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Gothmog4
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 26, 2008 11:11 am    Post subject: Conservative Democrat...I think? Reply with quote
What makes a conservative? So far as I can tell, there are three legs on the conservative stool: foreign policy, economics, and social/cultural issues. On two of them--social/cultural and foreign policy--I lean right. On economics, I lean left.

This bothers me, so perhaps I simply don't understand conservative economic philosophy. Am I letting my compassion for those who struggle get in the way of my ability to reason? Maybe I am too influenced by FDR's legacy, or Lyndon Johnson's good intentions with his Great Society Programs (from which I personally benefited as a child). I just don't know.

Help me think this through: how does one balance compassion and empathy with free market economic policies? How does one ignore the reality of structural social inequities and advocate for a "Your On Your Own" economic system? I am, truly, torn.

I am new to these forums. If you are going to respond with vitriol, don't bother. If I wanted to get shrieked at, I'd be on the Daily Kos.
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Turk
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 26, 2008 4:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
A conservative is a traditionalist which means all people that are strict constitutionalists are conservatives no matter what party you belong to.
FDR was not a conservative, he was a socialist a leftist, leftists are all about the state over the people.
People cannot be a leftist and be a conservative it is an oxymoron.
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Gothmog4
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 26, 2008 5:29 pm    Post subject: Interesting Reply with quote
So for you, Turk, traditionalism is what makes a conservative, particularly constitutional traditionalism. Yes? Do you include social traditionalism? What about foreign policy/military traditionalism?
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Toxic
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 26, 2008 6:22 pm    Post subject: Re: Conservative Democrat...I think? Reply with quote
Quote:
This bothers me, so perhaps I simply don't understand conservative economic philosophy. Am I letting my compassion for those who struggle get in the way of my ability to reason? Maybe I am too influenced by FDR's legacy, or Lyndon Johnson's good intentions with his Great Society Programs (from which I personally benefited as a child). I just don't know.


Compassion and personal experience are perfectly fine reasons to support/fight an idea or argument, so long as you don't rely solely on compassion and personal experience.

Quote:
Help me think this through: how does one balance compassion and empathy with free market economic policies? How does one ignore the reality of structural social inequities and advocate for a "Your On Your Own" economic system? I am, truly, torn.


This is also something I struggle with and I'm still developing my philosophical reasoning behind it, but what I've arrived at recently is an idea behind John Stuart Mill's Utilitarianism. In case you're unfamiliar, the basic premises are that people do things that pleasure them (literal pleasure, and also other pleasurable things like earn a wage) and avoid pain (literal pain, and then things like losing your house or car). Some people figure out how to spend their lives achieving long-term pleasure, while most only live their lives based on short-term pleasures.

Mill arrives at the idea of GHGN—Greatest Happiness for the Greatest Number. Essentially, it's a system of balance where society should look for the solution that makes the greatest number of people happy. Realistically, no matter how much wealth redistribution or the like occurs, there will always be a group of people that fall through the cracks and end up below everyone else. This system is supposed to aim at reducing the number of people that fall through to the minimum number possible.

My take on the idea of GHGN, figuring in compassion and the like, is that, while it is true that people will fall through the cracks, we should reduce the bottom so that those who fall through the cracks don't fall so far. That makes it easier for people who fall simply out of hard times to recover because they aren't so far below everyone else that it isn't impossible, and it makes life easier for those who simply don't know that they can go any higher.

I realize that this is a pretty simplistic approach to what I think you're struggling with. If I had ever spent more time thinking out my exact belief on this issue, I'd have posted more. Nonetheless, I hope this helps!

(Side note: I only agree with Mill on the idea of GHGN—or anything, for that matter—that it's inevitable that people will fall through the cracks. I don't agree with his simplistic approach to life for the most part; there are far more factors that I feel should be weighed other than the "pleasure/pain" thing.)

Quote:
If I wanted to get shrieked at, I'd be on the Daily Kos.


