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breeden
ursulav

(no subject)

Well. Enough moping, back to work. Art waits for no angst.

So, my final statement. Since most of us are sick of politics, go ahead and skip it. It's harsh and not at all conciliatory, and keeps the partisan rift nicely bloody. You've been warned.

If you voted for Bush, I'm holding you personally responsible for every single lousy, stupid, unethical thing his administration does. The first time, sure--that came out of left field. Coulda been blindsided. No hard feelings. But you all know exactly who he is now, and you voted for him anyway. That makes you entirely morally culpable. It's your fault from here on out.

He pushes for anti-abortion laws? Your fault. He pushes for an anti-gay amendment? Your fault. He wrecks the environment by pandering to industry? Guess who's fault! He fucks up the war in Iraq even more? You get half credit for that, we need to save some for insurgencies, but I'm sure there'll be plenty of blood for everbody's hands to get a nice speckling.

Somebody at this point will doubtless say "But I'm pro-choice, too!" or something like that. Tough shit. You voted for him. People should know by now that what you believe means nothing compared to what you've DONE. If I stole something, and then tried to claim that I knew stealing was wrong, so I shouldn't be held accountable, what kind of defense is that? It may even be worse! If you believed differently, you should have acted differently.* You made your choice. Beliefs are great, but actions are real.

Now, if you're a mature adult, I imagine this really shouldn't be a problem. You'll be willing to be held accountable for your actions. I certainly am. I'll be held responsible if the people I voted for get in office and do bad things. If the governor here tries to secede from the union or ban religion or something, I'll take my lumps. I voted for him. I share the blame. That's the way it works. I voted for Nader in 2000, and he turned out to be a crazy jackass, and I share a moral culpability for having supported him. I accept that. You want to go off about what an idiot Nader is, I'll sit here and take it. I deserve every word. Hell, I'll chime in during the slow bits. I know all kinds of synonyms for "barking moonbat" and I'm willing to use 'em.

We are responsible for the actions of administrations we support. If you don't want to be responsible, don't support them.

But there's a silver lining! If Bush does something really great, I'm happy to dispense credit to y'all too. Fair is fair. He cures cancer or negotiates a working Palestinian peace accord, it's all yours. I'm bitter and angry and petty, but if he turns out to be Rushmore material, accolades will be forthcoming for all who supported him, and I'll freely admit that I was wrong.

And come on. Surely you must believe that Bush will do great things rather than stupid or dangerous things. After all, if you thought he was an idiot who'd screw things up, you surely wouldn't have voted for him in the first place! So really, you shouldn't have anything to worry about at all. As long as Bush is good for this country, you have absolutely nothing to fear at all.

And that, gang, is my last word on the subject until Bush does something stupid. Tune in next time for nothing to do with politics whatsoever.



*Not neccessarily voting Kerry, mind you, there are lots of moral issues there that I can easily see people disagreeing with, but there's a handy write-in slot too. The options were limitless. What you chose binds you.


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Somebody at this point will doubtless say "But I'm pro-choice, too!" or something like that.

I ran into someone on lj this morning who popped out with this little gem:
I'm pro-choice, pro-gun, pro-gay rights and a Pagan female. And I voted for Bush.

I am currently politely trying to talk with her and figure out why on earth she voted for someone who's already said that he's against three of those.
I did go off like a small yield nuke in my own LJ about it, though. Because, y'see, I just don't understand how someone can cheerfully vote for someone who is pro-life, anti-gay rights, and doesn't think that Wicca qualifies as a real religion, when they themselves are pro-choice, pro-gay rights, and freakin' Pagan.

Then again, I don't know why anyone would really vote for Bush after the past four years, but hey! Let's hear it for keeping those evil nasty gays from getting married! -SNARK-

I hear that under their clothes they walk around naked. And they masticate in public.

Those lousy masticators!

In PUBLIC, I tell you! Right out in the open! They don't even cover themselves!

*swallows quickly*

I wasn't masticating
I swear

*runs*

Quick! I think I saw a flash of SKIN under those clothes! It's indecent!

Simple enough: They examine the presidency from a foreign policy standpoint.

Foreign policy is the president's real job and the place he has real power. Anything else requires Congressional rubber stampage. Bush cannot wave his hand and declare gay marriage unconstitutional, he requires massive support for that to happen (and it won't be forthcoming, despite what occurred in a few states). On the other hand, he's the final decider on foreign policy affairs.

If you are cognizant of the fact that the President cannot, himself, take away your abortion right, take away your gun ownership right, and take away your gay or Pagan rights, then the false dichotomy you represent here becomes apparent.

