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  •  Yes, that's what 'nation of laws' MEANS. It may n (0+ / 0-)

    ot be wise, but that is not the same as 'good'.

    And more importantly, 'legal' in a nation of laws is proper.  It is absurd and counter-productive to claim an act authorized by the law is an 'abuse of power'.  You destroy the meaning of the term 'abuse' and the next time Watergate just becomes 'politics'.

    And that is exactly the way Thugs abused the special prosecutor and impeachment against Clinton so that when BushCo was properly called out for illegal wiretaps, lying us into war, covering up Rove and Cheney's treason, etc., pointing out these true abuses of power and even whipsering about redress was dismissed as 'just politics'.

    Oh and btw, I see no on disbutes how he falsely accused BO of complicity...

    •  Torquemada Gonzales argued (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Laconic Lib, Rick Aucoin, JVolvo

      that anything allowed under the patriot act is not an abuse of the patriot act, because it's legal.
      He also said that anything not allowed under the patriot act is not an abuse because the law specifically forbids that shit!  so see it's a good law and not responsible for those few bad apples who are violating it!

      thus, the patriot act had never been abused and thus does not need reforming.

      And more importantly, 'legal' in a nation of laws is proper.
      No, ridiculously improper things can be perfectly legal.  A nation of laws can still hold its public servants to a higher standard than merely not breaking any laws.
      It is absurd and counter-productive to claim an act authorized by the law is an 'abuse of power'.  You destroy the meaning of the term 'abuse' and the next time Watergate just becomes 'politics'.
      Bullshit.  The way to stop this behavior is to call it out regardless of which party is in power. The idea that Republicans get away with treason because civil libertarians are too consistent is just as idiotic as the idea that disaffected liberals caused the 2010 electoral fiasco.
      And that is exactly the way Thugs abused the special prosecutor and impeachment against Clinton so that when BushCo was properly called out for illegal wiretaps, lying us into war, covering up Rove and Cheney's treason, etc., pointing out these true abuses of power and even whipsering about redress was dismissed as 'just politics'.
      And now that many of these have been fully legalized, how do you get to call them abuses?  Lying us into a war is not a violation of statute, illegal wiretaps are now legal, so there is no abuse there as you define it.  Ditto phony terror alerts to boost Bush's poll numbers -- there's no law against that, so it's not an abuse.

      What are you doing to fight the dangerous and counterproductive error of treating dirtbag terrorist criminals as though they were comic book supervillains? I can't believe we still have to argue this shit, let alone on Daily Kos.

      by happymisanthropy on Wed May 22, 2013 at 05:27:48 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  So you get to break the law when u think its wrong (0+ / 0-)

        and you think you're entitled to escape consequences?  MLK would be very disappointed in you: civil disobedience requires accepting the punishment if you can't beat the rap or its just anarchy and counter-productive.

        I frankly don't care what Dumbya's valet said, he's not the courts.  But he's correct that doing what the Patriot Act said is not an abuse of power, unless it violates the Constitution (which getting a warrant and using subpoenas and other court process pretty much defines not violating) in which case that part of the Act wouldnot be the law and the act would not be legal.  And yes, its proper as long as its not prohibited. See, Necessary and Proper clause cases ['let the end be proper and the means not prohibited' and its Constitutional].  

        The Patriot Act may be unwise (and certain parts clearly are imo), but that is a different matter, as I've tried to explain - apparently falling on rotating deaf ears.  What you think is wise isn’t what Joe thinks is, which is why we don't criminalize being unwise or call it an 'abuse'.

        But legal acts taken for illegal purposes are also illegal, so just bc the Act says you can do something that alone doesn't answer whether it is legal and is abuse of power.  E.g., Nixon had direct power over IRS and could have directed they give special attention to legitimate targets - i.e., the Mob - but it was still illegal to direct it against his enemies, both bc of the IRS statutes and the Constitution.  Thus, the 2nd part of your syllogism is specious and the syllogism fails.

        Now, saying it is proper and not an abuse is not the same as 'ethical' or even 'moral'.  But just bc you think something is unwise, unethical or immoral does not mean it is improper in the legal or Constitutional sense.  

        And no, "many of these have" not "been fully legalized", regardless your impression or belief.   'Lying us into a war' violates the Constitutional required oath to "faithfully execute the Office". See, Nixon impeachment.  The same for terror alerts.
        Further, 'lying into a war' actually is 'a violation of statute', via the War Powers Act reporting requirement and provisions as well as false statement criminal statutes (of which POTUS is not immune). (That was expressly one the WPA's justifications.)  Certain wiretaps then illegal are indeed now putatively legal (tho not necessarily as SCOTUS has ducked the issue repeatedly, but imo it violates the 4th A if construed to allow searches without warrants or exigent circumstances, as McNeely re-affirmed a couple months ago is what the 4th A has long been held to mean).  But the law did not make Bush's illegal wiretapping legal - it immunized for the illegality.  I know its a subtle difference, but it is the same as a pardon and did change the illegal nature of the acts before the law passed in '05.  And some of what Bush did in this regard is still illegal even under the new (imo unconstitutional) law.

