A friend read this post from yesterday re: Benghazi, and asked why Congress isn’t DOING anything about it.
Here’s my response, FWIW:
Basically, the GOP has no adult leadership worthy of the name. They just are allowing (have allowed?) Obama to become a despot (any other nomenclature is absurd at this point) without even trying to rein him in. When America is diving off the cliff and destroying our future, we still have Representatives spending time writing and reading into the record and asking for votes on stuff as truly pandering and idiotic as this… I mean – Seriously?!?
The Congress has reined-in wanna-be dictators before; it isn’t as though this is new ground.
In 1974 the law allowed a Special Prosecutor to issue a subpoena for Nixon’s tapes re: Watergate. Nixon rejected it on the grounds of Executive Privilege. Congress took Nixon to SCOTUS on Separation of Powers (United States v. Nixon), Congress won, and that was that: The Constitution triumphed; Congress successfully protected the legislative prerogatives of the Legislative Branch and the judicial prerogatives of the Judicial Branch, and reined-in a wanna-be King Nixon.
Obama, OTOH, rammed DREAM up America’s collective butt with an Executive Order after Congress SPECIFICALLY voted to reject the Act. Obama’s actions on DREAM were blatantly illegal in implementing legislation the legislative body of government had explicitly rejected, a gross violation of his oath of office to uphold the laws as passed by Congress, and a comprehensive violation of the Separation of Powers clause in our Constitution – the law under which the entire government MUST function.
And what did Boehner do? Nothing.
Same deal with DOMA. Obama came to office, swore to uphold the laws of the US, then promptly announced he wouldn’t be prosecuting DOMA (a bipartisan law signed by Clinton) because he, Obama, felt it was unconstitutional. He doesn’t have the authority to make that call, to choose which laws he enforces. He only gets to enforce ALL of them. Again, a blatant and illegal violation of Separation of Powers, his Oath of Office and an unconstitutional act in NOT enforcing the law – the ONLY job of the president.
And what did Boehner do? Nothing.
(For the record, my view on DOMA is that NOTHING in the Constitution gives the feds any authority to control homosexual behavior and no one supporting “limited government,” as the GOP pretends to, has any right to pass any law on who can marry or shack up with whom; and my view on DREAM is that it is absurd to punish illegal aliens for the fact that we have CHOSEN since 1976 to NOT enforce our own laws, so we ought to build a wall along the entire border and immediately legalize everyone here.. and THEN START ENFORCING THE CURRENT LAW.)
The president does NOT have the authority to carry out military operations anywhere unless he receives legal authority from Congress. I have posted on this multiple times. And NOTHING in the Constitution or War Powers resolution allows him to execute an American citizen without due process. In fact, it is specifically ILLEGAL for him to do so. So Obama droned an American citizen in Yemen in complete violation of the law and the Constitution.
And what did Boehner do? Nothing.
NEWSFLASH for Republicans – just because the military is out there killing our enemies doesn’t mean it’s legal for them to do so. We are SUPPOSED to be a nation of laws. And just because the CINC is deploying them to combat doesn’t mean he has the authority to do so: The Constitution is real specific on this: Article 2, Section 2: “The President shall be Commander in Chief of the Army and the Navy of the United States…when called into the actual Service of the United States.” Guess who is the ONLY Branch with the authority to “call [the military] into the actual Service of the United States”? That’d be covered in Article One, Section 8, and it’s ONLY CONGRESS. If you want to get picky over that, there’s the War Powers Resolution, in which Congress MUST be consulted. Did Obama ask for authority to drone Pakistanis? No. Libyans? No. To bomb Libya? No. How about transferring literally hundreds of TONS of weapons from Ghaddafi’s arsenal to Al Qaeda in Syria? No.
And what has Boehner done? Nothing.
See any trend here?
Boehner, when he’s not crying over something, is scared to-death of the Hispanic lobby and so said nada re: DREAM. I have no idea why he said nothing about DOMA – the gay lobby can’t be that big. And the GOP is totally complicit in Obama’s foreign wars. For some reason the Republicans have decided “my military right or wrong,” when, in fact, it is wrong and has been wrong for decades now, deciding to act as a Palace Guard rather than the defenders of the Constitution they are Constitutionally REQUIRED – and give their individual oaths – to be. And, remember, I was a cadet at USAFA during Vietnam – it isn’t as though I haven’t been trained in the legality of war.
