Everything is Unconstitutional

When you are a Republican. Now it is child labor laws.

Being a Democrat is the most frustrating thing on the planet. We’re running against people that are pro-torture, pro-war, pro child labor, and losing.






110 replies
  1. 1
    chopper says:

    i know. i get that frustrated like that from time to time, then look around at the general population and go ‘oh, that’s what it is.’

  2. 2
    aimai says:

    You forgot pro torturing puppies. I believe they fought that war in Missouri.

    aimai

  3. 3
    Zifnab says:

    We’re running against people that are pro-torture, pro-war, pro child labor, and losing.

    ’06 and ’08 were massive wave elections for Democrats. Then ’10 rolled around, voters looked around and determined nothing was fixed, and we had a massive Republican wave election.

    If you think low-info voters and other independents were going to the polls to vote up torture, war, and child labor, you’re nuts. They’re voting their disgust with the economy.

    On the flip side, you’ve got states like Pennsylvania, Ohio, Florida, and Texas that have performed admirably in the departments of gerrymandering and voter disenfranchisement. Remember Tom DeLay’s old PAC – Texans For A Republican Majority? That wasn’t just happy talk. The Republicans spent all of the ’90s and half the ’00s swallowing up the state using every trick in the book.

    So on the one side, you’ve got a general public that is disillusioned with lukewarm progressive politics. And on the other, you’ve got the rich white guy mafia running the opposition. :-p

  4. 4
    BGinCHI says:

    And they say reading Dickens isn’t relevant…..

  5. 5
    Seanly says:

    It boils down to a choice between well-meaning buffoons (D) or mustache-curling villians (R). I go with the buffoons as I just don’t care for the Snidely Whiplash types.

    Plus if you include everyone over the age of 13 in the labor market and you don’t let people get full SSI a couple of years early, then unemployment numbers would sky rocket and make Obama look bad.

    Lastly, getting the fifth grader in the house to stop mooching and start producing would offset the real fall in wages over the last 40 years. Get us on the road to the next boom.

  6. 6
    burnspbesq says:

    If you react to every stupid thing that Mike Lee says, your outrage meter will be permanently on 11 until it breaks.

    Let’s be clear: this is ONE freshman Senator arguing against a century of settled law.

    At least for the moment, these aren’t the droids you’re looking for. When there are veto-proof majorities in both houses of Congress that want to act on Lee’s insane fantasy, then we can start of worry.

  7. 7
    Scooter Magruder says:

    I used to think it was because we were worse at marketing our ideas, but, really, what is there to market in saying that torture is bad or children shouldn’t be forced to work in satanic mills? On the other hand, if you ask about individual policies on the environment, labor, etc., polls often show a majority favor Dem. positions, yet Repubs still get an overall approval rating. Are people just too dumb to be small-d democrats?

  8. 8
    Brachiator says:

    Now it is child labor laws.

    Arbeit macht frei

  9. 9
    Mike in NC says:

    Nobody could have predicted the new GOP House would have abolishing the minimum wage and general union-busting at the top of its anti-worker/pro-greed agenda. Gonna be a long two years.

  10. 10
    NR says:

    A Democratic House aide recently summed up the problem perfectly. In 2006, the people voted out the party of endless war and corporate bailouts. In 2008, the people voted out the party of endless war and corporate bailouts. And in 2010, the people voted out the party of endless war and corporate bailouts.

  11. 11
    Linnaeus says:

    Well, leaving aside that fact that federal law banning child labor was upheld by the Supreme Court in 1941 (U.S. v. Darby Lumber Co.), which overturned the prior Supreme Court decision to which Lee refers, Lee’s dodge against a charge that he favors child labor is his position that it’s bad, of course, but is properly regulated by the states.

    And maybe he really believes that, but I have a hard time seeing how banning child labor at the federal level is an onerous imposition on our liberties. I wouldn’t count out the possibility that in Lee’s world, there would be states that would have fairly loose restrictions on child labor, even in this day an age.

  12. 12
    ruemara says:

    When the bulk of a democracy don’t vote, they get the government they deserve.

  13. 13
    b-psycho says:

    @Zifnab:

    If you think low-info voters and other independents were going to the polls to vote up torture, war, and child labor, you’re nuts. They’re voting their disgust with the economy.

    Probably as a learned reaction to how usually with cyclical downturns the economy comes back after the flip between D & R — even though the flip has squat to do with it.

    Of course, the catch is that this one isn’t cyclical. I wonder how voters will react when they realize that…

  14. 14
    Cacti says:

    I like how in support of his argument, he cites a case that was overturned 70 years ago.

  15. 15
    JGabriel says:

    John Cole:

    We’re running against people that are pro-torture, pro-war, pro child labor, and losing.

    We like to think it’s because we’re not getting our message out, or that it’s being undercut by GOP propaganda and lies, but maybe that’s not the case. Maybe there’s just a slight majority of Americans who are evil.

    I don’t know if that’s the case or not, but I’m starting to entertain the possibility.

    .

  16. 16
    beltane says:

    We’re losing because we are up against a media that is skilled at taking previously unpalatable positions and transforming them into acceptable, even preferable policies. When the average person sees a physically attractive, “serious” looking journalist on TV presenting these reprehensible views with approval, he too will feel that there is nothing to be concerned about.

    Marketing is key. Americans are manipulated into buying and consuming all kinds of harmful trash; the Republican party is just one more instance of this.

  17. 17
    RSA says:

    We’re running against people that are pro-torture, pro-war, pro child labor, and losing.

    Don’t forget Rand Paul’s nostalgia for separate but equal. (Not to mention Republican efforts in my own area of the country, Wake County, NC, to effectively re-segregate the school system.)

  18. 18
    New Yorker says:

    Can we just get to the point where we declare the Constitution unconstitutional? I’m tired of all this beating around the bush.

