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  1. #101
    Dreaming the life onemoretime's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lowtech redneck View Post
    uh, no, I didn't misunderstand you at all; your definition of "limited," like your interpretation of the commerce clause, is for all practical purposes boundless; for government to be "limited," the statutory and constitutional powers of government must be strictly delineated and enforced. Even then, it is the nature of government to constantly seek to expand its power, which is the entire reason our political system was designed with unprecedented checks and balances.
    They can't expand their power of their own accord. That has to come with the consent of the people. This is established through the elections process.

    By the way, having the national government in charge of virtually all collective actions drastically dilutes the impact of each individual voter, simultaneously violating the "spirit" of representation (leading to voter alienation, as per my point on a previous post) and undermining local communities.
    Which is why the Senate is horribly broken.

    I don't mean every collective action (there are issues of scale, which is why we divide government into so many subnational entities), just those which by their very nature impact the nation as a whole, and as such, every citizen will be affected by.

  2. #102
    Senior Member lowtech redneck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by onemoretime View Post
    They can't expand their power of their own accord. That has to come with the consent of the people. This is established through the elections process.



    Which is why the Senate is horribly broken.

    I don't mean every collective action (there are issues of scale, which is why we divide government into so many subnational entities), just those which by their very nature impact the nation as a whole, and as such, every citizen will be affected by.
    If "consent of the people" through elections were all that is required for "limited" government, then both written constitutions and separation of powers are utterly pointless. All you are essentially saying is that you fundamentally disagree with the entire concept of institutional (not to mention philosophical) protections against the "tyranny of the majority"-which in turn equates to opposition to the essential, inter-connected philosophical foundations of our political system.

    Also, when the national executive and legislative branches of government have decision-making authority over "sub-national" branches of government (including the decision as to whether a collective-action qualifies as a "national" prerogative), then the national government has effective control of all collective actions.
    Last edited by lowtech redneck; 12-02-2009 at 04:52 PM. Reason: grammer

  3. #103
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    Quote Originally Posted by lowtech redneck View Post
    If "consent of the people" through elections were all that is required for "limited" government, then both written constitutions and separation of powers are utterly pointless. All you are essentially saying is that you fundamentally disagree with the entire concept of institutional (not to mention philosophical) protections against the "tyranny of the majority"-which in turn equates to opposition to the essential, inter-connected philosophical foundations of our political system.
    Who decided on that constitution in the first place?

    Also, when the national executive and legislative branches of government have decision-making authority over "sub-national" branches of government (including the decision as to whether a collective-action qualifies as a "national" prerogative), then the national government has effective control of all collective actions.
    It's called federalism and the Supremacy Clause. It's what we came up with when confederation, that is, what you seem to support, failed.

  4. #104
    Senior Member lowtech redneck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by onemoretime View Post
    It's called federalism and the Supremacy Clause. It's what we came up with when confederation, that is, what you seem to support, failed.
    We are back to our first debate, I see; what you advocate is a unitary state, not a federal state. A federal state has separate sovereign powers divided between the national government and local entities, with the national government supreme only within its constitutionally delineated prerogatives. A unitary state has all powers vested in the national government, which delegates authority as it sees fit. A confederated state has all powers vested in its component entities, who delegate authority to the national government through consensus.

  5. #105
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    Quote Originally Posted by lowtech redneck View Post
    We are back to our first debate, I see; what you advocate is a unitary state, not a federal state. A federal state has separate sovereign powers divided between the national government and local entities, with the national government supreme only within its constitutionally delineated prerogatives. A unitary state has all powers vested in the national government, which delegates authority as it sees fit. A confederated state has all powers vested in its component entities, who delegate authority to the national government through consensus.
    Once again, you're confusing what I want with what is.

    Authority comes from the people. Our current system of government is the way it is only because the people want it to be that way. The kind of pure federalism you're advocating is simply academic, because we had a war that killed 650,000 Americans that ultimately proved that such a system couldn't survive in the industrial era.

    The Fourteenth Amendment means that state governments are essentially bound by the same Constitutional bars on infringement of substantive rights that the national government is. Therefore, state sovereignty was curtailed to much the same level as federal sovereignty. Since we have the Supremacy Clause, this means that state sovereignty is deferential to federal sovereign authority. This is because the ultimate sovereign, the People of the United States, acting through their elected representatives, deemed it to be so.

    I am not advocating a unitary state in the mold of a European nation-state. What I am saying is that the concept of the sub-national state being ultimately sovereign died with the Confederacy, because it is fundamentally incompatible with an industrialized society.

