Constant's pations

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

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Senate Can Treat White House With Same Disdain Shown Constitution

We need not show deference to those who defy the law.

The Senate could show as much deference to the White House as the White House has shown the Constitution: None.

The Senate is far more powerful than they imagine. The Senate leadership could shut down funding until the House votes on impeachment.

There's one man who could do this. The question is whether he's really serious about asserting his oath of office and protecting the Constitution.

Do you want to find out how easily this White House can be tamed?

* * *

As you read the following, keep in mind this criteria -- whether the Congress is or is not part of the solution: [ Click ]

[ Reed 4: This is an importan point that is relevant to this topic -- what the Senate can or cannot do. . . .(More about this at the end of this blogspot)]

[ Well put, noteworthy comparsion with UAE sham : Reed 21

Good words: "having friends you can count on to be there when you need them is the only way we're going to get through this nightmare" [ Rusty 22 ] Thanks all for the support -- Followup: See FDS--tLake followup at bottom!

Speaking of bigotry, here's another reminder of the FDS--tLake arrogance: [ Let's hope the FDS--tLake community realizes how this applies to them: Click ]

* * *

Some have raised concerns about the NSA illegal activity, suggesting nothing could be done because the President refuses to cooperate with Congress.

There is a solution. One RNC Chairman is defying the White House by threatening an Amendment to block funds for the NSA.1

However, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Specter isn't looking at the bigger opportunity. A powerful Senator could take advantage of the Constitutional leverage saying, "Let’s shut down all the Senate bills until the House votes on the Vermont petitions calling for impeachment."

This would shut down the DoJ, and put the White House on notice: If you refuse to cooperate, we're not cooperating.

Until the Senate treats the White House no better than the White House has treated the Constitution, voters may reasonably conclude the Senate is not serious about putting the Constitution before the White House.

* * *

It's one thing to be an outsider complaining about Congress. It’s something else when you're a Member of Congress in a minority party complaining about lack of cooperation; it’s a different matter when you’re in power without real power.

Today’s issue is entirely different: The Senators have power and refuse to assert that power. Specter's comments are just crocodile tears.2

For those of you who are new to politics, there is something called a committee chairman. They are very powerful. Senator Specter is the Senate Judiciary Chairman and has two important favorable factors in his favor:

  • 1. He's in the RNC, and the majority party; and

  • 2. He's a committee chairman, with the power to set agendas, and shut things down.

    Those two factors alone mean Specter has no credibility when he talks about "the problems with Congress." Rather, he is the problem: He's talking and not acting.

    Let's see some real action Arlen. If you're serious about finding out about the NSA, then tell the White House and DoJ:
    "If you don't give us the information about the NSA illegal activity, you get no money and we're shutting you down. This bill is never going to see the light of day. In fact, until the House votes on impeachment petitions from Vermont, you're getting nothing."

    * * *

    The Senate Chairman has several options; all of them which will – by design – annoy the White House:

    Option 1: Silence

    What’s a chairman to do when the media calls? Take a cue from New Orleans: No media interviews until we see action. Look to Hastert. When Vermonters dropped off the petitions calling for the House to impeach Bush: Silence.

    There’s no sense in Specter responding to the White House or the media so long as the White House refuses to respond to the law. Shut everything down, and refuse to discuss or review any issue.

    Option 2: Link House inaction on impeachment with Senate Inaction on appropriations

    If the Senate really wants information and compliance from the White House, the fastest way to do this is simple: Tell the House leadership, “Until you vote on impeachment, this Senate is not voting on any bills.”

    Again, because the Senate has this power, but refuses to assert this option – to get information, compel the House to act on impeachment – we can make the adverse inferences that Senator Specter is not serious about getting information, or preventing White House abuse of power.

    There are two House of Congress. This does not prevent the two houses from using each other to assert the rule of law. The Chairman can table the bill for any reason. He can link his action or inaction to anything.

    These are issues of high crimes. If Specter really wants the White House to respond, then it is time for the Senators to use their power. Stop the talk about maybe adding an amendment. The way forward is to shut down action until the House votes on impeachment. The issue of Amendments are trifles. These are matters of sovereignty, legitimacy, and self-governance. The days of playing nice with the White House are over. This Senate refuses to see the fundamental issues, and uses its power to compel the other chamber to act on the high crimes. It’s one thing to be powerless; it’s outrageous that the Senate has the power but refuses to assert it.

    The public needs to hear this:"Until Hastert gets this impeachment vote going, you're not getting any money. End of discussion."

    Option 3: Unilaterally refuse to cooperate with the White House – They get no money until they provide information

    That's what needs to happen: Link appropriations to action on the State Proclamations: Until you vote in the House on this impeachment, the Senate isn't going to act on anything the White House wants.

