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Expanding Executive branch powers

DouglasDangerDouglasDanger PennsylvaniaRegistered User regular
edited December 2008 in Debate and/or Discourse
So George Bush did it again. The legislature never reached a conclusion with the auto bail out thing, so Bush went ahead with it anyway. How do you feel about expanding the power of the executive branch?

On one hand, I like the concept. Our legislature takes forever to actually do anything, is bogged down by special interests, adds pork to everything, etc. FDR and LBJ got shit done when they grabbed power. Huge transformations in the role of the entire government happened in months rather than generations.

On the other hand, our presidents are far from perfect. I really don't think a few dozen minds is necessarily better than a few hundred. We have had some terrible presidents-- presidents who were indecisive to the point of causing wars, presidents whose groupies robbed the country blind, just plain idiots, etc. I imagine we will have more bad presidents in the future.

So how do you feel about a strong(er) executive branch?

DouglasDanger on
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    RecklessReckless Registered User regular
    edited December 2008
    Keep the power the hell away from the executive.

    Reckless on
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    JebusUDJebusUD Adventure! Candy IslandRegistered User regular
    edited December 2008
    It is a terrible, terrible thing. We don't need an authoritarian state. I'm sure Mussolini got a lot done when he assumed power in Italy.

    JebusUD on
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    DouglasDangerDouglasDanger PennsylvaniaRegistered User regular
    edited December 2008
    Are you really saying FDR and LBJ were fascists, or have fascist legacies? Paulson pretty much being in charge of the economy is a worrying thing, and this proposed "car czar" thing sounds... corruptible.

    DouglasDanger on
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    KevinNashKevinNash Registered User regular
    edited December 2008
    Are you really saying FDR and LBJ were fascists, or have fascist legacies? Paulson pretty much being in charge of the economy is a worrying thing, and this proposed "car czar" thing sounds... corruptible.

    Yes. Lincoln too. He was the worst of the lot.

    KevinNash on
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    ThanatosThanatos Registered User regular
    edited December 2008
    KevinNash wrote: »
    Are you really saying FDR and LBJ were fascists, or have fascist legacies? Paulson pretty much being in charge of the economy is a worrying thing, and this proposed "car czar" thing sounds... corruptible.
    Yes. Lincoln too. He was the worst of the lot.
    Yeah, how dare he get in the way of the freedom-loving Confederacy? What a fucking tyrant.

    Thanatos on
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    KevinNashKevinNash Registered User regular
    edited December 2008
    Thanatos wrote: »
    KevinNash wrote: »
    Are you really saying FDR and LBJ were fascists, or have fascist legacies? Paulson pretty much being in charge of the economy is a worrying thing, and this proposed "car czar" thing sounds... corruptible.
    Yes. Lincoln too. He was the worst of the lot.
    Yeah, how dare he get in the way of the freedom-loving Confederacy? What a fucking tyrant.

    He suspended Habeas Corpus and invaded the south. The ultimate outcome was positive, but the means in which he did it were authoritarian.

    KevinNash on
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    RentRent I'm always right Fuckin' deal with itRegistered User regular
    edited December 2008
    The executive branch's powers have been greatly, greatly expanded under Bush II
    Look where that has put the country
    Yeeeeaaaaahhhhh

    Rent on
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    ThanatosThanatos Registered User regular
    edited December 2008
    KevinNash wrote: »
    Thanatos wrote: »
    KevinNash wrote: »
    Are you really saying FDR and LBJ were fascists, or have fascist legacies? Paulson pretty much being in charge of the economy is a worrying thing, and this proposed "car czar" thing sounds... corruptible.
    Yes. Lincoln too. He was the worst of the lot.
    Yeah, how dare he get in the way of the freedom-loving Confederacy? What a fucking tyrant.
    He suspended Habeas Corpus and invaded the south. The ultimate outcome was positive, but the means in which he did it were authoritarian.
    I'm not going to disagree with that, but the net result of Lincoln's actions as president was a huge increase in freedom in this country. Calling him "the worst of the lot" would seem to strongly imply that you think his overall actions were wrong, rather than merely disagreeing with his methodology.

