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and to my great surprise neither Nichols nor Fein corrected him. It is critical to the argument they were making.

Moyers at one point blurted out that the introduction to the Constitution begins with the idea of of defending the Country.   THAT IS WRONG.   After announcing the desire to "form a more perfect union,"  a phrasing probably required because of the perpetual union established by the Articles of Confederation, the next item listed is establish justice.  That is BEFORE provide for the common defense  (so is "ensure domestic tranquility" -  h/t DemocraticLuntz).  There is no point defending a nation that has abandoned justice.

And that is critical, because that is what this administration has done.

While I thought it was a remarkable almost 50 minutes, with many insightful comments by both Fein and Nichols, this point is critical.   I will offer a very few observations of my own to make this diary of sufficient length.

In the Declaration Jefferson makes clear the importance of rights and of justice.  Let me repeat some of his words, bolding some relevant.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. --That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed

Please note that in this concept government may exercise only just powers.    That is why it is critical that"establish justice" is listed BEFORE provide for the common defense.

This administration has chosen to ignore rights in the name of providing for the common defense.  That is a gross distortion of the intent of the Founders.  And in the arguments being made by Fein and Nichols, it was unfortunate - and to me shocking - that they did not correct the misstatement by Moyers.

I have previously - two weeks ago - made clear my belief that we must move forward with impeachment hearings.  I found my arguments strongly supported by what Fein and Nichols offered in there remarks.  

The government is at risk.   There is no choice.  And I will end this diary as I ended that one:

If impeachment is off the table, so is democracy.

UPDATE at 8:20 AM on 7/14  Vico has argued in several comments that I am not being accurate as to what Moyers said, and MyBrainWorks was able to post the relevant passage from the transcript:

BILL MOYERS: But read that prologue of the Constitution. The first obligation is to defend the people, to defend their freedom, to defend their rights.

Had I had access to the transcript I would have written this diary differently.  I would not have described it as a major mistake, but as an emphasis that is wrong.  I still would argue that saying the first obligation is to defend the people is prone to being interpreted as referring to providing for the common defense - especially in light of the use the Bush administration has made of the defense argument for the actions he has taken.  I heard it in that context, and given my own predisposition to emphasize the prior listing of justice in my own teaching, reacted the way that I did.  I can see why Fein and Nichols might have reacted to the latter part, on the people's rights.   Nevertheless, there was no mention of justice, without which there can be no rights, at least not in my conception of it.
 I have sent a followup to the message I had posted in feedback on the Moyers Journal website acknowledging that I can see how someone might interpret it differently than I did.  I still believe that a teachable moment was lost in not emphasizing the order, that justice comes before defense.  

Originally posted to teacherken on Fri Jul 13, 2007 at 07:03 PM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  I felt compelled to post this diary (230+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Rebecca, arlam, Mary, JekyllnHyde, Alumbrados, Ed in Montana, Angie in WA State, Alma, coral, Savage, vivacia, copymark, natasha, Trendar, rhfactor, mickT, jbilger, Gator, Mountain Don, TrueBlueMajority, Dems2004, RickWn, Emerson, rincewind, Shockwave, Xan, kpardue, rhubarb, TarheelDem, Matilda, object16, Caneel, HighSticking, Bugsby, DaveV, TheMomCat, bronte17, conchita, TracieLynn, indybend, justme, DickCheneyBeforeHeDicksYou, Nellcote, rhp, awakentech, Morague, highacidity, Mlle Orignalmale, Pithy Cherub, shock, nabwilson, samddobermann, Ignacio Magaloni, oceanspray, ornerydad, Terre, Jesterfox, rioduran, arkdem, Oke, stacystace, nancelot, emmasnacker, oldjohnbrown, superscalar, candice, commonscribe, Builderman, grayslady, texasmom, Red Wind, niteskolar, penguins4peace, Catte Nappe, sommervr, forrest, walkshills, WV Democrat, parryander, jen, bablhous, American in Kathmandu, kd texan, rambler american, WobegoneGirl, rapala, nailbender, Fabian, paige, historys mysteries, Bluesee, farleftcoast, bellevie, Ckntfld, deepfish, JanetT in MD, Heiuan, Tonedevil, mjd in florida, Halcyon, irate, PBen, KnotIookin, tgray, frandor55, zbctj52, Turkana, reflectionsv37, Byrnt, mattwynn, cfk, LNK, cassidy3, sheddhead, annefrank, Phil S 33, illyia, lasky57, rb608, Island Expat, AnotherMassachusettsLiberal, petestern, Shotput8, wiscmass, FindingMyVoice, Ghost of Frank Zappa, JackTheIntelligentDesigner, Ekaterin, Paddy999, orphanpower, soyinkafan, Drocket, ChuckInReno, Tigana, Jim P, maryru, berko, Prof Dave, martini, dus7, trashablanca, buddabelly, BachFan, 417els, tobendaro, emeraldmaiden, Gorette, Yellow Canary, cookseytalbott, rcald, mooshter, koNko, dougymi, Magnifico, kck, goodasgold, Fraggle, StrayCat, A Siegel, mcmom, CTLiberal, ER Doc, Unitary Moonbat, BarbaraB, buckinfuzzard, OWTH, JugOPunch, DemocraticLuntz, midwesterner, va dare, toys, means are the ends, Mary2002, crystal eyes, kidneystones, Friend of the court, 73rd virgin, Temmoku, slksfca, mariachi mama, markthshark, OHdog, NonnyO, AmericanRiverCanyon, Noor B, pgm 01, fisheye, Winston Sm1th, Susan Something, Cronesense, Loudoun County Dem, moodyinsavannah, uniongal, maxalb, TruthOfAngels, flumptytail, eOz, jayden, keechi, madgranny, Zydekos, MichiganGirl, BWildered, LAMaestra, gizmo59, jgilhousen, GANJA, CroneWit, MyBrainWorks, RiverCityMadman, seriously70, sima, Chacounne, rjones2818, zerone, canoeist, Foundmyvoice, Faheyman, herding old cats, Judge Moonbox, cumberland sibyl, moose67, Lujane, TH Seed, NogodsnomastersMary, wavpeac, asius, Chrispy67, TL Eclipse, Tropical Depression

    even though I fully expect it will be lost among the welter of diaries sure to be inspired by the program, and other topics of interest.  So be it.  

    It was worth using my daily diary to make this statement.  We must remain clear that if we abandon the commitment to justice, we have abandoned the Constitution, we no longer have a Republic as we have known it.


