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The congenital lawlessness of the Obama Administration

The congenital lawlessness of the Obama Administration Richard Reeb

“Confirm thy soul in self-control, thy liberty in law”- from “America, the Beautiful” President Obama’s unconstitutional “executive order” that makes blank paper of existing immigration law is, sad to say, only the latest example of the lawlessness that characterizes his administration. The pattern is too well established to allow any other conclusion but that he is at war with our form of government and therefore with the liberty and equality which is its chief object. As overwhelming as the evidence is of presidential defiance of the Constitution and the laws, it is not an easy thing to say this about any president. My object here is not only to make that unpleasant case against the President but to demonstrate just how devastating is the combined effect of Obama’s systematic lawlessness for the American way of life.

Let us examine Obama’s action on immigration. The advocates of amnesty are so passionate about their desire to give a free pass not only to approximately five million illegal aliens living here illegally who happen to be parents of children who preceded them, many of them “anchor babies” (who became citizens because they born here), that they are utterly indifferent to the fact that the President is usurping powers which belong exclusively to the U.S. Congress. Obama’s 15 minutes of sophistry cannot hide the truth that he is defying the constitutional separation of powers among three distinct branches—legislative, executive and judicial—and thereby assuming powers more akin to a dictator than an elective president. The president counts on people missing the distinction between an executive order, which is issued to carry out the details of congressional legislation, and a diktat which essentially sets aside the law and imposes his will. His complaint that Congress, specifically, the House of Representatives, failed to act on a comprehensive immigration reform bill and therefore he must, is not only wrong on the merits but downright dishonest. Democrats had control of both houses of Congress and the White House between 2007 and 2009 and gave priority to the Affordable Care Act instead. One does not have to be a cynic or a narrow partisan to draw the conclusion that Obama seeks political advantage for his party at the expense of the rule of law and even of the consent of the governed. He means to make millions of people both dependent on the government and a dependable voting bloc for the Democrat party.

We must ask ourselves this question: Why is better to be ruled by law rather by whim? Our founding fathers knew very well why. It was because they understood that human nature is corruptible by power (a lesson they learned from their battle against King George III) and therefore there must be checks on the exercise of that power. Congress makes the law, the President enforces the laws, and the courts decide cases according to the law. But that is not all, for the framers of the Constitution divided Congress into two houses and required presidential approval for all laws. Why, even the wits at Saturday Night Live understand that as they portrayed a character named “Bill” who, while explaining how a bill becomes law, was knocked down the Capitol steps several times by a man looking very much like Barack Obama, who preferred the “Executive Order” character who can make decrees in defiance of Congress.

We are learning too what it means to “transform” America according to Obama’s passion. It doesn’t just mean redistributing the wealth from the productive to the non-productive, as wretched as that is. It means substituting for the rule of law, ensured by the constitutional separation of powers, the whim of chief executives who ignore the clearly expressed desire of the people, as expressed in the recent midterm elections, to put a stop to the dangerous policies and tendencies of the Obama Administration. The President practically sneered at the many merely state and local contests as being less expressive of the “true will” of the people than the sole national office which he holds. He even cast doubt over the legitimacy of the electorate itself simply because so many of his supporters in 2008 and 2012 did not vote. But checks and balances can only do so much.

For no less a valuable lesson is that we the people must be determined to maintain our constitutional republic. As Abraham Lincoln asked and answered this question many years ago, “Is it unreasonable then to expect, that some man possessed of the loftiest genius, coupled with ambition sufficient to push it to its utmost stretch, will at some time, spring up among us? And when such a one does, it will require the people to be united with each other, attached to the government and laws, and generally intelligent, to successfully frustrate his designs.”

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