THE LIBERTARIAN ENTERPRISE
Number 811, March 1, 2015
Live Long. And, Prosper!
Attribute to L. Neil Smith's The Libertarian Enterprise
Are we in the "End Days"?
No, I don't mean in the biblical sense. The end days of the republic.
There have always been those who wailed and gnashed their teeth when the opposing party came into power. They claimed that their political opponents would destroy everything good in the country. Usually, it's a bunch of statist hot air. But now ......
First off, let's get something straight. This country isn't perfect. No system of government is and no political grouping that creates artificial borders to define their tribe vs. the other tribes can ever be. BUT, this system we have had for 227 years has given the most liberty and freedom to the largest number of people in recorded history. It's been a country that made individual rights so broad, well respected and commonplace that its people can actually comprehend a modern, industrial/technological society with no government ... and look at it as an obtainable goal. It may not be perfect, or even great, but its the only one that gives a hope we can get beyond having a government.
It is looking like this grand experiment may be coming to an end.
We elected a majority in the house and senate, and a president, who for 2 years did not even make the pretense of producing a budget. Then an opposing party was given control of the house that lacked the will to use the only real power it had as controlling only the house -- the power of the purse -- and refused to force any concessions at all (such as requiring a budget) as a condition of funding the government. A majority of voters in this country elected that president again, while giving both houses to the opposing party.
That president, fed up with not being able to get an agenda so radical it couldn't be rammed through when his party controlled both houses, and now faced with actually having to deal with the other party in control of the legislature, actually threatened to become a dictator ("I've got a pen and a phone"). Congress, even controlled by the opposing party, can't seem to understand the direct threat to their own power enough to check him on the statement or any actions thus far.
The Courts have handed out rulings against his policies. Not many (not nearly enough). The response from the public? A significant percentage thinks the president should be able to ignore court rulings that don't go his way.
Now he has fired another pair of shots across the bow of "checks and balances". A proposed ban on ammunition that was legal, on the flimsiest of reasoning, and a proposal to extend regulatory authority over the internet by the FCC.
From congress? A little talk, some blustering and letters, but no serious proposal to stop either action let alone actual urgency.
I fear that if congress does not act ... if we don't DEMAND congress act ... the next election will never come. Who really thinks that this president, emboldened by getting his way for the 5-1/2 years thus far and further emboldened by getting to dictate policies over an ineffective congress for the rest of this term, will quietly step down in 2-1/2 years? He has acted increasing like a dictator. Congress seems unwilling to enforce any limit against him. What is there to prevent him from deciding his "pen and phone" allow him to suspend the election in 2017? Impeachment? Please .... If congress cannot muster enough votes to override a veto, or even to set a bill on his desk that he promises to veto, what chance do they have of actually impeaching him?
If congress wants the FCC to regulate the internet, or the BATFE to ban M855 ammo, then it needs to actually pass a law to do so. If not (and I hope and pray they don't want either) then they need to send a resolution to the president telling him to cease and desist on this, backed by a simple and straight forward bill that tells him those actions are not allowed. If (when) he vetoes it, they need to immediately override his veto. If he insists on continuing this path, congress must move to impeach while simultaneously withholding all funding to the executive branch.
The time that congress has to act is now. If they won't, then they are accepting that the president can act as a dictator, and accepting that even if this president steps down, it's only because he wants to.
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