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Obama's 'Redistribution' Constitution
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Big Mac
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Oct 28, 2008, 04:00 PM
 
The following WSJ editorial looks at the potential outcome of Barack Obama judicial appointments, considering particularly his radical views over the role of the courts as facilitators of redistriubtion of wealth. The article brings up the poignant fact that whereas the traditional oath of office for federal judges has been to, "administer justice without respect to persons, and do equal right to the poor and to the rich," Obama's view of the role of judges is markedly different. He believes in a judicial philosophy that applies varying standards of justice based on the relative socio-economic imbalance of the litigants involved. The traditional standard has been the basis of Western jurisprudence going back to ancient times (it's the standard mandated by the Torah, for example), so a potential Obama administration would mark sea change in the judiciary. The editorial also points out that given Democratic obstruction of Bush appointees and the impending retirement of a number of judges, an Obama presidency would shape all levels of the federal judiciary for decades to come. Color me highly dubious of his leftist judicial views.

Obama's 'Redistribution' Constitution
The courts are poised for a takeover by the judicial left.
By STEVEN G. CALABRESI

One of the great unappreciated stories of the past eight years is how thoroughly Senate Democrats thwarted efforts by President Bush to appoint judges to the lower federal courts.

Consider the most important lower federal court in the country: the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. In his two terms as president, Ronald Reagan appointed eight judges, an average of one a year, to this court. They included Robert Bork, Antonin Scalia, Kenneth Starr, Larry Silberman, Stephen Williams, James Buckley, Douglas Ginsburg and David Sentelle. In his two terms, George W. Bush was able to name only four: John Roberts, Janice Rogers Brown, Thomas Griffith and Brett Kavanaugh.

Although two seats on this court are vacant, Bush nominee Peter Keisler has been denied even a committee vote for two years. If Barack Obama wins the presidency, he will almost certainly fill those two vacant seats, the seats of two older Clinton appointees who will retire, and most likely the seats of four older Reagan and George H.W. Bush appointees who may retire as well.

The net result is that the legal left will once again have a majority on the nation's most important regulatory court of appeals.

The balance will shift as well on almost all of the 12 other federal appeals courts. Nine of the 13 will probably swing to the left if Mr. Obama is elected (not counting the Ninth Circuit, which the left solidly controls today). Circuit majorities are likely at stake in this presidential election for the First, Second, Third, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, Seventh and Eleventh Circuit Courts of Appeal. That includes the federal appeals courts for New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, Boston, Philadelphia and virtually every other major center of finance in the country.

On the Supreme Court, six of the current nine justices will be 70 years old or older on January 20, 2009. There is a widespread expectation that the next president could make four appointments in just his first term, with maybe two more in a second term. Here too we are poised for heavy change.

These numbers ought to raise serious concern because of Mr. Obama's extreme left-wing views about the role of judges. He believes -- and he is quite open about this -- that judges ought to decide cases in light of the empathy they ought to feel for the little guy in any lawsuit.

Speaking in July 2007 at a conference of Planned Parenthood, he said: "[W]e need somebody who's got the heart, the empathy, to recognize what it's like to be a young teenage mom. The empathy to understand what it's like to be poor, or African-American, or gay, or disabled, or old. And that's the criteria by which I'm going to be selecting my judges."

On this view, plaintiffs should usually win against defendants in civil cases; criminals in cases against the police; consumers, employees and stockholders in suits brought against corporations; and citizens in suits brought against the government. Empathy, not justice, ought to be the mission of the federal courts, and the redistribution of wealth should be their mantra.

In a Sept. 6, 2001, interview with Chicago Public Radio station WBEZ-FM, Mr. Obama noted that the Supreme Court under Chief Justice Earl Warren "never ventured into the issues of redistribution of wealth and sort of more basic issues of political and economic justice in this society," and "to that extent as radical as I think people tried to characterize the Warren Court, it wasn't that radical."

He also noted that the Court "didn't break free from the essential constraints that were placed by the Founding Fathers in the Constitution, at least as it has been interpreted." That is to say, he noted that the U.S. Constitution as written is only a guarantee of negative liberties from government -- and not an entitlement to a right to welfare or economic justice.

This raises the question of whether Mr. Obama can in good faith take the presidential oath to "preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution" as he must do if he is to take office. Does Mr. Obama support the Constitution as it is written, or does he support amendments to guarantee welfare? Is his provision of a "tax cut" to millions of Americans who currently pay no taxes merely a foreshadowing of constitutional rights to welfare, health care, Social Security, vacation time and the redistribution of wealth? Perhaps the candidate ought to be asked to answer these questions before the election rather than after.

