There are occasions when human beings commit grave errors with malice of forethought, and in those cases, the rule of law proscribes punitive measures to maintain order in a society. Elected officials are not immune to the law, but it is often difficult to hold them to account for their malicious actions except when they blatantly violate their oath of office according to the United States Constitution. In most cases, an errant politician either resigns in disgrace or is censored by their colleagues, and there are few instances where voters demand removal of an elected official through the recall process. However, federal criminal law is explicit and direct regarding violating the oath of office and the law requires removal of the office holder as well as a prison term or fine for the offender. Most Republicans in Congress are guilty of violating the oath of office and it is time for the Department of Justice to take action and remove Republicans who have sworn allegiance to Grover Norquist, and in effect, violated Article 1 Section 8 of the Constitution they swore to uphold.
When Republicans in the Senate and House of Representatives voted to extend all the Bush-era tax cuts to demonstrate their allegiance to lobbyist Grover Norquist whom they swore an oath to refrain from ever raising taxes, they put themselves in a precarious position to be prosecuted, removed from office, and fined or sent to prison. Their refusal to follow their mandate in Article 1 Section 8 becomes more egregious since they attempted to influence voter opinion with a persistent lie that raising taxes on the wealthiest Americans prohibits them from creating jobs, and since the wealthy enjoyed lower rates for 12 years without increasing, or any, hiring, Republicans are lying.
Speaker John Boehner and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell parroted the worn-out canard that letting the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy expire would decimate so-called job creators, but their reason is as fallacious as their allegiance to the Constitution. President Obama and Democrats proposed maintaining the Bush tax rates for all income earners making up to $250,000 annually, but Republicans opposed the measure because they claimed small business hiring would be curtailed. However, the number of businesses earning $250,000 after expenses is remarkably small and in the range of 1% of all businesses. In fact, it is not unusual for businesses with gross profits of up to $5 million in sales to end up with a taxable income of approximately $100,000 keeping them well under the $250,000 threshold, and therefore, within the limits of the President’s tax cut extension for middle class Americans.
Boehner, in particular, is well-practiced in the art of lying to influence public opinion for his favorite, and profitable, agendas. His assertion a few months ago that immediate approval of TransCanada’s KeystoneXL pipeline would create “hundreds-of-thousands of jobs” was found to be egregiously fallacious over and over again, and with the sole intention of boosting profits for Canadian tar sand companies. In 2010, Boehner bought shares in seven tar sand companies ahead of the Republican push for President Obama to give immediate approval of the pipeline’s construction, but threat of an SEC investigation and admission from TransCanada revealed a much lower number of jobs. Subsequently, Boehner backed off` his deceptive job number claims amid calls for his resignation, admission that he lied to profit tar sand companies, and a petition demanding his removal from office. However, bad habits die hard and Boehner reverted to his two-year claim that raising taxes on the wealthiest Americans is detrimental to job creators. After 12 years of Bush-era tax cuts for the wealthy, the so-called job creators have not shared the largesse of middle class taxpayers and created jobs, and in fact are hoarding their money offshore brought to light by presumptive Republican presidential candidate Willard Romney’s Cayman Island and Swedish tax havens.
When Republican legislators signed Norquist’s pledge, they violated the first provision of Article 1 Section 8 that says, “The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States.” Grover Norquist, a lobbyist, has made little secret his intent in demanding allegiance from Republicans is to deprive the government of the United States sufficient funding in order shrink it to a size that allows him to “drown it in a bathtub.” Subsequently, Republican refusal to “lay and collect taxes” is hampering the government’s ability to “pay debts and provide for the common defense and general welfare of the United States.” There is no ambiguity in the Constitution that every Republican swore to uphold, but instead of following their sworn oath of office, they reverted to their signed oath to lobbyist Norquist.
