New Congressional Leadership: Change Isn't What It Used To Be
DNC victory over the RNC should not give anyone a reason to adjust their vigilance. Talking about change is a ruse to avoid public oversight of Congress.
What we've learned under RNC abuse should be applied to the DNC. Their honeymoon is over before it started.
Pelosi made some interesting comments, raising some issues. She’s stated that the impeachment option is off the table, raising questions about how she plans to ensure the President is held accountable; and incorrectly stated the Iraq policy is an exclusive Executive function. Both assertions do not send a message of accountability, oversight, or governance. We discuss.
The incorrect notion is to believe because Rumsfeld has resigned, we can move on. There are surfacing excuses not to have a war crimes trial. Some are rewriting the history of Iraq and the US invasion to justify the illegal action, mislabeling war crimes as simple mistakes. Saddam agreed to go, yet the US invaded.
The question is Congressional malfeasance in re Iraq; and whether the US will or will not accept its responsibility for failing to oversee the problems. Until Congress faces America war crimes in Iraq, Congress is complicit with the inaction, and failure to act to prevent, the original war crimes.
It is incorrect to narrowly define the possible outcomes for Presidential accountability to exclude impeachment.
The problem of Iraq was the failure to question assumptions; the new leadership has new assumptions, but they are equally flawed. The new Congressional leadership shows signs of not applying the lessons of Iraq to Congressional leadership. It offers, as did the RNC:
- Narrow solution sets
- Denial of action and options
- Excuses for an imbalanced application of standards and laws
The RNC problem after 1994 was relying on a honeymoon without implementing principles. After 2006, the 2000-2006 Congressional oversight problems with Iraq aren’t solved by agreeing not to oversee the problem. Congress, in narrowly defining the Congressional options relative to Presidential accountability, similarly has false and narrow option as was with Iraq. Congress appears to define a solution as acceptable only if it fits within an absurd solution set –- the same problem the Congress stated existed within the Iraq war planning.
It remains unclear why Congressional leadership bothers to point to the President as a potential source of problems, or conduct investigations if it is not willing to investigate and impeach the President for wrong doing.
It is meaningless for Pelosi to say the policy making responsibility lies exclusively with the President; by implication, it is also incorrect to suggest Congress is not in a policy making function. Congress shares budget policy responsibility through the Appropriations powers in Article 1 Section 8. Congressional language is a joint agreement, not something the President defines as with an Executive Order or regulation. Also, Congressional staff members review DoD documents, budgets, and programs.
Pelosi’s comments on ultimate policy making responsibility have relevance to war crimes oversight. Congress, as a branch of government able to formulate policy with the President, shares joint responsibility for failing to prevent war crimes. Although the President and the Neoconservatives may have been the chief architect of the illegal war plans, for those war crimes to continue it took a complicit Congress to refuse to enforce the laws prohibiting the illegal conduct
It remains to be seen how the objective of a reformed Congressional ethics system will square with the likely Congressional involvement with the war crimes planning; and to what extent the Congressional leadership is not willing to explore issues related to Presidential impeachment that would touch on Members of Congress.
One of the arguments for having new leadership has been the disregard for basic principles like the rule of law, governance, and accountability. Yet, what some suggest was leadership, oversight problems with Hastert, Bush, and Rumsfeld appear to be surfacing with Pelosi.
Some of the complaints about Rumsfeld, Bush, and Rove in re Iraq can be generalized, and appear to apply to Pelosi. Let’s consider them:
- Unwavering on an agenda, regardless facts or new information;
- Ignoring reality, and pointing to other things as excuses;
- Putting uncertain benefits before certain requirements and responsibilities;
- Celebrating double standard on duties and obligations;
- Remaining closed minded to the full spectrum of legal options;
- Refusing to consider options before committing to a strategy;
- Enabling non-governance with excuses, apologists, smokescreens, and shell games;
- Remaining silent on widespread malfeasance, rewarding it with inappropriate inaction;
- Ignoring feedback as a personal attack; spiraling into additional deniability and absurdity.
By refusing to consider holding the President accountable with any impeachment, there is little to suggest there is a difference between the RNC- or DNC-led inaction on ultimate Presidential accountability.
If Impeachment is off the table, as Pelosi suggests, the question becomes: What mechanism does she as Speaker propose to implement to check Presidential abuses of power and violations of the law? It makes little sense to argue that Congress is for change, but refusing as the RNC-led Congress did to review maters which could lead to charges of impeachment.
Members of Congress have a legal duty to implement their oath of office. If they are not willing to fully investigate, bring charges, and review the evidence over possible Presidential misconduct, why is the speaker proposing there will be a change?