Razz

Sorry that I didn't answer your question about what makes a conservative. I don't know the answer to that and, being that I'm not conservative on just about everything, I can't rightly give you an answer that I think would help you out. However, whether you're a conservative Democrat or liberal Republican would rely on three things:

1) Do you consider yourself to be moderately conservative, conservative, or extremely conservative on the two legs you did identify with?
2) The same as above, except how far left do you identify with on economics?
3) Which party do you feel that you identify closer to on most issues?
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Gothmog4
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 26, 2008 7:42 pm    Post subject: Very Helpful Reply with quote
Thanks so much for taking the time to write all that, Toxic. Your answer is just the sort of thing I'm looking for: philosophers, thinkers, writers, people far smarter than me who have thought these things through. I am absolutely going to check out Mill. "The greatest good for the greatest number" sounds like an excellent description of capitalism at its best.

Like you (or so it sounds) I just want a safety net of some kind so people who get sick, or can't work for whatever reason, don't end up in the spiral of poverty. Similarly, I want children to have some sort of chance in our country if--for whatever reason--their parents can't or won't do what's right by them. That's it, man! A hand up, not a hand out. In general I think Republicans and conservatives get this better than Democrats, but I have to be honest: I have found that conservatives need to be reminded sometimes that kids don't chose their parents, and that bad luck can happen to anyone. (Unfortunately, Democrats need to be reminded that in the end, we are all responsible for both our actions and the results of our actions.)

In all things moderation, Toxic: I'm a middle of the road kind of guy on most things. I don't like extremes; I like reasoned debate, logical compromise, and long-term thinking about ultimate values.

Thanks again for your help.
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Turk
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 26, 2008 7:52 pm    Post subject: Re: Interesting Reply with quote
Gothmog4 wrote:
So for you, Turk, traditionalism is what makes a conservative, particularly constitutional traditionalism. Yes? Do you include social traditionalism? What about foreign policy/military traditionalism?

Well look up conservative in the dictionary.
Conservatives like our founding fathers were classic liberals.
But liberal meaning freedom from government intrusion on private freedoms and states rights.
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Toxic
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 26, 2008 8:12 pm    Post subject: Re: Interesting Reply with quote
Turk wrote:
Gothmog4 wrote:
So for you, Turk, traditionalism is what makes a conservative, particularly constitutional traditionalism. Yes? Do you include social traditionalism? What about foreign policy/military traditionalism?

Well look up conservative in the dictionary.
Conservatives like our founding fathers were classic liberals.
But liberal meaning freedom from government intrusion on private freedoms and states rights.


Conservative isn't that simple of a definition, and your definition of liberal is laughable.
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Gothmog4
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 26, 2008 9:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Classical liberalism: political theory founded on the natural goodness of humans and the autonomy of the individual and favoring civil and political liberties, government by law with the consent of the governed, and protection from arbitrary authority.

Sounds like the Founders to me, I must say. "Liberal" has come to have a very different meaning in our day and age, obviously.

Conservative: Favoring traditional views and values; tending to oppose change.
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Turk
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 27, 2008 4:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
Gothmog4 wrote:
Classical liberalism: political theory founded on the natural goodness of humans and the autonomy of the individual and favoring civil and political liberties, government by law with the consent of the governed, and protection from arbitrary authority.

Sounds like the Founders to me, I must say. "Liberal" has come to have a very different meaning in our day and age, obviously.

Conservative: Favoring traditional views and values; tending to oppose change.
Alot of leftists want to change the constitution to get rid of the restrain on government power, so they can govern how they please with out being held accountable..
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Toxic
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 27, 2008 4:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
Quote:
Alot of leftists want to change the constitution to get rid of the restrain on government power


Can I see a source for this? I've never read of a single "leftist" that wants to modify the Constitution for anything, let alone getting rid of government restraints.
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exton
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 27, 2008 5:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
Toxic wrote:
I've never read of a single "leftist" that wants to modify the Constitution for anything, let alone getting rid of government restraints.


I'm totally in favor of modifying the constitution.

But...removing all restraints on government? Turk is just pulling that out of his ass. No one wants that.
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Gothmog4
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 27, 2008 10:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
Quote:
Alot of leftists want to change the constitution to get rid of the restrain on government power, so they can govern how they please with out being held accountable..


