Constant's pations

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

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Democrats Are Friendly To Republicans

The Democrats have been refreshingly accommodating to this Republican. Indeed, the DNC is serious about leadership, listening, and enforcing the rule of law.

Quite a change from the cess pool-RNC leadership which is reckless, incompetent, and unresponsive. This failed Republican leadership openly attacks those within its own ranks who dare to respond to a disingenuous invitation to participate in lawful governance.

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Nolan Finley unsuccessfully attempted to persuade this Republican that DNC control of the House and Senate is a bad thing. [ Ref ]

It's premature to suggest the Democrats are anticipating a sure victory. Finley incorrectly suggests the DNC work horses are taking anything for granted. By all accounts, the DNC membership and net roots are in no way licking their chops or anticipating anything. To the contrary, they remain open to other views, continue their work to move their agenda, and recapture what needs to be saved from the Republicans: The Congress and Constitution.

If I were Finley I too would be worried whether someone else's actions were or were no causing embarrassment to a third-party's psyche: All the better to distract attention from the failed Republican leadership in the American Government, not just the Congress and Executive Branches.

It would be prudent if the Republican leadership came to their senses. The likely DNC control of the Congress will prompt questions: The Republicans knew these investigations were inevitable, why didn't they start them on RNC terms?

Let's suppose Finley's forecast is true: That the DNC takes controls of both Houses of Congress, and the Democrats move into the "cushy" (his word) majority offices. Finley offer's no explanation for the defective RNC use of those "cushy" offices. At best, the FBI has had to increase its fraud squads threefold. Perhaps the FBI should be given permanent residency in the remaining months in the "cushy" RNC offices -- they need a break, especially after the many false alarms from the NSA.

Indeed, Finley's analysis fails to discuss why an alternative agenda is something bad, scary, or to be of concern. Finley fails to point to anything specific within the DNC agenda which the ranking chairmen have well articulated on their minority websites. It's refreshing to think that Finley and the RNC might pay attention to any agenda, much less be concerned with it.

It's not as though the DNC is going to have a cakewalk. Unlike Finley's implicit assertion that the Congress will be taken over, there's still the power of checks and balances. The President and Judiciary will still be there to credibly challenge what the DNC may attempt. It's one thing to argue that a party's agenda is something to be feared; quite another for Finley to suggest that the system of failed checks and balances will continue to fail.

Putting aside what may or may not happen between now and November 2006, the voters have much to digest: The RNC war crimes in Iraq and Eastern Europe; the violations of state laws; and the state level efforts to prosecute the President

Finley provides no substantive basis to believe his concerns; or why the concerns if they materialize could not be managed. Unlike the RNC which sticks to a failed plan, the DNC has proven rather adept at adjusting.

New leadership is needed. By all accounts, it might prove to be the very thing this country needs to engage in an intellectually honest debate about values, American democracy, and strategic planning. Finley's remarks come on the eve of the November 2006 election. Whether Congressman Conyers does or does not become the House Judiciary Chairman in 2006 is of little consequence to what does or does not happen in 2008.

Even if Congressman Conyers does become Chairman, Finley offers nothing substantive why Conyers would necessarily be a bad or good Chairman. Finley provides nothing specific, either through example, analogy, or a comparison. His analysis is imprecise.

Conyers have demonstrated he's willing to ask tough questions, works well with his staff, and timely moves legislative bills. It's a separate matter whether the Republican majority chooses to obstruct intellectually honest debate, or otherwise stonewalls needed investigations as required per 5 USC 3331, the oath of office.

Congressman Conyer's agenda is quite straightforward: The Rule of Law. Springing from that stems a quite sensible approach to governance: Prudence. Unless Finley believes the US Constitution and Declaration of Independence are antithetical to American values, there's nothing radical in Congressman Conyer's agenda. He is one man, not a dictator.

Contrary to Finley's assertions that Conyers will or will not implement a specific agenda, the Congressman has well stated several times his plans to conduct investigations in a bi-partisan manner. We should take him at his word.

Based on a casual reading of Congressman Conyers Blog, his many public statements, and the well written reports outlining the many Republican Party crimes, there's every reason to have confidence in the likely-Chairman Conyer's leadership. He's proven himself adept at working with anyone from all political backgrounds.