The other options, which Pelosi and Dean have not specifically rejected, include state level prosecutions of a sitting President; and state-initiated investigations of the President, as we have seen with the state-level NSA-FISA-privacy issues. Details
Taken broadly, Pelosi and Dean's statements on impeachment, when taken to the extreme, suggest they're for change, only as long as Congress remains committed to doing nothing about impeachable offenses. It does not make sense to start an inquiry when, as a natural consequence of that inquiry, there might be evidence warranting impeachment.
The speaker’s comments suggest there is a line she will not cross on investigation, even if the President has crossed that line with impeachable conduct. How does the Speaker presume to conduct an inquiry if the unspoken assumption of that inquiry is that the evidence cannot yield anything that might warrant impeachment: Why bother starting inquiry if the consequences and truth have been prematurely defined; or the range of possible solutions is presumed to be something less than what the facts may suggest?
It is a serious thing to argue that reforms, oversight, and better ethics are needed; while at the same time, prohibiting anyone from starting an investigation which cannot end where it might need to end: With formal charges against the President.
Perhaps the Speaker may wish to clarify her comments; or discuss whether she views State Action against the President as unacceptable. If so, how does the speaker respond to the State Attorney General effort to investigate crimes the telecoms have allegedly committed?
It is serious to retroactive define conduct as being unacceptable because it violates the law; then prospectively arguing that nothing will be done. How does the Speaker justify confidence that she’s fully asserting her 5 USC 3331 oath if the problem was sufficient to propel her into the leadership; but the solution is not on the radar that might propel her to confront the President.
Perhaps Pelosi’s comments on the President, impeachment, and the Constitution are a bluff. If that’s true, why should we believe things are changing? Change requires change, not simply talking about bluffs.
Reportedly, only 40% of the US citizens voted in the 2006 election. That’s a pool of 60% of Americas who refused to commit to either option. Perhaps they have an interest in voting should there be credible leadership; or people who are willing to hold the Speaker to the same standards that might be applied to the President.
There are ways to motivate new voters to find, support, and act on lawful options. Most of it has to do with listening to them. If the Speaker says that the impeachment option is off the table, she can hardly be called a good listener.
If the Speaker proposes to change Congress, or hold the leadership accountable, how does she explain her call for change, but her apparent desire to do what the RNC leadership has been rebuked for: Failing to conduct oversight? At best promising not to take an investigation to its logical conclusion – by prohibiting impeachment – would ask that we presume the non-legislative options will be exercised: That of Presidential prosecution.
This option has not been enforced or used. At best the Attorney General and President have blocked both the DOJ OPR and US Attorneys from gathering evidence, or completing investigations related to impeachable offenses.
Generally, if the Speaker asserts that impeachment is not an option; and the same President and Attorney remain in place to block prosecutions, she cannot credibly argue that there’s been change with new leadership. At best we have a larger problem: More people assenting to the unreasonable conclusion that neither Federal prosecutors nor Federal legislators will take action. This hardly inspires confidence in the Federal Government.
The Speaker is invited to share her views on 5 USC 3331 and the oath of office. Perhaps she might wish to share her views on what constitutes a fully commitment to 5 USC 3331; if someone were to say that an option were not possible, does this mean that the 5 USC 3331 oath of office is something else. At best, eliminating from the table the impeachment option does little to send a signal to the President that the Federal
Legislature will effectively challenge the President.
It does not mean much when the voters, and citizens at large, are given a sense that there might be change; but that change is conditioned upon not gathering evidence that might result in a confrontation. This was the same pre-text Gonzalez used to justify avoiding the FISA court, and not coming to Congress. The same excuse form the Speaker’s lips hardly separate Gonzalez from new leadership.
Perhaps the motivation of the speaker is to exclusively peruse a legislative agenda. This is admirable, but incorrectly sends the message that Congress only has the power to act on legislation, but not conduct inquiry related to that legislation; or that it will logically take that investigation where the facts lead us.
Impeachment sere not something that monopolizes all things. Rather, the Constitution affords the Congress the Article I powers which are many, not a single power to advocate for change, but not govern.
One of the complaints against the President has been that he didn’t respect the powers of Congress. Indeed, if the Speaker is not willing to assert all the powers of Congress, what difference does it make whether the President or the Congress asserts those powers? Although the Constitution delegates the power of impeachment only to Congress, it does not mean that if Congress chooses inaction that there is a ratification of alleged war crimes and illegal conduct.
Rather, the US Government has international obligations which all members of Congress agree to implement and respect through their oath of office, recognizing the Supreme Law includes all treaties and the Geneva Conventions.
