You say you want a revolution?

Famed Watergate-era reporter Carl Bernstein says Congress is so out of touch with America that it may be time to scrap our current system of government and convene a new Constitutional Convention.

“If a private company functioned like Congress it would be out of business,” Bernstein said on MSNBC Monday. “The current system is not working.”

Recent polls show an overwhelming majority of Americans believe our government is broken.

Recognizing that our current system doesn’t work is the easy part.

Fixing it is where it gets dicey.

I’m not sure a new Constitutional Convention will accomplish anything because it most likely would be composed of the same out-of-touch political hacks who lead our government today and the current political system that allows well-heeled special interests to control the legislative process would also weigh in.

It would take approval by at least two-thirds of the 50 state legislatures to call a constitutional convention and any changes would have to be ratified by four fifths (40 of 50 states).

Impossible? Probably, given the sad fact that most state legislatures are as split along bitter partisan divides as those we see in Congress.

So, what’s left?

Revolution?

Risky at best. The United States government has nuclear weapons. Unless the Tea Party has cut a secret deal with the former Soviet Union that gives Uncle Sam a clear advantage.

True, the U.S. military is overextended fighting multiple wars but all it would take is a smart bomb or two to take the life out of any budding revolution.

So I have an easier solution: Let’s require all ballots for Congressional and Presidential elections to include “none of the above” as an option.

This would give voters a chance to say they don’t want any of the political hacks on the ballot.

If “none of the above” gets more votes than anyone on the ballot, nobody’s elected.

Then a new election would have to be held within 60 days but no one who ran in the first election could be on the new ballot. Each candidate in the new election would get an equal amount of public funds for the campaign and no outside contributions or participation would be allowed.

Also, any incumbent who loses to “none of the above” in an election would lose all pension and benefits from service in office.

That’s what happens in the real world when you get fired.

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47 Responses to "You say you want a revolution?"

  1. Sandune  March 3, 2010 at 8:29 am

    How can Americans determine what it is they want from our federal government? Do the voters even realize the level of corruption they voted into the government? I fear the American voters do not judge their voter actions simply as right over wrong but who will hand them a stronger safety net. Fiscal responsibility has lost to social actions since 1964 and the American people expect to be told what to do and what not to do. The voters are running on empty with their hands out to accept whatever “Big Daddy” promises.

    The first hundred years or so of American New World efforts took us from the horse and buggy to a walk on the moon. Now we are back to a nation of prayers over individual actions. But the middle east is in the same box. The Middle East was the center of science and math until Allah told them to pray instead. When this change takes over the government, no nation can develop.

    My opinion on this is unpopular but it is a valid and researched opinion.

    • Almandine  March 3, 2010 at 1:57 pm

      The problem, Sandy, is that your opinion has nothing to do with the article.

      • Sandune  March 3, 2010 at 3:50 pm

        My opinion is valid when it comes to revolution in America. Can anyone here describe what form of government they want? Can you tell anyone how much government you desire? We no longer have our definitions clear enough to discuss what amount of authority we want or need. Both parties want complete control over our jobs, homes, investments, morals, and even our choice of who we marry. We are demanding corruption in our congress just to get them elected. We cannot clean up any level of government until we know what we want. There are plenty of whiners who continue to gripe about what we don’t want. I want a separation of church and state for openers.

  2. Bogofree  March 3, 2010 at 8:53 am

    Rexford Guy Tugwell of the FDR administration wrote about this decades ago in a book called “A Model For A New Constitution.” Heck…in the first years of the Madison administration there was talk of scuttling the whole “experiment.” That was nothing new as this issue periodically raises to the surface.

  3. blacksmith  March 3, 2010 at 9:04 am

    The American voting public is continually misinformed by the world’s best propaganda machine. In spite of that, more and more Americans are figuring out that the people “running” this country are only motivated by acquiring more power and feeding tax money to those who will help them get reelected. The idea of adhering to Constitutional limits on government power is considered “quaint” at best by the beltway crowd (and by all too many whose paychecks are covered by the taxpayers of this country). The Constitution and Bill of Rights may have flaws, but the government that those documents define would be far far better than what we have now. Our elected officials all swear to uphold the Constitution. While getting a chance to get rid of them with “None of the above” is one method of dealing with them, another would be to hold them accountable when they break their oaths with nice long jail terms -at the least-. Treason should be a punishable crime for them too….shouldn’t deliberate circumvention of the Constitution under color of law be considered treason?

