Rousing Those Moribund 'Monuments Men'
Like our Founders, Congress needs the energizing force of liberty. They might want to take a retro look at the pivotal scene of Ghostbusters II.
In the 1989 film, New Yorkers were dispirited as evil spirits ran amok. The gang of heroes realized that their "psychomagnotheric" slime guns needed a massive, positive charge to stop the evil force, Vigo, from destroying the city. Only the sight of the Statue of Liberty moving through the city toward Vigo could generate the energy needed to defeat him. When Liberty's torch explodes and her big right foot breaks loose from her pedestal on Liberty Island, you know Vigo is going down!
It's time to set Lady Liberty loose again. Obama's lengthening list of unconstitutional executive orders, encroaching on congressional authority by "rewriting" laws and refusing to enforce laws he doesn't favor, isn't amusing. See here, here, here, here, and here for examples.
Obama needed a laugh track when he flippantly told bystanders at Monticello on Feb. 8, "That's the good thing as a president. I can do whatever I want."
Obama had announced on Jan. 14:
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. And I can use that pen to sign executive orders and take executive actions ... and I've got a phone that allows me to convene Americans from every walk of life.
By mentioning "legislation," Obama virtually admitted that he would exceed his executive authority. It's the stuff for a bill of impeachment.
Obama's brazen announcement wasn't surprising to those who weren't duped by Obama's assertion in 2006 that as president, he wouldn't "unilaterally ignore the law," or in 2008, when he claimed to take "the Constitution very seriously":
I taught the Constitution for 10 years. I believe in the Constitution and I will obey the Constitution of the United States.
Obama told an audience hosted by the Spanish-language television network Univision on March 28, 2011:
America is a nation of laws, which means I, as the president, am obligated to enforce the law. I don't have a choice about that. That's part of my job. ... Congress passes the law. The executive branch's job is to enforce and implement those laws. And then the judiciary has to interpret the laws.
America's Founders believed that liberating the Colonies from a lawless ruler was more than a right -- it was their duty under God, as expressed in the Declaration of Independence:
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.
It was their duty because a government that violates, rather than secures our God-given rights, belies its God-ordained purpose expressed in Scripture: "For government is God's servant for your good."
That truth enabled the Founders to trust God for their justification and protection in declaring our independence:
And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.
Further inspiration came from, among others, Samuel Rutherford's Lex, Rex (the Law and the Prince). Rutherford, a 17th-century Scottish clergyman and professor of theology at the University of St. Andrews, wrote in his treatise that "all civil power is immediately from God in its root" and that "power is a birthright of the people borrowed [by a ruler] from them."
It sounded the death knell for the theory of the unfettered divine right of kings.
Somebody should send Obama a copy. He taught Saul Alinksky's Rules for Radicals, a book dedicated to Lucifer, "the first rebel."
Our Founders also found "precedent" for America's independence in the Magna Carta:
Before penning the Declaration of Independence -- the first of the American Charters of Freedom -- in 1776, the Founding Fathers searched for a historical precedent for asserting their rightful liberties from King George III and the English Parliament. They found it in a gathering that took place 561 years earlier on the plains of Runnymede, not far from where Windsor Castle stands today.
Sir Edward Coke, former attorney general and chief justice of Great Britain, is credited with making the Magna Carta legally consequential four centuries later. Coke argued that even kings must comply with common law. He proclaimed to Parliament in 1628 that the "Magna Carta ... will have no sovereign."
America's John Adams warned:
We are a nation of laws, not men. ... Nip the shoots of arbitrary power in the bud, is the only maxim which can ever preserve the liberties of any people.
Obama's abuses of power have blossomed beyond the bud. Congress, beginning with the House of Representatives, has control of the nation's purse and in filing articles of impeachment.
Our static representatives need a massive, positive charge from the American people, making clear that saving our God-given liberty matters more than saving their political lives.
Our prime politician admitted as much when he told young Israelis on March 21, 2013:
Speaking as a politician, I can promise you this: Political leaders will not take risks if the people do not demand that they do. You must create the change that you want to see. (This is Barack Obama alluding to Saul Alinsky.)
Obama isn't the only one with a pen and a phone. "Proclaim liberty throughout the land unto all the inhabitants thereof."
Jan LaRue is senior legal analyst with the American Civil Rights Union.