American Elephants

The State of The Union: Lawless and Only Selectively Enforced. by The Elephant's Child


President Obama has curiously made a habit of saying things that it is clear are merely designed to please some voting group, but not to be understood as actual fact. “If you like your health insurance you can keep it, period,” If you like your doctor you can keep your doctor, period.” And then on a number of occasions he claimed that “the average family of four will  save $2,500 a year in premiums.” He didn’t think it mattered whether it was true or not.

Now he is approaching the State of the Union Speech with an announced declaration of “universal presidential authority.” Astonishingly, that oath of office he took didn’t matter either. He didn’t mean it — the part where he solemnly swears that he will to the best of his Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States. “Mr. Obama” yesterday’s Wall Street Journal tells us, “will emphasize his intention to use unilateral presidential authority —bypassing Congress when necessary — to an extent not seen in his previous State of the Union Speeches.” The “when necessary” part means when Congress does not do what he wants them to do. This is not only astonishing, but deplorable, unseemly and disgusting.

The president intends to explain to his hosts (he is their guest) how he intends to circumvent their power. He is not an elected monarch. The Constitution is designed to be a slow-moving machine in which the president is just one cog. It is intended to be slow to force honest debate and clear thought. With only a few exceptions, the machine cannot legally work without the House and the Senate whose status is equal to that of the president.

At the Philadelphia convention, with exquisite care and with delicate nuances, they devised a complex constitution that would generate the requisite power but would so distribute its flow and uses that no one body of men and no one institutional center would ever gain a monopoly of force or influence that would dominate the nation.
Bernard Bailyn: The Ideological Origins of the American Revolution

If I were running the show, which I am not, when the president announces that he will circumvent the power of Congress, in the interest of getting his own way, because he “has a telephone and he has a pen,” the Republicans would rise in a body and respectfully leave the chamber.


4 Comments so far
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The thing that Obama still has not accepted is that he’s not really any more special than the 535 men and women he’ll be speaking to tonight. “I won”? So did they. He has a phone and a pen? So do they. He’s just one part of a machine.


Comment by Lon Mead

Well, why wouldn’t he think he’s special? He was given jobs for which he was completely unqualified even before he embarked on the presidency. He got sealed divorce records opened to help him win, he was given bills in the Illinois state assembly that others had developed, to claim as his own. He worked for a while as a part-time lecturer in civil-rights law and the media calls him a “Professor of Constitutional Law.” Bill Ayres writes his book for him when he can’t pull it together. He ran for the presidency “on the coattails of black America’s historical circumstances and deceived the nation into believing that he too was a “typical black person” and that a vote for him would offer a (painless) way for paying back all that whites had done to blacks and their ancestors. He stepped into the benefits of black progress without having borne any of the burdens” (L.E.Ikenga) People just gave him stuff, and he didn’t really even appreciate it. How can he not think that he is special and beyond the reach of law or criticism?

I’m just ticked, and my Congressional representatives are the Chairman of the Senate Budget Committee and two other Democrats. I can’t even effectively complain. :>)


Comment by The Elephant's Child

I’ve probably done enough complaining for the two of us… Phil Roe, Bob Corker, and Lamar Alexander can tell me to shut up, if you like (actually, a couple of Corker’s staff already grind their teeth because of me, and if it makes you feel any better, because of a memo that was sent out from a project I was involved with, I am definitely on Patty Murray’s s*** list).


Comment by Lon Mead

Our representatives in Congress really don’t want to hear from us, we’re annoying. But they would like to know what we are thinking without (gasp) holding a town hall meeting. Simple polls are easy to set up here on WordPress, so I assume it’s not complicated. If each representative’s site had a poll on the issue of the day (week? or longer) with an extra site where unrepresented Republicans could express themselves, they wouldn’t get so much email they have to have someone answer, and would get an idea of the feelings back home. Could be one poll, repeated on each Republican’s home page. I got gerrymandered out of Reichert’s district, but they weren’t careful about response. Responses usually had nothing to do with what your email was about.


Comment by The Elephant's Child

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