        Finally, 'call[ing] it out" and 'being consistent' means nothing if your definition of 'abuse of power' is really just 'what I think is wrong'.  Which is all you are left with if you abandon the law.  That's the whole meaning of 'a nation of laws and not men.'  

        You will no doubt claim you are not doing that: but then you must specify exactly what your standard is and it damn well better be objective and universal or every political disagreement becomes 'abuse of power'.  

        Personally, I don't think you can.  A 'higher standard' is not a standard.  It is solipsistic: what you think is higher ain't what the T-baggers think.

        •  asdf (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          JVolvo
          So you get to break the law when u think its wrong (0+ / 0-)and you think you're entitled to escape consequences?
          Please cite where I said that.
          MLK would be very disappointed in you: civil disobedience requires accepting the punishment if you can't beat the rap or its just anarchy and counter-productive.
          Strawman.  See above.
          But he's correct that doing what the Patriot Act said is not an abuse of power, unless it violates the Constitution (which getting a warrant and using subpoenas and other court process pretty much defines not violating) in which case that part of the Act wouldnot be the law and the act would not be legal.  And yes, its proper as long as its not prohibited. See, Necessary and Proper clause cases ['let the end be proper and the means not prohibited' and its Constitutional].
          How is this not trying to insert a legal judgement in the place of what can only be a moral or ethical judgement?  I feel the need to pluck off the tentacles of legalism when they reach into orifices where they are not wanted.
          The Patriot Act may be unwise (and certain parts clearly are imo), but that is a different matter, as I've tried to explain - apparently falling on rotating deaf ears.  What you think is wise isn’t what Joe thinks is, which is why we don't criminalize being unwise or call it an 'abuse'.
          If abuse has a specific legal definition, cite it and be done.  I can probably find a synonym to serve in its place.
          But legal acts taken for illegal purposes are also illegal, so just bc the Act says you can do something that alone doesn't answer whether it is legal and is abuse of power.  E.g., Nixon had direct power over IRS and could have directed they give special attention to legitimate targets - i.e., the Mob - but it was still illegal to direct it against his enemies, both bc of the IRS statutes and the Constitution.  Thus, the 2nd part of your syllogism is specious and the syllogism fails...
          And no, "many of these have" not "been fully legalized", regardless your impression or belief.   'Lying us into a war' violates the Constitutional required oath to "faithfully execute the Office". See, Nixon impeachment.  The same for terror alerts.
          Nixon was not impeached for lying us into a war.  The only lying mentioned in the impeachment articles was part of the obstruction of justice charge.

          In fact, a high court recently ruled that President Bush lying to the American people was part of his official job duties and thus covered under sovereign immunity.  Not only is it legal it's given special legal protection.

          Now, saying it is proper and not an abuse is not the same as 'ethical' or even 'moral'.  But just bc you think something is unwise, unethical or immoral does not mean it is improper in the legal or Constitutional sense.

          Link to where I said otherwise?

          Finally, 'call[ing] it out" and 'being consistent' means nothing if your definition of 'abuse of power' is really just 'what I think is wrong'.  Which is all you are left with if you abandon the law.  That's the whole meaning of 'a nation of laws and not men.'  
          No. Bullshit.
          If you run a convenience store, and you hire a manager, you want her to not violate the law while she's on the premises running your shop.
          Is that all you would expect from her?  You wouldn't expect her to be polite to customers, respect the privacy of teenagers buying condoms, make sure everything is running in good order and that the customers are not getting E. coli from the fried chicken?

          Asking our employees to not only obey the letter of the law but the spirit of the constitution as well does not mean we are "abandon[ing] the law."  

          You will no doubt claim you are not doing that: but then you must specify exactly what your standard is and it damn well better be objective and universal or every political disagreement becomes 'abuse of power'.  
          Why?
          The cult of objectivity makes no sense to me.  Clearly you think this should go without saying, but I don't understand it at all.
          Of course every political disagreement will be portrayed as "abuse of power" by one side or the other, or both.  Certainly Nixon thought that Congress was abusing its impeachment power.  Because even the law is subjective.  It always was.  It always will be.  The only thing you can achieve by purging subjectivity from a human system is to make it so arcane and technical that it bears no relationship to the needs of the human population that it was supposedly created to serve.  An objective welfare administrator who has never met a poor person, for example.  Some people would see that as a good thing.
          Personally, I don't think you can.  A 'higher standard' is not a standard.  It is solipsistic: what you think is higher ain't what the T-baggers think.
          But that's no reason.  What I think is the law is not what the teabaggers think.  Even if I'm objectively correct they won't agree with me.  So what good (in this context) is objectivity?

