You’re not imagining it. I haven’t had a dang thing to say about Barack Obama’s brazen constitutional violation, which was also an indirect repudiation of the 2010 mid-term elections. His decision unilaterally to declare the Senate on a “recess” and then to make “recess” appointments has been analyzed to death and I agree with everyone: it violates the Constitution, it violates the Democrats’ own stance during the Bush administration, it violates the voters’ efforts to rein him in, and it’s a clever move that it makes any Republican objections look like pettifogging proceduralism in the face of a dynamic young president.
It’s that last, of course, that is making Congressional Republicans hesitate. They know Obama has taken one giant step closer to anti-constitutional government (read: dictatorship), but they’re trying to figure out which will be less damaging to them, the rock or the hard place.
My feeling is that, since each position is a problem, Republicans should stand on their principles and launch a full-bore attack against Obama’s gross violation of the separation of powers. They should do ads, give speeches, anything they can to educate the public on the dangers of reposing too much power in one branch of government — and, most certainly, the dangers of allowing an executive, who technically controls the military, to seize that power with impunity.
If you’re going to drown anyway, make a splash when you go. And maybe, just maybe, if you’re making the splash, someone might notice and take an interesting in saving you.
Sadly, I think we can predict with some certainly that Republicans will take this latest insult to American freedoms as they always do: lying down, preferably with a “please, sir, may I have some more” sign taped to their collective foreheads. The whole notion of fighting vigorously for the things that matter seems alien to the “go along to get along” Republicans.
To give the ‘Pubs some credit, when you’ve been beaten about the head by the major media for decades, you can get a little too cautious. Even if you don’t respect your torturer, it doesn’t mean you don’t fear him. And it takes a certain amount of courage for each individual Republican to run himself deliberately through the gauntlet: racist, religious madman, Tea Bagging idiot, racist, stupid person, racist, etc. It’s one thing to understand that the people hurling the insults are meaningless. It’s another thing entirely for a politician to be sanguine about the fact that this name-calling will be directed relentlessly at his own constituents. Doesn’t mean said politician should remain silent, but it does make it very hard to speak.
If it’s any consolation, Nazi Europe isn’t the only possible outcome when someone with political power seeks to violate constitutional limitations. Back in the 1790s, the British were worried about the same thing:
This attractive print shows Prime Minister Pitt steering a small boat, The Constitution, which also carries Britannia, towards a castle with a flag inscribed “Haven of Public Happiness.” They are pursued by Sheridan, Fox, and Priestley. And remember that it took another 150 years, which included the extraordinarily successful Victorian Era, before the socialists succeeded in derailing British constitutionalism. We live in a faster-paced world, but there’s still time to right the ship of state, to steer our way through troubled waters without drowning, and to reach a safe, constitutional haven.