The Coming Murder of the US Constitution

The most important issue is missing from debate over the coming Obama administration’s “Executive Amnesty for illegal immigrants.” If such an action is taken without even an attempt at impeachment, we will mark that day as the day the U.S. Constitution was murdered.

Certainly some Constitutional forms will hold on another decade or two, but the relevance of Congress to federal policy making, Constitutional branch separation of powers generally, and ultimately the rule of law will be gone. Future generations of Americans will mark the Constitution as a dead letter from that day. Our American birth right to the rule of law and ordered liberty under the Constitution will have been traded for a blatant pursuit of power by any means necessary. Ultimately such power only comes from the barrel of a gun, and here only one side has guns.

That President Obama is dissolving the Constitution for a faster influx of non-white voters so he can dissolve the current declining white majority polity shows a deep love of power, and a deep hatred of any past or current American cultural institutions, that gets in the way of his power.

This isn’t new. Leftists in America have been heading down this road since before the Cold War between America and the Soviet Union started in the 1940’s.

What is new, and the real test here, is acquiescence of the opposition party (Republican) elected elites to this turn of events. They have preemptively surrendered the only real counter to this Executive usurpation of the Legislative power, impeachment of the President, for purported fear of a voter backlash and loss of their new majority in Congress.

The coming failure of the Republican Congress to do their Constitutional duty means the Republican Party is led by the same sort of narrow partisans who lead the Democratic Party, i.e., men more concerned with their fleeting power than their duty, America or freedom. Why should any of the American people obey the law when their elected officials openly defy it and their Constitutional obligations? Their elected representatives in Congress would replace the rule of law with the rule of men for the sake of their own power.

It may be that impeachment of President Obama for his proposed unconstitutional mass amnesty of illegal immigrants costs the Republican Party its new majority in Congress. Not even trying is simply the short road to hell. “Bad men need nothing more to compass their ends, than that good men should look on and do nothing” – John Stuart Mill. Failure by the GOP Congressional majority to even try to impeach President Obama here would be a clear and overwhelmingly powerful message to the Tea Party and others on the Right that only violence, and not the ballot box, is the answer to Executive tyranny.

For while Democrats and current Republican leaders may not remember, the following words are the cultural DNA of the American people, and it only took 1/3 of them to win the Revolution and drive out a Superpower:

“…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.”

75 thoughts on “The Coming Murder of the US Constitution”

  1. The choice for elected Republican leaders in Congress is “ballots or bullets.”

    It does not matter that a solid Democratic majority can block a successful Impeachment in the Senate. America already knows that Democrats don’t care for the Constitution and their actions in keeping President Obama will underscore that.

    The over riding goal with Impeachment is to communicate to the American people that the rule of law still holds.

    That the American Constitutional system still works.

    That their voters can and do make a difference.

    And that those voters can either choose the rule of law or the rule of men.

    In short, the next election can be about American freedom versus naked partisan power.

    Or it can be about rearranging partisan power deck chairs on the Titanic, as the American ship of state runs aground on the shoals of Revolution and Civil War.

    Ballots…or Bullets.

  2. There’s already ample reason to impeach Obama for his ongoing lawless behavior.

    Rush Limbaugh said (paraphrasing) that the election means the voters want Congress to stop Obama. I think that’s correct. Congress should pass bills to repeal Obamacare etc. The current effort to approve the Keystone pipeline is a step in the right direction. Congress should also withhold funding from Obama’s unconstitutional activities. If these measures aren’t rapidly effective in curbing Obama’s lawless behavior Congress should impeach.

  3. An alternate route to defending against unjust executive action is for the Democratic party to be ejected from the White House in 2016 and for the new president on day 1 to sunset all Obama executive orders 3 months after the inauguration and regulations 12 months after inauguration with properly done instances to be redone without all the illegality.

    There is no Democratic veto to this. There is no counter to this except a Democratic impeachment drive. It would be a salutary lesson for the nation’s political class to run changes through Congress. It could be done by one person.

    It is, perhaps, the best case for a Christie presidency as an executive who would be willing to do it (compare and contrast to Christie’s conventional NE Republican campaign persona to the straight talking union fighter after his first election).

    So I can’t agree that but for an impeachment drive, it’s all over for the US Constitution. There is another way.

  4. TMLutas,

    The death of the rule of law under the US Constitution means a great deal, whether you see it or not.

    Obama doing amnesty without Impeachment is the death of the legislative branch’s role under the Constitution.

  5. Impeachment, in my opinion, is a dead end with this president. I’ll just quote my comment from Althouse.

    Interesting debate over at Ace.

    One side says don’t go there.

    Ace of Spades’s Gabriel Malor, another man I hold in high regard, holds a similar view, often expressing excitement at the possibility that Republicans will eventually be able to take advantage of what he terms, cheerfully, “The Obama Rule.”
    I am afraid that I consider this approach to be little short of suicidal, and I can under no circumstances look forward to a system in which the executive may pick and choose which laws he is prepared to enforce. On the contrary: I consider the idea to be a grave and a disastrous one, and I would propose that any such change is likely to usher in chaos at first and then to incite a slow, tragic descent into the monarchy and caprice that our ancestors spent so long trying to escape.

    The other side says to do the same when we get power.

    Cooke is rightly concerned that Obama’s application of prosecutorial discretion on steroids turns the American system of government upside down by making enforcement of Congress’ expressed will dependent on the whims of executive branch officials.

    The Obama Rule, as I have been calling it for more than a year now, is a startling change in the way the executive branch operates, and an unwelcome one. But—and here is where Cooke and I part ways on this—I think that, should Obama go through with his expected immigration plan, the next Republican president should apply the same rule to federal laws that he or she opposes.

    The debate is interesting and probably futile since any other president would face impeachment whereas Obama does not because of his racial status.

    One look at the preparations for rioting in Ferguson and even the rest of the country when the Michael Brown grand jury ruling is released (probably the day before Thanksgiving) suggests what would occur if the “first black president ” were to be impeached even if Democrats would cooperate.

    He knows this and uses it as a weapon. That is why he is defiant in defeat in the mid-terms. The hangover after he finally goes will be ugly. Maybe not as ugly as Mussolini’s end but he will be a bad example for subsequent presidents and probably a real barrier for another minority candidate.

  6. Mike K,

    You are either for American Freedom and ordered liberty, or you are not.

    Setting up Impeachment to preserve the Constitution and the Rule of Law is vitally important in establishing a higher purpose coming 2016 election cycle.

    “It’s about Freedom, Stupid!”

  7. Already decided in the last impeachment when the Senate, particulary the GOP in the person of McCain and Graham types, refused to even hear the case.

  8. I don’t believe Obama will do it. If I’m wrong, I’m wrong.

    Plenty of acts of surrender to choose from: the direction election of senators, which lessened the influence of the states in a federal system; the amendment to allow non-capitation taxes, which allowed the few to pay for the government of the many; the cowardice of the Supreme Court in allowing Congress to surrender its law-making power to the regulatory agencies; revenue-sharing and unfunded mandates, which allowed the federal government to command the states; Obamacare; and the upcoming rule by Czar and decree.

