Patterico's Pontifications


Jesse Jackson Jr. Should Resign; and if He Doesn’t Should be he be Thrown Out of Congress?

Filed under: General — Aaron Worthing @ 2:08 pm

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

The Daily Caller has completely and irredeemably discredited Jesse Jackson Jr. and demonstrated he was utterly unfit for office.  How did they do this?  The sneakiest way possible: by giving him a microphone and inviting him to talk.  Very clever…

“I hope the president continues to exercise extraordinary constitutional means, based on the history of Congresses that have been in rebellion in the past,” Jackson said. “He’s looking administratively for ways to advance the causes of the American people, because this Congress is completely dysfunctional.”

“President Obama tends to idealize — and rightfully so  — Abraham Lincoln, who looked at states in rebellion and he made a judgment that the government of the United States, while the states are in rebellion, still had an obligation to function,” Jackson told TheDC at his Capitol Hill office on Wednesday.

“On several occasions now, we’ve seen … the Congress is in rebellion, determined, as Abraham Lincoln said, to wreck or ruin at all costs. I believe … in the direct hiring of 15 million unemployed Americans at $40,000 a head, some more than $40,000, some less than $40,000 — that’s a $600 billion stimulus. It could be a five-year program. For another $104 billion, we bailout all of the states … for another $100 billion, we bailout all of the cities,” he said.

Jackson added that his $804 billion stimulus plan is the only way to solve the unemployment crisis. “I support the jobs plan. I support the president’s re-election. I support Barack Obama,” he said. “But at this hour, we need a plan that meets the size and scope of the problem to put the American people to work.”

“We’ve got to go further. I support what [Obama] does. Clearly, Republicans are not going to be for it but if the administration can handle administratively what can be done, we should pursue it. And if there are extra-constitutional opportunities that allow the president administratively to put the people to work, he should pursue every single one of them,” Jackson suggested.

Do read the whole thing, here.  Of course another word for “extra-constitutional” is “unconstitutional.”  Really it is hard to know which is more appalling—his ignorance of history or of the Constitution.  As Glenn Reynolds writes:

Two thoughts; (1) He should resign for this statement, which constitutes an abnegation of his oath of office; and (2) Just a reminder — those Confederate Rebels were Democrats, mostly. Trouble with item (1) is that if contempt for the Constitution were grounds for leaving Congress, we’d hardly have a Congress. But still . . . A pathetic example of today’s pathetic political class.

Of course there is a world of difference between a person having a minor disagreement about what the Constitution actually means, or even advocating a relatively minor breach of the Constitution, and advocating a complete overthrow of this government in favor of a dictatorship, which is what Mr. Jackson has proposed.

But let me throw out a question to the peanut gallery.  The oath of office for a Congressman reads as follows (expand third item to read):

“I, (name of Member), do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter. So help me God.”

Clearly he has violated it.  Is that a cause for removal from office?

[Posted and authored by Aaron Worthing.]

Mitt Romney: The Devil You Know

Filed under: 2012 Election — Karl @ 10:38 am

[Posted by Karl]

For a man the establishment (including the GOP establishment) seems desperate to annoint the inevitable Republican presidential nominee, Mitt Romney has problems.  In the past two months, Romney has gone from putative front-runner to being beaten first by Rick Perry (Rhetorically-Challenged Texan Who Reminds You of George W. Bush), and now by Herman Cain (Unelected Businessguy With a Tax Plan).  Although Romney’s best asset in the campaign may be his prior experience running for president, he remains stuck in a polling range, despite getting easy treatment from the media and his rivals.  Romney remains The Devil You Know, as more GOP voters rush from one The Devil You Don’t Know to another.  His apparent strategy is to wait out the opposition; it’s a strategy with a downside.

After all, the basic knocks on Romney are well-known: He’s a RINO and inveterate flip-flopper.  Romney’s flip-floppery is part of a tradition of establishment candidates making peace with grassroots of the party.  But the polling suggests that the grassroots aren’t buying it, perhaps because — in contrast to 2008 — Romney really isn’t pandering much for 2012.  Instead, Romney is tring to win by saying as little as humanly possible.

Take, for example, this week’s Bloomberg/WaPo debate… please.  The broad consensus was that Romney gave a bravura performance, and the conventional wisdom is these debates matter more than ever (despite Romney’s consistently good debate performances not moving his numbers).  Beyond telegenics, what did Romney give voters as a reason to support him?

