Obama's Increasingly Tyrannical Proclivities
In The Federalist #47, James Madison penned the following: "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."
Can anything be done to thwart the efforts by Barack Obama and his minions to concentrate all power in his Administration?
Article I, section 1 of the U.S. Constitution begins thusly: "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." Granted, before a bill can become a law the president must approve -- the Constitution provides more than one way to do that -- although both houses of Congress can over-turn a president's veto by two-thirds majorities. The Constitution also permits the Vice President, as President of the Senate, to vote on a bill in the event of a tied vote in the upper chamber.
This just about exhausts the Executive Branch's constitutionally sanctioned involvement in the legislative process.
The Constitution does not permit a president single-handedly to alter laws, but we have witnessed more than one instance in which the Obama Administration has unilaterally changed provisions of the 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, a.k.a. Obamacare. Last year Obama unilaterally altered provisions of America's immigration laws, particularly those pertaining to the deportation of youthful illegal immigrants.
Obama hasn't gotten around to imposing his own version of "cap and trade," but he has announced that if Congress does not act on such a bill, he will do so himself.
Article III, section 1 of the U.S. Constitution begins as follows: "The judicial Power of the United States shall be vested in one supreme Court and in such inferior Courts as Congress may from time to time ordain and establish."
The Constitution does not permit the president or anyone in the Executive Branch, such as the Attorney General, unilaterally to nullify the Supreme Court's or other federal courts' decisions.
Nullification of at least one Supreme Court ruling, however, seems to be precisely what Obama's Attorney General aims to do. On July 25th, Eric Holder, addressing the National Urban League in Philadelphia, announced that he would seek to reinstate "preclearance" for changes to voting laws in Texas. Holder seeks to nullify the Supreme Court's ruling, in Shelby County v. Holder, which over-turned that portion of the 1965 Voting Rights Act requiring the federal government to pre-approve of any changes to the voting laws of states with a history of discriminating against blacks trying to vote. The Department of Justice filed that suit on August 22nd.
(If anyone thinks Holder took this action without Obama's approval, lots of bridges are for sale.)
One could add other instances since January 20, 2009 in which Obama or someone in the Executive Branch intruded on powers the Constitution allocates to the Legislative or Judicial branches of government. Moreover, as noted in the context of "cap-and-trade," Obama has threatened to act unilaterally if Congress fails to act. There are similar worries about Obama's likely behavior if Congress fails to pass "comprehensive immigration 'reform.'"
Obama seeks to concentrate all government powers in his hands and/or those of his Administration. If he is successful, he will have "fundamentally transformed" the United States of America. According to the definition Madison proffered in The Federalist #47, Obama will be a tyrant.
It is disconcerting, then, when most of the criticisms directed against the Obamians place less emphasis on this facet of Obama's record than on his other "sins," such as expanding the central government's power, spending vast sums of money, and endeavoring to create a European-style welfare state.
There is, of course, substantial overlap between concern that Obama's ultimate goal is a federal leviathan of unprecedented power and worries that he seeks to concentrate all government powers in his hands. I remain nonplussed by conservatives' tendency to focus far more on the former than on the latter.
Both harm America's tradition of a government of limited powers. Establishment of a tyranny -- as defined by Madison -- however, puts the final nail in the American Republic's coffin. That Republic is predicated on the separation of powers.
Those who abhor Obamaism must continue to oppose every effort to expand government's power, spend the country into penury, and create a European-style welfare state.
Conservatives should also oppose Obama's increasingly tyrannical proclivities.
How can they do that?
Put aside any notion of using the impeachment process to remove Obama from office. The Constitution (Article II, section 4) stipulates that a president can be removed from office by impeachment and conviction of "Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors."
Any attempt to create a tyranny -- again using Madison's definition -- fits the rubric of "high Crimes and Misdemeanors." So why doesn't Obama have to worry about being impeached and convicted?
Obama won't be impeached for at least two reasons. First, the attempt to impeach and convict Bill Clinton in 1998 left such bad taste in the American ruling class' mouth that similar proceedings coming again so soon are very unlikely. (Have you even heard the phrase, "impeach and convict" from the GOP House leadership?)
(Democrats control the Senate, which the Constitution [Article I, section 3, paragraph 6] makes the trial body in impeachment cases. As the Clinton episode showed, Democrat senators will not convict one of their own.
Moreover, don't expect the mainstream media [MSM], who are among Obama's biggest fans, to support any effort to remove him from office. The MSM will not publicize his and/or his Administration's campaign to gut the separation of powers. They will characterize any impeachment campaign as "racism" and "mean-spirited partisanship.")
In addition, anyone who believes the typical American will continence impeachment of the country's first black president is dreaming. (I am reminded of Abraham Lincoln's observation that "Public sentiment [i.e., opinion] is everything. With public sentiment, nothing can fail. Without it, nothing can succeed.")
Given Obama's dislike of the Constitution, because it's a charter of "negative liberties," conservatives should expect him to accelerate efforts to concentrate all power in his hands if the GOP controls both houses of Congress after 2014.
How might he be frustrated? Remember Lincoln's words about the power of public opinion? Conservatives must find a way -- short of impeachment -- to turn public opinion against Obama's tyrannical proclivities, which may be easier than efforts to oppose big government -- that "benefits" ever-larger portions of the citizenry.
As Rush Limbaugh notes, the typical American is loath to believe a president harbors ill intentions toward the country. Still, conservatives have no choice but to try to convince others that, when it comes to the establishment of one-man (or one-branch) rule, this is what Obama will wrought unless he's stopped.
I have no magic way to get millions of heads out of the sand, beyond asserting the simple truth (as contained above). One thing is certain, however. We'd better start spreading the word now. It's already very late.