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Monday, November 20, 2006

New Constitution and Presidential Candidates

The 2008 Presidential candidates are repeating the US government error prior to the Iraq invasion: Staying with artificial timelines, regardless facts.

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The Iraq invasion and the US failure to review the matters are remarkable on their won merits; however, the problem of lack of review is complicated when any candidate in 2006 suggests they are positioned to provide leadership in 2008.

Just as there has been no serous look at the Iraq war, no candidate can point to any Congressional Committee Report highlighting the failures of the American government, problems with oversight, or the defects in governance permitting Presidential abuses of power. There’s also nothing to suggest any of the candidates has seriously studied the failures of the Congress since 2001; nor that there is a consolidated set of lessons learned about what the Bush Administration has done since 2001 to abuse power; what Congress should have done; or what systemic solutions are needed to prevent the abuses from recurring.

Just as Iraq was premised on an artificial deadline, so too are the candidates in 2006 looking to the 2008 election, not as milestone to demonstrate Presidential competence, but to be the last one standing on the race to the White House.

What each candidate offers in 2006 is devoid of any serious discussion of what has gone wrong; nor is there a credible showing by any prospective candidate that between 2006 and 2008 they are connected to any serious Congressional effort to study the defects, nor develop a plan for the President to modernize American governance.

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The Iraq analogy is instructive. The President prior to the illegal 2003 invasion has been reported in Vanity Fair to have not exhausted all non-military options. Similarly, the prospective candidates running for office have not demonstrated they’ve exhausted all non-Presidential-office options to meet their political objectives.

The President prior to the invasion of Iraq was working on a fixed timeline, and making decisions without regard to facts or evidence. Similarly, the prospective candidates are also not reviewing any detailed accounts of what went wrong, nor making decisions about their Presidential platform or policy statements based on having done a thorough review of what has gone wrong.

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Indeed, the 2008 Presidential election will occur regardless whether any candidate is or is not leading an effort to investigate the President’s abuse of power; or whether they do or do not seriously discover what has failed or what they might do to correct the problem.

The US Government’s lead political parties have jointly agreed not to seriously examine the Presidential abuses, nor the Congressional complicity of the illegal activity. The leading House leaders have largely thrown Presidential oversight to the winds, hoping the electorate does not notice that they’ve engaged in just as serious Constructional violations as the President – Despite the Constitution saying the opposite, no Speaker or Chairman has the power to speak for the House of Representatives. Rather, the Congress, like the President before the Iraq invasion, has selectively twisting the Constitution to make their single decision something that illegally speaks for the entire power.

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The question is: What would drive the lead Presidential contenders to not review facts, and refuse to examine the very problems that they will have to wrestle as President – the reasons for governance failure; the limits of power; and the ways that a President and Congress jointly interface on matters of the Constitution, war, and foreign policy. Until the Presidential contenders as candidates force the Congress to face the issues, its not likely the Congress will face the issues if a President is elected on the basis of ignoring these issues.

The time for reviewing these issues has arrived. Any candidate in any party who says that the Congress does not need to review these issues of impeachable offenses demonstrates they are not fit for office, and should not be seriously considered. IT doesn’t matter how popular they might be in their respective areas.

When the US government, parties, and candidates fail to do their jobs, We the People have a duty to lead the effort, and hold the candidates to account for what they’ve failed to do; and what they implicitly propose not be done: Review history, gather evidence, and examine what must be done to better protect the Constitution.

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The lesson of Iraq is that a deadline cannot be linked with arbitrary criteria. As applied to the 2006 Presidential exploratory committees, Prospective Presidential contenders cannot look to the 2008 as a date-certain, retroactively mandating that all impeachment-related issues are off the table.

It is backwards to look at the November 2008 election cycle as something that might be disrupted by an impeachment. Rather, the issue is the opposite: Until the US government faces the President’s criminal conduct; the basis to evaluate new candidates can be expected to be equally flawed.

As with Iraq, the candidates vying for position for the 2008 election must make the case: That they’ve reviewed the issues; have a plan to remedy the defects; and can intelligently discuss what failed between 2001 and 2006. Until they are ready to outline their solutions to the specific failures this Congress permitted, they cannot be seen as credible, no matter how long they may have enjoyed a special position of access to the White House.