Conyers has made no promise to bring articles of impeachment. He's simply asserted a straightforward agenda: It is time for Congress to exercise it's constitutional mandate, gather facts, and let the facts lead to where we find them.

Bi-partisan means just that: Both the RNC and DNC will review what has happened between 2001 and 2006 to explore what the problems are, and determine what reforms are needed. That's leadership, not an excuse or anything to fear. The way forward remains to be seen, and is subject to Bi-Partisan debate. It's one thing to talk about a "big chair," quite another for the DNC to be afforded the power to understand why the RNC failed to use the "big chair" to protect the Constitution.

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Leadership is not something that is a science, nor is it precise. In part, it means facing reality, not hiding inside a safe embryo in the oval office. One explanation for the RNC conspiracies is a love of power, not the Rule of Law. Finley fails to capture this paradox: The Republican leadership claims to have been abused and powerless, yet illegally uses absolute power to retaliate against those who point to the failed leadership within the Republican Party.

Let's consider the conspiracies the RNC has embraced in order to avoid reality: The conspiracy of WMD without any evidence, but no action on Geneva and the lack of imminent threat; the conspiracy of terrorism as an excuse to ignore the Constitution, without any discussion of remedies or prosecutions of the DoJ Staff; the conspiracy of silence within the US legal profession, without any leadership to ensure the State Attorney Disciplinary Boards direct their attention at the allegedly criminal, reckless RNC legal counsel; and the conspiracy to shut down lawful protests against illegal wars, without any timely showing of what will be done to ensure the JTTF and law enforcement protect citizen rights, not the illegal priviledge to be immune to accountability.

Unlike the NYT which has proven to have been a mouth piece for alleged war criminals, the internet has been a refreshing challenge to the White House propagadna. Finley fails to point to anything specific to warrant confidence in his conclusions. At best, the conspiracy has been the RNC abuse of power, and the media-Congressional complicity in failing to challenge the warped leadership within my party. We as members cannot change defective management; we can only share our views of what is possible. Conyers is listening, the RNC have embraced conspiracy.

Hamdan has discredited the RNC leadership. Whether the likes of Finley and others claim the courts have got it right or wrong is meaningless. America will get what it votes for, but America cannot stop the international actors from engaging in war crimes investigations against American leaders, legal advisors, and agents who have violated the laws of war.

It remains to be seen how the American voters embrace or reject the finings of the war crimes prosecutors. Impeachment isn't something that is thrown around as a credible scare tactic. The issue is whether Americans are willing to assert the Rule of Law through the Congress and the Courts. Whether the prosecutions are in state, federal, or international court is a secondary issue.

War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things. Finley's approach would have us fear change when the status quo is unacceptable, yet offering nothing constructive to remedy what has failed under this Constitutional system. Contrary to Finley's assertions, the nation can and must engage in oversight during times of war. The decision to wage illegal war was up to the President; it was the likes of Finley to enable Congress, prevent oversight, and not review facts related to Geneva violations.

An impeachment is a tool to check power. Whether that House action results in a Senate vote to remove the President from office is up to the Senate to decide when, and if, they are presented the evidence from the House Managers. It is preferable to peacefully review a President’s alleged war crimes in a non-combat environment, as opposed to using the fear of investigation as the pretext to continue a certain, illegal, and costly war. One path is certain; the second path is certain folly.

Terrorism is something which people use when they have no nuclear weapons. Finley offers nothing by way of proof to suggest why politics in a civil forum is more or less chaotic than the RNC-preferred forum of the battlefield. Finley's incorrect reasoning pretends that the DNC will have absolute control, yet he fails to refer to the need for sane heads in the RNC leadership.

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As to whether there should or should not be reparations for slavery, who is to say at this juncture whether those reparations are or are not relevant, or beyond discussion. It is time to ask in a civil manner: What would be an appropriate way to resolve the issues of slavery, and what portion of the 2006 earnings should those who toiled be entitled. Finley offers no solution.