I have posted before that the GOP, having been the minority party from 1955-1994 – really from 1930-1994 with 2-yr exceptions in 1947-1948 and 1953-1954 – never has learned HOW to be the majority party, and the Dems, in power all that time, never have learned to be (nor has the GOP forced them to act as) the minority party. We keep letting them set agendas and force us into negotiations we ought not to accept. Like the spending cut stuff I posted yesterday.
Here’s a historical parallel for what I recommended yesterday in my fiscal cliff post: Zeroing-out funding for stuff the GOP doesn’t want to spend money on:
In the Paris Peace Accords ending the war in Vietnam, a treaty to which the Democrat Senate consented, America agreed to continue spending the money to keep the military of South Vietnam at parity in weapons systems & ammo with North Vietnam, so as to retain the freedom we had bought for them with the lives of 58,000 of our citizens.
As soon as our guys got out, that same Democrat Congress, de-funded all military procurement for South Vietnam, South Vietnam ran out of weapons and ammo in a week or two, North Vietnamese tanks rolled into Saigon, the helicopter left the embassy, and the S. Vietnam leaders switched sides, jumped in a boat, or were executed.
If Boehner and the GOP were acting as the majority party they’d just flat-out ignore the Dems who want all this spending, zero-out spending programs – including Cabinet Departments – they don’t want, and start paying-down the debt. Just stop spending the money, stop appropriating it. When the Dems complained the GOP would have two, legitimate, historical, responses: 1) The above on Vietnam, and 2) To quote President Obama: “We won. Elections have consequences.”
But the GOP isn’t doing that. What’s Boehner actually doing? Nothing.
See any trend here?
The only conclusion is that the GOP cares more about their salaries and perks than about doing their jobs.
At the same time, the GOP House members are scared to death of not being re-elected, so refuse to shrink government. And when increasing numbers of voters work for the government, it gets more and more difficult to shrink it and get re-elected. Here’s my problem with that line of thinking: IT’S THEIR JOB to properly manage OUR American government, including our spending and, if they don’t get re-elected, hell, they’ve already GOT a pension after one term, so tough crap – DO THE RIGHT THING. And if they don’t want to do their job, why are we paying them for it?
(Tangentially, I have never supported term limits, feeling that we already have those and they are called “elections.” I no longer believe this to be the case and have decided that term limits are absolutely necessary. I’d limit the time in DC for anyone to a max of 12 years, whatever combo of House and Senate terms equals 12 years (and 12 years is NOT the start of your last term, it’s the end of your paycheck, regardless of where in your term you happen to be at the time), and they go home to a real job. I’d also invalidate every single perk they have and raise their salary a bit. They can buy their own car, pay for their own health insurance on the open market (or in Obamacare), and not get a pension (not even a 401K –they’d vote themselves a 10,000% employer-matching funds contribution). When they are done with their 12 – or before – they can go to the private sector and get a pension, a 401K, whatever they want – to which we who employ them also have access – no more special privileges of ANY kinds for those WE employ to run OUR government.)
And, as long as we’re discussing Congress not doing its job, how about this: It is the LAW that the Senate passes a budget every year by 15 April. When that law is violated, why isn’t the leader of the majority party in whichever body did not pass a budget sent to jail? If we have a law it MUST be obeyed or we are not a nation of laws. If Congress doesn’t care if the Senate doesn’t obey the law – repeal the law.
But, frankly, America no longer is a nation of laws – we are a nation of Obama.
The despot in the Oval Office does whatever he wants – no budget, going to war illegally in Libya without even the pretense of asking Congress, drone-killing American citizens in gross violation of the 5th Amendment to the Constitution, committing acts of war (drone attacks) against countries with whom we are not at war (Yemen, Pakistan, etc.), Executive Orders on DREAM (and a host of others issues), ignoring DOMA, and, of course, Benghazigate.
Congress absolutely has refused to rein in this despot, and he only will get worse as he has learned that no one has the balls to stop him.