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View Diary: 92% of Americans Support It -- So What's the Problem? (32 comments)

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  •  Congress does not care what the public wants. (4+ / 0-)

    The public presuming to tell Congress what to do is the enemy. The public expecting Congress critters to be public servants are intolerable. Our agents of government are still convinced that they have been selected to rule -- that democracy is merely a formality by which petty potentates are put into office. We the people, or rather our ancestors, gave consent in 1789 and ever since we've been subject to a rotating dictatorship, instead of a hereditary sovereign.

    There is some predicate for this belief. Until 1947 all US officials enjoyed "sovereign immunity." After the passage of the Federal Tort Claims Act, that was reduced so that Congress only enjoys immunity from the consequences of what occurs on the floor of each chamber, law enforcement personnel enjoy "qualified immunity" and prosecutors, because their role is presumed to be merely ministerial (passing info from the executive to the judiciary) still enjoy absolute immunity. Even if they lie, they can't be held to account in a court of law. It's not a matter of law; it's tradition.

    Government by the people has a ways to go, but we're moving forward. Whether Barack Obama is fully committed is not clear. I like to think he's following some of the laws to the letter to demonstrate how stupid they are. The drones, for example, are legal, because they comply with the Authorization to Use Military Force in hunting down terrorists, a law that the Congress has refused to rescind. Indeed, Congress is opposed to employing traditional law enforcement means and won't appropriate dollars for such a program. Congress routinely rations funds to prevent things it doesn't want from being done -- like shutting down Guantanamo. And all the time they pretend it's all the President's fault.

    Authoritarians like having dictators (deciders) on whom all mistakes can be blamed --aka scapegoat.

    We organize governments to deliver services and prevent abuse.

    by hannah on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 04:13:17 PM PST

    •  well then (4+ / 0-)

      perhaps it's time

      for the public to put the Progressive Caucus on the map,

      despite whatever the Congress might want.

      •  I think the problem with the term "progressive" (1+ / 0-)
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        has been that people have not been clear about what it means. The President's men have substituted the word "forward," but the goal is still unclear. What is it we are progressing or moving forward to? The answer, I would suggest, is human rights.
        That humans have rights seems such a given, but it's not. The Constitution in enshrining slavery stripped some humans of all rights and called all humans' rights into question. Instead, as a sop, the founders elevated ownership. Property rights were supposed to make up for the fact that a person's very existence could be questioned and challenged and ended. Capital punishment is a remnant and a reminder that life itself is not an entitlement.

        We organize governments to deliver services and prevent abuse.

        by hannah on Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 03:35:17 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

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