“Since the general civilization of mankind, I believe there are more instances of the abridgment of the freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments of those in power than by violent and sudden usurpation” -James Madison

Thursday, January 26, 2006

You *HAVE* the Power!

Time for a rank amateur to give Congressional Republicans a huge hint: You get to make the rules.

A party that is serious about removing the pork and limiting or eliminating the money from politics, who has majorities in both Houses, can do so with no problem. Get some leading House and Senate guys together and draft the bills in tandem so there is no intercameral conflict. Need some ideas? Okay....

Try any or all of these....

1.) Require the final draft of all non-emergency spending bills to be posted, with all earmarks highlighted and documented by requestor, to be published on the house's website for 14 days prior to the vote.

2.) Require earmarks be voted up or down individually prior to voting on the bill entire. "If HR### should pass, shall Earmark 74, calling for $500,000 for research into mosquito mating habits, be funded? Yea or Nay." All failed earmarks are stricken from the main bill, and the vote is taken on the main bill.

UPDATE: According to this, #2 is already in the works.

3.) Require a supermajority for all non-emergency spending bills to pass.

4.) You run the committees! Refuse to send forward any spending bill with earmarks that are not specifically provided for by the bill's sponsors.

5.) Get with the Dems on this. If the leaders of both parties and both houses meet together and agree that is truly is a nonpartisan issue that eats at everyone's integrity, then some action can be had. Republicans have the power, if not the will, to ram it down the Dems' throats, but wouldn't it be cooler if you worked together on this one? It might make the War issue easier on everyone as well, and you can build from that first step.
Any of the ideas that involve "requiring" something is just a matter of writing a bill and passing it with 50% +1 (or 50 in the Senate and VP Cheney in session). GWB will sign it -- no problem there. It just takes the will to stand up and do it, knowing it may cost you the pork projects and will gain the ire of all the irresponsible legislators around you.

Here's the catch for the rest of us -- This Assumes That Politicians Care What We Think And Will Respond To Us. As long as Senator A thinks that saying "no" to Senator B's bridge might cost Senator A somewhere down the road, then no one will say "no" to anyone else.

Conservatives are up in arms. First Delay, then the Abramoff thing, now the slapfight over which liar gets to run the House all the nonsense in the Senate that turns one's stomach.

All that "serving the public" business is kind of an afterthought, apparently.

The Spirit of '94 is a ghost, no more relevant today than the Spirit of '76 truly is.

Every generation looks in despair on its ruling class and political professionals as a bunch of self-serving thieving scumbags out to enrich themselves and their ego at the ever-expanding public trough. Why should this one be any different?

A few things come to mind....

1.) Joe Average is much more plugged in now than ever before, and the internet and blogosphere have decimated the old media's lock on information dispensation.

2.) The elections of 2000 and 2004, combined with the facts of the post-9/11 world have caught the attention and imagination of people like never before.

3.) For the first time in nearly a century, the Republicans have the majority (if not control) of both the Senate and the House, and have a strong man in the White House.

The roar for reform is getting louder. Add in the constant drumbeats for smaller government, border control, immigration reform, SS/Medicare reform, tax reform, and any number of other conservative issues, and it is plain that we are increasingly expectant of progress on the conservative front. It is equally plain that we are disappointed and angered at how the Dems (the MINORITY) are able to push our guys around and block things that they shouldn't be able to. You wanted the votes, you wanted the majorities -- you got them. So where are the results?

We're watching. And more of us are doing so all the time. And calling. And writing. And working on campaigns for your primary rival if you don't shape up.

DO WHAT YOU'RE SUPPOSED TO BE DOING, and leave off with all the personal enrichment power trips.

The power is there, in your hands. All you have to do is use it.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Settled Law

We're familiar with the script by now:

1.) Republican president nominates a Supreme Court Justice
2.) Democrats demand during confirmation that the nominee pledges to uphold Roe v. Wade is a matter of "settled law"
3.) Nominee, realizing he/she is dealing with fools, accedes in order to get confirmed.

So the Dems simultaneously want every Supreme Court decision to be "settled law" yet hold the Constitution itself to be a living, breathing document with penumbras and socialist plugins.

Fair enough. Let's look at some "settled law" and see how the dems believe these settled laws exist in today's world.

Minor v. Happersett - 1875
The constitution of the State of Missouri ordains: "Every male citizen of the United States shall be entitled to vote."

