Constitutional “What ifs”


The following is from the inspired pen of one Francis W. Porretto, major domo over at Eternity Road. Not only is he one of the “good guys”, he is one of the few who “get it”. (To be sure, the “Curmudgeon Emeritus”, who resides at the same web address, might take some exception to the above, however, who else would put up with his asserbic wit, while keeping him grounded at the same time. But that is a lively debate for another time and place.)

Fran posits the following …

Okay: we’re envisioning a return to the vast freedom originally promised by the Constitution, when and as it was written, minus the protection it afforded the institution of slavery. What would result? What would John Q. Public, and any associations of which he’s a part, do with that degree of freedom?

I’m not speaking of J.Q.’s ancestors from colonial times; I want answers pertinent to our contemporary milieu. What would Americans of the year of Our Lord 2010 do with the restoration of their birthright of liberty? Would there be large changes in:

The day-to-day life of a typical American family?
Americans’ relations with their neighbors and local institutions?
Americans’ patterns of sustenance and employment?
The economic makeup of the United States — the percent of commerce dominated and Americans employed by Fortune 1000 corporations, for instance?
Our demographics, for example the rate at which we bear children?
Our savings rate?
Our indulgence in the various pleasures and vices?

Source: Eternity Road

Take the time to re-read the above. Let it sink in, really sink in. I had to do this a number of times. This is one of the reasons why this post is somewhat tardy (well, that, work, and familial obligations), it is not as simple as it looks. And yet, yes it is.

Let’s take it from the beginning.

“I want answers pertinent to our contemporary milieu. What would Americans of the year of Our Lord 2010 do with the restoration of their birthright of liberty?”

The simple overall answer to this would be; assuming we had leadership on par with that which existed in Colonial America, it might be easier than we think. Remember the majority of folks who supported the Colonials was not all that large to begin with, certainly those who actively took part in the revolution either as “citizen solders” or held political office (and sided with same) were no more than 3 percent (the three percenters) at any given time. Yet, at the end of the day, once the war was won, and the process of the establishing a new Constitution was at hand “all of a sudden” the majority of the new American peoples embraced same. Granted, I am paraphrasing here big time, but the fact remains, once the heavy lifting was successfully completed, the majority fell in behind it. In other words, if the leaders are there … the sheepdogs are again in charge, the sheep will follow.

This is not to imply, unlike our progressive antagonists believe, that just because people in general are followers (sheep, if you will) they are automatically cowardly, or unable to rise to any given occasion. Not everyone is a “Frodo”, or “Gandalf”. Some are “Sams”. But who can argue that when the need arose, Sam showed courage and bravery far beyond what could be expected of any “sheep”.

So the short answer is, yes it could be done, and done successfully.

Let’s take a deeper look.

Taking steps in restoring our government to conform to the Constitution as written, throughout all aspects of agencies and actions, even in the best of times, would be a labor befitting Hercules.  It would certainly be as daunting as any Aegean stable, and no doubt the stench would be as familiar.

And let’s assume we have 20-20% of the press in agreement with us, over and above Fox news, Limbaugh, Hannety, Levin, et all. I know that borders on fantasy, but it does be the alternative; gutting the current press to such an extent as it literally having to start over.  This would include print, television, and radio outlets.  The reason I bring this up?  Well, the public has a need to be able to at least understand as objectively as possible what is happening in the government.  And in this case, there is going to bea lot happening.)

Okay, getting back to our government.

1. All “alphabet agencies” not expressly provided for by the Constitution, are to be disbanded.  Period.

ATF/DEA gone.  The second amendment shall not be infringed, any other vice these fellas addressed, well really is there anything they are tackling which couldn’t be handled by either state, or local law enforcement, or the FBI.  (The FBI would be kept, but would also be subject to approval by Constitutional amendment.  It would stay in place until such time as said amendment was passed, or disbanded [I believe that would be unlikely] if said amendment failed.)

HUD/FDA/HHS/DHS say buh bye.  DHS in and of itself, is not needed.  Though some sort of specific law should be in place, requiring all LEO and Security Agencies (FBI/CIA, various military security agencies/groups) to share their information.  Need to know would be done with NO red tape,  You do not need an agency to administer same.  Oh, and the same thing goes for the CIA that applied to the FBI above, it would stay in place until such time as an amendment to the Constitution passed or failed.  (If failed, other agencies would take up the slack.)

In fact all the “alphabets” are either done away with directly, or are to remain in place until such time as their fate is decided by amendment.