Franklin spoke of the speculative benefit we might get if we forgo specific benefits. What is the Speaker’s implicit benefit of inaction on impeachment? She appears to be putting speculative future Partisan gain before certain requirements in the oath of office. It remains to be understood what is driving Pelosi’s interest in non-action on impeachment; and how she perceives her decision on inaction is different than the RNC inaction. Perhaps she may enlighten us to how she views DNC inaction as being in a superior or different position than similar alleged malfeasance by her political opponents.
Is there an agreement to do nothing in exchange for something of value?
Why is the US government, despite the delegation of several powers, unwilling to embark on a cause of inquiry which may include the exercise of that option?
To suggest that there is no time to complete the inquiry would have us believe that two years is insufficient; if so, why start with the belief in 2008 that something may or may not be accomplished by 2010; or start in 2012 that something might happen by 2014.
There is no statute of limitations on war crimes. The time for the Federal Government and specifically members of Congress, to choose on the Constitution is not when they are elected; but their continuing duties on a daily basis.
If the US government refuses to conduct any line of inquiry which might lead to impeachment, why start any inquiry; if the US government will not assert all its powers, why should We the People not revoke those and other powers not exercised?
The power is there to be used. Impeachments are legislative tools for Congress to use when the Executive refuses to prosecute. What difference if the alleged conspiracy to not enforce eth law is between an RNC-controlled Congress and the President pursuing one agenda; or whether it is between a DNC controlled Congress and the President intent on pursuing another agenda.
Oversight requires examining inconvenient things. It is the job of Congress to act when the enforcement mechanism fails. The issue before us, Madame Speaker, is what is to be done, despite the voters call for change, there is no change: But renewed calls for inaction today to advance speculative goals tomorrow.
Perhaps the Speaker may wish to explain how the voters have been given any victory, when the defeated Congress, silent on Presidential abuses, is being asked to remain silent, only to advance what may be Congressional abuses.
The RNC agreed not to enforce the law. If the “new” leadership in Congress will not inquire whether the President violated the law, how can anyone claim there will be any House cleaning. This sounds more like rearranging the furniture, not cleaning.
Either the Speaker is with the Constitution and will protect it; or she is not. The public may wish to ask the Speaker why she has a higher interest on agreement than in prosecution; a greater respect for calling for change, than changing the calls.
Has Pelosi agreed not to support impeachment, investigations, and prosecution of the President: Why; what is the intent of this agreement; and how are the 5 USC 3331 obligations reconciled with her duty to protect, preserve, and defend the Constitution? If she will not protect the Constitution against Presidential abuses, why believe she’s going to be there when something more serious arises.
5 USC 3331 is the oath of office. The question before us is what is to be done: Do we work outside Congress through the States to prosecute the President; or do we expand the prosecutions to target those who refuse to prosecute.
Protecting the Constitution is not a discretionary obligation; the oath is to bind people to do something they would not freely choose to do. That impeachment may be inconvenient, time consuming, or a distraction says little of the vast expansive powers of the Congress to appropriate funds for non-governmental objectives.
Contractors, not government, for the most part implement the policies and carry out the government functions. Left are the unique governmental functions which have not been contracted. If the Speaker will not start an inquiry which may result in the Federal Government prosecuting the President; is the Speaker opposed to prosecuting Members of Congress or the US Attorneys who refuse to assert their oath, or block State level efforts to protect state rights.
The State Attorney Generals have been reviewing evidence of Federal Crimes related to the FISA and privacy violations. If the Speaker is not interested in impeaching the President, does this mean she’s not opposed to the Attorney General failing to report Presidential violations of the law, as the Attorney General is required to do under Title 28?
The point is that once the Speaker draws a line and says, “We aren’t going to do that,” then this is the first excuse to argue that they are for change, but not changing. This is the first step. The challenge remains: If the Congress will not assert its power to enforce the law because the President has refused to the same, what is to prevent others from also not enforcing the laws related to implementing Congressional statutes as was done in Iran-Contra? The same players are here: Is Congress only going to review convenient things; but not pay attention to the looming threats? That is not change, but more of the same.
What has changed is We the People have been reminded, because of this President’s reckless defiance of his oath, what the Constitution can mean; and what remains within our power: The power to change the Constitution to compel you to do what you refuse or say is not an option. We need not recognize the Congressional threat of impeachment if it is not an option you choose to use; along with that we can lawfully strip the Congress of the power to investigate, and create a new Branch which will have the exclusive power to do what you refuse to do.
