MARCH 22, 1999
Words have meaning ...
© 1999

One of my long-term pet peeves has been, and remains, elected officials who swear an oath "to preserve and protect the Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic ..." who immediately set about to undermine, abrogate, rewrite, denigrate or destroy the very document to which they have sworn a sacred oath.

My stomach turns at the utterance of the California member of the House of Representatives who said, "The Constitution is like my old blue dress ... it doesn't fit anymore." When an Ellen Tauscher compares compliance with the Constitution (and her sworn duty to defend it) to her middle-age weight challenges, what (if any) is her crime? Has she committed perjury, fraud ... worse, or less? Is her sin of pride to be accepted, ignored or admonished? Certainly, she is not alone. Her ignorance and arrogance is not unique, but rather routine. She is a single mom struggling to care for her children on her modest congressional salary complemented with a mere $30,000-a-month in alimony and child support.

I am reminded again of that old Pogo cartoon in which we read, "We have met the enemy ... and he is US." It was again Jefferson who noted, "When governments fear the people there is liberty. When the people fear the government there is tyranny." Using that Jeffersonian measure, what do we have in America today? Are we still blessed with a liberty guaranteed by our leaders' healthy fear of "we the people"? Or are we now subject to a tyranny in which "we the people" fear the government we have elected? Do you fear the IRS, FEMA, or Janet Reno's Justice Department? Do you fear a White House that targets critics for daring to ask hard questions? Do you fear (or do you encourage) legislative and judicial malfeasance?

Robert A. Heinlein was a writer of fiction. However, his fiction has (like Orwell and Huxley) taken on a strange prophetic underpinning. Heinlein observed "The human race divides itself politically into those who want to be controlled, and those who have no such desire." Obviously, the Framers and Founders of this republic had "no such desire" to be controlled.

The Framers struggled mightily to articulate their grievances against the tyranny of King George. It has been argued that the primary cause of our War for Independence was less the founders' desire to establish a new union, and frankly more the hubris of the British crown, and its inability to acknowledge and correct problems.

The Golden Rule ("Those with the gold make the rules") has either blinded or overshadowed reason of many a leader.

Heinlein was right in observing that there are "those who want to be controlled." Arguably, these are the contemporary polltakers who continue to respond favorably to questions about a contemptible, reprehensible, serial liar who has converted abuse of power into an art form that would humble Machiavelli.

President Clinton's initial failure to manage national health care with fascism should have been the Scribean forewarning, or "heads up" alert to those who (unlike the sheeple) "... have no such desire" to be controlled cradle to grave/sperm to worm.

NAFTA, GATT, the Crime Bill, the Chemical Weapons ban treaty, assorted Presidential Decision Directives, and insidious Executive Orders, have all provided a documented litany. A list of this administration's desire, willingness, and goal, to undermine, abrogate, and flush the very document to which so many have for so long taken a sacred oath. Remember the controversy over the $60-Billion or so of financial assistance to Mexico? Congress (blessedly) refused to authorize the money. Billy-Jeff's response (at least by his actions) was "Congress? Congress? We don't need no stinking Congress. ..."

By the way, the nexus of that Mexican bailout didn't do Jack-spit for the people of Mexico. The bulk of that kiss went to Wall Street investors. Those investors had bought Mexican bonds with a return of 20 percent. They COULD have purchased insurance for those bonds which would have cost 1 percent, but they were SO greedy they refused to settle for a mere 19 percent return on their investments when they could scam 20 percent. I am a very unsophisticated investor. However, it is my understanding that conventional wisdom dictates "the higher the return/the greater the risk." I never saw the caveat to that: "unless you've got Bob Rubin and the President in your hip pocket."

But hey, the economy is so good! I've got mine. The DOW has broken 10,000 (a couple of times already). We remain at peace (kinda). Why don't we just leave the President alone and let him get on with doing the people's work? After all these critics of the besieged president are just a cabal of radical right-wing wackos taking marching orders from the "Vast Right Wing Conspiracy." BULLFEATHERS!!!

In an 1823 letter to Justice William Johnson, Thomas Jefferson wrote: "On every question of construction [of the Constitution] let us carry ourselves back to the time when the Constitution was adopted, recollect the spirit manifested in the debates, and instead of trying what meaning may be squeezed out of the text, or intended against it, conform to the probable one in which it was passed." In other words, the Constitution means what it says! The words expressing the intentions and desires of the framers were (and are) axiomatic (proverbial, self-evident, well known, and obvious).

The republic is in very real danger. The Executive, Legislative, and Judicial branches have, and are, independently, and jointly failing to honor the sacred oaths they have taken, and for which they should be held accountable.

When "we the people" entrust our elected officials to do a job, and they fail to do so, we must hold them accountable. When an elected official swears an oath to "preserve and protect the Constitution against ALL enemies, foreign AND domestic" and fails to do so, we must hold them accountable.

I love my country, but I am one of those who fears and distrusts my government. I have struggled for years with what my government has done, is doing, and will do. There is a book titled, "None Dare Call it Treason." What is it when an oath is taken, and ignored, or violated? Is it fraud? Is it perjury? Or IS it worse.