While some of these elements are quite familiar, the overall thrust is, I believe, new. And if this argument is properly presented, and if enough people seize upon it, it might change the dynamic of how our so-called political leaders are dealing with the challenge of this dangerous moment in American history.
Here are the main points of this new argument, along with some incidental comments:
Main Point # 1:
THE CONSTITUTION IS UNDER ASSAULT FROM THIS BUSH REGIME.
This is not, of course, a new point. But it still needs to be made afresh in almost our every communication to our countrymen, and it needs to be substantiated enough in this instance that it can stand credibly on its own.
One way of driving the point home: If these claims to unchecked presidential power are not an assault on our Constitution, what would be? The point is that such unchecked presidential power strikes at the very heart of the Constitution.
Main Point # 2:
EVERY MEMBER OF CONGRESS --ALL 535 OF THEM-- HAS TAKEN AN OATH TO DEFEND THE CONSTITUTION.
In previous writings here on opednews, I 've brought up this issue of the oath of office. Most of the time, however, that I've brought up the oath of office I have stressed how the President has taken --and violated-- such an oath.
But it is, as you'll see, quite central to the present argument that the Members of Congress are bound by their own 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..."
That sets up the real meat of the argument, in the next two points.
Main Point # 3:
TAKING AN OATH --ACCORDING TO OUR CULTURAL, HISTORICAL, AND RELIGIOUS TRADITIONS-- IS A VERY, VERY SERIOUS MATTER. IT IS AS SERIOUS A PROMISE AND AS SACRED AND UNQUALIFIED A COMMITMENT AS IT IS POSSIBLE IN OUR CIVILIZATION TO MAKE.
In my next installment of this "They Swore on the Bible" series, which will appear here on Monday, I will flesh out this idea. I will establish that, in the moral universe to which we American are heir, to be an oath-breaker is about as low as one can go. The words "treason" and "damnation" are applied to such violations of an oath such as the Members of Congress have taken.
This is the fulcrum that will make this argument a lever to move those craven politicians of both parties to action, if any essentially morally-based argument could do so. That's because....