Your reasons and excuses why this New Constitution have little merit or relevance. As with your excuse for why you will not fully assert your oath, is the equally frivolous complaint as to whether the President is or is not abusing powers the Congress will not effectively oversee, manage, or assert. It is one thing to complain the President has abused power or violated the law; quite another to realize that the Congress despite the change, renews its loyalty to an alleged insurrection against the Constitution, but refuses to hold the President and his alleged coconspirators accountable for that defiance.
Change is in the air, but it is not connected with actions, only with ideas, and slogans. That is not change. That is more of the RNC approach to governance: Talk about eh future, but don’t delivery. Unlike the RNC, rather than talk about the future, you’ve effectively agreed not to review the past, only the parts that steer clear of the President’s alleged war crimes, malfeasance, and other misconduct.
From this corner of the blogosphere, it appears there has been no change, only a new name for the same alleged malfeasance: Someone has called Congressional inaction a change, but not changed, but given us a new name for the old inaction.
Is Madame Speaker opposed to any legal action by the states against the President?
If not, why does the Speaker support State level assertion of federal responsibility: Protecting the Constitution? It doesn’t make sense to appropriate funds for staff counsel who are prohibited from doing what they have the obligation to do: Protect the Constitution, even from domestic enemies in the White House. Investigations were shut down – shocked, shocked – for partisan reasons. Have the investigations been shut down for illegal reasons?
This speaker apparently does not wish to consider the possibility that the President working with others has illegally thwarted Congressional oversight. If there is no investigation of the President’s crimes –- as the Congress has the power to do –- perhaps someone can make a case why this Speaker or any Member of Congress or any Congress at large, should enjoy the power to entertain impeachment as an option, something of discretion, but not impose it as a requirement within the Constitution.
Power is there to assert the will of We the People to protect the Constitution. We can revoke that power; and we can revoke our support. If others have to do your job and that of Congress, why do we need Congress, or than to rubber stamp legislation that some might agree is desired, on condition of avoiding prosecution that is needed.
The signs are emerging and patterns are not comforting. It appears we have the same types of excuses –- arguments to justify DNC inaction –- which we heard from the RNC. Supposedly it was the “do nothing” Congress which was the catalyst for change; indeed, the “do nothing” Congress is adept at renaming inaction as action; relabeling rubber stamping as participation.
The same excuses for DoJ Staff counsel inaction -- on rendition, FISA violations, Geneva breaches, and illegal abuse -- are the same excuses we’re asked to accept on Presidential impeachment and accountable.
If Congress will not hold the President accountable, then the States should probe the Speaker to establish to what extent she is effectively denying to the States their Constitutional right to a republican form of government: One that includes an enforcement mechanism.
If the Speaker is putting the President above the law, how might the President reciprocate, agreeing she is above the law; what laws has he agreed not to enforce against her; and what has he nebulously promised in exchange for certain inaction.
The State Attorney Generals should consider the same line of inquiry conducted over the NSA-FISA violations: To what extent state citizens rights have been violated through this alleged malfeasance by Members of Congress on Presidential crimes.
Members of Congress, before a war crimes tribunal, would have as their counsel the DOJ Staff. Has the DoJ Staff counsel promised better defenses for those Members of Congress who have agreed not to pursue the President?
The public at large and State legislatures know about House Rule 603 permitting the States to call for the Congress to investigate and impeach. One argument under the RNC was that this was a distraction from the election. The election is over. Is the new excuse that there will be an election in two years? That is a Constitutional requirement, not a credible excuse for inaction, especially for war crimes where there is no statute of limitations.
This President has refused to enforce the law. If Congress does not capture and protect the evidence, what is to prevent him and others from destroying the evidence; or is this by design: To talk about change, but accept the same data retention standards we saw at Enron?
Perhaps there are credible reasons for inaction. Indeed, it would be interesting to review why, despite the American Bar Association rules on asserting the rule of law, the Congressional staff can argue to the Speaker that something should or should not be done. The ABA rules require action, not malfeasance.
Perhaps there is inaction because of unspecific benefits, political risks, or the false claim that the government cannot manage more than one excuse –- simultaneously investigate, legislate, and prosecute –- despite the Constitutional Oath to implement the entire Constitution, not selectively explain it away as inconvenient, untimely, or extraordinary.
The State Attorney Generals should be approached and asked:
___ What is their view on state-level efforts to prosecute the President, especially when Congress refuses to act?
___ Do the State attorney Generals have a reason for not asserting their oath, and doing their moral best to enforce State citizens’ rights to a Republican form of government, especially when the President and Congress refuse to protect it?
