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Just for fun, for a snark, I was thinking the other night about American politicians from the past who would have to be unacceptable to true progressives today--those amongst us who love the Constitution and will defend it at all costs. True patriots, actually--yes they are. Those who say that Obama's FISA stance is a deal-breaker. Most won't contribute or volunteer, some won't even vote for him. So I wondered: What other politicians from our history did things that would have to have been deal-breakers for our good progressives today?

I came up with quite a list, and posted it in a comment here. The list included many of our major founding fathers, plus most of the liberal icons from the 20th century. Since then I've thought up a few more. Many of these gentlemen indeed would be eliminated on the basis of a single issue (to answer a question in one of the replys to my comment)--but those issues are doozies. Once I really thought about it, it wasn't a snark anymore.

Full disclaimer: I am not an actual historian, although I am a history buff. I'm no Constitutional scholar. Ergo, I welcome additions, flames, corrections and constructive comments from those with more expertise than I on these subjects. Here goes:

Slavery--How horrible a compromise was it?

First, we confront the issue of slavery. Obviously, no true progressive could support anyone who supported slavery. Do we have to make allowance for the change in general viewpoints from 1789 to today? I don't think so, and here's why: they knew better back then, too. Certainly the major Founders knew. Plenty of the Founders (Ben Franklin, John Jay and John Adams especially) were adamantly opposed to slavery. Franklin forcefully advocated abolition. John Jay tried to legislate emancipation. These men knew what slavery was, they knew the slaves were human beings. Yet Franklin and Jay, at least (Adams was out of the country for the Constitutional Convention), were willing to compromise their deeply held principles in order to get the Constitution in place. They allowed millions of their fellow Americans to suffer horribly and die under bondage for decades to come--as a compromise. I'd say that's serious.

[I am fully aware that I'm asking the impossible, in a practical sense, of our Founders here. But we're talking about good versus real evil.]

Franklin, Jay, and the other anti-slavery Constitutional Congress members threw their principles to the wind and went along, just to get the pragmatic result of a constitution. Some good progressives may be able to accept that action, as it resulted in the (now amended) Constitution we all defend. Others certainly could not. Obama has said he'll fix the FISA problem once he's in office, just as Franklin and Jay later tried to fix the slavery problem. Many won't accept Obama's excuses. Why would they accept Franklin's and Jay's?

Must we, therefore, lose Ben Franklin and John Jay?

The Southerners don't get off the hook here either. The major Southern Founders, for the most part, hated slavery, yet they too made this compromise and they themselves continued personally to hold slaves. Can we give George Washington a pass? Some may be willing to forgive him, as Washington freed his slaves in his will (the only slaveholding Founder to so so, I believe)--to take effect after Martha died. In the meantime, he kept hundreds of human beings in bondage, for years and years. Many won't be able to give him a pass on that.

Yes, we're talking single issues here, but deeply held, extremely important single issues. Slavery is major.

Of course, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison and James Monroe might have to go as well, because of the slavery issue. Jefferson (also absent from the Constitutional Convention) may be especially vulnerable, after his disgraceful treatment of Sally Hemmings.  Madison and Monroe hated slavery and fumbled around for a way to end it, but all the while, kept their own slaves. Note that during their lifetimes, thousands of Virginians did free their slaves. Edward Coles, former secretary to Madison and a friend of Jefferson, relocated to Illinois in 1818 and freed his slaves there, against the advice of Jefferson. Coles became the second governor of Illinois, and successfully fought the pro-slavery forces there. Certainly, Jefferson especially would have faced severe financial hardship had he freed his slaves. The slaves experienced far worse hardships because he didn't.

These were smart guys. They were wise enough to found this nation. They knew the truth, yet they went along with evil.

Other Nefarious Actions

John Adams, who was virulently anti-slavery, wasn't part of the Constitutional compromise. But he signed the Alien and Sedition acts. With that action he attacked the Constitution. He threw people in jail because of what they wrote. Surely no true progressive, no one who loves and supports the Constitition, could possibly support John Adams.

