August 16 2013
Obama Administration to Constitution: Drop Dead
Remember when we Americans could boast of being a nation of laws, not a nation of willful men (and women!) who made up the rules to suit their ends?
The economy is rotten, and the country is rife with a newer, more bitter kind of racial discord.
But nothing is more alarming right now than the Obama administration’s propensity to, as Charles Krauthammer puts it, view the Constitution’s separation of powers “as a quaint anachronism.”
Speaking only for myself and for none of my colleagues at IWF, I am ardently in favor of drug legalization. Like Prohibition, making certain drugs illegal, creates opportunities for criminals. However, even as a longtime legalizer, I am horrified at the Obama administration’s utterly lawless way to, in effect, accomplish a goal of which I approve. Here is how Krauthammer describes it:
On Monday, Attorney General Eric Holder, a liberal in a hurry, ordered all U.S. attorneys to simply stop charging nonviolent, non-gang-related drug defendants with crimes that, while fitting the offense, carry mandatory sentences. Find some lesser, non-triggering charge. How might you do that? Withhold evidence — e.g., about the amount of dope involved.
In other words, evade the law, by deceiving the court if necessary. “If the companies that I represent in federal criminal cases” did that, said former deputy attorney general George Terwilliger, “they could be charged with a felony.”
But it's not just in the realm of drug policy that the administration regards the law as quaint:
But such niceties must not stand in the way of an administration’s agenda. Indeed, the very next day, it was revealed that the administration had unilaterally waived Obamacare’s cap on a patient’s annual out-of-pocket expenses — a one-year exemption for selected health insurers that is nowhere permitted in the law. It was simply decreed by an obscure Labor Department regulation.
Which followed a presidentially directed 70-plus percent subsidy for the insurance premiums paid by congressmen and their personal staffs — under a law that denies subsidies for anyone that well-off.
A disregard for the law on this scale and at this level is unprecedented in American history. What is a republic to do in the face of an administration that does what it damned well pleases? Will the next president roll back the lawlessness? Would Hillary Clinton address this issue if she were president? Will Republicans who dare to address this issue be pilloried in the press?
Commentators such as Krauthammer are talking about the administration's lawlessness, but I don’t hear anything about it on from the House or Senate floor. Indeed, I am willing to bet that GOP members and staffs will gladly partake of the president’s deal that allows them to avoid the burdens of ObamaCare that the rest of us will bear.
To her everlasting credit, Rep. Shelley Moore Caputo, Republican of West Virginia, has said that she will not accept health insurance subsidies made availabe to Congress by this foul deal. She will introduce an act to prevent other lawmakers from taking these subsidies.
Unfortunately, Caputo doesn't go far enough. The Caputo bill would exempt the staffers, though I don't know why. They're employed and making good enough money to foot the bills for their own health care insurance. Like the rest of us do. The vote on the Caputo bill, should it get to the floor, is one to watch, however. I can't help noticing that Republicans on the Hill, other than Caputo, have been mute on this matter.