___ Is there a reason the State Attorney Generals are following the Speakers lead, and doing nothing, despite their legal power to protect the Constitution?
___ There are clear allegations of crimes, but an apparent agreement by the DNC and the States to do nothing about the President’s memory lapses on the law and his legal obligations. Is there a reason that those who took an oath to the Constitution have jointly agreed to do nothing, not impeach, and not prosecute someone who was supposedly behind the disastrous legacy in the Congress?
___ Members of the “do nothing Congress” enabled the President to do something: Commit Crimes. Isn’t anyone interested in finding out the details; and determine a suitable remedy correction to ensure this does not happen again?
___ Without exploring facts and evidence that may be linked with impeachment, what basis is there to argue one remedy is superior to more inaction?
___ Does the DNC leadership like the RNC disaster because it’s a chance to retain power, presenting more smokescreens not to use that power?
___ What is the explanation for not doing both –- enacting legislation, and investigating violations of those laws?
___ Has the RNC said, “We will only agree with your legislative plans if you refuse to investigate and hold us accountable for war crimes?”
___ What would explain the motivation of the RNC-DNC to still do nothing, despite the so called mandate for change?
__ What is to be said of the 60% that didn’t vote: If the nonvoting public sees there is real American accountability -- not simply taking about change -- would that not inspire them to vote, suggesting abroad democracy is something worth emulating, rather than remaining silent about executive abuses?
This President has not enforced the law. If impeachment is off the table, what leverage does the Congress plan to use to compel the President to do what he has otherwise refused to do?
Impeachment is a legislative tool to supplant an Executive's decision not to prosecute. The aim of the impeachment in England was to give the legislature the means to remove from the King's service officers who the King refused to prosecute. Impeachment is a legislative stick to force accountability on Executive officers when the President refuses to enforce the law, maintain discipline, and remove from his service agents who refuse to honor their oaths.
Removing impeachment from the Congressional options does not send a message of accountability, but more inaction:
___ The President refuses to enforce the law, and remove from the government agents and personnel who have assisted in the illegal violations of our Constitution and laws. What is the plan of Congress to do what the President refuses to do: Remove wayward agents?
___ The President, to put this illegal rebellion against the Constitution into effect, required the assistance of many enablers. They are called alleged criminals. This President refuses to prosecute them. Impeachment, once it starts, limits the President from exercising his Pardon power. What is to be said of a Congress, facing certain illegal activity, refuses to impose ultimate sanctions on those who have assisted the President in violating the law?
___ If Congress refuses to do what the President will not, is there any real separation between the DNC-RNC; or the President and Legislature?
___ If after an election we have more of the same Presidential inaction, and refusals to assent to DoJ OPR investigations, what is Congress' plan to compel the President to do what he otherwise refuses: Protect the Constitution?
Congress, by refusing to hold the President accountable through the brining of charges, means Congress does not expect to be held accountable for that inaction. Indeed, this assumption is no different than what the RNC incorrectly assumed.
Supposedly the RNC approaches have been rejected. What is to be said when the leadership embraces what has been otherwise rejected? That is not change, but a change in who embraces the decision not to assert Constitutional powers to protect the Constitution; and effectively thwart a credible enforcement mechanism remains in place against all, not just the President, but the individual Members of Congress.
This remains a do nothing Congress: They talk about change, but do nothing to ensure all the Constitutional requirements and obligations are fully enacted.
What the DNC bemoaned about the RNC is well entrenched in the DNC. The only difference is, instead of talking about family values, the DNC is talking about change.
The truth surfaced. The hypocrisy is the same. Do we need more evidence that there is no real change; or must the consequences of this hypocrisy reach absurd, scandalous levels? The momentum is in the wrong direction.
The NATO pretext for bombing Yugoslavia was the illegal self-grant of immunity to the Yugoslavian leadership. Perhaps the Speaker may whish to explain whether, by refusing to impeach the President, the President has agreed not to find that she and others have violated the law; or allegedly been complicity with unlawful self-grants of immunity as we saw in Yugoslavia.
It doesn’t make sense to argue Congress has new leadership, when the same practices are in place: Despite clear laws and requirements, we have the same in action by Congress, refusing to hold all to account to the will of We the People.
Legislative power is imposed through legislative acts. Without an enforcement of that will of Congress, the Acts are meaningless. Congress, despite arguing it wants bipartisan policies, does not want bipartisan accountability.
The solution isn’t to pretend the violation didn’t occur, but to broaden the inquiry to understand what is enabling those who refuse to assert the power they have been legally delegated to assert.
