Obama: Fast and Fhürerious
A House Oversight Committee chaired by Daryll Issa (R) has passed a rare contempt measure against embattled Attorney General Eric Holder today after months of hearings over a controversial clandestine gun walking operation by the ATF ran aground. From the Washington Post:
The panel’s actions will be reported to the full House, where Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) and GOP leaders have scheduled a floor vote for next week unless Holder hands over the documents before then. If passed by the House, the matter would then move to the U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia, Ronald C. Machen Jr., who is an employee of the Justice Department.
Holder has refused to publicly produce documents requested by the committee, but President Obama in the 11th hour claimed executive privilege over the internal communications in question clouding the entire process with suspicion.
Republicans feel they have been “stonewalled” during the investigation of who knew what and when in the upper echelons of the Department of Justice (DOJ), while apologists of Atty Gen Holder claim it as a clear witch hunt and potentially a “never-ending process” aimed at threatening a Democratic administration during an election year.
Holder and the DOJ have thus far released over 7,600 pages of documents and 11 hearings, unfortunately it hasn’t satisfied Issa’s subpoenas. Should it? Given multiple major retractions by the DOJ over crucial elements of the case Republicans, 2nd Amendment advocacy groups, open government activists and conservatives are chomping at the bit for resolution and Holder’s job. To be sure, both sides are unanimous that the documents sought would be damning not only to Holder, but possibly the entire administration.
In a letter to the president Holder claims the internal cables and documents focus mainly on the “response to congressional oversight and related media inquiries,” in other words, the DOJ’s public relations strategy. Holder’s letter implies that internal communications did not necessarily weigh in on the moral issues at hand, which is to say, they did not address whether or not the DOJ and ATF wrestled with any constitutional or legal quandaries over flouting federal gun laws.
It is the absence of such discussion, rather focusing entirely on response, which Holder and Obama may wish to conceal. To be fair the Republicans don’t seem to care even though a similar strategy was operating under George W. Bush. Therein lies the rub, this Fast and Furious scandal is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the War on Drugs and government entities circumventing law in order to uphold it and why hammering Holder is merely pruning the branches of corruption. From CNN:
“In a letter to Obama seeking the assertion of executive privilege, Holder said…that release of internal executive branch documents would have “significant, damaging consequences.”
Holder also said releasing the documents would “inhibit the candor of executive branch deliberations in the future and significantly impair the ability of the executive branch to respond independently and effectively to congressional oversight.”
Saving Eric Holder and the administration from such “damaging consequences” Obama asserted executive privilege over the documents in question. Coming from a President who has abhorred such “privilege” exhibited in previous administrations and who has promised unparalleled levels of transparency it is a startling move – that is if your new to politics.
Why So Fhürerious?
This is just the latest example of how the executive branch is becoming a dictatorship. Most of the laws, embodied in the Federal Register, are passed by executive agencies – offices occupied by unelected officials appointed by the president to govern. They are known within the Beltway as “the czars.”
Why a country, which heralds “democracy” ad nauseum would feel comfortable referring to its expanding politburo of czars is beyond the grasp of this author. The fact of the matter is Congress has long since abdicated its role in the creation of most of the laws in this country. Barack Obama is therefore merely an inheritor of this corrupt system similar to most dictators in the past, but he has thus far exhibited no qualms in exercising his “privileges” passed down to him – the Fast and Furious Scandal is merely the latest exhibition.
Since the beginning of the Obama presidency he’s shown to be an aggressive administrator.
Opposition to Obama Care was bipartisan. In order for it to be passed it was necessary for the president and congressional leaders to convince those in their own party on the fence that they would be spared some of the onerous provisions within the legislation. It is because of this arm-twisting and outright bribery that the Corn Husker Kickback and the 2nd Louisiana Purchase are infamous. Even “socialist” Bernie Sanders (D-VT) had misgivings of the special interest written bill, which he quickly dismissed once Medicare provided $10 billion for community health centers in Vermont were slid into the legislation.
The mechanism Obama used was Kathleen Sebelius, his Health and Human Services czar, to distribute ultimately thousands of waivers, through executive fiat, to corporations and special interests. Obama has allowed thousands to escape, ad hoc what for the rest of us would be a universal mandate to purchase health insurance. Not only is the mandate unconstitutional, which the Supreme Court will undoubtedly declare this week, but the entire mammoth legislation flies in the face of transparency and the “few and defined” powers delegated to the federal government under the Constitution.
Tucked into a routine defense authorization bill is one of the most insidious provisions in American history. The “indefinite detention” of those deemed to be terrorists by the administration and the National Security Council struck at the foundation of due process and legal mores dating back to the Magna Carta of 1250. It has met the opprobrium of civil libertarians, the American Civil Liberties Union and has recently been struck down in federal court.
Obama’s efforts to subordinate civil rights to the perpetual war on terror is borne from the corrupt system mentioned earlier exacerbated by pressures from determined and deep forces within our government and his own lack of a constitutional rudder, all the markings of a modern dictator. Today’s tyrants after all don’t need to wear ridiculous costumes or black leather, they understand that when they refrain from the cartoonish people often don’t notice them.
Let us never forget that Obama “deemed” Anwar al-Awlaki, an American citizen born in New Mexico, a “terrorist” and without due process, formal indictment or any attempt to capture al-Awlaki summarily dispatched him along with his teenage son. Obama claimed his “due process” was protected during private deliberations within the NSC. While many now may rest easy, convinced by his words, students of history understand this is often the first act in a long tragedy.
Often flying under the radar like the thousands of drones under his command, Barack Obama, has been wildly successful at dismantling the anti war movement since his inauguration. While it may have simultaneously exposed their partisan bent and ignorance to world affairs it more profoundly exposed the repulsive progressive hypocrisy and has helped plunge the American public into denial over the endless warfare being waged in the Middle East and throughout the world. Both liberals and conservatives can hardly believe that there are over 100 ways Barack Obama is just like George W. Bush.
To Bush’s credit he did seek Congressional approval for Afghanistan and Iraq, Obama saw it fit to seek international approval only when he imposed a no fly zone over Libya. Albeit the Senate passed a resolution against Libya, Obama never conceded he needed their support in spending over $1 billion in taxpayer money deposing Muammar Ghadafi. In fact Leon Panetta in shocking testimony reminded Congress he would “inform” them should international approval be acquired and force deployed in the growing Syrian civil war.
The Cult of the Presidency
When Congress becomes ineffectual “talking shops” and the people become restless for change they invariably wish for a strong and charismatic leader. Trusting in an amorphous body of representatives and or unelected judges isn’t tangible enough mankind at times, thus we’ve supercharged the office of the presidency. We’ve imbued the head of state with all the powers we believe necessary to solve the problems we ourselves have created.
From the Cato Institute’s review of The Cult of the Presidency:
“When our scholars lionize presidents who break free from constitutional restraints, when our columnists and talking heads repeatedly call upon the “commander in chief ” to dream great dreams and seek the power to achieve them—when voters look to the president for salvation from all problems great and small—should we really be surprised that the presidency has burst its constitutional bonds and grown powerful enough to threaten American liberty?”
Until we address the how all presidents have similarly run roughshod over our the Constitution we will never be able to reduce the executive office back to its proper role.