    Those who can, do. Those who can do more, TEACH! If impeachment is off the table, so is democracy

    by teacherken on Fri Jul 13, 2007 at 06:58:04 PM PDT

  •  "Ensure Domestic Tranquility" before defense as (25+ / 0-)

    well (and the Bush administration's done just as badly in that regard).

    Join the College Kossacks on Facebook, or the Republicans win.

    by DemocraticLuntz on Fri Jul 13, 2007 at 06:58:07 PM PDT

  •  This cinched it for me...there is no other option (24+ / 0-)

    I am ready. Completely.  This needs to be undertaken regardless of politics.  It needs to be done for the sake of the constitution and because we do not want any president to behave this way again.  If we do not end this administration, we give reinforce it's procedures and inadvertently say to the world, this is who we have chosen to become.  

    It's time.  And I do not want to hear anyone argue against impeachment unless they watched this show.  If they watched the show and can speak to the discussion and can support reasons not to impeach that are not polictical, then I will listen. Otherwise, I don't want to hear it.

    The greatest gift you can give your children is to heal.

    by wavpeac on Fri Jul 13, 2007 at 07:05:07 PM PDT

  •  On the West Coast (9+ / 0-)

    so I have not seen Moyers yet.  This reminds me of Jed Bartlett getting the justification for the time of the inaugural wrong in the scene with "Abby" in the last show of the West Wing.  

    The Constitution is much more important than entertainment and the principles come first before the defense - so that the nation knows what it is defending an idea.  The Founders were thoughtful and the mark-up, if you will, justifies why so much time was put into getting it as right as possible prior to ratification.

    Every time history repeats itself the price goes up - Anon.

    by Pithy Cherub on Fri Jul 13, 2007 at 07:06:37 PM PDT

  •  I just watched... and wow! just wow! (16+ / 0-)

    yes, Moyer made a mistake - a very important mistake, but no American citizen could've walked away from watching that episode not wanting impeachment - NOW!

    I just hope Pelosi was watching because she was definately called out! Hello? Madame Speaker? It's time to do your job.

    •  Pelosi should be deluged with copies of Moyer's (8+ / 0-)

      show, how else to assure that she at least takes a look at what impeachment off the table really means to this country's survival as a democracy!

    •  No, he didn't. (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      rick, CocoaLove, vcmvo2, tgray

      This is my last reply on the point, but I want a few of the commenters who were especially concerned that Moyers made a mistake to know, through replies to the comments section on their pages when probably no one is any longer reading the entire diary, that Moyers did not say what the diarist said he did. He was not referring to the "provide for the common defense" phrase of the Preamble. He said the Constitution was adopted in order to defend the people and their rights, not to "defend the country" in the military sense.

      ". . . but then isn't obsession one requirement of intelligent analysis?" -- Mary McNamara,

      by Vico on Fri Jul 13, 2007 at 09:44:11 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  as I noted above (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        tgray, NonnyO

        I think the way he expressed it is subject to more han one interpretation -  defending the people could be interpreted as referring to national defense, and by putting their rights after that I think the order is subject to a different interpretation than perhaps he intended.

        I acknowledge that I was struck by the use of defending the people - because that seems to connect with the way Bush uses defense of the people in ways like if we on't fight them over there we will have to fight them over here.

        I realized after my diary was on the recommended list that the title is maybe too extreme - but I think the issue of emphasis on justice warranted leaving it alone.

        Those who can, do. Those who can do more, TEACH! If impeachment is off the table, so is democracy

        by teacherken on Sat Jul 14, 2007 at 04:52:04 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Anyone tivo it? (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sc kitty, tgray, trashablanca, Faheyman

    And willing to up it to youtube?

  •  Very interesting point (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    teacherken, tgray, herding old cats

    I did hear that and it didn't sound right, but I have not looked it up.  Good catch.

  •  What I thought was crucial was that we're (23+ / 0-)

    in a Constitutional crisis now - the cure is impeachment.

    That Moyers' mistake was in saying impeachment would be bringing down an axe on the Bush government - but Nichols said really impeachment is an orderly process that is the cure for the constitutional crisis.  I see that if not impeachment then it's either submission to a dictatorship/monarchy - or armed rebellion.  That's a real constitutional crisis.

    We need a Statesman, either Rebub or Democrat to speak up and put the Constitution and rule of law/ Justice if you will, Teacherken, above party and politics.

    We need to keep pushing for that.

    Bruce Fein was on fire tonight.  It's interstting that two of the most outspoken people re the need for impeachment of BUSHco are Fein and John Dean, both from Nixon days.

    Buy a Boat. Save the Seed.

    by cumberland sibyl on Fri Jul 13, 2007 at 07:32:05 PM PDT

  •  The other missing point. . . (15+ / 0-)

    . . . I thought, was that Moyers needed to ask about the trial in the Senate part of the process. Many make the argument that you don't start impeachment hearings if you know you won't get a conviction in the Senate (I disagree, but it is out there). I get the sense that Fein and Nichols would disagree. I think they believe, like I do, that you need to "teach" the nation about impeachment through the hearings, but I would have liked that little bit extra on the record.

    It was, all in all, a most excellent discussion, though. One of the very best on the subject that I have seen in the popular media.

    Anything can happen. You can even get a full glass of beer at a cocktail lounge.

    by Red Wind on Fri Jul 13, 2007 at 07:41:19 PM PDT

  •  Great catch of Moyers, Ken (6+ / 0-)

    You should write to him, he may post it.

    Pelosi is wrong. -- Bill Moyers Journal, 7/13/07

    by gypsy on Fri Jul 13, 2007 at 07:48:40 PM PDT

  •  Here is the part that is the best and the worst (4+ / 0-)

    of our democracy:

    from the consent of the governed

  •  "provide for the common defence" (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    herding old cats

    seems to me to imply a commonwealth, not necessarily a nation.

    "the common defence" can be of a town, or a State, as well as a Nation.

  •  I've noticed a certain intellectual fuzziness (13+ / 0-)

    on the part of more than a few liberals and Dems, both elected and otherwise, that worries me. Even the most decent, earnest and honorable people often display a certain mental laziness that I find quite discouraging. It's like they don't get how truly dangerous a situation we're still in, and are assuming that sooner or later the system will kick in or someone will finally do something to put things right again. Which, I believe, is true, so long as they and everyone else realizes that THEY are the ones who will have to put things right again.

    Way too many people on our side, I believe, are still somewhat clueless as to how dangerous a situation we're in right now, and how dangerous this administration and its GOP supporters are, even if they're hugely unpopular right now. It's like we're in the middle of a gunfight, and most people on our side still think that we can win it with knives and passion. Uh uh.

