By 1389

How to stop the arrogance of power

A recent post on this blog, Is the US the last fortress standing? raised the issue of what peaceful means are available to get rid of a bad government in the US. At present, we do not have much recourse, other than to move toward state sovereignty and eventual secession.

But with a suitable Constitutional amendment, which we could put into effect as soon as we have the political will to do it, we could add one more effective tool for enforcing government accountability.

Illustration of a stage hook being used to remove a bad performer

Senator Lindsey Graham is out of line

In the Blogmocracy comment thread, Signs of Sanity Surfacing in New York City, I became involved in the following conversation:

FurryOldGuyJeans wrote:

Sen. Graham: Tea party will die out

WASHINGTON, July 1 (UPI) — U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., said much of his work is “completely opposite” from the Tea Party and predicts the movement will “die out.”

“Everything I’m doing now in terms of talking about climate, talking about immigration, talking about Gitmo is completely opposite of where the Tea Party movement’s at,” Graham told The New York Times Magazine in a profile that will be published Sunday, The Hill reported Thursday.

1389AD wrote:

Lindsey Graham is a disgrace. He is also whistling past his own graveyard. The Tea Party movement is very strong in SC, and he’s accurately perceived as a sellout. I doubt that he’ll be elected again. Unfortunately, his term won’t be up for another four years.

FurryOldGuyJeans wrote:

There is always a recall election, if SC law allows for such.

1389AD wrote:

We don’t have that. Every state should have recall for ALL elected officials and, IMO, also for firing unelected bureaucrats, for nullifying unpopular laws, and for voting entire agencies out of existence. The same should apply to the federal government.

I do NOT believe in allowing plebiscites or ballot initiatives for the purpose of taking any “positive” action, such as enacting any new laws or regulations, or putting anybody into office, or spending any money. That leads to all kinds of problems with demagoguery and mob rule. Recall should work purely in the negative, as part of the checks and balances, as a restraint on reckless government action that does not enjoy the consent of the governed.

Why not term limits?

I do not think enacting more term limits will be the answer, and here is why:

  • Term limits affect both the good and the bad, in effect throwing out the baby with the bath water.
  • Term limits do not provide the voters with a mechanism for undoing the results of election fraud.
  • Term limits allow a bad government to do too much damage before the term limits become effective.

As Glenn Beck points out, the body of four-term President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s was scarcely cold before the US enacted a Constitutional amendment limiting the Presidency to two terms. While I have no quarrel with that amendment, it fails to address our own predicament. By definition, term limits do nothing to stop a bad elected official from doing irreparable damage during his current term in office. Right now, we are looking at a situation in which we need to remove a bad president and many bad legislators as soon as we possibly can. We simply cannot afford to wait until 2012 for the president and 2014 for some senators who are actively flouting the expressed intent of their constituents, as though they do not expect our elections to matter any longer by the time their current terms expire.

Recall is an option we need

It’s time for American activists who respect the Constitution and the rule of law to begin a movement to enact an amendment to the US Constitution to allow recall elections to remove a president or any other federal official, and to allow any State to conduct a recall election to remove any of its US Senators or Representatives.

At the level of each State, we need the same thing, for removal of a bad governor, state legislator, or other state official. At this moment, the need for this at the federal level is priority number one.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

1 Larry Litchfield September 28, 2011 at 9:38 pm

Many Americans want term limits and other congressional modifications implemented NOW! Yet, to the best of my knowledge we do not hear ANYTHING about term limits from any of the candidates.
I believe that term limits are fundmental to any change in government at all levels. Further, recall of all elected officials serving over two terms is essential to implementing term limits. Regardless of who is the new President in 2012, he/she needs to have a newly elected congress of a similar persuasion to work with.

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: