Sunday, July 27, 2008

I really hate it when consistency demands that I defend those with whom I disagree...

... but I try to do it anyway.

In this case, it's Eric Dondero of Libertarian Republican, whose views I generally find both ideologically repulsive and factually challenged. In the entire Sonny Landham case, Eric has consistently held to the belief that it is not only acceptable, not only OK, but actually desirable to come up with derogatory epithets like "jap," "gook," or "camel-dung shoveler," and that to call people out on this language is panty-waist political correctness run amuck.

I have already explained--both here and in the comments section of Eric's own blog--precisely how venal and idiotic I find such a stand.

But then, on Third Party Watch, someone using the handle Rudi Dekkers attacks Eric not because of his views, but because of his military service:

Oh yeah, Dondero: Did you know that Thomas Jefferson and many of the founders opposed the establishment of a professional government military? In a letter to Francis Hopkinson Jefferson said that the federal Bill of Rights must prohibit a “permanent military”. Nearly all of our state bills of rights prohibit standing armies. The federal constitution only allows armies to be raised in extreme emergencies, after Congress declares war, and only for a term of 2 years or less. The federal bill of rights says only a militia is a safe defense of a free state.

So, no thank you for your serving yourself to my tax money to pay you for participating in the biggest ongoing illegal welfare scam of the the last 2 centuries. Let me know when you’ve learned the conservative principle of being responsible for your actions and I’ll tell you where you can send the restitution checks.

OK, Rudi, let's dance.

1) You don't know your history or your Constitution. Neither the Bill of Rights nor the Constitution prohibits a standing army.

From Article 1, Section 8 [the powers of Congress]

To raise and support Armies, but no Appropriation of Money to that Use shall be for a longer Term than two Years;

To provide and maintain a Navy;

To make Rules for the Government and Regulation of the land and naval Forces;

To provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions;

To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining the Militia, and for governing such Part of them as may be employed in the Service of the United States, reserving to the States respectively, the Appointment of the Officers, and the Authority of training the Militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress...

This section prohibits not standing armies, but appropriations to support the army of over two years. It also clearly distinguishes between "Armies" and "the Militia."

And since the first military appropriations for a standing army (albeit one allowed during the 1790s to shrink at one point to a few hundred men) were all passed by Congresses containing a high proportion of men who had either participated in the Framing of the Ratifying of the US Constitution, it seems a bit ... idiotic (yes, that's the word I'm looking for) to contend that immediately upon writing and ratifying the Constitution the men who did so quickly gutted it.

As for Thomas Jefferson's ideas on militias and armies, let's just say Jefferson spoke for himself and not much of anybody else on such topics, that his views often changed, and that the politician who worried so much about expanding government powers as President engaged in one of the largest expansions of government powers ever in making the Louisiana Purchase.

So quote Jefferson all you like; it's immaterial here.

2) "So, no thank you for your serving yourself to my tax money to pay you for participating in the biggest ongoing illegal welfare scam of the the last 2 centuries."

Let me put this in simple words for you, Rudi Dekkers, so that you can understand it: welfare exists when someone receives a wealth transfer simply for existing, without earning it. The men and women of our armed forces, whether in combat or not, have paid dues in time and in blood that you obviously don't understand or appreciate. Eric, whether I think his politics stink or not, paid his share of those dues.

I've lost brothers and sisters in Afghanistan, in Iraq, and in other shitty places around the world. I completely disown the militaristic, imperialistic nightmare that American foreign policy has become. I will not stand for you flouting idiotic historical fantasies and badmouthing their names and their sacrifices.

I spent 21 years in the US Armed Forces so idiots like you could have freedom of speech.

But I also spent that time defending my right to fire back.


Eric Dondero said...

That's actually a very good explanation of welfare, that I hadn't heard of before: "Welfare exists as a transfer payment from the government for people who do not do anything."

That was the coup de grace against Dikkers idiotic argument.

Waldo Lydecker's Journal said...

It wold be interesting to read a consideration of the uses and misuses of Jefferson's vast correspondence. Lie the Bible, it offers something for every occasion.