Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Why Bother With The Separation Of Powers?

Former Congressman Allen West reports on a masks-off statement by the scrofulous Charles Rangel:

It appears one Democrat member of Congress has decided to drop the mask and reveal who he really is. Unbelievably, Charlie Rangel told NY1 that “President Obama should drop the charade of democracy and rule directly through executive orders.” I mean, why not? After all, Rep. Rangel’s own relationship with following laws is fuzzy at best, given his problems with tax evasion.

According to Politicker, Rangel said “I’m gonna see why we can’t use executive orders for everything.”

This...person has been censured for tax evasion, has repeatedly accused political opponents of racism and worse, and is famous for ranting, after the 1994 Republican "wave" election that gave the GOP control of Congress, "It's not 'spic' or 'nigger' any more. They say 'let's cut taxes.'" So even a complete Constitutional illiterate would be advised to "consider the source."

However, the Constitution isn't all that hard to read:

The President shall be commander in chief of the Army and Navy of the United States, and of the militia of the several states, when called into the actual service of the United States; he may require the opinion, in writing, of the principal officer in each of the executive departments, upon any subject relating to the duties of their respective offices, and he shall have power to grant reprieves and pardons for offenses against the United States, except in cases of impeachment.

He shall have power, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, to make treaties, provided two thirds of the Senators present concur; and he shall nominate, and by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, shall appoint ambassadors, other public ministers and consuls, judges of the Supreme Court, and all other officers of the United States, whose appointments are not herein otherwise provided for, and which shall be established by law: but the Congress may by law vest the appointment of such inferior officers, as they think proper, in the President alone, in the courts of law, or in the heads of departments.

The President shall have power to fill up all vacancies that may happen during the recess of the Senate, by granting commissions which shall expire at the end of their next session.

He shall from time to time give to the Congress information of the state of the union, and recommend to their consideration such measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient; he may, on extraordinary occasions, convene both Houses, or either of them, and in case of disagreement between them, with respect to the time of adjournment, he may adjourn them to such time as he shall think proper; he shall receive ambassadors and other public ministers; he shall take care that the laws be faithfully executed, and shall commission all the officers of the United States.

[Constitution of the United States, Article II, Sections 2 and 3]

Those are the Constitutionally delegated powers of the president of these United States. He has not one iota of legislative or quasi-legislative power. Any orders he emits pertain only to how his subordinates -- i.e., those who work in the various Cabinet departments -- shall do their jobs.

That Rangel blithely dismisses the separation of the legislative from the executive power is typical of least, when there's a Democrat in the White House. But there's no excuse for any American who's attained the reading proficiency of an eighth-grader to put the least amount of stock in his notion.

Of course, the Constitution strikes most liberals as something to be heeded only when it suits their immediate purposes. In this, Rangel is merely displaying the colors of his pack. But what's remarkable is how the notion of executive orders as a Constitutional mechanism has affected even those respectful of that document:

Why not Charlie? Because of our pesky Constitution, which states executive orders are only to be used in case of national emergency, not as a means by which the executive branch circumvents the legislative branch, or our established process of checks and balances.

The executive order is not a Constitutional instrument. Nothing even resembling such a thing is mentioned in that document, nor in the Bill of Rights, nor in any of the Amendments. The notion that it can be used quasi-legislatively "in case of national emergency" -- Really, Colonel West? -- is one to which you'd get a lot of agreement today...but not from the Founding Fathers, the overwhelming majority of whom regarded the presidency as the office most dangerous to Americans' liberty.

Events such as this make plain how important it is that Americans become intimate with their founding documents once again, and with the overarching philosophy that animated them. Among other things, it might reduce the number of Charles Rangels accorded seats in Congress, where no one of such a mind properly belongs.


idahobob said...

Now, now. You realize that George Bush stated that the Constitution was nothing but a God Damned piece of paper.

That is how the elites in the District of Criminals actually perceive the Constitution.

And they are the ones that the morons in our country elected.


Jackson said...

Really, you aren't expecting the denizens of Harlem to start reading the Constitution and vote for a Constitutionalist, are you? Ain't gonna happen! Black majority districts have consistently thrown up some of the most ignorant and criminal politicians in the USA: and that is really saying something when you think about the baseline.

Lost cause given that the main news source for many of these voters is MTV Raps and Hollywood's latest "Horrors of Slavery - get Whitey back" exploitation film.

Rangel is merely the political implementation of the knockout game. Any attempt to restore the Republic will have to deal directly with both him and the people who elect him.

Anonymous said...


Might you post the source for your Bush quote. I mean I realize that only a slime ball who has no integrity and has an education on a par with Obama would make up such a statement. And given our education system I realize that you certainly wouldn't stoop to such cheap Marxist tactics that only a coward and troll would employ.

But I look at Obama and Bush and I realize who you remind me of.

VonZorch, Imperial Researcher said...

Never happened see FactCheck. Note seems to have some leftist bias.

Phil said...

George W. Bush most certainly did say that. Speaking of Trolls anonymous, a quick Google search would have provided you with a list of entries confirming it. If you are as lazy physically as you seem to be mentally then use this one, the very first entry in the search list.

There were three other people there that day who witnessed it first hand and I personally remember hearing about it back when it happened. It was all over the internet.

Rick C said...

Phil, you should try reading. The guy who wrote the article you quote, retracted it.

"I no longer stand behind that article or its conclusions and have said so in answers to several recent queries. In addition, I have asked that it be removed from a documentary film."

Phil said...

You are correct, I should have read the article at the Fact Check link.

Mea Culpa.
After a bit more digging I see that I did not know the guy retracted his story.
My apologies and thank you for pointing it out a little more forcefully to my hard headed ass. I have no problem admitting it when I am wrong.

Even though I can still point to many things about the Bush administration and it's rough shod treatment of the Constitution it seems that this is one that I have to cross off my list.

Mark said...

True or not, the "Bush did it, too" argument is, at best, obfuscation. It doesn't matter one iota who violates the constitution. You could have read many arguments against things like the Patriot Act on this and similar blogs -- I know I did. Many of us liberty-minded folks were quite upset over increasing extra-constitutional actions over both the current and past administrations. You seem to think that we're only objecting to them when not done by "our guy." Quite the opposite... as I try to explain to my liberal/progressive friends, if you give "your guy" the power to do things you like, you are giving him and all that follow the power to do things you won't like. The only way to avoid this is to limit government powers to the absolute bare minimum.

Angry Tory said...

Osama bin Kenya the Unconstitutional Usurper has completely ignored the constitution from the start.

Where in the constitution does it give the president the power to offer amnesty to illegal aliens; to take over the healthcare system; or even to offer food stamps and welfare?

All those things are unconstitutional!

After all: It's a Republic not a Democracy.

The Democrat party, are, basically, completely unconstitutional on the face of it.