Monday, October 02, 2006

As papmoka would say,

Things that make you go HMMMMMMM?

One of the original framers of the Constitution was George Mason. He took his appointment rather seriously, noting that the final work would affect "the happiness or misery of millions yet unborn." However, he did not like the way the direction the drafting took, and passed a list known as the "Objections to This Constitution of Government" which outlined points of contention, foremost being the lack of a Bill of Rights (which came some years later and was a condition for ratification). Listen to some of the things he feared, and see how they sound in today's environment.

In the House of Representatives, there is not the Substance, but the Shadow only of Representation; which can never produce proper Information in the Legislature, or inspire Confidence in the People; the Laws will therefore be generally made by men little concern[e]d in, and unacquainted with their Effects and Consequences.

These (right to alter bills and set salary), with their other great Powers (viz: their Power in the Appointment of Ambassadors and all public Officers, in making Treaties, and in trying all Impeachments) their Influence upon & Connection with the supreme Executive from these Causes, their Duration of Office, and their being a constant existing Body, almost continually sitting, joined with their being one compleat Branch of the Legislature will destroy any Ballance in the Government, & enable them to accomplish what usurpations they please upon the Rights and Liberty of the People.

The Judiciary of the United States is so constructed & extended, as to absorb and destroy the Judiciarys of the several States; thereby rendering Law as tedious intricate and expensive, & Justice as unattainable, by a great Part of the Community, as in England, and enabling the Rich to oppress & ruin the Poor.

The President of the United States has no constitutional Council (a thing unknown in any safe & regular Government) he will therefore be unsupported by proper information and Advice; and will generally be directed by Minions and Favourites. Or he will become a Tool to the Senate - or a Council of State will grow out of the principal Officers of the great Departments; the worst & most dangerous of all Ingredients for such a Council, in a free country.

From this fatal Defect has arisen the improper Power of the Senate in the appointment of public Officers, and teh alarming Dependence & Connection between that Branch of the Legislature and the supreme Executive.

The President of the United States has the unrestrained Power of granting Pardons for Treason; which may be sometimes exercised to screen from Punishment those whom he had secretly instigated to commit the Crime, & thereby prevent a Discovery of his own Guilt.

This Government will set out a moderate Aristocracy: it is at present (in 1787) impossible to foresee whether it will, in its operation, produce a Monarchy, or a corrupt tyrannical Aristocracy; it will most probably vibrate some years between the two, and then terminate in the one or the other.

Interesting how one of the principal drafters felt back in the infancy stage. Very interesting.


Papamoka said...

Thank you for the cudo's my friend. I loved the post. You rock Bro!!!! said...

That is REALLY interesting. So, why is stuff like this never mentioned with Justices blab about the framer's intent?

Steve said...

I would guess that it's because George Mason wasn't, technically a framer, as he resigned after he saw the direction the Constitution was going. Since he quit and this was his position, one could argue that the framers didn't intend this stuff...

I think that's a silly position, because whether he signed it or not, he was very influential in its drafting and its promotion.