Thomas Jefferson cautioned that "a government big enough to give you everything you want, is strong enough to take away everything you have." Not two weeks into his elected term of office, President Barack Obama has begun implementing his policies via executive orders, thus effectively skirting the legislative branch, supposedly the voice of the people.
Folks, let me warn you plainly. The USA must beware the USB: the Unilateral State of Barack.
The United States Constitution contains a time-honored system of checks-and-balances which keeps any one of the three branches of federal government from usurping power. The chief executive can propose all he wishes, but the Congress makes laws according to the will of the people they serve, and the Supreme Court rules on the legality of those laws by carefully interpreting our Constitution.
The President issued executive orders reversing seven years of Justice Department proceedings, which have been upheld by our nation’s highest court, then called on White House counsel Greg Craig to take the heat for them. Craig, quoted in multiple publications, acknowledged that Mr. Obama had been planning for more than a year to take these actions, that he deliberately postponed having legal questions related to these actions studied in order to let lawyers fight it out in court while his policies — legal or illegal — are implemented expeditiously.
One executive order closes the prisoner detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, where the most heinous known terrorists and terror suspects have been detained in the aftermath of the 2001 al Qaeda attacks. Another executive order closes all CIA "black sites," facilities which conduct covert activities vital in the real world for protecting America and American lives. A third executive order places all terrorist detainees under the protection of the Geneva Convention and grants access by the International Red Cross.
Yes, I do have a problem with all of this. Thanks for asking.
The President has unilaterally issued protections to known terrorists who participated in attacks against America, not merely suspects, but confirmed terrorists.
These are brethren to those who beheaded a journalist on television, who flew jetliners into New York’s Twin Towers, the Pentagon and had a fourth airliner en route to Washington — thwarted only by the heroic actions of patriots aboard that plane.
Legal and Constitutional issues arise when the President of the United States issues executive orders reversing established policies and, thus, subverts the will of the people by tacitly silencing their voices.
I have a problem with that one, and also with the fact that the President’s chief advisory group is a think tank called Human Rights First — an organization whose mission statement includes the phrase "…to protect…those whose rights are eroded in the name of national security."
Am I the only American who believes it to be perfectly fine to racially profile persons of Middle Eastern origin in airports, instead of searching 90-year-old great-grandmothers and having them throw away their toothpaste?
I have a big problem with the symbolism of the new President granting his first official interview to an Arab network, Al-Arabiya, and stating that "my job is to bring about a better partnership between America and the Muslim world."
No, Mr. President, that’s not your job.
Your job is to protect and defend the Constitution of The United States of America. Nowhere in that document is made any mention of partnering with the Muslim world.
I’m not done yet. I have a problem with the new President’s first official telephone call from the Oval Office. He called Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. That’s right. You know the Palestinians, really nice guys who use civilian neighborhoods as cover while launching mortar and rocket attacks on Israel, then blame Israel for targeting those same neighborhoods when returning fire in self-defense.
Hey, I’m not making this up. The President’s priorities are out in the open for all with eyes to see.
Let me tell you something, plainly. Whether you’re a bleeding heart liberal who supported Obama because you viewed voting the first African-American into the Oval Office as some sort of touchy-feely game designed to give us all a warm feeling inside, or a minority who voted for Obama because you felt "it’s our time," you were wrong.
His executive orders, first television interview, first official phone call and other early actions reveal that the 44th President’s first priorities are not at all centered on America or Americans, but are all about "partnering with the Muslim world" -- even to the extent of providing protections for the very terrorists who attacked America.
That’s the plain truth, and that’s just plain wrong.
Even those most infatuated with the 44th President can see how transparent his attempts, via executive order, are to skirt the one branch of government supposedly safeguarding the will of all Americans. Obama’s actions thunder so loudly that the words he speaks can no longer be heard.
America, beware the USB: the Unilateral State of Barack.
Nat Harwell is a resident of Newton County. His column appears in The Covington News on Sundays.