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Originally Posted By: Senator Hatrack
NW Ponderer, a Classical Liberal believes that our government should limited in both substance and size.
On what do you base this assertion? To avoid a "lecture," I will not trot out my quotes of numerous "classical liberals" (such as Adam Smith) to refute the assertion. You go first. It is your claim.


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Since the word size is a synonym for substance my claim was grammatically in error. Grammatical error aside our Constitution was written for the purpose of limiting the size of our government. Unless you can prove that our Constitution is not the basis of Classical Liberalism there is no argument.


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Originally Posted By: Senator Hatrack
Since the word size is a synonym for substance my claim was grammatically in error. Grammatical error aside our Constitution was written for the purpose of limiting the size of our government. Unless you can prove that our Constitution is not the basis of Classical Liberalism there is no argument.
I'm sorry, my friend, but that assertion is utter nonsense. The Constitution was not "written for the purpose of limiting the size of our government." Not in any way, shape, or form. It was to establish a government. That was its purpose. Period. That it divided the aspects of government between elements and levels of government is not a "limitation" but a structure. I know you love the rubric "Classical Liberalism" but it is not suitable for every idiosyncratic belief of yours.

Second, "size" and "substance" are not synonyms. Not in this context, nor virtually any.

Finally, I have no idea what you mean by "Unless you can prove that our Constitution is not the basis of Classical Liberalism there is no argument." I simply cannot parse your sentence or grok its meaning.


A well reasoned argument is like a diamond: impervious to corruption and crystal clear - and infinitely rarer.

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Originally Posted By: NW Ponderer
I'm sorry, my friend, but that assertion is utter nonsense. The Constitution was not "written for the purpose of limiting the size of our government." Not in any way, shape, or form. It was to establish a government. That was its purpose. Period. That it divided the aspects of government between elements and levels of government is not a "limitation" but a structure. I know you love the rubric "Classical Liberalism" but it is not suitable for every idiosyncratic belief of yours.
According to the primary author of our Constitution it was written to limit the size of our government. "The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government are few and defined. Those which are to remain in the State governments are numerous and indefinite." James Madison
When the powers of our government are few and defined they are limited! Do you really think that the men who had risked their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor, in a war against the most powerful and oppressive government in the world are going to create a large and oppressive government? No, they are not going to do that! Then a written contract, a constitution, is a limitation on what can be done by those who write that contract. A house is a structure, does it not limit put a limit on the activities of those in it? So, like a house the structure, our Constitution, limits what our government can do.

Originally Posted By: NW Ponderer
Second, "size" and "substance" are not synonyms. Not in this context, nor virtually any.
No, they aren't, at least not in this context. That's why I said my comment was grammatically wrong.
But as Thesaurus.com says size can be a synonym for substance. https://www.thesaurus.com/browse/size?s=t

Originally Posted By: NW Ponderer
Finally, I have no idea what you mean by "Unless you can prove that our Constitution is not the basis of Classical Liberalism there is no argument." I simply cannot parse your sentence or grok its meaning.

Then perhaps you don't understand what Classical Liberalism is. After all you don't think our Constitution is a limitation on our government.


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Oh, JFC on a hockey stick, Senator, I can't believe you don't realize you just made my point. Madison said absolutely nothing, zilch, nada, about the size of the government. What he discussed was the purpose. As I said, and he said, the Constitution divides responsibilities between levels of government "The powers delegated", which is exactly what I pointed out.
Originally Posted By: Senator Hatrack
Originally Posted By: NW Ponderer
I'm sorry, my friend, but that assertion is utter nonsense. The Constitution was not "written for the purpose of limiting the size of our government." Not in any way, shape, or form. It was to establish a government. That was its purpose. Period. That it divided the aspects of government between elements and levels of government is not a "limitation" but a structure. I know you love the rubric "Classical Liberalism" but it is not suitable for every idiosyncratic belief of yours.
According to the primary author of our Constitution it was written to limit the size of our government. "The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government are few and defined. Those which are to remain in the State governments are numerous and indefinite." James Madison
When the powers of our government are few and defined they are limited! Do you really think that the men who had risked their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor, in a war against the most powerful and oppressive government in the world are going to create a large and oppressive government? No, they are not going to do that! Then a written contract, a constitution, is a limitation on what can be done by those who write that contract. A house is a structure, does it not limit put a limit on the activities of those in it? So, like a house the structure, our Constitution, limits what our government can do.

Originally Posted By: NW Ponderer
Second, "size" and "substance" are not synonyms. Not in this context, nor virtually any.
No, they aren't, at least not in this context. That's why I said my comment was grammatically wrong.
But as Thesaurus.com says size can be a synonym for substance. https://www.thesaurus.com/browse/size?s=t

Originally Posted By: NW Ponderer
Finally, I have no idea what you mean by "Unless you can prove that our Constitution is not the basis of Classical Liberalism there is no argument." I simply cannot parse your sentence or grok its meaning.