    Thanatos on
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    KevinNashKevinNash Registered User regular
    edited December 2008
    Thanatos wrote: »
    KevinNash wrote: »
    Thanatos wrote: »
    KevinNash wrote: »
    Are you really saying FDR and LBJ were fascists, or have fascist legacies? Paulson pretty much being in charge of the economy is a worrying thing, and this proposed "car czar" thing sounds... corruptible.
    Yes. Lincoln too. He was the worst of the lot.
    Yeah, how dare he get in the way of the freedom-loving Confederacy? What a fucking tyrant.
    He suspended Habeas Corpus and invaded the south. The ultimate outcome was positive, but the means in which he did it were authoritarian.
    I'm not going to disagree with that, but the net result of Lincoln's actions as president was a huge increase in freedom in this country. Calling him "the worst of the lot" would seem to strongly imply that you think his overall actions were wrong, rather than merely disagreeing with his methodology.

    I think invading the South is all sorts of wrong. I think the war between the states was wrong. The end result: A unified country and the end of slavery (this was not one of Lincoln's goals mind you) was positive but I think we could have expected a unified country without the war, if only it took longer to achieve.

    KevinNash on
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    ThanatosThanatos Registered User regular
    edited December 2008
    KevinNash wrote: »
    Thanatos wrote: »
    I'm not going to disagree with that, but the net result of Lincoln's actions as president was a huge increase in freedom in this country. Calling him "the worst of the lot" would seem to strongly imply that you think his overall actions were wrong, rather than merely disagreeing with his methodology.
    I think invading the South is all sorts of wrong. I think the war between the states was wrong. The end result: A unified country and the end of slavery (this was not one of Lincoln's goals mind you) was positive but I think we could have expected a unified country without the war, if only it took longer to achieve.
    Given that Lincoln was a Republican, and one of the main planks of the Republican platform at the time was ending slavery, I think to say that ending slavery "was not one of Lincoln's goals" is pretty fantastically fucking ignorant.

    I mean, there are arguments to be made that it wasn't Lincoln's primary reason for fighting the war, but to say that it wasn't even a fucking consideration is a pretty ridiculously retarded statement. And the invasion of the South put an end to nullification and strong states' rights in this country, which has continued to be one of the most effective bulwarks against infringement on our freedoms since.

    Thanatos on
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    KevinNashKevinNash Registered User regular
    edited December 2008
    Thanatos wrote: »
    KevinNash wrote: »
    Thanatos wrote: »
    I'm not going to disagree with that, but the net result of Lincoln's actions as president was a huge increase in freedom in this country. Calling him "the worst of the lot" would seem to strongly imply that you think his overall actions were wrong, rather than merely disagreeing with his methodology.
    I think invading the South is all sorts of wrong. I think the war between the states was wrong. The end result: A unified country and the end of slavery (this was not one of Lincoln's goals mind you) was positive but I think we could have expected a unified country without the war, if only it took longer to achieve.
    Given that Lincoln was a Republican, and one of the main planks of the Republican platform at the time was ending slavery, I think to say that ending slavery "was not one of Lincoln's goals" is pretty fantastically fucking ignorant.

    I mean, there are arguments to be made that it wasn't Lincoln's primary reason for fighting the war, but to say that it wasn't even a fucking consideration is a pretty ridiculously retarded statement. And the invasion of the South put an end to nullification and strong states' rights in this country, which has continued to be one of the most effective bulwarks against infringement on our freedoms since.

    I consider it lip service to carry abolitionist votes at the time. Hell, even Union states had slaves and Lincoln wasn't going after them either.

    No, he wanted the southern states for their tax revenue, their cotton and their deals with Europe. Freeing the slaves was incidental.

    FDR backed us into a war too but at least he didn't invade a sovereign country that wanted nothing to do with us. Of course he was horrible for a variety of other reasons in expanding state power.

