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Newly Discovered Federalist Paper Says President Is Infallible

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On Tuesday, Vice President Dick Cheney made a startling discovery with historic implications. While cleaning out some papers from an antique desk, the Vice President apparently discovered a new “Federalist Paper” hitherto lost to history.

The Federalist Papers were a series of eighty-five articles written under the pen name “Publius” by Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and John Jay in late 18th century. Their purpose was to gain popular support for the proposed Constitution. It now appears that an eighty-sixth paper by these founding fathers was lost to history for over two centuries. Even more startling is that the essay appears to directly contradict many of the previous Federalist Papers. Constitutional experts believe that this discovery may result in significant reinterpretation of the doctrine of “separation of powers” as well as reconsideration of the relationship between the President and Congress.

The first hint of a change in tone from earlier Federalist Papers is the surprisingly strident title of the new paper: “Why Congress Should Go Fuck Itself.” The paper presents a less enthusiastic attitude toward the separation of powers doctrine than Federalist 51 which states: “the constant aim is to divide and arrange the several offices in such a manner as that each may be a check on the other — that the private interest of every individual may be a sentinel over the public rights.” Regarding the relationship of the President and Congress, Federalist 51 states that “in republican government, the legislative authority necessarily predominates.” In contrast, the new paper addresses these issues by stating only that: “Congress should do what it’s told like a little bitch.”

The new paper also seems to take a broader view of the President’s war powers than was expressed in Federalist 69 which explains that the President’s powers as commander-in-chief “amount to nothing more than the supreme command and direction of the military and naval forces” while all other powers “appertain to the legislature.” In contrast, the new paper states: “the President, as the physical embodiment of the American people, is the owner of the state, and may dispose of his property, including persons suspected of un-American activities, as he wishes.”

All of this would seem to be a notable departure from the tone of Federalist 70 which argued against concentrating too much power in the hands of one man particularly during times of war:

“Every man the least conversant in Roman story, knows how often that republic was obliged to take refuge in the absolute power of a single man, under the formidable title of Dictator, as well against the intrigues of ambitious individuals who aspired to the tyranny, and the seditions of whole classes of the community whose conduct threatened the existence of all government, as against the invasions of external enemies who menaced the conquest and destruction of Rome. […] Man, in public trust, will much oftener act in such a manner as to render him unworthy of being any longer trusted, than in such a manner as to make him obnoxious to legal punishment.”

Constitutional experts were unavailable to comment on this last passage as they had been taken into custody at an undisclosed location.

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About The Fifth Dentist

  • http://www.morethings.com/log Al Barger

    Now see there, 5D- and you thought that W was all out of control.

    This article right here is a fine little gift to find under the Blogcritics tree bright and early this Christmas morning.

    Thank you.

  • http://www.fifthdentist.blogspot.com The Fifth Dentist

    You’re welcome. Originally, I was going to get you an xbox 360, but they were all out.

  • Aaman

    Excellent satire – good insights

  • http://www.fifthdentist.blogspot.com The Fifth Dentist

    Thanks Aaman.

  • gonzo marx

    oh Dentist…

    i laughed, i cried..i peed my pants…

    thanks for this one

    Excelsior!

  • http://frictionblog.blogspot.com Jackson

    Excellent!

    This was mighty refreshing after revisiting a comments war on a piece I wrote about the domestic surveillance.

    Thanks!

  • http://www.fifthdentist.blogspot.com The Fifth Dentist

    Thank you both for your kind words.

  • http://www.rationalmiddle.com Fabianus

    The header of this piece says ‘satire’, but I thought satire was supposed to be funny. What gives?

    Fab

  • http://www.morethings.com/log Al Barger

    Yeah Fabianus, that you don’t like the politics or simply refuse to acknowledge the joke doesn’t mean that there wasn’t one. This has a clear point, an inspired premise, and a clever execution. Plus, it’s short and concise.

    Politics aside, this is good work on the literary merits. This would be a good candidate for an editor’s pick- though my recommendation might doom it, particularly in the politics category.

