I spent 8 years of my military career in Kansas between Ft. Riley, Kansas State ROTC, and Ft. Leavenworth. Both our daughters were born in Kansas, so of course one of our favorite annual family traditions was watching the Wizard of Oz. Our oldest daughter especially loved to act out the scene where Dorothy, Scarecrow, Tin Man, and Toto are entering the dark forest and chanting “lions and tigers and bears — oh my.”Well, here we are in America, skipping down the yellow brick road of “hope and change” into the dark forest of Obamacare. Instead of lions and tigers and bears, we face waivers and exemptions and delays. When does the law become law? And who exactly is legislating?
Just last week there was another exemption and delay granted: an exemption for unions who will not have to deal with reinsurance and a delay for small business enrollment – until after the November elections (of course).
In a Constitutional Republic, laws are supposed to be applicable to everyone, not cherry-picked for special groups with amendments, exemptions – of which there have been nearly 2000 including our beloved Members of Congress and the Obama administration — and the delays just keep coming. Now, I’m not a constitutional scholar, er, I mean an adjunct constitutional lecturer, like the president, but I have done some reading.
In his book “The Spirit of the Laws” published in 1748, Charles de Montesquieu introduced the concept of three branches of government with separate powers. Our constitutional framers adopted that into our system of legislative, executive, and judicial branches. Montesquieu stated, “When legislative power is united with executive power in a single person or in a single body of magistrate, there is no liberty, because one can fear that the same monarch or senate that makes tyrannical laws will execute them tyrannically…”Laws passed from the legislative branch and signed into law by the executive branch are to be executed by the executive, because that branch possesses no legislative power — someone needs to tell the constitutional lecturer that.
I would add that the delegated legislative power of the people cannot be usurped by the other branches. The Supreme Court of the United States ruled on that issue in the 1892 case of Field v Clark, “That Congress cannot delegate legislative power to the President is a principle universally recognized as vital to the integrity and maintenance of the system of government ordained by the Constitution.”
The intent of the ruling was to ensure the legislative branch legislates. But today what we’re seeing is legislation by judicial review. As it relates to Obamacare, consider the SCOTUS ruling that the individual mandate was constitutional as a tax, never mind that it is not in concert with the commerce clause.Now we have a precedent that the federal government can modify individual behavior by way of taxation. What’s next, mandating electric cars or the food we eat? The latter is not so crazy, with the FDA’s move to ban trans fats.
Our executive branch has usurped the legislative process by way of regulation and executive orders. Sure, every president is guilty of using executive orders beyond the scope of emergency when the legislature is not available. George W. Bush used executive orders more than 300 times in eight years. But in just five years, President Obama is closing in on nearly 900 executive orders – including his “Dream Act” decree, and his egregious verbal orders concerning Obamacare.Dr. Charles Krauthammer has referred to President Obama and his administration as being “lawless.” I wholeheartedly agree. Every day we witness a new example of what “fundamentally transforming” the United States means to President Obama.
Dorothy was following the yellow brick road to Oz to find her way back home. Obama’s yellow brick road is leading us further and further and further away.