Search the Bastards

|

An ABC poll on the FBI raid of Rep. William Jefferson's office finds that shakedowns of our honorable representatives are more popular than Social Security benefits, free health care, or war on Iran. Eighty-six percent of Americans think the FBI should be allowed to search congressional offices, including 78 percent of Democrats and 94 percent of Republicans.

Advertisement

NEXT: Attn, DC Reasonoids: Flag-Desecration Amendment Forum, June 6

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. which 78% of democrats will they search? This sounds like a case for Herrik!!!!!
    🙂

    combine this poll with the one implying that a sizable chunk of americans favor restrictions on free speech, and then with the oft-floated belief that Iraq and 9/11 are intimately linked…

    we have a helluva lot of confusion, then.

    PUDDING FIGHT!!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. Patriot Act blowback?

  3. Or, perhaps, unlimited, unrestrained, unaccountable, illegitimate government blowback?

    Not that I don’t hate the Patriot Act, mind you. In fact, last month I suggested renaming it: Focusing on Undermining Chicanery and Knavery without Yielding Our Ultimacy while Uniting and Strengthening America Act of 2001. Americans respect directness, after all. . . .

  4. pure gold.

    you get the game ball. may as well wrap up for the day. nobody gonna top dat!

  5. Allowed to search? Hell I think they should be required to search. Including random urine collection.

  6. VM, all I can say is that I thank Zeus that “ultimacy” is a word–I almost got stuck. In any event, I wish some staffer had sneaked that name in–I somehow doubt that that act would still be around 🙂

  7. Hey, the only reason they would oppose having their offices searched would be if they’re guilty.

    After all, if you have nothing to hide, it shouldn’t be a problem.

  8. Soon, the country will be ready to endorse my campaign for the fourth branch, The Censor. Excellent. Among other things, the Censor will have access to any elected official’s office or person. With some limits to avoid undue interference with the political process, of course. Want the power, prestige, and influence of high office? Then suffer the bright light of continuous investigation and probing.

    For those who wonder why I’m always going on about The Censor, well, it’s because I want to be one 🙂

  9. does anything rhyme with schadenfreude?

  10. does anything rhyme with schadenfreude?

    hemorrhoid?

  11. Dhex:

    any damn thing you want 🙂

  12. Heavens to Murgatroid, its Shadenfreude!

  13. Pro Liberace:

    “The Censor” sounds like a good arch-nemesis to TDS’s “The Decider” cartoon strip.

    “Oh Noes! It’s The Censor! Now I’ll never be able to decide!”

    That’s right, Decider! I’m here to put a stop to your bad decisions! Go ahead, try to decide! CENSORED!

  14. Moidah?

  15. Evian,

    The Censor will wear a toga and be a bad ass. When he walks into Congress unannounced and uninvited, be assured that a hush will fall over the room and fear will be the order of the day. He shall be immune to all protestations of national security or privilege. He shall have one purpose: To kick asses out of D.C.

  16. How dare you misspell my name…

    ?

  17. I had thought about referring to you as “My brother, George”, but I thought that would only encourage you 🙂

  18. He shall have one purpose: To kick asses out of D.C.

    So, nobody will be left in DC, then?

  19. that will fix the traffic problem

  20. So, nobody will be left in DC, then?

    I think that’s the whole idea.

  21. Search their offices?

    Hell, set up a TSA station on Capitol Hill and make them go through that pain every single day Congress is in session.

  22. In accepting election or appointment to high office, each official will have to sign a waiver that allows The Censor to apply corporal punishment for minor offenses.

    Oh, yeah.

  23. They can and do search us and our belongings anytime they damn well feel like it with or without a warrant.

    Perhaps we should consider the searches of offices in the same way they look at drug testing. Sure its an invasion of your privacy and ignores your consitutional rights but it acts as a great deterant. Perhaps if we had the ability to deter acts of fraud, corruption and hypocrisy with random searches of their documents and ongoings we might not have as much corruption as we have now.

    I think the only problem with the search of the Rep. Jefferson was that they stopped at his office. For Pelosi and Hastert to sing the praises of the constitution hand in hand in agreement only signals that we have no idea how much fraud they are all involved with. Have you seen them agree on anything else over the past years?

    So lets see we can be stopped in our car and have cash confiscated from us without any proof of wrongdoing or being arrested. We can have our doors kicked in on a drug informants tip and have our families lives put in danger if we try to defend outselves. But Congress can be video taped taking bribe money and recorded. Have 2 others plead guilty to bribing the Congressman already and sentenced and then find $90,000 in his freezer!! Yet no charges have been made and he still walks free and talks about his rights being trampled.

    I say to all your jackass politicians please please please just keep talking and showing what your really about and made of, hopefully enough people will wake up to make sure none of you ever gets elected to the PTA much less the Congress of the USA.

    As we all know they make those laws just for us they have no intention of having to live under them themselves. And how dare us underlings of society even question the ethics and practices of our most intelligent and highly effective social servants. After all it would seem they are serving themselves quite nicely from the society they keep screwing over.

  24. I like some of the ideas about what to do with Congressmen. I still don’t like the FBI doing it.

    Would the Censor have his own troops?