    KevinNash on
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    ThanatosThanatos Registered User regular
    edited December 2008
    KevinNash wrote: »
    Thanatos wrote: »
    KevinNash wrote: »
    Thanatos wrote: »
    I'm not going to disagree with that, but the net result of Lincoln's actions as president was a huge increase in freedom in this country. Calling him "the worst of the lot" would seem to strongly imply that you think his overall actions were wrong, rather than merely disagreeing with his methodology.
    I think invading the South is all sorts of wrong. I think the war between the states was wrong. The end result: A unified country and the end of slavery (this was not one of Lincoln's goals mind you) was positive but I think we could have expected a unified country without the war, if only it took longer to achieve.
    Given that Lincoln was a Republican, and one of the main planks of the Republican platform at the time was ending slavery, I think to say that ending slavery "was not one of Lincoln's goals" is pretty fantastically fucking ignorant.

    I mean, there are arguments to be made that it wasn't Lincoln's primary reason for fighting the war, but to say that it wasn't even a fucking consideration is a pretty ridiculously retarded statement. And the invasion of the South put an end to nullification and strong states' rights in this country, which has continued to be one of the most effective bulwarks against infringement on our freedoms since.
    I consider it lip service to carry abolitionist votes at the time. Hell, even Union states had slaves and Lincoln wasn't going after them either.

    No, he wanted the southern states for their tax revenue, their cotton and their deals with Europe. Freeing the slaves was incidental.

    FDR backed us into a war too but at least he didn't invade a sovereign country that wanted nothing to do with us. Of course he was horrible for a variety of other reasons in expanding state power.
    Yeah, you're right. Remember how hard Lincoln fought against the 13th amendment? Total lip service. Or... wait... no, that's right, Lincoln pre-conditioned readmission to the union on ratification of the 13th amendment. Huh, that's weird. I guess "lip service" must mean something different from what I thought it did.

    Lincoln never invaded a sovereign country. He invaded the Confederate States of America, which was attempting to use nullification and states' rights as an excuse to perpetuate slavery. As usual, "states' rights" is code for "we don't want the federal government protecting people's freedom in our state."

    Thanatos on
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    KageraKagera Imitating the worst people. Since 2004Registered User regular
    edited December 2008
    Well he DID want to send them all back to Africa.

    Hello Liberia!

    Kagera on
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    LoserForHireXLoserForHireX Philosopher King The AcademyRegistered User regular
    edited December 2008
    KevinNash wrote: »
    Thanatos wrote: »
    KevinNash wrote: »
    Are you really saying FDR and LBJ were fascists, or have fascist legacies? Paulson pretty much being in charge of the economy is a worrying thing, and this proposed "car czar" thing sounds... corruptible.
    Yes. Lincoln too. He was the worst of the lot.
    Yeah, how dare he get in the way of the freedom-loving Confederacy? What a fucking tyrant.

    He suspended Habeas Corpus and invaded the south. The ultimate outcome was positive, but the means in which he did it were authoritarian.

    Didn't he only do that in Maryland, mostly to prevent it from joining the confederacy?

    LoserForHireX on
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    ThanatosThanatos Registered User regular
    edited December 2008
    KevinNash wrote: »
    Thanatos wrote: »
    KevinNash wrote: »
    Are you really saying FDR and LBJ were fascists, or have fascist legacies? Paulson pretty much being in charge of the economy is a worrying thing, and this proposed "car czar" thing sounds... corruptible.
    Yes. Lincoln too. He was the worst of the lot.
    Yeah, how dare he get in the way of the freedom-loving Confederacy? What a fucking tyrant.
    He suspended Habeas Corpus and invaded the south. The ultimate outcome was positive, but the means in which he did it were authoritarian.
    Didn't he only do that in Maryland, mostly to prevent it from joining the confederacy?
    Maryland, Kentucky, Missouri, and Delaware, actually. I think DC had slavery, too.

    And like I said, he pretty much force-fed the 13th amendment to the country immediately after the Civil War. I don't see how people can say that Lincoln wasn't an abolitionist.

