I think I understand one of the root causes of the inherent corruption within the Bush Adminsitration (BushAd). It is the practice by both political parties (The Democrats and The Republicans) of having the most senior elected official from their party be the, if nothing else, titular "head of the party". Former UN Ambassador & Resident of Earth, John Bolton, told Jon Stewart that the president is supposed to advance the interests of the people who elected him! I believe that a constitutional amendment is in order (among many others I have in mind, but that's a topic for another post, as the old folks to used to say. They may have had something else in mind when they said it, but that's not important.)
I believe that the top person in each branch of our government should, immediately upon being declared the winner of an election by the appropriate bodies charged with doing that, or confirmed for a government position in the Judiciary or the Executive Branches, resign from his or her political party, and be officially "Unaffiliated". For the record: I prefer the term "Unaffiliated" over "Independent" because there are some political parties that use the word "Independent" in their name, such as "The Independent Party". They are not unaffiliated with any political party, just the two major ones. Same for "The Independence Party", or some variant. It's either deceptive or ignorant. Deceptive if it's to make you think that no political party whatsoever will be controlling that candidate; ignorant if it's to make you think that there are only the Democrats and the Republicans from which to choose. They are not, and for quite some time have not been, your only choices at the voting booth.
Both of these major political parties have been guilty of putting loyalty to their party ahead of loyalty to their country, and to the oath they took to "preserve, protect, and defend the constitution of the United States." I took an oath to do the same very thing. I took that oath very seriously, and I expect them to do the same. As a matter of fact, as there was no end date put in that oath, I still feel bound by it. And that's one of the reasons I post on this blog. But that's, yet again, a topic for another post. (I believe the expression was found in one of Shakespeare's early comedies.)
Once confirmed as the winner of the election when Congress meets to count the electoral votes, the President-Elect should immediately resign from his or her party. This is because from this point forward, the chief focus should be on what all Americans need, not just what one party wants. These are people's lives we're talking about here! It's not a damn game! If they must make decisions about what the morally correct thing to do (and it IS something we expect of our president), then they cannot be tied to the philosophy and agenda of one political party, especially if the popular vote was close, but in any event anyway.
Besides the President of the United States, the Vice President of the United States should also be Unaffiliated, especially regarding leadership in the US Senate, of which he would still be the President. If 50 Senators want one person to be the leader, and 50 Senators want another, the Vice President's "former" party should not be considered the leaders. The US Senate will just have to adapt to the changes, as will the other House and the Judiciary Branch.
I believe that once chosen, the Speaker of the House, who is supposed to be leader of ALL US Representatives, should be Unaffiliated. They still have their Leaders on the Floor, the Majority Leader and Minority Leader. Why should one have the advantage of having the People's Representative favoring one party's agenda over the interests of the nation as a whole? And anyone who doesn't want the job under those circumstances just better not run for it. Simple.
Finally, once confirmed by the US Senate, the Chief Justice of the United States should also resign from his or her political party and be officially registered as Unaffiliated. The Chief Justice is exactly what the title says, Chief Justice for all Americans, not just one party. He or she must refrain from participating in any party events of their former party, unless all other former Chief Justices are also invited.
The reason I feel these changes are necessary is something little known and less often talked about, Conflict of Interest. And not merely that, the Appearance of a Conflict of Interest. Too many people in Congress put way too much emphasis on what their political party wants them to do, and not what the people they represent (not the corporations who employ people in their districts, but the people themselves) want them to do. Witness what we have now in BushAd. An undeniably business-friendly (in a more-than-just-friends way, if you catch my drift) admin who does exactly the opposite of what a vast majority of our citizens want him to do. And yet, to date, he has not even come close to giving us a single, truthful, rational, justifiable reason for the invasion of Iraq. Not one valid reason. The vast majority of what they told us turned out to be untrue, and there is ample evidence to suggest that they knew, at the time they were making them, that the things they were saying in public could not withstand the close scrutiny of illumination. And so they classified it all and have been trying to keep it out of the public domain. Not for "national security" interests, but because it would prove them to be the mendacious bunch they are.
BushAd is the epitome of what the Founding Fathers had in mind when they cautioned against political parties (of the ones who did.) They are the embodiment of how bad things could get when a president and his staff try to grab unprecedented powers from the other two branches. And had the Republicans in Congress during the first six years of BushAd been doing their jobs and protecting the constitution, we would not have had The USA PATRIOT Act, as well as the illegal wiretapping program. They failed miserably in their role as the People's Government Oversight. They may also be complicit in BushAd's crimes. Time will tell.
I don't expect it to really get much better once the Demcorats take over the White House in Jan 2009 (if not sooner). I don't see them motivated enough to change the status quo. That's why we have to vote them out of office. Not the people themselves, necessarily, but all Democrats and Republicans running for federal office. If you honestly feel that your Senator or Representative has represented your true interests to your satisfaction, then try to get a third party to endorse that candidate and vote for them on that line. But do not send them back to Washington as a Democrat or Republican. Two parties really are better than one. But ten parties is way better than just two. We need diversity of opinion, not just yes-no, black-white, up-down, bi-polar governance of our lives. Not every issue that affects our lives can be simplified into "It's This, or it's the totally opposite That. There is no middle ground." Life is more nuanced than that.
GIVE 'EM THE BIRD!
VOTE FOR A THIRD!
VOTE FOR A THIRD!
And that will be the topic of another post.