If you feel you can give Jefferson a pass over slavery remember that Jefferson also, during his disasterous embargo, ordered that ships suspected of smuggling be searched without a warrant. Can progressives support a man who so flagrantly abrogated the Constitution?

Andrew Jackson (another slaveholder). Founder of the Democratic party. Remember the Trail of Tears? A single issue, but wasn't it a serious one? Didn't he cause the deaths, and quite callously at that, of thousands of Cherokee? How can anyone who loves the Constitution support such a man?

(This may mean that we'll have to jettison our Jefferson-Jackson dinners.)

Abraham Lincoln, let us not forget, hated slavery and signed the Emancipation Proclamation, although he did it primarily to help the Union. His proclamation left slaves legally in place in some areas of the country. But I don't think we can fault Lincoln too much on the slavery issue--he did, after all, actually issue the Proclaimation. However, he also suspended Habeus Corpus and threw many citizens in jail because of their political beliefs. Knowing that, how can we support him? Habeus Corpus, at least as much as the 4th Amendment, is a bedrock principle of liberty.

Teddy Roosevelt might just pass muster, although perhaps some good historian can set me straight on him.

So let's move on to Franklin Roosevelt, the icon of Democrats. The man flung thousands and thousands of Japanese--most of them American citizens--into concentration camps and kept them there for years. He didn't fling Americans of Italian or German ancestry into concentration camps (he even let Eisenhower run the European war), only the Japanese. It was one of the worst attacks on the Constitution in our history. How can any good Constitution-loving progressive support FDR, after that?

Harry Truman dropped the bomb and was unrepentant about it to the end of his life.

John Kennedy and his brother Robert Kennedy both supported Joe McCarthy's egregious attack on the Constitution. JFK was an aggressive cold warrior. He didn't personally like McCarthy much--thought McCarthy was too crude--but he supported McCarthy's efforts. RFK actually worked as counsel to McCarthy on his committee. And that was probably the worst assault on the Constitution since FDR's concentration camps, even including Nixon's shenanigans, until today. I'm not sure even The Decider has surpassed it yet, although he's trying. Could any true progressive support JFK or RFK after they supported Joe McCarthy? It makes Obama's FISA compromise pale in comparison.

Lyndon Johnson worked for and was hugely instrumental in passing both civil rights and voting rights legislation. He began the progressive Great Society. He spent enormous amounts of his own political capital to do these things. Then he spoiled it all with Vietnam. What true progressive could support the president who plunged us into the Vietnam war with lies?

James Carter? He lusted after women in his heart, but that's not unconstitutional. Other than that difficulty, someone will have to enlighten me abut Carter. Maybe he's OK.

William Jefferson Clinton? "The era of big government is over." The Defense of Marriage Act. Don't Ask, Don't Tell. Welfare reform. Corporatism. Even if those things aren't unconstitutional, how can progressives support him?

I've clean forgotten what the Nader voters' objections were to Al Gore, but those objections must have been plenty serious.

So. Our good progressives, who oppose Obama's FISA compromise, also could not possibly have supported most of the major architects of our nation. We may not have a nation today, had our modern friends been involved.

But, I repeat, I believe these good progressives indeed are true patriots. It's a dilemma.

I note that Teacherken also disucsses in his current diary some of the issues I discuss here. I'm not as discouraged. Personally, I think we'll survive as a nation. This is just to add a bit more perspective.

Originally posted to Fonsia on Wed Jul 09, 2008 at 12:58 PM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tips, flames, corrections (21+ / 0-)

    Thanks for reading.

    May your entire existence be one sensuous, frolic-filled experience lived in defiance of care.

    by Fonsia on Wed Jul 09, 2008 at 12:59:10 PM PDT

    •  Do we get to keep Alexander Hamilton? (0+ / 0-)

      I don't see him on your list, he was anti-slavery, a New Yorker, wrote the Federalist Papers -- which basically marketed the constitution to the people.

      If so, I am going to trade all my money in for 10 dollars bills and refuse to use any other currency.  I will also be writing him in for President this year.

      Although... maybe we have to cross him off for being in favor of dueling... and adultery.

