Democrats and liberal candidates, take off the frigging gloves!
When the Republicans running against us for Congress—or the presidency—pledge themselves to Grover Norquist’s “No-Tax” pledge, they have preemptively disqualified themselves from taking the federal oath of office.
That oath states [emphasis added]:
“I do solemnly swear 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.”
By binding themselves Norquist’s pledge, Republican (or Democratic or Independent) candidates cannot bear “true faith and allegiance” to the Constitution, especially Article I, Section 8, which states:
“The Congress shall have Power to lay and collect taxes, duties, imposts and excises, to pay the debts and provide for the common defense and general welfare of the United States…”
Nor can they swear that they take their oath freely, without mental reservation or purpose of evasion. Fidelity to the Norquist pledge creates—by definition—a mental reservation. Failing to confess it is an evasion.
The point is this: candidates who cannot truthfully take the federal oath, are in effect stating that they have a higher allegiance to a special interest over and above their country and their Constitution. They can’t of course legally be barred from office, but progressives can use this as a political cudgel to keep them out of office.
It’s time stop being hand-wringing, weepy finger pointers and start using muscular patriotism to attack Norquist right-wingers as beholden not to country—but to moneyed interests who pay for their vote. When we do this, we win. When we don’t, we lose.
Causes Les AuCoin Supports
ACLU, National Public Radio, our local food bank, NARAL, Southern Poverty Law Center, the Sierra Club, Trout Unlimited, The Bozeman Symphony.