    Thankfully, not everyone on our side is this complacent and clueless. E.g. most of the regulars on this site (both contributers and lurkers), and on a number of other blogs (Glenn Greenwald, Josh Marshall, FiredogLake, TalkLeft, AmericaBlog, Digby, etc.). But when are "mainstream" journalists, pundits and thinkers, and the general public, going to wake up and realize that we're in the middle of a bloodless civil war over the fate of our republic?

    I don't know the answer to that. But if and when that finally happens--and I sincerely hope that it does--impeachment will be all but unavoidable.

    "We have many arrows in our quiver, and we are sharpening them." -- Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi

    by kovie on Fri Jul 13, 2007 at 08:01:21 PM PDT

  •  Not sure it was a mistake, think Moyers made (10+ / 0-)

    deliberate mistatement to get Fein or Nichols to call it out.  After all, it's the claim Bush has been making, that he took an oath to defend the people.  That's wrong, Bush took an oath to defend the Constitution.  Think Moyers was trying to make that point-- that Bush's claim is false-- but the guests didn't catch it quick enough.
    My 2 cents.

  •  Justice motivated many colonists to fight (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    teacherken, herding old cats

    Their land, bought and paid for and developed with years of labor, was taken from them by a corrupt colonial court that served the interests of a corrupt English landowner. After tarring and feathering those culpable parties they could catch, they left their homesteads in New Jersey for North Carolina - which became a hotbed of revolutionary fervor. In reading over their stories, it is clear that justice, along with freedom of religion, was their primary concern. Defense was important in so far as it secured the other two.

    This and no other is the root from which a tyrant springs: When he first appears, he is a protector. - Plato, The Republic

    by Deep Harm on Fri Jul 13, 2007 at 08:07:35 PM PDT

  •  Thanks for writing this (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    teacherken, eOz, herding old cats

    Justice before the common defense of that justice?  And my dear sheeple friend(s) tell me, without the Presidents military policies, you can't have any justice. Which usually leads to our compromise that an American President should do both, seamlessly, transparently, and most of all COMPETENTLY. Which then leads us to laugh together. Our President has every tool, known to man, at his disposal to legally and forcefully protect us from loosing our pursuit of happiness, BUT this guy IS incompetent. I have known it. They are just a bit slower.

  •  Fein & Nichols rocked my world! (8+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JuliaAnn, Jesterfox, Paddy999, ama, Gorette, JVolvo, OWTH, eOz

    With their fast-paced, impassioned words, two well-informed men from opposite ends of the political spectrum changed the public dialogue as they spoke in complete agreement on the imperative of impeachment.  As moderator, Moyers seemed to be taking a devil's advocate position, often expressing the wingnut/neocon 'security' position.  In a calmer interview, Moyers might have had time to say, 'some would argue that providing for the common defense is the first responsibility of government.'  It may be that, in making himself the proponent of the anti-impeachment position, Moyers pointed to the 'common defense' concept, but that the speed of discussion prevented him from putting that idea in context.

    I agree that in remembering the Idea of America, we need to keep the founding documents' phrases in their proper order so we can be clear about the relative importance of each phrase.  But I'd hate to see us picking up a heat-of-the-moment misstatement and turning it into a sniper's gun against the one man in media who has consistently and courageously spoken out for all the right things.

    In this one-hour program, Bill Moyers brought the idea of impeaching Bush and Cheney out of the shadows and into living rooms all over America.  Let's give him his props for that!

  •  Quickie for Teacherken (0+ / 0-)

    Thanks. Please post on Moyers' website on because they should take YOU very seriously.

    and please post the link to this diary and thread.

    P.S. I never heard this music video before....Weird 'style' of music for The Constitution........I suppose it grows on you.

  •  OT, snarky afterthought about 'danger' (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    snarkity snark snark: How can we be in any danger? The stock market went Waaaaay up!

  •  Impeachment (0+ / 0-)

    for judges only requires bad behavior.

    If you want to impeach Bush, there must be an underlying crime.

    If a President is impeached, he has the constitution right to a speedy trial for the alleged crime.

    Once convicted, Cheney could pardon him just like Bush pardoned Libby.

    If you want Bush behind bars, you need to wait.

  •  A Socratic twist, which I didn't take that way (12+ / 0-)

    Moyers was playing devil's advocate, and the twist is that "they" are saying the primary mission of Government is to defend us.  The guests responded to that appropriately, but the "teaching moment" could have been missed, as you point out.  

    The guests were crying out for a Representative of the People to step forward, defying the Speaker, and instruct the People in the design of their Constitution.  The primary mission of Government, and all who serve in it, is to protect and defend the Constitution, as Sara Taylor forgot this week in her testimony.  

    The program put a fine point on the moment we now find ourselves within, and this point cannot be made too fine in times like this.  In so doing, everyone on the program is inviting the Fourth Estate to remind Congress of their duty.  In this moment, we are a vital part of the Fourth Estate -- the bloggers on this site and many others.  Just as the press at the time of the Founding Fathers was anyone with a printing press willing to use it, we are using the technology of our time to spur discussion and educate our fellow citizens.  Like those early journalists, we must use the technology given us or lose the right to use it at all.

    Excellent diary making the point Moyers did not make directly, but to which you responded with truth as his guests could have.

    Time to teach like never before.  Good job.  To you, to Moyers, to his guests and all those who blog here and everywhere on this topic.  Impeachment is a powerful word.  A good word.  A word we have been pressured to fear using.  A word meant to be used in times such as this, if ever there was a time.  

    This program was a challenge to all of us who can write to do so.  It was a shot across the bow, a reminder of our sacred duty to seek just Government and demand Government be worthy of us.  It is time to step forward and be counted as a true citizen and not just a child to be told to go away and be silent (as was pointed out quite eloquently on the show tonight).

    We are not children.  We are citizens of the United States of America, and we deserve a Government worthy of us, and our forebears.  It is time to demand it, and to demand of our candidates for President that they will destroy these "tools in the box" Bush and Cheney have revived from Nixon and make sure they are never used again.  We can make our Representatives greater than their nature has made them so far.  We have to demand it of them, and the August recess is the perfect opportunity to leave no doubt in any of their minds that it is time to earn their right to sit as our Representatives or face our wrath in proportion to the violation of our liberties we are now enduring from this Government.