    Again, because the Senate isn’t willing to do this, the public may make the adverse inference that the Senate isn’t serious about using its lawful power to force the Executive. What’s most ironic is this Senator has openly complained that the Congress is weak. We’ll here’s a chance to show the world that the Senate is strong and can compel the House and White House to respond.

    Let’s see some leadership. Let’s see some sign that you’re serous. But most of all, let’s see you do what you have the power to do: Lawfully reciprocate against the White House. Refuse to cooperate, refuse to provide information, and make the White House and House do something before you take any action on the things they want.

    It is time to treat the White House with as much disdain as they have shown for the US Constitution.

    * * *


  • 1. Senate leadership inexcusably acting like outsiders

    It's time to treat the Members of Congress -- who refuse to act like "insiders" -- as what they are: Outsiders and in no position to go back. They're out of office.

    Putting aside my disdain for the toads in the RNC who have assented to these White House's love of fascism, my major beef with any Senator's comments is that he's acting like he's an outsider.

    It's almost like he's in another world. Hay, Arlen -- you're the guy in the RNC that is the committee chairman. If you're not happy with how Congress is working what are you doing to change the rules and make Congress do what it should: Assert the oath of office, find facts, and not appropriate funds to illegal things?

  • 2. Specter's comments are not a serious challenge to the White House

    In order to protect the Constitution, you have to assert your power. This Senate refuses to do so. I do not consider it "novel" that someone is "considering" "not appropriating" funds for something that is illegal: It's already in the Constitution that no funds for illegal things can be expended. This President already ignored that.

    So making a law that says, "Can't do what you’re doing -- ignoring the Constitution." The list of whys is just defeatist:

  • Why are we passing new laws;

  • why are we spending time on Amendments;

  • why are we "debating" this?

  • Why isn't the Congress simply doing what it can do: Refusing to appropriate any money until the House votes -- up or down -- whether to impeach?

    The answer is simple: They're not leaders, they're confused, and they are not fit to be in office or protect this Constitution. We need new leaders.

  • 3. Alternative: We could see a credible threat from the Senate

    All we need is one thing: A committee chairman -- in the majority party -- to simply say, "You get no money until we get the full story. End of discussion." But he won't do that.

    He's not serous about finding out. If he was, he'd not threaten anything. He'd simply refuse to answer questions, make no comment, and let the White House find out the hard way: You're not getting anything, not a comment, not a report, and not a dime.

    * * *

    History: There’s nothing mandating that both House of Congress cooperate with the illusion of irrelevance

    The idea of having two houses of Congress dates back to the days when the founders were concerned that a single legislature with one house, not two could be two powerful. The idea was that splitting the legislature would better ensure that power was not concentrated.

    Today, despite that lack of concentrated power, this Congress still finds a way to cooperate and assent to this war criminal in the White House. It’s time for the two Houses to exploit the inherent advantages of two houses: Until one house does something – that should be done, namely vote on an impeachment – then the other House should refuse to cooperate with the White House and provide no funds.

    [ For those who like to draw logic diagrams: Did you notice the previous sentence was an If-Then statement: "If the House doesn't act, then the Senate will not be nice"?]

  • A. The outsider argument isn’t compelling

    It’s one thing to talk about being serious. It’s quite anther to seriously assert the power of the Congress. My real beef is that Specter is acting as though he’s a passive observer, referring to Congress as if he were an outsider. Yet, to state the obvious Specter is in the majority party and a chairman of the very committee that could force the White House to respond. This isn’t a matter of an amendment. Specter could simply say, “Until the White House provides us with information, there will be no DoJ reauthorization.”

  • B. The Senate and House could be induced to compete, thereby protecting the Constitution

    This Congress – despite being split into tow Houses – naively believes that it can’t force the other house to do something. IN this case, the world is in hypnosis as the President continues to defy the law.

    The “very concerned Senators” could link their appropriations-power with the House action. Namely, the Senators could say, “Until the House votes on the Vermont impeachment percolations, we’re not giving you a dime for DoJ or the NSA.” That will force the House to get involved.

    Conversely, until the Senate does link House action with Senate action, the Senators should be called what they are: Unwilling to assert their power to mandate a White House response.

    This isn’t telling the House to impeach. Rather, it’s telling the House: You need to take a position on impeachment: Yes or now; do you or do you not want to have an investigation, and resolve this matter with the President’s illegal activity before the 2006 election so the voters can make an informed decision?


    The Senate has a lot of power. The public can make adverse inferences. If the Senate refuses to assert the options they have, then the public can reasonably conclude that the current Senate membership, not just the leadership, is not fit to protect this Constitution

    Americans must remind the Senate we have options. Not only can we rewrite the rules with a New Constitution, but we can also show the Senate leadership that they aren’t leading. Rather, they require humble folks to remind them what they need to do: Their jobs. It remains to be seen whether this Senate is willing to assert its power. They do not appear to be serious.