  19. 19
    Davis X. Machina says:

    …pro-torture, pro-war, pro child labor, and losing.

    The problem is one baked into small-d democracy.

    If voters go into the polling booth with the following checklist: Which politician promised me:
    • At Jesus’ name every knee shall bend.
    • I’ll get to keep my guns.
    • Foreigners will tremble at our might.
    • Fags, women, liberals and coloreds will know their proper place.
    • I get to keep all of my money, that I earned.
    • All change will stop, now, forever.

    …whatever did you expect to come out as a result?

    Maybe there’s just a slight majority of Americans who are evil. I don’t know if that’s the case or not, but I’m starting to entertain the possibility.

    2006 was an anomaly, 2008 a frickin’ miracle.

  20. 20
    Steaming Pile says:

    Being a Democrat is the most frustrating thing on the planet. Our candidates are running against people that are pro-torture, pro-war, pro child labor, pro Jim Crow, etc., and losing. And when we win, we still lose. It’s like being a Cubs fan, only worse, since we all get to take some small part in helping our team win. Cubs fans can claim no such control over their team.

    FIFY. It’s also like getting a perfect score on your SATs and a 4.0 GPA, yet losing out on going to your dream school to some nitwit with an IQ of 90 and a big bagful of his dad’s money.

  21. 21
    BGinCHI says:

    If the last line of this TBOGG post doesn’t make you laugh, you’re already dead.

    http://tbogg.firedoglake.com/2.....con-bacon/

  22. 22
    Rommie says:

    Solving the public education “problem” and giving the corporate overlords a new source of cheap labor at the same time. Brilliant! No need for those public employee teacher types anymore, and education is returned to the realm of the privileged elite. Lots of win-win! And it only takes the votes of 5 enlightened judges. There wouldn’t be any backlash or the like, of course, as that is just crazy talk.

  23. 23
    Bender says:

    What a bunch of illiterate morons leftists are!

    I’d say you guys were being intellectually dishonest, but really, I think The Hivemind can’t muster the cognitive abilities to intentionally lie about this. You’re just lazy, drooling idiots.

    The Senator was obviously just pointing out a problem with regards to state vs. federal powers. Here’s what he actually said:

    “In that case, the Supreme Court acknowledged something very interesting — that, as reprehensible as child labor is, and as much as it ought to be abandoned — that’s something that has to be done by state legislators, not by Members of Congress.”

    “…as reprehensible as child labor is, and as much as it ought to be abandoned…” Yep, sounds like he wants to hire him some salt-mining kids!

    Apologies, anyone? Naaaah, didn’t think so. Stay classy, Ball-Juicers!

    At least now we can publish this thread all over the internet, so everyone can mock all Democrats for being crazy, illiterate retards. Thanks, John!

  24. 24
    Tonal Crow says:

    @New Yorker:

    Can we just get to the point where we declare the Constitution unconstitutional? I’m tired of all this beating around the bush.

    The Supreme Court’s almost finished declaring the 4th and 5th Amendments as unconstitutional. It’s a start.

    [OT: Hey! Blockquotes don’t get automatically bolded anymore! Hallelujah! ]

  25. 25
    Chyron HR says:

    @Bender:

    WAAAH! THAT’S DIFFERENT! YOU FORGOT THE CONTEXT!

    But I thought “context” was just a liberal lie? How confusing.

  26. 26
    srv says:

    When the next republican gets sick, we all need to ask why they aren’t using traditional remedies like blood letting.

  27. 27
    BGK says:

    I wouldn’t count out the possibility that in Lee’s world, there would be states that would have fairly loose restrictions on child labor, even in this day an age.

    Bug…feature…something something…

  28. 28
    elmo says:

    We’re running against people that are pro-torture, pro-war, pro child labor, and losing.

    Since a large majority of the country is at best indifferent to the torture and death of brown furriners with funny names, and at worst actively in favor of it, can you explain why you’re surprised at this state of affairs?

  29. 29
    b-psycho says:

    @ruemara: If the idea is “representative government”, who are people supposed to vote for if no one is available that would actually represent them?

  30. 30
    Davis X. Machina says:

    Bender, if I thought for a moment he actually believed that, on the merits, instead of pushing it out there because he has a hard-on for killing off the modern regulatory state by blowing up the last seventy years of Commerce clause jurisprudence, and hey, the ends justify the means, I might agree that you had a point.

    I might also be Hans-Adam II, Prince of Liechtenstein, posting under an assumed name.

  31. 31
    geg6 says:

    @beltane:

    As nice as it would be to place all the blame on the media, I don’t buy that (though they have their responsibility in the farce we currently call politics in this country).

    I’m much more convinced by JGabriel:

    We like to think it’s because we’re not getting our message out, or that it’s being undercut by GOP propaganda and lies, but maybe that’s not the case. Maybe there’s just a slight majority of Americans who are evil.

    And Davis X. Machina:

    2006 was an anomaly, 2008 a frickin’ miracle.

    I submit that most Americans are just awful, horrible, selfish assholes and that is why we get the media and politics we have.

  32. 32

    Republicans and war hawks are fond today of calling Dr. MArtin Luther King a Republican. So let’s see what a Rev. Martin Luther King speech would’ve sounded like if he was, indeed, a Republican.

  33. 33
    PS says:

    @BGinCHI: Is that a threat?

  34. 34
    jrg says:

    I don’t see what the problem is. If Republicans want their children to be indentured servants, let them do it. Take away Medicare in red states, too. You’re denying these people a valuable learning experience.

  35. 35
    WaterGirl says:

    @Bender: Bender, I have no respect for what you do when you post here, and I make it a habit to ignore crap like this, but I made myself a promise the other night.

    When you brought your crap to the thread about the memorial for the people who were shot in AZ, I asked you to take your crap elsewhere and show some humanity, because we had all just attended the memorial, one way or another.