2. All cabinet posts, save those already granted by the Constitution are devolved.  If any are desired to be brought back they have to pass Constitutional amendment muster.  (Are you starting to see a trend here?)  Needless to say, all Czars are history.  The President may have “advisors”, who do not hold any official position or official status,  but the days of extraconstitutional appointments ends now.

3. ANY member of the President’s cabinet, his administration, the Vice President and his staff, the Senate, Congress, SCOTUS, the State Department, the Justice Department, and all others who swore an oath to uphold, protect, and defend the Constitutionas written (no more of this “living document” crap),  who are found not to have done so, will be at the very least, released immediately from their job/position, and will not be able to hold any future office of any nature at any level.  At worst they will be either shot or hung by the neck until dead.

4. Term Limits will be incorporated into the Constitution, by amendment as soon as possible.  You can serve one term as a congressman, Senator, two terms as Vice President and two terms as President, and that’s all folks.  There will no longer be a need for a Congressional or Senatorial retirement package.  Four or Six years does not entitle anyone to such an extravagance.  Same goes for health coverage, or any other perk, outside of the potential for security details as given situations may warrant. The lone exception is the office of the President, shall be given a severance package (you can call it a retirement if you like) and shall maintain a security detail for as long as the former office holder elects to keep it.

5. All persons aspiring to hold elective office will be granted a predetermined amount of air time (radio and television), and ad space in the print media.  The cost for same will be an allowable deduction for the media organizations involved against their gross worth at the end of that reporting year.  All individuals will have the same amount of time allotted to them.  Those who make it beyond the primary stage, will be given additional amounts of time.  This shall be enacted into law and or amended to the Constitution.

Granted items 4 and 5 are not something which would be readily apparent as something happening if we “return to our Constitutional roots”.  The founding fathers had some concern about term limits, but they figured no one in their right minds would want to serve more than one term at any office.  But times being what they are these days, this may be about the only real check and balance we have in helping to hold down the amount of corruption going on.

Item 5 allows for the “common man” to run for office on the same footing as his more well heeled brother.  And would hopefully break up the “good ol’ boy network” of lawyers, political science majors, rich kids, sons of rich kids, and those who have been bought and paid for by this or that group.  They might still end up returning, but their numbers would be considerably smaller, especially if they could only serve one term.)

And on this note, I will call it a night for now.

This (now) being part one, part two will address the specific instances given by Fran at the beginning of this bit of long windedness.  Hopefully, that will be up tomorrow night.

And thanks again Fran for allowing me to grab a bit of your verbiage.

So what say all you good people here.  How do you feel or think the country would fare if the government was held to Constitutional accountability? And what needs to lead up to that point?

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3 Comments

Filed under Constitution, Politics, Random Thoughts

3 responses to “Constitutional “What ifs”

  1. I agree with much of what you say, especially about the term limits. Although, I would say that representatives should either be allowed to serve two terms, or the term should be lengthened to four years. In two years, you’re doing nothing more than getting your feet wet. But four years would be it, then you’re gone.

    In essence, the only real power the federal government should have, according to my understanding of the Constitution, would be acting as a mediator between the states, and making a decision on those matters. Bills or amendments to bills that would affect only one state would be strictly prohibited by law, and any senator/representative who presents such a bill or amendment would be summarily be dismissed from Congress, and that state would have to appoint a replacement. Thus, no more “bridges to nowhere”.

  2. Of course, the federal government should provide for the defense of the entire nation. I didn’t add that in my last post, as I was only addressing the topic of bills or legislation that the feds should be allowed to pass.

  3. CF, thanks for stoping by!

    Your comment about the term limits is addressed in the next post, and is a very valid point. As far as the federal government acting as mediator in the affairs of the various states, I like that. Certainly there is a history of that (the Whiskey Rebellion comes to mind). Though there are responsibilities given to the feds, as spelled out in the Constitution, which effect the country as a whole (defense comes to mind here), which are not restricted to the states. Though having legitimate “State militias” which are answerable only to the respective states, vice how the National Guard and various Reserve components, can be “taken over” by the feds at any given time, would also be something whose time has come (again).

    As far as legislation being restricted, I would go with a requirement that ALL legislation has to pass “constitutional muster”. This could be done after the final draft of any given bill is completed. Have it sent to SCOTUS, let them give it a “go” or “no go” and be done with it. I can not think of any off the top of my head, but there may be a case, or cases, where a bill which effects a specific area or State may be needed from the federal level, so the above would address ALL legislation, and take care of the concern across the board.

    Sorry for not responding sooner, between work, and trying to get “part 2” of this beast out, I have been away from the comments.

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