What if a U.S. administration announced it was violating
the Constitution and no one cared? That seems to be
what’s happening today as President Clinton moves to
amass what can only be described as “imperial powers”
without as much as a whimper of protest heard in the land.
In May, President Clinton issued Executive Order 13083, a
frontal assault on 10th Amendment-protected powers of
the states and individuals. No one noticed, or cared.
Congress allowed it to become law by not lifting a finger.
No governors or state legislatures protested. The media
didn’t even report on the federal power grab.
Having gotten away with the cold-blooded, broad daylight
murder of one constitutional principle, President Clinton
has decided to use his enormous, new-found dictatorial
authority more frequently in the final two years of his
term. He plans to issue more and more executive orders,
beginning as early as today.
The first order of business will likely be an executive order
promoting more federal control over the health-care needs
of federal employees. During that ceremony, Clinton plans
to urge Congress to enact his “Patients’ Bill of Rights”
legislation setting national standards for managed medical
As top White House aide Paul Begala arrogantly put it:
“Stroke of the pen. Law of the land. Kinda cool.”
Yeah, cool dude. Meet the hip, new face of fascism in
America. Whatever it takes to rule, so be it. The
Constitution be damned. We’ve got important public
policy reforms to enact. If the Congress won’t cooperate,
then we’ll make the Congress irrelevant — go over their
heads. Mussolini would be proud — not to mention Jiang
“He’s ready to work with Congress if they work with him,”
Rahm Emanuel, senior policy adviser to the president,
explained. “But if they choose partisanship, he will choose
progress.” Translation: Unless Congress gets on its knees a
la Monica Lewinsky and gives the president everything he
wants, he will resort to governing by decree.
Is Clinton within his rights as president to use the power of
the executive order? There’s no question other presidents
have abused the practice. But none more than Clinton.
Executive orders were originally intended to give
presidents rule-making authority over the executive
branch — to allow him to preside as the chief executive
officer of the White House and its vast number of
employees and departments. Clinton has reinvented the
executive order as a form of presidential law-making
authority — something in direct contradiction with the
In fact, as recently as June 25, the U.S. Supreme Court
ruled, in its line-item veto case, that the president of the
United States cannot initiate legislation. If followed to its
natural conclusion, this ruling would invalidate all
executive orders — past and present.
The problem, of course, is that it takes some bold person in
Congress, or even at the state government level, to
challenge this grotesque usurpation and centralization of
power. So far, they’re all scurrying away from this issue
like rats fleeing a burning Reichstag.
What’s at stake here? Well, just consider the fact that one
of Clinton’s executive orders empowers him to declare a
national emergency and set up the Federal Emergency
Management Agency to direct federal, state and local
governments. This provision replicates the executive
powers laid down in the 1933 War Powers Act and would
allow FEMA to control all communication facilities
(including, presumably, WorldNetDaily), power supplies,
food supplies, airports, transportation of any kind, seaports,
waterways and highways. Congress would not even be able
to debate the president’s declaration for the first six months
of totalitarian rule.
The president could implement this draconian plan under
“any threat to national security, perceived or real.” Do you
trust Bill Clinton with that kind of authority? Apparently,
the Republican-controlled Congress does. And so does the
corporate media establishment. No one is speaking out
against the prospect of American fascism — not even the
American Civil Liberties Union.
I would just like to remind my “progressive” friends that it
was a similar arrangement under which Adolph Hitler
suspended the German constitution by presidential decree.
Do you really think it can’t happen here? Is it
inconceivable that America could ever lose its freedom? If
the only thing that prevents evil from triumphing is for
good men to do nothing, it seems our nation is well on its
way down the road to destruction.