Every new federal judge has been required by federal law to take an oath of office in which he swears that he will "administer justice without respect to persons, and do equal right to the poor and to the rich." Mr. Obama's emphasis on empathy in essence requires the appointment of judges committed in advance to violating this oath. To the traditional view of justice as a blindfolded person weighing legal claims fairly on a scale, he wants to tear the blindfold off, so the judge can rule for the party he empathizes with most.

The legal left wants Americans to imagine that the federal courts are very right-wing now, and that Mr. Obama will merely stem some great right-wing federal judicial tide. The reality is completely different. The federal courts hang in the balance, and it is the left which is poised to capture them.

A whole generation of Americans has come of age since the nation experienced the bad judicial appointments and foolish economic and regulatory policy of the Johnson and Carter administrations. If Mr. Obama wins we could possibly see any or all of the following: a federal constitutional right to welfare; a federal constitutional mandate of affirmative action wherever there are racial disparities, without regard to proof of discriminatory intent; a right for government-financed abortions through the third trimester of pregnancy; the abolition of capital punishment and the mass freeing of criminal defendants; ruinous shareholder suits against corporate officers and directors; and approval of huge punitive damage awards, like those imposed against tobacco companies, against many legitimate businesses such as those selling fattening food.

Nothing less than the very idea of liberty and the rule of law are at stake in this election. We should not let Mr. Obama replace justice with empathy in our nation's courtrooms.

Mr. Calabresi is a co-founder of the Federalist Society and a professor of law at Northwestern University.
( Last edited by Big Mac; Oct 28, 2008 at 04:06 PM. )

"The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield and government to gain ground." TJ
     
besson3c
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Oct 28, 2008, 04:02 PM
 
Never mind
     
Chongo
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Oct 28, 2008, 05:04 PM
 
From the Toledo Blade
U.S. Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D. Toledo) whipped the crowd up before Mr. Obama took the stage yesterday telling them that America needed a Second Bill of Rights guaranteeing all Americans a job, health care, homes, an education, and a fair playing field for business and farmers.
This further reinforces BO assertion that the the Constitution, and by extension, the Bill of Rights, is "a charter of negative liberties. Says what the states can’t do to you. Says what the Federal government can’t do to you, but doesn’t say what the Federal government or State government must do on your behalf" and is in need of a "second Bill of Rights.

Sound familiar?
Article 40. Citizens of the USSR have the right to work (that is, to guaranteed employment and pay in accordance wit the quantity and quality of their work, and not below the state-established minimum), including the right to choose their trade or profession, type of job and work in accordance with their inclinations, abilities, training and education, with due account of the needs of society...
Article 41. Citizens of the USSR have the right to rest and leisure...
The length of collective farmers' working and leisure time is established by their collective farms.
Article 42. Citizens of the USSR have the right to health protection.
     
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Oct 28, 2008, 05:17 PM
 
*yawns*
I like my water with hops, malt, hops, yeast, and hops.
     
subego
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Oct 28, 2008, 05:41 PM
 
Originally Posted by Big Mac View Post
Although two seats on this court are vacant, Bush nominee Peter Keisler has been denied even a committee vote for two years....

Mr. Calabresi is a co-founder of the Federalist Society and a professor of law at Northwestern University.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_Keisler

Originally Posted by wikipedia
It is reported that the Democrats in the Senate do not want to confirm Keisler for four basic reasons. First, he is a co-founder of the Federalist Society, a conservative legal group which many Democrats see as seeking to control the federal judiciary.

Full Disclosure Fail.
     
kobi
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Oct 28, 2008, 05:46 PM
 
Originally Posted by Big Mac View Post
The following WSJ editorial looks at the potential outcome of Barack Obama judicial appointments, considering particularly his radical views over the role of the courts as facilitators of redistriubtion of wealth. The article brings up the poignant fact that whereas the traditional oath of office for federal judges has been to, "administer justice without respect to persons, and do equal right to the poor and to the rich," Obama's view of the role of judges is markedly different. He believes in a judicial philosophy that applies varying standards of justice based on the relative socio-economic imbalance of the litigants involved. The traditional standard has been the basis of Western jurisprudence going back to ancient times (it's the standard mandated by the Torah, for example), so a potential Obama administration would mark sea change in the judiciary. The editorial also points out that given Democratic obstruction of Bush appointees and the impending retirement of a number of judges, an Obama presidency would shape all levels of the federal judiciary for decades to come. Color me highly dubious of his leftist judicial views.

