©Ivan W. Parkins 2012,  All articles, text, web pages property of Ivan W. Parkins.  Use of any material requires permission of the

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Text Box: Vol.5, Issue 23
Text Box: October 27, 2012

I. W. Parkins

Front Page

 Links to Articles and Items of Interest

· Jennifer Griffin of Fox News: “EXCLUSIVE ON BENGHAZI”

· Daniel Halper of Weekly Standard- ”Father of Slain Seal...Benghazi…”

· Peggy Noonan of WSJ on “When Americans Saw the Real Obama”

· Ann Coulter on “Obama: Half Black But All Democrat”

· Amy Payne and Hans Von Spakovsky on “Obama Will Pay...To Violate..”

· Thomas Sowell on “The Fallacy of Redistribution”

· Rasmussen’s  “Presidential Daily Tracking Poll” 

· Breitbart.com– stories which are not seen in “the media”

· The Drudge Report— Current events website by Matt Drudge

· The Heritage Foundation Blog

Text Box:  IN THIS ISSUE– After the 3rd. And Last Pres. Debate
The Demise of Check and Balance
One Major Flaw in the Pre-2012 Contest
Partisanship and Failure in the People’s House
Memo To: Voters
Voter Turnout and Our Elections

 THE COMING ELECTION

2012

American Political Commentary

 

Veritas Veneratio Virtus

THE DEMISE OF

CHECK AND BALANCE

The Role of the House of Representatives

By Ivan W. Parkins

 

The greatest mystery in American government during my life-time has been in the role of  the House of Representatives.  Very early in my lifetime I can remember references to checks and balances.  But, I have never encountered a good explanation of how that works today.

 

It is clear enough in the writings of John Adams, and in older political theory.  There were several classes in society; usually royalty, nobles, and commoners.  Each of those could control a branch of government and check or balance extremes of the others.  That was very much the theory prevailing when our Constitution was framed.  But, what does it mean today?

 

Originally, our Constitution provided that Presidents, Senators, and Members of the House would be chosen in substantially different ways.  But, soon those differences shrank into only slightly different popular elections.  America would be essentially classless.

 

For a few decades under the Constitution significant class-like differences did prevail here.  But, that condition ended essentially with the popular election of Andrew Jackson by a clear popular majority of the nearly 10% who voted, in 1828.  Popular election became the chief means of choosing major officials from then on.  So, what can check and balance mean now?

 

From 1828 until 1956 every President of the United States who entered office with a majority of the popular vote got also a majority of his own party in the House of Representatives for at least two years. Off year elections, and six-year terms of Senators sometimes prevented a complete partisan unity of control.

 

What has changed since 1956?  One may be able to point to the Mass Media of television and this may be the answer.  However, what has changed may be more far reaching than just the advance of that medium. 

 

I.W. Parkins 101512

  ONE MAJOR FLAW IN THE

PRE-2012 CONTEST

Who is the blame for federal financial policies?

Democrats have owned the house a lot more.

This is a reprise of an article published earlier this year.

By Ivan W. Parkins

 

One of the least realistic themes of the pre-2012 campaigning is the charge, often made by both Democrats and Tea Partiers, that Republicans should share in blame for long term imbalances in our federal financial policies.  That, I contend, is largely an appeal to public ignorance.

 

Anyone with basic knowledge of our nation’s constitutional system and history will recognize that to enact, and to manage the budgeting of, major programs such as Social Security and national health insurance requires the cooperation of all three elective branches.  But, in the past half century, Congresses have been overwhelmingly Democrat in composition and increasingly partisan in behavior.

 

In the more than fifty years since John Kennedy became President, he, Lyndon Johnson,  Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, and now President Obama, have all had years of partisan majorities in Congress larger than those of any recent Republican President.  Indeed, only George W. Bush, among Republican Presidents, has had any such time at all, and his congressional majorities were small.

 

Republican successes have been, mostly, in foreign and military matters, fields where the Constitution gives prior responsibility to the Chief Executive (and that Democrats had nearly abandoned following 1968 in Vietnam).

VOTER TURNOUT &

OUR ELECTIONS

By Ivan W. Parkins

 

           Since Amendment XXVI to our Constitution was ratified in 1971, the turnout of voting age Americans for a national election has not reached 60%. Our last, 2008, was best at 56.8%.

           Perhaps more important is the difference between turnouts in Presidential and off-year elections.  It’s been more than a quarter of a century since the turnout in an off-year came within 20 million of the previous Presidential election.  In 2006, an off-year that gave us Pelosi and Reid as leaders of Congress, the voting fell more than 40 million below that cast in 2004.  The 2006 off-year vote was more than 50 million less than that in 2008. (Source: Infoplease.com)

           If anything could be sadder, it is the plentiful evidence that those who sign up to fight for our rights are often prevented, by largely civilian failures, from recording votes for their civilian leaders.  Isn’t it time that we had one national system of IDs and a single central electronic balloting for at least our top federal offices?

 MEMO TO

VOTERS

SUBJECT:  

2012

FROMI.W. Parkins

 

           By the 1960s television was the dominant news medium in America.  Meanwhile, many thousands of “scholars” were being minted to teach the growing millions of college students.  An information system that had been dominated by owners (including churches) and advertisers was acquiring national influence and an enhanced vision of its own “rights”. It wanted “changes.”  With haste, and limited creative vision of its own, it accepted reversals of past values and behavior as “progressive.”

           By the advent of the twenty-first century, the costs of such haste were becoming obvious.  And new elements in the media, i.e. talk radio and cable television, were helping to make the public aware of costs, in human lives as well as in trillions of dollars, of the earlier decades of “progress.”

           This nation’s balance sheet is now public issue number one, and the need for balance extends to much more than economics.

PARTISANSHIP AND FAILURE

OF THE PEOPLE’S HOUSE

This is a reprise of an article earlier this year

By Ivan W. Parkins

 

The current House of Representatives, led by Speaker Boehner and including Tea Partiers, is the only such substantial Republican majority in that branch of our federal government since the Eightieth Congress of 1947-48.  And, like that of the Eightieth, this Republican majority came in during the off-year election under a Democrat President.  No Republican President in more than eighty years has enjoyed the support of so large a House majority; all Democrat Presidents in that period have had at least one majority that was larger than any of the Republican majorities.

 

I do aim my criticisms, following, at developments in our political system, developments that we and some of our forbearers have permitted to happen—not especially at current occupants of the House.