  4. Sandune  March 3, 2010 at 9:09 am

    It is the fault of the Constitution or the problem of defining it? There is a terrible slam on gays this morning at Reader Rant based on religious convictions found in the bible. Our Constitution is an experiment in individual freedoms and will not work unless every American thinks in terms of individual equality. Our churches have preached against individual equality and there is your enemy. America is no longer a free nation and it shows in the quality of our elections.

  5. blacksmith  March 3, 2010 at 9:11 am

    We don’t need a new Constitution, we just need to enforce compliance with the one we have….

  6. griff  March 3, 2010 at 9:11 am

    Why waste our time writing a new Constitution when the old one isn’t followed? After all, it’s just a god-damned piece of paper.

  7. AustinRanter (AKA Gregg)  March 3, 2010 at 11:34 am

    Insurrection is a pipe dream for many. If one examined all of the elements that would have to be in place just to establish a minimal amount of organization to carry out an insurrection…well, it’s just not going to happen.

    Granted, there’s something about the thought of a civil uprising that seems to be the appropriate method of solving many of our political problems that is sooo appealing.

    Insurrection, which in effect would be civil war, would endanger the lives of millions of children and yes, men and women who don’t have the constitution for violence.

    Who has the organizational skills to even embark on urging the social conscience to come together to aggressively and relentessly perpetrate such a public action against our standing government without effectively conveying the long-term consequences.

    Even if by some miracle in insurrection was possible. Who would define the new government, its rules, its limitations, its responsibilities…and who’s to say that there wouldn’t be strong opposition of ideologies and philosophies that come forth by a host of minority groups vying for power?

    Despite our rights outlined in the Declaration of Independence which allows for the following:

    We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. “That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. That whenever any form of government becomes destructive to these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shown that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such government, and to provide new guards for their future security…

    We all know that revolution just isn’t in the realm of reality in our social construct.

    As I have suggested before, We the People (the Fourth Branch of Government) should seriously consider shifting from a Bicameral form of government to a Unicameral form of government. Yes, it would require Constitutional changes. But this within our power as the Fourth Branch of Government to disassemble the current Powerist in Washington though the election system. Then through actions of “civil disobedience” across the nation…in every city, town and village – send a unified message that we want a Unicameral government and that the standing government MUST make Constitutional changes to facilitate the transistion.

    How a Unicameral Congress would work…

    1. Primaries would be conducted so that all candidates would be listed on the ballet, regardless of political ideology or philosophy, for whatever respective office that they choose to run for. In other word, no more separate primaries for political parties…and no more requiring voters to declare their allegiance to a party. On Election Day…the candidate with more than 50% of the vote wins. No more campaigns driven by political organizations or machines that control agendas and supported candidates on based on a party ideology or philosophy.

    2. An Individual who wants to serve in the Federal government will retain the right of selecting a party affiliation. However, there will no longer be two chambers of Congress.

    3. Thus, base on single-house system (Congressional) members will ultimately be driven to act in a nonpartisan manner.

    4. Every act of the legislature and every act of each individual must be transacted in the spotlight of publicity.

    5. In a one-house legislature or congressional system, no actions could be concealed as is commonly done in the conference committee of bicameral legislatures. Conference committees resolve differences when bills passed in both houses vary in content. Committees are often closed door and create too much power and is much more likely be influenced by lobbyists.

    6. Any lawmakers proposing amendments must debate them outside of committee on the chamber floor.

    7. Bills must get a public hearing; a specified number of days (say 14 days) must elapse between a bill’s introduction and its passage; and bills can contain only one subject.

    8. Most importantly, the people would serve as a check upon the possible abuse of power by their elected officials with the right to vote and petition.

    In Summary

    There is no reason for people to vote for representatives to two separate houses to serve the same purpose. “One person – one vote” has negated the original intent of having each house elected on a different basis.

