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So Impeach Him

If the Legislature shall fail to pass legislation that the President deems essential, the President shall have the authority to unilaterally pass such legislation via Executive Order. – US Constitution, Article II, Section 5, as envisioned by Barack Obama.

One would think that, having unanimously been rebuffed by the Supreme Court yet again for executive overreach, President Obama would be somewhat chastened. Of course the person who thinks that obviously doesn’t know Barack Obama.

President Barack Obama appeared equally annoyed and frustrated with House Republicans on Tuesday, dismissing their recent threat of a lawsuit and promising to continue with the executive actions that have so bothered the GOP.

“Middle-class families can’t wait for Republicans in Congress to do stuff,” Mr. Obama during a speech along the Georgetown waterfront. “So sue me. As long as they’re doing nothing, I’m not going to apologize for trying to do something.”

Since there is no imaginary codicil in the Constitution that permits the President to act unilaterally, even if “middle-class families” can’t wait, President Obama is technically quite wrong. Leaving aside the dubious analysis that middle-class families are anxiously awaiting some kind of immigration reform, the President’s self-congratulatory statement about trying to do “something” is constitutionally and politically noxious.

The constitutional problem is obvious. We still liver under a republican form of government, one that is largely built upon the foundation of checks and balances and separation of powers. To concentrate powers into one hand is to set a course for tyranny. As our constitutional scholar of a President has no doubt read:

But the great security against a gradual concentration of the several powers in the same department, consists in giving to those who administer each department the necessary constitutional means and personal motives to resist encroachments of the others. The provision for defense must in this, as in all other cases, be made commensurate to the danger of attack. Ambition must be made to counteract ambition. The interest of the man must be connected with the constitutional rights of the place. It may be a reflection on human nature, that such devices should be necessary to control the abuses of government. But what is government itself, but the greatest of all reflections on human nature? If men were angels, no government would be necessary. If angels were to govern men, neither external nor internal controls on government would be necessary. In framing a government which is to be administered by men over men, the great difficulty lies in this: you must first enable the government to control the governed; and in the next place oblige it to control itself. A dependence on the people is, no doubt, the primary control on the government; but experience has taught mankind the necessity of auxiliary precautions.

Reading a little further down, Madison writes, “In republican government, the legislative authority necessarily predominates.” Yes, the legislature is to be dominant, with the president afforded necessary checks to make sure that the legislature doesn’t get out of control. But that check on the legislatures comes in the form of a veto pen. The president’s power is essentially a negative one, ensuring that the Congress does not abuse its constitutional authority. Notice, however, that Madison does not prescribe an affirmative check to the presidency. He does not advocate  – nor would almost any of the Framers – presidential ability to act outside of Congressional authority (save in times of rebellion) on his own initiative. The president’s job is to restrain Congress, not for him to get out hand himself when he doesn’t like legislative inaction.

The policy aspect of Obama’s arrogant message is that at least he is doing something. It doesn’t really matter what he is doing or whether what he’s doing actually works, but the main thing is he’s doing something. And that sums up the progressive movement in a nutshell. “Don’t just stand there, do something” has been the official motto of the progressive movement for the past century. The details are of niggling importance. That the proposal might, at best, be unhelpful and, at worst, deprive citizens of their liberty, is not given much consideration.

Of course Obama is merely treading in the same path as progressive presidents that have preceded him. Woodrow Wilson (aka the reason we shouldn’t allow Ph. Ds in the White House, says this Ph. D) wanted to radically re-orient the American polity towards a Prime Minister model. FDR threatened to expand the size of the Supreme Court until he got what he wanted. President Obama is simply acting out the aspirations of Wilson, FDR and their many progressive boosters. Congress? Bah, unhelpful. The Supreme Court? Bah, we’ll just ignore those old codgers.

Unfortunately the president’s arrogance is justified. After all, what is Congress going to do? Speaker Boehner’s going nowhere lawsuit is a futile and pathetic attempt to reign in Obama. Republicans may very well sweep the midterm elections, but we all know that this president is not going to be impeached, and assuredly will not be removed from office. No, President Obama will certainly still be in office until noon on January 20, 2017. So he can taunt Congress all he wants knowing full well that they can’t and won’t do anything to him, and that a large chunk of the public doesn’t even care that this is happening.