    You didn’t post again that night, not that I saw, and I want to thank you for that.

  36. 36
    BGinCHI says:

    @PS: More of a humor libel.

  37. 37
    lacp says:

    @Bender: The Supreme Court did indeed acknowledge that. And a later Supreme Court overturned the decision acknowledging that. Hey, how about that Dred Scott decision, huh?

  38. 38
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @b-psycho: The Census people ask non-voters every two years, “Why didn’t you vote?


    “Didn’t like any of the candidates”
    never finishes in the top three reasons, going back forty years.

    (link is to an Excel-format spreadsheet.)

    The notion that there’s a vast untapped progressive non-voting army out there just waiting has no data to support it — thirty years of looking by political scientists, and nothing to show for it.

  39. 39
    beltane says:

    @geg6: I am of the opinion that roughly a third of the population in any given country are evil, with another third being dumb as rocks and therefore receptive to evil. What makes the situation more dangerous in this country is that we are not a society of shared values, shared history, or shared hopes for the future (despite all the claims to the contrary). All we have in terms of a shared identity is a toxic mythology which teaches us that no matter what we do in this country, it is by definition the best and freest course of action possible. It is this delusion which makes the dumb as rocks contingent support the Republicans every time.

  40. 40
    gwangung says:

    Republicans and war hawks are fond today of calling Dr. MArtin Luther King a Republican.

    Which is, of course, revisionism.

    What they called him was a Communist and a socialist.

    Hm. Sound familiar?

  41. 41
    numbskull says:

    @Linnaeus:

    I wouldn’t count out the possibility that in Lee’s world, there would be states that would have fairly loose restrictions on child labor, even in this day an age.

    Replace “states” with “US territories” and you’d be talking about the present world that we all live in.

  42. 42
    burnspbesq says:

    @Bender:

    I’m sorry. Who’s being intellectually dishonest? Did you note for the record that the case Lee cited was overruled a very long time ago? No, you didn’t.

    Look, you are entitled to say that you don’t think the law should be what it is. You’re not entitled to lie about what the law actually is.

    You’re a liar. Please go away.

  43. 43
    Bruce (formerly Steve S.) says:

    losing

    Except for 2006 and 2008. And 2000, when the Dems won the popular vote for President and retook the Senate. Or 1996. Or 1992.

    Granted, it’s not like the old New Deal days when Dems won everything in sight, but I’ve yet to figure out where this notion that Dems are just a bunch of losers comes from.

  44. 44
    Cacti says:

    @Bender:

    The Senator was obviously just pointing out a problem with regards to state vs. federal powers.

    Actually, it’s not a problem. The case law’s been settled since 1941.

  45. 45
    Bender says:

    @lacp:

    Irrelevant. There is no way that a thinking person can reasonably believe that Lee’s statement was an endorsement of child labor. Only a simpleton could be duped into even entertaining the notion. And you were all duped because you thought (crazily enough) that John would do the due diligence to actually read the remarks.

    Suckers.

  46. 46
    Judas Escargot says:

    @elmo:

    Since a large majority of the country is at best indifferent to the torture and death of brown furriners with funny names, and at worst actively in favor of it, can you explain why you’re surprised at this state of affairs?

    There’s nothing wrong with our government: It’s actually working, as designed.

    When you have a culture like ours, full of racists, narcissists, and idiots who think their opinion on any given subject is inherently equal or superior to that of experts in that subject who’ve actually studied it for decades… this is exactly what you get.

  47. 47
    mitch says:

    I like punching fascists as much as others (hell, it’s so easy with the current Republicans), but i gotta say that I don’t think that saying Child Labor laws are unconstitutional is the same as being pro-child labor. There certainly is an intermediate stance of believing some things should be done at the state level and expecting states to enact these laws.

  48. 48
    Bender says:

    @burnspbesq:

    So… since Sen. Lee thinks the states should have the right to outlaw child labor… that means he’s FOR child labor? You guys could not be any crazier. Once again:

    “…as reprehensible as child labor is, and as much as it ought to be abandoned…”

    You guys were all duped by your own laziness and gullibility. Own it.

  49. 49
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Bender:

    Republicans never endorse the horrible outcomes that are the results of their policies. They don’t come right out and say, “Health insurance companies are in business to make money and if some cancer patients have to have their policies withdrawn so profits can be bigger, there’s no problem with that.” They never say, “Roads should be full of potholes, so we’re going to lower taxes to the point where states can’t afford to maintain roads anymore.”

    They just propose a policy that is full of evil and then claim that they can’t be responsible for the outcome that everyone told them would happen because, hey, it’s not their fault that reality took hold and the outcome everyone predicted actually happened.

    Arizona Republicans made it perfectly legal to carry a concealed weapon in public. Now six people are dead and 20 are wounded but — whoops! — who could possibly have predicted that making it easier to carry a concealed weapon in public would lead to crazy people carrying them? No one could have predicted that, except for all of the people who warned them it could happen.

  50. 50

    @Steaming Pile:

    It’s also like getting a perfect score on your SATs and a 4.0 GPA, yet losing out on going to your dream school to some nitwit with an IQ of 90 and a big bagful of his dad’s money.

    You know, there was some Yale applicant the year Dubya got in for whom it was exactly like that.

  51. 51
    Moonbatman says:

    Being Anti-war and Hating Bush is what makes us progressives superior and more effective to the Reich wing.
    See Cindy Sheehan and Jared Loughner.

  52. 52
    Felanius Kootea (formerly Salt and freshly ground black people) says:

    @ruemara: Honestly, I’m starting to think mandatory voting would be a good thing. At least the Republicans would have to explain to the poorest of the poor, who usually don’t make it to vote, why they are the right party to run the country and why minorities are evil. Good luck with that in Compton and Harlem.

