The Spending Power

Adam Cohen of the NYTimes Ed Board reminds us what the Founders intended:

The founders would have been astonished by President Bush's assertion that Congress should simply write him blank checks for war. They gave Congress the power of the purse so it would have leverage to force the president to execute their laws properly. Madison described Congress's control over spending as "the most complete and effectual weapon with which any constitution can arm the immediate representatives of the people, for obtaining a redress of every grievance, and for carrying into effect every just and salutary measure." . . .

But Cohen warns:

The Constitution cannot enforce itself. It is, as the constitutional scholar Edwin Corwin famously observed, an "invitation to struggle" among the branches, but the founders wisely bequeathed to Congress some powerful tools for engaging in the struggle. . . . Members of Congress should not be intimidated into thinking that they are overstepping their constitutional bounds. If the founders were looking on now, it is not Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi who would strike them as out of line, but George W. Bush, who would seem less like a president than a king.

Hear, hear!

< When A Legislature Defunded A War | Serious Apple Blues Time >
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  • Display: Sort:
    But, but, um (5.00 / 1) (#1)
    by andgarden on Sun Jul 22, 2007 at 11:21:41 PM EST

    My favorite argument (5.00 / 1) (#6)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sun Jul 22, 2007 at 11:48:12 PM EST
    is the Congress does not have the spine to defund so of course the answer impeachment.

    The stupidity is off the charts.


    Jello makes me fat (5.00 / 1) (#7)
    by andgarden on Sun Jul 22, 2007 at 11:50:00 PM EST
    so I'll eat a cinnabon instead!

    There is this BTD (1.00 / 1) (#14)
    by ctrenta on Mon Jul 23, 2007 at 10:07:48 AM EST

    How do you explain this and are you sure that Pelosi will change her mind?



    You may say there's no chance for impeachment, fine. But acknowledge the fact that Pelosi's not for your plan either.


    If she was (none / 0) (#15)
    by Edger on Mon Jul 23, 2007 at 10:12:04 AM EST
    we wouldn't have to be advocating it, now would we?

    Then your chances are just as good as impeachment! (1.00 / 1) (#16)
    by ctrenta on Mon Jul 23, 2007 at 10:25:29 AM EST
    At least with impeachment, there's justice in holding leaders accountable. Defunding the war, in my mind, lets our elected leaders off the hook! Are you saying we should let Bush and Cheney go and let the Dems clean up their mess after they leave? This is what I'm hearing from you.

    It's more than just about ending the war, let's make that clear. Ending the war is only half of the problem, the other half is we need to hold these leaders accountable. If you can think of a better to do this, I'm open. But we can't let them get away with what they've done, and they really are crimes & misdemeanors!


    Actually not (5.00 / 2) (#24)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Jul 23, 2007 at 11:40:48 AM EST
    I only have to convince Democratic representatives.

    You have to convince 17 GOP Senators.


    No, and that's a dishonest thing to say (3.00 / 2) (#17)
    by andgarden on Mon Jul 23, 2007 at 10:27:06 AM EST
    1. Pelosi has, herself, already voted against war funding. She has not voted for impeachment.

    2. Cutting off funds only requires 218 votes. Impeachment with removal (which is the only worthwhile impeachment) requires 67 in the Senate.

    Who said anything about letting them off the hook? (none / 0) (#18)
    by Edger on Mon Jul 23, 2007 at 10:27:58 AM EST
    Besides you?

    asdf (1.00 / 1) (#19)
    by ctrenta on Mon Jul 23, 2007 at 10:46:19 AM EST

    There are plenty of people out there that acknowledge that by not doing anything to Bush and Cheney, such as letting them finish out the rest of their term, sends a message to future leaders that they too can get away with their actions. If they can do it, why can't the next one? Impeachment has just a good chance of happening as ending the war does.

    As for Pelosi, why would she say that in the first place? If she changed her mind on funding, then why can't she change it on impeachment, especially after that last impeachment poll conducted by the American Research Group? Do they not matter all of a sudden?

    You seem to think "most people" advocating for impeachment are unintelligent. That's wrong and not fair. Feel free to diasagree but don't shoot below the belt.


    I have zero patience with people who try (none / 0) (#20)
    by Edger on Mon Jul 23, 2007 at 10:50:25 AM EST
    to put words in my mouth.

    You are being dishonest. Conversation ends here. Go wast someone else's time.


    asdf (1.00 / 1) (#21)
    by ctrenta on Mon Jul 23, 2007 at 10:55:42 AM EST

    I think I can find a lot of comments on this site where you, andgarden, and BTD have insulted people who advocate for impeachment. I was going to dig them up to prove it... but I'll pass after that response. Not worth my time.

    You've taken a meaningful discussion on impeachment vs. defunding and taken it down the gutter.


    What a petulant baby.


    Petulance? (1.00 / 1) (#22)
    by Edger on Mon Jul 23, 2007 at 11:03:46 AM EST
    No. No patience for liars.

    Liars? (1.00 / 1) (#23)
    by ctrenta on Mon Jul 23, 2007 at 11:39:45 AM EST
    Still don't think you insult people's intelligence?

