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

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

GOP Implicitly Calls For Constitutional Amendment

Ref GOP Members of Congress, in drafting a request for institutionalized changes, have implicitly called for changes in the Constitution.

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In a letter to the House leadership calling for changes in how minority Members of Congress are treated, the GOP Representatives have implicitly called for Constitutional changes.

One way for the requested changes to become permanent is for the GOP Members of Congress to work with the States to make amendments to the Constitution.

If the GOP Members of Congress are serious about their concerns, they would work with anyone seeking to ensure these requested changes are permanent, cannot be ignored, and there exists an enforcement mechanism if the Members of Congress refuse to follow these new rules.

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Indeed, it is curious that the GOP would ask for changes to rules that they never considered while in the majority. It is amusing the GOP would talk about the rights of minority Members of Congress, while paying little attention to the existing Bill of Rights.

The problem with the GOP request is that they include no backup system if the majority fails, as the GOP did, in enforcing the proposed rule changes.

No Enforcement Mechanism

The problem has also been the GOP's refusal to investigate problems not just in Congress, but from the Executive side of the House into Congress.

Talk about FISA First

If the GOP had respect for the existing bill of rights in the Constitution, it might be interesting to review the GOP request for other bills of rights. The GOP refuses to discuss the FISA rule changes required to enforce the law, oversee the surveillance, and credibly enforce violations of the law. If the GOP investigates how the GOP failed to enforce the existing bill of rights, and agrees to constitutional changes, perhaps we could talk about other bills of rights.

Going forward

GOP needs to outline the specific proposals they would like to see institutionalized in the Constitution; and identify the credible enforcement mechanism that will ensure these changes re enforced, regardless the unfavorable weather, or lack of interest by the Legislature or President.

The way forward is to create a fourth branch of government that will enforce the Constitution, regardless the lack of interest in Congress or the Executive Branch. If the GOP is serious about protecting anyone's rights, they should start with the Existing Bill of Rights; until they are serious about protecting the existing Constitution, there's little to suggest they're serious about protecting the rights of others.

It would be helpful if the GOP explained:

____ What got in the way of the GOP from enacting these changes through changes to the Constitution?

___ Was there a compelling reason why the GOP didn't pass these requested rule changes when they were in the majority

___ What is the GOP plan to implement these desired changes in the form of Constitutional Amendments?

___ If these rules are not Constitutionally protected, why is the GOP bothering to ask for changes to rules it refuses to consider when it is in the majority?

___ Does the GOP have a plan to make these desired protections something that will get more protection that the existing Bill of Rights which the GOP has largely ignored related to domestic surveillance, right to trials, and government oversight?

___ How will the GOP compel sanctions if the majority party blocks enforcement of these proposed rule changes?

___ Why should anyone believe the GOP proposed changes, even if they were made part of the Constitution, would be seriously protected -- the GOP has shown contempt for the US Constitution. What changes to the structure of the US government will ensure regardless who controls the US government the rights of all are protected?

___ Which sample cases, statutes, or other rules can the GOP point to showing they are serious about protecting and enforcing the laws when they are in charge?

___ Where is the GOP discussion of the Title 28 and Title 50 exception reports that should show whether the GOP is or is not serious about enforcing minority rights.

___ What is the GOP plan to discuss the FISA rule changes; once FISA is on the table and fully enforced, we might have a discussion about changes to the Constitution. Until then, the GOP proposal is an implicit argument the Constitution is inadequate and the GOP is not serious about protecting the Constitution.

___ There are 300M Americans. The DNC controls Congress; House seats are assigned on the basis of proportional representation. Approximately 50% of America does not vote. Even if the GOP is in charge, it has little respect for the rule of law, Constitution, or existing bill of rights. At most, the GOP abysmally represents 75M Americans. What is the basis for the GOP arguing they represent 140M Americans?

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Detailed Comments on DoJ Letter Ref

It is an error for the GOP to argue that it represented 140Million people. This is more than half of America's 300M population; the House seats are based on proportional representation. GOP needs to explain how it came up with the 140M figure in its letter. There are many non-voters who do not look to the GOP to represent them.

The views of the Members of Congress do not reflect some in the GOP. Their views are their own. Real GOP representation would respect the Constitution, yet the GOP course of conduct has been to defy their oath, ignore the Constitution, and protect those who have engaged in rebellion against the rule of law.

It is meaningless for the Republicans to discuss their "fundamental duty" when they have effectively defied the Constitution and their oath of office. It is absurd for the GOP to claim that they have a duty to "guarantee" anything when they've failed to fully meet the 5 USC 3331 oath of office requirements.

