The Founders of the United States of America warned against massive federal debt, but, to our detriment, their political descendants are not paying attention. The Founders speak to us from their graves to condemn and warn of the consequences now that President Trump and Congress have come to an agreement about lifting the meaningless “debt ceiling” and increasing already massive federal spending and the debt, which is at $22 trillion and growing rapidly.
“He who excuses himself, accuses himself.” — Puerto Rican proverb. More than 109 lobbyists and 39 Democrat Members of Congress attended a “winter retreat” last weekend in Puerto Rico, ostensibly to help raise funds for damage caused by Hurricane Maria in 2017, reports Fox News. The fun in the sun was enhanced by a limited run of the Broadway hit “Hamilton,” starring its creator, lead actor, and Democrat partisan, Lin-Manuel Miranda.
Well, that’s a new one that’ll have our Founders rolling in their graves. At the top of Wednesday’s Hardball, longtime MSNBC liberal Chris Matthews asserted that the feud of President Trump vs. Omarosa Manigault Newman marks “a new era in American politics, an old-fashioned duel that hearkens back to the days of Hamilton and Burr, but with a made-for-reality-TV update.”
If Alexander Hamilton had been nominated for a seat on the U.S. Supreme Court today, Democrats would likely oppose him. About the court, Hamilton said: “[A] limited Constitution ...can be preserved in practice no other way than through the medium of courts of justice, whose duty it must be to declare all acts contrary to the manifest tenor of the Constitution void. Without this, all the reservations of particular rights or privileges would amount to nothing. ..To deny this would be to affirm...that men acting by virtue of powers may do not only what their powers do not authorize, but what they forbid...”
The Hamilton electors, whatever their number, are being cheered on by Hamilton bloggers, one of whom is Esquire’s Pierce. In a Saturday post, Pierce argued that in the country the Founding Fathers envisioned, the Electoral College would vote down a Donald Trump presidency. Pierce wrote, “Let us assume for a moment that our constitutional institutions are as strong and functional as they are supposed to be, and let's assume for a moment that we, as a self-governing people, are as strong and as functional as we need to be. What would happen next is that the Electoral College would function as it was designed to function and as its function was explained by Alexander Hamilton in Federalist 68…The electors would look at the accumulated evidence and deny the president-elect his mandate.”
Hillary Clinton’s popular-vote margin continues to be a compelling news story for some, including Harvard law professor Lawrence Lessig, who believes that the Electoral College should vote next month for Clinton because she was “the people’s choice.” Even though The Washington Monthly’s Martin Longman thinks Lessig’s view is “nonsense” and that Donald Trump’s loss of the PV is trivial under our current rules, he also wants the Electoral College to choose Clinton. “What Lessig should have argued,” wrote Longman in a Friday post, “is that the Electors should plainly judge Trump a menacing incompetent and reject him with extreme prejudice...Trump is already demonstrating his unfitness for office in many ways.”
Updated [Feb. 18]: Groupon admits it was all a publicity stunt which "was in line with our brand and sense of humor." All the same, the underlying dreadful command of U.S. history and civics by far too many Americans is not all that funny. | While the term "dead presidents" is often used as slang for greenbacks, there are men honored on U.S. currency who never were president. Benjamin Franklin and Alexander Hamilton come to mind.
But when confronted about an historical error in a press release regarding a President's Day weekend Groupon deal, apparently a spokesman for the company thinks that, well, if Hamilton were president or not is simply a matter of opinion, not fact. Hat tip to Yahoo! News's political writer Chris Moody for this gem (see embed below page break):
Does the Daily Beast's Sally Kohn not have an editor? Or does she just have one who simply doesn't care that she utterly embarrasses herself when she insists the Founding Fathers would approve of ObamaCare's contraception mandate?
"To put it mildly, our forbearers [sic] would be appalled by how right-wing conservatives are trying to use government to force their religious views on all of us. Make no mistake, this is what Hobby Lobby wants to do—use government to push a conservative religious agenda, " Kohn groused this morning in "When Religion and Liberty Collide":
Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga., in the wake of the Newtown, Conn., shootings, said: "The British are not coming. ... We don't need all these guns to kill people." Lewis' vision, shared by many, represents a gross ignorance of why the framers of the Constitution gave us the Second Amendment. How about a few quotes from the period and you decide whether our Founding Fathers harbored a fear of foreign tyrants.
Alexander Hamilton: "The best we can hope for concerning the people at large is that they be properly armed," adding later, "If the representatives of the people betray their constituents, there is then no recourse left but in the exertion of that original right of self-defense which is paramount to all positive forms of government." By the way, Hamilton is referring to what institution when he says "the representatives of the people"?
Last week, I summarized how President Barack Obama has not lived up to his campaign promises to lower the national deficit and debt and get our nation's fiscal house in order. So now I'm calling on him to heed the economic advice of our nation's first eight presidents.
Before I highlight some of the Founding Fathers' wisdom on federal debt and spending, let me remind readers how Crossroads GPS recently summarized Obama's relation to national debt:
On Thursday's Parker-Spitzer, CNN's Kathleen Parker bizarrely and inaccurately claimed that Alexander Hamilton came to the United States illegally and drafted the Constitution: "Let's remember...a lot of Americans did come through the back door such as Alexander Hamilton. He got off the boat from the West Indies, and all he did was write the Constitution and become the first Secretary of the Treasury."
Parker raised this false history during a discussion at the end of the 8 pm Eastern hour about Pedro Ramirez, Fresno State University's student body president, who was outed as an illegal immigrant by a student newspaper. After playing clips from Ramirez and his opponent during the student election, who is also the president of the Fresno State College Republicans, the CNN host displayed sympathy for the college student: "This is kind of a classic though, isn't it, really? I mean, you've the college Republican versus the illegal immigrant, and it's kind of a classic clash, you know, that corresponds to this immigration debate we're having in this country. And clearly, when you put a human face on the illegal immigrant, it's a different story. I mean, nobody wants to punish this young 22-year-old."
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