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The Founders Foresaw Obama, But Not Boehner And McConnell

Feckless GOP Leaders Mitch McConnell John Boehner

Conservatives, concerned, if not already in a white-hot fury, about President Obama’s frequent trampling on the Constitution and governing traditions of the United States, have sometimes been tempted to view what’s been going on in Washington for the past six years as something the Framers of the Constitution never anticipated, and hence failed to guard against in our Nation’s founding document.

But nothing could be further from the truth – the Constitution, and the Federalist Papers that explain how it was expected to operate, created a system of effective checks on a "usurping" or power hungry executive.

The Framers set-up a system of three branches of government; executive, legislative and judicial, with not just the assumption, but with the clear direction, that they would enforce the Constitution upon each other.

And, in the conclusion of Federalist 48 James Madison introduced the problem we face today:

…a mere demarcation on parchment of the constitutional limits of the several departments, is not a sufficient guard against those encroachments which lead to a tyrannical concentration of all the powers of government in the same hands.

The “tyrannical concentration of all the powers in the same hands” was to be prevented, as Madison and Hamilton argued in the various other Federalist Papers (such as Federalist 51) by the institutional self-interest the other departments of government had for preserving their own prerogatives.

Or as Hamilton or Madison put it, “This policy of supplying, by opposite and rival interests, the defect of better motives, might be traced through the whole system of human affairs, private as well as public.”

However, it is fair to say that what the Framers didn’t anticipate, or at least didn’t anticipated fully, was that the leaders of the legislative branch, in this case Speaker of the House John Boehner and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, would be so feckless in their execution of their roles as enforcers of the Constitution, that they would leave the application of the Constitution as “the Law that governs government” and most especially as the law that checks the executive branch in the person of President Barack Obama, entirely to the federal courts and mostly to the Supreme Court.

The danger of this abdication of responsibility by the leaders of the legislative branch, and their feckless decision to put enforcement of the Constitution solely in the hands of the Supreme Court, is potentially just as tyrannical as leaving unchecked power in the hands of Obama.

The media has characterized the Supreme Court as having a long-standing division between those justices perceived as “conservative” and those justices perceived as “liberal.” But don’t be fooled by the establishment media perceptions or characterizations of the division on the court.

The real split was between those justices who view the Constitution as the law that governs government and those who view the Constitution as a quaint anachronism that can be got round with a little sophistry.

This problem was on full display in the Supreme Court oral arguments on Obamacare in yesterday’s King v Burwell hearing.

The Democratic appointees to the Court seemed to argue in favor of any interpretation of the law that preserved the policy goal of “giving” subsidized health insurance to millions of Americans, regardless of what the law passed by Congress actually says.

Perhaps even more worrying than the "liberal" positions was "conservative" Justice Alito’s suggestion that, as The Washington Post’s Jason Millman put it:

“The Supreme Court could offer a temporary 'fix' if subsidies are struck down. There's been much focus on whether Congress or the Obama administration could step in and blunt the impact of a ruling for the millions of people who'd lose subsidies in federal exchange states. If such a ruling were so disruptive, Scalia said, then Congress would come up with a fix. However, the government's lawyer, Solicitor General Donald Verrilli, expressed skepticism that "this Congress" would working something out. Alito suggested that the court -- if it rules against the subsidies -- could delay the decision from taking effect until 2016 to give states and Congress time to react.”

In other words, following that line of reasoning, the Supreme Court in essence, would legislate a window during which Congress would be expected to find a new way to subsidize health care for those whose current subsidy was contrary to the law as Congress wrote it.

Such a result would be, on its face, wholly at odds with the constitutional concept of the separation of legislative and judicial powers and the constitutional mandate that the Supreme Court be the interpreter of the laws, not the maker of laws.

It would also fly in the face of popular opinion which strongly indicates that We the People want Obamacare, and its subsidies and mandates repealed, not amended to preserve its vast transfer of wealth.

Madison, Hamilton and the other Framers of the Constitution saw a tiered, divided system of government that ultimately derives its power from the consent of the people -- in a word, republicanism -- as the most effective way to prevent or at least limit the abuse of power by government. 

The republicanism conceived by the Framers of the Constitution, however, has been betrayed by today’s weak and feckless congressional leaders, such as Mitch McConnell and John Boehner.

Boehner and McConnell have not only failed to fulfill their constitutional responsibilities, they have thwarted the intent of the Framers of the Constitution by refusing to act as a check on a power hungry executive, and in their hands it appears that the Constitution may no longer secure the freedoms that enable America’s exceptionalism.

We urge you to call your Representative and Senators (the Capitol Switchboard is 1-866-220-0044) tell them to stop abdicating their constitutional responsibilities by punting every politically uncomfortable legislative choice to the Supreme Court. Tell them that you demand Congress act to check Obama and end his unconstitutional executive actions before Congress becomes irrelevant and our 224-year-old system of limited constitutional government is permanently dismantled through the weakness of Mitch McConnell and John Boehner.

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RINOs in charge

We should start an immediate campaign to replace all republicans who voted with the RINOs in charge of the house and senate.

It is a way past time to get rid of those who aid and abet the enemy. Start now, find real conservatives and work to get them elected; replace those who "go along to get along" it is time to stand up to the left!

The Founders Foresaw Obama, But Not Boehner And McConnell

Great article. It is exactly what is happening, and what one should expect would happen when one power (i.e., US Chamber of Commerce) controls both houses of government.