Patterico's Pontifications

6/21/2011

On the Proper and Improper Use of Highlighting Hypocrisy in Argument, Regarding Libya, and Disability Accommodation

Filed under: General — Aaron Worthing @ 11:34 am

[Guest post by Aaron Worthing; if you have tips, please send them here.  Or by Twitter @AaronWorthing.]

Buckle up this will probably be a longish post, but that was the unifying thread to several stories I ran across.

I have said recently that it is wrong to act as though the worst thing a person can be is a hypocrite.  Often the hypocritical element is the element that redeems otherwise appalling conduct.  For instance, Thomas Jefferson’s hypocrisy in writing a Declaration of Independence that was incompatible with slavery while owning slaves mitigated the evil of owning slaves.  I fully believe Jefferson endangered his mortal soul with the sin of slavery and hypocritically penning the Declaration of Independence didn’t make thing worse for him, it made it better.

But nonetheless, hypocrisy is evidentiary useful which is precisely why people get lazy and focus purely on the hypocrisy element.  But there are times where hypocrisy, or contradiction generally, is useful.

Take for instance, this appalling story I saw yesterday:

Or for those who can’t view video, here’s the story:

A quadriplegic man from Fort Collins was forced off a Frontier Airlines plane because a pilot said it wasn’t safe for him to fly.

His mother, Kathleen Morris, said there was no problem two days earlier when her son flew Frontier from Denver International Airport to Dallas to attend family wedding.

But Sunday afternoon, when he boarded in Dallas to come home, John Morris and his family said they were humiliated.

“When a flight attendant saw John strapped in, they said they would have to clear it with the captain,” said Kathleen Morris.

This went on until finally the police were called and eventually he was thrown off the plane, declared apparently unsafe to fly.  Do read the whole thing.

Now normally this all would justify a rational debate on the balance between disability accommodation and the risk to passenger safety.  But that is not necessary because the behavior of the airline as a whole has been hypocritical.  Here are some choice quotes pulled from the article:

Morris has flown Frontier Airlines in the past, using an airline seat-belt extension to secure his chest and legs to the seat….

Frontier did arrange for the Morris family to take the next flight, and the pilot on that plane had no issues with transporting the disabled man.

“So, one pilot thought that it would not be safe. And another pilot … apparently thought it would not be a threat to anybody’s safety,” [Frontier spokesman Peter] Kowalchuk said.

“How come that was OK for that pilot but not for the original flight?” asked 7NEWS reporter Marshall Zelinger.

“I believe that this is an issue of interpretation of the regulations by the pilot,” said Kowalchuk. “On the first flight — the original flight — the pilot felt, based on what he read in the regulations, that the application of those restraints was not appropriate.”

(Emphasis added.)  What kills them here is that the fact that Morris has flown before, on the very same airline, without incident and indeed was allowed to fly on the very next flight.  The corporate hypocrisy of it renders their position indefensible.  A further contradiction was in discussing the attempt by Morris to use the seatbelt extension to secure himself:

The extension is normally used by larger passengers who need a longer seat belt to secure their waist….

Fellow passenger Denny Cannon was seated nearby and overheard that Frontier couldn’t use its equipment for medical purposes.

So, he and other upset passengers, offered to help.

“Me and other passengers said, ‘Well, sure, use our belts and we’ll somehow restrain him and then you won’t be using Frontier products,” Cannon recalled.

So one of Frontier’s excuses was that the seatbelt extension would was not meant for “medical purposes.”  No, no, it was reserved for the non-medical purpose of helping people who were too much of a fat ass to fit in their normal-length seat belt.  So somehow being a fat ass, or morbidly obese, is not a medical condition,* and it is also the case that the belt can be used to accommodate fat asses, but not quadriplegics.  Again it is the hypocrisy, the contradiction, that sinks Frontier’s case, because it undermines their argument.  The family is threatening legal action and bluntly, if I was Frontier’s corporate counsel, I would be talking settlement.

The hypocrisy exposed there was devastating to Frontier’s position because it made them look arbitrary and capricious.  Another classic example of this argument can be found in Bush v. Gore:

The law does not refrain from searching for the intent of the actor in a multitude of circumstances; and in some cases the general command to ascertain intent is not susceptible to much further refinement. In this instance, however, the question is not whether to believe a witness but how to interpret the marks or holes or scratches on an inanimate object, a piece of cardboard or paper which, it is said, might not have registered as a vote during the machine count. The factfinder confronts a thing, not a person. The search for intent can be confined by specific rules designed to ensure uniform treatment.

The want of those rules here has led to unequal evaluation of ballots in various respects. Seeid., at 1267 (Wells, C. J., dissenting) (“Should a county canvassing board count or not count a `dimpled chad’ where the voter is able to successfully dislodge the chad in every other contest on that ballot? Here, the county canvassing boards disagree”). As seems to have been acknowledged at oral argument, the standards for accepting or rejecting contested ballots might vary not only from county to county but indeed within a single county from one recount team to another.

The record provides some examples. A monitor in Miami-Dade County testified at trial that he observed that three members of the county canvassing board applied different standards in defining a legal vote. 3 Tr. 497, 499 (Dec. 3, 2000). And testimony at trial also revealed that at least one county changed its evaluative standards during the counting process. Palm Beach County, for example, began the process with a 1990 guideline which precluded counting completely attached chads, switched to a rule that considered 107*107 a vote to be legal if any light could be seen through a chad, changed back to the 1990 rule, and then abandoned any pretense of a per se rule, only to have a court order that the county consider dimpled chads legal. This is not a process with sufficient guarantees of equal treatment.

This inequality, this inconsistency was so indefensible in Bush v. Gore, that seven justices found this conduct violated the Equal Protection Clause.  So it was a 7-2 split on the point that this approach to counting votes was unacceptable.  The case was only 5-4 on the subject of what to do about it.

Another way to properly use hypocrisy arguments comes to us courtesy of Hot Air on the subject of the Libyan War.  As you might have seen yesterday, the Obama administration’s position is that this is not hostilities.  Mind you, we are doing to Libya pretty much what Japan did to us at Pearl Harbor.  Of course the moral justification for the two is vastly different, but that difference is irrelevant to the question of whether we are engaged in making war.  Do you think that the Pearl Harbor was a tad hostile?  I mean even if it wasn’t a sneak attack, do you think the men on the U.S.S. Arizona felt the Japanese were being a tad hostile?

Well, FDR certainly thought so in his “Day of Infamy” speech:

Hostilities exist. There is no blinking at the fact that our people, our territory, and our interests are in grave danger.

Or you can watch it.  That line comes at around the 5:15 mark:

And although that line is not in this clip, here’s a youtube of the full motion film of the event, for history geeks like me:

Obama further argues that because our military men and women are not in danger—because most of the work is being carried out by drones—that this isn’t hostilities.  Really?  So if Japan used drones to kill our servicemen at Pearl Harbor, FDR would not have called it “hostilities?”

And of course that argument there is an appeal to consistency, which is another way of saying, “don’t be hypocrites.  We would call it hostilities if it was done to us.”  So in that inverse way, I am making another valid invocation of hypocrisy, by urging you not to be one.

But the deeper hypocrisy is highlighted by this Washington Post article:

The White House has officially declared that what’s happening in Libya is not “hostilities.”

But at the Pentagon, officials have decided it’s unsafe enough there to give troops extra pay for serving in “imminent danger.”