    History proved the Founding Fathers’ regime unworkable. Conspiracy trumped factionalism.

    Who knew that the bourgeoisie were the nearly the worst of all peoples, not for the reasons the various Socialists (Nazi, Communist, or Feminist) invented but because a bourgeoise society cannot produce enough people willing to believe in and defend its liberties.

    We’ll see.

    * * *

    “best case for a Christie presidency.”

    Gales of riotous laughter.

    * * *

    “Maybe not as ugly as Mussolini’s end”

    We can hope, though can’t we? If not Mussolini, perhaps Ceausescu, Charles I, or Louis XVII. No one driven to be a dictator is deterred by the most frightful of punishments.

    * * *

    “I’d like to live just long enough to be there when they cut off your head and stick it on a pike, as a warning to the next ten generations that some favors come with too high a price.”

    “Some used your name for glory; some used your name for gain, but when liberty lay wanting, no lives were lost in vain.”

    “The cause of all these evil was the desire for power, which greed and ambition inspire.”

  9. Even though there is absolutely no chance of coming to trial in the Senate [even under the Republicans]; it is absolutely necessary that an attempt be made. We need an obvious breaking point to show that normal political and constitutional means have failed and that the social and political contract that is the Constitution has been irretrievably broken by the Left.

    Consent of the governed applies to the forms, means, and restrictions on government powers embodied in the Constitution. Once it is gone, we revert to the need to re-establish a new covenant. That cannot be done as long as the forms only of elections and the constitution are maintained for the Governing Party to point to as a means of suppressing any new covenant.

    There is a narrow, extremely narrow, window where successful, non-electoral, resistance could lead to the formation of a new covenant either by a gathering of delegates from what will be analogous to the several states, or the equivalent of an Article V process.

    If Obama gets to rule by decree, then it is pointless to look to new elections. They will either not happen, or will be so rigged that as to be positively …. Islamic [q.v. another Hussein … Saddam not Buraq].

    We have neither the time, nor an existing organized political party that opposes dictatorship, nor an electoral mechanism any more to “wait till next election”.

    ….That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.

    The only question is what the provoking incident will be.

    Subotai Bahadur

  10. There are lots of articles recently on the same issue:

    Charles Cooke today at National Review:

    Ross Douhat Sunday at the NY Times:

    Peter Wehner today at Commentary:

    All of them focus only on political issues. None delve into the Constitutional implications or the American people’s reaction to Presidential lawlessness and Congress’s abdication of Constitutional process.

    It looks mighty like the political elites don’t give a rip about those. That pretty much guarantees resort by the American people to political violence. Trent has a point that this would more take the form of another Revolution than a civil war. A civil war implies that one faction favors liberty. Here only the people do. Revolutions in America concern liberty.

  11. Subotai Bahadur, Tom,

    Revolutionary violence is now inevitable, IMO.

    We don’t have any of the elites going with Freedom. All the posts Tom lined too are about getting talking heads on TV or playing power games.

    Again, IMO, we are one “John Brown Moment” away from that Revolution.

    I don’t know who this John Brown will be, but given the cultural forces at work, he or she is likely to be a Mormon.

    Looking back, this seems to be why the Utah range war stand off between the Bureau of Land Management and Cliven Bundy set off such alarm bells.

    (See: and

    The images put out on the Internet by the Bundy clan were straight up Mormon “Save the Constitution” end time theology and it brought a whole lot of armed non-Mormon Constitutionalists to their side.

  12. How’s this for an impeachment alternative? It would take solid and coordinated Republican operations (sigh), but a man can dream…..

    Obama does his little Mussolini schtick, and then —

    Multiple GOP governors announce that their Attorneys General have informed them that the actions are unconstitutional, and thus will not be operative in their state. If they think their leglislatures are sympathetic, they go to them for backing as well. (Many would be.) Ideally, the legal argument for such actions would be identical and coordinated.

    And the Congress then passes appropriations as necessary in the “State Law Enforcement Assistance Act”, that the states my apply to for funds to specifically enforce the laws that are on the books, essentially informing the President that they stand with the states and that unconstitutional orders will simply be ignored.

    Not only would this end run Obam-ulini (Ceauces-ama?), but imagine the terror in the Democratic party as they see this boldest of moves to radically hamstring federal authority and re-assert the natural order of primacy of the states. Their entire modus operandi would go glimmering.

    Oh, not easy, of course, and that Congress part of it might be a stretch. But hey, PASS the thing, at least. If it gets vetoed, it gets vetoed. The fear of God will remain, and Americans will be seeing a clear alternative, one that exists by historical right. Even only a partially successful such effort would put the issue of overreaching feds and the purpose of US states into play, big time.

    Oh, the usual suspects will caterwaul about “Bull Connors and his States Raht’s” blah blah blah – but people then were quite capable of seeing that states were using their authority in very undesirable ways, and that federal authority really had to intervene. Is it such a stretch to think that people could make the exact same (and quite correct) conclusion about federal authority vis a vis the states today?

    Waddya all think?

  13. There are precedents for the Supreme Court overturning Executive Orders

    In 1995 when they overturned Clinton’s EO to ban government contractors who hire scabs, and The 1952 Steel Seizure Case.

    The actual art of governing under our Constitution does not and cannot conform to judicial definitions of the power of any of its branches based on isolated clauses or even single Articles torn from context. While the Constitution diffuses power the better to secure liberty, it also contemplates that practice will integrate the dispersed powers into a workable government. It enjoins upon its branches separateness but interdependence, autonomy but reciprocity. Presidential powers are not fixed but fluctuate, depending upon their disjunction or conjunction with those of Congress. We may well begin by a somewhat over-simplified grouping of practical situations in which a President may doubt, or others may challenge, his powers, and by distinguishing roughly the legal consequences of this factor of relativity.

    One of those practical situations:

    When the President takes measures incompatible with the expressed or implied will of Congress, his power is at its lowest ebb, for then he can rely only upon his own constitutional powers minus any constitutional powers of Congress over the matter. Courts can sustain exclusive presidential control in such a case only by disabling [343 U.S. 579, 638] the Congress from acting upon the subject. 4 Presidential claim to a power at once so conclusive and preclusive must be scrutinized with caution, for what is at stake is the equilibrium established by our constitutional system.

    Congress could first attempt to overrule the Executive Order, and, if Obama vetos it, that will clearly display incompatibility which would then be grounds for legal challenge.

  14. “You are either for American Freedom and ordered liberty, or you are not.

    Setting up Impeachment to preserve the Constitution and the Rule of Law is vitally important in establishing a higher purpose coming 2016 election cycle.”

    Machiavelli, who knew a lot about people like Obama said, “Never strike a prince unless you kill him.”

    A failed impeachment effort would be worse than what we have. In retrospect, the impeachment of Clinton weakened the tool. He won in the end because he was a better politician than the GOP had.

    I agree with sending a series of bills to be signed or vetoed and see what happens.

