googlef87758e9b6df9bec.html A Sure Word: Why even bother with an oath?

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Why even bother with an oath?

Whenever the President or any congressperson takes office, he must swear an oath. For the President the oath is as follows:
I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.
Here’s the oath for a Representative or Senator:
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. So help me God.
In both cases, the elected official swears to defend the Constitution of the United States. Well, I suggest that they should have taken the time to read the Constitution before voting to punish AIG executives with a confiscatory tax on their bonuses. Specifically, Article I, Section 9, paragraph 3 of the Constitution provides that: "No Bill of Attainder or ex post facto Law will be passed."

Regarding Bills of Attainder, former Chief Justice, William Rehnquist, gave us this quote:
“These clauses of the Constitution are not of the broad, general nature of the Due Process Clause, but refer to rather precise legal terms which had a meaning under English law at the time the Constitution was adopted. A bill of attainder was a legislative act that singled out one or more persons and imposed punishment on them, without benefit of trial. Such actions were regarded as odious by the framers of the Constitution because it was the traditional role of a court, judging an individual case, to impose punishment.” [emphasis added]
In their feigned indignation at AIG, lawmakers and President Obama have trampled on the Constitution and voted on a measure whose sole intent is to punish AIG executives who received bonuses. Last Thursday, when the House passed a bill to tax AIG bonuses and a whopping 90%, Obama responded by saying:
"Today's vote rightly reflects the outrage that so many feel over the lavish bonuses that AIG provided its employees at the expense of the taxpayers who have kept this failed company afloat. I look forward to receiving a final product that will serve as a strong signal to the executives who run these firms that such compensation will not be tolerated."
Why only 90%, you might ask. Well per Rep. Charles Rangel, "We figured that the local and state government will take care of the other 10 percent.” How forward thinking of him.

Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi defended the House actions saying Bush had empowered corporate "arrogance and hubris and greed.” “Hubris,” Ms. Speaker? I would say the political left embodies that term at the moment.

I wonder why these people even bother taking an oath if they have no intent on keeping it.

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