The Left’s Twin Towers of TyrannyPosted: November 23, 2014
All legislative Powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States, which shall consist of a Senate and House of Representatives.
Much ink and digital bandwidth have been spilled/expended on Mr. Obama’s unilateral executive action he announced during a speech from the White House on November 20, 2014 on the issue of immigration/deportation/amnesty.
Those on the left, especially immigration rights groups and politicians like Illinois congressman Luis V. Gutierrez, support Obama’s executive action, while those on the right, including House Speaker John Boehner, incoming Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, and a slew of pundits from the constellation of conservative media outlets, blogs, think tanks, etc. have roundly criticized Obama’s executive action as a usurpation by the second branch of government of the first branch’s prescribed constitutional role.
Obama’s executive action is indeed a power grab done for cynical reasons after he and his party took what Democrat Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia described as “a real ass-whuppin” in the mid-term election of November, 2014. Obama broke his promise to pass immigration reform in his first term, despite the Democratic Party controlling both houses of congress and the presidency. Increasingly being referred to as a ‘lame duck’ president in his last two years in office, Obama sought to take attention away from the Republican’s tsunami of a mid-term election victory and re-direct it to him, which he did to a large degree.
In a pleasant surprise, Saturday Night Live did a skit using the old ‘Schoolhouse Rock’ episode of how a bill becomes law to criticize Obama’s executive action, showing the actor playing Obama kicking the bill down the steps of the capital:
Previous to Obama’s unprecedented executive action on immigration, numerous videos surfaced that featured the man many consider to be the main architect of ObamaCare, Jonathan Gruber, essentially calling the American people stupid and bragging about how he used a lack of transparency, deception, and rhetorical sleight of hand to give political cover to his paymasters in the White House and Congress to jam ObamaCare down the throats of the American people.
Jonah Goldberg’s ‘G-File’ of November 22, 2014 used the Gruber videos as a vehicle to nicely sum up the rotten-ness of today’s ‘Establishment Liberalism’ (I refer to it as progressivism or leftism), and it is devastating:
The reason Gruber has been so outrageously under-covered by the mainstream media is obvious: The whole story is an indictment of the entire ecosystem of establishment liberalism, from the supposedly “explanatory journalists” who picked sides from the beginning, to the academic elites who serve as willing mercenaries for the Democratic party (while pretending to be unimpeachably objective followers of the facts) to the press corps that carries water for the whole enterprise. Grüberdammerung runs against the narrative that only lovers of limited government are driven by self-interest and greed. It gives the average person a glimpse into how the sausage is made and embarrasses the sausage makers.
Unless you were born in and live in a cave, you understand that the left dominates the cultural institutions (political, academia, entertainment, media), which is to say the left dominates the culture. Gruber, Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, Barack Obama, et. al, are committed leftists who believe in concentrating power in order to shape and mold America into their idea of a progressive utopia (a.k.a., ‘Soft Despotism’) where the free citizen is kneaded into a dependent subject of the state and the leadership class use their arsenal of experts in the numerous bureaucracies to reduce the population, in the words of Tocqueville, “to nothing better than a flock of timid and industrious animals, of which the government is the shepherd.”
Government at all levels, from the lowliest local municipal public works agency to the halls of Congress and the White House have more than their fair share of ‘Grubers’, ‘experts’ who are possessed with a creepy will to power over their fellow men/women, ‘for our own good’ (of course, there are many good, humble, dedicated public servants).
They are the adult equivalent of the strong-willed elementary school hall monitor who, once given power over others looks for, devises and contrives ways to exercise it. They are the busybody neighbor, the officious work mate who offers help or advice when it is neither asked for nor needed; many of them have gotten degrees and sought after power, position and prominence to control others. As Robert Heinlein once said, “The human race divides politically into those who want people to be controlled and those who have no such desire.”
The left has created and perpetuated the idea that it is good, right – normal – that a leadership class of philosopher kings rule over the population by a combination of executive fiat and a complicated network of bureaucracies populated by ‘experts’ who are unelected and unaccountable to the people to, you know, ‘get things done’ ‘for the people’.
What’s the remedy?
First, if you’re looking for cosmic justice through politics, you’re making a category error; even the best political systems and politicians come from the crooked timber of humanity. You will be deeply disappointed. That is the job of religion/metaphysical beliefs.
With that public service announcement out of the way, look at Article 1, Section 1 of the Constitution. It says “*All* legislative Powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States” (not an executive and not a bureaucrat).
Check out this clip of Steven Heyward speaking of the current condition of Congress:
Heyward points out that the founders made the legislative branch the first branch of government for a reason, but since the rise of progressivism that began politically with the Woodrow Wilson presidency and flourished during Franklin Delano Roosevelt (and now resurgent in the time of Obama), Congress has atrophied while more power has been concentrated in the presidency.
Heyward recommends Congress claw back some of the power away from the executive branch in order to have a more balanced sharing of power/checks and balances as the founders intended.
But when Heyward says ‘Congress’, what this really means is ‘the people’, since they are (or at least are supposed to be) the representatives of the people.
A quote that is attributed to Plato goes, “One of the penalties of refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors.” Similarly, John Adams said, “I must study politics and war, that my sons may have the liberty to study mathematics and philosophy. . .”
Progressives are, Terminator-like, relentless and will not stop in their drive to “fundamentally transform the United States of America”, as one of their number put it, unless a determined people stands athwart history and makes them stop.
The mid-term election was a small step in the right direction, but only time will tell if Classical Liberals can stem and roll back the over-a-century tide of progressivism.