Mrs. Virginia Minor, a native born, free, white citizen of the United States, and of the State of Missouri, over the age of twenty-one years applied to one Happersett, the registrar of voters, to register her as a lawful voter, which he refused to do, assigning for cause that she was not a "male citizen of the United States," but a woman.

The registrar demurred, and the court in which the suit was brought sustained the demurrer, and gave judgment in his favor; a judgment which the Supreme Court affirmed. Mrs. Minor now brought the case here on error.

Multiple statements are given regarding the 14th amendment and state rights, but the big one is "A provision in a State constitution which confines the right of voting to "male citizens of the United States," is no violation of the Federal Constitution. In such a State women have no right to vote."

Settled law: If a state restricts voting rights to male citizens, then women in that state are not granted federal rights to overpower the state law and thus have no right to vote.

Plessy v. Ferguson - 1886
The statute of Louisiana, acts of 1890, c. 111 provided "separate but equal" accomodations on passenger trains, requiring railway companies to provide separate cars for whites and "colored races".
Plessy, who was "of mixed descent, in the proportion of seven eighths Caucasian and one eighth African blood," purchased a 1st-class ticket and boarded a White coach. He was subsequently arrested and imprisoned in a New Orleans jail.

The Court's opinion was that the above-mentioned statute acts "are not in conflict with the provisions either of the Thirteenth Amendment or of the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States."

Settled law: Separate-but-equal is a fact of life, and the darkies better stay in their place.

Muller v. Oregon - 1908
This case was involved in whether or not women could be forced to work in laundries for more than tne hours per day. The Court decided that "This Court takes judicial cognizance of all matters of general knowledge -- such as the fact that woman's physical structure and the performance of maternal functions place her at a disadvantage which justifies a difference in legislation in regard to some of the burdens which rest upon her.

As healthy mothers are essential to vigorous offspring, the physical well being of woman is an object of public interest. The regulation of her hour of labor falls within the police power of the State, and a statute directed exclusively to such regulation does not conflict with the due process or equal protection clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment."

So women's bodies and their reproductive health/viability is in fact a matter of concern where the state and federal government are concerned....the Court has plainly stated that "the physical well being of woman is an object of public interest" in terms of protecting her. Women enjoy the benefit of state power regarding their bodies, but are resistant to their responsibilities to state power?

Settled law: Although this is not directly related to abortion, women's bodies and their physical well-being are in fact a matter of public interest and regulation of such falls within police power of the state.

Buck v. Bell - 1927
1. The Virginia statute providing for the sexual sterilization of inmates of institutions supported by the State who shall be found to be afflicted with an hereditary form of insanity or imbecility, is within the power of the State under the Fourteenth Amendment.

2. Failure to extend the provision to persons outside the institutions named does not render it obnoxious to the Equal Protection Clause.

ERROR to a judgment of the Supreme Court of Appeals of the State of Virginia which affirmed a judgment ordering the Superintendent of the State Colony of Epileptics and Feeble Minded to perform the operation of salpingectomy on Carrie Buck, the plaintiff in error.

Salpingectomy is removal of the fallopian tube, commonly done in conjuction with a complete hysterectomy.

Settled law: Sterilization of the mentally ill and retarded is just fine.

Wickard v. Filburn - 1942
Wheat surpluses led to quotas and limits on production. Wickard planted his wheat not for sale, interstate or otherwise, but entirely for personal home consumption. The Court said:

"A factor of such volume and variability as wheat grown for home consumption would have a substantial influence on price conditions on the wheat market, both because such wheat, with rising prices, may flow into the market and check price increases and, because, though never marketed, it supplies the need of the grower which would otherwise be satisfied by his purchases in the open market."

So what you produce for yourself, with no intent to sell to others, has enough effect on the market to put you under the power of the government's regulations.

Settled law: To each according to his need....

Schenck v. United States - 1919
In 1917, a circular designed to obstruct the recruiting and enlistment draft for WWI was passed around. Evidence of this circular was seized under a search warrant directed against a Socialist headquarters, held admissible in evidence, consistently with the Fourth and Fifth Amendment, in a criminal prosecution against the general secretary of a Socialist party, who had charge of the office. The Court asserted:

"Words which, ordinarily and in many places, would be within the freedom of speech protected by the First Amendment may become subject to prohibition when of such a nature and used in such circumstances a to create a clear and present danger that they will bring about the substantive evils which Congress has a right to prevent. The character of every act depends upon the circumstances in which it is done. A conspiracy to circulate among men called and accepted for military service under the Selective Service Act of May 18, 1917, a circular tending to influence them to obstruct the draft, with the intent to effect that result, and followed by the sending of such circulars, is within the power of Congress to punish, and is punishable under the Espionage Act."