    The wrath of the People is measured.  We are a patient people.  We are a forgiving people.  But we will not give up our liberties and we will not allow the powers we grant our Government to be used unjustly for ends which serve those who believe themselves royalty.  The measure of our wrath is growing, and it will put the fear of God in all future Presidents by the time we are done with this challenge to our trust.  We have been betrayed, and this week put the betrayal in front of everyone as clearly as could be done.  Harriet Meirs betrayed us.  Sara Taylor betrayed us.  Whether they were ordered to do so no longer matters.  

    Last fall we sent a measured message.  In August, we must send a message measured in proportion to our understanding of their perfidy now.  Let no Representative rest during this recess.  Let them know they have a job to do, and we meant what we said when we voted last fall.  It is time.  Tonight's program was a clarion call and a sign.

    It is time to speak.  It is time to unleash the wrath of the People.  It is time to show them we are citizens and not children.

    It is time.

    •  WOW! (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      teacherken, NonnyO

      Patrick Henry would be proud!

      •  Patrick Henry would have loved blogging (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        teacherken, NonnyO, maxalb

        just imagine what an inspiration this technology would have been to all the Founders!  All the more reason to use it in their name and to further their cause for another generation!

        •  I am not a great Patrick Henry fan - (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          coral, JuliaAnn

          he thought the Preamble should being "We the States" rather than the people.  And he was not exactly all that strong on separation of church and state.   SO he is more of a mixed bag than some others of the same period.

          Those who can, do. Those who can do more, TEACH! If impeachment is off the table, so is democracy

          by teacherken on Fri Jul 13, 2007 at 08:30:31 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  But he would have loved blogging nonetheless (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            TracieLynn, NonnyO

            and we have a chance to shape our own thoughts faster in real time than the Founders did.  I am constantly amazed at the insights and excellent criticisms that blogging allows, helping all of us shave our points down to a finer edge when the topic demands it.

            Patrick Henry is not my favorite, either, but he certainly spoke his mind and dared to write at a time when words could inspire action.  He may not have been as deep a thinker as other Founders, but he is remembered for the passion and the courage, and I think we have to give him that, at least.

    •  Great Post! (0+ / 0-)

      Please consider doing a diary from it!

      I watched Moyers last night, then again when it was repeated in the middle of the night in the local market, and taped it.

      BEST single hour of television in the last ten years!  I do not even recall when it was worth my time to spend an hour in front of the TV.  FINALLY, there was a coherent discussion about the topic of IMPEACHMENT...!

      For practically every sentence uttered by Nichols and Fein, another hour just explaining details about impeachment and the Constitution could have been done.  (Err... okay.  My secret 'vice' is listening to people nitpick about philosophical topics having to do with ethics and morality and the like.)  Moyers was playing devil's advocate in much of the questioning, like he was channeling the brainwashing rhetoric we've all heard for the last six bloody years.  That was to the good.

      We NEED constitutional and legal scholars well-versed in history and the biographies and writing of the Founding Fathers to talk about this subject in prime time for at least a week so the sheeple understand just precisely how important it is for the top two war criminals to be impeached - the sooner the better.  And, I do mean discuss without cross-talk and shouting - educational, rational, well-reasoned discussion (although Fein's brain was clearly much faster than he was able to utter words last night because he was so excited about the topic, which I found absolutely delightful).

      BTW, the transcript of the show is now online.  I haven't finished reading the comments yet, so it's likely someone else has also posted a link, but since this is such an important topic, it doesn't matter if the link is posted more than once:

      I plan to savor every word again and again, and enjoy the practical and philosophical discourse... AND I'm sending the transcript to my Congress Critters along with my demand that they support IMPEACHING Dickie first and Georgie shortly thereafter...!!!

      •  Strangely enough, I am writing (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        about this topic for the next few months.  I started a series to invite just such a discussion.  I did a series earlier in the year and now have started a second one because the work is still not done.  Thank you for the link!  I will definitely be using it as a source for the discussions we will be having in the series.  

        I hope you will catch some of the diaries in my series and lend your voice to the debate.  This program's discussion is worthy of many diaries, and many "teaching moments", citizen to citizen.

        It is time to stop pretending the Beltway's fear of impeachment means anything to the People.  We are not afraid of our Constitution -- we treasure it and honor it.  By doing so, we honor each other.

        Thank you for the comment!

  •  Moyers was playing Devil's Advocate (8+ / 0-)

    as he does many times to allow the guest to expand a point or to reply to what might be opposing questions. Some of his questions were annoying as they were without merit, but represented what a defender of the Bush admin might say.

    Moyers deserves our unlimited thanks for sticking his neck out on this issue.

    Put it back on the table Nancy or preferably the floor of the House! Impeachment hearings are a process by which the public learns about their government. Transparency rocks!

    •  Exactly, Bill made no mistake (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mrkvica, Mehitabel9

      I knew if I scrolled down far enough I would find someone who would have said what I was thinking better than I could say it. And sure enuf here are you and e0z. I really fail to see what the hell got teacherken so bent. There was no major mistake. Bill had three like minded people around the table and as host and moderator, it was his role to bring up what people who might object would bring up.

      Saying Bill made a "Major Mistake (tm)" is just pedantry.

  •  Impeachment is not a disease (5+ / 0-)

    The MSM spin portrays impeachment as an evil. It is not. Impeachment is a cure for the ailment that is attacking and disabling our Constitution.

    Excellent diary, teacherken.

    Free America.......impeach Bush.

    by Ekaterin on Fri Jul 13, 2007 at 08:28:08 PM PDT

  •  And, logically, if there is no justice (0+ / 0-)

    it can only result that defense will not be conducted for all in common, but instead mainly for the interests of those inclined to ignore justice.

    Until we break the corporate virtual monopoly on what we hear and see, we keep losing, don't matter what we do.

    by Jim P on Fri Jul 13, 2007 at 08:47:32 PM PDT

  •  Know Impeachment, Know Democracy (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    NonnyO, Archangel

    If impeachment is off the table, so is democracy.

    Know Impeachment, Know Democracy
    No impeachment, no democracy.

    Sorry -- I've been so upset about the Meirs refusal to obey a lawful subpoena I can't even think straight, and a bit of humor once in a while helps me stay sane. Barely.

    Seriously, I am with Ken. If the House does not enforce their subpoena of Harriet Miers, I honestly think there is no further power of the Legislative Branch, and from now on the Executive Branch can simply ignore anything Congress might do.

    End of our Constitutional system.

    I do not believe I am exaggerating even one tiny bit. This is it.

    The moment has arrived.

    Impeach or give up the game.

