US Constitution Allows Booting Destructive Politicians


By —— Bio and Archives July 25, 2010

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Many Americans believe a president must commit a serious illegality, ie “High Crime” to qualify for impeachment. Not true. In fact, dereliction of duty is also a qualifying reason. In fact, no greater argument exists for impeachment than utter failure to use common sense by a leader. For what could be more dangerous than an absolute inability to decide wisely? This article considers “Grave Dereliction of Duty” as a fundamental problem demanding impeachment and removal.

Can chronic poor decision-making really justify removal of democratically elected leaders? Why not? After all, what is a presidency made from—except decisions? Further, all must admit at a certain point, truly horrific decision-making must cause a leader to be ejected for the good of the whole state. There is no reason to view a disastrous presidency as a fatalistic necessity forced upon a democracy, despite legal recourse of removal.

I Overview of Impeachment

A. Basic Impeachment

Last week’s (July 18, 2010) article gives a thumbnail sketch of impeachment. But impeachment is a process to remove rogues from high office, using Congress as a court that holds an impeachment trial.

According to Buckner F. Melton’s book The First Impeachment: The Constitution’s Framers And The Case Of Senator William Blount, authorities note several unique aspects of impeachment. One is it properly defends a public trust the holder is misusing. The second is the adversarial trial aspect of such.

B. High Crimes & Misdemeanors

Constitutional warrant for impeaching US officials is found in US Constitution, Article II, Section 4.

The President, Vice President and all civil officers of the United States, shall be removed from office on impeachment for, and conviction of, treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors.”

C. Reasonably Defining High Crimes & Misdemeanors

As explained previously, the phrase High Crimes & Misdemeanors cannot simply be claimed “criminal activity” as this would protect harmful acts creating irreparable damage which were not technically “crimes.”

“High Crimes & Misdemeanors” should be viewed as an assault against the state’s integrity by a high official. Michael J. Gerhardt, in ” The Federal Impeachment Process: A Constitutional and Historical Analysis,” explains impeachable acts are properly understood as an attack against the state. This must be true by logical necessity. For if not—a leader set upon destroying a country, yet never caught in an actual crime, could not be removed. Supreme Court Justices Joseph Story, James Wilson, and Founders Alexander Hamilton and George Mason believed such maladministration causing a grievous wound to country was a transparently impeachable act.

According to Judge Richard Posner, in An Affair of State: The Investigation, Impeachment, and Trial of President Clinton, there must be the potential for a generally framed impeachment, despite technical absence of law breaking. For there is no other way to remove a wrong-doing president.

Posner offers the following (ironic) hypothetical:

If the President moved to Saudi Arabia so that he could have four wives, intending to run the government of the United States by email and telephone, he would have to be removed from office, even though he would not be committing a crime by his absenteeism; and the only mode of removal would be impeachment.

The previous article describes a proper impeachment standard:

William Blackstone differentiated ” high treason” from “low treason,” the latter being disloyalty to an equal or lesser. So high treason was disloyalty to a superior person or entity…The American constitutional Framers understood this difference between high and low treason,...believing impeachment dealt with high treason in the form of attacks against the state….all the Founders believed impeachment was not simply a process to deal with straightforward crimes. Gerhardt writes, “In short, the debates at the constitutional convention show at least that impeachable offenses were not limited to indictable offenses, but included offenses against the state.”

Obama has so badly mangled America through ill-advised policies it creates a political assault against the state. The damage is so grievous Barack suffers Grave Dereliction of his constitutionally sworn duties. Since there is no other remedy, he must be impeached.

II Grave Dereliction of Duty as an Impeachable Event

A. General Argument of Dereliction as Impeachable Offense

Bad decision-making, when it reaches critical levels, must lead to removal under the theory the state has a right to survival. “Grave Dereliction” is here defined as decision-making indefensibly threatening national security, fiscal solvency, or political stability.

B. Defining “Dereliction of Duty”

The phrase “Dereliction of Duty” is sometimes used within a military setting. This fits Obama splendidly given his title of Commander & Chief of the Armed Forces.

The website uslegal.com defines Dereliction of Duty as

Dereliction of duty refers to failure through negligence or obstinacy to perform one’s legal or moral duty to a reasonable expectation. In other words, it means willful or negligent failure to perform assigned duties or performing them in a culpably inefficient manner.

C. Political Office as Public Trust

An important idea is the Anglo-American standard of political offices as embodying a “public trust,” making the office holder a fiduciary. Law.com defines a fiduciary as,

From the Latin fiducia, meaning “trust,” a person ...who has the power and obligation to act for another…under circumstances which require total trust, good faith and honesty…A fiduciary is held to a standard of conduct and trust above that of a stranger or of a casual business person.