  53. 53

    @beltane: Remember Adlai Stevenson’s reply to the woman who gushed that he would get the vote of every thinking person. “That’s wonderful, madam, but I need a majority.”

  54. 54
    Citizen_X says:

    @Bender:

    There is no way that a thinking person can reasonably believe that Lee’s statement was an endorsement of child labor.

    Absolutely. Lee isn’t in favor of child labor, he’s in favor of getting rid of Federal child-labor laws.

    Once again, the Society of the Pathologically Literal-Minded rides to the rescue!

  55. 55
    Tony J says:

    @Cacti:

    But in the context Bender was using, the clearly identified problem is that States Rights, Fuck Yeah! might not be the law of the land, but it tickles a lot of wingnut scrotums. Having a Senator out there mainstreaming the ideology gets them one step closer to the day when they can wear their ‘Lincoln was the Real Traitor!’ banana-hammocks in public.

  56. 56
    Cacti says:

    @Bender:

    So… since Sen. Lee thinks the states should have the right to outlaw child labor… that means he’s FOR child labor?

    States do have the right to outlaw child labor. They can pass a State statute that mirrors the federal statute prohibiting child labor.

    The Senator’s argument that the federal government has no authority to prohibit child labor is based on either ignorance or dishonesty, since the case he cites for support was overruled 70 years ago.

  57. 57
    burnspbesq says:

    @Bender:

    You’re a poor source of information on what thinking people can reasonably believe, since you aren’t one.

  58. 58
    Chyron HR says:

    @Citizen_X:

    Absolutely. Lee isn’t in favor of child labor, he’s in favor of getting rid of Federal child-labor laws.

    He (like Bender) wants to repeal child labor laws, and replace them with some other unspecified laws at an unspecified later date. What’s so wrong with that?

  59. 59
    JasonF says:

    Of course Lee didn’t say he wants child labor. But the question that we always need to ask every time one of these pronouncements comes out is why the speaker is fetishizing federalism in this case. What is the purpose? Is having 50 different versions of a child labor law in 50 different states an end unto itself? Or is it a means to an end? If the former, what is the value of that end? If the latter, what is the end to which Lee is driving.

    Put differently, it’s not enough to say “The federal government shouldn’t be outlawing child labor; the individual states should do it.” The speaker should also explain why the world would be better if we got rid of federal child labor laws and replaced them with 50 different state child labor laws.

  60. 60
    Citizen_X says:

    @Chyron HR: And if that ends up with all the new jobs going to kids in Texas, Arizona, South Carolina, or wherever the child labor laws are loosest, well then, that’s just the free market speaking. FREEDUM!

  61. 61
    geg6 says:

    @Cacti:

    Not to mention that neither of our friends, both Bender or Lee, want anyone to take the logic to its conclusion. According to them, only states should write the laws prohibiting child labor, not the federal government. So say that is how it worked. What, then, do they propose to do when a bastion of freedom like Mississippi decides they don’t need no stinkin’ child labor laws?

  62. 62
    Linnaeus says:

    @mitch:

    The problem here, though, is that Lee makes it sound as if the Supreme Court’s definitive statement on the constitutionality of federal child labor legislation was Hammer v. Dagenhardt. He then goes on to say (in his YouTube lecture) that “we got rid of child labor”, but doesn’t say that this was done via federal law in 1938 (the Fair Labor Standards Act) and that this very law was upheld in U.S. v. Darby Lumber Co. in 1941; this effectively overturned what the Court decided in 1918, and has been settled law ever since. Either Lee didn’t know that, or chose to overlook that very important piece of information. If Lee wants to challenge the constitutionality of federal child labor legislation, then he would need to address the law and the jurisprudence on that law that holds today.

  63. 63
    burnspbesq says:

    @Bender:

    The current status quo is that Federal law prohibits child labor. It is theoretically possible for someone to be opposed to child labor and opposed to Federal regulation of the labor markets. However, anyone who is agitating for an end to Federal regulations must acknowledge that the probability is that some state will permit child labor, and as soon as one state does so, there will be a race to the bottom, with the ultimate result that all states will do so.

    If you can’t see that, you’re even dumber than I previously thought, which I would have considered impossible.

  64. 64
    Egypt Steve says:

    I’ve been telling myself that Chris Christie will not be the rethug nominee because, although the rethugs want to return to the 1880s, they will not nominate someone who actually *looks* like Grover Cleveland (yes, that means a fat guy).

    I was wrong. They are going all the way back to the pre-TR era. All the way.

  65. 65
    Zifnab says:

    I think the real question still remains. How does Bender feel about pie? Delicious or not delicious?

    @Moonbatman:
    /eye-roll
    Man, that’s got to be scrapping a record for stupid.
    An elderly Gold Star Mom is comparable to a raving college drop-out mass murderer, because the college drop-out mass murderer is a progressive (and we know he’s a progressive, even though he opened fire on a progressive politician).

    God, I hope you’re a spoof.

  66. 66
    Ash Can says:

    So even though Lee believes child labor shouldn’t exist, he’s all in favor for establishing an environment in which it could exist.

    That’s some kind of self-absolution there.

  67. 67
    Bender says:

    Absolutely. Lee isn’t in favor of child labor,

    Of course Lee didn’t say he wants child labor.

    Oh, of course not! Who could’ve come up with such a crazy, ignorant notion! Oh, that’s right, it was John Cole and every commenter on this board before someone who can read corrected them.

    We’re running against people that are pro-torture, pro-war, pro child labor, and losing.

    The Great Walk-Back begins…

    Your welcome.

  68. 68
    YellowJournalism says:

    Shorter Lee: Screw you, Jane Addams.

  69. 69
    mitch says:

    @Linnaeus:

    Ok, fair enough, that tells me arguments on constitutionality are bad (or misleading). Still doesn’t make me think he’s pro child labor.

