Petition to Recall Senators Who Voted for NDAA in the Works in Montana


Update #2 (this is an update from the original Kos post linked to below):
This is from a statement from Stewart Rhodes of Oathkeepers regarding Republican Denny Rehberg as a target of recall, who also voted for NDAA.

Here in Montana, while we will go after all three violators of the Bill of Rights, I will place special emphasis and “focus of effort” on Denny Rehberg, since he is so fond of wrapping himself in the flag and claiming to be defending the Constitution while his votes do the exact opposite. In that sense, Rehberg is much like John McCain and Lindsey Graham, two Republicans who, right along with Carl Levin and Joseph Lieberman, are leading a sustained and relentless assault on our Bill of Rights.

Do people really believe it is appropriate for our Senators (or Rep) in Montana to cast votes that take away constitutional rights?

Well, many in Montana and across the country don’t believe so. Jonathan Turley, at the TurleyBlog — the foremost legal blog commenting on civil rights in the country — makes a fine example of what many Montanans are doing in response to Max and Jon’s (and should be doing to Denny, too) ill-advised votes for indefinite detention of american citizens:

…Now Montana citizens have decided to try another approach given the non-responsive attitude of our leaders — they are moving to remove their two Senators from office over their votes in favor of indefinite detention powers.

Montana is one of nine states with recall laws. The other states are Arizona, Colorado, Louisiana, Michigan, Nevada, North Dakota, Oregon, and Wisconsin. Eighteen states have recall laws, but most do not apply to federal officers.

Montana Code 2-16-603, on the grounds of physical or mental lack of fitness, incompetence, violation of oath of office, official misconduct, or conviction of certain felony offenses. [sic]

Presumably, they are arguing that voting for an unconstitutional measure that allows for indefinite detention of citizens constitutes both a violation of the oath of office and incompetence. Usually official misconduct does not include policy differences, though voting for potentially authoritarian powers would not be viewed as good conduct in a free nation.

The move by the Montana votes shows something that I found in doing speeches around the country: there is no difference in red and blue states in citizens (1) fed up with our current two-party monopoly and dysfunctional politics and (2) opposed to the loss of civil liberties in this country.

It seems that occasional 4&20 commenter William Crane and others are behind this effort:

Montana law requires grounds for recall to be stated which show conformity to the allowed grounds for recall. The draft language of the Montana petitions, “reason for recall” reads:

“The Sixth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution guarantees all U.S citizens:
“a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed…”

The National Defense Authorization Act of 2011 (NDAA 2011) permanently abolishes the Sixth Amendment right to a jury trial, “for the duration of hostilities” in the War on Terror, which was defined by President George W. Bush as “task which does not end” to a joint session of Congress on September 20, 2001.

Those who voted Aye on December 15th, 2011, Bill of Rights Day, for NDAA 2011 have attempted to grant powers which cannot be granted, which violate both the spirit and the letter of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence.

The Montana Recall Act stipulates that officials including US senators can only be recalled for physical or mental lack of fitness, incompetence, violation of the oath of office, official misconduct, or conviction of a felony offense. We the undersigned call for a recall election to be held for Senator Max S. Baucus [and Senator Jonathan Tester] and charge that he has violated his oath of office, to protect and defend the United States Constitution.”

…Montana would be the first recall drive to be launched as a result of the vote for the NDAA military detentions provisions.

Ah, it’s a fine day when the “principled left” believes that a dialog about the electeds stripping Constitutional rights from citizens needs to take center stage! As to Turley’s point above about the “two-party monopoly”, Denny should be taking his licks for his vote, also.

Update with thought exercise: What will the election for Senator look like if both candidates have active petition recalls against them? And what might happen if the petitions actually lead to a vote before the general election next year? And who might the fill in candidates be if both recalls succeeded? Who might replace Max?

  1. Jay Stevens

    Until Rehberg is included, I call bullsh*t on this.

    • JC

      Then let’s pressure the folks who are working on the petitions to include him.

    • lizard19

      hey Jay, I like this part of your “about” page:

      Ultimately what got me interested and active in blogging and politics was the violations against the Constitution by the Bush administration and its allies.

      • Jay Stevens

        Which explains why I’ve been pretty pissed off at the Obama administration about their continuing the Bush anti-terror policies.