    The Unicameral form simplifies bill passage. The process is more direct. Bills are more readily available for scrutiny by legislators and the public.

    The Conference Committee, and inherent evil necessary for the operation of a bicameral system, is eliminated.

    Lobbyists are less influential in the Unicameral legislature because the lawmaking process is more public.

    In a Unicameral system, it is easier to achieve cooperation between executive and legislative branches.

    A Unicameral system is more economical.

    A Unicameral system offers greater responsibility to legislators.

    Legislators are more accountable to the public and their constituency because their position is a matter of public record. They are not able to urge opposite positions within the other house.

    Nebraska is the only state in the nation with a Unicameral system. It’s worked very effectively and efficiently for the past 60 years.

    What in the Hell are we waiting for?

    • dtotire  March 6, 2010 at 9:12 am

      Some good ideas here. A Parliamentary system would be more effective, and there is no need for a second house. I think stronger qualifications could be required for legislators, perhaps stronger educational qualifications and previous public experience.. Also, a provision for national referendums, in the event the Legislature was unable to come to agreement on an issue. To be worked out: How should the President be elected? Should he be a figurehead or should the leader of the legislature have more power, with the President having only veto power? If the legislature cannot come to agreement, the President could call for new elections?

  8. Carl Nemo  March 3, 2010 at 1:15 pm

    A Constitutional Congress would be an absolute disaster in our times in that the men that founded this nation are long since dead. Modern legislators don’t have a finger nail’s paring worth of integrity within their spirits and would engineer a modern ‘founding’ document that would be a travesty relative to now our “rights” vs. the ‘privileges’ they would grant to us.

    Just read the European Union’s Charter with it’s weak worded “One World Order” kumbaya slant and folks will get the point as to what I’m referring in short order.

    For sure there won’t be Second Amendment as we know it now with the writers of this new document turning this new constitution into a worthless document relative to “We the People”.

    As far as open revolution is concerned, forget it. The average American has become so soft, so ignorant and so uninformed that they wouldn’t know where to begin concerning an effective insurgency. The neolitic peasants that live in the Middle East at least dwell in stone, brick and mortar structures that can stop small arms fire, but the majority of Americans live in stick built crackerboxes regardless of the price. Chain gun or automatic cannon fire can turn such structures into matchwood in a NY minute much less a Hellfire missile incoming etc. In 1776 there’s was parity between the occupiers; ie., the British and the colonists other than cannons, but not the mind-boggling disparity found in our times between John Q. Citizen and the MIC/Law enforcement monster that’s been built courtesy of our tax dollars.

    U.S. citizens haven’t even demonstrated a revolution at the ballot box, much less an open armed one as yet. The greater portion of U.S. citizens have degenerated into simply fat lambs for slaughter.

    *****

    “A nation of sheep will beget a government of wolves.” – Edward R. Murrow

    *****

    Carl Nemo **==

    • Sandune  March 3, 2010 at 6:50 pm

      Carl Wrote: “U.S. citizens haven’t even demonstrated a revolution at the ballot box, much less an open armed one as yet. The greater portion of U.S. citizens have degenerated into simply fat lambs for slaughter.”

      All I can say is BINGO! If we don’t have fair elections, it is up to us to make certain that we do. The voters have tried before to cut through the 2-party system and starting with Goldwater, Perot and Ron Paul, we were laughed at. The media had a field day knocking us around. Look at the current Democratic Leaders and shudder…..What is worse, look at the Republican Leaders.

      At this time, there are no candidates for any legislative office. We either can do something about this or not vote. We also have the Census coming and we should discuss how much information our government wants from all of us. Ten years ago, the discussion at Reader Rant was to give them only the bare facts. Many of us here did that and we were not fined for sending back incomplete forms.

      Are we individuals in our own right or are we sheep?

  9. Bill Walker  March 3, 2010 at 1:40 pm

    The author obviously is unaware that a sufficient number of applications under Article V for an Article V Convention. All 50 states have submitted over 700 applications for an Article V Convention call. The texts of the applications can be read at http://www.foavc.org. Congress in violation of its oath of office, has disobeyed the Constitution

    The fact is amendments work. They have a proven success record nearly 250 old. At critical junctures in our nation’s development it has been amendments to our Constitution that resolved crisis. They did then and they will now.