Obama's 'Redistribution' Constitution
The courts are poised for a takeover by the judicial left.
By STEVEN G. CALABRESI

One of the great unappreciated stories of the past eight years is how thoroughly Senate Democrats thwarted efforts by President Bush to appoint judges to the lower federal courts.

Consider the most important lower federal court in the country: the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. In his two terms as president, Ronald Reagan appointed eight judges, an average of one a year, to this court. They included Robert Bork, Antonin Scalia, Kenneth Starr, Larry Silberman, Stephen Williams, James Buckley, Douglas Ginsburg and David Sentelle. In his two terms, George W. Bush was able to name only four: John Roberts, Janice Rogers Brown, Thomas Griffith and Brett Kavanaugh.

Although two seats on this court are vacant, Bush nominee Peter Keisler has been denied even a committee vote for two years. If Barack Obama wins the presidency, he will almost certainly fill those two vacant seats, the seats of two older Clinton appointees who will retire, and most likely the seats of four older Reagan and George H.W. Bush appointees who may retire as well.

The net result is that the legal left will once again have a majority on the nation's most important regulatory court of appeals.

The balance will shift as well on almost all of the 12 other federal appeals courts. Nine of the 13 will probably swing to the left if Mr. Obama is elected (not counting the Ninth Circuit, which the left solidly controls today). Circuit majorities are likely at stake in this presidential election for the First, Second, Third, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, Seventh and Eleventh Circuit Courts of Appeal. That includes the federal appeals courts for New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, Boston, Philadelphia and virtually every other major center of finance in the country.

On the Supreme Court, six of the current nine justices will be 70 years old or older on January 20, 2009. There is a widespread expectation that the next president could make four appointments in just his first term, with maybe two more in a second term. Here too we are poised for heavy change.

These numbers ought to raise serious concern because of Mr. Obama's extreme left-wing views about the role of judges. He believes -- and he is quite open about this -- that judges ought to decide cases in light of the empathy they ought to feel for the little guy in any lawsuit.

Speaking in July 2007 at a conference of Planned Parenthood, he said: "[W]e need somebody who's got the heart, the empathy, to recognize what it's like to be a young teenage mom. The empathy to understand what it's like to be poor, or African-American, or gay, or disabled, or old. And that's the criteria by which I'm going to be selecting my judges."

On this view, plaintiffs should usually win against defendants in civil cases; criminals in cases against the police; consumers, employees and stockholders in suits brought against corporations; and citizens in suits brought against the government. Empathy, not justice, ought to be the mission of the federal courts, and the redistribution of wealth should be their mantra.

In a Sept. 6, 2001, interview with Chicago Public Radio station WBEZ-FM, Mr. Obama noted that the Supreme Court under Chief Justice Earl Warren "never ventured into the issues of redistribution of wealth and sort of more basic issues of political and economic justice in this society," and "to that extent as radical as I think people tried to characterize the Warren Court, it wasn't that radical."

He also noted that the Court "didn't break free from the essential constraints that were placed by the Founding Fathers in the Constitution, at least as it has been interpreted." That is to say, he noted that the U.S. Constitution as written is only a guarantee of negative liberties from government -- and not an entitlement to a right to welfare or economic justice.

This raises the question of whether Mr. Obama can in good faith take the presidential oath to "preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution" as he must do if he is to take office. Does Mr. Obama support the Constitution as it is written, or does he support amendments to guarantee welfare? Is his provision of a "tax cut" to millions of Americans who currently pay no taxes merely a foreshadowing of constitutional rights to welfare, health care, Social Security, vacation time and the redistribution of wealth? Perhaps the candidate ought to be asked to answer these questions before the election rather than after.

Every new federal judge has been required by federal law to take an oath of office in which he swears that he will "administer justice without respect to persons, and do equal right to the poor and to the rich." Mr. Obama's emphasis on empathy in essence requires the appointment of judges committed in advance to violating this oath. To the traditional view of justice as a blindfolded person weighing legal claims fairly on a scale, he wants to tear the blindfold off, so the judge can rule for the party he empathizes with most.

The legal left wants Americans to imagine that the federal courts are very right-wing now, and that Mr. Obama will merely stem some great right-wing federal judicial tide. The reality is completely different. The federal courts hang in the balance, and it is the left which is poised to capture them.

