December 3, 2006

Eric Foner on Bush's rank as President

Hint, it isn't good. Interesting how Nixon's domestic and foreign policy positives have been overshadowed by his complete contempt for the constitution and individual rights. Hmm, sounds familiar.
He's The Worst Ever - washingtonpost.com: "Bush has taken this disdain for law even further. He has sought to strip people accused of crimes of rights that date as far back as the Magna Carta in Anglo-American jurisprudence: trial by impartial jury, access to lawyers and knowledge of evidence against them. In dozens of statements when signing legislation, he has asserted the right to ignore the parts of laws with which he disagrees. His administration has adopted policies regarding the treatment of prisoners of war that have disgraced the nation and alienated virtually the entire world. Usually, during wartime, the Supreme Court has refrained from passing judgment on presidential actions related to national defense. The court's unprecedented rebukes of Bush's policies on detainees indicate how far the administration has strayed from the rule of law.

One other president bears comparison to Bush: James K. Polk. Some historians admire him, in part because he made their job easier by keeping a detailed diary during his administration, which spanned the years of the Mexican-American War. But Polk should be remembered primarily for launching that unprovoked attack on Mexico and seizing one-third of its territory for the United States.

Lincoln, then a member of Congress from Illinois, condemned Polk for misleading Congress and the public about the cause of the war -- an alleged Mexican incursion into the United States. Accepting the president's right to attack another country "whenever he shall deem it necessary," Lincoln observed, would make it impossible to "fix any limit" to his power to make war. Today, one wishes that the country had heeded Lincoln's warning."

17 comments:

P.M. Prescott said...

At least with Polk manifest destiny could be used as an excuse for grabbing land which added great wealth after gold was discoved in California and Colorado. There was no reasonable or logical argument for starting or continuing the war with Iraq. We never did have anything to gain from it.

volfan007 said...

wait a minute...didnt lincoln send the country to war too?

i think lincoln was a great president, but he got onto polk for using too much power in sending our nation to war? and, he sent our nation into one of the most bloody wars we have ever fought?


just wondering.

volfan007

ps. p.m....thar's oil in iraq. you know, black gold...texas tea.

Streak said...

Who started the Civil war?

And as long as we are invading Iraq for oil, then that makes it all right. Glad to know.

Anonymous said...

volfan,

You really cannot see beyond the end of your nose, can you?

volfan007 said...

who started the civil war? i believe that the south pulled out and lincoln said no....right? lincoln chose to fight to keep the union together. the southern states didnt want to stay in the union.


tony,

what's that supposed to mean? are you saying that my nose is long? you dont even know me. ha ha. just why do you think that?
btw, notice that its not me thats calling people names and accusing them of being ignorant and stupid and a jerk. do yall think that its ok to call someone names just because they dont agree with you?

volfan007

volfan007 said...

streak,

btw, i was responding to p.m.'s post about polk going after great wealth....he said that there was nothing to gain from war with iraq....oil! put down an evil dictator! those are good reasons. to attack terrorists! another reason.

volfan007

Streak said...

Nope, it is me calling you a jerk. I admit it. And I think you have acted like a jerk. Not because we disagree. You really dont' get that, do you? Tony and I disagree on many things. Same with Les.

But you are incapable of actual dialogue. You don't seem to get it. People all around you make good points that you completely ignore or just dismiss out of hand.

volfan007 said...

streak,

maybe i dismiss them because i dont agree with them. is that ok with you? or, do you just get mad at people who dont agree with you?

volfan007

Streak said...

I think if you look up "passive aggressive" you might see a link to your argument style.

You dismiss alternative explanations because you have no interest in considering other viewpoints. How would you even know if you disagree with them? You haven't even considered their validity or that others in this discussion have something to offer.

I really wonder what your entire goal is. I like to discuss things. I really like to argue with those who disagree with me. But those arguments are usually a give and take (see the discussion between Tony and myself on homosexuality). Tony and I still disagree on that issue, but the discussion was enjoyable because we both engaged with, and respected the other's viewpoint.

But you are obviously not here to engage with others. You seem only convinced of your rightness, so you are here seeking others to pat you on the back for being right? Or perhaps you want to find liberals that you can chide for not knowing the truth that is Volfan007? And then, I suspect, you pat yourself on the back for telling us "lost" people the "truth."

When someone disagrees with you, you fall back on the passive aggressive "some people don't want to hear the truth" patter, or the "little ole me from the stills of Tennessee."

I shouldn't have called you a jerk. That wasn't nice of me. But you aren't an honest person.

ubub said...

