Rocker and Sage

The Quintessential Optimist and the Quintessential Cynic - Working Together to Build a Better America.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

The Federal "Houdini"

"That system which was pompously displayed as the perfection of government, proves upon examination to be the most odious system of tyranny that was ever projected, a many headed hydra of despotism, whose complicated and various evils would be infinitely more oppressive and afflictive than the scourge of any tyrant... it is a crime of the blackest dye."

These are strong words. The words of a prophet usually are. The great patriot Patrick Henry wrote these words in an essay published in January of 1788. He went on to say that the American people would not see the Constitution thus because of a forecasted "distraction of misery" which would blind them from the realization that their government was a "many headed hydra of despotism", and that it would be, in fact, the weakness of the document itself that would be most responsible for this.

In every instance, whoever sets the rules of the game determines the eventual winner. As it is presently manifested, the Federal Government is like holding water in your hand- there is no way to really get a good hold on it. The feds have given themselves several viable, constitutionally legal escape routes which have proven more than adequate to defeat any conceivable restraint that might be placed upon them by the people. For all intents and purposes, the people and their States were checkmated back in 1789. The "game" was won at that time by the federal rule makers. It has just taken two hundred or so odd years of board moves for the checkmate to become visible(painfully). The painful point being that a "winning" margin of constitutional balance was given to the feds assuring their eventual victory. The "Houdini" was tricking the people to believe that the proportioning of constitutional power was balanced, and thus would be self-sustaining in its claims of checking federal power. Most people then, and now have continued this misguided belief almost to the point of making it a national religion. Only the Anti-Federalists, Patrick Henry among them, smelled the federal "rat" and realized that the Aristocrats had set themselves up to one unhappy day come out on top. That is the reason Patrick Henry never signed off on the dotted line, and in fact, boycotted the convention. He knew what would come of it.

The Constitution was, at least in form, to be the confining straightjacket of the Federal Government. The government was to have some use of its legs for international purposes, its body was to be bound up, and thus restricted from ever wielding its full power over the states. A straightjacket will reliably constrain a "normal" physique. One must only "change" the body, and escape will be simply a matter of time, and effort. All the body needs is an inch of new movement, and it can, with effort wriggle out of its hold. If you have ever watched an old Houdini flick of him extricating himself from a straightjacket, you know what I mean! Its all in the shoulder. The shoulder normally does not have anymore free movement than the arm, however, while the arm cannot shorten, the shoulder can dislocate itself. A straightjacket was not designed to hold a dislocated shoulder. Once the shoulder has dislocated, the arm has won the battle! Escape is only a matter of time, and effort. The audience, however, is reassured that the restraint is permanent because of all the wriggling which seems fruitless initially. This applies to the government in this respect: the Executive is the hand, Congress is the arm, and the Supreme Court is the shoulder. The branches are distinct, but they are all part of the same body with the single goal of freedom for all parts. The "checks and balances" myth is now seen for what it seems, and truly is: a form without function. It makes no sense to think that the shoulder, and arm will jointly prevent the hand from groping. There is, no de facto "separation of powers", they are all in the same hands like three bully brothers each promising to restrain the other from beating you up.

The shoulder is the key. Only it can dislocate and thus foil the intended purpose. Only the Supreme Court can "pop out of the socket" and cheat the master plan. Once the arm is out of the restraint and begins to unbuckle the suit the torso's eventual victory is plainly seen by "all who have eyes to see". What the audience hasn't seen, however, and would have even less understood has been that escape is the inevitable result once the shoulder has dislocated.

By now most Americans would agree that the Feds are busy unbuckling the constitutional straightjacket. What they cannot fathom is: How this has happened, and how they can wrestle it back into its place. While ideas vary widely, the general consensus is that the government somehow cheated, that Congress, and the President have broken the rules. The sharper minds among us understand that the so-called cheating has taken place in the Supreme Court, and has not really been cheating at all, but rather the use of a back door approach that was purposely left open by the founders from the outset.

It is painfully clear that the founders had foreseen the coming, guaranteed dislocation of the shoulder, yet did nothing to prevent it! And why was this you ask?

The answer is to be found by remembering that it wasn't the people, or the states that were clamoring for the 1787 convention, but rather a distinct group of mostly wealthy, aristocrats(federalists) who very much wanted a "strong central government"(Hamilton). While there was wide spread support for altering the Articles of Confederation for very good reasons, it was the federalists alone that wanted to scrap the Articles in favor of a "more energetic" national government, believing that it alone was "good and necessary"(Madison).

While I do believe their motives were genuinely sincere, I heartily disagree with their conclusions. The way to hell is paved with good intentions!

Here is a listing of the two hundred years or so of the acts that led to the straightjacket extrication that we are presently confronted with:

1790: "Rogue" Island joins the Union, new govt. in its constitutional straightjacket.
1791: Hamilton forms up the Bank of the US.
1794: Whiskey Rebellion; violent wriggling begins.
1798: Alien and Sedition Acts; first concerted effort by the shoulder, arm, and hand.
1803: Marbury vs. Madison; Supreme Court decides what is or isn't constitutional.(biggie)
1819: McCulloch vs. Maryland; Supreme Court rules that there are "implied powers" that Congress has that are not mentioned in the Constitution.
1824: Gibbons vs. Ogden; Supreme Court stretches "commerce" to mean "intercourse".(Congress can now federally regulate ANYTHING)
1876: Munn vs. Illinois; Supreme Court rules that when private property is used publically it is subject to public regulation(read: THEIR regulation)
1930: Shoulder now fully dislocated by Congress by "necessary and proper" legislation.
1933: Declaration of presidential emergency war powers, New deal legislation reverses 10th Amendment doctrine. Arm free of straightjacket.
1933-1980: Arm out, hand working on the buckle.
1984: Executive hand has complete freedom of movement, Posse Comitatus suspended with Executive power to declare martial law.
1994: Exclusionary Rule Reform Act(H.R. 666) passed by Congress
2001: Patriot Act; buckle undone, jacket coming off. Audience beginning to panic!
2008: Neo-feudalism, or the 2nd American Revolution???(Ron Paul)

The Revolution WILL be televised!!!