This case has associations with the current FISA and phonetapping kerfluffle. Wartime implications, anyone?

Settled law: Freedom of speech can be abridged when it involves the national security of this nation.

Scott v. Sandford - 1856
The notorious "Dred Scott" case, in which the Court stated:

"A free negro of the African race, whose ancestors were brought to this country and sold as slaves, is not a "citizen" within the meaning of the Constitution of the United States.

When the Constitution was adopted, they were not regarded in any of the States as members of the community which constituted the State, and were not numbered among its "people or citizens." Consequently, the special rights and immunities guarantied to citizens do not apply to them. And not being "citizens" within the meaning of the Constitution, they are not entitled to sue in that character in a court of the United States, and the Circuit Court has not jurisdiction in such a suit.

The only two clauses in the Constitution which point to this race treat them as persons whom it was morally lawfully to deal in as articles of property and to hold as slaves.

Settled law: Blacks are not citizens and do not enjoy the rights of citizens. Never have been, and never will be.

So the issues of women's suffrage, equal treatment for blacks, public concern over women's health, prisoner's rights, mental health, and personal freedoms, which are all historically democratic issues, are hereby rendered meaningless by the Left's concepts of "Settled Law." The cases mentioned above are deliberately taken from a time no less than 40 years distant to show how society and its concepts of rule of law have changed and will continue to change. By conforming to stare decisis, each of these decisions must stand.

Most if not all of the decisions above have been overruled in one case or another, and rightfully so. But the point remains -- rulings by the Supreme Court are not engraved in stone, and they are simply another precedent. Stare decisis is a tool, not a commandment. Precedents that are wrong or poorly decided not only are eligible for review but in fact SHOULD be reviewed. The methodology of the Roe decision is every bit as vulnerable as was Plessy, and Plessy's shortcomings were repaired by the case of Brown v. Topeka Board of Education, which explicitly states:

"Segregation of white and Negro children in the public schools of a State solely on the basis of race, pursuant to state laws permitting or requiring such segregation, denies to Negro children the equal protection of the laws guaranteed by the Fourteenth Amendment -- even though the physical facilities and other "tangible" factors of white and Negro schools may be equal......The "separate but equal" doctrine adopted in Plessy v. Ferguson, 163 U.S. 537, has no place in the field of public education....."

In using stare decisis as the dems are now concerning Roe, the Court in 1954 would not have ruled as they did in Brown, and the cancer of "separate but equal" would have become another of these "super-duper" precedents.

The house of cards can only stand one way -- Stare decisis is either absolute or it is not. It can be a guide but should not be a chain. To deny a nominee because he or she does not consider Roe untouchable is not only ignorant of history (especially where Supreme Court decisions are concerned), but is obviously politically dishonest and should not be allowed to participate in any part of the important process of decision-making where lifetime appointments to the Court are concerned.

UPDATE: I found a similar post at Certain Slant of Light regarding stare decisis that is well worth the read. Check it out here.

UPDATE II: Another similar post at Right on the Left Coast. Check it out here.

Monday, January 09, 2006

Fire an incumbent!

This article at Redstate is the latest example of why incumbency without term limits is a cancer. The Republicans have now been in power for nearly 12 years, beginning with the re-taking of the House in 1994. They swept in largely due to the now-defunct Contract with America, which promised among other things term limitation, emphasis on smaller government and less spending, and greater accountability to the voters.

That power was maintained through the Clinton years as a response to that administration, and reinforced in 2000 by sheer fear of the words "President Gore." The tragic events of 9/11 and the subsequent War on Terror virtually guaranteed continuation in 2004 (along with a hefty dose of fear of the words "President Kerry").

Many people, myself included, voted Republican for the first time in 2000 and/or 2004. Conservatives who could not previously stomach the Republican party (Libertarians, Constitutionalists, etc.) chose to stand with the Republicans in a united effort against socialism and to continue the prosecution of the War on Terror. Many of us have been dismayed at the decidedly non-conservative aspects of the party with which we have associated for the last 6 years. Others have been Republican (or voted with the Republicans) for much longer and are also disappointed.

