Endorsed: Bar Obama from making his State of the Union address before Congress

November 21, 2014
The President who would be King

The President who would be King

Since it became apparent that President Obama was about to (and did, last night) usurp the legislature’s authority to write and amend our laws, Republicans and conservatives (and some liberals) have been bandying around several strategies to fight back: some form of defunding, censure, even impeachment.

Writing at Ace of Spades, Drew M. adds a symbolic but very powerful idea: do not let Obama give his State of the Union address before the joint houses of Congress.

There’s one idea I’d like to add that is in many ways symbolic but that would focus the nation on the seriousness of this problem, do not invite Obama to address a joint session of Congress to deliver the State of the Union address.

The Constitution simply requires that “He shall from time to time give to the Congress information of the state of the union, and recommend to their consideration such measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient.” Nothing requires that he do so in person. The modern in person State of The Union dates back to Woodrow Wilson but Truman, Eisenhower and Nixon all gave written reports as was the custom from Thomas Jefferson to Wilson.

And Presidents don’t simply show up whenever they please to address the Congress, they must be formally invited. That’s where Boehner and McConnell can strike a blow for the legislature…simply don’t invite him.

Yesterday, Boehner said, “The president had said before that he’s not king and he’s not an emperor,” Boehner says. “But he’s sure acting like one.”

There’s a reason for the reference to the behavior of kings: it’s a part of our history, dating back at least to the crises that gave rise to the English Civil War. In 1642, King Charles I attempted to usurp the powers of the House of Commons by barging in with soldiers to arrest five members. In commemoration of this, the House of Commons slams the doors in the face of Black Rod when he comes to summon them to hear the Queen’s Speech. Nowadays, this is just a ceremonial tradition, a reminder of the Commons’ independence from the Crown.

It is also an echo of a very real crisis.

We are England’s heirs, and Congress is facing its own crisis with an arrogant, usurping Executive. Let Speaker Boehner and (soon to be) Majority Leader McConnell reach deep back into our history and, along with more substantive actions, assert the legislature’s rights as a co-equal branch of government. Refuse our modern King Charles the stage his ego so desperately needs (1).

It’s time to bar the doors.

via Gabriel Malor

Footnote:
(1) Come on, you know Obama’s ego is so brittle that this would drive him nuts. As a narcissist, he craves a stage from which to lecture his inferiors.


Video: Sen. Cruz Invokes Cicero’s Words Against President Obama’s Lawlessness

November 20, 2014

Phineas Fahrquar:

Well-played by Senator Cruz. This Classics fan nods in approval.

Originally posted on Nice Deb:

Obamacaligula

U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, speaking  Senate floor, Thursday, harkened back to Cicero’s famous warning to the citizens of Rome over 2,000 years ago. The Roman philosopher, Marcus Cicero, was advocating a return to a Republican form of government after the emperor Julius Caesar died. The words, as spoken by Cruz have special resonance today in respect to our current President’s lawlessness.

The text of the speech:

The words of Cicero powerfully relevant 2,077 years later. When, President Obama, do you mean to cease abusing our patience? How long is that madness of yours still to mock us? When is there to be an end to that unbridled audacity of yours swaggering about as it does now? Do not the nightly guards placed on the border, do not the watches posted throughout the city, does not the alarm of the people and the union of all good men and women, does…

View original 364 more words


Barack C. Calhoun, nullifier

November 20, 2014
Obama's inspiration

Obama’s inspiration?

J. Christian Adams, a former attorney with the Department of Justice, makes an interesting comparison in advance of President Obama’s expected Executive Order that would unilaterally rewrite our nation’s immigration laws. Writing at PJMedia, he argues that Obama has adopted the logic of John C. Calhoun, the antebellum South Carolina US Senator and vice-president to Andrew Jackson, that the states can nullify federal laws they disagree with.

Back then in the 1830s, President Jackson vigorously opposed Calhoun’s theory of nullification, and the resulting crisis almost lead to civil war. Now, Adams argues, instead of upholding the law as he is constitutionally bound, President Obama is about to claim the power of nullification for himself:

In announcing a lawless amnesty edict tonight, President Obama is our modern John C. Calhoun.

Elementary school civics class has taught the same thing for two hundred years: Congress makes the laws, the president enforces the laws, the judiciary interprets the laws. The reason this is so is because individual liberty thrives when government is hobbled by division of power. People live better lives when federal power is stymied.

When President Obama announces that he will be suspending laws to bless the illegal presence of millions of foreigners in the United States, he will have adopted the most basic philosophy of John C. Calhoun: some laws can be tossed aside because his ends justify the lawlessness.

