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Monday, December 04, 2006

Breaking the Silence: The 800 Pound DNC Elephant in Congress

Democrats Giving New Signals: They’re Not As Different

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Conventional wisdom suggests the House Democrats beat the GOP because, in part, of the corruption issues. The public may have thought that the DNC might better do what the GOP refused: Lawfully govern.

One proposal was to reform the House Ethics standards, modernizing the lobbying rules and beefing up oversight of the House Standards of conduct. One rule, which some Democrats questioned in the wake of Duke Cunningham’s conviction, was the Congressional earmarks for pet projects.

If you’re thinking the DNC control of the Congress will end earmarks you’re in for a surprise. Earmarks, in the mind of Democrats, are bad when linked with the GOP and scandal; when linked with the DNC, they’re needed inputs to Presidential budget decisions. Never mind that all appropriations start in the House, which the DNC control.

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What are the prospects of Ethics reform? It depends on how you define ethics or reform. Ethics could be seen as something that does more than simply make rules about how the bribes [cough : cough] “campaign contributions”.

Ethics might be more appropriately defined as doing what one ought to do, regardless the rules on gifts. It is meaningless to make rules on which gifts Members of Congress can or cannot receive, but the Congress collectively refuses to enforce the oath of office, or conduct credible fact finding to hold the President accountable for war crimes.

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Remember that war on Iraq? The think tanks around DC, including the Hoover Institute, seem to think that the Iraq war in 2003 wasn’t really an invasion. Now that there’s been no WMD, the turn has changed. No longer did the US invade Iraq because of Saddam’s non-exist nuclear program; nor did the US invade Iraq in violation of the UN Charge.

Those excuses are over. The new excuse is the US did not actually invade, but launched a “continuation” of the 1990 Gulf War.

Strange, looking at the list of excuses Congress agreed to, there’s nothing in there to suggest that Congress was concerned about the 1990 War. Rather, the Bush Administration in 2002 was doing the opposite: Attempting to find a new reason to justify force.

In 2006 for anyone to argue that the Bush Administration was waging the same war which never ended in 1991 would ask us to believe another fiction. Congress, if it was extending permission from the first Gulf War, would never have had to approve the use of force; the force would have already been granted. However, this is another fiction. The First Gulf war expressly isolated the authorized use of force to removing Saddam from Kuwait, not in taking over the country.

Moreover, the claims that the Iraqis were violating the UN Charter and multiple UN resolutions appears to be a stretch. If there were bonafide violations, then the US cannot explain why, despite these “widespread” violations by Saddam, the US was unable to secure support for a solution to those supposed violations. Further, Powell’s briefing, as much as a stretch as it was, never credibly showed that Saddam was in violation of the UN Charter or resolution. Rather, the only claim was that Saddam wasn’t cooperating; in hindsight, the US was not cooperating with oversight of the fact finding.

Iraq was substantially in compliance. The US has found no meaningful amounts of WMD to suggest that the Iraqis were developing weapons of mass destruction. Even if they were, which they were not, this is not basis for the US to find another false excuse to justify what UN Secretary General Annan described as an illegal war, politely lebeling it an operation inconsistent with the UN Charter.

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Which brings us back to ethics, the DNC, and the US government. Democrats can no longer claim they’re acting in a better or worse manner than the Yugoslav government did prior to NATO bombing. Just as the Yugoslavian government asserted officials were immune, the DNC is, by taking impeachment off the table compounding the error.

First, when the US Congress refused to enforce the Geneva Conventions through the Military Commissions Act, US attorneys before the German war crimes prosecutor claimed that this was evidence that the US government was not serious about enforcing the rule of law, compelling German government review of the alleged war crimes.

Second, after establishing that the US government was not serious about Geneva, the DNC has further proven the case by not holding the President accountable with an impeachment.

Third, the ethics reform sham will further tilt the scale away from the US government, with DNC assistance, and bolster the US attorney claim to the German war crimes prosecutor that neither party, regardless their connection to the White House, is serious about asserting the rule of law.