    Thanatos on
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    MatrijsMatrijs Registered User regular
    edited December 2008
    KevinNash wrote: »
    I think invading the South is all sorts of wrong. I think the war between the states was wrong. The end result: A unified country and the end of slavery (this was not one of Lincoln's goals mind you) was positive but I think we could have expected a unified country without the war, if only it took longer to achieve.

    You believe that secession was legal? To my mind, what we had there was literally treason. That's a word that gets thrown around a lot these days by right-wing radicals, but the Confederacy, it seems to me, fits the definition precisely. Lincoln, in turn, simply enforced the law - treason is illegal. He and his successors actually were more merciful than was required, really.

    Matrijs on
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    INeedNoSaltINeedNoSalt with blood on my teeth Registered User regular
    edited December 2008
    Thanatos wrote: »
    KevinNash wrote: »
    Thanatos wrote: »
    KevinNash wrote: »
    Are you really saying FDR and LBJ were fascists, or have fascist legacies? Paulson pretty much being in charge of the economy is a worrying thing, and this proposed "car czar" thing sounds... corruptible.
    Yes. Lincoln too. He was the worst of the lot.
    Yeah, how dare he get in the way of the freedom-loving Confederacy? What a fucking tyrant.
    He suspended Habeas Corpus and invaded the south. The ultimate outcome was positive, but the means in which he did it were authoritarian.
    Didn't he only do that in Maryland, mostly to prevent it from joining the confederacy?
    Maryland, Kentucky, Missouri, and Delaware, actually. I think DC had slavery, too.

    And like I said, he pretty much force-fed the 13th amendment to the country immediately after the Civil War. I don't see how people can say that Lincoln wasn't an abolitionist.

    I was taught that Lincoln's stance was that slavery was pretty much a moral travesty, that it was fucked up that a dude in the United States could work his whole life without ever having the opportunity to make something for himself.

    I was also taught that he thought it would be better just to send all of the black people back to Africa than let them work and make something of themselves in the United States, though.

    INeedNoSalt on
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    Dunadan019Dunadan019 Registered User regular
    edited December 2008
    back on topic.... wasn't it within paulsons power to grant the bailout anyway... so all bush did was say go ahead?

    sorry the op was kinda vague and most of the thread so far is off topic about lincoln and slaves...

    Dunadan019 on
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    Loren MichaelLoren Michael Registered User regular
    edited December 2008
    Authoritarian states would be fucking great if they didn't suffer from incompetence and corruption.

    Loren Michael on
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    KageraKagera Imitating the worst people. Since 2004Registered User regular
    edited December 2008
    Authoritarian states would be fucking great if they didn't suffer from incompetence and corruption.

    Everything would be perfect if the world just did what I said.

    PERFECT.

    Kagera on
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    JacobkoshJacobkosh Gamble a stamp. I can show you how to be a real man!Moderator mod
    edited December 2008
    KevinNash wrote: »
    Thanatos wrote: »
    KevinNash wrote: »
    Are you really saying FDR and LBJ were fascists, or have fascist legacies? Paulson pretty much being in charge of the economy is a worrying thing, and this proposed "car czar" thing sounds... corruptible.
    Yes. Lincoln too. He was the worst of the lot.
    Yeah, how dare he get in the way of the freedom-loving Confederacy? What a fucking tyrant.

    He suspended Habeas Corpus and invaded the south. The ultimate outcome was positive, but the means in which he did it were authoritarian.

    He "invaded" the south after they fired on United States soldiers and seized United States property.

    Jacobkosh on
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    Richard_DastardlyRichard_Dastardly Registered User regular
    edited December 2008
    jacobkosh wrote: »
    KevinNash wrote: »
    Thanatos wrote: »
    KevinNash wrote: »
    Are you really saying FDR and LBJ were fascists, or have fascist legacies? Paulson pretty much being in charge of the economy is a worrying thing, and this proposed "car czar" thing sounds... corruptible.
    Yes. Lincoln too. He was the worst of the lot.
    Yeah, how dare he get in the way of the freedom-loving Confederacy? What a fucking tyrant.