As with Iraq where the public was incorrectly told that there was no time to review the issues, this Government, as Richard Pearle has reminded us, is on the fast track to more problems. Not all non-military options were exhausted. Similarly, the US government ha not exhausted all non-criminal options to review the failure of US governance.

Absurdly, some suggest that impeachment is off the table, implicitly suggesting that all pre-impeachment-related activities are also off the table: Fact finding, subpoenas, affidavits, and other things related to the President’s illegal conduct. This smacks of a gross repeat of the travesty well documented prior to the invasion of Iraq.

What is most absurd is that the proponents of the “impeachment is off the table” were shocked! Shocked! (sarcasm) when the Downing Street Memos surfaced. IN the context of the recent assertions that the natural implications of the DSM is off the table – that impeachment is not an option – we have to reconsider the basis for their concern; and the implications of not examining in detail, as they might have, the pattern of abuses of the DSM.

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The prospective candidates cannot have it both ways. They cannot argue they offer leadership, but they fail to lead when the issue is small: On a simple issue of what the Downing Street Memos mean; and how the illegal planning on artificial timelines will be effectively reviewed. Applying their approach, they would have us ignore the very reasons the US public was outraged – that there were corrupt reasons behind the war, and the attached unconstitutional conduct – while proposing they offer something new; yet, at the same time, doing exactly what the President has done: Selectively re-interpret the Constitution to imply it says the Speaker can make a decision, when that power has only been granted to the House of Representatives.

The long string of false concern with the President is coming full circle. Despite the power of any Member of Congress to individually go to the well of the House to charge the President with the crime, there’s been silence. We can only speculate that they are, despite awards to the contrary, spineliness.

It is irrelevant whether certain members of Congress have or have not been appointed as stalking horses. The problem for the prospective candidates and their shills is that, like Iraq, they’ve embarked on a timeline that mandates certain issues not be reviewed so that the candidate will enjoy favored status.

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The same Congress which refuses to examine the Iraq abuses of this President is complicit with their party’s lead horses in the race to the White House in doing the same: Not examining facts, and pretending that the issues cannot be reviewed, all for the sake of political aspirations.

Indeed, if the candidates are to be believed – that they offer leadership – it is time for them to lead, and conduct an open inquiry. If they find nothing wrong, then they may proceed on the assumption that there is nothing to solve; so what is the basis of their solution or candidacy? However, if they do find something wrong, and outline a solution, perhaps they may be, as President, in a position to enact the reforms they deem appropriate.

We the People are confronted with the rude reality that the Congressional oversight on Iraq, regardless the party, has been a sham; and the same failed governance issues – regardless party affiliation – is connected within a common problem: The desire to meet political objectives, not govern.

The arrogance of the US government officials in both parties is telling. They claim to have been on the moral high ground, but they have no comprehension where that high ground is, or its proximity to the swamps. Whether they are standing in the swamp or near the swamp is of little interest to the tyrants who inhabit the forest disguised as alligators.

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A congress which is willing to act on the basis of false problems, or worse creating new problems where no problems existed, is reckless. But it is absurd for any prospective candidate, despite the power to conduct an investigation, to do nothing.

A Senator has the power to issue a subpoena; whether that Senator may or may not have Presidential designs is irrelevant. Their job in 2006 is not to conveniently ignore facts, hope that certain issues do not surface, or hide things so their path to the White House is more certain. The path cannot credibly exist when the candidate has no position on how the weeds will be removed. Indeed, the rude reality may be that the systemic flaws permitting one president to engage in war crimes may be of interest to another candidate not because there’s a problem, but because they might be able to exploit those Constitutional flaws for other designs. Regardless the outcome, the abuse of power, until prevented through credible reforms, remains a looming threat; something the Congress cannot be given a free pass, especially when it remains complicit with the unconstitutional Presidential conduct. Whether the complicity is through active support or inactive assent is of little concern: The results are the same – failed oversight.

This Congress, regardless which President wins the 2008 election is in not position to effectively oversee. The lessons of the 2001-2006 abuses have not been explored as a single package of Presidential abuses; nor has the electorate been given a chance to review the problem, nor examine how a prospective candidate might fare under those conductions; or what they offer by way of reform. As with Iraq, the public will have to make adverse inferences. And as with Iraq, the problem is when the US government continues down a reckless path, leaving the electorate with the mess to clean up.

