America Must Prosecute Grover Norquist and His GOP Acolytes for Treason

According to the law, treason is the crime that covers acts against one’s own government, and it is one of the most egregious violations a citizen can commit. In a normal act of treason, an individual would have to have access to state secrets, or a high level member of the government, and even then there are security measures to prevent the dissemination of information that could damage the government. The U.S. Constitution contains a passive provision to protect against traitors within the government that entails requiring public servants and politicians to swear an oath to support the Constitution and by extension, the government, but most Republicans signed a pledge they feel overrides their oath of office with the goal of destroying the government by starving it of revenue.

For over a quarter of a century there has been a concerted effort by Republicans to shrink the federal government  by reducing revenue and protecting the richest 2% of Americans, but their leader, Grover Norquist, makes no bones that his goal is reducing government to a size he can “drown in a bathtub.” Regardless one’s definition of treason, Norquist and his Republican acolytes are guilty of acting against the government with the goal of destroying it. Norquist is not a public servant and therefore cannot personally affect government operations, but his Republican foot soldiers are guilty of treason by refusing to fulfill their Constitutional duty to raise taxes. In the U.S. Constitution, Article 1 Section 8 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”

The important part of Section 8 is Congress’s duty to levy and collect taxes to pay debts and provide for the nation’s general welfare, but as Republicans bemoaned the national debt they created, they refused to fulfill their constitutional duty to lay and collect taxes to pay the nation’s debts. Some Republicans are re-evaluating their strict adherence to Norquist’s attempt to destroy the government, and questioning the wisdom of promising to never raise taxes, but they are in the minority and Norquist recently made it clear his true followers are moving forward with their assault on the government and the people.

Shortly after Georgia Senator Saxby Chambliss said he had a problem with the Grover Norquist tax pledge because he cared “more about my country than I do about a 20-year-old pledge,” and that “if we do it his way, then we’ll continue in debt.” Norquist disputed the idea his plan would not help the economy and said he personally supports Paul Ryan’s plan he said would pay down the debt without the wealthy paying taxes. Of course he supports Ryan’s plan because by design it shrinks government and reduces revenue by cutting taxes for the wealthy 20% as he states, to give the “makers” incentive to create economic growth.

Ryan and Norquist’s contention that drastically reducing revenue provides the means to pay down the nation’s debt has been debunked by economic experts and the non-partisan Congressional Research Service that found cutting taxes for the wealthy does not help economy and certainly does not increase revenue necessary for debt reduction. In fact, coupled with Draconian spending cuts and eliminating government programs, reducing revenue expedites Norquist’s goal of shrinking the government to a size that can be eliminated by bankrupting it. As the President and Congress begins work to avoid the so-called fiscal cliff, Speaker of the House John Boehner made Ryan the point man to push to implement the Romney-Ryan tax plan experts warned would blow up the deficit. It is important to remember that Republicans are using the deficit they created to cut taxes for the rich and eliminate government programs as a fiscally responsible method of cutting the deficit.

Over the past three years Republicans have openly campaigned against the government and sought to cut funding to myriad programs with the goal of neutering them and eventually eliminating them altogether. However, it is their refusal to raise taxes and increase revenue that is a direct violation of Article 1 Section 8, and it is time to hold them accountable for their treasonous acts against the government, and they are guilty of treason. According to 18 USC § 2381, “Whoever, owing allegiance to the United States, adheres to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort within the United States or elsewhere, is guilty of treason and shall suffer death, or shall be imprisoned not less than five years and fined under this title but not less than $10,000; and shall be incapable of holding any office under the United States.” As noted in Article 1 Section 8, Congress has the responsibility, under the Constitution they swore to uphold, to lay and collect taxes to pay the nation’s debts and provide for the general Welfare.  Their refusal to do so as signatories of Norquist’s anti-tax pledge damns them as guilty of treason and renders them incapable of holding any office under the United States.

It is apparent the Attorney General, or Congress, is not going to charge or prosecute Republicans who disobey their Constitutional mandate by refusing to raise taxes out of their allegiance to Norquist, so it falls on the people to petition the government for redress of their grievances against Republican traitors. In the coming days and weeks, Republicans will defend reducing revenue and cutting programs with the view towards eliminating government piece by piece, and not, as they contend, to reduce the debt. Americans are not impotent against the treasonous GOP, and a concerted grassroots effort to flood recalcitrant Republican legislators’ offices with phone calls and emails will send a strong message that they were sent to Washington, swore an oath to support the Constitution, and are expected to fulfill their responsibility under Article 1 Section 8, and if they do not, will be rendered incapable of holding any office whether by a recall movement, or ballot box, because Americans cannot tolerate Republican traitors any longer.

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