Saturday, July 05, 2008

Contempt For The Constitution

We cannot allow ourselves to weaken what makes our society and country great; that no one person is ever above the law. By allowing the telecom companies to become immune to our laws because one man, the President of the United States, asked the telecoms companies to spy on us because we are, as a country, in a “crises”, is a precedent that cannot be allowed to stand. Nowhere in the Constitution is there a section that says the President may break the law. In fact, the Presidential oath of office states” “"I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States." Well, perhaps, Bush thinks he is doing “the best” of his abilities to “preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.” Far be it for me to question Bush’s abilities, but…

It is generally known that Article II of the Constitution is where the contemptuous Bush/Cheney/Adington/Yoo anti-Constitutionalists get their bizarre and dangerous theory of executive power. If you read Article II, you will not see anything about the President being given the authority to command private citizens (or companies) to break the law. Yet, that is precisely what the anti- Constitutionalists are claiming; that they have the right to order private citizens and companies to enact their bidding because of claims they make about Article II, that he, as Commander is Chief is allowed to order such law-breaking (forget the fact that the Commander in Chief cannot even allow the armed forces to break the law – although, he has done that also).

But, it is not only the President and his administration that has shown contempt for the Constitution. The House of Representatives, by passing the flawed and dangerous FISA bill, have not only shown their contempt for the rule of law, they have shown a disrespect for We The People. Now, we should have seen this kind of contempt the House has for the Constitution when Nancy Pelosi, the Speaker of the House, stated “impeachment was off the table.” Again, the kind of contempt for what is part of the House’s Constitutional duty was pushed away as if the duty of Congress was somehow distasteful. Whether you think impeachment is the correct action for the House to undertake, is not what I am arguing, what I am arguing is that Nancy Pelosi revealed her own contempt for the Constitution by taking impeachment off the table, even when it was known the President authorized the illegal wire-tapping of our phones.

If we allow the Senate to pass the FISA overhaul next week, we, as citizens, will reward the actions of the Bush Administration’s illegal actions and state categorically, that, yes, the President can break our laws. The Constitution was written specifically to ensure that any imperial designs one may have while in power cannot and will not be allowed. Let’s not change the Presidency into an imperial power.

Let’s not allow this dangerous precedent to stand. Our government is By the People and for the People, not by the President and for the President. Let’s not forget our role in ensuring our laws are not trampled upon.

We have only until July 8th to make known our feelings about FISA. Please write your Congressperson and tell them "I like the WHOLE Bill of Rights -- Vote NO on FISA!"

Write your Senator

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