The Defense Department decided in April to pay an extra $225 a month in “imminent danger pay” to service members who fly planes over Libya or serve on ships within 110 nautical miles of its shores.

That means the Pentagon has decided that troops in those places are “subject to the threat of physical harm or imminent danger because of civil insurrection, civil war, terrorism or wartime conditions.” There are no U.S. ground troops in Libya.

I suppose it is possible to thread that needle, of claiming there are no hostilities while granting our service member hazard pay, but it just comes off as hypocritical.  And there the charge of hypocrisy isn’t to condemn the contradiction itself as an evil.  It is good that at least they had the decency to give the troops the hazard pay.  But here hypocrisy is evidence of insincerity.  Everyone knows what is happening in Libya is war, even Obama.  He just doesn’t want to admit it and lay his willful violation of the Constitution bare.

And as you can see, there, the hypocrisy charge is used to question the honesty involved.  Why do I feel confident saying that Obama knows that this counts as hostilities?  Because 1) it is glaringly obvious to everyone, and 2) he is giving them hazard pay.

It’s sort of like my take on Southern claims of demotion to states’ rights before the Civil War.  The fact was they never opposed an assertion of federal power that ensured the survival of slavery or supported an assertion of states’ rights that degraded that institution.  They were nothing less than utter hypocrites on the subject of states’ rights, but utterly consistent in their support for slavery leading me to think that support for slavery was the real impetus for their claim to support states’ rights, when they bothered to.

Then we turn to Jennifer Rubin and her mostly good blog, Right Turn at the Washington Post.  Recently she has been using the same argument in regard to Libya, against the Republicans. In a post entitled War Powers Hypocrisy, she quotes John Yoo’s assertion that opposition to the Libyan war is hypocritical for Republicans as follows:

By accusing President Barack Obama of violating the War Powers Resolution, House Republicans are abandoning their party’s longstanding position that the Constitution allows the executive to use force abroad, subject to Congress’s control over funding. Sadly, they’ve fallen victim to the siren song of short-term political gain against a president who continues to stumble in national-security matters.

Now of course I am not even going to bother defending the politicians from charges of hypocrisy.  I will assume that to be a losing battle (feel free to correct me if I am wrong, commenters), although I think the way she made the charge is a little flippant.  Does every Republican agree with every plank in the Republican platform?  I certainly doubt that Ron Paul signed on to that view of Executive Power.  There is a lot wrong with Paul’s ideas, but inconsistency doesn’t seem to be one of them.

But still, where it gets egregious is when she swipes at the rank and file:

Even worse, the Republicans are heading to court (looking for an activist judge, maybe?) despite clear precedent that “individual congressmen do not have standing to sue the president when the legislature as a whole has failed to act.” In addition, Yoo tells us that in a prior case, “Judge Laurence Silberman wrote separately that the exercise of war powers was a ‘political question’ for the president and Congress, not the courts. The Supreme Court has consistently turned away every case disputing the president’s decision to start wars abroad, and there is no reason to think it will change its ways now.”

For constitutional devotees (Tea Partyers, I’m talking to you) this should be unacceptable. If you take seriously the Commerce Clause limits (in the Obamacare case), then you should take seriously Article II. There is a remedy under the Constitution if Congress doesn’t like the Libya operation: legislative oversight and the power of the purse.

But that depends on a very particular interpretation of the Constitution that they might not share.  Indeed, the courts might not rule as suggested.  For instance, take the political question doctrine.  In Baker v. Carr, one of the leading cases in regard to this doctrine, the Court summed up this area of law as follows:

Prominent on the surface of any case held to involve a political question is found a textually demonstrable constitutional commitment of the issue to a coordinate political department; or a lack of judicially discoverable and manageable standards for resolving it; or the impossibility of deciding without an initial policy determination of a kind clearly for nonjudicial discretion; or the impossibility of a court’s undertaking independent resolution without expressing lack of the respect due coordinate branches of government; or an unusual need for unquestioning adherence to a political decision already made; or the potentiality of embarrassment from multifarious pronouncements by various departments on one question.

Among the broad categories of cases listed is certainly “Dates of duration of hostilities,” but that merely states that one of the political branches must determine when hostilities begin or end.  But that is a different question from which branch gets to decide to initiate hostilities.  While the question of whether a state of war actually exist is probably best left to the political branches, the question of who, under the constitution has the power to start a war is exactly in the Supreme Court’s wheelhouse.  All they have to determine is that 1) only Congress can create a state of war where none exists, 2) clearly none existed prior to the Libyan adventure, and 3) congress did not authorize this war, and if all of that is true you have established the Constitutional violation.

And as for the claim that Congress must act before a Congressman has standing, I will note that it already has acted by passing the War Powers Act.  Besides the logic of that doctrine, enunciated in Raines v. Byrd, challenging the Constitutionality of line item veto legislation, was that the line item veto cannot harm a Congressperson until the president exercises that unlawful power, thus negating the value of the Congressperson’s vote, and that can happen only after legislation has passed.  By comparison the Congressman’s injury—the denial of constitutionally granted power—is complete if 1) only Congress can start a war, and 2) the President then starts a war.

All of which is not to say that the Supreme Court won’t declare it to be a political question or that the Congressmen involved have no standing—they very well might—but it certainly isn’t so obvious that Ruben’s and Yoo’s interpretation is correct that we can assume that Tea Partiers are hypocrites for refusing to go along with it.  And that is assuming that the average Tea Partier would know about these somewhat obscure and abstracted doctrines.  I don’t typically assume that to be the case with lay persons.  I mean I am not trying to be  snotty, here, but that is beyond the level of knowledge most non-lawyers have.

As if that isn’t bad enough, then Rubin praises a neo-conservative think tank for supporting the Libyan war and apparently giving no thought to the constitutional questions involved.  That post is entitled “Conservatives Put Principle Above Party on Libya” which by implication creeps very close to the line of suggesting there is something unseemly and unpatriotic in the opposition to this war.  There is nothing wrong with saying that if Obama properly requested Congressional approval before moving on Libya, we should have granted it, but it is strange to urge Congress to reward Obama’s lawlessness and reward it with an approval after it became clear that this war is illegal and to praise that proposal for its consistency.  It’s only consistent if you care nothing for the Constitution.  If you believe in the Constitution, and you don’t think it has been violated on this point, then you at least need to say something on the subject.

And Rubin’s and Yoo’s solution to the problem, cutting off funds, is of dubious utility.  We already tried that with several czars, the President then declaring the law that defunded those positions to be unconstitutional and then took the money anyway.  It’s certainly appropriate to try that approach on the Libya question, but what happens if Obama declares defunding to be unconstitutional and then takes the money anyway?

(Thanks to Maybee in the last thread for reminding me of that debacle.)

Anyway, besides the specific issues you can see several proper and, in my opinion, improper uses of the hypocrisy argument, with us understanding that hypocrisy itself is not very a bad thing, so much as it is often useful evidence of other relevant considerations.  And that is the best use of the concept.

————————–

* While I do think it’s weird to pretend that morbid obesity is not a medical condition, don’t take that to mean I excuse people from blame of being that condition.  I mean if you drink and drive, and become paralyzed in an auto accident as a result, that paralysis is a medical condition even if it is your own stupid fault. The same is true of people who are obese (which, btw, includes me but not to seatbelt-extension levels).

[Posted and authored by Aaron Worthing.]

