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Post by >THE Ben Reilly< on Wed Mar 27, 2019 2:10 pm

The United States constitution quite clearly puts the president in charge of the executive branch of the federal government, tasked with enforcing the nation's laws.

That means he (never she, at least not yet), in theory, can hire and fire at will officials in federal law enforcement, or at least that there is a clear chain of command between him and each of these officials. The Attorney General, the director of the FBI, and many other high-ranking officials are said to serve "at the pleasure of the president."

In practice, however, when the president is suspected of wrongdoing, it is these same law enforcement officials who are responsible for investigating the president. And there has never been a legal provision protecting these investigators from presidential interference.

Just an extra-legal sense of propriety -- a moral sense that even if there are no written rules as to how the president should behave, the outrage of the American people is not to be ignored.

Except we've lost that sense of outrage, at least those of us who like the president.

In a hyper-partisan environment in which a politician is worshiped by supporters and demonized by detractors, we've grown used to the idea that Republicans will, for example, call Barack Obama a Kenyan-born, radical Muslim terrorist and a communist, and that Democrats will, for example, call Donald Trump a tyrant who molests women at will and uses hush-money payments and intimidation to get his way.

These words no longer shock anybody. They barely register. They're just what you say if you're interested in politics and you support one side over the other. So naturally, we've stopped listening to one another. You call Obama a socialist and I call Trump an election thief. We expect one another to talk this way; the words themselves become meaningless.

For example:

* Obama supervised the temporary government takeover of the U.S. auto industry -- that's a fact. But when his detractors called him a socialist or a communist, his supporters only heard, "I hate Obama."

* Trump's campaign had over 100 contacts with Russians, all of which were "forgotten" when campaign officials were questioned about them. But when Trump's detractors said he may have colluded with Russia, his supporters only heard, "I hate Trump."

The only people helped by this state of affairs are presidents.

Presidents can now count on at least 40 percent of the American public supporting them no matter what they do, and fighting their hardest to muddy, diffuse, deflect and/or deny any criticism of the president.

It's tough to stand against 40 percent of the American public united in a cause it feels fervently about. And it's hard to do anything about a president's actions when he has 40 percent of the American public to call upon in times of vulnerability.

Ironically, it was Obama who proposed perhaps the most promising magic-bullet solution to this problem -- "the end of tribalism."

If we had no tribe, no party or politician to whom we gave 100 percent loyalty, we would listen to criticism of our favored president or party. We might not always agree, and even if we did, we might not change our loyalties, but we'd open our minds enough that legitimate criticism might change our opinions.

Instead, we reject every criticism of our party or our politician as a lie, a smear, mudslinging. If the media criticizes him, the media is corrupt. If the other party criticizes him, the other party is evil. If our fellow Americans criticize him, well, they're not even truly American ...

How can we hold leaders to account when neither side is truly listening? Russian

This issue is indeed partisan -- but not the way we tend to think.

While we keep slogging it out, left vs. right, Democrat vs. Republican, we're losing the real fight -- the fight for control over our government. The fight to be able to hold our leaders to a standard. The fight to make these politicians, who salaries are paid by us, who hold office because we voted them there, who are our employees, do what we want them to do.

We the American people have allowed political tribalism and the notion of party loyalty to make us a boss who takes orders from our employees.

It's time we remembered who's really in charge.


Last edited by >THE Ben Reilly< on Sat Mar 30, 2019 9:37 pm; edited 2 times in total
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Post by Maddog on Wed Mar 27, 2019 4:01 pm

The country is full of hypocrites, and they predate Trump.

I'm tired of people blaming Trump. He's the result of the hypocrisy, not the cause.

Perhaps if people realized that government is not always the solution, but often the cause of problems, things would get better. But the conditioning to look at the government as some sort of savior has screwed up a huge swath of our country.

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Post by Maddog on Wed Mar 27, 2019 4:05 pm

How can we hold leaders to account when neither side is truly listening? Social11


I lifted this straight from the "Democratic" Socialist of America page.

Maybe you have heard of them. They are backing Bernie Sanders, and consider someone like Beto an enemy.

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Post by >THE Ben Reilly< on Wed Mar 27, 2019 5:47 pm

Maddog wrote:The country is full of hypocrites, and they predate Trump.

I'm tired of people blaming Trump. He's the result of the hypocrisy, not the cause.

Perhaps if people realized that government is not always the solution, but often the cause of problems, things would get better. But the conditioning to look at the government as some sort of savior has screwed up a huge swath of our country.    

Remember when we deposed Saddam and Iraq went to shit even worse than it was before?

