Greetings and Salutations;
We are in the middle of the Kangaroo Court of the Senate, whose one goal is to keep #3 in office. This whole process has focused my attention on the reality that we have got to push through legislation that will help keep such a miscarriage of justice from happening again. Because of this, I have compiled a list of changes I would like to see happen over the next 12 years. I suspect that it is incomplete, but it seems a good start. These are presented in no particular order…
- Require that any bills sent to the Senate be brought to the floor within 30 days, or they automatically go to the president for signing. I am tempted here to say that they automatically become law…and, I really would not have a problem with that. The first option assumes that the occupant of the oval office is sane…
- The state laws attempting to control the Electoral College need to be declared null and void. The “winner take all” and “unfaithful elector” laws are, in my opinion, Unconstitutional, and force the College to NOT reflect the will of the people. (I have written more lengthy essays on the EC on my blog, at http://blog.beemandave.com/)
- The makeup of the Electoral College should be equal numbers of the two major parties, not the current method of populating it, which favors the most vocal party. IF a third party arises that has a significant number of voters – say – 15%, they should be allowed representation in the College.
- It should be codified into law that ANY candidate for public office on a federal (and possibly state) level, must release unredacted copies of their tax information for the proceeding 15 years.
- It should be required that the candidate MUST either divest, or put in a blind trust, ANY enterprises that they might be called to regulate. Divestiture would be the best option, but, a blind trust, set up by an objective, third party, is a viable alternative.
- ANY appointed position that is subject to advise and consent by the Senate must be subject to that examination and vote within 30 days of a person being appointed, or the appointee is automatically disqualified from holding the office.
- In any case where impeachment is brought before Congress, ANY Member who states a prejudice or prejudgment of the outcome must be (at the very least) recused from taking part in the proceedings, and, if they take the oath to do impartial justice, imprisoned for the remainder of the time spent in the impeachment process for perjury.
- The Constitution is very liberal in its requirements to run for the presidency. I would like to see laws passed that add a requirement that any candidate for the office undergo physical and mental examination by objective, qualified doctors before being allowed to enter the contest. We have many, fine, medical establishments in America that could provide these doctors, or, we could request that the UN provide them.
- In the case of an Impeachment Trial, the format should follow the protocols of a typical trial in the Justice System. The major change would be that witnesses would be required as part of the Senate trial. We have just gone through several days of debate and a pathetic vote by the Senate, which banned the introduction of any new witnesses, or documents. This, in spite of the fact that since the Articles of Impeachment were passed by the House, quite a bit of new evidence has come to the surface, and, witnesses, such as John Bolton, who were halted by the White House from testifying to the House committee, who made it clear that they would be willing to testify in front of the Senate. Of course, Bolton’s motives may have been because he felt he would get a better reception from the Republican dominated Senate, and other, less savory ones, but, still… However in banning his testimony, the Republicans may have shot themselves in the foot. His book, detailing the malfeasance he witnessed will be published in a few weeks, and when it hits the streets, it is going to make the Republicans look like gullible fools.
- The example of Moscow Mitch, and his actions over the past decade have provided an excellent example of WHY term limits for Congress are becoming vital. I look at folks like Bernie Sanders, Howard Baker, John Duncan Sr, and a few other shining examples of long-term representatives who worked to improve America for all..and were willing to work with members of the opposite party to find a compromise, and, I question the need for it. Then, alas, I look at the current crop of Congressional Representatives, and I see that those men are becoming an extinct group… Because of this, I call for Laws to be passed to implement term limits for anyone in Congress. I would implement this in one of two ways: a) a simple, hard limit of 3-5 terms, or b) For every term served in Congress, the candidate must get an increasing percentage of votes to keep their seat. Start out at 50%, and for every term thereafter, add 10%….
I do not know the best way to handle the situation where, as has happened too many times with the current administration, that a Federal Judge has been seated who was clearly incompetent. A person who got their appointment simply because they were either supporters of the administration, or extremist, Right-Wingers who will do their best to drag us back to the 1950s in a vain attempt to keep the old white guys in power, blocking all others. Perhaps it would be appropriate to require that the person have significant experience on the bench, combined with ratings from objective review committees. After all, there is a lengthy list of judges, who have a cushy, life-time job now, who were rated as “Incompetent” by the American Bar Association! Of course, the Administration has claimed that this is nothing more than a liberal plot, but, it is hard to argue with a rating of “Incompetent” when the judge has, literally, NEVER sat on a case!
There is almost nothing good that has come from this administration, I am sorry to say. The fact that animal abuse is now a Federal Felony does not balance the exploding deficit, the attacks on Medicare and Social Security, the betrayal of allies around the world, the sucking up to some of the dictators with the worst human rights records in power today, or, the totalitarian way that the current administration is treating refugees seeking safety on our shores. I submit that if America is to survive as a society, much less a respected power in the world, we, the citizens MUST stand up and take the power back that we have given away. We must implement rational limits to what can be done by the administration, and basic requirements that ensure that we are clear in what we are getting when we elect a president. Another vital thing that has got to happen is that the Electoral College has got to be reformed, to move it back to what Hamilton called for it to be in Federalist Papers #68. Had the Electoral College done its job, as defined in that paper, this whole debacle could have been avoided.
It is my opinion that, even if we have a generation of Democrats controlling the government, America will not achieve the status it had 20 years ago. In some areas, we will likely NEVER restore our reputation. However, if we do nothing, make no changes to the laws, as suggested above, accepting the status quo as the new reality, I can see no future for the country but loss. We, at best, will become like England. A country treated with some respect, but that has no power left in the world. At worst, the countries of the world will come to the realization that America has become a rogue state, that cannot be trusted, and should be sanctioned.
God Help Us All!
Bee Man Dave