97 Responses to “On the Proper and Improper Use of Highlighting Hypocrisy in Argument, Regarding Libya, and Disability Accommodation”

  1. NATO looks ridiculous, the United Nations looks confuzzled, America looks compliant, Obama’s peace prize looks silly, and McCain looks desperate to be seen as commander in chiefy.

    happyfeet (a55ba0)

  2. Wow. What a great blog post.

    So somehow being a fat ass, or morbidly obese, is not a medical condition

    This is the quality blogging I come here for (and I say that without a scintilla of sarcasm).

    That post is entitled “Conservatives Put Principle Above Party on Libya” which by implication creeps very close to the line of suggesting there is something unseemly and unpatriotic in the opposition to this war.

    It’s getting extremely annoying. This has been the law for decades. this has been the will of the congress which represents the people. The President is obligated to do his best job serving us, rather than this about face on the constitutionality of this kind of action.

    It’s got nothing to do with whether we should be in Libya. It’s got a lot to do with what kind of country we are, and perhaps the next war.

    Sadly, what I’ve noticed over the years is that by framing everything as hypocrisy, with one side in favor of filibusters or questioning appointments or limitations on power or sex or anything else, the real intention is to build an ability to spin. With a hypocrite angle, the MSM can spin every story against the GOP. If it’s the GOP going to war, we’re constitution flouting extremists in a rush. If it’s not, the GOP is a stickler for the rules instead of what’s really necessary.

    They find a way to do that with every damn issue.

    Dustin (c16eca)

  3. NATO looks ridiculous, the United Nations looks confuzzled, America looks compliant, Obama’s peace prize looks silly, and McCain looks desperate to be seen as commander in chiefy.

    Comment by happyfeet

    Mccain’s behavior is the most aggravating, though I’ve learned he cares very little for the constitution. Perhaps we don’t know what a bullet we dodged. While it appears to me Mccain couldn’t possibly be worse than Obama, I think he would have turned out to be quite awful.

    Anyway, Obama’s peace prize is a great joke now, isn’t it?

    Dustin (c16eca)

  4. How can you unfund something that has never been funded?

    JD (85b089)

  5. How can you unfund something that has never been funded?

    Comment by JD — 6/21/2011 @ 12:06 pm

    That’s the joke, isn’t it? Congress has already not-funded this adventure. Those saying that’s the way to stop it seem pretty crazy to me unless they can point to where congress, the only source of funding measures in our government, has funded it.

    Dustin (c16eca)

  6. “…imminent danger (pay)…”

    Unless the rules have been changed (and I wouldn’t be surprised if they have), one-minute a month in a “combat zone” qualified a GI for “Combat Pay” (it was remarked that bomber-runs leaving from Japan and Formosa for North Korea were so overcrewed on the last night of the month – which would return the morning of the first day of the next month, resulting in a two-fer – that the bomb load would have to be reduced), and that this pay is IIRC exempt from Fed Income Tax.

    But, as to Frontier Airlines:
    I would think that they are going to settle this fast, and quietly; and that the pilot in question will be spending many hours in “sensitivity training” (whether or not it will do any good is another question – but the memo from the Chairman’s Desk should be a doozy).
    A public trial over this will result in a judgement that could bankrupt this company.
    It could only be worse if this involved a quadriplegic Iraq/AfPak vet.

    AD-RtR/OS! (999ead)

  7. Ad

    i will quibble with your prediction in one sense.

    i think frontier will want to very publicly apologize to him.

    Aaron Worthing (e7d72e)

  8. I agree that there will be a very public apology, but the details of the settlement will be worked out in private, and remain private; for, it it were me, I would be demanding several pounds of flesh, and standing by the scales making sure I got what was agreed to, with the proviso that any lack-of-performance nulls the deal, and to court we go.
    A courtroom is the last place in the world that Frontier wants to go over this – other than a Congressional Hearing, of course.

    AD-RtR/OS! (999ead)

  9. We have gone almost 2 years without a budget thanks to the cowardly Dems. I am pretty certain that they have not taken up a Libyan funding measure.

    JD (85b089)

  10. yeah, seriously, if i was their corporate counsel, i would be hitting my head on a desk as i read that.

    Aaron Worthing (e7d72e)

  11. This is going to cost Frontier an arm and a leg.

    hahahaha

    Dustin (c16eca)

  12. you just have to go one week without being a dick to quadriplegic people and then another and then another and pretty soon it just becomes second nature

    happyfeet (a55ba0)

  13. Comment by JD — 6/21/2011 @ 12:30 pm

    But…But…
    It’s all the fault of the Evil Boosh, who spent us into BK chasing whirling-dervishes through the wilds of Iraq and AfPak.

    AD-RtR/OS! (999ead)

  14. Frontier was inconsistent but not hypocritical. Treating two people differently or even the same person differently at different times doesn’t equate to ‘do as I say, not as I do’.

    Even to the extent that Frontier has a policy of accommodating where reasonable and safe, their ‘offense’ is solely that two pilots had different views as to what constituted reasonable and safe. Again, not hypocritical.

    steve (369bc6)

  15. Yes, steve, but not quite up to the “equal protection” encased into the 14th-A – not to mention the “Public Accomodations” clause of the CRA-64.

    AD-RtR/OS! (999ead)

  16. Again, not hypocritical.

    How not? They had an arbitrary way of determining whether or not this person should be thrown off a plane by cops in a humiliating fashion.

    Putting scare quotes around the word offense doesn’t change the fact that Frontier handled the exact same situation in completely different ways.

    Dustin (c16eca)

  17. I am kind of with steve on this one. Two different pilots had differing interpretations. If the same pilot had arrived at two different and opposit decisions, I could see the hypocrisy angle. As is, Frontier, and specifically that 1 pilot, look like schmucks.

    JD (b98cae)

  18. Two different pilots had differing interpretations.

    I understand why Frontier would give pilots great discretion on this issue. There is a valid explanation for why the company policy was completely different when the situation was completely the same.

    Still, there should be a baseline of common sense. Frontier’s pilots are a reflection on the company, especially when it comes to matters of extremely poor judgment. Thus, it’s reasonable to hold the contradictory treatment against the company. They should have a damn good reason to throw someone off a plane. If Frontier hasn’t made that clear enough to their pilots, or can’t choose pilots who can handle that responsibility, then they get public relations crises.

    Dustin (c16eca)

  19. It would be hypocrisy if the first pilot demanded some type of handicap-based accommodation for himself after kicking the quadriplegic off the plane.

    steve (369bc6)

  20. It would be hypocrisy if the first pilot demanded some type of handicap-based accommodation for himself after kicking the quadriplegic off the plane.

    Comment by steve

    I understand what you’re saying. You’re saying that two pilots are not representatives of Frontier to the extent where their extreme contradiction in treatment demonstrates hypocrisy on the airline’s behalf.

    But pilots are trusted tremendously, and their judgment is so important that it’s completely fair to expect the airline to own their ability to make basic decisions.

    This isn’t like blaming McDonalds for hypocrisy because one gal gives me three Sweet and Sour dips and the other only two.

    Dustin (c16eca)

  21. steve

    the way i call it hypocritical is the hypocrisy is at the corporate level. but feel free to quibble with that.

    Aaron Worthing (e7d72e)

  22. steve

    otoh, of course the individual pilots are not being hypocritical. But bluntly as a matter of law, their conduct is the company’s conduct.

