King Among Men

Martin Luther King Jr.

Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. (Image via nobelprize.org)

Today, as one nation, we pause our normal activities to celebrate the life and legacy of Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr.

His grandfather became pastor of the Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta in 1914. His father served in that capacity starting in 1931, and Martin Luther King, Jr. himself became pastor there in 1960. He won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964.

In 1954, he became pastor of the Dexter Avenue Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama. This positioned him in 1955 to become a leader of the bus boycott movement started by the unexpected bravery of Rosa Parks, who refused to follow the custom of sitting in the back of a Birmingham city bus. In the words of Fannie Lou Hamer, she was “sick and tired of being sick and tired.”

Seizing on the methodology of Gandhi, Rev. King became President of the nascent Southern Christian Leadership Conference. Between his election in 1957 and his death in 1968, King traveled over six million miles and spoke over 2,500 times (about once every other day). His oratorical skills were legendary.

From March, 1963, to March, 1966, he wrote a series of four annual pieces for The Nation, which the magazine has reproduced on the web.

Excerpts from those essays show a clear and strong authorial voice that resonates today.

For example, in the March 30, 1963, piece, “A Bold Design for a New South,” King writes:

Part of the blame must be laid to the Administration’s cautious tactics. Early in the year, the President backed away from the Senate I fight to amend Rule 22, the so-called filibuster rule; had he entered the fray, the amendment would probably have passed and the greatest obstacle to the passage of civil-rights legislation would have been smashed. (Despite this experience, the President again remained aloof, under similar  circumstances, in January of this year, and again the amendment failed to carry.)

Remind us of anyone?

On March 9, 1964, in “Hammer of Civil Rights,” he wrote:

As had been foreseen, the [Civil Rights Act] bill survived intact in the House. It has now moved to the Senate, where a legislative confrontation reminiscent of Birmingham impends. Bull Connor became a weight too heavy for the conscience of Birmingham to bear. There are men in the Senate who now plan to perpetuate the injustices Bull Connor so ignobly defended. His weapons were the high-pressure hose, the club and the snarling dog; theirs is the filibuster. If America is as revolted by them as it was by Bull Connor, we shall emerge with a victory.

March 15, 1965, “Let Justice Roll Down”:

The Civil Rights Act was expected by many to suffer the fate of the Supreme Court decisions on school desegregation. In particular, it was thought that the issue of public accommodations would encounter massive defiance. But this pessimism overlooked a factor of supreme importance. The legislation was not a product of charity of white America for a supine black America, nor was it the result of enlightened leadership by the judiciary. This legislation was first written in the streets.

Sounds like judicial activism. And, finally, on March 14, 1966, his frustration with the glacial pace of social progress is evident in “The Last Steep Ascent”:

But the prohibition of barbaric behavior, while beneficial to the victim, does not constitute the attainment of equality or freedom. A man may cease beating his wife without thereby creating a wholesome marital relationship.

We also have, thanks to video on demand, the ability to hear the power and clarity of Rev. King’s oratory, such as in his “I Have a Dream” speech.

The assassinations of President Kennedy, Reverend King and Senator Kennedy were signal events in my young life. At the time, I did not fully appreciate the legacy left by Rev. King upon his death. Later, I had the opportunity to visit the Edmund Pettis Bridge in Selma, Alabama, and imagine myself as a civil rights protester led by now-Rep. John Lewis or Hosea Williams, marching north across a deep and age-old chasm, trapped by the railings of the bridge and the sheer drop to the river below, trapped into facing John Cloud with his state troopers and his attack dogs as an inevitable and necessary part of progress that must be attained. Before that march, only 350 blacks (out of an eligible 15,000) were registered to vote in Selma. The Federal Voting Rights Act and the actions of the federal courts were needed to enfranchise the benighted voters of Selma. That disenfranchisement, by the way, is tyranny, for those who so callously bandy the word about.

There were Giants in the Earth in those days. Reverend King was one of them.


About Monotreme

Monotreme is an unabashedly liberal dog lover, writer, and former scientist who now teaches at a University in an almost-square state out West somewhere. http://www.logarchism.com | http://www.sevendeadlysynapses.com
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70 Responses to King Among Men

  1. dcpetterson says:

    A wonderful tribute to a great man. Well done.

  2. Mr. Universe says:

    Nicely done.

    I was just in Atlanta over the holidays and went by Dr. King’s home and the Church. You should make a point of seeing it if you ever get to ATL

  3. Bart DePalma says:

    Mono: That disenfranchisement, by the way, is tyranny, for those who so callously bandy the word about.

    Is there a difference between not being able to vote at all and voting for candidate who enacts policies you oppose? Those brave men and women were fighting for their right to vote to elect representatives to enact their long ignored will, not merely for the opportunity to cast a ballot.