        • Brian

          Jay, I won’t go so far as the Republicans who say that now that Obama has adopted them, they are fully now the “Obama anti-terror policies” but as a tea partier who is critical of both sides, I ask, can’t we now fairly call them the “Bush-Obama anti-terror policies”? After all, you’re continuing to deflect blame and failing to really give Obama his due ownership as long as you call them the Bush policies and imply that Obama doesn’t get a full share of responsibility because he is ONLY continuing them. I’m happy to give them equal blame at this point, aren’t you?

      • Tom

        I agree! Temporarily in New Mexico. Hoping to know when the petitions are out so I can sign them. Better this, than what’s coming next!

  2. The oathkeepers appear to be going after Rehberg:

    Daily Kos UPDATE 12/26/2011:

    This is from a statement from Stewart Rhodes of Oathkeepers regarding Republican Denny Rehberg as a target of recall, who also voted for NDAA.

    Here in Montana, while we will go after all three violators of the Bill of Rights, I will place special emphasis and “focus of effort” on Denny Rehberg, since he is so fond of wrapping himself in the flag and claiming to be defending the Constitution while his votes do the exact opposite. In that sense, Rehberg is much like John McCain and Lindsey Graham, two Republicans who, right along with Carl Levin and Joseph Lieberman, are leading a sustained and relentless assault on our Bill of Rights.


    This is fine political theater. It will attract attention, enrage Democrats, and not go anywhere. I’m voting for Tester, warts and all.

    • lizard19

      is there anything Tester could do to lose your support James? do you see this continued assault on the constitution as mere “warts”? what recourse do us lowly citizens have when our constitutional protections are being eroded by BOTH parties?

      • With whom would you replace Tester? Are you willing to improve Rehberg’s odds of winning (and if so, why on earth why)?

        • lizard19

          Denise Juneau. now I answered your question, James, do you have any answers to mine?

          • You answered the first question, but not the second.

            I employed “warts” in a figurative sense, but not to minimize Tester’s shortcomings. I’m as outraged as anyone over the detention provisions in the defense bill.

            I consider Tester a conservative Democrat, especially on economic issues. I don’t know whether I would prefer him to Juneau. Realistically, he’s not going to be recalled, and I rather doubt that Juneau will challenge him in the primary.

            For me, the choice is not between Tester and the perfect Democrat (a null class), but between Tester and Rehberg. As an incumbent senator, I think he has the best chance of any Democrat to beat Rehberg — and there’s far more than a dime’s worth of difference between them. If Republicans capture the senate next year, they’ll wreak enormous damage to civil liberties.

            That’s why, although I disagree with Tester on some things, I’ll put a clothespin in my pocket before leaving for the poll, and vote for him on election day.

          • Pancho

            I’d be very happy to send Denise a few bucks if she ran for the House seat.

          • Jay Stevens

            Is Juneau running???

  3. Jaden Morgan

    awesome! it is time we hold our politicians accountable. I wish California had the right to kick out our crooks at the highest level that are not representing our rights

    • Pancho

      California kicked out a labor-backed candidate for a corporation-backed candidate just eight years ago. Do you have a short-term memory problem?

      You have that theoretical opportunity. Thanks to the Supreme Court, fat chance you’ll be able to exercise it. They have let corporations buy whatever politicians they want. The crooks would be hardest to recall and for-profit prison corporations had a lot to do with putting Schwartzenegger into office.

      • Jaden Morgan

        actually, I was deployed to Iraq 8 years ago. I understand that you are mad but dont take it out on me. slinging mud at someone that can stand with you only keeps you down in a quagmire

  4. Pancho

    In the Senate, six “D”s and six “R”s voted against the measure, as passed by the conference committee, Lieberman and Sanders splitting the “I” vote.

    In the House, the vote was 190 Republicans for, 43 against, 93 Democrats for, 93 against. So 82% of “R”s voted for, 18% against, 50% of “D”s for and against. (6 “D”s and 8 “R”s didn’t vote.)

    Passing a resolution to go after two Democrats without going after Denny, who wants Jon’s seat, will likely wind up ousting Tester and electing Rehberg. Even unsuccessfully going after Tester could probably cause Rehberg to beat Jon next year. Going after all three will have the same effect.

    What this means is that it could help get the “D”s out of the Senate majority and we could see “R”s controlling both houses. If you think about all the bad legislation those 53 votes have stopped, and you still work or vote to recall Tester, you need to get a clue.

    I’ve been around a lot of elections and have volunteered on them virtually every two years since 1966.

    This petition has to be one of the dumbest moves that could be embraced by a progressive since 50,000 Florida Greens, left wing Democrats and Independents supported Nader in 2000.