This mess is a US government problem, started in the White House, and one which the Congress refuses to confront. If the US cannot afford to look at the President to assess Presidential objectives, then the candidates have it backwards: They are not fit to run, just as the US was not prepared to invade.

Where issues are not examined, the post-event planning is not credible. American intelligence personnel actively asserted reasonable, cautions positions. Similarly, the electorate is sending a word of caution to the DNC leadership – you need to review these matters. As with Iraq, the leadership is determined to meet a political objective, regardless the facts, and the possibility that the facts may not support their political objectives.

More broadly, as long as the Iraq issues are not contented, and this Congress refuses to address the impeachable conduct, the same Congressional conduct can be reasonably excepted in other areas: More arbitrary timelines; more excuses not to examine facts; and more assertions of solutions without a credibly link with reality. The issue isn’t whether the Republicans or Democrats control Congress or the White House; the issue is that the Constitutional objectives have been subordinated by the US government to non-Constitutional objectives: Imprudence. This defies their oath, and is arguably illegal and a subsequent offense, possibly linked with a 5 USC 3331 volition and a conspiracy charge.

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Consider again Iraq. Where there was an arbitrary timeline, but the Congress and President jointly agreed to continue, despite revelations of lack of evidence, the Congress is equally supportive of a similar escalator-like approach to the 2008 election. Iraq teaches us that goals and objectives might be subordinated to something quaint like the Constitution (sarcasm; The Constitution is a requirement not quaint.)

If the DNC leadership looks at fact finding of Presidential abuses as something that is not befitting them or their party, then they demonstrate they are not fit to govern, either as Members of Congress or in the White House. No policy of governance enacted after 2008 can credibly be linked with any robust analysis when the official analysis has been thwarted. The Supreme Court does not given much attention to private studies of what may or may not have gone wrong; it defers to the judgment of the Congress as the informed body making informed decisions. Any legislation this Congress would make, in the vacuum of no Presidential impeachment investigation, would be incorrectly looked at as a divinely inspired will of We the People. This is incorrect. It is, as with the Iraq invasion, the decision of a small group to put political objectives and arbitrary calendar dates before facts, and force an agenda, regardless the prudence or imprudence of that policy.

The lesson of Iraq was the need for open debate, challenges, and questions related to proposed policy. This Congress does not propose a policy on government reform linked with fact finding, but with blinders; the questions and challenges are not there; and the debate has been ended before it was permitted to start. The DNC and RNC cannot claim to be leaders; nor can the DNC be seen as something that is gleaning the lessons of the 2001-2006 era. If the DNC was serious about gleaning the lessons, it would look at the decimation the GOP suffered, and ask, “IF we refuse to face reality, could the same happen to us?”

Two years is a very long time. It doesn’t take much for a single blogger to mobilize a nation, enact a program, and prod the State legislatures to consider bills that would lawfully start impeachment. Imagine if that marginally interested blogger was to enter the political ring, take to the airwaves, issue formal findings and conclusion, and lead a public effort to enact a New Constitution. What the DNC and RNC leadership fail to comprehend is who is involved; what has already started; and the scope of the outrage and disgust against both parties. The same people who supposedly put the DNC in power are equally capable of removing them, finding new leaders, and enacting new legislation that will lawfully strip the party leadership of discretion. This can be done outside the formal Amendment process through a simple percolation that there is a new Constitution. Congress has no power or role in this matter.

The Congress fails to comprehend the ease to which something as simple as a state proclamation was done. The simplicity to which a few dedicated people can be inspired to do what the Congress refuses – face the Constitution, and forge a solution. Imagine the possibilities if the effort were marginally orchestrated, or there was a leader. What was not led, organized, or directed sent shockwaves into the GOP; and woke Americans up – there were options, and there was something American citizens could do to defy the abuse of power. We the People continue to know there remains other options which the Congress cannot control: The power of the states to lawfully prosecute; methods for war crimes prosecutors overseas to lawfully target the defective, lazy, incompetent Members of Congress who failed to stop what they had the power to stop; and lawful methods of the States to disbar incompetent counsel who defy their oath. It is of little interest whether the alleged war criminals are in Congress, staff counsel for the White House, or are Members of the Senate. The States have the power to lawfully target, prosecute, disbar, and jail, individual Members of Congress who refuse to assert their attorney obligations, not protect the Constitution, and put political objectives before their loyalty to the Constitution.

