Class Warfare Blog

February 12, 2014

The President is “Lawless,” My Ass!

Republicans have taken to describe President Obama as being lawless for his intention to use Executive Orders to achieve some of his administration’s ends. (Executive Orders are basically memos for the CEO regarding how to proceed with already designated activities.) The GOP pols say they cannot trust the President to enforce any immigration law they might pass, for example.

It takes a lot of chutzpah for the Republicans to call the President lawless. Pray consider the following lawless actions of recent Republican Presidents and presidential candidates:
• Richard Nixon’s treasonous working with the North Vietnamese to delay any peace talk activity until after his election (which he won in a squeaker).
• Richard Nixon and Watergate et. al. resulting in him quitting the office.
• Ronald Reagan’s treasonous working with the Iranian hostage takers, promising them a better deal if they released the hostages after Reagan’s election (which he won over Jimmy Carter and then the hostages were freed).
• Ronald Reagan’s illegal sale of arms to Iran (a connection to the hostage favor?) to fund his anti-Sandinista war in Nicaragua.
• George Bush’s lies about Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction, resulting in an unnecessary war that caused trillions of dollars to be miss-spent and thousands of servicemen’s lives to be lost or changed irrevocably.

They say a good offense is the best defense and the Repubs are certainly offensive in this.

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26 Comments »

  1. The argument, “Everybody doesn’t it so it’s okay,” doesn’t work.

    Nixon was driven from office for his crimes.

    Ronald Reagan was investigated, to no avail, for the 8 years.

    On the other hand President Obama is a proven liar.

    And what good is Congress if the President can change the law anytime he wants?

    That’s called tyranny.

    President Obama is a lying tyrant, proven beyond a shadow of a doubt.

    Comment by silenceofmind — February 12, 2014 @ 12:27 pm | Reply

  2. silenceofmind, you have no idea what a real tyrant is. Maybe you ought to try living under the rule of Vladimir Putin or Kim Jong On for a while, and see if you notice a difference. I am so tired of the utterly cynical abuse of language I see coming from people who can’t accept that we have a President who is a Democrat. Any Democratic President will be subjected to the same overheated rhetoric. The fact is that Obama is far more of a centrist than I had hoped for.

    Comment by linnetmoss — February 13, 2014 @ 6:56 am | Reply

    • Linnet,

      “Real tyranny” is when the three powers of government, the legislative, the executive and the judiciary are united under one person, one institution or one group of men.

      Marxism is ridiculous and leads to particularly genocidal regimes because it concentrates total power into a single man and a single political party.

      Barack Obama is operating according to the Marxist model and is intent on destroying the rule of law that has been integral to American culture for 300 years.

      Once the rule of law is completely destroyed, American tyranny will become pernicious and deadly.

      Comment by silenceofmind — February 13, 2014 @ 7:03 am | Reply

      • No doubt you believe that Bill Clinton also operated under the “Marxist” model. I find it interesting how the opponents of Obama use both “Marxism” and “Fascism” as descriptors for his administration. You could all benefit from a course in Poli Sci 101.

        Comment by linnetmoss — February 13, 2014 @ 7:09 am | Reply

        • Linnet,

          Progressivism is the political philosophy of the ruling class which includes Democrats and Republicans.

          It was defined and first taught at the university level by Woodrow Wilson at the end of the 19th century.

          It is a derivative of Marxism and as such works to concentrate political power (legislative, executive, judicial) in the hands of one person, the president.

          Progressivism developed over the years and took quantum leaps under Teddy Roosevelt’s 16th Amendment (federal income tax), FDR’s New Deal, Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society, Richard Nixon’s EPA and federalism, and finally Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act, aka ObamaCare.

          The federal takeover of healthcare is what finally gives the government total control over society. By designating ObamaCare mandates as taxes, the Supreme Court authorized the President to unleash the IRS on anyone and everyone.

          ObamaCare is actually an institutionalization of President Obama’s IRS scandal where he used the IRS to shut down his political opposition in the 2012 election (over half of American voters were disenfranchised).

          Barack Obama has done what no other American president has done.

          He has usurped the legislative power from Congress and is willy-nilly changing the ObamaCare for the political benefit of the Democrat Party.

          That is illegal and is grounds for impeachment under the Constitution.

          Comment by silenceofmind — February 13, 2014 @ 8:16 am | Reply

          • What actually happened is that Obama’s administration proposed changes to the existing healthcare system. These were in turn passed by Congress after much debate. The Supreme court upheld the constitutionality of the law. All three branches of government participated and had a chance to weigh in. It’s how democracy works. Just because you dislike the outcome, you call it “tyranny.” I disagree with many of the uses my taxes are put to, but I still have to pay them. That’s what happens in a civilized society.

