The United States Constitution gives a good working definition, and the starting point of a good legal definition, of treason :

Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort.

In practice, treason is committed when a United States citizen either actively engages in war against the United States, or materially supports enemies of the United States. It is a very serious offense – not only is it punishable by death, it is one of the most vile insults that can be made against a citizen.

The topic attaining such gravity, it should go without saying that if a Congressman charges publicly that a Senator has committed treason, then he (a) better be right, and (b) better have the evidence in hand to back it up.

Congressman Eric Massa (D-NY) has accused Senator Charles Grassley (R-IA) of treason.
Why did he make such a charge? Did Grassley…..

  • stand on the soil of an enemy nation and on international TV accuse the sitting president of lying in order to precipitously lead us into war? Oops, no, that would be Congressman “Baghdad Jim” McDermott (D-WA) in 2002. And that was treason.
  • reveal classified information on TV that caused the death of pro-American operatives who helped us capture the perpetrators of the Achille Lauro terrorist incident? No, that was Senator Patrick “Leaky” Leahy (D-VT), who was eventually kicked off the Intelligence Committee for serial leaking events. That was at least arguably treason.
  • accuse, on the Senate floor, the current president of telling “lie after lie after lie” to talk us into a war that he did not support? Nope. That’s Little Teddy Kennedy, or Senator Edward Kennedy(D-MA) to you. Probably a stretch for treason, but it sure gave comfort to our enemies.
  • falsely, scurrilously, and publicly accuse US Marines of a massacre at Haditha? Oh wait, my bad. That’s Congressman John Murtha (D-PA), aka Okinawa Jack, unindicted co-conspirator in a bribery case, and widely viewed as the man most likely to take the next perp-walk out of the congressional office buildings. By the way, the Marines have been exonerated, in case you missed that item splashed across the front page of the New York Times…… Treason? Ah, probably not, but once again, provided massive cover for America-haters. It was a nice, handy recruitment tool for Al Queda.
  • secretly meet with leaders of a nation we were at war with, while still a member of our own Navy? Noooooooooooo, that award goes to Senator John Kerry (D-MA). Treason? Almost definitely, but the proof is too difficult to actually make a court case.

These are all at least flirtations with treason. That was a whole bunch of giving aid and comfort to America’s enemies, in one form or another. But Massa has a somewhat different opinion on what treason is:

(h/t Moe Lane)

We’ve already gotten the memo. If you disagree with the radical agenda of the Democrats and Obama to turn the United States into Cuba, we already knew that makes you a racist. Now Massa informs us that you are also committing treason as well.

Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort.

So, according to Massa, it is treason to debate, to object to policy, to stand in the way of what the Democrats want. Is that what you are saying, Congressman? Well, according to Rasmussen, 54% of Americans are committing treason. Gallup says only 49% of Americans are committing treason.

You better get your brownshirts busy. That’s a whole ton of people you need to start rounding up, pal.