Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.

U.S. Constitution of 1787 and A Patchwork Democracy

by Oui Sun Feb 14th, 2021 at 11:13:40 AM EST

A patchy US Constitution and a shaky American Democracy urgently needs an overhaul ... the path to a fascist regime has been cleared of obstacles. Heed the words of President Dwight D. Eisenhower and breakup the powerful Military - Intelligence - Technology lobby group (MIT) roaming the halls of US Congress. Take unlimited corporate money out of the election and create a smaller window for an election campaign. Make the judiciary truly independent and not have judges appointed by popular vote. Make America 21st Century proof. Organize a Constitutional Congress to revamp a divided America.

The US Constitution: Is Reform Necessary? Is It Possible? | Harvard Law School |

The main impetus for the Constitution of 1787 was the perception, spelled out in the very first paragraph of Federalist 1, that the current system established under the Articles of Confederation was not serving the nation well; by Federalist 15, it would be described as an "imbecil[ic]" system demanding (and justifying) radical transformation. The Framers of the 1787 Constitution scarcely believed they had achieved perfection, however; that is one reason for the existence of Article V, allowing amendment to the Constitution.

The radical flaws of the 1787 Constitution both led to civil war in 1861 and then served as the basis for what were viewed as the corrective changes we sometimes refer to as "the Reconstruction Amendments." The term itself is completely ambiguous: Were they designed to "restore" a Union that had gone amiss by straying from the original plan, or, instead, to create a fundamentally different (and better) Union that was fatally compromised from the outset and thus needed transformation?

Continued below the fold ...

We are meeting as we are, by Zoom, in part because the United States, like the rest of the world, is faced with a challenging pandemic that requires extraordinarily response. But the summer of 2020 is also the occasion for the most important mass movement in the United States in at least a half-century, sparked by the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis and building on the anger and organization of what has come to be called the Black Lives Matter movement. Moreever, 2020 has been the year of the third impeachment trial in our history, where the Senate, on a completely partisan vote, acquitted Donald J. Trump of violating the Impeachment Clause after his impeachment, on an almost equally partisan vote, by the House of Representatives. There will, of course, be an election in November, 2020, which will be carried out under the rules established by the "electoral college" system that is perhaps one of the most peculiar features of "American exceptionalism."

All of these crises and events raise a variety of important legal issues. Some of them can be viewed as "internal" to the existing constitutional order in the United States, i.e., turning on how one defines existing statutes or passages of the Constitution. What is a "High Crime and Misdemeanor" anyway? But there are also those who ask whether the system created by the 1787 Constitution, even as amended and "reconstructed," does not have sufficiently "imbecilic" features to justify significant reform and transformation today.

What is more telling, perhaps, is that for the first time in many years, there seems to be some genuine interest in the possibility of constitutional reform. One of the assignments will be a report by a bi-partisan blue-ribbon commission put together by the American Academy of Arts and Sciences to address Our Common Purpose: Reinventing American Democracy for the 21st Century. The National Constitution Center in Philadelphia has organized three groups, one "liberal," one "conservative," and the last "libertarian," to offer proposed suggestions for constitutional reform, all of which should be available by the time of our first meeting. I am chairing a group organized under the aegis of Michael Tomasky, the editor of Democracy, that is exploring what a constitution suitable to the 21st century might look like.

An oath to abide by the US Constitution throw aside by President Trump before and after he lost decisively to former VP Joe Biden. Inciting a mob for an assault on the US Capitol in Joint Session to confirmed the votes of the Electoral College is waived by a unworthy partisan vote on February 13, 2021 by that same group of senators that feared for their lives just one month earlier.

Forty-three Republican senators have undermined all what America stood for. The fear for the Bully in the GOP and the glue to a seat in the Senate was more crucial to each one of them. American global leadership by example is dead. No surprise to me as I have seen and written about the alarming signs for over a decade now.

The then Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell refused to start the impeachment trial before the Inauguration of the 46th President Joe Biden. The coward hides behind the proposition one cannot impeach a former president, however despicable his act of insurrection was. A vote for a Republican is a vote for White Supremacy, misogyny, racism and a road to fascism.

McConnell says best for country to hold Senate trial after Trump leaves office | ABC News - Jan. 14, 2021 |

McConnell speech after assault

At last, Mitch McConnell stands up for truth. May he continue to heal our breach | Courier Journal - Jan. 7, 2021 |

On one of the most dramatic days in American history, Kentucky's senior senator saw he would lose control of the Senate, fled the chamber under attack from a mob incited by a president whom he had enabled but who probably cost him that control, and gave a speech concluding their political divorce.

Mitch McConnell's remarks, which you should read, might have been the big news of the day if not for the violent invasion of the Capitol by supporters of President Donald Trump -- who had spent two months convincing them of the lies that his re-election was stolen from him and that they could reverse the result as Congress counted electoral votes.

McConnell had tolerated five additional weeks of Trump's attacks on the truth, in hopes of securing his help in Georgia, where Republicans needed to keep at least one Senate seat to maintain control. But once the Electoral College voted Dec. 14, McConnell had little choice but to accept the truth of President-elect Joe Biden's victory.

McConnell speech after failed impeachment of Trump

Coward McConnell Seals Fate GOP in 2022

History will not judge kindly the political acts of the party of Trump. A dark chapter in American History ... a year of a runaway pandemic where 481,000 citizens died ...

Beyond the joint US-UK Brexit fight to divide the EU as competitor. Another illustration how close the United Kingdom is to the warped American political culture ...

Priti Patel on BLM in the UK

The Eton and Oxford Orbit: elites speaking their mind ...

