PDA

View Full Version : Donald Trump being president is making very clear who is principled and who is just partisan




CPUd
01-18-2017, 11:42 AM
Donald Trump being president is making very clear who is principled and who is just partisan

As I write this, Rep. Justin Amash (R-Mich.) is getting into a Twitter war.

On Friday, he voted against the waiver proposed for Gen. James Mattis to be secretary of defense. Because Mattis retired from the military fewer than seven years ago, he is legally barred from running the Department of Defense until those years run out.

Most congressional Republicans and a few Democrats were willing to vote in favor of giving Mattis a waiver that would allow him to take the position anyway. His nomination to President-elect Donald Trump’s Cabinet is now a done deal.

But Amash had other ideas.

As it turns out, the seven-year law doesn’t include any provisions for a waiver. It’s just a prohibition. Here’s the relevant text from the U.S. Code:


There is a Secretary of Defense, who is the head of the Department of Defense, appointed from civilian life by the President, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate. A person may not be appointed as Secretary of Defense within seven years after relief from active duty as a commissioned officer of a regular component of an armed force.

That’s it. You can see it in context, and there’s no mention of a waiver. Congress has made such a waiver just once before (specifically, for Gen. George Marshall in 1950), so there is precedent for the Mattis waiver—but still no legal authority.

This was Amash’s reason for voting no. “It violates the Rule of Law,” he wrote on Twitter in response to a question about his vote. “Laws must apply equally. If Congress doesn’t like a law, then that law should be changed, not waived.”

“Many people incorrectly think the underlying law provides for waivers,” Amash added. (I know I did before seeing his tweets.) “It doesn’t…Congress can waive laws, but such waivers, by definition, violate the Rule of Law.”

As it turns out, Amash was the only Republican who voted no. This has been confusing for some people—and thus the Twitter war.

Because Amash has an R after his name and so does the President-elect, many people undoubtedly assumed he would vote for the waiver along with everyone else. After all, that’s how this works, right? If you’re a Republican in Congress, you’re supposed to vote for what a Republican president wants. If you’re a Democrat, same deal for a Democratic president.

If partisanship is a representative’s guiding value, that makes a lot of sense. But if a member of Congress, like Amash, is voting based not on party but principle—well then it’s crazy talk. What Amash realizes and too many of his colleagues on both sides of the aisle are eager to ignore is the fact that rule of law is so much more important than making life easy for a president who happens to be in the same party as you.

Maintaining (or, at this point, regaining) “a government of laws and not of men,” as Founding Father John Adams famously put it, is a much bigger deal than making sure Donald Trump gets exactly the defense secretary he prefers.

Amash’s vote might be dismissed as nit-picky, and it is certainly true that it is inconsequential in terms of the fate of the Mattis waiver, which easily passed both houses of Congress. But it is emblematic of the sort of winnowing I expect we’ll see in coming days as divisions emerge between politicians who operate out of partisanship and true public servants who are motivated by principle.

(To be clear, when I say “principle,” I don’t simply mean principles I happen to like, such as the rule of law, or elected officials I happen to support, like Amash. Honest principle is always an improvement over shallow partisanship.)

Already we can see this separation occurring on a much larger scale where the Republican budget proposal is concerned. This bill grows the national debt, already sitting disturbingly close to $20 trillion, by a shocking $9 trillion over the next ten years.
http://rare.us/story/donald-trump-being-president-is-making-very-clear-who-is-principled-and-who-is-just-partisan/

euphemia
01-18-2017, 12:09 PM
I don't agree with this assessment. Amash can do what he wants as he represents his people, but choosing this appointment to talk about violating the rule of law is absurd.

phill4paul
01-18-2017, 04:20 PM
I don't agree with this assessment. Amash can do what he wants as he represents his people, but choosing this appointment to talk about violating the rule of law is absurd.

Disagree. Amash is in the "A" list of those who follow the Constitution. Of which very few are and then the list drops heavily straight down to "F." The is no inopportune time to follow the rule of law. In particular making government follow it.

euphemia
01-18-2017, 04:39 PM
I'm not holding anything against Amash. I just don't think this particular vote is any kind of indicator who is principled and who isn't.

According to people who understand the military, Mattis is a military genius. Some of the things he said in the hearing is that he will probably bring an end to the social experimentation and some of the other things weakening the military these days. Some of those things rubbed Dems the wrong way who want to keep their social agenda moving forward. I think he really is a good man for this job.

phill4paul
01-18-2017, 04:49 PM
I'm not holding anything against Amash. I just don't think this particular vote is any kind of indicator who is principled and who isn't.

According to people who understand the military, Mattis is a military genius. Some of the things he said in the hearing is that he will probably bring an end to the social experimentation and some of the other things weakening the military these days. Some of those things rubbed Dems the wrong way who want to keep their social agenda moving forward. I think he really is a good man for this job.

Can't say one way or the other WRT whether he would make a good man for the job. I can say that his appointment is violating the laws/allowances/restrictions we have placed on government. And ignoring even the slightest will..well, it will lead us to where we are now.

undergroundrr
01-18-2017, 04:58 PM
A government of laws and not of men.

silverhandorder
01-18-2017, 05:02 PM
Ericson and Frum most principled. Oh and ahead of them CPUd.

euphemia
01-18-2017, 05:17 PM
Can't say one way or the other WRT whether he would make a good man for the job. I can say that his appointment is violating the laws/allowances/restrictions we have placed on government. And ignoring even the slightest will..well, it will lead us to where we are now.

On the face, this sounds good, but then when there isn't vigorous scrutiny, you get people like Tim Geithner who didn't file his own taxes. It's not like Mattis stands to gain anything by confirmation. None of the Trump nominees do. They are all successful on their own, and don't really need to come work for government.

phill4paul
01-18-2017, 05:22 PM
On the face, this sounds good, but then when there isn't vigorous scrutiny, you get people like Tim Geithner who didn't file his own taxes. It's not like Mattis stands to gain anything by confirmation. None of the Trump nominees do. They are all successful on their own, and don't really need to come work for government.

Seems we are talking past each other. I'm merely referring to the fact that he is not eligible by law. And by law he is not eligible. And that makes Amash right to question his nomination.

specsaregood
01-18-2017, 05:25 PM
It's not like Mattis stands to gain anything by confirmation.

So why was this law put in place? What was the reason for it? Seems like there had to be one...
Amash is spot-on. If they want to put him in that position, then the law needs to be changed. Otherwise, we just have anarchy where laws are ignored. -- oh wait, we already do.

cindy25
01-18-2017, 10:12 PM
wouldn't it just be better to repeal the 7 year law?

helmuth_hubener
01-18-2017, 11:37 PM
Yes, it would. And that is Amash's point. I agree with him.

Brian4Liberty
01-18-2017, 11:42 PM
So why was this law put in place? What was the reason for it? Seems like there had to be one...
Amash is spot-on. If they want to put him in that position, then the law needs to be changed. Otherwise, we just have anarchy where laws are ignored. -- oh wait, we already do.

Well, no need for me to type all that in too. ;)