    The iranian bomb is an even more serious problem.

  15. “Obama doing amnesty without Impeachment is the death of the legislative branch’s role under the Constitution.”


    Obama’s amnesty, whatever it is in substance, is one chess move.

    A very bold move, a potentially ruinous move — for him, if it play out badly.

    There will be responses.

    Let’s see how develops without panicking in advance.

    Impeachment is a non-starter.

    The votes are not there in the Senate.

    ero chance it will happen.

    Obama and his supporters would love to see the GOP go into that briar patch.

    Obama is weakened, and increasingly inconsequential.

    Desperate moves by weak players do not usually signal the “death” of the other players.

    To the contrary …

  16. Had the GOP not tried to impeach Clinton over something that was wrong but did not matter one whit to you, me, him and her over there….. (and anyone who wants to get into a “It was about sex! No, it was about lying under oath!” conversation, please feel free to go over to the corner and have it with yourself)….. the we would be in a FAR FAR stronger position vis a vis impeachment today. I got into many a round and round with Republican friends back then on this question, and I am being proved right today.

    Maybe I am just in an “I told you so” mood, but it is a simple fact. We had only two atom bombs in the arsenal, and we dropped one on a random merchant ship just because it looked like a cool target. Frikkin’ brilliant.

    So here we are.

  17. We had only two atom bombs in the arsenal, and because we had used the first one without achieving our intended effect we refused to use the second one despite relentless and much greater provocations.

    It is possible to lose by being too careful and calculating. Sometimes it is most important to do something even if the outcome is uncertain.

    Impeachment would be politically risky. However, I doubt it is a non-starter with no chance for success. The fact that the Republicans won a lopsided victory in the recent elections means the political environment has changed. Either Limbaugh’s assertion is correct or it isn’t. If it is, the Republicans had better follow through on the actions they are initiating to stop Obama’s executive juggernaut. They may have to impeach him to succeed, and even if they don’t need to go that far the threat of impeachment may be needed to reign in Obama’s egregious behavior, which means the Republicans have to be willing to do it.

  18. “… I doubt it is a non-starter with no chance for success.”

    Article II, Sec. 3 of the U.S. Constitution:

    “The Senate shall have the sole Power to try all Impeachments. … And no Person shall be convicted without the Concurrence of two thirds of the Members present.”

    The GOP does not have 2/3 of the members of the Senate. No Democrat will vote to remove Obama from office. It is a party-line vote, at best. Many Republicans would not want to do it. It will not work. The votes aren’t there. You have all the drama and build-up, then Obama “wins”.

    Not happening.

    Further, Trey Gowdy put it well recently. Some smug MSM talking head asked him if there was any prospect of impeaching the President. Gowdy said, he’d like us to to do that. Then he added, “have you met Joe Biden? I have. He’d be the next president.” Exactly. No upside.

    Forget about impeachment.

    The GOP Congress is going to have to find other ways to thwart Obama’s lawless plans.

  19. If things get bad enough and enough Democrats waver then conviction will no longer be a non-starter. Events can shift public opinion rapidly. Remember the Republican Congressional delegation to Nixon, urging him to go for the good of the country. I don’t think Biden would be worse than Obama.

  20. It does not matter that a solid Democratic majority can block a successful Impeachment in the Senate.

    It absolutely DOES matter. It’s cheap symbolism otherwise. I’m more in agreement with Andrew X, there’s more than one way to skin a cat and more effective ways as well. Departments can be de-funded. Governors, especially can refuse to act, even calling out the National Guard troops or state troopers to enforce constitutional law.

    What we care about, in the near term, is getting Americans to recognize who these people are and what they’re after, then getting them unelected and replaced. In a way, letting him declare this unilateral rejection of the law, then stopping him from acting on it, may be the best thing for the long term destruction of the criminal enterprise that is the current Democratic Party.

  21. “I don’t know who this John Brown will be, …”: John Brown was a terrorist. Are you advocating terrorism, or just predicting it?

  22. I think Trent nailed it when he mentions Rule of Law.
    If the Executive Branch breaks the law, it goes to the Judicial Branch, who says, “yes, you did, now stop”. But who enforces this? The Executive Branch, which decides not to. Then what? The wonderful checks and balances in the Constitution assume everyone will follow it. When laws (and the Constitution) can be selectively enforced the system fails.

  23. “… the Republican Congressional delegation to Nixon, urging him to go for the good of the country.”

    The GOP Senators were honorable men who cared about the country. That cannot be said about the Democrat Senators of today.

    The Democrats are urging Obama to violate the Constitution and legislate on a massive scale by executive fiat, in a way that was not passed by Congress, that cannot be passed by Congress, and where a new Congress has just been elected in large measure repudiating what Obama proposes to do.

    The GOP will have to find the most effective way to oppose the utterly lawless path the President is about to embark on.

    But the idea that any Democrat will support them is wishful thinking.

    BTW, if the votes were there to remove this man by impeachment I would be all for it. But they are not there and they are not going to be.

  24. Michael Hiteshew,

    That’s my point, and Trent’s. If the Constitution is only cheap symbolism, then politics is only a question of power. It looks like we’re going there.

  25. Overload In CO, you forget that Congress has control of the money, by Constitutional design. That’s the ultimate balance. You can’t do anything if you can’t spend money. And don’t underestimate the power of ‘the many states’. Governors and state legislatures can stand against this, if only they choose to do so.

  26. RE: We had only two atom bombs in the arsenal, and because we had used the first one without achieving our intended effect we refused to use the second one despite relentless and much greater provocations.

    The second one alone is not enough, hence my point. We reduced the power of that class of weapon by half, for reasons that in hindsight look utterly trivial. Hence my point. And thus we are forced to find other ways so “skin that cat”, which may or may not be successful.

    Not to overly gripe about the past, what’s done is done, we go from here. It does just grate me, when I think of a weapon squandered that we could dearly use today. That’s a lesson that we can remember far above and beyond just politics.

    Pick your battles.

  27. Public opinion can change. Even entrenched Democrats are vulnerable if the change is big enough. They may not be as public-spirited as were the Republicans who approached Nixon, but if more Democratic Senators fear for their jobs some of them may eventually go against their Party.

  28. “Revolutionary violence is now inevitable, IMO.”

    The French, German, and Russian revolutions all ended with the destruction of democracy and rule by terror.

  29. Trent…”We don’t have any of the elites going with Freedom.”

    The definition of who is an “elite” member in America is more complicated than in a hierarchical aristocracy, and I think we need to be careful about taking people who claim elite membership at their own valuation. Is an MSNBC talking head who hardly anyone watches really more of an elite member than is, say, radio talk show host Mark Levin? Is an Ivy League professor who makes $170K and has no direct power over anyone but a few students more a member of an elite than the owner of a mid-sized company who makes $700K and has 500 people working for him?