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Some of the presidential candidates suggest that the United Sates cannot afford to look at the Presidential abuses and crimes; that the review will not support their political aspirations.

Bluntly, We the People should ask: What are your Presidential aspirations and agendas, if you do not include in your agenda a plan to review reality, conduct fact finding, or review issues?

Once this candidate is elected to office, they will use the mandate as an excuse not to do what they might have promised. “Hay, we agreed not to look at that; it doesn’t matter what the voters thought, they were stupid to have trusted our promise to review the issue. We lied to them. Crimes are one thing, but power is another.”

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Consider the nexus between the (a) deadlines and (b) the agendas and (c) the pre-event plans and activities. As with Iraq and the 2008 Presidential abuses, we learn that some goals and agendas need to be adjusted.

If one of the candidates suggests, in order for them to win the Presidency in 2008, that the issues impeachment cannot be reviewed, perhaps the conclusion is the opposite: They are not ready to be a candidate in 2008. Maybe in 2012.

Iraq taught us that the deadlines can be shifted. So too should the candidates reconsider whether they are putting their personal ambitions before the interests of the country; and are asking the public to focus on a 2008 deadline, when the appropriate focus should be on what happened between 2001 and 2006.

IT would be preferable if the candidates spoke frequently and often on the issues they plan to address, especially given the patterns of abuses this Congress has refused to consider. How the candidates hope to respond to simple questions remains to be seen. Just as the GOP was defeated for abusing power, ignoring the law, and giving lip service; so too can the DNC candidates be defeated when their packaged answers about the future fail to answer the questions about what they hope to fix from the past.

The past remains an unexplored playground of tyrants. Until the Congress faces it, and the candidates are forced to confront it, no Member of Congress or Presidential candidate has the credibly in 2006 to say what they may or may not offer or bring to the able in 2008. Some may wish to build of momentum they’ve created from prior runs at the White House, or their opportunity to have enjoyed a favored seat near the Oval Office.

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Consider the rule of reciprocity. If the Past cannot be reviewed, then anything form the past cannot be used as the basis to say that one candidate is or is not qualified. The candidates may not have it both ways: Arguing that the past cannot be explored; but relying, as the President has done, on a selective cherry picking of the past to highlight what was right, but ignoring what was wrong.

Where there is failure, there are lessons; where there are lessons, there is the possibility we might improve. Where the past is not examined, we are as some have said doomed to repeat it. The problem for the RNC and DNC leadership to wrestle with is whether they are truly shocked at the results, or merely angered that they’ve lost despite what they’ve always done: Ignored the facts. Indeed, it may be by design that the Congress and President work with both parties to ignore the past so that the present structure permitting abuse will continue.

We the People have options. We can find new leaders, and restructure the US government to assent to our Will. Congress has no say in how We the People transform the system. They have been DENIED input. This is a power that they have been expressly DENIED and shall not be granted; nor do they have the power to compel We the People to give them anything.

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It is not possible for any prospective candidate from the RNC or DNC to claim or argue that their Presidential bid is something to take seriously. The candidates are incorrectly arguing ands stating, “Don’t look at the problems,” while arguing they are a problem solver. Ether they are going to look at the problems as a Member of Congress and draft solutions for We the People to consider; or they cannot credibly argue as President they will do what they refused to do as a Member of Congress. Iraq reminds us that it is impossible for the President to suddenly do something they cannot do: Lead.

Going forward into the 2008 election, We the People should continue to discuss the state of abysmal US government, and consider the idiotic construct the candidates have offered: They suggest they are leaders, but refuse to face history; they suggest they have a plan to be President, but cannot point to problems with the Presidency that they can solve; they want to be a leader, but are silent on matters of leadership, abuse, and misconduct. It is the job of the candidates to make the case, despite their inaction and denial on the Presidential crimes, why they will do better, despite their having no track record of comprehending what went wrong, why, or what they might have done different. Iraq taught We the People, “Trust me,” doesn’t mean anything. The burden of proof is on the government, Members of Congress, and the candidates to make the case: Did they review the information, and is their plan and vision for America related to reality; or is it merely thrown together to sound nice, and disconnected from reality, as the Iraq post-invasion planning was.