    You’re upset about “Corporations are People?” Think where that ruling came from.

    In cruder terms, the petition rates a “shit for brains” appraisal.

    • lizard19

      what would you rate voting for indefinite detention of anyone, anywhere?

      • Pancho

        It’s terrible.

        Could Baucus or Tester have stopped it? The vote was 85-14 (Moran, R-KS not voting).

        Do you want someone who votes with you 95% of the time, or 5% of the time?

        Wait. Think about this one.

        Tick, tock. Tick, tock.

        Rehberg or Tester.


        Tell me when you’ve decided.

        • lizard19

          I’m not making my decision until next November. I’ve maintained up to this point that I’m voting for Tester because Rehberg is atrocious. legislation like this, and Tester’s support, is forcing me to reassess how despicably complicit our Democrat senators have become.

          I wonder if Jon has even tried explaining himself on this one. pretty soon it’s not just going to be us crazy extremists tiring of Jon’s political decisions.

          • Pancho

            While with a couple of union friends in another state, I was approached by a “D” Senator in October at a Democratic party meeting. He told us, “I was your candidate for governor, last year.”

            I said, “I know.” “I supported you and gave you contributions until you cast the deciding vote to keep the death penalty.”

            He said, “Well, it’s not like we are in Texas,” (where your counsel has to be drunk AND sleeping for you to get convicted of Murder I, and have it possibly overturned on appeal).

            So he said, “Did you vote for (the Republican)?” (Who won.)

            I said, “If I was driving him in my car I’d drive off a cliff.”

            • lizard19

              I don’t think the death penalty and our constitutional protections are comparable, because without crucial mechanisms like due process, the whole American experiment could die a nasty, fascist death.

              • Pancho

                One of Justice Stevens’ great regrets was that he did not vote to find the DP to be per se “cruel and unusual.”

              • lizard19

                no due process, no appeal process, no hope. the death penalty is bad. the death of the constitution is worse.

  5. Ingemar Johansson

    Gotta get me some butter and salt.

    • lizard19

      glad to see you survived Christmas Ingy. if you value being left alone, like you were whining about in that other thread, you might want to be a bit concerned Rehberg is going along with all this.

      • Ingemar Johansson

        If you commit “acts of treason” you deserve repercussions.

        U.S. Constitution Article 3 Section 3
        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.

        U.S. Constitution Amendment 14
        5. The Congress shall have power to enforce, by appropriate legislation, the provisions of this article.

        Section 349 of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1481)
        (a) A person who is a national of the United States whether by birth or naturalization, shall lose his nationality by voluntarily performing any of the following acts with the intention of relinquishing United States nationality—
        (7) committing any act of treason against, or attempting by force to overthrow, or bearing arms against, the United States, violating or conspiring to violate any of the provisions of section 2383 of title 18, or willfully performing any act in violation of section 2385 of title 18, or violating section 2384 of title 18 by engaging in a conspiracy to overthrow, put down, or to destroy by force the Government of the United States, or to levy war against them, if and when he is convicted thereof by a court martial or by a court of competent jurisdiction.

        Ok, that being said, if you are no longer a U.S. citizen, then you don’t have the right guaranteed to the CITIZENS of the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA by the CONSTITUTION OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.

        Does anybody argue this point?

        • JC

          Absolutely disagree. The constitution does not apply just to american citizens. The constitution applies to all individuals within the united states boundaries, depending on the provision. And you forget to mention that conviction on article 3 sec 3 is preceded by a lengthy process that is full of constitutional protections. Or at least used to be protected… a bit less so, these days.

          Do you think that all constitutional provisions should be equally applied? Or do some like the one you quoted above carry more weight for some reason to you than the protections against say, warrantless searches or indefinite detention?

          Are you a selective constitutionalist, above and beyond thinking that the constitution is only reserved for citizens? And speaking of citizens, do you think corporations deserve citizenship in order to exert their first amendment rights granted to them by the SCOTUS?

          • Ingemar Johansson

            Not up to us, is it?

            All in all tho, I think you’ve won as many as us when it comes to the Supremes.

            And that corporation decision…think of stockholders as union business owners.

  6. Pancho

    JC wrote: What will the election for Senator look like if both candidates have active petition recalls against them? And what might happen if the petitions actually lead to a vote before the general election next year? And who might the fill in candidates be if both recalls succeeded? Who might replace Max?
    Neither will be recalled. Baucus won’t have to run. Tester will lose. Rehberg will win.


