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No checks, no balances?

February 18, 2013

There was one very telling passage in President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address last Tuesday....

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Feb-24-13 6:15 PM

Good night, my dear friend, MIT. Sweet dreams.

Sine die.

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Feb-24-13 2:20 PM

My hovercraft is full of eels? That's funny. Good one. Honestly.

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Feb-24-13 12:35 PM

Okay, MIT, let's make a deal.

I won't be unnecessarily pugilistic, and you won't write arrogant, condescending, duplicitous, long-winded posts, some that equate President Obama with Hitler, as well as other paranoid right-wing pronouncements without substance.

Oh, and you also won't whine and preach. That would be good, too. Just remember, my new and dear friend: Mi aerodeslizadoresta lieno de anguilas.

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Feb-24-13 7:30 AM

Sven: What I am talking about is your use of terms such as "fella" and "bub". These epithets are unnecessarily pugilistic. They are the verbal equivalent of poking your finger in another person's chest. They are the type of words that, if you were to use them in a bar the way you use them here, would probably result in a fight. It would help the tenor of the conversation if you would refrain from using them.

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Feb-23-13 7:31 PM

MIT: Do you ever read your own posts?

Start there, fella.

Really. Read the third sentence of your first paragraph of your last post, stating with "Of course...".

Talk about arrogant, condescending and duplicitous.

This is your idea of respectfully disagreeing?

You phony bag of wind.

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Feb-23-13 7:12 PM

Sven: Here's another thought. I understand that political discussion can sometimes get a little rough. But if our ultimate goal is to work out solutions that will bring us together and work for everyone, that objective is accomplished more easily if we work on building up mutual respect through respectful discourse. Of course, if you really don't care about leaving public civility and good will among citizens lying bloodied and near death as casualties of war, then it might make sense to poison the wells of good will wherever and whenever you wish.

As for me, I prefer to treat my political opponents with respect, even when I must respectfully disagree with their point of view. I believe that approach holds out great promise for a peaceful and unified future.

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Feb-23-13 6:37 PM

Sven: You assume too much. First, my last comment was not a commentary on your personal views; it was a general comment intended to cover a number of the opponents of conservatism who frequent these pages.

And...yes, I realize there are distinctions to be made between the various groups I listed. Our current crop of liberals in Washington and here in NU have taken elements of all of these philosophies to accomplish their political ends.

I must admit that I have been a bit naive in expecting that I could expect a bit of civility from other commenters. It never occurred to me that they might consider their bullying tactics completely justified and even noble.

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Feb-23-13 5:49 PM

No, no, MIT. The fascists are on the far right, the Marxists are on the far left. At least get your definitions right.

I'm a liberal. You seem to have left "liberals" out of your blanket condemnation. I am not an atheist. I am not a Marxist. (There are about 12 left in the world, by the way.) And I'm no socialist, either.

I am a Christian. I am a businessman. I am a veteran. I even pay a bunch of taxes both personal and corporate. And, I'm as red-blooded an American as you could ever hope to be.

No one is trying to silence or harm you. Please continue to post whatever you want. But don't be surprised or get all sensitive when we don't buy into your..uh...ahem...narrow point of view.

Politics is a rough game. Play it if you can take it. If not, take up badminton or something that will make you happy.

But, if you think I'm going to back off, you should think again.

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Feb-23-13 10:45 AM

Deerhunt: One more thought. If you really want to know how the lefties on the Journal's comment section operate, please read Ben Shapiro's BULLIES: HOW THE LEFT'S CULTURE OF FEAR AND INTIMIDATION SILENCES AMERICANS. It is a revealing look at the despicable tactics they use to silence and harm anyone who dares to speak up against their socialist / fascist / Marxist / atheist agenda. In a word, it's bullying.

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Feb-21-13 9:12 PM

Deerhunt: I'm sure MIT finds it disagreeable when people don't swoon to his point of view, or when he gets skunked in an argument. I've learned that it's just best to let him have both barrels and move on. Some can take the heat and others pretend that they are above it all. It shouldn't take you too long to figure this out.

Just a word to the wise from someone far wiser than you. Or, so MIT would like you to think.

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Feb-21-13 8:33 PM

Deerhunt: In case you haven't been following the Journal's comments section, a word to the wise --

Several of those who comment on this site have no interest in having a polite discussion about political matters. They have no desire to disagree without being disagreeable. They seem to take joy in twisting the words of others, getting down in the gutter with name-calling, etc. I have learned that it is best just to make my point and move on. There is no such thing as having a civil conversation with them. It shouldn't take you too long to figure out who is and who isn't included in this club.

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Feb-21-13 6:40 PM

deerhunt, you are right, calling MIT a "right- wing dunderhead" was a little over the top.

Perhaps, I should have referred to him as "slightly misguided loyal opposition who think Obama is like Hitler".

I apologize.

I'm sure President Obama would feel the same way.

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Feb-21-13 6:33 PM

Ah-ha! Now I understand the logic of MIT-World:

REAGAN LIKE HITLER--both were superior speakers and both were superior communicators. So, yes, in this respect Reagan was like Hitler.

BUSH LIKE HITLER--both invaded countries on trumped-up charges, Hitler with Poland and "W" with his Iraq WMDs. So, yes, in this respect Bush was like Hitler.