Nature abhors a vacuum, and that is especially true for a power vacuum.

Without a robust, people-led government, another power -- big corporations, organized religion -- will step in and fill the void.

The government should be all about the power of the people. My point was that partisanship has become another opiate of the masses, distracting us from holding our parties and politicians to account.
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Post by Maddog on Wed Mar 27, 2019 5:50 pm

>THE Ben Reilly< wrote:
Maddog wrote:The country is full of hypocrites, and they predate Trump.

I'm tired of people blaming Trump. He's the result of the hypocrisy, not the cause.

Perhaps if people realized that government is not always the solution, but often the cause of problems, things would get better. But the conditioning to look at the government as some sort of savior has screwed up a huge swath of our country.    

Remember when we deposed Saddam and Iraq went to shit even worse than it was before?

Nature abhors a vacuum, and that is especially true for a power vacuum.

Without a robust, people-led government, another power -- big corporations, organized religion -- will step in and fill the void.

The government should be all about the power of the people. My point was that partisanship has become another opiate of the masses, distracting us from holding our parties and politicians to account.

You want to start taking the 10th amendment seriously and I'm with you.


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Post by >THE Ben Reilly< on Wed Mar 27, 2019 5:56 pm

Maddog wrote:
>THE Ben Reilly< wrote:
Maddog wrote:The country is full of hypocrites, and they predate Trump.

I'm tired of people blaming Trump. He's the result of the hypocrisy, not the cause.

Perhaps if people realized that government is not always the solution, but often the cause of problems, things would get better. But the conditioning to look at the government as some sort of savior has screwed up a huge swath of our country.    

Remember when we deposed Saddam and Iraq went to shit even worse than it was before?

Nature abhors a vacuum, and that is especially true for a power vacuum.

Without a robust, people-led government, another power -- big corporations, organized religion -- will step in and fill the void.

The government should be all about the power of the people. My point was that partisanship has become another opiate of the masses, distracting us from holding our parties and politicians to account.

You want to start taking the 10th amendment seriously and I'm with you.  


Sorry, I'm not into an unthinking, reflexive reduction of the power of government for the sake of reducing the power of the government, even if that comes in the guise of giving more power to the states.

Like cutting taxes, that helps in some circumstances but not all. Right now, if anything, we need the government to be more powerful in the sense of standing up for ordinary people (and that includes small business owners).

We need a government that says we're a country, not just an economy, and that will balance the needs of regular people against the desires of the wealthy.

The wealthy have created an American society that makes Hayek look like a socialist (he believed in government-run health care, after all). It's not working.
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Post by eddie on Wed Mar 27, 2019 6:23 pm

Maddog wrote:The country is full of hypocrites, and they predate Trump.

I'm tired of people blaming Trump. He's the result of the hypocrisy, not the cause.

Perhaps if people realized that government is not always the solution, but often the cause of problems, things would get better. But the conditioning to look at the government as some sort of savior has screwed up a huge swath of our country.    

I completely agree. People should put their efforts into finding the cause and the crap behind the government otherwise, no matter who is in charge, the rot is still there within the system.
Hating Trump, or any President, is a waste if energy unless one protests about the root causes and outdated ways of doing things.

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Post by >THE Ben Reilly< on Wed Mar 27, 2019 7:04 pm

Also, the American people can and should speak out against the bad things Trump does, whether or not he's the disease or just the symptom.
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Post by Maddog on Thu Mar 28, 2019 1:41 pm

>THE Ben Reilly< wrote:
Maddog wrote:

You want to start taking the 10th amendment seriously and I'm with you.  


Sorry, I'm not into an unthinking, reflexive reduction of the power of government for the sake of reducing the power of the government, even if that comes in the guise of giving more power to the states.

Like cutting taxes, that helps in some circumstances but not all. Right now, if anything, we need the government to be more powerful in the sense of standing up for ordinary people (and that includes small business owners).

We need a government that says we're a country, not just an economy, and that will balance the needs of regular people against the desires of the wealthy.

The wealthy have created an American society that makes Hayek look like a socialist (he believed in government-run health care, after all). It's not working.
So you're not for the people having more power? 

And dividing those people by class.  

You're looking for a paternalistic government.  No thanks.

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Post by >THE Ben Reilly< on Thu Mar 28, 2019 7:11 pm

Maddog wrote:
>THE Ben Reilly< wrote:
Maddog wrote:

You want to start taking the 10th amendment seriously and I'm with you.  


