Thursday, July 1, 2010

Work, Work, Work...

These days are busy! Today, the in-class discussions on the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence were really enlightening on how those documents came into being. 

We also discussed the reasoning behind why some parts of those documents are crafted the way they were. For example, another student pointed out how the grievances brought against the King were protected from ever happening under the checks and balances system of the Constitution, where the President would not have the power to infringe on those rights. 

Another thing that was very interesting was the observation that the original creation of the position of President was done with George Washington in mind as the inevitable first President, which means much of the military abilities presented to the President were vestigial abilities leftover from Washington's command of the army during the Revolutionary War. 

Anyways, during the afternoon session, I was able to have a one-on-one consultation regarding research and how to find more sources with a librarian, Fadi Dagher. He was really able to specifically point my research in a more definitive direction than before, and helped me make a lot of progress in my paper. 

I need to finish a 7 page outline by tomorrow, so, I'll write a longer post on Friday, when there's less pressure! On the flip side, the good news is that I didn't lock myself out today!

1 comment:

  1. Winston,

    I suppose that any day that you don't lock yourself out can be called a good day.

    Your course is limited to a short time when you could easily spend a lifetime on the subject so there will be volumes of interesting sub-subjects that will not be discussed.

    Even though there were protections put into the Constitution, what do we do when a President does things above and beyond what the Constitution allows? Of course, the systems of checks and balances is supposed to protect us but what do you do when the Supreme Court is packed with Ideologues supportive of that President and what do you do when the President's party controls both houses of Congress?

    The system we have in place, Winston, at least for the most part, is a good system but it's the abuses of that system that can bring our house down upon us.

    What do we do when a President essentially starts a war without benefit of a declaration from Congress? We've had no such declaration of war since December 8th, 1941 yet we've gone into Korea, Lebanon, Haiti (numerous times), Granada, Panama, the Balkans, Somalia, the Gulf, Nicaragua, El Salvador, and the list goes on.

    We've had Presidents who have used the IRS and the FBI to spy on American citizens whose names are on their "hit list".

    We've had Presidents who have defied Congress by trading with countries that we're sanctioning (Iran) to illegally bypass the Boland Amendment to supply arms to Nicaragua.

    What do we do in such instances? Do we go through the disgrace of an impeachment? And how do we do this if the President has the support of his party that's controlling Congress?