Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Independence Day

IN CONGRESS, July 4, 1776.

The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America,

"When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.--Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world." (emphasis mine)

Click on title to read the document in full at The National Archives.

It amazes me that these words, penned hundreds of years ago, are so relevant today. These men didn't know in advance the outcome of their experiment, yet they put everything on the line to do what was right.

Congress, tell me again why impeachment is off the table?


BillyB said...

Hi Poe,

In the spirit of '76

December 23, 1776
THESE are the times that try men's souls. The summer soldier and the
sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their
country; but he that stands by it now, deserves the love and thanks of
man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have
this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more
glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly:
it is dearness only that gives every thing its value.

Thomas Paine. The Crisis. December 1776

The republic is once again at stake.


poe said...

I have to wonder what the founders would say if they could see us now. They'd be screaming "You idiots, we put the impeachment clause and other remedies into the constitution for times like these! What are you waiting for? Instead they're spinning wildly in their graves.

Paine is right. We have taken ourselves for granted. Our country is in grave danger.


Mike said...

I'll probably be disagreed with for this, and that's okay - I entirely respect your opinion on it - but I really don't know that impeachment is all that great an idea. How long would it take to get done anyway, after all? By the time it's done, they'd be out of office anyway (or very near), and what will all that work have been for? It seems that the energy would be better used preparing to make sure another person as bad as Bush and Co. aren't elected, and to right the wrongs.

To be perfectly honest though, I don't know. I'm just not fully convinced it's the most efficient use of time right now. Maybe we missed our chance to do it.

poe said...

Hey Mike ~

I finally got over to Facebook to check out the event you posted. I signed up awhile ago but have never really tried to figure it out. Very cool! I'm glad you set it up. Facebook will reach people not in my circles, and I wouldn't have any idea how to do it, so thank you. I would love to get a lot more young people out to protest.

As for impeachment: A lot of people are expressing the same concerns you have, and they are valid. I was kind of where you are for a while myself.

But, 1)we have 435 members of the House. It would seem to me that we could spare a few to investigate (see: Waxman, Henry) and build the case for impeachment (see: Conyers, John.) So much of the work has already been done by these two Congressmen and their committees. 2)I would like to think that our representatives could walk and chew gum at the same time. If they can't bring articles of impeachment and get a few other things done they don't belong there. 3) If we don't we will set a terribly damaging precedent for future presidents. If the bush cabal is allowed to get away with (insert list of high crimes and misdemeanors here) we will set the stage for continued abuse of executive power. Our system is based on laws and those laws are upheld largely by precedent. Like a cancerous tumor, we have to excise it to keep it from spreading and growing. 4) If we don't we'll probably invade Iran 5) It's the right thing to do.

It won't be easy, and the right wing noise machine will throw everything at us, but it can be done. I'm more afraid of what will happen if we don't.

PS There's a Facebook group I've been wanting to check out-bloggers from I can't seem to find it in a search...any tips?

spock said...

Maybe the founding Fathers would have time to march in the 4th of July parade since the kos was not around to interfere ?????
Impeachment takes a vote of the Senate period! We do not have the votes! There are many other issues that the Congressional Democrats need to tackle rather than have the rest of this two years taken up with Bush. Simply isolate the man politically and get to the work the people need to live properly!

Arnie said...

Mike- first of all in recent history (Clinton and Nixon)Impeachment took three to four months.
Spock- I don't understand what you mean by isolate the president? He's commuting sentences and he is not allowing the Senate the documents they are asking for... so he is still able to use and abuse the power he has, I don't call that isolation!

poe said...

Well said arnie! He's certainly not isolated if continues do as much damage as he is doing. And it's happening on our watch. Impeachment is the remedy we have at our disposal.

poe said...

And by the way, spock, they did have their version of kos back in those days: they were called "printers" or "pamphleteers."

Anonymous said...

For you nay sayers, get your facts straight...

1. Bush lied about Saddam Hussein's WMD. No, he didn't. At worst, there were mistaken conclusions based on faulty intelligence and analysis. There is no evidence of lying.

2. Treatment of terrorist detainees is in violation of the Geneva Conventions. No, it isn't. These were nonuniformed, unlawful combatants. They do not enjoy the Geneva protections afforded to POWs. They can even be lawfully executed.

3. Bush illegally commuted Scooter Libby's prison sentence. No, he didn't. Section 2, Article 2 of the Constitution grants the president this power without qualification. The Justice Department has guidelines in this area, but presidents aren't bound by them and commonly disregard them.

4. Bush authorized illegal "domestic" spying. No, he didn't. The surveillance wasn't strictly domestic and it wasn't "wiretapping." The NSA analyzed calling patterns of telecommunications between overseas terrorists and domestic contacts. This is the way we uncover and prevent terrorist attacks. It's not illegal and no warrant is required.

5. Bush's "inadequate and tragic" response to Hurricane Katrina. No crime here, either and certainly no impeachable offense. At worst, this was a case of mismanagement. Louisiana's governor and New Orleans's mayor were clearly negligent, themselves, and haven't been criminally prosecuted.

Impeachment is a serious business. It should be reserved for high crimes and misdemeanors, not political disagreements. The political remedy is the congressional election process every two years and presidential elections every four. Impeaching Bush might be fun for angry, self-indulgent lefties seeking revenge on behalf of Bill Clinton, but the bottom line is that pragmatic congressional Democrats believe they're on a roll and that the next election is in the bag. They're not going to jeopardize that outcome and run the risk of a public backlash in response to a mean-spirited show trial of George W. Bush with little likelihood of conviction.

pinkyink said...

1. If you had any guts you would at least identify yourself by a nickname.
2. He misled the country about wmd's and it will be proven! In his autobiography written while he was still governor- he indicated he had an agenda for Iraq! He also has a lot of friends making a lot of money, while US soldiers and many innocent Iraqis are dead or mamed!
3. No one said it was illegal for him to commute Scooter- it is within his right but quite questionable because Scooter could implicate him and Cheney in a crime!
4. I could go on forever but you are really not worth it! You twist and justify what ever these people do and I feel sorry for you!
5. I didn't excuse Clinton lying about his affair but really is that a "high crime and mistemeaner" like outing a CIA agent and the cover company that she was associated with? It was a blow job and really between him, his wife and his God. That didn't stop your party from attacking him and impeachment. Were you against it then? Impeachment is the only thing that can stop this crazy power hungry rich bunch of maniacs who have stomped on the Constitution! Shame on you for excusing them!

poe said...


I'm not going to get into a big thing with you. For the most part your "facts" are wrong, as has been well documented. Rather than debunk you point by point (which I could if I had the time-bush admitted doing some of the things you claim he hasn't done), let me just ask you this:

If President Obama, President Edwards, President Hilary Clinton, or President Al Gore were to follow the precedents set by this administration, would that be ok with you? The fact is that a unitary executive, with no oversight from the other branches, no matter what party, is not healthy for our democracy. I don't want the next Democratic President to abuse the power of their office either ~ maybe that's the difference between you and me?