    •  Yay! (0+ / 0-)

      Yes indeed! A great and hopefully defining hour of news television was Moyers' Journal tonight.But I'll tell you what, I am waaaaaaaaaaay more upset about the House/Senate Democrats than I am about Miss PruneHead Miers this week. Why don't "invertibrate" (thank you Bruce Fine for that), g. d., good for nuttin Democraps get their act together and DO SOMETHING????? Nancy Pelosi is a twerp; what a disappointment. We need a MAN in that job, that is, if you can find one in Washngton.
      Oh boy. Where and when will this all end?
      Disgusted in Santa Fe

  •  OK, I'm going to forgive Bill Moyers (0+ / 0-)

    this time.

    Success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he has had to overcome. Booker T Washington

    by Spoonfulofsugar on Fri Jul 13, 2007 at 08:56:47 PM PDT

  •  Moyers the Great! (0+ / 0-)

    Bill Moyers' Journal tonight was one of the great hours of newstelevision I have seen in many years!
    Ken, you pook! Mistake or not, why didn't you highlight and commend all the brilliant and much needed information that Fine and Nichols imparted?
    This was a very special hour, perhaps an hour that will change the debate - nationally.
    And Pooky Little Ken had to be a friggin schoolteacher! You need more red in your blood.
    Disgusted in Santa Fe

  •  with the invasion of Iraq (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    coral, Jesterfox, NonnyO

    we violated the Nuremberg Principles, and that was a violation of the US Constitution.

    I think that was the first major violation of our Constitution, and if we do not impeach we may never recover.

  •  The 'Declaration' is irrelevant (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    it is political propaganda to obtain support for the revolution, not a founding document, like the Constitution.

    As such, what it says is pretty but is not law any more than references to "Laws of Nature and of Nature's God" or the "Creator" are part of our Constitution.

    Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from religious conviction. - Sam J. Ervin, Jr.

    by tiponeill on Fri Jul 13, 2007 at 09:57:54 PM PDT

  •  Good Times, Bad Times (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Has anyone here ever worked a proposal?  There's a phrase I was given when introduced to the world of proposal writing fifteen years ago:

    Some people think that proposal writing is a twenty-four-hour-a-day, seven-day-a-week effort.  It isn't.  It's a twenty- five-hour-a-day, eight-day-a-week effort.

    This is because you must put heart and soul into each and every section of the document, review it, throw it out, do it again, work it over and over and over until the words gradually come together to say exactly what you intend them to say (and the graphics have to agree with the words! LOL!).

    Teacherken, it occurred to me reading those carefully crafted words, words that stand for exactly what we believe this country should and does stand for was a proposal effort!  As such, you are correct, we should all appreciate the living expression of the document, not just the references to it; it should not be an abstract concept.  And in that spirit, you are correct, the parsing of the Constitution does place these things before the Common DeSence.  hehe

    How many drafts, how many debates, how many honest men put forth the best of their minds to craft this concept!  I am constantly in awe of our forefathers.  This was truly a heroic effort on the part of our parents parents parent parents parents owners, er, relatives, perhaps.  Just kidding about the last part.  Kind of.

  •  It has never been off the table. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Nintety per cent of human communication is non-verbal.  Stop focussing on the words and listen to what she is saying.

    Best Wishes, Demena

    by Demena on Fri Jul 13, 2007 at 10:06:08 PM PDT

  •  July 4, 2007 (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    coral, Jlukes, NonnyO

    The word impeachment was first mentioned on MSM. It was the beginning of the end.  For the triune demon Cheney/Rove/Bush and all of their minions.

    You will hear and read the word everyday, in more and more venues.  The gig is up.  George W. Bush and his government will be given the bum's rush by the American people.

    And it will be for one reason.... that I would not fucking shut up until it happens.  And my obnoxiety is exceeded only by my pomposity.

    Even my allies will be begging me to JUST SHUT UP....but it ain't gonna happen..... until these scum are out polluting jail cells instead of our White House.

    The Imperial Impeacher. With a 100% GUARANTEE of the political demise of the Bush "government" before Christmas 2007.

    by Ghost of Frank Zappa on Fri Jul 13, 2007 at 10:36:00 PM PDT

  •  when my hero Bill Moyers (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    needs a nudge from teacherken...that's ok with me.

  •  by the way (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    conchita, maxalb

    accusing a teacher of being a bit like .. accusing a __________ of being _______.

  •  unalienable Rights (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    coral, Jesterfox, Archangel

    endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. --That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men

    This is an important point that I try to make with people I talk to all the time. Whenever I get someone telling me the right-wing frame that "government is bad", I tell them government is the only thing giving us our rights. If it weren't for government, the strong would let the weak have no rights. The economically powerful would turn us all into slaves. And I'm sure that's why the rich hate government, too. They can't stand that we have any rights.

    As a candidate in 1999, Bush assured voters, "I don't believe my role is to replace the verdict of a jury with my own"

    by William Domingo on Fri Jul 13, 2007 at 10:58:51 PM PDT

  •  Great diary - as usual (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Sorry I'm late to the party.  I nodded off and even missed Moyers!  Now, of course, I'm wide awake at 1:30 a.m. and ready to rock.  Anyway, I have not gotten through all of the comments, but wanted to weigh in on this.  I respect Moyers and never doubt his intent, but I appreciate your clarification of the issue.  I don't believe that there is anything in the Constitution that was accidental or arbitrary.  Those guys spent too much time sweating in a closed room weighing every word for it to be anything other than deliberate.

    I think some of the argument or discussion we get today (I'm speaking more generally here, not about this diary or comments in particular) is the result of our lack of respect for and sloppy use of language.  I often spend inordinate amounts of time choosing words that I think most closely describe the things I want to say, but there are many who rattle off the first thing that pops into their heads and when questioned about it answer, "Whatever."  I know this is probably another diary, so I won't belabor it.  The point is that we don't look at words in the same way that the framers/founders did.  To ignore their choice of words and the placement of those words within the document is to risk distorting the meaning or missing it entirely.  

    I'll stop preaching.  I don't believe that there are any accidents or coincidences in the Constitution.  If there are unintended ambiguities, they are a result of our lack of understanding of language (AND history, I might add), not the laziness of the authors.

  •  While your criticism is noted... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Moyer's slip was a minor faux pas and in no way diminishes the import of Fein and Nichol's brilliant commentary.

    "Be you ever so high, the law is above you." - Thomas Fuller

    by Heimyankel on Sat Jul 14, 2007 at 12:09:34 AM PDT

  •  yep, watched it too, but was underwhelmed (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    It's fun when Bill Moyers does a show like that, to just float the concept and see what resonance it has.