      "Without culture, without education, there can be no freedom." -- Fidel Castro on 20/20

      by fearisthemindkiller on Wed Jul 09, 2008 at 01:22:38 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I am not sure how the fact that others are (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    dRefractor

    deficient justifies anyone's deficiencies?

    •  perhaps people who make compromises (6+ / 0-)

      can still achieve great good.

      "I ain't so afraid of losing something that I ain't gonna try to have it." Zoe (Firefly)

      by geejay on Wed Jul 09, 2008 at 01:09:53 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Neither am I. (2+ / 0-)

      It's a dilemma.

      May your entire existence be one sensuous, frolic-filled experience lived in defiance of care.

      by Fonsia on Wed Jul 09, 2008 at 01:10:07 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  It doesn't... which is to suggest that the whole (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      sandav, GrouchoKossak, Fonsia

      enterprise is bogus.  If you want purity, join a convent!  Compromise is essential to a democracy.  The only people who do not compromise are folks like "the Decider" and hasn't that turned out just great.  Some people just love to find hills for other people to die on.   :-(    

      ...Former candidate for Congress.

      by Steve Love on Wed Jul 09, 2008 at 01:44:25 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Compromise on principle (0+ / 0-)

        is a looser with the electorate. If you wake up and look around it is the decider that is getting everything he wants no matter how ridiculous.

        •  Compromise on principle??? (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Fonsia

            If a policy is based on some principle, compromising the policy IS compromising the principle.  These things go together, my friend.
            But not to worry, because in the give and take of the whole legislative process each side wins and loses.  Rome was not built in a day and the the problems facing this nation will not be solved in one legislative session nor will everything good that has been done in the past be undone.  
            This is a marathon not a sprint, which is why it is important for us to stay in the political loop AFTER the voting takes place so that politician know that we are watching what they are doing.  

          ...Former candidate for Congress.

          by Steve Love on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 08:26:40 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  The purpose of compromise. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Hiro

        Ok I get it and I basically agree with your assessment but (there is always a but isn't there)  The founding fathers made compromise in order to found and further the nation.  They were horrible choices but they played the hand they had to in the service of the country.  What happens when the only apparent compromises are just to get elected or re-elected.  Maybe I'm splitting hairs???

        That is if you can even call anything the Democrats have done in the past 8 years compromise.  There is an inherent reciprocal notion in the word. We both give a little and meet in the middle.  That works in general because that's were the majority of the people are.  

        I understand all the excuses but capitulation in the out of fear of not maintaining ones station isn't compromise.  One problem is that we have become so obsessed with FISA that we've temporarily forgotten that the actions taken today was a symptom not the disease.  

        No it isn't end.  Today does remind me of the old doomsday clock.  The one they moved the hands closer to or further from the nuclear holocaust every year. Today I'd say we are a couple of minutes closer the end of our republic.  Read my signature.  I just have a little less hope today.  Not giving up yet though.  There will be better days.  We'll see.  

        "Vote Your Hopes Not Your Fears."

        by YellerDog on Wed Jul 09, 2008 at 09:11:44 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  You are not "splitting hairs." (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Fonsia

          They were horrible choices but they played the hand they had to in the service of the country.  What happens when the only apparent compromises are just to get elected or re-elected.  Maybe I'm splitting hairs???

           But what you are doing is making a pejorative assumption based on information you do not have.  Any sentence that contains the word just and some negative inferance serves no purpose.  But assuming that getting elected is some secondary pursuit that ought to be made secondary to some lofty goal is nonsense.  A saint out of office is as useless to the political process as tits on a boar hog.
            I believe in voting our hopes and not our fears but voting what has the possibility of working trumps both.  It's the "art of the possible."  All else is an exercise in fantasy or fear-mongering.  IMHO   :-)

          ...Former candidate for Congress.

          by Steve Love on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 08:41:51 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Alright, you can't wield power or win some (0+ / 0-)

        battles if you don't compromise/capitulate/jettison your principals, so what's the balance? Fifty percent? You sell half out in order to get things done? Joe biden is a good progressive and he sold out us regular people with the bankrupcy bill. Fuck him, right? Barbara Boxer did the same, but she's on the balance a force for good around here. Al Gore: Tobacco Profiteer!

        so what's a tolerable balance? How about 25/75? 50/50? Should I go with one of the various "progressive voting record" ratings out there for congressmen and draw the line? What kind of sell out is just too repugnant? Voting for the war? I dunno.