Turk, dude: who wants to ammend the Constitution to make marriage between one man and one woman? Who wants to ammend the Constitution to make flag burning illegal? Who wants to ammend the Constitution to line up "with the word of God"? To ban abortion? Hint: not leftists.
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Turk
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 27, 2008 1:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
exton wrote:
Toxic wrote:
I've never read of a single "leftist" that wants to modify the Constitution for anything, let alone getting rid of government restraints.


I'm totally in favor of modifying the constitution.

But...removing all restraints on government? Turk is just pulling that out of his ass. No one wants that.
Well when you modify the constitution you do get rid of government restraint one way or another and that has been proven.
Hell they have done enough modifications through an activist judicial system.
Now look what we have
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Turk
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 27, 2008 1:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Gothmog4 wrote:
Quote:
Alot of leftists want to change the constitution to get rid of the restrain on government power, so they can govern how they please with out being held accountable..


Turk, dude: who wants to ammend the Constitution to make marriage between one man and one woman? Who wants to ammend the Constitution to make flag burning illegal? Who wants to ammend the Constitution to line up "with the word of God"? To ban abortion? Hint: not leftists.
Yes they are leftists, the neocons are leftists, anyone that wants more government intervention in the daily lives of its people are indeed leftist in nature.
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Toxic
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 27, 2008 7:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Turk wrote:
exton wrote:
Toxic wrote:
I've never read of a single "leftist" that wants to modify the Constitution for anything, let alone getting rid of government restraints.


I'm totally in favor of modifying the constitution.

But...removing all restraints on government? Turk is just pulling that out of his ass. No one wants that.
Well when you modify the constitution you do get rid of government restraint one way or another and that has been proven.
Hell they have done enough modifications through an activist judicial system.
Now look what we have


Have you actually read any of the amendments to the Constitution? Here they are, and I've emboldened the ones that limit the power of the government or bolster personal freedom:

Quote:
Article [I.] (See Note 13)

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.


Article [II.]

A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.


Article [III.]

No Soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the Owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.


Article [IV.]

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.


Article [V.]

No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.


Article [VI.]

In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defence.


Article [VII.]

In Suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury, shall be otherwise re-examined in any Court of the United States, than according to the rules of the common law.


Article [VIII.]

Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.


Article [IX.]

The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.


Article [X.]

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.


[Article XI.]

The Judicial power of the United States shall not be construed to extend to any suit in law or equity, commenced or prosecuted against one of the United States by Citizens of another State, or by Citizens or Subjects of any Foreign State.

[Article XII.]

The Electors shall meet in their respective states, and vote by ballot for President and Vice-President, one of whom, at least, shall not be an inhabitant of the same state with themselves; they shall name in their ballots the person voted for as President, and in distinct ballots the person voted for as Vice-President, and they shall make distinct lists of all persons voted for as President, and of all persons voted for as Vice-President, and of the number of votes for each, which lists they shall sign and certify, and transmit sealed to the seat of the government of the United States, directed to the President of the Senate;--The President of the Senate shall, in the presence of the Senate and House of Representatives, open all the certificates and the votes shall then be counted;--The person having the greatest number of votes for President, shall be the President, if such number be a majority of the whole number of Electors appointed; and if no person have such majority, then from the persons having the highest numbers not exceeding three on the list of those voted for as President, the House of Representatives shall choose immediately, by ballot, the President. But in choosing the President, the votes shall be taken by states, the representation from each state having one vote; a quorum for this purpose shall consist of a member or members from two-thirds of the states, and a majority of all the states shall be necessary to a choice. And if the House of Representatives shall not choose a President whenever the right of choice shall devolve upon them, before the fourth day of March next following, then the Vice-President shall act as President, as in the case of the death or other constitutional disability of the President. (See Note 14)--The person having the greatest number of votes as Vice-President, shall be the Vice-President, if such number be a majority of the whole number of Electors appointed, and if no person have a majority, then from the two highest numbers on the list, the Senate shall choose the Vice-President; a quorum for the purpose shall consist of two-thirds of the whole number of Senators, and a majority of the whole number shall be necessary to a choice. But no person constitutionally ineligible to the office of President shall be eligible to that of Vice-President of the United States.