    Aaron Worthing (e7d72e)

  23. How is Frontier hypocritical when 2 different employees arrive at 2 different interpretations? Heck, even though this appears quite douchey, there appears to be a very good faithed reason why one pilot may have had his interpretation, even if it turned out to be wrong wrong wrong.

    JD (306f5d)

  24. I repeat, inconsistent, and possibly in violation of some law, but not hypocrisy. Frontier (as represented by the first pilot) wasn’t treating this guy worse than they’d want to be treated themselves.

    And I know I’ll probably stir up a ruckus, but I believe the first pilot did nothing wrong. It is up to the pilot to determine – in his trained and reasonable mind – whether a particular situation is safe. This is the case whether we’re talking about a quadriplegic,a bunch of Muslims huddling in prayer before takeoff or a fat guy sitting in an exit row. And like the deference I give to soldiers and the police (who shouldn’t have to wait until they’re shot at before getting to open fire at what they believe to be a threat), the burden ought to be on the passenger to prove he isn’t a problem rather than on the pilot to prove he is. If the pilot isn’t sure everything is hunky-dory, the passenger doesn’t fly. Does this represent a potential hardship for some passengers? Sure, but that’s life, it ain’t fair and I’m not willing to risk life and limb (mine or others) because someone doesn’t get the benefit of the doubt.

    steve (369bc6)

  25. Frontier (as represented by the first pilot) wasn’t treating this guy worse than they’d want to be treated themselves.

    That’s not necessary to demonstrate hypocrisy. They claimed a policy in one case and showed they didn’t really have that policy in the exact same case, later. That’s sufficient.

    And I know I’ll probably stir up a ruckus, but I believe the first pilot did nothing wrong. It is up to the pilot to determine – in his trained and reasonable mind – whether a particular situation is safe.

    I understand giving pilots wide discretion, but in no way was it unsafe, so he just failed to show proper judgment, and that failure reflect on Frontier, especially when virtually any other pilot, including other Frontier pilots, didn’t see this as an unsafe condition.

    If the pilot isn’t sure everything is hunky-dory, the passenger doesn’t fly

    Zero tolerance is lazy and unintelligent. Frontier looks bad because we all know a competent pilot would rather try their best to make the situation safe instead of saying ‘something isn’t hunky dory, so let’s kick this guy off the plane with cops!’.

    The pilot is there to fix this kind of thing and ensure the trip is smooth, safe, and hassle free. He completely failed, and Frontier shouldn’t trust jackasses with tremendous responsibility.

    I feel I’m going too far with this. People screw up sometimes. That’s really all this amounts to. But it’s a hypocrisy.

    Dustin (c16eca)

  26. there appears to be a very good faithed reason why one pilot may have had his interpretation, even if it turned out to be wrong wrong wrong.

    He should have fixed the problem. It seems like any qualified pilot and crew would be capable of doing so instead of kicking the man off the plane. Was it good faith to refuse to use a belt used for fat people? I don’t understand why that is. I think it’s more of a stubbornness to use common sense.

    Dustin (c16eca)

  27. 2 people arriving at different interpretations does not constitute hypocrisy. Hell, it doesn’t even show that that they were aware of the prior interpretation. Again, douchey? Check. Stupid? Check. Hypocritical? Still aint seeing it.

    JD (b98cae)

  28. Hell, it doesn’t even show that that they were aware of the prior interpretation.

    The pilots are not being individual hypocrites, of course. The company policy in effect (rather than on paper) is to fail to use common sense or solve safety problems reasonably and with consistency.

    Dustin (c16eca)

  29. Dustin @ 28 … Again, douchey and stupid. I have no quarrel with that. But not hypocritical.

    JD (29e1cd)

  30. My POV is that Frontier owns all the decisions of its pilots. That’s how I get from two independent pilots acting differently to Frontier contradicting itself.

    Dustin (c16eca)

  31. Excellent post, Aaron.

    Feeling somewhat cynical, yet it would seem the long-story-short has got to be that everything now boils down to nothing more than what the definition of is is.

    Geez, no wonder Solomon wearied, What has been will be again,what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun. Even way back when, he had a clue.

    Dana (4eca6e)

  32. Oh, and in the name of social justice, Customer Relations @ Frontier Airlines Contact Page or call: 800-432-1359, (first say “other options” and then “complaints and compliments”). It’s just my guess, but I suspect they aren’t hearing a lot of compliments this week.

    Dana (4eca6e)

  33. Thanks, Dana.

    I do think JD and Steve’s POV is perfectly sensible, actually, but I also think there is a great benefit to going out of your way to define organizations by their key decision makers. I define a university by her deans’ decisions, the Army by her flag officers’ leadership, and an airline by her pilots, because their decisions mean the most.

    Is that strictly necessary? No. And if you’re not on board, the hypocrisy (or whatever you choose to call this inconsistency) is impossible to demonstrate. But I like forcing accountability onto Frontier or whoever. It is a little unfair. They aren’t clairvoyant about potential rogue jackasses they trusted. So in the unfairness, they have to go out of their way to prevent the problem.

    Dustin (c16eca)

  34. Dustin,

    Do you really want someone who would make such an unreasonably harsh decision re a quadriplegic, piloting your plane? Doesn’t that unreasonableness speak to something more serious that has perhaps not yet manifested itself while at the controls?

    Dana (4eca6e)

  35. That’s how I feel, Dana. Perhaps he was having a bad day, but it’s just not the kind of level headed Sullenberger style temperament I want when I’m trying to get my family somewhere.

    It’s not the biggest problem in the world today, but I do want Frontier to do whatever they can to avoid this kind of attitude. The fact pilots have discretion and responsibility don’t help them. Quite the contrary.

    Dustin (c16eca)

  36. It is hard to see how dropping a bomb or rocket from a drone into another country to kill their soldiers is not a hostile act.

    If they are really claiming this then would they say that Russia, Iran, or North Korea firing an ICBM (an unmanned drone) into a US city with a nuclear warhead was not a hostile act or act of war because the missile was unmanned?? What could they claim was the difference?

    Would a massive first strike by us against Russia or China also be outside the War Powers Act or “hostilities” if unmanned missiles like ICBMs or Cruise missiles were used?

    Would Mexico or Mexican drug gangs using drones to bomb border patrol stations in the US be legal and not hostile acts or acts of war?

    Machinist (b6f7da)

  37. Machinist!!!!!!

    JD (d48c3b)

  38. Is it necessarily “Hypocritical” for Republicans who believe the War Powers Act to be Unconstitutional to ask that Obama obey it? After all it is a law created at the instigation of his party. It is, in effect, one of the rules that he signed on to obey when he declared as a Democrat. Further, if the Republicans believe that the War Powers Act is an Unconstitutional attempt to interfere with Presidential Authority, can you imagine a more effective way to get the Democrats to cooperate in repealing it than to hold them to its letter?

    It seems to me that a case can be made that the Republicans are not “being hypocritical”, they are “playing hardball”. Of course, the Democrats don’t think that Republicans should be allowed to do THAT either….

    C. S. P. Schofield (8b1968)

  39. CSP, you’re right. The best way to deal with a bad law is to enforce it until it is changed. Ignoring a bad law because Obama wants to is extreme injustice, as that bad law would persist to be held against the next president.

    Either repeal it or enforce it.

    But anyhow, why wouldn’t congress be able to regulate the military and its use? It’s explicitly within Article I powers. The idea the president can make war completely on his own is such a radical extension of his power that it’s hard to imagine anyone actually wants such a thing. Certainly not believers in our constitution.