  4. Monotreme says:

    Barted:

    Is there a difference between not being able to vote at all and voting for candidate who enacts policies you oppose?

    Yes.

  5. Bart DePalma says:

    And what is that difference apart from the act of casting a ballot?

  6. Monotreme says:

    One is democracy. The other is not.

    The spirit of liberty is the spirit which is not too sure that it is right; the spirit of liberty is the spirit which seeks to understand the minds of other men and women; the spirit of liberty is the spirit which weighs their interests alongside its own without bias; the spirit of liberty remembers that not even a sparrow falls to earth unheeded; the spirit of liberty is the spirit of Him who, near two thousand years ago, taught mankind that lesson it has never learned, but has never quite forgotten; that there may be a kingdom where the least shall be heard and considered side by side with the greatest. — Justice Learned Hand [emphasis mine]
    http://www.commonlaw.com/Hand.html

  7. Bart DePalma says:

    A democracy is a government of the people, by the people and most of all for the people.

    How is a government where people elect leaders who impose their will against that of the people in any way a democracy?

  8. filistro says:

    Bart, unlike you… even a few of the Freepers understand how representative democracy works.

    Posted this morning at Free Republic:

    If there is one negative thing that can be said about FR, it’s that too many here think that FReeper consensus=consensus of America, and set themselves up for a kick in the bazongas.

    Freepers were shocked when Duncan Hunter got microscopic support.

    Then they were shocked when Fred Thompson got microscopic support.

    Then they were shocked when McQueeg got the nomination.

    Then they were shocked when Obama beat him. (Remember the “PUMAs” and the “Bradley Effect”?)

    Then they were shocked when Christine O’Donnell went down in flames.

    Lather, rinse, repeat….

    987 posted on January 17, 2011 7:36:17 AM by _______
    [ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 954 | View Replies]

    See, Bart? He says “too many here think that FReeper consensus=consensus of America”

    And so do you. Your view of representative democracy is:

    “If I believe it, everybody does.
    And if they don’t, they SHOULD.
    And if they won’t, WE’LL FORCE THEM TO.”

    Not only does the Tea Party NOT represent the majority of American feeling… Republicans couldn’t even win the Senate in a mid-term election year where the opposite party held the White House and the nation was in the throes of a terrible recession. Yet for some bizarre reason you think the Tea Party should be running the country, and if they aren’t, the administration is malign and illegitimate.

    God bless MLK for fighting and giving his life to bring true representative democracy to all Americans, rather than the narrow ideological tyranny that you and your kind seek to impose on an entire country.

  9. Monotreme says:

    Someone who claims to have taken Con Law asks a fifth-grade civics question:

    How is a government where people elect leaders who impose their will against that of the people in any way a democracy?

    It’s not. It’s a representative democracy or republic, which is what the Constitution provides for.

    Unless, like Jared Loughner, you’d like to argue that the government controls grammar and dictionary definitions.

  10. shortchain says:

    The difference between being unable to vote and being able to vote and having your representative vote for something you oppose is precisely the same type of difference as there is between the right to free speech and the right to have people think you should have remained silent.

    By now, I would have thought you’d have a clue about this, but I guess some people never learn.

  11. dcpetterson says:

    Well, I’m proud to say that I pay attention to what the candidates promise in the elections I get to vote in. Perhaps other people in different parts of the country have different experiences. But the candidates I vote for — if they win — tend to push for precisely the programs they promised to in the campaign.

    My two Democratic Senators, my Democratic Representative in the House, and my Democratic President are four excellent examples of people who have been very good at keeping their campaign promises. (You can’t hold any elected official responsible for either emergency events beyond his or her control. nor for the depredations and shenanigans of the other party.)

    I don’t know what more anyone could ask of elected officials, other than to do their best to enact the policies and programs they ran on.

    MLK fought true tyranny to which some segments of the nation were subjected. Today’s Teapers are spoiled children, pretending to be little tin Revolutionary War Soldier toys.

  12. filistro says:

    From wiki, definition of “representative democracy” (emphasis mine):

    Representative democracy is a form of government founded on the principle of elected individuals representing the people, as opposed to autocracy and direct democracy. The representatives form an independent ruling body (for an election period) charged with the responsibility of acting in the people’s interest, not as their proxy representatives and not necessarily always according to their wishes, but with enough authority to exercise swift and resolute initiative in the face of changing circumstances. It is often contrasted with direct democracy, where representatives are absent or are limited in power as proxy representatives.

  13. Mr. Universe says:

    And so do you. Your view of representative democracy is:

    “If I believe it, everybody does.
    And if they don’t. they SHOULD.
    And if they won’t, WE’LL FORCE THEM TO.”

    I was going to ignore our resident troll today in deference to the holiday but, man; nothing like the smell of a supreme smackdown in the morning. Back under the bridge, Bart.

  14. dcpetterson says:

    filistro, the act of considering the actual meaning of words is an important act. Thank you for helping.

    If you vote for a candidate who then wins, and that candidate does things you don’t like, you’re free to vote against him or her in the next election. The fact that you are, in fact, free to vote against that person in the next election is ironclad proof that we are not living under “tyranny.” Only a idiot could honestly believe otherwise.

    Use of a word like “tyranny” to describe this situation is simple bloviating, intended to distract the hearer from actually considering the reality of the situation.

  15. Mr. Universe says:

    How is a government where people elect leaders who impose their will against that of the people in any way a democracy?

    If elected leaders fail to adequately represent their interests, they get voted out by a majority. See, this is where I think you fail to comprehend the concept of Democracy (capital D); you, my psuedo-libertarian friend are in an ever increasing minority. A powerful one with deep pockets, I’ll grant you, but a minority nonetheless.

    The mills of the Gods grind slowly, yet they grind exceedingly fine.

  16. dcpetterson says:

    I think as part of this particular discussion over misuse of the word “tyranny,” it’s important to point out that Bart is skilled at trying to get other people to defend difficult positions, while making his side seem to support simple common-sense principles. He’s framed the question as a hypothetical, and one that doesn’t actually apply to the current reality of America. Notice:

    Is there a difference between not being able to vote at all and voting for candidate who enacts policies you oppose?
    and
    How is a government where people elect leaders who impose their will against that of the people in any way a democracy?

    Neither of these situations (a candidate you supported now does things you don’t support, and an elected official doing unpopular things) are ones that any of us want to happen. Yet he is asking us to defend them.

    Fortunately, neither of these situations pertain to our present reality — at least, not in the way Bart would have us believe.

    And if we did define “tyranny” the way Bart does, then the Republicans in the Senate and the House have been committing “tyranny” for two years. Another example of this sort of “tyranny” will be demonstrated in a few days, when Boehner and Company vote to repeal PPACA — which a majority of the American public does not want them to do.

    Even the things Bart holds up as vital principle fail when he applies them to the real world. If anyone is advocating “tyranny” — even by Bart’s definition of “tyranny” — it is Bart.

  17. shiloh says:

    I’ve Been To The Mountaintop — April 3, 1968

    On the eve of a protest march for striking garbage workers in Memphis, Tenn., King gave this darkly prescient speech. The next day he was assassinated.

    “Well, I don’t know what will happen now. We’ve got some difficult days ahead. But it doesn’t matter with me now. Because I’ve been to the mountaintop. And I don’t mind. Like anybody, I would like to live a long life. Longevity has its place. But I’m not concerned about that now. I just want to do God’s will. And He’s allowed me to go up to the mountain. And I’ve looked over. And I’ve seen the promised land. I may not get there with you. But I want you to know tonight, that we, as a people, will get to the promised land. And I’m happy, tonight. I’m not worried about anything. I’m not fearing any man. Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord.

    >
    >
    >

    Barack Hussein Obama , a bi-racial, African/American who is an intelligent, compassionate, empathetic, wise, thoughtful, unflappable, rational, knowledgeable, energetic, problem solving, presidential public servant ~ easily elected the 44th President of the United States of America!, Nov. 4, 2008.

    Sorry Bart!

    Whereas coincidentally, the past 3+ years Bart and his ilk have ad nauseam barted er (((whined))) incoherently: blood slander, blood libel, porkulus, Obama care, statist, activist judge, socialized medicine, birther, death panels, they’re gonna take away our guns, illegal aliens, govt. bailout, refudiate, held hostage, ground zero mosque, death tax, marriage penalty, fair and balanced, giving aid and comfort to the enemy, Hitler, Islamo-fascists, Communists, Socialist, Marxist, wealth distributor, liberal media, pro-business/family/life, states’ rights, civil liberties, strict constructionist, yada yada yada

    ie will Bart’s embarrassing 24/7 whining ever stop ~ Rhetorical question.

    >

    Indeed, a certain dichotomy ~ Martin Luther King, Jr. = hopeful, spiritual, religious, intelligent, visionary, magnanimous, thoughtful, historical …

    and then there’s Bart’s hateful, divisive, fear mongering, childish Cry me a River teabaggers who cannot relate in any way to the 300/400 year American oppression against minorities!