    The author expresses concerns about convention in that he believes the same crowd now in power will simply control the convention. He provides no proof for that and fails to mention the Constitution prohibits such people from being delegates. He assumes a fact therefore not in evidence. It highly unlikely the people will elect such people again as they will have an advantage the author fails to note. The position of the delegate will be established at election or before because all that can be discussed at a convention is amendments meaning the proposed amendments will already be known and the only thing that can be examined because there is nothing else is the delegate’s position on those proposed amendments. In short, does he favor them or not? An up or down position. Effectively by the choice of which delegates the people elect will determine which amendments are proposed.

    He also fails to mention that all proposed amendments must be ratified by a completely separate set of citizens with completely different goals than the group he is so concerned about. In short, his fear is groundless.

  10. woody188  March 3, 2010 at 3:21 pm

    I agree with others, we need a government that upholds and protects our current Constitution. Unfortunately the ruling class only understands two languages, money and violence. We’ll need to hit them in both the wallet and comfort/safety to see any change. All non-violent means are simply being brushed off and laughed at from on high. So long as the gears of the machine continue to turn, the machine will continue to chew us up and spit us out.

    The U.S.S.R. also was/is nuclear armed, and that didn’t stop them from splitting mostly without violence. I don’t know if our ruling class is insane enough to drop bombs on their own people, but they might be.

  11. woody188  March 3, 2010 at 3:26 pm

    Another thing, why can we all admit the government isn’t following their oath of office and selling us all up the creek without paddles, but we still believe that they run fair elections?

    It’s not who votes that counts, it’s who counts the vote that matters.

    • AustinRanter (AKA Gregg)  March 3, 2010 at 5:23 pm

      Woody…I think I’ve read a gazillion times that people do know that government isn’t following their oath of office and selling us all up the creek without paddles.

      Nobody believes they run fair elections. The electorate re-elect 85% of the incumbents because we’re lazy, apathetic, uninformed, (ignorant) not willing to effectively participate in our Constitutional duties, which is to serve as the Fourth Branch of government, which would play a significant role in the check and balance system.

      We The People got us here. We the People can get us out, but we won’t. We’ve accepted the status quo form of broken system of government because it’s the path of least resistance.

  12. griff  March 4, 2010 at 8:01 pm

    All one needs to do is take a look at what just happened in Texas to be convinced that we’re more than happy to make nice with the Establishment when it comes to election time. When push comes to shove we fold like a house of cards and stick with what’s familiar and comfortable instead of taking a chance on real change. The illusion will suffice once more.

    Despite all the talk of voting out incumbents, Texans went so far as to give the much-despised Rick Perry the nod to represent the Republicans for governor despite challenges from a Tea Party candidate (Medina) and another Establishment tool (Hutchinson).

    Who the hell are we kidding? Revolution? We can’t even get people to think outside the partisan psuedo-reality of the political soap opera being acted out every day for our mesmerized enjoyment. Do you all really enjoy being talked to in such simplistic, childish ways?

    They are robbing you. They’re not only robbing you, but they’re telling you over and over again that they’re robbing you. And still you do nothing.

  13. griff  March 4, 2010 at 8:59 pm

    Max Keiser spells it out for you. Watch the second interview in particular.

  14. b mcclellan  March 4, 2010 at 10:18 pm

    Thanks for chewing me out Griff, but might I add I’m not from Tex ass as most thankfully are not, they think they are bigger than us, and I personally have never met anyone from the Alamo state that did not have this aura of weeins is betterin than youins, so I say fuc&em cause they adopted weeds from Connecticut and unleashed them upon the world.

    I’ll say it loud and clear, I’ll take anyone from anywhere as long as it’s not a Texan alongside in any bomb crater I’m left to defend.
    LLAMRAF..

    • AustinRanter (AKA Gregg)  March 7, 2010 at 7:49 pm

      Gosh, Bryan…I’ll have to dig up my dead mother and father and bitch slapp’em to even a greater depth of deadness for conceiving me and then have the audacity for giving birth to me in Texas. Circumstance of birth does have its drawbacks.

