Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Constitutionally a Hillary Bill Clinton ticket is Feasible but what would it to the Repug's and the Country?

I am going to take a break from my regular routine of monitoring the daily missteps of Bush and the rest of the world as it slides towards world war. I want to talk again about Hillary and Bill! I remember when Hillary first announced she would be running for President in 2008 I wrote a story wondering if Constitutionally there was a possibility of a Hillary Bill ticket? Think of the implications? I really do not think it is necessary because if for some reason Bush, Cheney, Rove, and the rest of the underhanded Repug machine did not prevent Hillary from getting elected by any one of the underhanded scenarios we have discussed we would as a benefit get President Clinton. With Hillary you get Bill. Two for the price of one so to speak. Regardless of what you think of him as a man he did a great job I thought of running the country.

I remember a way back that Hillary discussing the possibility of Bill running for VP. Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton told a talk show her husband, Bill, had "looked into" running as her vice president. Appearing on the David Letterman show the talk-show host asked if Bill Clinton could serve as her vice president should she be elected to the White House. But the former first lady acknowledged that he could not. "Believe me," she joked, "he looked into that." She also remarked that if the Constitution didn't forbid a president from a third term, "he might be running." I disagree with what was said

I researched the Constitutionallity of Bill running for Vice President and that he could but then I remember Hillary saying legally he could not. Thinking that her saying no could be a ploy I decided to check it out once more. I know the question has never been answered by the Supreme court but the question is constitutionally viable. I found this!
The 12th amendment of the US Constitution specifically says that “…But no person constitutionally ineligible to the office of President shall be eligible to that of Vice-President of the United States.”
“U.S. Constitution: Twelfth Amendment Our next link subscribes to this idea to a certain extent but says that it doesn’t prevent Bill Clinton from seeking other avenues if he wants to pursue the Vice- Presidency. “The 12th Amendment to the Constitution does say that no one who is "constitutionally ineligible to the office of President" can serve as vice president. And clearly Clinton is ineligible to be elected president again:” “Clinton could also run for the House and then be elected speaker, which would put him in line for the presidency. Cabinet members are in the line of succession as well.” “Could Clinton Run for VP?”

Another opinion of course is that he can run for Vice President and the next links here provide other takes on the interpretation of the 12th Amendment. “The 12th Amendment would allow a Clinton vice-presidency. Its language only bars from the vice-presidency those persons who are "ineligible to the office" of President. Clinton is not ineligible to the office of president, however. He is only disqualified (by the 22nd Amendment) from being elected to that office.” “This is no mere semantic distinction. Article II of the Constitution carefully defines exactly who is "eligible to the Office of President": anyone who is a natural born citizen, at least 35 years old, and has been a U.S. resident for at least 14 years.” “Why the Constitution permits a Gore-Clinton ticket” “The answer is: He can.

The 12th Amendment states that anybody who is eligible for the presidency under Article II of the Constitution (anatural-born citizen age 35 or older) is eligible for the vice presidency. Clinton is a natural-born citizen over 35, so he qualifies. The putative roadblock to a Clinton vice presidency--the 22nd Amendment--doesn't apply. This hastily worded and passed amendment, designed to block another multi-multi-term presidency such as FDR's, only bars the election of a president to more than two terms in that office.” “Vice President Bill Clinton? Take 3” . References for Article II and the 22nd Amendment of the Constitution are available here “U.S.Constitution ” the complete Google answer
We know the recent record of this Supreme Court but I think it is time to address this question in light of the future Bush has set up for us. Wouldn’t it be nice for Bill Clinton to actually try and then for the Supreme Court to finally settle this matter once and for all?

James Joiner
Gardner Ma


Larry said...

The Repugs should rejoice. They would be getting one of their own.

Larry said...

Check this out Jim:

By Bernard Weiner, The Crisis Papers

I’ve been privileged, if that’s the right word, to live through the tenures of two of the worst presidents in American history: Richard Nixon, who was forced to resign after his felonious crimes were revealed against the Constitution and the American people, and G.W. Bush, who likely will leave to a rousing citizen chorus of “here’s your hat, what’s your hurry?, don’t let the door hit you on the way out.”