A whole generation of Americans has come of age since the nation experienced the bad judicial appointments and foolish economic and regulatory policy of the Johnson and Carter administrations. If Mr. Obama wins we could possibly see any or all of the following: a federal constitutional right to welfare; a federal constitutional mandate of affirmative action wherever there are racial disparities, without regard to proof of discriminatory intent; a right for government-financed abortions through the third trimester of pregnancy; the abolition of capital punishment and the mass freeing of criminal defendants; ruinous shareholder suits against corporate officers and directors; and approval of huge punitive damage awards, like those imposed against tobacco companies, against many legitimate businesses such as those selling fattening food.

Nothing less than the very idea of liberty and the rule of law are at stake in this election. We should not let Mr. Obama replace justice with empathy in our nation's courtrooms.

Mr. Calabresi is a co-founder of the Federalist Society and a professor of law at Northwestern University.
That's the longest knee jerk article I've ever read.

It's fear mongering.

Let me summarize the article for you:

"Watch out!! Obama is going to fix our judicial system by appointing Left Wing Judges that have a conscience!! He's going to take the power from the corporations and give it back to the people!!!! The poor and disenfranchised will have a voice!!! God forbid!!!"

I was waiting for him to call him a Muslim, a Socialist, Communist, Marxist or any other FUD comment but the professor never got there. I guess the GOP/Rupert Murdoch/Fox News didn't pay him enough to have those comments included in the article.

If anything the Judges that Barack Obama would appoint would bring a balance to the Right leaning Judicial system and Supreme Court to help counter the Antonin Scalia's, John Roberts, Clarence Thomas's, Samuel Alitos's, David Soter's, Anthony Kennedy's and John Paul Steven's of this world. Out of the nine sitting Supreme Court Justices, two of them were appointed by a Democratic President. But there's no bias there right?

It's hard to imagine a Law Professor from Northwestern bringing this issue up after the US Attorney purge/scandal that the Bush Administration created. They purged/fired (however you want to put it) all the US Attorney's who wouldn't go after political targets for the Bush Administration such as ACORN. There are still subpoenas out for Karl Rove, Harriet Myers, and Josh Bolton in this scandal. This is the same scandal that brought down Attorney General Alberto Gonzales and created the Plame scandal where Scooter Libby was found guilty for obstruction of justice, prejury, and making false statements to Federal Investigators.

With all this Professor Calabresi still chose to bring up this issue about Barack Obama picking US Attorneys and Federal Judges??? Given the track record of the last Bush Administration on this subject, I welcome Barack Obama's Judicial choices, as it would bring a balance to the Right heavy Judicial System.
The Religious Right is neither.
     
besson3c
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Oct 28, 2008, 06:03 PM
 
This Calabresi guy also didn't say anything about us being turned into cat food. He really needs to do his homework!
     
MindFad
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Oct 28, 2008, 06:43 PM
 
Well, the Kool Aid watering hole is still flowing! I was worried it had dried up.
     
turtle777
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Oct 28, 2008, 06:54 PM
 
In Communist Russia America, the Consitution redistributes Obama.

Oh, wait

-t
     
Dork.
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Oct 28, 2008, 07:34 PM
 
I was wondering whether there was anything to this "redistribution" thing I've been hearing about these past few days. Turns out, there's nothing to it, at least based on what this guy has written. Read the quoted piece carefully -- the parts about redistribution are taken from Obama discussing whether or not the Warren Court was really radical. Obama basically said that the Warren court wasn't radical at all, and gave some things it could have done that would have been radical, including redistribution of wealth through the courts. He gave that as an example of a radical thing to do, not as an example of what he would do as President. One would assume that if he views it as radical, he probably also views it as something that most of the country would not go along with. And probably something that he himself would not go along with, unless he thinks of himself as a radical.

Also, there was some blather about Obama seeing a constitutional right to welfare and entitlements. But read what he actually said: that there is no guarantee to these things in the Constitution, so if we wanted them we would have to amend it. What's so troubling about that? He explicitly says that there is no constitutional right to these things. Whether or not we need an amendment for these things is an entirely different question. Even if Obama supports these stands, he admits the Constitution doesn't let the President just do whatever he wants. Seems like he knows more about the Constitution than the author of this piece.

The bit about empathy as a criteria for the judges Obama would select was something that he said directly, and something that is valid for discussion. But the rest of it is so wrong it just isn't funny. I mean, you can use the Obama quotes that this guy cherry-picked, verbatim, to directly repudiate those other claims! You'd think he would put more effort into it....
     
vmarks
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Oct 28, 2008, 09:04 PM
 
Judges aren't supposed to judge a case based on their conscience or compassion. They're supposed to judge based on the merits, evidence, and law.