  15. Warren  March 4, 2010 at 10:47 pm

    “Nota” is a good suggestion. The Libertarian party has used it for years for internal elections.

    A move to “rank choice voting” is the next improvement. Several major jurisdictions have moved to it in recent years, both in the US and internationally. This can happen at the local and state levels. Google it. This might or might not be applicable to the federal level by statute, TBD.

    A more parliamentary system of government is the next step after that. More viewpoints involved, more necessity of coalition building. Again, this can happen at the local and state levels. But a constitutional amendment would be required for use at the federal level which isn’t going to happen.

    Beyond that are bad alternatives.

    Rewrite the constitution? By who? The same jerks who can’t pull off government under an already good constitution? What’s the point?

    Armed conflict? That’s the worst possible scenario. That’s years of bloodshed in the streets with the next constitution written by whoever had the biggest guns. I shudder.

    —W—

  16. jim0001  March 4, 2010 at 11:47 pm

    QUOTE:griff says:
    “March 3, 2010 at 9:11 am
    Why waste our time writing a new Constitution when the old one isn’t followed? After all, it’s just a god-damned piece of paper.”

    Reply:
    Sorry, (title?). griff, Do not know where you come from, who you are, or what your background is (I can kind’a figure it out from your comments but don’t really care). I will tell you this: The Constitution of the United States of America may be written on paper but it is not just a piece of (YOUR QUOTE)profane paper. It is a belief system that has been defended; AND CONTINUES TO BE, for almost 250 years by the sweat, blood and honor of Americans who believe in these words . I respectfully submit that they took up arms and committed themselves to something bigger than themselves and something other than a computer web sight. You should say thanks to whatever cyber idol you believe in for the Americans who defended your 1st amendment rights to express your thoughts. Everytime I look at capitolhillblue I see the same “intellectuals” blasting this country. I am so thankful that the “super intelligent cyber keyboard soldiers” are defending America.

    I DO CONCUR WITH YOUR STATEMENT THAT THE CONSTITUTION IS NOT FOLLOWED.

  17. Dale Anderson  March 5, 2010 at 7:41 am

    The problem isn’t that Congress is out of touch. Rather, that they are in strongly in touch representing a public that doesn’t actually know what it wants. With today’s communications abilities, they’re literally flooded with demands. A simple summary is the public wants all sorts of protections from their government, but doesn’t want to pay for it, and especially doesn’t want to pay for the other guy’s protections.

    It’s really a waste of time to ruminate over all sorts of iterations of government trying to fix what’s broken, when what’s actually broken is the society in general.

    • woody188  March 5, 2010 at 5:19 pm

      I beg to differ. 80%+ of the populace was against TARP and what happened?

      80%+ of the populace was against the stimulus and what happened?

      90%+ are against health care insurance ‘reform’ as represented by the two different bills in reconciliation and what is happening?

      80%+ are against cap and trade legislation due to the Climategate scandal which is the biggest scientific scandal since science forced everyone to accept the Earth was flat and the Sun rotated around the Earth but did you even hear about it?

      Nearly 70%+ are against war in Afghanistan and more than that against war in Iraq and what’s happening?

      More than 50% believe our own government was responsible or at least allowed the attacks on 9/11 to happen and is that getting any attention?

      • Carl Nemo  March 5, 2010 at 5:52 pm

        Thanks Woody for the stats. My head is still reeling from Dale’s post in that our “crimpols” seemingly know what’s best for us. In theory they were elected to “represent” us not “lead” us down dark pathways to national financial destruction as they’ve been relentlessly doing for the past 30 years or so.

        When Reagan/H.W. Bush took office the national public debt was around 800 billion dollars. Reagan/Bush added about 5 trillion to that debt along with the four year followup of H.W. Bush/Dan Quayle giving us Gulf War I. Clinton actually left us in fairly good shape due to the tech boom, but then we had G.W.Bush/Dick Cheney at the helm and they tacked on another 5 trillion bucks to the debt and now we have Mr. “out of control”; ie., President Obama and Joe Biden evidently issuing the coup de grace to the U.S.