In both cases, covering up their lies and crimes associated with reckless wars (Vietnam then, Iraq now) led Nixon and Bush further down the road to authoritarian misrule. Nixon claimed that the Chief Executive cannot violate the law because when a president acts, ipso facto what he’s doing cannot be illegal. Bush claims that whenever he says he’s acting in the national-security interests of the American people, he can violate whatever law or Constitutional protection he so desires. Furthermore, Bush asserts, the Judicial Branch should not restrain him and the Legislative Branch has no jurisdiction either. The courts, which he’s packed with his ideological cronies, tend to uphold his “Commander-in-Chief” ukases, and the Democratic majority in the Congress tends to roll over and whimper whenever he (or The Cheney) raises his voice.

Now, of course, Vietnam and Iraq are not exact copies of each other, but there are disquieting similarities worth re-examining. In both cases, the military and diplomatic experts warned the president that the war against nationalist guerrillas could not be “won,” that the best-case scenario would be endless stalemate — the Q-word (one that rhymes with magmire) comes into play here. In both cases, few in the government understood the deep cultural complexity of the countries they were invading and occupying. In both cases, the local governments, which the Americans helped install, were corrupt, ineffective and lacking in moral authority among their peoples. In both cases, there was collusion on a grand scale between the U.S. government and greedy corporations in the occupied country.

What got me thinking once again about the parallels between ‘Nam/Iraq and Nixon/Bush was engendered by my having been laid low by the ‘flu bug last week. After getting fed up watching crappy TV and surfing the internet, I spent a few hours cleaning up my office, and in the course of this rare activity, discovered some old letters of mine to friends and fellow activists during “The Sixties.” Those reflections of the time are depressing in a certain way since they indicate how far we’ve backtracked from the socio-political gains of that idealistic, convulsive era, but they also provide more hope and justification for our current activism. So, here goes:


In a March 1972 letter to a radical colleague, I talked first about how to speed the end of the Vietnam War, and then moved to broader issues:

“You ask, in effect, whether our tiny tokens of political activity can be cashed in — or, in other words, what the hell are we really doing, and is it worth it? I don’t know. It seems as if in the mid- and late-’60s that we (”we!!!”) created a tidal wave of new consciousness that socked the solar plexus of Middle America into a state of change but also fear. After a while, the huge waves receded and we found the traditional breakwaters (plus that fear) had done their job well, since the foundations of the structures were only weakened, not destroyed. Now we must pick up from where we left off; some of us will gnaw away at the rotten wood, others will meet with carpenters to design some of the new projects when the old structures fall away, others will talk to those with boats for the flood, others will spread the new gospel (the good news), others will rap with middle-class residents in a desire to alleviate their anxieties and show them how they will participate in the new order, and so on.

“In other words, we do what we can, while there are relatively quiet eddies in the whirlpool, to rebuild our strength, get our own heads together after the delicious ecstasy of riding the lip of the wave of the future. Our separate efforts, no doubt, seem small — and they are small — but combined perhaps they can create enough sucking power and momentum to generate the next wave of consciousness.

“Our victories must be appreciated in small doses, and we must learn not to allow our frustrations to drag us down into the pits of despondency and inertia. We hack away with our home-made chisels, and someday perhaps our sculpture will begin to emerge more clearly. It would be easier, perhaps, to simply blow it all up and try to pick up the pieces after it’s over — but what would have changed, really? Certainly not ‘us’.”


One could offer much the same advice today. We may not be able to push all our ideas to fruition each time, or in the ways that are so necessary for significant social advances. This being so, we have to celebrate our rare victories and appreciate our incremental advances, knowing that getting to the “tipping point” will require constant progressive effort and will include innumerable disappointments and failures.

