freedom fighters
March 1, 2006 11:27 AM   Subscribe

The Case for Impeachment. An essay by Lewis H. Lapham. Another one by Garrison Keillor. And Elizabeth Holtzman. Legislation by John Conyers.
posted by The Jesse Helms (149 comments total)
 
Republican-controlled Congress.
posted by smackfu at 11:29 AM on March 1, 2006


Yeah, as much as I'd love to see the bums thrown out, I don't see it happening any time soon.
posted by doctor_negative at 11:34 AM on March 1, 2006


Won't let it happen.
posted by NationalKato at 11:34 AM on March 1, 2006


So now we know. Next.
posted by mischief at 11:34 AM on March 1, 2006


Wow, so dismissive, and I thought I saw pigs flying this morning while I was taking Cerberus for a walk on all that ice.
posted by OmieWise at 11:40 AM on March 1, 2006


Meanwhile, Americans know more about The Simpsons TV show than the US Constitution's First Amendment, an opinion poll says.
Only one in four could name more than one of the five freedoms it upholds but more than half could name at least two members of the cartoon family.

About one in five thought the right to own a pet was one of the freedoms.
posted by The Jesse Helms at 11:40 AM on March 1, 2006


While the Salon ad is playing itself out, I'd just like to suggest that Garrison Keillor be canonized. Keillor 2008, anyone?
posted by xanthippe at 11:42 AM on March 1, 2006


Meanwhile, Americans know more about The Simpsons TV show than the US Constitution's First Amendment, an opinion poll says. Only one in four could name more than one of the five freedoms it upholds but more than half could name at least two members of the cartoon family.

There are, of course, six freedoms in the First Amendment, but I guess that's beside the point.

posted by monju_bosatsu at 11:44 AM on March 1, 2006


Keillor for 2008? You're kidding me. He'd be worse than Kerry in the somnambulistic department. He'd put half the nation to sleep.
posted by ed at 11:44 AM on March 1, 2006


Tit for tat with grave Constitutional effects.

It was wrong then; it is wrong now.
posted by dios at 11:48 AM on March 1, 2006


Never say never.
Bush has done a really good job pissing off every minority group during his time in office and now with the UAE port situation, congress is (finally) questioning his decisions. It also seems every few weeks a new senator/congressman/librarian is flip-flopping on their pro-bush attitude and reversing there stance on their bush-praisem when was the last time that happened?
also remember bush's ratings are at an all time low, Iraq isn't finished yet, the housing bust is slowing starting to stick it ugly head out, iran is still a BIG problem for us and the world, a world-wide recession is just around the corner, gold is climbing to crazy heights, the US debt is the largest in history, the US dollar is ready to nose dive, clean drinking water and oil are running out and people are spending more on their pets while public schools are in the toilet. stranger things have happened in history and Bush being impeached is something that will probably occur sooner than later.
viva resistance!
posted by lsd4all at 11:50 AM on March 1, 2006


And the biggest argument against impeachment, around these parts at least, has always been "yeah, but Cheney". Well, the rumor mill has been churning the fuck outta him lately.
posted by If I Had An Anus at 11:57 AM on March 1, 2006


While the Salon ad is playing itself out, I'd just like to suggest that Garrison Keillor be canonized. Keillor 2008, anyone?
posted by xanthippe at 1:42 PM CST on March 1 [!]


I'd be all for firing Garrison Keillor out of a cannon some time before 2008.
posted by COBRA! at 11:57 AM on March 1, 2006


It ought to be clear to anyone involved in politics on a fairly steady basis. Bush is not going to be impeaced so long as the GOP controls both houses of Congress. If the time comes that the Dems control Congress, Bush will no longer be in office anyway. Why get all rattled about what is not going to be?
posted by Postroad at 11:57 AM on March 1, 2006


Meanwhile, back at the ranch, Alberto Gonzales, defender of American liberty, concedes that the NSA wiretapping went farther than he previously admitted -- but that's all so last month.

Speaking of grave Constitutional effects.
posted by digaman at 11:59 AM on March 1, 2006


Well, if somebody is going to introduce legislation to remove Bush, it should probably not be Conyers.
posted by Heminator at 12:00 PM on March 1, 2006


(or, I should say, "goes farther")
posted by digaman at 12:01 PM on March 1, 2006


So is this Fitzmas all over again? Will it be as full of wishful thinking and fruitless speculation?
posted by dios at 12:01 PM on March 1, 2006


In re: Anus' comment: What the shit? How do you just "retire" as vice president? Seems enormously irresponsible.
posted by boo_radley at 12:01 PM on March 1, 2006


Librarian, lsd4all?
posted by malaprohibita at 12:03 PM on March 1, 2006


Just wonderin'...

When the dems do regain control of the executive and legislative branches, will they pass laws preventing such abuse in the future?

Nah, I didn't think so.
posted by mischief at 12:03 PM on March 1, 2006



So is this Fitzmas all over again? Will it be as full of wishful thinking and fruitless speculation?

Well we can hope that he gets caught in a lie about his sex life. That might do it.
posted by Danf at 12:03 PM on March 1, 2006


wow dios, you mean Fitz is all wrapped up and outta here? Somehow I missed that. And there was that Scooter Libby thing -- something about him going to prison?
posted by digaman at 12:04 PM on March 1, 2006


Bush's job approval rating is at an all time low (34%) with Cheney's at 18%.

More Republican lawmakers willing to challenge Bush.

Republican governors worried about Bush "gaffes".

Trent Lott To Bush: “OK, Big Boy, I'll just vote to override your veto....It doesn't make a difference if you're a Republican or a Democrat. Don't put your fist in my face. Where I'm from, we're willing to fight back.”

Congressional Republicans tiring Of Bush.

Not a rosy picture for the White House these days.
posted by ericb at 12:05 PM on March 1, 2006


At this point, I think if Bush was caught lying under oath about cheating with a White House intern, Republicans would let it slide.

They let Bush slide on every single other thing they used to critique Democrats for, so why not?
posted by sonofsamiam at 12:05 PM on March 1, 2006


…after reading the report, I don't know why we would run the risk of not impeaching the man. We have before us in the White House a thief who steals the country's good name and reputation for his private interest and personal use; a liar who seeks to instill in the American people a state of fear; a televangelist who engages the United States in a never-ending crusade against all the world's evil, a wastrel who squanders a vast sum of the nation's wealth on what turns out to be a recruiting drive certain to multiply the host of our enemies. In a word, a criminal&emdash;known to be armed and shown to be dangerous.
posted by nofi at 12:06 PM on March 1, 2006


nofi writes: "..."

A conviction needs something a bit more solid than metaphor.
posted by mischief at 12:08 PM on March 1, 2006


Impeachment isn't going to happen, but perhaps something even better--Bush might leave office with an approval below 25%, which I think is entirely plausible if he's at 34% now (and Cheney at 18%). Iraq is a complete debacle, and the UAE/port mess is only a reminder that America is not any safer since 9/11, maybe even worse off. If bin Laden is still alive, and he was to be captured, that could give Bush a decent, albeit temporary spike--I think most Americans have forgotten all about him though. I mean, it was Saddam who blew up the Twin Towers, right? The economy is doing reasonably well, but not great--and it won't start generating income that would allow for an appreciable PR boost before 2008.

