gitmo.

It's hard to focus on any villain, when the whole political system is no longer legitimate and wholly corrupt.

It's no use voting anymore, there aren't any real choices. Unless some sort of progressive movement can find a way to oppose both elite anti-constitutional parties, the US experiment in democracy is dead.

Hank Greer said...

Good point about the difference, or lack thereof, between Republicans and Democrats. People don't seem to care or notice that the Obama administration has continued many of the Bush-era policies. Drone missile attacks have been increased resulting in more "Sorry we killed your wife and kids" apologies. If you're suspected of leaking tons of State Dept cables to Wikileaks, you end up naked in solitary.

Anonymous said...

Yes, but the major difference has to be that Obama's Libyan war is a direct violation of the War Powers Clause of the US Constitution.

Neither AUMF nor the War Powers Act authorize the war, and notably Obama has made only feeble attempts to invoke the Act and none for AUMF. Of course, the Libyan regime was our GWOT partner only days ago.

Instead, Obama has laid out a novel and incredibly broad range of justifications for future Presidentially-declared wars.

Newt Gingrich views may be anti-American, but are protected First Amendment speech. He holds no office.

Obama swore to uphold the Constitution, but he has usurped the Constitutional authority for Congress to "declare War, grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal, and make Rules concerning Captures on Land and Water."

Obama declares the rules now. He just did, in his speech. He says he can even unilaterally declare war to defend "economic interests"-(of the elites, of course).

The most that Democrats have said is that Obama should have "consulted" Congress before unilaterally declaring war. Not according to the Constitution--the President is to execute the wars that Congress declares.

The elephant in the room is actually a Democrat.

Hank Greer said...

In taking military action against Libya, Obama appears to have bought into the idea of America being exceptional. Yet he's brought nothing new to the table when it comes to justifying military action. (And don't forget, he's on the radical far left--at least according to the talking heads.)

As to a possible violation of the War Powers Act, that's for Congress to decide and act upon and I don't see that happening. Their benefactors don't care about that. They want more money.

Anonymous said...

If Congress does nothing, Obama will have successfully carved out enormous new war-making powers for the Presidency far behind the War Powers Act.

And we the people will have no way to hold any leader accountable for war. We can't even know how our representatives would have voted on the war to inform our votes at election time.

Worse than Bush.