Non-military discretionary spending is through the roof. Border policy and immigration control are nonexistent. The concept of limited government is a distant memory. Depite superiority of numbers in both Houses, the President has had to fight an uphill battle on tax reform, social security reform, and in the arena of getting conservative judges confirmed. Recent scandals such as Jack Abramoff and the politically-motivated (but flaky) case of Tom Delay highlight the corruption that continues to infect the political class.

Now that flaky case is beginning to show further fallout in the form of the story linked above.

We have chosen to align ourselves with the lesser of two devils. One party is for intrusive big expensive self-serving faux socialism, and the other party is the Democrats.

The center cannot hold. Every failure of will and party discipline takes its toll on the resolve of the constituency. More and more people are asking themselves why exactly they should continue to contribute time, money, and their vote to the Republicans. To allow a majority party to be held hostage by the likes of Nancy Pelosi, Ted Kennedy, and Harry Reid is truly disgraceful.

The disillusionment will affect more than the party faithful. Fiscal conservatives and the libertarian wing are beginning to bolt.

It is time conservatives have a hard conversation with themselves. Which is more important -- long-term goals of limiting government and having conservatives hold seats of power, or maintaining a thin majority consisting largely of faithless RINOs? Although we are coming into a time that is crucial for Supreme Court justices (the 2008/2012 president(s) will have the opportunity to select as many as 4), the hold on numeric superiority means little. The President is simply not allowed (!) to nominate conservative justices with the current (and likely future) Senate, and those he can nominate have been ridiculously and unfairly savaged by a democratic minority that wields entirely too much power.

On the other hand, despite the problems listed above, Justice Roberts was confirmed, and Sam Alito will be as well. The center may be squishy, but they are not entirely stupid.

I am a strong advocate of term limits. Obviously the Congress will never enact such measures, but the people can choose to do so. 12 years (2 Senatorial terms or 6 Representative terms) should be enough for anyone. At that point they need to come home and remember how citizens live. To preclude the consolidation of power we see in the form of Senator Byrd, a doddering old man who has not been truly significant since the mid-1970s, would be a huge first step to shutting off the pork pipeline and ending the cult-of-personality lock that some wield on committees (Ted Stevens, I'm looking at you. You, too, Arlen...).

So it is up to us....we have the power. Want to make money in politics irrelevant, or end the culture of caesarship? Stop voting for incumbents, even if you like them. Give them their 12 years and then fire them. No one is so great or so good that they should be in Congress for a lifetime. If they are that effective, then the voters will respond accordingly and either suspend the 12-year rule or put them back in on the next term. It means voting for a primary challenger that may get slaughtered in the general election. So be it (maybe). What to do? Again, which is more important -- keeping that corrupt and largely ineffective majority, or holding out for true conservatives (meaning the libs get the chairs from time to time)?

I say it's worth holding out. What say you?

As the piece linked above says, "In 1976, Ronald Reagan stood up to the Republican establishment and ran against Gerald Ford. Ford had ignored conservatives and pushed the agenda of the liberal Republican establishment. Reagan knew that he could not win unless he was prepared to lose. Lose he did and the rest is history written in his favor."

Ronaldus Magnus knew it then, as did Lincoln over a century before him. Conservatism works when it's tried. Perhaps we need to give it a chance by making room in the crowded field of incumbents.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Cheny will retire after 2006 elections

The response to my prior post on President Bush's opportunity has surprised me somewhat. Instead of confronting the central idea -- the drastic third step of resignation for the sake of making his VP the incumbent -- most saw the first step of Cheney resigning as the stumbling block. To me this is missing-the-forest-for-the-trees thinking.

I know this is an idea that has been floated since 2000 -- that Cheney is a "political anchor" or is "dirty" or "too unhealthy to serve" and "should resign". It is an idea that is popular with those on the right and the left. They have all been fantasies. The anchor and dirty arguments are silly and not worthy of discussion. The Vice-President's ethics and power/importance are inarguable. The health situation, on the other hand, is a valid point of discussion. It has not been particularly important, however, for most of Bush's term because there simply was no way short of a near-death experience that Cheney was going to step down -- between 9/11, the War on Terror, economic issues, political wrangling with the undisciplined Senate, and apparently uncontrollable intelligence leaks, the Vice-President has been too important a figure to Bush's presidency.

Things are changing. Iraq is being stabilized. We are winning the GWoT. The economy is booming. The Senate is the Senate; until the voters reset that board it's a wash. The intelligence leaks are being handled. We are now in the midst of the beginning of the campaign season for 2006.