When Members of Congress refuse to act, they become the subject of inquiry, fair comment, and possible indictments, especially when it relates to serious matters of malfeasance, volitions of the oath, and apparent assent to illegal violations of the law, unlawful insurrection, rebellion against the Constitution, war crimes, and other crimes.
It makes little difference that the director of the FBI’s criminal division has a poor track record of ensuring his subordinates are competent, mentally stable, able to rationally interact, or know the statutes and laws better than the misinformed public. It does not matter that the Attorney General and President have blocked the DOJ OPR. Nor does it matter than the RNC Congress has given a green light to the DOJ Staff counsel to implement illegal policy memos which ignore the Geneva Conventions.
Change means change, not talking about change, but staying the same. Madame Speaker, your job is to bring change, not talk about change, while brining excuses.
There are options. We could apply the New Constitution to the current situation, and examine whether this New Constitution would address Pelosi’s inaction; then evaluate whether we would have better or worse results under the two Constitutional models.
Real solutions would revoke the discretionary power of Congress to act or not act on Presidential criminal conduct, and make the job of Congress a requirement, especially when the President engages in war crimes.
One approach is to remove the investigative power of Congress, deny the Members of Congress to conduct any investigations, and delegate this power to a 4th Branch of Government.
Moreover, regardless Federal level government action on impeachment and Presidential crimes, there are state level prosecution options – prosecute a sitting President – and lawfully target the DOJ, White House, and Congressional staff counsel for disbarment.
The law is supposed to apply to all. Yet, the inequitable enforcement of the law was the basis for the “Do nothing” Congress to call itself the “Talk about Change, but not really” Congress.
Those who do nothing about Presidential crimes are allegedly agreeing for certain inaction in exchange for speculative benefits. Franklin’s warning has not found fertile ground despite the calls for change.
Case Study: Whether New Constitutions Effectively Address Governance Issues
We could do a prospective case study on the New Constitution; discuss the theoretical benefits; monitor the results; and provide options.
Alternatively, we could really implement a New Constitution-—one that would include an enforcement mechanism that will self-protect the document, mandating lawful enforcement of violations.
The New Constitution is ready. As discussed in Federalist 78, We the People are allowed to craft a New Constitution outside Article V, and are not required to follow an Amendment process. That requirement only applies to government, not those who are the source of all power: We the People, the Soverign.
The Next Step would be to issue indictments against Pelosi and others in the DNC who have allegedly refused to enforce the alleged 5 USC 3331 violations; and otherwise thwarted DoJ Staff counsel inquiry; and action by the US Attorney to prosecute the same.
Also, the House Ethics reforms should be squarely applied to the New Speaker: To what extent she does or does not politically survive is less important than whether a State-level enforcement mechanism in a New Constitution, with the power of the States to impeach members of Congress, might awaken Constitutional offices to their legal obligations.
Despite calls for change, and Pelosi’s promise to do nothing about Presidential crimes through impeachment, We the People have other lawful options to not only lawfully target the President for prosecution; but turn the full weight of the political and legal process directly at those who have refused to do what they otherwise promised to do.
In November 2006, this Congress remains bound to this Constitution through the oath they took in January 2005. Their oaths are recorded, remain on file, and can be introduced as evidence in 5 USC 3331 prosecutions. It doesn’t matter what may or may not happen in the future; the question is whether they comprehend, despite taking the oath in 2005, they agree to assert their moral best to do what they should; or offer excuses to pretend they have changed, despite not doing what they must. Refusing to enforce the law, especially when confronted with war crimes, does not inspire confidence in change, leadership, must less this American governance.
Benefits of Proposed New Constitution
Before we can evaluate whether the New Constitution is or is not superior to the current document; or whether the outcomes will be more prudent, we would have to devise some reasonable criteria to evaluate outcomes under both Constitutional approaches. This section presents some of the criteria which may be used to evaluate whether a New Constitution does or does not warrant superior support than the current Constitution.
___ Is inaction on criminal conduct subject to meaningful sanctions as the original crime?
___ Is the Constitution internally protected with an enforcement mechanism?
___ Are there credible threats of consequences to all?
___ Does the Constitutional mechanism root out excuses for inaction?
___ Does the Constitution provide for, and protect, a dual track: Legislative power, and prosecutorial options when the Executive refuses to do what he should?