Sorry, I'm not into an unthinking, reflexive reduction of the power of government for the sake of reducing the power of the government, even if that comes in the guise of giving more power to the states.

Like cutting taxes, that helps in some circumstances but not all. Right now, if anything, we need the government to be more powerful in the sense of standing up for ordinary people (and that includes small business owners).

We need a government that says we're a country, not just an economy, and that will balance the needs of regular people against the desires of the wealthy.

The wealthy have created an American society that makes Hayek look like a socialist (he believed in government-run health care, after all). It's not working.
So you're not for the people having more power? 

And dividing those people by class.  

You're looking for a paternalistic government.  No thanks.

That's not what I said, at all. I said we need the government to be on the side of the ordinary American, not to tilt our society to radically favor the wealthy elite.

It's bad for the majority of the people, including the majority of the business people.
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Post by Cass on Fri Mar 29, 2019 3:33 am

>THE Ben Reilly< wrote:
Maddog wrote:
So you're not for the people having more power? 

And dividing those people by class.  

You're looking for a paternalistic government.  No thanks.

That's not what I said, at all. I said we need the government to be on the side of the ordinary American, not to tilt our society to radically favor the wealthy elite.

It's bad for the majority of the people, including the majority of the business people.

Get rid of lobbyists. No more corporations giving money to candidates or sitting members. That will solve a huge chunk of the problem.

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Post by Jules on Fri Mar 29, 2019 12:23 pm

>THE Ben Reilly< wrote:


Except we've lost that sense of outrage, at least those of us who like the president.

In a hyper-partisan environment in which a politician is worshiped by supporters and demonized by detractors, we've grown used to the idea that Republicans will, for example, call Barack Obama a Kenyan-born, radical Muslim terrorist and a communist,

Seriously  Shocked  Shocked  Shocked I would like to ask this:

Why have you included points about Obama which are completely factually wrong, wrong, wrong!!
Because he is so perfect that the only way to criticise him is to mention untrue things?  How can we hold leaders to account when neither side is truly listening? 2190311264


He was NOT born abroad that is quite straightforwardly factually wrong so why is it even mentioned?
Also, his faith is not Muslim, he's a staunch church going Christian.
Thirdly by no stretch of the imagination is he a terrorist [let alone a radical one] going by the standard definition, unless of course you include all world leaders in that definition.


It is not Obama's fault that his character is so close to perfection that the only way people can criticise him is to say factually untrue things.

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Post by Jules on Fri Mar 29, 2019 12:30 pm

I will not quibble with the word 'communist' cos that can be regarded as a mere opinion of him and people are entitled to their opinion.

Historically the word commie was used as a powerfully effective tool. People branded as commies  suffered a death sentence economically and socially. Nowadays it's just a limp 'insult' tossed at anyone who does not hold diehard conservative views - so Obama should regard it as a compliment.

I fully agree with the title of the thread. In fact I would go further and say that the loss of outrage is squarely responsible for the disintegration of society and maybe will gradually cause the total destruction of civilisation as we know it.

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Post by Maddog on Fri Mar 29, 2019 2:09 pm

>THE Ben Reilly< wrote:
Maddog wrote:
So you're not for the people having more power? 

And dividing those people by class.  

You're looking for a paternalistic government.  No thanks.

That's not what I said, at all. I said we need the government to be on the side of the ordinary American, not to tilt our society to radically favor the wealthy elite.

It's bad for the majority of the people, including the majority of the business people.
What does "on the side of" even mean? 

That sounds paternalistic as hell to me.

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Post by Maddog on Fri Mar 29, 2019 2:10 pm

Cass wrote:
>THE Ben Reilly< wrote:

That's not what I said, at all. I said we need the government to be on the side of the ordinary American, not to tilt our society to radically favor the wealthy elite.

It's bad for the majority of the people, including the majority of the business people.

Get rid of lobbyists. No more corporations giving money to candidates or sitting members. That will solve a huge chunk of the problem.
Or unions.   Shocked

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Post by Maddog on Fri Mar 29, 2019 2:14 pm

To be succinct. The American system died when we turned into a bunch of whiny sissies who want to live on a plantation with a benevolent master. 

Every
Fucking 
Thing is about the government taking care of us or protecting us,

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Post by Cass on Sat Mar 30, 2019 5:11 am

Maddog wrote:
Cass wrote:

Get rid of lobbyists. No more corporations giving money to candidates or sitting members. That will solve a huge chunk of the problem.
Or unions.   Shocked

I wouldn’t get rid of them but they do need reform as well.