Adams also compares Obama to King Charles I, who lost his throne (and his head) in a fight over power with the English Parliament. Others have made that same comparison, seeing the parallels in the struggle between the legislature and the Crown/Executive in 1640, 1689, and 1776. Now we’re in 2014, and another executive is declaring himself superior to the legislature, to have the power to act when it won’t do his will.

The question is, what will the legislature do in return to preserve the constitutional order?

I wish I knew.


The 1st Amendment prevents the government from attacking ISIS ideologically? Really?

October 8, 2014
"But don't criticize them."

“But don’t criticize them.”

This is why the Left cannot be taken seriously on constitutional matters: they don’t even understand the basics. Via Power Line:

Bill Gertz has a lengthy and fascinating piece in the Washington Free Beacon about what he calls the Obama administration’s failure “to wage ideological war against Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL or ISIS) terrorists.” Gertz attributes the failure to “fears that attacking [ISIS's] religious philosophy will violate the constitutional divide between church and state.”

It seems difficult to believe that the First Amendment explains Obama’s unwillingness to acknowledge, for example, that the Islamic State is Islamic. Gertz cites James Glassman, former undersecretary of state for public diplomacy. Glassman seems to rely mainly on what he hears coming out of the State Department.

For the record, here’s what the 1st Amendment says:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

I don’t see anything in there about “the government may not criticize the religious doctrine of an enemy organization,” do you?  Perhaps our constitutional law professor-president can explain it to us.

Gertz calls this a “surrender in the war of ideas,” and he is right. It’s a pathetic bit of hand-waving to hide the fact that the administration desperately does not want to deal with the Islamic doctrine cited by ISIS as the justification for its jihad. For whatever reason –political correctness, a leftist reluctance to criticize “victims of colonialism,” a fear of upsetting allied Muslim states, or even a secular inability to deal with minds operating on a religious paradigm– the Obama administration (and, to a lesser extent, the Bush administration before it) will go to any lengths to deny the truth: we are in a global conflict with an Islamic supremacist/revivalist movement that, while having many sometimes fractious elements, is united by a largely common and mainstream understanding of Islamic texts and doctrines. And until and if (1) we can get imams willing to go public with their criticism in Islamic terms of the doctrinal arguments of the jihadists, we will continue to surrender in this war of ideas and the jihadists will continue to attract recruits.

Footnote:

(1) Which is problematic, because a) I think the Muslim Brotherhood, al Qaeda, and other jihad groups have a very good understanding of Islamic doctrine, and imams critical of them have trouble finding counter-arguments; and b) critics of the jihad who do come forward often put their lives at real risk.


DNC vice-chairwoman calls for scrapping the Constitution

September 29, 2014
Donna Brazile

Donna Brazile

Over the weekend Donna Brazile, Al Gore’s former campaign manager, current vice-chair of the Democratic National Committee, and a regular commentator apologist for the Democratic Party on CNN and other networks, made it quite clear what she –and, I assume, many of her high-ranking Democrat colleagues– think of our governing document:

Got that? The Constitution, the skeleton of our Republic and perhaps the single most successful governing scheme in history, just isn’t up to the job anymore. It can’t stop the charlatans (1), the loudmouths (2), or the filthy rich (3) from hijacking our democracy! We must have a new one to save the Republic! (4)

What really bugs Ms. Brazile and many in the Democratic leadership is that the Constitution won’t let them do everything they want to do: it’s standing in the way of what they define as “progress” — bigger, more intrusive government; cradle to grave welfare state; higher taxes; and rule by technocratic elites with only an occasional nodding obeisance to democratic accountability.

In other words, France.

Earth to Donna Brazile: that means the Constitution is doing exactly what it was designed to do — to limit power and divide sovereignty, to preserve human liberty and to prevent tyranny by preventing its increasing concentration in a few hands. As James Madison wrote in Federalist 47:

The accumulation of all powers, legislative, executive, and judiciary, in the same hands, whether of one, a few, or many, and whether hereditary, self-appointed, or elective, may justly be pronounced the very definition of tyranny.

It’s actually been darned successful at that, too, which has been driving progressives such as Donna Brazile nuts for over 100 years, since the future President Wilson denounced our founding documents as obsolete in the 1890s. Convinced that they have seen the future and know its preordained course, they’ve tried mightily to ignore it, work around it, twist it, warp it…

And now call for its replacement.

Not that I’m criticizing Donna Brazile for sentiment. After all, as a free American, she has the perfect right to express her opinion. Just as I have a right to say the idea is bad and that she has strawberry jam for brains.

Truth is, I’m grateful to Ms. Brazile, Vice-Chairwoman for the Democratic National Committee. I’m glad that at last a Democrat politician is being open about what Democrat politicians really believe.

PS: Somehow I doubt that Americans really want to take the advice of someone who couldn’t figure out why her health insurance premiums went up after the passage of Obamacare.