    Dustin (c16eca)

  40. Either repeal it or enforce it … with a vengeance!

    Enforce it until it hurts.

    BTW, where are the bills to repeal the WPR, in either the House or Senate?

    AD-RtR/OS! (287cb9)

  41. Would Mexico or Mexican drug gangs using drones to bomb border patrol stations in the US be legal and not hostile acts or acts of war?

    …or if America or American military were using drones to bomb drug cartel strongholds in Mexico also be considered non-hostile acts?

    Dana (4eca6e)

  42. Comment by Machinist — 6/21/2011 @ 3:51 pm
    I suspect what’s behind this sophistry is the idea that we are not attacking Libya, but rather we are attacking a particular group of individuals–the Qadaffi family and associates–inside Libya.

    To take a clearer case, suppose we sent US armed forces against one of the Mexican drug cartels inside Mexico. We wouldn’t be at war with Mexico (at least not until the Mexican government/army intervened against us), or even engaging in hostilities against Mexico, even though there would be plenty of firepower aimed at Mexican individuals inside Mexican territory.

    Did anyone raise a ruckus when Pershing was sent after Pancho Villa? I don’t recall any details of that.

    The difference between my Mexican hypothetical and the reality in Libya is that Qadaffi and Co. are the real Libyan government–which is why I used the word sophistry at the start of this comment, because I don’t think the distinction justifies ignoring the powers allotted to Congress.

    kishnevi (60aae7)

  43. Did anyone raise a ruckus when Pershing was sent after Pancho Villa? I don’t recall any details of that.

    National Defense Act.

    Anyway, in modern times, we’re at war against ‘terror’, with an AUMF specifically outlining our efforts against non-states. And the USA very recently recognized Qaddafi as the legitimate head of a state.

    Dustin (c16eca)

  44. Comment by Dustin — 6/21/2011 @ 5:57 pm
    which is more or less why I don’t think the argument I stated is actually valid.

    kishnevi (2d88a8)

  45. Yeah, that was clear, Kishnevi. It’s interesting to try to find a justification for Obama’s flip flop, but ultimately it’s just not possible.

    Dustin (c16eca)

  46. You know there’s more than an irony, in how we’re actually subverting the point of the AUMF, for the bulk of the rebel fighters are from that section that sent jihadists to bomb us in Iraq, Hasadi the
    chief in Benghazi, among them.

    ian cormac (72470d)

  47. Mccain’s behavior is the most aggravating, though I’ve learned he cares very little for the constitution. Perhaps we don’t know what a bullet we dodged. While it appears to me Mccain couldn’t possibly be worse than Obama, I think he would have turned out to be quite awful.

    Of course he would have. Thomas Sowell described our choices in 2008 as “a disaster and a catastrophe”, and wrote that it was important to vote for the disaster. Personally, I didn’t vote for McCain; I voted for Palin, and McCain just happened to be on the ballot with her.

    Milhouse (ea66e3)

  48. My POV is that Frontier owns all the decisions of its pilots. That’s how I get from two independent pilots acting differently to Frontier contradicting itself.

    But that is a ridiculous POV. It is impossible for all pilots to have the exact same standards, because no two human beings are alike. Frontier, like all airlines has a policy of leaving marginal safety decisions to the pilot; and thus every pilot will make those decisions differently. In any situation where there is less than 100% safety, some pilots will find the risk acceptable and others won’t.

    How do you know that the first pilot made the wrong decision? Maybe he was right, and most pilots are just willing to take a small risk for the sake of being nice to the cripple, or of being politically correct, or of protecting their jobs from just such a kerfuffle. Or perhaps they’re just more confident in themselves, and therefore a tad less careful and more reckless in general than he is.

    If you had your way, the only possible result would be airlines imposing one standard risk assessment on all their pilots, and forcing pilots to fly when they’re not confident that it’s safe. And surely you can see what disasters that can lead to.

    Milhouse (ea66e3)

  49. Further, I challenge the claim that the way in which the passenger was removed was “humiliating”. What, pray tell, would be a non-humiliating way to remove him? The only way he could not be humiliated would be for him to cooperate and leave willingly; and it was his choice not to do so. If he’s humiliated even by that, then his case is hopeless, and the word “humiliating” needs to be removed from this whole story, because according to him it’s inherent in the pilot refusing to fly with him on board, no matter how that decision was implemented.

    As for the passenger’s claim that if there was a problem he shouldn’t have been allowed to board in the first place, how exactly does he imagine that could work? How can the check-in staff know whether the pilot will have a problem with him? Are they psychic? Or is he supposed to leave instructions with them that no quadriplegics should be allowed on his plane? But wait, he can’t do that, because the regulations specifically require a case-by-case decision, and specifically forbid a general policy by type of disability. So the solution he might prefer is illegal; if he’s got a problem with that he should take it up with the FAA or Congress, not with the airline.

    Milhouse (ea66e3)

  50. They had an arbitrary way of determining whether or not this person should be thrown off a plane by cops in a humiliating fashion.

    What’s arbitrary about “pilot decides”?

    Milhouse (ea66e3)

  51. They should have a damn good reason to throw someone off a plane.

    I would think that “the pilot isn’t comfortable with the safety of the plane and its passengers” is as damn a good reason as one might like.

    Milhouse (ea66e3)

  52. They claimed a policy in one case and showed they didn’t really have that policy in the exact same case, later.

    How so? The policy was exactly the same: pilot’s discretion.

    I understand giving pilots wide discretion, but in no way was it unsafe, so he just failed to show proper judgment

    How the hell do you know? Are you a commercial pilot? What makes you competent to assess the pilot’s judgment?

    Milhouse (ea66e3)

  53. Demanding consistency of airline pilots leads down the same road as demanding consistency from physicians. Or parents.

    This pilot showed poor judgment in an era when poor judgment is not the fast-pass to tar-and-feathers that it once was, partly because good judgment is outlawed (see “Zero Tolerance”). The alternative is not to strip discretion from the task of shepherding live people from point A to point B at 10,000 feet.

    Paula Robinson (3c15c6)

  54. Everyone is a tad hypocritical from time to time. My problem with some of the detractors of the Libya mission is that so many of them were so gungho before we got involved..and now they wonder what is the end game..or something. Who are the rebels? Well, they are the same people they were when rightie bloggers were calling Obama a wimp for not coming to their aid sooner.

    As for the War Powers Act, after decades of saying it is unconstitutional we have conservatives whining that Obama is in violation of it. I mean come on..yes, we know the Democrats are being hypocrites about this, some of them anyway. But when Dennis Kucinich and Michelle Bachmann are on the same side of an issue it does make you wonder.

    And then there is the whole debate as to whether or not we are at war.

    I think Obama took a relatively manageable foreign policy situation and made it more complicated than it had to be. He did not move fast enough so that he could avoid that deadline set in the War Powers Act and he was not clear enough about the mission. But I am not sure I would consider this a war, hostilities, yes of course, but a war? I don’t know about that. We have had a lot of these kinds of operations over the years and I am not sure that I would call all of them wars.

    But Congress can go ahead and pass an authorization or cut off funds either one. They can in effect tie Obama’s hands if they really want to. And in the end I think that McCain and Kerry will probably save the day or the mission at any rate.

    Terrye (d6aeed)

  55. Why do you continue to spit out the same dishonest claptrap? How do you defund something that was never funded in the first place? The army of strawpeople you have constructed is impressive though. Brava.