  30. Michael Hiteshew,
    I thought U.S. money was controlled by the Federal Reserve, who seems to be printing it at will. It’s the job of Congress to pass a budget, and the Executive Branch to spend it. On the other hand, the U.S. just went without a budget for 5(?) years. Currently, where does the money come from to pay for non-budgeted items, like Executive Orders, or new rules issued by the different federal Departments (Energy, Education, Interior, etc)
    The system only works if everyone follows the same rules. Right now it seems that both the Judiciary (legislating from the bench) and the Executive (Executive Orders and rules) are doing the job of Congress. Remember, we’re currently having the ‘least productive’ Congress in modern history.

  31. OIC, all good points, well taken. My point was that far from there being no recourse if SCOTUS doesn’t act, there absolutely is recourse, designed in from the start. Whether it’s taken…

  32. The biggest problem with impeachment is what happens if you win. Obama is sent home, but Joe Biden is the President. President Biden won’t undo that which Obama has done.

    Further, in order to remove Obama, you need 2/3rds of the Senate. You can only get that if a substantial portion of the Democrat party wants to deep six the SoB. That could happen if enough of the public gets steamed by the the amnesty.

    In deep blue Oregon, there was a referendum to repeal the law that granted illegal immigrants the right to obtain a driver’s license. It passed by a 2-1 margin. There is a lot more emotion on the subject of immigration floating around out there than is commonly thought.

    Frankly, I think that the Republicans should approach the amnesty with fiery denunciations, but they should not talk about impeachment unless the Democrats clearly indicate that they hate amnesty too.

  33. Trent, I think that an amnesty declaration would be an abomination. But, I think it is way too late to worry about the constitutional republic. Roosevelt made the first cut when he stole the people’s gold. The Supreme Court joined him when they shrugged their shoulders and said there was nothing they could do about it. The creation of the Administrative State was another deep wound. Congress joined the damage by passing hundreds of statutes that rely on delegation of lawmaking to executive branch officials. Again the courts were supine. Obama’s amnesty declaration would be not the first, but the latest step in the death of the constitutional republic, that was already close to moribund.

  34. “, you forget that Congress has control of the money, by Constitutional design.”

    Here my memory is fuzzy. Which president(s) claimed the right to suspend paying money which Congress had lawfully allocated and to re-allocate the money for programs to which Congress had denied money?

    Memory says Nixon, but he’s probably not the only one.

    * * *

    Anyway, if the executive won’t obey one law, why believe he will obey any?

  35. Let’s be clear about what revolutionary violence against the government will mean. It’s ordinary citizens shooting down cops and IRS agents and parks service rangers and whoever else happens to be an easy target at the time. It means making the entire government establishment afraid to leave their guarded offices.

    This is what people have the stomach for is it? Headlines such as;

    “More than 1000 innocent public sector workers have now been killed in the streets”

    Your neighbors, the friendly couple one of whom works for the state department in some administrative role, they are dragged into the street and hung from lamp posts. This is what you’re proposing.

    I’m not saying it’s wrong or unnecessary, but don’t call for blood and then ask for a time out when you see it running in the streets and out of control.

  36. Blood running in the streets is still unnecessary. The most obvious weakness of executive action is that it depends on the next executive not to overturn it. There is no simpler way to overturn Obma’s lawlessness than to sign one piece of paper saying “All executive orders dated between January 22, 2009 and the signing of this order will cease to have effect in 90 days.” There, it’s done. All of the lawlessness just went away. All of the paperwork deferring prosecution for illegal immigration ceases to have any force.

    Now take another piece of paper sign that one too saying “All agency regulation whose date of effect is January 22, 2009 or later shall sunset in 365 days unless reimplented through the regular agency process and personally signed by the president before the expiration date of the sunset.”

    Every single regulatory overreach of the Obama administration, poof, gone. At the first state of the union address, the President should announce that his will be a modest administration and that he fully expects the next president of the opposing party to write up a similar executive order for this administration and that Congress must ensure stability by ceasing to dump so much responsibility for enabling regulations on the executive and to write actual law, detailing what must be done. To that end he would pledge to veto vague legislation that tosses too much responsibility on the executive.

    There will be much to veto at first.

    No violence, two pieces of paper and a speech once the right man gets into the presidency. The tricky part is to find and elect that right man. A garden variety Republican won’t do it.

    But the task of finding the right president in 2016 is already before us. That’s something we’re already committed to. Rebellion for an injury that can be fixed by two pieces of paper and a speech is not only unrealistic, but objectively a bad course to choose.

  37. Senate Democrats can be influenced by promises of returning the favor if they allow Obama to remain in office. That would directly affect their power and income. Who needs to spend much on Senators if the President can rule by Executive Order, reduce taxes arbitrarily, and grant de facto pardons by having his minions selectively not prosecute other-wise deserving individuals and companies? Letting Obama remain in office after an impeachment trial castrates Congress.


    That’s so yesterday. Think micro-UAV’s which are one-use self-forging fragments when detonated. And don’t limit assassinations to government officials. Go after notables in the media and business.

    When a full third of the public feel government is illegitimate, 20% won’t cooperate with government investigators, and 5-10% covertly support those engaged in political violence, you’ve got a revolution in progress.

    Consider that you have no idea how this might go down, and are unaware of discussions in the ex-Special Ops community.

  38. “Here my memory is fuzzy. Which president(s) claimed the right to suspend paying money which Congress had lawfully allocated and to re-allocate the money for programs to which Congress had denied money?”

    Good question

    Nixon was the last to use impoundment because of the Impoundment Control Act. Reagan petitioned Congress for several rescissions early in his presidency, but it has become rare since.

    Transfers to other agencies or departments are prohibited, but not reprogramming, which is the line item re-allocation within an agency for lump sum allocations.

    This debate points to the larger issue of the competition between congressional control and administrative flexibility, and it’s been a problem for a long time especially since the New Deal. Obama is really opening up a can of worms here. I hope he still has all his notes from his days as a lecturer on constitutional law because I’m not sure if he fully grasps what he’s getting himself into.

  39. All that is missing is courage, honesty and wisdom.

    When a majority of a nation tolerate the slaughter of millions of children in the womb they show clearly that they have no concern for any future beyond their own immediate prospects. Consequently they will act to change only those conditions that are effecting them now or may effect them shortly. Everything else can be ignored. Debt in the tens-of-trillions of dollars? Who cares. I’ll be dead and gone before it comes due and I won’t have children who will have to shoulder the burden so let it run up and up and up. I’m Ok and that is all that really matters.

    When a majority of a nation tolerate the degradation and dissolution of the basic institutions upon which their culture was built and by which it is preserved they show clearly that they will make no serious effort to defend anything of value because they value nothing. Let the family be redefined, degraded, twisted – who cares? It doesn’t hurt ME so let them do what they like. Then watch as the systems and institutions erode and come apart and the country becomes poorer, weaker, more divided. And then sit around and wonder, rather plaintively, why things are falling apart.

    Tolerate liars, adulterers, degenerates and fools to hold positions of authority and responsibility and you get corrupt, oppressive, foolish governance. To observe that a man or woman breaks oaths, lies repeatedly or commits acts of degeneracy and corruption in relation to marriage or career and then imagine he or she will act honorably exercising a strong moral character in relation to business or governance is to bring about the very conditions of business and governance we have today.

