I listen to a bunch of podcasts throughout the day. One of my favorites is "On Point with Tom Ashbrook," an NPR production. Today, they had a podcast with Christopher Dodd (D - CT), a United States Senator. He's one of my senators, so I figured I'd give him a listen.
Dodd is very much a dark horse candidate in the Presidential race. Right now he's not even registering in national polls, and I thought his response was interesting when asked "How are you going to respond to this lack of popularity at this point?" He basically said it was too early to know, that we have months until the first primary, and that "money doesn't win an election." Well, that would make sense for some one with good values, like Jimmy Carter (and look at how his Presidency turned out!), which Dodd… sort of… has. He's basically a Catholic guy from Connecticut who has a slightly above-average Senatorial career, and does a whole lot of Republican-bashing. In the podcast, he said "We should stop screaming at each other and pull together." That's a nice sentiment, but how does that fit in with the rest of his stance on how "pretty much anything the Republicans want is wrong"? How can you bring people together when you can't even respect the other party?
As a member of his constituency, I don't like Dodd. He's the semi-brilliant son of the brilliant Connecticut Senator Thomas Dodd, and I almost never hear from the guy about anything. I'm not saying he's the beneficiary of nepotism, but it's a possibility. That's nothing new in politics, on either side. I'm not saying Dodd is a bad candidate compared to all Republicans (though I'd likely never vote for him over any Republican); he's just not a good candidate compared to other Democrats. I know this is bad logic (small sample size), but here's my beef with him: a few months ago, I sent an e-mail to Joseph Lieberman, Christopher Shays, and Dodd, about a bill concerning the fate of internet radio stations. I was hoping to hear back from Shays, my Congressman, but nothing came back. Same with Dodd. Lieberman wrote back to me TWICE, with all the information I wanted AND his stance on the issue. Lieberman lived up to his promise to stay connected with his constituents. So far, all I've ever heard from Dodd is "I'm running for President." Well, you're doing a lousy job on both fronts. I hope he doesn't get any votes.
Dodd isn't a bad person. He's a good Catholic (from what I've seen), and a good father, and I can respect that. But when he plays the same game as all the other lackluster politicians, why should any one Democrat favor him over Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama? I'm not voting for any of them, but I sure would never favor Dodd.
On a side note, I did like Dodd's response to a crazy caller who compared his father's Nuremberg trials to the "necessary" pursuit to impeach Bush. He doesn't support it because it wouldn't be good for the country. Though I'm sure he'd love to see Bush impeached, at least he's not crazy.
With that in mind, let's take a look at the role of the President vs. the Constitution. Many anti-Bush people say his administration is passing all sorts of illegal bills that bash the Constitution. Let's assume that's true, which I don't agree with, but let's play this game for a minute. There have been times in history when certain situations required seemingly drastic action taken by the President and Congress. One is now, in the age of violent terrorism, and another was back in the Great Depression. Back in the Depression, FDR created several government-sponsored agencies (the Alphabet Agencies) to help spur job creation. It seems like a wonderful idea, right? Well, it was… against the Constitution. The Judicial System ruled that the role FDR took was illegal, and that government should not have full control of the economy, which was basically what it had. FDR is now heralded as a hero, and he broke the law! What did they do as a result? They changed the Constitution, for good reason. But, he still broke the law. FDR wasn't impeached, and his actions were found illegal at that time. If the Justice Department is behind Bush's plans against terrorism, does it make sense to impeach him now?
The other interesting part of FDR's socialistic plan is that it failed to help end the Depression. World War II ended it.