Thursday, March 23, 2006

Support a National Recall of George W. Bush

By Len Hart, the Existentialist Cowboy

The George W. Bush school of government can be summarized as follows: repeat a lie often enough and just enough people will come to believe it! Clearly —Bush is committed to repeating lies and governing with failed strategies. If the Democrats do not have the will to impeach and remove for incompetence and outright criminality of the high crimes type, then there is no other choice but to organize a national recall movement.

In November, Ted Rall made a compelling case for a national recall. At the time, Rall quoted USA today:
“When a president falls below 40 percent approval in public opinion polls–as President Bush has done twice in the past two months–it’s usually a sign of serious political danger,” —Richard Benedetto, USA Today.
It's March already! And Bush's numbers are even worse! As I recall, in November, Bush still held a slight edge on the issue of "terrorism" and/or Iraq, the two issues Bushies love to confuse in the public mind. Bush no longer enjoys an edge on either topic. And also since November Bush has continued to flout the law, assuming absolute powers and judicial authority that the founders never intended to bestow upon one branch of the federal government. Most certainly not the executive. Read James Madison and specifically his notes made during the Constitutional Convention.

Arrogating unto himself the power to define who is "terrorist" and who is not, who is an "enemy combatant" and who is not, Bush clearly seeks to render moot the independent judiciary. Bush, himself, will determine which laws he will enforce and which laws he will ignore. In other ways, Bush will replace the courts with his own Attorney General, Alberto Gonzales, an arch enabler whose new job description is that of making legal what Bush has already done. There is a word for this: tyranny! Allowing a man who claims for himself the right to assassinate American citizens is inexcusable and dangerous.

Gop candidates meanwhile are well-advised to distance themselves from George W. Bush. In all but a few entrenched red states, Bush not only has no coattails, he is a liability. The GOP will never lead an impeachment effort as it would tear the party apart at the very moment of its greatest triumph: control of both houses, the High Court and the Presidency. A Democratic move to impeach Bush would be doing them a favor. Likewise, GOP candidates might support a recall movement as it would most certainly pull their own fat out of the fire.

Democratic reluctance may be understandable. They don't have the votes on a party line basis to impeach. A failed effort will only strengthen Bush. A successful effort will only embitter GOP hangers-on and radicalize them further. It is better to let the GOP do its own dirty work.

On the other hand, a national movement to recall shifts the paradigm. Millions disillusioned by Bush in both parties could support such a movement without fear. A viable national movement would also give leaders of both parties the cover they need to work for Bush's removal from office.

But punditry aside, removing Bush from office is simply the correct and morally right thing to do for several reasons:
  • Bush has set dangerous precedents not the least of which is the bogus "unitary executive" theory. How will Republicans feel about that when a Democratic President, likewise, tries to rule by decree?
  • The Constitution is already in tatters and will not survive the precedent of Bush serving out his term. Removal from office by a national recall will set the stage for a sweeping righting of wrongs.
  • Iraq is not only a failure, it exposes a fatal weakness in the American pretense of empire. The dollar will not survive another debacle of an Iraq magnitude.
  • Bush's removal now will allow some time to heal before the nation is plunged into a campaign of bitter recriminations, name-calling, and throat cutting.
According to USA Today, five of eight President since 1950 fell below 40 percent —Harry Truman, Lyndon Johnson, Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter and George H.W. Bush. All lost their bids for reelection or opted not to seek re-election. A sixth, Richard Nixon, resigned under pressure from his own party. He would most certainly have been impeached and remove. Only two —Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton —turned things around. Clinton, however, left a mixed legacy and may have even made possible the ascension of the very worst "President" in American history, George W. Bush. Ronald Reagan is revered only by die hard Republicans who were pre-disposed to believe his lies anyway and the nation still suffers from his economic legacy.

Rall advocated setting up a "...California-style recall system on the national level". The California system requires signatures on a petition of some 12 percent of the number of people voting in the preceding election. Something like that must be set up nationwide. I urge activists to get on with it. I'm not good at that sort of thing myself; just let me know how I can help spread the word. That's something I know something about.