            Comment by linnetmoss — February 13, 2014 @ 10:43 am | Reply

            • Linnet,

              The definition I used for tyranny is the same one America’s Founding Fathers used.

              It is political philosophy from Enlightenment philosopher Charles Montesquieu that defines tyranny as the constituent powers of government (legislative, judicial and executive) under the control of a single party, institution or person.

              So my complaint against ObamaCare isn’t just because I don’t happen to like it.

              ObamaCare is tyranny as defined by the Founding Fathers that requires the unleashing of unaccountable bureaucracies like the IRS upon the public, for purely political purposes.

              President Obama’s actions concerning ObamaCare prove that it is raw tyranny, not medical insurance.

              ————————————————————–

              All taxation is not alike. There exists just taxation and unjust taxation.

              The redistribution of wealth through taxation is unjust, for example.

              That’s because it uses the force of law to take assets from those who earned them and gives them to those who did not earn them.

              That is the definition of stealing.

              Consequently, welfare, social security, Medicare, ObamaCare all require that the government steal from a portion of its citizens.

              That is unjust and discriminatory. A government that is not just and discriminates against certain citizens, is oppressive.

              On the other hand, taxation for the purpose of providing services such as law enforcement, fire department and military is just taxation because all citizens benefit from the services.

              Comment by silenceofmind — February 13, 2014 @ 2:25 pm | Reply

      • Goodness. I seem to remember Karl Rove making predictions of a thousand-year Reich for the Republican party at one point. He was quite happy to concentrate as much power as possible in the right wing.
        In any case, I am looking forward to hearing what jeremiads will pour forth from you and likeminded individuals when Hillary Clinton is elected. You’ve rhetorically overused all the extreme comparisons so much that they are exhausted. You may have to fall back on the Wicked Witch, or Lady Macbeth.

        Comment by linnetmoss — February 13, 2014 @ 7:41 am | Reply

        • Karl Rove is an example of a GOP Progressive.

          He is a political operative whose only purpose is to elect Progressive Republicans.

          He is reviled by Conservatives and Libertarians who generally form the base of the Republican Party.

          Comment by silenceofmind — February 13, 2014 @ 8:20 am | Reply

  3. Silenceofmind,

    Prove your claims by citation of evidence, or admit that your claims are simply politically motivated carping not statements of fact regarding the Constitution and Obama’s administration.

    Indicate *exactly* by reference to the ACA text which part of the law the President has violated. Don’t cite your favorite conservative echo chamber, cite the actual law.

    The President was certainly wrong about people being able to keep their insurance plans if they liked them, although that is a consequence of market forces responding to the ACA, not a specific prescription in the law. If that’s the basis for your claim that the President has lied, OK that’s your interpretation and it’s even a somewhat fair interpretation. But its something that can only have political consequences at the ballot box, it’s not criminal, it’s not impeachable. If it constitutes “cruel and oppressive” rule I can only say you’re quite the hothouse flower.

    Cite the evidence for your claim that half of the electorate was disenfranchised in 2012 by IRS action. Do you have election statistics *and* solid causal relationships that can back your claim. Or is this going to be something emerging from the perfervid imagination of Glenn Beck and that ilk? Did the number of voters in 2012 precipitously plunge in comparison to other Presidential election years? (Spoiler alert: It didn’t. See http://uselectionatlas.org/RESULTS/index.html)

    People are not “socialists” or “communists” simply because you label them as such. These terms have meaning. They represent actual organizations and institutions. Please cite evidence of Obama’s direct connection to the USSP or USCP. Otherwise you’re simply spouting some Manichean nonsense where in anyone who does not adhere to your own personal understanding of democracy is therefore a socialist or a marxist or what have you.

    The burden of proof is on you.

    Comment by Peter Walsh — February 13, 2014 @ 2:10 pm | Reply

    • Peter,

      Citations are not necessary for common knowledge.

      President Obama himself, is proof that what I say is true.

      Listen to him instead of the leftwing propaganda broadcast by the drive-by media.

      Comment by silenceofmind — February 13, 2014 @ 2:30 pm | Reply

  4. Silenceofmind,

    So in other words you cannot cite any proof, nor are you interested in taking the time to find any. Obama himself is proof of what you say, just like I can prove the world is flat by climbing a mountain and failing to see the curvature of the Earth. Obama himself is proof of what you say, just like its “self-evident” that the sun moves and the Earth does not.

    I gave you a link to a cite that compiles data for elections and it shows that there was no precipitous drop in voting in 2012, but you *say* half the electorate was disenfranchised that year by the IRS. I guess that’s also just “common knowledge” and that my research into election statistics is just me listening to “leftwing propaganda and drive-by media.”

    I’ve actually been reading the ACA, combing it for the exact statutory requirement that the President has ignored. But I guess me actually reading the law itself instead of accepting anyone else’s interpretation of it is somehow really me listening to propaganda, etc.