While we are working like crazy to change the Democratic Party from within, defeat bad Dems, get more good candidates to run, start the ball rolling about a possible third party, agitate for impeachment and a quick end to the war, etc. — while we’re doing all that necessary work, we need to keep in mind what William Rivers Pitt wrote recently about his frustrations with, and ultimate acceptance of, the Democratic Party:

“The Dems will do what the current system requires, and that won’t change anytime soon, and it no longer staggers me. The bear’s gonna shit in the woods, it says so right here in the guide, so … I don’t care all that much about who the Dems nominate next year, because all of them are beholden to the same system…

“My job is to get these rubes elected, again and again and again, and to be patient. Every time we increase our majority, we will increase our ability to pass good laws and appoint good judges, which will slowly bring the country back from the far-right mentality that has dominated for years, which will make it possible and then probable to elect better Dems, and better Dems again. It’ll take 10-15 years just to get the national head out of the national ass, which is precisely where the GOP has been shoving it since ’81, but that’s cool, because I’m patient. Like a stone.

“I don’t matter. The idea that is, was and can again be America is all that matters. I’m not supposed to be happy, or pleased, or self-satisfied, or anything other than quietly and patiently horrified. My job is to cope, to work each day on this, and to play for the long term, ten elections minimum, and maybe there’ll be a bit of progress…

“It won’t change tomorrow, or after the next election. No candidate of this moment will change it in any measurable sense. But it can be done. It must be done. We are Americans, children of a crazy dream, always striving to make that more perfect union, so that we will be a little more free tomorrow than we were yesterday.”


From a 1968 letter to a dear friend about to go on trial for his Draft Resistance work:

“Would it sound patronizing, Bob, if I said I’m proud of you and what you’ve been doing these past few years? You’ve got more guts than I, that’s obvious; I hope your payoff is worth it all. I think it probably is.

“I’ve always used the image of a marshmallow to characterize American society: it is so flabbily strong, it can take any punch thrown at it, usually absorbing the puncher in the process. What it can’t absorb, it disciplines, harshly or softly, depending upon the mood of the time. In my more pessimistic moments, I believe the U.S. mottleclass society can absorb anything the left can present; Chicago is a good demonstration of that. It absorbed the Gene McCarthy thrust, then disciplined the radicals — and, of course, the great American public supports the cops, who are now a political power all their own to be reckoned with…

“So you see, despite all our agitations and hard slogging labors, the ‘objective conditions’ are not present for a massive social revolution, and will not be present in the foreseeable future. The underlying structure is simply too strong, too well-entrenched for anything other than occasional reform.

“In my more optimistic moments, I see the crumbling pillars of the superstructure about ready for the historical shove, and the merging of the youth/hip/black/student movements — if they ever could do it — would serve as that shove, as they are attempting to do (and sometimes even manage to do) from Belgrade to Bratislava to Berkeley to Beijing. Oversimplified, I admit, but enough of ’something happening,’ of generational gaps, to justify the analogy.

“I feel torn — intellectually and tactically schizoid — when listening to the current movement debates. Is this the year? Is now the time? Perhaps I’ve answered that for myself: I’m going down to Seattle next Tuesday to join in the founding convention of the New Party in Washington State.”


If the “revolution” couldn’t come in The Sixties when tectonic social plates seemed to be shifting every day, then it probably wasn’t coming at all. (By “the revolution,” I think we activists meant a “revolution” in consciousness throughout the land that would lead to imminent major changes and shifts in everything from politics to foreign policy to economics to education to child-rearing, etc. etc.) “We want the world, and we want it NOW,” to quote Jim Morrison, but, alas, it wasn’t going to be that easy.

The giant American “marshmallow” absorbed that social dynamic, deflected it, attacked it, altered it, and the “New Left/hippie” alliance began splitting apart (with a little help from J. Edgar Hoover & Friends) as factions and ideological sects emerged to battle for the future direction of “the movement.”

It turned out that the “objective conditions” were really not there in “The Sixties” (roughly mid-’60s to the mid-’70s) for the kind of changes we desired. And that could be said, in spades, for our current situation in 2007, though we must continue to do everything we can to help create those “objective conditions.”

