A Chance To Test the “Balance of Power” Theory

by Al Benson Jr.

In this current series I have been working on one of my main contentions has been that the so-called Constitutional checks and balances between the different branches of the government has not ever really worked the way it was supposed to or that we have been told it did.

In my last article I noted the situation in regard to the illegal immigrants in this country and how the head of the current Marxist Regime plans an end run around Congress so he can take “executive action” to make most of them “legal” with nothing more than the swirl of his mighty pen. Obama has no concept of how constitutional government is supposed to work and, frankly, he couldn’t care less. He will do as he has been instructed to do regardless of whether it breaks the law or not.

Senator Jeff Sessions of Alabama has commented on this in an article that appeared on http://www.townhall.com on November 13th. Senator Sessions originally made his comments on a show, The Kelly File on Fox News.

The Town Hall article stated that: “Sessions explained that President Obama not only lacks the authority to do what is outlined in a released plan, but it’s against the law.” Sessions said: “Fundamentally the President has no authority to do this, it’s against the law.” And Sessions also said: “Congress can stop it and must stop it. It’s really a threat to constitutional order.”

Sessions duly noted the warnings from Immigrations and Customs Enforcement officers that if Obama continues on and follows through with his “executive order” it will be well-nigh impossible to enforce immigration laws that are already on the books and it will encourage and set the stage for even more illegality in the future. Folks, that’s what it’s supposed to do. Further, Sessions stressed that there would be extreme economic consequences from this action on the poor and middle classes in this country. You know something? That doesn’t concern Obama in the least. That’s part of his agenda and the agenda of those that made sure he got into office–destruction of the middle class and the reduction of this country to third world status. And you do have to admit, he’s done a remarkable job of it. Even Slick Willy couldn’t have done any better, nor could Bush Jr., and they both had a crack at it.

Sessions has suggested that Congress cut off the funding for such things as identification cards and other things that are necessary for “executive amnesty” to go forward. He said: “It would be a big, strong step and it would make this almost impossible to accomplish. It would reflect the will of the American people.” Know what? Obama doesn’t give a tinker’s dam about the will of the American people. If he can find ways to circumvent that will he is most happy to do it. It makes his day! Comments from those in his administration display quite graphically what he actually thinks of real Americans. He thinks we are all stupid, all potential terrorists, and we’re just not real bright because we fail to share his Marxist version of a socialist utopia for America. How could we be so dumb as to reject the totalitarian society he and his handlers have planned for us. We should all know better and, therefore, he will do whatever he has to do to us to show us the error of our ways. His absolute last concern is for the real welfare of the country. Anyone who hasn’t figured that out after six years of his imperious regime just isn’t trying.

Having said that, let’s look at what Senator Sessions has said. He says Obama “lacks the authority” to do what he wants to do for the illegal aliens, basically to reward their illegality. He says “…it’s against the law. Congress can stop it and must stop it. It’s really a threat to constitutional order.” That all sounds good and I applaud Senator Sessions’ sentiments, but, in the final analysis, you know what? Congress will probably not stop it. Though it infringes on their area of legislative expertise they will probably not really do much of anything except what I said in my last article–lots of loud protests to make it look like they plan to do something when what they will really end up doing is caving in and letting Obama do what he wants to do, with maybe a couple very minor changes.

Sessions says that Congress should cut off funding for identification cards for illegal aliens. Sounds good. Anyone really think Obama cares? He’ll just amnesty them without any cards–he’d probably rather not have to mess with the cards anyway. After all, in many places now you don’t have to show any ID to go and vote so what difference will an identity card make? American citizens have to show an ID when they go into a store to buy something and write out a check for it. When I go to vote I have to show a photo ID. When we went just recently to vote in the mid-term elections I quipped to the ladies who were checking our identification that “Just think, if I was an illegal alien I wouldn’t have to worry about showing any ID at all. I could just wank in and vote.” No one answered me. Either they disagreed and were polite enough not to say so, or I was closer than anyone wanted to say anything about.

The concluding paragraph of the TownHall.com article said: “Earlier this year, liberal George Washington University Law Professor Jonathan Turley warned about President Obama’s executive overreach, saying we will reach a constitutional tipping point if Congress doesn’t do something to restore the balance of power between the legislative and the executive branches of government.”

This is exactly the same problem we have been dealing with since 1787, and here we sit now in 2014 and it’s still not solved. In the interim, Lincoln did the same thing when he invaded Virginia while Congress was not in session and started the War of Northern Aggression. In the book The War Between the States: America’s Uncivil War it is noted on page 207 that: “On April 13, he (Lincoln) declared the seceding states in a state of rebellion and called for 75,000 troops to deal with them–a declaration expressly reserved to Congress by the Constitution…” So you can see that, even back in 1861, the so-called ‘balance of power” between the branches of government was being treated as a farce. Lincoln did what he wanted to do–he wanted a war–and Congress and the country be damned! Is this situation with Obama and the illegal aliens that much different? I don’t think so.

So we might just ask, in light of history, how’s that “balance of power” thingy working out for you? It’s working just great for those that abuse it because the simple fact is–it doesn’t work. We only think it does because that’s what we’ve been taught in our “educational” facilities–and if it doesn’t really work, then what else in the Constitution doesn’t really work either?

Compact or Collectivism

By Al Benson Jr.

Underneath all the national anger in the country over Comrade Obama’s supposed ineptitude (I think much of it is by design rather than ineptness) there also simmers a strong disagreement over just how we should interpret the Constitution. Now I have to admit up front that I have some problems with the Constitution. I find myself much more in line with the thinking of Patrick Henry that I do with that of Alexander Hamilton. In fact, a couple years ago I did a whole series of articles on the Constitution for a blog spot that pulled the plug awhile back. Even though the original blog spot that carried them has gone by the wayside, other sites picked them up and they are still out there. You can find them on http://www.dixienet.org and http://www.spofga.org and I even found one on sonsoflibertyandamericanrevolution.blogspot.com Some of these will probably shock some folks because you never read anything like this before, but if you can, plow through them a little at a time anyway.

