Constant's pations

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

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Congressional Approaches to State Proclamations for Impeachment, US Attorneys, and Iraq WMD

Ref I am heartened Members of Congress are examining GOP calls to US Attorneys; it is not appropriate to accelerate indictments for partisan purposes. However, if one party is going to be rebuked over pressure applied for partisan gain in an election, the second party should be rebuked over applying pressure to avoid protecting the Constitution.

I prefer the scrutiny on the GOP be similarly applied to the DNC leadership calls. Lessons of the GOP calls to US attorneys need to be applied to DNC calls to state legislators. The results are similar: One avoided needed partisan confrontation through impeachment proceedings in the House; the other used partisan pressure to maintain control of the House. The GOP failed in the latter; the DNC should be compelled to confront the former.

The public should apply the same interest to the DNC as the DNC is applying to the GOP, examining: Were the calls appropriate; and how does the pressure shed light on their ability to govern: Effectively do what they need to do to protect the Constitution.

BBC: Ref: Thanks, Arbortender, Katharine, and KargoX. [VT Press Coverage ]

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DNC shock over the Republican stonewalling on the US Attorney issue is surprising reminiscent of the DNC stonewalling on the State Proclamation of impeachment.

There have been allegations that the GOP was calling US Attorneys directly to get them to do or not do something; the DNC was doing the same with the States: Hoping to dissuade state action on passing proclamations for impeachment.

Real governance may emerge when the DNC shock turns into contrition.

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Same Shades of Congressional Malfeasance

Several factors that might "distinguish" the two, but the net results are the same: Political pressure to achieve dubious, unconstitutional results.

As a prelimary inquiry into committee goverannce, common questions apply to both the DNC and GOP on issues of impeachment, US attorneys, and Iraq WMD:

____ What were the facts; which information did the Member of Congress have; what prompted them to call to request action, inaction?

Discussion: The same refusal to conduct inquiry on Iraq WMD is driving Members of Congress to avoid need inquiry on impeachment issues: False belief that examining issues will cause a negative outcome. The opposite is true: Failing to gather information to make an informed decision does not mean the decision to do nothing is supported. Fact finding is required. DNC calls to State Legislators contradicts the assumptions behind their "concern" with the GOP calls to US Attorneys.

____ How was it determined without information or analysis what the appropriate way forward was, or that it was appropriate?

Discussion: Pre-determined outcomes, the same problem behind the Iraq WMD issues. The problem with this assumption -- that DNC goals in 2008 mean putting aside constitutional duties of 2007 -- is the mistaken belief that inaction by the GOP be punished; but inaction by the DNC will be rewarded.

____ If there was a "benefit" of inaction or pressure, how was this factored into the calculus over the oath of office requirement?

Discussion: The disconnect is the double standard on confrontation. If the oath is meaningful, then the same interests driving concerns with the US Attorney calls should drive public concerns with DNC calls to state legislators.

____ Why should anyone believe it is reasonable that inaction on an issue is preferable when the evidence has yet to be considered?

Discussion: A decision to avoid something is circular when compared to the requirement to gather information to made a decision to either avoid, confront, or passively monitor.

____ What is the basis for "inaction" to be a preferred choice of action?

Discussion: Part of it has to do with not confronting the preliminary information, or understanding how their actions link with specific goals in the Constitution. Until the Committee outline specific oversight plans linking their inquiry to Constitutional objectives, they will not have gone through the thought process to understand what was really getting in the way of protecting the Constitution, much less what to do about it. [Exercise: An approach how to do this ]

____ If, as we are led to believe, the alternative options were not acceptable, but would benefit the opposing party, why did the opposing party not press for the very things that would supposedly cause a "backlash"? The GOP said DNC calls for impeachment would undermine the DNC: why isn't the GOP calling for impeachment to undermine the DNC?

Discussion: The speculative consequences are illusory; the real risk is the continued inaction, not action, might cause the very thing they hope to avoid. The lack of action by the opposing party to bring about the very things they said would "cause" a backlash raises doubts about their belief the action would cause a backlash for the opposing party.

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What You Can Do

The next steps mean encouraging the Committee leadership to review what is getting in the way of confronting these questions. Here's what you may wish to consider in accomplishing this: visit here. Pass the link to your friends and see what ideas you have in reminding the Committees they need to put the Constitution first; and create a plan that will demonstrate they are doing that. Otherise, we can find new leaders.