History is in the process of administering an appropriate, if not tardy, bitch-slap to everyone within this administration, and everyone who has defended its recklessness and lawlessness. It would be tempting to savor it if not for the real damage that's been done to America's standing, military, economy, and Constitutional protections. My sense is that Bush and co. is the only operation that would ever have made Hillary Clinton a viable presidential candidate in 2008, which is saying a lot (and doesn't make me happy as a Democrat, personally).

(Lest we forget, Clinton actually got more popular during his impeachment fiasco. So it's nice to see The Nation and Slate fantasizing, but their energy would be better spent getting to work, in practical terms, trying to clean house in 2006.)
posted by bardic at 12:14 PM on March 1, 2006


(ericb beat me to good links, yet again. Sorry for the repeat.)
posted by bardic at 12:14 PM on March 1, 2006


In re: Anus' comment: What the shit? How do you just "retire" as vice president? Seems enormously irresponsible.

You resign in disgrace and blame it on your health. It's that simple. With the exception of the health excuse, it's how Nixon avoided impeachment. If Cheney were to decide/be convinced to skedaddle, he'd be gone and the next in line would fill the vacancy.
posted by Faint of Butt at 12:14 PM on March 1, 2006


The Lapham article is truly excellent: full of measured fire, low on ad hominem and snark. Well worth a read.
posted by kosem at 12:17 PM on March 1, 2006


It'll be interesting to see what happens in the '06 elections, though. Does anyone objectively know the odds of the Democrats retaking control? I know the GOP has less-than-even odds on retaining an edge in governors.

I'd take President Cheney in a heartbeat. Congress wouldn't be able to run away from him quickly enough. As it stands, though, Bush is pretty much politically neutered already. Losing control of his party over this stupid ports deal is hilarious.

Speaking of Cheney, though- why not impeach him? I imagine it would be easier to pin something concrete on him, and I think both Bush and Congress would be happy to sacrifice him at the altar, at this point. The irony of asking him to Take One For The Team might be too excellent to actually see happen...
posted by mkultra at 12:20 PM on March 1, 2006


A conviction needs something a bit more solid than metaphor.

You might try clicking the primary link in the FPP, mischief.

This Web thingie is more versatile than you think.
posted by digaman at 12:26 PM on March 1, 2006


I think it's in the interests of liberals to keep Cheney around. His cartoonish super-villainy further drives down the administration's popularity.

Placing a great deal of the administration's blame on Cheney and then getting ridding of him might be an indirect way to exorcise the administration's sins.
posted by mammary16 at 12:26 PM on March 1, 2006


I think Bush is too full of himself and incapable of self-examination to ever resign.

You could make a plausible case that Cheney was running the show and got us into Iraq, and impeach him for that. People would buy the idea that Bush was an out-of-the-loop moron.
posted by kirkaracha at 12:28 PM on March 1, 2006


Cheney retiring '06 like means a possibly quite-popular VP Condi Rice running in '08, which is something of a scary proposition for Dems, I think.
posted by empath at 12:28 PM on March 1, 2006


I'm personally more interested in prosecuting them for war crimes when they leave office than impeaching them.
posted by empath at 12:29 PM on March 1, 2006


Why should Fitzgerald play his hand when the Libby and Cheney/Rove camps are starting to turn on each other?

If you're feeling bad about mean ol' Fitzgerald, you can make a donation here.

(Remember when the Republicans were vilifying mean ol' Ken Starr for being so gosh-durn intrusive with Bill Clinton? Yeah, I don't either.)

Karma's got teeth. And while the odds on the Dems retaking either chamber in 2006 are very low, combined with a sinking Bush WH, it could happen in 2008, probably the Senate first and more importantly, IMHO.

A Cheney resignation, replacing him with a potential presidential candidate like George Allen, seems entirely possible to me. But it would be done for "medical reasons," obviously.
posted by bardic at 12:29 PM on March 1, 2006


monju, I count 5 freedoms.

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

the bit where it says "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof" has always been lumped under "freedom of religion" as far as I've been aware. Am I misinterpreting it?
posted by shmegegge at 12:30 PM on March 1, 2006


It'll be interesting to see what happens in the '06 elections, though.

"Republican Haley Barbour of Mississippi said midterm elections for second-term presidents are historically disastrous for parties in power, a fact that has Republican governors skittish about November. 'Anybody with a brain in their heads knows that '06 historically could be a weak year for Republicans,' said the former chairman of the Republican National Committee." [Associated Press | February 28, 2006]
posted by ericb at 12:30 PM on March 1, 2006


It's nearly time to trot bin Laden out of his "mountain sanctuary."
posted by digaman at 12:31 PM on March 1, 2006


America at the expense of Americans.
posted by blue_beetle at 12:31 PM on March 1, 2006


oh, and as much as I'd like to see Bush impeached, I'd be interested in knowing which of conyers' bills will pass first: reparations or impeachment?
posted by shmegegge at 12:31 PM on March 1, 2006


(It would never be Condi. She would alienate, rather than energize, the social conservatives who are going to be more necessary than ever for any possible (R) candidate to have a shot in 2008. And I think this has less to do with her skin color than with the fact that she's not married.)
posted by bardic at 12:33 PM on March 1, 2006


Bush being impeached is something that will probably occur sooner than later.

It ought to be clear to anyone involved in politics on a fairly steady basis. Bush is not going to be impeaced so long as the GOP controls both houses of Congress.

etc. etc.

If impeachment, or at least some other sort of widespread, serious censure by his own party, were to actually happen, which issue is likely to be the last straw? How much worse do things have to get?

For example, if he accidentally shot an intern with a rifle while...
posted by xanthippe at 12:33 PM on March 1, 2006


dig: my reference was to nofi's quote.
posted by mischief at 12:34 PM on March 1, 2006


shmegegge, I would count it as 2 seperate ones: the "freedom of religion" is composed of 1) the (negative) freedom from having the state establish a religion and demand that you adhere to it, and 2) the (affirmative) freedom to practice whatever religion you do in fact choose, if any. Definitely complementary, but not identical.
posted by rkent at 12:35 PM on March 1, 2006


the bit where it says "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof" has always been lumped under "freedom of religion" as far as I've been aware. Am I misinterpreting it?