    I guess my hang-up is equating the statement “I think federal child labor laws are unconstitutional” with “I am pro child labor”, which is what John says in his second paragraph.

  70. 70
    Cacti says:

    @Ash Can:

    So even though Lee believes child labor shouldn’t exist, he’s all in favor for establishing an environment in which it could exist. That’s some kind of self-absolution there.

    It’s the Barry Goldwater position on Civil Rights. “Of course I oppose Jim Crow, I just think it’s up to the States to decide.”

    In terms of practical, real world implications, it’s a distinction without a difference.

  71. 71
    Ash Can says:

    @Bender: I don’t think it makes any damned difference what he said, because I don’t think he’s at all sincere about the “child labor shouldn’t exist” bit. Surely he’s bright enough to understand that “leaving it up to the states” opens the door for child labor to exist, since the entire idea behind “states’ rights” is that not every state will do exactly the same thing. If he’s so against child labor, then what does he care whether it’s the states or the federal government who legislates it out of existence? No, child labor evidently doesn’t make that much difference to him, and we aren’t the dishonest ones here, it’s him — and you.

  72. 72
    Dr. Morpheus says:

    @burnspbesq:

    At least for the moment, these aren’t the droids you’re looking for. When there are veto-proof majorities in both houses of Congress that want to act on Lee’s insane fantasy, then we can start of worry.

    By then it would be too late. Better to worry about it now and do something about it than worry about it when nothing can be done to change course.

  73. 73
    Chyron HR says:

    I like how Bender’s entire life revolves around saying outrageous things just to “Piss off the liberals”, and yet he can’t quite wrap his head around the idea that someone from the other side might do the same thing.

  74. 74
    Linnaeus says:

    @mitch:

    I do acknowledge that Lee’s stated position is that child labor laws are supposed to be left to the states way back upthread (actually prior to Bender’s entry into the discussion). Granted, I (perhaps uncharitably) called that a “dodge” precisely because of the misleading argument Lee presents. Lee doesn’t take his preferred scenario to its (possible) logical end, and I have to ask why.

  75. 75
    Ruckus says:

    @beltane:
    Marketing is key. Americans are manipulated into buying and consuming all kinds of harmful trash; the Republican party is just one more instance of this.

    You speak the truth oh wise one.

  76. 76
    Cain says:

    There must be a reason why they are doing this now. Is it because some industrialist wants to exploit kids in Guam or something? Wasn’t there some controversy about worker maltreatment that got cover by republicans in Guam or some territory we control?

    I suspect that’s where this is coming from. Assholes.

    cain

  77. 77
    Ash Can says:

    @Cain: It was the Mariana Islands, IIRC, and our very own Dennis G. is the go-to guy on that.

  78. 78
    Ruckus says:

    @Joey Maloney:
    I’m sure you are being generous on the IQ level. 90? Hard to imagine.

  79. 79
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @Cain: Narrow interpretation of the interstate commerce clause is a tool that can be used to undermine vast swaths of the modern regulatory state, beginning with ACA. It’s got nothing to do with child labor per se.

    The tea party continues to be a sound and a fury signifying nothing but an excellent entertainment to distract the rubes. They are a convenient tool, and will be disposed of the moment they prove inconvenient or a better one comes along. The real agenda — a leveraged buyout of the whole frickin’ country — proceeds apace.

  80. 80
    NR says:

    @JGabriel:

    We like to think it’s because we’re not getting our message out, or that it’s being undercut by GOP propaganda and lies, but maybe that’s not the case. Maybe there’s just a slight majority of Americans who are evil.

    Or maybe it’s because the current leadership of the Democratic party sees emulating Republican policy as a virtue.

    Yes, the Republicans are a bunch of crazy neo-confederates. When Obama took office, they were thoroughly discredited. And yet, instead of pointing out the fact that they were crazy at every opportunity, Obama and the Democratic leadership made the resurrection of the GOP their mission in life, co-opting and endorsing their policies, and bragging about how many GOP ideas they included in their legislation.

    That’s not how you win in politics.

  81. 81
    kay says:

    @Dr. Morpheus:

    I don’t think it’s insane at all. Conservatives are attacking the basis for federal law. They believe “100 years of settled law” is unconstitutional.

    It isn’t just one, either. Rand Paul said the same thing, albeit his problem was with disabled people, and civil rights.

    They should have to elaborate on this. How many believe it? What do they plan to do about that?

    I love,love, love the argument that this conservative leader really doesn’t agree that there should be child labor, on a purely abstract, moral level. Nope. Instead, he’s just attacking the constitutional basis for the actual federal law that protects actual children.

    Rand Paul pulled the same nonsense, and got away with it.

  82. 82
    Maude says:

    @NR:
    You need higher quality drugs.

  83. 83
    Uncle Clarence Thomas says:

    .
    .

    Being a Democrat is the most frustrating thing on the planet.

    True. Its party leader, the President of the United States, will not restore full habeas corpus rights to citizens.

    Note to Bender – Mike Lee wants to get rid of all child labor laws, as well as all laws granting any rights to labor. Allowing states to opt in to such laws also allows them to opt out, which is Lee’s preferred option. He will utter any lie and bend any truth in service to his ultimate goal – something that surely you can understand.
    .
    .

  84. 84
    Harpo says:

    I agree that advocating for the end to federal laws banning child labor is not exactly the same as advocating for child labor, but the effective result is that there will be an inevitable erosion of standards. Why? Because states do not march in lockstep unless forced to and certain states (I’m looking at you, Alabama) do not put a high priority on education to begin with. The issue I see is that by advocating for state regulation of child labor, Lee is ignoring this reality. If you want a national standard, then you have to have a federal standard. If you don’t have a federal standard, states will be all over the map and inevitably, some states will adopt a standard far below the national. You only have to look as far as tax policy and education policy to see this. Low-tax southern states have used tax breaks to compete for manufacturing facilities. What’s to stop them from doing the same with child labor laws? Well one thing would be minimum wage laws. You’d have to revoke them as well, because the whole point of child labor is cheap labor. So revoking or easing up on child labor restrictions would have to go hand in hand with an end to the minimum wage in order for it to make a state significantly more competitive in attracting manufacturing. No employer will pay minimum wage for sub-minimum skills, which is what the average eight-year-old would bring.