    Because those who support Rehberg are okay with his vote. Those who don’t support Tester’s vote for the NDAA won’t vote at all. Rehberg will win.

    It’s telling that Rehberg isn’t a subject of recall, though. This is clearly an effort to give corporations even more power.

    Think about this a little more. Right now there’s a good chance no Democrat, even a centrist, could get appointed to the Supreme Court, if one of those five bastards, or one of the other four, died tomorrow. The Tea Party morons would keep the seat empty hoping their last man standing would fill it in 2013.

    • lizard19

      so why did Tester vote for this fascist bill in the first place if the political price is potentially so steep?

      • Pancho

        My guess is that it was a calculation.

        How many votes would he lose in a heads up with Rehberg, by voting for it?

        Few, he’d figure.

        How many more votes would he win if he voted against it?

        Few, he’d know, but he’d lose a lot more, especially to centerists and independents.

        Let’s roll back the clock nine years and two months.

        Bush, less than a month before the 2002 election, successfully promoted the “You’re with us or you’re with the terrorists.”

        The vote to authorize carte blanche for Bush to invade Iraq came to the Senate floor.

        Despite eloquent opposition from the likes of Teddy Kennedy and most particularly and movingly and lengthily, Robert Byrd, the lemmings joined the rush off the cliff.

        How many Republicans voted against it?

        One. (And he lost his next general election after a stiff and odious primary challenge.)

        How many Democrats facing a reelection challenge dared to vote against it?

        Right. Same answer. One. (And he died a week or so later.)

        They calculated. They didn’t have the votes to stop it. Not a prayer. They didn’t want to walk off and leave the seat in worse hands than they would have otherwise. Some didn’t want to have to go job hunting, though they would have gotten a lot better pay anywhere.

        I’m guessing at all this. Maybe someday someone who was there will write their memoirs.

        Wonks should take a better look at the Senate vote. There was one state, Oregon, where both voted against the NDAA.

        However, there were thirteen states where both members voted for the Udall amdendment to take the detention provision out of the bill. All had Democratic delegations. Both Tester and Baucus voted for that, along with 32 other Democrats. (Both Alaskans, “R” and “D” skipped the vote.

        I wouldn’t be in such a rush to carry those petititons.

        Maybe someone will post these sorts of thoughts at Daily Kos.

        • Pancho

          I should correct myself.

          Two Republicans voted for the Udall amendment. Rand Paul and Mark Kirk from Illinois. So the IL delegation was bipartisan for the amendment.

        • lizard19

          well, he’s losing my vote over this, and I can’t imagine who he thinks he’s picking up to replace my vote because of his calculated support for this despicable bill. I can’t hold my nose and vote for someone who doesn’t seem to care that the casualty of his reelection efforts is our constitutionally protected rights.

  7. lizard19

    could someone please explain to me the strategy for Tester behind this vote? how does it help him win reelection?

    it seems like Tester is stuck in a microcosm of Obama’s problem: by trying to out-Republican Republicans on issues of national defense, it seems they’re chasing votes in the middle and center-right, while simultaneously giving some segments of the Dem base plenty of evidence that their previous support is not just being taken for granted, but actually being treated as a hostile fringe not even worthy of being taken seriously.

    because what are you going to do, assholes, vote for Rehberg?

    if that’s the strategy, it’s pretty goddamn stupid if you ask me.

  8. JC

    I’ve updated my post above to include the following updated info from the recallers:

    This is from a statement from Stewart Rhodes of Oathkeepers regarding Republican Denny Rehberg as a target of recall, who also voted for NDAA.

    Here in Montana, while we will go after all three violators of the Bill of Rights, I will place special emphasis and “focus of effort” on Denny Rehberg, since he is so fond of wrapping himself in the flag and claiming to be defending the Constitution while his votes do the exact opposite. In that sense, Rehberg is much like John McCain and Lindsey Graham, two Republicans who, right along with Carl Levin and Joseph Lieberman, are leading a sustained and relentless assault on our Bill of Rights.

    Seems like the initial flurry of agitation over the limiting of the recall to senators has prodded the Oathkeepers into focusing on Rehberg. The plot thickens (or is it “congeals”?).

  9. Pancho

    I hope I don’t need to repeat my opinion that this won’t hurt Rehberg with those who already favor him, but it would hurt Tester who those who hold him in favor.

    Lieberman, of course, is not a Democrat.