    I'm entirely sympathetic to the cause of impeachment/removal and fairly sure it will come to it in six months or so.  But Fein and Nichols just did not get the political argument right.  As a technical argument they may or may not be entirely correct- they're close, anyway.  As an emotional proposition and course of action, they were quite persuasive.  As a kind of political necessity, they were right on.  But in formulation of exactly what constitutes the 'high crimes or misdemeanors', they just threw a lot of stuff against the wall- none of which is individually sufficiently compelling to meet that standard.

    It's like watching a state prosecuter choosing to prosecute a bank robber of three dozen counts of jaywalking and parking in a loading zone and running red lights and driving to endanger during the getaway, rather than the actual crime at root.

    I'm not sure whether to take their beating on Nancy Pelosi seriously.  But I don't agree with it- she's far more astute to the dynamic than they are, and agree that impeachment is going to be something she'll let the House back into when success is obvious rather than charge at doing immediately- and fail.

    There are are number of problems with Nichols and Fein's analysis.  One is that the Democrats in Congress have not exactly sat on their hands until now- it took a few months to get comfortable with the new responsibilities and their scope again.  They have reeled in all the policy areas in which Congress is preeminent- getting the states to cooperate, state-federal issues, oversight and governmental ethics, economic policy, social policy, and partially foreign policy.  No one disputes their competence in these anymore.

    Things have, since roughly May, begun to focus for Congress.  And that focus is on the two and half areas in which the Presidency is explicitly Constitutionally empowered- conduct of foreign policy, leadership in war operations, and policing of violent criminality (i.e. "fighting terrorism").  In Washington all issues of power and principle and ideology has begun to revolve around these 2-3 areas- the shorthand formulations are "Guantanamo" and "Iraq".

    Then we finally get to where Nichols and Fein run into trouble- the lawlessness in the Presidency.  In fact, this Presidency is not lawless- what it is is a full and ultimate manifestation of an ideology of inequality and unfairness.  I.e. an ideology in which the weaker party is not entitled to equitable treatment by the stronger party.  Prior to the Reconstruction Amendments this was a perfectly legitimate interpretation of the Constitution- the Framers wrote it to accommodate white citizens and suppress black slaves.  We Democrats have been treated as the latter class, Republicans as the former class, from 2001 until now.

    The difference in behavior goes back to this distinction.  Yes, Democrats have behaved as traumatized ex-slaves at their worst, and Republicans have behaved as a slaveowning class at their "height".  And at the Republican acme in 2003, all three Reconstruction Amendments seemed annulled- de facto slavery was permitted in the Northern Marianas, black people were cut off voting lists and otherwise disenfranchised to the extent Republicans could achieve without notice, public debts were treated cavalierly.  Due process rights, equal protection of the laws, and individual right to the Bill of Rights rights were all scorned- in Congress, by the White House, by Republicans all over the country.

    Democrats have been derided for their discipline in sticking true to the Reconstruction Amendment rights and ideals.  They don't do unto Republicans as Republicans have done continuously unto them.  They've let process and procedure work as fairly as possible, and that got Democrats back into national majority last November.  And it has pushed Republicans back- who started full of contempt of fair but serious process and lawabiding procedure last fall and winter.  As time has gone on that has peeled away layer after layer of arrogant excuses, overt and subtle lies, and laid bare the ugly Republican substance or void behind their mythologies and spin.   Arrogance and contempt and bullying have given way to fear, selfdiscrediting memory loss, obstruction, vanishing of documents, resignations, admissions of low competence and few results, and ducking behind bureaucratic technicalities.

    That doesn't bother me so much.  What does bother me is the likes of Nichols and Fein not understanding the political element to impeachment.  As a situation, we do have a Presidency that has maximized the war-related powers that drifted into it during the Cold War from Congress and the judiciary.  We do have a war between branches  to achieve return of these powers, now that the wars and existential threats are almost entirely gone (though Bush and Cheney do all they can to inflate the remaining molehills of threat and war into insurmountable mountains).  We do have the two most powerful branches of government on opposite sides of the Reconstruction Amendments (well, more Section 1 of the 14th Amendment than any other one).

    The democratic element in the game is that The People will decide the winner of the contest- not the likes of Nichols and Fein.  As long as The People wants the regime of dogmatic mistreatment and selective enforcement of the laws to continue, as long as it finds this Cold War Presidency stuck in a deliberately prolonged warlet gone bad in Iraq and unapologetic about injustices perpetrated by Americans throughout the Middle East, enough people will support the Republicans in Congress and the Presidency.

    When it's all finally enough, the Bush Presidency will be a shell and The People will allow (and demand) it to be crushed.  We are not a kind people to our politician class- they may abuse us, but we are without mercy when a bad set of politicians have served all their purposes and are finished.

    Sometime between September and January there will be a breakdown in popular support for Bush and Senate Republicans.  Somewhere slightly below the 24% mark is the place a Presidency flatlines, its last crucial alliances crumble.  I have this suspicion that around October or November it'll be so Over that the charge on DU will shift from "Impeach Now!" to "Resign Immediately!"

    Renewal, not mere Reform.

    by killjoy on Sat Jul 14, 2007 at 12:18:45 AM PDT

    •  They were right about Pelosi being a huge issue... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      and also that Congress is too uneducated about what the Constitution actually means, and for taking the oath and then proceeding to ignore it.

      I was glad to hear the guests say that Pelosi is enabling the problem which has to be repeated over and over:  Nancy Pelosi is enabling Bush/Cheney's attack on the Constitution.

      I'm not for shielding Pelosi just because she's a Democrat.  She's incompetent and is allowing this country to disintegrate, with Reid's help.

  •  Basic Organizing Principle of Society.... (0+ / 0-) to prepare for war, to quote Oliver Stone.

    There are, and always have been, societies where "justice" simply doesn't exist -- Ba'athist Iraq and North Korea, to name two.  But both of those societies were and are ogranized around the unifying principle of preparing for war.

    Kudos for you altruism, Ken.  And I'm grateful to live in a society founded by men who share your view.  But all of you -- including the Founding Fathers -- notwithstanding what is written in the preamble to the Constitution.

    "The beginning of thought is in disagreement -- not only with others but also with ourselves." - Eric Hoffer

    by Thinking Republican on Sat Jul 14, 2007 at 12:41:28 AM PDT

  •  Someone posted this text (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    coral, NonnyO

    around March 3rd:

    Detailed list of  impeachable offenses under the U.S. Constitution

    Its 4 pages long so I won't list them, just check it out.