I need some clarification here, because my head is spinning with this whole War of Northern Aggression thing. Just to ensure that I undertand the logic:


By refusing to allow Iraq to occupy Kuwait, did the US start the Iraq War?

By refusing to ignore the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, did the US act as the aggressor in declaring war on Japan in 1941?

By responding to an attack on a United States military installation, Lincoln actually started the Civil War? It is important to remember here that Fort Sumter was fired upon, so it was not merely a point of order relative to a set of meeting minutes.

We were just talking in the car tonight about the virtues of the oft-lamented flash cards. I like them because I feel its important to have mastery of a basic set of facts before you go applying them.

Anonymous said...

volfan,

I have called you no names, only called your character in these conversations into question; which is valid.

Your comments range from intellectual dishonesty to circumvention to disingenuity. You make off-handed comments you don't back up or defend. I mean come one, when you make a comment like, "thar's oil in iraq. you know, black gold...texas tea," you are inviting hostility. Then when you get called on it, you feign some kind of hillbilly ignorance and blabber that "y'all just aren't being nice to me."

If you disagree that is perfectly fine; just back it up with some coherent argument, plus, try to find out where we are coming from. You might discover that what we are talking about actually makes sense.

Streak, I apologize. I know you are an able blog administrator and don't need my help. I should leave censure to you.

Streak said...

Ubub, you should know better than to ask for logic here.

Tony, no worries. It is always nice to have a little confirmation. I get so annoyed, but it is nice to have others acknowledge what I am seeing.

volfan007 said...

i am just in here to have a conversation and to lead people to the truth and sound reason and logic. sometimes i sound like a hillbilly....lol...because i am one. i was born and raised in tn.

yall can call me what you want to, but i am very sincere and as honest as i know how to be. i just call it like i see it. i aint trying to play no mind games, or use any debating tricks to get one over on you. i aint trying to win the debate. i just tell the truth.

volfan007

Streak said...

Not to belabor the point, but why do you think you alone are talking about the "truth?"

volfan007 said...

streak,

i dont claim...nor have i ever claimed...to have all the truth about everything. i do know the truth...Jesus. and, i can go to His Word to find truth about life and God and such. and, His Word is the truth. i surrender my mind and heart to it, and to Him.

there are many things that i am no expert about. i know that. but, i aint no dummy either. i have a degree in sociology from ut martin, with a minor in psychology. i have a masters degree in divinity from mid america baptist seminary. i study things all the time. love to learn. but, i never claimed to know about everything, but, what the bible teaches very clearly...its the truth...no matter what anyone says or thinks.

Jesus is Lord......not us.


volfan007

ps. tony, before you start attacking someones motives, you might wanna ask yourself a question....are you god, jr.? how do you know whats in my heart? how do you know that i aint being as sincere and truthful as i know how to be...cuz i am.

Streak said...

Volfan,

The fact remains that you lack the ability to engage with people who disagree with you. Saying that you have the truth and they just don't want to see it is not a reasonable response. Consider the people in this discussion. You and Tony share much more in common in Biblical interpretation than you and I do, yet Tony and I agree more and dialogue more here. Why is that? Is it possible that he engages with respect and reason?

You still have not really responded to the criticisms that you hide behind the hillbilly writing and "Jesus is the truth" (which tells us very little in this context, btw). Have you ever engaged a criticism and taken responsibility for your own errors? Have you heard an alternative reading and been willing to even listen to it?

I would suggest that the answer to all of those questions is "no."

The fact that you think that Jesus is truth, btw, is fine. I have no quibble with it as such, but it has no bearing on our discussions. We are not arguing about the divinity of Christ nor are we attacking him. we are arguing and disagreeing with you, and you have so far not responded well.

That isn't a rhetorical trick, merely an observation.

Anonymous said...

volfan,

I am not out to get you. And Streak is right, you and I probably do agree on a lot. I have resorted to no name calling yet throughout two threads, you have put words in my mouth. You won't even listen to the other side and you haven't really listened to me. You cannot hide behind the presumption that you are always right. Jesus alone can claim that.

I am sure you are a fine pastor and preacher. You probably shepherd your people with humility and compassion. I am sure you are an able student of the Bible and you teach with erudition and grace. But the fact remains that you and I both have a lot to learn. There is one thing I would beg of you to learn before engaging in further blog discussions.
Ad hominem argument

We have digressed light years from the original intent of this post. I refuse to clog Streak's blog with further comments regarding these off-post discussions, so if you would like to continue a discussion with me, you are welcome to join me at my blog. You can access my email from there as well.

Blessings.

Tony Sisk

Streak,
Thanks.