    JD (306f5d)

  56. The argument that if you think a law is bad, you can’t seek to enforce it is stupid – period.

    By that logic it is perfectly acceptable for any republican not to enforce any law they disagree with, be it obamacare, the right to abortion created by Roe v. Wade or any of the campaign finance laws. So a governor, senator, president, or even cop gets to decide what laws to obey and which to ignore?

    You can believe that the war powers act is unconstitutional and should be stricken down and still require that it be followed – particularly by those who believe it is valid.

    If a Court determines that such law is unconstitutional, so much the better. Or, republicans can seek to repeal the WPA. Somehow I doubt teh Senate would vote to pass such a repeal or that the President would sign it since liberals love that law (even as they refuse to obey it).

    It is the law on the books. As long as it is the law, it is the law.

    It is not hypocritical to state that you believe a law is wrong or unconstitutional but to still enforce it as long as it remains an operative law. Otherwise, you are arguing that any president can simply disobey and ignore laws he/she disagrees with.

    People really don’t understand what hypocrisy is, or what it means. For instance, liberals love to believe it is “hypocritical” for conservative politicians to state they believe in family values and then be caught cheating on their wives.

    That is not necessarily hypocritical. Hypocrisy is avering a belief in something that you don’t actually believe.

    It is possible to believe in a value and fall short of living up to it. That is what sin is. YOu can believe that say, envy is a sin and yet still feel envy. That doesn’t mean you no longer believe that envy is not a sin, it just means you are not perfect and have sinned.

    Liberals also seem to think that someone falling short of an ideal proves that the ideal is wrong. In other words, they attempt to use the “hypocrisy” of conservatives who fall short of the ideal of family values (i.e., caught cheating on their spouse) to try and imply that such values are wrong. that is what the charge of “Hypocrisy” is all about – using the failure of a messanger to try and kill the message.

    In other words, for example, Christianity is wrong and nobody should believe it b/c nobody is as perfect as Christ. We should not believe in any objective idea of morality because nobody perfectly lives up to such morals.

    The true hypocrisy here is that of liberals – who for years have averred a belief that the War Powers Act was a good, constitutional law that should be followed and who now argue that it is no big deal if it is violated. In other words, they averred a belief in something that they clearly do not have.

    monkeytoe (5234ab)

  57. I think Obama took a relatively manageable foreign policy situation and made it more complicated than it had to be. He did not move fast enough so that he could avoid that deadline set in the War Powers Act and he was not clear enough about the mission. But I am not sure I would consider this a war, hostilities, yes of course, but a war? I don’t know about that. We have had a lot of these kinds of operations over the years and I am not sure that I would call all of them wars.

    As I tried to explain to you on other threads the War Powers Act covers far more than what you would consider a “war”. You need to move past the name of the act to its substance. It covers most military engagements. Would you consider this a “military engagement”?

    And, what exactly is the mission that McCain or Kerry will save? What is the mission in Libya? To protect civilians? From who (we have seen many credible reports of the rebels targetting civilians as well as Quaddafy)? For how long?

    Perhaps some conservatives wanted Obama to do what he’s done in Libya. Taht is an argument to make when debating that particular conservative. You keep throwing that out there as if that is an argument against all conservatives, or even all people who think Obama is violating the WPA. that’s nonsense. I am a conservative and was never in favor of getting involved in Lybia. So, how does that argument apply to me?

    As other people have pointed out, the only way to defund this is to generally defund the military, as there are no specific funds for this operation. Nobody voted to fund an operation in Libya – so defunding it is hardly as easy as you keep implying.

    As far as “passing an authorization” – Obama needs to come to Congress pursuant to the WPA and ask for an authorization for which congress can then vote up or down. He won’t do that for fear that it would get voted down. That is why he is chosing to violate the WPA. I actually think Obama is wrong and Congress would end up approving it.

    So all of your points are completely wrong. Wrong on the hypocrisy, wrong on whether it matters if this is defined as a “war” or just “hostilities”, wrong on the funding issue, and wrong on the authorization issue.

    monkeytoe (5234ab)

  58. Right, they sought to nearly impeach Reagan, for his logistical support, to the Contras,back when the Sandinistaswere the enemy, we weren’t even talking bombing Managua and Jinotega, for sixty days. Biden was opposed to the deployment of the Pershings, and
    supported the nuclear freeze, Obama didn’t think it went far enough, Koh’s only apparent quibble is that
    the UN puts it’s ‘two cents’ not the Congress, in other words, attack Israel before we ever touch Iran,

    ian cormac (72470d)

  59. The argument that if you think a law is bad, you can’t seek to enforce it is stupid – period.

    We’re not talking about thinking a law is bad, we’re talking about thinking it’s unconstitutional. Do you really not get that an unconstitutional law is not a law?

    Milhouse (ea66e3)

  60. We’re not talking about thinking a law is bad, we’re talking about thinking it’s unconstitutional. Do you really not get that an unconstitutional law is not a law?

    Comment by Milhouse — 6/22/2011 @ 6:05 am

    So your position is that if a president believes a law is unconstitutional, he can violate it at will and/or ignore it? I think Roe v. Wade and its progeny are unconstituional. I think Obamacare is unconstitutional. I think most of the Campaign Finance Laws are unconstitutional. Do I get to ignore such laws as not law, or would I go to jail for violating such laws?

    I understand your point that it is unconstitutional, and have sympathy to that viewpoint. But simply declaring it “not a law” and ignoring it is infantile. I’m sure that is a feel-good philosophical position, but it is not a practical position when the law is on the books and active. It needs to either be overturned by a Court or repealed by congress to be “not a law”.

    Claiming otherwise may sound tough, but is not reality.

    monkeytoe (5234ab)

  61. Let me put it into practical parlance.

    Some people thought the Indiana law recently upheld by SCOTUS that made fleeing from police in a vehicle a felony is unconstitutional. And, there are strong arguments supporting that view.

    However, SCOTUS upheld that law and people are currently in jail for violating that law. So, does merely believing a law is unconstitutional make it not a law?

    monkeytoe (5234ab)

  62. Hell, there are people who believe that the income tax is unconstitutional. Does that make the income tax “not a law” as to those people? Or are they required to abide by the law like everyone else?

    monkeytoe (5234ab)

  63. I was going to write that inconsistency hypocrisy, but others here have made that point well. So the Frontier example is not hypocrisy. Nor does hypocrisy describe Florida counties’ differing ballot recounting procedures in the 2000 election.

    What is hypocritical is not complaining about Bush’s bombing of Pakistan (did we declare war against Pakistan>), but having a problem with Obama’s bombing of Libya.

    Kman (5576bf)

  64. _________________________________________

    “So, one pilot thought that it would not be safe. And another pilot … apparently thought it would not be a threat to anybody’s safety,”

    The fundamentals in all this is the concept of common sense and basic logic. What were the ideological biases of the first pilot? Was he a rigid, follow-the-rules type of person (perhaps of a rightist bent) or a do-gooder simpleton (perhaps of a leftist bent)?

    Generally, the very phrase “common sense” is disregarded or de-emphasized, or even outright challenged, by more folks on the left than the right.

    The type of hypocrisy, if you will, or phoniness that really irritates me to no end is various folks on the left believing their biases infuse a person with — and ensure an outcome that’s chock full of — a lot of wonderful humanity, compassion, tolerance and sophistication. Never mind if, in reality, they or the results they foster are anything but those things.

