Principles?

A headline in the morning paper caught my attention, largely because it shouldn’t have. The headline? “Border Vote Tough for GOP Senators

And why is this tough for Republicans? Apparently, a great many of them believe that the President’s declaration of a “national emergency” infringes on the rights of Congress under the Constitution. Now, I happen to agree with them. The Constitution is rather specific in declaring that the Congress controls the federal purse strings, but these Republican senators apparently fear that voting their principles isn’t a good idea if it just might “upset” their beloved [or feared] President… and, of course, his far-right supporters.

As I recall, we had eight years of Republicans protesting Presidential “overreach” by the last Democrat President, and he didn’t go nearly so far as to declare a non-existent national emergency to build a wall because Congress hadn’t given him the money he wanted. His action that most upset the far right was to declare he wouldn’t deport teenagers who’d lived the vast majority of their lives as Americans.

Now we have a Republican President who’s gone against the Constitution and against a principle that Republicans claimed for years that they hold dear… and they don’t want to vote for their principles? After years and years of protesting about Executive Branch overreach?

As one fictional movie protagonist said, in protesting McCarthyism, “People are their principles.” But only if they act in accord with those principles. Otherwise, they’re just self-serving hypocrites.

4 thoughts on “Principles?”

  1. R. Hamilton says:

    The Congress passed the law allowing emergency declarations. One can argue that the law was unconstitutional; but the President followed the law when using it.

    I don’t quite blame Rand Paul for being what a libertarian is: sensible enough distrusting government overreach within the borders, and monumentally naive regarding anything from the borders outward.

    But Congress not only passed the law allowing emergency declarations, they created with their neglect and unwillingness to take needful but optically poor action, a situation that if _maybe_ not as dire as some would have it, is still out of control. They chickened out, as usual (as they have with not having actually declared war since WWII, even if they were willing enough to support what amounted to war in Korea, Vietnam, Afghanistan, Iraq, and even other places (Panama? Grenada?). Congress deserves to have their power usurped insofar as they willingly participated in that outcome. Ok, they could have said NO to Iraq or even Panama, and that might not have been a bad idea; at least, reasonable people can see either side of that.

    But securing the border? What’s the big deal? There is NO RIGHT to come here other than for returning citizens or green card holders, particularly in violation of our law. But what’s the point of a law that isn’t consistently enforced, except to weaken the credibility of law itself? And yes, of course more smuggling happens at checkpoints, considering the difficulty of moving masses of contraband or even people across in the absence of roads. But if we tighten up the checkpoints, we WILL find that traffic moving to more difficult routes. Better to obstruct those (not just with wall of course; manpower and non-wall alternatives also have their place’, but good luck fitting a comprehensive description into a sound bite), and then crack down at the checkpoints, since the latter can be done more quickly than the former, by basically just adding lanes, manpower (with tech assists) to allow 100% inspection at reasonable speeds.

  2. Tom says:

    … good luck fitting a comprehensive description into a sound bite …

    Or legislation that covers all eventualities now and in the future.

    Legal experts argue about “the spirit of” a law and also mention that the intent of a law is frequently obvious without being spelled out.

    Perhaps the laws, rules, morals, of society are only meant for citizens with principles. The others people within a nation are busy finding ways around these impediments to their freedom.

  3. Christopher Robin says:

    Forget political ideologies, the majority and minority parties, whomever they may be, always say the same thing. It no longer seems like any specific issues matter to these people other than power. If one group has power the others cry foul only to forget it once they in turn gain power.

  4. Tom says:

    So which is/are a woozle, power or issues, or both?

    Not a good question; because, the answer may suggest that, even in a ‘democracy’, a citizens focus and interest on national politics are a waste of time. Especially if there is no possible change; because whom ever we elect winds up following the same path?

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