Submitted by SadInAmerica on Thu, 02/14/2008 - 5:21pm.

 Let this be clear -- neither political party is going to protect our Constitution, unless WE compel them to do it.



"...The Bill of Rights is a literal and absolute document. The First Amendment doesn't say you have a right to speak out unless the government has a 'compelling interest' in censoring the Internet. The Second Amendment doesn't say you have the right to keep and bear arms until some madman plants a bomb. The Fourth Amendment doesn't say you have the right to be secure from search and seizure unless some FBI agent thinks you fit the profile of a terrorist. The government has no right to interfere with any of these freedoms under any circumstances."

-- Harry Browne (1933-2006) best-selling author, two-time presidential candidate, and co-founder of Downsize DC


Do you know the date of the first law ever passed by the United States' Senate? It was May 5, 1789.


Do you know the subject of that law? It was the "Oath Act." It's purpose was to provide specific wording for the oath the Constitution requires Senators to swear upon taking office.


Strangely, the Constitution actually provides the specific wording of the oath the President is supposed to take, but it does not do so for Congress. Instead, the Constitution simply stipulates the following in Article VI, clause 3:


"The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, 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; but no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States."


The lack of specific wording meant that Congress had to create the wording. The oath they created as their first order of business, was very simple . . .

"I do solemnly swear that I will support the Constitution of the United States."

Of course, later politicians have been increasingly fond of complexity, causing the oath to mutate into this . . .

"I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter."

The result remains the same. And please notice that members of Congress do not swear an oath to support or defend the nation, the country, or the government. They swear an oath to support and defend the Constitution, specifically. This is very important . . .


The Founders viewed government as a servant of the people. They did not make the mistake that so many supposed "patriots" make, of thinking the government is the same thing as the nation, the country, or the people. Our country is made up of many institutions -- families, churches, businesses, associations -- of which the government is only one. All of these institutions taken together, and all the individuals within the country, independent of any institution, are what make up the country.


The government is meant to serve the nation, not BE the country.

In keeping with the ideas expressed in our Declaration of Independence, our government was instituted with highly limited powers. The instrument that imposed these limitations was the Constitution, and it is this document that members of Congress swear an oath to defend.


One of the consequences of Constitutional limits on government power is that bad people are often permitted to get away with doing bad things. The government is categorically denied many of the powers that might aid it in the apprehension of criminals. For example . . .


There are hundreds of murderers running lose in America, and thousands of murders committed each year, that the government might be able to stop. The Constitution specifically prohibits government from doing all that it could do to save lives by catching murderers.


Were the Founders crazy? Were they stupid? No, they were not. The Founders knew that any government that has all the power it might need to optimize its apprehension of murderers, would also have all the power it needed to become a mass murderer.


The Founders knew, even in their time, that governments were, historically, the greatest killers of all. The history of the last century has only added to the evidence. Tens of millions of people were murdered in the 20th Century by governments that had too much power. Our Constitution protects us from this; so far.


Think about that.


But now, because criminals murdered thousands of people on September 11, 2001, many are eager to abandon their Constitutional protections.


Have we become a nation of sniveling cowards? If not, please explain how it is that Congress has either bowed to or exploited this fear to become a gang of lawbreakers?


Yesterday, 68 Senators violated their oaths of office. They voted to pass S. 2248, a new law designed to replace the so-called "Protect America Act." This bill violates the Bill of Rights . . .


* It permits the President to spy on Americans without a warrant.

* It grants retroactive immunity to tele-communications companies that collaborated with the Bush administration in previous warrantless spying, thereby creating an incentive for other companies to engage in similar crimes in the future (only Qwest Communications insisted on warrants).


Will this new, un-constitutional power, prevent future terrorist attacks? Of course not, nothing can do that, just as there is no law or power that could completely stop murders by domestic criminals.


Does this new law create a tyranny? That would be an exaggeration. But what will happen when the next terrorist attack comes?


The sniveling cowards among us, and the lawbreakers in Congress, will then seek still more powers.


At one point will our children call this tyranny? Will there be any turning back?


Yesterday, 19 Democrats, 48 Republicans, and 1 independent voted to violate the Constitution and their oaths of office. Only 28 Democrats, 1 independent, and ZERO Republicans remained true to their oaths. The Republicans were universally bad.


But please notice that the law could not have passed without the vote of the Democrats!


Let this be clear -- neither political party is going to protect our Constitution, unless WE compel them to do it.


All hope is NOT lost. S. 2248 cannot become law unless the House agrees to its provisions. Fortunately, the House version of this bill, while not perfect, is signficantly better. Our best hope, and we must take it, is to tell the House to stick by their version of the bill.


A list of how the Senate voted is pasted below my signature. Use the personal comments section of your message to Congress to thank your Senator if he or she voted against S. 2248, or to criticize your Senator if he or she voted for it. Ask your House member to reject the provisions of S. 2248.


You can send your message from the DownsizeDC.org website.


Also, please make a contribution to further our work. Your contribution is our budget. You can contribute here.


Jim Babka


DownsizeDC.org, Inc.


How the Senate voted . . .