    >

    President’s Day
    Easter/Good Friday
    Memorial Day
    4th of July
    Columbus Day
    Veteran’s Day
    Thanksgiving
    Christmas

    and oh yea, Martin Luther King, Jr. national holiday to honor one of America’s greatest citizens!

    Bartles, Happy Martin Luther King, Jr. Day !!!

    As always, I yield back the balance of my time …

  18. erik says:

    Despite being beaten about the head repeatedly every time he posts on this board, Bart comes back, again and again, like a perverse Energizer bunny, to repeat the same old mantra, using different redefined words.

    Bart: You have the right to vote. For Heaven’s sake, go out and vote! And get out the vote. Be an activist! Above all, research your candidate(s). Shouldn’t lawyers and scholars be good researchers?Given your innate skepticism about government and politicians in general, you seem eminently qualified to weed out the liars from the truth-tellers.
    So don’t vote for the liars. Get out on the streets and campaign against the liars. Do your part in this constitutional republic based on a representative democracy. Educate your fellow ignorant conservatives to recognize the liars, so they won’t elect the likes of GWB again in our lifetime. Don’t just sit at your keyboard bitching that WE’re all living under tyranny and that WE should ‘take back our country’. Hint: YOU won’t educate many intelligent people by repeatedly redefining terms and concepts to fit your view. Only dittoheads and Beckers and the like fall for that crap. (GB–Isn’t he the guy who claimed we had an awful health care system until he changed networks! Do you see him as a role model Bart? ) . If you want to take back the country for the dittoheads, do it somewhere else. Not on this board. Preferably in some other country.

    Give us all a break. Please

  19. Bart DePalma says:

    Fili:

    You know darn well that I do not equate the will of the people with my own. I have repeatedly posted that my beliefs are shared with perhaps 20% of voters and that Nanacy Pelosi does a very good job representing the will of her progressive constituents. You and others offer this misrepresentation of my views as a red herring to avoid addressing the fact that representatives in a democracy are tasked with enacting the will of their constituents.

  20. Bart DePalma says:

    dcpetterson says: I think as part of this particular discussion over misuse of the word “tyranny,” it’s important to point out that Bart is skilled at trying to get other people to defend difficult positions, while making his side seem to support simple common-sense principles. He’s framed the question as a hypothetical, and one that doesn’t actually apply to the current reality of America. Notice:

    Is there a difference between not being able to vote at all and voting for candidate who enacts policies you oppose?
    and
    How is a government where people elect leaders who impose their will against that of the people in any way a democracy?

    Neither of these situations (a candidate you supported now does things you don’t support, and an elected official doing unpopular things) are ones that any of us want to happen. Yet he is asking us to defend them.

    Progress finally!

    DC and I now agree on the basic founding precept of our Republic – elected representatives should enact the will of their constituents.

    Does everyone else here agree?

  21. Brian says:

    Bart,

    Your comparisons to people not getting what they want now to the civil rights movement is a disgrace. I really wish I could say this was a new low for you and I was surprised, but I can’t. It’s not even close, no matter how loud you scream and how much you try to argue otherwise.

    You really want to know what the difference is? If you don’t like it this time, you can change it next time. Black people in the 60s couldn’t. It didn’t matter if there were 100 elections in which they didn’t get what they wanted, there wasn’t a next time for them until Reverend King. They couldn’t form their own party or nominate candidates of their choosing. So don’t act like your situation is comparable. It’s not.

  22. Bartbuster says:

    Blankshot, trying to equate “losing an election” with “not being allowed to vote” is a new low for you. It also proves me wrong about something. I figured you could not sink any lower.

  23. Bart DePalma says:

    Brian:

    MLK Day and its celebration of the effort to enfranchise everyone is the perfect time to be discussing the requirements of democracy.

    What is the use of fighting and sometimes dying to gain the vote in a system where the representative you elect is not required or expected to enact the will of her constituents? You are disenfranchised either way.

  24. Bartbuster says:

    What is the use of fighting and sometimes dying to gain the vote in a system where the representative you elect is not required or expected to enact the will of her constituents? You are disenfranchised either way.

    Blankshot, the situation you describe does not exist in a democracy. The reason your rep isn’t listening to you is because you didn’t vote for them. Your side LOST the election.

  25. filistro says:

    Brian, there is no genuine, tragic, historic victimhood that the Tea Party will not co-opt for their own purposes.

    When they don’t get everything they want from government, they are “disenfranchised.”

    When somebody criticizes their rhetoric, it’s a “blood libel.”

    When people are angered by their loose use of politically incendiary terms, there is a “pogrom” against them.

    It’s a level of whining opportunism that really is several levels beyond reprehensible. Especially, I might add, on a day when we recognize true, noble heroism in the face of REAL victimhood.