I think so. Both freedoms relate to religion, but operate in fundamentally different ways. Indeed, the two rights were incorporated against the states at different times, in different cases, and some argue that the Establishment Clause should not have been incorporated against the states at all.
posted by monju_bosatsu at 12:37 PM on March 1, 2006


What 'digaman' said. Silly 'mischief', blockquotes are for kids!
posted by nofi at 12:37 PM on March 1, 2006


some argue that the Establishment Clause should not have been incorporated against the states at all.
posted by monju_bosatsu at 2:37 PM CST on March 1


Yes. Those would be the people we call "correct."
posted by dios at 12:38 PM on March 1, 2006


What rkent said.
posted by bardic at 12:38 PM on March 1, 2006


I think really that the last thing we want is for Bush or Chaney to be impeached. If he stays in office, he won't be able to do much; he'll be pretty much a lame duck. And if he keeps on getting more unpopular, he's going to drag down the Congressional GOP with him. That's the meaning of the GOP disagreeing with him on the port deal; they're starting to understand that Bush is a liability to them politically. If Bush stays in office, he'll make people hate the GOP even more, so that by 2008, the Dems can take Congress, and the Presidency too, as long as they don't run somebody that's awful.
posted by unreason at 12:39 PM on March 1, 2006




I agree the Lapham article is excellent. I posted the citation (fromt he end of the piece) for those among us who didn't/won't read the article.
posted by nofi at 12:40 PM on March 1, 2006


Yes. Those would be the people we call "correct."

I don't think so, dios. The 14th Amendment fundamentally altered the way federalism works, particularly with respect to Constitutional limitations on state action. Although the Establishment Clause may have originally been meant to protect the states from the federal government, the framers of the Fourteenth Amendment pretty clearly understand that Amendment to prevent state establishment of religion.
posted by monju_bosatsu at 12:40 PM on March 1, 2006


I read the CBS 34% poll was BS because it was heavily weighted towards Democrats. Regardless of it being BS or not, there's no way he's above 45%.

So why is it not obvious that the Dems will win big in 06? I guess they're even more fucked up.
posted by b_thinky at 12:41 PM on March 1, 2006


It's nearly time to trot bin Laden out of his "mountain sanctuary."

Karl Rove: "34%!!! It's time for a little detour."
“If you look at past experience, it would suggest that you tend not to get a last-minute rush” of retirements, said Norman Ornstein, a resident scholar at the conservative American Enterprise Institute. “But I don’t know if that’s going to be the case this time. I think that actually the scandals, the problems, the headaches may cause a number of people two or three months from now to decide that maybe it’s time for a change, maybe they need to spend more time with their families. … I think we could see up to 40.
I think I need some alone time.
posted by If I Had An Anus at 12:42 PM on March 1, 2006


The text and history of the Establishment Clause strongly suggest that it is a federalism provision intended to prevent Congress from interfering with state establishments. Thus, unlike the Free Exercise Clause, which does protect an individual right, it makes little sense to incorporate the Establishment Clause.

The whole point of it was to prevent the federal government from establishing a federal religion that would prohibit a state from practicing the ones it had established as a state religion.

Indeed, at the time of its passage, there were states that had official state religions. So the intent from the First Amendment was to pass a law that applied only to the Federal government. Thus, it would make no sense to incorporate it against the states.
posted by dios at 12:45 PM on March 1, 2006


b_thinky, have you visited any county- or statewide Republican politicians' websites lately? It's telling that you don't see many pictures nor mentions of Bush, at least not for candidates with close contests coming up in 2006.

Good times.
posted by bardic at 12:45 PM on March 1, 2006


Movement to Impeach GWB (Wikipedia). Please add relevant links to the article, it's a central collection of sorts.
posted by stbalbach at 12:45 PM on March 1, 2006


What monju_bosatsu said. That's very Clarence Thomas of you, dios. I'll take my Constitution reconstructed, thank you very much.
posted by kosem at 12:46 PM on March 1, 2006


I had read all 4 links. My point was that that concluding paragraph is lame, as in ineffective.
posted by mischief at 12:47 PM on March 1, 2006


Or to take the argument a step further: the incorporation of the bill of rights to the states requried states to also protect individual rights. The Establishment clause is not an individual right. It is a tool of Federalism that exists to limits federal power only in order to protect state's power. The Free Excercise Clause is an individual right. Thus as a texual matter, it makes sense to incorporate the Free Excercise Clause but not the Establishment Clause.
posted by dios at 12:48 PM on March 1, 2006


I read the CBS 34% poll was BS because it was heavily weighted towards Democrats. Regardless of it being BS or not, there's no way he's above 45%.

Citation, or are we not wasting time with such trifling things?
posted by rollbiz at 12:48 PM on March 1, 2006


Indeed, at the time of its passage, there were states that had official state religions. So the intent from the First Amendment was to pass a law that applied only to the Federal government. Thus, it would make no sense to incorporate it against the states.

dios, I agree with the point that the original understanding of the First Amendment suggests that the Establishment clause was designed to protect the states which already had established religions (although many scholars disagree on this point). It absolutely does not follow, however, the the right should not be incorporated against the states. The relevant understanding for incorporation purposes is not that of the First Amendment, but that of the Fourteenth Amendment. No matter what the first generation of framers might have thought about the First Amendment, the 38th and 39th Congress clearly understood the Fourteenth Amendment to restrict the right of the states to establish religion. Incorporation is not a simple mechanism by which the Bill of Right is applied to the states; the Fourteenth Amendment is a filter through which those rights are channeled.
posted by monju_bosatsu at 12:49 PM on March 1, 2006


some argue that the Establishment Clause should not have been incorporated against the states at all.
Yes. Those would be the people we call "correct."


Explain.

monju is correct, there are six freedoms. Petition, assembly, speech, press, freedom OF religion, and freedom FROM religion.

The last one of these gets conveniently ignored by those who run our country. As does the 9th Amendment, which contemplates that individual liberties expand with changing times and changing technologies, and which Robert Bork called an "ink blot."

Wait, what is this thread about again?
posted by Saucy Intruder at 12:50 PM on March 1, 2006


the framers of the Fourteenth Amendment pretty clearly understand that Amendment to prevent state establishment of religion.

Um... while I'm with you politically, I don't think it's by any means clear that the current incorporation doctrine was by any means "clearly" intended by the Congress that passed the Civil War amendments. I mean, you've read the The Slaughterhouse Cases, and while I wouldn't argue that Justice Miller had perfect knowledge of what was going on in the congressional minds (such as they were), it seems a timely intepretation of the intent of those Amendments.
posted by rkent at 12:50 PM on March 1, 2006


Ahh, but the Fourteenth Amendment deals with individual rights and the protection thereof by the states. As I said, the Establishment clause does not deal with an individual rights (the Free Excercise clause does). Thus, it makes no sense under the Fourteenth Amendment to incorproate it. It doesn't protect individuals. It protects states. The Establishment clause was about funneling the same individual rights that were guarenteed by the Bill of Rights to citizens of states to protect those rights from state action.
posted by dios at 12:52 PM on March 1, 2006


dios writes: there were states that had official state religions

Care to name some?
posted by bardic at 12:52 PM on March 1, 2006


and which Robert Bork called an "ink blot."
posted by Saucy Intruder at 2:50 PM CST on March 1


People like to throw that around. You just did.

Do you know what he meant?

