By Sheryl Devereaux, Contributor for US Daily Review.
“I’M SICK OF THIS!” I said in a facebook post, and then related some of the comments below. Not too my surprise, several liberal friends appeared to render to Mr. Obama’s defense, by suggesting that the President’s contemptuous bark back was justified and even defended him through past presidents such as Lincoln. To wit:
The President’s job is specifically to EXECUTE the LAW; Not make it. See Art. II, Sec 3, “…he shall take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed,” and Art. I, Sec 1. “ALL legislative Powers herein granted shall be vested in the Congress of the United States, which shall consist of a Senate and House of Representatives.” (Emphasis added.)
How is it that the entire country is not outraged by Mr. Obama’s attack in response to a citizen questioning his motives and purpose after creating an Executive Order that legalizes illegal immigration? Mr. Obama lambasted a citizen—albeit a reporter, saying he had no right to question his policy, and then said he created the order for the good of the Country. Mr. Obama is either full-on lying, or blatantly delusional. It is the Congress’ job to legislate this and all other issues effecting and affecting law. If Mr. Obama doesn’t like it, then he should have stayed a Senator.
Taking legislation into his own hands (AGAIN) is a gross violation of his oath of office “to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.” This should be an offense to every citizen. Violating the Constitution is NEVER in the best interest of America!
To his speech then, which consequently included a response to the reporter (my point stands above). Policy or no policy—the President of the United States has NO authority to legislate. Ends do NOT justify the means—ever. This country was founded upon playing by the rules–unlike ANY other country. Mr. Obama is not willing to oblige and by his own admission is deliberately turning this country into anything but the Constitutional America that was founded.
That leads to your reference to the Emancipation Proclamation: A couple or more historical facts: The Proclamation stands as an example of executing the law, (not making it). In this case the Constitution itself, as the Supreme Law of the Land (Art. VI), was the law Lincoln was obligated in good faith to execute. One of the great divides between the states at the time of the creation of the Constitution was slavery. A compromise was designed where, by 1808, the slave trade would be abolished. The date was intended to provide enough time—a full generation (from 1789 to 1808)—for Slave States to adjust their lifestyle and economy to phase out the practice.
In 1805 Congress began preparing for this phase out with negotiations on an Act to eliminate the slave trade by the 1808 deadline. To be clear, no actual legislation dictating the abolishment needed to be made. By admission in the Constitution, it was law. But legislation spelling out how and what penalties should incur would certainly be necessary and useful. The act abolishing slavery with the intent to be enforced in 1808 was signed into law in 1807.
Unfortunately, abolishing the slave trade did not result in a willingness to phase out slavery as intended. Instead, the South ignored the injunction and intention of 1789 contract by perpetuation of massive slave growth internally; And it was not until Abraham Lincoln declared the Emancipation that something was done; More than 3 million slaves were freed upon the declaration, despite that the Civil War had already ensued nearly two years earlier. An important note: By the time Lincoln had to deal with this issue it had become not just a massive philosophical and cultural divide between quibbling sides of the country, but a logistical problem with laws of one state encroaching upon the laws of another. War was imminent—indeed had broken out, irrespective of Lincoln’s further catapult with the Emancipation.
That fact is, in executing the Proclamation Lincoln was merely administering what was supposed to have already happened, an end to slavery. (Despite his own public indifference to either side’s position, by the time he made the Proclamation it was as much about settling a deadly case of sibling squabbles that was sure to end in a massive conflagration or the breakup of the most powerful and FREE country the world had ever seen, as obliging the Constitution. But a gentle balance between the intentions of the Founders in the original bargain and the sovereignty of states caused a major quandary—the largest of its kind in conflicting checks and balanced to that date. Consequently, More than 50 years past the date assigned in the Constitution created a festering canker because the intent of the Constitution was being sidelined.
There is a popular attitude of late to villainize Lincoln as the instigator of the Civil War. This is wholesale cherry-picking of history. The fact is, had the states with slavery obliged their end of the bargain on principle rather than claiming states’ rights (which could have been an issue, except the states AGREED to the compromise, and it was then not a matter of state sovereignty but honoring contracts), as a rouse to abuse of human beings for the sake of wealth and empire, there would have been no uproar, no civil war, and no need for the Emancipation Proclamation. But that is not how governing goes. Mistakes and their subsequent adjustments occur constantly in the affairs of the public. As soon as we have a perfect citizenry, we might have a perfect policy.
That does not, however, justify deliberate breach of contract. Mr. Obama has breached his oath of office so many times, to such a blatant degree, and in such a method and manner as to smack the American public in the face—it is a wonder we haven’t see him lifting his middle finger to us, like his Liberal colleague, Harry Reid so famously has. His actions, none-the-less, indicate his attitude toward America. This latest Executive Order is just another offense to the Constitution that forbids the President from legislating.
Sheryl Devereaux is a prolific writer and researcher, speaker, and radio commentator on the Constitution and public policy. You can listen to her show, Foundation of a Nation onallfiredupradio.net or find her on facebook, and on twitter @sheryldevereaux.