July 11, 2011

"It is pretty clear now that Geithner only floated the 14th Amendment option..."

"... as a lame attempt to provide Obama with more leverage at the negotiating table."

Which is something you can only do when you see the Constitution as a political tool, and not anything intrinsically worthy of respect or — God forbid! — reverence.

32 comments:

The Crack Emcee said...

Which is something you can only do when you see the Constitution as a political tool, and not anything intrinsically worthy of respect or — God forbid! — reverence.

Reverence? That's that guy who comes to your house, trying to get you to go to church, right?

You're confusing me.

vet66 said...

What I would expect from a tax cheat. The rules that apply to the rest of us don't apply to him. That pesky Constitution is malleable to whatever he deems a self-serving cause.

These people have no sense of shame, values, ethics or morality. At least they don't try to hide it anymore.

TreeJoe said...

Ann - We can constantly bicker about the extent the 1st, 2nd, and many other amendments apply...including for our own preferences....but T.G. floating the constitutionality of the debt limit shows irreverence?

As far as I know, no serious discussion about such constitutionality had been had. And he's not a constitutional theorist himself...

If anything, since he's Obama's man, it reflects poorly on Obama's ability to interpret constitutional doctrine in relation to modern day financial markets and instruments (i.e. even if it was ignored, what would happen when such debt is issued if it's still being legally challenged)

traditionalguy said...

The USA is a covenant based organization.

Our basic documents are not suggestions. They demand obedience to a functioning set of rules.

But enemies of the USA really despise that covenant because it is our strength. Ergo, our enemies always trash the Constitution/covenant of our nation.

Nations founded in such a compact aways win. It is therefore seen as cheating by our Enemies.

So Obama's gang is lawlessly ignoring it.

PETER V. BELLA said...

It is pretty clear Geithner has to go and go now. He has only made the situation worse.

Like the rest of the Obama cabinet, every time he opens his mouth he demonstrates education is wasted on people with no intelligence.

Mark O said...

Obama's just not that smart. And, he's a liar.

somefeller said...

Which is something you can only do when you see the Constitution as a political tool, and not anything intrinsically worthy of respect or — God forbid! — reverence.

Oh, spare us the first-year law school student language about reverence for the Constitution. When you are negotiating a deal, you use whatever tools might be available to talk the other side into closing in a manner most favorable to you. Didn't you do any negotiating when you were in law practice, or did you just do document review?

Scott M said...

you use whatever tools might be available to talk the other side into closing in a manner most favorable to you

At this level, ie the highest level, using a tool "in a manner most favorable to you" cannot include making you look like an idiot many levels below your station. There's a currency called political capital. Negotiations both expend and protect it. But an unforced error of this magnitude unnecessarily depletes it quicker than Casey Anthony's checkbook.

somefeller said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
somefeller said...

At this level, ie the highest level, using a tool "in a manner most favorable to you" cannot include making you look like an idiot many levels below your station. There's a currency called political capital. Negotiations both expend and protect it. But an unforced error of this magnitude unnecessarily depletes it quicker than Casey Anthony's checkbook.

That may well be true in this context (and I'm touched by the Strange New Respect at this website for the views of Larry Tribe on Constitutional Law), but that has nothing to do with some po-faced nonsense about lack of reverence for the Constitution.

Ann Althouse said...

"Didn't you do any negotiating when you were in law practice, or did you just do document review?"

I was in litigation.

Scott M said...

that has nothing to do with some po-faced nonsense about lack of reverence for the Constitution

I'll keep my reverence at church. Respect for the document and its Founders? Respect isn't really a big enough word.

Mick said...

What kind of Reverance could Tribe, or even "the "law prof" have of the US Constitution? Both must know (if they have any competance) that Obama is Usurping the office of President (not natural born--- born British), and that he stomps and spits on the document that he swore to protect against all enemies , foreign and domestic (himself). Yet they say nothing.
But did Obama really take the oath? Roberts and he flubbed it in public, then supposedly did it again in private, with no media present. If the first one was legal, then why did they feel the need to do it again, and did they really do it?

EDH said...

It is pretty clear now that Geithner only floated the 14th Amendment option as a lame attempt to provide Obama with more leverage at the negotiating table.

It's a floater!

edutcher said...

Too bad this wasn't the reaction when Timmy floated the idea of TARP.

somefeller said...

Which is something you can only do when you see the Constitution as a political tool, and not anything intrinsically worthy of respect or — God forbid! — reverence.

Oh, spare us the first-year law school student language about reverence for the Constitution. When you are negotiating a deal, you use whatever tools might be available to talk the other side into closing in a manner most favorable to you. Didn't you do any negotiating when you were in law practice, or did you just do document review?


QED.

sorepaw said...

The Constitution is the legal framework for this country.

Neither divine nor perfect, it is not an object of worship.

But it is also not to be treated like toilet paper.

If you're convinced that some portion of it is defective, use the amendment process to repair the defect.

Lawrence Tribe is a normally reliable exponent of the Constitution—as selectively judicially nullified before and during the New Deal. When even he dismisses the Geithnerian interpretation of the 14th Amendment, we know just how far the Obami are willing to go in treating the Constitution like toilet paper.

Scott M said...

we know just how far the Obami are willing to go in treating the Constitution like toilet paper

I thought that was the case, at least for the POTUS, when he called the Constitution a document of negative rights, ie, declaring that he's coming from the opposite horizon than I am.

"what a government can't do TO you, not what it can do FOR you"

A chill wind indeed, blowing right to the heart of the matter.

Smilin' Jack said...

Which is something you can only do when you see the Constitution as a political tool....