        Twenty of the past 29 years have been under presidential regimes linked to the Bush family who have a long history of making money off war including H.W. Bush’s father, Prescott Bush during the WWII era. Yep, these guys and their running dogs facilitators in Congress really know what’s best for us. Where would we be without them?! / : |

        Carl Nemo **==

  18. Mightymo  March 5, 2010 at 11:29 am

    jim0001 demonstrates our national problem perfectly. You know things are bad when a sitting President (Bush) can make those sorts of comments, have them made public for all Americans to see and hear, then get reelected for a second term because……

    The Constitution is not the problem, or even the type of government we have, it’s that we the people are inept at seeing through the BS and electing people who want to do best for the Nation, and not for themselves or the party.

    jim0001 seems awfully concerned with the Constitution, and I’ll bet he voted for bush, and now that he knows bush made the comment about the Constitution just being a piece of God damn paper, he’d probably vote for bush again. If you’re bush, do you now think jim0001 and anyone else that voted for you thinks that the Constitution is just a God damn piece of paper?

    • jim0001  March 5, 2010 at 9:58 pm

      SAME QUESTION/ which speach was this “quote” taken from? Help me with this because I never heard it. I might have been in the sandbox and a whole lot of us missed the alleged comment.

      • griff  March 5, 2010 at 10:09 pm

        It wasn’t from a speech but a White House meeting.

        “I don’t give a god damn, I’m the President and the Commander-in-Chief. Do it my way. Stop throwing the Constitution in my face, it’s just a god damn piece of paper!” – George W. Bush

        By the way our very own Doug Thompson broke that story right here.

        • Warren  March 7, 2010 at 1:14 pm

          Here’s a link that describes some of the brouhaha that Doug stirred up. The folks at factcheck.org clearly don’t like Doug, not one little bit, but [this article] does have some of the history of the incident. Did Bush really say what was attributed to him? I tend to think so, but only Doug knows his sources and only those sources know for sure.

          —W—

    • jim0001  March 5, 2010 at 10:53 pm

      Thanks for the compliments. You probably consider me a neanderthal. I believe in my country. but that’s ok. Please provide me with the link to this bush quote. I might have had some foriegn sand in my ears and missed the it. Yes, I voted for bush not once but twice! He was not what I would have liked but the alternatives were worse (Mr. global warming and the three purple hearts in as many months ketchup man). The unfortunate situation in this country is that you don’t vote for someone rather you vote against someone. You can bet your fourth point of contact that I am concerned with the Constitution. I can only interperet that your blast against bush means that the annointed one will save the union? You go brain…I anxiously await your response with an intelligent plan to save the union. Your prolific use of profanity demonstrates that you lack a mastery of the english language and your parental upbringing lacked any level of civility for intelligent discourse.

  19. Sandune  March 5, 2010 at 2:23 pm

    Wasn’t it Ben Franklin who said “We gave you a Constitutional Republic but can you keep it? The answer is no! If one takes 200 hundred Americans and ask them what our Republic stands for, not a single answer will even be close let alone be the same. Since the end of WW2, America has been in a fight for self definition. We were told that Communism was eating away at our freedoms. We were told that only Christisanity could save us. These threats came from our own government to keep us all in a state of terrorism that only our government could control. From the threats of other nations to the threats of creatures from other worlds all scared the crap out of the voters.

    About half of us turned to science and technology and the other half turned to God. The leadership came from our Universities which of course scared the religious right who was fighting for their own control over the voters. It has only been in the last 20 years that many books, theater productions, television plays have shown the common man in cahoots with other common men who can take care of the oppression of our culture. Somehow we miss the “right over wrong” scenarios. I was raised on Tarzan books and Zane Grey books and even radio shows of “The Shadow” snd “Dick Tracy” and Joe Palooka movies. John Wayne movies always had the man in the white hat fixing the problems. The Lone Ranger and his Indian Side Kick all demonstrated right over wrong which was “the AMerican way.”

    I grew up wanting to fight crime while riding my new French racing bike. I grew up standing on the Palisades with my binoculars searching the skies for enemy planes. A mere girl wanting the responsibility to save my city.