        Oh, and where does joe Lieberman stand in this calculus?

        is there any room left under the bus?

        by shgigmeplease on Wed Jul 09, 2008 at 10:56:25 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  That's a good question with a hard answer. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Fonsia

          so what's a tolerable balance? How about 25/75? 50/50?

            First, is that we are not being asked to make the choices...our elected official have that job.  What is our role?  To elect the persons we think has the "right stuff" to make decisions that will in the long run benefit the most people most of the time.  
           To make an intelligent choice we need to know where we are economically, sociologically and politically on the issue.  LBJ took the side of the civil rights movement at a time when it would cost him and his party more elections than we can count!  Was that a smart thing to do, knowing what we know now that the Nixon, Reagan and the Bushes presidencies would be the price the nation would pay?  It's easy enough for us with 20/20 hindsight but that's not what politicians have.  
            Did I vote for LBJ then and would I vote for him again if I knew what the future held?  Yes, because until we got the racial issues right in this country we would be hampered in getting anything else right.  It would be a cancer that we could only treat and never cure!  
            So, I guess what it left for us is to support our team, even if the outcome in the short run is bleak.  Nobody said democracy would be easy!  
             

          ...Former candidate for Congress.

          by Steve Love on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 08:56:09 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  When I was young (8+ / 0-)

     I got into a discussion with a political science professor - and he was graciously answering some of my youthful inquiries about James Madison - and he said something that stuck with me:

     that it was truly remarkable how many of his (Madison's) ideas he compromised to get the Constitution through the Convention and then ratified.  

     I am not at all enamored with what today's FISA vote says about our "representatives" in the august and splenoured palatial halls of the Capitol Dome - but I do know that if we get Obama elected our chance of finding out all of the secrets and ugliness underneath the wiretapping/surveillance rocks is more likely to ripen into reality.

  •  Right, more Americans and Japanese should have (0+ / 0-)

    Harry Truman dropped the bomb and was unrepentant about it to the end of his life.

    ...died in World War II. I hate when people advocate that.

    •  My Dad would have been in that invasion (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      sandav

      So I'm quite ambivalent about Truman and the bomb.

      But I'm betting that many of today's progressives wouldn't like it much.

      May your entire existence be one sensuous, frolic-filled experience lived in defiance of care.

      by Fonsia on Wed Jul 09, 2008 at 02:08:15 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Actually.... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      YellerDog

      There's evidence saying that the Japanese were already looking to surrender before the bombs, but the Americans wouldn't let them because of the condition of keeping their emperor. Post-bomb, they surrendered, and KEPT that condition. Also evidence that the bomb was more a show to the Soviets than for WWII.

      •  There were several options. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        3cardmonty, Fonsia

        Hindsight is always 20/20.  However there were several options on the table and Invasion was just one.   One was to do a demonstration bomb blast and invite the Japanese to attend.  The problem with that was that we only had two bombs.  If they didn't buy it we would have used up one shot.  

        Another was a blockade. The history books focused on the Invasion excuse because that was how Truman sold the bombing.  We have forgotten that Japan is an island nation and that with the British we had the mightiest naval force ever established while they had nothing.  We could have cut them off.  Sealed them up as tightly as the Warsaw Ghetto.  Millions of Japanese would have died but we did pretty much the same thing with the firebombing in Germany. Not a good option but very few American casualties.  

        There were overtures of surrender but here was resistance too.  Roosevelt seemed almost mesmerized by Stalin thus he gave away Eastern.  Truman saw Stalin as the evil he represented.  There is probably some truth in our using the bomb as a demonstration project for the USSR.  Remember that Truman was a very good poker player.  He never did anything without a reason and often on several levels.  I think Barak does the same.  

        There were no good options.  I think Truman thought that he made the right choice.  We have the luxury to second-guess throughout eternity.    