I suspect if you explain what he meant, then you probably wouldn't be using that as some derisive term.
posted by dios at 12:53 PM on March 1, 2006


In Virginia, the Church of Englad was established.
posted by dios at 12:54 PM on March 1, 2006


rkent, just to give you one datapoint, Democrat Thomas Norwood, a member of the 42d Congress, stated in 1871 that before the adoption of the Fourteenth Amendment, “any State may have established a particular religion.” There's plenty of other excerpts from the Congressional Globe, particularly from the likes of John Bingham, the author of the Fourteenth Amendment, that similarly suggest that the ratifiers of that Amendment knew that it would be applying the Establishment Clause against the states.
posted by monju_bosatsu at 12:55 PM on March 1, 2006


If I Had an Anus, very good point about the president's trip.

Does anyone know how far in advance this trip was planned?

(I keep picturing the Fox News special report with Bin Laden in his skivvies getting checked for lice and cavities under a banner with a catchy slogan like "WE DONE GOT 'IM!" or "JIHAD WHAT?!?")
posted by rollbiz at 12:55 PM on March 1, 2006


When the dems do regain control of the executive and legislative branches, will they pass laws preventing such abuse in the future?

If existing laws didn't stop the abuses now, how would new laws stop the abuses in the future?
posted by davejay at 12:57 PM on March 1, 2006


So why is it not obvious that the Dems will win big in 06?

Diebold.
posted by If I Had An Anus at 12:57 PM on March 1, 2006


In Virginia, where the Church of England had been established, ministers were required by law to conform to the doctrine and rites of the Church of England; and all persons were required to attend church and observe the Sabbath, were tithed for the public support of Anglican ministers, and were taxed for the costs of building and repairing churches.

This was known and accepted at the time of the formation of the Constitution. The Establishment clause protected Virginia from having the federal government establish some other religion as the official religion and thereby preventing Virginia from staying Church of England. The establishment clause was a federalism tool, protecting the states from the federal government. It did not protect any individual right. As such, it doesn't make any sense to incorporate it.
posted by dios at 12:59 PM on March 1, 2006


I was a bit surprised to see the 34% approval rating, I don't know if the poll is flawed or not. However i have found that this place seems pretty objective wrt polling data, and they put Bush at 43%
posted by edgeways at 12:59 PM on March 1, 2006


But dios, you're still ignoring the original understanding of the framer's of the Fourteenth Amendment. Are you saying that although they intended to apply the Establishment Clause to the states, they were just wrong?
posted by monju_bosatsu at 1:00 PM on March 1, 2006


what Postroad said
posted by matteo at 1:03 PM on March 1, 2006


monju: Regardless what a specific legislator intended, he could only incorporate the Establishment to the extent it originally existed. Insofar as it only existed as a protection of state's power, it can only be incorporated as such.

Again, this glosses over the distinction of individual rights vs a federalism power retained by states.
posted by dios at 1:03 PM on March 1, 2006


Liked the Lapham and Holtzman essays. I dearly love Garrison Keillor, but as much as I enjoy political commentary from comedians, other than pointing out that the Emperor has no clothes, their word doesnt carry much weight (well any more than any of us reg'lar folks who have been ranting in amazement and dismay). Nice to see that at least some of our present or former "leaders" are beginning to question.
posted by elendil71 at 1:04 PM on March 1, 2006


The Constitution in Crisis; The Downing Street Minutes and Deception,
Manipulation, Torture, Retribution, and Coverups in the Iraq War
, the report referenced in the Lapham piece (sorry if double post).
posted by nofi at 1:05 PM on March 1, 2006


I read the CBS 34% poll was BS because it was heavily weighted towards Democrats. Regardless of it being BS or not, there's no way he's above 45%.

From the actual CBS poll [PDF]:

Do you approve or disapprove of the way George W. Bush is handling his job as President?

Approve
Total - 34%
Republicans - 72%
Democrats - 9%
Independents - 29%

-------------------------------------------------

Total Respondents
1018
Total Republicans
272 | 289 (Weighted | Unweighted)
Total Democrats
409 | 381
Total Independents
337 | 348
posted by ericb at 1:07 PM on March 1, 2006


Regardless what a specific legislator intended, he could only incorporate the Establishment to the extent it originally existed. Insofar as it only existed as a protection of state's power, it can only be incorporated as such.

Not true. The Fourteenth Amendment could apply against the states any rights the framers of that amendment thought should be applied. It just so happens that they described those rights using the language of the Bill of Rights. However, it is their understanding, and not the first generation founders' understanding, that we should use in interpreting the language of the Fourteenth Amendment. Because they understand the right to be free of establishment to function as an individual right, and in turn applied it against the states, that's how we should interpretate it.
posted by monju_bosatsu at 1:09 PM on March 1, 2006




As a practical matter: if you read the Establishment clause properly as saying "the Federal government can't establish a religion" then you could argue that it is "incorporated" to the extent that states are now bound by law that "the Federal government can't establish a religion."
posted by dios at 1:09 PM on March 1, 2006


dios, you are wrong. Jefferson worked long and hard to dis-establish the Anglican Church in Virginia. The Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom was in effect when the Constitution was adopted.

From wiki: During the Revolution, Jefferson played a leading role in implementing the separation of church and state in Virginia. In Virginia, prior to the American Revolution, the Anglican Church was government sanctioned and funded, and its doctrine was made mandatory for Christians. . . . In 1779, toward the end of the Revolution, Jefferson drafted "A Bill for Establishing Religious Freedom," and he regarded passage of this bill as a high achievement.
posted by bardic at 1:11 PM on March 1, 2006


I read the CBS 34% poll was BS because it was heavily weighted towards Democrats.

This is the kind of objection that makes the pollsters go "do you really think we're idiots that didn't think to compensate for sample bias?"
posted by smackfu at 1:12 PM on March 1, 2006


monju, the Bill of Rights is "incorporated" by the language which says that individuals cannot be deprived of the privileges and immunities of citizens of the United States. Thus, the incorporation clause only incorporates the protections of individual rights guarenteed by the the citizens of the United States. Again, the Establishment clause had nothing to do with an individual right. It was a state's right; it was a federalism protection. Thus, it makes not textual sense to apply something that was not the right of the individual through the prism of guarenteeing the rights of the individuals of the United States.
posted by dios at 1:13 PM on March 1, 2006


In Virginia, the Church of England was established

"During and after the American Revolution, Virginia adopted the Declaration of Rights and the Act for Establishing Religious Freedom, two influential texts of religious liberty that helped define relationships between church and state in the new nation. Daniel L. Driesbach's Thomas Jefferson and the Wall of Separation Between Church and State (2002) shows that historians and legal scholars have misinterpreted one legacy of the Virginia colonial experience. Virginians generally, and Jefferson individually, did not propose to erect a wall between church and state as we today understand that metaphor. These three new books suggest that religious beliefs and intellectual history are of greater importance for understanding early Anglo-Virginia society than once believed and also invite reassessments of the colony's dissenters and of Virginia role in the larger story of American religious history." [source]
posted by ericb at 1:16 PM on March 1, 2006


Except that the framers of the Fourteenth Amendment clearly understood it to be an individual right: protection against an establishment of religion by the federal government. Even if the Establishment Clause originally functioned as protection for the states, it's not described that way in the Amendment. Who would have standing to bring that suit? Do you have an example of a state suing the federal government under the Establishment Clause?
posted by monju_bosatsu at 1:17 PM on March 1, 2006


Detonation of a nuclear bomb within our borders -- pick any big city -- is a real possibility

Someone's been watching too much 24.
posted by cillit bang at 1:17 PM on March 1, 2006


Ooooh. Wikipedia quotes! And ones that don't disprove the point I was making!

