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The Not-So-Loyal Opposition

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Violating The Oath They Took

Just what does it mean to take an oath to defend the Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic? Let's look to another time when the country was under attack from within.

Members of Congress today take this oath,

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.

This oath was brought in following more severe changes in the oath during the 1860s Nort/South conflict, According to Senate.gov,

In April of 1861, a time of uncertain and shifting loyalties, President Abraham Lincoln ordered all federal civilian employees within the executive branch to take an expanded oath. When Congress convened for a brief emergency session in July, members echoed the president's action by enacting legislation requiring employees to take the expanded oath in support of the Union. This oath is the earliest direct predecessor of the modern oath.

Then as now the country was under attack from within. Those still loyal to the Constitution insisted that officials take an "Ironclad Test Oath" swearing they had never engaged in disloyal conduct. The difference is that then they enforced it, and those who took the oath falsely were prosecuted for perjury. Today, not so much.

The Fourteenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, Section. 4: The validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law, including debts incurred for payment of pensions and bounties for services in suppressing insurrection or rebellion, shall not be questioned.

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Eric Hunt contributed to this post.

This post originally appeared at Campaign for America's Future (CAF) at their Blog for OurFuture. I am a Fellow with CAF.

Sign up here for the CAF daily summary.

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Dave Johnson is Founder and principal author at Seeing the Forest. Dave is a frequent public speaker and talk-radio guest and a leading participant in the progressive blogging community. He does a regular weekly segment on the popular Fairness (more...)
 

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to counter the treachery of Republicans is to ensu... by Archie on Friday, Jul 1, 2011 at 12:48:25 PM
We are to be enslaved by debt and there will be mo... by Mike Preston on Friday, Jul 1, 2011 at 4:14:16 PM
You mean people actually thought with the record f... by David Vicks on Friday, Jul 1, 2011 at 7:40:50 PM
Disloyal AND Dishonest. Fascist liars and thieves ... by Donald on Friday, Jul 1, 2011 at 9:48:49 PM
Either way, this is a radical, unprecedented atte... by Michael Dewey on Friday, Jul 1, 2011 at 10:45:47 PM
Of course, their strategy takes deposing the first... by John Sanchez Jr. on Saturday, Jul 2, 2011 at 8:16:46 AM
The struggle is against the Corporatists and Fasci... by Bia Winter on Sunday, Jul 3, 2011 at 8:19:26 AM