        "Vote Your Hopes Not Your Fears."

        by YellerDog on Wed Jul 09, 2008 at 09:27:34 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Wow. I never knew about the alternatives. (0+ / 0-)

          Thanks! Verrrry interesting.

          (And yes, Obama indeed is a poker player.)

          May your entire existence be one sensuous, frolic-filled experience lived in defiance of care.

          by Fonsia on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 02:39:59 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  The greatness of the constitution is this: (7+ / 0-)

    The Conventioneers looked at each other, didn't like what they saw, and vowed to protect posterity from people like themselves. This was an act of genius which has rarely been repeated.

  •  Franklin actually owned a couple slaves. (0+ / 0-)

    It was in his will to free them, with (if I remember correctly) a small income to support them in their old age.  As it happens, he outlived them.

    •  He did early on, but changed his mind (0+ / 0-)

      about slavery. By the time of the Convention he was anti-slavery. He was President of the Pennsylvania Abolition Society in 1787, two years before the Constitutional Convention.

      May your entire existence be one sensuous, frolic-filled experience lived in defiance of care.

      by Fonsia on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 02:44:53 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Thank you for this diary. It provides (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Fonsia

    a perspective that has never occurred to me.  

    A recollection that may be pertinent:  Franklin is supposed to have commented, as the Constitution was being worked out,  "Sometimes a carpenter, to make a proper join, takes something off of both boards."  He and the rest were too busy making a nation to worry about their personal purity.

  •  The Founders were not... (4+ / 0-)

    ...just a bunch of smart country boys, many of them were recognized as world class intellects. They were also a bunch of cantankerous, argumentative and oft times scheming manipulators. Despite it all, they sucked up their differences and compromised a few principles because they realized the urgency of forming a functional government had precedence over their personal desires.
    We have a urgency now to reform our government to that which it is supposed to be.  Obama and a Democratic congress is the best hope we have of accomplishing that ends.  So, like the Founders, on some of our desires we just have to suck it up and go with the best we have.

    "A conservative government is an organized hypocrisy.".... Benjamin Disraeli -8.25 / -5.64

    by carver on Wed Jul 09, 2008 at 03:45:30 PM PDT

  •  We have to live (not fall on our swords) to fight (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Fonsia

    another day, then another to return to the country of their and our dreams

    we have miles to go before we sleep

    There is just as much horse sense as ever, but the horses have most of it. ~Author Unknown

    by VA Breeze on Wed Jul 09, 2008 at 08:28:42 PM PDT

  •  Just shows that the South has been forcing (0+ / 0-)

    ...backward attitdues on the country for centuries.

    There's something attractive about invincible ignorance... for the first 5 seconds.

    by MNPundit on Wed Jul 09, 2008 at 08:29:06 PM PDT

  •  Obama - FISA (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DemocracyLover in NYC, Hiro, mkor7

    I understand that sometimes political compromise is necessary in order to advance the broader agenda.  But in the instance of Obama's cave-in on FISA, he rolled over and got nothing in return. Does anyone believe that Republicans will be nice to him in the future because he stood with them on this legislation?  Did his vote today advance our progressive goals in some way that isn't apparent to me?  What did he gain by supporting Bush and the telecoms on this one?

    I'll tell you what Obama lost--  He lost a great opportunity to make it clear to everyone that he means what he says, and that he will follow through on his pledges.  He lost the enthusiastic support of many of us who worked hard to help him win the primary.  Sure, we'll vote for him over McCain, but the confidence that we're standing behind a guy who we can trust has been shaken.  What happens the next time Obama makes a promise?  Can we be sure he will keep it?  He has opened the crack of doubt about his integrity, and it's politically stupid, in addition to being the wrong thing to do from a policy perspective.  Americans don't want a President they agree with 100% of the time; they respect someone who stands by his own word.  I'm amazed that his advisors didn't think this issue through more clearly and come to the right conclusion.

    •  Well there is that. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Hiro

      He has opened the crack of doubt about his integrity, and it's politically stupid, in addition to being the wrong thing to do from a policy perspective.