    He suspended Habeas Corpus and invaded the south. The ultimate outcome was positive, but the means in which he did it were authoritarian.

    He "invaded" the south after they fired on United States soldiers and seized United States property.

    After succeeding from the Union, which was constitutionally A-OK.

    Anyway, for some presidents expanding executive power had generally positive effects. However, we have a new president every 4-8 years, so do we really want to set the precedent that it's fine for the executive branch to overstep constitutional bondaries when deemed necessary?

    Edit: I'd much prefer a bumbling, ineffecient Congress to Mum-Ra the All-Powerful POTUS.

    Richard_Dastardly on
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    KalTorakKalTorak One way or another, they all end up in the Undercity.Registered User regular
    edited December 2008
    Can you really say you "invaded" your own country?

    KalTorak on
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    HachfaceHachface Not the Minister Farrakhan you're thinking of Dammit, Shepard!Registered User regular
    edited December 2008

    After succeeding from the Union, which was constitutionally A-OK.

    Highly debatable. The constitution contains no provisions for its own annulment.

    Hachface on
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    OptimusZedOptimusZed Registered User regular
    edited December 2008
    So how do you feel about a strong(er) executive branch?
    Bad.

    OptimusZed on
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    KageraKagera Imitating the worst people. Since 2004Registered User regular
    edited December 2008
    Hey guys, Dick Cheney, George Bush, Barack Obama, Emperor Palpatine.

    Patriot Act.

    Let's focus here now.

    Seriously though, Dick Cheney's interview was vein-popping fun. I just LOVE how flippant he is about fucking us over.

    Kagera on
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    OptimusZedOptimusZed Registered User regular
    edited December 2008
    Kagera wrote: »
    Seriously though, Dick Cheney's interview was vein-popping fun. I just LOVE how flippant he is about fucking us over.
    Why shouldn't he be? He could admit to fucking children on national T.V. and nobody would be surprised at this point.

    We're kind of on to all the evil shit he's been up to.

    OptimusZed on
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    zerg rushzerg rush Registered User regular
    edited December 2008
    Thanatos wrote: »
    And the invasion of the South put an end to nullification and strong states' rights in this country, which has continued to be one of the most effective bulwarks against infringement on our freedoms since.

    I think it's intellectually irresponsible to say that the end of strong states' rights is an unmitigated good result. The ending of nullification and strong states' rights ended up killing slavery. This was good. However state sovereignty was designed as a check against exactly the kinds of absurd power grabs the federal government has been doing in the last hundred years.

    It's hard to tell how much less totalitarian our government would be today if it weren't for the end of state sovereignty. Yeah, slavery might have lasted another decade or so in the south, along with a similar retardation of civil rights in those areas. However, you'd also see results ranging anywhere from a likely non-existence of the drug war, no unchecked expansion of the commerce clause, no more corn subsidies, to no offensive foreign military intervention on the more unlikely end of the scale. Hell, we might not even have a federal income tax if the Civil War hadn't occurred.


    Now I'm almost meandering into a discussion on alternate history. But returning to the topic at hand, this essentially paved the way for the expansion of federal and executive power. Naturally, how you feel on expanding the power of the federal government is going to highly bias the way you look at the end of strong states' rights. Besides, I'd be much happier to be in a country that didn't contain the confederate states; for every step forward blue America tries to take, they try and pull us back to the dark ages.

    zerg rush on
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    ThanatosThanatos Registered User regular
    edited December 2008
    zerg rush wrote: »
    Thanatos wrote: »
    And the invasion of the South put an end to nullification and strong states' rights in this country, which has continued to be one of the most effective bulwarks against infringement on our freedoms since.

    I think it's intellectually irresponsible to say that the end of strong states' rights is an unmitigated good result. The ending of nullification and strong states' rights ended up killing slavery. This was good. However state sovereignty was designed as a check against exactly the kinds of absurd power grabs the federal government has been doing in the last hundred years.