Once the elections are over, his health concerns are going to override his commitment to the duties of the Vice President. Consider:

In 2006 he will be 65 (66 in January 2007). Given the assumption that Iraq will be more stable as time goes by and that Iran/Israel don't get particularly stupid with each other, combined with Bush's lame-duckness after the 2006 elections, I believe Cheney will determine that his role will be less crucial in 2007 and beyond.

Medically, he has some sort of atherosclerotic condition (can't remember exactly which one), but he has had 4 heart attacks beginning in 1978 (at age 37), in 1984, 1988, and 2001. He underwent four-vessel coronary artery bypass grafting in 1988, coronary artery stenting in November 2000, and urgent coronary balloon angioplasty in March 2001. In 2001 a cardiac defibrillator was implanted in his chest. In September 2005, Cheney had a catheter treatment in the artery behind each knee. The condition was discovered at a regular physical in July, and, while not life-threatening itself, is likely an indicator that Cheney's atherosclerotic disease is progressing despite aggressive treatment.

He will be 65 or 66, with a history of declining arterial health, knowing that his president can probably do without him for the last year or so of his term. He will want to spend time with his family, knowing that he served his country well.

That is not a fantasy. The man is getting older, with a failing cardiovascular system, and there will be little they will be able to accomplish after 2006, and little need for the president to lean on him so heavily. Any other qualified person at that point can and will do just as well for the president in the role of VP. These are the facts, and the smart men at the top are aware of it.

I don't *want* him to leave. But he will. And when it happens I will be linking back to both these articles. Condoleezza Rice will be nominated to replace him, and 2 of my steps will have come to fruition.

Sunday, January 01, 2006

"We want to be a nation that serves goals larger than self. We've been offered a unique opportunity, and we must not let this moment pass."

These words, spoken by President Bush in his State of the Union address of 2002, following the 9/11 attack, were a call to Americans to serve their country in a way that creates positive results, with more concern for their nation than for their own ends. These words, admittedly taken out of context, can have another meaning and the same principle applies. It can mean taking steps never considered previously, to create massive change in the political and social landscape of the United States.

President Bush has a unique opportunity to be a president who serves goals larger than self, and he must not let this moment pass. With 3 simple acts, he can:
1.) Resolve all issues the Republicans are having with determining a 2008 nominee;
2.) Guarantee Republican control of the White House through 2016;
3.) Continue the trend of taking seats in the House and Senate;
4.) Continue to prosecute the War on Terror consistent with the Bush Doctrine;
5.) Give the 2008/2012 president the opportunity to choose the anticipated 3-4 Court appointees;
6.) End the democratic lock on the black vote forever;
7.) End the perception of "Republicans are bigots" forever;
8.) Be hailed as the Lincoln of our time;
9.) Be hailed as the Washington/Cincinnatus of our time;
10.) Reduce the democratic party to the point that they will be forced to re-form into a viable opposition;
11.) Prove to be the Uniter he has promised for so long;
12.) Restore faith in the minds of the voters regarding political figures and service to the country.

The acts are very simple, albeit unusual and unprecedented. They require considerable personal and political will, especially the final one; if done correctly his name will be chiseled on pedestals from the Right and the Left as a great president and civil-rights champion.

Following the 2006 elections, there will be a 2-year period of relative lame-duckness in his administration. Iraq is becoming more stable by the day and can reasonably be predicted to be close to self-sufficiency by mid-2007. This point in time would be ideal for Vice-President Cheney to retire gracefully, having served his country proudly in a variety of positions spanning decades. His health concerns and desire to spend time with his family would begin to override the need to advise the president, and with Iraq stabilized he could rest secure in the knowledge that his services are no longer as necessary as they once were. Heartfelt congratulations abound, the "Cheney lightning rod" exits, and a grateful nation wishes the Vice-President well.

This would leave an opening for Vice-President.

That was Step One.

Step Two is probably obvious to most at this point: nominate Condoleezza Rice for Vice-President. There would be a small tussle for confirmation, but eventually she would be confirmed by the Republican majority and the dems who don't dare vote down a supremely qualified black woman for the Number Two spot. She was confirmed for State 85-13, so it is reasonable to assume she would also get the nod for promotion.

A secondary part of step two would be to bring Karen Hughes in at Sec'y of State -- she is already undersecretary of state for public diplomacy and is a known quantity for the president with regard to loyalty, shared vision, and experience. This resolves questions of Condi's replacement at State.