    Short list

    Laws violated by President George W. Bush, Vice-President Richard Cheney, public officials under
    their authority, and members of the U.S. military under their command, sufficient for impeachment
    • The U. S. Constitution, Art. VI, para. 2, makes treaties adopted by the U.S. part of the "law of the land." Thus,
    a violation of the U. N. Charter, Hague IV, Geneva Conventions, etc. is also a violation of U.S. federal law.
    • U.S. Federal Law 18 U.S.C. § 2441 (War Crimes Act of 1996) makes committing a war crime, defined as: "...a
    grave breach in any of the international conventions signed at Geneva 12 August 1949, or any protocol to such
    convention to which the United States is a party..." punishable by fine, imprisonment, or death.
    • The following treaties and charters which define: wars of aggression, war crimes, crimes against peace
    and crimes against humanity.
    Laws and Customs of War on Land (Hague IV)
    Art. 55. The occupying State shall be regarded only as administrator...of public buildings, real estate, forests, and agricultural
    estates belonging to the hostile State, and situated in the occupied country. It must safeguard the capital of these properties, and
    administer them in accordance with the rules of usufruct.
    U.N. Gen. Assembly Res. 3314
    Defines the crime of aggression as "... the use of armed force by a State against the sovereignty, territorial integrity or political
    independence of another State...or in any other manner inconsistent with the Charter of the United Nations..."
    Nuremberg Tribunal Charter
    Principle VI: "The crimes hereinafter set out are punishable as crimes under international law:
    (a) Crimes against peace: Planning, preparation, initiation or waging of a war of aggression or a war in violation of international treaties;
    (b) War crimes: ...murder, ill-treatment...of civilian population of or in occupied territory; murder or ill-treatment of prisoners
    of war,...plunder of public or private property, wanton destruction of cities, towns, or villages...
    (c) Crimes against humanity: Murder, extermination...and other inhuman acts done against any civilian population...when
    such acts are execution of or in connection with any crime against peace or any war crime."
    Geneva Conventions
    A) Protocol I, Article 75: "(1)...persons who are in the power of a Party to the conflict...shall be treated humanely in all
    circumstances...(2) The following acts are and shall remain prohibited...whether committed by civilian or by military
    agents: (a) violence to the life, health, or physical or mental well-being of persons...(b) outrages upon personal
    dignity, in particular humiliating and degrading treatment, enforced prostitution and any form of indecent assault...and
    threats to commit any of the foregoing acts."
    B) Protocol I, Art. 51: "The civilian population...shall not be the object of attack. Acts or threats of violence the
    primary purpose of which is to spread terror among the civilian population are prohibited." Art. 57: (parties shall) "do
    everything feasible to verify that the objectives to be attacked are neither civilians nor civilian attack shall
    be cancelled or suspended if it becomes apparent that the objective is not a military one..."
    C) Protocol I, Art. 70: "The Parties to the conflict...shall allow and facilitate rapid and unimpeded passage of all relief
    consignments, equipment and personnel...even if such assistance is destined for the civilian population of the adverse Party."
    D) Protocol I, Art. 35: "In any armed conflict, the right of the choose methods or means of warfare is not
    unlimited...It is prohibited to employ methods or means of warfare which are intended, or may be expected, to
    cause widespread, long-term and severe damage to the environment."
    E) Convention I, Art. 3: "Persons taking no active part in the hostilities, including members of armed forces who
    have laid down their arms... shall in all circumstances be treated humanely...To this end, the following acts (in
    addition to those listed in Art. 75, above) are and shall remain prohibited:...the passing of sentences and the
    carrying out of executions without previous judgment pronounced by a regularly constituted court, affording all
    the judicial guarantees which are recognized as indispensable by civilized peoples."
    F) Convention III, Art. 5: "Should any doubt arise as to whether persons, having committed a belligerent act and having
    fallen into the hands of the enemy (are prisoners of war under this Convention), such persons shall enjoy the
    protection of the present Convention until such time as their status has been determined by a competent tribunal."
    G) Convention IV, Art. 33: "No protected person may be punished for an offence he or she has not personally
    committed. Collective penalties and likewise all measures of intimidation or of terrorism are prohibited."

  •  thanks for (0+ / 0-)

    this important notation;

    "Impeachment is not a Constitutional crisis. Impeachment is the cure for a Constitutional crisis." - John Nichols

    by pollwatch on Sat Jul 14, 2007 at 02:32:01 AM PDT

  •  It's online now! (0+ / 0-)

    It can be viewed at Moyers' PBS site.

  •  Brilliant. (0+ / 0-)

    Thank you.

    BushCheneyCo: If we don't kidnap, torture, rape, and murder -- the criminals will WIN!

    by Yellow Canary on Sat Jul 14, 2007 at 03:08:40 AM PDT

  •  Thank you, Teacherken (0+ / 0-)

    Thank you for bringing your passion for government history to dKos.

    I always learn something valuable from your diaries.

    Keep them coming!

    "Let us not look back to the past with anger, nor towards the future with fear, but look around with awareness." James Thurber

    by annan on Sat Jul 14, 2007 at 04:17:38 AM PDT

  •  From the transcript (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    BILL MOYERS: But read that prologue of the Constitution. The first obligation is to defend the people, to defend their freedom, to defend their rights.

    I think Moyers "gets it" that the country is more than the territory. Without "freedom" and "rights", this country would cease to be the same country.

    Thanks for making a very important point, but I don't think Moyers deserved much if any blame.

    •  Vico has noted that above (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      NonnyO, MyBrainWorks

      and in rereading, I think Moyers statement is subject to two interpretations.  One would be that defending the people is presumed in the sense of their rights.  The other - which struck me in light of the way Bush and his minions talk about fighting over there rather than fighting over here, is the the people and their freedom can be used to justify much of what Bush has done -  after all, remember all the times he has said that they hate us for our freedom.

      I also acknowledge that reading the three parts of that statement that Fein and Nichols might have focused on the end, which is the point I think should have been first. And maybe it is because I have a predilection for emphasizing the idea of justice in my teaching that I reacted the way that I did.

      Those who can, do. Those who can do more, TEACH! If impeachment is off the table, so is democracy

      by teacherken on Sat Jul 14, 2007 at 04:57:39 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  MyBrainWorks is Right (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      NonnyO, MyBrainWorks

      You can see that Moyer's was putting a thought together and really saying more than defend the country.  Watch the whole show at this link to see it for yourself.  Moyer's show is great, and this discussion is great.  Now lets get it to the communities we live in.  Its a pleasure to see 2 constitutional scholars and Moyers intelligently discuss the need for impeachment and the most important point which is... if congress impeached Bill Clinton for lying under oath then Bush and Cheney must be impeached. Clinton waan't convicted, but these two should be. If only to save our nation from future abusive esecutives.

