How far will congressional Republicans retreat to avoid a confrontation with Barack Obama?
(Page 2 of 2)
We’ve seen it so many times over the past three years it’s almost a cliché. Obama challenges the Republicans to refuse him something, whether it’s the debt ceiling hikes or the most recent meltdown over continuing the payroll tax reduction. Barry demands, the Republicans refuse, and Barry goes to the mattresses. The Republicans back down, completely cowed by the thought of taking responsibility for a government shutdown or a continuing “crisis” of Obama’s invention.
They did this on the debt ceiling in such a manner that the so-called “supercommittee” was established to paper over their utter failure to obtain federal spending cuts. The “supercommittee,” as I wrote at the time and since, was played up as a game of Russian roulette with the Dems: no one could afford it to fail. But if you read the fine print, they were playing with an unloaded pistol. The “sequestration” cuts would not touch entitlement programs (where the money is) and wouldn’t take effect until 2013, giving our Hearts of Oak another year to weasel their way out of it.
And now there’s no way out. Obama has cut off the escape routes by taking an unconstitutional action that had an immediate effect and cannot be allowed to stand.
The unconstitutional appointments satisfy the “case or controversy” requirement. To invalidate those appointments and require the people appointed to give up their offices is an immediate, and clear, issue for the courts. Unfortunately, the only people who have standing to sue right now are the members of the Senate whose constitutional power of “advice and consent” on appointments was violated.
What are they prepared to do? Not much.
Even the strongest among them — such as Alabama’s Jeff Sessions, Oklahoma’s Tom Coburn, Florida’s Marco Rubio, and a few others — won’t be able to sue because they’d have to get agreement among their colleagues to join in the suit and there are too many weaklings among them.
Those Senate Republicans should consider carefully their path of inaction. Obama won’t stop until someone takes legislative or legal action — or both — to stop him. The mind boggles at the things he could try to do.
What if he decided to assert Congress’s power to appropriate money? Congress authorizes and appropriates within specific categories. The White House can’t move money between accounts without congressional action. But who’s to stop Obama from moving more money from one part of the Department of Energy to another to fund the next Solyndra?
Will anyone stop Obama’s Treasury or the Fed from propping up the euro? What if Obama tries to violate Article 6 of the Constitution, as some phony “constitutional scholars” were advocating last year, by borrowing above the debt ceiling without legislative authority by virtue of their willful misreading of Article 6?
We now know Obama is willing to exercise unconstitutional power. The only unanswered question is whether congressional Republicans can rediscover their courage and push back.
Since the Nixon administration, whenever a Republican president tried to exercise his constitutional powers, the Democrats and their amen chorus in the media have been in full cry about the dangers of the “imperial presidency.” Now we really have one and they are, predictably, compliant.
It’s up to the Republican leaders in the House and Senate to restrain our imperious president. What, gentlemen, are you prepared to do?
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?