Constant's pations

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

Friday, October 06, 2006

Senator McCain Proposes Unconstitutional Interference

Alleged war criminal McCain has proposed Senate oversight of the House, implying elected officials within his party are incapable of enforcing their chamber rules, and the Senate should inject itself into the unfolding investigation.

McCain's proposed Senate oversight of the House is unconstitutional and inappropriate. We discuss the absurdity of the proposal, and offer an alternative.

* * *

False Timelines, Illegal Conduct

Recall the siren song we heard after 9-11 and Iraq: "If only we had taken the time to review the matters; there was no reason to rush."

The lessons: When leaders propose unlawful solutions, its a sign that they've failed to exhaust the reasonable options. They're creating a false timeline and deadline as a distraction from needed scrutiny.

Let's apply the lessons of 2001-2006 to what alleged war criminal McCain proposes.

* * *

(1) Article 1 Section 5: Power Not Delegated

The principles of Bicameralism as codified in the Senate Rules, recognizes each Chamber of the Legislature is self governing and distinct. McCain has provided no change to any Senate Rule which would permit the Senator to publicly comment on House matters; nor has the House requested nor approved Senate oversight.

(2) Oversight Reserved to States and People

If McCain chooses to illegally interfere with the House, then under the principle of reciprocity, the House may lawfully do the same to the Senate. Further, now that McCain has suggested that the House is not capable of self-regulation, this is a matter for the States and their respective voters and attorney generals to review.

(3) Disingenuous

McCain's suggested is at best disingenuous. If he was serious about ensuring either chamber was competent, he would have long ago directed investigations into the far larger Geneva violations. The Senator is silent, at best complicity with war crimes; at worst actively preventing enforcement of Geneva.

McCain should not be looked at as a problem solver, but a maker of smokescreens and interfering where he does not belong, not mindful of higher duties to the Supreme Law, including Geneva. When the Senate demonstrates a marginal amount of competence of issues he supposedly is personally familiar, he may have an opportunity to provide a suggestion as to how the House may or may not be run.

McCain is a Senator. He is not a Representative. If the Senator needs to be reminded of this nuance now, we can only wonder his confusion between an Executive and Judicial officer.

(4) Criminal Matters

McCain should discuss whether he plans to let the criminal investigators do their jobs unhindered, or whether he views his Republican colleagues in the other chamber as being sufficiently incompetent to warrant re-election, but insufficiently capable to do anything. Now is time to change the leadership. If this is an error, in two years we can correct the error; we need new eyes within the House to explore, not the same excuses for inaction.

If McCain knows something which the House cannot handle, the House needs new leadership, and the Criminal investigators should be permitted to do their work. If the situation involves another branch of government, but the Senator is not revealing that information, he could be complicit with obstruction of justice.

(5) Obfuscating House Impeachment Inquiry

It remains to be seen whether the objective of McCain is to start an impeachment investigation of the President, but unconstitutionally do this within the Senate. The Constitution grants only to the House, not the Senate, the exclusive power to impeach. The Senate has no power to tell the House how to run its operations; even if it were to make a finding of fact, this would not credibly review the possible misconduct within the House or the Executive Branch.

(6) Interfering

McCain's suggestion is an illegal interference. Whether the interference is needed is another mater. The solution is not to permit the House to become subordinate to the Senate; but to compel the Senator to assent to the Constitution and Geneva.

(7) Failed RNC Leadership

The RNC controls the Senate, the House, and the Executive Branch. Voting to investigate is not the same as a genuine change of heart, nor an infusion of intelligence to credibly review information. They've failed to credibly oversee the WMD investigation; there's no reason to believe they have the competence to handle something they've initially viewed as trivial.

To believe the House or Senate can complete this takes would ask us to ignore their 2001-2006 example. Despite having absolute power and control to manage, appropriate funds, assign staff, and engage in any inquiry between 2001-2006, they couldn't do the job. More time is not a solution. New leadership is the viable alternative.

Adverse Inferences

Now that the Senator has opened the door to examining whether the House is or is not competent, the States and voters may make adverse inferences.

(a) Senator McCain is aware of information that raises doubts about the ability of the current House leadership to effectively enforce their chamber rules;

(b) Senator McCain is illegally proposing unconstitutional solutions, as was done with the prisoners, because the consequences for violations are perceived to be less that the false urgency to rationalize illegal behavior

(c) The Senate has exposed itself to like oversight by the House and the other two branches and the States

(d) there is a far weightier matter which the Senator knows, or should know, would justify a voter solution -- new leadership -- as opposed to an Unconstitutional solution -- illegal interference.


It is a waste of time to believe the Congressional leadership has the competence, skill, or intelligence to credibly review a matter. The principle is whether conduct which falls below a standard will or will not get attention.

This Congress has failed to rise to the occasion on war crimes. There is no reason to believe they'll do anything less than make excuses, and legalize what is abhorrent.

McCain and other Senators have violated the rules of decorum, and improperly made public comments about the other chamber. The Senators have opened themselves to lawfully retribution and similar criticism and comment.

We do not need an investigation. We need new leaders. The proper approach is to let the House succeed or fail on its own. If it succeeds, then it will because of leadership within the House. If it fails, it is because of the failure of leadership in the Republican Party, including Senator McCain.

War Crimes Implications

Congress is signaling they have not done what it should have done, nor has not demonstrated its competence to justify belief it can do what it has the obligation to do: Ensure the Geneva conventions are followed, not explained away.

McCain's suggestion is signal Congress has awaken from its coma, but realizes it is incapable of explaining its way out of war crimes prosecutions.The German war crimes prosecutor would like to speak to Senator McCain.