Thursday, December 27, 2007

Congressional Quarterly: No U-Turn Likely with Mainstream Candidates

This week's cover story in the Congressional Quarterly offers a very good analysis of the likelihood that Bush's executive power overreach will remain in place should any of the leading frontrunners from either party win the White House in 2008.

For the past seven years, George W. Bush has expanded presidential power in ways that no one could have predicted when he took office.

[...]

However, the records and statements of the eight major candidates — the three Democrats and five Republicans who have had double-digit support in the most recent national polls — show that the 2008 presidential election is not likely to start a huge shift in the balance of power away from the White House.

That doesn’t mean the top candidates would continue all of the Bush administration’s practices, and most aren’t likely to take the same kind of deliberately confrontational approach to Congress. Also, an upset victory could still go to one of the few candidates whose victory would represent a clear rejection of Bush’s overall policies. But there is enough evidence of a preference for strong executive power in the backgrounds of most of the field to suggest that, more likely than not, there will be no U-turn under the next president.


And that in an oversimplified nutshell is why Ron Paul has so much support, in spite of some of his more "radical" positions.

Fracturing the Democratic Base
It also helps shed some light on why many rank-and-file Democrats feel so threatened by Paul that they've started swiftboating him at some of the more respectable Democratic internet haunts.

Democratic bloggers across the board have spent the last 7 years attacking Bush's Imperial Presidency and "unitary executive" overreach as unlawful and unconstitutional. But now that Bush's time in office is up, the Democratic establishment candidates have presented no plans to bring the Executive Branch back in line as one of the three co-equal branches of government.

There is a segment of the rank-and-file Democrats who continue to believe, based on those years of demanding it, that the Executive Branch should be scaled back on principled, constitutional grounds, without respect for whomever is president. But there is another segment of the Democratic base who have chosen to embrace this expansion of power because they fundamentally believe that all government is good, if only the right people are in office to manage it properly. And this segment of the base, whether truly indicative of the majority or not, in tandem with those Democrats who are salivating over the prospects of obtaining such overwhelming power, currently holds the louder megaphone and has started using it forcefully against anyone who tries to advocate a reduction in any government power.

These assaults on the constitutional principles of the Democratic base, on which rested the arguments against Bush's power grab for 7 long years, are driving these principled voters toward the only candidate who openly argues for reducing the power of the executive branch to within constitutional limits, and as a bonus comes with a documented history of voting against any expansions of its authority.

This shift of a portion of the Democratic base toward Paul's candidacy, being the result of the now-obvious blatantly gratuitous exploitation of heartfelt principles, is one of the main reasons the establishment Democratic bloggers are attacking Ron Paul so vehemently. In all actuality, these abusive displays strengthen the veracity of the phrase "there's not a whit of difference between the two parties."

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Christmas ain't what it seems

Completely unsanctioned by the Bible, it's full of pagan traditions and the ultimate culmination of a year's worth of coveting. Link.

See previous Christmas critique calling out the AFA here.

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Monday, December 10, 2007

Bring them all home now?

After reading this disturbing account of a gang-rape incident with an American contractor in Iraq, combined with other accounts of brutal lawlessness committed with impunity by these Americans under contract, I'm of the opinion that there are some Americans in Iraq who shouldn't be brought home at all. When we demand to Bring the troops home Now, are we talking about these hired guns also?