Thursday, August 7, 2014

End Of An Era?

     The fact that the Harry Reid-controlled senate is the least productive in history is bitter/sweet. On the bitter side there has been fewer bills passed by this senate than any other in recent memory. On the sweet side there has been fewer bills passed by this senate than any other in recent memory. The lack of production by the United States Senate under Mr. Reid's authority is not from inability but from deliberation.
     Between the time that Republicans won control of the House of Representatives in the 2010 mid-term election, and the time they officially took control in January of 2011, Barack Obama gave Harry Reid specific marching orders that he was not to bring any House bills to the floor of the Senate for debate, let alone to be voted on. Hence the over three hundred bills passed by the House, many with House Democrat support, that now languish in a pile on Harry Reid's desk.
     Mr. Reid proudly proclaimed the tyranny of his majority by announcing bill after bill passed by the House to be "dead on arrival" in the Senate. Many of said bills, almost twenty, were job creation bills that had bi-partisan support in the House and would have gone a long way to helping this beleaguered economy.
     Now there are those who say that when Republicans take control as a result of this Fall's mid-term election, they will be able to use their control of both houses of congress to slow down an out-of-control president. I am not so sure about that, considering that Republicans have been so reticent to use the power of the purse they have had as part and parcel to their control of the House of Representatives since January of 2011. Additionally, Senate Republicans, at least in leadership roles, have shown no sign of tacking away from the course set by Mr. Reid and the Democrats with regards to amnesty and spending.
     Even if Republicans win control of the Senate this Fall, and hold onto their majority in the House, and receive a spine transplant that causes them to vigorously oppose the president, they will not be able to relieve him of his pen and his phone. As the House and Senate have been a "do nothing congress," President Obama has been a busy little legislative beaver, passing executive orders to implement an unpopular agenda with the people's representatives. All, I might add, against the United States Constitution.
     It bares repeating that a president has the most executive order authority when his order supports a decision upon which congress has previously ruled. He has dubious authority when his order implements policy which congress has not ruled one way or the other. And he has the least amount of authority when his order is in direct conflict with a previous congressional ruling. As we go forward, it may behoove Republicans to keep in mind that, constitutionally, congress makes the laws and the president, through the executive branch of government, enforces those laws.
     The Founders knew that when the creation of laws and the enforcement of laws resides in a single branch of government, the gravity of tyranny is too great a force on the moorings of liberty. The era of government that we have entered with the Obama administration is not only the era of an ever expanding government, but of a fundamentally changed government. A government where the people, through their representatives in congress, have little participation in the making of laws that have their operation on the mass of citizens for whom the constitution was written to protect.

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