A “must read” article. Krauthammer dissects the willful and ongoing overreaching by the executive branch — federal and state, by both D’s and R’s. Constitution? What constitution? Well into the article he makes the point:
This contagion of executive willfulness is not confined to the federal government or to Democrats. In Virginia, the Republican attorney general has just issued a ruling allowing police to ask about one’s immigration status when stopped for some other reason (e.g., a traffic violation). Heretofore, police could inquire only upon arrest and imprisonment.
Whatever your views about the result, the process is suspect. If police latitude regarding the interrogation of possible illegal immigrants is to be expanded, that’s an issue for the legislature, not the executive.
How did we get here? I blame Henry Paulson. (Such a versatile sentence.) The gold standard of executive overreach was achieved the day he summoned the heads of the country’s nine largest banks and informed them that henceforth the federal government was their business partner. The banks were under no legal obligation to obey. But they know the capacity of the federal government, when crossed, to cause you trouble, endless trouble. They complied.
So did BP when the president summoned its top executives to the White House to demand a $20 billion federally administered escrow fund for damages. Existing law capped damages at $75 million. BP, like the banks, understood the power of the U.S. government. Twenty billion it was.
Again, you can be pleased with the result (I was) and still be troubled by how we got there. Everyone wants energy in the executive (as Alexander Hamilton called it). But not lawlessness. In the modern welfare state, government has the power to regulate your life. That’s bad enough. But at least there is one restraint on this bloated power: the separation of powers. Such constraints on your life must first be approved by both houses of Congress.
Friends, this is a big deal. The United States Constitution is a remarkable document that implemented the grandest experiment the world had yet known: a constitutional republic. One of the most important components was the separation of powers spread among three equal branches of government. At the federal level was (and hopefully still is) the notion of limited, enumerated powers. A simple concept that the feds can only do what’s listed and all else is reserved to the states and the people.
The executive overreaching, whether at the federal or state level and regardless of the responsible political party (both parties are guilty), it violates both the separation of powers and the enumerated powers provisions of the constitution.
And if YOU don’t stand up against it, then THEY are trampling on YOU and thus the end game has become simply: THEM versus US. And if you understand no other consequence of this process, it is that THEY are spending YOU and your progeny into fiscal oblivion.