At this point he could stop. Condi would be the 2008 Republican frontrunner and would be running as the de facto incumbent, symbolizing the passing of the torch as Bush I did following Reagan, or as Gore attempted after Clinton. Bush would get points for the first black female VP, and Republicans would be able to breathe easier knowing they did not have to choose from the sorry lot available to us at the current time. She would likely pick up significant blacks and women in addition to strong Republican turnout and win in a landslide in 2008, setting up an incumbent run in 2012.

The Lizard Queen would never get the throne.

But wait; There's More....

This part is the true test of character. In late 2007 Condi is confirmed and has been the VP for several months and has been brought up to speed. Of course, she has had a huge head start by being the president's national security advisor and secretary of state. There's probably very little she does not know already.

Step Three: George Bush steps down as president, declaring that the country is in good hands.

Yes, you read that right. The president, having done his duty in the protection of our country, knowing that a lame duck will struggle to get anything of significance passed, chooses instead to make history like never before: A United States president resigns not in disgrace but in glory, bequeathing the highest office in the land to a black woman born of sharecroppers who worked her way to the greatest height of power in the world.

The energy of this new president and her administration for the rest of 2007 and 2008 will be the head of a cresting wave that declares the Civil Right Movement to be fully realized. Republicans accept a black woman as their leader, fellow blacks feel confident voting for a Republican, the race warlords are neutered, the now-incumbent President Rice wins easily in 2008 and most likely 2012, the likelihood of continuing gains in the Court increases, the War on Terror continues according to Bush's template, and the democrats are reduced to an insignificant powder for a generation. George Bush is the new Lincoln, Washington, and Cincinnatus. Martin Luther King's dream is reality. We get our judges.

Despite the obvious setback for the dems, this is actually a good scenario for them as well, as it would force them to tear down the rotting platform they have now and re-assess what they stand for. In order to avoid political oblivion, they would be forced to become a valid opposition party that stands for something and the race-based victimization card they have been playing for so long would have to be discarded. We need a valid functional opposition consisting of rational adults, and this setup accomplishes that as well.

It is the best possible thing to do. Again, he could stop with appointing Rice as VP and serving out his term, but taking the drastic third step of resigning and leaving the country in her hands would accomplish so much more, and would be the proverbial dagger to the heart of racial division in this country. In addition, it would consolidate Republican power for a generation, create a presidential legacy even greater than his response to 9/11, and usher in a new era for politics in general. It would be a major moment in history that has the added practical benefit of being exactly what many would like to see but are unsure how to accomplish.

The trick is to avoid the normal electoral math, over which so many obsess, and utilize the contitutional tools that have been previously untried. A new paradigm, combined with unprecedented selflessness, results in THE political play of US history. It is foolproof and legal -- the dems cannot stop it except for confirming Ms. Rice as Vice-President, and that will not happen. Everything else is strictly and unquestioningly legal and constitutional. They could literally do nothing to stop this, and the public opinion will be overwhelmingly positive.

Checkmate in three moves.

Mr. President, you can actually do the most for your long-term agenda and this nation by resigning under the right circumstances at the right time. I have written this piece with the hope that somehow it gets to you, and that your decision-making inner circle will see, consider, and reflect on the staggering consequences of such actions. Please do not misunderstand: I do not wish you to resign for the sake of going away; rather, this is a one-time shot at accomplishing many things at once, not the least of which is a relatively guaranteed continuation of your own policies, but also precedent-setting actions on every level, and the truest victory of finally bridging the race gap. The last 2 years of your term are likely to be unproductive anyway, so why not go back to Crawford to relax and clear some brush, delivering a political nuclear blast on the way out while knowing that the fallout will be so very positive and in the nation's (and your legacy's) best interest? The framework is there, just waiting for someone of vision, patriotism, and strength to employ.

It is a mind-boggling thing to consider -- asking a sitting president to resign without any apparent reason to do so regarding himself, but with every possible reason for the good of the nation and continuity in his established policies. Crazy it may be, but it seems to me to be the correct course of action at the end of a relevant and vital presidency (and the beginning of another). Let's keep it going, on our terms, giving our person the best chance for keeping the seat in 2008, that of the power of incumbency. You can be a hero and do the right thing at the same time. These opportunities do not arise often. Please reflect on the words you spoke in January 2002; see that you have the greatest opportunity to serve goals larger than yourself, and that you must not allow this moment to pass.