    Here's a sample what you wrote:

    > You are deluding yourself, talex.

    >Delusion exemplified.

    > Where are you going to get the votes to NOT PASS NO BILL???

    >  Foolish.

    > Hilarious.

    > How do expect ppj, or anyone other wingnut, to keep their blinders from falling off, remain in denial, and hide from their own guilt, if you're going to say things like that? ;-)

    > Trying to blame the debacle you guys ....
    have created on the people who opposed it since before the invasion is not only self-delusion, ppj.

    > More wingnut idiocy

    > Read the article before you crawl back under your bridge

    > A Wingnut's Dream

    > All my comments are intended to be a nightmare for you, ppj. You hadn't figured that out by now?

    > You obviously didn't read the article. Hope you don't need any meds after this year...

    > Assertion? No. It's called a logical inference. Look it up. Try it sometime. It will help you.  

    > The wingnut response of course will be that their record of success is very good since there have been no major terror attacks in the US since 9/11. In spite of the wingnuts... but they wont admit that part.

    > That's nut of it

    > In Wingnut World It ain't the way I wanted it! I can handle things! I'm smart! Not like everybody says... like dumb... I'm smart and I want respect!

    > If you still don't understand that the GOP is very concerned with polls, I really don't know what to say except you are very dense.

    And to think I really tried to convince people you were just pretending. Heh. I must have lost my mind for a while.

    Not everyone who disagrees with you or advocates for impeachment is "a wingnut" and not everything you say about advocates for impeachment is considerate. As far as putting words into your mouth, these comments of yours speak for themselves.



    I insult liars as often as I can. (none / 0) (#25)
    by Edger on Mon Jul 23, 2007 at 11:51:33 AM EST
    Liars deserve it.

    Are you trying to claim I've said I don't?

    Good luck... I hope the rest of your day is better than it's been for you so far.


    OMG! (none / 0) (#27)
    by ctrenta on Mon Jul 23, 2007 at 12:42:33 PM EST


    Take a break (5.00 / 1) (#30)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Jul 23, 2007 at 01:15:09 PM EST
    from each other please.

    Heh. (none / 0) (#28)
    by Edger on Mon Jul 23, 2007 at 12:46:41 PM EST
    OMG What?

    Don't you think liars deserve being insulted for lying?

    Would you rather I treated lies as a "point of view" as valid as any other?


    Let's do us all a favor (5.00 / 1) (#29)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Jul 23, 2007 at 01:14:44 PM EST
    and ignore each other for a while.

    Jeralyn is going to yell at me for not monitoring my thread.


    Waaaaaaay off (none / 0) (#12)
    by Electa on Mon Jul 23, 2007 at 07:57:59 AM EST
    the charts.  I tell my children how thanxful I am to be AARP certified because something happens when you reach the jubilee point in life.  You no longer go through life with blinders on and the deception level begins to diminish.  I've not lived long enough to have a reference point of the current madness we're experiencing in this country. I'm not a history buff but to have diverse reading sources and I've not read any comparion of political historical events to this administration.  GWB has trumped them all.

    Well (none / 0) (#13)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Jul 23, 2007 at 08:57:19 AM EST
    Historically you are obviously wrong.

    IF you mean is Bush the worst President in history? Sure.


    That's exactly what I mean (none / 0) (#26)
    by Electa on Mon Jul 23, 2007 at 12:33:26 PM EST
    GWB is the worst.

    Heh (none / 0) (#2)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sun Jul 22, 2007 at 11:26:34 PM EST
    You may want to remind my good friend (and I mean that seriously) EK that Newt losing his leadership position and the GOP losing seats AFTER impeachment is not an argument for pursuing it now.

    Well... no, it's not. (5.00 / 1) (#4)
    by Edger on Sun Jul 22, 2007 at 11:35:59 PM EST
    But it sure sounds good to people who don't want deal with complicated concepts like not paying for something they say they don't want.

    Well (5.00 / 2) (#5)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sun Jul 22, 2007 at 11:39:12 PM EST
    I doubt it is persuasive for anybody.

    Who is going to be persuaded to be for impeachment by the argument "and we'll lose seats!"


    I suspect he knows that (none / 0) (#3)
    by andgarden on Sun Jul 22, 2007 at 11:34:52 PM EST
    This (5.00 / 1) (#8)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sun Jul 22, 2007 at 11:51:00 PM EST
    "He controls the Treasury, he can just print the money.

    What's to stop him?"

    is Kagro's fault. Ignorance has spread like an infectious disease.


    It's very convenient for him (none / 0) (#9)
    by andgarden on Sun Jul 22, 2007 at 11:58:08 PM EST
    to compartmentalize me as your stooge.

    Adam Cohen is my stooge too (none / 0) (#10)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Jul 23, 2007 at 12:01:26 AM EST
    Nah, he's just been blackmailed (none / 0) (#11)
    by andgarden on Mon Jul 23, 2007 at 12:04:25 AM EST
    by Russ Feingold.