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Wednesday, July 30, 2014

If Not Impeachment, What?

With some exceptions, pundits and politicians alike are, for the most part, stifling meaningful discussions about impeachment, choosing instead to dwell on the electoral ramifications of impeachment rather than upon the dangerous impact of a lawless Chief Executive on the Rule of Law.

In  a nutshell, this is the awful truth today: at last count, Obama has committed over 52 manifestly impeachable offenses. (See my previous posts dtd  8/1/11 and 1/9/13 for an explanation of what our Founders defined as an impeachable offense.) However, without a knowledgeable, fully engaged and appropriately incensed electorate which insists upon the Rule of Law, there is insufficient support for impeachment. It's that terribly simple. Knowing this and for purely political reasons, the Democrats are now cynically attempting to rouse their electoral and donor base by warning them about "bogus", "contrived", "grand-standing", "groundless" impeachment efforts emanating from the bogeymen on the right. And without adequate public support for impeachment, Republicans in  the House are now compelled to embark on a less confrontational, less politically suicidal--albeit untried--course of action, that being to sue Obama in a court of law.

Talk about a ruinous equation: an ignorant and apathetic electorate + a lawless Chief Executive + a politically weakened/undermined Congress = Tyranny.

Though impeachment is THE constitutional remedy to Executive overreach, in the absence of public support for such a remedy, and with their future Senatorial political fortunes at stake, Republicans simply have no reasonable recourse but to sue. And, quite naturally, the Democrats are demeaning that remedial effort as well. 

To my knowledge, Congress's suing a Chief Executive on the grounds that he has violated the Constitution and the separation of powers doctrine clearly breaks new constitutional ground. And who really knows how it will all play out.

Let's say the court accepts the case and rules in favor of Congress. A long shot, but a possibility. Then what? Since the court has no executive authority, it's ruling would be just that--a ruling without teeth, but, presumably, with some measure of moral authority. Given that scenario, it can only be hoped that Obama would relent. But, if he doesn't back off, then what? In that case, my guess is that public support for impeachment might well appreciably increase, thus, perhaps, persuading Obama to back off. But, what if Obama still doesn't back off even then? 

The political gamemanship and wonky calculations aside, when the Chief Executive overreaches his Art II constitutional authority--something Obama clearly has done--thus violating his oath to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States, our Founders would have quickly and unreservedly counseled impeachment by the House and removal by the Senate. In the absence of impeachment, the Founders, to a man, would have encouraged the States and We the People to take all appropriate remedial actions to stop Executive overreach in order to defend our Liberty and our Republic.

As originally designed, we must always bear in mind that determining what is and what is not constitutional rests ultimately with the People through their respective States, the creators of this federal government. Thus, the burning question becomes this: what will the People and the States, their immediate fiduciary agents, do to restore constitutional order if Obama--or any lawless Chief Executive in the future--cannot be effectively checkmated and stopped by impeachment and removal? The constitutional options are crystal clear: Civil Disobedience, Nullification, Secession, Rebellion. Of course, the People are certainly within their power to simply yield to the lawlessness, a predilection, I'm afraid, which, among too many Americans today, is becoming more and more apparent.

We have over two more years ahead of us to somehow contend with this runaway, transformational Chief Executive. Will he be effectively reigned in before being permitted to plunge the country into chaos, dictatorship or disunion? As God is my judge, I simply do not know how to answer that troubling question. But, disturbingly, the vision of a compliant, shackled American population continues to assail my thoughts.

Personally, whatever remedial actions espoused by our Founders which will restore constitutional order and the Rule of Law is fine by me and should be single-mindedly pursued by us all. But, why do I again feel like a majority of one.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Refugees, Politics & Lawlessness

Is Obama preparing to yet again play to his far left globalist base of radical Mexican-American open-border nationalists (La Raza quickly comes to mind) by circumventing US immigration law and, of course, Congress? Is there anything this guy won't do to satiate his verminous allies on the Left? That's rhetorical, of course.

Reportedly, Obama is planning to grant refugee status--on a "pilot project" basis, of course--to persons still residing in Nicaragua, El Salvador and Honduras, this to eliminate the threats posed to them should they opt to tackle that long, arduous and dangerous journey through the Mexican heartland in order to illegally breach our southwestern border. How very compassionate. But, isn't that just another way of aiding and abetting gate-crashers? But, no matter. After all, we're talking about poor, innocent suffering children mired in poverty. Right? Surely, we should protect these "refugees" yearning to be free. No?

Just so we're clear as to what the legal definition of refugee really is, this: Sec 101(a)(42) of the Immigration & Nationality Act defines a refugee as a person who has fled his/her country of origin owing to a well-founded fear (clear/reasonable  probability) of persecution (threat to life or freedom) on account of race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion, and who is unable or unwilling to return to his/her country of origin and to avail himself or herself of its protection. (Carefully note: if a person still within his/her country of origin, refugee status may be granted on a case-by-case basis by the President, but only AFTER consultation with Congress AND only if that person meets the definition of a refugee.)

As can be seen, there is nothing in this definition which suggests that sub-standard housing, poor diet, poverty, gang wars, or drug cartel shoot-outs are bases for a "well-founded fear of persecution". If that were the case, many folks in Detroit, Chicago and other inner city areas of the US would meet that definition--to say nothing of the nearly billion other people around the world--who would then be within their rights to seek refugee status in the United States!

