Sunday, April 22, 2012

Regarding The Teachable Moment

Analytical Observations and Constitutional Discussion

Secty of State Hillary Clinton's Tunisian Q&A
by Linda Santucci
“Eternal Vigilance is The Price of Liberty” –Thomas Jefferson
           (Ref. John Philpot Curran, 1790 Speech)

I. Introduction
References for Part II
II. Analytical Observations
Discussion of Article II and the People

Text of Article II of the U.S. Constitution

I. Introduction, pp. i-ii
The below referenced PJTV article by Barry Rubin points out several issues with the manner in which Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has recently represented the United States government to an audience in Tunisia. 

One outstanding point is abundantly clear, which Rubin points to suggesting Secretary of State Hillary Clinton missed “a teachable moment” during the first week in March 2012 during a Tunisian Q&A.  That is, contrary to her statement quoted below, the President does not represent “all of the United States.” One does not measure the nature of the United States concerning Israel, based upon what a U.S. President says and does, but rather by understanding all points of view and drawing one’s own conclusions.  That is the American way….

The U.S. President is an elected Executive Officer in charge of the Executive Branch of the federal government of the United States.  He is not a King or anything like a King in the U.S. Constitutional Republic.

After the terrible times in medieval Europe, especially over issues of religion before America was colonized beginning in the early 17th Century particularly, America’s government eventually was established in the late 18th Century, in order to form a more perfect union of the colonies of people that became separate States after the American Revolution of 1776. America’s Constitution created a unique form of representative government of, by and for The People. The government was designed in a manner where it cannot function apart from The People, due to the built-in checks and balances of the power and responsibilities assigned by the U.S. Constitution, to the three separate branches of government. 

The People, the American citizens, function as the foundation of the government pyramid structure.  The capstone or the top of the pyramid figuratively represents the all-seeing eye of the universe, the greatest power ushering in America’s founding; and the U.S. Government in behalf of a free nation of The People, as defined first in the American Declaration of Independence, is subsequently inspired in one way or other, by the infinite wisdom of the divine intelligence of the universe. Freedom of personal beliefs and the pursuit of happiness were at the top of the list in writing the U.S. government framework outlined within the U.S. Constitution, so that it is ensured that the American system of government cannot function without the role of The People. 

Indeed, the U.S. Constitution was specifically designed under a simple framework for the unique purpose of protecting “the individual citizen” from the tyranny of the few in the government.  The text reflects clearly that the U.S. Constitution tells the government what it can and must do in the ongoing execution of duties under the sworn loyalty oath to the Constitution.  The loyalty oath is required of every elected and appointed official, even as employees of the government.  All State laws must also comply with the requirements and protections of the U.S. Constitution, even under State Sovereignty established by the 10th Amendment.

The American colonial experience came to an end over issues of taxation without representation in the English government system.  Therefore, in the United States of America, the representatives of The People are the members of the U.S. Congress:  House of Representatives and the Senate.  The U.S. President is in effect the elected chief executive officer, who under Article II is allowed limited power having to do with executing his constitutionally defined duties under a separate authority and power of the Executive Branch, different from members of the other two branches of government, the Congress and Judicial branches.  The People are the foundation of what is America.  Their voice concerning government activities is essential to the American process all the way to Washington D.C. 
Therefore, following is a discussion of the most relevant issues concerning how our American government functions under the U.S. Constitution “of, by, and for The People”. 

References for Part II

Tunisia CNS Video:   (Clinton Transcript Included)
Hillary in Tunisia Answering Question About Pandering to 'Zionist Lobbies'
March 6, 2012 

There are comments made that certainly don’t reflect the United States, don’t reflect our foreign policy, don’t reflect who we are as a people. 
“Secondly, I would say watch what President Obama says and does. He’s our President. He represents all of the United States, and he will be reelected President, so I think that that will be a very clear signal to the entire world as to what our values are and what our President believes. So I think it’s a fair question because I know that – I sometimes am a little surprised that people around the world pay more attention to what is said in our political campaigns than most Americans, say, are paying attention. So I think you have to shut out some of the rhetoric and just focus on what we’re doing and what we stand for, and particularly what our President represents.”

