Montana Voters Move To Recall Senators Over Votes Allowing Indefinite Detention of Citizens

We have been discussing the disconnect between citizens who have repeatedly opposed continued rollbacks of civil liberties and the Democratic and Republican leadership pushing for such rollbacks, including the recent provision allowing indefinite detention of citizens under the National Defense Authorization Act of 2011 (NDAA). Now Montana citizens have decided to try another approach given the non-responsive attitude of our leaders — they are moving to remove their two Senators from office over their votes in favor of indefinite detention powers.

Montana is one of nine states with recall laws. The other states are Arizona, Colorado, Louisiana, Michigan, Nevada, North Dakota, Oregon, and Wisconsin. Eighteen states have recall laws, but most do not apply to federal officers.

Montana Code 2-16-603, on the grounds of physical or mental lack of fitness, incompetence, violation of oath of office, official misconduct, or conviction of certain felony offenses.

Presumably, they are arguing that voting for an unconstitutional measure that allows for indefinite detention of citizens constitutes both a violation of the oath of office and incompetence. Usually official misconduct does not include policy differences, though voting for potentially authoritarian powers would not be viewed as good conduct in a free nation.

The move by the Montana votes shows something that I found in doing speeches around the country: there is no difference in red and blue states in citizens (1) fed up with our current two-party monopoly and dysfunctional politics and (2) opposed to the loss of civil liberties in this country. This should be the time when civil liberties groups are pushing aggressively, but many are divided in their willingness to oppose Obama — a problem that has existed since the early days of his Administration when he tacked hard to the right on national security laws. These politicians, including Obama, have long made the cynical calculation that civil libertarians have no where to go politically and that votes continue to be motivated by party allegiance and the appeal of personalities. These Montana voters are trying to show that they are wrong.

Source: Daily Kos

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66 thoughts on “Montana Voters Move To Recall Senators Over Votes Allowing Indefinite Detention of Citizens”

  1. l’ve never been to this site before, was just doing some research and came across it. Seems most here are left wingers, and l wanted to say this to you all. l live here in Montana, have for most of my life. l am also a Tea Party member, gun owning, bible clinger. But you know what? This law is where the divisions that have been put upon us come to an end. This is not left or right, this is wrong or right. We are all on the same side here with this law. We can agree to disagree another day. Maybe if we’re lucky we’ll still have the right to do so…
    Peace my brothers and sisters…
    ~Montana madman~

    1. MM,
      You definitely should tell this to all of your friends and neigbors. This is exactly what i and others have been saying.

      We either stand together or we will fall because of our mule-headedness.

      Check out my blog. I wrote about this just Yesterday.

      It is wrong and it’s not the only thing that the Government has done that is wrong.

      I originally saw the Tea Party as a threat but over time I have come to see them as the only people besides the OWS who see the danger.

      This I believe is because in both cases the groups are outside the normal mainstrean Philosophy of the two parties.

      The Tea Party is farther right or supposedly so; than the Republicans and OWS is farhter left than the Democrats.

      This gives us both the unique opportunity to see the Two-Party system from the outside so to speak and what we are seeing; we don’t like so much.

      Anyway; read the article and feel free to get back to me if you want to discuss it further.

      Hey. I’m outa’ he-ah’.

        1. 1zb1,

          Ok. I’ll bite.

          Would you care to enlighten me so that I might not embarrass myself further by spouting Nonsense from my fingers and presumably my mouth?

          Or do you prefer to make unsupported accusations of my inability to make sense and just skulk off into the proverbial bush?

          1. Where to begin? “I originally saw the Tea Party as a threat but over time I have come to see them as the only people besides the OWS who see the danger.”

            The TParty and the Republican Party are one and the same. Until you show me one TP that votes for a Democrat, they are indistiguishable from each other. There is no sanity left in the Republican/Tparty. They are the party of HATE that has moved so far into the deep end that their only interest is destroying government and destroying the Union. IF THAT IS NOT A THREAT THEN WHAT IS?

            The aims, issues, and methods of the OWS has virtually nothing to do with the R/TP.

            What political system would you like: a three party, four, five, ten. You really think adding parties solves problems. What problem do you want to solve anyway? Which party represents closest to your ideals? Don’t see any difference? If you see the TP the same as OWS then probably not.

