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.


Levin: Expel Louise Slaughter from the House

March 12, 2010

For background, see the earlier post on Congresswoman Louise Slaughter’s efforts to find a way to pass the Senate version of ObamaCare without actually voting on it. Radio host Mark Levin is… well, “pissed off” is the only way to describe it and he calls for Slaughter’s expulsion from the House, even though he knows the effort will fail. Tito’s queued up the tape; here’s Levin:

Frankly, I agree with him. Even though she will never be expelled, the Republicans have to do this to make the public aware of just what a naked, unconstitutional power-grab is underway here. This isn’t just fudging a bit here and there to get past some parliamentary inconveniences. No, this is nothing less than usurpation on the part of the legislative majority and an act of tyranny. As Jim Geraghty observed this morning in his Morning Jolt newsletter:

Are they out of their minds? What, the town hall meetings of last summer were too genteel and conciliatory for House Democrats’ tastes? Trying some sort of stunt like this in order to pass a bill without actually making members vote for it — that’s the sort of thing that takes “armed insurrection” talk out of the realm of chat rooms. We’ve long suspected that the Constitution means nothing to our counterparts on the left, but the idea of working around the requirement that bills be passed by the House strikes a new and disturbing we’ve-lost-democracy note.

Levin in his rant claims that the Slaughter Rule violates Article 1, Section 7, Clause 2 of the US Constitution. For reference, here’s the clause in question:

Every Bill which shall have passed the House of Representatives and the Senate, shall, before it become a Law, be presented to the President of the United States; if he approve he shall sign it, but if not he shall return it, with his Objections to that House in which it shall have originated, who shall enter the Objections at large on their Journal, and proceed to reconsider it. If after such Reconsideration two thirds of that House shall agree to pass the Bill, it shall be sent, together with the Objections, to the other House, by which it shall likewise be reconsidered, and if approved by two thirds of that House, it shall become a Law. But in all such Cases the Votes of both Houses shall be determined by Yeas and Nays, and the Names of the Persons voting for and against the Bill shall be entered on the Journal of each House respectively. If any Bill shall not be returned by the President within ten Days (Sundays excepted) after it shall have been presented to him, the Same shall be a Law, in like Manner as if he had signed it, unless the Congress by their Adjournment prevent its Return, in which Case it shall not be a Law.

The highlighted portions are what I believe Levin has specifically in mind. A bill cannot be considered passed and ready for presentation to the President unless it has been voted on and the Yeas and Nays recorded in the House ledger with the name of each person voting and how they voted.

Can the Democrats be sued for false advertising for using the word “democratic” in their name?

(via Hot Air)