    When Gore announced him as his pick on TV back in 2000, I hollered, so loudly that I startled my wife, “It will be a cold day in hell before I vote for THAT son of a bitch.” Good thing I didn’t have a shoe handy to throw at the set.

    Levin surprised me on this one, early on. I expect he sold out for defense contractors.

    • lizard19

      why should Levin care? if MI dems are like MT dems, then more resources and energy will be expended defending him instead of allowing bottom-up energy the opportunity to rise and challenge him.

  10. Pancho

    Meet The Oath Keepers

    Submitted by Kyle Mantyla on February 22, 2010 – 10:32am

    Justine Sharrock has a long article on The Oath Keepers in the latest issue of Mother Jones that notes the organization’s ties to Tea Party and 9/12 activists and, by extension, figures like Ralph Reed, groups like the Eagle Forum, and members of Congress:

    Founded last April by Yale-educated lawyer and ex-Ron Paul aide Stewart Rhodes, the group has established itself as a hub in the sprawling anti-Obama movement that includes Tea Partiers, Birthers, and 912ers. Glenn Beck, Lou Dobbs, and Pat Buchanan have all sung its praises, and in December, a grassroots summit it helped organize drew such prominent guests as representatives Phil Gingrey and Paul Broun, both Georgia Republicans.

    There are scores of patriot groups, but what makes Oath Keepers unique is that its core membership consists of men and women in uniform, including soldiers, police, and veterans. At regular ceremonies in every state, members reaffirm their official oaths of service, pledging to protect the Constitution—but then they go a step further, vowing to disobey “unconstitutional” orders from what they view as an increasingly tyrannical government.

    It was while volunteering for Ron Paul’s doomed presidential bid that Rhodes decided to abandon electoral politics in favor of grassroots organizing. As an undergrad, he had been fascinated by the notion that if German soldiers and police had refused to follow orders, Hitler could have been stopped. Then, in early 2008, SWAT received a letter from a retired colonel declaring that “the Constitution and our Bill of Rights are gravely endangered” and that service members, veterans, and police “is where they will be saved, if they are to be saved at all!”

    Rhodes responded with a breathless column starring a despotic president, “Hitlery” Clinton, in her “Chairman Mao signature pantsuit.” Would readers, he asked, obey orders from this “dominatrix-in-chief” to hold militia members as enemy combatants, disarm citizens, and shoot all resisters? If “a police state comes to America, it will ultimately be by your hands,” he warned. You had better “resolve to not let it happen on your watch.” He set up an Oath Keepers blog, asking soldiers and veterans to post testimonials. Word spread. Military officers offered assistance. A Marine Corps veteran invited Rhodes to speak at a local Tea Party event. Paul campaigners provided strategic advice. And by the time Rhodes arrived in Lexington to speak at a rally staged by a pro-militia group, a movement was afoot.

    Rhodes has become a darling of right-wing pundits. In a column last October, Pat Buchanan predicted that “Brother Rhodes is headed for cable stardom.” Glenn Beck has cited the group as a “phenomenal” example of the “patriot revival movement,” while Lou Dobbs declared that its platform “should give solace and comfort to the left in this country.” Conspiracy-radio king Alex Jones even put an Oath Keepers segment, including footage of the Lexington speech, on his hit DVD Fall of the Republic. “I can’t stress enough how much your organization is scaring the globalists,” he told Rhodes on his show.

    On the conference’s final day, National 912 Project chairman Patrick Jenkins stepped up to talk about the National Liberty Unity Summits his group was organizing in cooperation with Oath Keepers. They would provide a chance, he said, for patriots to forge a common agenda and a plan to carry it out. At the first summit, in December, attendees included representatives of groups from FairTax Nation to the Constitution Party to Phyllis Schlafly’s Eagle Forum. On hand were Ralph Reed Jr. (former director of Pat Robertson’s Christian Coalition and recent founder of the Faith and Freedom Coalition), Larry Pratt (head of Gun Owners of America), and Tim Cox (founder of Get Out of Our House, an organization praised on Fox News for its goal of replacing business-as-usual incumbents with “ordinary folks”). Most notable were representatives Broun and Gingrey, who according to summit organizer Nighta Davis have expressed willingness to introduce legislation crafted by summit attendees. (So, Davis says, have Steve King [R-Iowa] and Michele Bachmann [R-Minn.]. None of the representatives agreed to comment for this story.)

  11. Turner

    I sure don’t trust anything the Oathkeepers say or do. Does someone expect lefties to jump on their sick bandwagon?