"Just and meaningful representation" in Congress is a notion the GOP fails to comprehend. When We the People relied on the GOP to protect the Constitution, they failed.

It is incorrect for the GOP to argue that the "only" way to accomplish a goal is to respect their plan. The GOP plan, if implemented, would not include an enforcement mechanism.

GOP has failed to show that it is serious about bipartisanship. It is disingenuous for the GOP to be concerned that the rights of the "minority" are or are not being respected. They've shown no respect for the existing Bill of Rights and the rights of We the People.

GOP is incorrectly pointing to the GOP "reign" over Congress as a bad thing. The GOP, in contrast, in only 12 years, established a tyranny which systemically usurped the "rights and privileges" of We the People. GOP fails to point to any specific effort within the GOP to do a better job in protecting the Constitution.

There is no basis for the GOP to expect anything. To suggest the DNC is going to be "abusive" misses the reality of the President's veto: The Executive can check alleged abuse. The GOP should ask why the GOP Presidents have not effectively done their jobs.

For the GOP to suggest that the Republicans should hold anyone "accountable for their past promises" is meaningless. The Constitution is a clear guarantee which the GOP has ignored. Lesser promises are meaningless to argue over when the larger Constitutional framework has been effectively undermined.

The Minority Bill of Rights should be institutionalized in a Constitutional Change, backed by a fourth branch which will compel the GOP to enforce the law should it ever take control of the US government.

GOP has not adequately explained why anyone should take their request for this legislation seriously when the GOP rejected similar requests for protections.

The GOP is not in a position to speak for others when it says what people should or should not "expect or deserve." We the People are guaranteed what the GOP has refused to provide: A full respect for the US Constitution.

Contrary to the GOP assertions, the interests of the We the People do not mean letting the GOP do or not do things. Rather, the broader requirement is to ensure We the People, not just the GOP, have time to review bills. The 24 hour requirement in the GOP proposal is not adequate. We the People have drafted a New Constitution which changes this requirement to 30 days.

The GOP cannot credibly demand that debate be open, full and fair. The way forward is to lawfully impose meaningful consequences on Members of Congress when they pass legislation that defies the laws of war and US Constitution, regardless whether that bill is or is not quickly passed.

GOP has failed to provide a compelling case why, despite the Republicans refusing to allow for Amendments or substitutes, why the GOP would not use the power of the Presidential veto to reject what has been proposed; or why the Filibuster will not be used to block the legislation. GOP had the power to institutionalize the Filibuster but failed.

It is irrelevant whether the GOP leadership does or does not have time to review bills or conference reports. We the People have a superior requirement to review these conference reports and shall be given 30 days to review these reports.

GOP proposals fails to include a measure that will ensure the legislation is Constitutional before debated. This is a tragic flaw with the GOP Plan.

Whether the GOP does or does not want something by 10:00AM is meaningless when the President and GOP have jointly ignored the specific legal requirements under FISA to do something within X-number of days. When the GOP follows the FISA requirements and is prepared to discuss those changes, perhaps we can have a discussion about whether 10:00 is or is not favorable. It's a good idea, but the larger problem remains the Constitution and GOP Defiance of their oaths of office.

It remains to be understood whether the five names listed on the document were or were not substantially in support of measures to obstruct We the People from enjoying all our Constitutional protected rights, including an enforcement mechanism: Patrick McHenry, Eric Canto, Tom Price, M.D. and Casey Fazio.

We the People are not required to remain loyal to the GOP or US government. Our only loyalty is to the US Constitution. When GOP leaders refuse to seriously discuss issues when they are in power, it is reasonable to conclude the GOP request for consideration is whining. GOP fails to explain why it did not enact these "great ideas" in the last months of 2006 when it remained in power: It controlled the Senate, House, and White House, but refused to make these changes. That is a leadership failure.

When the GOP gets behind and supports a New Constitution that institutionalizes these proposed changes, and credibly enforces violations of the US Constitution, we might take your lesser concerns seriously. Until then, the war crimes prosecutors continue to gather evidence; and foreign fighters have been delegated the power to lawfully target US government officials for violating the laws of war.

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The GOP needs to be the target of hearings. If the GOP cooperates and provides a credible explanation and plan to institutionalize these changes, we might be going somewhere. The GOP has ignored the law. Passing new laws and rules, without creating a credible system to enforce these rule changes means the GOP request for representation and consideration is a political stunt.