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  #1  
Old 02-02-2009, 01:47 PM
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Rule of Law vs Rule of Men

I thought it best to have this debate on a more theorhetical plane than the typical dems vs repubs.

This country was founded by men who grew up under the "Rule of Man" principle.--The King could not violate the Law because he was the law. The land holder could not violate law, because to the tenats on his land, he was the law. The slave owner could not be found guilty of breking laws with regard to his slaves, because he was the law as far as they were concerned.

Having seen the unfairness ( there's that word again) of the Rule of law-( maybe with the exception of the whole slave/ slave owner thing), they imagined a system where LAW was paramount. All citizens from all classes would be subject to the same law. No more landed gentry getting a wink and a nod from the judge, but all held accountable to the same law. Well, in theory, at least that was the way it was to work. In most cases, it worked pretty well, but there was still some favoritism. But those were more exceptions than the rule.
At least in theory, we all subscribed to the rule of Law. I know many of you shouted that during the whole Nixon fiasco--he was not above the law. He actually felt he was, but subsequent events proved him wromg. He was held accountable and left office in disgrace.

What about the tax cheats that seem to be the norm among the democrat leadership? Do they get a "pass" because they are somehow our "betters"?
As I have posted elsewhere, repubs, for better or worse, tend to throw their miscreants under the bus. dems have a history of closing ranks and protecting theirs.

Is President Obama really going to bring change to the way things are done in Washington, or was that merely campaign rhetoric?
It would be refreshing to see him remove their names from the nomination process--Too late for Geitner; he's already in power. But he could make an example of Daschle.

So what is to be, Are we a nation under the rule of LAw, or under the rule of men?

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Old 02-02-2009, 01:59 PM
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Republicans follow the law? How do you explain Guantonamo which was chosen as a prison camp because it was beyond the reach of the law?

On a theoretical level, there is a difference between monarchy and constitutional democracies but it isn't that one is the rule of men and one isn't. The rule of law is the rule of laws created by a larger group than kings and princes.
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Old 02-02-2009, 02:24 PM
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Originally Posted by MS Fowler View Post
As I have posted elsewhere, repubs, for better or worse, tend to throw their miscreants under the bus. dems have a history of closing ranks and protecting theirs.
Do they? What about Blagejovich? I'd say he was thrown under the bus.

It is regrettable that some people fail to pay taxes, but the bigger question is do you automatically get rid of these people and dismiss their qualifications for the job even after they apologize and correct the situation?

As to the rule of law vs. rule of men, I think the CA proposition overturning gay marriage is a good example of the rule of men.
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Old 02-02-2009, 02:50 PM
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Originally Posted by DieselAddict View Post
I think the CA proposition overturning gay marriage is a good example of the rule of men.
Straight men at least.
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Old 02-02-2009, 03:12 PM
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Originally Posted by DieselAddict View Post

It is regrettable that some people fail to pay taxes, but the bigger question is do you automatically get rid of these people and dismiss their qualifications for the job even after they apologize and correct the situation?
I would rather people focus more on the later, rather than the former. It might be easier to get rid of them that way. Seems to me that most of these little fires (tax scandals, etc.) are nothing more than a smoke screen to distract attention away from the bigger problem, which is that most elected "officials" are patently unqualified for their jobs.
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Old 02-02-2009, 03:18 PM
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Straight men at least.
Not necessarily. Some of the most anti-gay people are gay themselves. Remember Ted Haggart? Or Senator Craig?
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Old 02-02-2009, 05:04 PM
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Originally Posted by MS Fowler View Post
I thought it best to have this debate on a more theorhetical plane than the typical dems vs repubs...
Sure didn't take long for the discussion to go from that ^^^ to this:
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What about the tax cheats that seem to be the norm among the democrat leadership? Do they get a "pass" because they are somehow our "betters"?
As I have posted elsewhere, repubs, for better or worse, tend to throw their miscreants under the bus. dems have a history of closing ranks and protecting theirs...
I don't see the justification for keeping Daschle, but if you are trying to make the point that Republicans have more respect for the rule of law, then you have a long way to go.
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Old 02-02-2009, 05:58 PM
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Sure didn't take long for the discussion to go from that ^^^ to this:I don't see the justification for keeping Daschle, but if you are trying to make the point that Republicans have more respect for the rule of law, then you have a long way to go.
That was not the intention. They are politicians, first and foremost.
I think there is a history of repubs not supporting their miscreants. Someone should be able to help with a list, but that is my general impression.
Not to bash former President Clinton, but if that had been a repub Pres with those allegations, the party would have disowned him quickly.
Remember the House Banking scandal? Mostly, but not all dems--abusing their power. They lost office, not thru some legislative oversight committee, but thru the ballot box. The party tried to ignore it.
Remember Barny Frank's room mate's prostitution ring being run out of Frank's house? If that had happened to a repub, no question he would have been removed by the party. But the dems closed ranks, and supported him.