      •  I have posted an update on the diary (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        acknowledging the remarks of both Vico and MyBrainWorks.  Still, there was in Moyers' remarks no mention of Justice.   And that to me is a key.

        Those who can, do. Those who can do more, TEACH! If impeachment is off the table, so is democracy

        by teacherken on Sat Jul 14, 2007 at 05:14:49 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Ohfergawdsake (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mehitabel9, ksingh

    Give it rest, tk. This was just pedantic and ungenerous. Moyers was making a rhetorical point.

    Everybody knows the preamble. It's like you just went on a rant about milk expiration dates or something.

    A rant about something irrelevant when the subject of the matter is impeachment - and at this point I don't really care what gets us there, as long as we get there soon.

    Every day's another chance to stick it to The Man. - dls.

    by The Raven on Sat Jul 14, 2007 at 05:06:54 AM PDT

  •  Ken, really (4+ / 0-)

    I just re-watched this and came to the computer to provide the exact quote with which you updated the diary.  

    I believe you are being hypertechnical here, as, when taken as a whole, the obligations listed by Moyers are about justice.  It was a comment made in the context of a back-and-forth discussion, and I think we can forgive Moyers for not being as faithful to the precise wording as you might teach your class.

    •  Oh, my, gawd. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      I agree with GOTV about something.

      Where are my smelling salts?????

      Whether ours shall continue to be a government of laws and not of men is now for Congress and ultimately the American people. - Archibald Cox

      by Mehitabel9 on Sat Jul 14, 2007 at 06:42:29 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Agreed (0+ / 0-)

      This is unnecessary nitpicking in my view. The two phrases come immediately one after the other, in the preamble.

      •  actually, no they don't, as DemocraticLuntz (0+ / 0-)

        pointed out shortly after the diary went up, so I added his observation.   Note the order:

        in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense,...

        so there is something else intervening between justice and common defense.

        I have acknowledged that seeing the transcript Moyers may have intended something else, but I also point out that given the entire context interpreting his mention of defending first can easily be seen as I saw it.  And while I acknowledge that he might be playing devil's advocate if he did so deliberately, I also stand on my point that pointing out that justice is listed first (and as others have noted, capitalized - Justice - may have some bearing, and was certainly worth noting, especially given my contention that this administration is willing to abandon justice in the name of security.

        Those who can, do. Those who can do more, TEACH! If impeachment is off the table, so is democracy

        by teacherken on Sat Jul 14, 2007 at 08:09:19 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Time For Congressional Hearing Like Moyers Show (0+ / 0-)

    Bring in people from all sides and use the hearings to make the case for impeachment while exposing the roots and the scope of the GOP conspiracy.

    That'll get the issue on everyone's radar screen.

    I outlined this strategy in May

  •  Well said... (0+ / 0-)

    Beautiful point and well said. Good diary.

  •  mistake? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Did Moyers make a mistake, or did he not play up the angle as the diarist would have liked? The headline of the diary needs to change, IMO.

    -7.38, -5.23 One day we ALL will know the truth about the 2000 presidential election. God help us all.

    by CocoaLove on Sat Jul 14, 2007 at 05:47:11 AM PDT

    •  I agree given the transcript (0+ / 0-)

      that the title of the diary is probably inaccurate, but feel that since I did not see the transcript until after the diary had been up a number of hours, it would be improper for me to change it now - that is why I put in the update

      But while I think "major mistake" is not a correct way of phrasing it, I stand on my main point, that by talking about defense - even if of the people and not the country  (and that is a very subtle distinction given recent rhetoric) my primary point of the emphasis on justice being missed still stands -  it was a teachable moment that could really have strengthened the case.

      But I have acknowledged that others might have heard it differently -  it is interesting the number of people who did hear it and react to it as did I, which means that there was a lack of precision in the way it was expressed.

      Those who can, do. Those who can do more, TEACH! If impeachment is off the table, so is democracy

      by teacherken on Sat Jul 14, 2007 at 06:10:58 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Bush uses defending the nation to hide the fact (0+ / 0-)

    that he did such a poor job allowing 9/11 to occur.
    Standard method of operation, strenuously promote idealistic standards while behind the scenes they do the opposite.

  •  I think most Americans do not scrutinize (0+ / 0-)

    every nuance as well as most do here, so the effect of Moyers show taken as a whole is still compelling. Regardless how you interpret certain passages in the Constitution, there are still 65% who are not currently in favor or feel impeachment is called for yet (some people just can't make up their minds) regarding Bush. Every Moyers program I have watched has been very careful to present a fair and balanced view on any topic. The last thing Moyers wants to project is that he is a shill for the left wing especially since he was a major part of LBJ's Great Society. Therefore, the subtle phrasing he injects to the presentation should be viewed with as much objectivity as how he is trying to project to the audience.

    Your argument you make that you feel Moyers made a major mistake germane to "the introduction to the Constitution begins with the idea of of defending the Country", is actually a subjective interpretation of what the Founding Fathers intended especially when considering the turmoil they faced after the Revolutionary War and the failure of the Articles of the Confederation. Not that you are wrong, however, I have always felt the Constitution is not a black and white document. It contains as many statements that deal with conjecture as the Bible and Koran contains. When determining what is more important, defense of the nation and its citizenry or the imposition of justice is not so clear cut and in reality is a matter of what is the prevailing sentiments of the present government and the voters.

  •  Why do you assume (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    that when Moyers said "defend the people, defend their freedom, defend their rights", what he was talking about in that first clause was military defense?

    As I read that, I interpreted "defend" in the sense of "protect", and I see the two following clauses as being qualifiers of the first.  It's not 'enemies foreign' who threaten my freedom and my rights, it's 'enemies domestic'.

    Personally, I think you're reading something into Moyers' [off the cuff] statement that in all likelihood wasn't there.  

    But the bottom line is, his statement can obviously be interpreted in more than one way, so please don't assume that your interpretation is the only one, or the correct one.

    Whether ours shall continue to be a government of laws and not of men is now for Congress and ultimately the American people. - Archibald Cox

    by Mehitabel9 on Sat Jul 14, 2007 at 06:51:50 AM PDT

  •  Show should be recommended viewing (0+ / 0-)

    for all Congressmen especially House Speakers and anyone still determined to keep impeachment off the table.

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