  26. filistro says:

    Bart… do you personally consider Barack Obama’s administration to be:

    a.) legitimate
    b.) representative

    Thank you.

  27. erik says:

    Bart: “I have repeatedly posted that my beliefs are shared with perhaps 20% of voters and that Nanacy Pelosi does a very good job representing the will of her progressive constituents. ”
    So where does the “tyranny” come in? “Tyranny” over your 20% faction when the rest have opposing viewpoints? Should I cry “Tyranny” when a minority of the Senate blocks legislation that I would like to see passed? You got your vote. You had a chance to study your chosen candidate. Your cohort had the same options. But you c0ntinue to allude to the representative(s) you elect(ed) failing to vote as you wish.

    Who is/are these specific representative(s)? Which of his/her/their vote(s ) disenfranchised you? Bart, surely you know, that the workings of Congress are such that , occasionally people vote for a bill that contains elements they don’t like in order to get the larger, more important bill passed. Is that what happened, Bart? Or don’t you know? I haven’t been on here that long, so perhaps you’ve defined specifics before. If so, don’t give me the details. Just give me a date, and I’ll check the archives to see what you had to say.

  28. shiloh says:

    Actually bb, any representative should listen to all their constituents and then proceed accordingly ~ advise and consent ie Obama said on election night 2008, he would be the president of all the people, not just those who had voted for him.

    This is what are representative democracy is all about ~ moving forward the best way possible for all concerned!

    Of course, re: Bartles, “we” should listen to him and summarily dismiss his continual winger nonsense … and yes, have empathy for all of his conservative shortcomings, inadequacies …

    When you find yourself in the majority, it’s time to pause and reflect! ~ Mark Twain

  29. Brian says:

    Fili,

    That’s why I said it wasn’t a new low for Bart. I wish he couldn’t sink lower than this, but he already has.

    Sometimes it feels like people on this site are arguing with one of those pull string dolls. Where you get one of three or four sayings every time you pull the string. “There’s a snake in my boot.” “Obama’s government is illegitimate.” “Reagan was the best President in the history of the US.”

  30. Max aka Birdpilot says:

    Is there a difference between not being able to vote at all and voting for candidate who enacts policies you oppose?

    This from the same childish, pedantic, make-believer who just yesterday idiotically posited “Who votes for Congress and the President?“.

    What a maroon!” – Bugs Bunny

  31. filistro says:

    @Brian… Sometimes it feels like people on this site are arguing with one of those pull string dolls. Where you get one of three or four sayings every time you pull the string. “There’s a snake in my boot.” “Obama’s government is illegitimate.” “Reagan was the best President in the history of the US.”

    LOL!! Best analogy of the week, hands down. 🙂 🙂 🙂

  32. Bart DePalma says:

    filistro says: Bart… do you personally consider Barack Obama’s administration to be: a.) legitimate
    b.) representative

    The representatives the people legally and properly elect are per se legitimate.

    The policies an elected representative enacts are legitimate if they implement the will of that representative’s constituents.

    With these principles in mind, Barack Obama was legally and properly elected and is thus legitimate. However, nearly all of the major policies Obama enacted were opposed by pluralities or majorities of his constituents and are thus illegitimate.

  33. dcpetterson says:

    Bart
    DC and I now agree on the basic founding precept of our Republic – elected representatives should enact the will of their constituents.

    No. They are elected to use their judgment. You are misrepresenting me again.

    What I said was:
    Neither of these situations (a candidate you supported now does things you don’t support, and an elected official doing unpopular things) are ones that any of us want to happen.

    Notice I said nothing there about what the elected Representatives are for. I spoke of the wants of private individuals, which do not necessarily have anything to do with Constitutional requirements of elected office.

    You really do see only what you want to see, don’t you?

  34. Bart DePalma says:

    BD: “I have repeatedly posted that my beliefs are shared with perhaps 20% of voters and that Nanacy Pelosi does a very good job representing the will of her progressive constituents. ”

    erik: So where does the “tyranny” come in?

    The Obama Administration and the Dem congressional leadership drafting legislation implementing policies against the will of the people, in secret to conceal them from the people and then Dem representatives voting to approve them without even reading them. In the bad old days of the USSR, the Politboro would secretly draft laws and send them to the Supreme Soviet legislature to rubber stamp without debate or examination.

    BTW, I was not disenfranchised. My elected representative repeatedly consults with his constituents and his votes in Congress reflect his conservative district.

    The folks who were disenfranchised over the past two years were the constituents of blue dog Dems, who repeatedly through calls, letters, emails, town hall meetings and public demonstrations in their districts and in DC told their representatives not to enact Obama policies. These Dems pissed all over their constituents and voted against their repeatedly expressed wishes to enact these policies.