Well, that's certainly how the framers saw it (the 3/5 clause, etc.) Show some respect for original intent!

Canuck said...

Tribe had a good argument and was right to call them on their political manouvers.

This debt limit "negotiation" brings mind Martin's Game of Thrones series.

Kings fight for political power, laying waste to the countryside and producing "A feast for crows," all the while ignoring that "winter is coming."

"you know nothing Jon Snow."

Scott M said...

Yeah, but it ended badly for just about everyone involved, Canuck. Book 5 TUESDAY!!!

Lance said...

I think Reynolds is mis-characterizing the exchange between Tribe and the Treasury General Counsel. Treasury is saying Geithner never subscribed to the theory that the 14th Amendment allowed the President to issue new debt in order to pay interest on existing debt. They're saying his comments to Mike Allen were narrowly focused on the government's responsibility to not repudiate the debt. Tribe accepts this, but makes the further point that Treasury did nothing to correct the misperception until after Tribe's op-ed had been published.

Reynolds still thinks Geithner did float the bogus 14th Amendment theory, as a negotiating trick. That's not correct. Re-reading the statement from Geithner's interview with Allen, it's clear he was only talking about the Constitutional obligation to not default.

Which is not to say that other Democrats (Grassley!) haven't floated the bogus theory for precisely the reasons Reynolds identifies.

Canuck said...

"Yeah, but it ended badly for just about everyone involved, Canuck. Book 5 TUESDAY!!!"

I know!!! I cannot believe he made us wait this long.

I wonder if they will release a e-book version. I'm trying to decide if I want to buy the book or get an electronic version.

Tuesday!

Scott M said...

I know!!! I cannot believe he made us wait this long.

I'm a veteran of waiting for follow up books from authors. Peter F. Hamilton and S.M. Stirling come to mind. Luckily, though, this time I didn't start the series until February of this year. I just finished book 4 about two weeks ago.

As far as the e-book version, I've got it pre-ordered for Kindle on my Droid X. I don't know if that means I can start reading it at 12:01 tonight, but I'm probably going to be up to find out.

Lance said...

Wups, I forgot Grassley's a Republican. Hard to keep track sometimes, especially with him.

traditionalguy said...

A basic covenant of the USA'a existence has a religious angle to it.

It was born out of a time of wars, internal disorder, and foreign Empires strutting their claims in North America.

Our covenant was inaugurated by the American blood shed between 1750 and 1782.

When trashed by Jefferson Davis and his slave kingdom defenders, the covenant was re-empowered by the blood of another 600,000 Americans with the addition of Amendments including the 14th.

Until now the Covenant Breakers hid the slice and dice of the covenant behind re-interpretation of language.

But Obama wants to burn it and start a fresh a Marxist Kingdom here subservient to a Pope-like Uber power emanating from Europe through the authority of the UN.

How's that illegal Libyan stalemate Obama is engaged us in under European/UN auspices doing?

Canuck said...

"As far as the e-book version, I've got it pre-ordered for Kindle on my Droid X. I don't know if that means I can start reading it at 12:01 tonight, but I'm probably going to be up to find out."

That is fantastic news! (well, except for the fact I may get no sleep tonight.)

The new T.V. series was fantastic, and helped a little with the wait.

John said...

What Trad Guy said.

Our Constitution is a covenant based document and I think that is a great thing.

It has been amended a few times over the years but it is still the same document we started with 220 years ago.

If I recall correctly, you can take the next 5 country's Constitutions, their total age does not add up to ours.

France, for example, seems to redo its constitution about as often as I change my underwear.

England claims to have an older Constitution but do they? They have no written Constitution. They have a fairly good system and a long history of relatively democratic based govt. But if it is not written down, is it really a Constitution?

And Obama a Constitutional law professor. Or at least a Constitutional law adjunct. Shame on him for letting Geithner float such and idea.

John Henry

Smilin' Jack said...

"As far as the e-book version, I've got it pre-ordered for Kindle on my Droid X. I don't know if that means I can start reading it at 12:01 tonight, but I'm probably going to be up to find out."

That is fantastic news! (well, except for the fact I may get no sleep tonight.)


Well, at least we know you won't have any women around to distract you.

How did this thread get hijacked by dorks?

PatCA said...

I saw Geithener with David Gregory yesterday. It was like he was reading from the talking points. What a pathetic yes man!

Scott M said...

How did this thread get hijacked by dorks?

Duh. It's about Tim Geitner. And that's MR. Dork to you, sir.

For my part, everyone else is sleeping by 10pm. After working odd shifts most of my adult life, I have no trouble being up that late.

Canuck said...

"Well, at least we know you won't have any women around to distract you.

How did this thread get hijacked by dorks?"

ha! Not all dorks are men, you know. My husband got me into the series.

Martin has some good insights into the behavior of politicos.

The kings and would-be-kings are so busy manouvering for power they mostly screw everything up and ignore growing threats in the world.

Jim Bullock said...

Which is something you can only do when you see the Constitution as a political tool, and not anything intrinsically worthy of respect or — God forbid! — reverence.

I am fascinated by the US Constitution as a device for controlling political chicanery even when it - the constitution - is used as an expedient tool. Reading the Federalist Papers, the entire long argument comes down to: "Yes, but, can this structure hold when unscrupulous charlatans and opportunists try to twist it to their own expedient ends."

Occasionally you'll hear about the authors of the US Constitution - the "Founding Fathers" although I loathe that term - being scoundrels themselves. That's a good thing. They tried to build a system that would check even scoundrels and opportunists like themselves, and their colleagues who they absolutely did not trust.

I'm a fan of a system built to use human weakness, greed and folly. These virtues are utterly reliable and never in short supply.