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What Is Job #1?

As Glenn Greenwald of Unclaimed Territory, among others, has noted the Shrubbery keeps claiming that protection from threats is the President’s most important job, and justification for anything he wants to do.

If you read the preamble to the Constitution, it is obviously not the case:

We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

Defense comes in at number 4, not number 1.

If you look at Article II, Section I of the U.S. Constitution and the oath of office for the President:

I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.

There is no mention of defending the country, only of defending the Constitution.

If you look at the military oath of enlistment:

“I, (name of enlistee), 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; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. (So help me God.)”

There is nothing about the country [or the flag], only the Constitution.

When a US Senator dismisses the necessity of defending the rights contained in the Constitution, he is being as un-American as is possible. The Constitution is the United States of America. The Constitution is the country, and if you don’t want to defend it, you can’t claim you are defending America. Without the Constitution and the ideals embodied in it, the United States is just land with people on it, it isn’t a country.

6 comments

1 Steve Bates { 10.22.06 at 11:52 pm }

Cornyn is a nut… a wealthy nut with a lot of backers, but a nut nonetheless. If you’ll recall, he’s the one who came within a nanometer of advocating or at least condoning the assassination of federal judges he considered “activist.” It does not surprise me that he has not read the Constitution closely, nor that he pays no heed to his oath of office.

I heard him speak at a fundraiser once. I didn’t want to, but his gathering was at a restaurant across an outdoor balcony from the cheap soup-and-salad place I was eating at, and the sound carried. It was all about money and power, power and money. Nothing else inspires people like Cornyn… nothing.

2 Bryan { 10.23.06 at 12:05 am }

I get really sick of having my patriotism questioned by people who do not understand what the United States is all about, or what real threats to the country look like.

3 Karen { 10.23.06 at 7:26 am }

I am just really hoping to see a Nov 7th sweep…and a re-assessment of many of those laws and policies usurped by the Shrubs! It May Happen! Please, please, please…..

😀

4 Bryan { 10.23.06 at 10:00 am }

A real insistence that defending the Constitution is being weak on anything would help.

5 Mustang Bobby { 10.23.06 at 12:42 pm }

It would be easier to explain it to people if we swore allegiance to a person, say, or the Crown, but this concept of swearing (or affirming, as I prefer to do) to a document…well, that sounds a little pinko to me… 🙂

6 Bryan { 10.23.06 at 1:15 pm }

Actually the Communist constitutions were much stricter about the rights of people than the US Constitution, which is a very conservative document by modern standards. Of course, it was once understood that the difference was: we conformed to our Constitution while the Communists ignored theirs.