Please don’t take this as yet another criticism of those feckless Republicans. Admittedly their options are narrow, and they are narrow because of the reckless fecklessness of Congressional Democrats. There was a time in this country when it was thought that we had in essence four parties: Congressional Democrats and Republicans, and then the Presidential Democrat and Republican parties. All members of Congress jealously guarded their own powers and protected the institution, even when presidents of the same party were sitting in the Oval Office. Those days are gone. There is really nothing short of premeditated homicide caught on film that would spur Congressional Democrats to join in any impeachment proceedings, and even then it might only be a 50/50 vote in that caucus. This is a bipartisan problem to some extent, though the progressive left is even more invested in the idea of a single, centralized authority benevolently guiding us towards utopia.

That is why I think Jonah Goldberg’s criticism of Charles Murray’s piece, in which Murray tries to distinguish between the liberal left and the progressive left, hits the mark. Murray is somewhat right that there is a distinction to be made between “liberals” on the left who, while they agree with the favored policy choices of the progressive left, nonetheless deplore the tactics employed, especially as regards to the stifling of dissent. Yet these liberals don’t kick up too much of a fuss when those tactics achieve their preferred policy outcomes. I don’t see too many liberals complaining about executive overreach – well, not when the overreach is coming from the hands of Barack Obama.

And so here we are, with a president openly thumbing his nose at the republican form of government, and roughly half of the country is yawning at or cheering on this development.

Mr. Franklin’s sage wisdom echoes through the ages.

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Dante alighieri

38 Comments

  1. I think the distinction Murray is trying to make is generational. George McGovern is dead and Nat Hentoff is real old. As for the succeeding cohorts, fuhgeddaboutit.

    As for the President, do you detect a note of petulant rage that there are people and impersonal forces that thwart him? Do not most of us get over that by age 53? Is there not a clinical name for that?

    ‘Roughly half the country’ would be about 41% thereof with a declining secular trend. Truman, Nixon, Reagan, Clinton, Bush – it never really got any better for them from this point forward (quite the contrary in the case of three of the five). It did for Eisenhower, but this point in his tenure was just after the end of a sharp recession and his party still got shellacked in the 1958 federal elections. Wagers when BO is at the end of the line, 2/3 of the public will have had quite enough of him.

  2. do you detect a note of petulant rage that there are people and impersonal forces that thwart him?

    No doubt, Art. The man has got to be one of the most thin-skinned people to ever hold that office. He is not somebody who likes to be challenged, as is evidenced by the way he has constructed his cabinet and network of advisers. For all the grief that GWB received from the left, he was clearly someone who not only only tolerated but even seemed to promote some level of dissension among his advisers. This president – not so much.

  3. The legislature can bring any executive to heel through the power of the purse-strings.
    If the executive can neither raise nor spend money, it is reduced to impotence. Many a British monarch was brought to heel by parliament threatening to refuse supply.

    Perhaps, they could start with a motion to reduce the President’s salary and expenses to, say, $100 a year.

  4. Congratulations on writing “reckless fecklessness”. It was a truly honorable act. I feel elevated simply by cutting and pasting it.

  5. Obama is calling their immigration bluff, isn’t he? The establishment Republicans want “comprehensive” immigration “reform” too, and so have no words with which to tell him why doing nothing is better than doing something. No principled position they hold as a party. Jeff Sessions has been trying to feed them their lines, but…

  6. Perhaps, they could start with a motion to reduce the President’s salary and expenses to, say, $100 a year.

    We have a bicameral legislature, with the upper house run by a man who has managed to accumulate a net worth of $6.7 million after nine years of small-city law practice and forty years of public employment. Among his more choice interventions in public discussion was to accuse the Republican presidential candidate of being a tax cheat sans details (though we can now guess the DNC has operatives in the IRS) and to accuse Koch Industries of being nefarious agents of influence.

    (This last is the partisan Democratic meme d’annee. Of the top 16 contributors over the last generation to campaigns and political parties, 12 favor the Democratic Party and 4 regard politicians as fungible. The top Republican contributor is number 17, which shells out 1/3 of what the top Democratic contributor does. The Democratic intertubez are obsessed with the contributor ranked 60, Koch Industries. As Alinsky said, “Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it. ” Sad to say, the political opposition has turned into a hate group. Not happy we over here).

  7. “Sometimes I’m a poet, and I don’t even know it.”

    You could have employed alliteration. But, it would be unacceptable in this forum.

    The zero can’t be impeached. He enjoys a 99% approval rating from the lying, liberal media and owns 100 million government dependents/employees that he feeds and clothes.