          Why should I care whether teabaggers agree with me?  They'll never agree with you, but you won't let that stop you.

          The days when Republicans agreed to hold a Republican president accountable are never going to come back, and fantasies about "objectivity" won't change that.

          What are you doing to fight the dangerous and counterproductive error of treating dirtbag terrorist criminals as though they were comic book supervillains? I can't believe we still have to argue this shit, let alone on Daily Kos.

          by happymisanthropy on Wed May 22, 2013 at 10:44:58 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Since the subject of the cartoon was how BO was (0+ / 0-)

            supposedly 'stifling the 1st A' and getting Holder to 'abuse his power', and those are legal and Constitutional (which is to say also legal) issues, then yes the issue here is legal and legal is sufficient.

            You want to criticize him for not being aPlatonic Gaurdian of Wisdom, go for it.  But don't pretend you're making anything other than a merely ethical argument.

            And the thing about ethics is: a lot of very serious thinkers have disagreed stongly with each other over the millenia, often to the point of mutual exclusivity, on what is and is not moral.  IOW, it values and yours may not be mine, or even a majorities... or more imporantly objectively correct.

            If you want to say 'he's not living up the values I want in a President', say it.  But don't hide behind legal phrases with a long, hard-fought meaning and history and then wave every legal argument away as 'just legal argument', which is what you are doing.  

            And do not pretend that you are doing anything more than judging him by your peculiar and personal standards.

            And btw, the reason we speak of 'legal' and don't say 'abuse of power' where they don't meet what our little minority thinks is 'the spirit of the Constitution' is bc it is a minority, while the Constitution - from which his authority to do anything derives - is a contract to agree with what the majority makes law, except when it violates what the majority (or supermajority) thinks is too important to leave to transient majorites (e.g., the Bill of Rghts).

            The Constitution is in short not some moral or aspirational declaration.  It is a LAW.  It is in fact the Supreme Law of the US.  POTUS is not a King, he is a man temporarily empowered by The Law to do certain things in the name of the majority of The People (bc he is elected by majority, or supposed to be).  It has nothing to do with 'subjectivity' or 'objectivity'.  It has everything to do with the fundamental idea that political power only justly derives from "the consent of the governed', i.e., majority rule.  

            The reason you should care what a T-bagger thinks is bc you are supposed to have a right to demand they abide by the Law, its actual terms.  That means, e.g., they accept that Obama - and Ds - won the majority and by not doing so they are profoundly, fundamentally unAmerican.  

            And yes, that means you go to jail if you break the law even if you think the law offends your personal view of 'the hgiher law' bc you respect the right of all of your fellow humans to rule themselves.  

            Even if they are wrong.

            Especially if they are wrong.

            Otherwise, its all just a game.

            And this whole democratic self-governing thing is not a fucking game.  Certainly not this weekend of all.

            The fact you won't - or can't - understand that the whole point the Constitution was to enshire the Law as sovereign rather than a King - and thus yes, bc it is legal it is Constitutionally correct and thus not an 'abuse - is distressing and depressing.

            •  so what? (0+ / 0-)

              you think that your subjective values are objective.  You are wrong.

              Every person who killed in a crusade believed that their religion was objectively correct.  They were killing in the name of what they considered to be objectivity.  Their concept of objectivity was no more wrong than your wrong concept of objectivity.

              What are you doing to fight the dangerous and counterproductive error of treating dirtbag terrorist criminals as though they were comic book supervillains? I can't believe we still have to argue this shit, let alone on Daily Kos.

              by happymisanthropy on Thu May 23, 2013 at 05:13:19 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  I'm done here. (0+ / 0-)

                I tried to answer the questions you asked.

                I keep trying to explain to you that neither the proper parameters of this debate about the amdin's actions, nor my arguments, are 'ethical arguments'.  They are not based on my 'values', or yours.  They are not based on objectivism or subjectivism.  They are based on how things work under the Constitution and why the Framers set it up that way.  

                That seems entirely appropo to me as this is a US political blog, discussing a US political controversy, involving whether by these specific acts POTUS 'abused' the power given his office under the law (statue and Constitution).

                You don't want to deal with that.  Fine.

                You want to instead pretend I'm talking about the morality or wisdom of the act.  Fine.

                Whatever floats your boat.

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