A group of Montanans has launched an effort to recall the state’s U.S. congressional delegation over recent votes on a controversial defense bill that explicitly authorized the indefinite detention of terrorism suspects, including American citizens.

Montana — along with 8 other states — has language that extends its “right of recall” to members of its federal congressional delegation “on the grounds of physical or mental lack of fitness, incompetence, violation of oath of office, official misconduct, or conviction of certain felony offenses,” the group notes in a press release. The petition, drafted by Montana residents William Crain and Stewart Rhodes, then calls for recall elections for Senators Max S. Baucus (D) and Jonathan Tester (D), as well as Rep. Denny Rehberg (R) on charges that they have violated their oaths of office by not protecting and defending the United States Constitution in voting for the National Defense Authorization Act.

“These politicians from both parties betrayed our trust, and violated the oath they took to defend the Constitution. It’s not about the left or right, it’s about our Bill of Rights,” Rhodes said. “Without the Bill of Rights, there is no America. It is the Crown Jewel of our Constitution, and the high-water mark of Western Civilization.”

When is an oath, if ever, taken seriously? Certainly not at the Presidential level. The oath of office has become so meaningless that it’s probably time to abandon it.

  1. Somebody says:

    This is fantastic! We should do that in our state too!

  2. Animby says:

    Cheers! Let’s hope they are successful and more follow.

  3. cybermanspiff says:

    I live in Montana and am happy that someone in this state is standing up not just for the rights of the citizens of my state but all of America

  4. jpfitz says:

    About time and fantastic news. The best news I’ve heard all year.

  5. Benjamin says:

    Good idea. Violating the oath of office should be an impeachable offense. Did Obama sign it?

    • msbpodcast says:

      Violating the Oath of Office should be a hanging offense never mind an impeachable one.

    • McCullough says:

      Signed sealed and delivered for your approval.

      “Today I have signed into law H.R. 6523, the ‘Ike Skelton National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2011.’ The Act authorizes funding for the defense of the United States and its interests abroad, for military construction, and for national security-related energy programs.

  6. msbpodcast says:

    Our politicians are equipped with the morals of gutter cats.

    The problem with republics is the same as with monarchies. After a while, the noble intentions at the start are as dead as the noble individuals which founded the kingdom or the republic. (The methods of creation for either are equally bloody.)

    If we want a representative government, we’ll have to RE-create it. (There were no parties in 1776.)

    If we want smaller government, we’ll have to take out the incentives for its growth too.

    We’ve become a government
    • OF the thousandaires (the 99%, that would be me and thee,)
    • BY the millionaires (the 1%, that would be the extremely insular privileged overlords and bosses,)
    • FOR the billionaires (the 12,400 individuals identified by the IRS as the people who count (though they don’t really count as they hire some thousandaires to run machines to do that.)

    The first thing we do is change from an ELECTED to a SELECTED form of government.

    Pick names at random out an eligible citizen pool and they’re stuck with doing the job for one, and only one, four year term.

    There could/should/would be no such thing as a career in politics. (The only thing worse than getting stuck with somebody who didn’t want the job is getting stuck with some idiot who did, figuring it was going to lift him a few rungs up the social/economic ladder.)

    Eligibility requirements are:
    • were you born here or are you a naturalized citizen?
    • are you a permanent resident in a village, town or city within our borders?
    • are you above the age of 25?
    • are you healthy enough? (you don’t suffer from any clinical health issue(s) or mental impairment(s) which would prevent you from fulfilling your duties?)
    • have you NEVER served on the government before?
    • have you NEVER been found guilty of a violent crime?
    • have you NEVER been found to be clinically insane?

    Answer yes to all of these questions, you’re eligible for selection.

    Don’t want to be bothered?

    Go live elsewhere!

    That would get rid of all PACs, K Street lobbyists, a lot of graft, waste and expense that WE’RE all paying for.

    • Grandpa says:

      “They” can get rid of all the PACs etc. just be enacting laws that forbid them. “They” can make America right again if “they” chose to.

      • msbpodcast says:

        They aren’t likely to do anything that would endager their re-election and/or their ability to gather money.

