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Fact-checking Obama's speech on Libya

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Balladeer
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50 posted 04-04-2011 06:37 AM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

So that's all you got out of that, mb? This president gets the US involved in military battles costing tens of millions of dollars, without discussing it with Congress and then tells congress that if they issue any edict against it, he;s going to ignore them anyway and do what he wants, no matter what actions they take...and you think this is the right course of action to take for a president? BEcause he's handsome, perhaps?

Superman? I would say more like Stuporman. He is disgracing the office.
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51 posted 04-04-2011 09:07 AM       View Profile for moonbeam   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for moonbeam

So that's all you got out of that, mb? This president gets the US involved in military battles costing tens of millions of dollars, without discussing it with Congress and then tells congress that if they issue any edict against it, he;s going to ignore them anyway and do what he wants, no matter what actions they take...and you think this is the right course of action to take for a president? BEcause he's handsome, perhaps?

Well handsome sure helps , but no, being serious, you really have to get over this not telling Congress thing.  

It's surely fairly obvious that even his worst enemies accept that his legal advice is correct - so he's acting quite legally it seems.

And apart from that it's sounding a little like nit-picking to call him on an action that was clearly necessary and right.  You'd have a fireman call his supervisor before rescuing a kid from a burning building to check if it was ok would you?

Superman? I would say more like Stuporman. He is disgracing the office.

Except that most of the rest of the world feels precisely the opposite, and that the disgraceful Presidents were his two predecessors.  

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52 posted 04-04-2011 09:38 AM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

With all due respect, Moonbeam, I do not recognize you as a spokesman for the rest of the world. Actually, it appears to be just the opposite. When he was first elected, countries lined up to fawn over him. Now, countries barely pay attention to him. They see him for what he is....and they recognize his weakness. The respect he had is not even visible any more.

an action that was clearly necessary and right. It is stated that we must be in imminent danger for his actions to be right. If you check my prior comments, you will see that even Obama and Hillary specified that - before they got into office, of course. We were not in imminent danger. His actions were not right. Something can be legal and still not be right. It has to do with integrity, that item you claim Obama is full of. I will agree that he is full of something....but it's not integrity.

I even overestimated his intelligence. Telling congress even before they do anything that, no matter what they do, he's not going to listen or change his mind is not the action of an intelligent leader.
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53 posted 04-04-2011 10:52 AM       View Profile for moonbeam   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for moonbeam

With all due respect, Moonbeam, I do not recognize you as a spokesman for the rest of the world. Actually, it appears to be just the opposite.

And with due respect to you too Mike, I never said I was a spokesman, any more than you speak for the GOP (or maybe you claim to?!).  I am just reporting it as it is.  Obama is demonstrating that you do not have to be a gung-ho six shooting macho man to gain respect.  He has fundementally sound and morally laudible principles which he sticks to, despite the school yard hissy fits of some of his political opponents (and supposed allies).  He isn't "american" in the traditional sense of the word.  He doesn't fit that brash overly confident, verging on the arrogant, stereotype that many of your past political leaders have conformed to in the eyes of the world.  And whether you like it or not, what you say is plain wrong:

"WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The United States continues to achieve higher global approval ratings than China, Russia, Japan, France, the United Kingdom, and Germany. Gallup's worldwide surveys document a noticeable change in the U.S. global leadership position from 2007 and 2008, when the U.S. trailed other major powers." Gallup
http://www.gallup.com/poll/146771/Worldwide-Approval-Leadership-Tops-Major-Powers.aspx?utm_source=tagrss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=syndication&utm_term=All%20Gallup  %20Headlin  es

It is stated that we must be in imminent danger for his actions to be right. If you check my prior comments, you will see that even Obama and Hillary specified that - before they got into office, of course. We were not in imminent danger. His actions were not right. Something can be legal and still not be right.

With respect again Mike, you are now seeking to shift your ground.  

It was you and Denise who have been going on and on about how his action is illegal.  Denise went to some trouble to argue with Uncas on the very point.  Now, when it appears that it is after all legal, you are trying to mak e out that even though legal it is still "wrong".

Fair enough I agree with you, I've said from the outset that the illegality or otherwise accordingly to some arcane US law was irrelevant.  At least we are agreeing on that point now.    

Now we are at the real isssue, whether it is "right" or not.  I think on balance it is right - based on what I have seen so far of the conduct of the whole fracas.  I may be proved wrong, we'll have to wait and see.

I even overestimated his intelligence. Telling congress even before they do anything that, no matter what they do, he's not going to listen or change his mind is not the action of an intelligent leader.