    How likely is this? Not very, not immediately, but it’s just another in a long list of settled policies that now seem to be under attack by a party that is obsessively anti-federal anything.

  85. 85
    kay says:

    @Dr. Morpheus:

    Better to worry about it now and do something about it than worry about it when nothing can be done to change course.

    It’s absolutely a fair question. Force them to lay it out. The federal government has no constitutional basis to regulate child labor. That’s what he said.

    That’s a radical statement, and it implicates the constitutional basis for all kinds of federal law that
    affects hundreds of millions of people. He needs to elaborate. He should have to walk us through his theory.

    When Rand Paul said something very much like this, Rachel Maddow was the single person in media who forced him to tell us more about that. He ran away from that as fast as he could, but that’s what he believes.

  86. 86
    Moonbatman says:

    @Zifnab:

    An elderly Gold Star Mom

    I know Mother Sheehan looks ancient and is wise in her support of Hugo Chavez and 9/11 Truth.
    But 53 is elderly?
    You are a brilliant progressive. Please continue to put those Reich wingnuts is their mentally inferior place.

    Most developed world countries have accepted the chronological age of 65 years as a definition of ‘elderly’ or older person

    They believe “100 years of settled law” is unconstitutional?

    Like Slavery?

  87. 87
    Caz says:

    The word “commerce,” as used in the Constitution, means the transfer of goods or services between parties. As such, manufacturing and transporting, for example, are not commerce. You can all read the Federalist Papers for more, but that’s a fair summary.

    So the Constitution allows the federal government to regulate interstate commerce. This is commerce across state lines. The idea is that no state should be allowed to enact laws that hamper interstate commerce. When commerce occurs across state lines, the federal governement is given purview over it to ensure uniform regulation.

    Now, in this example, he is right. There is no interstate commerce involved in a manufacturing plant that sits within a state.

    To say that it’s unconstitutional does not mean that there will be a vacuum of laws for child labor, just that the states will have their own child labor laws. It’s simply not an area that the feds should regulate.

    Do you really think the states will permit child labor? Of course not. Just like they don’t allow murder, which is also a state governed “activity.”

    It’s quite a disingenuous leap to say that since someone is calling for the feds to get out of the arena, that it will be anarchy? It’s simply transferring jurisdiction from the feds to the states. Fair enough.

    So how about you stop unfairly using the fear factor to influence people?

  88. 88
    kay says:

    @Moonbatman:

    No. Like the reach of the commerce clause. If conservatives want to narrow the reach of the commerce clause to exclude child labor, I think they should have to say that, instead of this ridiculous tactic of declaring everything unconstitutional but claiming they’re really, really sad that it’s unconstitutional.

    I don’t care, at all, about the “conservative soul”. I’m not interested in your abstract moral analysis. What I’d like to know is what it means for the country that conservative lawmakers believe all federal regulatory power is unlawful.

  89. 89
    burnspbesq says:

    @Caz:

    Bull. See, e.g., Grant S. Nelson and Robert J. Pushaw, Jr., Rethinking the Commerce Clause: Applying First Principles to Uphold Federal Commercial Regulations but Preserve State Control over Social Issues, 85 Iowa L Rev 1 (1999).

    You can come back with Randy Barnett if you want, and you can prove the existence of a controversy as to the understood meaning of “commerce” as of 1789. By implicitly denying the existence of this controversy, you are, simply put, lying. Just as you are lying when you implicitly state that originalism is the only way to approach these questions.

    So, with all due respect, eat it.

  90. 90
    matoko_chan says:

    We’re running against people that are pro-torture, pro-war, pro child labor, and losing.

    Because cudlips dumbass subsapient twodigits like you, John Cole, give frontpage platforms to purveyors of recycled conservative cowshit like EDK as long as they headfake reasonableness.

  91. 91
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Caz:

    Now, in this example, he is right. There is no interstate commerce involved in a manufacturing plant that sits within a state.

    You’re under the impression that, in this global economy, a manufacturing plant in California sells goods solely within California and doesn’t sell them in any other state? Every state is self-sufficient and never sells the goods it produces over state lines?

    I mean, I realize that the ideal world you guys want to create is tiny feudal states that don’t interact with each other if they’re not fighting a war, but that’s not actually the world we live in.

    Do you really think the states will permit child labor?

    Take a look at the current “right to work” states, especially the ones with companies like Tyson that employ thousands of illegal workers, and tell us again that they wouldn’t prefer to exchange those workers for perfectly legal and equally low-paid underage workers. No more worries about ICE raids, and they’ll all speak English. Win-win!

    ETA: Also, I love how a book written before the Industrial Revolution is still 100 percent applicable to how commerce works after the Industrial Revolution. Why not advocate that doctors return to bleeding patients? After all, it’s not like the world has changed in any way at all since colonial times.

  92. 92
    Gus says:

    Christ, what sad trolls this blog attracts.

  93. 93
    kay says:

    @Caz:

    Now, in this example, he is right. There is no interstate commerce involved in a manufacturing plant that sits within a state.

    Jesus Christ. Nah. There’s no “commerce” involved in selling good and services across state lines. What, pray tell, do you think the manufacturer does with the product? Just stacks it in a warehouse?

    We, quite literally, settled this 100 years ago. You lost.

    This is exactly why I want this clown and Rand Paul to take this argument all the way out. So they can announce there’s no “commerce” involved, after production, like you just did.