___ Is there balanced enforcement of the law?
___ Are equal standards applied to all?
___ Is there an incentive to speak about illegal rebellion and defiance of the Constitution?
The next step is to compare how the New Constitution might effectively or ineffectively resolve the present issues with the “new” Congress; and to what extent the criteria square with the situation between the Congress and the Executive:
___ Which model produces a superior outcomes
___ Is one Constitution more or less able to protect itself better than the alternative
If we as voters, citizens, elected officials and Members of Congress take the oath of office seriously –- to protect the Constitution –- is there an explanation why some are opposed to investigating, looking at all the Consequences, and subjecting that evidence to adjudication before either Congress or the Article III courts?
This Congress defies its mandate. They’ve used the mandate of the election as an excuse to continue doing the same: Nothing about the President’s war crimes. Nobody needs a US government when the real enforcement mechanism lies with the States, international war crimes prosecutors, and foreign fighters engaged in lawful resistance to illegal combat and occupation.
There is no statute of limitations, but Congress says it has no time. This is absurd: This is Congress’ job. If the US does nothing about its failed legacy on war crimes prosecution, it cannot credibly go before the world community to speak about foreign obligations under Geneva. Responsibilities should be met, not explained away; duties should be fulfilled, not given second seat to claims of participation.
The public has a reason to be concerned. The excuses for inaction from the heralded DNC might as well come from the rejected RNC. The only difference is that the DNC has a fresh start in 2006, as the RNC had in 1994. This does not mean the voters will have to endure 12 years of DNC excuses; rather there remain two years of increased voter oversight of Congress, or we will find new leaders.
Like the NSA-FISA violations, the State Attorney Generals -- not the Federal government –- was first on the scene to protect the Constitution; compel the DOJ Staff counsel to respond; and launch the inquiry to compel the President to account. The States' actions are far moore than can be said of a Speaker who promises inaction on Presidential crimes. Certain progress, certain inaction; Enforcing the existing law, or talking about new policies.
It is of little interest that individual DNC Members of Congress may be in a bind: Advocating for change to get elected, but agreeing to stay the course on malfeasance and ianction. Indeed, they may be loyal to a party, but the Rules of the House have yet to be ratified under the New Congress. Perhaps there will be a rule permitting Members of Congress to take an oath, but their self-assertion of “Change” will be sufficient to keep the FBI and US Attorney at bay on issues of Congressional obligations.
Members of Congress on the Judiciary Committee cannot credibly claim they are able to fulfill their Constitutional mandate if they have been told that they cannot take their inquiry to its logical conclusion. Where there is an artificial line blocking action, that line becomes real, slowly moving closer to justify more inaction on greater issues. If the President will not be full investigated and held to account, why should anyone else? The Speaker will have to explain how the Ethics Committee can be reformed, while there remains one person who is above the law, not within the radar of Congress -- one who can commit war crimes, but Congress agrees to do nothing. That is not inspiring, nor does it suggest a change, but relabeling what was supposedly rebuked.
It remains to be seen whether the State Attorney Generals, as some in Congress might be, have been inducted not to assert their oath of office in matters of State level prosecution of the President. Perhaps they have an explanation; perhaps they have a good excuse for malfeasance: “Change.”
We're not complicit with illegal war crimes or rebelloin against the Constitution: We're about change."
New leaders, new Constitution.
Like Hastert, Pelosi appears inclined to use greater levels of nonsense to justify inaction. DNC excuses are no different than the RNC: only in scale, magnitude, frequency.
We’ve had 12 years of RNC abuse. The DNC honeymoon ended before it started.
It remains to be understood how the House ethics committee will look at Pelosi on issues of inequality, impeachment, war crimes, and the State prosecutions: Are the issues reviewed; are options exercised. The answer: Not much different than the House Page Board’s line of excuses for inaction.
What new information will the Speaker learn; yet, despite an initial promise to do nothing, will she prefer to stick with a promise to do nothing, than –- as Addington would not do on abuse in Eastern Europe –- not risk the change or adjustment, as that would admit the original decision had been wrong.
Change is fine to talk about and implement, but as with Iraq, when change does not appear it tends to upset the locals. Fortunately, the locals in this case are able to imagine lawful options to protect the Constitution where the future Speaker appears to have taken those options of the table.
It’s not our table, but yours. It’s our Constitution, not yours to let get destroyed.
It appears Pelosi has a superior interest in an agreement to pass a legislative agenda, than her other agreement to protect the Constitution.
All RNC excuses on state percolations apply to the DNC: Where there were excuses for inaction in Vermont on 603, those same excuses are in play on matters for impeachment. There was no interest to enforce the law; why should the public in a New Constitution have an interest in powers the Congress refuses to assert.
The same cloud of delusion, inaction, excuses within the RNC remains; it’s merely changed under the guise of “change”: The fangs of a wolf under a changed sheep’s fleece.