  8. I like the idea of reducing the salary. Donald answered my question a few weeks ago about why impeachment won’t work. I also think we could let him know we are cutting the money to ex presidents…. and other benefits too, like special security forces once they are no longer in office. Presidents need to realize their is real life with the rest of us once they are out of office. They really think they are special. 🙂 and, especially for Obama, that “I am special” seems to be the root of the defiance problem he exhibits when it comes to following the rules.
    It irks me that he went to MN to stump for Al Franken for some of the sound bites we were treated to a few days ago, like a campaigner. Going to MN is sweet and easy for him…I think we should redirect Air Force One to Brownsville or Tucson and ask him to get out and stump there.

  9. I also think we could let him know we are cutting the money to ex presidents…. and other benefits too, like special security forces once they are no longer in office. Presidents need to realize their is real life with the rest of us once they are out of office.

    1. Build a records center in Kansas City and move the archival material there. Then deed the physical plant and the gew gaws of those presidential libraries over to the county government in question and never build another one.

    2. Remove the grandfather clause which requires perpetual security details for presidents serving prior to 2001 (the Bushes get 10 years). Richard Nixon lived the last 6 years of his life without a security detail and if it worked for Nixon, it works for the rest of them. IIRC, Harry Truman went round without one in spite of the assassination attempt against him which killed a member of his detail. We could have paid for home health aides for Ronald Reagan. He did not need cops looking after him. Was Lady Bird Johnson’s life ever in danger? Why did she have 37 hours of 24/7 protection, and why did Henry Kissinger and Stansfield Turner receive none?

    3. Pay for some secretaries to answer the mail they get.

    4. Withhold from them some of their pay as retirement savings. No need to have an actuarially unsound pension. Few of them were bad earners and all but two recent occupants were in late middle age, old, or wealthy when they took office. Maybe Clinton have behaved better if he needed that law license of which he was stripped.

  10. Obumbler does not care what opinion polls say about him. He will do what he wants to do. He has his backers and they will support him no matter what.

  11. Thank you, Paul Zummo.
    .
    When a president acts outside of the U.S. Constitution, he violates his oath of office.
    Obama has promised us everything and forgets to keep his promises.
    .
    Obama blatantly announces that he will violate his oath of office and act outside of the Constitution
    Let the Executive Orders Obama writes be the grounds for impeachment. In them, Obama has arrogated to himself powers that are not constitutionally his. It is past time.

  12. “The legislature can bring any executive to heel through the power of the purse-strings.”

    They can, but they won’t. Remember last year’s “government shutdown”?
    Obama knows very well that all he need do is wait for the media to make a laughing stock of the Republicans, then they’ll capitulate.

  13. The house republicans need to be “impeached” at the ballot box this Nov. Through their obstruction they have caused more damage to this country then any executive order. They have not done the job they were elected to do and they deserve to be removed.

  14. “Through their obstruction they have caused more damage to this country then any executive order.”

    Utter rubbish on stilts. The House of Representatives have sent many bills to the Senate with needed reforms and Harry Reid has made certain each and every one dies in the Senate to prevent Obama having the political risk of vetoing common sense legislation.

  15. The house republicans need to be “impeached” at the ballot box this Nov. Through their obstruction they have caused more damage to this country then any executive order. They have not done the job they were elected to do and they deserve to be removed.

    Obstruction of what? What’s so urgent, John?

  16. Obama’s progressive agenda is a tragic fiasco. Sorrowfully, the oversupply of resentful/wrathful and ignorant/unintelligent people, like Siegmun, continues to expand.

  17. We talk disdainfully of sound bites, but it is obvious that they work! Too many people by into the bite-size bits I’ misdirection that are fed to them daily

  18. “The zero can’t be impeached. He enjoys a 99% approval rating from the lying, liberal media and owns 100 million government dependents/employees that he feeds and clothes.”
    .
    100 million government dependents/employees whom he feeds and clothes are fed and clothed by “We, the people…”. Obama does nothing. The feeding and the clothing will go on in the next election cycle because the taxpayers feed and clothe the government dependents/employees…and Obama and more than some other criminal takers, like Obama. Perhaps some people buy into Obama’s lies about he, himself, doing these wonderful acts of charity, but Obama’s lies come with the threat of, the constant threat of, this charity ending, so reelect Obama for more lies and threats, especially if Obama institutes euthanasia. Then it will surely end…abruptly.
    .
    Abortion and euthanasia are the foundation of Obamacare. Someone will never need surgery, if he is dead.
    .
    Our Constitutional Republic will go on, long after Obama and Hillary and their lies about Benghazi, “you can keep your doctor, your insurance and have a 30% decrease in premiums.
    .
    “We,” the taxpayers need to rid ourselves of liars, manipulators and Chief Executive Executive Orders.
    .
    God created all things and keeps them in existence. “We, the people” made our government and keeps it in existence.
    .
    “…governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. That whenever any form of government becomes destructive to these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shown that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such government, and to provide new guards for their future security.” fromThe Declaration of Independence

