Monday, February 06, 2006

Limbaugh on Carter

At lunch today, I caught a little bit of the Rush Limbaugh program. He started going off on his usual topics... Rah Rah Republicans, Boo Hiss Democrats.... You know, standard faire...yawn.

Then he got into one little thought string about Jimmy Carter. In his words, so many of the issues we face today can be traced back to the disastrous Presidency of that Democrat...(as if History began in 1976...) Granted, Carter can be criticized for a number of reasons, but there were a couple of specific points Limbaugh touched on that I think show just how far "conservatives" have gone in their love of State power.

First off, in speaking about FISA, which was signed by Carter, Limbaugh makes reference to a statement by some talking head, that if the powers granted to the President by the Constitution, and the FISA statute are in conflict, the Constitution takes precedence. On it's face, there should be no argument there. However, the source of Limbaugh's consternation isn't that FISA creates extra-Constitutional powers, but in fact just the opposite. Limbaugh points out that Carter "gave up power" by signing FISA into law, and argues that the existence of such a law doesn't mean the Constitution has been overruled, thus justifying Bush to ignore the law and follow his own perogative regarding what he can and can't do on, of all things, Constitutional grounds.

Now...I can't lay my finger on the exact sentence in the Constitution where it says the President can monitor the phone calls of anyone, with or without a warrant, can you? So where exactly is FISA in conflict with the Constitution? Ok, I'm sure many Libertarians will find numerous reasons to tell me why FISA is unconstitutional and should be thrown out altogether, but what I am asking is why, if FISA is unconstitutional, does it result in the President having more power?

Furthermore, if Carter is to be criticized for "giving up power" is that a bad thing? In this day and age, where we have an out of control government spending and killing with reckless abandon, while our liberties and rights being trampled without a second thought, wouldn't a restraint of power be a refreshing change of pace? And what's even more, why is a conservative railing against this? Why is a conservative using the Constitution as a tool to justify unaccountable power vested in the hands of one man? Does Limbaugh really believe that Carter, while ultra-Liberal in almost all other aspects, would sign a bill which reduces the power of the Federal government? And if so, why is that worthy of criticism? Conservatives are supposed to be against the centralization of power and for the strict limitation of power at whatever level it exists. At least that's what I've always been told....

Even still, it occurs to me, based on what I know of the Founding Fathers and their intent with the Constitution, was that even though certain powers were delegated to the FedGov, how those powers were carried out were to be proscribed by the Rule of Law. Since the Executive power does not make law, per se, the Executive branch must still look to Congress for the hows and how-nots to go about executing its powers. Maybe I'm wrong there. Any Constitutional scholars out there want to correct me on that?

The other two issues was when he pointed out out situation with Iran had its root in the actions of the Carter administration, and that the late 1970s was a time of economic "malaise". Well, Rush, history did not begin in 1976. And the events with Iran might not have taken place had we not intervened in Iran in 1953 ...(President Eisenhower, Republican)...and the ecomony might not have been so bad had Nixon (another Republican) not completely severed the tie between the dollar and its gold backing, unleashing the forces of inflation and employment, helping to expose the apparent contradiction in Keynesian Economic theory (the dominant paradigm of economic "wisdom" even today) with the onset of "stagflation" .

So, here we have another Republican cheerleader providing cover for the regime, while the march into totalitarianism proceeds apace, "conservatives" applauding.

Good job, guys!


Blogger Tad Pole said...

Good of you to point out that "history did not begin in 1976"! (And history did not begin on 9/11/2001, either, despite claims to the contrary that "everything changed" on that date!)

No wonder cynics in the Middle East don't believe Bush and his yammering on about "spreading democracy". The U. S. government will spread democracy only when spreading democracy suits the U. S. Government. Other times (as in Iran in 1953), the U. S. will spread tyranny. (Of course, democracy is a red herring. It's freedom and individual rights, not democracy, that should be our objective.)

9:36 PM  
Blogger Libertarian Jason said...


9:56 PM  
Blogger Anakar said...

I happened to catch that Rush triade and just couldn't believe the hate that was coming from the man. Carter may not have had the most stellar of presidency, the man did win the Nobel Peace Prize for his work thru out the world. They simply do not give these prizes to just anyone. I also happened to hear program with the reamrks Rush made about Carter when he won the prize. And I still think Rush can't abide that a liberal Democrat could win such a prestigious award.

11:40 PM  
Blogger Libertarian Jason said...

Well, you need to understand that the only foreign policy that is admirable to a Conservative is one that kills people...or at least puts a boot on the neck of as many foreigners as possible. Sure, they'll give lip service to diplomacy, while continually working to break down all barriers to letting the bullets fly.

8:34 AM  
Blogger Vache Folle said...

I don't know if you deserve a medal or commitment papers for listening to Limbaugh. I suppose someone has to keep track of what the big fat idiot is up to.

9:00 AM  
Anonymous Libertarian Jason said...

Well, truth be told... I can only take him in small bits... 10 minutes here, 20 minutes there....before I get totally fed up with him and change the channel.

Ditto for Hannity.

1:26 PM  
Blogger El Comandante said...

I also enjoy the occasional Limbaugh/Hannity one-two punch in the afternoon. I agree, you have to take it in small doses.

Although I sometimes think they're slowly infiltrating my brain, telling me to buy Club Gitmo shirts through subliminal messages.

11:15 AM  

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