By Nathan Barton
It is time to impeach them all.
No, not Trump. Certainly not if they didn’t impeach the last guy.
No, I mean the idiots in Congress who have wasted our time and money with the ridiculous acts of the last few years.
Ridiculous, stupid, and just plain bad and evil. Of which the latest example is the new Mueller circus committee. (And I mean “our” time since we (taxpayers and states) are supposedly their employers and paying their salaries – and expenses.) They have no business riding their various hobby-horses instead of doing the people’s business. Ditto for the Conscript Parents in the other Capitol wing: they are not doing the business of the States that sent them there.
And I mean the idiots of BOTH of the old (and increasingly worthless) political parties. Just to make it clear: both Democrats and Republicans. And those even more worthless types who claim to be “independent” but vote 95% with one of those two.
They are not only not carrying out the tasks for which they were hired, but they are behaving in absolutely insane ways – setting new records even for Congress. What tasks? Basic things for which we declared independence and established a federal government under the Constitution: protecting the life and liberty of Americans, by protecting us (not the whole world!) from aggression and threats to our liberty (and life). By ensuring that would-be tyrants in our own States are kept down (not propped up by them). By providing forums in which we can peaceably and fairly resolve disputes. By allowing us to pursue happiness through owning property and all the other things that are useful for a stable society.
But have they accomplished ANY of this?
I submit that what Mark Twain once wrote about Congress is orders of magnitude more true now than what he wrote in 1912.
Suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a member of Congress. But I repeat myself.
They need to be impeached and removed from office.
But… we can’t. All that can be done to Congress-critturs is called “expulsion.” And therein lie a lot of problems. Expulsion is explained in Article I, Section 5, clause 2 of the Constitution:
Each House may determine the Rules of its Proceedings, punish its Members for disorderly Behavior, and, with the Concurrence of two-thirds, expel a Member.
There is no provision for recall, and no provision for the Courts (much less the Executive Branch) to remove any sitting Congressman. Especially not their states or the people that they supposedly represent. The ONLY way that a member of Congress, whether representative or senator, can be removed is by the action of their own house. It doesn’t happen very often: In the entire history of the United States Congress, 20 Members have been expelled: 15 from the Senate and 5 from the House of Representatives. Actually, I find it amazing that the number is that high.
Which is why, given the lack of any term limits, and the power of incumbency, the usual way that they seem to go away is by retirement or “natural death.” (Maybe I’m cynical.)
Actually, it is very safe to be a senator or representative. In more than 230 years, a grand total of just 25 have been seriously attacked: 14 died and 11 were seriously injured. (4 of them died in duels, one was killed by Confederate soldiers (in a battle) and one was killed by the Soviets when they shot down an airliner. Several were killed by other members of Congress.) The 11 injured includes five shot by a Puerto Rican nationalist in 1954, and of course Gifford, Scalise, and Paul in this decade. Several were nearly beaten to death by other members of Congress, and most by other politicians.
But obviously, the senators and congressmen are more in danger of being killed or severely injured by attackers than they are of being removed for cause by their fellows.
So what can be done? Besides waiting for the next election and voting them out of office (good luck with that!), the best that can be done is to petition (First Amendment, right?) the Senate or House to sack the scumbag and put pressure on them to do so quickly. What sort of crime or action would be necessary to get enough people to push for that? Certainly posting signatures on-line at Change.org is unlikely to succeed.
“I could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody, and I wouldn’t lose any voters, okay? It’s, like, incredible.” —Donald Trump, speaking at a rally in Sioux Center, Iowa, as the audience laughed, January 23, 2016
Murder is probably not enough. Nor any version of the “#metoo” fad. Only 5 of 7 credibly accused sexual abusers even resigned. (Some “resigned” by just stating they weren’t going to run for reelection. Right.)
And obviously, stealing money (privately or in a group), swindling various and sundry, breaking oaths and promises, are all part of the job description.
Unless of course there were millions of people demanding some scumbag congresscrittur had to go, and petitioned and protested and squawked and everything else. Like the soon-to-be ex-governor of Puerto Rico has found out. But again, that is typical: a few such pieces of trash bowed to the inevitable and resigned (usually while making backroom deals with all and sundry). However, again, very few have resigned for cause. (Out of 595 who resigned from 1901 to 2018, more than half went to another political office.)
What can we do? Here are some ideas:
Amend the Constitution to:
- Allow snap recall elections (2 weeks, maybe) to recall Congressmen. Maybe based on 25% of the difference in votes between them and their next highest opponent.
- Allow state legislatures to remove Senators from office on a 3/4th vote.
- Allow the President and all nine Justices to remove one for high crimes and misdemeanors .
But I think the best way to deal with these people is to take away their power, their privileges, and their money. And just ignore them.