Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Jesse Jackson does not understand the constitution

In a recent article, Jesse Jackson blames all the nations problems on Republican congressmen who are blocking the President's attempts to fix all our problems. He, like the President himself, is presuming that because Republicans are voting down all the Presidents initiatives, they must just place a higher priority on getting Obama out of office than they do on fixing the country (rather than, you know, actually having rational disagreements with those policies...they can't fathom that). So since Congress is an impasse, Jackson praises Obama's recent use of executive order's as a means of circumventing Congress. He then poo-poo's Republican's objections to these mandates with the following sentences:

"Governance by executive order goes back to George Washington, who issued the first order in 1789...[T]he Constitution allows a president to protect the nation’s interest from a Congress in rebellion."

No Jesse, it absolutely doesn't. In fact, executive orders are nowhere to be found in the constitution. All the President can do, according to the constitution, is ENFORCE the laws made by Congress. "Executive orders" are only constitutional if they do that: it's the supreme court's job to interpret when those orders are within the framework of powers granted to the president BY CONGRESS. George Washington did issue the first executive order, and it was regarding the questioning of a military officer whose men had been killed in battle. The handling of that officer was directly pursuant to the president's constitutional authority as Commander in Chief; that officer was commissioned by the President's signature, and worked under the President's orders.

Using executive orders to "protect the nation's interest" is code for using them to "do what he wants", because obviously what's in the nations best interest is up for debate! There's also another term for the "rebellious congress" Jackson laments: checks and balances. Since different factions want different things, each can place a check on what the other can or cannot do. When Republicans put a whooping on Mr. Obama and Mr. Jackson's party in 2010, it meant the President could no longer just push through his will. That is a beautiful thing. Obama's frustration with his inability to get his way constitutionally does not mean he can simply issue a decree that things shall be done his way: that would make him a King. Jessie Jackson should know the framers weren't too hot about that idea. President Obama should not be able to "protect the nations interest from a rebellious Congress" any more than King George should have been able to protect the nations interest from rebellious colonies. Because as it turned out, the colonies were right.

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