I would have hoped a law professor would have known that.
     
kobi
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Oct 29, 2008, 12:13 AM
 
Given the Radical Right's slathering at the mouth to paint Obama as a "Redistributionist of Wealth"

Let's do a little fact checking shall we?

Once again, there's nothing to see here. Just the Radical Right making accusations and trying to link Obama to lies they tell themselves to spread hate.

Don't forget the Radical Right's new slogan;

Obama's an Anti-American, Communist, Muslim, Socialist, Terrorist, Marxist all in one.
The Religious Right is neither.
     
besson3c
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Oct 29, 2008, 12:59 AM
 
There are some that say that Obama's tax rate would actually be lower than Reagan's... Any truth to this?
     
besson3c
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Oct 29, 2008, 01:00 AM
 
Originally Posted by kobi View Post
Given the Radical Right's slathering at the mouth to paint Obama as a "Redistributionist of Wealth"

Let's do a little fact checking shall we?

Once again, there's nothing to see here. Just the Radical Right making accusations and trying to link Obama to lies they tell themselves to spread hate.

Don't forget the Radical Right's new slogan;

Obama's an Anti-American, Communist, Muslim, Socialist, Terrorist, Marxist all in one.

Golden rule: if you are going to use that slogan, at least decide which of those labels applies. He can't be all of those things!
     
besson3c
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Oct 29, 2008, 01:07 AM
 
Has anybody noticed that Jesus advocates for socialism in the New Testament?

http://answers.yahoo.com/question/in...9072939AALGmJN
     
The Crook
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Oct 29, 2008, 01:26 AM
 
Originally Posted by vmarks View Post
Judges aren't supposed to judge a case based on their conscience or compassion. They're supposed to judge based on the merits, evidence, and law.

I would have hoped a law professor would have known that.
The quote was:

Speaking in July 2007 at a conference of Planned Parenthood, he said: "[W]e need somebody who's got the heart, the empathy, to recognize what it's like to be a young teenage mom. The empathy to understand what it's like to be poor, or African-American, or gay, or disabled, or old. And that's the criteria by which I'm going to be selecting my judges."
There's absolutely no inconsistency to say that a judge whose empathy lies with the poor, blacks, gays, disabled, elderly, or young teenage mothers wouldn't judge based on the "merits, evidence, and law." They aren't mutually exclusive, and Obama didn't mean they should be. It's the same thing as nominating justices whose empathy lies with the interests of business, the law and economics movement, a certain way of interpreting the constitution, or otherwise. Judges still have to uphold the law, but they approach it from different perspectives, which affects how things ultimately turn out.

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Dork.
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Oct 29, 2008, 07:32 AM
 
Originally Posted by besson3c View Post
Has anybody noticed that Jesus advocates for socialism in the New Testament?

http://answers.yahoo.com/question/in...9072939AALGmJN
That's because you're reading about the wrong Jesus, the hippie. Try this one!
     
Big Mac  (op)
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Oct 29, 2008, 07:37 AM
 
Originally Posted by The Crook View Post
There's absolutely no inconsistency to say that a judge whose empathy lies with the poor, blacks, gays, disabled, elderly, or young teenage mothers wouldn't judge based on the "merits, evidence, and law." They aren't mutually exclusive, and Obama didn't mean they should be.
I look at that quotation and it looks very clear to me that he's calling for a litmus test: those jurists who show preference under the law for certain disadvantaged groups of people or "progressive" causes. Otherwise, his statement is essentially meaningless as an explanation of his appointment style.

"The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield and government to gain ground." TJ
     
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Oct 29, 2008, 08:18 AM
 
Originally Posted by vmarks View Post
Judges aren't supposed to judge a case based on their conscience or compassion. They're supposed to judge based on the merits, evidence, and law.

I would have hoped a law professor would have known that.
QFT...and irony.
     
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Oct 29, 2008, 08:22 AM
 
Originally Posted by kobi View Post
Given the Radical Right's slathering at the mouth to paint Obama as a "Redistributionist of Wealth"

Let's do a little fact checking shall we?
I generally don't read Factchecks anymore. Especially after recent ones by the NYT and the WP. A Post factcheck even went as far as saying that by quoting their paper, a candidate was lying.

No thanks. I'll just get their opinion directly from the Obama website when I need it, and I essentially already knew what the WP was going to say because I already heard the Obama campaign's spin on the issue. ONE AND THE SAME, as per the norm.
     