    It isn’t that perfection should be expected. But simple fidelity, honesty, prudence, a genuine concern for the welfare of family and friends and neighbors and a respect for the rule of law and the importance of keeping one’s word would seem rather minimal expectations of anyone who would assume the governance of others. The people of this nation have been taught for at least 3 generations now that virtue doesn’t matter. What matters is “competence” and intelligence and education. Well, we have a government made up of the most highly educated people in history (in terms of time spent subjecting themselves to education) and they are intelligent (IQs up in the top 5%) and as far as they are concerned they are the most competent persons around. All they lack is a sense of virtue, respect for tradition, respect for the rule of law, respect for most of those they propose to govern.

    Electing the “right” politicians or enacting the “right” laws or policies will avail little – no more than a speedbump on the road of decline. We are getting a lesson in the importance of moral character. If a man or woman cannot bring himself to hold that marriage, the rule of law or life itself is not particularly important or worth preserving or defending why would anyone expect him to act as if they were?

  40. “Blood running in the streets is still unnecessary. ”

    Not only unnecessary, but counterproductive. This is a debate that we want. A constitutional standoff and a supreme court case has the potential to clean up a lot of ambiguities that have been lingering since the Federal Bureaucracy became a de facto fourth branch of the government

  41. “It looks mighty like the political elites don’t give a rip about those. That pretty much guarantees resort by the American people to political violence. Trent has a point that this would more take the form of another Revolution than a civil war. A civil war implies that one faction favors liberty. Here only the people do. Revolutions in America concern liberty.”

    I’d say more like a civil war than a revolution. The opposition to the unconstitutional actions of the national government is concentrated by geographical and political location. It also varies by dependency on such actions. Those who support such actions will fight by whatever means available, including violence. They do control the military and national police/enforcement agencies as well. The opposition would include many armed citizens, some local and state police and guard units. If you think this calculus is not being worked at the highest levels, I would note that all of the heavy armored units, fighters and close air support aircraft and attack helicopters have been or soon will be removed from the Texas National Guard. Formerly we had the 49th Armored Division equipped with that latest stuff. Part of this may be the restructuring of the services to the lighter, more deployable configurations of the COIN threat preoccupation we now have. But I’m concerned that the focus on this conversion being in the Guard and Reserve units as compared to the active units has a more calculated purpose. Even subduing the entitled/leftists in their concentrations in Houston, El Paso, San Antonio, Austin, Dallas-Fort Worth, etc. won’t be easy even in a state as committed to re-establishment of rule of constitutional law as Texas.

    “The French, German, and Russian revolutions all ended with the destruction of democracy and rule by terror.”

    Point well taken; however, one did not- ours. Just as in the early 1770’s what would emerge from the stubborn resistance to British political and economic domination was unknown and unknowable, we do have a basis for reconstitution (no pun intended) of our society in a form much closer to our Constitutional Republic than as now exists. It may well be that the end results might be a split up of the union into a couple of smaller unions.

    I can’t see how we reverse the current lawless trend without some sort of significant ground shift cause by a catastrophic crisis: economic, security, political. Any of which may well have decisive resolution involving major violence. I sure hope I’m wrong that that some sort of great awakening happens that can be so powerful as to depose or emasculate the power elites in all their bastions of control.

    I don’t see the current Republican establishment as more than an alternative elite with the same focus on manipulating lawlessness for their personal gains. There have been some inroads into their solidarity, but it still looks to me as much too little, much too late. An alternate party or movement to supplant them? I don’t see it happening at least until after an upheaval of tectonic proportions.

    I tend to favor impeachment with a trial if he vetoes spending bills that remove the funding for Obama Care and immigration actions he takes in contravention of the intent of the law. The spending cuts vetoes as well as most changes to Obama Care are unlikely to be overridden and a conviction in the Senate is not remotely likely. These actions are a matter of principle, regardless of the political consequences. Ways to minimize the negatives and maximize the positives of these actions are to enact them quickly and decisively, then move on to other more popular issues where public opinion and attention can be focused and Barry or enough of the Democrats may be forced to support. The danger of getting the easier, more popular stuff done first is that you leave the big contentious stuff for closer to the 2016 election cycle. Get the medicine down first and build on any subsequent positives. It’s a long shot either way, but the stand for the rule of constitutional law has to be made or we only get to choose which power elite rules us by fiat.


  42. Thanks Grurray, I was sure it was Nixon.

    I had forgotten the impoundment act, but then again, who cares? If Obama won’t obey Constitutional limits on the presidency, what does one obsolete law meant to restrain a Republican mean to him?

    Rexford Tugwell wanted to make the bureaucracy an official fourth branch. No one wanted to rewrite and replace the Constitution with new one which honestly declared the subjugation of the American people, and so we are here.

    * * *
    On bloodshed: (There won’t be any.)

    I would prefer to ask nicely: Dear President, Court, Congress, stop. Abolish most of the government. Conduct lustration. Reduce pensions to minimum wage.

    Afterward we could all make nice.

    I have spoken against tyranny, voted against tyranny, donated money against tyranny, yet every year the oppression grows greater. Either the law is just because the president, court, and legislature say so or it’s just because because it conforms to standards of liberty. If we choose the first, then anything the president, court, or congress can get away with is acceptable. If we choose the second…”when in the course of human events….”

    “More than 1000 innocent public sector workers have now been killed in the streets”

    Why assume all newspapers will promote tyranny? Can no one who publishes a newspaper remember Paine? Will none write “1000 parasites killed! We’re almost free!”

    The alternative is this:

    “And how we burned in the camps later, thinking: What would things have been like if every Security operative, when he went out at night to make an arrest, had been uncertain whether he would return alive and had to say good-bye to his family? Or if, during periods of mass arrests, as for example in Leningrad, when they arrested a quarter of the entire city, people had not simply sat there in their lairs, paling with terror at every bang of the downstairs door and at every step on the staircase, but had understood they had nothing left to lose and had boldly set up in the downstairs hall an ambush of half a dozen people with axes, hammers, pokers, or whatever else was at hand?… The Organs would very quickly have suffered a shortage of officers and transport and, notwithstanding all of Stalin’s thirst, the cursed machine would have ground to a halt! If…if…We didn’t love freedom enough. And even more – we had no awareness of the real situation…. We purely and simply deserved everything that happened afterward.”

    “A riot is an ugly thing. One you get one started, you have little chance of stopping it short of bloodshed. And it’s about time we had one!”

  43. Michael Auslin at the National Review today (last two paragraphs):

    “That, then, leads to the obligatory Rome reference. No, we are not Rome and Barack Obama is not Julius Caesar. But he is, perhaps analogous to Sulla, whose crossing of hitherto sacrosanct lines and blatant disregard for timeless norms set the Republic on a dangerous path into chaos. What Sulla represented was the idea that anything was now conceivable, even though he justified his actions as responses to those taken by his political opponent Marius. Yet what he did could well be called the tipping point, and only inertia in the Republic’s system kept it going for another nearly half-century. As Julius Caesar crept towards the Rubicon, all of Rome could see it coming; all knew that two irresistible forces (Caesar and Pompey) were about to collide, yet the norms of restraint had been so eaten away, and creative politics so attenuated, that there was no chance of avoiding the explosion.