    I’m not sure I’m remembering this right, but didn’t Obama promise last week to have a “signing ceremony” pledging his unwillingness to enforce the most unconstitutional part of this act?

    Bush did this all the time. Why not Obama? Then the act or bill or whatever it is can be changed later.

    • JC

      Well, a few lefties already have jumped on the bandwagon, as i pointed out that William Crane was one of those leading the way. In any case, I rightly or wrongly brought the issue forward as I always like a good debate on the policy of horrendous issues like indefinite detention.

      But as to signing statements, they aren’t worth the paper they’re written on. Many of the pooh-poohers about the bill’s effect say that all it does is codify behavior that the administration and military are already conducting. SO what
      s a signing statement going to do? Say they don’t agree with provisions in the NDAA that they already are implementing?

      And what about the next administration? Will they honor the signing statement? Does Obama honor Bush’s? Has he unwritten some of them with new statements?

      When does the gradual erosion of civil liberties end? When do we get to talk about the cumulative effect of the attack on our constitution? When does it become too late to begin to recover our lost liberties? When does the opportunity for a peaceful revolution end, and the only way out of fascism is through violence?

      • Turner

        The sections of the NDAA that seem to deny constitutional rights to people are certainly troubling. But Obama couldn’t have done anything about these sections without vetoing the entire bill. He doesn’t have line-item veto powers, so he couldn’t get rid of the “indefinite detention” part (inserted by Republicans) without getting rid of the whole act.

        I’m not a big fan of the military, but for President Obama to abruptly defund the Pentagon by vetoing the NDAA would be economically devastating for the country – and politically fatal for him and the Democrats. Defense contracts would have to be cancelled and thousands of workers at companies like Boeing and General Dynamics would be thrown out of work. The country would plunge into depression. President Romney and Senator Rehberg would waltz into office and immediately begin to make good on their promises to return the country to the early twentieth century.

        This won’t bring much comfort to some, but it appears that there are sections of the so-called “indefinite detention” part of the NDAA that contradict the most offensive language. This includes the last sentence of Section 1021: “Nothing in this section shall be construed to affect existing law or authorities relating to the detention of United States citizens, lawful resident aliens of the United States, or any other persons who are captured or arrested in the United States.”

        I think, since Obama has expressed strong reservations about the section (despite the mitigating language cited above), he would quickly act in his second term, especially if he got a Democratic congress to work with, to remove the parts we all object to. Obama’s refusal to veto the entire NDAA to get rid of a small part of it is no indication that he would let the offensive, unconstitutional parts of it survive for long.

        • JC

          I think you’re being the eternal optimist here, Turner. I have no such delusions that the powers that be would ever let Obama–given any COngress (remember his promises about Guantanamo?) — start to roll back the military industrial complex. And our Constitution will continue to undergo assault until it is a worthless scrap of paper shoring up nothing more than corporate and military rights: fascism.

        • Jay Stevens

          Turner, the Obama administration actually thinks it already had the power to indefinitely detain U.S. citizens. Basically with this bill Congress was covering its *ss.

          So there’s no way Obama would write a signing statement opposing the measure.

          • Turner

            Well, I hope in his second term when he doesn’t have to worry about offending blue dogs and rightists he can set his better self free. I still see him as an ethical pragmatist constrained by forces which will be less potent in his second term.

            • That’s called magical thinking. You “see him” a certain way. It’s a belief but it doesn’t jive with Obama’s actions. The way to a better place is through direct action as in the OWS movement not through this corrupt and totally broken electoral politics. That’s why citizens’ initiatives are a more direct way of dealing with this rush to keep an authoritarian state in place.

            • Pancho

              Don’t get your hopes up, for an improved second term.

              He completely caved on the Bush millionaire fair share of taxes exemption two years ago this month, when he had the votes to let them die.

              You don’t need hindsight to have seen that the health care “reform” (where I think Max had Dr. Margaret Flowers thrown out of the committee room, as a visible and
              consequently unpleasant reminder of a single payer alternative) was foredoomed to failure.

              You didn’t need to be Ms. Cleo to understand that the “R”s would have had to cave in early 2010 to extended unemployment, etc., or there would have mobs with torches and pitchforks outside the Rayburn/Cannon/Longworth House buildings.

              In hindsight, I think I would have been better president than he is, and I’m ancient and only slightly more mobile than FDR. I didn’t go to Columbia or Harvard either. After all, I don’t have any bankster or Wall Street friends.

