A couple of liberal blogger sites are reporting that a MoveOn.org petition has been created to expel Speaker John Boehner from Congress and have him tried for sedition, treason and generally being a piss-poor excuse for a House Speaker. Ok, I made that last part up, sort of. But as I was saying, a petition has been created and at the time I’m writing this, it has over 12,000 signatures. That’ll show Speaker John Boehner who’s boss! Right?
As alleged in the petition created by a “Mr Nuvolari,” Speaker Boehner violated the Logan Act and usurped the power delegated to the executive branch by inviting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to speak before Congress without consulting President Obama first. The petitioner then believes that Mr. Boehner should be tried and forced to resign his office. That sounds pretty great, right? No more Speaker Boehner and the whole Republican house of cards comes tumbling down – where do I sign up?
The petition at Moveon.org reads as follows:
By his inviting a foreign leader to address Congress, John Boehner deliberately dealt in foreign policy and thus violated the “Logan Act”, thus usurping the powers of the presidency of the United States.
In so doing, Boehner also deliberately violated the “separation of powers” clause in the US Constitution.
By law, he must now be tried by Congress, and forced to resign.
Under the “Logan Act” of 1799, (1 Stat. 613, 30 January 1799, currently codified at 18 U.S.C. § 953) Executive power to engage in Foreign Policy is ONLY vested in the President of the United States of America.
The Logan Act (1 Stat. 613, 30 January 1799, currently codified at 18 U.S.C. § 953) specifically forbids any unauthorized citizens from negotiating with foreign governments.
The Act is intended to prohibit United States citizens without authority from interfering in relations between the United States and foreign governments.
It was passed in 1799 and last amended in 1994.
Violation of the Logan Act is a felony, punishable under federal law with imprisonment of up to three years. (Source)
The problem is that anyone can create a petition, just like anyone can ask a prosecutor to indict George W. Bush and Dick Cheney for war crimes. Petition activism is one of the worst forms of slacktivism, as it lulls low-information voters into a sense of accomplishment when nothing has actually been accomplished – except for giving your personal information to an organization which will then sell or trade it to political campaigns. Just go to Google, type “John Boehner petition” in the search bar, and you’ll see tons of links to petitions directed at the Speaker of the House. All of them, including this one from MoveOn.org, are as useful as a Zimbabwean dollar bill.
Don’t get me wrong, there are some Republicans (and Democrats) in both the House and Senate who I would like to see prosecuted for a number of crimes. I’d also like to see the cost of every ridiculous attempt to repeal or defund Obamacare billed directly to the lawmakers who have wasted their time and our money over 50 times on passing legislation that wouldn’t even get through the Senate, let alone be signed by President Obama. Speaker Boehner did cross a line by inviting Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to speak to Congress without consulting President Obama but is he in violation of the Logan Act? No. Is he trying to influence foreign policy and undermine what Obama has been doing? Yes, but they’ve been doing that since the night he was elected, and inviting someone to speak before Congress isn’t the same as secretly negotiating with foreign governments. If we found evidence that he or any other member of Congress was actively trying interfere in negotiations with Iran to our detriment, then that would be something he could be prosecuted for, but there isn’t any way that the House would force him out since it is controlled by his own party. After all, House Republicans couldn’t even remove him as Speaker and replace him with someone else (despite a conservative petition for Trey Gowdy), yet gullible liberals actually think a MoveOn.org petition will get him prosecuted under the Logan Act?
Now, do you want to get Speaker Boehner and his cronies out of office? Did you know that there was a Democrat running against him in the 2014 election? A lot of people didn’t, and of course, John Boehner easily won reelection. Remember, even if he were to be removed or resign, there are people like Congressman Steve Scalise of Louisiana who would gladly take his position. If you want John Boehner and his obstructionist colleagues gone, a petition isn’t going to do it. The only way to do that is to show up at voting booths on Election Day, because without participating in elections, all your other political actions are meaningless. And yes, that goes for all 12,000+ of you who have already signed a pointless petition.
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