Understanding what America is
country is going through one of the most trying times of our lifetime. Unrest is everywhere. Race relations under
this current Administration has set back the progress made over the last 50 years by more than that.. Our children are
not learning about the great heritage of this experiment called the United States and are being taught that this nation was
Socialism is on the rise, people see nothing wrong with wanting something for nothing.
That those who work hard and are successful are the bad guys and should be willing to give up their earnings to those
who choose not to participate in our capitalist system. Things are upside down.
two places where you can learn about this country, our heritage and the founding fathers.
the time to visit these two web sites, you will be glad you did.
Reviving a Constitutional Congress
Christopher Demuth Sr.
Distinguished Fellow, Hudson Institute
Constitution is often treated as a reliquary, worthy of reverence but no longer of much
practical use. Yet the Constitution reflects, in many deep and subtle ways, the character of the people who established
it and have lived and prospered under it for centuries. this is particularly true of its structural features of federalism
and separated powers, which vindicate Americans' democratic nature, our distrust of power, and our taste for open competition.
The struggle for power and advantage is a constant of human society. In democracies, that
struggle is organized and advertised through political campaigns and elections. It is equally present within government,
but there it is not always observable. In the parliamentary systems of Europe, open competition ends with the election
returns and formation of a government.At this point legislative and executive powers are fused. Struggles over policy
continue, but they work,themselves out in private within ministry offices and leadership councils. A well-led government
can present, at least for a time, a unified, dignified, self-confident public face.That is seldom possible in the American
system, where competition in government is exposed for all to see. The two political branches possess separate electoral
bases and are assigned powers that are partly shared and partly independent. They are co-dependent and must work out their
differences in public. Presidents, executive officials, and members of Congress may bring astute tactics and compelling
rhetoric to the task, but in the heat of contention they are also prone to diatribes, bluffs, missteps, backtracking, and
humiliations. Dignified the process is not.
Parliamentary systems have their strengths, but
open competition is the American way. Checks and balances are important means of policing the corruption and abuse that
arise whenever power is monopolized. They are also means for pursuing two things that Americans care about especially:
limited government and humble leaders. The sheer cumbersomeness of our constitutional structure usually requires extended
negotiations leading to a substantial consensus before the government can act. And the spectacle of continuous public
extemporizing makes it difficult for our leaders to pretend that they command events.
system depends on a reasonable balance of power among the three constitutional branches, and we are losing that. In
recent decades power has shifted dramatically away from Congress - primarily to the executive but also to the judiciary.
Part of the shift has resulted from presidents, executive agencies, and courts seizing congressional
prerogatives. This part of the story has been much in the news. President Obama has effectively rewritten important
provisions of the Affordable Care Act and immigration law, while circumventing the Constitution's requirement of Senate approval
for senior executive appointments. The Environmental Protection Agency has contorted the Clean Air Act beyond recognition
to regulate carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gasses - and has done so after Congress declined to embark on such regulation.
The Supreme Court has acquiesced in most of these executive usurpations, while taking for itself the authority to decide live
political controversies. It played both roles last June, first approving the Obama administration's unilateral extension
of tax credits to persons who purchase health insurance on the federal Obamacare exchange, the declaring same- sex marriage
a constitutional right.
But the most important part of the story has an opposite plot:
Congress itself, despite its complaints about executive and judical poaching, has been giving up its constitutional powers
voluntarily and pro-actively for decades. Since the early 1970's, Congress has delegated broad lawmaking authority to
a proliferating array of regulatory agencies, from EPA to OSHA in the early years to numerous executive councils, boards,
and bureaus under Obamacare and Dodd-Frank in 2010. In the new dispensation, members of Congress vote bravely for clean
air, affordable health care, and sound finance, while leaving the real policy decisions to executive agencies.
