"But we must NOT seek to criminalize political conduct." Sometimes it seems that we, on the Right, seem to forget that we have control over no more than one House in the Legislature. If you break it down, Conservatives may not even have a majority in the House. So, to suggest that the leadership begins to charge the opposition with crimes, is not only a bad idea, ever; but would be a terrible idea right now. Conservatives who believe in the Constitution are not running the Government and even if they were, they would not be at some time in the future. This is a place we do not want to go. What sounds like a good idea for US to do to THEM, will be used against US by THEM in the future. Before long, political opposition will be more stiffled that it is right now. Everyone would be afraid of being charged with a crime.
In light of the events of the last two weeks (shooting in AZ), the Right has been bombarded with charges from the Left over rhetoric. The whole concept that the Right is to blame for what one shooter did is not only absurd, but very hypocritical. We have to have open discussion in order to have a free society. Limit the first amendment rights and restrict the discussion down to "nice" terms and you do away with opposition. Government is not "nice" and was not meant to be. If we cannot be a part of some heated arguments, we will not have the best potential outcome.
All of this is an attempt to silence the conservatives and make us afraid to speak out too loudly.
I understand what you are saying about "political offenses" and it being a slippery slope but with the trillions of dollars that have been misappropriated and wasted the people deserve compensation and those who have buried generations in debt owe us something more than a "oops".
The House has the Oversight Committee which is now chaired by Rep Darell Issa, formerly it was Waxman who lead witchhunts against the opposition only. He refused to do anything about the true corruption that was going on in the Government. Here is the Committee's purpose statement:
The Committee on Oversight and Government Reform has legislative jurisdiction over the District of Columbia, the government procurement process, federal personnel systems, the Postal Service and other matters. Our primary responsibility, however, is oversight of virtually everything government does – from national security to homeland security grants, from federal workforce policies to regulatory reform and reorganization authority, from information technology procurements at individual agencies to government-wide data security standards.
As the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, we will work with our colleagues in the minority to exercise effective oversight over the federal government and will work proactively to investigate and expose waste, fraud, and abuse. (emphasis mine).
Does this purpose statement suffice for a "law" by the fact that the committee was formed with the approval of the entire House? Can they designate a specific act a "crime" or do they have to create legislation that will fit the "crime" if, in the event they do find gross misconduct, they can then prosecute?? Or is this covered under the "misconduct" rule of Art 1 Sec 5. Can the Dept of Justice then prosecute those who are expelled from the House for their bad behavior?
I think what we are trying to do is make those in whom we have given our trust, responsible for their corruption. Just because we did not find $90,000 in cash in their refrigerators doesnt mean that committing trillions of dollars in the future by selling out their votes in exchange for their personal gain is any less of a crime. Yes, it is partly our fault because we have been asleep at the wheel because all this is really nothing new, they just never did it on this grand of a scale. Are we too late to seek Constitutional remedies?? That is what we would like to find.
As for the Judges, again our fault--sort of. Here in AZ the Judges are appointed and then their terms are extended by popular vote. Since there are always so many Judges on the ballot, voters just check them off because there is no way to know who is "legislating from the bench"......until this year. There is now a Judicial Review on line that rates the judges on their rulings and whether they follow the Constitution, State and local laws or just create more laws. This year wasn't a 'piece of cake as usual' so we are learning.
Not every State operates that way and we don't have any say over the Federal District Judges, so now that we have "awakened" we are trying to put current "assumptions" into practice and determine how we can effect what we have been ignoring. The unintended consequences are our unknown and that is why you are a jewel by keeping us Constitutionally informed. It is still a learning process.....
Glenn Beck is correct in his crusade to bring GodandtheConstitution back into Congress/political discourse and common conversation and stop the PC drivel. Hind sight is 20/20 but not knowing and studying the past just makes us blind to where we are going.
PS: We just lost probably the best Constitutional Federal Judge in AZ in John Roll, who was murdered two weeks ago in Tucson.
Dear, you do ask the best questions! They help me as I need to know what is on peoples' minds. Again, I'll need some time to give a complete answer. Basically, re prosecuting people for "crimes": In order to protect Citizens from uncontrolled criminal prosecution by the government, the offenses with which they are charged must have already been specifically defined and on the statute books before you commit the act. "Crimes" must be specifically defined so that everyone knows exactly what is prohibited. It is imperative that we not relax this requirement. Thus, "mismanagement", "waste", and "fraud" are too vague to constitute criminal offenses for criminal prosecution. What I think is "mismanagement", someone else thinks is fine. Believe me: We do NOT want to allow the government to criminally prosecute people for offenses which are not already specifically defined on the statute books. Fraud is generally a civil offense - and the various jurisdictions have specific definitions as to what constitutes "fraud". And when we represent a client alleging "fraud" in a civil case, we must prove all 5 or so "elements" of the civil offense of Fraud.
"Mismanagement & waste" of public funds is a "political offense" rendering the perps subject to impeachment. If public officials have stolen public monies, perhaps a criminal charge of embezzlement, theft, etc. would be proper. Sometimes prosecutors must spend a lot of time looking at the SPECIFIC FACTS of a case and then searching through the criminal code to look for a "crime" which fits the facts of the case.
Excepting the violent crimes (which everybody once knew were wrong), criminal prosecutions are supposed to be difficult to charge!
Dreadful news about Judge Roll.
Today I ran across a site that is promoting a civil action to require all members of the legislative, executive and judicial branches of federal government to abide by their Oath to "support and defend" the Constitution. My brain starts ricocheting on the inside of my skull when I see this nonsense. Here are some "thoughts" that SHOULD pop into our minds when discovering such folly
1. As has been clearly shown in this discussion; criminalizing political behavior has an adverse effect on our system
2. Criminalizing conduct which has heretofore NOT been illegal could ONLY apply in the future (ex post facto laws prohibited Art 1, Sec 9, Cl 3) thus the incumbents who are conceivably "defendants" in such an action, face no punishment for their prior actions, or worse, can now hide behind some toothless "legislation" that THEY enact, which effectively nullifies the existing corrective provisions such as expulsion and impeachment. Did we see how effective the rules for punishing "disorderly conduct" were for Charlie Rangel - Is THIS the punishment we should accept in trade for expulsion? I think not !
3. Whoever thinks that a FEDERAL JUDGE will rule against his own judicial usurpation needs to be drug tested for hallucinogens.
4. Who will determine the criteria of what does or does not define Constitutional compliance? If we enact legislation to this effect, it would on the one hand be a de facto convention attempting to amend the Constitution by statute, while on the other hand creates legislation which leaves to its enforcement the same malcontents who have been ignoring the existing law.
I don't know the legal ramifications of citing the perpetrators, or copying phrases for rebuttal here but the site professes to be an advocate for Liberty and Constitutional education which, in light of their latest effort, shows that "our side" is too often our own worst enemy. Why oh WHY is our side ever poised to trade in effective measures for trinkets?
In spite of all of this, what scares me the most is that in less than 6 hours, over 5,000 signatures are claimed to have been procured in SUPPORT of the idea (current total is 55,197 signatures) (or worse co-plaintiffs).
I am frustrated that so many so-called Conservatives fall for every quack idea and "quick fix" notion out there, rather than rolling up their sleeves, digging into the Federalist's wisdom and retaking control and dominion over their own destiny!
No wonder the Progressives, Existentialists, and Pragmatists found fertile soil in this country.
It is done.
Let us see how much resistance their is in convincing American Conservatives that they are their own Masters.