    It's hard to tell how much less totalitarian our government would be today if it weren't for the end of state sovereignty. Yeah, slavery might have lasted another decades or so in the south, along with a similar retardation of civil rights in those areas. However, you'd also results ranging anywhere from a likely non-existence of the drug war, no unchecked expansion of the commerce clause, no more corn subsidies, to no offensive foreign military intervention on the more unlikely end of the scale. Hell, we might not even have a federal income tax if the Civil War hadn't occurred.

    Now I'm almost meandering into a discussion on alternate history. But returning to the topic at hand, this essentially paved the way for the expansion of federal and executive power. Naturally, how you feel on expanding the power of the federal government is going to highly bias the way you look at the end of strong states rights. But it's not a cut-and-dried good or bad thing.

    Personally, I'm a big fan of birth control, controlling my own medical decisions, not being discriminated against on the basis of my race, religion, ethnicity, creed, disability, etc., having a 40-hour work week with labor protections, being free of the most heinous abuses of police power, being able to legally possess pornography, being able to have consenting sex in more or less whatever way I choose, being free from cruel and unusual punishment, being able to freely travel from one state to another, etc.

    That's a fairly short list of things I can think up off the top of my head. Off the top of my head, stupid things the federal government has done lately: drug war, farm subsidies, war on terror... And let's be honest, the war on terror has an international component--which would be handled by the feds anyhow if we still had strong states' rights--and a domestic component, the abuses of which don't even begin to approach the things the states used to do to their own citizens before the 1st, 4th, and 5th amendments were rolled into the Equal Protection Clause. There's really absolutely zero fucking comparison.

    Thanatos on
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    zerg rushzerg rush Registered User regular
    edited December 2008
    That's assuming that states wouldn't have eventually granted their own protections anyways if they hadn't had the power to do so assumed from them. Currently, the progressive states have to play no-child-left-behind for the others. If things had broken differently you'd be talking about how you couldn't imagine a world in which stem cell research is has been de-facto banned from making new lines, especially after it cured all forms of known cancer. Or wondering what the phrase 9/11 meant since we didn't have an executive stirring up shit in Afganistan.

    Either way it's a throw of the dice. And if you're going to throw the dice, I'll always be on the side which consolidates least amount of power into one spot. Consolidated power is far more likely to be used to take away freedoms than give them.

    Again, that's the whole point of this thread. People aren't worried that the unitary executive is getting too much power because they think it'll be benevolent. It's not like, "oh god George Bush just grabbed power again and is going to give us way too much personal freedom." We're afraid of getting our freedoms liberated-the-fuck-out-of-us for our own good. And that seems a vastly more likely result than getting more freedoms from an increasingly powerful federal government or executive branch.

    zerg rush on
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    ThanatosThanatos Registered User regular
    edited December 2008
    zerg rush wrote: »
    That's assuming that states wouldn't have eventually granted their own protections anyways if they hadn't had the power to do so assumed from them. Currently, the progressive states have to play no-child-left-behind for the others. If things had broken differently you'd be talking about how you couldn't imagine a world in which stem cell research is has been de-facto banned from making new lines, especially after it cured all forms of known cancer. Or wondering what the phrase 9/11 meant since we didn't have an executive stirring up shit in Afganistan.

    Either way it's a throw of the dice. And if you're going to throw the dice, I'll always be on the side which consolidates least amount of power into one spot. Consolidated power is far more likely to be used to take away freedoms than give them.

    Again, that's the whole point of this thread. People aren't worried that the unitary executive is getting too much power because they think it'll be benevolent. It's not like, "oh god George Bush just grabbed power again and is going to give us way too much personal freedom." We're afraid of getting our freedoms liberated-the-fuck-out-of-us for our own good. And that seems a vastly more likely result than getting more freedoms from an increasingly powerful federal government or executive branch.
    I agree that a separation of powers is vital, and we should avoid concentrating power in one spot. Which is why states' rights suck. It's really fantastically fucking easy to get a shitload of power at a state level. Look at the corn industry in Iowa, the sugar industry in Florida, the prison industry in California, the financial industry in New York, etc. Having a strong federal government prevents those powers from having absolute power in their petty kingdoms. And frankly, whereas the federal government is really way too big to be worrying about sticking their nose into every aspect of your life, state governments really aren't.

