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View Diary: Daily Kos: Still, still, still like getting the paper early. (99 comments)

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  •  the constitution is only as strong as the people (11+ / 0-)

    we elect. If impeachment is off the table, so is the constitution. End of story.

    We live in a rogue state.

    •  Has anyone other than Nixon... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Simplify, MikeTheLiberal

      ever been Pardoned for Offenses they MAY have committed?

      That's what Ford's Pardon did: Nixon was Pardoned for Offenses that he DID commit or MAY have committed while serving as President.

      This was a catastrophic precedent that led directly to the rogue players within the Reagan, Bush I, and Bush II Administrations.

      Barack Obama -- The President we were promised as kids!

      by Jimdotz on Wed May 21, 2008 at 06:24:37 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Ford did not pardon Nixon (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        lotlizard, Jimdotz

        in the sense that I don't believe his little signed piece of paper carries any legal weight whatsoever.  It's just hot air.

        A pardon comes after conviction of a specific person on a specific criminal count.

        If you like, Ford's "pardon" was a statement of intent to pardon, if Ford were still to be in office at the time Nixon was convicted of a crime.  Whoop-de-doo.

        The problem is that everyone in power runs around as if it were legally binding, and the press and the public roll for it.

        Government and laws are the agreement we all make to secure everyone's freedom.

        by Simplify on Wed May 21, 2008 at 06:41:18 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I agree with that assessment... (0+ / 0-)

          Pardons come after someone commits the Offense, which in our tradition, is not determined until after a trial (but I'll compromise a little on that point and settle for a Pardon happening validly after merely an indictment).

          Barack Obama -- The President we were promised as kids!

          by Jimdotz on Wed May 21, 2008 at 06:53:16 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Our government depends on integrity and restraint (0+ / 0-)

      in elected officials. For the most part, that has worked since inception, starting with Washington's decision not to run for a third term. Perhaps it's part of our British legacy that the Constitution presumed a government by responsible and honorable individuals.

      Few countries have avoided a crisis caused by the abuse of executive power. We have been arrogant to assume that it couldn't happen here. It's sad to see that our vaunted system of checks and balances was as fragile as the Twin Towers.

      Impeachment is the obvious remedy, but the Republicans managed to discredit that part of the governmental machinery, too - their "reverse Midas touch" at work.

      The other remedy is a massive vote to throw the rascals out, followed by a massive effort to clean up their mess. Maybe we Democrats need a contract-type commitment to America that focuses on the damage we pledge to repair.

      •  The Constitution presumed the opposite (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        rlochow, lotlizard, word is bond

        The founders expected politicians to be a bunch of selfish bastards.  That's how checks and balances and separation of powers were supposed to work.  What they didn't count on was Congress willingly forking its power over to the President.

        That, and with a bought and paid-for press and a complacent populace, no free system of government was going to last.

        Government and laws are the agreement we all make to secure everyone's freedom.

        by Simplify on Wed May 21, 2008 at 06:53:56 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  You make a good point (0+ / 0-)

          The framers certainly expected each branch to be jealous of its powers, and that was a reasonable expectation. I can't understand how Congressional Democrats - and for that matter Congressional Republicans - have been so apathetic as their authority evaporates.

          It was an overstatement for me to say that the Constitution presumed a government by honorable individuals. However, I think it presumed a government of people who might be greedy and corrupt in ways that seem small or unlikely today (such as abuse of patronage or accepting foreign bribes); I don't think it presumed a government by people who wanted to ride roughshod over the structure of government itself. That was certainly a possibility they envisioned, and provided for in several ways, including impeachment and the guarantee of republican governments to the states. I think, however, that they relied more on controlling the risk by adopting the indirect election of the President and Senate as a way of ensuring that those offices would be filled from a relatively small circle of members of the establishment. Those men would be sensitive to public opinion, and even more so to the opinion of their peers, and they would be too invested in the status quo to want to upset the applecart.

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