Constitutional Limitations & Obama

Who cares about constitutional limitations? Certainly not Barack Obama. He likes to let people know he was a professor of constitutional law, but the truth is that 1) he was a lecturer, not a professor per se, and 2) he has no regard for the document at all. He’s referred to it as an encumbrance that gets in the way of his goal of transforming America.

As I noted yesterday, and as at least some of the media have picked up on, he doesn’t really believe the country has a spending problem. He made this clear in his supposed negotiations with John Boehner:

Some may wonder how he can be so blind. Well, ideology creates blindness, and this president is the most radical ideologist who has ever occupied 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. He’s so wedded to his Marxist, anti-imperialist, bring-down-America views that he can’t deal with reality:

Back to his disregard for the Constitution: he now wants unilateral authority to raise the debt ceiling, as if Congress doesn’t exist. He seeks unlimited power to spend and go into debt, and thinks there should be no repercussions. Even most kings at the time of the writing of the Constitution couldn’t do that. The Founders set up a balanced form of government that clearly delineated the powers of the presidency. Obama desires to toss aside all their hard work that created a federal republic to protect liberty.

Then there was the suggestion yesterday, floated by none other than Joe Biden, that Obama could use executive orders to curtail firearms. Going back again to the Founders and the Constitution, the Second Amendment specifically says, “A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.” The militia mentioned in the amendment, taken in the context of the era, referred to the body of the whole people of a state, not some appendage of the government. The whole point was to be able to halt any tyranny imposed by the government.

The only legitimate, legal way to get around that amendment, which is part of the cornerstone of constitutional government that protects liberty, is to ratify another amendment rescinding the first one. That happened with prohibition. Three-fourths of the states would have to agree that the right to keep and bear arms no longer is in effect. Not even Congress has the authority to pass a law wiping this out.

Yet what is Obama hinting at? He seems to believe he can just sign an executive order and make anything happens that he wishes. Executive orders are not even mentioned in the Constitution. They are supposed to be merely a way for presidents to set up rules for how the executive branch of the government will operate. They are to apply to the bureaucracy only; they should have no direct effect on citizens, and certainly no effect on a ratified constitutional amendment.

Obama’s apologists will say that other presidents have used executive orders in this fashion. True, but hardly a rationale for doing so again. Just because other presidents have done something unconstitutional is no basis for allowing this president to continue the practice. The most egregious use of executive orders came in the 1930s during FDR’s New Deal. Roosevelt simply declared that all Americans had to turn in their gold to the federal government. He had no authority to declare any such thing, yet he did it. He then exchanged their gold for Federal Reserve Notes, which became the only currency allowed in the country. It was a display of raw power, and it worked. But that didn’t make it right.

If Obama follows through on this threat, he will further solidify the opinion of many that he seeks to set up a presidential dictatorship. How, one may ask, can this be possible in a nation that values liberty? Well, look at the last election. How much do we really value liberty anymore? Anyone with any sense at all knew what Obama wanted to do. Yes, he is a problem, but we are the greater problem:

Obama’s ideology and goals have been transparent from the start. Some of us are willfully blind about them, others are deceived, and still others have converted to his way of thinking. We are on the precipice. Will we pull back and regain our liberty? Will we take back Obama’s “hope and change” slogan and put it to good use this time? Let’s hope it’s not too late for change.