Leadership means facing reality, planning, and complying with the law. Iraq taught us that when there is no plan to lawfully start a war, there is no plan to comply with the law. Where there was no planning on matters of post-invasion issues, there was no plan on issues related to prisoner abuses. Similarly, when the candidates are suggesting that they have a vision for America, but that plan is not linked with any fact finding, we can only speculate to what ends they will go, with Congressional complicity, to ensure their agenda prevails, regardless the facts or the law. Their burden is to justify confidence, not ride the backs of a mandate that is neither lawful, nor an absolute right to ignore reality or the past.

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The issues going forward are simple: We the People must continue with vigilance our oversight of Members of Congress, the Candidates, and the US government. The system of governance, checks and balances, and rule of law has failed to inspire in the heart of even the most condescending a real interest in the law, fact finding, or plan development. How the leadership proposes to effectively translate the “good ideas” into a plan remains to be seen; they have yet to effectively demonstrate they can translate a “good idea like the law” into something resembling a simple question targeted at the President.

___ What can the Presidential candidate point to in 2006 demonstrating they have effectively looked at the defects of the US government, and that they have something tangible for We the People to consider before making a voting decision [If there is no track record, and no compelling effort to do something in 2006, thee is no reason We the People should expect anything but a non-compelling effort in the Oval Office. Perhaps that is what Americans want; but we can do better. A marginal blogger might be more effective.]

___ Why should We the People believe there is a “secret plan” for governance, despite not public plan to conduct fact finding on the Presidential abuses? [Where there is no plan for public debate, it is reasonable to assume no plan exists; just as there was no plan for Post-Iraq, We the People should assume there is no plan for Post-Election. If you have no plan after you win, you’re not going to be an effective President. We the People have seen was a defective President looks like – he visits Iraq for cheerleading sessions to egg on the troops he’s not effectively planned to lead. Tell us your intentions now, or we will make adverse inferences and prepare New Proclamations to lawfully trigger a Congressional review; and find new leaders.]

___ What is the timetable of this candidate in 2006 to review the Presidential abuses, and effectively communicate a plan that will be something We the People can tough, read, review, comment, or critique [Without a tangible plan to review, we can only conclude there is no plan; and the candidate is not serious about leading, merely generating cash to justify a distraction from their failed planning]

___ What is the candidate’s plan in 2006 to review the defects of their Committees, comprehend what failed, and look at the specific things they did or did not do to contribute to what failed between 2001-2006 [Arguing the analysis is of no relevance misses the point: If the candidate will not look at the issues under their control as a Committee Member, there’s no reason to believe they’ll look at something under their control as President.]

___ What is the candidates plan in 2006 to prevent recurrence of the abuses since 2001; and how can they show that they’ve effectively reviewed the abusers, and put into place a series of measures that well communicate they comprehend what has gone wrong, and are prepared and willing to implement the same solutions within the US Government, working with Congress and the Judiciary to protect the Constitution.

___ What can the candidate point to as evidence they are serious about protecting the Constitution? We’ve had one President who looks at the law and oath as merely a scrap of paper; we need not waste time on an election if the marginal blogger looks at a Members of Congress “analysis” of the Downing Street Memo as merely a scrap of paper. The burden on the leadership is to provide a compelling plan, not simply a pretty book that inspires some to believe in what is not intended: Leadership, governance, oversight, accountability, fact finding, and preservation of the Rule of law. Next time, use more pretty colors, and that might inspire others to believe you’re serious.

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Going forward, the issue for We the People to consider is how the Candidate for President does or does not communicate their plans.

___ Do they have a plan

___ Are they willing to show that they’ve exhausted all options to put that plan into effect

___ Is there a reason, despite an option to do something, they have not fully exercised their oath

___ Are there legal issues they refuse to face or accept as real constraints

___ Where are they starting from

___ Will their plan correct a real problem, analyzed after analysis; or is the plan based on flay reviews of things that We the People should cast aside as the pre-Iraq invasion “evidence”

___ What can the Candidate point to as evidence that the candidate has been part of a review

___ How will the candidate demonstrate that they have effectively engaged in reviews on these specific issues of Presidential power, oversight, the Constitution

___ Are the asserted results, statements, plan, and other things provided to We the People subject to independent audit, review, and analysis; or is there a “secret method” that “nobody can look at” because its’ “shh…too secret to contemplate.” Go find another sucker for your memoranda, plan, and analysis.