        How many poor politicians do you know? None, because there are none. (It takes money to make money and if you aren’t rich and a friend to the rich, you can’t get a foot in the door.)

        How many poor people live in this country? Plenty. (The child poverty and hunger statistics in this country are extremely depressing and getting worse, and like the old saw says, Children are our future, in more ways than one.)

        The World Bank and the IMF are no longer exporting poverty abroad, demanding that all these third-world countries have all these mega-projects that carry crushing debt while strip mining or drowning their resources behind rapidly silting up dams. (Ask the Egyptians about what the Aswan dam is really costing them.)

        No, now poverty is staying right here. Centralia is the future.

  7. Glenn E. says:

    You can bet that the next point of order, after returning in 2012, is for Congress to override all state’s abilities to recall members. It takes time for Congress to iron out all these ways to insulate itself from its citizens and the real world.

    Their actually oath of office probably goes something like this.
    “I do solemnly swear to get as rich as possible, as fast as possible. And prepare the way for my successor to get even richer, even faster. And eventually eliminate the US middle class, so that only the very poor and incorporated rich remain. So that America can become the jewel of feudal states, as an example to the rest of the formerly free world.”

    I think that about covers their master agenda.

  8. Mary says:

    There is hope for us after all!!!! There is power in numbers and I hope everyone who appreciates their freedoms will rally around and support William Crain, Stewart Rhodes, and others who are taking action. We have to show the “Powers that Be” that the 99% are intelligent people who will not be subservient.

  9. Mary says:

    There is hope for us after all!!! There is power in numbers and I hope everyone who appreciates their freedoms will rally around and support William Crain, Stewart Rhodes, and others who are taking action. We have to show the “Powers that Be” that the 99% are intelligent people who will not be subservient.

    • msbpodcast says:

      The hope may just be hype. The power in numbers you refer to may just make for a target rich environment.

      It depends on the recruitment and indoctrination policies and procedures of the US military.

      Beware of the droning of America.

  10. Publius says:

    About the oath of office becoming their toilet paper:

    A mandatory daily reading of one sentence from the Bill of Rights by every official and officer should be a Constitutional amendment. The reading must be done in a public place.

    It would be a pretty good start and cheap, as a start of a fix for all these government workers (Federal, State, County, City) who are acting like they never read the Bill of Rights.

  11. #12--bobbo, the pragmatic existential evangelical anti-theist says:

    I don’t underestand the ins and outs of State Government – but let us know if the petition gets enough signatures to be put on the next ballot?

    Yes, its a good idea. There are lot’s of good ideas. In fact, every bad idea has a good idea opposing it.

    doesn’t change a thing.

    Anyone care to opine on how the Supremes will sign this etude? Should be drop dead simple: UNCONSTITUTIONAL. 9 to 0 ruling. Its so clear–I’ll give it a 50/50 chance.

    • Animby says:

      News Flash: Recall petitioners in Montana have been labeled terrorists by the Justice Department at the urging of certain members of Congress. The group was rounded up early this morning by the US Marine Corps’ Domestic Law Enforcement and Anti Terrorism SWAT team and subsequently transported to an “undisclosed” location in the Caribbean for indeterminate detention.

      • LibertyLover says:

        That sounded official enough that I did search on google.

        With the way things have been going lately, I’m starting to doubt my own belief structure.

  12. Animby says:

    msbpodcast :
    “Don’t want to be bothered?
    Go live elsewhere!”

    You thoroughly confuse me. I’m sure you stated you are a Canadian citizen living in the USA.

    Is it really appropriate for you to so severely criticize our government? Not that I necessarily disagree with what you say, just that if we can now detain US citizens for sedition, don’t you start wondering about your precarious position and whether Gitmo has wheelchair ramps?

    • msbpodcast says:

      I am not concerned about Gitmo compliance with the ADA. My opinions are so out there that I am not concerned about their getting adopted, but they might spark conversation about where we* went wrong with the political system.

      I am definitely not advocating violent revolution.

      I am advocating a return to the political situation in this country back at its founding. (George Washington did not belong to any party. There weren’t any.)