How I refute that? Maybe I'll cite to a book which is well more comprehensive than some average smoe generated wiki link: L. Levy, The Establishment Clause 4 (1986). Or how about a law review article? Nuechterlein, Note, The Free Exercise Boundaries of Permissible Accommodation Under the Establishment Clause, 99 Yale L.J. 1127, 1131 (1990). Or maybe we can read a Supreme Court opinion in Lee? Or a Supreme Court opinion in Nedow? Yeah. I'm going to go with those sources over the wiki.
posted by dios at 1:17 PM on March 1, 2006


Even if the Establishment Clause originally functioned as protection for the states, it's not described that way in the Amendment.

It's not described in any way in the Amendment. And that's the point. Only individual rights guarenteed under the Bill of Rights were construed to be incorporated by the language in the Privileges and Immunities clause. There is no language in there which says "we are incorporating the individual rights of the Bill of Rights, and we are including the heretofor unknown individual right guarenteed by the Establishment clause."
posted by dios at 1:20 PM on March 1, 2006


davejay: you prove my point. Bush has set such a low standard that future presidents will have greater leeway and still claim not to be as 'bad as Bush'.
posted by mischief at 1:23 PM on March 1, 2006


It's not described in any way in the Amendment.

Exactly, it's a negative restriction on the power of the federal government; a restriction that can easily be incorporated against the states. Just as the federal government could not establish a religion before the Fourteenth Amendment, neither can the states after.
posted by monju_bosatsu at 1:24 PM on March 1, 2006


Exactly, it's a negative restriction on the power of the federal government; a restriction that can easily be incorporated against the states. Just as the federal government could not establish a religion before the Fourteenth Amendment, neither can the states after.
posted by monju_bosatsu at 3:24 PM CST on March 1


But that isn't what the text of the Fourteenth says. It doesn't say "all restrictions on the Federal Government will now apply to the State governments." It doesn't speak in terms of restrictions. It speaks in terms of guarentees of individual rights by assuring the "privileges and immunities of citizens of the United States." If it spoke of extending governmental restrictions to the states, then you would have a point. But that is not the language used, and as a textual matter, it can't be interpreted that way.
posted by dios at 1:29 PM on March 1, 2006


Of course, we always can look to our elected officials for pearls of wisdom:

"Civil liberties do not mean much when you are dead," Sen. Jim Bunning, R-Kentucky, told the Senate.
posted by NationalKato at 1:29 PM on March 1, 2006


It did not protect any individual right. As such, it doesn't make any sense to incorporate it.

The text of the First Amendment says, in relevant part, that "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion..." Only resort to the putative "original understanding" of the First Amendment as understood by the 42nd Congress can possibly lead to dios's (in my opinion, strained) conclusion that the establishment clause was not incorporated against the states by the 14th Amendment. I also disagree with the interpretation of that original understanding, as per monju's example above, but prefer to rely on text.

I'm at work and away from my books right now, but an easy way to think about (the overwhelming majoriy opinion regarding) incorporation as it relates to fundamental rights is this: if the Federal Government is prohibited from doing something, so are the states. The vast majority of constitutional scholars believe that this means, among other things, that the 14th Amendment pretty definitely proscribed state establishment of religion. Feeling that this is an error is fine. The venerable Akhil Reed Amar thinks so (dios's argument is very eloquently put forward in this book). It is, however, a fringe opinion. (See Thomas's concurrence in Elk Grove v. Newdow, and what Virginia did with it.)
posted by kosem at 1:31 PM on March 1, 2006


By the way, here is the text of the Fourteenth Amendment with the "incorporation" language highlighted.

Section. 1. All persons born or naturalized in the United States and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

Section. 2. Representatives shall be apportioned among the several States according to their respective numbers, counting the whole number of persons in each State, excluding Indians not taxed. But when the right to vote at any election for the choice of electors for President and Vice President of the United States, Representatives in Congress, the Executive and Judicial officers of a State, or the members of the Legislature thereof, is denied to any of the male inhabitants of such State, being twenty-one years of age, and citizens of the United States, or in any way abridged, except for participation in rebellion, or other crime, the basis of representation therein shall be reduced in the proportion which the number of such male citizens shall bear to the whole number of male citizens twenty-one years of age in such State.

Section. 3. No person shall be a Senator or Representative in Congress, or elector of President and Vice President, or hold any office, civil or military, under the United States, or under any State, who, having previously taken an oath, as a member of Congress, or as an officer of the United States, or as a member of any State legislature, or as an executive or judicial officer of any State, to support the Constitution of the United States, shall have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same, or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof. But Congress may by a vote of two-thirds of each House, remove such disability.

Section. 4. The validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law, including debts incurred for payment of pensions and bounties for services in suppressing insurrection or rebellion, shall not be questioned. But neither the United States nor any State shall assume or pay any debt or obligation incurred in aid of insurrection or rebellion against the United States, or any claim for the loss or emancipation of any slave; but all such debts, obligations and claims shall be held illegal and void.

Section. 5. The Congress shall have power to enforce, by appropriate legislation, the provisions of this article.

posted by dios at 1:32 PM on March 1, 2006


dios and monju_bosatsu are having a terrific ping pong match here, but it would be so much more riveting in a thread of its own, IMHO, where it might even be on topic. And you guys know better.

"...impeaced..."
posted by Postroad at 2:57 PM EST on March 1 [!]


Freudian slip there, Postroad. heh...

I'm as avid a Prairie Home Companion listener as the next guy, but when Garrison Keillor is urging impeachment for column inches in Salon, well, the serious money says the whole notion is officially in jump-the-shark territory. Not that I don't think this whole Presidency didn't jump the shark since shortly before the Supremes got to be king makers.
posted by paulsc at 1:33 PM on March 1, 2006


But that isn't what the text of the Fourteenth says. It doesn't say "all restrictions on the Federal Government will now apply to the State governments." It doesn't speak in terms of restrictions. It speaks in terms of guarentees of individual rights by assuring the "privileges and immunities of citizens of the United States." If it spoke of extending governmental restrictions to the states, then you would have a point. But that is not the language used, and as a textual matter, it can't be interpreted that way.

Privileges and immunities constitute both positive and negative entitlements. The restriction of the federal government in the Establishment clause is an immunity, in the sense that the implied beneficiary of the clause is the citizen. Who else would have standing to sue? Nevermind the fact that privileges and immunities are basically a dead letter in the courts since the Slaughterhouse Cases.
posted by monju_bosatsu at 1:34 PM on March 1, 2006


Kindly Impeach-y keene. Focus on finding an electable Presidential candidate; not masturbatory political exercizes fantasies...

