Among the issues most commonly discussed are individuality, the rights of the individual, the limits of legitimate government, morality, history, economics, government policy, science, business, education, health care, energy, and man-made global warming evaluations. My posts are aimed at intelligent and rational individuals, whose comments are very welcome.

"No matter how vast your knowledge or how modest, it is your own mind that has to acquire it." Ayn Rand

"Observe that the 'haves' are those who have freedom, and that it is freedom that the 'have-nots' have not." Ayn Rand

"The virtue involved in helping those one loves is not 'selflessness' or 'sacrifice', but integrity." Ayn Rand

20 November 2014

Does a President Have the Constitutional Authority to Demand that Congress Pass a Bill of His Liking?

Tonight, Obama said he was issuing an Executive Order to change immigration law because Congress had not responded to his demand that it pass a comprehensive immigration bill to his liking.  He is posturing that this is within his constitutional authority.  In fact, he does not care whether he has such authority under the Constitution or not.  He has always regarded the Constitution as an impediment to his agenda, as he made very clear in a radio interview back when he served as a Senator in the Illinois state legislature.  Twice he took the presidential oath of office to preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution when he was always determined to undermine it.  These were the most colossal of his many lies.

If a president were to have such a constitutional authority to demand bills from Congress that were to his liking, the federal government would be no more than a despotic regime.  There would be no check on the power of the president by the people short of impeachment.  In fact, it is not at all clear that a president with such powers would even feel any need to care whether he was impeached or not by a toothless Congress.  Yes, the People might so threaten rebellion that he would come to pay attention, but short of that, why would he care?  Neither would he care what the rulings of the federal courts might be.  The People would only have recourse by refusing to carry out his Executive Orders.

Obama has already shown dozens and dozens of times that he believes he has the power to unilaterally change laws passed by Congress.  ObamaCare, the PPACA, or more honestly the Patient Subjugation and Unaffordable Care Act, has already been changed unilaterally over and over by the health care insurance and tax Czar, namely Obama.  Obama, the Justice Department, the EPA, the IRS, the National Labor Relations Board, and many other Obama Regime agencies have already ignored court orders and violated numerous laws including the Freedom of Information Act.  He has long ignored his duties under the immigration laws.

Now he is making massive changes in the immigration laws simply because a bill he liked that was passed by a Democrat-controlled Senate was not taken up in a Republican-controlled House of Representatives.  He insists that if it had been taken up in the House, it would have been passed.  Maybe, maybe not. He is not making a similar argument that the 370 or so bills passed by the House and sent to the Senate should have all been acted on by the Senate.  There are problems in the way the parties work the rules of both the House and the Senate due to the majority party leadership having excessive control of each body.  Yet, those houses have control of their rules and it is entirely unwise to give that control to a president, especially one who does not believe in principles and general rules, but instead changes those rules in any way he needs to get what he wants.  Obama has no principles by which he governs his actions, except his single-minded devotion to collectivism and the total control of the individual by a state with a Great Socialist Leader at its head.

I make these comments on what I believe the essential issues are here despite the fact that I want our immigration laws to allow more lawful immigrants, most especially more who are well-educated and who have great skills and ability.  Obama's rule to increase the number of H1B Visas and not to count spouses against the quota is something I would favor, were it voted by Congress.  Unlike Obama and the courts, I believe it is wrong that the children of illegal immigrants who are born in the US are given citizenship.  To compound that wrong with a ruling that all of their parents illegally in the US will be freed of deportation and allowed to apply for citizenship is wrong.  I would allow children born in the US and their parents a path to citizenship, but they would have to prove themselves worthy.  But what I think Congress should do to change the law is just my opinion.  It is Congress' power under the Constitution to either do so, or not to do so.

Of course, this whole matter is one in which Obama has a very vested interest.  Because his father was illegally in the US when he was born, he should not himself have been considered a citizen and should have had to apply for citizenship.  This is especially so because he was abroad so long and became a citizen of Indonesia.  Had Obama applied for citizenship, he could have had his own Social Security number!  His Executive Order is designed to keep many of his citizenship problems from happening for the many illegal immigrants in the USA.

Because of the classical liberal viewpoint that infused the Founding Fathers, the Framers of the Constitution, and most of the nation's leaders until about 1912, the powers of the Executive Office in the federal government were tightly controlled by many checks and balances and by an ideology that tended to make individual freedom and the rights of the individual our highest political values.  Thus, our philosophy of government was guided by principles.  Then the Progressives came along, who had given up moral and political principles as they had adopted a philosophy of Pragmatism. 

Unfortunately, Pragmatism is highly impractical as a philosophy of life.  Without guiding principles for one's actions and one's value choices, excepting the choice of one's own life as one's highest value, it is entirely impractical to assess every choice one makes in a complex world.  This is like trying to do physics without ever using the general principle of the Conservation of Energy, or Newton's laws of motion, or the principles of thermodynamics.  Yes, with a huge effort one might do all the research needed to make one right decision, but this is the equivalent of placing oneself in time prior to Galileo and Newton and trying to figure out what the momentum, force, and kinetic energy of a stone dropped off a cliff will be when it falls on the head of an enemy below.  Rational decisions without principles are made so difficult that real people give up on trying to make rational decisions and they make their decisions based only on emotional grounds.  This is why the politics of Progressives is entirely based on passions and feelings.  Obama and his followers are such people.  They are stultified by the effort to reason, so they default to their feelings.

Our federal government was crafted as mandated by the Constitution with a great many checks and balances which were to check the power of the executive, each of the two houses of the Congress, the judiciary, the federal government versus the state governments, and the elected politicians generally with respect to the People.  There were also temporal checks, either against passing fads and the madness of crowds or against old men too long in power.  These checks and balances mean that there are built-in frictions against governmental actions.  Some rational policies may take considerable time to be chosen and then put in place.  Patience is usually needed.  But, the Framers of the Constitution had learned that democracy was unstable and unsustainable and strong executive leadership was despotic.  The American system of government was designed to prevent those extremes and because of that, it has proven unusually stable and sustainable.  Unfortunately, Obama and the Progressives have de-stabilized our federal government and created huge discord among the People as they diverted the purpose of government from protecting individual rights to providing favors for special interest constituencies.  To do this, they have found it increasingly expedient to claim greater and greater powers for the president, except when the president is not in alignment with their agenda.

Obama does not care about the welfare of illegal immigrants.  It is very clear that he only cares that they become voters for the Democratic Party.  The evidence is that he even wants them to vote before they become citizens.  But, if he really cared about them or his black supporters, he would not have pursued so many anti-business, anti-job, and anti-right-to-earn-a-living policies as he has.  Both groups have suffered terribly under the massive unemployment since he occupied the White House.  Actually, everyone has lost freedoms and their standard of living has decreased under his increasingly despotic regime.

The American People to an unusual degree rose up to oppose Obama's push for more and more despotic powers and controls in the election of 2014.  Obama is choosing to ignore this by and large.  Since he will not be able to control the actions of either the House or the Senate during the remainder of his administration, he has made it perfectly clear that he intends to by-pass their powers and ignore their constitutional authority.  He is ruling the USA with decrees and proclamations now.  This is a precedent which the American People must vociferously oppose, unless they wish a future as serfs without self-ownership or other individual rights.

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