      *) I can say/write we without irony because I am a Canadian, (part of what the political cartoonist <a href="http://www.aislin.com/"Aislin referred to as The Retarded Giant**) and while that giant has its own problems it offers some real advantages. If the US keeps flushing itself down the sewer, the future of civilization in North America belongs to that giant.

      **) From the book of knowledge Canada covers 9,984,670 km2 or 3,855,100 sq mi (Land: 9,093,507 km2 or 3,511,023 sq mi; Water: 891,163 km2 or 344,080 sq mi), Canada is slightly less than three-fifths as large as Russia, nearly 1.2 times larger than Australia, slightly larger than Europe, and more than 40 times larger than the UK. In total area, Canada is slightly larger than both the U.S. and China; however, Canada ranks fourth in land area (i.e., total area minus the area of lakes and rivers)—China is 9,326,410 km2/3,600,950 sq mi and the U.S. is 9,161,923 km2/3,537,438 sq mi[2]

  13. orchidcup says:

    People routinely swear an oath to tell the truth as a witness in a court of law. People routinely commit perjury under oath.

    A sworn oath is completely powerless to hold anyone to a specific standard.

    An oath of office is a formality similar to marriage vows. Nobody truly expects that anyone will hold them to it.

    Where are the oath enforcement police when you need them?

    The Constitution of a republic derives all of its power from the people themselves.

    The people must enforce an oath of office.

    I commend the gentlemen from Montana.

  14. #16--bobbo, the pragmatic existential evangelical anti-theist says:

    Animby–I think its against the law to reveal that people have been indefinitely detained. As a foreigner, you have some excuse not to know this but really, you lead others to their doom by such example. And please–don’t quibble as to your status. Thailand/Arizona==same thing with the only difference that right now you are still easier to pick up in Thailand than in Arizona. Closer to the rendition sites with their collection teams, but USA must be catching up with all those job creating TSA slots for homeland security.

    The future is so bri…..Ahyiiii==who just pepper sprayed my eyes?

  15. orchidcup says:

    The United States of America have exhibited, perhaps, the first example of governments erected on the simple principles of nature; and if men are now sufficiently enlightened to disabuse themselves of artifice, imposture, hypocrisy, and superstition, they will consider this event as an era in their history. Although the detail of the formation of the American governments is at present little known or regarded either in Europe or in America, it may hereafter become an object of curiosity. It will never be pretended that any persons employed in that service had interviews with the gods, or were in any degree under the influence of Heaven, more than those at work upon ships or houses, or laboring in merchandise or agriculture; it will forever be acknowledged that these governments were contrived merely by the use of reason and the senses.

    Government is instituted for the common good; for the protection, safety, prosperity, and happiness of the people; and not for profit, honor, or private interest of any one man, family, or class of men; therefore, the people alone have an incontestable, unalienable, and indefeasible right to institute government; and to reform, alter, or totally change the same, when their protection, safety, prosperity, and happiness require it.

    John Adams – (1735-1826) Founding Father, 2nd US President

    • msbpodcast says:

      Quoting the founding fathers will get you a face full of pepper spray.

      Nobody in any position of power reads or respects the constitution.

      I still remember Abbie Hoffman reading the text of the first amendment and getting arrested and thrown into a Chicago jail. From [ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1968_Democratic_National_Convention ] “February 1970, five of the Iowa Conspiracy defendants were convicted on the charge of intent to incite a riot while crossing state lines, but none were found guilty of conspiracy”

      Mayor Daley was not happy.

  16. Lou says:

    Good for them.

  17. soundwash says:



  18. Animby says:

    #16 Bobboh! Don’t be silly. Everyone knows I work for the CIA. They will never take me to Gitmo. I might accidentally shoot myself in the head five or six times, but no rendition!

  19. #24--bobbo, the pragmatic existential evangelical anti-theist says:

    #23–Acerebrum == CIA huh? I have ALWAYS suspected that. A supposed doctor with left wing morality but right wing positions? A brain injury might actually help you resolve that tension Anim–oops: cerebrum. Yes, just might help: “A boot to the Head.”

    But seriously folks: Animby==how many times a year do you celebrate, or “could you” celebrate New Years? Or do you even, the pages of the calendar falling as they do?