    What Barack Obama sows in 2014 may not be reaped for years or decades. But it eventually will be reaped, unless the political leadership of this country today and tomorrow shows far more wisdom, self-restraint, and civic duty than it does now.”

  44. Check out the Wikipedia entry here on political legitimacy:

    And this part in particular:

    “Democracy — In a democracy, government legitimacy derives from the popular perception that the elected government abides democratic principles in governing, and thus is legally accountable to its people.”

    My definition of American democracy, which was significantly shared in the political science community when I was an undergraduate, is:

    “Government legitimacy derives from the popular perception that elected governments obey the Constitution in governing, and thus are accountable to the People.”

    Political legitimacy in America comes from the Constitution. When government flouts the Constitution, it becomes illegitimate and is subject to rightful revolution.

    If the Republican majority in Congress does not even try to assert Constitutional forms in the face of President Obama’s flouting of the Constitution, we are on the road to significant, if not widespread political violence and very possibly a second American Revolution. Trent is entirely correct.

  45. Tom, Mike,

    I repeat, the loss of Constitutional legitimacy for the Federal government isn’t Obama’s over reach with Executive Amnesty.

    It is the Republican Congresses refusal to go to the Constitutional remedy of Impeachment.

    Impeachment will solidify all the Tea Party wing to the rest of the Republican Party, and much of the wider constitutionalist public, in a crusade to clean up government.

    Those who are no longer our countrymen will oppose.

    If the Congressional Republicans go to it, and Impeachment fails on the Strength of Democratic votes in the Senate. Then we have a ballot decision in 2016 for the American People to resolve. The legitimacy of the constitutional system will be preserved. It will be ballots not bullets that resolve the issue.

    If the Republican Congressmen and Senators don’t go there. Political Violence is a certainty. The Tea Party will fall away from the Republican Party as it rejects its those elites political legitimacy and will resort to “by any other means necessary.”

    The issue of American Freedom is bound to the Political/Cultural legitimacy of the Federal government under the Constitution. Either it is maintained, or —

    “The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of Patriots and Tyrants.”

    Thomas Jefferson

    Preserving the legitimacy of the Constitution is worth the cost of a failed Impeachment…if you actually care about our country’s future.

  46. Republicans need to be saying and doing two things, either of which should help a lot:

    1. I’ve mentioned this before on several sites – possibly including this one – but it’s worth saying again. Republicans should be running ads in English and Spanish in the U.S. and in Spanish in Guatemala and Honduras (among other places) saying something like this: “Any amnesty announced by Obama is null and void. He is a president, not a king, and has no power to declare an amnesty without Congress. His pseudo-amnesty will be canceled as soon as his term ends in two years. If you ‘come out of the shadows’ now to take advantage of his sham amnesty, you are just making it easier to find and deport you when the bogus amnesty is voided.” TV time in Central America is probably quite reasonably priced when you pay in dealers: how about it, anti-Obama millionaires?

    2. We need to remind Federal, state, and local employees that the Nuremberg Defense is similarly bogus and will provide only temporary safety. Anyone who enforces any of Obama’s blatantly unconstitutional executive orders can and should and (we’ll try to make damned sure) will be fired, fined, deprived of pension and/or indicted once he can no longer protect them. Do we have a list of Park Service employees who actively kept elderly vets away from memorials during the shutdown? They all need to be fired, and the more senior ones – the ones giving as well as following orders – need to be indicted. They can’t possibly have been unaware that their actions were illegal and immoral. The same goes for a whole bunch of people whose names we know, and more whose names we can find out, in the IRS and dozens of other agencies. Bureaucrats are no doubt afraid NOT to follow illegal orders from above: we need to make them even more afraid to follow them.

  47. The issue here whizzes by many people. This is about the Constitution, not politics. Political opposition is not Constitutional opposition. If Constitutional forms mean nothing, the Constitution’s substance doesn’t either.

    Congressional Republican political opposition to Obama’s usurpation of Congressional power here defends their future power concerning legislation, not the Constitution. Congressional opposition to Obama’s usurpation of Congressional power defends the Constitution. The Constitution concerns all of us. Legislation is mostly about a Congressional majority of the moment.

    Government power in America is restrained by the Constitution and the People, not by more government. Once the Executive branch, in particular, openly and successfully flouts the Constitution and usurps the power of the other branches, then only superior power ultimately determines political outcomes in America. In that situation the use of violent power prevails.

    Few people here have any idea how that will play out in America where so many people have truly advanced technological skills and the means to use those to full effect. When the restraints on political violence come off, we’ll see what the People can really do.

  48. Trent Telenko Says:
    November 19th, 2014 at 4:41 pm

    If the Republican Congressmen and Senators don’t go there. Political Violence is a certainty. The Tea Party will fall away from the Republican Party as it rejects its those elites political legitimacy and will resort to “by any other means necessary.”

    I agree and I have been saying for months. “If the Institutional Republicans fail to win the election, the TEA Party and the Base will give up on them because they are obviously not worth the effort. If the Institutional Republicans win the elections and do not stand and fight against the Regime, the TEA Party and the Base will leave them as they are nothing more than the Democrats’ first line of defense. It will not being a matter of organizing a “third” party for electoral or other activities. It will be a matter of organizing a SECOND party to fight the TWANLOC.”

    In my county, it was the TEA Party that worked on GOTV for a year before the election. In the 2012 election, our normally very conservative county had a turnout of 30% because of disgust with the Institutionals. This year, with no help from the Republican party, we had a 68% turnout. If we leave, there will be no Republican party outside of Capitol City.

    If they will not fight for the Constitution [and I truly do not expect them to],

    “If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, go home from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or your arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that you were our countrymen.”

    . Emphasis on the “were”.

    As the master of the person I draw my Nom d’ Blog from ended his last message to the Shah of Khwarizm, after said Shah twice murdered his ambassadors and peace envoys:

    “Only the Great Blue Sky Tengri Nor knows what the outcome will be.”

    Subotai Bahadur

  49. oog, I meant to say:

    “Congressional Republican political opposition to Obama’s usurpation of Congressional power here defends their future power concerning legislation, not the Constitution. [b]Impeachment[/b] in response to Obama’s usurpation of Congressional power defends the Constitution. The Constitution concerns all of us. Legislation is mostly about a Congressional majority of the moment.”

  50. Joe Wooten – You don’t have it take effect immediately for the same reason that the US is not, in fact, a banana republic. There might be, in fact almost certainly are executive orders that are useful, proper, and would hurt the US if they were nullified. You give 90 days on those to reimplement them under new management. Similarly, you take the much more voluminous regulations passed by the regulatory agencies and review and either pass them again or let them expire for the same exact reason. This allows companies and individuals not to have regulatory whiplash and confusion. It also allows the Congress to act and pass what were mere executive department regulations into law.