Pelosi, like Foley, Hastert, Bush, and Rumsfeld, appears to be on a slippery slope. She’s taken an unsustainable position, inappropriately sending a green light to the Executive that he’s safe, when he should fear the consequences of his unlawful conduct.
We need not consider the legacy of abuse, when going forward; the promise to do nothing will invite more abuse. We’ve survived the abuse, secured a victory; but that victory is false if the abuses are the same. How does the Speaker propose to investigate what is known, much less detect what her alleged malfeasance will incite: More abuse, secret executive orders, and regulations which defy the Congress.
We’ve already seen open defiance of Congress, secret violations of the law with a Congress controlled by the President’s own party; changing party control of Congress does not change the habit of the President to defy Congress, only continue.
The President, despite being in a minority Party, has, like the insurgents, been given an emboldening claim by an American leader: “Bring it on, Mr. President, we’re not going to do anything. We promise.” Heck of a job, Madame Speaker.
It is an invalid argument to suggest, Madame Speaker: “The only way to get along is to ignore the President’s violations of the Constitution.” That’s not getting along, but contempt for the Constitution.
It is absurd for anyone to implicitly suggest, “The only way to assert our agenda is if we agree not to hold ourselves and others accountable.” This is no different than the RNC approach, and a flawed position.
It remains to be seen which DNC enablers while silence those who assert the law, or attempt to act on their legal obligations of their oath; or who are smeared for doing exactly what you say, but refuse to do: Change. Woe to those poor souls on your staff who believe change is coming, but change is forbidden. Change means accountability for all, not the same excuses wrapped in colorful wrapping.
It is of concern if there is any attitude of “Challenging the President is the same as challenging the Democratic leadership, power or authority.” When a call for change gets more of the same excuses and narrower options, speaking about alleged malfeasance should be a credible threat to the DNC leadership.
This large moment of change is not reconcilable with the challenges and action required. Pelosi is acting like an infant NeoCon, narrowed options to assert an agenda; but choosing to remain attached to an idea of a new agenda, but not addressing the excuses, issues, and alleged Presidential war crimes – the catalyst for the calls for change.
It will be interesting to see how the ethics standards under the changed Congressional leadership are ultimately applied to Pelosi on issues of 5 USC 3331.
___ Does the Speaker block anyone from investigating Presidential war crimes;
___ Will there be an effort not suppress, not provide, remove, or refuse to act on information related to alleged Presidential violations of the Constitution
___ Where does the Speaker draw the line on who is or is not subject to Congressional impeachment: Some, all, or just a favored few within the Cabinet
___ What might the President imply to the State Attorney Generals to induce them not to act on alleged violations of state law; and how is the Speaker involved in the discussions to ensure the DNC Attorney Generals are appropriately reprimanded by the State Boards to ensure the President is above the law
___ How will the Speaker explain the FISA-NSA litigation by the States on matters of privacy; but no action by any of the States when prosecuting the President
___ Will the Speaker be inducted to call the DNC Attorney Generals at the State level disloyal to the Constitution, in contempt of Congress, or rebuke then in a way that only the President should be held accountable?
It’s one thing to prevent the President from being held accountable; quite another to do his dirty work for him, but call it “participation.”
Let’s hear it for change and participation: Pelosi should decide whether she’s serious about doing nothing. If she is, we might as well add her name to the indictment with the President’s name--She’s allegedly complicit in failing to prevent war crimes; and not asserting her oath to Protect the Constitution.
The speaker’s assertion that impeachment is off the table, if she is to be believed, should have consequences: Document the other lines of evidence related to her alleged malfeasance, double standards, and lawfully prepare and indictment to prosecute her for alleged 5 USC 3331 violations.
Allegation 1: Refusing to investigate, or prevent war crimes
Allegation 2: Illegally agreeing not to enforce, assert oath of office, 5 USC 3331
Allegation 3: Dissuading US Attorneys/State Attorney General from prosecuting the President for criminal conduct
Allegation 4: Malfeasance, refusing to do what she had the duty to do: Protect this Constitution from domestic enemies in the White House
Then, forward her name and the evidence to The Hague for a war crimes prosecution: She had the power to govern, but refused to ensure the laws were enforced, as she otherwise promised. The oath was to bind her to do what she doesn't want to do: Hold the President accountable. Despite her oath, she's refused.
American governance failed. Only outsiders can protect the Constitution. Meanwhile, remind Speaker Pelosi a New Constitution is ready. She and her alleged coconspirators may be lawfully stripped of discretion to refuse; and held accountable for alleged complicity in failing to protect the Constitution.
Hoc Voluerunt !