Sununu, a New Hampshire conservative and one of the Senate's rising Republican stars, joined with three other right-of-center Republicans last week to defeat cloture. They thus prevented a vote on reauthorizing the Patriot Act. These conservatives contend that the bill's final version, while it is aimed at terrorists, actually threatens civil liberties of law-abiding citizens. But President Bush until now has rejected a three-month extension of the government's anti-terrorist powers while negotiations begin on an amended statute.
I would define a great nation as one that makes a positive difference in world? How about you?
hdm wrote:Red Green wrote:I prefer a govt of laws, where the govt is constrained by a constitution so that men, individuals, people who would place themselves and their personal interests above a national interest cannot usurp power from where it rightly belongs; in this case the states and individuals.
I agree with this concept, but I'm afraid our interpretation is much different when it comes to be <i>precise</i> balance of power between the federal government and the states.
hdm wrote:Red Green wrote:If individuals want to feed people in Ethiopia, I am all for it.
That's how it works today. An individual is free to <i>personally</i> help feed the starving in Ethiopia through donations, etc., and that individual is also free to vote for a Congressman, or Senator, or President who is in favor of the US government providing aid to people of Ethiopia. I have no problem with that.
hdm wrote:Red Green wrote:If a state wants to send aid, and it is allowed by its constitution to do so, so be it.
So why do you object to the Federal Government sending aid? Does 50 different states with 50 different foreign policies a great nation make?
hdm wrote:Red Green wrote:I can tell you that when large govt gets involved, there is greed, graft, political posturing, and backscratching involved. Not to mention that the very act is in and of itself illegal.
The same phenomenon exists at all levels of government: state, county/parish, city, town, school board, etc. If there is a problem with "greed, graft, political posturing, and backscratching" you fix those specific problems. You don't tear down the entire government.
hdm wrote:Red Green wrote:I do not subscribe to the mentality that because some people, or even most people think that it is a good thing, then it is ok for the govt to ignore the constitution upon which it was formed.
We've been through this one before. If your interpretation is correct, if the Federal government is actually exceeding its constitutional limits, I would sooner see the constitution amended to preserve (more-or-less) the <i>status quo</i> in balance of power between the Federal Government and the States, where you apparently want to see the US revert to your vision of how it should be according to the Constitution, even if this means an almost impotent Federal government.
hdm wrote:Red Green wrote:I have said it before and I will say it again: the govt of the United States is supposed to be first, foremost and only an instrument for the people of the United States and not a global governing body.
I see it the same way, however I categorize active foreign policy and military intervention to be (more-or-less) a pursuit national interests or in some cases a moral obligation, where you apparently consider it to be global governing.
hdm wrote:Red Green wrote:People in Africa, Asia, South America, etc. can solve their own problems. If individuals in the US want to help them, I applaud them for taking the initiative.
Sounds nice on the surface, but for all too many isolationsts, saying other nations "can solve their own problems" is sort of a coded euphamism for saying the US government should do <i>absolutely nothing</i> to assist other nations even in cases where tens or hundreds of thousands of lives are at risk from war, or famine, or disease, or another holocaust.
It appears that your version of isolationalism is for the US to just pull all its military to its borders, and become some sort of a hermit republic. That might work for Switzerland, but I would consider it an irresponsible policy for a nation of the US's size and stature.
hdm wrote:Red Green wrote:I disagree with many on this board because I define greatness as the success of the US as a nation, rather than a global body.
The US can be phenomenonally successful as a nation, within its own borders, but if it stands idly by while the rest of the world goes to hell in a handbasket, I would consider that the furthest possible thing from greatness.
A rising GNP, a strong economy, low crime rate, low inflation, 2 cars in the garage, 2.2 children in the family, a good Constitution, a Bill of Rights... any nation can have these things.
Where I see the US's greatness is in its deeds: like bringing the Marshall Plan to post-war Europe, like standing down the Soviet Union at the Iron Curtain, like defending South Korea from collapse at the Pusan Perimeter, like providing aid to the starving in Africa, like liberating Kuwait City, and, yes, like liberating and bringing democratic rule to the people of Afghanistan and Iraq... this is the measure what makes the US as a truly great nation.
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