    Tom Holsinger – All I can say is, keep your powder dry. I may not be aware of conversations in the special ops community but I do tend to follow discussions of technology. So, yes, I have been aware of the constituent technologies you’re referencing for a few years now and have been factoring that sort of thing into various scenarios for some time. The United States derives a great deal of advantage from not having those technologies deployed domestically. It will take a great hit economically when such military use as you foresee goes live. If we can possibly avoid that, we should.

  51. Obama’s defining characteristic is his laziness, a subsidiary one is cowardice. Note the meeting with activists to “lower expectations” about the order. Everybody familiar with the British expression Damp Squib? Obama may have been hoping to provoke some kind of extreme reaction from R’s or even to manipulate them into doing his bidding. But as we know, neither BHO nor Valerie Jarrett are very good at reading character in others, possibly due to the pair’s inherent narcissism.

  52. The immediate difference between not even trying to impeach Obama, and the Senate’s failure to remove him from office at trial, is whether the 2016 election is primarily about throwing out the evil Democrats, i.e., about power, or about preserving the Constitution.

    If the Republican majority doesn’t care about Constitutional forms, most people won’t either and politics will be solely about power. We know how the latter ends up.

  53. My guess is Obama will issue an ambiguous executive order. (He is a lawyer.)

    I’d like to hope that whatever comes, all the people who voted for the lesser of two evils, who argued for voting for RINOs as the best possible alternative will be proved right, as each and every RINO votes against usurpation.

  54. Gibbon’s words in the opening of “Decline” speak to us now:

    “The image of a free constitution was preserved with decent reverence.”

    One thing Obama has NOT done that the caesars never forgot to do – bribe the legions. Each man who would be Caesar made a point of offering a donative to each legionnaire on assuming office.

    Obama has done just the opposite – he’s gutted our military. He’s created enemies of men we’ve trained to fight and kill.

    The key for the bureaucracy is pay and pensions. Which side will our security peoples choose – the one that bankrupts the country or the one that gets us on our feet so that their pensions will be paid in worthwhile currency?

    As to budgets, Obama doesn’t need them. He has the IRS to collect, the Fed to print, and print and the Treasury to cut the checks.

    Lastly, the political task of getting two thirds vote to convict in the Senate could depend on the Supreme Court. A big decision against him will make getting those handful of Democratic senators easier to convince. Let’s not forget that some Democratic senators certainly have skeletons in their closets that make them ripe for expulsion – I’m thinking Schumer for one. You don’t have to have 67. You have to only have 2/3rds.

  55. And here is the other from the Leftist-media complex and the talking heads on the Right —


    Only some civil disobedience is tolerable to the media
    posted at 8:41 am on November 20, 2014 by Jazz Shaw

    Much hay is being made in the media about an offhand comment made by Senator Tom Coburn yesterday, when he speculated that national anger over executive amnesty could result in acts of protest.

    Oklahoma Sen. Tom Coburn warns there could be not only a political firestorm but acts of civil disobedience and even violence in reaction to President Obama’s executive order on immigration Thursday.

    “The country’s going to go nuts, because they’re going to see it as a move outside the authority of the president, and it’s going to be a very serious situation,” Coburn said on Capital Download. “You’re going to see — hopefully not — but you could see instances of anarchy. … You could see violence.” …

    “Instead of having the rule of law handling in our country today, now we’re starting to have the rule of rulers, and that’s the total antithesis of what this country was founded on,” Coburn says. “Here’s how people think: Well, if the law doesn’t apply to the president … then why should it apply to me?”

    Much snipped and the closing ‘graph:

    Will there be protests if the President launches executive amnesty? I wouldn’t be surprised at all. But you can bet that Coburn’s concerns are off the mark in one regard. They won’t involve violent gangs flipping over police cars, shooting at cops, looting stores and burning down strip malls. They will involve incensed citizens going out and registering voters to make sure this doesn’t happen again.


    Jazz Shaw does not get it.

    The Media’s delegitimizing the Right’s protests over Executive Amnesty combined with the unconstitutional actions of the Obama Administration — See the IRS scandal — to suppress the Tea Party are a bottle of nitroglycerin waiting for one more small shock before exploding.

    Republicans not even attempting to Impeach Pres. Obama is that shock.

  56. One more from Erick Erickson, and even he does not get it about Impeachment:


    Republicans Will Not Block Barack Obama (Because They Want the Same Thing)

    By: Erick Erickson (Diary) | November 20th, 2014 at 04:30 AM | 53

    In 2011, Barack Obama said he did not have the constitutional authority to do what he is going to announce today. In fact, on March 28, 2011, Barack Obama said

    “With respect to the notion that I can just suspend deportations through executive order, that’s just not the case…. There are enough laws on the books by Congress that are very clear in terms of how we have to enforce our immigration system that for me to simply through executive order ignore those congressional mandates would not conform with my appropriate role as president.”

    The only thing to change between 2011 and now are two elections — one of which saw President Obama win after saying this. The other saw both he and his party go down to defeat after suggesting he had changed his mind. In other words, the status quo of public opposition (even among Hispanic voters) to a unilateral decision by fiat remains.

    What also remains is a Republican leadership that wants amnesty too. The Republican leaders know they must put on a dramatic display for the public, but they are already stacking the deck to ensure Barack Obama gets away with what he is doing.

    Exhibit A is House Appropriations Chairman Hal Rogers who, just Tuesday, suggested legislation rescinding funding for the President’s action. That would have to wait till January — two months after implementation had begun. It would also then be vetoed and Rogers would not be able to get the votes to override the veto.

    Congressman Rep. Tom Cole (R-OK)46%46%, also an appropriator, wants to pass appropriations bills and later rescind funding too. Again, this would be vetoed and there would not be enough votes to override the President’s veto. So the funding would go through. The President’s amnesty plan would be implemented.

    In fact, the only way to stop the President is to be willing to grind government to a halt. That’s it. They can say there are other ways, but there are none. Anything they do to undo President Obama’s amnesty plan can be vetoed. They then do not have the votes to override the veto.

    There is only one thing Republicans can do that President Obama cannot veto. They can shut down the government.

    Republicans will tell you they can sue the President or expand their existing lawsuit. But that lawsuit won’t be resolved until he is out of office and his amnesty has been in effect for several years. It is theater.

    They have no options because they are not willing to shut down the government to force his hand. They’ve already given him a blank check on the debt ceiling. There are no other options.

    And, to be frank, some of the people huffing and puffing the loudest that there are other options are also some of the biggest proponents of amnesty. They want it. They privately agree with the outcome even if they don’t like the means by which it occurs. So they will huff and puff and claim no precedents have been established, then they will let it go through.

    Again, the GOP must grind the government to a halt to stop President Obama. Any other legislative mechanism can be vetoed and they don’t have the votes to override a veto. But the GOP won’t bother shutting down the government because the leadership wants exactly the same outcome as President Obama wants — they just object to the means.