Excepted from consideration are those who have participated in the persecution of others, who have been convicted of a serious nonpolitical crime or are considered security threats (terrorist activities/ties) to the US.

Normally, a person who has fled his country of origin must first be interviewed by the UN High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) to determine if, in fact, he/she meets the internationally-accepted definition of a refugee, which is essentially that definition already adopted by the US. He/She then falls under the temporary protection of the UN (refugee camp) until such time that a third country agrees to resettle him/her as a refugee or until such time that he/she may be safely repatriated to his/her country of origin, whichever comes first. Resettlement by a third country is conditioned on that third country's having also interviewed him/her to determine if, in fact, s/he does meet the definition of refugee.

As for a person already in the US, per 208(a)(b)(1), asylee status may be granted within one year after his/her entry if he/she can demonstrate that, in effect, he/she meets the definition of a refugee. Thus, the only difference between an asylee and a refugee is that the former is already in the US.

Then, of course, per 212(d)(5), a person, of "significant public interest",  may also be paroled into the US owing to "urgent humanitarian" or "emergency reasons", e.g. Indochinese during the aftermath of the Vietnam war and Cuban-Haitians.

Let's hope Obama and his political advisors carefully focus on these definitions and requirements before unilaterally committing their political fortunes and our dangerously dwindling wealth to yet another questionable or unlawful way for future voters from Central America to enter the US.

Finally, like their Liberal acolytes, this Administration continues to muddy the waters with political correctness and agenda-driven word-smithing. They deliberately muddle immigration terminology to legitimize the illegitimate. To wit, the term "illegal immigrant" is an oxymoron. By definition, an immigrant is a legal entrant--not illegal. An entrant is either an illegal alien/undocumented alien (entered without inspection and US approval) or an immigrant/refugee/asylee/parolee/non-immigrant visa holder. Thus, any person entering our country without inspection/approval enters illegally. By LAW, therefore, that person is an illegal entrant/illegal alien/undocumented alien--NOT an "illegal immigrant"! Within the annals of immigration law there is no such thing as an "illegal immigrant". That term of art is a Liberal contrivance to confound and obfuscate.

Please keep all this in mind when listening to the politically-driven or wholly uneducated cacaphony of chatter in the media. Some is deliberately disinformational. Some is just plain dumb.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Palin's Call for Impeachment: What is Possible?

Gov. Palin's recent call for Obama's impeachment has finally crystallized the gravity of our Republic's sorry condition.

In the face of so many scandals and cover-ups, impeachment is no longer unthinkable or politically incorrect. Clearly, the pattern of lawlessness and obstructionism exhibited by this Administration has reached a crescendo of seriousness not seen since Watergate, and sooner rather than later the tide toward impeachment may well be unstoppable.

As President Ford iterated, and as clearly explained by our Founders, an impeachable offense is whatever Congress says it is; thus, the bar for impeachment is as low or as high as we, through our representatives in the House, say it is.

Bearing in mind that impeachment is a political--not a legal--process, given the growing groundswell of acute opposition to the Obama Regime's arrogance and overreach, we may well be reaching that point at which the House will be compelled to invoke articles of impeachment against a chief executive who continues to ruthlessly flout the Rule of Law, circumvent Congress, and violate Art II of the Constitution.

As a purely practical political matter, however, without a 2/3 majority in the Senate to convict and remove, successfully impeaching Obama or any of his henchmen, either of which requires only a majority in the House, would be little more than symbolic and would do nothing to effectively arrest the heavy-handed inclinations of the White House and its equally imperialistic bureaucratic realm.

Bearing in mind that in the alternate universe called government political equations almost invariably trump principle, my guess is that this is why Speaker Boehner is reluctant to proceed with impeachment. He's calculating that the negative political fallout stemming from a dead-end impeachment-conviction process would very likely adversely affect GOP political fortunes going forward. And this is something he wants to avoid at nearly any cost. He knows that the highly effective Liberal sound bite machine would quickly characterize the impeachment action as little more than needlessly disruptive GOP "grand-standing" and "obstructionism". Thus, for better or for worse, in the bizarro world called government where realities are dictated by whether or not one is able to retain one's political power, until the GOP captures a safe 2/3 majority in the Senate impeachment is a non-starter.

That said, the fact that there is such a widespread and growing push for impeachment indicates a republic in disarray and crisis. Unquestionably, our Republic is in greater danger from iniquitous forces from within than we've ever known in our history. How successfully we handle this unprecedented crisis and the threats which face us remains to be seen.

For the moment, the GOP is relying on the courts, often themselves at odds with the Constitution, to checkmate a runaway Executive Branch. At the grassroots level, the People are exercising their right to resist by peacefully blocking buses and standing up to BLM. But, if all those efforts fail to restore the Rule of Law and constitutional order, wise political leaders must be aware that those millions of People who value their Liberty and their Republic will be pushed only so far, beyond which all manner of God-given and Founder-sanctioned rights to resist remain constitutional options.

(See OPINERLOG blog post "Obama: Is Impeachment a Viable Option, dtd 8/1/11)

"Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely." Lord Acton

"Whenever the legislators endeavor to take away and destroy the property of the people, or to reduce them to slavery under arbitrary power, they put themselves into a state of war with the people, who are thereupon absolved from any further obedience." John Locke (1690)