              By far his finest attribute is that he’s not Romney, Paul, Santorum, Gingrich, etc., who are currently running at 25%, 22%, 16% and 14% respectively, in Iowa polls. The alternatives the “R”s can offer at this point is the best of a bad lot.

              Even Paul is better than him on imperialistic wars, the incredibly porky military budget, the need for actual controls on the federal reserve, and an end to the wars on drugs as we know them.

        • tom

          You are an Obama tool. First of all he stated he would not sign this legislation and now your weak argument is trying to justify his signing it on New Years eve. Either you are naive to a fault or you are grossly ignorant of your constitution.
          Your Constitution protects the country from treasonous acts which includes terrorism. This legislation with its vague and contradictory language affords the opportunity for the federal govt to arrest any US citizen and charge them with being an enemy of the state and be detained indefinitely. I guess you calculate since you support Obama you would be safe from being arrested. Well Good Luck with thAT because if you are arrested you won’t even get a phone call. Stop your sell out and look at the facts. It is your own future you are gambling with.

          • Careful with those “tool” condemnations.

            85 Senators, with one abstaining (Moran, KS) voted to pass NDAA.

            If Obama vetoed the bill, it wouldn’t matter, given that majority. They would need 17-18 Senators to change their votes to override.

            What part of simple math is beyond you?

            • Sorry, that was unclear. They would need that many Senators changing their votes in order to fail to override the President’s veto. Two Republicans voted for the (Mark) Udall amendment.

      • Pancho

        William Crane, I hope, is not a harbinger of things to come.

        No activist such as himself should be so deluded as to think an alliance with the Tea Party/Oathkeepers would be useful for any of his issues unless he’s a closet Nativist or Theocrat.

        Let me once again state that the only reason they have promoted a recall is to damage Democratic candidates, who as we’ve already seen, will run like lemmings if they’re chased.

        “R”s on the other hand, are the cliff over which the country is being driven.

        Here’s a clue, for the clueless. The only reason that Rehberg was belatedly included in the recall banter was because they have a need to pretend that they are driven by rational issues, when such is clearly not the case. If no one had objected, they’ve be carrying signs for Denny and trolling sites such as these with his praises.

        If they somehow seriously went after “R”s who had signed on to NDAA, they would use exlusively it to mount primary challenges to those who occasionally stray off the right-wing rez, congresspersons who increasingly are annually moving from the “threatened” to the “endangered” lists.

  12. ladybug

    This interesting discussion seems to be circling customs and conventions which once defined our commonly-accepted morality in a society of free individuals. The problem is no such authority exists today.

    The individual person described in our Constitution has no place left to exist. Wherever such individuals remain, they are targets of endless ridicule and scorn. Everyone else — victims and enforcers alike — has been re-engineered as cogs in the an authoritarian society, one which no longer has the capacity to exceed the sum of its parts. We have been conditioned to fear constantly, to react to extreme conclusions, and self-censor any action society might find objectionable. We are guilty every time we think creatively or imagine a more perfect Union.

    Montana should seriously consider replacing all three congressional representatives.

  13. Pete Talbot

    The NDAA is a heinous bill, don’t get me wrong, but it should be noted that both Tester and Baucus voted for the Udall amendment that would have struck down the indefinite detention provision in the bill. Unfortunately, that amendment failed.

    • Seems like it is all Kabuki to me. Or too clever by half.

      • Pancho

        If it was simply Kabuki (or even The Theater of the Absurd), there would have been more than those two “R”s signing on.

        Kirk only got elected thanks to Blago and the incredibly lame party in Illinois. Rand Paul actually believes in curtailing government power to spy on and coerce citizens, though he has more faults than his dad.

        44 “R”s voted against Udall. Lisa M. didn’t vote. If the “D”s had a clue, they’d be trumpeting that from the housetops.

        (If they had a clue, they’d be Bernie Sanders.)

  14. Steve W

    I wish people would read the US constitution. If they did, they might realize that there is NO RECALL in the US constitution.

    Yes, we can recall state offices. NO we can’t recall FEDERAL OFFICES, like members of the US House or the US Senate.

    Please hear this: Unless we get a US Constitutional Amendment first, THERE IS NO PROVISION FOR RECALL IN THE US CONSTITUTION.

    (Sorry for shouting, but people seem deaf to what the law is.)

    • JC

      Hey Steve. I don’t think most of us think that a recall would ever happen, and if by some fantastical chain of events it did, most certainly a legal challenge would tie it up in court for years.

