Thursday, August 30, 2007

Is It Still An Oath If A Politician Takes It?

Presidential Oath Of Office

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.

We don't really expect this guy to remain true to his oath, do we? As a matter of fact, in light of the all out assault on our Constitution carried out by this halfwit and his corporate handlers, I'm surprised he was able to keep a straight face while mouthing the words. Let's move on, shall we?

Congressional Oath Of Office

I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter.

Our founding fathers certainly thought it was important to defend the Constitution. So much so that they set up three coequal branches of government; all sworn to defend the Constitution; all keeping each other in check to make sure we remained "a nation of laws, not of men". But during the first six years of this administration something went horribly wrong. The Republican majority in Congress decided, like their wannabe dictator of a president, to ignore their oath of office and become rubber-stamp enablers for every policy he wanted. No longer were they a coequal branch of government, but merely an extension of the Executive branch, dedicated not to defending the Constitution, but to defending a permanent Republican majority, and to furtherance of the unitary executive theory. No oversight, no limits, no questions!

And so it went until the election of 2006, when the public finally had its fill and kicked the bums out, giving the Democrats control of the House and the Senate. Finally we would have some restraints on this out of control president. Finally the Legislative branch would keep their oath to "support and defend the Constitution of the United States" instead of the interests of their own political party. Right?


Case in point, the torn and tattered Fourth Amendment to our besieged Constitution:

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

That bit about warrants and probable cause is very important. Not all searches and seizures require warrants, but the Supreme Court has interpreted warrantless searches and seizures as unreasonable, unless there is probable cause to suspect you of a crime. This means the government isn't allowed to, for example, have the NSA seize the records of phone companies and internet service providers without a warrant, and run data mining software on the telephone calls, e-mails, and web browsing of millions of completely innocent Americans. That would be unconstitutional, and a felony. But the Bush administration has been, by their own admission, doing just that since 2001, in violation of the law, and your constitutional rights. So much for the Fourth Amendment.

Your Democratic Congress was so outraged by this that they recently passed legislation, modifying the FISA Act, allowing Bush to do it with impunity! Why? They were afraid that he would make political hay out of them trying to protect your constitutional rights, thereby threatening their precious re-election prospects. They were afraid that he might call them "weak on terrorism" for not passing his legislation before going on vacation. To hell with their oath of office, they had the Democratic majority and their own miserable hides to protect first and foremost, just like the Republicans they replaced. Meet the new boss. Same as the old boss.

This is precisely the same reason they caved (and will continue to cave) on funding of the Iraq war, and why they won't impeach Bush or Cheney, no matter what these serial felons do. It wouldn't fit in with their political strategy of maintaining a Democratic majority. If you think these people are in this game for anybody but themselves you've got another thing coming. Sorry kids, but you've been had. There is no Santa Claus; there is no Easter Bunny; and the Democrats are going to continue giving Bush everything he wants for as long as he wields the "terrorism" club over them with elections coming up.

The only thing that would fix this broken government of ours is a thorough house cleaning -- voting every single incumbent out of office and replacing them with someone new, just to send a message. This is, of course, a naive thought. The two parties are too entrenched, and long-time incumbents are rarely defeated. Sadly, this state of affairs will probably one day spell the end of our system of government. It is already well on its way to becoming a plutocracy, and if this trend continues, the number of disaffected people in this nation will continue to grow until they eventually decide to follow the instructions Thomas Jefferson left us in the preamble to the Declaration Of Independence, as to what our duty is when the government stops deriving it's powers from the consent of the governed. These will be dark, violent times for our nation, and I hope I'm not around for them, although it would be nice to witness some prominent members of the ruling class get their long-overdue comeuppance.


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