Politicians as fiduciaries is discussed in— Public Office as a Public Trust: A Suggestion That Impeachment for High Crimes and Misdemeanors Implies a Fiduciary Standard, by Rogers & Young. They argue fiduciary breaches are exactly a “High Crime & Misdemeanor” failure to meet constitutional standards, saying,

This article offers the concept of “breach of public trust” as a definition of “high Crimes and Misdemeanors.” That definition best describes the impeachable offenses contemplated by the framers and best implements the constitutional arrangements of limited and delegated government powers. Such a concept also recognizes the historical, philosophical, and conceptual influences that led the constitutional framers to adopt “high Crimes and Misdemeanors” language and succinctly defines the standard employed by courts and Congress in deciding cases of impeachment.

American revolutionaries were deeply influenced by the radical Whig tradition of England and writers like John Locke, rejecting absolute monarchy. They called for a Constitution setting a rule of law for all, including high officials. So a president can and must be removed for decisions so lacking in judgment that it causes certain destruction or collapse.

D. Example—Judge Pickering

One official impeached without breaking a law was federal district court judge John Pickering, in March 1803. His courtroom was filled with “ravings, cursings, and crazed incoherences” from alcohol and mental instability. President Jefferson told Congress Pickering’s bizarre behavior was an impeachable offense. This was the only way to remove a federal judge unfit to serve who refused to resign.

III Obama Policies as Grave Dereliction of Fiscal Duty

A. Grave Dereliction of Fiscal Duty

The following examines only Obama’s fiscal policies (given length limitations) as great danger to state.

1. Deficit Spending
Given massive “Keynesian” deficit spending—what if this tactic does not work? So far it hasn’t, as

Economically-illiterate Obama cannot fathom many experts oppose deficit spending. Obama first declared he’d be the “New Reagan.” So it’s terribly sad Barack didn’t study Reagan’s economic plan. Reagan’s economic numbers were worse than Obama. Yet, Reagan’s plan succeeded spectacularly while Obama’s is a hideous failure. Reagan addressed this very issue of the shortsightedness of deficit spending in his inaugural address,

For decades we have piled deficit upon deficit, mortgaging our future and our children’s future for the temporary convenience of the present. To continue this long trend is to guarantee tremendous social, cultural, political, and economic upheavals.

You and I, as individuals, can, by borrowing, live beyond our means, but for only a limited period of time. Why, then, should we think that collectively, as a nation, we’re not bound by that same limitation? We must act today in order to preserve tomorrow.

The Stimulus Bill sums up every evil Obama instinct—a bait-&-switch scam (likewise obamacare) based upon lies, claiming: a) The economy would immediately collapse if not passed (fear-mongering); b) The bill was “Obama’s” (written by Pelosi); c) It was a “stimulus” bill, albeit, a years delayed pork project.

Economist Nial Ferguson asked, “How long can the U.S. go on borrowing on the scale it currently is—deficits on the order of 10 percent of GDP and more than $1 trillion year after year. Somebody in Washington needs to come up with a credible plan to put the U.S. back on road to fiscal stability.”

You know your “capitalist” deficit spending programs lacks when socialist China lectures you on need to repent. But even Bipolar Barack admits the same thing!

2. Tax Policy
A truly frightening scenario now awaits Americans in the coming months. Massive tax increase will batter us. IBD describes some of the coming tax increases,

As of midnight Dec. 31, 2010 the death tax returns—at a rate of 55% on estates of $1 million or more…The lowest bracket for the personal income tax, for instance, moves up 50%—to 15% from 10%. The next lowest bracket—25%—will rise to 28%, and the old 28% bracket will be 31%. At the higher end, the 33% bracket is pushed to 36% and the 35% bracket becomes 39.6%.

3. Obamacare
The horrific commandeering of the US healthcare system was done upon a fog of lies, many of which are slowly rising to the surface as the dust from the fight settles. One commentator noted Obamacare’s many untruths, saying:

Does President Obama have any idea what’s in his own health-care reform law?...he told MSNBC’s Chuck Todd that the law “not only makes sure everybody has access to coverage but is reducing costs.” Wrong on both counts. The bill doesn’t come close to giving “everybody” access to coverage. According to the Congressional Budget Office, 10 years from now there will still be at least 21 million uninsured Americans.

The writer goes on to list even more shocking statistics from Obamacare, which is itself a cancer on the US body politic:

Even further from reality is the president’s continued insistence the new law is “reducing costs.” In fact, the administration’s own chief health-care actuary reports the law will actually raise US health-care spending by $311 billion over 10 years…Accurately measured, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act will cost $2.7+ trillion over its first 10 years of full operation and add more than $352 billion to the national debt. This doesn’t even include more than $4.3 trillion in costs shifted to businesses, individuals and state governments.

4. Jobs
The state’s economic health depends upon employment. So why this so-called “jobless recovery”?

According to the Heritage Foundation, the $862 billion Stimulus Bill failed to create jobs. Obama’s jobs deficit is defined as “the difference between current employment and the jobs Obama promised to create by the end of 2010—which now stands at almost 7.4 million workers.”