    So why in the world would you want to consolidate all that power with people who can have more or less direct supervision over your life? It seems like a really fucking stupid strategy for increasing freedom, and as I pointed out above, history has repeatedly proven this to be true.

    Thanatos on
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    CouscousCouscous Registered User regular
    edited December 2008
    The states were often more authoritarian than the federal government was. The federal government was restrained by the bill of rights while state governments weren't. You couldn't get laws banning abolitionist literature passed by the federal government, but you could get them passed by the state governments in the South. Hell, some of the states had state churches into the early 1800s.

    Couscous on
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    Richard_DastardlyRichard_Dastardly Registered User regular
    edited December 2008
    Thanatos wrote: »
    Personally, I'm a big fan of birth control, controlling my own medical decisions, not being discriminated against on the basis of my race, religion, ethnicity, creed, disability, etc., having a 40-hour work week with labor protections, being free of the most heinous abuses of police power, being able to legally possess pornography, being able to have consenting sex in more or less whatever way I choose, being free from cruel and unusual punishment, being able to freely travel from one state to another, etc.

    That's a fairly short list of things I can think up off the top of my head. Off the top of my head, stupid things the federal government has done lately: drug war, farm subsidies, war on terror... And let's be honest, the war on terror has an international component--which would be handled by the feds anyhow if we still had strong states' rights--and a domestic component, the abuses of which don't even begin to approach the things the states used to do to their own citizens before the 1st, 4th, and 5th amendments were rolled into the Equal Protection Clause. There's really absolutely zero fucking comparison.

    It's not as if the Federal Government has been the posterchild of benevolent rulership for the last hundred years or so. The fed's job should be to protect the rights of the citizenry, but when Washington decides to fuck people over, it does so on a much larger scale than any local or state government.

    Edit: I'd argue, however unscientifically, that the relatively equal rights minorities enjoy now is more a cause of changing sensibilities among Americans rather than through a consolidation of power.

    Richard_Dastardly on
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    ElJeffeElJeffe Moderator, ClubPA mod
    edited December 2008
    Yeah, I think whenever you're unsure if the upshot of an action is going to result in more authoritarianism and a curtailing of civil liberties, you should side against it. A stronger executive could be awesome, or it could be terribad, depending on who's in charge. Given that, you want to side against a stronger executive, and impart the power in a huge group of people nigh-impervious to the narrow consolidation of power.

    Just based on numbers, I think the legislative branch should have the most power, followed by the judicial, followed by the executive. The president should really just be the nation's guide. Sort of the Chief Strategic Officer, in charge of vision and execution of policy and the like. Not a figurehead, per se, but not nearly as powerful as we've grown accustomed to. I'll be really pleased with Obama if he actually does follow through and curtail the executive's powers while he's in office. Not just refuse to use the expanded powers, but actually work to remove them and prevent future presidents from trying that again.

    ElJeffe on
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    OptimusZedOptimusZed Registered User regular
    edited December 2008
    ElJeffe wrote: »
    Just based on numbers, I think the legislative branch should have the most power, followed by the judicial, followed by the executive.
    Ironically, this is how I remember it being pitched in High School Civics.

    Never seemed to play out that way, though.

    OptimusZed on
    We're reading Rifts. You should too. You know you want to. Now With Ninjas!