    Mark (411533)

  65. So your position is that if a president believes a law is unconstitutional, he can violate it at will and/or ignore it?

    Of course he can. Congress may, of course, take a different view of its validity.

    I think Roe v. Wade and its progeny are unconstituional.

    Huh? That makes no sense. Roe v Wade doesn’t even purport to be a law, so how can it be unconstitutional? What would it mean for it to be unconstitutional?

    I think Obamacare is unconstitutional. I think most of the Campaign Finance Laws are unconstitutional. Do I get to ignore such laws as not law, or would I go to jail for violating such laws?

    Since the president and the courts both think these laws are constitutional, and they enforce them, it would be ill-advised for you to violate them. If you were the president and you believed them to be unconstitutional, then you would have not only the right but the duty to refrain from enforcing them.

    I understand your point that it is unconstitutional, and have sympathy to that viewpoint. But simply declaring it “not a law” and ignoring it is infantile.

    It’s not my view that the WPA is unconstitutional, it’s the view of every single president since it was enacted. And declaring that if it’s unconstitutional it’s not a law is very far from a philosophical point! It’s a simple fact. How do you not get this? If a purported law contradicts the constitution, how can you possibly claim that it is nevertheless a law? What makes it a law? Are you an idiot, or just an ignoramus? It is impossible by definition for a valid law to contradict the constitution. It really is as simple as that.

    I’m sure that is a feel-good philosophical position, but it is not a practical position when the law is on the books and active.

    What exactly is impractical about it? What do you think is going to happen if the President violates the WPA, as he has done? If you violate the campaign finance laws you risk arrest; if the President violates the WPA he risks censure, impeachment, or defeat at the next election. It seems he doesn’t think it’s much of a risk, and he’s probably right.

    It needs to either be overturned by a Court or repealed by congress to be “not a law”. Claiming otherwise may sound tough, but is not reality.

    It’s not a matter of sounding tough but of being accurate. Saying that something that contradicts the constitution is nevertheless a law is simply false. It’s a contradiction in terms. And if you don’t understand that then you have no business commenting on any legal matter.

    Milhouse (ea66e3)

  66. So, does merely believing a law is unconstitutional make it not a law?

    No. Actually being unconstitutional makes it not a law. The Indiana government believes this law to be constitutional, so it enforces it. The Indiana judiciary believes it to be constitutional, so it tries and sentences people for violating it. What I or you believe about its constitutionality is irrelevant, because we’re not in a position to enforce it or to prevent it from being enforced. Now, what has any of that got to do with the President? The President is charged with upholding the laws, and therefore his opinion on whether a purported law really is a law actually matters.

    Milhouse (ea66e3)

  67. Oh, and FYI, SCOTUS never weighed in on that Indiana case.

    Milhouse (ea66e3)

  68. Oops, I was thinking of a different Indiana case. Never mind.

    Milhouse (ea66e3)

  69. STFU if you do not agree with Milhouse?!

    If they think it is unconstitutional, they should do something about it. Simply ignoring decades old law because you are too cowardly to challenge it is not part of our system. Banking on Congress not having the spine to stand up to you may prove politically palatable, but does not make it legal.

    JD (d48c3b)

  70. Hell, there are people who believe that the income tax is unconstitutional. Does that make the income tax “not a law” as to those people? Or are they required to abide by the law like everyone else?

    Hell, nobody is ever required to obey the law. If you don’t like a law, and you can get away with breaking it, why wouldn’t you? If you can get away with not feeding the Beast, be my guest; just don’t blame me if you get caught. As for whether the tax is valid law “as to those people”, what sort of stupid question is that? How can something be a law “as to” some people and not others? Either it is a law or it isn’t; that’s a question of fact, not opinion. But what matters in practical terms is not your opinion or mine but the IRS’s. If the IRS believes it’s a law, then you’d better either obey it or not get caught; if the IRS believes it not to be a law, then it makes no difference whether you agree, you can still break it with impunity.

    Milhouse (ea66e3)

  71. If they think it is unconstitutional, they should do something about it.

    They have. They’ve announced their opinion that it’s unconstitutional. Simply ignoring decades old law because you are too cowardly to challenge it is not part of our system.

    Since when is it not part of our system? It’s exactly how our system has worked for 220-odd years.

    Banking on Congress not having the spine to stand up to you may prove politically palatable, but does not make it legal. And you’re off to loony land. What makes it illegal? If the executive branch is correct that the law is unconstitutional, then breaking it is by definition legal. Whether it’s also practical is entirely a matter of whether Congress is willing to enforce it.

    Milhouse (ea66e3)

  72. If they think it is unconstitutional, they should do something about it.

    They have. They’ve announced their opinion that it’s unconstitutional.

    Simply ignoring decades old law because you are too cowardly to challenge it is not part of our system.

    Since when is it not part of our system? It’s exactly how our system has worked for 220-odd years.

    Banking on Congress not having the spine to stand up to you may prove politically palatable, but does not make it legal.

    And you’re off to loony land. What makes it illegal? If the executive branch is correct that the law is unconstitutional, then breaking it is by definition legal. Whether it’s also practical is entirely a matter of whether Congress is willing to enforce it.

    Milhouse (ea66e3)

  73. So, you propose giving the Executive powers of the Judiciary?

    JD (306f5d)

  74. Huh?! Where have I suggested any such thing? I’m not proposing anything. The President already has, and has always had, the right and duty to form his own view of the constitution. That’s inherent in the fact that he swears to uphold it; to do so he must have a view of what it means. What are you proposing? That he should take orders from the judiciary? That he should defer to its opinion over his own? That would make the judicial branch superior to the executive!

    Milhouse (ea66e3)

  75. Kman

    > did we declare war against Pakistan

    in case you missed it, Bush had an authorization of military force that applied to AQ wherever they were found and against any country harboring them.

    nice try, though.

    Aaron Worthing (e7d72e)

  76. You are giving the Executive the power to declare laws they do not wish to be bothered with unconstitutional. How is that not a power of the judiciary, that your construct would abdicate to the Executive?

    JD (b98cae)

  77. JD, you seem to have no idea what the judiciary’s role is in government. The judiciary’s role is to try cases, both civil and criminal, and to sentence criminals. The executive can’t do those things, any more than the judiciary can arrest someone or charge him.

    Deciding what the law is is each branch’s responsibility, and always has been. You do realise the branches are equal, don’t you? So how can the president or congress subject their own view of the law to that of another branch?

    Milhouse (ea66e3)

  78. At least he’s not one of those “marbury v. madison was wrong” nutcases.

    stone (f450ba)

  79. You can be a pompous arrogant prlck sometimes, milhouse. YMMV. You assume superior knowledge in a manner no different than the likes of imdw. We have different views, I get that. I don’t think you are dummerer than an amoeba, but you apparently think people that do not share your views should either sTFU, or are stupid. Whatevs.

    Stone – are you going to post links to Patterico’s house again? How many times do you have to get banned?

    JD (b98cae)

  80. Comment by Kman — 6/22/2011 @ 6:24 am

    Normally, I wouldn’t descend into a mudpit with Kmart, but this point is important:
    The Tribal Areas of Pakistan in the NorthWest Territories can be argued are not sovereign Pakistani Territory, since the Pak Govt has to get permission from tribal elders to insert Govt forces into those areas (I think an analogy to our own Indian Reservations is apt).
    So, since the Predator drone attacks have, FTMP, been restricted to the Tribal Areas, they have not been attacks against the sovereign territory of the country of Pakistan, because that government has minimal jurisdiction there.
    But, those attacks are in accordance of the AUMF-01 allowing the pursuit of AQ terrorists, and those that support them (Waziris & Pashtuns).
    The Obama Administration can show no such compliance with Congressional direction or authorization for its activities in Libya!