As I pointed out in a previous reply: the President can provide a great deal of influence on a debate on any of those issues. Responsibility for any use of that influence still falls on those who voted for the President. Also note that the President has a great deal of leeway in deciding how strictly to enforce federal laws, and how much priority to give to any particular infraction. For example, if a strongly anti-gun candidate became President, he could make gun owners lives much more difficult by being an absolute stickler on existing federal gun regulations. Similarly, if there is anything that even remotely appears criminal in a particular religion's worship, by strict enforcement of those laws the religion could be quasi-legally persecuted.

I can't help but feel that you've both over-simplified and misstated this.

The President's influence on debate and enforcement both are subject to the checks of others...And again, to the resistance of the American people as manifested through those others. To take your example, the President could announce that he was going to veto every pro-gun bill that crossed his desk, and sign every anti-gun bill. Well, his veto can still be overturned...And he can't sign things that don't get to his desk because Congress shoots them down.

He cannot mandate law enforcement directly. He does not have that power.

He cannot mandate law enforcement directly. He does not have that power.

The office of Attorney General is an executive office. The Attorney General is appointed by the President (with the approval of the Senate), reports to the President, and can be fired at will by the President. For federal law, the President very much does have that power.

(with the approval of the Senate)

Thud. Damn those interfering senators.

Really, are you trying to debate with me or make my point for me? I'm confused now.

You are clearly avoiding my point.

The Attorney General is directly under the President. No matter who the AG is. If the President tells the AG to run the Department of Justice in a certain way, either the AG will or he won't. If the AG doesn't, and the President feels strongly enough about the issue, he can fire the AG. If there is no AG, who's effectively in charge of the DoJ, and who was effectively in charge the whole time? The President. Who gets to control how federal law is enforced? The President. The power is there.

Frankly, I can't help but feel you are evading mine. You've restricted the arguement down to one specific office that you seem to think makes your case best, and I still think it doesn't make it well. The Attorney General doesn't micromanage the DoJ, like most appointee-level directorate positions, he spends more of his time dealing with overview-level policy and making reports to the President. The DoJ itself doesn't (cannot) micromanage state and municipal judges and police...In fact, state and municipal judges and police regularly display minimal cooperation with the DoJ.

To put it succinctly: I believe that the ability to supervise and the ability to fire at will, together, are tantamount to control. I'm unclear whether you believe this or not.

The Attorney General doesn't micromanage the DoJ, like most appointee-level directorate positions, he spends more of his time dealing with overview-level policy and making reports to the President.

The policy level is significant to my point, in that the President tends to focus on certain aspects of law enforcement more than others. Recent examples include drug laws and illegal immigration. To go back to a previous example, if a sitting President decided to focus on increasing the strictness and frequency of enforcement of federal gun laws, gun owners would almost certainly feel more hassled by the increased enforcement. Similarly, if a sitting President could find a part of one disliked religion's practices that came within a semi-reasonable reading of an existing federal law, he could use increased frequency and strictness of enforcement to harass that religion.

Neither the President nor the AG generally micromanage the DoJ. However, that said, micromanagement has been done in the past. A somewhat recent notable example is then-President Nixon's firing of special prosecutor Archibald Cox for getting too close to Nixon in the Watergate investigation. And, while Nixon resigned before being impeached, Nixon could not have been impeached for firing Cox because it was within Nixon's job description at the time to be able to fire the special prosecutor at will.

I believe that I am making at most a slight extension of Nixon's behavior in the Watergate investigation when I say that a sitting President or AG could use his power to supervise and to fire to get DoJ employees to actively pursue investigations and prosecutions in a specific direction. This assumes, of course, that the push in the desired direction by earlier policy decisions was insufficient.

Note that this argument applies to any federal department (and department head) in the Executive branch, not just the DoJ and the AG.

The DoJ itself doesn't (cannot) micromanage state and municipal judges and police...In fact, state and municipal judges and police regularly display minimal cooperation with the DoJ.

I am aware of this, which is why in all my examples I have been relying solely on federal law, where the DoJ and other (largely Executive) branches of the federal government do control enforcement. Even absent judicial cooperation, frequent investigations and indictments under existing law can be used to harass.

> I ran into someone on lj this morning who popped out with
> this little gem:
> I'm pro-choice, pro-gun, pro-gay rights and a Pagan female.
> And I voted for Bush.

> I am currently politely trying to talk with her and figure
> out why on earth she voted for someone who's already said
> that he's against three of those.

Gives her an excuse to throw a pity party about how the system is continuing to oppress her?

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