Crossville Chronicle, Crossville, TN

Opinion

March 31, 2014

STUMPTALK: Obama’s rogue presidency

CROSSVILLE — President Obama has detached himself from any meaningful compliance with constitutional limits on administrative power and the principle of separation of powers. In his own words to French President Hollande, “The good thing about being president is that I can do whatever I want.” His meaning was not limited to mere protocol violations. He exhibits the same attitude toward legislation passed or not passed by Congress. He chooses which laws he will enforce and those he will ignore. He illegally substitutes executive orders for congressional legislation (“I have a phone and I have a pen”). He is convinced that he is the smartest guy in the room and does not really need information or recommendations from others who are more experienced.

The result is a president gone rogue and who cannot be trusted. He has said that he will act “with or without Congress.” One might think this is simple political rhetoric were it not for the opinions of well regarded legal historians and experts such as Professor Jonathon Turley (Shapiro Professor of Public Interest Law, George Washington University, a self-confessed liberal academic) and congressman Trey Gowdy, a Republican representative of South Carolina.

Prof. Turley has testified several times before congressional committees concerning the separation of powers in the U.S. political system, and is concerned that Obama has “repeatedly violated this doctrine in the circumvention of Congress in areas ranging from health care to immigration to environmental law.” Congress now appears “feckless and uncertain as to how it can assert its authority when openly circumvented or ignored by a president.”

The result is what Turley describes as a massive gravitational shift of authority to the Executive Branch that threatens the stability and functionality of our tripartite system. The Legislative and Judicial branches appear inert as the Executive Branch has taken such power. In effect, a fourth branch is being created. Agencies can determine their own jurisdictions, and agency regulations have weight of law without legislative activity by Congress. Think about the recent activities of the IRS in the Tea Party debacle, the illegal activities of the Department of Justice and Fast and Furious, the EPA in the coal mine and Keystone pipeline farce, the blatant usurpation of legislative action extending multiple “waivers” to Obamacare requirements via HHS and who can forget the lies of the Secretary of State regarding the murders in Benghazi?   

The Legislative Branch has been rendered impotent by the refusal of the Judicial Branch to exercise its constitutional authority when the Legislative Branch seeks redress by suing the Executive Branch for actions that violate the Constitution. The judicial refusal is based upon the fact that the Legislative Branch “has no standing” for the suit. The party suing must have something to lose in order to sue unless it has automatic standing by action of law.

Enter Representative Trey Gowdy (R-SC) who sponsored the Enforce the Law Act which, when it becomes law, will require the president of the United States to obey the law, giving the House and Senate legal standing to sue the president if they feel he is failing to execute a duly ratified law. One would think that the presidential oath to “preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States” is sufficient, but it is not for a cynical politician who came into office regarding the Constitution to be a “deeply flawed document” (Obama radio interview Sept. 6, 2001).

The Enforce The Law bill passed in the House 233-181 with five Democrats joining the Republicans. Gowdy said, “The Constitution gives Congress the responsibility to write the laws and the Executive the responsibility to enforce them. We don’t pass suggestions. We don’t pass ideas. We pass laws.”

Needless to say Harry Reid will refuse to allow the bill to pass the Democrat-controlled Senate, and Obama has already said if it did make it to his desk he would veto it. We may have to wait until 2016 to pass this bill into law unless we are fortunate enough to get a Senate strong enough to over-ride the veto. In the meantime we can only watch the rogue president systematically destroy our constitutional government.

• • •

Stumptalk is published weekly in the Crossville Chronicle. The opinions expressed in this column are not necessarily those of the Chronicle publisher, editor or staff. To contact Stumptalk, email coordinator Jim Sykes at sykes113@frontiernet.net.

 

1
Text Only
Opinion
  • Lion and the Lamb: A promised land?

    Back in biblical times there was a group of people who believed that God had promised them a segment of land on this planet that would be theirs forever. Who could have known back then that this ancient promise and territorial justification would be used by their descendants today to claim the same segment of land?

    July 29, 2014

  • We the People: Bring back the American dream

    Our economy continues to expand. The stock market is at record levels, yet many ask why so many of us are struggling?  Barely half of us believe the American dream is attainable.

    July 29, 2014

  • Tidbits: Taking a low-tech break

    Feeling increasingly strangled by my electronic leash, with phone, text messages, email, social media and a variety of other forms of communication always at my side, I took the weekend off.

    July 28, 2014

  • Stumptalk: Governing before and after mass corruption

    Laws in America were originally written simply. Every citizen could read them quickly and understand their meaning. The founders wrote the Declaration of Independence, the Articles of Confederation, the Northwest Ordinance and the Constitution of the United States, none of which was longer than 4,500 words.

    July 28, 2014

  • We the People: The last dance

    Charlie Hayden’s last recording session with his early partner, Keith Jarrett, was in 2007.  The songs they played were mostly melancholy.  The second album coming from that session includes Weil’s “My Ship” and Porter’s “Every Time We Say Goodbye.” The dark ballad “Goodbye,” by Gordon Jenkins, was the final track.

    July 22, 2014

  • Lion and the Lamb: Living in a pressure cooker

    The Gaza Strip, a small Palestinian territory about the size of Washington, D.C., has been in the news almost every day.  Its key location at the eastern end of the Mediterranean Sea has attracted a number of occupying powers over the years, and it has  been at the center of much Middle East history.

    July 22, 2014

  • Tidbits: The excitement of election day

    On March 12, 1996, there were 427,183 votes cast in the presidential primary election. Among those votes was mine, the first vote I cast in an election, just two days after my 18th birthday.

    July 21, 2014

  • Raising the minimum wage

    My first job from which FICA was withheld was a minimum wage job, seventy-five cents an hour. And yes, even then no one could live on that little money. However, I was a high schooler living at home where my father provided room and board. The job gave me pocket money to buy gasoline, to take my girlfriend out for movies and burgers, and to buy tickets for baseball games.

    July 21, 2014

  • Lion and the Lamb: Children on the move

    The news this past week has focused on the humanitarian crisis developing on our southern border. Thousands of unaccompanied children from El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras seeking to escape from the violence, human trafficking and extreme poverty in their countries have been entering the United States.

    July 15, 2014

  • We the People: Memo to gun rights groups

    The recent incident in California helps us understand why we cannot rely on mental health services alone to solve the problem of gun violence.

    July 15, 2014

Marketplace Marquee
Parade
Must Read
Section Teases
Seasonal Content
AP Video
House Leaders Trade Blame for Inaction Malaysian PM: Stop Fighting in Ukraine Cantor Warns of Instability, Terror in Farewell Ravens' Ray Rice: 'I Made a Huge Mistake' Florida Panther Rebound Upsets Ranchers Small Plane Crash in San Diego Parking Lot Busy Franco's Not Afraid of Overexposure Fighting Blocks Access to Ukraine Crash Site Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida Workers Dig for Survivors After India Landslide Texas Scientists Study Ebola Virus Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow Southern Accent Reduction Class Cancelled in TN Raw: Deadly Landslide Hits Indian Village Obama Chides House GOP for Pursuing Lawsuit New Bill Aims to Curb Sexual Assault on Campus Russia Counts Cost of New US, EU Sanctions 3Doodler Bring 3-D Printing to Your Hand Six PA Cops Indicted for Robbing Drug Dealers Britain Testing Driverless Cars on Roadways
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Weather Radar
2014 Readers' Choice
Graduation 2014