True, anger and resentment and frustration are building and gaining momentum in the body politic, enough so that there is at least talk about the formation of progressive alternatives to the calcifying Democratic Party leadership. But it’s all amorphous, scattered energy, with few if any leaders or factions emerging to help guide its birthpangs. At least not yet.


I suspect that it may be too late to do anything significant along these lines for the 2008 election, though certainly it’s imperative that we keep fighting for those changes now. This at the same time we’re loosening the soil and planting seeds that will grow and send out deep roots, and hopefully yield a bountiful harvest of grassroots alliances somewhere down the line, perhaps even as early as the midterm election of 2010 and the presidential campaign of 2012.

Perhaps there will be an amalgam, a fast-building “Movement,” of Progressive Democrats of America, United for Peace and Justice, Democracy for America, the Greens, disaffected mainstream Republican conservatives, et al., led by such dynamic activists and thinkers as David Swanson and Medea Benjamin and Robert Kennedy Jr. and John W. Dean and Paul Craig Roberts and Paul Krugman and Jesse Jackson and Mark Crispin Miller and Arianna Huffington and Bill Moyers and Rev. Lennox Yearwood and Cindy Sheehan and Dahr Jamail and Bruce Fein and Ehren Watada and others you can think of as well.

Or, more likely, new, often-younger leaders will emerge from the growing grassroots to provide the energy, innovations and solid ideas to take us further along this path to peace and justice in our time.

Larry said...

The truth about both parties Jim:

In essays over the past two weeks, I’ve speculated about the reasons for the dangerous timidity of our Democratic Party leaders, and came up with quite a number of possibilities. But, as many letter-writers reminded me, I might have left out the main one:

It’s not that Dem leaders are conned or frightened by the Republicans, they say. No, the Dems act they way they do because they actually believe much of what the Republicans believe, and/or are beholden to the same corporate lobbie$ and media giant$ that get them elected and re-elected.

The essence of the argument is this: There is actually only one party in America — with a Republican head and a Democratic head — controlled by the political/economic elite that really runs things. (Sometimes this elite is termed “the oligarchy,” or “the plutocrats,” or, simply, “the Establishment.”)

No wonder there is such frustration and anger in the Democratic and Republican bases: The national elections, to many, are meaningless. It doesn’t matter which party is in the White House or which controls Congress, this argument goes, since the outcomes will be more or less the same, arranged by the same power forces that control the political and economic realities.

Given this belief, it’s no wonder so many citizens don’t vote or are so cynical about their elected officials and the possibility of real change. America needs a seismic political shakeup, but how can major change occur when the system is rigged in support of the ongoing status quo?

So let’s take some time to explore these arguments and see where they lead us. No doubt, we will return to this issue as we get closer to the presidential election of November 2008 — especially if citizens have to decide whether the “lesser of two evils” yet again should get their vote — but let’s at least plant some seeds of thought now and see what grows.


If one were to take a really long-range view of American politics, one could ascribe a certain truth to the argument above. America for centuries has been dominated by parties that hover around the center, the parameters of which are set by the “powers that be” in American life.

Sometimes that center is more left-oriented (during FDR’s administration in the ’30s and ’40s, for example, or in the years following Nixon’s disgraceful, lawless presidency); sometimes it’s more right-oriented (during the term, say, of Reagan). Rarely have we seen such a lying, rampaging, corrupt, take-no-prisoners element in charge, as we have today with the CheneyBush extremists.

But Americans in general, and American corporations in particular, desire stability and predictability. And for that reason, the action invariably returns to the (shifting) center, even if there was a temporary visitation to the outskirts of the party in charge.

Since it costs so much money to finance a viable run for state, Congressional and national office, it follows that most candidates have to get the required cash from somewhere other than their own bank accounts. Who has that kind of money or can raise it fast? The usual suspects: the wealthy, the organized interest groups, the corporations, the lobbyists, et al. Which translates to: Candidates, beholden to these supporters, tend to stay within the ideological/political parameters set by their major donors.