Article XIII.

Section 1. Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.

Section 2. Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.


Article XIV.

Section 1. All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.


Section 2. Representatives shall be apportioned among the several States according to their respective numbers, counting the whole number of persons in each State, excluding Indians not taxed. But when the right to vote at any election for the choice of electors for President and Vice President of the United States, Representatives in Congress, the Executive and Judicial officers of a State, or the members of the Legislature thereof, is denied to any of the male inhabitants of such State, being twenty-one years of age,(See Note 15) and citizens of the United States, or in any way abridged, except for participation in rebellion, or other crime, the basis of representation therein shall be reduced in the proportion which the number of such male citizens shall bear to the whole number of male citizens twenty-one years of age in such State.

Section 3. No person shall be a Senator or Representative in Congress, or elector of President and Vice President, or hold any office, civil or military, under the United States, or under any State, who, having previously taken an oath, as a member of Congress, or as an officer of the United States, or as a member of any State legislature, or as an executive or judicial officer of any State, to support the Constitution of the United States, shall have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same, or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof. But Congress may by a vote of two-thirds of each House, remove such disability.

Section 4. The validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law, including debts incurred for payment of pensions and bounties for services in suppressing insurrection or rebellion, shall not be questioned. But neither the United States nor any State shall assume or pay any debt or obligation incurred in aid of insurrection or rebellion against the United States, or any claim for the loss or emancipation of any slave; but all such debts, obligations and claims shall be held illegal and void.

Section 5. The Congress shall have power to enforce, by appropriate legislation, the provisions of this article.

Article XV.

Section 1. The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude.

Section 2. The Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.


Article XVI.

The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes on incomes, from whatever source derived, without apportionment among the several States, and without regard to any census or enumeration.

[Article XVII.]

The Senate of the United States shall be composed of two Senators from each State, elected by the people thereof, for six years; and each Senator shall have one vote. The electors in each State shall have the qualifications requisite for electors of the most numerous branch of the State legislatures.


When vacancies happen in the representation of any State in the Senate, the executive authority of such State shall issue writs of election to fill such vacancies: Provided, That the legislature of any State may empower the executive thereof to make temporary appointments until the people fill the vacancies by election as the legislature may direct.

This amendment shall not be so construed as to affect the election or term of any Senator chosen before it becomes valid as part of the Constitution.

Article [XVIII].(See Note 16)

Section 1. After one year from the ratification of this article the manufacture, sale, or transportation of intoxicating liquors within, the importation thereof into, or the exportation thereof from the United States and all territory subject to the jurisdiction thereof for beverage purposes is hereby prohibited.

Section. 2. The Congress and the several States shall have concurrent power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.

Section. 3. This article shall be inoperative unless it shall have been ratified as an amendment to the Constitution by the legislatures of the several States, as provided in the Constitution, within seven years from the date of the submission hereof to the States by the Congress.

Article [XIX].

The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.

Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.


Article [XX.]

Section 1. The terms of the President and Vice President shall end at noon on the 20th day of January, and the terms of Senators and Representatives at noon on the 3d day of January, of the years in which such terms would have ended if this article had not been ratified; and the terms of their successors shall then begin.

Section. 2. The Congress shall assemble at least once in every year, and such meeting shall begin at noon on the 3d day of January, unless they shall by law appoint a different day.

Section. 3. If, at the time fixed for the beginning of the term of the President, the President elect shall have died, the Vice President elect shall become President. If a President shall not have been chosen before the time fixed for the beginning of his term, or if the President elect shall have failed to qualify, then the Vice President elect shall act as President until a President shall have qualified; and the Congress may by law provide for the case wherein neither a President elect nor a Vice President elect shall have qualified, declaring who shall then act as President, or the manner in which one who is to act shall be selected, and such person shall act accordingly until a President or Vice President shall have qualified.

Section. 4. The Congress may by law provide for the case of the death of any of the persons from whom the House of Representatives may choose a President whenever the right of choice shall have devolved upon them, and for the case of the death of any of the persons from whom the Senate may choose a Vice President whenever the right of choice shall have devolved upon them.