  25. joe, I think The Censor must have a fairly large staff and his own independent enforcement mechanism (though probably not completely independent for checks and balances purposes). I actually think that the branch of Censor would have to be a panel rather than one guy/gal, but that’s a detail. I do insist, however, on the toga for the Chief Censor 🙂

  26. PL,
    I haven’t been following your “censor” stuff too closely because it sounds like the Censor is supposed to get functionality that the Supreme Court can and/or does perform.

    My question (which u have probably answered already somewhere): who chooses the Censor and how? Would the Censor be chosen in a way similar to the way SCOTUS justices are chosen (eg, legislative-executive appointment) or in a fundamentally different way (eg, let the NYSE corporations vote in an election in proportion to their respective corporate worth)?

  27. I’m surprised nobody has nominated either Jack Bauer or Chuck Norris to be the first Censor.

  28. I say the Censor takes a vow of poverty and that gets enforced. That’ll really clear out the crapplicants. I’d probably be the only one willing.

  29. Dave, I see the Censor as different in function and purpose from the SCOTUS. It would have investigatory powers and perhaps prosecutorial powers. I suppose a good separation of powers move might be to have the formal prosecutions occur in the courts, but you could have something equivalent to administrative hearings, too, I suppose.

    As for appointments, when I first brought this up, I suggested something about maybe having the SCOTUS appoint with Senate advice and consent. I hadn’t really thought this through, though.

  30. “Would the Censor have his own troops?”

    You could transfer the existing GAO to the Censor’s authority and add an armed enforcement division. Or transfer the U.S. Marshals Service to the Censor’s authority and devolve the Marshals Service’s present duties to an enlarged Bureau of Prisons.

  31. “As for appointments, when I first brought this up, I suggested something about maybe having the SCOTUS appoint with Senate advice and consent.”

    What about making the Censor a three-person panel: one appointed by the President, one by the Senate, and one by SCOTUS, serving staggered 15 year terms (similar to the FedRes BOG), with a vote of at least two panel members necessary to begin an investigation?

  32. Independent counsel could be housed there, too, which I think would be a major selling point of the Censor. The major concern I have with the composition and the appointment of panel members is, of course, partisan nonsense. I certainly don’t want a partisan hack Censor running around and mucking with the other party just to take over one of the houses or to do some other nonsense.

    Obviously, the Censor will need to be subject to impeachment and other checks. Perhaps overrides by Congress and the POTUS, that sort of thing.

  33. Independent counsel could be housed there, too, which I think would be a major selling point of the Censor. The major concern I have with the composition and the appointment of panel members is, of course, partisan nonsense. I certainly don’t want a partisan hack Censor running around and mucking with the other party just to take over one of the houses or to do some other nonsense.

    Obviously, the Censor will need to be subject to impeachment and other checks. Perhaps overrides by Congress and the POTUS, that sort of thing.

  34. Obviously, the Censor will need to be subject to impeachment and other checks. Perhaps overrides by Congress and the POTUS, that sort of thing.

    Now let’s not go watering it down.

    What we need is an all-wise Censor with unlimited powers.

    I mean, nothing could we go wrong with that, could it?

  35. Give me the Censorship and my purple-fringed toga, and I’ll rule with a benign, albeit firm, hand.

    Congress will have trouble meeting a quorum after my first week in office, but I’m not sure that’s a bad thing. And a few days later, we’ll be down the line of presidential succession to, say, the Secretary of Veterans Affairs.

  36. Give me the Censorship and my purple-fringed toga, and I’ll rule with a benign, albeit firm, hand.

    Congress will have trouble meeting a quorum after my first week in office, but I’m not sure that’s a bad thing. And a few days later, we’ll be down the line of presidential succession to, say, the Secretary of Veterans Affairs.

  37. Oh, I have another check. A guy will sit behind me in my Censor Chariot and keep saying, “Remember that you are mortal”. That’s a good idea, considering the inviolability of my person.

    Seriously, another thought occurs to me. The Roman censor also–no surprise–conducted the Roman census and apportioned representation among the various tribes of the assembly (I’m oversimplifying to keep things manageable). So maybe a similar office at the state level could serve the functions we’ve discussed above, but it could also be an “independent” home for redistricting, etc.

  38. Next we should work on being able to search polices officers homes and offices, the fbi, the mayor and the govener all without a warrant. Then we should be able to analyze their calling patterns to see if they are terroists.

    Then maybe just maybe our fourth amendement rights will be respected.

  39. Eighty-six percent of Americans think the FBI should be allowed to search congressional offices, including 78 percent of Democrats and 94 percent of Republicans.Eighty-six percent of Americans think the FBI should be allowed to search congressional offices, including 78 percent of Democrats and 94 percent of Republicans.

    I’m inclined to agree that federal law enforcement should be able to search congressional offices with a subpoena, with the caveat that congressional investigators, once armed with a subpoena, should be able to search offices in the White House.

  40. Eureka! I have a solution. Let state law enforcement run amok in the halls of Congress. No separation of powers issue there, right?

    Maybe to keep things manageable, we’ll alternate the states that get to raid Congress on a whim.

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.