    Quite the irony, the gods laying out the rewards and burdens of life, and we with but the most quixotic of illusory choices. Dim sum?

  20. NewFormatSux says:

    One of those senators and a house member is up for recall in 10 months anyway. I’m sure people who approve of this recall will also vote against Obama, who signed the bill…

  21. Hmeyers2 says:

    If there is anybody still into history …

    George Washington’s farewell address had some great warnings on …

    * the idea of political parties (parties looking after their interests, not citizens)
    * negative effect of trade agreements (think NAFTA)
    * and of the negative implications of government debt (unhinged spending)

    The USA has grown to be the opposite of what it was intended to be in the sense that each state was intended to operate separately (think RomneyCare in Mass.) and take different approaches.

    Our political system is rather hopelessly broken, but inertia will allow the country to be “ok” for a while longer.

    While lobbyists and politicians loot it, racking up a huge mess of cronyism debt while selling away our rights to the highest bidding corporations …

    • orchidcup says:

      Originally published in David Claypoole’s American Daily Advertiser on September 19, 1796 under the title “The Address of General Washington To The People of The United States on his declining of the Presidency of the United States,” the letter was almost immediately reprinted in newspapers across the country and later in a pamphlet form.
      The work was later named a “Farewell Address,” as it was Washington’s valedictory after 45 years of service to the new republic, first during the French and Indian War, through the American Revolution, and finally as the nation’s first president.
      The letter was originally prepared in 1792 with the help of James Madison, as Washington prepared to retire following a single term in office. However, he set aside the letter and ran for a second term after the rancor between his Secretary of the Treasury, Alexander Hamilton, and his Secretary of State, Thomas Jefferson, convinced him that the growing divisions between the newly formed Federalist and Democratic-Republican parties, along with the current state of foreign affairs, would tear the country apart in the absence of his leadership.
      Four years later, as his second term came to a close, Washington revisited the letter and with the help of Alexander Hamilton prepared a revision of the original draft to announce his intention to decline a third term in office. He also reflects on the emerging issues of the American political landscape in 1796, expresses his support for the government eight years after the adoption of the Constitution, defends his administration’s record, and gives valedictory advice to the American people.
      The letter was written by Washington after years of exhaustion due to his advanced age, years of service to his country, the duties of the presidency, and increased attacks by his political opponents. It was published almost two months before the Electoral College cast their votes in the 1796 presidential election.


  22. deowll says:

    Good, violating your oath of office should be grounds for recall.

  23. Animby says:

    #24–bobbo: “A ‘supposed’ doctor”???

    Alright, you’ve caught me out. My only medical training was the three week Langley Physician Impersonation Course but I did an extra week’s residency in OB-GYN.

    “…seriously… how many times a year do you celebrate, or “could you” celebrate New Years?”

    As often as I can. Sorry. Is that too flippant? Well, doe my Muslim friends we celebrate ras as sanah (sound familiar? Rosh Hashanah?) Since the Isalmic year is shorter by a week and a half than Western calendars, the date varies from November to February but is the first day of the first month: Muharram.

    When I am with my Buddhist friends, We celebrate Songkran which starts on the first full moon in April. If you’ve never been to Thailand during Songkran, be warned. It’s called the Water Festival and is three days of being drenched by super soakers and buckets of dubious water – often iced. Still, it’s a fun time and since it occurs at just about the hottest time of the year, not unwelcome. (N.B. Some Buddhist cultures celebrate differently and in January/February.)

    Most places, though, still celebrate the Western concept of the new year. In fact, I’m going to a big costume party this weekend with my little brown lady friend. (That’s a big party not big costumes and the lady is little not a little brown.)

  24. alanwrench says:

    No need to abandon the oath it only needs to be changed to:

    I solemnly swear to cheat, steal, lie to the American people.

  25. Holdfast says:

    As an outsider to this, I would expect my politicians to do certain things, like…

    1. Protect everyone from detention without trial.

    2. Make sure that due process is followed by the police, military and secret services.

    3. To protect the poor and needy.

    4. To work on good relations with other countries and peoples wherever possible.

    I suppose those are not felt to be acceptable to your constitution. This makes me feel safer that we do not have a written one then.


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