            Of all the issues facing us is this really the end all and be all that now drives your pollitical consciousness? Is your world that simple? You see no difference between people who are more concerned about the health of 2 cells in a womb then they do about healthcare for 30 million people? You see nothing odd about people on Medicare shouting to keep the Government out of healthcare? You think its alright to give tax cuts to the wealthiest people while sending young men and woman off to war? You think holding a tax cut for 160 million people ransom for a pipeline that has the potential to be a major envrionmental threat is normal?

            Wouldn’t it be nice if the world was all that simple? In the meantime give your self the opportunity to recognize the world isn’t. Time to wake up and smell the reality.

            Here, in case I missed something:


            – Saved the country from Republican caused full blown depression. – Healthcare for 30 million people. – Rained in Insurance Companies – Financial Regulation of Banking Industry. – Killed Bin Laden. – Courage to go after them in Pakistan. (Republicans did not) – Got rid of Gadhafi in 6 months, 2 billion dollar cost, no American Lives. (Compare to Republicans 10 years in Iraq, trillion dollars, & thousands Americans lost) – Beat Republicans holding country hostage over debt crisis. – Ending Bush Tax Cuts for the Wealthy . – 3 Trillion in deficit Reduction (Super committee, Bringing Troops Home, End of Bush Tax Cuts for Wealthy) – Brought troops home from Iraq. – Stabilized situation in Afghan (Republicans had abandoned) – Ended Don’t Ask Don’t Tell (a vestige of Republican Bigotry) – Payroll Tax cut for middle class. – Extended unemployment benefits. – Got China to reduce currency manipulation. – Strengthened America’s Military Position in Asia to confront China. – Financial support to states and local governments for police & teachers. – Slowed illegal immigration and deported more criminal illegal immigrants then Bush/Republicans. – Protected Social Security and Medicare from Republicans. – Set back Iran’s nuclear program with software virus. – Opening up Miramar. – Fixing Republican Donut Hole Drug Plan. – Saving 100 Billion Dollars on healthcare plan. – Protecting Patients from coverage denial. – More health and job help for Veterans.- Saved American Automobile Industry that Republicans wanted to abandon.- Helped get $20 billion Aircraft Sale for Boeing. And more!

            WHAT REPUBLICAN’S HAVE ACCOMPLISHED: – Caused the worst economic crisis since Great Depression. – Lied our way into a trillion dollar war in Iraq (that has killed or wounded nearly 50,000 Americans) – Unfunded war in Iraq. – Unfunded Tax Cut for Millionaires. – Virtually abandoned Afghanistan. – Did not get Bin Laden. – Caused housing crisis. – Turned a 3 trillion dollar surplus into a 5 trillion dollar Deficit – Caused Banking Crisis – Made the whole world angry at us. – Sent millions of Jobs to China – Killed millions of Jobs in America – 911 – Held the nation hostage over the debt – No healthcare. – Increased the wealth gaps between rich and middle class. – Assault on personal liberties. – Ignored China’s growing power. – Did almost nothing to stop Iran nuclear efforts – Unfunded drug plan with donut hole – Gave Tax cuts to the wealthy even as we went to war. – Republican Appointed Supreme Court gave Corporations more rights then citizens. – Republican Appointed Supreme Court blocked campaign finance reform.

            WHAT TO EXPECT IF REPUBLICANS WIN THE ELECTION: (Based on past actions and statements by candidates)
            – More Tax Cuts for wealthy and big corporations;- Cuts to Social Security and Medicare and probable effort to eliminate;- Appointment of 2 new Supreme Court Justices like Thomas, Scalia, Roberts, Alito;- Overturning a Woman’s Right To choose;- Deregulation of Financial Industry;- Elimination of regulation that protects the environment, consumers, minorities, workers.- Elimination of worker’s rights to organize;- Ending healthcare for 30 million people; – Elimination of regulation of the Insurance industry;- Elimination of right to sue medical providers for mistakes;- Elimination of protection against insurance company denial of medical coverage;- Unfunded war against Iran;- Elimination of Child labor Laws;- Religious Takeover of government;- Higher taxes on middleclass and poor;- Cut in aid to Students and education;- Elimination of Department of Education;- Giving States the Right to discriminate;- Economic Trade War;- Destruction of National Parks;- Loss of Millions of Government worker Jobs thereby undermining effective government;- Attacks on Gay Rights and other minorities.- Increase in military spending on wasteful programs;- Keeping Troops in Iraq even though they don’t want us.