Dork.
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Oct 29, 2008, 08:26 AM
 
It's official: facts have a liberal bias!

     
stupendousman
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Oct 29, 2008, 08:29 AM
 
Originally Posted by besson3c View Post
Has anybody noticed that Jesus advocates for socialism in the New Testament?

http://answers.yahoo.com/question/in...9072939AALGmJN
I went to that link and didn't find anything that showed Jesus advocated socialism.

I didn't see anywhere that he advocated the government to do what he asked. No one has ever suggested that individuals or the church should not voluntarily provide charity. Just about everything to do with Christianity is based on freedom of choice, not choice that is forced on you.
     
subego
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Oct 29, 2008, 08:47 AM
 
Originally Posted by Big Mac View Post
I look at that quotation and it looks very clear to me that he's calling for a litmus test: those jurists who show preference under the law for certain disadvantaged groups of people or "progressive" causes. Otherwise, his statement is essentially meaningless as an explanation of his appointment style.

Nailed it.
     
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Oct 29, 2008, 09:17 AM
 
Originally Posted by stupendousman View Post
I went to that link and didn't find anything that showed Jesus advocated socialism.

Doesn't "thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's ass" expressly command against socialism?
     
Dork.
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Oct 29, 2008, 09:28 AM
 
Only if you equate Socialism to Theft.
     
stupendousman
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Oct 29, 2008, 09:30 AM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
Doesn't "thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's ass" expressly command against socialism?
I don't know...do you think that Obama supports "redistributing ass?"
     
subego
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Oct 29, 2008, 09:33 AM
 
Originally Posted by Dork. View Post
Only if you equate Socialism to Theft.

I thought that was covered by "thou shall not steal".

Is coveting theft?
     
subego
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Oct 29, 2008, 09:41 AM
 
Originally Posted by stupendousman View Post
I don't know...do you think that Obama supports "redistributing ass?"

Now that I think of it, Jesus said you should turn the other cheek over to your neighbor.





Thanks! Try the hummus!
     
besson3c
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Oct 29, 2008, 10:25 AM
 
Originally Posted by Big Mac View Post
I look at that quotation and it looks very clear to me that he's calling for a litmus test: those jurists who show preference under the law for certain disadvantaged groups of people or "progressive" causes. Otherwise, his statement is essentially meaningless as an explanation of his appointment style.
Let's just call a spade a spade here... It looks that way to you because you want it to look that way to you. A large number of McCain supporters are fishing for an argument that will gain them political traction, often parroting whatever McCain/Palin have been saying.

These arguments are basically cherry picked from a random list of "some quantification of how Liberal Obama is", "socialist/communist/marxist" (these have become interchangeable), "terrorist", "Muslim" (as if this is a damning thing even if he was), "a secret agenda to tax us all to oblivion, despite the fact that these arguments don't hold true for anybody prior to Obama, including Reagan", "unpatriotic", and then your grab bag of crazy, wildly baseless claims such as "wants to do something to the national anthem", "doesn't floss his teeth", "wants to kill babies", etc.

It is all rather incoherent, and you have become invested in the more coherent part of this movement.

Is this about right?
     
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Oct 29, 2008, 10:29 AM
 
Originally Posted by stupendousman View Post
I went to that link and didn't find anything that showed Jesus advocated socialism.

I didn't see anywhere that he advocated the government to do what he asked. No one has ever suggested that individuals or the church should not voluntarily provide charity. Just about everything to do with Christianity is based on freedom of choice, not choice that is forced on you.
Were you expecting the cast of characters in the Bible to even have a concept of what socialism precisely is? Aren't God's commands direct orders, just as a government's commands are direct orders? We all have the freedom to disobey these orders.
     
stupendousman
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Oct 29, 2008, 10:40 AM
 
Originally Posted by besson3c View Post
Were you expecting the cast of characters in the Bible to even have a concept of what socialism precisely is? Aren't God's commands direct orders, just as a government's commands are direct orders? We all have the freedom to disobey these orders.
Jesus wasn't a spokesman for the Government, he was a spokesman for God. He didn't request that the charity he hoped you'd give would be forcibly taken from your paycheck every week.

One you do to show God's love. The other you do so you won't go to jail, if you were even given a choice.
     
besson3c
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Oct 29, 2008, 10:44 AM
 
Originally Posted by stupendousman View Post
Jesus wasn't a spokesman for the Government, he was a spokesman for God. He didn't request that the charity he hoped you'd give would be forcibly taken from your paycheck every week.

