Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Ron Paul - Nixon’s Vindication

Paul RonThis opinion piece was syndicated by Dr. Paul at  Paul writes:  Forty years ago many Americans celebrated the demise of the imperial presidency   with the resignation of Richard Nixon. Today it is clear they celebrated too   soon. Nixon’s view of presidential powers, summed up in his infamous statement   that, “when the president does it that means it is not illegal,” is   embraced by the majority of the political class. In fact, the last two presidents   have abused their power in ways that would have made Nixon blush.

For example, Nixon’s abuse of the Internal Revenue Service to persecute   his political opponents was the subject of one of the articles of impeachment   passed by the US House of Representatives. As bad as Nixon’s abuse of the   IRS was, he was hardly the first president to use the IRS this way, and the   present administration seems to be continuing this tradition. The targeting   of Tea Party groups has received the most attention, but it is not the only   instance of the IRS harassing President Barack Obama’s political opponents.   For example, the IRS has demanded that one of my organizations, Campaign for   Liberty, hand over information regarding its major donors.

Nixon Richard Victory Signs day resignedNixon’s abuse of federal power to spy on his “enemies” was abhorrent,   but Nixon’s abuses of civil liberties pale in comparison to those of his   successors. Today literally anyone in the world can be spied on, indefinitely   detained, or placed on a presidential “kill list” based on nothing   more than a presidential order. For all his faults, Nixon never tried to claim   the power to unilaterally order anyone in the world detained or killed.

Many today act as apologists for the imperial presidency. One reason for this   is that many politicians place partisan concerns above loyalty to the Constitution.   Thus, they openly defend, and even celebrate, executive branch power grabs when   made by a president of their own party.

Another reason is the bipartisan consensus in support of the warfare state.   Many politicians and intellectuals in both parties support an imperial presidency   because they recognize that the Founders’ vision of a limited executive   branch is incompatible with an aggressive foreign policy. When Republicans are   in power “neoconservatives” take the lead, while when Democrats are   in power “humanitarian interventionists" take the lead. Regardless   of party or ideological label, they share the same goal  –  to protect the   executive branch from being constrained by the constitutional requirement that   the president seek congressional approval before waging war.

The strength of the bipartisan consensus that the president should have limitless   discretion in committing troops to war is illustrated by the failure of an attempt   to add an article dealing with Nixon’s “secret bombing” of Cambodia   to the articles of impeachment. Even at the low point of support for the imperial   presidency, Congress still refused to rein in the president’s war-making   powers.

The failure to include the Cambodia invasion in the articles of impeachment   may well be the main reason Watergate had little to do with reining in the imperial   presidency. Because the imperial presidency is rooted in the war power, attempts   to rein in the imperial presidency that do not work to restore Congress’    constitutional authority to declare war are doomed to fail.

Repealing Nixon’s legacy requires building a new bipartisan coalition   in favor of peace and civil liberties, rejecting what writer Gene   Healy calls “the cult of the presidency,” and placing loyalty   to the Constitution above partisanship. An important step must be restoring   congressional supremacy in matters of war and peace.

The Ron Paul Institute for Peace   & Prosperity 

Thanks to GGR reader G. S. for the link. 


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Trading gold, silver and mining shares since 1980 with a focus on taking advantage of volatility extremes, Gene Arensberg analyses the markets through a basket of technical and fundamental indicators and shares his findings from time to time here at Got Gold Report. Mr. Arensberg has been quoted in the Wall Street Journal, Dow Jones MarketWatch, USA Today and dozens of other news organizations.

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