  94. 94
    Caz says:

    The bottom line is that just because the feds might not have jurisdiction, does not mean there will be no laws or regulations at all. The states will regulate that which the feds don’t. So there will always be child labor laws regardless of whether the feds are involved or not.

    As for the “commerce” controversy, it wasn’t a controversy at the time the Constitution was drafted, and that’s clear from reading the Federalist papers. The controversy become more and more emboldened over time as certain people wanted to expand the federal govt’s role in the economy.

    No one, republican or democrat, feels that children should be used and abused in the workplace. It’s a ridiculous assertion to say that some republican wants this situation to arise. Ridiculous.

  95. 95
    geg6 says:

    @Caz:

    Do you really think the states will permit child labor? Of course not.

    Yes, I certainly do believe that some of them definitely would. None of the civilized ones, of course. But others, such as TX, AZ, MS, SC, AL, LA? I have no doubt that they would do it in a second if their corporate overlords wanted them to and if they threw in a nice golf junket to St. Andrews.

  96. 96
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Caz:

    As for the “commerce” controversy, it wasn’t a controversy at the time the Constitution was drafted, and that’s clear from reading the Federalist papers. The controversy become more and more emboldened over time as certain people wanted to expand the federal govt’s role in the economy.

    It wasn’t a controversy because the Industrial Revolution hadn’t reached America yet. It didn’t begin here until 1820. They literally had no examples of interstate commerce to look at. It’s like arguing that the Founding Fathers somehow foresaw NASA and wrote it into the Constitution.

    It’s insane to argue that we should base our current, post-Industrial Revolution economic decisions on what the pre-Industrial Revolution agrarian economy of colonial America looked like. Completely, 100 percent, batshit insane.

    No one, republican or democrat, feels that children should be used and abused in the workplace. It’s a ridiculous assertion to say that some republican wants this situation to arise. Ridiculous.

    As I pointed out above, you guys never say that’s the result you want. You just make decisions and feign shock that your decisions led to the exact outcome that people told you they would. No one could have predicted that ignoring threats from terrorists would lead to 9/11! No one could have predicted that deregulating the banks would lead to a financial collapse! No one could have predicted that loosening paperwork requirements on mortgages would lead to banks foreclosing on houses they didn’t own!

    Face it — you suck at predictions. And yet you keep insisting that there couldn’t possibly be any consequences to stupid Republican decisions this time. This time it will totally work out!

  97. 97
    geg6 says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    A fine rant. Just a fine, fine rant. I sign on to every word of it. This argument and troll are too stupid for words. I think it must be Glenn Beck. It sounds exactly like his “reasoning.”

  98. 98
    Karen says:

    Why don’t they just demand that the 13th Amendment be overturned instead of this song and dance? That way they’d get the free labor Big Business is so hungry to have and they wouldn’t have to outsource the jobs to India/Philippines?

    Just think of the pitch. “The 13th Amendment of the Consitution is anti-business! In this economy how could we expect our businesses to actually pay people to work?”

    A day ago I would have been facetious. But in my opinion, Mike Lee is saying child labor should be legal again because Big Business yelled this “suggestion” in his ear.

  99. 99
    My Truth Hurts says:

    @Caz:

    No one, republican or democrat, feels that children should be used and abused in the workplace. It’s a ridiculous assertion to say that some republican wants this situation to arise. Ridiculous.

    It’s a ridiculous assertion to say that the party made up of people who generally dehumanize poor people and minorities WOULDN’T want that situation to arise. No they don’t want little white boys and girls working their fingers to the bone in a factory but they sure wouldn’t have any problem if those children were black, brown, or yellow. Just look at the labor laws of countries where American manufacturing has been outsourced to, because, news flash, THEY ALREADY EMPLOY CHILD LABORERS.

  100. 100

    These people make me want to throw up.

    I’ve said it before, if these shitstains want to live in their utopia, they should all move to Somalia. Now there’s a small government paradise for you. He doesn’t like child labor laws? Doesn’t like environmental laws? Hates minimum wage laws? He hates all this “nanny-state” welfare fascism? Then he should pick his sorry, droopy, pasty ass up and head to your dystopian hellscape.

    Once he’s there, though, he might find out that not having a working court system or any kind of reliable public works or an efficient and uncorrupt police force or even enough food to eat or clean water to drink is kind of a high price to pay for not having to pay into Social Security.

  101. 101
    Bender says:

    @Uncle Clarence Thomas:

    Mike Lee wants to get rid of all child labor laws, as well as all laws granting any rights to labor. Allowing states to opt in to such laws also allows them to opt out, which is Lee’s preferred option.

    Since he said the exact opposite, I’ll have to go with that, rather than the third-eye mind-reading of the “scientific” left.

    Believe it or not, American adults probably don’t want the few remaining jobs in the US to go to CHILDREN, and there isn’t a state assemblyman in the country (and there hasn’t been for many decades) who would dare run on such an issue. It would be an instant career-ender.

    But hey, that’s the real world. You can continue to live in Ball-JuicerLand if you want.

  102. 102
    jefft452 says:

    “As for the “commerce” controversy, it wasn’t a controversy at the time the Constitution was drafted”

    You do realise that the Keating act banned interstate sale of goods made with child labor, not child labor itself, right?

    and that the court ruled that commerce clause that grants congress the power to regulate interstate commerce was somehow not broad enough to, well, regulate interstate commerce?

    there was unconstitutional overreach here, but by the court, not by the congress

  103. 103
    b-psycho says:

    @Davis X. Machina: I didn’t say they were all “progressive” (I don’t know their views), or that all non-voters had that as their reason for not voting. My comment was to the ridiculous assumption that the reason politics is a huge black hole is a lack of voters.

