Obama’s unconstitutional steps worse than Nixon’s; says George F. Will

For the last few months, “we” have been having a discussion where I have consistently stated and re-stated, “Our Constitution is being ignored”.  Attorney and talk show radio host Mark Levin describes the same environment with the phrase “Post Constitutional era.”

When the NSA revelations broke, I created the hypothetical to put the ILLEGALITY of the NSA’s actions in perspective:

President Nixon was forced to resign as President by threat of impeachment, for wiretapping the telephone communications one (1) office.  The NSA is wiretapping all phone and electronic communications for EVERY SINGLE AMERICAN!

Others have argued, this NSA wiretapping is legal.  After all, government is doing it.  After all, a “court” has “allowed” the NSA actions.  So the NSA actions must be legal.

I have attempted several different responses.  Again I explain:  Governmental action commenced, is not legal merely because the government has actually taken the action.  Governmental action is not “legal” merely because a “secret” court has reportedly allowed the action.  (I say secret, because even the decisions are secret, and no one really knows.)  Governmental action is not legal because the U.S. Supreme Court has not handed down an opinion stating, the governmental force is illegal.

To put the previous paragraph in perspective, slavery was held to be “legal” by those who ran and operated society.  However, slavery was, is, and always will be illegal.  Apartheid was “legal” in South Africa. . .  Spying on the East German people by the Communist Secret Police, the Stasi, was “legal”. . .

However in human terms, governmental terms, in terms of human liberty, all those actions were in honest and true terms, illegal for all times.

I began drafting my “Constitution” posts, in hopes some of you would read, and think, and understand, where our Federal Government is “granted” its power from the people.  And in the thoughtful reflection, all of you, the readers, would realize that “the Constitution” is the foundational charter for any power the Federal Government exercises.  And then you would realize, hey, wait a minute, where is “that specific power” in the Constitution?  As the article below explains:

Serving as props in the scripted charade of White House news conferences, journalists did not ask the pertinent question: “Where does the Constitution confer upon presidents the ‘executive authority’ to ignore the separation of powers by revising laws?”

In response to illegal governmental actions, I drafted an essay a short while ago:   Totalitarianism is legal because, yes we can?.  Taking action does not make an illegal action, legal.  Little did I know we are all re-living a historical event when President Nixon was interviewed by David Frost in 1977:

In a 1977 interview with Richard Nixon, David Frost asked: “Would you say that there are certain situations . . . where the president can decide that it’s in the best interests of the nation . . . and do something illegal?”

Nixon: “Well, when the president does it, that means it is not illegal.”

Frost: “By definition.”

Nixon: “Exactly, exactly.”

I have also written on the duties of the President and the Courts with Constitution: The Duty of the Judiciary.

Today, I find the Washington Post published and hosted an opinion piece by George F. Will entitled where the above interchange is recited:

Obama’s unconstitutional steps worse than Nixon’s

By , Published: August 14 E-mail the writer

President Obama’s increasingly grandiose claims for presidential power are inversely proportional to his shriveling presidency. Desperation fuels arrogance as, barely 200 days into the 1,462 days of his second term, his pantry of excuses for failure is bare, his domestic agenda is nonexistent and his foreign policy of empty rhetorical deadlines and red lines is floundering. And at last week’s news conference he offered inconvenience as a justification for illegality.Explaining his decision to unilaterally rewrite the Affordable Care Act (ACA), he said: “I didn’t simply choose to” ignore the statutory requirement for beginning in 2014 the employer mandate to provide employees with health care. No, “this was in consultation with businesses.”

He continued: “In a normal political environment, it would have been easier for me to simply call up the speaker and say, you know what, this is a tweak that doesn’t go to the essence of the law. . . . It looks like there may be some better ways to do this, let’s make a technical change to the law. That would be the normal thing that I would prefer to do. But we’re not in a normal atmosphere around here when it comes to Obamacare. We did have the executive authority to do so, and we did so.”

