A Dangerous Kindergarten Class in Washington
By Jim “Gymbeaux” Brown, February 2, 2017
It was September 20, 1965, I raised my right hand and took a solemn oath to defend the Constitution of the United States. There was no expiration date on that oath nor is there an expiration date on the very similar oaths our elected politicians have taken like we just witnessed as President Donald Trump was sworn in.
What does that mean? It means, in my opinion, exactly what it suggests – that anyone taking the oath WILL DEFEND the Constitution of the United States. That means every second of every day. What it does NOT mean - ONLY WHEN IT IS CONVENIENT. Therein you have my grave concern about the current atmosphere within America.
President Obama made no mistake about WHAT he said when he said he had “a pen and a phone” and would do whatever was necessary to get what HE wanted done even if that meant circumventing Congress. I don’t think that is what he was elected to do. In fact I know it was not what he was elected to do. Still…when he issued his many Executive Orders, many declared to be illegal, his Democratic and some Independent followers/supporters all cheered and encouraged him to do even more while at the same time his detractors found fault with those Executive Orders.
Now it is President Trump who has the pen and the phone and he has started his first two weeks mostly signing Executive Orders. To be fair to President Trump, most of his Executive Orders if not all thus far have been more administrative in nature even the one on immigration. He has NOT AS YET written any new laws taking the form of an Executive Order that I am aware of. Instead he has said he intends to enforce the laws on the books and instructed his Cabinet Officers to do the same. And all while he has been doing this, his Republican and some Independent followers/supporters all cheered and encouraged him to do even more while at the same time still finding fault with the Executive Orders President Obama had put into effect. Isn’t that hypocritical?
Lost in all this activity is a question. Are Executive Orders or Memorandums even legal as per our U. S. Constitution? It is my belief that they are legal as long as they remain administrative in nature and they DO NOT create a new law. Writing law is the job of Congress. In fact, if you read the U. S. Constitution, you will discover that the President’s main job is to sign the laws Congress approves. It is then the job of the U. S. Supreme Court to determine if the laws written and signed by the President are in fact Constitutional. But even then, the Supreme Court does NOT get involved by making an arbitrary decision on a law signed into effect until such time as someone feels they have been harmed by the enforcement of the new law takes legal action. That action may or may not eventually work its way to the U. S. Supreme Court; most do not. If and when it does, THAT is the time the Supreme Courts decides the constitutionality of the law; NOT BEFORE.
Yet while discussing the Supreme Court, nowhere in the Constitution does it grant power to the Supreme Court to write and enact laws. Its job is to determine if an enacted laws is deemed Constitutional. This is NOT what happened when it reviewed portions of the Obamacare. The Supreme Court took exception to a very important part of the law. Instead of returning the law to Congress for clarification and/or revision, the Supreme Court CHANGED the law, thus enacting a law BY the Supreme Court and Obamacare became law.
The three branches of our government are suppose to be EQUAL BRANCHES. Of late any semblance of being equal has vanished. Congress writes laws, the President has written laws and now the Supreme Court has written laws. Meanwhile we the people sit back and let them. Folks therein lies the problem we are now facing within the United States. WE LET THEM!
I think anyone reading this can agree that there are lot of Americans who do not like President Trump, I being one of them. To those people I say there are an equal number of Americans who did not like President Obama; again I being one of them. I liked neither of these men when they were candidates but once they became President, it is unconscionable to disrupt government because you do not like someone. That is exactly what the Democrats in the Senate Committees are presently doing to President Trumps’ nominees for various positions. Granted it is not their job to just roll over but it is their job to either approve or deny the candidate his or her opportunity to VOLUNTARILY serve his or her country. To arbitrarily denounce a candidate because of a dislike of a new President regardless of political party is just wrong. To use “tactics” such as not appearing at scheduled hearings as a means of delaying a vote is also very wrong and even childish. Then to witness the systematic destruction of individuals solely because they have been nominated to serve the country is even more wrong if that is even possible.
Is it no wonder that Presidents, Obama and Trump may have decided that cooperation in the House and the Senate is so bad and so non-existent that they have taken matters into their own hands through the use of their pens and their phones?
I would like to see revolving doors installed on Congress and create Term Limits for both the House and the Senate. Folks in Congress know they have a great thing going and they refuse to leave. As such the struggles of politics continue with no relief in sight. The result? We get people like Senators Schumer and McConnell and Representatives Pelosi and Ryan. They are in their positions FOREVER! The result is that nothing of significance ever gets done – EVER! History has shown this to be true. Imagine the contrast. Presidents Obama and Trump both had 4 years ahead of them and they each had agendas. If they wanted to accomplish the items on their agendas they had to get to work. Each one then ran up against a Congress that because they were so entrenched in their collective positions, there was no hurry to get anything done and they just sat and argued and called each other vicious names. I have felt as thou I have been watching a kindergarten class of 5 year olds.
What is the solution you might be asking, if not you should be asking that question. It is not making one political party stronger than the other. On the contrary, the answer is making them more equal and less powerful and give them only a specified amount of time to do the work they felt was necessary for them to decide to run for office in the first place. The change needed in our government IS NOT going to happen by expecting the President, the Congress and/or the Supreme Court to do anything so constructive. Nope, just not going to happen.
THE ONLY WAY real change in our government is EVER going to happen is through the convening of a Convention of States. No one in Washington, DC will EVER reduce their power voluntarily. NO ONE! For those who might not be familiar, Article 5 of the Constitution follows:
This is, in my opinion, the ONLY WAY our government will ever be reformed and become a working government OF the people, FOR the people, and BY the people! A Convention of States can circumvent the U. S. Congress and change the U. S. Constitution like requiring a balanced budget, like installing term limits for the House and Senate members, like making Executive Orders illegal, etc., etc. Maybe then, we may get some adults in Washington DC. Maybe you will be one of them.