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Friday, January 23, 2015

On Censuring Obama & Tightening Up Article II of Constitution

Since Congress lacks the political courage to impeach the most reckless, overreaching and lawless chief executive in our nation's history, it's time for Congress to, at the very least, censure Obama.

Obama is desperately looking for a respectable legacy, something which, to my way of thinking anyway, will most certainly elude him once future historians objectively weigh in on his serial lawlessness and prevarication. But with a formal congressional censure on record, his historical reputation and respectability will, in any event, be justifiably tarnished forever,

While there is no legal consequence to a censure resolution against the President, the purpose is to publicly and formally rebuke, condemn, reprimand, denounce the president for his unacceptable actions. The practical effect is to warn him/her to desist, the underlying threat being that of impeachment--assuming, of course, that Congress ever finds its constitutional backbone to do so. Very importantly, such a public rebuke by the "people's house" would be a shot across the bow to future chief executives who, subject to human frailty and pride, might be similarly tempted to abuse their constitutional powers as well, the latter a troubling prospect which should profoundly concern all Americans of every political stripe everywhere.

And, yes, while the censure of a Chief Executive does not appear in the Constitution, Congress's censuring the president is not unprecedented, nor is it prohibited.

In 1834, Andrew Jackson was formally censured by the Senate. In 1842, the Senate censured John Tyler. In 1848, the House of Representatives censured James Polk, and both James Buchanan and Abe Lincoln were similarly rebuked by the Senate.

In short, a strong, undiluted message must be conveyed by the people's representatives to this insufferably arrogant and imperial Chief Executive that his lawlessness and serial lying, both rendered "high crimes and misdemeanors" by our Founders (look it up), are totally unacceptable, indisputable grounds for impeachment, and fully deserving of formal condemnation.

Tragically, Congress's simply wringing its collective hands and complaining about executive lawlessness does nothing more than sanction more executive lawlessness. When confronted with such unbridled executive overreach, congressional inaction is terribly unprincipled, misguided, irresponsible and intolerable.

Absent impeachment of this lawless chief executive or the successful congressional defunding of his unconstitutional executive actions, there remains no higher purpose for our representatives than to faithfully defend the Constitution from executive overreach. As such, there must be other constitutional remedies upon which the people may rely.

So, here's what I'm suggesting:

First, call your representatives and insist they aggressively move toward censuring this president forthwith, explaining why.

Second, to prevent further erosion of constitutional order, urge them to begin serious work on a constitutional amendment specifically designed to effectively restrain chief executives should they opt to exercise executive powers not specifically granted to them in the Constitution.

Toward that end, Article 2 should be amended to unambiguously define and clearly limit the scope of executive orders, memorandums, signing statements, etc. Such an amendment must be carefully crafted in a manner which renders its definition and meaning impervious to deliberate or inadvertent misinterpretation now or in the future by either lawyers, courts or politicians, often one and the same.

And because Congress cannot be relied upon to exercise its impeachment authority and because the Supreme Court may, in truth, only offer up unenforceable opinions on the constitutionality of laws/orders/regulations emanating from the Chief Executive, in lieu of congressional impeachment/conviction/removal from office per Art 1 Sec 3, the new amendment must include an efficient method for 60% of State Governors or Assemblies to nullify any such executive fiats within 60 days of their issuance, during which time those actions would not have the force of law. And should the States fail to meet this deadline, the House of Representatives would be required to approve or nullify such executive fiats within 30 days--during which time the executive action would be unenforceable--with a 60% vote. And should the Chief Executive ignore either the States or Congress in this matter, he and all officers illegally acting on the nullified executive action would be subject to immediate arrest and removal from office by US Marshals at the direction of Congress.

Unless this frightening executive excess is very carefully, substantively and urgently addressed now, we can be sure that future chief executives, emboldened by the lawless precedent set by Obama, will remain effectively unrestrained and our Constitution will be further and irretrievably eroded. This corrosive overreach will serve only to give license for more executive tyranny masked by the ambiguity of current law and inaction of Congress. This perilous situation must be eliminated if we are to properly safeguard what remains of our tattered Constitution and our fading Liberty.  If we fail to quickly address this issue head-on, tyranny will be the inevitable consequence.

To continue to do nothing about this brazen tyranny is a grievous disservice to America. Call your timid representatives, bring their attention to this urgent matter, and let's get this process moving!