One you do to show God's love. The other you do so you won't go to jail, if you were even given a choice.
And what happened to people in the Bible that disobeyed God's orders?
     
subego
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Oct 29, 2008, 10:48 AM
 
Redistributed into a thin paste.
     
Dakar V
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Oct 29, 2008, 10:49 AM
 
Murdered before you leave the building, and you get fed to the pigs.
     
besson3c
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Oct 29, 2008, 10:59 AM
 
The point is that capitalism is not some sort of morally superior invention, just the best of all available options.

Queue "and Obama wants to take that away from us!!"
     
subego
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Oct 29, 2008, 11:04 AM
 
Originally Posted by Dakar V View Post
and you get fed to the pigs.

And they're bourgeois pigs to boot.
     
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Oct 29, 2008, 11:07 AM
 
Are those quotes from that cartoon that Dakar really likes?
     
stupendousman
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Oct 29, 2008, 11:08 AM
 
Originally Posted by besson3c View Post
These arguments are basically cherry picked from a random list of "some quantification of how Liberal Obama is", "socialist/communist/marxist" (these have become interchangeable)
Likely because they all have common goals. Someone (like Obama) can ascribe to a Marxist philosophy, but believe that the way to achieve those goals short term is to set up a socialist government mechanism or some sort of mix of socialist/capitalist society. I think it's clear that Obama believes in Marxism, but is smart enough to know that you can't simply go from a capitalistic society to a Marxist one. That's the norm - Marxists using socialism or communism to forward their goals of wealth redistribution.

To suggest that someone can't be a marxist and not support either communism or socialism isn't a realistic position. All three things you described are philosophies built on the same wealth redistribution schemes. I understand it's easier to just swipe away the accusations by inferring that if all of them are not correct, that none of them are correct. That's not a very logical position though.

I believe that Obama is a marxist, who understands that traditional socialism or communism won't achieve his goals. He has espoused marxist rhetoric, surrounded himself with admitted marxist peers, and belonged to marxist organizations. To suggest that accusations that Obama has marxist tendencies is unfounded to the point where Joe Biden would look dumbstruck when asked, simply doesn't pass the "sniff test" for anyone paying attention.

Like I said..I understand it's just easier to lump all the accusations together and insist none of them are correct, but just because it's easier doesn't make it honest.
     
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Oct 29, 2008, 11:12 AM
 
So what is the difference between Marxism and Socialism, stupendousman?
     
stupendousman
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Oct 29, 2008, 11:16 AM
 
Originally Posted by besson3c View Post
And what happened to people in the Bible that disobeyed God's orders?
It depends. People disobey God's orders all the time. People engage in adultery, people lie, people steal, people murder. People have free choice.

Assuming Judeo-Christian theology is true, God lets humans do what they want for the most part. Occasionally, he has gotten angry and punished them, but I guess that's his prerogative since they are his creation and they are his children. The government never created anyone, and has no right punishing people because they do not want their property taken from them without having a choice. Jesus never claimed they did.
     
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Oct 29, 2008, 11:25 AM
 
Originally Posted by stupendousman View Post
It depends. People disobey God's orders all the time. People engage in adultery, people lie, people steal, people murder. People have free choice.

Assuming Judeo-Christian theology is true, God lets humans do what they want for the most part. Occasionally, he has gotten angry and punished them, but I guess that's his prerogative since they are his creation and they are his children. The government never created anyone, and has no right punishing people because they do not want their property taken from them without having a choice. Jesus never claimed they did.
So I take it that you're a Christian? I want to make sure I don't offend when I point out that I asked what "happened" (past tense). My recollection of what happened when you disobeyed a direct order must be different than yours. My recollection of "greed" being a sin also makes me question God's satisfaction with a system that by today's standards is designed to reward those with the most wealth.

The problem with Socialism and Communism is that they aren't run by a benevolent and highly evolved dictator, because no such person exists (aside from God, if you believe in that sort of stuff). If we were ruled by God today, I guarantee you it would be much more socialist than it would capitalist, because in a perfect world poverty and all of the ugly sides to capitalism would not exist.

Obviously this is just a giant hypothetical, as some might say the existence of God is, but I think it is more than fair to say that God would like us to be Socialist. He would also like us to not be sinners, which obviously hasn't turned out well, so the practicality of the matter is another story.
     