In recent years, Congress has even handed off its constitutional crown jewels- its exclusive powers, assigned in Article I,
Sections 8 and 9 to determine federal taxing and spending. Several executive agencies now set and collect their own
taxes or generate revenues in other ways, and spend the proceeds on themselves or on grant programs of their own devising,
without congressional involvement. Most members of the current Congress cannot even remember the days when that body passed
annual appropriations, agency by agency, often with riders directing how the agencies may and may not spend funds. More
recently, following its hapless efforts to use the debt ceiling to force policy concessions from the administration, Congress
washed its hands of the borrowing power, too, telling the Treasury that it may borrow as needed to pay the government's bills
for a set period of time.
Today the consequences of congressional self-enfeeblement are
vividly on display. Congress is under management of conservative Republican majorities in both House and Senate, and
is facing a left-progressive President with a big agenda. One would think that Congress would be busily reclaiming its contitutional
authorities and exercising them to moderate - no checki, but at least balance - the President's actions. But that is not happening.
A harbinger of the current disarray came shortly after last year's elections, when President
Obama announced unilateral revisions to immigration policy. Congressional Republicans promptly announced that the new
Congress would forbid those changes with a rider to the appropriations of the Citizenship and Immigration Services agency.
A few days later came an embarrassed retraction: staff had discovered that the CIS finances itself through fees and
is independent of congressional appropriations.
Congress could have put the agency back
on regular appropriations, but as things have turned out even that wouldn't have helped, because Congress is unable to pass
any appropriations bills (there are supposed to be 12 of them, covering various sets of executive agencies). Instead, it is
obliged to resort once again to a Continuing Resolution (CR) - a last-minute blunderbuss statute that extends the previous
year's entire federal budget with broad percentage adjustments.
The CR surrenders Congress's
power of the purse. When Congress is appropriating individual agencies, it can adjust program spending and policy elements
on a case-by-case basis. It doesn't always get its way in the face of a possible presidential veto, but at least Congress
is in the game, with a multitude of tactics and potential compromises in play. In contrast, the threat of shutting down
the government is disproportionate to discrete policy disagreements. The tactic would be plausible only in the rare
case where congressional opinion amounted to vet-proof majorities in both chambers. Even when Congress thinks it has
the President cornered with an unpopular position, as in the wake of the horrible Planned Parenthood revelations, the game
of CR chicken always comes down to a national crisis where the President-always at the center in time of crisis and able to
control the terms of public debate - has the upper hand.
President Obama's current strength
is complementary evidence of constitutional drift. Since his party lost control of the Senate last November, he has
launched a fusillade of aggressive executive initiatives, such as subjecting the Internet to comprehensive regulatory controls.
I think he was within his constitutional rights on the Internet matter; but such a monumental change in national policy, almost
certainly opposed by majorites of the relevant House and Senate committees, would have been inconceivable in the recent
The fact that President Obama is not a lame duck is not due to his popularity.
His public approval ratings have been in the mid - to- high 40s and lower than his disapproval ratings, and he is widely disliked
in Congress by members of both parties. It is rather that the nature of the presidency has changed since the Twenty-Second
Amendment limited the presidents to two terms. In Presidential Power, a landmark study written during the Eisenhower
administration, political scientist Richard Neustadt argued that presidents occupy an inherently weak office, and must devote
themselves to continuous persuasion, popularity seeking, and cultivation of Congress in order to advance their agendas.
This book became the operation manual for President Kennedy and all subsequent presidents - until now. The evolution
of executive branch autonomy has transformed the presidency into an inherently powerful office, regardless of whether its
occupant is well liked. President Obama hand his advisers are the first to have realized that Neustadt is obsolete- that whatever
his polls, the President has the wherewithal, using executive agencies to make law and policy on his own through noon on January
For the rest of this article click on the link below;
"Reprinted by permission from Imprimis, a publication of Hillsdale College."
CONSERVATISM AND THE TEA PARTY
R. Kesler, is the Dengler-Dykema Distinguished Professor of Government at Clarement McKenna College and editor of the "Claremont
Review of Books".
In a speech that he gave at Hillsdale College's Allan P. Kerby, Jr.
