The vice-president-elect is sworn in first, and repeats the same oath of office, in use since 1884, as senators, representatives, and other federal employees:
"I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter: So help me God."
Around noon, the president-elect recites the following oath, in accordance with Article II, Section I of the U.S. Constitution:
"I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States."
I wonder why they bother with this oath. No, not because they all ignore the Constitution – that’s a given. But why do they swear to uphold the Constitution when at the same time they all pro-actively defer to the Supreme Court to be the sole body that will support and defend the Constitution.
Trump has sworn to preserve and defend the Constitution of the United States. He can deal with the election irregularities if he so chooses. He has one small problem. From the US Army, for example:
The wordings of the current oath of enlistment and oath for commissioned officers are as follows:
"I, _____, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So help me God."
Can Trump trust that they mean it?
What about any cabinet member (to include the Attorney General), the leadership of the FBI or CIA (and other three-letter agencies), etc.?
An individual, except the President, elected or appointed to an office of honor or profit in the civil service or uniformed services, shall take the following oath:
“I, AB, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter. So help me God.” This section does not affect other oaths required by law.
Can Trump trust that they mean it?
What about state governors? Let’s take Texas for an example:
All elected and appointed officers, before they enter upon the duties of their offices, shall take the following Oath or Affirmation:
"I, _______________________, do solemnly swear (or affirm), that I will faithfully execute the duties of the office of ___________________ of the State of Texas, and will to the best of my ability preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution and laws of the United States and of this State, so help me God."
Can Trump trust that they mean it? They control the state National Guard. I am not going to bother looking for their oath of office. It is similar to the rest. I will bet on it.
Trump is fully authorized by his oath of office and by the Constitution to take action regarding the irregularities in the recent presidential election if he so chooses. That part is easy.
All of the key players in this drama take a similar oath – to uphold and defend the Constitution. They do not say “we will do whatever the Supreme Court tells us to do.” They swear that they will uphold the Constitution.
Will anyone support him? That’s the hard part. I doubt it. Barr is already gone – but we knew he was a made man before Trump ever nominated him.
So, will enough of these individuals / entities support him? We will know the answer to this question soon enough. If Trump believes the answer is yes, he might be ballsy enough to go for it.
But my guess is, no; certainly not in sufficient numbers. So, I wouldn’t bet on it.
The reference to God in the oath also appears out of sync with the practical, if not official, atheism of the political class. The professional clergy seem to be less interested in the Gospel than in not rocking Caesar's boat. Like you ( and the Thomases: Beckett and More) I am not looking forward to martyrdom, but simply requesting a bit more candor, backbone, and a bit less hypocrisy.ReplyDelete
On the bright side, thanks to Bible Gateway, I now get a daily passage from C.S. Lewis for reflection. I heard Mike Rowe recommend one of Lewis's writings to Tucker Carlson last week. Tucker is a great evangelist, but he is preaching to the choir. What we need is some recommendations involving, as an expert put it, "What is to be Done?"
Thanks, as always, for your thoughtful and helpful essays on the political philosophical and on Sacred Tradition.. President Elect J. Biden, despite himself, much as Caiaphas had done at another eventful time, played the prophet, announcing a coming dark winter. The coming of Christmas and the glow of our Christmas trees: may they lighten our darkness!
A Blessed Nativity to all!
Thank you, Deacon Patrick.Delete
Been wondering the same thing.ReplyDelete
To keep it simple - while the process is complicated - Trump has little choice.
If he invokes the Insurrection Act - assuming the chess pieces are in place - he just might become the greatest president EVER. If he craps out, the greatest fallen hope EVER!
FACT - this election was the greatest steal - EVER! Forget the Constitution - effectively it is a dead letter - but he does have that authority by LETTER!
So - from a practical, national and his personal point of view - there is no other choice!
I am with you on this. If Trump actually has put the chess pieces in place for this play - including lulling the enemy into sleep - it might be the greatest deed since Jackson killed the central bank or Washington declined a third term. All his other sins, I will forgive.Delete
If he slinks off quietly into the sunset...all hat, no cattle.
I don't think Trump really knows all the powers and perogitives come with the office. He certainly didn't use them much in the previous 3 years. He did well on judges and regulations. But someone got in his ear early on about these issues. He made a good appointment to the EPA and he followed the list of judges handed to him from someone else.ReplyDelete
But he made many other very bad appointments, straight out of the Swamp usually. He could have fired 100s of bureaucrats, maybe 1000s who were working against his policies.
I don't think he will or should take extreme action about the election. His attempts to file law suits have gone very wrong. Some of that is on his team's incompetence. Some of that is on the Swamp fighting back.
But Constitutionally what can he do really? Does the Constitution give any guidance of what to do if election law isn't followed? No one is playing along with him. Anything he would try to do he needs allies. There don't seem to be any. When it comes down to it the election is a political process. He has lost the politics.
I agree with this. I think the best thing Trump could do would be to admit that he has lost and announce that he will spend the rest of his life working, not to make money, but to make good things happen for the common man in America.Delete
"If people do not welcome you, leave their town and shake the dust off your feet as a testimony against them." -- Luke 9:5
In other words, kick this whole affair to a Higher Court and trust that Jesus was not just blowing hot air when He said that it would be more tolerable for Sodom and Gomorrah than it would be for THAT town.
God help Washington D.C. when the day comes.