If Bush is removed now, there may yet be time to heal some wounds and, at least, begin to undo the damage Bush has inflicted upon legal precedent and the Constitution. There may yet be time to begin a restoration of our Democratic Republic.
Apparently the "major" media missed this one. Bush has declared that he IS the law. Bush and Bush alone will decide which laws are enforced and which are not; Bush and Bush alone will interpret the laws; Bush and Bush alone will rule by fiat:

Bush shuns Patriot Act requirement

In addendum to law, he says oversight rules are not binding

By Charlie Savage, Globe Staff | March 24, 2006

WASHINGTON -- When President Bush signed the reauthorization of the USA Patriot Act this month, he included an addendum saying that he did not feel obliged to obey requirements that he inform Congress about how the FBI was using the act's expanded police powers.

The bill contained several oversight provisions intended to make sure the FBI did not abuse the special terrorism-related powers to search homes and secretly seize papers. The provisions require Justice Department officials to keep closer track of how often the FBI uses the new powers and in what type of situations. Under the law, the administration would have to provide the information to Congress by certain dates.

Bush signed the bill with fanfare at a White House ceremony March 9, calling it ''a piece of legislation that's vital to win the war on terror and to protect the American people." But after the reporters and guests had left, the White House quietly issued a ''signing statement," an official document in which a president lays out his interpretation of a new law.

In the statement, Bush said that he did not consider himself bound to tell Congress how the Patriot Act powers were being used and that, despite the law's requirements, he could withhold the information if he decided that disclosure would ''impair foreign relations, national security, the deliberative process of the executive, or the performance of the executive's constitutional duties." ...

And when Congress passed a law forbidding the torture of any detainee in US custody, Bush signed the bill but issued a signing statement declaring that he could bypass the law if he believed using harsh interrogation techniques was necessary to protect national security.

Past presidents occasionally used such signing statements to describe their interpretations of laws, but Bush has expanded the practice. He has also been more assertive in claiming the authority to override provisions he thinks intrude on his power, legal scholars said.

Bush's expansive claims of the power to bypass laws have provoked increased grumbling in Congress. Members of both parties have pointed out that the Constitution gives the legislative branch the power to write the laws and the executive branch the duty to ''faithfully execute" them.

It's time to bombard Congress with DEMANDS that Bush be removed from office. We might start with an actual debate on the illegal occupation of Iraq. Check out this site and make your voice heard:

Act for Change

Tell Congress to Hold an Open Debate on the Occupation of Iraq
After three years and more than 2,300 American soldiers dead, there's no end in sight. Sectarian violence rages. President Bush just asserted that U.S. forces are likely to remain in Iraq through 2009. Yet, Congress -- explicitly charged with overseeing military actions by Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution -- has done little beyond rubber stamping the President's requests for more and more money to support the occupation.

It's time for Members of Congress to hold an open debate on the occupation of Iraq. But, because Speaker Hastert and the rest of the House Leadership refuses to allow measures critical of the Bush administration to the floor, a bi-partisan group of Representatives are supporting a legislative maneuver called a "discharge petition." If more than half of the members of the House sign the petition, Speaker Hastert will have no choice but to allow a 17 hour debate on the Iraq occupation -- split equally between both sides of the aisle. And members would be able to offer amendments without prior approval from the leadership.

The families who have lost soldiers in Iraq, the veterans returning with debilitating injuries, the taxpayers who are asked to pay for this ever-expanding war, all deserve a frank discussion of our country's role in Iraq. ...
Here's a relevant update from an excellent article:
Students of Western Civilization might also recall that Napoleon invaded Egypt in 1798 for "glory" (that's French for empire) and to restore Islam to its genuine teachings (I guess meaning to bring those misguided souls back to their Christian roots). The Little Corporal didn't fare much better there than he did at Waterloo or that a latter day Napoleon wannabe is now doing in Iraq. It's a shame he's not still around to explain that to our current "head dreamer of empire." But I doubt it would do much good as below I explain the only authority our warrior president listens to.

