Sunday, July 11, 2010

On Impeachment: A Serious Discussion

In browsing through Half Price Books Political Section, I came across the book entitled "The Genuis of Impeachment: The Founders' Cure for Royalism" by John Nichols. Written during the GWB years, and including a forward by Gore Vidal, well known radical Leftist, I expected it to be more or less a diatribe against the Bush Administration. To an extent, it was. But there were also quotes from Founders and previous elected officials and presidents that apply in depth to this administration. The application to current events has as much to do with time as with people. Many of those who are currently rallying to protect this administration from impeachment are the same folks who as young congressmen and women were actively involved in The Impeachment in the form of the Nixon presidency and resignation. Because so many of them are still in office, they tend to believe that their party holds some sort of moral supremacy simply based on their partisanship. Read some of the comments below and ask yourself if it doesn't make you stop and go hmmmmm.......My comments are in blue

"Every government degenerates when trusted to the rulers of the people alone."--Thomas Jefferson
We are increasingly approaching a day when common decisions by free individuals will be taken out of their hands. We have already seen the subjugation of a large part of the population via the vehicles of public assistance. Assistance means help, but what help is it when in order to recieve money you must jettison marriage and male parents leaving broken families in the wake. This is the legacy of public assistance and it's result is generational poverty with the offshoots of crime, illegitimacy, addiction and death.

"No point is of more importance than that the right of impeachment shall be continued. Shall any man be above Justice?"--George Mason, Father of the Bill of Rights addressing the Constitutional Convention 1787
Consider for a moment that the use of a crisis, any crisis, to leverage partisan legislation has already been disingenuously used by the current administration. They have breeched the trust of the people through hiding the true costs and the mechanisms and agencies used to enforce their agenda. The healthcare bill would be one example, but the positioning for Immigration is also one that allows citizens to be imperiled while the adminsitration uses incipient danger to push their cause in a panic mode. No legislation should be compelled by such extortive methods.

"If the impeachment provision in the Constitution of the United States will not reach the offenses charged here, then perhaps that eighteenth century document should be abandoned to a twentieth century paper shredder."--Barbara Jordan in reference to the Nixon impeachment
We currently have a candidate for the Supreme Court that is of the school of thought that the Constitution is a "living document" and that it must conform to the fluidity of political thought. By that light, we no longer have structure in government, but instead have a type of magic carpet mentality that would allow for fluidity in the face of the rule of law. This is the type of situational ethics that allows for illegal immigrants to work, receive services and live in this nation without contibuting in the same way citizens are expected to respond.

"Some say this is a sad day in American history. I think it could perhaps be one of our brightest days. It could be really a test of the strength of our Constitution, because what I think it means to most Americans is that when any president violates his sacred oath of office, the people are not left helpless." --Con. Charles Rangel
I wonder if Charles Rangel now would echo those words, of if he simply wrapped himself in the Constitution when it suited his purposes.

"I am fully aware that many American people consider that the president is being attached by sinister forces in this country, by the left-wing press or by the Democrats, and I can assure this gentleman that it matters not to me his party or his position. He is subject to the rule of law and to justice, and in my role under my oath he will get it, be he president or be he pauper."--James Mann, referencing the Nixon impeachment
Note that President Obama has banished Fox News and repeatedly complained about unfair treatment any time his actions are called into question. This type of childish behavior calls into question whether citizens are even allowed to question the actions of the administration. Indeed, in the more liberal media circles, such doubting would be hooted down with cries labeling you as racist or rednecked or simply stupid. This is the type of treatment that groups such as Tea Partyers, Sarah Palin Supporters and others have recieved regularly. The fact that a wealthy background supporter funds groups organized to disrupt, brings into question the propriety of having such a person regularly giving input to national issue.

"To announce that there must be no criticism of the president, or that we are to stand by the president, right or wrong is not only unpatriotic ans servile, but it is morally treasonable to the American People."---President Theodore RooseveltTreasonable.
That's an interesting term. So if the compliant media, in failing to allow criticism and indeed in framing public addresses such as the one in Grand Isle, LA in such a light that favors the White House and President Obama, is shielding the president from criticism, are they committing treason? And if they are getting suggestions for stories or angles that flatter the White House, are they in fact abdicating their roles as members of a "free press?