In addition, elected officials and the major candidates generally come from the same wealthy economic/ideological class as their large donors.


The long and short of this situation is that American voters tend to have a severely limited pallet of candidates with which to paint their votes. These candidates more or less agree with one another but hype relatively insignificant differences in order to make the choices seem more dramatic and meaningful than they really are.

When a rare candidate comes along who catches fire with the public but doesn’t necessarily want to draw within the lines prescribed by the elite who control things — some even going so far as to cut themselves off from the traditional financial-support teats (such as Paul Wellstone, Dennis Kucinich) — he or she is marginalized, rendered ineffective, and effectively is “disappeared” from the political scene.

As Howard Dean’s ‘04 campaign was the first to demonstrate, the rise of the internet as a fundraising mechanism, going directly to individuals for small-donation support, has started to alter the math (and thus politics) of this equation. But, unfortunately, for most major campaigns large donors are still required, given the humongous cost of running for national office.

The obvious solution, of course, would be government-mandated, public-financed campaigns where the legalized influence-peddling known as campaign contributions would be rendered unimportant. But, in addition to running headlong into the First Amendment by restricting the “private speech” represented by political donations, public financing (surprise!) does not seem to attract a great many elected officials.

Dems and Reps alike benefit from the status quo, both from their incumbency, which attracts large donors, and from their proximity to the powerful forces behind the curtain of electoral politics. (Many of the most popular candidates also obtain a side-benefit: They often rake in more money than they can reasonably spend on their campaigns, which means they now have funds to dole out to their favorite officials and candidates — in other words, an effective means of building a controllable power-base.)


There’s the “long” view, as described above. But most of us live in the here-and-now, where government policies have major repercussions in our lives. Which leads us to the ten-cents thesis.

We’ve often heard the complaint that “There isn’t but a dime’s worth of difference” between the two major parties. I don’t argue that the complaint is unjustified, but that in the politics of capturing-the-center, and in the real world in which most of us live, a dime can make a mighty big difference.

This “dime’s worth of difference” argument achieved much currency during Ralph Nader’s Green Party run for the presidency in 2000. One could at least understand the naive rationale behind that argument seven years ago. But, as the CheneyBush Administration has demonstrated, that dime, in the here-and-now, can buy an awful lot of misery and chaos and repression and death.

That “inconsequential” dime meant a war of choice, one based on outright lies and clever deceptions, that has led to the deaths and maimings of hundreds of thousands of U.S. troops and Iraqi civilians, with no end in sight, and a war on Iran just around the corner, one most leading Democrats are choosing to ignore. (By the way, Bush has quietly lowered the bar to justify an attack on Iran; the former probable casus belli, — coming close to having a nuclear weapon — has now been replaced by having “knowledge” of how to build a bomb. Anyone can obtain that “knowledge” on the internet or by reading scientific papers. Short version: the U.S. will attack.)

That “inconsequential” dime meant the shifting of the ideological makeup of the U.S. Supreme Court and the lower appelate courts for the next several decades, thanks to Bush’s ability to nominate young HardRight jurists (and the Democrats’ shameful decision not to go to the mat to defeat those appointments).

That “inconsequential” dime meant the twisting and shredding of the Constitution, thus robbing American citizens of the protection of their liberties as mandated by the Bill of Rights; in so doing, we’ve come close to unrestricted dictatorial rule in the United States. We no longer even enjoy the protections of the 800-year-old legal tradition of habeas corpus, where a court has to rule whether an arrest is justified. Under Bush, we’ve crossed the border into an incipient police state.

That “inconsequential” dime meant that reality and science were denigrated in favor of decisions based on religious faith or pure, partisan politics, often a combination of the two. Most obvious consequence of such thinking: We’ve lost seven years of potential government leadership on the global-warming issue, with devastating consequences. (Most recent demonstration: the Bush Administration censored more than half the testimony to Congress by Dr. Julie Gerberding, head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, on the public-health consequences of increased global warming.)


