Posted by: readerjohn | December 9, 2013

Monday, 12/9/13

    1. Nolo episcopari
    2. The I Word comes out of the arsenal
    3. Mary, Martha and Tipsy

1

Why America needs a Presidential candidate who is “drafted”:

Much vague and sentimental journalism has been poured out to the effect that Christianity is akin to democracy, and most of it is scarcely strong or clear enough to refute the fact that the two things have often quarrelled. The real ground upon which Christianity and democracy are one is very much deeper. The one specially and peculiarly un-Christian idea is the idea of Carlyle–the idea that the man should rule who feels that he can rule. Whatever else is Christian, this is heathen. If our faith comments on government at all, its comment must be this — that the man should rule who does NOT think that he can rule. Carlyle’s hero may say, “I will be king”; but the Christian saint must say “Nolo episcopari.” If the great paradox of Christianity means anything, it means this–that we must take the crown in our hands, and go hunting in dry places and dark corners of the earth until we find the one man who feels himself unfit to wear it. Carlyle was quite wrong; we have not got to crown the exceptional man who knows he can rule. Rather we must crown the much more exceptional man who knows he can’t.

(G.K. Chesterton, H/T Khanya) I suspect that the decks presently are so stacked that a draft is impossible.

2

Of course, our present POTUS felt he could rule, and could do so brilliantly. There was nary a hint of aw shucks humility. There seldom is such a hint on the campaign trail, but Barack Obama may have raised the bar for hubris.

Now into his second term, he has raised the bar for Presidential Imperiousness as well, acting unilaterally to delay statutory schedules of the Affordable Care Act and, by some accounts (I don’t confirm, deny, poo-poo or claim to have checked facts) created the DREAM Act out of thin constitutional air.

There is an appropriate blowback beginning: if a President repeatedly acts unconstitutionally (and bear in mind the current POTUS taught ConLaw at one of the very top law schools), it is necessary to consider impeaching that President.

I first encountered public mention of impeachment on actual plausible grounds at PostModern Conservative, which promises followup items laying out a bill of particulars. PoMoCo gives credit to NRO for the first mention from a sane source.

I make no predictions on whether it will happen. PostModern Conservative digs into the case for impeachment fully aware that the Senate won’t convict, and also digs into political considerations that might legitimately council not impeaching even if the case for doing so is pretty clear.

3

I’ve been wondering if blogging is taking up time that could better be spent imitating Mary rather than Martha. Since the world already has a Savior, and his name isn’t “Tipsy,” maybe it could survive alright with fewer soliloquies, no?

* * * * *

“The remarks made in this essay do not represent scholarly research. They are intended as topical stimulations for conversation among intelligent and informed people.” (Gerhart Niemeyer)

Some succinct standing advice on recurring themes.


Responses

  1. The talk of impeachment dismays me. No good can come from it. President Obama is hardly the first President to be accused of imperiousness. There is a remedy, and it is in the voting booth. I have not read the argument in Postmodern Conservative, nor do I intend to do so. In the 1860s, impeachment was avoided as a few members of Congress realized the grave danger in impeaching a President on partisan grounds alone (and Johnson was a dismal President.) What I see here is not patriotism, but partisanship run amok. I well remember the Republican opposition to Clinton, and the Democratic opposition to Bush, but I have never seen anything quite like this. Take a look at those who are, and have been, calling for impeachment–I don’t have to mention names. Down in my part of the country, I hear such talk bandied-around all the time. I’ve lived here all my life and I understand its motivation and what the language really means. In the same-sex marriage debate, mere acceptance in no longer enough. Everyone is expected to whole-heartedly approve. I see the same extremity of thought in this impeachment talk. Disagreement with President Obama’s agenda is not enough. Instead he must be totally discredited and wiped from the history books. It is ugly.

    • I don’t think the people at PostModern Conservative are partisans run amok, but by talking of impeachment, they may be unjustly suspected of it. Perhaps you wouldn’t be persuaded, but their argument and the sobriety with which they offer it might surprise you. The sobriety surprised me.

      • Well, I appreciate sobriety. But one dispassionate article does not change the tenor of the opposition. Give me criminal acts (such as if President Obama had actually carried us into war in Syria on trumped-up “evidence”) and then we will talk impeachment. Talk of imperiousness and I hear the sour grapes of the loyal opposition. There is far too much at stake to go down this road.

  2. Well, I’m the guy who used “imperiousness.” The PostModern conservative guys used examples like moving around ACA statutory schedules that aren’t within the Executive power to alter.
    But I must agree that the well of impeachment has been pretty well poisoned. And as our chat has progressed, most conservatives seem to be weighing in on the side of “don’t go there, GOP; you’re a bunch of bumbling idiots who won’t explain the case for impeachment properly. You’ll strengthen Obama and weaken your party before the day is done.”


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