    AD-RtR/OS! (8df2e8)

  81. There is no right or wrong. Only “views” that are “different” and not “shared.” Kumbaya.

    stone (125a92)

  82. Stone – please list for us all of the names you have commented under.

    JD (85b089)

  83. JD, that would only be possible if it had remained in a non-intoxicated state lo these many years.
    It can’t regurgitate what it can’t remember.

    AD-RtR/OS! (8df2e8)

  84. Spam cleanup on aisle 84.

    AD-RtR/OS! (8df2e8)

  85. Breaking….H/T- Instapundit…

    “Wed Jun 22, 7:54 am ET
    ROME (AFP) – Italy called for a suspension of hostilities in Libya on Wednesday in the latest sign of dissent within NATO as the civilian death toll mounts and Moamer Kadhafi shows no signs of quitting power…”

    It’ only a matter of time until NATO rolls-up its tents and goes home.
    Hope they don’t trample any “Leaders from Behind” as they withdraw.

    AD-RtR/OS! (8df2e8)

  86. But, those attacks are in accordance of the AUMF-01 allowing the pursuit of AQ terrorists, and those that support them (Waziris & Pashtuns).

    Exactly, AD.

    It’s sad to see someone politicize national security, but what do you expect from some of these losers? I’d hope someone in the Obama administration has the sense to get this right legally. It has long term implications for how our government will operate.

    Dustin (c16eca)

  87. And it’s been the province of the judiciary to determine what the law says for hundreds of years. It also makes sense for dealing with a conflict between the two other branches.

    Furthermore, it’s not the judiciary that is deciding that the executive lacks the power to regulate the military and the congress has that power. It’s the constitution. Congress can make any rule about war or the military it wishes to make, and if you really don’t believe me, read the constitution.

    The president can no more take that power away than he can take away the power of the purse.

    Which is to say, of course he can and will take that power if we let him.

    Dustin (c16eca)

  88. Which is to say, of course he can and will take that power if we let him.

    There are two ways to stop such power-grabs:
    The first is very difficult and requires hard work and dedication;
    The second is just messy!

    AD-RtR/OS! (8df2e8)

  89. Dustin, Kfart,

    you can read the authorization of military force here:

    http://news.findlaw.com/wp/docs/terrorism/sjres23.es.html

    Here’s the applicable section:

    > That the President is authorized to use all necessary and appropriate force against those nations, organizations, or persons he determines planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, or harbored such organizations or persons, in order to prevent any future acts of international terrorism against the United States by such nations, organizations or persons.

    That’s why i didn’t raise a similar objection to the raid that killed bin laden.

    Aaron Worthing (e7d72e)

  90. The second is just messy!

    Comment by AD-RtR/OS!

    But that kind of mess is exactly what’s at stake. The USA is not that different from the rest of the world. If we let leaders get away with this kind of thing, then eventually one will go too far.

    Anyway, we have a constitution that assigns the President command over the military, and assigns congress the power to “govern” the military, regulate it, determine when it’s used (with many examples listed). I don’t see how the President gets to use the military against Congress’s wishes, or why we’d want so much power concentrated in a single man.

    It’s obvious that you need a person to administrate congress’s regulations and authorizations to use force. You need commanders at many levels, with a certain degree of autonomy. It’s similar to how the President executes tax policy or enforcement of federal criminal law. He’s got a degree of discretion in how that’s done.

    But he’s enforcing the people’s will, via their representatives. I know that’s inefficient. The War Powers Act makes it a lot easier to handle emergencies, but the real point of that Act is that we will, by necessity, respond to emergencies, and Congress wanted such reactions to be compatible with the Constitution and common sense.

    Dustin (c16eca)

  91. If we let leaders get away with this kind of thing, then eventually one will go too far.

    If he hasn’t already, in more ways than just overseas adventures (or is that “kinetic action”?).

    AD-RtR/OS! (8df2e8)

  92. It’s not a matter of sounding tough but of being accurate. Saying that something that contradicts the constitution is nevertheless a law is simply false. It’s a contradiction in terms. And if you don’t understand that then you have no business commenting on any legal matter.

    Comment by Milhouse — 6/22/2011 @ 7:11 am

    I hate to break the news to you millhouse, but I’m a lawyer and you don’t know what you are talking about.

    Until it is overturned or repealed it is a law. To say otherwise is ignorance at its highest. Why is it “not a law” – because you say so? You sure are pretty imporant.

    Anyway, it’s not worth discussing something with someone who knows and understands so little, but believes they know and understand a lot.

    It’s “not a law”. Says who? You? And who are you? Who exactly are you to make such a proclomation and tell me its not a law? Can I look it up in the U.S. Code? Why yes I can. It is right there on the books. Duly enacted and signed by the President.

    But old Millhouse says its “not a law”. Well I can take that to the bank. He is soooo smart.

    What an idiot.

    monkeytoe (5234ab)

  93. Now, what has any of that got to do with the President? The President is charged with upholding the laws, and therefore his opinion on whether a purported law really is a law actually matters.

    Comment by Milhouse — 6/22/2011 @ 7:18 am

    Really? In you world the president decides which laws are laws and which aren’t? He violates laws with impunity if he deems them “not laws”?

    The president can argue that a law is unconstitutional and can ignore a law he thinks is unconstitutional, but until the law is either repealed or overturned – it is a law and the president is violating a law.

    Your claim of “not a law” is absurd and idiotic.

    You really know nothing about the law buddy. You should really stop discussing things you have so little understanding of.

    monkeytoe (5234ab)

  94. Milhouse isn’t an idiot, Monkeytoe. He is pretty damn stubborn, though.

    Dustin (c16eca)

  95. How can something be a law “as to” some people and not others? Either it is a law or it isn’t; that’s a question of fact, not opinion.

    Really? Hmmm – I seem to recall that is exactly what I said. And yet you continue to argue that a law that was passed by congress, signed by a president, and remains in the United States Code is “not a law” because you have proclaimed it so.

    Interesting. I guess Millhouse is kind of like the final arbiter of law in teh U.S. He has the power and authority to declare things “Not law” simply by fiat.

    monkeytoe (5234ab)

  96. 94.Milhouse isn’t an idiot, Monkeytoe. He is pretty damn stubborn, though.

    Comment by Dustin — 6/22/2011 @ 2:41 pm

    I suppose, to be fair, I should have said that his arguments regarding this are idiotic. I don’t know if he is an idiot or not.

    And, the funny thing is, I think that the WPA is probably unconstitutional. But thinking something is unconstitutional and declaring it “not a law” are 2 entirely different things.

    monkeytoe (5234ab)

  97. Just a pedantic point, but the War Powers Act was never signed by Richard Nixon. It was made law by a veto proof supermajority of the people’s representatives. It is utter despotism to claim it’s not a law.

    Unconstitutional? In a way, I see why it seems that way. But it’s necessary and proper, IMO, because without some leeway for the president to react to emergencies, the constitution could be a suicide pact.

    But if it’s unconstitutional, then the Libyan invasion is no more legal.

    Dustin (c16eca)


Powered by WordPress.

Page loaded in: 0.9513 secs.