Sunday, September 22, 2019

What Kurt Eichenwald says - Saving the Republic

 - by New Deal democrat

When I’m not reading and writing about the economy, I do occasionally comment elsewhere on political topics. 

So it was on Thursday when, in response to this post asserting that Democrats were powerless to do anything - (including enforcing THEIR OWN GODDAM SUBPOENAS!) - and that it was “green lantern-ism” to believe otherwise, I decided I had had enough (see comment #25), for which I was called a “kook” and a disloyal Democrat. It would “hand the President a public relations victory,” it would have “undesirable optics,” and wouldn’t show “comity.”

Worse, most of these people - presumably people paying attention to the news - didn’t know that each House of Congress, like courtroom judges, have the the power of “inherent contempt,” meaning that they don’t have to ask a prosecutor to bring a case for contempt, they can imprison a non-compliant witness, obtain a conviction from the full House, and continue that imprisonment until the witness agrees to obey their subpoena.

Well, if I am a “kook” for wanting Congress to enforce its powers, so is Kurt Eichenwald of the New York Times, who has been absoluletely ON FIRE this week. Unfortunately, since twitter unrolls don’t play nice with blogger, I can’t reproduce it here, but go read the whole threads, here, here, and here.
And, while you are at it, read this 2015 article by Matt Yglesias about how, even then, “the United States was now exhibiting 11 of the 13 telltale signs of a fascist dictatorship,” and its scheme of Constitutional democracy is likely to fall in the near future.

It is simply ghastly that people like Nancy Pelosi and Joe Biden think all we need to do is elect Democrats in 2020 and all will be well. HELL, no!

Donald Trump has once and for all exposed the fact that the US has a Presidential autocracy, so long as the President has 1/3 of the Senate +1 unwilling to stop them (because you need 2/3’s of the Senate to Convict in Impeachment or to overturn an Emergency declaration). 
If the Republic does not succumb to Trump, Constitutional Amendments need to be proposed most of all to rein in Presidential power, and to do so without necessity of Impeachment. That means, at very least, Courts being able to enforce Congressional prerogatives on an expedited basis, and Congress and/or the States (via governors or attorneys general) being able to compel lower Executive Branch officials to enforce laws and regulations, under pains of fines or improsisonment. And Presidents should not be able to pardon current or former Executive branch officials from their term in office.

P.S. I just gone done reading “How Democracies Die,” by Steven Levitsky and Daniel Ziblatt.  I also just finished reading two books about the Roman Republic (which lasted 450 years, and was stable for the first 375), and how it ultimately fell into tyranny. It turns out that many of the themes discussed by Levitsky and Ziblatt were front and center in that ancient Republic as well, which hopeufully will shortly be an opus on a Sunday here.