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No room for debate

Published February 23. 2013 09:02AM

What happened to honor among thieves I ask you? Just last week when one thought that things could not get any worse in Coaldale with their inability to keep full-time police on duty, now we discover that one of their elected officials is a felon who in the past sold methamphetamines to state police officers and pleaded guilty in court several years ago. The conviction in the commonwealth of Pennsylvania at least prevents one from holding public office permanently according to the Constitution. The problem is at least six officials throughout Pennsylvania in addition to David Yelito were elected to public office and held offices despite this nagging issue of the law.

This is in defiance of the Constitution of Pennsylvania which has not been changed and is a violation of their oath of office. They, like Mr. Yelito, swear to uphold and defend the Constitution of the United States and of Pennsylvania from all enemies foreign and domestic and then turn around and accept seats to which they are not currently legally entitled. In that sense, they are basically thumbing their noses at their very oath. If Mr. Yelito has been convicted of that crime or worse has pleaded guilty in court which he does not deny, there is no gray area. The law says he is not allowed to hold office and if we have any respect for the law there is no room for debate. He should go immediately for violating the public trust by not respecting and obeying the laws he swore to uphold. There is no debate, no "wiggle room". At least 30 years ago, there would not be, but in this day and age who really cares?

Respect of the law does not seem to be foremost on the agenda of many people these days so Mr. Yelito is in good company. For example, how many of these same people believe that a former President should have continued to hold his term of office? When former sitting President Bill Clinton was caught with his hand in the cookie jar, he did not resign either. Instead he was defiant and thumbed his nose at the Constitution and was joined by the majority of the Senate who refused to convict him on the grounds that he violated his oath of office. His supporters decried the move to impeach him because they claim an affair was not impeachable and they missed the point then as well as now. The point was Clinton LIED under oath. He didn't skirt the truth. As chief law enforcement officer of this country (The role of the President keep in mind), he lied under oath willfully to a committee. Those lies are what were impeachable. Not his foray with Monica Lewinsky. Not his affairs or philandering. It was the lies. Fifty years ago he would have been convicted but not anymore.

People like to blame his successor President George W. Bush of lying as well. Bush lied to get us into the war with Iraq, they will say and perhaps they are right. Maybe Bush should have been impeached as well, but the difference is Bush was not dumb enough to get sworn in and knowingly give false testimony to anyone under oath. Big difference. If he had done that then yes he should have been convicted as well, but he did not. I don't care what his officials said. If they lied then they should have been brought up on perjury charges. Let's face it. The majority of our Presidents lie at some point, but only one of them did it under oath.

Clinton and Bush however set the stage for today's breakdown of ethics in office in today's society. Forty years ago, Vice President Spiro Agnew was shamed into quitting over his income taxes on the grounds that he knowingly evaded paying them. He resigned! He did not whine about how unfair that was. He did not fight knowing he was wrong. He quit the second most powerful job in this country because of tax evasion and lived the rest of his life in shame. And may I add that was the honorable and right thing to do. What in the hell has happened to this country? Fast forward forty one years, Agnew could be the President. The poor guy was ahead of the times. Today we have Cabinet members who work for the chief law enforcement officer President Barack Obama who are acknowledged tax cheats and they got rewarded with appointed positions as Cabinet Secretaries. We have an Attorney General who is defiant to Congress about a scandal that involved the death of at least one Border Patrol agent and knowingly sold guns to Mexican drug lords.

We have a President and Congress that violates the tenth amendment every chance they get. We have a Supreme Court that makes law and no longer just interprets it.

No wonder Mr. Yelito doesn't want to resign. Why should he? He has all of these role models at whom he can point as he claims his crime was so many years ago that it should be overlooked. Why would one expect him to quit if they can turn a blind eye to everything else going wrong in this country? The law is not meant to be selectively enforced. You cannot pick and choose what you want to support and what you want to ignore. The truth of the matter is Mr. Yelito broke the law, took office knowing he broke the law and is now defiant about it. If he truly respects the law, he will do the right thing. Of course, if he does not, then I suppose he is in good company since no one seems to care about the Constitution anymore. If they did, we wouldn't be in the mess this country is suffering. Mr. Yelito is just another painful reminder of the lack of respect officials at all levels of our government have for the law.

Til next time…

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