The debate touched on Romney’s 160-page economic plan.  Indeed, Cain’s supposed challenge to Romney focused on its length and supposed complexity (which was not much of an attack, as it gave Romney a chance to tout his supposed plan).  The reason the word “supposed” appears three times in the last sentence is that Romney’s 160-page document is more a plan to have a plan than a plan:

If you make it through the entire document, you’ll even run across a handful of real, if mostly underdeveloped, policy proposals: establishing a hard cap for regulatory costs, lowering the corporate tax rate to 25 percent, eliminating the estate tax, repeal ObamaCare and the Dodd-Frank Wall Street regulation bill, In the course of [160] pages, it’s hard for even a master consultant like Romney to avoid proposing anything at all.

However, it’s not for lack of trying.  Romney’s 160-page “plan” spends one page on entitlement reform.  It praises Paul Ryan’s efforts, but states Romney’s plan will be different.  How different?  We can only guess.  Romney, in the “plan” and the debates, offers a “cut, cap and balance” approach overall — but from where are the cuts going to come?   On this point, Romney’s shameless attacks on Perry over Social Security and equally shameless defense of RomneyCare offer no comfort to the grassroots that he would spend any political capital tackling the primary drivers of our exploding debt.  According to the “plan,” “In the long run, Mitt Romney will pursue a conservative overhaul of the tax system… The approach taken by the Bowles-Simpson Commission is a good starting point for the discussion.”  Bowles-Simpson contemplates historically high taxes and retaining ObamaCare (which Romney says he would repeal, not that anyone believes him).  Romney’s actual plan remains anyone’s guess.

Granted, when the economy is bad enough — as it was in 2008 — a candidate may be able to win mouthing platitutdes at debates.  But as bad as the economy is today, it is not currently melting down as it was right at the outset of the 2008 general election campaign.  And what if a similar crisis did erupt?  IMF advisor Bob Shapiro recently warned Europe could melt down worse than 2008 in the next few weeks; although US banks have been dumping Euro sovereign debt, the public does not know how much US institutions are exposed via credit default swaps.  Pres. Obama opened his most recent presser worrying that a Eurozone implosion could push us back into recession.  Not unlike Romney, European governments mostly have a plan to have a plan — and even then, Germany will be lucky to escape recession.  Yet Romney dismissed all of this as a “hypothetical” during his near-universally acclaimed debate performance and made clear that he has not thought of any alternative to another TARP-like solution to any future crisis.

Romney is so confident he will be the nominee that he wants to avoid saying anything that might be held against him in a general election.  But to get enough GOP voters to commit to him, he may have to commit to something, and be prepared to defend it against Democrats, instead of sounding more like one himself.


A Less-Than-Noble Tell-All on Weiner

Filed under: General — Aaron Worthing @ 6:00 am

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

Hey, guess what?  One of the women who were identified as one of ex-Congressman Weiner’s Tweetmates has come out with a tell all.  Now you, might say to yourself, “what possible value could there be in sharing with the entire world the intimate details of this relationship given that he is no longer a Congressman?

Well, the woman in question, Traci Nobles, tells us why she wrote it:

But mainly, I was motivated by my need for clarity. I wanted to provide clarification for the lies and untruths, both know and unknown.

For me personally, it is important to address how I was portrayed[.]

Well, we here at Patterico followed the scandal pretty closely, and bluntly, you were barely “portrayed” at all.  You were just a woman whose friend sent to the news a bunch of your chats with him and that was it.  But hey, you certainly have cleared up how I see you.  By writing this, by kicking the man when he was down, you have shown yourself to be a woman who engaged in cybersex with a married man and who then sold out what remained of her privacy by writing this book about a subject of absolutely no public interest (given that the man has resigned, after all).  You did this adding further strain to a marriage that is probably already in trouble, possibly creating a broken home for their child.  But then I am sure you are hoping for a fat paycheck, right?  So yes, we have a very clear picture of who you are, Ms. Nobles.  And it ain’t pretty.

Anyway, you can read the gory details here, if you are so inclined.  I would dare say it is not entirely safe for work but at the same time, it doesn’t say much that you didn’t already know.

[Posted and authored by Aaron Worthing.]

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