In my “huntin’ and peckin’” for some of this material I came across a brief article posted by the Ludwig von Mises Institute simply entitled United States Constitution. It stated that: “By the early 19th century, two schools of thought regarding interpretation of the Constitution had developed, commonly referred to as the ‘Nationalist’ theory and the ‘Compact’ theory. The Nationalist theory argues that the Constitution formed a sovereign nation, under which the states are subordinate in power to the federal government. Thus, the powers of secession and nullification, according to the theory, are unconstitutional. Prominent advocates of the Nationalist theory include Alexander Hamilton, John Marshall, Daniel Webster, and Abraham Lincoln.”

The article then went on to define the other theory, the Compact theory, by saying that: “The Compact theory argues that the Constitution was a compact, that is, the voluntary agreement of thirteen sovereign states to create a general government to take on specific roles. According to the theory, the compact was voluntary and the states retain their sovereignty, so any state has the right, under the Constitution, to secede from the Union. Some proponents of the Compact theory also argued that nullification, that is, a state’s refusal to obey a law of the general government, was also constitutional. Prominent advocates of the Compact theory include Thomas Jefferson, Abel P. Upshur, and Jefferson Davis.” That briefly sums up the two positions and as long as we live under this Constitution (which the federal government almost totally ignores except at swearing in ceremonies) my natural choice would be the latter rather than the former.

I have been told that most of the founding fathers were of the Nationalist persuasion, Hamilton, Madison, Washington, and this may be somewhat accurate. If so, then there is all the more reason for the articles I wrote that are previously mentioned regarding the Constitution. However, that is not where Thomas Jefferson was coming from. In an article on the Tenth Amendment Center website, writer Gennady Stolyarov II wrote of Jefferson that: “Jefferson portrayed the Union as voluntarily entered into by the states; the states were ‘not united on the principle of unlimited submission to their general government’ (KR 153).”

He continued: “The Union was created by the ratification of the Constitution, which served as a ‘compact’ by which the states ‘delegated…certain definite powers’ to the general government (KR 154). The government’s exercise of powers not expressly granted to it by the Constitution was thus illegitimate . For Jefferson, the Constitution both defined and limited the Union’s nature and essence.”

And Jefferson gave a warning which has almost been totally ignored when he warned that the federal government should never be “the exclusive or final judge of the extent of the powers delegated to itself (KR 154), since that would allow the government to define the scope of its powers…”

The Future of Freedom Foundation has a website that carries different articles relating to freedom. In one that was posted on December 20, 2011, author Tom Woods Jr. reviewed a book written by Luigi Marco Bassani called Liberty, State, & Union: The Political Theory of Thomas Jefferson. Mr. Woods observed that: “To assess Jefferson’s endorsement of the Constitution we need to bear in mind the very limited consequences that its ratification entailed in his view. In an era in which ‘Tenther’ (i.e., a supporter of the Tenth Amendment to the Constitution ) has, absurdly enough, become a term of derision, Jefferson’s approach to the Union is a splash of cold water: The true theory of our constitution is surely the wisest and best, that the states are independent as to everything within themselves, & united as to everything respecting foreign nations. Let the general government be reduced to foreign concerns only, and let our affairs be disentangled from those of all other nations, except as to commerce, which the merchants will manage the better, the more they are left free to manage for themselves, and our general government may be reduced to a very simple organization, & a very inexpensive one; a few plain duties to be performed by a few servants…

Woods then observed that Bassani turned to the discussion of states rights. He says: (“States’ rights,” a phrase Jefferson himself used, is of course a shorthand term; Jefferson understood as well as anyone that states do not have rights in the sense that individuals do.) Jefferson was a principal architect of the compact theory of the Union, which conceives the states as a collection of self-governing, sovereign communities (the states)). (More precisely, it is the peoples of the states who are sovereign; no governmet is sovereign in the American system.) These communities, according to the compact theory, have not forfeited their sovereignty by delegating a portion of their sovereign powers to a central government that is to act as their agent…That it is the peoples of the states (often referred to in shorthand merely as ‘the states’), rather than the American people in the aggregate, who are sovereign is evident from history…The British acknowledged the independence of those states by naming them individually. Article II of the Articles of Confederation declared, “Each state retains its sovereignty, freedom and independence”; the states must have had that sovereignty to begin with in order to retain it in 1781,when the Articles took effect. And when the Constitution was to be ratified, it was ratified by each state separately, not in a single national vote. This simple historical overview establishes a very strong prima facie case that the states remained sovereign and were never collapsed into a single whole…What that meant for Jefferson and many of the thinkers who followed in his footsteps was that in the last resort the states, the constituent parts (and creators) of the Union, had to have the power of nullification, the refusal to allow the enforcement of unconstitutional federal laws within their borders.” The states do, indeed, need some kind of protection by which they can prevent the abuse of federal power from destroying the very system they themselves created.

Bassani noted that “…the Kentucky Resolutions of 1798 which vindicate the compact theory—and which countless historians have tried to run away from—contain ‘the whole of Jefferson’s theory of the federal union.” He stated also that Jefferson’s draft contained the term “nullification” which was later taken out by chicken-hearted legislators, but in Jefferson’s thinking it was an integral part of the whole.

So all of the statesmen of that period did not buy into the “perpetual Union” theory. The “perpetual Union” folks are free to believe in that. It’s probably what their history professors taught them, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s the gospel.