Of course not.  This is just one instance where it IS the action of an intelligent leader. War, above all, needs decisive leadership, cutting through all the bureaucratic crap that usually pervades politics - if Maggie or Winston has listened too much, the Argies would have the Falklands, and you'd be a German/Jap citizen.    
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54 posted 04-04-2011 03:45 PM       View Profile for Huan Yi   Email Huan Yi   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Huan Yi

.


“Winston has listened too much”

Gallipoli

And even Winston knew it wasn't England
that was going to keep the US from being German . . . in WWI or II.

.


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55 posted 04-04-2011 05:34 PM       View Profile for moonbeam   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for moonbeam

Re Winston.

We can all fling sound-bytes and quick quotes around.

"The fate of Singapore was sealed long before the Japanese attack in December 1941. The blame lay with British Prime Minister Winston Churchill who refused to listen to warnings from military advisors to reinforce defences in Singapore/Malaya"

The Sacrifice of Singapore - Michael Arnold

You rather save me the trouble of labouring the point with Mike though Huan - the point being that great leaders do listen Obama, no doubt listens, but (especially in times of war) then they make their own minds up and act, sometimes they get it wrong, sometimes right - what makes the great ones great is that they get it right most of the time.  What they don't do is let lackeys, bureaucrats and committees run the show!

......

I don't think I'll bother arguing the point about Winston and America except to say that without the UK you would have been in deep trouble and without you we would have been.  Whatever!
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56 posted 04-04-2011 08:03 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

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57 posted 04-04-2011 09:38 PM       View Profile for Denise   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Denise

Congress is one of the co-equal branches of our form of government, MB. They are not lackeys to be tossed aside. The President's actions are not legal according to our Constitution since we were not under direct threat and he therefore needs Congressional approval for his current involvement in Libya. He has exceeded his Constitutional limits in this and other areas. And his administration's assertion that he will ignore Congress in this matter is further evidence of his disdain for the Constitution and of his arrogance. He was not appointed King to rule by diktat as he sees fit, which he increasingly seems determined to do. He will pay the price in 2012 for his disdain and arrogance. He has underestimated the American people's determination to retain their form of government.    
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58 posted 04-04-2011 10:04 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

...and you all are ignoring the fact that he advocated exactly the opposite before becoming president.....but that doesn't make it go away.
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59 posted 04-05-2011 01:19 AM       View Profile for Essorant   Email Essorant   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Essorant's Home Page   View IP for Essorant

What a cruel dictatorship you live under.  
moonbeam
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60 posted 04-05-2011 03:34 AM       View Profile for moonbeam   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for moonbeam

...and you all are ignoring the fact that he advocated exactly the opposite before becoming president.....

Reality check!  What politician hasn't done that?
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61 posted 04-05-2011 03:42 AM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K



     I am unhasppy with his actions here, but it will take a really exceptional alternative for me to vote against him in 2012.  This is because I believe  that despite his actions, he still seems to have more respect for the constitution than has been shown by any Republican since Eisenhower, and we are unlikely to be offered a choice that decent given the current state of the Republican Party today.  President Obama at his most upsetting hasn't pushed us into an Iraq.  It's bad enough that he hasn't extracted us from it, but he hasn't lied his way into one.  He didn't Shove through A Patriot Act.  He may not have repealed it, though I believe he has a moral obligation to do so, but he didn't pull the legislation off the shelves and ram it through Congress.

     And so on.

     He hasn't closed Gitma, but he didn't open it, either.  And I don't see him trying to pretend that there's nothing there but hearts and flowers.

     It's unlikely a Democrat with spine will actually stand a chance of election.  The Just You Wait Until 2012 threat doesn't particularly worry me with the Republicans acting the way they've been acting recently.  I doubt that they'll want to stop, or believe it's necessary to stop with the Union bashing and Wall-Street Kissing, and I don't believe they care about the fact that the rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer.  Traditionally, they blame the poor, and they seem to be doing the same thing now.  I suspect they believe they should stick with what they think is a winning combination.  That's what it looks like, at least.
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62 posted 04-05-2011 03:49 AM       View Profile for moonbeam   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for moonbeam

Congress is one of the co-equal branches of our form of government, MB. They are not lackeys to be tossed aside.

I wasn't thinking of Congress when I used that word Denise.  I was just commenting very generally on a situation where a leader vacillates because of conflicting advice from others - John Major springs to mind.  As for Congress, fine it's an arm of your government and of course it should be entitled to its legal place in the system of that government, I've never said otherwise.