In Article VI, Section 3 it reads, “The Senators and Representatives, and the members of the several state legislatures, and all executive and judicial officers, both of the United States and of the several states, shall be bound by oath or affirmation, to support this Constitution,” and is “is prima facie evidence that the acceptance and holding of office or employment by the affiant does not or will not violate section 7311 of this title.” Section 7311 (1) of the U.S.C. clearly states “An individual may not accept or hold a position in the Government of the United States if he/she advocates the overthrow of our constitutional form of government.” Swearing allegiance to a lobbyist whose sworn intent is “drowning the government in a bathtub” qualifies as advocating for overthrow of our constitutional form of government to replace it with who knows what, but the determination is clear; eliminating the constitutional form of government by defunding it. Regardless of the intent of the Republicans allied with Norquist against the government, they shirked their constitutional duty to “lay and collect taxes” necessary for the general welfare, debt obligation, and common defense of the United States.
The penalty for breaking their oath of office is detailed in 18 U.S.C. 1918 that says, “Whoever violates the provisions of section 7311 of title 5 may not accept or hold a position in the Government of the United States and shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than one year and a day or both.” The number of Republicans in Congress who swore allegiance to Norquist in the 112th Congress is 236 Representatives and 41 Senators including 3 Democrats who are in line for removal the same as the Republicans. These legislators committed a grievous offense in violating their oath of office and deserve nothing less than federal prosecution, removal from office, and imprisonment in a federal penitentiary. In lieu of a Department of Justice investigation and prosecution, citizens of the United States have the right to petition the DOJ and file a class action to expedite their immediate removal from their position in the Government as detailed in section 1918 and 7311 of title 5 according to the U.S.C. provisions.
Besides violating their oath, Republicans are showing favoritism to the wealthiest Americans at the expense of 98% of the population and subsequently starving the government of much-needed revenue to maintain the nation’s infrastructure, social safety nets, and nearly caused a credit default in 2011. Their intransigence did cause the nation’s first credit downgrade in American history when S&P specifically cited Republican’s refusal to allow the tax cuts for the wealthy to expire. Their persistent lies that the wealthy cannot possibly create jobs without their precious tax cuts has been proven false time and time again, and yet Republicans continue fighting to maintain them as if allowing expiration is an affront to the rich.
It is long past-due time for the American people to demand Republicans follow the Constitution and the will of the people who overwhelmingly support letting the Bush-era tax cuts for the rich expire. The number of business owners affected by the meager 3% tax increase is nominal, and will not affect 98% of small businesses. America is experiencing a revenue problem, and with spending at the lowest levels in decades affecting schools, police and fire protection, health programs, heating and food assistance, the middle class, and senior citizens, asking 98% of the population to give up more so the wealthy can have their tax cuts is egregious and it is time for some equitable solutions Republicans are ill-inclined to accept. That being the case, they must be forced out of office to make room for representatives who will follow the oath of office and not a pledge to a lobbyist, Grover Norquist, whose stated purpose is destroying the government by defunding its operations.
These chargers are not made in haste, or without careful consideration, but the time for patience is over and the traitors to the Constitution must be held accountable and removed according to federal law. Republicans made a conscious decision to swear allegiance to Grover Norquist with full knowledge of his intent at the same time they shunned their oath of office they had no intention of keeping, and they deserve nothing less than prosecution according to the letter of the law. It especially applies to House Speaker John Boehner who has made a career out of violating ethics standards Americans expect every legislator to uphold, but especially the man third in line to succeed the President. Boehner, McConnell, Cantor, Ryan, and every Republican failing to uphold their Constitutional duty must go, and the American people have a weapon in federal law, and the Constitution of the United States of America to finally force the traitors out of office.
Audio engineer and instructor for SAE. Writes op/ed commentary supporting Secular Humanist causes, and exposing suppression of women, the poor, and minorities. An advocate for freedom of religion and particularly, freedom of NO religion.
Born in the South, raised in the Mid-West and California for a well-rounded view of America; it doesn’t look good.
Former minister, lifelong musician, Mahayana Zen-Buddhist.