See you in '08...
posted by ParisParamus at 1:35 PM on March 1, 2006


A dead letter in the courts since the Slaughterhouse Cases.
posted by monju_bosatsu at 3:34 PM CST on March 1


Have you forgotten about Carolene Products? Footnote 4? Dean John Hart Ely? Kirshner?
posted by dios at 1:35 PM on March 1, 2006


privileges and immunities are basically a dead letter in the courts since the Slaughterhouse Cases.
posted by monju_bosatsu at 3:34 PM CST on March
1

Footnote 4:

There may be narrower scope for operation of the presumption of constitutionality when legislation appears on its face to be within a specific prohibition of the Constitution, such as those of the first ten Amendments, which are deemed equally specific when held to be embraced within the Fourteenth. See Stromberg v. California, 283 U.S. 359, 369 , 370 S., 51 S.Ct. 532, 535, 536, 73 A.L.R. 1484; Lovell v. Griffin, 303 U.S. 444 , 58 S.Ct. 666, decided March 28, 1938.

It is unnecessary to consider now whether legislation which restricts those political processes which can ordinarily be expected to bring about repeal of undesirable legislation, is to be subjected to more exacting judicial scrutiny under the general prohibitions of the Fourteenth Amendment than are most other types of legislation. On restrictions upon the right to vote, see Nixon v. Herndon, 273 U.S. 536 , 47 S.Ct. 446; Nixon v. Condon, 286 U.S. 73 , 52 S.Ct. 484, 88 A.L. R. 458; on restraints upon the dissemination of information, see Near v. Minnesota, 283 U.S. 697 , 713-714, 718-720, 722, 51 S.Ct. 625, 630, 632, 633; Grosjean v. American Press Co., 297 U.S. 233 , 56 S.Ct. 444; Lovell v. Griffin, supra; on interferences with political organizations, see Stromberg v. California, supra, 283 U.S. 359, 369 , 51 S.Ct. 532, 535, 73 A.L.R. 1484; Fiske v. Kansas, 274 U.S. 380 , 47 S.Ct. 655;

Whitney v. California, 274 U.S. 357 , 373-378, 47 S.Ct. 641, 647, 649; Herndon v. Lowry, 301 U.S. 242 , 57 S.Ct. 732; and see Holmes, J., in Gitlow v. New York, 268 U.S. 652, 673 , 45 S.Ct. 625; as to prohibition of peaceable assembly, see De Jonge v. Oregon, 299 U.S. 353, 365 , 57 S.Ct. 255, 260.

Nor need we enquire whether similar considerations enter into the review of statutes directed at particular religious, Pierce v. Society of Sisters, 268 U.S. 510 , 45 S.Ct. 571, 39 A.L.R. 468, or national, Meyer v. Nebraska, 262 U.S. 390 , 43 S.Ct. 625, 29 A.L.R. 1446; Bartels v. Iowa, 262 U.S. 404 , 43 S.Ct. 628; Farrington v. Tokushige, 273 U.S. 284 , 47 S.Ct. 406, or racial minorities. Nixon v. Herndon, supra; Nixon v. Condon, supra; whether prejudice against discrete and insular minorities may be a special condition, which tends seriously to curtail the operation of those political processes ordinarily to be relied upon to protect minorities, and which may call for a correspondingly more searching judicial inquiry. Compare McCulloch v. Maryland, 4 Wheat. 316, 428; South Carolina State Highway Department v. Barnwell Bros., 303 U.S. 177 , 58 S.Ct. 510, decided February 14, 1938, note 2, and cases cited.

posted by dios at 1:38 PM on March 1, 2006


interesting related anecdote, about how widespread the unhappiness really is: Bush May Be in Trouble Now -- the Aging Veterans Speak Up
posted by amberglow at 1:39 PM on March 1, 2006


Have you forgotten about Carolene Products? Footnote 4? Dean John Hart Ely? Kirshner?

Footnote 4 had little to say about privileges and immunities, only suggesting that "prejudice against discrete and insular minorities may be a special condition, which tends seriously to curtail the operation of those political processes ordinarily to be relied upon to protect minorities, and which may call for a correspondingly more searching judicial inquiry." There's no mention of the P&I Clause, nor substantive due process, for that matter. Ely's argument in favor of the P&I clause seems to have fallen largely on deaf ears, particularly now, given how much of our Fourteenth Amendment jurisprudence rests on the idea of substantive due process.

Also, Kirsher was in Tennessee. This isn't Tennessee.
posted by monju_bosatsu at 1:40 PM on March 1, 2006


What were we talking about?
posted by ericb at 1:41 PM on March 1, 2006


Duck, bob and weave.
posted by ericb at 1:44 PM on March 1, 2006


OK, now I think all lawyers should be fired out of cannons before Keillor.
posted by COBRA! at 1:44 PM on March 1, 2006


OK, now I think all lawyers should be fired out of cannons before Keillor.

Or made to go hunting with Cheney!
posted by ericb at 1:45 PM on March 1, 2006


'The prospects look very grim for Republicans,' said Ross Baker, a political scientist at Rutgers University. He said the [CBS News] poll numbers also bode poorly for key items on Bush's domestic agenda, such as immigration reform and his push to make tax cuts permanent.

Republicans will increasingly be forced to choose between loyalty to the White House and their own viability, Baker and other analysts said.

The uproar over the ports and growing chaos in Iraq after last week's bombing of a major Shi'ite mosque are the latest in a list of troubles that have weighed on the Bush White House and marred its reputation for agility and political astuteness.

Other woes have included a botched federal response to Hurricane Katrina, the demise of Bush's push to overhaul Social Security change and the failed nomination of White House counsel Harriet Miers, to the U.S. Supreme Court."

[Reuters | March 01, 2006]
posted by ericb at 1:50 PM on March 1, 2006


There's no mention of the P&I Clause
posted by monju_bosatsu at 3:40 PM CST on March 1


But there is implicitly, and that is the basis for Ely's book. Basically it is here:

There may be narrower scope for operation of the presumption of constitutionality when legislation appears on its face to be within a specific prohibition of the Constitution, such as those of the first ten Amendments, which are deemed equally specific when held to be embraced within the Fourteenth.

Those that are embraced by the Fourteenth are those that are within the purview of the privileges and immunities clause.....

Section. 1. All persons born or naturalized in the United States and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.
posted by dios at 1:55 PM on March 1, 2006


Except that the courts have understood "embraced within the Fourteenth" to refer to the due process clause. I agree that doesn't make a lot of sense, but it's almost certainly too late to undo it now.
posted by monju_bosatsu at 1:57 PM on March 1, 2006


dios, you don't have to make a link out of the whole text you quote. one word will do.

don't make your shit harder to read than it already is.
posted by Hat Maui at 2:12 PM on March 1, 2006


Jeez Loius, Dios, You and Monju TAKE THIS TO META TALK! PLEASE?

