Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Deliberate Confrontation => Deliberative Compromise

The founders designed our system of government to create a deliberate atmosphere of confrontation between all branches. They did this (1) because they knew that no one branch should be trusted with the sole power in any one area of government operation and (2) because they hoped that reasonable individuals would realize that confrontation was detrimental to the interests of America and therefore they should work out compromises for those situations where the Constitution was deliberately vague on who was in charge.

The Republicans are breaking this model by trying to abrogate all powers in one vital area of government (management of the military) exclusively to one branch (the President). The Constitution gives the President the power of Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces. But it gives Congress the power to both fund and regulate those forces as well as the ultimate power to declare war. Putting the military in the sole province of one man is entirely antithetical to the intentions of the founders, who just fought a war in order to throw off the oppresive yoke of a man who did claim such exclusive power.

Perhaps the founders were naive to hope that our government would always consist of reasonable individuals who could find ways to compromise? Its never to late to prove them right.


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