The President's actions are not legal according to our Constitution

With all due respect Denise, I think I'll go with the advice of Uncas and the President's legal advisors who both disagree with you.  

He has exceeded his Constitutional limits in this and other areas.

I wasn't aware of the other areas.

He has underestimated the American people's determination to retain their form of government.

Ah well, perhaps he made a choice between what right wing America wanted and what was best for the World.  He chose the world it seems.  Brave man, good man.  Whether there are more Americans who have a broad world view than a narrow nationalistic view remains to be seen at the ballot box I guess.
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63 posted 04-05-2011 06:03 AM       View Profile for Denise   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Denise

Bob, he has the power to stop any of those things that he criticized Bush for with the flick of his wrist and the tip of his pen.

MB, it doesn't matter who agrees with me or not. Disagreeing with me doesn't make them right necessarily. I also haven't read any details of the legal opinions from his legal advisors to justify what he is currently doing either. So it would be pretty hard to contrast our views.

He wasn't elected to please the world. He was elected to protect and defend the Cosntitution of the United States.
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64 posted 04-05-2011 07:52 AM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Gee, Ess, since we live right under Canada, I'm surprised you are so hard on yourself!
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65 posted 04-05-2011 08:12 AM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Concerning what you pointed out, Bob, moonbean points out that politicians will say anything to get elected. In that case, Obama is a great politician. To get elected, he made a shopping list of every hot button he could find and used it in his campaign. Has he changed any of them? No. Gitmo got a lot of negative publicity under Bush. Don't see much under Obama. The Patriot Act was under constant fire with Bush in charge. Don't see much of it under Obama.


His campaign of "Change you can believe in" was wrong on two counts....little change and nothing one can believe in. Now that he is officially campaigning again, there will be a strong push to alter reality. It will be interesting to see how he accomplishes that. Hopefully, people will remember the "Fool me once..." philosophy. If they don't, they will have no one else to blame.
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66 posted 04-05-2011 10:06 AM       View Profile for moonbeam   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for moonbeam

Concerning what you pointed out, Bob, moonbean points out that politicians will say anything to get elected. In that case, Obama is a great politician. To get elected, he made a shopping list of every hot button he could find and used it in his campaign. Has he changed any of them? No. Gitmo got a lot of negative publicity under Bush. Don't see much under Obama. The Patriot Act was under constant fire with Bush in charge. Don't see much of it under Obama.

To borrow Denise's phrase: "I don't get it".

This constant refrain Mike about how Bush was always slagged off by the media and Obama isn't.  What exactly is your point?

As far as I can see the explanation is that you're either complaining that the far right media is incompetent, scared, or disinterested.  Or else you're complaining that they agree with Obama and therefore won't criticize him?

Is it any of those, or something else, that drives the content of every post you make?

......

Back later on your points Denise.

Just asking.
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67 posted 04-05-2011 02:01 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

complaining that the far right media is incompetent, scared, or disinterested

That's the point. There is no far right media, not in the mainstream. It's not that difficult to understand. No problem if you don't get it. Others do.
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68 posted 04-05-2011 02:24 PM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K


     Mike, I continue to object to the Patriot Act and to Gitmo.  Furthermore,  you have quoted folks like Ralph Nader objecting to the same things, quotations sourced from Fox or generally other Right of center news sources.  You have never voiced any particular objection to these things in themselves that I recall.  In fact, I seem to recall you supported them under Republicans.  Your quarrel is not with the wrongness of the law, as I understand it.  Mine is.  You believed the practice of the previous administration was in fact correct:  We should be able to torture these folks — and the practices that the Bush administration thought okay to use, including stress positions, sleep deprivation, loud noise and water-boarding were all classified as torture by international rules — and hold them incommunicado as well.

     While we are still holding prisoners at Gitmo, and I condemn that, we are not now to my knowledge using torture, nor are we holding prisoners incommunicado.  If you have information that contradicts mine, I will be pleased to learn of it, and I will be happy to write letters of protest to the government about it if you can get me some citations that I can follow up on.  

     I would not want to let something of this nature to go by without comment if I felt that my government had some part in it.  I actually believe that the situation is materially different now that it was during the last administration; and if I am wrong, I very much want to know.

[Edit - Discuss the posts, not the posters, please. - Ron]

Rachel Maddow, for example, was critical of the way that President Obama opened his Campaign in her 4/4/11 show, which you can check on her blog if you wish, and specifically mentioned Gitmo and the military trials as real failures of his and pointed them out as broken promises that should come home to roost.  She also pointed out three instances over the past year where civilian trials of terrorists had been held, two in New York and one in Michigan, which worked out quite well.

