Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

Politics

Congress Must Enforce the Rule of Law

The Obama Administration has shown a contempt for the rule of law time after time since entering the White House. From engaging in an unconstitutional and unauthorized war in Libya to illegally funneling guns to criminal cartels in Central America, from authorizing the assassination of American citizens to issuing health care law waivers, from using drone strikes against individuals in nations we are not at war with to expanding the Bush-era CIA extraordinary rendition programs, President Obama and his Administration continue to only accept a type of law that changes its mode with the mood of his White House. This is a far cry from Candidate Obama's opining in 2007 that there can be "no more ignoring the law when it's convenient. That is not who we are...We will again set an example for the world that the law is not subject to the whims of stubborn rulers."

Political convenience, not respect for the rule of law, is what the whims of this White House embrace. This week, the White House announced that Secretary of Education Arne Duncan will begin issuing waivers to the ill-conceived and poorly-implemented No Child Left Behind law that would exempt states from certain provisions of the boondoggle. No Child Left Behind is a horrible, horrible law that needs to be scrapped, I do not deny that; but it is the law. Citing the inability of Congress to efficiently edit NCLB and emphasizing "how loud the outcry is for us to do something now", the White House decided to act unilaterally to exempt states from a part of the law foolishly mandating that schools who do not have 100% of their students proficient in state assessments by 2014 be declared to be "failing" institutions.

Convenience and outcry trump legality and separation of powers. This president has time and time again exercised unilateral authority in exerting power and excusing himself from law. Outside of some futile whining, Congress continues to do nothing about it. Peevish schoolboys! They need to grow a backbone and begin reinforcing the rule of law. They need to stop throwing tantrums and then begrudgingly accepting the encroachments on power by the Executive Branch. Separations of power only work if the various branches of government are willing to stand up for themselves.

"No law can force a Congress to stand up to the president. No law can give Congress a backbone if it refuses to stand up as the co-equal branch the Constitution made it."

Then-Senator Barack Obama said that in 2007. Grow a backbone, Congress. Stay on him for the illegal and foolish war in Libya; subpoena his Attorney General for this disgustingly stupid disaster with Operation Fast and Furious; hold the President in contempt for unilaterally suspending parts of the law. Stop griping for a few weeks and then moving on to other issues. If the legislature does not stand up to the executive, we might as well declare that branch of government useless and accept Woodrow Wilson's dream of the unimpeded administrative leviathan. Rein in the President.
Categories > Politics

Discussions - 2 Comments

This is actually starting to get scary.

I truly believe that I will win my bet with my liberal friends that Obama will not last a full four year term......

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