About a week or so ago this website presented the Articles of Impeachment for Richard M. Nixon along with articles of impeachment proposed by a black Republican group from Florida against Barack Obama. Contrasting the two, it was difficult to understand what was the big deal with Nixon. Compared to the proposed charges against Obama, Nixon appeared angelic.
The reaction then and today reflects the deterioration in respect for the Constitution and the rule of law. Those holding power always find it more convenient to relax restraints rather than enforce them. Over time, the deterioration becomes significant. Tyranny abhors a vacuum and always finds agents to effect its advance.
Nixon resigned over. what today, seems almost trivial. Certainly Bush and some of his predecessors would have been impeached were the same standards for Nixon applied for them. The fact that they weren’t is not a reflection in changes in the law, only in the way laws are administered.What was considered impeachable in the past is now considered political strategy and tactics.
The country has evolved away from laws into a cult of personality and popularity. If you or your policies are popular enough with enough of the people, then apparently no one will challenge their illegality. Executive legality has deteriorated to whatever Congress and the rest of the political class deems it to be. Popular people or policies are seemingly immune from principles or laws.
Standards or the enforcement of existing laws seem to be chosen in a manner not similar to the contestants on American Idol. The enforcement of the law has been corrupted by the cult of personality or expediency. Arbiters of laws assume they can interpret them in terms of some common good instead of the written word. That is the Alice in Wonderland state that Congress and the judicial system has assumed and continues to devolved toward.
The deterioration in the rule of law paves the way to the rule of man which is the road to tyranny and ultimately dictatorship. Tyranny is well under way in the country. Dictatorship will appear when a clever enough and evil enough person assumes office and moves toward total control. Democracy is meaningless without laws. Hitler was elected via democratic vote. He just happened to be the wrong man at the right time and made his move successfully. The rest was history and one of its most ugly chapters.
It is only a matter of time before the same process repeats here. It is the nature of man to exploit and dominate others, at least it is the nature of those who seek powerful office.
Apparently the efforts of the Florida Republican group have increased, as reported by Dr. Richard Swier:
The Florida based National Black Republican Association has sent Articles of Impeachment to the Judiciary Committee in the US House of Representatives. The NBRA has decided to publish an advertisement in the Washington Times and provide a copy of the ad to every member of Congress as they return to work on Tuesday.
Frances Rice, Chair of NBRA stated, “Anyone may download and use the ad, which is camera ready, and pay for it to be in their local newspaper or magazine. The PDF was created by the Washington Times for their use in publishing it in their paper.”
Congress is dealing with multiple scandals (IRS, NSA, DOJ, Benghazi, Extortion 17, etc.) that raise questions about Executive Branch overreach. Congress will also be debating going to war with Syria over its use of chemical weapons against its own citizen. The ad states, “Congress: Wake up and do your job!”
The last sentence, “Congress: Wake up and do your job!” is the essence of the problem. Both parties tacitly agree with the abrogation of the Constitution. One need only look at their actions. Neither has any principles other than the achievement, maintenance of and aggrandizement of power. Respect for the Constitution or the welfare of the citizens of the country are used merely as means to gain more wealth and power for themselves. Neither party has any principles other than those pertaining to the maintenance of office.
Have We Passed The Point Of No Return?
One wonders whether it is too late to depend on Congress or the courts to stop the march toward dictatorship. Clearly there will be no movement by either political party in this direction. It goes against the criminal code they both adhere to. Furthermore, in a world accustomed to “free goodies,” the party that threatened to take away the punch bowl would be turned upon by the voting public.
There are only two options to end this slide. One is a complete collapse of the system, probably triggered by an economic catastrophe. That is the more likely of the two.
The second option involves the appearance of a knight on a white horse, a modern-day George Washington. That person must be charismatic and willing to sacrifice his political, personal and family life to counter the monster that now rules the country. By definition, in these times, the man would be offered a Kingship just as Washington. He must also be willing to turn it down. These men are no longer attracted to politics. High-minded men do not go into organized crime. The chances of this option occurring are as close to impossible as any other rare event can be.
Even if such a man existed and ran successfully for office, it is doubtful that he could get very far. As soon as he began to question practices and authority, he would likely be destroyed. The ability to threaten and blackmail anyone who stood in the way of a multiple aspiring dictators was alluded to by the late Senator Frank Church. He stated almost forty years ago (my emboldening):
[America’s intelligence gathering] capability at any time could be turned around on the American people and no American would have any privacy left. Such is the capability to monitor everything: telephone conversations, telegrams, it doesn’t matter. There would be no place to hide.
If this government ever became a tyrant, if a dictator ever took charge in this country, the technological capacity that the intelligence community has given the government could enable it to impose total tyranny, and there would be no way to fight back because the most careful effort to combine together in resistance to the government, no matter how privately it was done, is within the reach of the government to know. Such is the capability of this technology.
I don’t want to see this country ever go across the bridge. I know the capacity that is there to make tyranny total in America, and we must see to it that [NSA] and all agencies that possess this technology operate within the law and under proper supervision so that we never cross over that abyss. That is the abyss from which there is no return.
Senator Frank Church on Meet The Press, 17 August 1975
H/T to reader Terry who sent this in.
Remember, this was a Democrat Senator warning about the technology that was available forty years ago! Imagine what that technology is today and what is known about people.
I have no evidence that these techniques are or are not already being used. The bizarre resignation of General Petreaus, the surprise decision by Chief Justice Roberts on Obamacare and the inexplicable behavior of John Boehner are puzzling enough to make me suspect so. Politics ain’t beanbag.
The point is that it may already be too late to reform the system from within even if someone could be found to do so. Everyone has a skeleton(s) in their closet. If these skeletons are now in play as a result of technology, then politics is more like the Mafia than beanbag.
Electing an honest, honorable politician is not and can never be a solution to tyranny. Even if it such a person could be found, elected and remained true to principles, that hasn’t solved the problem. There is no way to ensure that such a successor can be found.