Constant's pations

If it's more than 30 minutes old, it's not news. It's a blog.

Saturday, May 21, 2005

Hydrogen Option: Constitutional Amendment requiring a Senate Filibuster

What's worse than a nuclear weapon? Hydrogen.

What's worse than the "nuclear option" to outlaw a filibuster? The Hydrogen Option: A Constitutional Amendment requiring a Filibuster rule.

Update: 25 May 2005

Despite the agreement on filibusters, I still believe there should be moves to change the constitution: Make filibusters are constitutional power of the Senate.

I also do not like the fact that the Republicans threatened to "take away the filibuster" if the Repubicans couldn't get their way. That is arrogance. I wish the country would call them on their bluff; then, the next step would be for the states to get mobilized for a constitutional convention to rewrite the Constitution, making this non-sense with the Patriot Act unlawful.

Wait, we already have a constitution and it already says that, so why are we having a debate about "whether the Patriot Act II is lawful or not"? We already had this debate and fought this battle: In 1776, prior to signing the constitution, and in the words of the Declaration of Independence.

Original blog

Once the Republicans vote to "outlaw a filibuster" they will be unable to stop the momentum toward a vote on a constitutional amendment requiring a filibuster.

This week we've heard more great news:

  • The United States committed torture in Afghanistan, and beat prisoners;

  • The United States desecrated the Koran, but blames the messenger;

  • The United States took photographs of prisoners, then pretended it didn't happen.

    What else could go wrong for America?

  • In response to above, the world is no longer sympathetic to America.

    America's civilian population is less caring whether America's officers and military forces are gunned down either in Iraq on the battle field, or at home where America wages a war against the Constitution.

    At this juncture, one might believe that America's leadership would get a wakeup call. But that hasn't happened.

    In the face of accusations that America's military and leaders are out of step, what does the 'leadership' do?

    They don't bother calling "their man" when "their center of power" is under attack.

    Now we know who's not in charge: The one's they don't bother calling.

    Which brings us to the Filibuster and the Constitutional Amendment. America's "leaders" seem to think that they can do what they want, stay above the law, and lecture the world; then turn around and abuse detainees, violate the laws of war, and ignore the constitution.


    There's one tiny problem. The majority of Americans want the filibuster. Especially in cases where legislation should not be voted on: the Patriot Act.

    It is not constitutional to pass unconstitutional laws. The recent opinion by the Supreme Court in re 21st Amendment reminds us that no Amendment or Act of Congress may trump the Constitution.

    The Patriot Act may not trump the constitution; rather, the constitution and the bill of rights trumps any calls to ignore constitutionally protected rights: Freedom of speech; right to a jury trial; right to have evidence heard before issuing warrants; and issuing warrants only based on probable cause.

    The Patriot Act II proposes to trump the Bill of Rights.

    Also, there is no "constitutionally protected right" of a federal judge to get a vote. Rather, the constitutional specifically says that the Senate shall have a role in advising and consenting to that political appointee.

    The Senate is not a Rubber stamp.

    But the majority want otherwise.

    Fine. Take away the filibuster. And lose the right to delay discussion on a constitutional Amendment requiring a filibuster.

    You don't think it can happen?

    Look around the country. Think about:

  • the number of communities chosen not to support the Patriot Act before this week's revelations;

  • the numbers of troops that are deserting;

  • the manning problem in the nation's military, and recruiters committing fraud and crimes;

    America's government no longer has the blind support of the people. You cannot threaten people to join you in your unlawful conduct conduct.

    Please, take away the Filibuster so that the states might require it. The President cannot stop the states from having a constitutional convention. A constitutional amendment can be passed by 2/3 of the state legislatures.

    In other words, the president has no role in prohibiting the states from requiring this constitutional amendment in the form of a Constitutional Convention.

    And both Congress and the President will have no say in the matter.


    Because you would have voted away the right to filibuster. The filibuster is the power of the Congress to not act, to not do something, and ensure the minority is protected.

    The filibuster is also the way to tell the states, "Don't worry, we won't do anything, there is no need for 2/3 of you to gather to change the rules."

    The Senate needs the filibuster as a device to avoid a constitutional convention.

    The time is not yet ripe. The "majority" in the Senate [not the country], have not taken the bait.

    But the time they vote to take away the filibuster, there will be more outrageous conduct which 2/3 of the states will finally say, "Enough is enough."

    At that juncture, the Senate will have deferred back to the states something that could have been resolved by simply choosing not to outlaw the filibuster.

    Indeed, there is more outrageous conduct and abuses on the way:

  • Information about what the President directed in re torture and abuse;

  • What the President has directed Gonzalez to do to use military forces in violation of the Posse Comitatus Act;

  • More information about America's abuses overseas in killing innocent civilians.

    The information is within the CIA, NSA, Echelon, and overseas.

    Once the videos, tapes, and full scope of these crimes is known, and the Senate continues with a draft, the States will know that they have to act.