            1. Um……..MM if you are still around,
              You may recall I said we would all go down due to our Mule-headedness? Case in point.

              While I appreciate your Liberal ferver I must tell you that you are still reasoning one level below the current operating level.
              The time has come to put aside the things that devide us. This battle is no longer definable in terms of political party.
              I would say that anyone who is still maintaining party loyalty is not seeing the big picture.
              The battle that we face today is not against the Republicans or the Tea party per se. It is against the 1% who hold the corporate money and power. It is against the Super wealthy who control both political parties and seek to impoverish and enslave all who are not of the 1%.
              Not every Republican is of the 1%. Comparitively few actually. Most are members of the 10% or the 20% but not the 1%. Well the 10 and 20 % are beginning to see that they are being threatened too.
              But go ahead and maintain the partisan politics as usual. The leaders of both parties are part of the 1% or are being well paid by them to push their agenda. To take away the rights of the people and ever increase the wealth of the 1%. To destroy the middle class and institute a Fascist state.

              But if you think working within the two party system will save us from destruction as a people; you hang in there.

              If you believe that your Democratic President is holding the Republicans at bay; you are deluding yourself. Both the Republican and Democratic Presidents and Congresses have been slowly eroding our Constitutional rights.


              Because they are both; all; being paid by the same corporate giants.

              So the only way to stop these Fascists from taking our country from us (and consequently the only way we will ever be allowed to decide any of those issues you so valiently represent) is for the entire 99% to band together. Put aside our differences for the time being and get ourselves free of these parasites that are bleeding all of us dry and stealing our America.

              First save the house.Then after that; we can beat the hell out of each other over what color to paint the living room.

              Note: I don’t support a three, four, or five party system. i don’t support any system that tolerates private donations to political campagns and administrations or lobbyists of any stripe.
              I support OWS and I have invited the Tea Party, Republicans, Socialists, Libertarians, and any other American who wants to save his country from this dire fate to join the OWS Movement in freeing America. I did not as you have so presumptuously claimed offer to compromise my Principles, Political Philosophy, Morals, or Standards of Personal Hygene in return. I offered no concessions and I demanded none.

              I merely suggested that all of the 99% might have a bit more Push than only say 60% of the 99% has. That maybe; just maybe we could get our proverbial shit together and stop acting like battling siblings. Actually no because battling siblings will always stop and join together to fend off an outside or even a common enemy.

              Nonsense? Yeah I know It’s all nonsense. And it’s all fun and games;…….until the Flying Monkies attack.

              1. So AMS, you decided to double down on the nonsense with more “Nonsense? Yeah I know It’s all nonsense. And it’s all fun and games;…….until the Flying Monkies attack.”

                Guess what “The battle that we face today” IS against the Republican/Tparty.

                The dam is breaking and you want play pattycake with can’t we all just get along with the folks who want to take us back to the dark ages because the world is a little bit more complicated and nasty then suites you. Are you so completely clueless of the history of 3rd parties in this country. Read my lips, can you say Ross Perot and Ralph Nader. BTW: if you came up for a reality check sometime you would find there actually are quite a few 3rd, 4th, 5th, and to the N parties.

                FYI: Not every 1%er is part of the evil empire.

                BTW: I am all for fixing up a rotten system, I would just rather start from the present circumnstances then trying to fix it after we are taken back to pre-Paleolithic period favored by the Republican/Tparty and apparently yourself.

                Get that we are in triage. The first rule of triage is to save the ones you. The first rule of treatment is to stop the bleeding. And if you could see past your nonsense you would see that the kind of “Washington Doesn’t Work” politically correct media nonsense that you have bought into is really part of a willfull effort to make it not work to prove that “government is the problem”. Don’t you get their stratagey is to make government not work and you have bought it lock stock and barrel.

  2. I have two, long time, good friends who live in Flathead County (around Whitefish), Montana. They’ve been there well over forty years. Neither one is political and I don’t think I’ve ever had a political discussion with either one … until now.

    Baucus and Tester are gone as far as my friends are concerned. They have both signed up to work for the recall effort. It’s pretty amazing given their past complete lack of interest in anything that had to do with politicians.

  3. It seems a writ of habeas corpus has something of a tortured history in America. It was suspended during the Civil War both by Lincoln and the Confederates; during reconstruction; WW2; and during the 90’s through the presentn to one degree or another.