    Of course, the voters expressed their rage after the fact by firing nearly every Dem incumbent in anything other than a deep blue district for enacting Obama policies. However, the policies remain on the books.

  35. dcpetterson says:

    Bart:
    What is the use of fighting and sometimes dying to gain the vote in a system where the representative you elect is not required or expected to enact the will of her constituents? You are disenfranchised either way.

    So if you feel this way, then propose a Constitutional Amendment putting Scott Rasmussen in charge of passing bills in the US Congress.

    And Bart, you long ago gave up the right to bleat about the “will of the people.”

    You opposed both the “public option” and the single-player idea for health care reform, both of which were overwhelmingly favored by a majority of the public.

    You opposed repeal of DADT, which was overwhelmingly favored by a majority of the public.

    You supported extension of the Bush tax cuts on people who make over $250,000, which was overwhelmingly opposed by a majority of the public.

    You opposed enactment of the START treaty, which was overwhelmingly favored by a majority of the public.

    Even today, you support repeal of PPACA. A majority of the public wants either to keep it, or to enhance it.

    Etc. Etc. Etc.

    Your rhetoric about “the will of the People” is simply another example of overheated and overblown meaningless inflammatory rhetoric — which, in this case, is additionally hypocritical and dishonest.

  36. Bart DePalma says:

    DC:

    I suspected that you did not mean what you posted. OK, I now clearly understand you support a system of elected rulers who are free to enact anything they damn well please regardless of what their constituents want.

  37. GROG says:

    Mr. U said: I was going to ignore our resident troll ………..Back under the bridge, Bart.

    You may want be careful of what you hope for. The majority of the conversation around here is based upon dissonant opinion and there’s a whole lot of your side and not much of our side.

    I’ll give it a rest now.

  38. Bartbuster says:

    However, the policies remain on the books.

    There is nothing stopping you wingnuts from reversing those policies. Stop your Fing whining. You lost. Get over it.

  39. Bartbuster says:

    I now clearly understand you support a system of elected rulers who are free to enact anything they damn well please regardless of what their constituents want.

    As do you (see Iraq/disaster). Now stop your whining.

  40. dcpetterson says:

    Bart, I understand you to say that the Constitution means what you want it to mean, and not what the words on the paper imply. I understand you to say that you get to make up “facts” and to misrepresent the statements of other people — and even to misrepresent your own previous statements. I also understand that your powers of reading comprehension are impaired by your partisanship, such that you read wat you want to read into whatever is said by others.

  41. filistro says:

    GROG… I was reading “The Corner” at National Review Online yesterday… I am frequently there, it’s one of my all-time favorite sites. (As I mentioned over there, I like Jonah Goldberg, admire Rich Lowry and ADORE John Derbyshire ;-))

    One of their regular commenters was complaining about the “echo chamber” at lefty sites like DU and Daily Kos, where opposing views are not welcome. In repsonse I put up a post BEGGING some smart righties to come to “538 refugees” where we truly welcome their views and would like to engage them in discussion. To my astonishment the mods actually published my comment… no wonder I love that right-wing place!

    I notice at our site stats that so far today we’ve had about 5 times as many referrals as usual through “538 refugees,” so I’m hoping maybe some of the Cornerites are giving us a look.

    ****If you are a Corner Rightie just dropping by, welcome and join the conversation. We really, truly would love to hear from you and start a dialogue.***

  42. dcpetterson says:

    ****If you are a Corner Rightie just dropping by, welcome and join the conversation. We really, truly would love to hear from you and start a dialogue.***

    Let me echo that thought. We need more intelligent and thoughtful conservatives here. Please participate!

  43. filistro says:

    Jeez… two thumbs down within minutes on the idea of getting more smart righties to post here? You guys are a tough crowd 😉

    Seriously… Wouldn’t you like to hear from a rightie other than Bart? I would.

    Don’t you remember the massive, data-supported, entertaining free-for-all debates between right and left that we used to have at the old 538? I do.

    Sigh… I really miss those days…

  44. Brian says:

    I was just thinking and I realized something. If Representatives only did what their constituents wanted, the Civil Rights Act wouldn’t have passed. Which seems particularly relevant today.

  45. dcpetterson says:

    That is an excellent point, Brian. It is vital for elected representatives to do what is right for the country.

    Frequently, “what the voters want” is self-contradictory, or would be very bad for the nation. If the voters want some enormous new benefit package, for example, but don’t want to pay for it — what should a Representative do? Deny the new program to avoid increased costs? Or find a way to generate the revenue needed to create the new program?

    We saw the disaster of the first course — taking actions without bothering to pay for them — from the last three Republican presidents. I hope we never do that again.

