Thursday, February 12, 2004

In whose interests is MoveOn working? 

As this year's Super Bowl approached and CBS still refused to run MoveOn's "Child's Pay" commercial, MoveOn came up with the wimpy idea for a one-minute viewer boycott during the game's half-time, as a way of punishing CBS for its censorship, rather than calling for a boycott of the whole game.

After all, said a MoveOn supporter, people would be more likely to go along with a one-minute boycott than a boycott of the whole game. Translated that means a football game is more important than a tiny step toward letting the corporations know we are going to fight back.

Oh yeah, that worked so well that if anyone turned off Super Bowl for the prescribed minute, CBS didn't notice. Instead, the talk was all about Janet Jackson and an exposed breast.

To compound its fuzzy thinking, MoveOn is now back to where it started, when it called for censuring Bill Clinton and moving on. This time, it is calling for Congress to censure George W. Bush.

Where in the constitution is the provision for censuring a president -- elected or unelected?

Under the constitution, each house of Congress has the right to make its own rules regarding members' behavior, which means the houses can censure members for inappropriate or unethical conduct; even go so far as to expel a member.

Congress, though, has no constitutional right to censure a president -- an argument we made when MoveOn was calling for the censure of Clinton. The only constitutional provision for dealing with a president alleged to have committed "treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors" is by impeachment in the House and trial in the Senate.

There is more than enough to draw a bill of impeachment against Bush, given that the evidence suggests he either was complicit in or had foreknowledge of Sept. 11, 2001; that he blatantly lied to the American people, Congress and the world in order to wage an illegal war on Iraq; that he bribed nations into becoming part of his Iraq war's "coalition of the willing;" that he or his subordinate illegally told some six reporters that former Ambassador Joseph Wilson's wife was a CIA operative; that he has been complicit in keeping from the American people who was involved with Dick Cheney in drawing up a national energy policy; that he has bankrupted the country with his tax cuts and "wars;" that he may have covered up a criminal record that goes beyond one DUI, two pranks while in college and the killing of an endangered species bird; and that he may have deserted the Texas Air National Guard.

After being handed the presidency by the US Supreme Court, Bush has violated the oath he took to "preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States" by taking unto himself powers the constitution does not give a president; by violating the separation of church and state; by signing the USA PATRIOT Act and creating the Department of Homeland Security, thusly curbing the people's rights of free speech and assembly, and their rights to privacy; by setting up First Amendment Zones into which peaceful protesters and peace advocates are herded so he doesn't have to see or hear them. Moreover, his bogus "war on terror" has made us less secure, not more.

Why then is MoveOn calling for, as they say in spookville, a limited hangout: censure? Yet, the gullible keep pouring their money into MoveOn at the expense of the real journalists who are working to get back the country. Is feel good all that matters?

Yes, MoveOn has gotten some excellent issue commercials on television. Since the presidential election isn't until November, might it have been premature in airing them now or does it plan to keep extracting money from its followers to keep the commercials on the air?

The pie is only so big, so more money for MoveOn means less money for journalists laboring to shed light on the truth.

It is hard these days to separate the good guys from the bad, so one must keep in mind hidden agendas.

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