Sen. Daniel Akaka [D, HI]     Nay

Sen. Lamar Alexander [R, TN]     Aye

Sen. Wayne Allard [R, CO]     Aye

Sen. John Barrasso [R, WY]     Aye

Sen. Max Baucus [D, MT]     Aye

Sen. B. Evan Bayh [D, IN]     Aye

Sen. Robert Bennett [R, UT]     Aye

Sen. Joseph Biden [D, DE]     Nay

Sen. Jeff Bingaman [D, NM]     Nay

Sen. Christopher Bond [R, MO]     Aye

Sen. Barbara Boxer [D, CA]     Nay

Sen. Sherrod Brown [D, OH]     Nay

Sen. Samuel Brownback [R, KS]     Aye

Sen. Jim Bunning [R, KY]     Aye

Sen. Richard Burr [R, NC]     Aye

Sen. Robert Byrd [D, WV]     Nay

Sen. Maria Cantwell [D, WA]     Nay

Sen. Benjamin Cardin [D, MD]     Nay

Sen. Thomas Carper [D, DE]     Aye

Sen. Robert Casey [D, PA]     Aye

Sen. C. Saxby Chambliss [R, GA]     Aye

Sen. Hillary Clinton [D, NY]     Abstain

Sen. Thomas Coburn [R, OK]     Aye

Sen. Thad Cochran [R, MS]     Aye

Sen. Norm Coleman [R, MN]     Aye

Sen. Susan Collins [R, ME]     Aye

Sen. Kent Conrad [D, ND]     Aye

Sen. Bob Corker [R, TN]     Aye

Sen. John Cornyn [R, TX]     Aye

Sen. Larry Craig [R, ID]     Aye

Sen. Michael Crapo [R, ID]     Aye

Sen. Jim DeMint [R, SC]     Aye

Sen. Christopher Dodd [D, CT]     Nay

Sen. Elizabeth Dole [R, NC]     Aye

Sen. Pete Domenici [R, NM]     Aye

Sen. Byron Dorgan [D, ND]     Nay

Sen. Richard Durbin [D, IL]     Nay

Sen. John Ensign [R, NV]     Aye

Sen. Michael Enzi [R, WY]     Aye

Sen. Russell Feingold [D, WI]     Nay

Sen. Dianne Feinstein [D, CA]     Nay

Sen. Lindsey Graham [R, SC]     Abstain

Sen. Charles Grassley [R, IA]     Aye

Sen. Judd Gregg [R, NH]     Aye

Sen. Charles Hagel [R, NE]     Aye

Sen. Thomas Harkin [D, IA]     Nay

Sen. Orrin Hatch [R, UT]     Aye

Sen. Kay Hutchison [R, TX]     Aye

Sen. James Inhofe [R, OK]     Aye

Sen. Daniel Inouye [D, HI]     Aye

Sen. John Isakson [R, GA]     Aye

Sen. Tim Johnson [D, SD]     Aye

Sen. Edward Kennedy [D, MA]     Nay

Sen. John Kerry [D, MA]     Nay

Sen. Amy Klobuchar [D, MN]     Nay

Sen. Herbert Kohl [D, WI]     Aye

Sen. Jon Kyl [R, AZ]             Aye

Sen. Mary Landrieu [D, LA]     Aye

Sen. Frank Lautenberg [D, NJ]     Nay

Sen. Patrick Leahy [D, VT]     Nay

Sen. Carl Levin [D, MI]     Nay

Sen. Joseph Lieberman [I, CT]     Aye

Sen. Blanche Lincoln [D, AR]     Aye

Sen. Richard Lugar [R, IN]     Aye

Sen. Mel Martinez [R, FL]     Aye

Sen. John McCain [R, AZ]     Aye

Sen. Claire McCaskill [D, MO]     Aye

Sen. Mitch McConnell [R, KY]     Aye

Sen. Robert Menendez [D, NJ]     Nay

Sen. Barbara Mikulski [D, MD]     Aye

Sen. Lisa Murkowski [R, AK]     Aye

Sen. Patty Murray [D, WA]     Nay

Sen. Ben Nelson [D, NE]     Aye

Sen. Bill Nelson [D, FL]     Aye

Sen. Barack Obama [D, IL]     Abstain

Sen. Mark Pryor [D, AR]     Aye

Sen. John Reed [D, RI]     Nay

Sen. Harry Reid [D, NV]     Nay

Sen. Pat Roberts [R, KS]     Aye

Sen. John Rockefeller [D, WV]     Aye

Sen. Ken Salazar [D, CO]     Aye

Sen. Bernard Sanders [I, VT]     Nay

Sen. Charles Schumer [D, NY]     Nay

Sen. Jefferson Sessions [R, AL] Aye

Sen. Richard Shelby [R, AL]     Aye

Sen. Gordon Smith [R, OR]     Aye

Sen. Olympia Snowe [R, ME]     Aye

Sen. Arlen Specter [R, PA]     Aye

Sen. Debbie Ann Stabenow [D, MI] Nay

Sen. Ted Stevens [R, AK]     Aye

Sen. John Sununu [R, NH]     Aye

Sen. Jon Tester [D, MT]     Nay

Sen. John Thune [R, SD]     Aye

Sen. David Vitter [R, LA]     Aye

Sen. George Voinovich [R, OH]     Aye

Sen. John Warner [R, VA]     Aye

Sen. Jim Webb [D, VA]             Aye

Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse [D, RI] Aye

Rep. Roger Wicker [R, MS-1]     Aye

Sen. Ron Wyden [D, OR]             Nay

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by Jim Babka - February 14, 2008 - posted at www.fourwinds10.com

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Submitted by SadInAmerica on Thu, 02/14/2008 - 5:21pm.