I’m dismayed by the lack of power to enforce the constitutional separation of power between the Executive, Legislative and Judicial branches of government.
The house found Eric Holder in contempt. Nothing happened, simply because congress has no power to actually enforce a contempt charge. No, they can only find someone in contempt and then turn the enforcement over to thee Dept. of Justice for prosecution. How totally stupid. Anyone in the executive branch can simply laugh at congress since they will never be prosecuted by the DOJ which is part of the executive branch.
Today I was reminded that the President, Vice President and all civil officers of the United Sates may be impeached.
The grounds for impeachment can be not only the defined crimes of treason and bribery, but also other criminal or even noncriminal behavior amounting to a serious dereliction of duty.
Why the hell hasn’t Eric Holder been impeached? Surely there are numerous example of serious dereliction of duty?
But, although the House can start impeachment proceedings, the Senate has the final say on whether the individual will actually be convicted. Does anyone believe that Harry Reid’s Senate would impeach anyone in this administration?
It seems that we are helpless to control an administration that wants to create their own rules.
The one thing Obama will be remembered for in history is that he demonstrated the ‘dictatorial’ power of the Executive branch.
Whether you agree with the actual actions of Obama or not, I think we may have seen the end of what is truly a constitutional farce.
There is no ‘balance of power’. The executive branch has all the power that they choose to use. You can be sure that future presidents will expand on the power grab demonstrated by Obama.
This may well be the most detrimental aspect of the Obama Legacy. Although there are many other actions that have harmed our country and our economy the loss of what obviously was a sham ‘separation of power’ is probably of the highest long term consequence.
Simply electing conservatives can undo many of these other actions. But now that the overriding power of the Executive Branch has been demonstrated, simply electing an alternative will not correct the precedent. Future presidents will grab the power and will likely extend it even further.
All a president has to do is appoint a compliant Attorney General and he is free to ignore existing law or write new law. There is really nothing that either the Congress or Supreme Court (which also has no power of enforcement) can do about it short of impeaching the president. And history tells us that it is essentially impossible to actually convict an impeached president. (Nixon might have been convicted but he avoided it by resignation.) Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton were impeached but not convicted by the Senate.
Since 1797 the House of Representatives has impeached sixteen federal officials. These include two presidents, a cabinet member, a senator, a justice of the Supreme Court, and eleven federal judges. Of those, the Senate has convicted and removed seven, all of them judges.
Obviously, the authors of the constitution expected the president to be bound by his oath of office ‘to uphold the constitution of the United States’. They couldn’t have imagined a president who would openly declare that all he needs is a ‘pen and telephone’ to create the laws that ‘he’ believes are necessary.
It may well be that the Obama Legacy will be the end of ‘Representative government’ and the beginning of government by the Executive.
That’s a sad legacy unless you hate the United States of America.