    Unless the above options are exercised -- or something else is done to compel the White House to cooperate with the rule of law and assent to an impeachment investigation -- there’s no reason to believe this Senate is serious about being part of the solution. They may as well be the attitude they have taken: Outsiders.

    We have six months to watch this Senate talk about what could be done. The American public knows full well what could be done. They remain prepared to act. There are more state proclamations and petitions on the way

    You wished this.

    . . .

    Notes [Click the number to return to where you were reading]

    1 Here's where you can find Specter's proposed Amendment: [ Click ]

    2 Ref: "What we have here, regrettably, is an inert Congress," Specter said at a briefing late last week, "a Congress which has not stood up to the executive branch."

    Other Comments

    Democracies are not immune to Tyranny. It is possible to have elected to office a Tyranny. Read Federalist 47:

    The accumulation of all powers, legislative, executive, and judiciary, in the same hands, whether of one, a few, or many, and whether hereditary, selfappointed, or elective, may justly be pronounced the very definition of tyranny.

    Tyranny can be something that can be created by an active choice, or assented to with passivity. The goal here isn't to find excuses to put up with Tyranny; rather it is the job of the Senate to explain why they should be trusted with power despite their oath to protect this Constitution.

    The issue with Specter's comments is that he is saying in so many words: Congress is assenting to Tyranny. Specter is in a position to do something, but he refuses. Without leadership, Specter isn't a leader. He's part of the problem he well articulates. It's one thing to talk about the tyranny; quite another for doing what must be done to actively assert power and ensure power is no longer consolidated.

    This Senate chooses to assent to this Consolidated power, and they refuse to assert their power of the purse, and compel the White House and House to cooperate with the rule of law.

    The American government, its elected officials well know there is a problem. They refuse to take simple steps. Thay appear to be rather confused. Perhaps we need simple people who can read the Constitution enter the Senate well, and remind the Senate what their oath is all about: It is to protect rights and prevent the abuse of power which Madison articulated in Federalist 47.

    The issue isn't that there is tyranny. The issue is that there are no leaders in the Senate to assert the rule of law, or their power to do what they are paid to do: Protect the Constitution. They defy their oath. They show they are not fit to be leaders. Either they choose to assent to this tyranny; or they have given up, and have no fight in them to do what can lawfully be done to compel answers and the White House assent to the rule of law.

    Again, keep in mind what you are reading. You are reading the blog of someone the world enjoys referring to as being "an idiot." [ Ref from from David allegedly under criminal investigation [Blue Box].]

    "When people like this feel weak and small, they need to lash out, to re-establish their warrior credentials." -- Glenn Greenwald

    Brilliant. let the world know. The "idiot" has figured this out. And the "big Senate" cannot explain why they have been outmaneuvered by an idiot.

    Some would rather whine about their predicament than solve problems. America's leadership like to whine, not solve problems. Those who "get it" still haven't figured it out: It’s one thing to label something foolish. Quite another for the fool to defeat you as has been done.


    You wished this.

    * * *


    Now that you've read the above -- how the Senate can guide the House to impeach by threatening to withhold funds until the House/White House cooperate -- perhaps you can see now how [ Reed #4 ] comment fits in: We can work with the Senate to put pressure on the House to follow the House Chamber rules; going so far as to say to the Senate, "If the House isn't willing to follow the rules -- and follow the Swayne Precedent, and vote on an investiationg before buring this in Committee -- then the Senate doesn't need to follow the White House. If you do follow the White House -- despite the rules that force teh House to act, but you refuse to -- then you are hypocrtical to say "There's a problem with Congress," but you refuse to assert your power to protect teh Constitution.

    The options are outlined above.

    See how a State Proclmation can be used as leverage not only on the House but also the Senate? If the Senate doesn't step up to the plate -- and use it's power to support and put pressure on the House to do it's job -- then the Senate is under a credible threat of being transformed with this New Constitution: [ Click ]

    Here's what that New Constitutoin could look like [ Click ]

    Let teh Senate know: They need to use their power to put pressure on the House to do its job. If the House refuses, then the Senate Chairman cannot complain "why nothign is being done."

    The simple answer -- He refuses to do what is allowed to do: Mandate the House face the issue. That needs to be the issue -- his failure to assert the options above, but still whining about "the Congress being powerless."

    He has no credibilty when he says this. Rather, it's he -- Senator Specter -- who refuses to assert his oath, power, and legal obligations -- and he i s the one that is failing, not Congress.

    Time to lead, or get out of the way. There are more proclamations on the way that will tie Congress' hands.