PPS: Move went well, by the way. But now the “I finally have time to stop and breathe” exhaustion is setting in, so this is it for me today.

Footnotes:
(1) Well, true. Obama did get elected.
(2) Funny how I immediately thought of Chuck Schumer.
(3) I’m sure she includes lefty eco-loon billionaire Tom Steyer, who’s doing his level best to buy a victory for the Democrats.
(4) Pet-peeve alert: a lot of people shorthand the US as a “democracy.” No, we are not a direct democracy, as was ancient Athens. We are a democratic republic that elects representatives who vote on national issues for us. We are democratic because we have a very wide franchise, but we are not a democracy.


Perry indictment: So, a mere accusation costs you your constitutional rights?

August 27, 2014

Not likely to be bullied.

Unlike our president, I’m not a famed constitutional scholar (1), but it seems to me that this is just plain wrong:

Texas Gov. Rick Perry, a staunch supporter of the Second Amendment, is no longer permitted to carry a concealed handgun after being slapped with a felony indictment for alleged abuse of power, according to state law. Further, federal law also apparently prohibits the governor from purchasing firearms or ammunition.

The Austin American-Statesman brings up the federal law referred to as 18 USC 922(n):

“It shall be unlawful for any person to sell or otherwise dispose of any firearm or ammunition to any person knowing or having reasonable cause to believe that such person (1) is under indictment for, or has been convicted in any court of a crime punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding one year.”

Perry, who previously claimed he shot a coyote with a concealed firearm while jogging in 2010, is supposed to have his state-issued concealed carry license revoked if he still has one — at least until his case is concluded.

Assuming Perry’s concealed carry permit has been or will be revoked, he can “reapply two years after the date of revocation,” Reuters reports.

Really? An indictment is an accusation, but we operate under the English system, that demands the accused be considered innocent of a crime until proven guilty. You don’t lose your right to vote when indicted, you don’t lose your rights against unlawful search and seizure, you don’t lose your rights of free speech (2) — why on Earth should you lose your natural right to bear arms for self-defense, a right guaranteed in the Second Amendment? (3) There may be a reason for this when dealing with potentially violent suspects, such as a spouse-abuser, but Perry’s “crime” is a nonviolent case of corruption (4). And then he has to wait two years to get his concealed-carry permit back, even if cleared?

Maybe there’s sound legal and constitutional logic behind these rules suspending a citizen’s constitutional rights, but it sure seems unjust to me.

Footnote:
(1) Insert sarcastic tone as needed.
(2) Unless you happen to be in Wisconsin and find yourself subject to a John Doe investigation.
(3) And before anyone starts babbling about “well-regulated militias,” do some reading.
(4) It’s also utter garbage.


Disagreeing with Jim Geraghty: Senate Democrats do want their jobs

August 18, 2014
"Waiting for Caesar"

“Waiting for Caesar”

Just not the jobs we all think they’re supposed to be doing.

Last week Jim pointed to an article in Politico about the Democrats’ immigration conundrum and their wish for President Obama to do their work for them. He wrote:

If indeed, as Politico reports, Senate Democrats want President Obama to “make immigration changes through executive action” — changes that they themselves are not willing to vote for in legislative form… why do they want to be Senators?

But it’s not that they don’t want to be senators, per se. They like the nice offices and all the perks: fawning staff; people who need favors from them, chauffeured cars; face time on TV; junkets overseas paid for by taxpayers — it’s a pretty sweet racket. Who wouldn’t want that?

Trouble is, the job of a United States senator includes this little duty in their job description, found in Article 1, section 1 of a musty old document called the Constitution:

All legislative Powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States, which shall consist of a Senate and House of Representatives.

“Legislative power,” of course, is the power to set national policy via enacting laws. The president doesn’t have that authority –pace Obama– only the House and Senate do. That means that, to achieve goals the Democratic senators want, such as amnesty and a path to citizenship for millions of people here illegally, they have to make a public decision. Vote. Go on record. Pass a law.

And, God forbid, as Jim and the Politico piece point out, that’s the last thing these clowns want to do; they can see the polls are going against them on the issue. Voting for comprehensive immigration reform now might well cost several of these senators those nice offices and perks, and no one would any longer treat them as if they’re important.

Can’t have that, so they want Obama to do their jobs for them, and constitutionality be damned.

And here’s where I disagree with Jim: it’s not that they don’t want to be senators, they just don’t to be United States senators. What they really want to be are senators of the Roman Empire, with a nice place to meet and servants to tend their needs and deals to be made to make them wealthy, but no real work. Just show up every so often to hear the words of the Emperor and then applaud on cue. Let him make all the decisions. That’s the job the Democrat senators really want.

Can’t wait until one slips and calls the president “Caesar Obama” on TV.


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 13,747 other followers