"I do not believe that our people can tolerate the formation of a presidential precedent which would permit any occupant of the White House to exercise his untrammeled discreation to take over the industry, communications system or other forms of private interprise in the name of "emergency." --George Bender, Republican of Ohio in reference to Truman's takeover of the steel industry, 1952
Note how many industrial bases have been taken over by this president in power. Automaking, banking, mortgage loans, medical services, drug manufacturing and more. If we are truly a free enterprise economy, those corporations that did bad things would fail. Instead we propped them up and at a great cost to this generation and future ones in the form of taxes. This would seem to grossly overstep the powers of the Chief Executive's office and be almost a type of coercion for compliance within political circles as in a "don't rock the boat" type message.

"The powers of impeachment is the Constitution's paramount power of self-preservation."--Robert McClory, Republican of Illinois, 1974
Once again, the collusion of partisan ideals between Legislative and Executive Branches of government leave the Judiciary as the only possibility of recourse or dissent. Stacking the court with partisans that accept situational ethics over Constitutional rule of law will permit egregious actions in absolute defiance to the will of the people. It is dangerous.

"When the Chief Executive of the country starts to investigate private citizens who criticize his policies or authorizes subordinates to do such things,then I think the rattle of the chains that would bind up our constitutional freedoms can be heard, and it is against this rattle that we should awake and say no."--Con. William Cohen, Maine, in regards to the Nixon impeachment
There have been repeated suggestions that President Obama might be given the power to control the Internet. Already the ability to oppose the government in the media is being attacked via the misnamed "Fairness Act" that would impose programming limitations intending to drive largely conservative Talk Radio off the air. There are also actions in play to subsidize failing newspapers. How objective do you believe these news outlets would be when the government controls what they receive. One of the first actions taken by usurpers and tyrants is to control the media. When we have these messages being accepted by members of one party, everyone should be concerned. Absolute power corrupts absolutely.

" ..For Barr, it had never been about sex with interns. He had become enraged at a much earlier stage in the Clitnon presidency, after it was revealed that White House staffers had obtained confidential files on Republican officials, apparently for political purposes...'Initially, primarily watching the way the people in the White House operate, it rasied some very serious questions in my mind. They didn't seem to care at all what the law allowed then to do or prohibited them from doing.....'What bothers me most is the abuse of power'...'The Constitution provides a mechanism, a political tool for a political offense.In our system of government, the only vehicle we have to remove somebody from office, if they abuse their office, is impeachment."--quote from book by John Nichols, referencing Con. Bob Barr, Georgia, on the impeachment of President Clinton, 1997
It's ironic that political history parallels sports history. When SMU was given the Death Penalty by the NCAA, the devastation of their athletic programs made the NCAA hesitant to give such a penalty to larger players in places like Alabama, Nebraska, Oklahoma for fear of similar total meltdowns. After the impeachment of Nixon and his resignation in disgrace, many in Congress were reluctant to approach the idea of impeachment even though many of the crimes noted were just as bad or worse in the Clinton White House. Such reticence continues although within the general population outside the Beltway, people are repeatedly asking why this adminsitration continues to behave in such highly partisan and destructive ways. The punishment of Red States through dismissal of their claims or dithering, as witnessed with the Oil Spill, is causing many to fear that this has become yet another Imperial Presidency where there is retribution and revenge exacted for failure to comply with their agenda.
"Our country is in danger, but not to be despaired of. Our enemies are numerous and powerful; but we have many firends, detemining to be free and heaven adn earth witll aid the resolution. On you depends the fortunes of America. You are to decide the important question, on which rests the happiness and liberty of millions yet unborn. Acti worthy of yourselves."--Joseph Warrne, Boston Massacre Oration, 1775
And, I would add, Remember in November.

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