      But it allows us to start the debate over the whittling away of our constitutional rights. This is a topic that will not go away anytime soon.

  15. ladybug

    Pete, please, the Udall vote was puppet theatre.

    Replace does not necessarily mean RECALL. And if people can’t think, create and act without triggering elevated levels of rational and/or irrational fear, what earthly good is the United States Constitution?

    • Can you make a handy list of votes that matter and those that don’t? The rest of us lack your insight as to which votes pass muster.

      Tester (and Baucus) voted to strip the language from the bill. That was the right thing to do. While they could have offered a quixotic fight against the broader Defense authorization, it would have been politically foolish and practically pointless.

      That some of the left are supposed to Tester and Baucus that they’re proposing working with a hate group like the Oath Keepers is simply astonishing.

      • Turner

        My brother is an Oathkeeper and he’s dangerously nuts.

      • Pancho


        However I prefer the term, “Boneheaded.”

        I’m not astonished, however. I’ve been involved in progressive politics for over 50 years and I’m not easily surprised.

        I’ve seen too many well meaning “Cranes,” for decades.

        I’m actually more surprised when people do the right thing, regardless of the consequences.

        We lost Russ Feingold last year because he consistently did so.

    • Good question. What earthly good is the US Constitution? I have ordered Gerald Fresia’s “Toward an American Revolution: Exposing the Constitution and Other Illusions”. Here is what a reviewer says about it:

      He lays out how the Constitutional Convention was actually a secret meeting of rich property owners and merchants who saw that their business interests (greater economic development, expanded trade and accumulated personal wealth) threatened by smaller landholders who had seized control of the legislatures of 12 out of 13 of the original colonies. The smaller farmers, like farmers everywhere, depended on an economy based on credit and bartering. The merchant class, on the other hand, wanted a centralized economy based on hard currency – which they needed to advance their exceedingly lucrative trade with Great Britain and the West Indies.

  16. Dr. Drek

    Huh, this thread could just as well be on Now we’re getting somewhere.

  17. Pancho

    How’s this for a take on Oathkeepers?

    Skinheads, Tea Partiers, Ralph Reed Jr. and his theocrats, birthers, truthers and assorted conspiracy theorists.

    ABC Nightline
    Aug. 24, 2011

    A former Marine who is part of a right wing group that calls for an uprising is the target of an FBI manhunt ranging from Oklahoma to Florida.

    Charles Alan Dyer, 31, of Duncan, Okla., failed to appear in court on Monday, Aug. 15, on charges he raped a 7-year-old gir. His failure to appear launched a federal dragnet covering 12 states in the South.

    Authorities are warning that Dyer is believed to be armed and dangerous. Sheriff Wayne McKinney of Stephens County, Okla., described him as a “Timothy McVeigh” like individual, referring to the right wing militia member executed for blowing up a federal building in Oklahoma City in 1995.

    Dyer is part of a controversial group called Oath Keepers that includes current and former law enforcement and military members who take an oath to obey the Constitution rather than the president. Dyer has posted videos on YouTube talking about a “New World Order” and calling for people to “rise up” against “tyrannical government.”

    An ABC News review of court records reveals that Dyer was indicted on federal charges for possessing an unregistered Colt M-203 grenade launcher.

    Authorities believe Dyer was in the Houston area last week following reports from residents in nearby Wallis that a man matching Dyer’s description knocked on doors there asking for a ride to Houston, according to ABC News affiliate KTRK.
    lder brother had him there. He was knocking on his window,” witness Greg Hatton said. “When I pulled up, for example, first I called him to see if that’s him, hold him. That’s the guy we’re looking for, hold him. And we’re always armed. We’re concealed gun licensed carriers and he had him right at the point there, but he took off running. And when he took off running he ran across this track here, went to my neighbor’s house and asked him for a ride.”

    The FBI said that Dyer does not seem to have a car and is instead using a network of people he knows from Oath Keeper websites to get around, according to special agent Clay Simmonds, a spokesman for the agency.

  18. Craig Moore

    Sorry to interfere with this love fest, but it appears that Obama requested indefinite detention:

    Sen. Carl Levin (D-MI) on Senate floor explaining it was Obama who requested the provision for indefinite military detention of American citizens without charge or trial.

    Now to be consistent, will signers of the recall petition swear not to vote for Obama’s re-election in the same spirit that they call for removal of Montana’s Washington delegation?

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