  19. Everything that that Siegmun guy just wrote is bu!!$#!+.

    If you begin with the assumption that ‘the job they were expected to do’ was to be an extension of Mr. Siegmun’s will or BO’s will, I guess it makes a sort of sense. Of course, few of their voting constituents actually think that. Given past experience, I suspect Mr. Siegmun will be quite disappointed this November.

  20. Legislation enacted by Congress during the period running from 2009 to 2011 included the stimulus (a waste), Obamacare (fiasco) and Dodd-Frank (latent fiasco). Maybe we are better off if they are on vacation.

  21. “Legislation enacted by Congress during the period running from 2009 to 2011 included the stimulus (a waste), Obamacare (fiasco) and Dodd-Frank (latent fiasco). Maybe we are better off if they are on vacation.”
    .
    The stimulus was a carefully ochestrated giveaway to those who would support Obama. Nancy Pelosi’s husband, who owns Star Kissed tuna, was given a stimulus. Solyndra was a payback in vengeance for the solar industry.
    .
    You are correct Art Deco, the stimulus was a waste for the people, but it was a boon for Obama.

  22. “But can’t he borrow the power to do these things?”
    .
    Of the 923 Executive Orders written by Obama, this one, 11921 actually disables Congress. Who will enable Congress once Obama has shut Copngress down?
    .
    -EXECUTIVE ORDER 11921 allows the Federal Emergency Preparedness Agency to develop plans to establish control over the mechanisms of production and distribution, of energy sources, wages, salaries, credit and the flow of money in U.S. financial institution in any undefined national emergency. It also provides that when a state of emergency is declared by the President, Congress cannot review the action for six months.
    .
    In six months Obama can run this country into his bank account. If the people are all dead, the country will belong to Obama.

  23. In addition, June 9, 201, Executive Order 13575 Rural Councils allows the government agents to come onto private farms and confiscate them if the agent does not like the way the farm is being run, or the government may not like the owner of the farm.
    .
    The Fifth Amendment, the takings clause allows eminent domain, the taking of private property for public use with just compensation. Public use became public purposes without the change having been ratified by three quarters of the states. Public purposes has now become complete usurpation of private property at the whim of government without just compensation. Very few people knew of this because of Weinergate
    .
    Obama also took control of all other executive orders, Clinton’s taking of all public lands and waterways. Very few people knew because of Monicagate. It was adultery stratigically placed to allay the people’s fear of totalitarianism.
    .
    And so it goes. Very few people knew or learned of this because of all the promises of benefits to look the other way. “We, the people” have lost our country to a very small man’s opinion and greed for power to rule the world.
    .
    Clinton was reelcted by the million illegals he made legal. Perhaps the 500,000 illegals made legal by Obama might just make him emperor, but in effect, Obama already did that in EO 11921. Just saying.

  24. 1 Kings 8 Then Samuel told all the words of the Lord to the people who had desired a king of him.
    “And he will take your fields and your vineyards, and your best olive-yards, and give them to his servants.” Rural Councils Executive Order 13575
    .
    “Moreover, he will take the tenth of your corn, and of the revenues of your vineyards, to give his eunuchs and servants.” The stimulus
    .
    “Your servants also and handmaids, and your goodliest young men, and your asses he will take away, and put them to his work.” Executive Order 11921
    .
    “Your flocks also he will tithe, and you shall be his servants.” Taxation without representation, constituency denied, religious liberty denied, freedom of conscience denied. (10- 22)
    .
    So, Impeach Him.

  25. In the bush, witch doctors wear hideous masks, do violent contortions and shriek incantations to ward off evil spirits.
    .
    In Washington D.C , the only incantation a citizen has to permantently ward off evil spirits is impeachment.
    .
    Obama, Clinton, Bill and Hillary, have impeached themselves. It is up to “We, the people” to make it permanent, document it in the public domain, so that their Executive Orders to denude the people of their sovereign rights and others of their real estate, become empty words, so that these unauthorized, usurped authorities have no validity in and out of the Constitution.
    .
    So that the oaths that they have taken and violated impeach them. Murder of the Constitution has no statute of limitations.
    .
    So Impeach Him.

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