     The PATRIOT ACT, which was, I am ashamed to report, in part a Democratic initiative, still remains very much a blot on the record of the country in my opinion, and it remains a blot on the record of this administration as well.  I believe it is a blot in part on the Record of the Democratic Party for the part The Democrats had in proposing and co-sponsoring that draconian legislation.

     I do not agree that it is as easily banished as Denise feels it might be, though I wish it were.  I certainly wish that the President would at least try to do something to nullify The Patriot act by Executive Order, though I'm not sure what effect Executive Order would have if it were to contradict an actual statute.  I suspect it would come off second best.

  

    

[This message has been edited by Ron (04-05-2011 04:21 PM).]

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69 posted 04-05-2011 03:52 PM       View Profile for moonbeam   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for moonbeam

MB, it doesn't matter who agrees with me or not. Disagreeing with me doesn't make them right necessarily. I also haven't read any details of the legal opinions from his legal advisors to justify what he is currently doing either. So it would be pretty hard to contrast our views.

He wasn't elected to please the world. He was elected to protect and defend the Cosntitution of the United States.


Denise

I do find it rather hilarious that just as you have a President who is, actually truly "globally sensitive" (which isn't, as you imply, a case of simply "pleasing" foreigners) you start screaming foul when he only does what all Presidents have done since the Cold War, which is essentially to abuse the original intent of your Founders in respect of the conduct of foreign policy.  

You will no doubt be aware that the framers of your Constitution, being wary of investing too much power in the Executive in respect of dealings with other nations, effectively made Congress the senior partner in the relationship with the President in this area of governance.
However for the last 50 or so years Presidents have largely ignored that original intent, and both Republican and Democrat incumbents are "guilty" in this respect.

Whether you like it or not, and whether it is a good or bad or neutral state of affairs, this is what has been, and is, happening.  Obama is simply following his predecessors in taking to himself more autonomy than the framers originally envisaged.

The difference is that he actually seems to have the ability to use that "extra" power for good in the world, with the result that the US now commands much more respect than it has done for quite a while (certainly under Clinton and Bush).

Apparently, the right wing in American politics are only happy when America is "bossing" the remainder of the world, right from the start Obama's often conciliatory line seems to have infuriated certain sectors of US society.  Even the fact that Hilary is doing such a splendid job seems to annoy them.  

Whatever happened to "love thy neighbour"?  Seems to me that Obama, who was even castigated for his alleged religion, is more Christian than most of that sector of American society who profess so vehemently to be pious Christians.

[Edit - Discuss the posts, not the posters, please. - Ron]


Thanks Ron.  Sorry if I transgressed again, I was so sure I hadn't that I didn't keep a copy, and now have no clue as to what you edited out.  That's a nuisance as it would help to know what was wrong.  If you can give me a clue that would be good.  If you haven't time, no matter.

[This message has been edited by moonbeam (04-05-2011 04:47 PM).]

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70 posted 04-05-2011 03:55 PM       View Profile for moonbeam   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for moonbeam

complaining that the far right media is incompetent, scared, or disinterested

That's the point. There is no far right media, not in the mainstream. It's not that difficult to understand. No problem if you don't get it. Others do


Actually I didn't know that Mike. No mainstream right wing media eh?

You mean that all the extreme right wing media is "fringe" - kinda looney?

Er, there may be a reason for that ... lol

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71 posted 04-05-2011 06:45 PM       View Profile for Denise   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Denise

Bowing from the waist to the Saudi King is not conciliatory, it is a disgrace.

I wonder how much 'love' the folks in Libya are feeling right now, MB.

I wonder how loved the ignored and left to spin in the wind Iranians are feeling after Obama encouraged the youth in Egypt to rise up and claim their future, and then turned around and again did not support them.

'Doing good in the world' is a quite subjective matter.

Many Presidents have overstepped their Constitutional authority, some more than others, the current one, in my opinion, the most abusive of all. And you can't point to previous bad behavior to justify current bad behavior. Bad behavior is still bad behavior. Our only recourse is the ballot box and our holding our elected representatives accountable to stand against those abuses.

When a President acts outside the scope of his authority by bypassing Congress to do whatever he wants to do, and asserts he will continue to do it intending to simply ignore Congress, he is wiping his feet on the Constitution and the checks and balances built into our form of government. It doesn't get much worse than that.

