I, like many Americans, was sickened by Obama’s address last night. It was his brazen lawlessness. It was the transparent contradiction in his reasoning: saying on the one hand that he is exercising legitimate executive discretion in acting as presidents have done before him to carry out the will of Congress; while on the other hand making it clear that he was acting in lieu of Congressional action after being thwarted by Congress. If only Congress would do what he wanted, he wouldn’t have to do it by himself. And then the dripping condescension in his voice was difficult to endure. He spoke to us with a tone of voice as if we were little children. No, not just little children—stupid little children.
But for me, what was more difficult to endure was the commentary by Charles Krauthammer on Special Report, as the All Star Panel was asked to weigh in. And this is the reaction of the Republican establishment. It sickened me so much that I actually had to turn it off, compose myself, and then go back and listen to it. Here’s what he said:
I think what the Republican leadership is going to try to do is to try to make sure that the Republicans in the Congress don’t lose their heads[emphasis his]. This is an obvious attempt by the President to distract Republicans, to enrage them and bait them to something that would undo the victory they had on election day. This is a way to make the President relevant, to make him central.
This is not Charles Krauthammer’s usual clear thinking. This is an attempt to make a coherent argument out of fear. “I don’t want to do anything. Now let’s try to find some reason that sounds a little logical to justify that.”
When a bank robber pulls a gun in the lobby, does the branch manager say to the security guard, “Now, don’t lose your head. He’s trying to be the center of attention, to enrage you and distract us from serving our customers. Whatever you do, don’t confront him. Let him go and we’ll figure out how to deal with this later”?
Back before the election, in what some perceived as an attempt to bait Republicans on impeachment, Democrats began to talk as if they would revel in a Republican attempt to impeach Obama. They were using a threat of impeachment as a fund-raising tool. That was clearly an attempt by Obama to test the waters, to see if he could get away with a power grab like he just pulled off. And the Republican leadership responded clearly and emphatically that they would not consider impeachment under any conditions. By this declaration, and by saying that under no circumstances will they allow Pres. Obama to shut down the government, they became the enablers of what we saw last night.
Our constitution was crafted to deal with power-hungry executives like Obama. But there is no mechanism to deal with a Congress that is willing to stand idly by, whining on the sidelines. Even the feckless lawsuit that John Boehner was talking about in July has gone nowhere.
The right thing to do is to stand up to this action. The Constitution gives Congress several tools. There is the power of the purse—withholding funding from anything they want to. There is the power of impeachment. No, there are not enough votes to convict, but there are enough votes to impeach, and it would be the right thing to do to say, in an official capacity, that this and any number of other scandals that Obama has perpetrated are grounds for impeachment. But the Republican leadership, and commentators like Charles Krauthammer, are more concerned with the Republican image than they are with doing the right thing. The crazy thing is that doing the right thing would actually enhance the Republican image.
Obama could not do what he is doing without his enablers in both parties.
Click here to visit the Liberty Musings conservative politics home page.