    It really is striking to me that the GOP just won a massive wave election and they’ve chosen to surrender before the fight even starts. McConnell’s insistence that the GOP won’t shut down the government was all the incentive Barack Obama needed to go ahead and great amnesty. Republicans are just enablers.

  57. Finally, someone who gets it about the Constitution, but sadly, not Impeachment–


    To Govern Is to Defend the Constitution

    4:19 PM, Nov 19, 2014 • By JEFFREY H. ANDERSON

    Congressional Republicans’ internal debate over how to respond to President Obama’s impending lawless executive amnesty is being characterized as a battle between “immigration hawks” and those who want “to show Republicans can govern.” But that description is inapt, and it does a disservice to the magnitude of the stakes. While the policy dispute is over immigration, this isn’t about policy. It should make little difference to congressional Republicans whether Obama were to use extralegal authority to grant amnesty to illegal immigrants, on the one hand, or to unilaterally repeal Obamacare on the other. Either way, he would be tearing our constitutional fabric — and no policy is important enough to justify violating our constitutional forms to achieve it.

    In the debate over slavery — a policy whose importance would be hard to surpass — the first Republican president, Abraham Lincoln, and Supreme Court Justice Benjamin Curtis, in his wonderful Dred Scott v. Sandford dissent, refused to succumb to the temptation of prioritizing policy desires over our constitutional text and structure. As with the abortion debate in our own day, the Constitution didn’t decide the slavery question, and both men knew it. So while the Taney Court pretended that the Constitution decided that issue in favor of slavery, and while many abolitionists pretended that the Constitution decided the issue in opposition to slavery, both Lincoln and Curtis steadfastly insisted that both sides were in error: Both sides were prioritizing their own policy goals over what Lincoln called “the political religion of the nation.”

    Lincoln and Curtis stood with the Constitution. Obama will not. The question is whether congressional Republicans will follow the example of the former or will become complicit in the actions of the latter. Will they courageously stand up to Obama, or will they decide that their own immediate political calculations are more important than defending the very document that gives them power?

    Moreover, if Republicans want to show that they can govern, there is no more important element of governing than defending our governing charter. Our constitutional forms are not merely the means to an end; they are, to a large degree, the cause to which we owe our devotion. A party that will not defend the Constitution demonstrates in that refusal that it will not, or cannot, govern. Thankfully, enough congressional Republicans share a strong commitment to defending that document that they will likely pull the rest along.

    And thankfully, there is a strategic course that they can follow, one outlined by Ramesh Ponnuru two days ago. The smart play for Republicans is to pass a short-term continuing resolution during this lame-duck session that funds the government into January and then, in January, pass two bills: The first would fund everything but the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services. The second would fund that agency while denying funding for Obama’s lawless actions.

    If Obama refuses to sign the first January bill, which would fund the rest of the government, it will be clear who has caused the government to shut down: an arrogant president, acting lawlessly, usurping Congress’s authority, defiantly ignoring not only the separation of powers but also the will of the voters, and attempting to substitute the arbitrary rule of man for the fixed rule of law.

    Jeffrey H. Anderson is executive director of the 2017 Project, which is working to advance a conservative reform agenda.

  58. Roger Kimball and Andrew McCarthy get it.


    A “particularly dangerous moment”

    November 20th, 2014 – 4:47 am

    As Andrew McCarthy points out in Faithless Execution: Building the Political Case for Obama’s Impeachment, the Constitution provides three safeguards against abuse of power by the President: elections, the power of the purse, and impeachment. That’s it. Those are the tools. Speaker John Boehner may pretend that suing the President will impede his lawlessness, but (as McCarthy has pointed out in several columns) the threat of a law suit is an empty threat.

    Elections. The power of the purse. Impeachment.

    We just had the election. The people spoke. Congress is unwilling to wield its power of the purse effectively. That leaves impeachment.

    People scoffed a few months ago when the “i-word” was uttered. Fewer are scoffing now. After tonight, I suspect, you’ll start hearing a chorus demanding it.

  59. I wonder if Boehner has conferred with Republican governors yet? The best response would be a coordinated response.

  60. n deep blue Oregon, there was a referendum to repeal the law that granted illegal immigrants the right to obtain a driver’s license. It passed by a 2-1 margin. There is a lot more emotion on the subject of immigration floating around out there than is commonly thought.

    Frankly, I think that the Republicans should approach the amnesty with fiery denunciations, but they should not talk about impeachment unless the Democrats clearly indicate that they hate amnesty too.

    I agree with this. The next few months will show whether amnesty is a real issue the GOP could win on.

    Impeachment, I believe, is an empty threat and one that the Democrats would like to see attempted. If the public indicates real anger about illegals and amnesty, that might change. Oregon was a start.

    Remember, in California, Proposition 187 passed with 60% of the vote but a federal court ruled it “unconstitutional” and Gray Davis, the Democrat governor, sidelined to appeal.

  61. “the Constitution provides three safeguards against abuse of power by the President: elections, the power of the purse, and impeachment. That’s it. Those are the tools”

    There’s another tool established by tradition and convention, and that tool is judicial review. It has been applied before concerning past Executive Orders and can most certainly be applied again for this one.

  62. The Constitution died when Wilson passed the federal income tax which provides ‘reformers’ with the money to pay for a bureaucracy large enough to destroy all freedom.

    The Constitution died with creation of the Federal Reserve Bank which enables the lunacy of Keynsian economics which argues that a government can print enough money to spend away a depression.

    The Constitution died with FDR who created the bureaucracy which is necessary for tyranny and who assigned every person an SS Number so that no one could hide from a tyrant.

    Buraq Hussein is a Jihadi dedicated to destroying America.

  63. Grey Eagle,

    There is a difference between wounding and death.

    Dictatorial fiat acquiesced to w/o Impeachment is death.

  64. I was wrong. Obama followed the path well-trod by state and federal courts, declaring void laws approved directly the people or by their representatives. Why should courts be the only branch of government with this power? Why shouldn’t Obama follow the higher law: whatever makes the lightworker feel good is law. It’s his bag.

    * * *

    A press that will not investigate shows it does not deserve an amendment to protect the freedoms it threw away.

  65. The Left in America is now powerful enough to rule without the consent of people or the forms of the Constitution.

    Obama has many months left in office. What other actions not taken by Congress will be brought into law by Obama’s speech?

    American law, like German law before it, has become the will of one man.

    The American Weimar is ended in the fire of immigration.

  66. Amazing, isn’t it, how it takes only few immigrants whose culture prefers caudillo government to institute one in a republic.

    Once again, we see hate rules the world: the hatred of AmeriKKKa the racist, sexist, homophobic, capitalist etc. has triumphed.

    Don’t be like the heroic resistance attempting to restore the Roman Republic. All those generations received for their troubles was theft and murder and dictatorship.

  67. >>Once again, we see hate rules the world: the hatred of AmeriKKKa the racist, sexist, homophobic, capitalist etc. has triumphed.

    They haven’t triumphed yet. This is an attack on the Rule of Law. It’s not over yet.

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