  46. dcpetterson says:

    filistro, I suspect at least one of the people who put a “thumbs down” on your post was Bart. The last thing he’d want is an intelligent and honest conservative here. That would make him look very very bad.

  47. Number Seven says:

    Me thinks Bartoinette has never watched George Carlin, who dispises both parties (as do I).

    Bartoinette puts shit bags like Reagan/Bush the Elder/Clinton/Bush the Younger on a pedistal then puts Obama in a shit hole for continuing many of the same policies.

    Get a grip, dude

  48. Bart DePalma says:

    filistro says: Seriously… Wouldn’t you like to hear from a rightie other than Bart? I would.

    I could use some folks to spell me. This is like staying in the ring for a 25 round fight with the other side running in an 8 person tag team.

    Fili, you might want to try the Federalist Society for some additional original meaning legal expertise.

  49. Number Seven says:

    Bartoinette, just admit you get paid for posting here. It would make so much more sense then you claiming you do this because you are trying to change the minds of us godless libruls.

  50. Bart DePalma says:

    Brian says: I was just thinking and I realized something. If Representatives only did what their constituents wanted, the Civil Rights Act wouldn’t have passed. Which seems particularly relevant today.

    The Civil Rights Act passed with a bipartisan majority because the supporters were doing what their constituents wanted.

    dcpetterson says: It is vital for elected representatives to do what is right for the country. Frequently, “what the voters want” is self-contradictory, or would be very bad for the nation.

    Democracy is based upon the precept that the people know what is best for themselves.

    The Bill of Rights and several later amendments are there to ensure that majorities do not decide what is best is to discriminate against minorities.

    What you want is a benevolent progressive monarch. There is no such thing as a benevolent despot. That is why we demand democracy.

  51. filistro says:

    @Bart… This is like staying in the ring for a 25 round fight with the other side running in an 8 person tag team.

    Yes, I do feel for you at times. As I’ve told you before… much as I dislike your views, I do admire the doggedness with which you espouse them. I’m a BIG fan of doggedness 😉

    I’m doing my best to find more conservative voices to back you up… or at least draw some of the fire. Unfortunately (as I said in my comment at The Corner) it really does seem that most righties are more comfortable in echo chambers. They just are not all that fond of arguing dissenting views. I often wonder why that is.

  52. Max aka Birdpilot says:

    By

    its

    Constitution,

    The

    United

    States

    is

    NOT

    a

    DEMOCRACY!

    Anyone that has studied constitutional law knows that!

  53. Bart DePalma says:

    filistro says: it really does seem that most righties are more comfortable in echo chambers. They just are not all that fond of arguing dissenting views. I often wonder why that is.

    Folks all along the ideological spectrum prefer the comfort of echo chambers, not just conservatives. Its unfortunate. I find echo chambers boring and have far more fun playing my games on the road.

    Do you post at Freeper Land or just lurk?

  54. Number Seven says:

    Come on Bartoinette, you know that disenting opinions are banned at Freeper Land.

  55. Mr. Universe says:

    Barted,

    However, nearly all of the major policies Obama enacted were opposed by pluralities or majorities of his constituents and are thus illegitimate.

    Unless you have data to the contrary, this is just a lie. I haven’t checked the numbers on the tax cut to the rich extension lately but I’m pretty sure most think it was a faustian trade-off for the rest of the stuff we got in the lame duck session. Beyond that, Obama is doing exactly what we sent him to do: managing the affairs of this nation. And doing so despite the steaming pile of Bantha fodder left on the desk in the Oval Office by the previous administration. His job approval rating is above 50% and higher than your vaunted Reagan’s at this point. What part of representative democracy don’t you understand? Oh, right. The part where it doesn’t represent you.

    GROG said,

    The majority of the conversation around here is based upon dissonant opinion and there’s a whole lot of your side and not much of our side.

    You’re right, of course. I was particularly offended at Bart’s ludicrous assertions on an article equating the emancipation of a segment of our population with his views.

    I’ll give it a rest.

  56. Mr. Universe says:

    @#7

    You can get paid for this? Where do I sign up for that?

  57. dcpetterson says:

    Democracy is based upon the precept that the people know what is best for themselves.

    And they express that at the ballot box. What part of this do you not understand? That’s an honest question, and I’m serious. Why are you incpable of understanding the Constitution?

    We the People chose to elect certain representatives in November of 2010. You don’t like what those Representatives, whom We the People empowered to do the work of the nation, did during the last two years. That’s your right, but it is you who are seeking to thwart the Will of We the People.

    And the fact that there was another election in 2010 proves this remains a democratic republic, and not any sort of “tyranny.”