Why have Obama’s policies failed to produce jobs? Heritage says,

Businesses invest…when they are confident enough to take risks in pursuit of opportunity…Many are holding back, however, due to concerns about the economy, while others are holding back due to concerns about the threatening policies from Washington, and others because existing tax and regulatory burdens are already excessive.

5. Long-term Economic Prospects
Obama’s own Congressional Budget Office released their yearly report, stating:

Today CBO released the Long-Term Budget Outlook. The federal budget is on an unsustainable path—meaning that federal debt will continue to grow much faster than the economy over the long run. Although great uncertainty surrounds long-term fiscal projections, rising costs for health care and the aging of the U.S. population will cause federal spending to increase rapidly under any plausible scenario. Unless tax revenues increase just as rapidly, the rise in spending will produce growing budget deficits and accumulating debt. Large budget deficits would reduce national saving, leading to more borrowing from abroad and less domestic investment, which in turn would depress income growth in the United States.

The Washington Post wrote, “The federal budget deficit, which hit a record $1.4 trillion last year, will exceed that figure this year (2010) and again in 2011.” Obama has not merely failed, but his reckless spending as a supposed “antidote” to record deficits leaves the certainty that the US will financially collapse unless our profligate spending policies are widely trimmed.

IV. Certain Aspects of Leftist Theory

A. Barack’s Beliefs

Increasing numbers ask if Barack is a socialist, based on his many otherwise-inexplicable decisions. Intriguingly, a former college friend claims Barack was a Marxist in his university days. Dr. John C. Drew recalls Obama,

“He was arguing a straightforward Marxist-Leninist class-struggle point of view, which anticipated that there would be a revolution of the working class, led by revolutionaries, who would overthrow the capitalist system and institute a new socialist government that would redistribute the wealth,” says Drew, who says he himself was then a Marxist.

“The idea was basically that wealthy people were exploiting others,” Drew says. “That this was the secret of their wealth, that they weren’t paying others enough for their work, and they were using and taking advantage of other people. He was convinced that a revolution would take place, and it would be a good thing.”

B. Basic Marxism

From an article on Basic Marxist beliefs: “Marxism concerns wealth. God is dead, Darwin rules. The rich steal from the poor. Communist revolution will destroy capitalism, outlawing private property to establish paradise.” Notable in Marxism is the semi-biblical belief a cataclysmic economic war will occur in which socialism/communism will triumph over capitalism. So, does Barack believe Marxist “history”? Is he acting on this to remove capitalism to create heaven on earth through communism? If so, he might employ the Cloward-Piven strategy.

C. Cloward-Piven Strategy.

The website DiscovertheNetworks describes this idea: “The “Cloward-Piven Strategy” seeks to hasten the fall of capitalism by overloading the government bureaucracy with a flood of impossible demands, thus pushing society into crisis and economic collapse.”

Conclusion

Obama has an unmitigated duty to protect every American. If he didn’t want that, he should have never run for president. This obviously includes defending our financial state, among other things. Why should hard-working, honest Americans have an entire lifetime of careful savings poured down the drain because of the ridiculous policies of smug, ideologically-driven amateurs? Why should millions be jobless from the reckless machinations of political incompetents? Is there a reasonable explanation why states across America must repeatedly slash budgets because of the asinine acts of whacked-out DC leftists? Of course not. And we ought not stand for this treatment any longer.

America cannot survive Barack Obama’s suicidal fiscal policies. His wild spending has resulted in a horribly maimed economy, worse than it was before all the crazy policies. The current recession/depression is caused by his willfully disastrous ideas.

We are at crossroads. Obama still has 2.5 years left. Yet at the current rate of his despoiling policies, will we ever recover our former prominence? This isn’t just a question of individual prosperity, but one with massive implications for the world. For, as goes America, so goes the hope of freedom around the world. Many at-risk lives around the globe depend upon the good deeds of true patriots.

Fortunately, our wise Founders left us a method to deal with political rogues, saboteurs and hopeless incompetents. They gave us impeachment for arrogant politicians attempting to lay low America for diabolical purposes. Now, we must gird our loins and demand our representatives prepare for this drastic, but necessary procedure. For, there is no other way out of the savage wilderness of our forced Babylonian exile.


Kelly OConnell -- Bio and Archives | Click to view Comments

Kelly O’Connell is an author and attorney. He was born on the West Coast, raised in Las Vegas, and matriculated from the University of Oregon. After laboring for the Reformed Church in Galway, Ireland, he returned to America and attended law school in Virginia, where he earned a JD and a Master’s degree in Government. He spent a stint working as a researcher and writer of academic articles at a Miami law school, focusing on ancient law and society. He has also been employed as a university Speech & Debate professor. He then returned West and worked as an assistant district attorney. Kelly is now is a private practitioner with a small law practice in New Mexico. Kelly is now host of a daily, Monday to Friday talk show at AM KOBE called AM Las Cruces w/Kelly O’Connell

Kelly can be reached at: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)