    I realize that you’re simply voicing one side of the court of public opinion, but if you’re going to say that someone is a “tyrant” and “violating the Constitution” and a “socialist” a “marxist” and so on, then surely you realize our system – even informally – is properly based on a concept of innocence until proven guilty. You’re not obligated to prove your wild assertions in the comments section of an internet blog, and you’re lucky – because you can’t.

    Comment by Peter Walsh — February 13, 2014 @ 2:43 pm | Reply

    • Peter,

      You have admitted that you need a citation for common knowledge.

      That is an admission of malignant, ingrained ignorance.

      I am not to blame for that nor am I responsible for solving your problem.

      Comment by silenceofmind — February 13, 2014 @ 2:45 pm | Reply

  5. Silenceofmind,

    If it’s “common knowledge” then you should have no problem citing the proof. Apparently you can’t. You simultaneously wish to decry the trustworthiness of the media but want to rest your claims on what is “common knowledge” which you can only be acquiring via “the media.” You want to transfer your inability to cite *anything* to back your claims as my problem. Sorry, but that doesn’t work. You’ve made accusations. I’ve shown one to be clearly false. While that doesn’t mean the rest of your claims are similarly false (fallacy of ad hoc ergo propter hoc) you cannot and will not support your claims. They’re “just true.”

    And yet you say: “That is an admission of malignant, ingrained ignorance. I am not to blame for that nor am I responsible for solving your problem.” (Translation: I can’t prove anything I say and if you call me on it “that’s your problem.”)

    If the irony here were any heavier I think my computer would sink through the floor on its way to the core of the Earth.

    Comment by Peter Walsh — February 13, 2014 @ 2:53 pm | Reply

    • Peter,

      The basis for my comments is a matter of public record and is in the news nearly every day.

      You need to do your own homework.

      Comment by silenceofmind — February 13, 2014 @ 2:55 pm | Reply

  6. Silenceofmind,

    You cannot transfer the burden of proof to me. It’s all yours. Point to some specific evidence or admit that you cannot.

    Comment by Peter Walsh — February 13, 2014 @ 3:01 pm | Reply

    • Peter,

      My comments are full of citations where needed.

      I name names like Charles Montesquieu.

      If you don’t know who he is, look him up.

      All the facts I use are very easy to look up.

      And all my reasoning is based on simple facts and the meaning words.

      Comment by silenceofmind — February 13, 2014 @ 3:58 pm | Reply

  7. Silenceofmind,

    Ah yes your extensive understanding of the Founding Fathers and Montesquieu are worth considering as well. My question is: do you actually *read* Montesquieu, or the critical citation of him in Federalist 47? Or do you just accept at face value someone’s interpretation made at your favorite rightwing blog or radio station?

    Here’s what Madison says about Montesquieu, tyranny and the separation of powers in Federalist 47:

    “…Montesquieu was guided, it may clearly be inferred that, in saying “There can be no liberty where the legislative and executive powers are united in the same person, or body of magistrates,” or, “if the power of judging be not separated from the legislative and executive powers,” he did not mean that these departments ought to have no partial agency in, or no control over, the acts of each other. His meaning, as his own words import, and still more conclusively as illustrated by the example in his eye, can amount to no more than this, that where the whole power of one department is exercised by the same hands which possess the whole power of another department, the fundamental principles of a free constitution are subverted.”

    See http://www.constitution.org/fed/federa47.htm

    So we are to believe that a postponement of the implementation of the ACA is simply and entirely equivalent to the executive under Obama taking “the whole power of [the legislature]”.

    Oh wait, it’s just “common knowledge”. My mistake. But you’re right it is easy to look up Federalist 47 and read the whole thing. You should try it.

    Comment by Peter Walsh — February 13, 2014 @ 4:02 pm | Reply

    • Peter,

      My readings come from primary sources.

      If I cite Montesquieu it is because I read his very words.

      Comment by silenceofmind — February 13, 2014 @ 4:05 pm | Reply

  8. Silenceofmind,

    No doubt he reads differently in the original French. Maybe that explains why Madison developed a reading that is at variance to yours.

    Comment by Peter Walsh — February 13, 2014 @ 4:07 pm | Reply

    • Peter,

      Sorry but you are dead wrong about Montesquieu.

      The proof is the US Constitution.

      Comment by silenceofmind — February 13, 2014 @ 4:15 pm | Reply

  9. Silenceofmind,

    To quote a darling of the right, “Well, there you go again.”

    I suppose now it falls on me to figure out what exactly you mean by “doing my homework” and that your burden of explaining anything is satisfied by a vague invocation of the Constitution. Please elucidate with the luxury of detail on exactly what within the US Constitution stands as proof that “I” am “dead wrong” about Montesquieu.