    If someone’s reason for not voting is just being too busy or having forgotten, then whatever, I doubt they even thought about the issues involved anyway and really don’t care if they ever vote. But there are people who don’t vote because no one represents them — or, more accurately, they realize that expecting people who don’t know you to have your interests in mind is an invitation to be screwed. They exist.

  104. 104
    jefft452 says:

    “…and there isn’t a state assemblyman in the country (and there hasn’t been for many decades) who would dare run on such an issue. It would be an instant career-ender”

    yet a guy who thinks child labor laws are unconstitutional just got elected to the US Senate

  105. 105
    gene108 says:

    @NR:

    Yes, the Republicans are a bunch of crazy neo-confederates. When Obama took office, they were thoroughly discredited. And yet, instead of pointing out the fact that they were crazy at every opportunity, Obama and the Democratic leadership made the resurrection of the GOP their mission in life, co-opting and endorsing their policies, and bragging about how many GOP ideas they included in their legislation.

    Oh please, we aren’t going to be a one party country. You’ll always have a Party in power and a Party in opposition. They will trade places every few years. You can’t make your aim in this country to obliterate the other side, because you’ll have to work them again tomorrow morning on something.

    Things right now are more partisan than ever before. I respect President Obama for trying to reach out to Republicans. Someone had to try and calm things down.

    We aren’t going to function as a democracy, if every time the Republicans take control of government they totally shut out Democrats from offering amendments to bills in Congress (Medicare Part D is an example of Democrats and Republicans working together for a common goal) and visa versa, if Democrats are in power.

    Plus a lot of the problems President Obama faced were from his own Party in the Senate, with from Senators like Max Baucus on HCR, for example, who dragged his feet on HCR, which gave the Republicans time to mount the all out crazy opposition to it. The compromises on something like HCR came from dealing with Senators, like Baucus and Lieberman and not from trying to prop up Republicans.

  106. 106
    gene108 says:

    @Caz:

    No one, republican or democrat, feels that children should be used and abused in the workplace. It’s a ridiculous assertion to say that some republican wants this situation to arise. Ridiculous.

    There are plenty of rich people, who support the Republican Party, who want cheap labor. The Republicans know this is a group they have to keep happy.

    Why wouldn’t they throw out something like repealing child labor laws, as a way to please their backers who want cheap labor?

    This is a Party, after all, that lied through its teeth to start a war in Iraq in 2002.

    And before you say Democrats voted for the AUMF, give it a rest. The AUMF could’ve been a brilliant move. It got weapons inspectors back into Iraq by the fall of 2002. If WMD’s was a concern there was no need to invade. There were people verifying if Iraq had WMD’s.

    Republicans never said he was going to invade, when people voted on the AUMF. He wanted it to pressure Saddam to let weapon’s inspectors back in.

    Republicans lied to Congress, so they could invade. They lied to the American people to start a war. Why wouldn’t they lie about child labor laws?

  107. 107

    @Bender:

    What the fuck? So, if Mississippi wants to do away with child labor laws, then that’s just peachy? What if a whole slew of states, say, Alabama, Mississippi, Tennessee, Arkansas, Arizona, Texas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Georgia, South Carolina and Kansas all chose to wipe child labor laws off the books? That’s 11 states. Would that be a good thing? I don’t think so. Would that even be tolerable? No. And, even worse, would it be unlikely? If the Supreme Court overturned federal child labor laws, I could see all of those states refusing to pass their own child labor laws.

    What would happen if, all of a sudden, 11 states had no child labor laws? How do you think that would affectt he U.S.? I’m neither a sociologist nor an economist, so I’ll leave it to others who know more to predict the likely fallout of such a thing, but I can’t see how it could be anything other than a trainwreck, socially and economically.

    And what about the morality? How is this in any way moral? I know, states’ rights and all that bullshit, but we settled that 150 years ago, and then again 50 years ago for good measure. Isn’t there something called a Commerce Clause in the Constitution? Isn’t there something, right in the first few lines about “promoting the general welfare”? Am I just pulling this out of my ass?

    This guy Lee is a turd. There’s no argument today, at least no moral or Constitutional argument, for dumping federal child labor laws. There are some arguments, to be sure: greed is one; a pathological disregard for the weakest members of our society is another. I know there are people whose greed and lack of regard for anyone but themselves would move them to want to see child labor laws overturned; Lee strikes me as that kind of person. I don’t see anything about people like them worth defending, though.

  108. 108
    Bender says:

    @Brisbane Belff (formerly G. Nelson Buttnergle (formerly Mumphrey (formerly Renfrew Squeevil (formerly Mumphrey Oddison Yamm (formerly Mumphrey O. Yamm (formerly Mumphrey)))))):

    What if a whole slew of states, say, Alabama, Mississippi, Tennessee, Arkansas, Arizona, Texas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Georgia, South Carolina and Kansas all chose to wipe child labor laws off the books? That’s 11 states.

    That’s crazy talk. No state has one single assemblyman who has any interest in making child labor legal. Not in New Jersey, not in California, not in Michigan. Have you ever heard of one? No.

    Child labor went the way of slavery and men-only suffrage. It’s a settled issue, and if federal law against it were repealed today, there’d be 50 state laws tomorrow to take its place. You’re delusional if you can see any scenario where it won’t be illegal everywhere forever.

  109. 109
    Bender says:

    @gene108:

    There are plenty of rich people, who support the Republican Party, who want cheap labor. The Republicans know this is a group they have to keep happy. Why wouldn’t they throw out something like repealing child labor laws, as a way to please their backers who want cheap labor? This is a Party, after all, that lied through its teeth to start a war in Iraq in 2002.

    Welcome to Non Sequitur City. Population: You.

  110. 110
    Paul in KY says:

    @Egypt Steve: President Cleveland was a proud Democrat. Try Rutherford Hayes, I think he was also fat (or at least chunky).

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