These errors may appear as partisan, or that there may be good or bad reasons to differentiate between the GOP and DNC excuses. The results are the same as in Yugoslavia. The US government, regardless the political party in control, is not serious about asserting the rule of law.

If the DNC is not serious about impeachment, ethics reform, or ensuring there is a system in place which will compel Members of Congress to assert their oath, the German war crimes prosecutor may conclude the US legal opinion has merit and that a broader investigation is warranted. The DNC cannot argue that it is starting fresh, when it is simply spreading the same, bad jam on stale bread.

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Watch For These

Here are some things you may wish to share with your friends, and watch for in the coming weeks as the 110th Congress convenes.

___ Novel excuses casting the DNC reasons for supporting the illegal Iraq invasion as something that was reasonable, linked with the first Gulf war, and substantially using new excuses never originally raised in 2002 and 2003.

___ False appeals that the DNC is for change, despite no serious effort to prevent earmarks, or compel Members of Congress to assert their oath through real ethics reform.

___ Attempts to differentiate between GOP bribery and ethics, and DNC inaction on those earmarks.

___ More calls for the DNC base to patiently wait to pass judgment, despite no plan in place to timely address the ethics, legal, and other matters confronting the US Government related to impeachable offenses.

___ Casting the arguments for voters and non-voters as giving them an option between the GOP and DNC; as opposed to the illegal choice both parties are presenting, between Constitutional protection or lawlessness.

___ Expanding the excuses not to impeach the President to include false arguments related to Iraq, never originally raised in 2002 or 2003, as a means to insulate the DNC from public questions over the DNC support for an illegal war.

___ Assertions that the US is unlike Yugoslavia for frivolous reasons as a means to dissuade public support for the needed German war crimes prosecutor oversight of the US failed legal system.

___ Claims that the US will keep the impeachment off the table for a good reason – to induce witnesses to testify on the mistaken belief that they might get a pardon, ignoring the incentive of witnesses to provide accurate information if they knew that impeachment might strip the witnesses of immunity for false statements to Congress during the 2007 hearings.

___ Excuses by both parties for not having asserted their moral best to document evidence of inconsistent statements before Congress; or frivolous excuses why the Members of Congress did not agree to put partisanship aside for the good of the Constitution.

___ Frivolous excuses why the Title 28 and Title 50 exception reports were not timely reviewed, documented; and assent to frivolous excuses why the Administration did not comply with the reporting requirement.

___ Disingenous deference to claims of classification for illegal activity, despite it being prohibited to classify the evidence related to unlawful activity.

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You wanted change? You’ve got it: The same failures to protect the Constitution, but by a new leadership who talks about change, but plans to do the same: Make excuses not to assert their 5 USC 3331 oath. It would’ve been worse if the GOP had won; but the DNC victory doesn’t mean the Constitution has won. The same US government is spewing forth non-sense as it did when the GOP was in power 1994-2006.
Eternal vigilance is the price of having the US government in power, regardless which party has the majority or asserts power.

Real change means discussing a New Constitution which compels action, not rewards the excuses for failing to assert the rule of law; or the excuses to put partisan objectives before standards which supposedly apply to all. DNC credibility should mean complying with the standards which supposedly warranted public rebuke of those in the GOP who ignore the law. The DNC doesn’t care about credibility, it cares about excuses to assert credibility despite action contrary to what is supportable or consistent with the standards they supposedly held to others.

George Orwell’s Animal Farm left us unable to distinguish bewteen the new animal-leaders and the replaced farmers. 2007 asks us to believe that the GOP elephant, even when it is removed from the room and replaced by the DNC donkey, should be immune to scrutiny, even by the DNC elephants.

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Other Links

Things that might impress your friends, or prove to them you're not crazy.

Ref Pelosi's relationship with Congress.

Ref She's more than a maid, she's got an oath.

Ref Rebuttals to the apologists saying, "We should be nice to the President and not hold him accountable with impeachment."

Ref More -- Things to share with your friends. Ask them to decide between their party and the Constution.