Cheers for the green whoever x

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Post by Maddog on Sat Mar 30, 2019 2:55 pm

Cass wrote:
Maddog wrote:
Or unions.   Shocked

I wouldn’t get rid of them but they do need reform as well.


Cheers for the green whoever x


I wasn't talking about getting rid of them.  I'm referring to the money they pour into politics,

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Post by >THE Ben Reilly< on Sat Mar 30, 2019 9:40 pm

I still feel like nobody had anything to say about the main point I was trying to make, which is why I've changed the title.

Each side is so convinced of their own righteousness and the other side's evil that it is now impossible for voters to accurately evaluate how well or poorly the government is doing, and that's a massive problem.
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Post by WhoseYourWolfie on Sun Mar 31, 2019 5:31 am

Maddog wrote:
Cass wrote:

Get rid of lobbyists. No more corporations giving money to candidates or sitting members. That will solve a huge chunk of the problem.
Or unions.   Shocked

Shocked

Being anti-union makes you anti-worker Fatdog...

Being anti-worker makes you a big business/corporatist suckup..

You corporate-fascist   pig  , you  !


Just imagine how high the death-and-injury rates would be in coalmines and factories, on farms and building sites, with less than minimum wages, if you had no unions..

Decent wages and conditions, workplace safety laws, a minimum wage, superannuation/pension plans --  all of those came along after the creation of trade unions, and their collective bargaining, in the late 19th century...

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Post by nicko on Sun Mar 31, 2019 6:33 am

Trouble with SOME unions, they think THEY should run the country !
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Post by Cass on Sun Mar 31, 2019 6:58 am

>THE Ben Reilly< wrote:I still feel like nobody had anything to say about the main point I was trying to make, which is why I've changed the title.

Each side is so convinced of their own righteousness and the other side's evil that it is now impossible for voters to accurately evaluate how well or poorly the government is doing, and that's a massive problem.

It’s been going that way for years. There has been no critical or analytical thinking skills taught. People have become lazy and won’t do their own research. They’ve become lazy and want someone else to do the hard work so they won’t have to. With certain people, from both sides, screaming fake news, people begin to distrust. No one wants to admit they’re wrong because that would cause them to lose face. They’d rather suffer in silence. Throughout history there has always had to be a them vs us in order for those at the top to keep tight control. Just looking at Americ’s short history: the British, the Native Americans, the French, The Irish, The Mexicans, the Germans, the Japanese, the communists, the socialists, the welfare mothers ad nauseum. Look also the the connectivity of the world today as opposed to even 8 years ago. We hear more of the bad stuff that always happened but we weren’t connected. More people are hooked up, more people get online with their own warped agendas and it soon becomes the biggest game of Chinese Whispers which is because people cannot or will not analyze information. Wash, rinse, repeat for 2,000 years.

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Post by Cass on Sun Mar 31, 2019 7:00 am

Maddog wrote:
Cass wrote:

I wouldn’t get rid of them but they do need reform as well.


Cheers for the green whoever x


I wasn't talking about getting rid of them.  I'm referring to the money they pour into politics,

Them and all the rest who want power. Unions used to be good, and some still are but as with most everything, it’s open to corruption.

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Post by Maddog on Sun Mar 31, 2019 3:16 pm

WhoseYourWolfie wrote:
Maddog wrote:
Or unions.   Shocked

Shocked

Being anti-union makes you anti-worker Fatdog...

Being anti-worker makes you a big business/corporatist suckup..

You corporate-fascist   pig  , you  !


Just imagine how high the death-and-injury rates would be in coalmines and factories, on farms and building sites, with less than minimum wages, if you had no unions..

Decent wages and conditions, workplace safety laws, a minimum wage, superannuation/pension plans --  all of those came along after the creation of trade unions, and their collective bargaining, in the late 19th century...


I'm not anti union. As long as workers have a choice to join or not join, and have a choice about whether their dues are used in the political process I'm all about the freedom to organize.  Of course I'm cool with companies hiring replacement workers too when they strike.  

And grow up and act like an adult and stop with the insults. 

Your an intelligent person who looks like a teenager when you go there.

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Post by Maddog on Sun Mar 31, 2019 3:18 pm

>THE Ben Reilly< wrote:
Maddog wrote:
So you're not for the people having more power? 

And dividing those people by class.  

You're looking for a paternalistic government.  No thanks.

That's not what I said, at all. I said we need the government to be on the side of the ordinary American, not to tilt our society to radically favor the wealthy elite.

It's bad for the majority of the people, including the majority of the business people.


Again with the class envy. 

You'll make a fine a Brit.  Wink

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