[ExI] Michael Cohen​

Dan TheBookMan danust2012 at gmail.com
Thu Feb 28 06:43:48 UTC 2019

> On Feb 27, 2019, at 9:57 PM, <spike at rainier66.com> <spike at rainier66.com> wrote: 
> From: extropy-chat <extropy-chat-bounces at lists.extropy.org> On Behalf Of William Flynn Wallace
> Subject: Re: [ExI] Michael Cohen​
> spike wrote
>  We have seen great progress in weakening the office that desperately needed weakening, in such a way that the previous level of power will take a long time (if ever) to return to that office. 
> The thing that has always concerned me is the war-making of the President.  Congress should have that say and I dunno why they can't take that to court.
> bill w
> It has always required congress to declare war. 

This hasn’t mattered as, especially since WW2, the president has been able to get the US into wars that were never declared by Congress, including major long term ones like the Korean War, Vietnam, the first Persian Gulf War, Afghanistan, And the second Persian Gulf War. It’s merely another glaring example of how constitutional constraints can be easily gotten around.

And before WW2, there are other examples like Quasi-War (1798-1800; nite this is soon after the present Constitution was ratified; already a president managed to successfully set aside the constraint), First Barbary War (1805), Algerian War (1815),
First Sumatran Expedition (1832), Second Opium War (1856), Paraguay Expedition (1859), Formosa Expedition (1867), the Korean Expedition (1871), participating in the Boxer Rebellion (1900), Nicaraguan Campaign (1912), involvement in the Mexican Revolution (1914), Occupation of Haiti (1915), and the Occupation of Dominican Republic (1916). These happened at a time that Constitutionalists tend to look back on fondly — as if every president tried his hardest to work within the constraints and the courts and Congress jealousy guarded against overreach.

A more radical critique of the Constitution can be found in the book cited here:


> If the office of the presidency is weakened, they are less likely to command troops into a police action or whatever lame excuse term they want to use for war. 

See above. It’s not impossible to weaken the presidency, but my guess it won’t happen. And if were to happen, it would probably require a much more radical change than we’re likely to see now. One reason is that both major parties have definitely been on board with expanding executive power. They are only against it when the other party is in power, but then their criticisms disappear when they’re in power. (The same goes for antiwar stuff: G. W. Bush talked about a humble foreign policy until he was elected. Obama ran as the peace candidate and expanded the Bush wars.)

> Having a US government at war with itself is perfectly acceptable to me.  The economy roars right on along, technology advances, all is well in my world.

There’s a problem there. Why would War be acceptable to you simply because it followed, say, the Constitution’s declaration process? I can see a reasonable person saying that process would be better than what happens now, but simply following the process doesn’t mean no unacceptable wars (unless you equate acceptable with that outcome of the process). It would simply that a bunch people elected to office all agreed to go to war, whether it was good idea or not. (In the same, I hope you’d be against, say, a genocide policy or a reinstatement of slavery even if either passed constitutional muster.)


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