by Al Benson Jr.
The title of this article is a paraphrase of the words spoken by the Mexican bandit in the movie Sierra Madre. I used this as a title because it displays that checks and balances in the Constitution sounds really great to the unitiated , but let’s face it, they don’t really work. And the question I closed my most recent article with was “If the checks and balances in the Constitution don’t really work, then what else in the Constitution doesn’t really work either?” That is a question we really need to start to grapple with.
That checks and balances don’t really work has been amply demonstrated by the activities of recent presidents who, basically, do just what they want and almost no one dares to call any attention to it in such a way as to make any difference.
Back in 2006 writer Charlie Savage of the Boston Globe noted that George W. Bush “has quietly claimed the authority to disobey more than 750 laws enacted since he took office, asserting that he has the power to set aside any statute passed by Congress if it conflicts with his interpretation of the Constitution.” If you or I disobeyed all these laws we’d find ourselves in the slammer for life, but for the president, if he doesn’t happen to agree with them, it’s perfectly okay to ignore or disobey them. Do we have a situation here where all the animals in the barnyard or equal, only some are much more equal than others? Guess you could say that. Where was Congress and the balance of powers while all this went on? The article I took that fact from was written by a Louis Fisher, and he asked: “Does the United States have two sets of laws, one publicly performed by Congress and the other conducted after the fact by executive officials? Is the second superior to the first?” That’s a good question. Most people don’t think to ask it. But the answer is; of course it is. Anyone who knows how this country is run anymore knows that. It may not be legally superior but in practice it’s superior.
As an aside, look at how much the Christians supported Bush both times he ran. His candidacy both times was a big “lovefest” for the Christians. Bush could do no wrong. He was our secular messiah par excellence and most of the church loved him. Of course they, as usual, didn’t bother to do any homework; they just bought the propaganda, and I have to admit, I bought some of it too, in regard to his cabinet member, John Ashcroft, who was supposed to be a Christian. I wrote an article defending him, but as time went on and I watched him grabbing for more and more power, I was forced to write another article stating that I had been wrong about him and that he had succumbed to the lure of government power. Checks and balances didn’t stop Ashcroft from grabbing for all the power he could get.
Recently I also read an article by Rick Santorum, published on http://www.redstate.com back in July of 2012 and labeled Abuse of Power. There are times that I don’t agree with Mr. Santorum. I think his practice of conservatism is not always up to the par of his rhetorical conservatism. But having said that, I think that what he wrote in this particular article was pretty much on target.
Santorum noted several things. He observed: “While the Constitution is quite clear about the distinct and separate rolls for each of these branches, President Obama has shown difficulty in remembering that his role as President is, by design, quite limited. His administration has a tendency to ignore the law, circumvent the Constitution and checks and balances, and outright defy Congress.” So what does Congress do about this? Outside of some political hot air, mostly nothing. If Obama has the slightest concept of the president’s actual role he has willingly put it aside to fulfill the wishes of the ruling elite that engineered his way to the White House. Checks and balances? That’s for the rubes that don’t know how the system really works!
Continuing on, Santorum noted: “After signing Obamacare into law in 2010, the Obama administration immediately began circumventing checks and balances. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius began to wield legislative authority, granting waivers to companies and establishing new bureaucracies. Secretary Sebelius has set new budgets and new guidelines for implementing Obamacare, wholly without Congressional oversight.” Why didn’t Congress speak up? The Executive Branch just routinely by-passed Congress and Congress just sat it out? How does checks and balances work properly when one branch of the federal government is in collusion with the other to do what they basically both want?
Then there was that Supreme Court decision that said Obamacare was legal and legitimate and that it was really okay for the feds to force the public to buy something from a third party whether they wanted it or not. In April of 2012 Obama started to issue subtle warnings to the Supreme Court that they “should not” overturn his health care law. Unfortunately, in an egregious violation of the supposed checks and balances, the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court did an about face and suddenly sided with the four liberals (socialists) on the court and handed down a “decision” that told us Obamacare was, indeed, constitutional. Folks, I submit that this is all “checks and balances” in living color! This is how it works out in practice, and it’s a whole different ballgame than what the “history” books have told us. The feds get to further whatever their current agenda is because all branches of the federal government work in collusion with one another–and the public gets a stick in the eye–as usual.
And then Santorum noted a situation that I followed when it occurred. He said: “In July of 2010, President Obama’s Justice Department filed a lawsuit against the state of Arizona for enforcing immigration laws rather than partnering with Arizona and other states to enforce federal immigration laws already on the books. Arizona was just enforcing the law that Obama refused to enforce. We need our congressional leaders to bravely stand up to the President and remind him of the basic Constitutional principle that was designed to protect our freedoms.” But was it? Or are we only supposed to be under the illusion that it does? Again, where was Congress to enforce the proper checks and balances?
Supposedly in the next week or so, El Presidente will unveil his thrilling new agenda to legalize millions of illegal aliens who are in violation of federal law by simply being here. Do I think he will try to amnesty them? I do. It will be his reward to them for being illegal. Do I think Congress will try to stop him? The House might. The Senate under “Dirty Harry” Reid will totally ignore the law and give Obama carte blanche to just do whatever he wants. Another shining example of how checks and balances really doesn’t work.