    This should be interesting considering I have made no statements regarding Montesquieu. What I did was cite a quotation from Federalist 47 showing that Madison would not agree with your conclusion that the separation of powers is a rigid one in which the separate branches “ought to have no partial agency in, or no control over, the acts of each other.”

    So you’re in effect claiming that the US Constitution will somehow stand as proof that Madison (one of its primary architects) is somehow “dead wrong” about *his* interpretation of Montesquieu. That’s just absurd enough to be irresistibly interesting. Please do explain.

    Comment by Peter Walsh — February 13, 2014 @ 4:21 pm | Reply

    • Peter,

      The Constitution divides government into its three constituent parts a la Montesquieu.

      Comment by silenceofmind — February 13, 2014 @ 5:22 pm | Reply

  10. Silenceofmind,

    That is correct the Constitution does exactly that. Thank you for the detailed explanation.

    From that simple statement you would have us understand:

    P1 – The separation of powers in the Constitution is rigid and unambiguous.
    P2 – The views of the Founding Fathers derived from Montesquieu are in agreement with and proof of P1.
    If P1 and P2 then the Obama administration’s delay of the employer mandate of the ACA is a violation of the Constitution and Obama is a tyrant who violates the Constitution six times before breakfast every morning.

    (You’re free to actually do some of the work here, but since you decline to explain yourself you leave it to me.)

    I’ve shown that James Madison does not agree with your propositions. He specifically dismisses the idea of a rigid separation of powers in Federalist 47.

    But more to the point, the mere existence of the Constitution does not make or settle an argument.

    Are you aware that there is plenty of well established law and legal opinion on this situation?

    For over 60 years the Administrative Procedure Act has governed the operation of federal agencies. The delay of ACA is part of the Treasury Department’s regulations for 2014. Similar administrative delays in tax regulation are so routine as to be entirely common and have been for decades. Such delays have been tested in the courts which hold that in order for a federal agency to be compelled to act it must be shown that the delays amount to a “refusal to implement a statue”. So you would argue that the administration has no intention of ever enforcing the employer mandate? Can you establish that in fact? (Will this be another invocation of the convenient “common knowledge” argument?)

    Can you also address the mere *existence* of the Administrative Procedure Act. It utterly vitiates your claims. The “tyrant” Obama has not been issued a court order to proceed with enforcement of the employer mandate that he has then refused. His actions are subject to procedural review and can be checked by the courts if they are in fact inappropriate.

    If after that the President refuses to act, then he can justly be accused of tyranny I suppose. But until then, we’ve got a system and it’s actually working despite your opinion to the contrary.

    Comment by Peter Walsh — February 13, 2014 @ 5:52 pm | Reply

    • Peter,

      Law making is the exclusive power of the legislature.

      President Obama is the leader of the executive branch of government.

      According to the Constitution, no one in the executive branch can re-write laws on the fly like President Obama has been doing for years.

      Indeed, when the President of the United States usurps legislative powers and re-writes and enforces laws at his own whim, then he is a tyrant, by definition.

      Comment by silenceofmind — February 13, 2014 @ 8:46 pm | Reply

  11. Silenceofmind,

    Despite your continual repetition of the same claims, you appear unable to support your statements beyond the most rudimentary gestures toward a body of history and law that you either do not understand or cannot relate to your viewpoint.

    Article II of the Constitution requires the President to “take care that the laws be faithfully executed.” Who decides whether that is happening or not in the case of the ACA, or in any other supposed controversy? Is it you? Is it right wing or libertarian punditry?

    The Constitution offers an answer.

    Article III of the Constitution vests the judicial power of the United States in a Supreme Court and adds that the power of the Court extends to all cases arising under the Constitution. So the Supreme Court gets the power of decision here not “silenceofmind” or some other self-appointed vox populi of the right. The Court has not ruled on this specific case, but it *has* addressed the question of whether the executive can make discretionary postponements of law enforcement.

    Now if I were *you* I’d just say Heckler v. Chaney (1985) proves you wrong and then leave it at that. If you asked, “how does it do that” and I were *you* I’d just answer – “do your homework”. But I’m not *you* I can substantiate my claim fully. The Supreme Court ruled that *exactly* this kind of executive interpretation of the law is unreviewable by the Court except in two cases: First, if an agency declines to act based “solely” on its belief that it lacks jurisdiction. Secondly, where an agency “consciously and expressly” adopts a policy that is so extreme that it represents an abdication of its statutory responsibilities.

    I’ve already made this point in substance, but naturally you’ve ignored it since it refutes your completely untenable claims.

    Heckler v. Chaney: http://biotech.law.lsu.edu/cases/adlaw/chaney.htm

    Comment by Peter Walsh — February 13, 2014 @ 9:15 pm | Reply


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