Sir John Harington (4 August 1561 – 20 November 1612) of Kelston, England, is best known as the inventor of the flush toilet. He was also a writer of some note, and is still remembered for his political epigram which reads, “Treason doth never prosper: what’s the reason? Why, if it prosper, none dare call it treason.”
Those who wrote the United States Constitution, however, ‘dared’ to talk a bit about Treason; in fact, the Constitution mentions the word seven times. The first six appear as follows:
Article I., Section. 6., Clause 1:
The Senators and Representatives shall receive a Compensation for their Services, to be ascertained by Law, and paid out of the Treasury of the United States. They shall in all Cases, except Treason, Felony and Breach of the Peace, be privileged from Arrest during their Attendance at the Session of their respective Houses, and in going to and returning from the same; and for any Speech or Debate in either House, they shall not be questioned in any other Place.
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.
Article. III., Section. 3., Clause 1:
Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort. No Person shall be convicted of Treason unless on the Testimony of two Witnesses to the same overt Act, or on Confession in open Court.
Article. III., Section. 3., Clause 2:
The Congress shall have Power to declare the Punishment of Treason . . .
Article. IV., Section. 2., Clause 2:
A Person charged in any State with Treason, Felony, or other Crime, who shall flee from Justice, and be found in another State, shall on Demand of the executive Authority of the State from which he fled, be delivered up, to be removed to the State having Jurisdiction of the Crime.
So. On October 1, 2013, the GOP-controlled House of Representatives decided to shut down the government unless the American (Health) Care Act (aka Obamacare) was defunded and its implementation postponed for (at least) a year. Neither the Senate nor the White House have ever been even remotely interested in going along with the Tea Party’s self-imposed ‘crisis’ and therefore, in the absence of any continuing funding resolution, the government has been shut down. Hundreds of thousands of Federal employees have been furloughed without pay; national parks are closed; estimates are that on the front end, the dollar cost is approximately $300 million PER DAY! But hey, if that’s what it takes to disallow ordinary people the privilege of reasonably-price health care, so be it! Yee Haw!
The next serious issue that’s currently on the docket about two weeks forward from this day will likely be the congressional (House) GOP’s refusal to raise the nation’s debt limit unless included in the legislation are concessions designed to rid the country once and for all of “Socialism” (read: Obamacare) in order that the demands of their corporate and billionaire masters/owners be satisfied. To not raise the debt limit will, of course, prevent the United States from satisfying any/all of its existing financial obligations. Economic collapse is the predictable next step in the process and if/when it should occur, the nation’s enemies around the globe shall surely cheer. Perhaps even the spirit of Osama bin Laden will . . . ummm . . . rise again? And rejoice because his Mission — the destruction of the United States — has finally come to pass?
The far right wing of today’s Republican Party, in consort with its somewhat more moderate/centrist faction(s), remains outside the fringe of what should, in normal times, be considered political civility. Suppose today’s anti-Obama insanity continues; suppose the next step really IS to deny any debt limit increase (to accommodate spending already AUTHORIZED by Congress), and that the worst case scenario commences. Suppose the United States is forced to default on its financial obligations; suppose the result is the easily projected economic collapse of the nation’s . . . and most likely also the world’s . . . collective economy. What then?
Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort.
Simply stated, today’s American far right wing proto-fascist movement, aka the Tea Party branch of the GOP, the Republican Party, appears to be perfectly willing to do whatever they feel is necessary to destroy the Presidency of Barack Obama. He’s not “white” after all, and therefore . . . whatever it takes? Including actions that could well destroy the United States of America?
Was Sir John Harington right when he noted that no one will “dare call it treason”?
In most quarters, I suspect that yes, the darkness implicit in elected members of Congress actually ‘giving Aid and Comfort’ to the nation’s enemies will indeed be overlooked; and “none [will] dare call it treason.”
None . . . no one in the public eye . . . will dare speak the truth. But I will. Speak. The. Truth! And call it what it is:Treason! And yes, I do understand that Testimony of two Witnesses to the same overt Act is required. So . . . I’m in. Anyone else? 😀
Oh, and special thanks to Sir John Harington for inventing the flush toilet . . . it’ll surely come in handy as a tool to rid the world of, say, used teabags?
OPEN THREAD. FLUSH AWAY.