      They were putting lipstick on a pig with their spin today.  

      "Vote Your Hopes Not Your Fears."

      by YellerDog on Wed Jul 09, 2008 at 09:32:15 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  well said eagleye n/t (0+ / 0-)

      "Whenever I get the urge, I lay down 'til it passes." - Mark Twain on exercise.

      by mkor7 on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 12:47:39 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  He gained one important thing: (0+ / 0-)

      He refused to paint a huge bullseye on his chest so the Rethugs can hit him harder on national security. It's the only area where McCain polls better. There are many more moderates out there amongst the voters than there are progressives.

      Sure they'll still hit him, but he's plugged up one of their biggest guns.

      And I assure you that Hillary would have done the same--or any other Democratic nominee.

      Plus, because the bill doesn't eliminate criminal liability, Obama can sic his AG on these companies once he's in office, which is what he says he'll do.

      As Disraeli said: if you wish to become a statesman, first you must get elected.

      May your entire existence be one sensuous, frolic-filled experience lived in defiance of care.

      by Fonsia on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 02:53:31 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Excellent diary, thanks for taking the time (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Fonsia

    to remind us all that on his worst day, Obama still has more potential than McCain. Neither of these candidates have been or will be "known quantities".

    The folks raising hell about FISA are important too though. We can't give Obama the impression that nobody cares what he does, good or bad. However, we still need to get him elected.

  •  Needs a Rescue tag! n/t (0+ / 0-)
    •  For which I thank you! (0+ / 0-)

      Worked on this thing for three days and it sank like a stone.

      I'll know better when to post, next time.

      Didn't know it had been rescued until this morning.

      May your entire existence be one sensuous, frolic-filled experience lived in defiance of care.

      by Fonsia on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 02:58:59 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Several wrongs... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Hiro

    don't make rights.

    Although I agree that the Democratic Party is the lesser evil, this capitulation has numbed many and lessened our enthusiasm for hope as Obama has expressed it.

    This reminds me of a local teacher I debated with recently when the democrats were in her words "going after Scooter Henry" for lying to congress.  It was her contention that he deserved his presidential pardon because Clinton had lied and gotten away with it.

    This made me very sad to think she is actually responsible for molding young minds.

    What we all need to remember is we decide who leads us.  If they refuse to capitulate to the people then they need to be replaced with those who will.  By continuing to back Obama we stand the greatest chance to turn Washington upside down and shake out the lobbyists and politicians that pander to them.

  •  About Teddy Roosevelt... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Fonsia

    Teddy Roosevelt performed the last step in a plot by Wall Street speculators to organize the separation of Panama from Columbia with bribes and various congressional shenagins which resulted in the payment of over $30,000,000 to the speculators to purchase the French concession to  build the Panama Canal which they secretly held. The concession was about to expire anyway, so fast action was required to get Panama to secede from Columbia before their holding became worthless.

    When the speculators had everything arranged, they delivered their plot to Teddy Roosevelt, who then took personal charge of moving the US warships and their marine detachments into place to avoid a Colombian retaking of what was to be stripped away. Although he didn't admit it until 1911 --- and in so doing sparked anti-American riots in several Latin American cities --- Roosevelt "took Panama." And he also took the French concession off of the Wall Street speculators at a hefty profit to the latter.

    ... from The Panama News

  •  Andrew Jackson was an imperialist (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Fonsia

    I have never liked Andrew Jackson. He took the first real steps towards an imperial presidency. George Washington only vetoed bills if he thought they were unconstitutional. That tradition continued until Andrew Jackson forced the President into the Legislative branch by vetoing everything he didn't like. He also refused to actually implement some laws and maybe court cases (I don't remember the details). He probably considered himself to be above the law.

    What did Andrew Jackson accomplish that progressives would like about him to begin with? Winning the battle of New Orleans?

  •  in defense of lincoln (0+ / 0-)

    The Constitution permits the suspension of habeas corpus in cases of rebellion or invasion.  I think he's the only progressive in the bunch that you listed.

    Carter increased aid to Indonesia as the genocide in East Timor was escalated.

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