Serving as props in the scripted charade of White House news conferences, journalists did not ask the pertinent question: “Where does the Constitution confer upon presidents the ‘executive authority’ to ignore the separation of powers by revising laws?” The question could have elicited an Obama rarity: brevity. Because there is no such authority.Obama’s explanation began with an irrelevancy. He consulted with businesses before disregarding his constitutional duty to “take care that the laws be faithfully executed.” That duty does not lapse when a president decides Washington’s “political environment” is not “normal.”When was it “normal”? The 1850s? The 1950s? Washington has been the nation’s capital for 213 years; Obama has been here less than nine. Even if he understood “normal” political environments here, the Constitution is not suspended when a president decides the “environment” is abnormal.Neither does the Constitution confer on presidents the power to rewrite laws if they decide the change is a “tweak” not involving the law’s “essence.” Anyway, the employer mandate is essential to the ACA.Twenty-three days before his news conference, the House voted 264 to 161, with 35 Democrats in the majority, for the rule of law — for, that is, the Authority for Mandate Delay Act. It would have done lawfully what Obama did by ukase. Hethreatened to veto this use of legislation to alter a law. The White House called it “unnecessary,” presumably because he has an uncircumscribed “executive authority” to alter laws.

In a 1977 interview with Richard Nixon, David Frost asked: “Would you say that there are certain situations . . . where the president can decide that it’s in the best interests of the nation . . . and do something illegal?”

Nixon: “Well, when the president does it, that means it is not illegal.”

Frost: “By definition.”

Nixon: “Exactly, exactly.”

Nixon’s claim, although constitutionally grotesque, was less so than the claim implicit in Obama’s actions regarding the ACA. Nixon’s claim was confined to matters of national security or (he said to Frost) “a threat to internal peace and order of significant magnitude.” Obama’s audacity is more spacious; it encompasses a right to disregard any portion of any law pertaining to any subject at any time when the political “environment” is difficult.

Obama should be embarrassed that, by ignoring the legal requirement concerning the employer mandate, he has validated critics who say the ACA cannot be implemented as written. What does not embarrass him is his complicity in effectively rewriting the ACA for the financial advantage of self-dealing members of Congress and their staffs.

The ACA says members of Congress (annual salaries: $174,000) and their staffs (thousands making more than $100,000) must participate in the law’s insurance exchanges. It does not say that when this change goes into effect, the current federal subsidy for this affluent cohort — up to 75 percent of the premium’s cost, perhaps $10,000 for families — should be unchanged.

When Congress awakened to what it enacted, it panicked: This could cause a flight of talent, making Congress less wonderful. So Obama directed the Office of Personnel Management, which has no power to do this, to authorize for the political class special subsidies unavailable for less privileged and less affluent citizens.

If the president does it, it’s legal? “Exactly, exactly.”

Ladies and Gentlemen,
we are living through historical times.  In order to re-claim America’s birthright, that all men (and women) are created equal, with liberty and justice for all, we must re-learn and remember our history.

“If the president does it, it’s legal? “exactly, exactly.” “

NO !  NEVER !  ILLEGAL is ILLEGAL, FOR ALL TIMES !

May God bless, and keep safe, America.

texas

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7 thoughts on “Obama’s unconstitutional steps worse than Nixon’s; says George F. Will

  1. To add, I saw an interview some time ago, where one of the “political leaders” of the day informed Nixon, just before Nixon resigned, that 97 of the Senators were going to vote for the impeachment. Hence, Nixon’s resignation.

  2. The Regime just sent a rodeo clown to re-education camp and ruined his life because he wore a mask of El Presidente and acted the fool.

    Constitution? We don’t need no stinkin’ Constitution!

  3. An excellent article, Tex!
    My take on the growth of executive power is that we had a chance to put a stop it when Nixon was under scrutiny. Had not Ford pardoned the crook, had Nixon and his crew been held accountable for their crimes, we would not have suffered through Iran-contra scandal nor, I believe, the IraQ War of 2003-. the same cast of characters is present at each stain on our honor as a nation.

    • Melfamy,

      They didn’t hold Wilson accountable, or FDR? Why would they hold Nixon accountable? They want to protect the power of the office so that it will be in tact when they claw their way into it.

        • Like I said: it is all about the individual. So long as we remain quiet while others are living and advancing a lifestyle that harms the well being of society, we will continue down this path. But there is little hope that we will ever correct this unless and until we all hold the same ideal of what constitutes the “well being” of society. You accept welfare; I see it as a long-term harm to the individual. Right there is a divide that I do not see any way to cross. Others see the pursuit of self as the ultimate goal; I happen to stand with those who see this life as a test of character by which we will be judged by our Creator. There is another divide I do not see how we can cross.

          Our founders didn’t suffer from either of these divides. They held the same general ideal of the common good, they differed in how to get there. When we have the same goal, we can compromise. But when we have different goals, compromise equals surrender for one or both sides. And when compromise (surrender) revolves around what is right and what is wrong, the powerful will always win because — in such a world of moral chaos — they can always turn things to their advantage.

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