…of laws, or a nation of men? Specifically, is this nation governed by the laws of the land, or by the whims of a person or persons? This, my friends, is a question that Robert and I have frequently written about in various ways, and the answer scares the Hell out of both of us. To whit:
“…we are not just going to be waiting for legislation in order to make sure that we’re providing Americans the kind of help that they need. I’ve got a pen and I’ve got a phone. I can use that pen to sign Executive Orders and take Executive Actions and Administrative Actions that move the ball forward….
This is how far our fair Republic has gone the way of so many other countries – we have a person in charge that thumbs his nose at the Constitution, and rules by Executive Order. The part that is frustrating is that the other elected legislative bodies of our government are doing nothing to stop this breach of law.
Diana West of Townhall.com published an article entitled “A Nation of Laws, Not Men, Must Impeach Obama.” The following are excerpts from that article:
For many Americans, living through the Obama era day-by-day, executive order by executive order, 100 regulations by 100 regulations (there were 80,000 pages of new regulations in 2013 alone), our nation’s transformation becomes so much enveloping static. Yes, there are shrieks and screams (over Obamacare’s rollout, for instance), but mostly people seem to shut out the background noise of an aggressively collectivizing government doing business. Outrages against the Constitution clank and sputter — What? The executive branch can’t write legislation! — but they never really backfire on Obama. His poll numbers dip, yes. White noise ensues.
Barack Obama, the government’s chief executive, is seizing powers that belong to the legislative branch. He’s not the first president to do so; not by a long shot. That’s also part of the ambivalence problem. Obama fits an accepted historical mode of abuse exemplified, for example, by the even more dictatorial FDR. Meanwhile, as Obama’s defenders correctly note, Obama, having issued 168 “decrees,” ranks on the low end among modern presidents. What distinguishes Obama’s fiats in our time, however, as Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, told CNSNews.com, is that Obama “has repeatedly made use of executive orders to change statute, to change law, to change legislation enacted by Congress.”
A president can’t do that. The crisis exists because the legislative branch is letting him.
The crisis is compounded because most of the media supports these seizures of power. The New York Times’ take on the State of the Union address (Rush Limbaugh calls it the “State of the Coup,”) is typical: “Taking the offensive by veering around Congress isn’t new for the administration, but it is more important than ever.”
“Veering around Congress” is a neat phrase for serial abuse of power. During a December hearing before a House Judiciary subcommittee on “The President’s Constitutional Duty to Faithfully Execute the Laws,” liberal law professor (and onetime Obama voter) Jonathan Turley stated: “The problem with what the president is doing is that he’s not simply posing a danger to the constitutional system. He’s becoming the very danger the Constitution was designed to avoid.”
The president is quite open about his intentions. “Wherever and whenever I can take steps without legislation … that’s what I’m going to do,” Obama declared in his State of the Union. The line received vigorous applause from Democrats in the House chamber. Yes, they support the president’s agenda, but weren’t they also applauding their own superfluity?
That’s what I thought before I heard Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, D-Texas, say that writing executive orders for the president to sign — not writing legislation for Congress to vote on, mind you — should be “our No. 1 agenda.” The 10-term congresswoman, while launching the new and Soviet-sounding “Full Employment Caucus” at a recent press conference, promised to “give President Obama a number of executive orders that he can sign with pride and strength.”
This is the formula for one-party rule. As such, it is outrageous, but it is just more static.
What to do with a president who rewrites his own laws, enacts legislation that has failed (repeatedly) to pass into law, and creates legislation through executive agency regulation?
The boldest proposition on the table so far — not moving, I will add — is for Congress to stop funding executive orders that upset the Constitution’s “balance of powers.” This is an obvious “check” to restore “balance.” Fine. Yes. Go for it.
But Obama’s systematic assaults on constitutional governance require more than defunding, and more than static. They require, first and most urgently, a full airing. Impeachment, which may begin with an impeachment inquiry, is the means the Constitution provided us. It offers the way “forward,” as the president might say, to re-establish that America is a nation of laws, not men.
Otherwise, it’s not.
Our government is dysfunctional because the people in it like Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee haven’t a clue much less the intelligence to understand the laws of the land and the responsibility that they have as part of the government. We The People have let it happen without much protest in the past, and We The People are finally waking up to the fact that We The People are being shafted by the very people that we elected.
It’s time to take the government back. Elect people based on character and principles, not a party affiliation, that will return this nation back to to the greatness and stature it once had in the world.
Otherwise, we’re fast on the road to being a banana republic…without the bananas.