Another example of vilification of your political opponent. The Labour party on a long downward trend in the UK and across Europe.

From the diaries ...

Signs of Fascism in a Post-Democratic State

Churchill and VE Day -- 8 May 1945

"For the working people ... against privilege and monopoly."

Relates to Lincoln's Gettysburg address: "... and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth."

It's a sacrilege for Trump to relate to either President Abe Lincoln, FDR as wartime leader or Britain's Winston Churchill.

Lincoln's House Divided Speech  

Revolution is in the air across the globe and it will not subside unless states and governments reform and prioritize goals for a better and more equal world.

Madison's Nightmare Has Come to America | The Atlantic - one year ago! |

The impeachment and subsequent acquittal of President Trump have revealed deep flaws in the constitutional system.

The Senate's impeachment trial of President Donald Trump is over, ending with all but one Republican voting to acquit. But the effort to make sense of its constitutional ramifications is only beginning.

In sharp contrast, few think that the acquittal of President Trump is a triumph for the Constitution. Instead, it reveals a different, disturbing lesson, about how the American political system--and the Constitution itself--might be fundamentally flawed.

Since the writing of the Constitution, three developments have substantially altered the effectiveness of impeachment as a check on presidential misconduct. The first is the rise of extreme partisanship, under which each party's goal is frequently to vanquish the other and control as much of the federal government as possible. This aim is fundamentally incompatible with the system that James Madison designed, premised as it was on negotiation, compromise, and a variety of checking mechanisms to ensure that no branch or faction was beyond the reach of the Constitution or the law.

In stark contrast a hero of mine during the 1973 House Impeachment investigation. I was on vacation in America, but every night I watched the hearings. A great civics journey and admiration for representatives after the Office of the Presidency and respect was undermined. Admiration was replaced by a critical view of US politics. The three assassination in the 1960s already proved to be signs of a broken America ... dream became a nightmare as decades passed by ...

Sermon on the Hill: A Sam Ervin Sampler

Samuel James Ervin, Jr., the son of a North Carolina lawyer, reluctantly left the judicial bench in 1946 to run for a state office vacated by his brother's death; then reluctantly entered national politics in 1954 and straightaway led the fight to censure Senator Joseph McCarthy, the Cold War witch hunter. Courage had gone in short supply in the Senate at that time, but Sam Ervin seemed to have it to spare, as his military decorations from World War I--gallantry in action citations, Purple Heart and all--attested.

Today he faces the last of the Cold War warriors, Richard M. Nixon, with the same determined spirit. The contrast between the two men could not be clearer. It showed in every newspaper or magazine that ever ran photos of them side by side. The lines in their faces say plainly which man is accustomed to smiling. For the first time since the ill-managed McGovern campaign there is opposition to Nixon's unprincipled lust for personal power, and an effective spokesman against the program of repression Nixon put into effect after he took over the White House.

From my earlier post - Advice by Sam Ervin

From the diaries  ...

America's Greatness Ended with the Statue of Liberty by Oui @BooMan on Jan. 27, 2017

Sustainability to Save Our Planet


'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Sun Feb 14th, 2021 at 02:29:38 PM EST

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Sun Feb 14th, 2021 at 03:17:57 PM EST

The Sole American Killed in the 1814 Burning of D.C. Was Related to George Washington | Smithsonian Magazine |

The city of Washington was overrun with British soldiers. In an act of retaliatory vengeance for the burning of Canadian settlements, the invading army set fire to the American capital; flames shot into the sky from the destroyed U.S. Capitol building. President James Madison and his cabinet fled the city, and U.S. troops perched on a hill northwest of the city watched the conflagration.

The British military commanders aimed only to destroy public buildings and threatened their soldiers (on pain of death) not to hurt civilians. General Robert Ross was even upset that in burning the Capitol, they had destroyed the nascent Library of Congress. "I make war neither against Letters nor Ladies," he said. The few Washingtonians who stayed behind described the invading British as "perfect gentlemen."

How America and the British have changed for the worse in 200 years ...

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Sun Feb 14th, 2021 at 03:30:41 PM EST
[ Parent ]

Garland's Senate Judiciary Statement Provides Insight Into How He Would Run the DOJ

Garland vowed to honor the Department of Justice's history of fighting for justice and equality for all Americans. Specifically, vowed to tackle political extremism and fight for racial equality.

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Sun Feb 21st, 2021 at 09:45:28 PM EST
The Colonial Ueberklass were Dr. Frankenstein, and the Constitution was their Creature.  We either scrap this dumpster fire, or we scrap us.  I am convinced we shall choose poorly.
by rifek on Sat Feb 27th, 2021 at 01:05:54 AM EST

Yet according to recent research, the United States has far less mobility and equality of opportunity today than the European Union or other OECD countries.

What about rising from rags to riches? In the US, 8% of children raised in the bottom 20% of the income distribution are able to climb to the top 20% as adults, while the figure in Denmark is nearly double at 15%.

Equality of opportunity is also much less viable in the US than in other OECD countries. American life expectancy varies by up to 20 years depending on the zip code of residence. Quality of education also differs widely depending on the wealth of the neighborhood that families reside in. And the chances of being victimized by a crime, exposed to environmental toxins or having unmet healthcare needs is far greater for America's poor than those impoverished in all other OECD countries.

The Inner Level

    How More Equal Societies Reduce Stress, Restore Sanity and Improve Everyone's Well-being

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Sat Mar 13th, 2021 at 04:16:28 PM EST

Go to: [ European Tribune Homepage : Top of page : Top of comments ]