He took an oath to uphold and defend the Constitution, not the U.N. We have no vote in electing the members of the U.N. They do not represent us. And he is not representing us when he acts unilaterally, without the input and approval of the people's representatives.
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     Sorry, Denise, perhaps you've seen denials that I haven't seen from members of congress stating that they knew nothing about this in advance.  I have seen lots of critical statements from them about the President's actions as well as some statements of support, but I don't remember many, if any statements from Congress saying that they knew nothing about this in advance, especially from members of the Intellegence committee.

     While your assumption may be entirely correct, I would expect there to be actual statements of ignorance and outrage, not simply statements of disagreement and outrage and statements of how the President should have submitted his plans to overview and a vote and approval.  None of these things are the same as protestations of ignorance.

     Perhaps I am incorrect here.

     I notice as well that there haven't seemed to be any questions from the press, especially pointed questions in this regard.

     It is almost as though a bargain has been struck of some sort, such as, say, being kept in the loop and being well briefed in return for not leaking and the right to be vocal in critique of these "heinous and unchecked actions."  Some of the more militant Republicans have even voiced support for the action while still allowing themselves space to be critical, should they wish at some later point, for not having a vote taken.

     I'd be interested in knowing who says this came as a total surprise and shock to them and that they knew nothing about it inb advance.

    
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I'm curious, Denise, how you think you might react if a foreign country landed a few thousand ground troops off the coast of Pennsylvania?

Would you be upset if the President immediately sent in the Marines to stop them, without first consulting congress? Would you be terribly upset if someone on the President's staff said they would ignore Congress if Congress tried to stop the administration from halting the invading forces?

If you don't think you'd be upset at the President under those circumstances, and I can't imagine you would be, then you apparently agree with the President that he should do his job.

Clearly, of course, you just don't agree on exactly what that job is.  

Honestly, I'm not too clear on that, either. I'm no more a Constitutional lawyer, Denise, than you are. Why would President Obama feel justified in invoking Executive pejoratives in a matter like this? Why would he be so confident in those pejoratives as to allegedly threaten to ignore Congress, something many Presidents have done in defense of their Constitutional powers?

Beats me. I suppose it's possible those legal experts (which we're not) have opined that Congress already gave its approval when it voted to join the United Nations and accept the responsibilities joining entailed? It might be a NATO thing, I suppose, or a treaty thing with one of our other allies? I can think of many possibilities, some less probable than others, but when push comes to shove I really don't know.

What I do know, however, is that procedures exist to curtail any President who oversteps his Constitutional boundaries. Congress has options to pursue. So, too, does the Judicial branch.

With the incredible level of partisan animosity so prevalent in our country right now, I really can't imagine those procedures not being pursued if there's even a chance in Hell of damaging the current administration.

Parenthetically, if I may, I've been watching a mini-series on The Civil War (which seems, sometimes, like it might be the ONLY time partisan animosity has exceeded today's standards).

How many knew that President Lincoln effectively declared war and called for 75,000 troops three months before Congress could convene? Did anyone know that Lincoln suspended the writ of habeas corpus and had thousand of Northern political opponents arrested? Including dozens of newspaper editors and publishers? When the Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court officially declared Lincoln's suspension unconstitutional, Lincoln and the military ignored Chief Justice Taney. There was even rumors of arresting the Chief Justice? Lincoln went on to extend the scope of the habeas suspensions and continued them for another two years, ending the illegal maneuver only when Congress passed the Habeas Corpus Act of 1863. Lincoln's real coup de grace to our Constitution was his arrest of the Maryland Legislature to prevent them from voting for secession.

West Virginia (Union) was carved out of Virginia (Confederate). One of the most outspoken members of the Democratic Party opposition, Congressman Clement L. Vallandigham of Ohio, was arrested, tried, convicted, and eventually deported (to Tennessee?). The mayor of Baltimore and Congressman Henry May were imprisoned. Private citizens in the states bordering the Confederacy were disarmed, in violation of the Second Amendment, and suffered widespread confiscation of private property. The list goes on and on.

Historian Lee Kennett wrote in "Marching Through Georgia" that if the Confederates had won the Civil War they would have been justified in "stringing up President Lincoln and the entire Union high command" as war criminals.

Yet, today, Abraham Lincoln is widely regarded as the greatest American to ever sit in the Oval Office. It's both regrettable and ironic, in my opinion, but it seems we have always been more interested in this country in results than in method. Some day, I suspect, that will cost us dearly. Some day, I fear, it will cost us everything.


Denise
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74 posted 04-06-2011 06:14 AM       View Profile for Denise   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Denise

It would be within the President's authority to dispatch troops under the circumstances involving a direct attack, Ron.

More people should actually study Lincoln and what he did. They might knock him off his historical pedistal, where, in my opinion he has no right to be.

 
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