Obama Caesar: The Runaway Presidency

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In my last essay I discussed the arrogance and lawlessness of the Obama administration and its bureaucrats, practiced on a scale unprecedented in American history. Now I’d like to address the ramifications, and what they might mean for the country.

Speaker of the House John Boehner is spearheading an effort by that chamber of Congress to sue Obama in federal court for exceeding his constitutional authority as President. Some – notably Sarah Palin – are calling for Obama’s impeachment. I think both approaches are doomed to failure at this point in time.

Both approaches require lengthy legal processes, and we’re less than four months away from the mid-term elections. As such, I believe they’re distractions that are red meat for parts of the “base”, but will prove ultimately futile, and may even be politically counterproductive in the GOP’s efforts to secure a majority in the Senate.

Any impeachment process that starts now would go nowhere, as when the current 113th Congress is replaced by the 114th in January, if Obama hasn’t already been convicted by the Senate – an impossibility as the Senate is currently controlled by loyal Democrats – the process wouldn’t carry over to the new Congress, and would have to start all over again.

A similar problem attaches to any lawsuit, in addition to which the courts are very leery of getting involved in matters of separation of powers jurisdictional issues. Further, the House may have a major problem establishing “standing”, or defining an actual tort damage, as they retain the power to address Obama’s excesses through their exclusive constitutional power of the governmental purse strings, whether or not they want to use it.

Let’s assume for this discussion that the GOP retains the House and takes control of the Senate. Then what?

At that point Obama would be the lamest of ducks, and there would be nothing at all to restrain him from indulging his imperial proclivities to their fullest extent; Obama Caesar.Obama Caesar If he’s ignored the Congress and the Constitution up to this point – and he has, blatantly – there would be no reason for him to hold back at all anymore.

Impeachment then does become a distinct possibility. But we should never forget about Obama’s anti-impeachment insurance policy: Joe Biden. Can you imagine HIM as President? Talk about hopping from the frying pan into the fire!

But there are also other avenues to explore. Attorney-General Holder is still under a contempt citation; he should be impeached. Lois Lerner of IRS scandal fame can and should be prosecuted. The Benghazi scandal should be aggressively pursued. Heads should roll over the scandalous and corrupt actions that have taken place within the Veterans Administration resulting in the deaths of vets. A GOP-controlled Congress can use the power of the purse strings to defund the EPA’s excesses (and they should).

Obama should be so mired in his scandals that his already dismal approval ratings plummet even further. Public opinion is the one sure way, at least at this point in history, to hobble a runaway presidency and will have the added benefit of tarring the Dem/socialist candidate hoping to succeed him in the 2016 presidential election.

A GOP-controlled Senate will also then have the power to prevent Obama from appointing activist leftist judges to the federal court system, maybe one of the most important reasons for the GOP to take the Senate in November.

What happens if the Dem/socialists retain a Senate majority, you ask?

Buckle up, because we’re looking at a potential catastrophe for the next two years as that lamest of ducks will have no restraints at all to keep him from indulging himself to the fullest extent, free from worrying about suffering any real repercussions at all, because his Dem/socialist abettors and enablers in the Senate will continue to insulate him from the consequences of his actions, just as they’ve already been doing for years.

I’m not overstating when I say that I’m not sure the country can survive that eventuality. I hope we don’t have to find out.

 

 

©Brian Baker 2014

 

(This column was also published in my local newspaper today. http://www.signalscv.com/section/33/article/124472/)

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We Don’t Have “Star Chamber” Courts In This Country… Except We Do

“star–cham·ber adjective \ˈstär-ˈchām-bər\ : characterized by secrecy and often being irresponsibly arbitrary and oppressive.”   http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/star-chamber

The original Star Chamber was an English court that operated from the 14th into the 17th Centuries, until 1641. Its original goal was to assure that even the privileged met justice in a fair manner. It operated in secret, didn’t require indictments, allowed no witnesses, and all “evidence” was presented in writing. It devolved into a political weapon wielded by the monarchy against their enemies, and was ultimately abolished by Parliament with the enactment of the Habeas Corpus Act.

Those of you who are familiar with my scribbling know I hold the Oval Office’s current resident, Liar-In-Chief Obama, in utter and indescribable contempt. Recently we’ve been subjected to an absolute avalanche of scandals, piling up so quickly that you couldn’t stay above them if you sprouted wings.

The latest, at least as of my writing this, is that the National Security Agency (NSA) – also known as No Such Agency (an insider joke based on its secrecy) – has been monitoring the emails and phone calls of Americans on a massive scale. The full breadth of this Big Brother activity is still unfolding; almost hourly, it seems. Obama and his minions are in full damage control mode. Though it’s certainly tempting to lay this whole debacle at his feet – and the current intrusive scale probably is his responsibility – he’s right in one thing he says in his defense: that the program is “overseen by federal judges”.

th[4] (2)The problem is this: under FISA (the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978), particularly as amended under Bush by the Patriot Act of 2001 and extended by Obama, these courts function in complete secrecy, their records are not accessible by the public in any way, their proceedings are all classified, their power is extremely wide-reaching and broadly defined, and they almost never deny any application for a warrant.

As far as I’m concerned, this meets the definition of a “star chamber”. Throw in the near-universal spying on the activities of law-abiding citizens and you have the “arbitrary and oppressive” abuse thrown in for good measure.

Our system of government is based on several fundamental principles, one of which is that our courts function in public, ensuring their fairness, which can be verified by the citizenry using their own eyes and ears. There are certain narrowly-defined exceptions that occasionally justify in camera sessions, such as the protection of the identities of minors, but those exceptions are rare. Though our Grand Juries use secret proceedings, they’re composed of citizen members, not government-employed judges. The FISA courts operate in complete secrecy, and are a corruption of our liberty; we’re supposed to “trust” the government itself to oversee its own operations in a manner that doesn’t threaten that liberty.

Please. That doesn’t even pass the snigger test. We’ve recently seen how well that’s been working out. IRS abuses, anyone? Fast & Furious? Benghazi? … Bueller?

The Founders must be rolling over in their graves.

© Brian Baker 2013