Archive for July 5th, 2009

5th July
2009
written by Mike

Obama’s victory was more of a ‘throw the bums out’ than anything else. Obama’s win was a vote against Bush and the ruling Republican party more than some big embrace of his ideals and plan. 

When the economy tanks presidents and parties loose power. It’s a fact of life, it’s proven, it goes with the job. Voters didn’t give Carter another chance and brought in Reagan. Bush #1 was riding high in the approval ratings and faced no serious challenges in his reelection until an economic dip left him vulnerable to a no name Governor, Bill Clinton.

The two party system causes the pendulum to swing about every 8 to 12 years. As frustrated as we get from time to time, the system works and the US just celebrated its 233rd birthday this weekend. 

Our constitution was written before electricity, cars or just about anything you find in your home today. For them to get it that right is nothing short of amazing. The balance of power between the Courts, Executive and Legislative branches works. Safeguards were put in to ensure no one branch or person got to powerful. Presidents were limited to two term limits (with the exception of FDR, who also expanded the Supreme Court to get around a few Justices that opposed him) with the goal to keep us far away from the ruler for life or monarchy form of government.

Fast forward to 2014, let’s say the Obama administration is actually getting things done, economic prospects are looking good and groups start talking about keeping him around for a third term. Discussions start from within and from the outside of the government about about amending the constitution to keep Big O around.  My guess is that’s not something we would even care to fathom.

Take a look at recent actions in Honduras. Zelaya, a term limited president, pushed to change the constitution to stay in power. Everything culminated last Wednesday when he fired the head of the military and Supreme Court for denying him authority to change the countries constitution to fit his agenda.  When diplomatic discussion broke down the military kicked him out of bed and out of the country. 

This weekend 30 countries (including Obama and Hilary Clinton as Secretary of State) condemned the action as a military lead coup. This is a test for the Obama administration and so far I’m not impressed. Constitutions are in place for a reason. They are extremely hard to amend for a reason. One person or party with too much power is a major problem for a country and the world.

If Honduras holds elections and re-establishes order the world will respect them for remaining a democracy that holds to it’s principals. If military installed leaders remain in power then the world needs to give them the cold shoulder.  Wait and see.

From the NYT:

During a more formal meeting afterward, they discussed Mr. Zelaya’s plans for a referendum that would have laid the groundwork for an assembly to remake the Constitution, a senior administration official said.

But American officials did not believe that Mr. Zelaya’s plans for the referendum were in line with the Constitution, and were worried that it would further inflame tensions with the military and other political factions, administration officials said.

Even so, one administration official said that while the United States thought the referendum was a bad idea, it did not justify a coup.

“On the one instance, we’re talking about conducting a survey, a nonbinding survey; in the other instance, we’re talking about the forcible removal of a president from a country,” the official said, speaking on the condition of anonymity during a teleconference call with reporters.

As the situation in Honduras worsened, Assistant Secretary of State Thomas A. Shannon Jr., along with Hugo Llorens, the American ambassador to Honduras, spoke with Mr. Zelaya, military officials and opposition leaders, administration officials said. Then things reached a boil last Wednesday and Thursday, when Mr. Zelaya fired the leader of the armed forces and the Supreme Court followed up with a declaration that Mr. Zelaya’s planned referendum was illegal.

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