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Thursday, July 26, 2012

Is it too Late to Restore Constitutional Order?

Though the first sentence in Article II of the Constitution provides that “ executive Power shall be vested in a President of the United States of America”, none of the Framers or Ratifiers at any time suggested that this sentence would grant any executive authority beyond  those specific powers enumerated in Sections 2 and 3. 
In short, presidential powers are well-defined and limited to faithfully executing the laws passed by Congress and, with studious and proper legislative oversight, to preside over foreign affairs.  A Chief Executive's violating these obligations was determined by the Founders  to be a “breach of trust” and, therefore,  grounds for impeachment and removal from office.                                                                                
Clearly, over the years, Executive powers under both Democrat and Republican chief executives have grown exponentially  to the extent that the range of those exercised powers would stagger our republican Founders. (That said, the extent to which Barack Obama has usurped authority is beyond staggering. His actions in this regard have been manifestly impeachable. And it is my guess that should Republicans sweep both the House and Senate in November, this President, if re-elected, stands a better than even chance of facing impeachment and removal from office. And despite the civil unrest that might result from such a remedial action, impeachment is precisely what our Founders and the Constitution they crafted would have counseled.)

So, how did this dangerous expansion of presidential powers come to pass? Very simply, because government, a creature of human nature, is, if ineffectively checked, predisposed to expanding its authority and power. And in designing the Constitution, the Framers were painfully aware of and warned against this natural tendancy toward centralization and, ulitmately, tyranny. Not surprisingly, despite their warnings we've permitted ourselves to slip into the clutches of Statism and lawlessness.

For whatever reason--much of it having to do with the enormous growth in the federal government and its expansion into areas never envisioned by the Founders or sanctioned by the Constitution--Congress has ceded or otherwise delegated enormous powers to the Executive Branch and, by extension, to that branch’s officers and departments. The catastrophic result of this irrresponsible congressional delegation of powers and judicial consent is twofold: an imperial presidency and an essentially unchecked Fourth Branch of government, that being the nearly omnipotent federal bureaucracy which, in  a real sense, manages our increasingly unwieldy and intrusive federal government apparatus.  
Thus, we must now accept the crystal-clear reality that “throwing the bums out” in Congress is no longer a viable remedy; it is merely a desperate, shortsighted and delusional reformist’s rallying cry “full of sound and fury, signifying nothing”.  In truth, only if the wings of the Executive Branch are clipped and the unbridled Fourth Branch is downsized and more properly supervised by Congress, "the people's house", can genuine constitutional order be restored.
Tragically, what NO ONE has been talking about in this campaign is the need to reign in BOTH the Executive Branch and Leviathan’s runaway bureaucracy which have been eating away at the very vitals of our republic.  Only by deliberately restricting presidential powers to those which faithfully comport with the Constitution, and both eliminating or drastically reducing the power of the Fourth Branch of government can our inexorable slide toward tyranny be arrested.
Is it too late? Probably. And if that’s the case, then the several States, at the insistence of an aroused citizenry, should re-examine their unhealthy association with an increasingly corrosive central government no longer faithful to the Constitution or to the People. In faithful pursuit of constitutional order, States must understand that they are duty-bound to strike out on their own, either unilaterally or in alliance with like-minded sister States.
Thus, the burning question for me is this: no matter the terrible price one must pay, should a patriot who values his liberty continue to routinely and blindly submit to the self-destructive, albeit high-sounding, Lincolnesque notion of “indivisible unity”? Not no. But, Hell no!

Unless constitutional order is restored, I dare say that disunion ought, of necessity, be embraced. And given the chasmic ideological divide existing in the country, I really don't believe disunion anything but inevitable.
“I am not a friend to a very energetic government. It is always oppressive; most bad government has grown out of too much government; the natural progress of things is for liberty to yield and government to gain ground.” Thomas Jefferson
“When in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the cause which impel them to the separation.” (Declaration of Independence, July 4, 1776)

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