Well, I could go on and on listing how a thin dime was too high a price to pay for those interested in good government, rational government, reason-based diplomacy rather than idelogically-based wars of choice, protection of our natural environment, etc. etc. Despite what you might think of them as leaders, it’s hard to imagine anyone thinking that our country would be in our current catastrophic mess if Gore or Kerry were President.

As I say, we all may be revisiting the “dime’s worth of difference” argument as we approach Election 2008 and have to decide whether there is enough of a difference between the parties to warrant holding one’s nose and voting for the “lesser of two evils” yet again, or whether it’s time to say “a pox on both your parties” and sit out the election in hope that a newer, better model for leadership will emerge to save our beloved Republic.

And, let’s face it: If a viable third-party movement was in the cards for ‘08, we would have seen at least its outlines by now, and “name” candidates (Gore? Hagel? Hightower?) would be vying to lead it. No, I’m afraid that it’s probably too late to create an electable populist movement that might lure disenchanted anti-war liberals, progressives, and angry, centrist Republicans appalled by the ideological hijacking of their party by HardRight elements.

In any case, as history has demonstrated, it’s always easier (not easy, but easier) to take over an existing party rather than try to build a new one from the ground up. It may not be too late for disaffected Democrats in the next twelve months to make that kind of concentrated effort within the party, but it’s still somewhat late.

But whatever our goals might be, certainly it would be advisable to start serious discussions about the electoral predicament we’re in and how best to get out of it. Fast.

an average patriot said...

They would get someone who seems to be pro staying involved in the middle east but there is no way that is good and no way leaving or staying will have any influence in preventing the future Bush has layed out for us along with the Islamists.
Anyway with that said and knowing with Hillary one way or the other you get Bill, there is no way to me that they would be considered as one of the Repugs. My humble opinion!

an average patriot said...

You amaze me. Where do you fimd all this? you know, I have said it so often I am isck of saying it. We discuss things for years and no one listens all of a sudden a so called expert speaks and he is enlightened. They are always behind and too late as in this case.
I have written a few stories about Nixon, Johnson, and Bush and how the idiot is following the corruptive Religious example of Nixon who by the way Cheney worked for, instead of following Johnson's example.
Anyway, I have also said numerous times that Iraq was purposely allowed to mirror Vietnam but since world war will be the ultimate end this will dwarf vietnam and everything else combined.
I have also said numerous times that we must all take to Congress and force them to action or nothing is going to change and that must happen in countries around the world and that won't happen.
You know my repeated line of thought! All our coming together must happen but will change nothing as the world has now been set to action and regardless we will have to react. It gets worse and I will stop here as you I believe have read My Manifesto to the World and know how this "in fact" will end despite what the so called experts say or think! Keep it up Bud!

an average patriot said...

This is something else I have discussed numerous times. We do need a third party but it is too late now. We need to do away completely with donations and limit nominees to public funds but again it is too late and that will not happen as Politicians and lobbyists want to continue their underhanded game of control.
We need to do away with the outdated electoral College as we know, it is one way of stealing ane election from we the people
I am scared to death of those electronic voting machines as they can be manipulated undetectabley and the situation has not been adequately addressed so this is another way the election can be manipulated if need be.
When all is said and done the two party's are akin to to one another but there is no decider in the Democratic Party.
With that said there is so much power in the Presidency now because of the Patriot Act and Bush's underhanded power grab that if his agenda is in danger of being dismissed or the power is in danger of getting in Dem hands he will as you know, pull a Musharraf!

an average patriot said...

I almost forgot! The bar on Iran has been lowered beyond nuclear knowledge as this too I have written about in the past.
I am sure you remember that now Bush can go after Revolutionary Guard targeets as they are now terroriasts and attacks against their interests in Iran ave been suggested.
American deaths in Iraq this year are the highest ever but it seems atleast on the face that arms from Iran seem to be stemming so maybe the Bush rhetoric is working but in the end game it will change nothing.