Balkinization  

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Republic or Dictatorship: You decide

Sandy Levinson

[This post has been removed because it is the same as the succeeding article]

Comments:

I thought Bush was The Decider. Oh, I guess that's the point...

As Glenn Greenwald sets out in detail, following up on Russ Feingold's comments, there is much less to the ISG report than meets the eye. If any confirmation were needed that Feingold and Greenwald were right, we got it when Mitch McConnell endorsed the report.

The trouble is, it's not just Bush. A great many members of the political establishment staked their reputations on this war to one degree or another. They can't or won't withdraw if that would be seen as a failure on their part. The problem is not limited to the Executive branch as your recent posts suggest; it's pervasive in the governing class.
 

Mark Field: The problem is not limited to the Executive branch as [Professor Levinson's] recent posts suggest; it's pervasive in the governing class

Which, if it needs be said, is a far cry from a problem with the Constitution. Where the governing class has the will it can be expected to subvert even an ideal Constitution.
 

Robert Link has a point, one that Sandy Levinson seems not totally to take into respect -- at some point, "parchament barriers" will only take you so far.

Surely, the structure set forth matters, but his alternatives are conservative enough (e.g., some unlikely obtained supermajority that requires at least some support from the true believer core to obtain a vote of no confidence) to likely run into problems too.

The people were not forced by the Constitution to re-elect Bush in '04. (or to make it so close in '00) They were not forced to just barely give Dems control of the Senate (counting Lieberman as a Democrat), VA in some fashion obtained via stupidity by the losing candidate, who still barely lost. And so forth.

Hopefully, the people will have learnt a lesson from these last few years. BTW, it is worth mentioning that for many this all seems a bit artificial. Not my kid out there. I know someone whose biggest fear at some moments is such a draft.

She voted for Bush. This sort of disconnect again won't be stopped by some sort of more "democratic" Constitution either.
 

"I know someone whose biggest fear at some moments is such a draft.

She voted for Bush."


Considering which party advocates of a draft have generally been found in, (Listened to Rangel lately? I hear he's a Democrat...) that's not much of a disconnect. Seems like she's paying attention to which party is actually proposing one.
 

I'm sorry to be a bit sarcastic, but am I supposed to take the last comment seriously?

Rangel's effort is in large part symbolic. This is underlined by the fact that last time he voted against it when it came to a vote. Oh, btw, the caucus as a whole is against his proposal.

But, yes, he supports a draft of some sort, though I'm sure it would have a large CO loophole, plus he of course also opposed the Iraq War. So, again, said person fears her son will be sent to harm's way, but she supports the person and party much more to blame for it.

btw I'm not aware that when we had a draft, Republicans were strongly on record for being against it. In fact, back during the Civil War when it first was put into effect on a national level, it was Democrats that if anything voiced opposition.

Later, there was opposition from various quarters, but often closer to Dems (Socialists, that also supported things now rather mainstream, standing out).

Thus, if I'm supposed to take this latest snark attack seriously, I submit the above as rebuttal.
 

I agree with those who say that structures aren't everything, and it is surely the case that Congress has proved remarkably supine in many ways. Some of you may recall earlier posts commending Carl Schmitt's analysis of the Weimar parliament. We'll obviously never know whether the Republicans in Congress would actually replace Bush because, of course, they don't have that power under our system. And he does, after all, retain all the legal prerogatives of office, including the power to punish his adversaries in a variety of political ways. So congressional Republicans, being stuck with Bush, may feel that they have to rally 'round.
 

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