We share one: Perhaps the current earnings could be apportioned on the basis of a pseudo-shareholder whereby the plantation-business entity that relied on slaves could be construed to have provided X% of its common stock to the slaves. Going forward from the 1600s when slaves were first used, we might calculate the present value of those share holdings, and then remove the expected losses that have accrued during normal market fluctuations.

This is not to say that today's generation will be entitled to bankrupt American corporations, only that what they are reasonably entitled to under a just and fair settlement might resolve these issues. It is one thing to raise an issue, quite another to use scare tactics without offering a basis to be concerned. Finley offers nothing, thus we reject his concern.

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The Iraq war has been divisive because the Republican leadership chose to divide America into two camps: Those who support illegal war, and those who opposed illegal war. At this juncture, it remains unclear why a legal-financial settlement through the market and civil litigation would compare to a war crimes prosecution before The Hague. However, we are open to Finley's assertion that this may be true, and look forward to his comparison in terms of volume of evidence, risk of inaction, and the statute of limitations.

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Finley makes an excellent point: Congressman Conyers, by the standards of the RNC, is eccentric: He has a strange fascination for the Rule of Law which the Republicans find confusing. By all accounts the Congressman's eccentricity is merely his respect for 5 USC 3331, not something the Republican leadership would necessarily understand.

Putting aside the issue of war crimes and the House Judiciary leadership, Finley provides no specific reason why a particular issue of interest to a specific DNC Congressman will or will not take hold. Finley fails to discuss how the Senate will or will not work in conference committee; nor does Finley discuss how the Presidential vetoes will factor into the agendas.

Even if the most ill-formed notions of DNC policy were realized, Finley's characterization of those policies is imprecise, and he fails to discuss the specifics of how the program will or will not be implemented; or why the particular proposal is more or less defective than the alternative. Like the RNC leadership which riles on sophistry, Finley's argument fails in comparing a nebulous assertion against a nebulous standard. The characterizations of the DNC leadership, although visually entertaining, do not present any new information to advance the debate.

Unlike the speculations of what the DNC leadership may or may not do, Finley fails to discuss the lack of entertainment the current RNC leadership has in attempting to spin war crimes, and explain away illegal violations of Geneva and the Laws of War. Despite clear standards in 5100.77, the RNC leadership in both the oval office and Attorney General’s office have only demonstrated they are political clowns, not credible leaders interested in preserving the Rule of Law.

Voters have had 6 years to see RNC extremism in action. The Republican Party, my party, failed. The have run out of time. They no longer can point to what may or may not happen; they must account for what has happened.

Even if the DNC were to control Congress, Finley fails to explain why the DNC control would or would not interfere with the President's ability to wage war. The President remains the Executive. Nothing the DNC does can interfere with the President’s lawful use of power; they only have the power to define and enforce the ministerial duties he has otherwise ignored or failed to respect.

Contrary to Finley's assertions, this Republican Party despite using illegal NSA surveillance prior to Sept 2001 already failed to prevent a frontal attack on Sept 2001. We need not blindly presume the Republicans have a solution, much less a lawful one, for the next possible strike.

There is no issue of taking a chance. The issue is whether we can afford to follow what has failed, as opposed to working with those who have an alternative to failure. The Republicans point to certain failure, but provide no alternative but lawlessness. Even if the voters reject the DNC in the 2006 election, the international war crimes prosecutors and state officials continue to investigate the illegal activity. Nothing the current Republican leadership does accounts for these ongoing investigations; whether Congress does or does not investigate is meaningless.

Finley well summarizes that the Republicans have themselves to blame. Indeed, the Republicans will have the time to reflect on what they failed to do when they had the chance; and what they might have done to protect what they took an oath to protect: The Rule of Law, not Republican fear. It remains to be seen whether the Republicans have the time to reflect on their disaster while residing in their multi-million dollar Virginia-Maryland estates, or in Federal prison.

Let's hope the voters enjoy the Republican entertainment while it lasts. A war crimes tribunal may be more lively, but not as much fun as watching the Republican leadership being lawfully adjudicated for war crimes then lawfully sentenced to death. Fortunately, the DNC is friendly to Republicans, unlike the impartial judicial system the RNC despises.

Finley wished this.