  • gonzo marx

    now when big Al and i agree on something…

    you know Hell just got a hockey team

    Excelsior!

  • http://www.fifthdentist.blogspot.com The Fifth Dentist

    I have a theory that Fabianus is really Dave Nalle in disguise. Who the fuck else would link to diablog.us?

  • http://www.fifthdentist.blogspot.com The Fifth Dentist

    To be more specific, Fabianus linked to http://www.rationalmiddle.com which appears to be a Nalle front organization. On that site, when you click on the contact link it sends an email to dave at diablog.us which is a openly Dave Nalle production. Fabianus’ comment (re: satire is supposed to be funny) is also eerily similar to a comment Nalle left (under his own name) in response to a column of mine from September.

  • http://www.fifthdentist.blogspot.com The Fifth Dentist

    I SEE ALL …

  • gonzo marx

    and so, the Fifth Dentist earns the Sterling Silver Sherlock Award fer ’05

    stone…cold…..busted

    /golfclap

    nicely done

    Excelsior!

  • Bliffle

    I think that the satire could have been better with more humor, but it still rates a little higher than the other satire article I was reading. The humor part was largely the grotesqueness of the coarse language in contrast to the dignified setting. This grotesquerie is an acknowledged American form of humor, often abused to the point of drear, but pretty light here.

  • http://www.fifthdentist.blogspot.com The Fifth Dentist

    That’s a trenchant bit of criticism Bliffle. I indeed tried to juxtapose Madison’s erudition with Cheney’s crassness. The title of the fictitious document is virtually a direct quote of Cheney’s infamous remark to Patrick Leahy on the floor of the Senate.

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    I think the quality of the satire is summed up in the fact that his new Federalist Paper is called “Why Congresss Should Go Fuck Itself”, when he could have made it funnier by couching the same context in language more compatible with the actual Federalist Papers, but that would have required the development of a more sophisticated overall presentation of the premise, rather than a quick wham-bam-thank-you-mam approach to partisan attack humor.

    Dave

  • http://www.morethings.com/log Al Barger

    Even as one who bitches a bit about the coarseness of our discourse, I say ol’ 5D is A-OK here. First, that’s because the coarseness of Cheney is half the point of criticism. But also, he accomplishes that criticism with one small spoonful of coarseness, ie the title of the new paper. In short, 5D ain’t the one who’s coarse.

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    And yeah, I may have posted from my Dad’s laptop while high on triptephan and cold medicine.

    Dave

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    Al, it’s not the language I object to, but the dissonance. He’s gone for the quick laugh rather than the deeper and more incisive parody.

    Dave

  • http://www.fifthdentist.blogspot.com The Fifth Dentist

    You know, I actually considered that approach initially but abandoned it when I couldn’t come up with anything funny. If you can pull that off, I’d be delighted to hear it. Here’s my best attempt:

    “While Rome and Athens are considered important first stages in the development of sound theories of governance, history demonstrates a number of ancient civilizations in which rule by a single individual resulted in a greater degree of public satisfaction than in either of these republics. In the Constitution, we therefore chose to pattern the executive branch after the system of government developed by the Mongol Horde. As is well known, this system was characterized by a particularly strong executive branch under which public criticism of the chief executive was punishable by destruction of the individual’s ancestral village with the dismemberment and killing of all inhabitants. That’s sort of what we had in mind here.”

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    It just seems like the kind of thing which might be funnier if approached completely straight so that the absurdity gradually built up and then ambushed the reader.

    And I do find your quote in the last comment rather amusing – more so than most of the original post.

    Dave

  • http://www.fifthdentist.blogspot.com The Fifth Dentist

    I don’t disagree with you. That would be funnier if it could be done well. It’s just difficult to accomplish.

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    Probably especially difficult for a sustained length.

    Dave

  • Bliffle

    I think the satire worked well because it wasn’t labored or flogged to death.

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    Except it’s less like satire or parody and more like Rickles-style insult comedy.

    Dave

  • http://www.fifthdentist.blogspot.com The Fifth Dentist

    I used to love that show CPO Sharkey.