The point from my brief history lesson is to connect it to our own present situation. For the first time ever, we now have a president, at least the first one admitting it publicly, who also believes the Almighty speaks to him, tells him what to, and he's just following orders from that higher authority. I don't think he's kidding when he says God told him to invade Afghanistan and Iraq. I wonder if that same God told him to steal from the poor and give to the rich.

—Stephen Lendman, Peace Journalism

Republican Congressman Predicts Bush Impeachment

Republican Congressman Ron Paul has gone on record with his prediction that the impeachment of George W. Bush is right around the corner but warned that in the meantime the US was slipping perilously close to a dictatorship. ...


benmerc said...

No argument here...
There has been an increase of petitions and letter writing campaigns for censure or impeachment, my e-mail runneth over...seems everone is applying the heat. I have signed several last few days, along with a calm, blunt yet descriptive plea of sorts sent to my Republican and Democratic Senators asking them to uphold their oath of office by reviewing the state of the Union and taking the proper actions to right it.

Also called the Senator I actually did vote for (Bill Nelson) to express my opinions and try to get an idea on what his stance was with the censure issue. His Tampa office was getting a lot of calls that day, they relayed my sentiments to Washington as they are in the review mode (gee...I wonder if Bill will call back). I hope this is sinking in with these beltway folks, they might think it's all about their politics...but they had better check out what's happening to "Joe-mentum" Lieberman... his worm is turning.

Unknown said...

I support all of that. I also recommend a service called Progressive Secretary . You can sign up for the service at that link.

The time may have come for national strike. Perhaps, we could get some attention if millions of people just called in sick for a day or two. If the national just ground to a halt, then maybe the "enablers" of both parties would get the message: THE PEOPLE OF THE UNITED STATES —NOT BUSH —ARE THE LAW OF LAND.


In the modern lexicon: Bush is not the boss of me!

I would bet that if the wheels of industry came to a grinding halt for just one day, eyes would be opened.

And, if that doesn't do the trick, TWO DAYS. The Democrats could lead the way by shutting down the government.

benmerc said...

I think that form of civil disobedience is well past warranted. I also tried to get people to stop consuming so make a point, to inflict fiscal control etc...but it seems when it comes to the "goods" and the methods needed to get the "goods" , Americans fall a bit short responding to the call.

People should know that it is no accident europe has progressive societies, they stayed at it...doing just what you have suggested, all during the 70's and 80's. In America, we dropped the "Movement" ball for the most part. Nothing good will be handed out by "enlightened govenment" it will have to be worked for, and we are light years behind. But not out of the loop yet.

Unknown said...

Sick outs could catch on...just call in sick!

It was "labor" that kicked the government's butt in Poland. We need a Walsea here. What we don't have are people with good organizing skills.

benmerc said...

Yea, Poland made a quantum leap...I also remember in several other countries the people pushed for health care, worker protection, environmental protections and other social needs that were made to be met as their societies evolved. These are all issues that have been side stepped for some time in the US, and some of these issues are just going to have to be addressed whether we want to or not.

Unknown said...

Sadly, the American labor movement is but a shadow of its former self. We can thank Ronald Reagan for that. Organized labor was made a dirty word in this country. But organized labor is an essential bulwark against fascism. And, of course, that's why the GOP hates labor.

benmerc said...

On Walsea...
Well I agree a strong leadership figure would help, but what we really need is the grass roots of a party for the platform. We had the "Reform Party" nothing but an extention of hodge-podge Libertarians, then we got the "Green Party" more or less the left wing version of the Reform group. And of course Ralph Nader, which I know many like to beat up on him, I certainly although no big fan can not. But Ralph has done little more then surfacing the issues for a little more PR and exposure, and of course he did not help Gore. But all goes back to your current cartoon and all the ramifications to that debate.

We need a strong party that does not reley on the back bone (or not) of an individual...Case in point Gary Hart, these people surface as populist's hope, and end up with the typical flaws of us mortal men. In this age of no-quarter politics, guys like that haven't a chance. You point out we do not know how to organize anymore, I agree 110%! I hope the advanced communications of the day will help resolve that issue. It still all goes back top the average American's priorities: will they stop shopping long enough to help save the Union of Democracy?

Vierotchka said...

Walesa. :)