Then perhaps you don't understand what Classical Liberalism is. After all you don't think our Constitution is a limitation on our government.
That last claim, again, is a non sequitur. Our Constitution is not a paean to "classical liberalism" as the term hadn't even been invented yet. I'm quite familiar with both what it actually means and how it has been bastardized by neoconservatives and libertarians to mean something else.

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Originally Posted By: NW Ponderer
Oh, JFC on a hockey stick, Senator, I can't believe you don't realize you just made my point. Madison said absolutely nothing, zilch, nada, about the size of the government. What he discussed was the purpose. As I said, and he said, the Constitution divides responsibilities between levels of government "The powers delegated", which is exactly what I pointed out.
Originally Posted By: Senator Hatrack
Originally Posted By: NW Ponderer
I'm sorry, my friend, but that assertion is utter nonsense. The Constitution was not "written for the purpose of limiting the size of our government." Not in any way, shape, or form. It was to establish a government. That was its purpose. Period. That it divided the aspects of government between elements and levels of government is not a "limitation" but a structure. I know you love the rubric "Classical Liberalism" but it is not suitable for every idiosyncratic belief of yours.
According to the primary author of our Constitution it was written to limit the size of our government. "The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government are few and defined. Those which are to remain in the State governments are numerous and indefinite." James Madison
When the powers of our government are few and defined they are limited! Do you really think that the men who had risked their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor, in a war against the most powerful and oppressive government in the world are going to create a large and oppressive government? No, they are not going to do that! Then a written contract, a constitution, is a limitation on what can be done by those who write that contract. A house is a structure, does it not limit put a limit on the activities of those in it? So, like a house the structure, our Constitution, limits what our government can do.

Originally Posted By: NW Ponderer
Second, "size" and "substance" are not synonyms. Not in this context, nor virtually any.
No, they aren't, at least not in this context. That's why I said my comment was grammatically wrong.
But as Thesaurus.com says size can be a synonym for substance. https://www.thesaurus.com/browse/size?s=t

Originally Posted By: NW Ponderer
Finally, I have no idea what you mean by "Unless you can prove that our Constitution is not the basis of Classical Liberalism there is no argument." I simply cannot parse your sentence or grok its meaning.

Then perhaps you don't understand what Classical Liberalism is. After all you don't think our Constitution is a limitation on our government.
That last claim, again, is a non sequitur. Our Constitution is not a paean to "classical liberalism" as the term hadn't even been invented yet. I'm quite familiar with both what it actually means and how it has been bastardized by neoconservatives and libertarians to mean something else.

To put it politely you are full of snit! You cannot accept the fact that you are wrong. A government whose powers are "few and defined" is a limited government. You are not the freaking expert know it all that you think you are! Whether or not you want to believe it our Constitution was written to limit the size of our government. Here is another quote from Madison that proves our Constitution created a limited government. "If Congress can do whatever in their discretion can be done by money, and will promote the General Welfare, the Government is no longer a limited one, possessing enumerated powers, but an indefinite one, subject to particular exceptions."


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I let my frustration show. I thoroughly dislike deception and misstatement in pursuit of ideological goals. It is one of the reasons I sometimes rail against "The Federalist Society" that hides behind the label to disguise their anti-federalist roots and goals, and why I detest claims of fidelity to "classical liberalism" to miscast conservative ideas with "liberal" roots. (Just like pretending "constitutional republic" is different than "representative democracy".) logtroll refers to it as ROT - rule of the opposite thing - and I heartily agree.

The U.S. Constitution created a new form of government with a strong central government in response to the failure of the Articles of Confederation that preceded it. There was opposition to this conception by a group called the "anti-federalists". They lost. But their influence and ideology survived in the Democratic-Republicans of Jefferson and Madison. Now their descendants pretend they have history (and the founders) on their side, which is a blatant and brazen lie.

What is most frequently misstated or elided is that Madison's views changed radically over his life, most significantly between when the Constitution was drafted and when the D-R party was formed. At the time the Constitution came into being, the "founders" were imbued with a spirit of promise over their creation. They proselytized for it, and sometimes overstated its merits while minimizing its acknowledged faults to get it ratified. They knew it had defects and were confident that amendments would correct them. One of the compromise/defects was the Electoral College. (Another was the 3/5ths compromise.)

Some things were changed immediately. Two occurred within the decade after ratification. Then there was a half-Century-plus hiatus where this expectation was deferred. But the 13th-15th Amendments were the most significant in our history, and radically reformed the conception of "The United States", and the balance of authorities the Constitution contained.