    There’s a lot of that passion left in me today. In my elderly mind it still comes down to right versus wrong. I keep hearing that sophistication has replaced the basics that I demand. People cannot make the choices between right and wrong and we will always need Big Daddy (White House or Sky Daddy) to tell us what is acceptable. That’s your bull shit plain and clear.

    • griff  March 5, 2010 at 8:25 pm

      As Franklin emerged from the Constitutional Convention on September 18, 1787, he was asked by a Mrs. Powel, “Well Doctor, what have we got, a republic or a monarchy?”

      Franklin replied, “A republic, if you can keep it.”

  20. Anti-Fascist  March 5, 2010 at 11:12 pm

    The House and Senate are NOT out of touch. They know exactly which end is up. They know that their bread is buttered by the corporate campaign contributions and THAT is who they represent. They also know that the people will never vote them out. of office. No growth in the bottom 95% in the last 30 years and almost half of them voted for the Man who voted for every piece of legislation that caused that, in November of 2008. The politicians know that the American people are stupid, ignorant and gullible. 700 Billion to the pentagon per year not including wars to defend us from nobody. We are a Fascist Oligarchy and have been since 11/22/63.
    The Warren Commission proved to the politicians that the American people will believe ANYTHING. Free trade,Free markets, the MIC. As Lynyrd Skynrd sings, steal my money and give it to the rich as long as I have my Guns and my hatemongering warmongering right wing bastardization of Jesus

  21. Bill B  March 6, 2010 at 10:55 am

    A big part of the problem is the process by which we select our representatives. The original intent is that responsible citizens would consider it their civic duty to serve a term or tow representing neighbors then go back to running their farm (the legislative calendar still revolves around the planting and harvesting cycle). The current system has degenerated into a profession that requires huge egos and bigger bankrolls to keep ones job. Having seen the political process from the inside, I can tell you that it isn’t pretty. A candidate spends more time on the phone with potential donors than he or she does talking to constituents, is surrounded by sycophants that stroke the candidate’s ego in an attempt to get a job in their administration and whose every waking moment is occupied with how to build up their own esteem in the eyes of the voters while tearing down that of their opponent.

    This process is guaranteed to warp the personality of a Saint, let alone the mere mortals normally found in politics. It also explains the theatre of the absurd found on Faux News and others of their ilk: more outrageous claims get air time, free of charge. Think anyone outside of Minnesota would have a clue who Michele Bachmann is were it not for her lunatic rantings? Granted, this constant spewing of bile turns off most of the electorate, but this works to the candidates advantage: sensible voters stay home in disgust, while the True Believers (R) turn out to support their demigod.

    Personally, I think the ancient Athenians had it right: selection of representatives by lot. All citizens who meet certain minimal standards (age, high school diploma/GED, able to locate US on a globe) could register for selection. A lottery would then be held to fill the position for Representative/Senator. After having served their term, a judicial review and audit would be performed to determine if a person may have misused their position and, if so, charges brought up in a court of law. This eliminates the power of the party and reduces the influence of money and power, since no one can determine beforehand who will win and the chances of reelection are non-existent.

    The downsides that I see to this proposal is that: a) statistically the chances are that a person of average or below average intelligence would be in a position of power; b) bureaucrats would be the ones actually running the show. I put it to you that both of these occur under the current system already (consider the last Administration), so that we would be no worse off than we are today.

    • Carl Nemo  March 7, 2010 at 7:50 pm

      Solid thoughts Bill B on how it “oughta be”. : ) You mention that there’s the hazard that people of low to below average intelligence might end up in a position of power. How do we know that we don’t have those people in power right now. Terminal, corrosive greed has nothing to do with intelligence. In fact I’d say the brighter the individual the greater the predilection for engaging in the vice of greed among others.

      Carl Nemo **==

    • jim0001  March 8, 2010 at 10:53 pm

      Or the current administration….

  22. Doc_Holiday  March 7, 2010 at 6:46 pm

    Is it too much to ask for a government that would actually live by and support the Constitution of the United States? That would be the government I want.