'Thread Highjacking should be impeachable'
posted by Elim at 2:27 PM on March 1, 2006


It's interesting to jump in the wayback machine and look at some coverage of Clinton's impeachment. The self-righteousness of the Republicans is just staggering, the hypocrisy now clearer than ever. As stated above, I think there might be worse fates than the big "I"--I'll happily take the gains Democrats will make Congressionally in 2006 and 2008, and will enjoy the spectacle of the Republicans trying to nominate someone for prez in 2008.

If the Democrats fuck that up re: nominating an electable candidate, I'm moving to Utah for heavy bouts of self-flagellation.
posted by bardic at 2:37 PM on March 1, 2006


"I don't think anybody anticipated the breach of the levees." - George W. Bush, 9/1/05

--
Tape: Bush, Chertoff Warned Before Katrina: AP, 3/01/06:

In dramatic and sometimes agonizing terms, federal disaster officials warned President Bush and his homeland security chief before Hurricane Katrina struck that the storm could breach levees, risk lives in New Orleans' Superdome and overwhelm rescuers, according to confidential video footage of the briefings.

Bush didn't ask a single question during the final government-wide briefing the day before Katrina struck on Aug. 29 but assured soon-to-be-battered state officials: "We are fully prepared."


Heckuva job. Let's go to the videotape!
posted by edverb at 2:41 PM on March 1, 2006


If I Had An Anus writes "And the biggest argument against impeachment, around these parts at least, has always been 'yeah, but Cheney'. Well, the rumor mill has been churning the fuck outta him lately."

Come on now, if Cheney quits who's going to run the country?
posted by clevershark at 2:43 PM on March 1, 2006


bardic writes "If the Democrats fuck that up re: nominating an electable candidate, I'm moving to Utah for heavy bouts of self-flagellation."

If the Republicans win again you won't have to move anywhere -- Utah will come to you, in a manner of speaking.
posted by clevershark at 2:44 PM on March 1, 2006


Touche, clevershark.
posted by bardic at 2:46 PM on March 1, 2006


“ Bush May Be in Trouble Now -- the Aging Veterans Speak Up -” posted by amberglow

Guys at the VFW have been bitching for some time now. The press just isn’t paying attention.

“Footnote 4: (et.al)” - dios (and ancillary related items in the cockfight with/by Monju)

Lawyerfilter

Republicans...Democrats...
Don’t blame me, I voted for Kodos.
posted by Smedleyman at 2:59 PM on March 1, 2006


Tape: Bush, Chertoff Warned Before Katrina

I wonder if Mike Brown was the source for the videotapes "obtained by AP." He's on a PR offensive this week (e.g. his interviews with Brian Williams on NBC Nightly News). After reading the AP article my view of Brown is evolving. He was the sacrificial scapegoat for the Bush administration's fucking-up the Katrina disaster relief efforts.
posted by ericb at 3:04 PM on March 1, 2006


dios, from Bork's confirmation hearings:
I do not think you can use the Ninth Amendment unless you know something of what it means. For example, if you had an amendment that says 'Congress shall make no' and then there is an ink blot and you cannot read the rest of it and that is the only copy you have, I do not think the court can make up what might be under the ink blot if you cannot read it.
So are you telling me that he did not call the Ninth Amendment an "ink blot?" It helps, if you think I'm wrong about something, to tell me why I'm wrong.
posted by Saucy Intruder at 3:24 PM on March 1, 2006


Bush might leave office with an approval below 25%

and once that sappy fuck is out of office i can probably pelt him with rotten fruit and pig excrement without getting in too much trouble. good times ahead!
posted by quonsar at 3:35 PM on March 1, 2006


So are you telling me that he did not call the Ninth Amendment an "ink blot?" It helps, if you think I'm wrong about something, to tell me why I'm wrong.
posted by Saucy Intruder at 5:24 PM CST on March 1


No. I know exactly what he said. I asked if YOU know what he meant by it. My bet is that you haven't a clue what he means by that quote or what his point is.

My guess is that if you did, and could explain it you, would be admitting that his comment isn't at all the revolting legal argument that you are trying to make it out ot be. So often clueless people cite to that even though they don't have a clue what it really means or why they think they disagree with it.
posted by dios at 3:39 PM on March 1, 2006


Just to make clear, my point is this: I'd love to see you explain in your own words what is controversial, wrong or otherwise disagreeable about that comment as a statement of constitutional intepretation. If you can, then I'd be impressed. Too often people pick stuff up off the wikipedia or some blog they read and don't have the foggiest clue what it means, but, nevertheless, they stick it in their quiver to use an ammunition.

Given the context of your original use of that line of argument, I suspect you are one of these people. I am asking you to display an understanding in your own words of what he meant by it and what is wrong about this meaning. (The reason I am asking for your own words is because I am sure you can find some blog somewhere that repeats the same claptrap about it, and I'm quite confident that the people there didn't understand either... but if you are stating an argument here, you better *own it* yourself).
posted by dios at 3:46 PM on March 1, 2006


> It ought to be clear to anyone involved in politics on a fairly steady basis. Bush is
> not going to be impeaced so long as the GOP controls both houses of Congress.
> If the time comes that the Dems control Congress, Bush will no longer be in office anyway.

Is it not possible, theoretically anyway, for the Republicans to lose control of Congress in 2006, and Bush still with two years to go?

If that does happen I've already decided I'm changing my name to Kurtz and setting up a little kingdom up some jungle river in SE Asia. The Burmese lessons have been going very well.

posted by jfuller at 3:51 PM on March 1, 2006


I don't think the quote is "revolting," just disingenous. If the 9th Amendment is an "ink blot" for being too vague, then all the other amendments are as well. If we're arguing with Clarence Thomas about whether or not the Establishment Clause applies to the states, that's a big ink blot. Article III? That's an ink blot. Congress should dissolve the Supreme Court and have constitutional issues decided by Jerry Falwell, Jesus Christ and Zombie Reagan.

If you don't know what a constitutional provision means, you don't cover it up and move along; you litigate its interpretation in the courts.
posted by Saucy Intruder at 4:04 PM on March 1, 2006


I'd love to see you explain in your own words what is controversial, wrong or otherwise disagreeable about that comment as a statement of constitutional intepretation.

Nig flut vlorny quando floo!

/Carlin
posted by edverb at 4:08 PM on March 1, 2006


dios, you forgot to take your nice pills.

Honestly, people routinely point out how wrong you are, and this is the best you've got? At the time the Constitution was adopted, Virginia did not have an established religion, thanks to the efforts of Thomas Jefferson. You claim that previous to this, the state religion was the C of E--wrong again. It was Anglican, which is somewhat different, but crucial to understanding the context in which the establishment clause came about.

You know what Jefferson didn't say? "If you don't like something, skip it." I wonder who did.

(More links to stuff on religion in colonial Virginia, FWIW.)
posted by bardic at 4:14 PM on March 1, 2006


Fer the love of Pete, enough with the establishment clause already.

Aside from election year political maneuverings, I agree with Conyers' point that the amount of damage this president is capable of doing in his remaining time in office is still enormous-- there is no good situation he can't make bad, nor bad situation he can't make worse. However, I don't know if impeachment would change that. I do think that impeachment proceedings might at least begin to improve our nation's badly damaged reputation & relationship with the rest of the planet, though, which does not count for nothing.
posted by obloquy at 4:19 PM on March 1, 2006


Freedom of speech doesn't guarentee you the right to protest in the State of the Union. -- dios at 12:06 PM EST on February 1.