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Originally Posted By: NW Ponderer
I thoroughly dislike deception and misstatement in pursuit of ideological goals. It is one of the reasons I sometimes rail against "The Federalist Society" that hides behind the label to disguise their anti-federalist roots and goals, and why I detest claims of fidelity to "classical liberalism" to miscast conservative ideas with "liberal" roots.

The Federalist Society Says It’s Not an Advocacy Organization. These Documents Show Otherwise.

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Originally Posted By: NW Ponderer
I let my frustration show. I thoroughly dislike deception and misstatement in pursuit of ideological goals. It is one of the reasons I sometimes rail against "The Federalist Society" that hides behind the label to disguise their anti-federalist roots and goals, and why I detest claims of fidelity to "classical liberalism" to miscast conservative ideas with "liberal" roots. (Just like pretending "constitutional republic" is different than "representative democracy".) logtroll refers to it as ROT - rule of the opposite thing - and I heartily agree.

The U.S. Constitution created a new form of government with a strong central government in response to the failure of the Articles of Confederation that preceded it. There was opposition to this conception by a group called the "anti-federalists". They lost. But their influence and ideology survived in the Democratic-Republicans of Jefferson and Madison. Now their descendants pretend they have history (and the founders) on their side, which is a blatant and brazen lie.

What is most frequently misstated or elided is that Madison's views changed radically over his life, most significantly between when the Constitution was drafted and when the D-R party was formed. At the time the Constitution came into being, the "founders" were imbued with a spirit of promise over their creation. They proselytized for it, and sometimes overstated its merits while minimizing its acknowledged faults to get it ratified. They knew it had defects and were confident that amendments would correct them. One of the compromise/defects was the Electoral College. (Another was the 3/5ths compromise.)

Some things were changed immediately. Two occurred within the decade after ratification. Then there was a half-Century-plus hiatus where this expectation was deferred. But the 13th-15th Amendments were the most significant in our history, and radically reformed the conception of "The United States", and the balance of authorities the Constitution contained.
Another lecture. This one is to hide that you are wrong about the fact that our Constitution created a limited government. Since lectures seem to be your modus operandi to avoid admitting you are wrong I have little or no reason to believe anything you say.


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Originally Posted By: Senator Hatrack
To put it politely you are full of snit! You cannot accept the fact that you are wrong. A government whose powers are "few and defined" is a limited government. You are not the freaking expert know it all that you think you are! Whether or not you want to believe it our Constitution was written to limit the size of our government. Here is another quote from Madison that proves our Constitution created a limited government. "If Congress can do whatever in their discretion can be done by money, and will promote the General Welfare, the Government is no longer a limited one, possessing enumerated powers, but an indefinite one, subject to particular exceptions."
Sometimes, my friend, you make me feel like a parent dutifully following their child around with a bucket and sponge to clean the crayon off the wall. I won't take the crayon away, because I fully support and encourage free expression. But, I can't put the bucket away, either...

I'll note first, that you have never cited your source for these Madison quotes. I know why, because I know where they come from - out of context and everything. You seem to think I don't follow links or read contrary opinions. I do it all the time, so I recognize the quotes and their source. I'll leave that to you.

As I said, Madison's views changed radically over the course of his lifetime and political career. When he co-wrote the Federalist papers with Hamilton, they were largely in accord. It was his design for a strong central government. It was later, under the influence of Jefferson and other "agrarian philosophers" that he changed his views to become quite restrictive, and oppositional to Hamilton. He changed his views again when he became President. He again became a proponent of a strong central government, and even presided over the creation of the Second Bank of the United States - something Hamilton had promoted and Jefferson had opposed.

There is a reason I don't claim to be wrong - I'm not. Contrary to your denigration, I am a "freaking expert know it all". This was a large part of my life's work. Moreover, I have the ability to distinguish between "size" and "purpose". The Constitution created, I readily acknowledge and have often stated, a central government of "enumerated powers". Nowhere, anywhere, in the Constitution does it say "but the government can only be so big." Where those powers are delegated to the federal government they are, largely, plenary. That is the point of the Supremacy clause. That very point was the central issue in the Civil War.

What you are also ignoring, deliberately I suspect, is that the tenor of the balance between State and federal authority changed substantially as a result of the Civil War and the Amendments enacted after it. The federal government gained a great deal of additional authority, and the State governments were consequently greatly constrained, thereafter. Much of what you are espousing follows, faithfully, the tenets of "Lost Cause" mythology. I don't know if that is deliberate, or just a consequence of being rabidly "conservative" in your viewpoint, but it is not realistic or consistent with where the country is, now, or has been for over a century.

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