Sunday, December 18, 2011

An Impeachable Offense

"I guess I find that judgemental, yr honor."

Government Officials take oaths to defend and protect the Constitution. Violation of that oath is, or ought to be, an impeachable offense. Take for example the recent Supreme Court ruling asserting that corporations are persons with all the rights and privileges thereof, particularly free speech, which they can of course, given their resources, more easily exercise than “real” persons. This would be less treasonous if the intent were not crafting seductive messages designed to legitimize anti-democratic hierarchy and funnel power and money ever upward. Since corporations are about, and only about, profits such messages please stockholders and CEOs but deliberately undermine democracy, which, if memory serves, is what the Constitution is about. The ideological Right confuses freedom with unimpeded business activity (the “free market”), just as it defines the pursuit of happiness. A close reading of the Constitution offers little support for this degrading notion.

Legislating other laws and pursuing policies that favor corporations over the people (we the people) also qualify as impeachable offenses. We are laying down the law here. Trade agreements such as NAFTA and GATT, for example. And policies of the foreign variety, which serve the same masters. Aren’t they too violations of an oath that pledges fealty to the welfare of the people, hardly served by extending ruthless corporate hegemony and trashing the life system?

It is disheartening to review accounts of police and military blatantly siding with owners against workers during early union struggles. Today we aren’t too surprised at Egyptian or Syrian violent reactions to awakening democracy but police oppression here of peaceful demonstrators flies in the face of our indoctrination (unless we’ve been paying attention). The latest impeachable offense has been committed by the senate when it overwhelmingly, 93-7 (who are those 7?), passed SB 1867, granting the military the power to indefinitely detain any U.S. citizen. That’s indefinite as in forever! No habeus corpus, no trial. This purports to be aimed at terrorists, of course, but the 1% are feeling exposed, getting nervous. Their minions in the Senate thus pass this reactionary bill, responding to the stirring of democracy begun in the Arab Spring, as manifest here in the plutocracy-exposing Occupy Wall Street movement. Off with their heads is perhaps too harsh but impeachment seems an appropriate response to the anti-democratic beast.

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