Chongo
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Oct 29, 2008, 11:27 AM
 
Originally Posted by besson3c View Post
So what is the difference between Marxism and Socialism, stupendousman?
Karl Marx posited that socialism would be achieved via class struggle and a proletarian revolution which represents the transitional stage between capitalism and communism.( Communist Manifesto,)
     
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Oct 29, 2008, 11:28 AM
 
Originally Posted by Big Mac View Post
I look at that quotation and it looks very clear to me that he's calling for a litmus test: those jurists who show preference under the law for certain disadvantaged groups of people or "progressive" causes. Otherwise, his statement is essentially meaningless as an explanation of his appointment style.
The whole "litmus test" thing is just politics.

Of course Obama will appoint left-leaning judges. That shouldn't be a surprise (NYT story about the rightward shift of the D.C. Circuit under Bush.)

Crooked Member of the MacNN Atheist Clique.
     
Chongo
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Oct 29, 2008, 11:31 AM
 
Originally Posted by besson3c View Post
And what happened to people in the Bible that disobeyed God's orders?
Originally Posted by stupendousman View Post
It depends. People disobey God's orders all the time. People engage in adultery, people lie, people steal, people murder. People have free choice.

Assuming Judeo-Christian theology is true, God lets humans do what they want for the most part. Occasionally, he has gotten angry and punished them.
Like wandering lost in the desert for 40 years
     
stupendousman
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Oct 29, 2008, 11:46 AM
 
Originally Posted by besson3c View Post
So what is the difference between Marxism and Socialism, stupendousman?
Do I have to write an essay, or can I post a link that outlines it all for you?

I think there's a few sites that have it all spelled out in an "idiots guide" sort of way, if that would be easiest for you.
     
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Oct 29, 2008, 11:54 AM
 
Originally Posted by besson3c View Post
My recollection of what happened when you disobeyed a direct order must be different than yours.
My recollection of the Bible is that God reacted a bunch of different ways. You want to remember the Flood, but ignore the prodigal son and the prostitute.

My recollection of "greed" being a sin also makes me question God's satisfaction with a system that by today's standards is designed to reward those with the most wealth.
I think this was pretty much covered by the "give unto Cesear" scenario. Based on that, I'd guess God doesn't want to get too involved in politics and goverment.

The problem with Socialism and Communism is that they aren't run by a benevolent and highly evolved dictator, because no such person exists (aside from God, if you believe in that sort of stuff). If we were ruled by God today, I guarantee you it would be much more socialist than it would capitalist, because in a perfect world poverty and all of the ugly sides to capitalism would not exist.
I think that it's safe to say that if there's a God, that he understands "human nature" because he invented it. He knows that the "perfect world" is a goal, not an attainable reality due to the freedom of choice he gave us, and the very nature he imbued upon us. That he'd wish for us to overcome our very nature and be better isn't the same as forcing us to do it or be sent to jail.
     
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Oct 29, 2008, 12:01 PM
 
Originally Posted by besson3c View Post
\The problem with Socialism and Communism is that they aren't run by a benevolent and highly evolved dictator, because no such person exists (aside from God, if you believe in that sort of stuff). If we were ruled by God today, I guarantee you it would be much more socialist than it would capitalist, because in a perfect world poverty and all of the ugly sides to capitalism would not exist.
In a "perfect world" there wouldn't be a bunch of lazy asses sucking off the teet of those of us that work hard for a living to make the money we deserve.

Give me $1000, I'll turn it into $2000 and give you your $1000 back to give it to someone else. Give my neighbor that much and she will throw another awesome party and go and vote for you so you can give her more.

cause we're not quite "the fuzz"
     
Chongo
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Oct 29, 2008, 12:04 PM
 
Originally Posted by besson3c View Post
The problem with Socialism and Communism is that they aren't run by a benevolent and highly evolved dictator, because no such person exists (aside from God, if you believe in that sort of stuff).
Ahhh, so we just need the right person to be in charge?

( Last edited by Chongo; Oct 29, 2008 at 12:26 PM. )
     
subego
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Oct 29, 2008, 12:30 PM
 
Originally Posted by stupendousman View Post
Do I have to write an essay, or can I post a link that outlines it all for you?

Whichever you feel will best address any potential disparity in definitions.
     
Chongo
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Oct 29, 2008, 12:35 PM
 
Originally Posted by besson3c View Post
So what is the difference between Marxism and Socialism, stupendousman?
Originally Posted by subego View Post
Whichever you feel will best address any potential disparity in definitions.
The quote I cited from the Communist Manifesto covers it . Marx himself said that Socialism is a transitional stage towards Communism.
Originally Posted by Chongo View Post
Karl Marx posited that socialism would be achieved via class struggle and a proletarian revolution which represents the transitional stage between capitalism and communism.( Communist Manifesto,)
     
 
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