    They tried to bury us. They didn't know that we were seeds. 2018 Midterms. Get your shit together.
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    Lord MaloryLord Malory Registered User regular
    edited December 2008
    While i understand the petty kingdoms argument for state's rights, I also feel that the federal government is completely untrustworthy in a lot of matters of contemporary civil policy due to the sheer size and polarization of the populace. I think progressive ideas such as gay marriage (although many would say its a civil rights issue), marijuana legalization, birth control, medical reform are ideas that as a nation we should come to an understanding about, if states rights are continued to be sublimated then progress will not be made. If Maryland, California, blah blah didn't utilized the states power to legalize gmarriage, then would it have been addressed on such a large scale as it is now.

    I think that Federalism is very good for some things, and very bad for others. When i look at the competency of federal agencies, and the executive branch, for dealing with localized, state issues, I cannot help but find them lacking. I feel though, that as the nation continues to grow in population, the average mediocrity of public policy makers and elected officials will increase as it becomes harder to reach a consensus based on Merit.

    Lord Malory on
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    CouscousCouscous Registered User regular
    edited December 2008
    Hachface wrote: »

    After succeeding from the Union, which was constitutionally A-OK.

    Highly debatable. The constitution contains no provisions for its own annulment.
    Texas v. White, 74 U.S. 700 (1869) was argued before the United States Supreme Court in 1869. The Court held in a 5–3 decision that the Constitution did not permit states to secede from the United States, and that the ordinances of secession, and all the acts of the legislatures within seceding states intended to give effect to such ordinances, were "absolutely null".

    I'm not seeing how a state can just leave a binding contract by itself and take all of the federal property in that state away legally.

    Couscous on
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    QinguQingu Registered User regular
    edited December 2008
    Lincoln was a tyrant.

    He should have let the South secede. If I had a time machine, I'd go back and make this happen. I mean, shit people, imagine the United States without the southern states. It would be like a utopia.

    And yeah, I know, slavery is bad. But I firmly believe slavery would have died a natural death. It did in other countries without any civil wars. As an economic system, slavery simply could not compete with industrialism. Furthermore, it's not like blacks in the south were significantly better off post-slavery; they still lived in abject poverty with no education and few rights for nearly a hundred years. At what price? 600,000 people died, and Reconstruction was miserable as well.

    I don't think there's anything wrong with a country splitting up over conflicting ideologies. The Czechs and the Slovaks managed to do this without killing 5% of their population in a bloody war, and their countries are better off for it.

    As for FDR, he was president for way too long. And sometimes I question the need of fighting WW2.
    I had this idea for a book set in a present-day alternate universe, which nevertheless looked and felt basically like the world today. Lots of useful science and technology, relative peace in Western countries, Europe unified, some lingering racism here and there—except the difference is that the Nazis won WW2. People in this alternate universe looked back on the horrors of Hitler's warmongering like Americans in the real world look back on the horrors of Manifest Destiny, largely with self-conscious embarassment and shame. Point being, I think history has a natural tendency towards progressivism, and I'm not sure it matters quite so much who wins what wars.

    Qingu on
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    nexuscrawlernexuscrawler Registered User regular
    edited December 2008
    Authoritarian states would be fucking great if they didn't suffer from incompetence and corruption.

    But if history has taught us one thing it's the almost never stay that way.

    Most authoritarian governments tend to falter after the leader who started it dies. Dictatorships often rely far too heavily on a cult of personality of their leaders to be viable long term governments.

    nexuscrawler on
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    Richard_DastardlyRichard_Dastardly Registered User regular
    edited December 2008
    Couscous wrote: »
    Hachface wrote: »

    After succeeding from the Union, which was constitutionally A-OK.

    Highly debatable. The constitution contains no provisions for its own annulment.
    Texas v. White, 74 U.S. 700 (1869) was argued before the United States Supreme Court in 1869. The Court held in a 5–3 decision that the Constitution did not permit states to secede from the United States, and that the ordinances of secession, and all the acts of the legislatures within seceding states intended to give effect to such ordinances, were "absolutely null".

    I'm not seeing how a state can just leave a binding contract by itself and take all of the federal property in that state away legally.

    My bad. I was trying to remember back to high school... I was mixing up Federalist rhetoric with the actual constitution.

    Richard_Dastardly on
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