    So, pull that little string in the middle of your back, repeat your intentional disunderstandings on this topic once more, and then let’s move , shall we?

  58. dcpetterson says:

    Bart —

    By the way, the “Will of the People” does not mean, “the will of that sub-segment of the people who agree with Bart.”

    The People do not speak with a single voice. There are millions of voices — conservative, liberal, socialist, teaper, military, pacifist ….

    An elected representative has to listen to them all, and is then entrusted to do what is best for the nation — for all of The People.

    You want to create a tyranny of The People Who Agree With Bart.

    Too bad for you. That’s in direct contradiction to the Constitution.

  59. Bart DePalma says:

    Number Seven says: Come on Bartoinette, you know that disenting opinions are banned at Freeper Land.

    Since I have not visited Freeper Land in years, I did knot know that.

    Banning is hardly limited to conservative sites. Daily Kos, Glenn Greenwald, Balkinization and others also ban all comment or posters to eliminate conservative comments.

  60. Bartbuster says:

    Banning is hardly limited to conservative sites. Daily Kos, Glenn Greenwald, Balkinization and others also ban all comment or posters to eliminate conservative comments.

    Baghdad, you were banned by Greenwald due to your constant lying. You were never banned from Balkinization. Most posters stopped allowing any comments because of your constant lying. The problem isn’t that you’re “conservative”, the problem is that you’re a lying sack of s*%*t.

  61. Bart DePalma says:

    BD: Democracy is based upon the precept that the people know what is best for themselves.

    DC: And they express that at the ballot box.

    Under your proposed system where elected representatives rule as they please, exactly what are voters expressing at the ballot box? It surely is not a policy preferences, because their representative will not enact the those preferences unless that happen to coincide with her own.

    How long do you want to play this game of DC pretends to support democracy, rather than just Democracy?

  62. Bart DePalma says:

    DC: An elected representative has to listen to them all, and is then entrusted to do what is best for the nation — for all of The People.

    An item of legislation does not have several different approaches. Your constituents either support it or not. In a democracy, majority rules.

    Next, an elected representative represents the interests of his constituents. For the House, that is the district; for the Senate, that is the state; and for the President, that is the nation. This combination of local, state and national voices constitutes the national interest – not the policy preferences of a handful of party leaders enforced by party loyalty.

  63. Bart DePalma says:

    BB: you were banned by Greenwald due to your constant lying.

    Actually, Glenn took issue with my calling him a liar for misrepresenting multiple legal authorities after I posted the actual case law. Generally, folks here can claim ignorance of the law. As an attorney, Greenwald knew better.

  64. dcpetterson says:

    ::: sigh :::

    I’m still not sure what part of the ballot box you don’t understand. Why don’t you like American government? Don’t bother to answer.

  65. shortchain says:

    Bart’s reading comprehension problems are, of course, well known. But recently he’s been showing signs of not understanding that which he himself writes. Consider this quote from him: “This combination of local, state and national voices constitutes the national interest – not the policy preferences of a handful of party leaders enforced by party loyalty.”

    Which party is it, pray tell, which votes in lock-step with the leadership? Apparently, Bart thinks the Democratic party votes in a democratic fashion, while the Republican party subverts democracy.

  66. shortchain says:

    Bart,

    I was there. I read your comments. You lied. He warned you. You continued to lie. That’s how you got banned.

  67. dcpetterson says:

    This combination of local, state and national voices constitutes the national interest – not the policy preferences of a handful of party leaders enforced by party loyalty.

    It would be nice if the Republicans ever learned to place the interests of the Nation over those of the Party. Certainly not going to happen with a Democrat in the White House, though. In fact, I doubt it’ll happen.

  68. Bartbuster says:

    Generally, folks here can claim ignorance of the law. As an attorney, Greenwald knew better.

    What’s your excuse for not knowing how a representative democracy functions?

  69. Max aka Birdpilot says:

    Representative democracy involves the selection of government officials by the people being represented. If the head of state is also democratically elected then it is called a democratic republic. The most common mechanisms involve election of the candidate with a majority or a plurality of the votes.
    Representatives may be elected or become diplomatic representatives by a particular district (or constituency), or represent the entire electorate proportionally proportional systems, with some using a combination of the two. Some representative democracies also incorporate elements of direct democracy, such as referendums. A characteristic of representative democracy is that while the representatives are elected by the people to act in their interest,
    they retain the freedom to exercise their own judgment as how best to do so.

    By its Constitution, the United Stated is NOT a DEMOCRACY. It is a Constitutional Democratic Republic in the form of a representative democracy. (see above)

    Some poor ignorant souls, including those who are so by intent, in spite of education, do not know this simple fact of Constitutional Law.

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