Newzlab

The TOP thing Biden could do to win trust and outmaneuver traitors


Joe, please limit your own powers!  

My biggest complaint about Joe Biden? Not once has he spoken to the long list of failure modes in our current system that Donald Trump exploited to grab unprecedented power and abuse his authority.  Jobee should say “Let’s systematically fix those failure modes, even if it means reducing MY power, as president.”

Not only is it necessary. It is also something that would play very well for the midterms! It would make him and his party look truly sincere. From my longer list in Polemical Judo:

– Amend the absurdly broad War Powers Act so that ’emnergency wars” must be congressionally renewed every 90 days and penalizing lie-pretexts.

– Elimination of blanket Presidential power to declassify information, plus EXPIRATION DATES ON ALL LEVELS OF SECRECY. 

– Use definitions of crimes to hem in the President’s now-universal power of federal pardons.

– Drop the Justice Department’s ‘finding’ that presidents cannot be sued or prosecuted. Replace this with a “slow prosecution” process that limits a president to ten hours a week dealing with outside legal matters. That would deal with the silly argument of the Office of Legal Counsel’s ‘finding,’ while still saying no president is above the law. 

(And boy would that play well with the public! Despite guaranteeing Joe will be the first slammed with those ten hours, alas.)

– Require that financial statements and tax returns be public and create a commission to rule on conflicts of interest, like forcing the Secret Service to pay top rates at Trump hotels, or foreigners flocking to do the same. Likewise, pass a specific emoluments bill.

– Give the Presidential Medal of Freedom to a commission, so it can never again become a travesty.

Strengthen the 25th amendment without needing a new amendment! It was originally intended to deal with non-hostile transfers of power due to incapacity. And sure, a president with a fanatically loyal cabinet and/or VP is immune. But look at it closely! A VP (like Pence) who cannot persuade a majority of cabinet of fanatic loyalists could still appeal to an “other body” created by Congress! 

One incremental step: establish the amendment’s “other body” out of the nation’s most august retired judges, scientists and presidents. (See Chapter 16 of Polemical Judo, “Exit strategies: Surprising aspects of the 25th Amendment.”)

There are so many other things JoBee could do that would incrementally protect us, in case a monster ever returns to the White House. And each and every one would impress voters with his sincerity.

Can YOU think of a simple, easily understood power-reform that would hamper monsters but not a sincerely decent president very much? Speak up in the comments section. 

See more at Polemical Judo: Memes for Our Political Knife-fight, by David Brin.

== Related matters ==

Some congressional reforms are clearly needed. In fact, Polemical Judo begins with a discussion of New Gingrich’s brilliant (if hypocritical) political gesture the “Contract with America,” which made the GOP seem reformist and sincere. And no Democrat has ever learned from it.

Oh there are some efforts: 

Lawmakers have proposed bills to restrict their own stock trading. Some proposals would bar members of Congress and their spouses from buying stocks, a measure that majorities of voters support. Other legislation would force lawmakers and their spouses to put their investments into blind trusts.

On Wednesday, Speaker Nancy Pelosi promised a House vote on a congressional stock-trading bill this month. But neither that bill nor any other appears to have the bipartisan support needed to pass the Senate.

But I would go much farther. For example, by giving every House and Senate member one perogotive subpoena per year. Yes, including the minority party. Yes Marjorie “gaspacho” Greene and Lauren “won-ton violence” Boebert would abuse the privilege. So? Shrug off the hot air. It would guarantee that some light will flow, when next dems are in the minority.  There’s more in Polemical Judo.

 

== Pointing fingers? ==

Of course we know why Marjorie Taylor Greene dissed then-nominated Supreme Court Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson – and later Mitt Romney and Susan Collins –  as enablers of pedophiles…. Because Greene’s party is the one overflowing with turpitudes and perverts.  

This article (from Slate) gives a first-level view, though only of the top half-dozen examples. Such as the GOP in the 90s replacing serial philanderer Newt Gingrich with Dennis Hastert – convicted multiple child-rapist – as head of the GOP and Speaker of the US House of Representatives, just two heartbeats from the presidency. 

What this article lacks is a truly aggressive shift from “these examples show Republicans are no-cleaner than Democrats” to a far more bold assertion. 

“Today’s GOP is a den of iniquity and perversion and turpitude, spanning the entire spectrum, down to dog catcher.”

At one end are legal things that may not be telling, in any one case. Like divorce, which was political suicide in the GOP of old, till Reagan. Now? Seven marriages across the last 4 Republican presidents. Twenty-two across the last ten heads of the party. (Care to wager me whether the trend continues, as we work our way down? Or that it’s not far, far, far lower among top Dems… some of them flawed people, whose spouses nonetheless deemed them worth salvaging.)

Or take the Republican Party’s close affiliation with non-native gambling casinos – (didn’t that used-to-be a sin?) – and floods of donations from mob-related casino moguls.

In fact, let’s compare every kind of turpitude in red states vs blue ones. (Setting aside outliers like Utah and Illinois.) From pedophilia and domestic violence to divorce rates, as well as STDs, gambling, and heck, yes, let’s include abortion, if you like. Red states still ranks worse.

This is the sort of thing you can demand wagers over, from MAGAs and then watch as they run!  Do it in front of witnesses.



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