    • AustinRanter (AKA Gregg)  March 8, 2010 at 10:54 am

      Doc, with all due respect, our problem is that We The People are notorious for mumbling and grumbling about our broken government and will even go as far as to write to our repective Congressional members and “ASK government to live by and support the Constitution”.

      Asking isn’t near enough. We need to stop asking and start telling the government the to live by and support the Constitution. If they won’t (and they won’t) then the governed will take action according to the following:

      “WE hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

      That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.

      That whenever any form of government becomes destructive to these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness.” ~ Declaration of Independence

      But I suggest that Americans just won’t take any meanful actions. Our history shows such.

  23. Ray  March 11, 2010 at 3:41 pm

    I suspect that if a convention would be held today there would be no government formed … partisanship has made America stupid, stupid, stupid

    • Warren  March 11, 2010 at 8:28 pm

      “Yep, son, we have met the enemy and he is us.” As Pogo so prophetically philosophized from his swamp.

      In 1775 there was a common enemy – King George. In 2010 there is no single embodiment of tyranny. We have no consensus against a common enemy. We have no one but our own incremental acceptance of nebulous tyranny to blame.

      —W—

  24. Arthur  March 12, 2010 at 5:50 pm

    All this anguish, all this angst! All this worry!

    And as long as it comes from the same sort of heart as those of the Founding Fathers showed, then I applaud it with all my heart.

    If those who fight against this political corruption do so because they are of the calibre of citizen that Senator Smith was, then MAYBE we have a chance. It was he (Smith) who quoted from the Declaration of Independence – rendered almost voiceless – when he read to the Senate body:

    …That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government…

    Jeff Smith was brought to his knees sobbing and beaten… until something he had inside turned a cynical but feisty self-serving woman into an activist who got the patriot bug from him and turned around and enabled him to go on…

    And the rest is Cinema Classic History.

    Now graned this was fiction. Still, it hit close enough to home that the congressional body pretty much boycotted the movie in anger.

    But can we just pass a motion to get rid of all the incumbent scum and VOILA!

    I don’t know if the original question about wanting a revolution was tongue-in-cheek, or out of some sort of put down, or as an utterance of a psychotic ostrich.

    Frankly, I don’t know if Doug is just troubled, but respects others’ right to express themselves, or whether this is some sort of plant to get the powers that be to see who are the trouble makers out there.

    Me? Without knowing him, and having read about his past history with the beltway, I am going to assume his heart is basically in the right place but badly battle scared.

    But make no mistake. Tom Jefferson knew what he was talking about when he said the tree of Liberty needed to be refreshed from time to time by the blood of patriots and tyrants, its natural manure.

    My only question to the God to whom they owed allegience for granting them the authority to found this great nation is:

    WHEN GODDAMMIT IS IT THE TYRANTS’ TURN TO SHED SOME BLOOD???

  25. Carl Nemo  March 12, 2010 at 10:30 pm

    Yo Arthur,

    “Frankly, I don’t know if Doug is just troubled, but respects others’ right to express themselves, or whether this is some sort of plant to get the powers that be to see who are the trouble makers out there.” …extract from post

    I enjoyed your thoughts until you hypothesized that Doug is front-running a “bag the seditionists” op. I’ve checked him out through other channels that I have access to and the man is genuine and genuinely “fed up” with the program as the rest of us. To me he’s salt of the earth and I hope to meet up with him one day soon when I travel to Virginia for a visit one of my brothers who resides in Great Falls, VA on the Potomac.

    Feel comfortable that this is the real deal and the man is genuinely interested in the maintenance of our freedom etc. If men like him didn’t provide sounding board sites like this, then what would you have? It’s rare that sites let the common folk make personal commentary to items in the news. The few that do are operated by pompous ideologues who enjoy steering and censoring their peanut gallery along their lines of thought. If you don’t tow the line, you get the boot. Doug is not a censor and actually puts up with a lot more crap for which I would have little patience.

    Whether you are registered to this site or not, the government agencies that monitor the web know who you are and where you live. I dont’ recall reading any posts by an “Arthur” when registration was required. We have many new posters and that’s good thing as far as I’m concerned, but remember you are responsible for what you write and every thought, dot and tittle is being logged by some agency that’s tasked to do so.

    Carl Nemo **==

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