___ How will the candidate likely whitewash another commission review of the Congressional-Presidential abuses since 2001, as was done with the 9-11 Commission?

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The way forward for We the People is to accept that all Americans in both the GOP and the DNC have been betrayed. The candidates are jointly starting from a position of ignorance, arguing absurdly in 2006 they are better suited to lead on matters they refuse to face.

A lot can happen between 2006 and 2008. One thing We the People do not have to go through again is another sham election, or a non-sense candidate who says one thing, but deliver something else. This time, We the People can compel the Candidates to point to what they did or didn’t do in November 2006. If they’ve refused to do what they’ve promised; not engaged in review; refused to confront the Presidential-Congressional abuses of power; or not viewed the President’s criminal conduct with alarm matched by fact finding and solutions, then they’re not a serious candidate.

We the People can find someone else. New leaders are possible. It’s not that hard. It simply means someone daring to face reality, considering a solution, then kicking the idea out for We the People to consider. The abysmal, defective, and incompetent personnel in the US government have given We the People nothing but excuses. The way forward is for the candidates to do their job, conduct oversight, and link their vision for America with solutions based on prudent observations of what has failed, and what can be solved. The way forward is a solution, not an arbitrary timeline mandating a discussion of problems, must less solutions is impossible.

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It is arrogant for any American citizen in 2006 to suggest they have a plan for America, while refusing to confront what has gone wrong, nor link their plan for America with solutions that will give us something other than what this Congress and Executive have jointly agreed: Abuse of power, illegal conduct, and no accountability.

Talking about accountability and change is meaningless. The way forward is to determine which candidate is best suited -- based on a track record of credible oversight, study, and analysis – to solve problems, lead, and inspire in the American public a renewed sense of optimism, and confidence that we can jointly solve problems, not make excuses.

Americans can be led, they can achieve, and they can do wonders. The problem is when they are poorly led by arrogant Members of Congress, Presidential Candidates, and other public figures who give lip service to change, but are more of the same: Talking about what they’ll do, but not doing what they talk about.

If you want to be a leader or run for the White House, you need to start working now. Get your crew together, start investigations, and organize the Congress to conduct oversight and study what went wrong between 2001 and 2006. If you want to be a leader, start leading; if you want to be President, start acting Presidential. If you want to argue that you’re the person to be the leader, then get off your rear end, quit making excuses about what may or may not jeopardize your Presidency, and consider what may or may not jeopardize your status as a Senator, Member of Congress, or public figure: Inaction.

If you fail to do what you can while you have the power, you cannot be trusted with more power. If you refuse to examine what went wrong, you cannot credibly claim who know what is right; or what must be done to move from what is wrong to what you claim is better. Your job as a candidate is to accept whether the past is or is not relevant. If you claim the history and facts of the abuses under this President are not relevant to your vision for American, then you may not rely on your history to claim you can offer something. You have failed to offer a plan when you have the power; and you have failed to engage in oversight and conduct investigations on the issues which may require Presidential solutions.

Candidates must make a choice. Whether you will lead and reform the system under this Constitution; or whether you will lawfully forced to assent to a New Constitution -- one which We the People lawfully compel you to follow. For now, you have the discretion to pretend you are a leader; a New Constitution may lawfully strip you of the discretion, and compel you to demonstrate things before you have been elected to office.

The system of American governance cannot be consider legitimate when the leaders defy their oath, ignore the Constitution, give lip service to oversight, but refuse to face the tyrannical abuse of power unseen since the days of Hitler. Thousands of lives have been destroyed; millions of Americans have been betrayed; and the arrogance of the Members of Congress to suggest that the problems do not need to be explored defies any reasonable confidence they are serious about leadership.

The stalking horse has been ousted. It is time for the silent candidates to step up to the plate. If you’re an attorney, and you refuse to engage in oversight, you too may be lawfully targeted for war crimes, disbarred, and subject to additional prosecution if needed. This is not a threat of prosecution; it is an eternal promise that you shall assent to the rule of law.