David Skeel addresses a critical aspect of power exercised in Washington in the August 21, 2012 Wall Street Journal. The opinion piece and related user comments deserve broad readership.
The march toward centralized power in Washington started 100 years ago with the passage of the 16th and 17th amendments to the Constitution. Mr. Obama came to power with the stated purpose to “fundamentally transform” America. We now know that meant further concentration of power in the Presidency and in Washington generally. In practice what Mr. Obama pursues is the Rule of Power, replacing the Rule of Law. Just a few examples:
- Strong arming banks into settlements that abrogate mortgage contracts entered into by private parties.
- Making appointments to the NLRB without the required consent of the Senate. The NLRB then sued Boeing for intending to build airplanes in South Carolina after the company had already invested over a billion dollars in the project.
- Signing into law 5000 pages of health care and bank regulations and mandates that give arbitrary and unchecked power to Federal agencies and the bureaucrats who run them.
- Declaring an Execute Order that the government is not to enforce existing immigration law.
- Signed the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act making it legal (but obviously unconstitutional) for the military to detain citizens without independent court review and without the guarantee of a trial.
With the example set by Mr. Obama it is no surprise that Federal regulators use their authority to impose their political agendas (e.g., the EPA official whose stated purpose was to “crucify” oil companies).
Adding to all this we have the Supreme Court’s majority argument in support of the health insurance mandate telling us, essentially, that we will have to elect new representation to change the law without regard to the dependency engendered by the law, which secures votes to keep it intact. Does our Constitution provide protection from a tyranny of the majority as contemplated in its design?
Thomas Jefferson, in his Opinion on the Constitutionality of a National Bank, 1791 stated:
“I consider the foundation of the Constitution as laid on this ground that ‘all powers not delegated to the United States, by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states or to the people.’ To take a single step beyond the boundaries thus specially drawn around the powers of Congress, is to take possession of a boundless field of power, not longer susceptible of any definition.”
The very purpose and success of the United States is founded in the principles of individual rights and freedom from the presumptions of centralized power. Yet, history demonstrates the lure of centralized power causes those elected by us to destroy the meaning of our Constitutional protections. The rule of power replaces the rule of law.
The path forward requires that we volunteer and encourage others to serve; that we fund, promote, and elect representatives with a commitment to freedom and the courage to use the powers of elected office to protect and promote those freedoms.
Let’s make progress this November. The following candidates need your support:
Ron DeSantis (FL-06)
Kevin Cramer (ND-AL)
Thomas Massie (KY-04)
Keith Rothfus (PA-12)
Tom Cotton (AR-04)
Richard Mourdock (IN-Sen)
Matt Salmon (AZ-05)
Josh Mandel (OH-Sen)
Ted Cruz (TX-Sen)
Steve King (IA-04)
Jeff Flake (AZ-Sen)
Connie Mack (FL-Sen)
Mia Love (UT-04)
Regards, Pete Weldon