    This is what the Senate hopes the States do not realize. In the meantime, it will be disturbing to the states to realize the scope of the private data collections, and the ongoing plans by the JTTF to intimidate Americans into assenting to unlawful intrusions which violate the constitution.

    The goal is to silence discussion. To end debates. To get rubber stamps.

    Why? So that more abuses can continue unchecked. So that the local law enforcement can continue intrusive interrogations, gather more evidence, and destroy the constitutional protections.

    Today, the problem is that the minority is running the country. If the "majority" were truly in power and in charge, there would be no problem with troop support, desertions, or loss of support for the Patriot Act.

    The momentum is there.

    No, the debate over a filibuster has not ended. Rather, it has only just started.

    It now will spread to the blogs. Onto the streets for active debate. And back onto the floors of the state legislatures.

    If you want to take away the right for the Senators to filibuster, please change the rules. That way, when more unconstitutional legislation is passed, the states will see that a Constitutional Convention is not simply an option, but necessary, prudent, and appropriate.

    Go ahead and exercise the nuclear option.

    And the hydrogren option will be close at hand.

    For it is clear, that with a few more weeks like this, it will be self-evident that Washington need not be involved in debates, and the most appropriate place to make substantive decisions about national debates is with the people in a constitutional convention.

    The filibuster is not about to end. The filibuster will remain alive. If the Senate Votes to take it away, and we have more revelations of abusive government conduct, then it will be self-evident the states must act to check the power no different than the British Monarchy.

    Please, take away the filibuster, and continue to treat the American people with disdain.

    Once you relinquish power to the states, you will not get it back. The Hydrogen Option remains an option.

    Yet, the leadership hopes the States will not realize their true power. The states remain the backbone of the constitution and the constitution.

    The Senate only has the power so long as the states continue to assent. The states, now pushed, need no reason to do otherwise.

    The Senate hopes to convince the world that the "final decisions" lies with them. Rather, the Senate has forgotten that the real power of the people lies within the Constitution, which the people can easily change.

    Leaders which threaten nuclear options deserve to be threatened back with hydrogen options.

    Yet, the Senate continues to believe in the fiction that the country must assent to threats of future abuse. That there might be a "potential loss of future rights" [the filibuster] unless the Senate agrees to cooperate today.

    That is a threat. To take away ones right to debate is the end of liberty.

    There is no excuse for denying people, in this case the states through the Senate, the right to discuss issues.

    But the "majority" wants to end the debate. If the debate is to end, then there is no need to assent to their threats. For their threat is about a "future consequence" unless rights are given up today.

    That is no longer a future threat. It is a real threat. Present. Today.

    The time for a decision is at hand. Will Americans choose to follow their "leaders" or their principles.

    The two are mutually exclusive.

    America supposedly went to Iraq to bring democracy. Something about giving people the voice to have an input to government.

    The American people continue to have a voice in the constitution. The document remains in full force. Just as American states have the right to debate a filibuster.

    If America wants to end discussion, then let the world know; let all the churchbells ring, let all those standing on the minarets Cry out: America talks about principles, but what it does is something else.

    That is not democracy. That is tyranny. It is that evil to which we swore an oath to fight; to which our constitution prevents; to which our Declaration of Independence created an architecture to fight.

    If America wants to end the filibuster, then America should be seen for what it is: A threat to the Constitution.

    It will only get worse. And it is time to let the Senate make their choice. Remember, once the nuclear option is exercised, the states have the power to exercise the hydrogen option.

    Once the Senate chooses to eliminate the filibuster, the time for debate and deference to Washington ends. The power then comes back to the States. Then the debates in the State Legislatures needs to begin with all due speed.

    American once had the world's support in the wake of WWII and 9-11. Now, America's "leaders" are faced with the real prospect of a two front war: On the battle fields of Iraq where they are uncommitted; and at home where they are unsupported.

    America could choose to work with other nations to solve problems in a prudent way. One that respects people for exercising their right to choose. America only likes "democracy" when people "choose" to blindly obey. That is not democracy but tyranny; not freedom but blind obedience.

    It remains to be seen who chooses to come to the aid of the lawless leaders. Recall contractors were held liable for war crimes in Nazi Germany; contracts are not enforceable when their purpose is an unlawful end.

    It is time to end the threats about taking away the filibuster. Just do it. No one should be threatened with silence in order to take away the right to debate and discuss.

    There is no constitutionally protected "right" of a Federal Judge to get an up or down vote. The constitution only recognizes the power of the Senate to advise the President.

    All options are on the table. Please give the people more evidence so that it becomes more self-evident that America's present government deserves the full smack inside the woodshed of a Constitutional Convention.

    Give the states an excuse to exercise the Hydrogen Option. On the present path, it will be soon self-evident that the American government deserves the needed oversight and guidance from a state-organized Constitutional Convention.

    One that firmly establishes in the Senate the power and right to filibuster.

    Bring it on!

    Beware the leader. Beware the blogger.

    Hoc Voluerunt.