Section. 5. Sections 1 and 2 shall take effect on the 15th day of October following the ratification of this article.

Section. 6. This article shall be inoperative unless it shall have been ratified as an amendment to the Constitution by the legislatures of three-fourths of the several States within seven years from the date of its submission.

Article [XXI.]

Section 1. The eighteenth article of amendment to the Constitution of the United States is hereby repealed.

Section 2. The transportation or importation into any State, Territory, or possession of the United States for delivery or use therein of intoxicating liquors, in violation of the laws thereof, is hereby prohibited.

Section 3. This article shall be inoperative unless it shall have been ratified as an amendment to the Constitution by conventions in the several States, as provided in the Constitution, within seven years from the date of the submission hereof to the States by the Congress.


Amendment XXII

Section 1. No person shall be elected to the office of the President more than twice, and no person who has held the office of President, or acted as President, for more than two years of a term to which some other person was elected President shall be elected to the office of the President more than once. But this article shall not apply to any person holding the office of President when this article was proposed by the Congress, and shall not prevent any person who may be holding the office of President, or acting as President, during the term within which this article becomes operative from holding the office of President or acting as President during the remainder of such term.

Section 2. This article shall be inoperative unless it shall have been ratified as an amendment to the Constitution by the legislatures of three-fourths of the several states within seven years from the date of its submission to the states by the Congress.


Amendment XXIII

Section 1. The District constituting the seat of government of the United States shall appoint in such manner as the Congress may direct:

A number of electors of President and Vice President equal to the whole number of Senators and Representatives in Congress to which the District would be entitled if it were a state, but in no event more than the least populous state; they shall be in addition to those appointed by the states, but they shall be considered, for the purposes of the election of President and Vice President, to be electors appointed by a state; and they shall meet in the District and perform such duties as provided by the twelfth article of amendment.

Section 2. The Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.

Amendment XXIV

Section 1. The right of citizens of the United States to vote in any primary or other election for President or Vice President, for electors for President or Vice President, or for Senator or Representative in Congress, shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or any state by reason of failure to pay any poll tax or other tax.

Section 2. The Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.


Amendment XXV

Section 1. In case of the removal of the President from office or of his death or resignation, the Vice President shall become President.

Section 2. Whenever there is a vacancy in the office of the Vice President, the President shall nominate a Vice President who shall take office upon confirmation by a majority vote of both Houses of Congress.

Section 3. Whenever the President transmits to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives his written declaration that he is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, and until he transmits to them a written declaration to the contrary, such powers and duties shall be discharged by the Vice President as Acting President.

Section 4. Whenever the Vice President and a majority of either the principal officers of the executive departments or of such other body as Congress may by law provide, transmit to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives their written declaration that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, the Vice President shall immediately assume the powers and duties of the office as Acting President.

Thereafter, when the President transmits to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives his written declaration that no inability exists, he shall resume the powers and duties of his office unless the Vice President and a majority of either the principal officers of the executive department or of such other body as Congress may by law provide, transmit within four days to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives their written declaration that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office. Thereupon Congress shall decide the issue, assembling within forty-eight hours for that purpose if not in session. If the Congress, within twenty-one days after receipt of the latter written declaration, or, if Congress is not in session, within twenty-one days after Congress is required to assemble, determines by two-thirds vote of both Houses that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, the Vice President shall continue to discharge the same as Acting President; otherwise, the President shall resume the powers and duties of his office.

Amendment XXVI

Section 1. The right of citizens of the United States, who are 18 years of age or older, to vote, shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or any state on account of age.

Section 2. The Congress shall have the power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.


Amendment XXVII

No law varying the compensation for the services of the Senators and Representatives shall take effect until an election of Representatives shall have intervened.


You're a fool.

Quote:
Hell they have done enough modifications through an activist judicial system.
Now look what we have


What's that? A legal system that is pretty well-defined on most issues?


Last edited by Toxic on Sun Jan 27, 2008 7:15 pm; edited 1 time in total
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