by RW Spisak Jr.
John Nichols, Constitutional Scholar and writer for the Nation spoke before the assembled Democrats of Palm Beach at the Kravitz Center Saturday December 13th. He had several kinds of good news.
The noted Impeachment Scholar had much positive to say about President Elect Obama, whom he'd interviewed several times over the last four years. He posed a riddle early on, what do President Elect Obama and Vice President Elect Biden have in common, besides marvelous powerful mothers?
He was pleased to find an audience member (one of the Raging Grannies whose performance opened the presentation) knew that both President Elect Obama and Vice President Elect Biden are well respected Constitutional Scholars.
He marveled at how changed were our circumstances by this past election. He said if at his last visit, in 2006, he'd suggested that a relatively unknown Junior Senator from Illinois, son of a well educated single mother, and African American, would be elected President, he'd have been laughed off the stage.
He continued his assessment of the 2008 election with a brief discussion of the incredible forces that came together to bring the American people to a place where they could select Senator Obama as our president. He said, it was a convergence of both a rejection of the policies of a know-nothing, fear first, son of privilege as well as the comprehension that in President Barack Obama we have a highly thoughtful, intelligent and gifted man. He said that here was a man who could move Americans with rhetoric. This allowed him a broader set of tools to motivate Americans, beyond the simple fear and hate repertoire of the former highly inarticulate president.
He also said, we're very fortunate to have in both the House and Senate Constitution Committees, very wise and committed Constitutionalists; Rep Jerrold Nadler and Russell D. Feingold, Wisconsin (Chairman) US Senate Committee on the Judiciary, Constitutional Subcommittee.
He mention the recent appointment of proposed Energy Secretary Steven Chu, Physicist, 1997 Nobel Prize Winner, and Lawrence Berkeley Lab Director since 2004. Imagine he said, a Cabinet official with a Nobel Prize, a man in favor of science instead of appointments that run from science. He was chosen because President-Elect Obama wants to emphasize competence and science - WOW! he said, we already have change!
Imagine selecting a cabinet secretary based on intelligence and competence rather than fantasy and B.S.? Now that's PROGRESS!
He congratulated Palm Beach County on finally having it's votes counted. Even more progress!
We are always in momentous times and one of the most momentous problems facing us right now is the auto industry bailout, or loan. Those Southern Senators are primarily opposed to UNIONS. In less that a week they voted to send 750 Billion Dollars, with no strings attached to the CORRUPT BANKERS AND TRADERS on Wall Street, but it's taken over a month and they still haven't voted a mere 14 Billion to save the jobs of tens of thousands of Auto Workers and all the businesses that depend upon them.
Its the same old story of the Corporations versus the workers. We know that one. We have to be passionate, about helping the union auto workers. We need to make sure that everyone of the autoworkers keep their jobs!
It was the UAW that literally sent Union leaders to Alabama to bail out Dr. King and other civil rights leaders. It was black and white UNION Autoworkers who advocated and agitated to get Nelson Mandela free from Robin Island Prison.
When after his release in 1990 he travelled to America and he had three stops. He spoke in Congress (where the opponents of sanctions crowded around to be photographed with him) and on Wall Street, (after all, South Africa has GOLD and DIAMONDS), his third stop was in Michigan at the Ford Rouge Plant where he wanted to personally thank the Union AutoWorkers who worked tirelessly for his release and an end to apartheid, in South Africa. Black and White UAW members in Dearborn were the first organization to oppose apartheid and demand his release. He insisted on thanking them before he went home.
John also spoke very warmly in support of the Women's International League of Peace and Freedom. He asked if people knew of it's history. WILPF's regional president Susan Moseley had spoken eloquently during the opening remarks and issued a passionate call for support and membership. WILPF founded in 1915, has worked for nearly a century to end war, reduce violence and achieve full women's rights.
He raised the subject of the open Senate seat in Illinois, and how he had advocated a special election there to fill the seat, because no one should take a seat in the Senate unless they had been placed there by the people in an election.
The only way he kept sane the last eight years, was by living in large part in the 18th century, in an indepth study of the writings of the founders. They were trying to do something that had never been done before. They were rejecting the Divine Right of Kings. Previously the main theory of government during the age of monarchy was the belief that GOD had selected the King. Thus by challenging the King, you were challenging GOD. Further, if you rejected the King, you were rejecting God.
How dangerous, how radical, that they strove to put an end to the "DIVINE RIGHT OF KINGS". The founders weren't saying, they didn't like personally like King George. They were rejecting the principle of the Divine Right of Kings. There were people who were taught and literally believed that if people rejected the King, they could be struck down from on high because rejecting the KING was exactly the same as rejecting GOD.
The founders were determined that they would never serve a KING! They would never have a man who could unilaterally send his people, his subjects, to war with out their approval and participation. The people would have a say.
[END PART 1]
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