II. Analytical Observations, pp. 3-5

A significant Constitutional issue reared its head with Secretary of State Clinton’s concept of American politics, as she expressed it to the Tunisians in a Q&A session in the first week of March 2012. In this viewer’s opinion, Clinton specifically created the impression to her foreign audience that somehow the President has direct, independent sovereignty over The People of America…. She suggests that the opinions expressed by any American candidate for office, or by their supporters, should be dismissed by foreigners as irrelevant. 
In her response (hear the video linked above), she said that “…comments made [by candidates or supporters] don’t reflect the United States, don’t reflect our foreign policy, don’t reflect who we are as a people.”  She further stated, “The President represents all of the United States….  Watch what the President says and does.”  Americans watch what the President says and does, and they know for themselves as citizens, “the meaning of America and who we are as a people”.  Tunisians could have been given a better understanding of Constitutional law in behalf of their growing democracy.  American opinions and intent about Israel are as much a part of the political campaign process, not because the President’s actions signal that for the first time since 1948 when Israel became a nation, our traditional support and defense of Israel has been shelved. 
It is a major issue of international relations in the 2012 election.In our international relations with Israel, where countless American Jews live and travel between our free nations, the President’s words and actions signal that under his leadership we are headed in a direction that is counter to who we are as the American people. The President does not “represent all of America”, on the issue of Israel.  I believe that at the least, even demographic statistics would not indicate that The People of America would sideline Israel and abandon Israelis from taking cues from the President and the Secretary of State.  This is why we have elections and re-elections—and all the discussions and rhetoric that go with the process.
The U.S. President does not have the authority of a King in America because of the overriding, supreme Constitutional Law.  The People elect the U.S. President through the constitutionally defined Electoral Process conducted by the separate, sovereign States, under Article II, Section 1 and further explained under the 10th Amendment to the Constitution.  The office of the U.S. President holds no divine right to rule arbitrarily, as in past European history. 
The next President of the United States will not be elected until American citizens cast their votes in the General Election on November 6, 2012 in every State of America. How would the Secretary of State be able to declare honestly that this President will be re-elected, as a reassurance to the foreign Tunisians in their erroneous view that it is “Zionists” who politically are behind the support of Israel. Yet, this is where she left it in March.  She did not even hint that their view of a Zionist organization is the sole support in promoting Israel’s right to exist since it was first established after World War II.  Nor did she speak fairly about comments supporting candidates being simply irrelevant rhetoric.
Moreover, regardless of anything Clinton said to Tunisians, they need to realize that the President has limited power throughout all of America, which is very briefly and simply stated in Article II, Section 2 of the U.S. Constitution.  It is a restricted authority that is not a matter of direct power over The People, except as needed in honest, true, national emergencies.
Only Congress in the federal government, officially represents The People of America, no one else.  As representatives of The People, however, Congressional members of the House or the Senate also do not have direct personal power over American citizens Constitutionally. 
That said, Hillary Clinton certainly did not represent The People of America even in behalf of the President, in her response to the Tunisians. Americans are free to speak out about anything under the sun, so long as they conduct themselves lawfully. The Tunisian question in the video of the Q&A given above, concerns the daily unspoken  Palestinian warring upon Israel, and whether Americans “support Israel” in any way. The Tunisian speaking, is further concerned about what the President intends to do at any time “about Israel’s” independent power to defend herself, and continue to exist.

The right to exist as a free nation was endowed internationally in 1948 in behalf of the Jewish people.  That was at least some restitution for them to have a place to call their own, where they could live in freedom, and in security, on their own soil.  That was after the end of World War II’s military defeat of the Nazi faction, who had caused the terrible deaths of millions of Jewish people simply for being Jewish.  That is fact.  Still today, there are a multitude of wrongful issues delivered upon the nation and people of Israel today.  Americans know this largely because of the free speech of the Internet in America, with videos to prove what they know. The primary media news outlets are not reporting the daily attacks across the borders of Israel, killing and maiming innocent citizens of Israel.