    Needless to say, the idea of locking people up for indefinite periods with no recourse is repugnant on its face in any situation but especially in a place that claims to be run by the rule of law and justice.

    But the issue becomes a bit more complex when the very system you hope to preserve is threatened by its very own laws and principles. Going against our basic laws and principles to preserve those same laws and principles is fraught with great danger and potential for abuse even if we can image times when it seems necessary (though I don’t know that it is ever really necessary).

    There is a tendency to think that only the bad guys get locked up and have the keys thrown away. Of course we know that all to often it is the innocent rather then the guilty who find their lives stolen away in this fashion.

    There is also a certain irony that many on the right seem to support the idea of putting the bad guys away as in Gitmo. They trust the government to do the right thing in picking who are the bad guys but they don’t seem to trust government to do anything else.

  4. Can we have a pritned extract of the provisions of the new laws which permit the detentions? Can we have a list of all House Members and Senate Members who votes for this? It will help the discussion. In other words praise the lord and pass the ammunition.

  5. “…there is no difference in red and blue states in citizens (1) fed up with our current two-party monopoly and dysfunctional politics and (2) opposed to the loss of civil liberties in this country.”

    The political spectrum in my own family is wide – far left and far right. don’t-know, and just-don’t-give-a-damn. We finally all agree: with the statement above. We all agree that Congress and the WH need a good clear out. Our discussion get lively again for what needs to happen after that.

  6. Here’s something they could add on to this complaint:

    Montana Sen. Jon Tester was one of just two Democrats to vote against considering President Barack Obama’s $447-billion jobs bill Tuesday. The vote to advance the legislation, 50-49, was well short of the 60 needed to overcome a filibuster in the Senate.

    Even with his vote it still would not have passed but the perception is what counts,IMHO.

  7. OWS and this. I have been saying for years “This is the year the people will start coming to the streets and protesting.”
    Finally and good for the Montanans.

  8. It seems to me that the one thing that you can depend on in this country is that if a politician says not to worry; you better start worrying.

    The parties do expect to be able to keep their grip on the you said ; because they have no other choice. But we do have a choice. I haven’t done the math but I know there are thre-hundred million people in this country and only a comparative handfull of politicians. If we stand up (even if we leave the kids home) there are what? two hundred million of us.

    I support Montansa and any other state that finds a way to end this plot to take our rights and freedoms.

    Both parties are guilty. Both are in league with the 1%. We just have to wait for the rest of America to see the light. To see that our interests lay not in fighting between the parties but in standing as one against our common enemy. The 1%. because they are in no way Americans. Americans would never do what they have done. these people are just Super-Wealthy and that has turned out to be a “Nation” all it’s own. A seperate power seeking World Dominion.

    Open your eyes America or be bludgeoned in you sleep.

  9. Thanks rcampbell…. Maybe some politicians kid will be detained and then we will see a change in interpretation…. Maybe even an act of congress….

  10. I did a search for more info on the NDAA. I found a full throated defense of the bill written by Rep. Tim Griffin entitled “Don’t believe the rumors about the 2012 NDAA” claiming there is no provision in the bill allowing indefinite detention of US citizens.

    I had never heard of Rep Griffin, so I checked his bio. He’s a first term Republican from Arkansas serving on the Armed Forces, Judiciary and Foreign Affairs Committes and a 16 year veteran of the Army Reserves. He served on Karl Rove’s staff in 2005 and is a Tea Party favorite. Now I’m really frightened. Go Montana!!

  11. I vote for indefinite detention for anyone who voted for indefinite detention, except that would mean I would have to indefinitely detained.

  12. puzzling

    The Constitution also states the term of office for a President yet contains the mechanism for removal (impeachment) under certain circumstances. Senators are elected to represent the citizens of an individual state. It would seem logical that it be left to that state to establish and enforce the parameters for fitness of its representatives. But I’m not a lawyer and I realize logical doesn’t always equate to legal nor that legal is always logical, but it sure doesn’t seem to me to be an un-Constitutional action.

  13. I agree with JT that this issue is beginning to trouble more than libertarian and progressive components of the electorate.

    That said, if the US Constitution says that US senators shall be elected by the voters for a term of 6 years, how is a recall even possible?

  14. For a state that voted what I recall to be the first female congresswoman, they again may be ahead of their time. I do agree with recall measures for all elected officials….if congress won’t do the right things for the country they represent then maybe the folks that put them in office can make a difference….

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