Politics (Insomnia)


Illustration for article titled Politics (Insomnia)

I read this article while I couldn’t sleep.


This section caught my eye:

“President Trump’s assertions of executive authority remain well short of the extremes reached by Barack Obama who openly and repeatedly circumvented Congress.”


“In one State of the Union address, Mr Obama chastised both houses for refusing to give him changes in immigration laws and other changes. He then declared his intention to get the same results by unilateral executive action.”

“That shocking pledge was met with a roar of approval from the Democrats - including Speaker Nancy Pelosi - who celebrated the notion of their own institutional irrelevancy.”


“In 2011, I represented Democratic and Republican members who challenged the right of President Obama (and then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton) to launch the Libyan war without a declaration from Congress.”

“Mr Obama then proceeded (like Mr Trump) to use loose funds in the executive branch to fund the entire war without an appropriation.”


“Ms Pelosi and the Democratic leadership enthusiastically supported Obama’s circumvention of Congress on both the lack of a declaration and the lack of an appropriation.”

The balance of power is a critical element of our Constitution. I told my left-leaning friends that they would indeed regret Obama’s unilateral actions to end-run Congress if an anti-immigrant conservative came to power after, and that is exactly what has happened.


We had a D president who abused his power to overcome an obstructionist R Congress. Now we have an R president who wants to abuse his power to overcome an obstructionist D Congress. This is bad whatever side you are on, and it is breaking us.

Our system is designed for compromise. This is why a Republican signed the Clean Water Act. It is why the largest immigration amnesty in US history was signed by a Republican. It is why Lyndon Johnson defied the South and signed the Civil Rights Act, despite the South being a Democratic stronghold at the time.


If you believe that “liberalism is a mental illness” or “all Republicans are racists,” stop it. It is this moral aggrandizement, and equating political issues with the moral character of the country, is what has led us to a place where the parties believe that the end justifies the means, and that holding the Presidency means working around Congress - instead of finding roads to compromise. But when each party (and their constituents) treat every issue as a moral imperative, we compromise our own principles and degrade our system of government.

Not all Republicans are evil racist Nazis. Not all Democrats are baby killing socialists who want to take away our cars. Nobody knows what the fuck we are doing, and both good and bad ideas can be found anywhere.


I don’t want to be a D or an R.

Thanks, Britain, for observing a truth we seem unable to see for ourselves.

You see, in the end it really doesn’t matter if a border wall gets built. Both are presenting this as an issue of the highest stakes. It is just a big, dumb government infrastructure project. If it gets built, the worst case is we wasted some money. We’ve done that plenty of times before. If it doesn’t, we still have to figure out out process for legal immigration reform and how to manage the flow of immigration.


The wall is about the 2020 campaign and politics. But we have told our leaders that compromise is weakness, so everyone is ready to die on this hill at all costs - the prize is RBG’s SCOTUS seat. If she dies before the 2020 election, the Kavanaugh fight will look like nothing.

It is all so stupid.

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