In any case, in America, The People’s constitutional rights and protections include an independent choice of free speech and writing; freedom to research, read and hear different ideas about live and living; of the freedom to associate and to assemble with whom one chooses; and especially, the individual citizen’s free choices about religious and other personal beliefs.
The best analogy about the powers of the U.S. President, which comes to mind after studying Article II, Sections 1, 2, and 3, may be this:  The President is at worst, the top go to executive officer nationally and internationally.  At best, a U.S. President inspires America and other free nations by explaining the traditional philosophical, as well as economic and constitutional premises of the plans he has for the benefit of all of America.  A President at best today, also may inspire foreigners concerning why the American Constitutionalist Republic represents the best form of government for an as yet, still imperfect humanity on earth.
In declaring that Obama “represents of all of America” and implying that foreigners should ignore comments as being merely irrelevant, empty campaign rhetoric in search of votes, Clinton ignored that the American people are included, after all, in the Tunisian question of comments made in America about Israel.  Further, she ignored what is stated clearly within our Constitution’s Supreme Law, Article II, which limits and restricts the powers of the U.S. President.  Merely “watching what the President says and does” does not tell foreigners what America “thinks” as a People, and further it does not explain to foreigners the constitutional standing of what a President says and does, even during a presidential campaign for re-election…. Whatever the President says and does may bring a long delayed reaction throughout America, arising from The People through the Congressional Senators and Representatives. More importantly at the election polls in November 2012, The People will give their response, despite any legalities concerning what the President says and does.
Indeed, unchecked unconstitutional rhetoric presented as American principles in words and deeds by elected and appointed officials may be found to be systematic and conducted with unconstitutional intent.  This often occurs through the most subtle, largely unnoticed manipulated methods. Later, Constitutional violations that occur in connection with those words and actions eventually become recognized as substantial threats to the freedoms of American citizens, and more so, a threat to the future of our Constitutional Republic of the United States of America.
Thus, the old saying, “Eternal vigilance is the price of freedom.”  Therefore, it is incumbent upon all American citizens to be informed and to help keep others informed, especially when the news media goes silent on matters affecting the future of America as a free nation. This vigilance is part of the role that is intended for the American people, and we are seeing more of this today perhaps than ever in our history as a nation.  Of course, Secretary Clinton did not take up her teachable moment with the Tunisian question….
Again, every elected official in government is required to publicly give their personal, sworn promise of the loyalty oath of office to the U.S. Constitution: to uphold it, and to protect, defend and preserve it in all actions/words and policies carried out while holding elected office, as true representatives of The People, and as true loyalists to the U.S. Constitution.
In America, elected and appointed officials do NOT swear loyalty oaths to any individual person, including especially the U.S. President of the United States. The loyalty oath is sworn TO the U.S. Constitution.  Whatever was Secretary Clinton’s purpose in making the above quoted statement to the Tunisians, it remains that the Constitutional role of a U.S. President and his executive administration functions as a public trust under the same loyalty oath of all duly sworn federal employees, which includes the Secretary of State and all other staff members of the Executive Branch of the federal government.

III.  Discussion of Article II and The People, pp 6-9
The Executive Branch has power over its own certain specific Departments, whereas the Congress and Judicial Branch have separate powers over their respective areas of government, as defined in the U.S. Constitution. Thus, there are built-in checks and balances, with each branch overseeing in certain countless ways that Constitutional actions and policies are ensured within each branch of the federal government. When oversight fails in the face of tyrannical blocks of people at any or all levels of government, then The People are in serious jeopardy. 
The breakdown of the Branches in the U.S. Constitution is found in the following Articles, I, II, and III.  Text of Article II is found at the end of this paper.
1.      Article I:   Congress (House + Senate)
2.      Article II:  Executive Branch (Elected President + Appointees have power under the U.S. Constitution’s Advise and Consent Clause for Congress, as representatives of the States and The People)
3.      Article III:  Judicial Branch (U.S. Supreme Court + Inferior Courts).
The Constitution’s premise of The People’s and States’ representation in the federal government of in Washington D.C. ensures that our Constitutional Republic continues a democratic process from one election to the next.  This process with built-in checks and balances on the power of individuals, and over the separate powers of the three branches of the federal government, requires open public discussion and debate insofar as The People may hear or read the speeches in Congress and the Executive Branches. Fortunately today, The People may view the television proceedings on the floor of both houses of Congress.  Also, the Internet provides the text and videos of speeches and all required records of public discussions.  It is important that everyone understand what is being done in the legislation produced by Congress.  It is equally important to be informed of U.S. Supreme Court proceedings and the written records, also available.
Bills that eventually undergo a final Congressional vote by constitutionally elected members in the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate usually involve compromises among different political factions within the Congress in order to get a piece of legislation through to a final vote.  The proposed ideas, the pros and cons, and other alternatives are expected through traditional democratic parliamentary procedure, to be presented by the members of the House and Senate, where eventually a certain level of consensus in favor of proposed issues over others may be achieved. 
As stated, Compromises are made in most cases by the time the final version of a measure becomes law.  However, the compromises must NOT be about any action that would be a violation of the U.S. Constitution, again according to the sworn oaths of every elected representative and senator.  If a U.S. President signs such a Bill containing unconstitutional matters, an unconstitutional law is then the result.  Eventually unconstitutional laws are likely to be challenged if necessary, at any future point for a judicial judgment, all the way up the court system to the U.S. Supreme Court. It is the job of the judicial system to render decisions that eliminate some or all of a challenged law, especially to determine whether it violates requirements and protections of individual citizen rights or other related matters, rather than become anything beneficial to our American constitutionally protected way of life.

