I've had this idea kicking around in my head for quite some time. Perhaps it will turn out to be a thesis; perhaps it will turn into a feeble series of rants, time will only tell.
There are many things going on around the world that impact the United States, and many more things that do not. We've got a leader, but we don't have a legislature right now. Oh, it's not because they're on "recess". It's really because they've been "on recess" since January 21, 2009.
Comparisons have been made of late to the Do Nothing Congress
of the Truman Era. It's hard to make a true comparison of the two; a half-century ago things were vastly different than they are today.
Nay, I'd say our current congress is insidious in it's inaction. In fact, it's my feeling that I could go through all ten parts of the Bill of Rights and find specific examples where this congress has blocked legislation, failed to act, or indeed has actually passed laws that could be considered treasonous.
But let's zoom up to 10,000 feet and set a little groundwork. (Is that an oxymoron?)
Sedition isn't actually in the Constitution per se, but Treason is. Article 3, Section 3
states the following:
Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort. No Person shall be convicted of Treason unless on the Testimony of two Witnesses to the same overt Act, or on Confession in open Court.
The Congress shall have Power to declare the Punishment of Treason, but no Attainder of Treason shall work Corruption of Blood, or Forfeiture except during the Life of the Person attainted.
Now, no member of congress has actually levied war against the United States, but I would suspect that there has been some adherence to our enemies, and giving them aid and comfort.
This is where things get a little gray. External enemies are one thing; in general, they are very clear-cut and overt. We know who we are at war with around the globe, and we know who wouldn't hesitate at the chance to attack the United States given the opportunity.
Every member of Congress takes the following Oath before assuming the duties of the office:
I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter: So help me God.
While not codified in the Constitution, the oath makes specific references to enemies foreign and domestic
, and this is where I think that treason starts to creep in.
Nazi Germany..Imperial Japan..Al-Qaeda...the Confederacy. All of these things were dedicated at one time or another to defeating the United States of America in battle. Very clearly "foreign" enemies, and very easy to draw a line and say 'Treason' when compared to the conditions laid out in the Constitution.
But "domestic" enemies are far harder to categorize. Restricting voting rights; suppressing the reproductive rights of women; creating legislation favorable to one interest group at the expense of another; military tactics against peaceful demonstrations...all of these things are happening today. And there are some in Congress that are hell-bent on making these things happen.
Treason against the United States, shall consist only...in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort.
Are we so sure these things aren't treasonous now?
I have also included sedition
in my title today, which our friends at Wikipedia describe thusly:
In law, sedition is overt conduct, such as speech and organization, that is deemed by the legal authority to tend toward insurrection against the established order. Sedition often includes subversion of a constitution and incitement of discontent (or resistance) to lawful authority. Sedition may include any commotion, though not aimed at direct and open violence against the laws. Seditious words in writing are seditious libel. A seditionist is one who engages in or promotes the interests of sedition.
Typically, sedition is considered a subversive act, and the overt acts that may be prosecutable under sedition laws vary from one legal code to another. Where the history of these legal codes has been traced, there is also a record of the change in the definition of the elements constituting sedition at certain points in history. This overview has served to develop a sociological definition of sedition as well, within the study of state persecution.
You can turn on Rush any day of the week and listen to what he thinks of the President. Or, you could go to the vast majority of public places in the United States that have a TV blaring in the background and watch Fox 'News'. To many of us, it's a dull background noise, but to others, it becomes a hypnotic, siren call.This happened in November of last year:
Judicial Watch founder Larry Klayman reiterated his call today for an anti-Obama rebellion and Egyptian-style coup, writing in Renew America that Americans should gather en masse in Washington D.C. to remove President Obama from office. Klayman maintains that since neither Congress nor the courts will remove Obama, a popular uprising is needed “to cleanse the nation of the half-Muslim, anti-white, socialist fraud in the White House before the nation goes under for the final count.”
“If the Egyptians can do this with regard to another radical Muslim, former president Mohamed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood, then can't we Americans do it with Obama?” Klayman asks, calling for conservatives working with his new group, Freedom Watch, to organize an “Occupy Washington” movement in which millions of people will “stand in front of the White House and other national treasures and demand that Barack Hussein Obama leave.”
“And, when we do converge on and ‘Occupy Washington’ in the millions on a date to be announced for the week before Thanksgiving, the people may think about chanting: ‘Mr. President (to use the term loosely), put the Quran down, get up off your knees and come out with your hands up!’”
“[Obama] will finally know that his time has come to leave his perverted, Islamic concept of Mecca, our nation's hallowed capital,” Klayman concludes. “I do not advocate violence, but it is time we show Obama that we mean business. He would be well advised to ride off into his Islamic sunset, link up with 72 virgins and party on at his expense – not ours!”
So like I said earlier...I could probably skim through the Bill of Rights, and then through the news archive, and fined specific instances of just about every right we have and the Republican attempts to reduce, remove, or repeal those rights. Next time I'll take a look at Congress making no laws establishing a religion. (They haven't, but if they make laws codifying biblical Judeo-Christian behavior, isn't it the same thing?)