NIXON LIKE HITLER--subverted the law and targeted his political enemies. So, yes, in this respect, Nixon was like Hitler.

GERALD FORD LIKE HITLER--neither could play golf. So, yes, in this respect, Ford was like Hitler.

Zooks! Almost every Republican president has been like Hitler!!!

MIT, you are a master at understanding the subtleties and nuances of politics. We are all so blessed that you prattle on, right here, on this site.

Keep up the outstanding thinking!

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Feb-21-13 6:19 PM

Sven - namecalling ????? I think your smarter than that.

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Feb-21-13 6:16 PM

Auntydem,I actually watch all stations, you have to to get a view from all aspects, even the main media outlets such as CBS and NBC complaign about this president not having the number of press conferences of past presidents where they are able to ask questions. He saves himself for Oprah and Leno where the questions are easier. I prefer to see the press challenge a president and make him explain things more in depth . To bring charges against the president would require the attorney general to do that ,no matter what administration ,highly unlikely.The other option is the House or Senate with enough votes trying to impeach,also highly unlikely. There is some challenge going on in court about recess appointments -not sure what the outcome will be.

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Feb-21-13 6:06 PM

Strengthening a political base by building support among people who heretofore had paid little attention to politics, and who were therefore particularly susceptible to rhetoric - is actually a pretty good definition of what Republicans have done with the "grassroots" Tea Party. Not having been involved in politics or a party is how Tea Parties proudly define themselves.

Fox exists to build up the right among the less politically informed of our society - and keep them uninformed.

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Feb-21-13 5:51 PM

If the executive orders signed by Obama in the last 4 years crossed some line no other president's executive orders ever have or violated the constitution why have no charges been brought; the investigative committee headed by Republicans done nothing? Why not compare executive orders right down the line president by president and cite the difference? Because there is none, perhaps?

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Feb-21-13 4:52 PM

Thank you for making my point, MIT.

It took you two rambling posts and six paragraphs of back-peddling to respond to my brief opinion, the one that you so arrogantly tried to dismiss as having no substance.

Guess it did, now, didn't it.

And you have just exposed yourself for the right wing dunderhead that you are by buying into Sowell's comparison of Hitler with Obama.

What next, the Beatles being more popular than Jesus?

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Feb-21-13 3:46 PM

Sven: The comparison between Hitler and Obama that Sowell makes in the article cited is this:

Like Hitler, Obama has sought to strengthen his political base by building support among people who heretofore had paid little attention to politics, and who were therefore particularly susceptible to his rhetoric.

I agree with that comparison 100%. Anyone who has been following Obama's comings and goings knows that he has made a point of frequenting tv shows and other media outlets where he can build up his popularity among the less politically informed of our society. It is primarily the support of these "useful idiots" that got him elected.

So yes, in this respect, Obama is like Hitler. Sowell is a bright man, on a par with Milton Friedman, and I have nothing in his writings that does not reflect how things really work in the real world.

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Feb-21-13 3:01 PM

Sven: You seem to be dismissing out of hand the possibility of there being any similarity between Barack Obama and Adolph Hitler. To not even consider that a possibility regardless of what the point of comparison is, smacks of closed-mindedness. I haven't read the article yet, but I'll let you know if I agree with you on this.

Just because I recommend one of an author's books, it does not necessarily follow that I agree with everything he has ever written.

Similarly, I would think that you would not dismiss everything that an author has written based on one comparison that upsets you. I would hope you would have a bit more depth than that.

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Feb-21-13 12:50 PM

MIT: I know you'd like to make up the rules for everyone else, but it is your recommendation to read Sowell that has no substance.

Do you deny that Thomas Sowell compared President Obama to Adolf Hitler?

Here's the evidence: June 2010 editorial by Sowell in Investors Business Daily titled, "Is U.S. Now on Slippery Slope to Tyranny?"

Do you not think that this just might be something of note for our fellow readers to know about as you promote Sowell's gibberish, unchecked?

Or, do you think we should just accept your recommendations for further reading carte blanche because you are so all-knowing and your recommendations are beyond scrutiny?

I find joy in keeping your claptrap honest, bub.

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Feb-21-13 12:13 PM

The purpose of an executive order is to carry out some aspect of a law that has been passed through constitutional procedure.

The problem with President Obama's use of executive orders is that he seems to view this as a method for enacting programs and policies that Congress will not pass. He reveals his thinking on this whenver he says, If Congress will not act on this, I will.

Anyone who is concerned about maintaining the balance of powers established in our Constitution must view President Obama's words and actions with concern. A President who views his own authority in this way is a threat to our freedom.

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Feb-21-13 10:42 AM

The number of presidential executive orders is relevant in this discussion because of the original editorial, "No checks, no balances?" If one is debating the constitutional theory of executive orders, the magnitude of the substance of each order is insignificant. A president either has the right or doesn't, according to your consitutional philosophy, or more importantly, US Constitutional policy.

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Feb-21-13 9:26 AM

I agree , they don't offer alternative solutions , instead poke fun of or defame the person.

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Feb-21-13 8:29 AM

Deerhunt: It is very discouraging to see the direction things are heading in our country. Please don't give up the fight. One of our enemies' goals is to discourage us to the point where we give up on the political process. If they succeed in doing that, there will be no hope of reversing course.

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