Center for Constitutional Studies and Citizenship in Washington, D. C. on October 13, 2013 he talked about "The Tea Party,
Conservatism and the Constitution". He was, of course, discussing the National Tea Party and their
attempt to change the status quo. Over time we have seen that their impatience with the legislative process that the Constitution
prescribes, and by trying to go over the heads of party leaders and constitutionally elected officeholders, so it
could create its own mandate, has not been successful.
That is especially true here in Kaufman
County. I would venture to say that most people agree with the overall ideas espoused by the National Tea Party, a return
to limited, more constitutional government and lower taxes, but disagree with their means of reaching those goals. In the
national debate as well as locally the Tea Party needs an overall strategy to allow it to achieve its worthy ends. What
are those ends? What do they mean by limited government, limited to what? And limited by what?
Kesler states,"At this point we should note the paradoxical character of the Tea Party: It is a populist movement to
defend the Constitution, but the Constitution is meant, among other things, to limit populism in our politics - to channel,
moderate, and refine popular passion through consitutional forms, such as elections, officeholding, and the rule of law. The
point was to ensure, as "The Federalist" put it, that reason, not passion,
of the public would control and regulate the government."
The Kaufman County Tea Party
is very Passionate! They proclaim in all their bluster, to be acting for the best
interest of the County, but I would ask them the questions quoted above What are your ends? What do you mean
by limited government, limited to what? And limited by what?
If you look at the results
of the last County election, you will see that there were some good canidates elected and some not so good. Some of those
elected have questionable credentials and backgrounds. In the upcoming election, I would ask the voters of Kaufman County
to make sure before they vote, that the candidate they choose, is the most qualified for that position and not just take the
word of any group handing out flyers at the polls.
Get to know the candidates, listen to their
reasons for wanting that particular office.
Be an educated voter
Kaufman Tea Party Strikes Again
On October 9, 2015 the Kaufman Tea Party posted a story on their website regarding a proposed
memorial at the Sheriff's office. A private individual planned to donate all materials and labor plus volunteers
to maintain the site. Granted, mistakes were made in the process, for which Sheriff David Byrnes apologized,
but the Tea Party was sure that there was a concerted effort to be dishonest. They accused Judge Bruce Wood and Commissioner
Precinct 4 Jakie Allen of hiding it from the other three Commissioners. Read the complete article at http://www.kaufmancountyteaparty.org
"More County Mischief "
At Commissioners' Court on October 12, the donors were personally
attacked and accused of using the donation for political reasons. Due to the lack of support from the three Tea Party backed
Commissioners and the acrimony shown by the Tea Party, the donation was rescinded.
Because of certain
accusations, Judge Wood demanded and received an apology. But in the next few paragraphs, continue to attack
him.See http://www.kaufmancountyteaparty.org, Commissioners Court, October 12, 2015.
For another perspective, with comment, see the October 13th
issue of the Dallas Morning News Metro Section "Donor rescinds offer for Kaufman County fallen officer's memorial".
action by the Kaufman County Tea Party falls on the heels of another story regarding their return of a donation from Congressman
Jeb Hensarling. http://trailblazersblog.dallasnews.com
The citizens of Kaufman deserve better representation that this. It is an embarrassment for our
citizens and our County.
have presented themselves as a part of the National Tea Party Patriots, but according to Myers himself "Where were you
guys when we need you?" And boasts of kicking out several elected officials, local and state. But look at
what we have now, Divisive, ineffectual officials who are doing more harm to our county than good.
BEWARE Citizens of Kaufman County
This radical group has been around a long time, stirring up unfounded allegations
against County Officials who won't bow to their intimidation and manipulation.
If the Tea Party
is so into transparency, why is the author of these two articles name "Bourgeois", let the real author be named.
It is time we let
them know they are not the voice of the voters of Kaufman County!
Disclaimer: This website
is not affliliated with the Kaufman County Republican Party.
This website was created in 2004.