Thus, the power of The People was designed by the founding philosophers, to go through channels to the elected district and State representatives in the U.S. Congress. Representatives of The People and matters of The States at the federal level have a constitutionally vested power in their behalf within the U.S. Congress.  Through both processes of the House and the Senate, each given their respective authority and duties in Article II, The People are fully, properly, Constitutionally represented on issues and policies in their behalf, and thus, in behalf of all of America.
The President is elected by The People as required and outlined by the U.S. Constitution, Article II, Section 1.  The U.S. President has constitutionally based “executive Power” that is conducted in behalf of ensuring the security and prosperity of The People of America as a nation.  However, there is a Constitutional provision, giving the U.S. Senate and the joint houses of Congress the power of Presidential oversight by the House and Senate members who most directly represent The People. In any given situation where Congress may determine it is necessary, involvement concerning certain unconstitutional activities by the other branches of government is provided for in Article II, Section 2.  The Congress is prescribed in the U.S. Constitution to do the work of The People.
As defined constitutionally, the U.S. President does the work of senior executive officer.  He is required to be certain his executive orders and policies are Constitutional.  He must also carry out the Laws enacted by the Congress and signed into law by other Presidents and himself, so long as they are Constitutional in their intent and effect upon The People and the Constitutional government of the free nation of America.  He and his appointed department heads and staff members have the responsibility to protect the Constitutional freedoms of citizens in America in all he says and does. The U.S. President is responsible in his words, actions, and policies—for the full faithful execution of Constitutional law, under Article II, Section 2 of the U.S. Constitution.  Only Congress may initiate legislation that may become laws, so in effect a President’s executive orders are considered to be presidential policy for reasons that the President should be prepared to prove at any given time, are or continue to be Constitutional, if it becomes necessary.  Executive orders are for the federal employees including Heads of the Departments in the Executive Branch of the federal government.
Further, Article II, Sections 2 and 3 provides that the U.S. President must function under certain defined conditions, “and he shall have Power, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate,” and also is subject to the oversight of the entire Congress by Law should it become necessary in a Congressional Impeachment investigation. In fact, the Congress under the U. S. Constitution is expected to have detailed reports from the President on the activities of his executive decisions including executive orders, and the actions and policies of his appointees.  These reports are in addition to the traditional public State of the Union Address to a joint session of Congress.
But more to the point here, the President answers at the bottom line—TO The People across America, through their elected representation in Congress, both houses.  For as long as a President functions within the parameters of his sworn Loyalty Oath in executing his duties in accordance with the U.S. Constitution, The People’s Representatives will not use Congressional Constitutional power concerning decisions and actions that have been made by a sitting President.  It is an understood condition of the Constitutional Separation of Powers among the three branches of the federal government that, except when the Congress determines that a President has acted in violation of the U.S. Constitution, the Congress will not get involved directly in the matters of the Executive Branch as explained under Article II, Section 2.
In the meantime, The People, citizens of our Constitutional Republic of the United States of America are expected to say freely and openly without fear of government reprisals, what they believe, correct or wrong, about the words and actions of the U.S. President, as well as other government officials.  It is a constitutional process for the active involvement of the American People. They are free to petition the Congress to take action on any cause they believe in, as long as their actions are in accordance with law, and are not in violation of the U.S. Constitution.  The representatives are responsible for what they decide in behalf of Americans and the future of America.
This is what is behind the misleading inadequacy of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s statements that were made in answer to the question from a Tunisian in her Q&A audience.  Again, listen to the video at the link above, and determine for yourself whether Clinton did not properly answer the teachable moment that would properly have represented the nature of America’s constitutional system of a Democratic Constitutional Republic, with checks and balances upon the power of government officials in behalf of The People of America.

Text of Article II of the U.S. Constitution
Article II, Section 1:  “The executive Power shall be vested in a President of the United States of America.  He shall hold his Office during the Term [prescribed, with new law limited his tenure to two terms of four years].  Each State shall appoint in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a Number of Electors, equal to the whole Number of Senators and Representatives to which the State may be entitled in the Congress….” [See copy of the U.S. Constitution for requirements of what has come to be known as the Electoral College process, and the requirements of eligibility to run for the office of U.S. President].

Article II, Section 2:  ….“He shall have Power, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, to make Treaties, provided two thirds of the Senators present concur; and he shall nominate, and by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, shall appoint Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls, Judges of the supreme Court, and all other Officers of the United States, whose Appointments are not herein otherwise provided for, and which shall be established by Law; but the Congress may by Law vest the Appointment of such inferior Officers, as they think proper, in the President alone, in the Courts of Law, or in the Heads of Departments.”

Article II, Section 3:  “He shall from time to time give to the Congress Information of the State of the Union, and recommend to their Consideration such Measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient; he may, in extraordinary Occasions, convene both Houses, or either of them, and in the Case of Disagreement between them, with Respect to the Time of Adjournment, he may adjourn them to such Time as he shall think proper; he shall receive Ambassadors and other public Ministers; he shall take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed, and shall be established by Law; but the Congress may by Law vest the Appointment of such inferior Officers, as they think proper, in the President alone, in the Courts of Law, or in the Heads of Departments.”

Article II, Section 4:  “The President, Vice President and all civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.”

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