Oops.
posted by ericb at 4:20 PM on March 1, 2006


How I refute that? Maybe I'll cite to a book which is well more comprehensive than some average smoe generated wiki link

I think arguments like this are a good deal more effective when you go on to quote the text you claim to be citing. You've done so with the Levy, which is great, but a fair portion of where people are disagreeing with you here is in your interpretation of text. So just saying "this text backs me up" without providing an opportunity for people to understand where your interpretation specifically comes from is more than a little suspect. Again, you quoted levy, but the rest of it would be nice, too, as well as something that backs up your claim that virginia had a state established religion at the time of the first ammendment.
posted by shmegegge at 4:56 PM on March 1, 2006


I'd love to see you explain in your own words what is controversial

I am sure you can find some blog somewhere that repeats the same claptrap about it, and I'm quite confident that the people there didn't understand either... but if you are stating an argument here, you better *own it* yourself

you have to be a lot smarter and/or (for lack of a better word) correct-er to be this condescending.

but please don't stop -- i love it when you get all "wrong" with everybody and then cry when that's pointed out.
posted by Hat Maui at 5:18 PM on March 1, 2006


Fer the love of Pete, enough with the establishment clause already.

Absolutely. I'm sorry for having participated. That's not what this thread is about.

Regardless of whether it happens, and it will not, I am convinced that Bush, in violating FISA, specifically this provision of FISA, committed an impeachable offense. A lot of the other "charges' marshalled against Bush, while certainly serious, seem soft to me (as a matter of "high crimes and misdemeanors"). Circumventing FISA, on the other hand, is a felony.
posted by kosem at 5:19 PM on March 1, 2006


How about gross incompetence as well? AP story on how Bush lied about the levees, among other things.

Still, impeachment is an impossibility with an (R) Congress. Let 'em continue to slide--this administration might be the greatest emetic to ever hit Washington.
posted by bardic at 6:34 PM on March 1, 2006


President Bush on ABC News yesterday:
"Listen, here's the problem that happened in Katrina. There was no situational awareness, and that means that we weren't getting good, solid information from people who were on the ground, and we need to do a better job."
Bullshit. The AP videos show that you're lying out your ass.
posted by ericb at 7:27 PM on March 1, 2006


Link to ABC News interview.
posted by ericb at 7:27 PM on March 1, 2006


Mayor Ray Nagin reacts to a video obtained exclusively by The Associated Press of President Bush being briefed hours before Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf Coast.
posted by ericb at 7:42 PM on March 1, 2006


Doing A Heck Of a Job, President Bush
"What did President Bush know and when did he know it?

In many ways, this is impeachment language. The same type of impeachment cry used against President Clinton when he said that he never had sex with that woman, Monica Lewinsky. The same words of one Howard Baker during Watergate.

It is now coming out that President Bush knew full well about the incredible risks involved with Hurricane Katrina and his own knowledge, pretension of lack of knowledge yet his own claiming he forced mandatory evacuation is now issue number one."

[BayouBuzz.com | March 01, 2006]
posted by ericb at 10:03 PM on March 1, 2006


Well okay lets say Cheney resigns, ticker going, wants to spend more time drinking himself to death and shooting friends in the face.

That puts the real criminal out of the picture. Cheney can then go off and enjoy the billions he helped Halliburton loot from the country.

The useful idiot Bush is told by his neocon handlers to pick John McCain (maybe Rice, but less likely) as V. P. Thus, this sets McCain up for 2008.

Impeachment? Why not, it only gives McCain more of an incumbent advantage if it happens. Money's been made, Bush is no longer useful.

They do all this just before the 2006 election. That, or they will attack us again. Stay away from San Francisco or other liberal cities.

One way or another, Democrats become frightened and confused, and begin to eat each other. Ralph Nader vow’s to run again. Rove loves it all. Hear his demonic Phantom of the Opera laugh as his evil plan unfolds.

The Congressional Republicans might even become outraged at all the damage Bush did to our once wonderful country. To look good at the mid-term they might even join in on impeachment.

In the end, Republicans declare that Bush was really an evil Liberal. Cool Aide drinking ditto heads think and do what Rush and Fox tells them. Neocons keep their death grip on our country. The Carlyle Group continues the takeover of the world.

The only hope to keep this form coming to pass, fix the rigged voting machines, take back Congress in 2006.
posted by BillyElmore at 8:41 PM on March 2, 2006


The Carlyle Group continues the takeover of the world.

Ahem -- maybe it's Skull & Bones and/or other secret societies which are at play here.
posted by ericb at 8:46 PM on March 2, 2006


Or the Bilderberg Group--great bunch of evil bastards. I'll have to figure out how to post a link:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bilderberg_Group
posted by BillyElmore at 8:55 PM on March 2, 2006




In many ways, this is impeachment language. The same type of impeachment cry used against President Clinton when he said that he never had sex with that woman, Monica Lewinsky.

But Clinton was under oath, right? Wasn't that the whole point?

Which would be why we might want an independent investigation of the federal government's response to the hurricane, with subpoenas.

It ought to be clear to anyone involved in politics on a fairly steady basis. Bush is not going to be impeaced so long as the GOP controls both houses of Congress. If the time comes that the Dems control Congress, Bush will no longer be in office anyway. Why get all rattled about what is not going to be?

That's kinda like saying, "that man is going to be executed and there's nothing you can do about it. Why bother to protest?" Why bother with anything that isn't the current majority opinion?
posted by mrgrimm at 10:49 AM on March 3, 2006


Or the Bilderberg Group--great bunch of evil bastards. I'll have to figure out how to post a link:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bilderberg_Group


Highlight the text you want to link with your mouse. Click the "link" button. Enter link into pop-up. Hit "OK." Voila.

posted by mrgrimm at 10:50 AM on March 3, 2006


Clinton had high poll ratings in the middle of impeachment. Wasn’t it 75 percent positive the day he was impeached? Clinton’s impeachment was likely just another part of the neocon plan to overthrow our republic. We see that plan unfolding today, as as Al Qaeda is given dominion over our seaportsAl Qaeda is given dominion over our seaports. Say Bush drops below a magical 25 percent in the polls, would that be enough for the GOP to help impeach Bush?
posted by BillyElmore at 11:34 AM on March 3, 2006


Say Bush drops below a magical 25 percent in the polls, would that be enough for the GOP to help impeach Bush?

Nope. If they do it, they have justify propping him up for all these years thru all the things they now would want to impeach for. Without the opposition holding at least one part of Govt (house or senate), and without that opposition seriously after you for years (the dems now in power do not at all have the fire or hatred that many in the country have towards this administration, except for Feingold), nothing will happen. Even if we take back the House or Senate in November, it won't happen--hearings will tho, and that's a start, at least.
posted by amberglow at 1:11 PM on March 3, 2006


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