Friday, August 05, 2011

Duquesne? - betcha yingling is a tea partisan....,

CNN | Lt. Gen. Russel Honoré first gained national attention commanding the military's response to Hurricane Katrina. He's back in the spotlight again, arguing that members of the U.S. Congress lack a sense of "shared purpose." His solution is to send them to internment camps.

Here are some quotes from his CNN.com opinion piece: "It's time to get draconian ... time to load our elected officials on troop planes and send them to Camp Shelby, Mississippi.

"Put them in tents with no air conditioning, have Army drill sergeants teach them teamwork and physical sacrifice. When they recognize their responsibility to the people of America, they can return to D.C., their upscale restaurants, and military plane trips, as though they were royalty."

Taken at face value, Gen. Honoré is advocating a coup d'etat. Neither the president nor the Army has the authority to intern people based on their political beliefs or behaviors, let alone members of Congress.

Honoré's "draconian" measures violate every conceivable constitutional principle, from due process to the separation of powers. While using the innocuous term "boot camp," Honoré is actually advocating interning members of Congress for the purpose of political re-education. "Boot camp," or basic training, has a distinct military purpose: to transform civilian volunteers into effective service members responsive to the lawful orders of a chain of command.

Honoré's re-education facility at Camp Shelby has no such military purpose. Instead, its purpose is to change the political beliefs and behaviors of popularly elected civilian officials. Honoré would release members of Congress from internment only when they "recognized their responsibility to America." Honoré does not specify who will make this judgment, but it certainly cannot be the voters. Perhaps Honoré expects the president to make this judgment, or perhaps it will be left to military officers. In either case, the moment that the U.S. military starts teaching Congress about "teamwork and physical sacrifice," the rule of law in America will have come to an end.

A more plausible explanation is that the general didn't mean what he said. Relying on the colorful bombast that made him a media darling during the Katrina debacle, Honoré may be speaking apocryphally. He doesn't really intend to force members of Congress to live in tents in Camp Shelby. Instead, he's lamenting the partisan rancor in Washington when compared with the discipline of America's military forces.

Still, it's clear that Honoré misunderstands the ideas that underpin the U.S. Constitution. James Madison, rightly called "Father of the U.S. Constitution," did not expect members of Congress to embrace Honoré's "shared purpose." Instead, he expected vigorous debate on the very topics under discussion in Washington today.

Madison and the other founders knew that Americans held different views on the proper size, scope and purposes of government. They anticipated the formation of factions organized around these views and developed mechanisms to cope with the resulting disagreements.

4 comments:

brotherbrown said...

I appreciate the sentiment.  The fact is, we are truly in the final throes of this country, and I have come to the grim conclusion that I am going to discourage my children from having children, for there is no longer anything to look forward to.

CNu said...

hush now brotherbrown...,

don't you dare discourage your children, rather, prepare your children for the book of eli type of situation around their signposts up ahead. it's not what you and i had the privilege of taking for granted, hell, I look with amazement on the 84 year old custom tiling on the floor of my basement bathroom, relishing every day that I get to read and meditate in a sanctum of total peace, quiet, climate control, and security - and I regret that my children "may" not enjoy similar luxury - however - I reflect back on the comparative poverty of my own upbringing, and the fact that I aspired to something nearly identical to what I've gotten to enjoy and raise my children in for these past 15 years - and I simply recapitulate all the rustic, self-sufficient knowledge, skill, and ability with which my parents inculcated me, from shoot it, kill it, dress it, cook it up gourmet, to cut it sew it, and plant it grow it. 

take them with me on my junkets to flesh out our bug-out bags, make sure they know where all their gear is stowed, practice their language skills with them, spar with them, educate them about what has come before, educate them about the absolute necessity of community service as the primary modality of self-service - make them come with me, imitate me, walk my walk and it's all good beyond my wildest imaginings. 

My children went on a road trip together this past week. brother-sister, by themselves. toured Yale university together on wednesday. They went to the Beinicke and were awed by the translucent marble walls. My daughter's now in love and knows where she wants to be, my son is looking up to his big sister. I'll pick them up from the airport tomorrow, life is as good as it gets. NEVER dispair the simple fact that what you and I aspired to and got to enjoy won't be there for them. What will be there for them will be different, it will be harder, but that they're prepared and that they still know awe and joy and be ready for whatever comes. 

It's not black robes time just yet. Black robes are coming, you can see them all around - but they ain't running things just yet, and there's many a mile to go before the prospect of them running things becomes inevitable. 

brotherbrown said...

 My kids graduated from college in  08 and 09 respectively, and they and their peers are facing bleak  prospects.  Right now neither is in the sort of relationship that children are even a question, so I can keep this to myself for now and watch developments unfold.  The next great breakthrough that spawns the next great stride in human development may be ready for the world next week or next year, but the human condition is very toxic.  The toxicity was set in motion centuries ago, and though I believe there will one day be a unified globe, it's going to be painful getting there, and the next 3-5 decades are going to be very turbulent. 

I want to be a grandpa as much as anyone.  But not right now.

nanakwame said...

Well my oldest son and I had a good conversation last night about snip snip and no more children. I got enouch grandchildren. Speaking to all the oldest. I am a bless mofo and bless to see oldest grow. The game and the market has changed big time, with a couple of Black Swans, some areas in The States of the Americas is going to look like s_t.  Almost a karma for directing all their weakness at us Afro-American people.
With these heedless partisans, many will get their wish, on the short term. Everything must change; we just looking at what makes our constants, of this thing called human, without idealogues.

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