  6. #106
    Senior Member lowtech redneck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by onemoretime View Post
    The Fourteenth Amendment means that state governments are essentially bound by the same Constitutional bars on infringement of substantive rights that the national government is. Therefore, state sovereignty was curtailed to much the same level as federal sovereignty.
    You're right on the first part, but dead wrong on the second; states were no longer able (in theory) to violate constitutionally enumerated rights of individuals, but all other aspects of state sovereignty remained intact as per the Tenth Amendment.

    As for the Civil War, the only other thing it settled as far as federalism is concerned is that states do not have the right to secede from the Union; if you think that's what I meant by "federalism" or "state sovereignty/prerogatives," then you are sorely mistaken-reread the post where I differentiated between a unitary state, a federal state, and a confederated state. Is I clearly indicated, "sovereignty" in a federal state is delineated by function (much like the Executive and Legislative branches at the national level) and does not equate to the absolute sovereignty found in unitary or confederated nations.

  7. #107
    Dreaming the life onemoretime's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lowtech redneck View Post
    You're right on the first part, but dead wrong on the second; states were no longer able (in theory) to violate constitutionally enumerated rights of individuals, but all other aspects of state sovereignty remained intact as per the Tenth Amendment.

    As for the Civil War, the only other thing it settled as far as federalism is concerned is that states do not have the right to secede from the Union; if you think that's what I meant by "federalism" or "state sovereignty/prerogatives," then you are sorely mistaken-reread the post where I differentiated between a unitary state, a federal state, and a confederated state. Is I clearly indicated, "sovereignty" in a federal state is delineated by function (much like the Executive and Legislative branches at the national level) and does not equate to the absolute sovereignty found in unitary or confederated nations.
    Tenth was fundamentally overruled by both the Fourteenth and the Ninth, which states that enumeration doesn't take away from the other rights of the People. If the people want the Feds to be able to do something, the Feds can do it. For now, we're content to not push too far on amendments, and accept the ability of the courts to expand the powers of Congress within the current bounds of the Constitution.

    The Civil War settled far more than secession, it also settled nullification, the validity of the Supremacy Clause, and ultimately, that States did not have sovereign power separate from the federal structure (otherwise, they would have been able to secede).

    In any state, sovereignty is determined by whose decisions trump all. In the United States, those are the decisions of the People, who trump the decisions of the federal government, which trumps the decisions of the state government when those conflict with the US Constitution or federal statutes (known as federal question jurisdiction).

  8. #108
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    Quote Originally Posted by onemoretime View Post
    Tenth was fundamentally overruled by both the Fourteenth and the Ninth, which states that enumeration doesn't take away from the other rights of the People. If the people want the Feds to be able to do something, the Feds can do it. For now, we're content to not push too far on amendments, and accept the ability of the courts to expand the powers of Congress within the current bounds of the Constitution.
    So there is no limit whatsoever to what the government may do, if "the people" want them to do it? That is the antithesis of a constitutional form of government. Also, how would the Tenth Amendment be overruled by the Ninth, when they were ratified together as part of the Bill of Rights?


    The Civil War settled far more than secession, it also settled nullification, the validity of the Supremacy Clause, and ultimately, that States did not have sovereign power separate from the federal structure (otherwise, they would have been able to secede).
    There are still legitimate constitutional questions there. Nullification, especially.


    In any state, sovereignty is determined by whose decisions trump all. In the United States, those are the decisions of the People, who trump the decisions of the federal government, which trumps the decisions of the state government when those conflict with the US Constitution or federal statutes (known as federal question jurisdiction).
    The Constitution is the supreme law of the land. The people hold the sovereignty, but not even the people get to abridge rights. Sovereignty is not exercised simply through the ballot box. This is NOT a democracy.
    Who wants to try a bottle of merc's "Extroversion Olive Oil?"

  9. #109
    Senior Member lowtech redneck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pure_mercury View Post
    Also, how would the Tenth Amendment be overruled by the Ninth, when they were ratified together as part of the Bill of Rights?
    No kidding....don't worry, I'm sure a patently sophistic argument will be provided to explain why.
    Last edited by lowtech redneck; 12-03-2009 at 12:45 AM. Reason: more to add

  10. #110
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    Quote Originally Posted by lowtech redneck View Post
    No kidding....
    I love the Ninth Amendment, BTW. It's the libertarian-est one.
    Who wants to try a bottle of merc's "Extroversion Olive Oil?"

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