Again the party differences were merely illustrative.

So, there seems to be some agreement here that certain leaders are above the law.
Is that just because you agree with them?
Or is it your recognition that the merit of the service they render allows them to ignore laws?

Who was it who said "it is our patriotic duty to pay more taxes"?
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Old 02-02-2009, 07:17 PM
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Originally Posted by kerry View Post
Republicans follow the law? How do you explain Guantonamo which was chosen as a prison camp because it was beyond the reach of the law?

On a theoretical level, there is a difference between monarchy and constitutional democracies but it isn't that one is the rule of men and one isn't. The rule of law is the rule of laws created by a larger group than kings and princes.
I thought he was asking for something other than yet another "my party is red hot, your party ain't diddley-squat" type argument.

One of the best arguments (IMO) about law is between Charles I of England and the Roundheads during the King's trial. It was a damned serious argument in which all concerned tried to maintain solemn order, but the King lost his head in the end. (I couldn't resist).
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Old 02-02-2009, 07:22 PM
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Originally Posted by MS Fowler View Post
repubs, for better or worse, tend to throw their miscreants under the bus. dems have a history of closing ranks and protecting theirs.
While MS did claim this thread was not about republicans and democrats, he did make the statement above, which is contrary to his stated intent,hence my reply in kind.


To push the debate towards the abstract, I think it's reasonable to believe that law is politics by other means.
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Old 02-02-2009, 07:52 PM
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Originally Posted by MS Fowler View Post
That was not the intention. They are politicians, first and foremost.
I think there is a history of repubs not supporting their miscreants. Someone should be able to help with a list, but that is my general impression.
Not to bash former President Clinton, but if that had been a repub Pres with those allegations, the party would have disowned him quickly.
Remember the House Banking scandal? Mostly, but not all dems--abusing their power. They lost office, not thru some legislative oversight committee, but thru the ballot box. The party tried to ignore it.
Remember Barny Frank's room mate's prostitution ring being run out of Frank's house? If that had happened to a repub, no question he would have been removed by the party. But the dems closed ranks, and supported him.

Again the party differences were merely illustrative.

So, there seems to be some agreement here that certain leaders are above the law.
Is that just because you agree with them?
Or is it your recognition that the merit of the service they render allows them to ignore laws?

Who was it who said "it is our patriotic duty to pay more taxes"?
What about Bush's pardoning of Scooter Libby? From what I can tell, to Bush the most important thing was loyalty. Ethics, following the law or competence were mere afterthoughts in his administration.
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Old 02-02-2009, 08:40 PM
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What about Bush's pardoning of Scooter Libby? From what I can tell, to Bush the most important thing was loyalty. Ethics, following the law or competence were mere afterthoughts in his administration.
Not a pardon, was it? Commutation maybe?
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Old 02-02-2009, 08:43 PM
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Yes, that's what I meant. It doesn't change the point though.
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Old 02-02-2009, 09:20 PM
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Yes, that's what I meant. It doesn't change the point though.
Sure it does. Libby's felony conviction remains. Strike 1 on 3 strikes. No vote in many states. Had he been pardoned he'd be another Ollie North.
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Old 02-02-2009, 09:43 PM
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Originally Posted by MS Fowler View Post
...So, there seems to be some agreement here that certain leaders are above the law.
Is that just because you agree with them?
Or is it your recognition that the merit of the service they render allows them to ignore laws?
I have no idea what you are talking about. Why would anyone be above the law?
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Who was it who said "it is our patriotic duty to pay more taxes"?
I don't know. Joe Biden said something similar, but I don't know whom you are quoting.

During the campaign, Biden was talking about Obama's proposed tax changes in which people at the top would pay more in taxes. Google turned up several references to Biden's statement. Here is how he was quoted on one website:
Quote:
"We want to take money and put it back in the pocket of middle-class people," Biden said. Of those who would pay more, he said: "It's time to be patriotic ... time to jump in, time to be part of the deal, time to help get America out of the rut."

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2008/09/18/biden-its-patriotic-for-w_n_127440.html
I agree with him, but don't see what it has to do with this thread.

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