Friday, June 17, 2011

Overheard at Table 2

Heard a debate on Pacifica Radio last night, between Kucinich and some other guy, and it was all aboutKucinich bringing the lawsuit against Obama over the War Powers Act and the bombing in Libya and at first I was all against the other guy, but really, as the debate went on, I could kind of see the points on both sides, you see . . .

it's like this: there's a debate over whether the War Powers Act is even constitutional, because it is the Legislative branch inserting itself into the Executive branch. That's the debate. Now, the Constitution clearly states that Congress, and only Congress, has the power to declare war. But the debate comes as to whether any military conflict is war, or whether just an all out "we hate this country" is a war. Because the Constitution does give the President the power to use the military for protection of the citizens from outside attack.

I think the problem lies in giving the President enough power to protect but not enough to abuse. That's always been the problem. Look at it: we got scarred by Vietnam, and I don't think we've ever recovered. We had military in that country for over four presidents, and not one declaration from Congress. That's why the War Powers Act came out in 1973, to make sure that doesn't happen again.

Then there's the whole "What did the Framers want?" speech, which I think is fine, to a point, because all in all, they're dead. Harsh to say, I know, but we are the ones living here now and we are the ones with the responsibility to maintain an ordered and protective society. Not them. They gave us the blueprint, and we're still building the building.

But then you get into the whole "is the Constitution the Word of God or a blueprint for growth," because there are some who want to see it like the Sermon on the Mount, or the stone tablets with the Ten Commandments or even the Bible itself, and then there are rational human beings who realize that the perfection of the Constitution was the built in ability to amend the darn thing without having to start over from scratch.

And the only reason I mention it is to show that we as a people keep waving our Constitution around like its some God-given right without ever knowing that just by doing that, we are creating the environment in which we will never be able to draw any mature, clear answers to our conflicts.

So, still, it's an interesting debate, and actually I think that's why the Founding Fathers gave us a Judicial Branch - to settle the disputes between the other two.

Let's hope they come to a better understanding than we have.

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